I’ve been replaced by a machine!

At least for Sunday, that is… I was unable to wrangle up a musician for the Sunday service, so my next option is to record my piano-playing on the electronic keyboard, so they can just play it back on Sunday. How lame is that? (I am humongously opposed to using recorded music in a church service, pretty much just because it can cause so much trouble for anyone who loses their place, it seems artificial, etc. Live accompaniment is always better.) Anyhow, it’s a nice Roland keyboard with a disk drive built in, so I’ll be recording the tracks and then they can play them back live… it’s at least better than recording on audio tape and playing it back. 🙂

I’m sure it’ll end up uncoordinated and kind of lame on Sunday, but unfortunately I can’t really help that. We need more musicians!

I need a musician…

…any musician. One of the downsides of being the music leader at a small church is that it’s hard to find a replacement when you’re going to be gone. I have a couple people who are on the usual list to back me up… one guitarist and one pianist. Usually at least one of them will be available. Well, I’m out of town this weekend for my sister’s graduation. The guitarist is also out of town this weekend. The pianist is watching 4 of her grandkids all weekend and doesn’t have the time she needs to practice. Our bass player who might be able to fill in on guitar in a pinch is also out of town. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do… they may be singing a capella on Sunday.

There’s one other possibility that someone mentioned – a recent attender who is rumored to be a piano teacher. However, I’ve never talked to her about playing for a service, and I’m not sure of her skill level, (or even if she’s actually a piano teacher). So, I’m fairly uncomfortable making a phone call that will go something like this: “Hi, I’m Chris from Noelridge, remember me? I know you haven’t been to church in a couple weeks, but I heard a rumor you might be a piano teacher and so I’m wondering if you’d like to play the piano for church this week and by the way practice is tomorrow night…” Not a real good option in my book. Well, it’ll work out somehow. I will get out of town this weekend.

a busy month…

Well that personality thing was kinda boring, wasn’t it? You, reader, deserve a real, human-written post, and I am now here to give it to you.

My day was brightened this morning when I realized that, after this week, I will only have 5 more days of work for the month of May. Vacation is a glorious thing. 🙂 This weekend I’m taking one day off to go to Wisconsin for my sister’s high school graduation. I’ll come back on Monday and work Tuesday through Friday (May 17-20) and then I’m taking the next week off. Four of us from church are going to the Moody Pastor’s Conference in Chicago. (No, it’s not for moody pastors – it’s for pastors, and it’s at Moody. :-))

Now, my readers of a Reformed theological persuasion might be wincing at this mention of a non-Reformed institute and conference, but I am much looking forward to it; the conference opens with a message from Ravi Zacharias, and is bookended with a closing message from Tony Evans. I am sure that the middle presentations will be excellent as well. So, that runs Monday evening through Thursday evening. Then it’s back home for Memorial Day weekend. Whew!

Sometime in there, I’ll try to get the new projector installed, too… I’m ordering it today.

Well that’s the fun news and calendar update from Chris’ s life. I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

personality

You’re thinking, “he has none…” 🙂 OK, I was bored, so I followed the herd and did the personality profile thingy. Enjoy.

Your #1 Match: ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Your #2 Match: ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.
Simply put, you enjoy bueaty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.
Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate – you are good at recognizing people’s unspoken needs.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

projecting, part 2

My regular readers (all two of them :-)) will remember my frustration a few days ago over trying to get projector bids, and my excitement at the thought that we might finally get a projector set up for our church. Well I finally got the bid from National Projector, and then at the elders meeting yesterday they approved my plan to accept the bid from Shepherd Multimedia. So, today I will be ordering a Hitachi CP-X885W projector (3500 lumens strong) and a long-throw lens.

And there was much rejoicing. Maybe I’ll get time next week to install it; more likely it’ll get installed during Memorial Day weekend. Can’t wait to hear the buzz in the sanctuary when folks notice it for the first time…

making music, family style

OK, I’m excited. I just finished talking to my brother Andrew. He is almost 19, has been playing on the worship team at his church (Richland Center Fellowship, Richland Center, Wisconsin) for a while now, and has the opportunity to lead the worship service in a couple weeks… on the Sunday that the rest of the family is going to be visiting!

We have a musical family. Dad was a music education major, Mom minored in voice, and all of us 5 kids play at least 1 instrument, some of us several. We did occasional special music and such growing up, and I really miss the chances to do stuff with them. We know so much of the same music that it’s ridiculous.

Quick picture to paint: we’re all home at Christmastime, and I’m sitting in the living room just goofing around on my guitar with Caedmon’s Call’s Hands of the Potter. My brother Aaron (age 21) is working on installing a cat door in the porch door, I didn’t even think he’s paying attention, and as I get to the chorus, he just kicks in singing the backup part. It was way too cool.

Anyhow, Aaron is off in Panama doing missions, but Ryan (age 25) and Andrew and I will all be around on that Sunday, and the plan is that we will all help out with the worship time, playing and singing. This is exciting for multiple reasons; first, to get to play music with those guys again is a treat. Second, I’m the worship leader of a church of 150 or so rather subdued worshippers (God’s “frozen chosen” :-)). We’ll be leading at a church of 400 or so more energetic types. Thirdly (and maybe this should be first, priority-wise), I get to help encourage Andrew in his quest to head down a similar path as I’ve gone down, to use his musical talents as a worship leader. That will be the best part, for sure.

I suppose I should get back to work now, but excitement like this needs someplace to be poured out, even if it is just to a window in WordPress. 🙂

“energy dependence”

Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

“energy dependence”

Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

“energy dependence”

Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

projecting

My latest quest on the technology front is the purchase of a LCD projector for my church. We’ve been using the typical grade-school-style overhead projector and transparencies for years, and it’s way past time to upgrade. We’ve had this project in mind for about the last 4 years at church, but for one reason or another (budget, other projects coming up, opposition from internal sources) it’s always gotten pushed to the back burner. This year it’s in the budget, everybody’s on board, and so it’s finally going to get done.

I initially (last year) got a useful bid from a guy at National Projector,but of course this year when I went back to them to get an updated bid, the guy has left the company. The new guy I talked to excitedly took my information and sent me the generic marketing material, but has yet to get back to me with a simple bid for the equipment I need. Come on, dude, your job is sales… and you can’t get a bid for a projector and lens out in a week?

My next experience is with a guy from Shepherd Multimedia. In contrast with the guy at National, a nice guy there at Shepherd completed and sent me two bids the same day I requested them. Not only that, but I can get the projecter and lens I want for just less than I budgeted. That means no hassles with setting up special giving or getting more budget money approved… woohoo!

I’ll be checking for competitive pricing for the next few days, but unless I find a tremendously better deal I’ll likely be ordering next week, and then installing shortly after that. I find myself just a little bit excited. 🙂