JAY LENO

It is no secret that I am a Jay Leno fan. Today he broke the story that he is breaking new ground and going to do a show similar to what he is doing now 5 days a week at the 10pm slot.  This story says it is cheaper for them to try this show than to produce a 1 hour drama 5 days a week.  Jay said “if it doesn’t work, we’ve had a great 17 year run”. I can’t believe I get Jay AND Conan and won’t have to stay up late.

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STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE

As HSM has grown I have tried to stay ahead of a few growth and leadership curves. This week I am realizing that in the face of growth it is again time to evaluate and change some things.
• I never want my leadership to bottleneck us.
• I don’t want my ability to delegate, manage, or cast vision for the next level to be what holds us back
• I never want our systems to not be able to hand God’s blessing.
• I don’t want our communication to be what limits ministry.
• I don’t want to be so in love with things I birthed that I cling to them when it is hurting us in the long run.
How is your vision accomplished/What do our values look like as our group changes size and dynamics?

MONDAY MORNING MIND DUMP

• I am still playing indoor soccer. We lost our first game last night since I joined the team…man am I sore. Barely made it to my workout with Dr. Kary Oberbrunner this morning.
• My brother David came down last weekend. It was cool to see Malachi interact with him now that he is getting older.
• I drew my 15-year-old sister-in-law Jenna’s name for Christmas. I think shopping for a 15-year-old American girl is one of the hardest jobs on Earth. I did a little shopping for her this weekend. I am determined to rise to the challenge.
• I lead worship the last two weekends. It was fun. I am gonna start leading once a month. Not my primary duty but I am excited.
• We hung out with Jeremy and Terra Bury last week. They moved here 19 months ago to be the worship pastor at our daughter church from Augusta, GA. They left a very successful life and great home that they finally sold a couple months ago. They were living with different people from the church while there home sold and are finally living with the fourth and final person for a few more weeks as they finish re-doing their awesome house! Sooooo happy for them.
• The Browns hurt my heart.
• HSM was crazy last week. You gotta love how you want numbers to bounce back after the holidays and when they do it is chaotic with so many people.
• Speaking of HSM, it was so great to see all the college people come home for the holidays. I felt like a dad or something. I think sometimes you forget the great people that have come through your ministry over the years. I was hugging one after another today and thinking holy cow our college people rock!
• Malachi and I were together all day Friday and Saturday. I am doing my best to screw up all the work mom has done during the week.
• Met with my student leaders yesterday and had no agenda. I didn’t want to preach another lesson at them. I simply asked “how are you?” and let the conversation go. I think it is the time in the year when momentum wears off and we are running on E. I loved getting the chance to pray for what it going on in their lives.
• Also had my student leaders evaluate where HSM is right now. I asked them to be brutal and it was cool to see things through their eyes. I try to be cool, but don’t have the eyes of a high school student.

THE STATE OF CHRISTIAN MUSIC

The face of Christian music has changed.  This isn’t a big announcement since we all have been loving it as bands like POD and Switchfoot blurred the lines between sacred and secular for the past decade. 

TobyMac says that there will always be a need and a place for music that is written by Christians for Christians to inspire and engage them.  I agree, but the landscape of that industry has changed.  Gone are the powerhouse artists like the Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, and DC Talk’s of yesteryear.  The new groups that have filled their platinum shoes are actually more conservative.  Mercy Me and Casting Crowns reign supreme these days.  That is because as bands like The Fray and Singer Songwriters like Mat Kearney can make it in the “secular” world Christian music has been more reserved for the Adult Contemporary scene.  I have had some great discussions about this with my friend Zach.  Maybe sometime I will post more on that…

The purpose of this post is not to open a can of worms, but only to write a list. I can come across as one who doesn’t promote Christian.  This is not the case, it is just the industry I grew up on is gone. I am more into worship music than ever but our Christian rock that built huge followings and festivals in the 90’s doesn’t exist.  Having said all that there are still some great artists that I love and thought I would let you all in on the list.

 

Men

TobyMac

Jeremy Camp

Mat Kearney

Shawn McDonald

 

Hip-Hop

116 Clique and Lecrae

Cross Movement and The Ambassador

Grits

Group 1 Crew

 

Bands

Relient K

Family Force 5

 

Praise Music

Hillsong United

Steve Fee

Chris Tomlin

Matt Redman

Charlie Hall

 

Jury is still out

Phil Wickham

Warren Barfield…love the song 10 Hours

Flame

 

If I cared I would link all the groups to their Myspace pages so you can hear them, but you have Google so do the work yourself.

 

It’s late so I might have forgot someone.  Who did I miss?

YOUTH PASTOR STEREOTYPES

We all want to avoid those moments as youth pastors that fit all the stereotypes. I had a classic youth pastor moment on Wednesday night that I thought I should share on here.
I was in my office 1 minute into a counseling appointment when suddenly the church fire alarm went off. My first thought was that it might really be a fire since our system doesn’t go off unless we are doing a planned fire drill for the elementary school in our building. I quickly learned that it was not a fire as our high school praise band came running upstairs confessing that they had been running our hazer machine and set the alarm off.
Now I feel I should say something at this point in the story. We purchased a hazer when we installed lights in our basement youth room because by definition a hazer is different than a smoke machine in that it is hypo-allergenic and also doesn’t set off smoke detectors. The good news is that no ones asthma was acting up, but the bad news is that the alarm was going crazy. When I say crazy I mean that I have never known we had so many sirens/alarms and lights that could go off in our church.
I would say that there were already 30 or so people in the building which was just enough to make it chaotic as they all looked to me to see what I would do. I had no idea what to do. I realized and have since corrected the fact that I am untrained and have no knowledge about our alarm system.
Instantly my phone was fielding calls from our facility guys and church administrator, was who was getting a call from the alarm company. As I fielded these calls I was trying to turn off the alarm and call what I hoped was the fire department number because I new they would show up soon.
It was too little too late and soon we were blessed with 3 trucks in our parking lot. I got to the one who went out in rain and told them that they had put on suits and come to our building for no reason other than a false alarm. This was both embarrassing for me as a man and as a representative of our local church.
It turned out that a guy in the building had been trained to silence the alarm and after resetting it a couple times (so it could go off again) and having the fire dept. come back we go the problem under control. This was all in time for me to get down to the basement where students oblivious to what had happened the last 45 minutes had come in and the night had begun. Kristin finished the counseling appt. and the night went off without a hitch. I was stressed and frazzled from running around with my head cut off, but that was my problem.
Ironically my lesson was on I Peter 5:8-10 that we have a very real enemy that wants to speak lies into our lies and make us think our battle is here on Earth.

MARK’S GRAMMY PREDICTIONS

Well well it is that time of year again…Grammy time. The nominations came out last night.  I should be honest and say that I didn’t get to watch the Grammy Awards live nomination concert that aired last night on CBS because like a good little youth pastor I was still at the church on my hustle.

Regardless my friends at MTV.com took the time to narrow down the list of nominees into the pop culture ones that I care about.  So without further delay here are my predictions in these categories.

 

Here is a key to use as a guide.

  • The artist who will win
  • The Artist who SHOULD win
  • MY COMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS

 

Album of the Year

Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

Radiohead, In Rainbows

I DON’T KNOW WHO SHOULD WIN THIS SINCE WE ALL KNOW COLDPLAY HAD THE GRAMMY PEOPLE IN THEIR POCKET THE DAY THEY RELEASED THE ALBUM. IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE ANYONE ELSE HAVING A CHANCE.

 

Best New Artist

Adele

Duffy

Jonas Brothers

Lady Antebellum

Jazmine Sullivan

I AM TORN BETWEEN THE BOTTOM TWO.  I THINK LADY ANTEBELLUM ARE STILL UNDER THE RADAR AND SULLIVAN COULD GET THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED VOTE, BUT DUFFY HAS THE MAJOR LABEL PRESENCE AND BACKING.

 

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group

Big Boi (featuring Raekwon and Andrew 3000), “Royal Flush”

Jay-Z and T.I. (featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West), “Swagger Like Us”

Lil Wayne (featuring Jay-Z), “Mr. Carter”

Ludacris (featuring T.I.), “Wish You Would”

Young Jeezy (featuring Kanye West), “Put On”

THIS SONG WILL WIN BECAUSE OF THE CAST IT HAS ON ONE TRACK. AGAIN IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE SOMETHING ELSE WINNING, BUT I THINK JEEZY IS THE DARK HORSE FOLLOWED BY THE WAYNE/JAY TRACK.

 

Record of the Year

Adele, “Chasing Pavements”

Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”

M.I.A., “Paper Planes”

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Please Read the Letter”

COLDPLAY IS THE FAVORITE BUT BLEEDING LOVE GOT LOVE FROM EVERYONE. I DON’T REALLY WANT TO SEE JESSE MCCARTNEY WIN A GRAMMY AS A WRITER SO EVEN I MIGHT PULL FOR COLDPLAY

 

Song of the Year

Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”

Adele, “Chasing Pavements”

Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours”

Sara Bareilles, “Love Song”

Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

THIS IS A GREAT YEAR FOR THIS CATEGORY. IT IS LOADED.

I AM GONNA SAY COLDPLAY AGAIN, BUT I THINK LOVE SONG IS THE DARK HORSE FOLLOWED BY MRAZ AND ESTELLE/KANYE

 

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

The Eagles, “Waiting in the Weeds”

Gnarls Barkley, “Going On”

Maroon 5, “Won’t Go Home Without You”

OneRepublic, “Apologize”

DON’T DENY THAT YOU SANG ALONG IN YOUR CAR TO THIS ONE JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.

 

Best Rock Album

Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

Kid Rock, Rock N Roll Jesus

Kings of Leon, Only by the Night

Metallica, Death Magnetic

The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

I AM HEARING THAT KID ROCK IS THE DARKHORSE BUT COLDPLAY IS A ADULT CONTEMPORARY, LOVED BY OLD PEOPLE, ALREADY HAVE GRAMMY’S MACHINE.

 

Best Rap Album

Jay-Z, American Gangster

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Lupe Fiasco, The Cool

Nas, Nas

T.I. Paper Trail

IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICE FROM READING MY BLOG I HATE LIL WAYNE. I DESPISE THE GROUND HE WALKS ON AND IT SADDENED ME THAT AMERICA WOULD EVEN GIVE HIM SALES SUCCESS, BUT GRAMMY SUCCES WOULD BLOW MY MIND.

 

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

Danger Mouse

Nigel Godrich

Johnny Karkazis

Rick Rubin

Will.I.Am

YOU CAN’T FIGHT IT.

 

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Adele, “Chasing Pavements”

Sara Bareilles, “Love Song”

Duffy, “Mercy”

Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”

Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl”

Pink, “So What”

THIS MIGHT BE THE MOST LOADED AWARD OF THE NIGHT. OTHER THAN ADELE THEY ALL COULD WIN IT.

PINK’S IS THE CATCHIEST HANDS DOWN.  I KNOW SOCCER MOMS THAT LOVE IT AND SHOULDN’T KNOW IT.

 

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

Kid Rock, “All Summer Long”

John Mayer, “Say”

Paul McCartney, “That Was Me”

Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours”

Ne-Yo, “Closer”

James Taylor, “Wichita Lineman”

APPARENTLY THE GRAMMYS HAVE DECIDED TO RESPECT NE-YO. I STILL THINK THEY WILL PICK THE WHITE GUY.

 

Best Dance Recording

Daft Punk, “Harder Better Faster Stronger”

Hot Chip, “Ready for The Floor”

Lady Gaga and Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance”

Madonna, “Give It 2 Me”

Rihanna, “Disturbia”

Sam Sparro,”Black & Gold”

AGAIN, DON’T DENY THAT YOU SING THIS IN YOUR CAR.

 

Best Electronic/Dance Album

Brazilian Girls, New York City,

Daft Punk, Alive 2007,

Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya to The Brink

Kylie Minogue, X

Moby, Last Night

Robyn, Robyn

I CAN’T PRETEND TO KNOW CRAP ABOUT THIS AWARD BUT I PREDICT LAUPER HAS CRITICS ON HER SIDE.

 

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

AC/DC, “Rock N Roll Train”

Coldplay, “Violet Hill”

The Eagles, “Long Road Out of Eden”

Kings of Leon, “Sex on Fire”

Radiohead, “House of Cards”

THEY ARE LEGENDS, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, HAVEN’T DONE AN ALBUM IN YEARS, AND SOLD MORE THAN ANYONE.

 

Best Hard Rock Performance

Disturbed, “Inside the Fire”

Judas Priest, “Visions”

The Mars Volta, “Wax Simulacra”

Mötley Crüe, “Saints of Los Angeles”

Rob Zombie, “Lords of Salem”

ALL THE ROCK AWARDS ARE GUESSES FROM A HIP HOP GUY

 

Best Metal Performance

DragonForce, “Heroes of Our Time”

Judas Priest, “Nostradamus”

Metallica, “My Apocalypse”

Ministry, “Under My Thumb”

Slipknot, “Psychosocial”

 

Best Alternative Music Album

Beck, Modern Guilt

Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple

My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Radiohead, In Rainbows

 

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Beyoncé, “Me, Myself and I”

Keyshia Cole, “Heaven Sent”

Jennifer Hudson, “Spotlight”

Alicia Keys, “Superwoman”

Jazmine Sullivan, “Need U Bad”

THIS CATEGORY IS WEIRD THIS YEAR. THESE SONGS ARE OLD, FORGOTTEN, AND OUT OF THE PUBLIC EYE.

 

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

Eric Benét, “You’re the Only One”

Chris Brown, “Take You Down”

Ne-Yo, “Miss Independent”

Trey Songz, “Can’t Help But Wait”

Usher, “Here I Stand”

USHER GOT THE NOD ON NAME ALONE. NO ONE HAS HEARD OF THE CHRIS BROWN SONG. I THINK TREY SONGZ IS THE RUNNER UP.

 

Best Rap Solo Performance

Jay-Z, “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is … )”

Lil Wayne, “A Milli”

Lupe Fiasco, “Paris, Tokyo”

Nas, “N.i.*.*.e.r. (The Slave and the Master)”

Snoop Dogg, “Sexual Eruption”

I DON’T WANT HIM TO WIN, BUT I AFRAID WAYNE WILL.

 

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”

Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), “Low”

John Legend & Andre 3000, “Green Light”

Lil Wayne featuring T-Pain, “Got Money”

Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), “Superstar”

AMERICAN BOY IS A GREAT SONG. I HOPE THAT WAYNE DOESN’T’ WIN THIS ONE TOO.

 

Best Rap Song

Lil Wayne, “Lollipop”

Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), “Low”

Snoop Dogg, “Sexual Eruption”

Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), “Superstar”

Jay-Z & T.I. (featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne), “Swagger Like Us”

AGAIN THE ROSTER OF THIS ONES TRUMPS ALL.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT RECAP

Teaching Series: VOICES Week 1

Sermon in a Sentence: We have an enemy who is trying to speak into our lives.

Key Verse: I Peter 5:8-10

Scale of Difficulty: This is an area that we have to get better at.  I think we have mastered what we do at the level we do in the way we do it.  I am not attempting anything difficult and that is not good.

Attendance: Up 29% from last week (down week) and also up 29% fromthe same week last year

Service Length: 105 minutes

Understandable Message: The message seemed to connect well.  Not a home run but something I was very passionate about and I think it translates well when that is the case.

Volunteer/Student Involvement: We had two students pretty much emcee the night and they are getting so good. They did the welcome and game and kept us interested and rolling.  Students as always made up the band and some tech

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Our game was out in the crowd like a David Lettermen game.  The guys interviewed people and kept attention for 10 minutes.

Music Playlist: Alex the intern made one with some hardcore and my favorite hip hop right now by 116 clique and flame.

Favorite Moment: I would have to say the energy of the night. We haven’t had that since earlier in the fall. We were packed again and it was a great night that you knew we had a crowd who was excited to be there.

Notes: Rather than decorate for the current series, Vickie and the gals just decked us up for Christmas.  I am thinking what items need to find a new home so our room doesn’t look cramped.