for the dreamers


This week my son, Jesse, had to write a short essay in his class that answered the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  After our Wednesday night service, his teacher caught me out in the hallway to show me his paper because she was so amused by his answers.  I asked her if I could borrow it for the night since it would still need to be graded the next day.  She said “yes” and when I got home, I called various family members to read them his thoughts.  We all laughed at Jesse’s ability to describe, in such detail, his plans for the future.  Here is what he wrote –

I want to be a football player.  I want to be a wide receiver and make 15 touchdowns in one whole season.  I want [our] team to be ranked #1 in the nation.  Guess what team I want, Nebraska! Ya baby.  There’s one thing I want to tell you I’m gonna be number 8 on my shirt.  I’ll rock every city we play.  They’ll get their buns beat off.  When they run after me it’s hello then bye-bye.  But I’ll have a move and call it the Big J.  I’ll also have a celebration but I don’t know what I should [call it].  I think it should [be] J.D.W (his initials).

I love this about Jesse – his confidence that he will succeed (even though he has never actually played organized football – yet) and his ability to dream big.  After I finished laughing over this little boy’s smack talking essay, I realized something important.  There are a lot of us out there who keep our dreams to ourselves, and not just that, but we never stop to write them down, talk about them,  or hand them in for a teacher to see.  This is my little challenge for all of us – share your dreams with someone you trust, write them down, or maybe just dream for a while about your answer to what do YOU want to be when you grow up?  Who knows, maybe the answer to that will “rock every city” that you play!

sunday recap [04.26.09]

Welcome to another weekly installment of Sunday setlists as part Fred McKinnon’s blog party. We had a great morning today with another one of our bands in training. The morning was very powerful even though I made a last minute switch and threw in the old song “He Touched Me” by Bill Gaither. I have been singing that song for a few days now and felt it would be a good fit for this week’s morning list and the response was overwhelming.

Our best transition of the morning was from “Glory” to “Need You Here”.  Here’s what we did – since “Glory” ends on the 4 chord in E (an A)  we all stayed on that chord for a few seconds.  Then, while holding a pad sound on the keys, I faded in a rhodes sound underneath and as it was established, the band all kicked into “Need You Here” which just happens to be in A.  Just this simple hold and sound change caused a very easy key change for us.  Plus, we did not distract our congregation with an abrupt change, but a seemless transition helped this moment to not drop.

This morning we only had 2 lead singers, plus myself and band, which made for nice tight harmonies.  Kendra, one of the best part singers I know, lead “Glory” and “He Touched Me”; while Farah Abu Saada, our wonderful soprano this morning, (sidebar:  she is also the sister of Ben (from Overland Park, KS)) did an incredible job on “Need You Here”.  Overall, the congregation’s response was very strong to the entire set.  Below is our setlist and you can click the titles for links to iTunes.

Thanks for swinging by my blog – feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or just peruse for general merriment.

1. Meet With You (A) by Lamont Hiebert
2. Glory (E) by Reuben Morgan/Hillsong United
3. Need You Here (A) by Reuben Morgan/Hillsong United
4. Your Name (Bb) by Paul Baloche & Glenn Packiam
5. He Touched Me (Bb) by William J. Gaither

(last week I promised to post a song written in our house, but have not done it yet.  Be looking for the chart and mp3 to “Consume Me” this week, as we attempt again to get it up.  thanks, dj)

“There Is A Redeemer”

Last week, in response to the Easter Sunday setlist post, I promised that I would eventually post a video of my son and I singing “There Is A Redeemer” by Melody Green-Sievright.  Thanks to our whole wondeful TV crew (and specifically James Powell, who finished this up today) for capturing this moment.  Here we are singing together:

There Is A Redeemer from danieljohn on Vimeo.

or click here to view it on your mobile device.

sunday setlist [04.19.09]

Welcome to another installment of sunday setlists.  As always, this is a part of the worldwide interweb fun from over at Fred McKinnon’s site.

We had a good morning worship service at HACC and our congregation was very responsive. Today saw dead batteries everywhere, tempo fun, and a new song written in-house.  Just before going on stage, one of worship leaders’ batteries died (this is a plague upon us lately – possibly due to rechargeables) in his guitar.  We all quickly re-battery’ed up and were ready to start this set:

1. God of Wonders (A/B) – good song, we played it a little slow, but the thought behind it was to help our people jump in comfortably and warm-up.  Recently, we have been noticing that there are some mornings where we RUN past our congregation at the beginning of service.  So, we are trying not to leave anyone behind by entering around a 3 (on a 1 to 10 scale) before we rev the music up to 5 or more.  🙂

2. Everyday (B) – our obligatory Hillsong song – ha!  Actually, we have not done this song in a long, long time.  As such, it was well received and this helped us get moving closer to that 5.  Also, major props to our young drummer – James.  He found the perfect tempo on this song (which seemed to allude us all during practice) and just played it perfectly.

3. Knowing You (C) – an oldie, but a goodie.  Not much more to say on this other than it was a nice worship moment in the set.

4. Consume Me (E) – this was the new song we taught/sang this morning.  It was written by one of our newer worship leaders, Jordan.  It is encouraging to see our team begin to write and sing from the life they are walking with God.  Check back later in the week for the chart and mp3 of this song.

5. Bless The Lord (E) – We went straight out of the chorus of Jordan’s song into this older chorus –

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul

and all that is within me

Bless His holy name”

Then, near the end of singing this song, we key changed up to F, and everyone just seemed to go right UP (no, not that “UP” – but the same basic concept) with the intensity of the song.  It was a strong moment and felt as though our earlier “warm-up” helped bring along a large portion of our local house.  In my opinion, I think we ended up around a 7 on our little intensity scale (see song #1’s description for the explanation).

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment, or question, or just say hi.  And if you need more pretty things to look at online, then head over to Fred’s blog to see what other worship leaders and their teams are doing.  Have a wonderful Sunday and rest of the week!

sunday setlist [04.12.09]

Thanks for coming stopping by from Fred McKinnon’s blog.  Here’s the setlist we put together from our Easter morning:

(click the song titles to hear samples of the songs)

1. There Is A Redeemer (B/E) – We started the day very differently than we normally do.  We began this worship song while everyone was still coming in and being seated.  I sang the first verse of this song, and then my son, Jesse, sang the chorus. He sang it beautifully, and then we key changed into E and sang the chorus together.  Hopefully we conveyed a small picture of the Father and Son and the importance of the power of their relationship on this Easter Sunday.

2. My Redeemer Lives (Hillsong kids version) w/ My Savior Lives (E) – As we began this, our kid’s choir came in from the side and helped my wife, Felicity, to lead us all in worship.  Then, we kicked into the bridge from My Savior Lives and finished off by singing the chorus from My Redeemer Lives. This transitioned nicely into the next song.

3. God So Loved The World (E) This was another song we found from Hillsong Kids’ CD Tell The World.  This is an older Hillsong song, but it went very well and just restates in its lyrics, what John 3:16 tells us – that “…God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”  This was a very powerful moment as we finished this song and then sang again the chorus of There Is A Redeemer to close out this first half of our worship service.

4. Jesus Paid It All & Before The Throne (B)Before I describe this part of the service, I’ll just say that we were looking to include some hymns this morning so that we covered the full spectrum of what helps our multi-generational congregation worship.  So we included these “modernized hymns”.  One of our altos, Molly, led Jesus Paid It All and did a great job with it.  I picked up the new bridge and then went directly into the chorus of Before The Throne.  If you have not yet tried this song, you should at least consider it.  The verses are pure hymn truth-y goodness followed by a compellingly, simple chorus.

This morning was a beautiful time of remembrance and celebration in our church.  Personally, I was moved to be able to sing with my young son and lead our church in worship together.  It was a powerful moment for me as a father – looking ahead to the day when Jesse will fully come to realize the Truth of whom we sang about this Easter morning.  This was our worship service  – how was yours?

sunday setlist [04.05.09]

Sunday Setlist – 04.05.09

Well, as you can see – I am working on getting this blog up and fully-functioning, but I thought I would at least post a Sunday setlist.  We had a good palm Sunday morning at Heartland Academy Community Church.  Initially it seemed that people were a little scarce this morning, but then I remembered that a large group from our congregation is on a missions trip to Egypt.

So here’s the rundown today –

1. evermore  (g) – One of our other worship leaders that we are training led this Hillsong semi-oldie.  It is a great tune to play.  I love the half-time bridge on this song because you can really build it for a nice worship moment, or use it to contrast the uptempo chorus.  People really jumped into this song and it worked well as it lead into…

2. surrender (g) – I remember when the Surrender cd first came out  with classic worship songs like You Are My King, All Who Are Thirsty, Hallelujah Your Love Makes Me Sing.  We did this a little more upbeat than normal, but it worked well and we used it as a medley with our 3rd song.

3. i surrender all (c) – This was lead by Kathie, one of our altos and she did a great job leading this.  Our church really enjoys hymns, and this one was no exception.  Rich in theology and a good conclusion to our set before we stopped and did announcements.

4. he is exalted (g) – Ridden with mental mistakes by me, this still managed to be a great moment for us.  We normally do this song a little like Shane & Shane; however, we did not schedule an acoustic guitar player (mistake #1) and we did not have another guy to sing the cool harmonies this song provides (mistake #2).  Regardless of my lack of foresight, the congregation knew this song well and was able to get past my cutting to just voices (mistake #3) and it feeling like all hope for rhythm was lost.  Again, this just helped solidify for me, that worship is not so much about my mistakes and shortcomings as it is about His greatness.  I was glad for being able to make a joyful NOISE.  🙂

5. jesus, lover of my soul  (g) – we finished the set with this song and then spontaneously cut over to the chorus of I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever. It took a few moments to build, but we ended up having a great time of worship with this song.

On a little different note, every Sunday morning, we are attempting to train our younger, less experienced musicians.  Our goal is to help them gain confidence and experience.  This morning was no exception, and I was very impressed with their ability to keep up, even with the multiple mistakes (by me, not them) and song changes.  This morning was a very good sign that we are growing and getting better in our skills and our ability to lead worship with our various instruments.  Good work team!

Thanks for checking out our set.  Feel free to to leave a comment, ask a question, or just peruse this almost-put-together website.  And,  be sure to swing by Fred’s blog to see what other teams & churches were singing this weekend.