thoughts on worship, art, leadership, and life




Three weeks ago I experienced a tough break. I was training for a 100-mile bike ride that I was very much looking forward to when I literally suffered a break. While doing something I’ve done thousands of times, I made a mistake. In the blink of an eye, I was lying on the pavement in excruciating pain, shaking and unable to move my right leg. I instantly knew something was wrong. After an ambulance ride, x-rays, a CAT scan, I got some scary news: I broke my hip. Surgery was needed. My world came to a screeching halt. I was assigned a physical therapist who has been helping me with my recovery process. The first couple of weeks were rough both physically and emotionally, and through this time she encouraged me to journal. I’m not going to sugar coat it, this process has been tough, maybe one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through but I’m beginning to see some pretty profound things coming from it. It’s taught me some lessons from a tough break.

My new hardware


When things are going great, we tend to think that we’re somehow in control. All it takes is one crazy life circumstance to show us how out of control we are. In this past couple of weeks, the journey has been scary, and it has been hard, there have moments of joy and pride, sometimes there’s pain(sometimes a lot), sometimes anxiety, sometimes overwhelming gratitude. They all come and go and sometimes within minutes of each other. Though most of it has been out of my control, it’s led me to a greater trust in the one who is in control. Through tears, I’ve been able to come in prayer to God with my doubts and fears. God has been with me the whole time. He never abandoned me.


My heart is full of gratitude for God’s provision, but most of the things that I’m grateful for aren’t things at all, they’re people. God works through people to extend his love to others, and I can honestly say I’ve felt His love through you. I have my faith, my wife, my family, I have a community that loves and supports me. I’m grateful for the way my wife assumed the role of caregiver on top of her vocation as mother and full-time corporate businesswoman. Through your meals, prayers, cards, phone calls, and visits, God overwhelmed me with love and support. You may not realize it, but God moved through you to bless me. I hope that in some small way you see the impact a simple prayer or word of encouragement can have one someone’s life.


I’ve gone through a big-time trauma, and I survived. I’m here. I’m here to give love and be loved. I’m here to love God and love my neighbors. I’m here to enjoy life, work hard and play hard. I’m here to struggle and grow. Here’s an odd thought: I think we need the tough moments, the moments of struggle. They are part of life that we can’t and shouldn’t try to avoid. This process is teaching me much about myself and others. It’s teaching me about faith and relationship, life and love. It’s teaching me about gratitude and contentment throughout this journey called life.


Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship

Call To Worship

At Shepherd’s Gate Church we often begin our services with a Call to Worship. This practice of starting our gatherings with Scripture, is something that God’s people have been doing for ages and one that can have a profound impact on the gathered church today. In writing this, I hope to explain why we do this and to encourage you as you engage in this practice.

Why do a “Call to Worship”? Continue reading “Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship”

Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?


As you travel around today, there will be many people out and about. As you continue to observe them, you may notice something is a bit off. They all have black smudges on their foreheads. This begs the question:

“Why in the world would these folks take time to go to a church and let some guy put ashes on their foreheads?”

Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?”

Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop

MusicianChurch musicians need to commit to a local church. There I said it. I see too many musicians jumping from one playing opportunity to another, from one church to the next. I have no problem helping other churches out or filling in when there is a need, but the constant transient “church-hopping” needs to stop. It’s a detriment to the church and to the musician. At Shepherd’s Gate we ask that our musicians sign a covenant each year. One of the commitments reads as follows:

We expect all members of the band to be in church when in town regardless of whether they are serving. When we worship from the seats it sends a powerful message of authenticity and brings credibility to our platform leadership. In addition, before and after each service, team members are committed to wear their green name lanyards, talk with people after worship services, and build relationships with the people of our community. 

Continue reading “Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop”

Context Is Everything

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This past weekend, while leading worship, I found myself in a bit of a quandary. I was leading the church in a song with some pretty amazing Gospel centered lyrics. They were singing it out with gusto. There was only one problem, while the words of the bridge left my mouth, I had a thought… “I bet a good amount of people in this room have no idea what we are singing about. ”

Continue reading “Context Is Everything”

Top Songs Of 2014

Top Songs

It’s the start of a new year and I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the top songs that we sang during 2014 at Shepherd’s Gate Church. To qualify for this list we had to sing a particular song at least 5 times throughout the year. If you find yourself asking, “Why would they choose that song?”, you can check out my previous post about our song selection process, here.

So, without further ado, here’s the list:

Continue reading “Top Songs Of 2014”

Deconstructing The Worship Set

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You’ve probably heard the term “worship set”. Someone has probably come up to you and said something like, “The worship this morning was so powerful!” or “I was so moved during worship.” We even go so far as to call our church services “worship services.” Worship does indeed happen during all of these things, but the Bible tells us that worshiping the Lord includes so much more. Vaughan Roberts writes about this in his book True Worship. This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes: Continue reading “Deconstructing The Worship Set”

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

You show up to rehearsal ready to go. You’ve spent hours rehearsing the intricacies of a particular part, learning vocal lines and harmonies, and preparing to play with other musicians. All of this is good and completely necessary, but there is something just as important and often easily overlooked.

Continue reading “Crafting Community”

I Thank God For You

Merry Christmas If you serve at a church, volunteer or staff, I want you to hear something. Thank you. Thank you for extra rehearsals, creating rich Gospel centered music, and writing sermons. Thank you for standing in the cold to give guests a warm welcome. Thank you for spending time with our little ones and teaching them about our loving Savior. Thank you for working behind the scenes to make sure services are recorded, lighting and sound work properly, and the Gospel heard by many others. Thank you for giving up countless hours during this season to reach those who don’t know Jesus. Continue reading “I Thank God For You”

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