Tag Archives: ministry,

The irony is not lost on me

So, as a music director, I often plan out upcoming music as far ahead as three months at a time. This may seem excessive to non-music folks, but in order to prepare who has to rehearse what, for how long a time period (believe it or not, some people don’t sight read for Jesus on Sundays well), and making sure the needed head count will be available on dates when their part is integral to a particular piece are all parts of the puzzle in music ministry to be paid attention to. Sometimes we have to adjust on the fly.

I am currently serving with a small congregation just building up a music ministry and the youth have truly stepped up front and center to participate. The song we (or rather, I) planned to go with the week’s readings is Kari Jobe’s, “I Am Not Alone.”

That is until my guitarist has to be out of town this weekend and my lead teens have a family event conflict…so effectively, I would be actually alone singing a song entitled “I Am Not Alone.”

The Kari Jobe song is officially getting pushed back a week until the group returns. Obviously.

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Pawz to Reflect Merch is here!

They’re here! We are super excited to share our first promo video featuring the first “litter” of Pawz to Reflect Journals for Animal Lovers:

“Pawprints On My Heart.”

Each journal is 6×9, 164 pages with light grey lined interiors. Each of the 30 glossy covers features beautiful photography that wraps around the front and back covers of the book. Since every pet has unique markings, the focus is mainly on texture and colouring of fur to remind you of your favourite fur baby.

Collect the entire litter of journals or just the pick of the litter that reminds you of your special fur baby!

Click the Pawz to Reflect Merch tab above to see the covers and where to purchase!

Don’t see a cover yet that reminds you of your pet in this first litter? Not to worry, because more litters are on their way!

Comment below or reach out to us on our studio’s Facebook fan page and let us know what breed of pet you’ve got that you’d like us to feature in our next litter of fundraising journals.

And please be sure to share our posts with your friends to get the word out!

The more journals in our fundraising line we can sell, the more animals we can help.

By choosing to purchase a Pawz to Reflect Journal, you are helping the ongoing rescue efforts of groups Nemo loved.

THANK YOU for “adopting” a Pawz to Reflect Journal!

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Learning to alleviate webcam anxieties

As someone who has spent 35 years being very comfortable at the front of rooms of 1 to 500+ people, I am appalled at myself for being not so comfortable in front of a webcam. 

Three things I have done nearly all of my life that I know I am very good at:

1. I write.

2. I teach and demonstrate live in the room.

3. I pray through my fingers on the piano and can grow a music ministry team into worship leaders.

Whereas public speaking can freak many people out, I have sung in front of a packed congregation since I was a teenager. Live doesn’t phase me. 

Put a video recorder in front of me, however, and I get all nervous and jerky like it’s my first day.

I’m post-chemo now 3.5 years and my brain is feeling operational again, at least according to the 98 I got in Statistics last fall and the 97 in my Finance course this past spring. This summer, I decided it’s high time to up my game as far as my business goes. I’m taking my teaching and my design and writing forward like I’m driving a tank.

I started a new YouTube channel where I can host my business stuff: “Let Me Show You How To Do That”. I have to have a minimum of 100 subscribers before YouTube will allow me to personalize my channel name in the URL, but I’ve even got the domain registered and the email integration set up. I just finished an intensive 30-day immersion marketing program through ClickFunnels that I highly recommend and will be promoting (next one starts August 5 and was the best $100 I’ve ever spent on my business education, btw and I’ll do a whole separate posting on that!), got my software, got my designs and products ready for the print-on-demand sector, and I’m ready to get started.

Except for the fact that most buyers today (according to all the spun and re-spun news articles circulating from self-proclaimed gurus over the past year) don’t want to read so much about their interests as they supposedly want to watch a video for someone to show them whatever the thing is they are looking for: Google bought YouTube, so everybody should be doing video!

Hmmm. Video? Greaaaaat.

Literally, I suck at video. I’ve made cute dog videos of my pets and accompaniment tracks for my choirs and music team to practice to and they were mostly okay.

Part of my goal in 2019 is to force myself to get more comfy in front of a webcam. Sure, millennials can do it. They were born with a smartphone in their hands. I’ve still got a perfectly serviceable iPhone 4S that Apple finally stopped bothering me about updating. So, instead of buying a $1,000 new phone just for the camera, I got a $340 Osmo Action. Why not the GoPro? This one has front and back screens so if you’re in front of the camera, you can make sure you’re in the shot – much like my little phone. It’s a first-gen, but it’s not like I’m going to go jumping off a cliff or swim with sharks with the thing.

Note: it took a full day to figure out how to activate the thing via someone else’s iPad….. because my iPhone 4S’s operating system couldn’t run the app! LOL Ahhh, so.

I went Mac this past spring when ye olde Windows 7 laptop fritzed during my finance course. I was P.O.’d when Microsoft took down support for my XP and the fabulous MovieMaker software native to it, so I jumped out of that boat with a Mac mini, a 34″ wide LG monitor and a Logitech webcam. There’s a learning curve for someone who’s been desktop publishing since Windows 3.1 (Minesweeper ❤ anyone?), and I still feel like a monkey in a tutu trying to make some of these new softwares work.

So, let me show you how it’s going for me with this initial random video I made quickly just to put up and finish getting my new YouTube channel started. Warning: it’s kind of painful in a spazzy, babbling way.

 

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Diva flashback to the Mozart Alleluia

So, I am working on some projects from home and one of them has to do with using video for things like web conferences, one-on-one’s and such that thanks to the magic of the internet, we no longer have to drive anywhere to “meet” with clients. Part of what I needed to do was to look back at my old YouTube channel that was started way back in 2008 or 2009 when this blog started and carefully examine it for modern things like metadata, descriptions and keywords.

At the time I did the videos, they were for the purpose of teaching my choirs and musicians songs through demonstration, and putting them up on a quick video meant the person could practice as much as they wanted at home during the week. If this is your first day with me, I’ll cut you slack on not knowing this unshakeable pillar of my music as ministry philosophy:

Thou shalt not sight-read for Jesus on Sunday, but shall prepare thyself first privately and then with thy fellow music team members before leading worship in community.

Ten years ago, I was also using Windows XP and the original MovieMaker (best software ever) that Microsoft discontinued. The jerks. Still not happy about that which is why when my Windows 7 laptop fritzed this spring, I finally bailed on PC and made the switch to a Mac mini. Now, I am learning to use iMovie to edit video. In the meantime, I use my little iPhone 4S with no editing. Hey, it still works, okay? Don’t judge.

In other words, I wasn’t on the YT channel to listen to my songs and stuff; I was supposed to be examining it for the upcoming overhaul to make it search engine friendly, something it desperately needs. It’s bad. So before I can take the next step in what I am working on, I need to get my SEO ducks in a row on an existing channel. The good part of that is that I can then see if the metrics change substantially or not to know if I’m doing it right. Back to the digression.

Of course, one cannot help but hear oneself singing in one’s own videos running on the screen while trying to figure out how I need to completely change out every single one of the 80 plus video descriptions. Both the bad descriptions and my caterwauling were painful.

A few of the videos made me laugh more than cringe at my squeaks and bad hair due to the purpose I recorded them. This one is the Alleluia from Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, a coloratura favourite for its zippy scales and high notes. A young friend was trying to learn the song so she asked me to make her a video. No make up. No fancy clothes. Accompanying myself (shouldn’t do that, especially for a classical song).

Hope ya’ll get a kick out of this 10-year-old, no frills Diva flashback 😉

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Share a Little Bit of Your Love

This adorable song by Ray Repp from the 1970s is in one of those old Augsburg Press annual vacation Bible school/Sunday school books I’ve had from years and years ago. As always, any song we share with our young Praise Band has to mean something to the kids, and this song is spot on. They really love it.

Therefore, we shot this quick learning video for our youngest musicians to learn the words (since they don’t read yet) by practicing it at home this week.

Much like “Pass It On” by Kurt Kaiser, something tells me this song is going to very popular on Memory Lane for a lot of people.

Song info: Words and music by Ray Repp (c) 1978 K&R Music, Inc. from the original recorded and published collection, Benedicamus.

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Release old emotions

Why do we hold onto emotional baggage?

Something triggered a bad experience memory over the weekend, and threw me for a loop. Literally knocked the energy out of me like I got sucker punched a second time around. I realized the original experience was met full on with my anger, which fueled a lot of positive things at the time after chemo, but one emotion I did not let run its gamut at the time was grief.

The other day, I finally went through the expulsion of that emotion over the original event as well as in empathy for the person I saw go through the same thing this week. After not “stuffing it” back down but just letting it flow out, I was tired and napped for two hours.

When I woke up, I was groggy but felt so much better. The next day, I woke up feeling like such a weight was off my shoulders due to the emotional closure I finally allowed myself to process.

If I could tell my younger self one key life hack to keep myself sane through tough times, it would be not to stifle emotions about bad things as you live through them.

Sure, maybe at the precise moment in time, you are required to maintain full control, but I’m talking about soon afterward when you have alone time. Let it all out and don’t tell yourself you “shouldn’t feel that way.”

You are human and you have emotions.

Emotions are not rational, so stop trying to rationalize them away.

Let it out!

Let it out! 

Primal scream, cry like a little kid, dwell in the emotion and ACKNOWLEDGE it.

Don’t throw a pity party in Victimville or plan revenge on anyone, just admit you were not cool with the matter nor the people involved and that you realize you’ve been holding onto resentment and any other named negative emotions holding you back from your life being fully amazing in the now.

Let it have its say however it expresses itself.

Then release it and let it go out of your energy field.

Pretending crap didn’t happen to you will always come out eventually down the road, most likely when a stress moment brings it out.

Seriously. It’s gonna come out.

Do you want that happening when you’re in control of the setting to expunge it from your energy record, or do you want to risk it coming out in ways that affect your personal and professional relationships?

Crap happens. So does joy. Why is it acceptable to be super happy but not acceptable to cry when you’re an adult? Why make yourself miserable repressing emotions you don’t like?

Be human and feel what you feel so you can move on.

Not only do I feel amazing and energetic today, I woke up this morning full of joy and confidence knowing I purged an inhibiting emotion that spent a long time weighing me down. My whole energy field feels better.

Ah, wisdom of years.

(Photo credit: Pixabay.com. Image by Alexas_Fotos  from Pixabay.)

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Psalm 8 for Trinity Sunday, Year B

Golly, but look what I found in the archives on my external hard drive: a practice video for the young lady who was going to chant Psalm 8 on Trinity Sunday of 2014. Luckily, the lectionary readings come around every three years 😉

 

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