Thursday, May 31, 2007

United Rocked!

Incredible concert last night! United rocked the house, though I felt my age amongst so many youth! Got to share my experience with my wife, my friends Doug and Joni, and about 3500 others... sold out, standing room only.

Pretty cool that they did some tunes from their new CD (which hit the Billboard charts at #60), but they also did some old favorites, most of which we do at the Orchard.

If you get the chance to see them, I guarantee you will enjoy the experience!
More later.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Orchard Rewind Episode 11

This week I had the opportunity to film the rewind with a couple of friends and great teammates. Ken (on the left) is one of our extraordinary guitarists and Doug (on the right) is our keyboardist, bassist, guitarist, and vocalist (he can do it all). Joni is the voice you hear off camera (awesome vocalist).

So, don't mind the cutting up before finishing our set for the second service.

Starting a new series next week called Sacred Roots - should be great.


Thursday, May 24, 2007


Wow! Just read a great post on forgiveness on Perry Noble's blog.

I love this line:
"Being mad at someone and expecting it to hurt THEM is the same as drinking poison and expecting it to kill someone else!!!"

It's totally true. I have spent lots of wasted time angry or upset with someone only to find out that they hadn't thought another day about it.

If you get the chance today, read Perry's post and then ask yourself... Who do I need to forgive?


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Orchard Rewind Episode 10

Setlist from 5/20.
Includes video snippets from the service this time.
Also includes a piece of the original we wrote for this weekend.

What was your weekend like?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Morning Madness

My wife had a dentist appointment this morning. She is not fond of the dentist office because of her anxiety about having her teeth worked on. I don't blame her, but I combat that by not going.

Since our kids are homeschooled, I got to teach my kids. Never thought grade school would be so challenging. It's not the school work itself, it's corralling the kids and keeping them focused.

Hats off to you teachers, including my wife - you all have got to be some of the most patient people around!

Although my youngest did pray for his mommy to have gas at the dentist office (I know what he meant but considering it was during a prayer the chuckles abounded).


Saturday, May 19, 2007


Very excited about this Sunday! I was looking for a song that would fit like-a-glove for a message that one of our teaching pastors was teaching this weekend and felt like we needed a song to wrap up the message.

Couldn't find one that really said what I wanted to say.

So, I threw together some ideas I had and started writing one of our own. The most exciting part about the whole thing was taking it to rehearsal and collaborating with my team. Some great ideas came from our session together. While we didn't finish it that night, the ideas we put together fueled the final result and the song came together for Sunday. In my opinion, it is one of the best I've been a part of writing and I believe that's because it was a team effort.

I'm looking forward to hearing how it turns out tomorrow and how it is received.
I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Orchard Rewind Episode 9

Didn't post a rewind last week. Filmed it and started editing and decided not to post it.

This episode includes a brief recap from 5/6 and the setlist for both 5/6 and 5/13.
It also includes my youngest son, so enjoy!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ACS Chapel

Had the great privilege of co-leading a Senior High chapel session this week at Aurora Christian School. My friend Kyle Zehr from GC and I lead along with some of the ACS staff. I had a great time planning this with Kyle and putting the set together with a great team of people.

We started off with a multimedia piece that talked about what worship is then went into a worship set that looked like this:

Not To us - Christ Tomlin
Everyday - Lincoln Brewster
My Savior My God - Aaron Shust
How Great Is Our God - Chris Tomlin
Only You - David Crowder Band
Jesus Paid It All - Kristian Stanfill
Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster
Your Grace Is Enough - Chris Tomlin
No One Like You - David Crowder Band

Cool experience and I'm thankful for the opportunity to lead these young men and women in worship.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Kids and Classics

Got one of those musical birthday cards from my Mother and Father-in-law... you know, the kind where you open it up and it plays a familiar tune.

Luckily my kids have opened it to play the song about a million times so far. My son also thinks the song goes, "bring home my llama" instead of "sweet home Alabama". So he sings it that way every time he hears it.

It was funny the first 500 times.
Ok, it's still funny :)

I guess I need to play more classic rock for my kids to learn.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jesus vs. Christians

We showed this video last weekend during our services at The Orchard.
We were continuing our series, Confessions of a blue jean wearin', Starbucks addicted pastor.
Scott's talk was titled, "I Don't like [MOST] Christians."
That was his confession.
There was a lot of tension in the room for a while.
We had a HUGE response.
More people have responded positively to this message than any other during this series.

We have had several churches and leaders ask if they can use the video, which is good and bad.
Good in that we have been able to take something simple like this video and impact lives all over the country. Bad in that it takes something like this video to educate us to this fact. Bad in that followers of Christ are viewed this way.

This video was shot with one camera, our in-house video guru, and our lead pastor on the north side of Chicago.

What do you think? What are you going to do about this?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What is Heaven like?

I was sitting around the dinner table last night with my wife and kids, enjoying some great food. I love eating meals with my family... it seems like that's the time we talk about some cool things. Sometimes we talk about some pretty deep things and sometimes (most of the time) we joke and laugh and tell stories or our day.

Last night was one of the lighter-mood meals.

There was a lot of laughing, giggling, talking, and of course - eating. Somehow we started talking about what heaven would be like for each of us. It was just fun.

Apparently one of my daughters would have an endless stomach and be able to eat steak and chocolate whenever she wanted. My other daughter would have an endless supply of paper, pens, paints, brushes, and clay to be able to create masterpieces. My oldest son would have a huge screen and the coolest video games at his disposal. We all agreed that Kristen would have a large fluffy bed in a sun-filled, breezy room, with every best-selling book at her fingertips.

What is your idea of heaven?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Birdie BBQ

Had to do it. They weren't coming back to the nest anymore.
So I torched it.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my wife's post here, here and here. That should give you the idea :)

BTW, no birds were hurt in the making of this bonfire. I have a short video too for those who want it.


First Wednesday: RE-charge

At the Orchard, we have what we call First Wednesday. The first Wednesday of each month (except for maybe a couple of months during the summer to give our teams a break), we gather together to just take a breather. It's a time when our church community gets together to keep first things first and to remind ourselves of why we are Christ followers. It's a time of music (usually all acoustic/unplugged), communion, and especially community.

It's a time to re-focus, re-energize and re-fresh.

This Wednesday we had, in my opinion, ONE of the best gatherings I've ever been a part of. There were people of all ages, various backgrounds and different stages of there journey. My family got to come for the first time in a while, which was cool to see too.

We actually change our auditorium so that it is a unique and different experience than on the weekends. It's a very spiritual experience. Not that our weekends are not, but it's different.

This month, Scott talked about the Eucharist. You can read more about it on his blog post, but the main idea was that we have been called to be a living Eucharist. It's not just a one time act, but a pouring into us that we then pour into others lives. He talked about how some have poured out so much to others but don't always take the time to be re-plenished.

The music was great - just a couple of acoustics (Ken still threw some cool licks on the electric which gave it a nice touch), a djembe (awesome Matt!) and some fantastic vocals (Amanda - wow!). Great community time together - the sound of people meeting or re-meeting and re-connecting was almost deafening. A great time of just re-centering on what it's all about. A great time of the church truly being the church - the body of the living Christ.

Thanks for all of you who were there - I pray you were touched.
I pray that you were re-filled.

If you weren't there, you got to check it out sometime - you won't be disappointed!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Orchard Rewind Episode 8

Setlist and review of the experience at The Orchard on 4/29.

How was your weekend?