Thursday, August 21, 2008

Christmas Decisions

As some of you may know, I am the Music Director / Worship Leader at the church we attend. This is something I truly love doing. Just to give you an idea of my responsibilities, I:

  • Select all the music for Sunday morning and Sunday evening worship services

  • Lead worship for Sunday morning and Sunday evening worship services

  • Conduct rehearsals for the adult choir, adult praise team and praise band

  • Select all special musical productions (Christmas and Easter)

  • Lead the worship rally for Vacation Bible School

  • Serve on church council

  • Manage music ministry budget

  • Build up music library

  • Bring in guest singers/groups/artists

  • Other responsibilities and duties as required - LOL

and I love every minute of it. I so wish it could be my full-time job. I still have so much to learn, but it's been a lot of fun.

I'm currently at a crossroads that most Music Directors find themselves in around this time of year. What to select for Christmas musical. For the past couple years, we've performed musicals with a "narration" or "dramatic reading" to go along with the singing. We did the same for Easter. This year, I really feel like breaking away from that and going a more "concert" style....or really a worship concert (if there's such a thing). I'm sampling three musicals now, two of which were written by Travis Cottrell (thank God for him). The three I am looking at are:

All Bow Down:

Come in Grace and Glory:

Hallelujah, Jesus is Born:

You can click on the links and scroll down to listen to a sampling of songs. I really want this year to be fantastic and I want so badly for people to experience a worship service. This will be my first year doing a Christmas musical by myself. The set-up at our church used to be that I did all the worship services and another lady handled all the choir stuff. That was a nice setup but at times could prove to be a little tricky as there were two people in charge of the ministry.

I've put some feelers out to my friends in Pensacola to come and sing with us. I hope I like the decisions I hear from them. They are all so talented and would be a great addition to our great little choir. I'm hoping to get 6-8 singers from my former church in Pensacola to help us out.

At any rate, either of these musicals will be wonderful. They combine songs we know, plus new worship songs celebrating the birth of Jesus. If you live in the area and would like to sing with us, just comment me and I'll get you everything you need (upon passing an audition - kidding - partly.....but you have to be saved and an active church-go'er to participate with us).

I would love to hear any opinions on the musicals in question, so I encourage you to go take a listen!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trying To Stop

*Back story*
When I was young, I really liked babies/toddlers and they really liked me. So much so, that I wanted to become a pediatrician (this decision was quickly changed once I took my first college-level science course and wanted to blow my brains out from boredom and knew that there would be NO POSSIBLE WAY I could endure twelve years of listening to the monotone babbling of old science professors - Alyson, remember Dr. Halpern????). Anyway, as I got older, I started liking babies less and less, mostly because of the parents I'm sure. For example, it makes me crazy when adults are talking and a child interrupts them and the parent turns their attention completely to the interrupting child and answers their VERY VERY important question.

So by the time Sarah and I got married, children were no where in the picture. I was convinced that I didn't even want or need them. My mother was also convinced that we would never have children and she kept telling us stories of how we were going to be so lonely when we were older because she and my dad would be dead as well as Sarah's parents and we would have no family left and we'd grow old and lonely together. Such the encourager. So, she basically wrote off children for us. Boy was she surprised when we were pregnant (as were we).

*Back story over*

Celie came into our lives Feb 23, 2008. Wow. What a life-changer she has been! I love her so much. She is so funny and is clearly the world's most adorable and gorgeous child. Not to mention that she is so super sweet. So why the title of this blog? Well, I'll tell you.

I've never been driven to jealousy by what people have. I don't care what kind of car they drive, or clothes they wear. I only care about the clothes I wear - LOL. I've always been a little jealous of people's abilities, like if someone can sing really well, I try to pretend they can't or make some comment that makes it seem that they aren't that great. For example, "yeah, she's an ok singer, but I mean, her pitch was a little questionable." Stuff like that. I only make those kinds of comments when people do the same things as I, like singing, playing the piano, etc. Now, take someone who is a great painter like Sarah's sister or a great photographer like our friend Amanda, and I'm completely in awe of that ability.

But, something bad has happened to me in the "baby" department. I've become completely over the top. I turn everything into a competition. There's a lady at work here who is a new grandmother. Her grandson is a couple weeks older than Celie. She will say things like, "Baby Bob is doing so well, he's such a good, good baby." Well, instead of being happy with her, I totally turn her comment into a personal attack and try to one-up her. Here's an example of how a typical conversation with her goes (and we talk several times a day mind you).

Lady from work: "So baby Bob is doing so well. We kept him last night and he just went to sleep and didn't make a peep or anything."
Me: "Oh that's good."
Lady: "I mean, he is just the best baby. I don't know that I've ever heard him cry."
Me: "Well, for your information, Celie has been sitting up on her own for over a month now. She's also able to pull up and even put her toes in her mouth....mostly because she's so tall for her age - in the 99th percentile to be exact. She loves her bath and doesn't meet a stranger. She's the sweetest baby that I've ever known, if we're being honest here. The Dr. tells us that she can tell Celie doesn't watch TV because she's so aware and alert and bright-eyed. Does Bob watch TV?"
Lady: (with hesitation) "wow, ummmmm, that's great Matthew. Ok, well I better get back to work."
Me: (smirking)

I mean, what's wrong with me????? She isn't picking a fight with me, but some monster comes out of me and I immediately go into competition mode. Aye-aye-aye. I've got to get a grip.

I'm trying to stop.....I promise.