Category Archives: Check it Out!

My Abba Made That!

Here’s the latest look at my most favorite place in the whole wide world, YOSEMITE!  Follow the link and see latest webcam views of the Ahwahnee meadow in the snow.  Blessing!

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Small Budget? … Free Sheet Music!

Let’s face it, these days the budget for your ministry might be kinda tight, if you even have one, and some of us wind up using our own resources to meet our sheet music needs.

If that’s you, or if you just love to get free stuff, check out  WorshipTogether.com and get this week’s free song plus 9 more … free!

Now, free sheet music?… ya that’s music to my ears!

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Filed under Check it Out!, Chords Tabs Etc., Music & Copy Right, New Songs, Resources, Worship songs

“Serious” Listening Skills Needed

What I'm Listening To Now....

What I’m Listening To Now….

Lots of blogs talk about what the blogger is listening too “right now.”  I went through a phase a few years ago where I only listen to Shane and Shane, particularly their “Upstairs” CD which had me totally captured.  Since then it’s been kinda nominal as far as obsessively listening to certain music or musicians.

That’s actually a bit out of my character since I have been known to obsess about things in spurts.  I might be stuck in a “thing” for a while and then get bored and look for the next obsession to brood over.

Then a while back I watched a movie.  Nothing unusual about that since I watch lots of movies. It’s a great film and I would recomend it do anybody who enjoys history, pirates, and the commraderie of men.  The film was Master and Commander and the film score features Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach.

Now I’ve had Yo-Yo’s cello playing Bach Suites in my CD Player before the movie came out but something about the two of them together triggered a note in me and I’ve craved the music obsessively ever since; especially the prelude in G major.

I listened this morning again and found myself in such awe and amazement at the simplicity and complexity of the piece.  Bach was truly inspired.  There’s this dual sided kind of expression in the piece, with large intervals that speak to me of the contrast between what I want and what God wants for me.  A kind of struggle of the heart that I identify with.  Like Paul in Romans, willing but weak to perform good and deny the flesh.   And so, I am brought to tears as I listen and the more I listen the more I hear in the piece.  It’s only 2:22 minutes long and leaves me wanting more each time.  So, I put it on repeat in my iTunes and hide in the piece as the Lord speaks to me in every note ultimately, like the music, finding joy in the end.

Thank YOU LORD for the talent and gifts you bestowed on Johann Sebastian Bach.  I’m so glad that he acknowledged his life and music were a gift from you.

SDG – Soli Deo Gloria
J S Bach appended these initials at the end of each of his Cantatas scores.
  Soli Deo Gloria, to the Glory of God alone,
they signified his deep devotion and desire to serve God through his music. (ref)

SDG

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Filed under Check it Out!, Creative Worship, Devotion, Latest Music Binge, musician

Travel with your Taylor? Think Twice or Get Insured.

Just in case you’re planning to take your Taylor on tour or on vacation be sure you know the airline policies and are confident your guitar is in safe hands or then again, get insurance.

The following video and story are based on a very true, very real experience by Dave Carroll and the Sons of Maxwell. Thanks guys for making it clear!

– In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my [Dave Carroll] Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged.Read Full Story

Have you traveled with your instruments?
~Did your instrument get special treatment? (mine usually does)
~Were you treated like you were a celeb?
~Can you relate to Dave Carroll?
Leave a comment and tell me how things went.

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Filed under Guitar Tips, travel tips

Worship Leader on a Mission~ Sri Lanka and Back

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Sri Lanka isn’t a big country, about 25,332 sq mi compared to California at about 163,696 sq mi.  The population about 21,128,773 with less than 10% Christian according to Gospel For Asia.  My husband and I were guests of friends, Rob and Heidi Douglass, who live in Colombo, the Capital City.  They were gracious and made us feel very welcome and comfortable in between our jaunts into the jungle and across country .

Rob and Heidi Douglass

Rob, Heidi and little Lilah Douglass

After arriving in Colombo on March 21, and treated to some cool air and sweet fellowship we settled in and prepared for some serious ministry.  My husband, Bob, would visit the Gospel For Asia Bible College in Colombo with Dan Finfrock to teach the Inductive Bible Study Method.  I, on the other hand, was scheduled to travel to, Habarana, a small village in the jungle about 4-1/2 hours into the Sri Lanka interior, north-east of Colombo to teach at a Gospel for Asia satellite bible campus for two days.  My pre-visit impressions were a quaint little campus in a small town but I got a big surprise. (travel tip I: reset your expectations, study the culture, climate and living conditions)

I arrived in Habarana after an early start and a long, bumpy ride.  We discovered that the satellite campus was a short drive, about 1/2 mi. on a dirt road, into the jungle after which we completed the distance on foot for another 1/4 mi. (travel tip II: heels in the jungle…. NOT!)

It’s a jungle out there! Habarana is a favorite elephant safari spot for tourists.  I saw monkeys and heard wild peacocks in between all the other unusual sounds of animals and birds.  It was dense and beautiful and I couldn’t see into it more than a few feet.

We passed a communications building hidden behind a wall and a few simple dwellings along the road as we walked…. and there we were, Habarana GFA Satellite Campus.  A small compound really, which seemed to consist of two or three small brick and block buildings, tin roofs with bare windows and fabric hung in door openings for shade and privacy.

Students sat on grass mats on the rough concrete floor in the chapel which was swept clean with walls white washed all over to catch the light coming in the glass-less windows that allowed flies to stumble in and out lazily.

The main building housed the chapel/classroom and the pastors residence, consisting of what looked like two rooms.  I met the pastors wife, a young woman with a sweet, tender spirit.  She was noticeably concerned as she reported that her husband had been quite ill, unable to eat or drink.  He would be transported to a hospital later the next day. (good reports trickled in later that week)

Satellite buildings in Habarana

Satellite buildings in Habarana

satellite interior Habarana

satellite chapel interior, Habarana

I wish I could have gotten some pics of the students but my phone/camera went dead so I only got the few I’ll share here.  I  apologize for the lousy quality.

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a student with her son and my GFA translator, Tusi

more students, Habarana

Tusi in the doorway with more students, Habarana. notice the international gesture of friendship? yep, they get phone reception even in the jungle.... amazing!

Habarana was my first experience ministering in a jungle setting.  With no electricity, fans or air-conditioning, and no running water…. it was very hot and humid, which at first was a distraction, but once I got busy teaching from His Word things were as they should be.

God is so good and had been preparing me and the students long before He sent me there to share what I have learned about worshipping Him.  Around mid day we broke for a lunch of white rice, a lentil paste with a bit of egg and other simple foods.  Later in the afternoon, our hosts were gracious and served very hot, very sweet, cream tea which would have been more welcome had it been cooler weather but it was a nice treat even in the heat if the day.

These students were so genuine and hungry to hear and learn.  They recieved the Word with gladness and we shared the common bond of fellowship in spite of language and culture barriers.

two wonderful little "guitar students" I spent some time bonding with

two wonderful little "guitar students" we learned chords and spent some time bonding... precious!

An unusual thing happened on this trip.  At least it was unusual for me.  On the long drive down I had time to ponder, pray and get to know my translator, Tusi.  During one of our quiet stretches, she had fallen asleep.  I distinctly heard the Lord speak to my heart that I would be praying for someone demon possessed.  I promptly thanked the Lord for the fore-warning seeing as how I’d never been in that situation before and began to pray for His Spirit to empower me and Tusi and go before us.

I had no idea what would occur but what could I do?  Just go with it and trust my Jesus.  🙂    At the end of the first day of teaching I asked the students if any of them wanted prayer.  Tusi and I prayed for several, maybe 20, students.  It was a sweet time and I discovered that their prayer requests were much the same as those I hear in the states; “please pray for my sick mother,” Please pray for my unsaved family,” one needed healing, another needed a place to stay.  All the usual requests except for a common request to pray for restoration of families as Buddhist and Hindu parents will disown their children for becoming Christians.

Then a young man, maybe in his late teens, was brought to us by some friends or family members, I wasn’t sure which.  I found out that he was not a student at the bible college.

It was explained that “he was possessed with a demon.”  I declared to Tusi that this had been what the Spirit had foretold me.   We set our hearts to pray and all the students began praying out loud in their own language.

I wont go into detail except to note that he displayed biblical demonic possession behavior as we prayed for him.  After about 10 minutes he began to call out to the Lord and fell quiet and was delivered.  The next day he was sitting with the students studying the Word and smiling from ear to ear.  Later that day I saw him running with the other boys and so full of life.  It was glorious!

We returned to the Douglass home in Colombo and I was reunited with my husband and Dan who shared their own adventures, enjoyed a cool night in air-conditioned luxury with a new assignment ahead.

That mostly describes my first 3 days in Sri Lanka….. The balance of the trip included teaching at another GFA campus.  I praise my Lord for His mercy and grace to fulfill what He had given me to do and for glorifying Himself in my life.

Peace in Jesus Christ!

Cosima

PS  Thanks to all those who were praying for this trip.  Your prayers were felt and much appreciated.

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Filed under Check it Out!, Lead Worship, prayer, travel tips, Worship Leaders, Worship Leaders Speak

Sight Reading Music

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Some of us worship musicians are timid about reading music.  It’s a bit daunting if we aren’t used to it but Monica on InTune at the MusicNotes blog gives some great pointers to help us learn to sight read better.  Her article suggests tips for piano, keyboard players and vocalist, but the techniques work great for guitar players too.  

Remember, sight reading is just another part of being a musician.  Tackle it with confidence and watch your skills improve.

 

Get Christian Sheet Music at MusicNotes.com

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Filed under Check it Out!, Music Education, musician, Resources, Vocal Tips

Free Singing Lessons

One of the things I hear all the time is, “I can’t sing” or ” I want to be a better singer.”  

Most worship leaders and worship vocalists have trouble with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to their voices.  Let’s face it, most of us didn’t intend to become singers it just kind of happened,… one day there we were at a bible study or small group meeting and we were coaxed into leading a few songs.  Our voices just had to come along for the ride and after wards we were wondering if our voices were up to the task.

Today Musicademy shares several free singing lessons from their Seminar CDs that cover breathing, vocal health and harmony.  Be sure and have a look, these are classic techniques that will help even the most timid singer become more confident and strong.

 

For more on singing visit SingingSuccess.com

 

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Filed under Check it Out!, Music Education, Resources, Videos, Vocal Tips