Blogging is difficult

It is. For me, it’s more difficult because it seems pointless. I guess in the long run… who really needs to (or wants to) hear about the life of a music minister? But until someone convinces me otherwise…blogging is a part of life for too many people for it to be called “pointless”. I’m sure at some point, blogging will be a way of life that cannot be ignored. So, here I am again, with the question, “What can be said today?”

After a few weeks of no posts, I guess there’s plenty to be said. It has been very busy, too busy, but yet I still struggle with what to write.

One of the best things recently has been the overwhelming positive response to a solo handbell piece I rang a few weeks ago. It was an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” for one ringer and piano. I rang 2 octaves (the melody) in 3 or 4 keys accompanied by a jazz-swing piano part, to which I added organ and drums for the fun of it. It is sort of difficult to do, but once learned it really is easy. The fun part is that it looks terribly difficult to the average person’s eyes. The way the bells are picked up and rung and put down, though very simple, looks very difficult. I had an overwhelming number of positive comments on it. Even some of the handbell choir (13 people to ring 5 octaves) were amazed. (I’m not sure I’ll tell them how easy it really is 🙂 )

We’ve had good choirs on Sundays too. One Sunday, the loft was full… totally unexpected to me. It’s so nice when everyone shows up. I wish it were that way every time we were together, not just to sing on Sundays, but every time – I so enjoy being with this group of people. What a privilege to be in front of them on a weekly basis.

Prep for our Musical on April 9 is coming down to the wire. I should be working on that, but, no, I felt it important to blog. What’s up with that? There’s still a lot to be done. I can’t even begin a list here. I guess I had better close this and get to work.

So much for being caught up!

Sunday was just simply a crazy day. God was good and not much went wrong… and what did go wrong, most probably wouldn’t have noticed if it slapped them in the face. But that’s a whole other sermon…

Back in the saddle today with too much on my plate… yet I find time to blog, what’s up with that? With our Easter musical coming so very quickly, all the elements (band, praise team, orchestra, choir) are starting to come together a little more. We’ve still got quite a few technical things to work out – like a click track video we’ve got to figure out how to pump to the drummer and no one else. There are some video projection things to figure out… but it’s coming.

We’ve also got a lot of big project ideas – too big. We need a complete overhaul of sound/video projection/ and lighting. That’s not cheap, and we’re not ready for it. We’ve also got a concert opportunity that would bring in a pretty big name… but there’s a huge chance we’ll lose a lot of money on it. Is it worth it? I’m not so sure any more.

Then there’s the weekly stuff, like planning for worship on Sundays and planning all my rehearsals. Some people think, “How hard is it to pick a few songs each week?” It takes a few hours at least, not to mention many other “passing thought” moments, in order to get a service together that runs smoothly, both textually and musically. You can’t just blindly point to a song on a list and say, “Okay, I guess that’ll do.” What kind of offering is that? David said once, “I will not offer to God that which costs me nothing (1 Chronicles 21:24).” Not only does it take time to select songs that fit musically and textually, but then you’ve got to figure out the best “flow” for them to work together, then you’ve got to figure out how to rehearse the musicians in such a way to convey your vision of how they fit, then you’ve got the energy of concentration to lead it during the Sunday services. I wish it were easier, but to be stretched like this so often… it truly is a blessing in disguise.

God bless you as you seek to serve him.

All Caught Up — whatever

I know, I said I’d do a better job of posting new material. Well, obviously, I’m not very good at it. But, maybe I’ll get there.

I guess I need to set some goals… what do I hope to accomplish with this blog? Is there a purpose? or is it just to say “Yeah, I’ve got a blog.” I want people to learn something from me, that’s a definate. I would hope to help people understand who I am, why I have chosen this particular profession, what it is about music and worship that so captivates me, why Jesus is so important to me, and maybe even the ups and downs of music ministry in a church setting.

Most people don’t have a clue about any of these things. Like my mom for example, after 7 years of school and Bachelor and Master degrees in music, she finally asks, “What does a minister of music do all day – to make it a full-time job?” At that point in my life, I was still trying to figure that out as well…

But now, after being in full-time ministry for about 5 years… 40 hours a week is not ENOUGH time to get everything done that should be done. Here’s an example of all the things under my particular umbrella:
Adult Choir
Handbells
Orchestra
Praise team singers
Praise band
Sunday morning worship time
Sunday night worship time

Those are just regular basis things. RIght now I’ve also got a church directory responsibility and several committee responsibilities. Of those things listed above, I’ve got to find music (I go through about 5 songs to get 1 to use on average), I’ve got to plan how the music fits together, got to plan how to rehearse it in not enough time, actually do the directing of the music we’ve rehearsed in services, and also figure out how to bring all the elements together since they rehearse separately.

I know, it sounds simple. But I’d love to see my life on Discovery or TLC just to show the world how difficult it is.

Over and above what you see there, I also am the most technologically minded of anyone at the church. So I get to take care of all that too (projectors, computers, sound systems, tv’s, website, graphics, etc.) Don’t get me wrong, I love that… but as you know, as soon as you learn something in that world, it’s out of date and antiquated. Then you spend time learning the new way, and it becomes obsolete.

But… this is how God has chosen to gift me and call me. I will serve him faithfully until he calls me home. God is God and I am not.