2009 Reading List

My friend, Jeff Henderson, does a reading list every year and at the end of the year he posts his review of the books.  His purpose in the reading list is to be constantly growing and learning.  I have decided that having a reading list will actually help me get through the books I have been meaning to read, so I am making one too.  I am not sure how Jeff picks his books, and I will probably pick mine differently in the future, but for this year my list is made up solely of books that I own but have never read.  At some point in time I thought they were worth buying or someone thought they were worth giving to me, so it’s time to actually read them!  The first four are books that I have started but never finished.  So here they are, in no particular order!

  1. A Scandalous Freedom- Steve Brown
  2. 1776- David McCullough
  3. Shattered Dreams- Larry Crabb
  4. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  5. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson
  6. Made to Stick- Chip and Dan Heath
  7. Life of the Beloved- Henri Nouwen
  8. God’s Politics- Jim Wallis
  9. When the Heart Waits- Sue Monk Kidd
  10. Cold Tangerines- Shauna Niequist
  11. Orthodoxy- G.K. Chesterton
  12. A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khalid Hosseini
  13. Walking With God- John Eldredge
  14. Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen

I am looking forward to working through this list!

O Holy Night

 

Truly He taught us to love one another.

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His law is love and His gospel is peace.

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Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

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Sweet hymns of hope in grateful chorus raise we.

Let all within us praise His holy name

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Christ is the lord, O, praise His name forever

His power and glory ever more proclaim.

His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Sunday Summary- 12.21.08

This past Sunday was the Christmas celebration for North Point En Español.  It was actually our last Sunday of the year as all of North Point Ministries is shut down on the Sunday after Christmas.  Why?  It’s an opportunity to give our volunteers a much needed break and let them know that we appreciate all of their hard work.  It’s also a chance to take a deep breath as a staff and gear up for a new year.  I love it personally!

But back to the service…

The music was especially awesome this week as we had Seth Condrey AND Juan Martinez there.  These guys have been our rotating worship leaders since we started in October and it was so cool to have them on the stage together.

We started the service out with a couple of fun songs while everyone was walking in.  It’s actually pretty awkward at the beginning of every one of our services because to start out with there are only about 20 people there.  They are always late!  This usually flusters Julio who has to go up each week and give the welcome, but this week I think our band was a little flustered!  It’s difficult to get up there and sing Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells and try to get 20 people on their feet and engaged!  They did a great job though and by the time the second song started people were working their way in and on their feet singing.

Julio then got up for the welcome and reminded them that we did not have services for the next two weeks.  (Remember, NPEE doesn’t meet on the first Sunday of the month, so with the church being closed next week, that means we are off for two weeks.  YIKES!)  We are hoping that most people remember because it’s always tough when people show up for that first Sunday.  We are working on little ways to help with that.  More to come in the future on that!  Julio also announced that early next year we will be starting Starting Point!  We are so excited about this next step in the life of NPEE and know that it’s going to be a great step for newcomers!

Worship consisted of three Christmas carols.  We did Steve Fee’s version of Joy to the World, Todd Fields arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful, and the traditional version of Silent Night.  Seth and Juan alternated songs and Juan led us in the offertory prayer.

We moved from offertory into the title package and then Julio came up for the second part of his two part LIVE sermon, La Historia de la Navidad (The Christmas Story).  He did a great job telling the Christmas story and explaining that God sometimes answers our prayers in ways that we don’t expect and that he always gives us what we need, even if it’s not necessarily what we want.

To top of the message, Seth and Juan came up and did a closing song.  Our awesome music guy, Jared Hamilton, came up with a great idea to mix in O Come Let Us Adore him into the bridge of Son of God.  It was absolutely beautiful and had our crowd on their feet in worship.  I am proud to say that the English services actually stole Jared’s idea and did this song as well!  Seth and Juan alternated verses on this one.  The band played out with a Feliz Navidad reprise.

As always, we had refreshments at the end, but instead of our normal cookies and juice, some of our awesome volunteers made desserts from many different Central and South American countries.  People stayed around for so long after the service and celebrated Christmas together.  It’s so cool to see relationships being built!

This Week’s Band:

  • Seth Condrey- Worship Leader and Acoustic Guitar
  • Juan Martinez- Worship Leader and Acoustic Guitar
  • Jennifer Young- BGV’s
  • Jacob Arnold- Drums
  • Ben Snider- Electric Guitar
  • Jon Duke- Bass

Connecting Points:

  • Fun opening songs to get people on their feet and allow the late comers time to get in
  • Live band
  • Live message
  • Both worship leaders on stage to make it a big celebration and appeal to different tastes
  • Closing song- A new song (we have only done it once before) with the chorus of an old song thrown in
  • Authentic Christmas desserts for people to relationally connect afterwards

Blog Annoncements:

  • We have received a couple of requests from people wanting the translations that we have done to the worship songs.  I have checked into it and we are unfortunately not allowed to give out those translations as the songs don’t belong to us and and the lyrics are copyrighted.  We were pretty bummed to find that out, but we do want to respect the writers of the songs…and of course the law…so for now we will have to say no.  If that changes I will most definitely let you know!
  • We are hoping to have the sermon series that we have done up on our website very soon!  Please keep checking in here.

Sunday Summary 12.14.08

Sorry for the delay in getting the summary up for this week.  I actually missed the service to be with my family in Cincinnati for my grandmother’s funeral, so I just caught up on all that went on this Sunday.

The goal for this service was to begin our Christmas celebration in a more reflective and laid back way.  We wanted it to really prepare people’s hearts for the season as well as get them excited for our big celebration this Sunday.

We started the service with Duane Nisly leading Angels We Have Heard On High and Son of God.  Son of God is not exactly a Christmas song, but we thought the message of the song really fit what we were trying to portray and also went along with our Christmas sermon series, La Historia de la Navidad (The Christmas Story).

The third worship song that we had picked out was O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.  Julio was a little reluctant on this one because he had never actually heard the song.  While it is a popular song for us in English, he said it’s not really known in the Spanish speaking world.  That is something we definitely want to be sensitive to, but we had him look at the lyrics and he got so excited about how they tied right into his sermon.  So, instead of using it as a worship song, we had Duane pray for the offering and then Rosie Pinkerman sang it as an offertory.  It was a great set up for Julio!

Julio then did our very first live sermon!  We were so excited about this and from what I have heard, he did a great job!  Like I said, he was talking about the Christmas story, but the first part was more of a history lesson.  He talked about the promises in scripture that lead up to the birth of Christ and the fulfillment of the promise.  I can’t wait to hear the second part this week!

Connecting Points:

  • Live Band
  • Offertory song
  • Live sermon
  • Refreshments after the service

Musicians:

  • Duane Nisly- worship leader, accoustic guitar
  • Rosie Pinkerman- BGV’s, special vocal
  • Chris Arias- Keys
  • Joe Lee- Drums
  • Earl South- Bass
  • Brad Long- Electric, accoustic

Songs:

  • Angels We Have Heard On High
  • Son of God
  • O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Where Are You?

I was looking at my site analytics today and noticed that I had a hit from the Faroe Islands.  I don’t even know where that is!

So, that made me think of a fun experiment.  Without cheating and looking it up, if you know anything about the Faroe Islands, leave a comment and share with us all!

And even if you don’t know anything about the Faroe Islands, leave a comment and tell me where you are!  If in the U.S. give us your state too!

Sunday Summary 11.30.08

My brother-in-law, Reid, does a Sunday Summary every week that goes through all aspects of music in our Sunday services.  I think it’s a great idea and have decided to shamelessly copy his idea and do my own summaries for North Point En Español.  So, here is the first one!

Yesterday was an exciting service for us for many reasons:

1.  We had our very first live band!  For the first five services of North Point En Español we used the incredible resource known as North Point Music.  We took the tracks that they already had and translated the songs into Spanish.  If you don’t have the resources (either the funds, musicians, or technical) and are looking for a great way to get a full band feel during your worship time, the North Point Music multi-tracks are the way to go.  They sound amazing and really fill the room.  So why aren’t we using them anymore?  Well, one thing we knew going into this is that the Spanish speaking culture is very relational.  They need to have a connection in order to stay engaged, and for this crowd, the tracks weren’t doing it.  For us the band provided a way to connect with our attendee.  It had them on their feet and clapping.  It was great to see so many people engaged in worship!

2.  Since we now have a band, we were able to start out our service with an opening song.  Our very own Eddie Kirkland (who we will now refer to as Eduardo) graciously learned the lyrics to a song in another language and completely rocked it!  He sang the song Destino by Juanes and did an amazing job.  The crowd was singing along and it provided another connecting point for us.

3. A few weeks ago we decided to have refreshments after the service so that people could connect and get to know each other better.  This is very typical in Latin American churches and we thought it would a good thing to carry over into our worship experience.  This has been one of the most successful things that we have done so far.  Almost everyone stays after and hangs out for almost a half hour after the service ends.  It’s been so cool to see people connect!

As you may have noticed from the above list, we are trying to connect with those attending our services.  We feel that more than lights, sound, set, video, and all of that stuff, relational connection is what is going to aid us most in our mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  So, as a part of the Sunday summary, I will include a list of connecting points that we attempted for each Sunday.

This week’s connecting points:  live band, opener, refreshments

Musicians this week:

Worship leader and acoustic guitar: Juan Martinez

BGV’s: Rebecca Iraheta

Special vocal: Eddie Kirkland

Electric guitar: Todd Fields

Bass: Richard Meeder

Drums: Wayne Viar

It’s Christmas Time!

On Saturday I bought my first Christmas tree!  I decided on real tree since I really don’t have a place to store a fake one and I just really like the look of a real one.  So I started the trek on a rainy Saturday to Home Depot to get my tree and tree stand.

They so kindly strapped the tree to the top of my car for me and I headed home!

They did a great job putting it on top of the car and I was so excited to not have to do that.  The problem was that I didn’t think about the fact that I was going to have to get it off of the car on my own.  That little net that they wrap around it to keep all of the branches together got all tangled in my roof rack and it was quite the ordeal!  I did finally manage to get it in the apartment, in the tree stand (although it did fall over once), lit (I took off the lights and redid them three times), and decorated.  Here is the finished product:

I love it!  It makes me so excited for Christmas!  That night I went to dinner with some of my GSU friends in Buckhead and saw something else that is very exciting and so over the top tacky that it is beautiful:

That’s right…every inflatable Christmas decoration is in their front yard.  And they play music.  If you go by, make sure you roll down your windows so that you can hear them!