Thursday, March 29, 2007

MuteMath Video

If you haven't seen this, it is beyond cool. (props to my buddy Heredes for pointing this out) Every person in the band had to learn the song backwards to make it work. These guys are beyond talented!!! Hard to believe both they and Mat Kearney were just at GCC last year. Check it out!

If It's Helpful

About a year ago, God planted a phrase in my head that I've been using to focus. I generally say this in mornings while I run (which, by the way, is a great way to pray - yes, you can turn off the iPod!). Before I tell you this, let me give you the background.

First, there is the idea of God's will. Perfect. Sees the BIG picture. It's the part of the Lord's Prayer "Your kingdom come, Your will be done." I think anyone who believes in Jesus would say, "yeah, I'm down with that."

Second, there is this intersection of heaven and earth which takes place in the human heart - the will. As the Spirit resides in us, He is constantly conforming our hearts (our wills) into the likeness of Christ. The problem always is with our will. Often, we want to do, act, think in a way that is our own. We often feel that we know best. Or there are certain things/situations in which we often take control. As Christ takes over our lives, we want to not only act, but want to think/feel as Christ would. This isn't easy. As Corey Mann has said, "Sometimes we need to do laps." Just like the nation of Israel did in the desert.

So when, someone gets accolades for doing something great, our first impulse isn't jealousy, but praise. When someone rides up too close behind us in a car, we don't immediately throw back an expletive, but rather consider that they may be trying to get to something truly important. Or if someone doesn't call us back right away, instead of judging them in our hearts, maybe we grow some patience; understanding that maybe our agenda isn't the most important thing in the world.

OK... Finally... the phrase... (warning it's not earth shattering) ready...

"Lord, will in me Your perfect will."

Again, God's will intersecting our will. When I pray this, I'm asking that God would will (create, or form) in my heart (my will), His perfect will. I think the more I would approach situations from this perspective, the better off I'd be.

Recommendation: I have found it helpful to simply meditate on this phrase (as well as phrases like the Centering Prayer "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.") Or you could make up your own phrase. I advise to keep the phrase short. Repeating this all day in your inner dialogue with God might work. Or for a block of time focusing each word in the phrase and asking God to speak to your heart. Also, a great site for meditative prayer guidance is Hope this can encourage you today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Guess Who's...

Yep, the birthday girl, Sophie, turned six yesterday!

And yes! She got a SWEET SET OF TAYE DRUMS!!! She is totally rockin' now! (Dad, may have to borrow them from time to time! :)) Really a family set as we try to give the VonTrapp family (think Sound of Music) a run for their Deutsch Marks. "The Hills are alive, with the sound of Vukmirovich..." I can hear it now... Okay, I can't.

It's hard to believe that our youngest is already SIX!!! We are so proud of her! The only unfortunate thing about her birthday was that THIS (see below) was what helped her get through the day...

Yeah, our girl has been sick. She made it through a half day of kindergarten, but then passed out at home. She was a trooper though!!!

Good Morning... Good Charlotte

Out 2day, Good Charlotte's - Good Morning Revival

They've lightened up the sound a bit with a bit more of All-American Rejects mixed in. A lot more radio-friendly than much of their earlier stuff. I particularly like the earlier released "The River", but the acoustic version (album only) is even cooler. The track "Misery" has the catchy hooks that these guys are famous for. We'll see where this album goes. Probably not as far as Green Day's "American Idiot", but it honestly seems to have a more positive outlook which I like. Though I do like me some Green Day on a regular basis.

Friday, March 23, 2007

God Tube

I may be about 10 months late on this, but have you checked out GodTube? Oh, man. So much potential for good, but CHOCK FULL of stuff that just about anyone could parody. Check out:

The Banana vs. The Athiest

I laughed OUT LOUD at this one:

Christian Clown Training

Check out this kid's potential:

Future Preacher Boy

We'll see where all this goes. Have fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wisdom and Words

This is kind of difficult for me to say, since, in saying it, I might be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. Alas, I think it needs to be said.


"When words are many, sin is not absent. But he who holds his tongue is wise." Prov. 10:18

I've been thinking a lot lately about this issue of wisdom. It is an elusive thing. The whole beginning of Proverbs talks about how Wisdom cries out in the streets to be heard, and no one is listening. I wonder if we block out wisdom by our chatter. Three things to listen to:

1. God
2. Others
3. Yourself

In our constant noise, I think we really stop listening to all three - EVEN OURSELVES!

Some of the wisest people I know aren't necessarily older, nor have they been around the block a few more times. I think they're simply GOOD LISTENERS. These people don't rush to conclusions. They take time to consider things. Impulsive, they are not.(think Yoda, "hm...")

Another observation based on a conversation with a friend today:




potential for:


Warning to all: be WISE about what you put on your blog. There is so much potential for good things in this world of blogging, but to LISTEN as you type. Remembering that people don't know the inflection of your voice as they read your posts. My pastors Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan have a chapter on this in their book Simply Strategic Stuff. Ok. Now, go and blog wisely...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Odessy 2 and Me

Okay. So I've got this competitive streak in me. My earliest memory of me being this way, to a fault, was when I was 8. I owned an Odessy 2 video game. Now, everyone else had an Atari, but I wanted to be cooler, a little edgier, so I went with the Odessy (cool site here). One of my first games was Baseball.

Yeah, you could move your guys, but all three outfielders moved at the same time. Very high tech... My best friend, Greg, an Atari owner, came over one day to play. Greg was pretty much awesome at whatever Greg tried. So I should have known better than to challenge him to a game of Odessy baseball. I figured I had home-video-game advantage. Welllll, that didn't work out too great for me. He utterly STOMPED me, like 30-7. And, of course, Greg had to do the rub it in victory dance/chant after "oh-yeah! I'm awesome! oh-yeah! I'm the greatest!" or something like that. Yeah, this didn't settle too well with me, as you can imagine. I pretty violently through my game controller at him and began to bawl like a baby. "I should be the champion! It's not even YOUR game!!!" Not only did I want to win, I wanted to push my competition down and see them fail.

Yeah, we didn't play that game too much after that episode. I remember it so well, because I think I still carry it with me. The attitude, not the game. It manifests itself a little differently now. Sometimes I catch myself not only wanting to be the best at something, but wanting others to not be fully successful. I don't mind if they're good at something different than me (Atari), but when it's MY game, whoo baby, that can send me into places I don't like to go. The sad thing is that I stop focusing on doing MY best and just work on being better than others. Subtle difference, but way different outcome.

God keeps working on me with this one as he puts people in my path who challenge me. You'd be surprised that it's not the obvious people in my professional life that I compete with in my mind. My friend, Jason Miller gave me a good word: "It's not WANTING to win that's bad, it's NEEDING to win." Putting things like success and approval in front of God. Sounds like idols to me.

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God."

Have You Checked This Out?

I'm a BIG Beatles fan. I think they were (and are) masters of melody and of the unpredictable. This album has been out a while, but if you haven't already checked it out, check out the LOVE album. Based on the new Cirque du Soleil show out in Vegas. Check out the Beatles LOVE site HERE.

My wife, Lisa, who is even a bigger Beatles fan is more of a purist and isn't sure she likes the new stuff here. But if you likes you some Beatles and want to hear a new perspective from Sir George Martin's (their original producer) ears, then check it out. I particularly love the remix on track 16 "Octopus's Garden". Also the beautiful a cappella harmonies on the opening song "Because" are tight.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Coming in May to GCC

Cool opportunity that we're having this May (4th & 5th) to bring in Tim Carson, from Vocal Artistry.

Tim is a voice teacher/guru who will work with our vocal team (and others from the area) on topics like technique, stage presence, and communication. Check out the trailer and/or sign up for the workshop that's going to be here at GCC here.

Tim, we're excited to have you at Granger. Thanks for partnering with us.

Alright, I Admit It

Okay. When I was like 7 and 8, I watched Little House on the Prairie with my grandma. And, I even LIKED IT! Well, looks like Laura (Melissa Gilbert) is going to be playing Ma in a new musical version of the show with Patrick Swayze (think Chipendale dancing with Chris Farley)as Pa. Hm. Check it out here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Shout Out to a Brother in Miami (and his lady)

I thought I'd introduce you to a friend of mine from Miami. His name is Heredes (that's "air-uh-des") Ribiero. We met out at Saddleback's Purpose Driven Church conference last year, and then we hooked up again at Catalyst 2006. He's just accepted a new staff position at Flamingo Road Church in another part of Miami. Check out a hilarious video here of he and his wife singing. Talk about a guy with a heart for including people. Like Jesus would. I came to Atlanta alone, and soon he and his posse picked me up and treated me like a brother. Love you brother. Keep following God.

Helping Us Believe

One of the things that has hit me lately, (I'm going through the One Year Bible) is this issue of what it means to BELIEVE. I mean REALLY believe. Over and over again Jesus points out the faith of ordinary people who seem to "get it" and then contrasting it with those who SHOULD get it, but really don't.

One example is in Mark 9:14-29. A demon-possessed boy's father approaches Jesus. Having struggled for years with a boy that is untameable - he's at his end. He asks Jesus IF he CAN do anything to help. Jesus then reminds him (and us) that EVERYTHING is possible for those who believe. To which the man responds, (I LOVE THIS LINE) "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." So true. So honest. I've heard it said that that which is most personal is most universal. I think this applies here. That's SO ME!

I think that's why I can relate to the discples so well. One minute they're all, "YEAH, LORD! WHATEVER YOU SAY!" The next moment, "UH... 5000 people. Us... I mean, we don't even have the gift of hospitality." I wonder what would happen if our prayers would ask God to help us believe? How would that change our perspective? How would our time be spent? How would our resources be spent?

Pastor Mark really NAILED IT this weekend (check it out HERE)as he challenged people with "who do you say Jesus is?" It's this fundamental question that will literally shape our lives. For those of us who believe that He's God's son, and has died for us, and rose again, and sent His Spirit; we have to then live out of this dependence on God for EVERYTHING. Believing that God will follow through on His promises.

Dang it, now I gotta think about this stuff...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Big Bottoms...

No, I'm not talking about people's behinds. I am talking about a huge difference it makes to have a good subwoofer as part of the home studio set up. I was just able to get a kickin' new sub from M-Audio. The BX-10

It has a real punch without being muddy. Very cool feature of a footswitch kill if you want to hear your music without the sub. Much easier than reaching to find the off switch on the back, behind your desk. This is going to be so helpful in mixing for the large auditorium that we have. Since I create most of our backing tracks that go along with our music each weekend at GCC, it is going to make a huge difference to understand what the real impact of adding a few db to any given bass notes. More as songs develop.