Time to Celebrate five years of Every Friday Night Celebrate Recovery. So how did this happen. About 12 years ago my wife dragged me by the ear ( I think it was the left one) to a Celebrate Recovery meeting due to my misdeeds. 54 years ago my mom gave me a guitar when I really wanted a mini trail bike. Oddly these two events are tied together.
The first Celebrate Recovery(CR from now on) we went to fizzled after some time. I did meet another gentleman (known as Wes from now on) who played guitar and sang and we played there a couple of times. Soon the people who were in the fizzledCR formed a group and put together a new CR at a different church. So one day me and my friend were asked to play at a picnic on the church grounds. Afterword 2 fellas came up to us (Daniel and Chris henceforth) and wanted to join us. I asked what prompted them to do so. They said you all looked so comfortable in the way you played. So the Gospel Blues Band was formed. It started out slow and fizzled.
Daniel and his fiancé wanted to have a CR at their church so after the prep work it was formed and started. Some of us(3) got together at Daniels house and rehearsed. We had 2 songs. We were on our way.
We have met Every Friday Night for 5 years. I have been part of that worship team the entire time. We have had a lot of people come and go. The original worship leader lasted one week and handed it over to her daughter she also lasted one week. We had a celloist who lasted a few months. He reunited with his wife and moved to Spokane. We have had a flautist she only moved across town and to another CR groups. Guitar players and bass players come and go and come back and go again. Singers have come and gone and new ones popped up. All I ever tried to do was move to the other side of the stage but Daniel said “you have been in this spot for 3 1/2 years so stay.” That ended that experiment.
One night one of the vocalist did the intro to a song a Capello which sounded great but not so great when we started playing. The other guitar player asked me what key is he in I could only say I have no idea. Some singers who sounded good singing to the radio could not sing with a band so they moved on. Back to the radio I suppose.
My original job was to chose and bring the songs. I brought songs and 3 ring binders then asked the players to bring them next week. Oops all the binders were lost by the next week. So I became the song Nazi. Now I bring the music and then demand to have it back so I can bring them again in the future. That works. It also keeps us from printing the same song 100 times and saves trees.
1 plus year ago I walked in with my songs and Daniel the ministry leader introduced me to Kelly our new lead singer and said you are now the Worship Leader. It was great getting a field promotion.
So on we go for God’s glory in this everchanging community. I look back at the past with a smile and forward to whatever God has for us in the future. We will as the song( I am not sure which one) says keep on keepin’ on”
May God Bless
In week 13 I wrote about the pruning and how God takes away or changes things. When he does that it is part of His plan. So we had to replace a guitar player in Elements of Faith(my band) so we brought a gentleman on 1/4/19 and he worked out fine. That was on Sunday on that same day my daughter called and said call this person she just lost the guitar player in her band and maybe you could replace him. I called and left a message she called me on Monday we had a great talk and found much common ground but scheduling was not working out.
Elements of Faith has been involved with NW Christian Revival and Music House for 3.5 years. We were looking forward to playing there on the following 1/11/19. Then I got a text from the leader of that ministry saying after much prayer they had decided to take Saturday close on Saturday so they could have day off. Understandable as they had been working full time and having their place open 6 nights a week for 3.5 years and doing church on Sunday. I was disappointed. The heart of man plans his way , but the Lord establishes steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
At the same time rehearsal for the prison ministry is on 1/ 11/19 so that is still intact. Elements of Faith is still intact and my new connection is still intact. The Every Friday Night Worship team is intact and my new friend has invited to the next rehearsal for The Tacoma Rescue Mission.
So God is working in my life and I am excited. Looking ahead to whatever God has for me. So many possibilities. So many different ways to mix and match musicians with more to come.
Blessings to all ,
Happy New Year to all me readers perhaps 3 lol. We had a Zoom call recently with our guide who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent. One of the things he talked about was that sometimes when you start the process of setting goals i.e your DMP, things fall apart or seem to. For almost 5 years I have been part of the Every Friday Night Celebrate Recovery Worship Team and have also been part of band called Elements of Faith.
In the beginning the players in both groups stayed fairly stable. Yes we had people come and go but the core didn’t change. That lasted about 2 years then key people decided to move on. Remaining members took on new roles and new people stepped up and after playing together the music worked in both groups.
Recently the past 2 months the pruning started. In Elements of Faith my drummer became dissatisfied, my rhythm guitar player got upset. The drummer is still around but hasn’t joined us live for a month and the rhythm guitar player decided to spend more time with family and play mostly at church. The last 2 months Elements of Faith has been me and 2 friends in Tacoma, 60 minutes away, who have helped out.
The worship team has had multiple guitar players and bass players. Singers come and go and then come back again. This works out. Yet it leaves me scrambling for bass players, singers and guitar players. This can be frustrating.
At the same time I have been connected to another ministry with people new to me except my old rhythm guitar player. Thank God he moved me to make an amend. In the new ministry I am not the leader. I am the rhythm guitar player. One thing I learned a long time ago was that to be good leader you need to be a good follower.
Is there a point to all this? Yes, the point is that even though my musical career seemed to be going backward it still went forward almost exactly as I had it written in my DMP. People had to move on so new people could have the opportunity to serve. So if people move on don’t worry it’s just God pruning the tree so it can grow.
May God Bless
As Sonny of Sonny and Cher and sang “and the beat goes on.” So Thursday after the nearby tornado it was still very windy and wet and there were random power outages. I had gone to the YMCA to work out and on my way home a couple of traffic lights were out, one close to home, so I thought my power would be out. Surprise the lights were on but there was this annoying noise seemingly coming out the wall. Was it aliens? Some ghost mystery fan that came on supernaturally or something more ordinary like the refrigerator fan. Let the investigation begin.
So I moved the refrigerator out to listen and it was fine, but what a mess behind it. So soon I found myself on my hands and knees mopping up. I turned the breaker off and then back on and instead of screeching like a coyote the mystery noise settled down to regular white noise. Finally went to bed and woke up to what sound like a an eternally running fan.
So the that morning the lights flickered and the fan stopped for a moment so I knew it was an electrical problem. The fan hood only has room for one fan and it was working properly. After contemplating the stove I realized it had to come from the area of the clock/timer. Removed the back and bent my head down to listen and I had found the mystery noise. Moved the stove out. Cleaned behind it though it wasn’t as bad as the fridge.
So now how do I disconnect the clock to stop the white noise. I checked some you tube videos no help. Then I made a great decision contacted my landlord because it’s his stove after all and I didn’t want to break it. He stopped by and took care of it removing one wire. The sound is gone, we have no old fashioned stove clock and timer but with all our modern devices that should be no problem.
What a great way to spend part of two days. lol.
May God Bless and merry Christ Mass
Hello to both of my fans lol. So small to medium victories recently. First and most exciting the toothpaste cap. Well, I only have a plug you know the round thing you set in the drain to hold the water. It was out I dropped the cap it went into the drain. Did I fish it out right away no of course not and miss a perfect opportunity to procrastinate. Especially since the water was still going down the drain. After about 3 days I located what I would call a roach clip once upon a time in a far out land and fished it out. Victory was mine and I was so proud.
Later that week a very strong wind whipped thru our area and knocked out a bunch of transmitters shutting down power. I was at my regular Celebrate Recovery meeting where I am the worship leader. The power went out not long before we were supposed to play, gack! So we improvised and played 2 songs instead of 6 on acoustic guitar and singing with no microphones. Fortunately everyone, almost, had cell phones so we had some light and continued with small groups. It was very intimate and freeing.The darkness created a unique and special environment. So everyone shared and it seemed more personal than usual.
4 days later a tornado ripped thru a Port orchard a small town about15 miles south of Bremerton, WA. I have lived in this area for over 60 years and that is the first time I am aware of a tornado. As Bob Dylan said “the times are a changin’.”
So that’s it for now. May God bless and protect you this Christ Mass season.
Week 10 I was sick with a nasty cold but I survived. Just stayed at home and tried to take care of myself. So this will be about week11. I have a band and we practiced October 10th. We had been trying to get our rhythm guitar player to change his say of playing and use less effects so that we would hear him more effectively. He sent a text the next day saying he would spend time with his grandkids and stick to playing at church.
initially I let that go and thought I would initiate no further contact. Well I was troubled by that for about a month. I did not want him out of my life. Finally God got to me and I had to be a man a make the call. We are called to make amends to our brothers. His answering service was full so I apologized by text. He sent a return text me accepting my apology and I thought well that’s a good step.
Soon after he came alongside me on the track at the gym, we had a pleasant conversation even deciding to have coffee the next week. At coffee he mentioned an opportunity to play worship music at a nearby jail and invited me to a rehearsal with the other players. I went, I got a welcome email the next day and though most people try not to go to jail it looks like I’ll be going to jail next month. Part of my DMP is to play out more often in order to bring people closer to the Lord or to the Lord in January 2019. it’s not coincidence it is the Lord working.
So a last bit about battleships. Sometime after WWII the USS Missouri was mothballed here in Bremerton. Then later taken to Hawaii. It was really cool to have it here because you could go down to it and board and take a tour. There was also a memorial to the surrender with some statements and photos. the thing I remember most is the large guns which dwarfed me.
Ok moving on. I am not a gardener and yet I ran the outdoor garden department the Payless Drug Store( now Rite Aid) where I worked at the time. I had made the mistake of sweeping up the garden area and the manager saw me and decided I was the person for the job. It turned out I liked it. The set up was a hard work setting up all the stands but I had the opportunity to run a store within a store. I had 14 vendors I could call for product and the freedom to order as needed and in season. When the trucks would arrive people would come out of the woodwork and buy flowers or vegetables or trees right off the truck which though chaotic it was fun. My garden shoppers were happy, kind and energetic.
So in my sits this week I had trouble picking a favorite flower. Is it a rose, a daffodil, a mum. I ended up with the rose. When I lived in Portland I inherited a lovely rose garden which was well established and which I took care of. My thoughts went to a story I read about people tried for years to take care of a rose and no matter what they did it didn’t thrive. After several years it bloomed and grew and was beautiful. Some how they traced the root and it had gone several miles to the river and finally got the water and nutrients it needed. Like in Hanel 9-32 “that each cell is intelligent, it knows what it wants and how to get it.” “As thy faith is, so be it unto thee.”