Category Archives: Creativity

It’s country baby…

So…I facebook’d (if that’s a word) once about writing a country song and Jeff Eberhardt called me a liar.

Well, it’s true…I was not writing one then…but today, one chorus popped into my head. So there Jeff…I am not a liar ūüėČ

It’s not genius, but I did a VERY quick recording on my IMac. No special setup…just used the microphone on my Mac.

Check out what 30 minutes on the computer gets you and have a good laugh.

Love you all!

Jesse

Simplify‚Ķit will make you better.

‚ÄúI‚Äôve got an idea for a video‚Ä̂Ķever heard that one? As a worship pastor, we are continually being urged to help create a service where the message is strengthened through some sort of visual element. Whether it is a video, a drama‚Ķor special music, someone always has an idea for you to work on‚Ķwhich can get‚Ķvery complicated.

More often than not, we are under such a tight deadline. We are consumed by the senior pastors decision and topic for the weekend. We are tied to an announcement that ‚Äúneeds‚ÄĚ to have a video or long explanation from the stage so that people will respond. Ultimately, we are all working hard to get people to respond. Yet, we hardly take the time or money to create something that will truly cause a response‚Ķ

This is not to say that all of our efforts are worth little. Many people laugh at our videos, are moved by the dramas and special music can touch our hearts. So, what do we do? How do we fulfill an expectation while crafting something we can feel proud of?

Simplify. Unless we work at a large church…we probably don’t have a large resource pool of money or talent…yet our church wants to feed the hungry. We may not have people who can create or act in an impactful drama…yet our church wants to help the poor. How much time/resources are we going to have to commit for a video you know would not show well even on YouTube…when we could be leading people to feed the hungry…or truly help the poor?

Why not document what our team is doing in a soup kitchen‚Ķor develop dance teams in underprivileged areas? More often than not‚Ķwe do not create such impactful things because this is not what we are asked to do. We are asked to find a funny video online or make announcements‚Ķ‚ÄĚmore exciting.‚ÄĚ

Begin to simplify. Begin to create dialogue with leadership that might change the direction of your weekends. It will not happen quickly and it would be job suicide to quit creating these things quickly. It may take some time…but start the conversation and take small steps towards spending your time…and your volunteers energy with strong intention.

I pray we are able to create with passion and focus that passion into something that truly changes peoples lives. I pray we have the patience to start the conversation. I pray for the sake of the world…that we all get…a little better.

Peace. Jesse.

Here is a video…about a life that has been changed…that was done…very well. You can create something impactful…when you simplify.

 

Gary Klein Testimony – Service Version from Rachel Clark on Vimeo.

Find your passion‚Ķit will make you better

Life is action and passion; therefore it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of the time, at peril of being judged not to have lived.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I got to watch the movie, ‚ÄúThis Is It.‚ÄĚ Not the greatest movie I have ever seen‚Ķbut I was moved. Not by the man‚Ķhis awkward interactions or speeches‚Ķbut by his passion. He danced in practice because he could do nothing else. He sang from his heart because he could not handle less. It was as if he could not contain himself‚Ķeven when he wanted to. His passion was to dance, sing‚Ķand perform.

I’m often made the butt of jokes for my dancing when I lead…but I can’t help it. My feet just want to move and I can’t make em stop. Once I put on my white kicks and step into leading worship…my passion for it cannot be contained. My excitement for the moment cannot be controlled.

I used to stand still…contain my feet and emotions while leading until one night in the Staples Center. I watched Dave Matthews play his heart out and his feet followed. I know…it’s awkward for a white boy…but we have to. Dave’s passion for the audience and his music could not be restricted…and the results were a twisted face and shuffling feet. If Michael and Dave can’t help it…neither can I.

I am not using either one of these men as examples of healthy individuals…I am simply offering my opinions of what makes them move. What causes them to create and devote their life to a few moments on stage.

Passion is awkward, uncontainable, and the only piece that keeps moving me forward. It‚Äôs what wakes me up from the bed in the morning and causes me to act. One French novelist wrote, ‚ÄúPassion is universal humanity. Without it‚Ķreligion, history, romance and art would be useless.‚ÄĚ

Times where I am not following my passion are times in my life of confusion. I have a restless spirit and seem to complain more often than not. I retreat to areas where I am not bothered…stay away from hard conversations…and essentially shut down the one thing that makes me unique…my passion.

D.H. Lawrence talked about passion saying, ‚ÄúBe still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.‚ÄĚ When your passions are unleashed‚Ķyou cannot stop your feet from moving‚Ķyour mouth from singing‚Ķor your heart from believing.

Be careful though…to let your passion alienate people and turn them off to the message God has sent you with. Vincent Van Gogh is defined as one of the premier painters who ever lived and his passion for art is evident in his brush strokes. Yet, while he lived…his paintings were worth very little. He had very few friends and his life ended in a tragic mess of sorrow and grief. He is now revered for his gifts…but when he was alive, he was a disturbed soul.

Learn to unleash your passion and live within it. Allow God to mold it…define it…and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination because in ministry…living outside of your passion leads to complacency. Passion cures the stirred soul and unleashes it to care for God’s people.

I pray that your passion is unleashed today. I pray that it is not seen as tragic, or revered after you have lived. I pray your passion is spread across the generations and causes your soul to stir for His calling in your life. In the words of Ice T, ‚ÄúPassion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place.‚ÄĚ

Peace. Jesse.

Invite Criticism‚Ķit will make you better.

The band is solid‚Ķpeople are engaging with God and the room is full. Your voice is not cracking, your fingers are moving and you are in the zone. Everything seems to be going right and when you step off from the stage‚Ķits like you have a surge of energy and can‚Äôt stop bouncing your way to the next thing. You get to the back of the church and stand next to someone who gives you a hug and says‚Ķ‚ÄúThat was a great worship time!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIt was‚Ķwasn‚Äôt it,‚ÄĚ you think to yourself. You give yourself a little pat on the back and move on to the next piece.

Sunday comes and go’s and you hear nothing but praise. And then…welcome to staff meeting. You are grinning from ear to ear and the topic of the weekend comes up and inevitably you begin to receive it. It is the piece that can turn that smile upside down. Criticism.

I found this quote on an article about receiving criticism in your life…not just worship leading:

“For the vast majority of people, criticism has a negative connotation. Consequently, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you hate criticism and avoid it even when constructive, you make avoidable mistakes and cause even more disapproval. If you change your mind-set about criticism, however, and view it as either neutral or positive, it will have a neutral–or even positive–result for you.”

Criticism can be the most brutal…but most eye opening piece of information you will receive about how well you really did. Criticism has the ability to crush your spirit. One criticism seems to erase the bountiful praise…if you let it. However…if you begin to embrace the criticism and let it mold you where it needs to, then you become that much better.

I understand what it is like to take harsh criticism with no uplifting value‚Ķcriticism where someone is just pissed off and wants to let you have it. This is not the type of criticism I am talking about. Someone mad that you moved the cross‚Ķor the same person saying week after week‚Ķ ‚Äúit‚Äôs too loud!‚ÄĚ I am talking about finding people in your life that can answer you honestly on how it went‚Ķhow you did‚Ķand what could make you better.

Begin to invite critical thinking and objective opinions in to your life and you will grow. Here are some ways you can do just that:

  • Find someone you trust, who you respect‚Ķand ask them to be honest in their critique
  • Use your ‚Äúteams‚ÄĚ to develop feedback‚Ķencourage honesty.
  • Get some counseling‚Ķreally‚Ķeverybody needs to talk something out without a judgment being held against them.
  • When receiving criticism or praise, remember to pray and ask God what He might be telling you by this.
  • Remember to receive praise just as objectively as criticism.

I hope you begin to desire honest criticism of who you really are. I pray that God gives you the strength to receive it. It’s never easy…and this is a tight line to walk…but would you rather everyone pat you on the back…or take time to seriously invest in your life?

Blessings. Jesse.

TOMS shoes…done up.

I am surrounded by amazing people who can create beauty and transform something normal to something personal and special. Recently, my brother has begun to use bleach to create unique designs on clothing and what is coming out of his creative mind and hands is just awesome. I will post some pictures of my favorite designs and his newest work…including a pair of TOMS shoes that he custom designed for a friend of mine.

This was his first shot at bleaching a pair of TOMS…and now I am jealous…I want some now. Of course…the art is not free…but for what you get, it really is pretty cheap. Contact me through the comments if you would like me to connect you with my brother. Check IT!

PC Toms 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– PC likes to read and each shoe has a different design on it.

PC Toms 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¬†– TOMS…Right shoe

PC Toms 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– TOMS…left shoe.

Ben - Bruce Lee

 Ben - HatBen - Guitarist

Ben - Pandas

 

5290_108912353156_662198156_2388953_1419544_n

Ben - Van Goh