Sunday, June 29, 2008

NHC This Sunday

I know this is a little late, and that you all have been waiting on the edge of your seats, so here you go...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

If You Guilt Them, They Will Come...

There is a rather large forest fire that has been burning for about a month not too far from can see and smell the smoke in the air on most days. I took this picture this morning of a local baptist church (I took out the names of the church and pastor). This church, located on the second busiest road in town, is well-known for having signs like these all the time. My guess is probably about 5000 people see this sign every day during the summer months.

From what I know of this church, this sign is part of what they would call "evangelism"...

Two questions:

1) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think to themselves, "I need to get my life right with God?" 2) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe want to come visit this church hoping to hear some "good news"?

Two more questions:

1) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think something bad about God? 2) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think something bad about the people of this church (or any church for that matter)?

We removed the word "baptist" from our church name and sign a few years ago, in large part, because of baptist churches like this one. There's a good reason people think the way they do about baptists, churches, Christians, and ultimately God.

Last question:

How often do my words and actions communicate,
to people who don't know God, the same thing this church sign communicates?

My guess is, people would give church, Christians and God the benefit of the doubt regarding signs like this one IF they didn't already know a real Christian or two who believed that the message on this sign was good evangelism...


Monday, June 23, 2008


I have an $18.11 credit with iTunes to me decide what to buy. My last purchase was the new Coldplay album.

Leave your suggestions Here!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Blitz

> Today was sweet! Only my third Sunday in the past six months at NHC, but one of the best in my two years there.

> My guitar sounds so good! Especially compared to my old Ventura. Several people noticed the difference as well. It was very cool getting to show our church family the gift (money to buy the guitar) they had given to me on my one year anniversary over a year ago.

> Speaking of which, two Sundays ago was my two year anniversary at NHC! I'm praying that these two year are just the beginning for us here. We love our church!

> It's hard to figure out the attendance pattern in the summer. One week we're packed in both gatherings, the next the first is packed while the second has several empty seats, and the next might be the opposite. Our favorite is when both are packed and people come to church already worshipping, ready to experience something special. We finally stopped trying to figure it out and decided to just go with the flow.

> That having been said, despite the unpacked house today, both gatherings were ready to worship! The last song ("I Stand Amazed") was especially cool...I love it when the band/vocalists drops out and lets the church fill the auditorium...very cool...

> We introduced Fee's "Glorious One" today for the first time...people seemed to dig it, so I guess we'll keep it around.

> First Hukilau Surf Camp of the summer this Saturday!

> We pulled out a boy band song today...actually, we played a song without the keys and female vocals, which means it was just the guys on stage for one song. Lot's of manly sweat and guitars. "Grunt!"

> I'm pretty tired, being a new parent and all, so that's about all I can think about right now. Here's hoping I won't miss any more Sundays for a very long time!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

My New Guitar

Doyle Dykes is one of the most respected fingerstyle guitarists in the world. My dad and I got to hear him play a few years back in Southern CA before either of us knew who he was. Simply amazing.

Taylor Guitars partnered with Doyle several years ago to create a personalized guitar for Doyle based on his own specifications...the Taylor Doyle Dykes Signature Model Guitar. They began producing Doyle's guitar in "black" and "natural" (colors) for the public shortly after.

Beyond his specific musical, electronic and stylistic requests, the most identifiable feature of Doyle's guitar is the white rose of mother of pearl inlaid in the guitar head. Everywhere Doyle travels, he always plays a song he wrote for his daughter called "White Rose for Heidi". Before playing the song, he tells the following story...

When my oldest daughter, Heidi, was four years old, I asked if she wanted anything special from God. We were saying our bedtime prayers. She replied, "Yes Daddy, there is one thing I've been thinking about." "What is that?" I asked. "A rose," she said. "I'd like God to bring me a rose."

The next day, I'd forgotten about it. That night at prayer time, she again asked, "Daddy, how come God didn't bring my rose today?" I felt bad, as well as bewildered. I was really at a loss for words. Suddenly, I said, "Well, maybe you need to tell Him what color rose you want." She said, "Oh, well I've been thinking about a white one." We then asked God to deliver a white rose for Heidi.

The next night, after a concert a few hours away, a little lady, who apparently was "special," walked up to me after everyone had left. She asked, "Are you Doyle Dykes?" "Yes," I replied. "God told me to bring you something from my garden today." She handed me what I thought to be carrots or some other vegetable from her garden that was wrapped in aluminum foil. "Thank you, I'll enjoy eating this," I said. She giggled like a child and said, "Uh...You'd better open it."

I peeled back the aluminum foil to find a beautiful, solitary "White rose for Heidi

A little over a year ago, on the second Sunday of June, my church presented me with a gift of money that they had collected, telling me to buy a new guitar. I've had the same guitar that my parent's bought for me as a Christmas gift about 15 years ago. It's been a solid, wonderful guitar for many years, but has never been something that was well suited for use on stage, especially in our church building playing with our fact, I've been using a borrowed guitar on Sunday mornings for the past year (thanks, Rich!).

My dream has always been to own a Taylor guitar, and the church's gift not only allowed me to buy a Taylor, but to buy one that I would never need or want to replace.

However, partly because I'm lazy, but partly because I knew owning a new Taylor would be as much a curse as a blessing while we lived in Durham (because I would not have been able to play it very much), I put off making the purchase.

All this past year, Tricia has been bugging me about buying the guitar, but I've just been reluctant to do so until we were home again. I shopped quite a bit, looking for exactly what I wanted to buy...I just never bit the bullet. A few months back, after Gwyneth was born, I remembered Doyle and the story he told about his white rose guitar, and mentioned to Tricia how it would be cool to own one of those guitars. We even looked up a few on the internet.

About a month ago, she began telling me about how cool my Father's Day gift was going to be. I couldn't imagine anything better than her Christmas Gift and Birthday Gift for me this past year. But in the back of my mind I thought that maybe she was trying to get my guitar for me, which was a little scary because I knew the specifications I wanted, and I knew that Tricia didn't know much about guitars.

Despite my best efforts, including some intense questioning when she was coming out of sedation the other day (haha), she wouldn't tell me, even when father's day came and went last week. All she would say is that it was the best ever and that it was waiting for me when we got home.

Well, needless to say, Tricia is basically the best wife ever. She found a brand new, natural white rose guitar for an incredible price. She and my mom had it laying open in it's case for me when we got home yesterday, just in time for me to drool for a few minutes before packing it up and taking it to band practice. It is just about the most beautiful guitar in the world, it sounds incredible (especially compared to my old guitar), and it has some very rich and sentimental significance to me (hi, Gwyneth Rose!).

So, without further ado, here are a few pics of my new White Rose Guitar...

I've named her Emma Claire (or, E-Claire, for short).

I have a few more pics of the guitar posted on my Photo Blog. I'll let Tricia post, on her blog, the pics of me actually seeing it for the first time (I'll let you know when she does that).

A HUGE thank you to my Nags Head Church family...I pray that I can use your beautiful gift to continue worshipping God with you for many years to come!

And, here is a video of Doyle himself playing his beautiful song, "White Rose for Heidi".



Monday, June 16, 2008

NHC This Sunday

Back to our "What If?" series this Sunday.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

This Tuesday!

I might pee my pants if it doesn't get here fast enough...


PS. Best visually engaging show I've ever been to, by far, and that was three years ago...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tell Me What You Think

Of the new look. I'm especially wondering if all the white contrasted with the black and red is a bit too abrasive on the eyes? Or maybe it's just because I've been staring at a computer since 6:45am?

Other thoughts? Not sure it I'm happy with it, but it gave me something to keep me busy over the past few hours...



Pardon the Mess

While I figure out what I want this space to look like.


Worship Leader Application

A good friend emailed me recently, asking for my input on an application he's putting together as his church begins searching to fill their new worship leader staff position. He had some good questions, some vague questions, and some questions that I thought could be saved for a secondary face-to-face/phone interview.

I've filled out three applications in my brief worship leading "career" (none recently, if you're worried). Some of the questions were great, while others were not so great (IMHO). Anyway, I'm just wondering, what kind of questions do you think should be on an initial application? What kind of questions have you seen that you thought were really good. From your position as a pastor, worship leader, staff member, or lay person, what do you think?

For that matter, what are some of the questions that you thought wasted space and time?

Get the discussion going. Make sure you tell us why you think the way you think about certain questions. Remember that we're talking about the initial application, on paper.



PS...I've suddenly realized that this blog is incredibly ugly, so I'll be working on that over the weekend while I hang with my wife in the hospital.

Monday, June 9, 2008

NHC This Sunday

Father's day is a big deal for us at NHC. The family and the church rises and falls on the character and guts of men, especially dads.

Does your church celebrate Father's Day? Why or why not?


Two Perspectives

"Joanie" rang the back doorbell at our church late Saturday afternoon just as I was getting ready to go home. Joanie is an older woman, probably in her 70's (I've never met her before), and, as I welcomed her into the building, she asked if we had any pictures of the "old church". (we built a new, modern building over a year ago and tore down the little, white, steeple, country looking building when we moved into the new one). I said I knew we had some pics, but I didn't know where they were. She looked at me and said, "Figures..."

I introduced myself and extended my hand. She looked at it sceptically for a few seconds ( I swear it was clean), and then reluctantly shook it. I could have told you exactly what was coming next...

"My parents helped build the old building, and I was baptized in it."

"OK. That's pretty neat!"

"I'd really like a picture of the old building before they tore it down and built this ugly building."

So, as I bit my tongue, I took Joanie's name and her number and told her that someone would call her if we found some pictures we could give her. On her way out the door, again she emphasized that she missed the old building and how ugly our new building was.

"Well, Joanie, it's a good thing that what a church building looks like really doesn't matter."

"It matters to me! I can tell you that I'll never come to this church again."

"That's unfortunate, Joanie..."

She was out the door by this time, turning around to say something else to me...before she could get the next words out of her mouth, I again told her we'd call her, have a nice day, and shut the door...


"Coleen" emailed me Sunday afternoon. She had read the story of my wife and I in the local paper a few months ago and had been following along on our blog ever since. She saw that I was going to be telling our story in church this past weekend, and wanted to come, but decided not to because she hasn't been to church in forever. She watched along with hundreds of others online.

"All I can say is Wow! I didn't realize that Church could be like that. The positive energy was amazing. The band was awesome! To see people of all ages and backgrounds come together to worship God, well, I think it has changed my life. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world, and for bringing God back into my life. I plan to be there next Sunday to share in the celebration of God's love."

We hear from a lot of people like Joanie who are angry with us for tearing down that little white church building and putting this ugly steel box in it's place. They always make sure to let us know how unhappy they are and how ugly our "church" is. Most of them also make sure to tell us that they'll never come to church here ever again. To be honest, most of these people from the older generations.

We also hear from a lot of people like Coleen who visit our church (in person or online) after not having been in a church building for a long time. Nearly every single one tells us how they were totally not expecting what they saw and heard, and they mean that in a good way. They make sure to tell us how "inspired" and "energized" they felt, and how much they want to come back and maybe even bring somebody with them. To be honest, most of these people are also from the older generations.

Two different people, both of whom have experiences and feelings of church from days long ago. But, only one seems to get it...and it's not the one might have originally expected...

Our church is filled with people like Coleen, who had not even thought about church in years before being led to check us out. They play in the band, welcome people on the greeting team and help children learn more about the adventure of God.

I can't think of a single person in our church who reminds me of Joanie. We have some Joanies visit every now and then, and they almost always leave church early and slam the door on their way out, making sure to give us a call or shoot us an email letting us know how ugly our building is, or how loud our music is, etc.

If it weren't for Coleen's email, my conversation with Joanie may have still been making me feel bummed. I couldn't care any less if people find our building ugly...I do care that people don't see anything but an ugly building. Nags Head Church is beautiful, not because of anything else than the God we serve and the love we have for one another and for our community. It's depressing that some people just don't get it, and probably never will. They are missing out on a great adventure.

Fortunately, through Coleen's email, God reminded me of why we're here and who we're impacting, and that I can't stay focused on the few who don't get it.

Who are you impacting?

How much time do you spend focused on the people who don't get it?


Sunday, June 8, 2008

This Morning

Today was my first official Sunday back at NHC after more than 5 months away... It was awesome! My pastor asked me to share the story of what my wife and I have been doing for the past year, which was also sweet! Because I have such a big following with my CFHusband blog (35,000+/day), we decided to broadcast the worship gathering live on the web at, and 400+ showed up to check it out.

We were also able to record, so if you're interested in watching it, Check It Out Here!

If you're interested, the set list included:

You Are Good
I Am Free
Mighty To Save
Glory In The Highest



Monday, June 2, 2008


We're looking for a good way to promote getting involved in ministry at our church. I know the whole Mac/iPod thing it's been overused, but not in our area or with our people, so I'm willing to use it this one time. And, can you really overuse Mac?

Anyway, I'm not crazy about this, yet, but it's as far as I could get today. I especially don't like the black on the bottom Let me know what you think and if you think I can/should change something. The first pic is mine (it's amazing what you can do with PPT when you have to)... the second pic is of a real iMac.