Posted on August 30th, 2013

I wanted to share with you about house concerts. Many people have not heard of this, so I wanted to let you know how they work. I’ve done a handful of these and they are probably the most fulfilling thing I’ve done for a songwriter. It’s up close and personal with people and it provides an opportunity for sharing music in a great environment, your home. 

So, what IS a house concert?
A house concert is just like it sounds. You, as a music fan, invite an artist into your home to play a concert for people that you invite.  

Is it a party? 
Not really. Although it is extremely fun, it’s not meant to be a party where the artist plays music in the background. The goal is to to have a small venue to enjoy music and conversation with the artist. 

How many people do I invite? 
It varies, but a good target is anywhere from 20-40 people. This will depend on the size of your home as well. House concerts are done in an intimate setting for music to be shared and enjoyed. 

How long does it last?
Typically, an artist will play anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, but you can talk to the artist and decide what will fit the night. 

Is there food?
There can be. It can be potluck, you cook it, you order it, just desserts, or nothing at all. It’s up to you as the host. I have some things that have worked well in the past I can fill you in on. 

Does it cost money?
Although you won’t be selling tickets, it’s customary to have a “suggested donation” for your guests that you’ll let them know of in advance. You and the artist, can figure that out. Typically, it’s anywhere from $10-15 per person for the evening. But, again, it's not a set rule. 

The goal of being a host is to support artists you like while providing a great night of fun and music to your friends, family and neighbors. 

What all will I have to do as host?
You can go as easy or as detailed as you want. There are tons of options and the pdf on my website (found under the house concerts tab) has tons of ideas on how this can be done. But, don’t feel like you have to do a lot. The main role is to open your home and invite others who you feel would enjoy a night out with good music from your preferred artist. 

If you have any other questions, shoot me an email, but the previously mentioned pdf should answer most everything you’d come up with. I really hope you’ll consider this. It’s one of my favorite things to do as a singer/songwriter and I’d be honored to partner with you on it. 

God bless. Contact me if you are interested.

Posted on July 22nd, 2013

Nope. I'm not going to say how mowing can be a ministry, although that IS true. We'll leave that for another blog. I want to chat about something else. 

You may say, "What in the world else could mowing and ministry have in common?" I'm glad you asked. 

I mowed for a company in college and mostly hated it because of the Louisiana heat, but there was one part of it I loved. I loved when we were done with a yard. It's so fulfilling to work your tail off and then see a great looking yard left in your wake. Most jobs have this sort of fulfillment factor: clean a house, make that sale, find the right employee, make your quota, etc.

But ministry is different. Yes, it's fulfilling; but a lot of it is going on blind faith that you hope your work is making an impact. Your pastors and leaders work hard to reach the lost and equip the body of Christ for ministry. Yet, so often, they don't get to look back and see the nicely manicured "lawn" (or life) in their path. That's where you can help that.

Take a moment this week to tell your pastors and church leaders the difference they are making in your life. Be specific with them. Let them know how God has used them in the details of your life and how your life has changed by God's grace in their ministry.

Let them see the freshly mowed grass every now and then. I promise you it will fuel their desire to continue with kingdom work.

Posted on April 7th, 2013

Corporate worship is not a spectator sport. It's something we ALL participate in. Check out Psalm 95. How many times does is say "let us"? It's something we do together. We worship...together. 

It means all of us open our mouths in praise. It means all of us sing the words about our King and pour our hearts out to God. 

I wanted to just encourage those of you "in the pew" in worship gatherings to please step out of the normal "entertain me" mentality and engage in what God is doing throughout your church's worship gatherings. The staff and volunteers put in a lot of efforts to hear from God and plan a meaningful time but it's all for nada if you just stand there. Sing. Pray. Worship. 

I'm not saying this as a frustrated worship guy because I'm no longer in that position at church, but I did get to lead worship at a church today and it was one of the most refreshing times in corporate worship that I've had in a very long time. Though the numbers were not large, the voices in the room welcomed the presence of God in a mighty way. 

Wherever you gather for worship, please show up and actually worship. With your prayers, your hands, your voice, your Bible, your heart. Fight the urge to watch. Don't just keep a seat warm. You'll miss out on what God has for you.

Come, let US worship and bow down. Together.

Posted on March 6th, 2013

I was asked to share at our monthly Man Church last night. The Lord has been chiseling away at some things in my heart lately and I shared how He wants more intimacy with Him and less working for Him in my life. It's an extremely difficult balance to nail down.

In studying for this, the Lord has me in Psalm 63, perhaps one of the most intimate psalms in the Bible. Check it out...

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

While thinking on this psalm, an idea came to mind. Why don't I play around with this and write it out how most of our lives look on a daily basis. So, I came up with Psalm Sixty-Me. Check it out...

God, you are a god
I sometimes glance your way
My soul is already full of dirty water and my body is content with eating the dry sand of this world
I saw you a while back and there’s no denying you are good
Your unfailing love grabs my attention a few times a week, at least
I will praise you as long as my life is good. I may even lift my hands or speak of you publicly is you really bless me.
I’m satisfied with church attendance and I enjoy watching others sing of your love.
I sometimes think of you as I go to bed and I will even ask you for help if I need it, but I usually can handle most things on my own.
I’m glad I believe in you, but I’m doing pretty good as the captain of my own life.

Lord, I confess that my life is seldom characterized by intimacy with You. I get busy, even with great things, and can leave Your Spirit behind in my efforts. Keep me close to You and may the fruit of my life bring a smile to Your face. Thank you for Your grace in speaking to me so faithfully. I love You. Amen.

Posted on February 26th, 2013

I have a hang nail right now and that sucker hurts. It's so small (see photo), it woke me up two or three times last night when it would get snagged up on the covers as I was moving in my sleep. 

It's crazy how something so little and insignificant can cause such pain. It made me think about our tongue and how the book of James warns us of the power of the tongue. Check this out...

James 3:5 says, "In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire."

Such great imagery there. Something so small as a hang nail can cause pain and something so small as a tongue can cause major damage to our lives as well as those around us. It's a good warning for me and I want to take it to heart.

God, help my speech bring you honor. I fail at this so often it seems impossible, but lead me by the Spirit and help my words be encouraging today. 

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