singing with angels - the vibe

tonight I got to lead worship at praxis church - the church that meets at our building on sunday nights - the church where carl, my bass player usually leads worship when he isn't off getting married.

i'm sitting here trying to think of a way to explain certain moments of tonight's worship. but words seem to fall short. there's a feeling - well much more than a feeling - a vibe - that fills the room when a small number of people (in this case, 30-40) sing to the Lord and suddenly sound like more than just 30-40 people.

it's as though, even though we all start off singing simultaneously, our spirits intertwine with the holy spirit and we're bound together. then, the more we become open to the spirit's presence, and connected together in that same spirit, the more you sense the vibe - you actually hear it and feel it. i've experienced it a few times before in small groups and i guess i'm becoming more aware of it.

i'm also getting hooked on the vibe.

although a) i only believe in "corporate worship" on earth to a certain extent and b) i haven't been to heaven yet, i'm catching more of a glimpse of what it must be like to sing with angels.


the website

lots of people have asked me what I did to get my website going since I started. the truth is, I did it CHEAP... like less than $150... and that's crazy cheap. here's what I did:

  • I started with a template like these or these. mine cost $120. if you're on a tight budget and can't spring the $2000 for a custom website, you can't afford not to do this. mine came with a framework in which to set up an online Paypal "store", a photo gallery, and an mp3 download area. google something like 'musician website template' (they make ones for photographers, artists, churches, etc). lots of them include flash, and are totally customizable (is that a word?).
  • I got dirt cheap hosting. $1.99/month for unlimited memory/email and 25meg of bandwidth. found this one by doing an ebay search for web hosting - about a zillion auctions come up.
  • I downloaded free versions of 1st page 2000 (html editing program) and cute FTP home (to upload your website to your host).
  • I learned html. you should too. it's easy and get's you pretty far in updating your own content. I keep the phone numbers of a couple of web-design pals handy - just in case I need their advice on a little trick to do in html code. next, I need to conquer Flash.
  • I keep it updated. at least once a week, I update something - the news section, new pictures, upcoming gigs, new songs, a new feature (like my recently added "previous gigs" section). updating a lot keeps people and search engine spiders interested.
  • I actually look at it once in a while. there's always room for improvement.

any questions, class?


for christian musicians

sorry it's been a while. this week i visited my family in myrtle beach. i actually got a little sunburn for like the 5th time in my life. in other news, my hair is definitely longer than my sister's and my good friend Jamey taught me how to use loops while recording.

check out this powerful and humbling article by keith green.


"thank god jesus didn't copyright the gospel"

in response to all the FBI warnings on every CD you'll ever buy, here's a pretty compelling essay on legal issues with christian music copyrights.

my own songs are licensed under a creative commons license... similar idea. for me, I can sleep at night knowing that:
  • i've not demanded full credit (and subsequent reimbursement) for songs that God inspired in me anyway.
  • the government hasn't determined when I can and can't share my songs. after all, copyright laws are kind of arbitrary, especially amounts of reimbursement set for recording or "performing" worship songs.
  • after all, allowing downloading, sharing, and burning of my songs is simply more realistic and technologically relevant.
  • people won't be giving more to me, for the sake of my comfort, than they will to the Church, to missionaries, or to the needy.
  • money much less of an obstacle to the Lord doing his work through my songs.

I do go back and forth regularly with this issue: what if a Christian label were to sign me, expecting me to comply with these laws? would I give up my soapbox for the sake of expansion of my ministry?


record mode

been recording like crazy - well at least like it drives Jodi crazy. see i get into what we call "record mode." that's where yours truly can go for days without shaving/bathing/moving. i'm stuck in front of the microphone or the PC where i do all my recording. i'll break to use the bathroom or get some water. but i'm pretty much useless otherwise.

i think there's a certain aroma and hairstyle that go with record mode too, but i'm not sure. i've only seen one other person in the midst of record mode other than me, and that's rob watson.

anyhoo, Jodi always loves it. right. it's tough for me. i can't sit and watch a movie or lay in bed or mow the lawn or take a shower when i know there are tracks sitting, lonely, waiting for more vocals, more guitars, more cowbell.

finished lots of guitar tracks today. also finished most of the instrumentation for an acoustic/tribal version of one of my songs that'll probably be a bonus track on the album. maybe a B-side on one of my U.K. singles! neal "silky smooth" leazer is playing bass on pretty much all the songs. i hope he plays bass on every one of my albums as long as i live.


worship with banners

ken might be able to relate to this article. can you believe this is happening in Raleigh?


how many earths would we need?

this is a really challenging quiz and website. i'm too embarassed to say how many planets we'd need if everyone lived like me.



kinda annoyed right now. gigs are trickling in and each one seems to be exceptionally low in attendance. in other words, we show up to venues with gear and full setup, only for disappointingly poor attendance, with comments like "you guys sound great - we feel so bad because we usually have way more people than this."

it was sorta funny the first few times, but when about half of our gigs end up with the above scenario, one starts to question.

so then recording is going... slowly. finally recorded the drum tracks for 5 songs two weeks ago. haven't done anything since then. granted, i had a 5-day jaunt to PA last week, and I really can't start recording until the bass tracks are finished. guess things don't move along very quickly when you're not a cohesive band, dedicating 3 months straight to recording.

ah, such is the life of an indie solo christian worship leader. i could also be a bit mellow because i got off work at 7am today....