Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Will not blog till the weekend

I'm heading out of town for four days to teach on a School of Worship. The school is taught at a retreat centre out in the desert, so most likely there won't be any internet access. Therefore this blog may not be updated until my return. Sorry.

I have eighteen hours of classes to prepare for, and only one day to do the preparation in, so to those of you who like to pray, please consider praying for me!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Re:create bloggers

I have tried to compile the definitive list of bloggers from the conference. Check it out in my sidebar... Have I missed anyone off?

Valentine's day quote

"Daddy, when are we going to put up our Valentine's Day tree?" - Hannah, aged five.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jet Lag

Got to bed at 4am. Woke up at 3pm. It's now 1:30am and I'm going to bed again. Must work tomorrow.

Re:create Day four

Day Four was great!


Morning worship led by Keith and Kristyn Getty. They write and sing modern hymns of such depth and beauty that my mind was reeling with the ideas the lyrics inspired, my ears were revelling in the sounds from his incredible piano and her beautiful voice, my eyes were screwed shut to prevent the tears from leaking out and my spirit was lost in wonder, awe and praise. If we had finished there, the day would have been the best one yet. But more was to come.

Then into our session on Branding led by Rick Dempsey, VP for Disney. Aaaaaagh - the enemy - run, run, they've stolen our cultural heritage. How can we forgive them for the desecration of Winnie the Pooh????
Well, quite easily if what Rick Dempsey says is true. There seems to have been a cultural revolution in the Disney boardroom. Apparently Disney is all about integrity now, a good example of which is how they stayed faithful to the original CS Lewis Narnia novels when making the Chronicles of Narnia movie and its (in production) sequels. Dempsey told us that Disney has re-discovered it's original values, specifically;
1. No bad language
2. No sexual content
3. No gratuitous violence
Well, that's encouraging. It seems that things are on the up at the House of Mouse. Rick Dempsey also encouraged us to concentrate on the core values of Christianity, and in the same way that Disney has, we must re-emphasise them to ensure that the church continues to do a good job of representing the love of Jesus to the world when the temptation is to jump on to whatever fashionable bandwagon is passing by at the moment and head off into a huge new adventure that ends up in a dead-end street.
Anyway, I liked Rick. He pulled my name out of the hat to win a car. :-)

Leeland - AMAZING. Speechless. Don't know how to begin to describe the depth of faith, character, talent, love, power of the Spirit, in this eighteen year old prodigy. He and his father and brother led us in a transcendent time of worship, rediscovering a passionate love and adoration of Jesus, and an inability to sing high A's and B's. He has no problem with them though, and has a cracking falsetto too.
Anyway, standing right in front of the speaker stack, God spoke to me again of not forgetting my first love - the love of Him and expressing that through public and private adoration aka worship.

Then the whole family gave us a talk, led by Leeland's mum, Cindy, on how to nuture an artist in your family. It was great! Funny, poignant, an amazing journey of faith. The highlight quote was this... "You can't take your stuff with you to heave, you can't take your house, your car, but you can take your children."

We then sat down with Randy and discussed the conference, good stuff, potential improvements (next year will be amazing. I'm booking my spot now!) and Randy shared his dreams and plans for the future. He is building a place to encourage and equip extremely gifted artists to discover, develop and discipline their calling. It is called Kalein and it is going to be incredible.

To be continued...

Monday, February 12, 2007


I've met so many great people this week. The hospitality has been OUT OF THIS WORLD and the love and care and concern and camaraderie (I wish I was on my Mac with built in spell checker in Firefox) was fantastic.

So, I have to completely rebuild my side bar. So many new friends!!!

Maybe I should upgrade to Wordpress or Typepad. Any suggestions?

Re:create Day three

Day Three was great!

I'm tryping this in Schipol (Amsterdam) airport where I have a nine hour wait for my flight back home to Cairo. I flew from Nashville to Minneapolis, but the flight was of course delayed, and made the connection to Amsterdam by the skin of my teeth. I was the last one on to the plane, and I bet you my luggage didn't make it. Grrrr.

Anyway, back to the subject.

The third day started with Third Day. Was this deliberate? Anyway, Mac Powell and Mark Lee gave us an acoustic worship set, and they were fantastic. Here are these guys whose music has been a total inspiration for about six years sitting ten feet away leading us in worship. And biffing it in places! Best quote - "You see, we're not actually that good!" after both guitarists looking at each other and realising neither of them is going to play the keyboard solo. They talked about life in a band and how they stay connected to God and avoid some of the pitfalls of life on the road. Maybe that road will bring them to Cairo some day.

Louis Markos did the morning and afternoon sessions. This guy blew my mind. I don't have my notes with me as they are probably 4,000 miles away in Minneapolis, and so you'll have to wait for the details, but he took us on this amazing journey through literature, history, theology and philosophy, examining how the modernist movement (or structuralists) influenced our perception of God to such a massive degree that now we are in a post-modern era, many Christians feel really threatened by different expressions of worship to God because they don't fit into the traditional "structure" of what is Christian and what is not.

Lunch was at Franklin's old jail house, beautifully restored as a four storey restaurant, and we were served traditional Southern food - finger lickin good (more pork!) and I had a wonderful time sharing stories with Dean from Integrity Music, and Bethany and Nathan Gaddis from a church in Florida - thanks for the great conversation.

And then back to Louis Markos for more incredible thought. The most amazing thing about this guy is his energy. And his delivery. OK - the two most amazing things about this guy are his energy, his delivery, his humour, his intellect, his energy, his comprehensive understanding of the subject, his knowledge of the Bible and his energy. Wow.

Dinner that night was provided by the Southern Baptists publishing arm, Lifeway. The food was good, but the presentation was decidedly lacklustre. It wasn't that it was bad, I think we had seen and heard so much already of the highest quality that anything less than a 10/10 was going to disappoint. They were doomed!

Still the evening was redeemed with lots of beer later with all my new friends.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Re:create Day two

Day two was great.

Breakfast and then straight in to worship with Mark Roach - a really good worship time.
Dean Batali is one of the writers of "That 70's Show" and he also wrote for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I know, I know, what is a Christian doing writing for these shows which are all about sex and demons? Well, he's trying to influence Hollywood for good, and the only way to gain credibility is to do your time writing for shows and developing your career, and you don't get many choices about which shows you write for. He was brilliant - very funny and very serious about challenging us to be cultural influencers.
Great lunch at Dave's Barbeque - PORK RIBS!!!
Back on the bus and back to the hotel for
Tim Hodge, a disney and VeggieTales animator who taught us all about storyboring.
Back to the Factory, and into Saffires restaurant for dinner. Prime Rib and chocolate pudding.
Bebo Norman & then Jon Abel sang for us. Great stuff.

Re:create Day one

Day one was great.

Lazy lie-in morning at Kathy's house.
Pat picks me up around 10am for breakfast at Meridees with Randy and Jeff.
Great breakfast with some good talk.
Then over to People's Church to collect music stands.
Over to the Marriot to deliver stands, check in and get set up.
Meet Patrick, my room-mate, who works for a church called Origins in New York.
First session at 2pm - Blogging (how cool is that?).
At 4pm there was a session on web-streaming which I skipped to hang out with people.
At 6pm we jumped in the bus and headed to the factory, where there is a cool church in an old warehouse building.
Word Music Group hosted a great writers night featuring Michael Farren, (from Pocket Full of Rocks) Mike Weaver (from Big Daddy Weave), Adam Agee (from Stellar Kart), Jason Roy (from Building 429), and Mark Roach.
And then, the big finale, Amy Grant comes on stage and sings a handful of songs, including a chorus of El Shaddai, and Thy Word. The best thing was a piece of Ephesians 6 set to music which she sang with just the piano. It encapsulated everything that makes her voice special, the melodies, phrasing and inflections, the raspy high parts, and the passion - wonderful. It was an incredible end to the first day.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Well, I made it. A five hour flight, then a nine and a half hour flight, then a forty-five minute flight. All in one day.

It's great here. The hospitality has been AMAZING!!!! Here's my Sunday...

Church - Bible study - brunch - beer - Superbowl - work setting up the conference room - bed at 12:30.