Thursday, December 17, 2009

Song Ideas

Do you know any local bands that would be cool with me using one of their songs for a 90 second "promo" video? Something moderately "pop / rock" - it would be cool if it was centered around asking some questions about life / faith.

The purpose of the video is to promote an "environment" for folks who want to come and ask serious questions/dialogue about God, faith, Jesus, hurt, hope, pain, Christianity, etc.

If you have any ideas lemme know ASAP - I will track them down and do the asking if you don't want to.

-Jason

ps - please pass this along to folks who could help

Jason . r. gore @ gmail . com
(without the spaces)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FYI - this is happening

Last week Aidan and Addy realized that upright movement was a legitimate possibility. With vigor and focus a couple of intentional steps were taken. As awareness grew... this lead to more and more effort over a 2 day period. As we have already noticed in his life thus far, Aidan seems to jump in pretty quickly (not sure where he gets it) and as a result we have some great video.

video

Addy is taking a step here or there but seems to be much more calculated in her efforts. Video will come of this as soon as she feels ready ;)

Enjoy.

-Jason

ps - yes I was sick during this recording and I am in fact not speaking underwater.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Greatest Christmas Song Ever... (and an extra poem)

Perhaps... Perhaps not... Either way this Christmas tune, written by Adolphe Adam in 1847, has to be on the top of the list. It captures so much of what a great song should be. It tells a story (un/arguably, one of the greatest ever...) It has a moving melody... and in my opinion one of the greatest measures for a song being a great song - it has stood the test of time. It has spoken to many generations with same power, hope, and significance I imagine it originally did. (other reasons but other things to say ;)

I encourage you to take a few deep breaths and just read the words. Enjoy:

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of A star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men From Orient land.
The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.

He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love And His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother;
And in His name All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.


Also (if you're still reading), a tad bit more history / significance:

As I was looking for the lyrics to this song I found some history. I found this song was composed based on a French Poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau. Below are the words translated in English. I would suggest it is an equally moving piece of art if not more. There is a lot of power in these words. WHen you're bored or overwhelmed by busyness this season... slow down, get as cup of coffee, and read these words... I think they speak to the soul and remind us of the situation we find ourselves in and how Christmas breaks into through in our world with Hope.

English Translation of Minuits, chrétiens / Cantique de Noël

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!


Love and Peace friends,

-Jason

Monday, December 07, 2009

Faith... He is good... He is sufficient

There is a Pastor named Matt Chandler and he is the Lead/Teaching Pastor of the Village Church in Texas. In the semi-strange christian subculture that I am probably a part of, he is a guy that I listen to from time to time and usually always find great words of challenge, wisdom, and encouragement. He has a passion for God, the church, and most of all the healing Jesus offers to the world (the gospel) that is matched by few that I have ever heard.

On Thanksgiving day he had a seizure. They found a he has (had) a tumor on his right frontal lobe. I am so challenged and encouraged by the response of he and his family to this situation of unknowing. I wanted to share it with anyone who would take the time to engage. He had surgery this past Friday and it was "successful" as best they can tell so far.

He wrote this the day he was having surgery.

I would love for you to watch this video of Him also. This was taken before his surgery for his church to watch this past Sunday in his absence (in the hospital recovering from surgery or otherwise.)



One thing I really connected with was his line about "because he was so blessed he always wondered if/when he would experience difficulty." I have felt that way before in life. When our children were born (3 months early) I thought to myself... this is it. I pray we stand strong in the faith that we believe to be true. Please God grant us the strength... If I am honest - I still have that feeling sometimes... wondering if there will be a next time... I realize terrible things happen that we will never explain and/or understand. My prayer is if it does I can have the faith that this man/family has. I dont want that for my sake but for the sake you, my family, my friends, and for the glory of our Savior, Jesus.

Love and Peace,

-Jason

side note - I am in no way suggesting that myself or someone else is more or less of a person if they do or dont have this type of faith. I am only suggesting there is something brilliantly hopeful about this type of faith that connects deep within my soul and I hope it for myself (and others) should I ever encounter such a situation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I think it's time to fire this up again

I think it's time to fire this up again. You know cause it.. at one point... was like the most popular thing on the internet. (FALSE - think Dwight Schrute)

In all seriousness - I told someone the other day "I couldnt tell them the number of times I have started to write things but then realized no one really cares - so I stopped ;)" Either way - I want to log some stuff. Get it out there - if for no one else but myself. At a minimum - for all posts outside of my family - it will require me to think through things in a deeper way than if I just had to keep things to myself (because you know - I can pretend other people actually take the time to read this.) This is probably healthy.

Ok - for now - I have one message for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Jason

Friday, October 09, 2009

1 yr. Photos

About a month ago we had some pics made for Aidan and Addison's first birthday. We went to Pullen Park to snap some memories. A little known fact is this is also where Diana and I were engaged over 6 years ago. We had a blast and got some great shots there. I hope you enjoy. Let us know which one you like the best.

Thanks to Rebecca for the photography. We are grateful for your friendship and ability to help capture the different stages of our wonderful kiddos. You're wonderful!


Enjoying some time on the swings.


Aidan on the swing.


Aidan Again. Notice the bruise on his forehead... he's definitely taking after his dad on the rough-housin'...


This is our beautiful Addison.


Who's the bozo in the back taking a picture in the picture? - oh me... right.


Leaning in for a kiss.


Aidan.


Addy-bear.


Me and my boy goofin' off. A normality.


Dad and baby boy.


Mom and baby girl. Beautiful.


Space ship.


Me and my little princess.


This face is adorable.


He's a little uncertain of grass at first these days.


Holding hands. Lots of fun.


Great smiles.


They both have more hair than me already.


We have a lot to be thankful for.


Note Addy has discovered her "serious face."


I wonder if I will still see Addy this way when she's 18. Definitely Daddy's girl.


Aidan's blue steel (see Zoolander)


My boys hand.


I love my wife (Diana that's you ;)


Family Time!


Family Cut-up time!!!


My girls... I am forever ruined.


Me and my boy.


Gettin' a little early training in ;)

Friends and family, thank you for you love, support, and prayers you've given us over the last year. Doctors and nurses, thanks for what you do and how you have served and provided for our family. Lord, thank You for our children. Thank You for bringing us together as a family. I pray we would show Your love to the world around us.

Thanks for checking in. Peace be with you.

-Jason

Friday, August 21, 2009

1 year annaversery - of a crazy time...

It was a year ago yesterday that I posted this (click here)

At this minute last year we were, all of a sudden and unplanned, in the hospital with Diana in pre-term labor at 26.5 weeks (over 3 months early) wondering what was going to happen with our 2 little babies that we had never met. We didnt know if she was gonna have our children that second, in an hour, or in a week. It's so hard to believe it has been that long ago since that time in our life.

As most of you know we saw some amazing miracles over the next 24 hours, 48 hours, 10 days, 3 months, and really the entire year. On this day I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who offered us your prayers and support during that time in our life. I can still remember the strange sense of peace I felt in spite of the intensity of that situation. I also would like to say thanks to all of the medical staff at Rex and Wake Med here in Raleigh. So amazing. I also want to give all the glory to God for caring for our family the way that He did. I can't make sense of it but I am thankful.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the birthday of Aidan and Addison (yes I know their birthday isn't until next week ;) with some of our family and friends here in Raleigh and next week we will celebrate in Hendersonville with the rest of the family. If I could say one word that explains the way I feel about getting to celebrate their one year birthday it is this; humbled. I am humbled they are so amazingly healthy, so smart, and so strong. I am humbled because I now have friends who have lost hard fought battles to save their children. I am humbled because I have friends who are currently struggling with health issues day after day with their children. I dont understand how we got to where we are but I can say I am tremendously humbled to be here. I am humbled because I deserve little (if any) of the blessing I experience with my family and especially in celebrating the 1st birthday of our children.

It's hard to believe it's been 1 year since this whole whirl-wind started. I feel like I blinked and now it's gone. It seemed much less brief a year ago while we were in the hospital. Then the nights were long and it was hard for me to close my eyes and sleep but now it's as though a breath has passed and now we're here.

A year ago tonight. We were right down the street in the hospital with no idea what the next few hours held much less the next year. What a journey. It's almost hard to breathe while remembering. Thank you for journeying with us through that time. You helped us make it through. We are so blessed.

If you're interested in the whole story or just want to read the rantings of a desperate man click here and scroll down to the bottom. You will be able track along.

I hope you have a wonderful evening. Would you do this before bed tonight... Would you kiss your family before you go to bed? Say a prayer for those who have lost their family. Say a prayer for those who are going through questions without any answers. Offer hope and love where you can. Thank you for sharing it with us.

-Jason, Diana, Aidan (Buckeroo), and Addison (Addy Bear)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crawling!?!?

So a week ago Aidan started crawling. By crawling I mean pulling himself across the floor in a way that is truly hilarious. He has now graduated into a a full fledged scoot in only a week. Here is his progression just after first couple of days. There is also entrainment in Addison's beautiful smile all throughout both videos and a guest appearance by Tanner our German Shepherd (who is also Aidan's best friend right now.) As always with videos of me and my children, please disregard the ridiculously absurd way I laugh and talk to them.

Aidan first day of truly crawling (moving across the floor in a dancing motion)



A few days later...


He is now all over the place. I have purchased a baby gate and i have suspicions this will only work for a small while as he is using this now as a means to stand. I believe before long he will have Tanner pulling him over the wall soon enough. We may in trouble soon. Send help.

-Love Jason and Diana

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Set List / Reflection from 7.12.09

Beautiful the Blood
- Steve Fee

Welcome / Reflection - Corinthians 14 / Corinthians 12 - "at the foot of the cross we're all the same"


At The Cross - Daniel Renstrom

Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin

Jesus Paid it All
- (arrangement Alex Nifong/Kristian Stanfill)


Jeff gave a great sermon on Corinthians 12. He brought to light all of our tendencies to compare ourselves to each other which, if left unchecked, leads to either pride or inadequate. It was a great challenge for us, the church as a whole, and really any community in general. Jeff, thanks for your hard work serving us in the way you do each week.

In the days prior to and since Sunday, my reflecting has lead me here: When the gospel hits us in the midst of this tendency we realize that we all stand at the foot of the cross looking on our savior. In that moment we have no right to feel "better than" anyone else or "less than" anyone else. Something happens when you realize that the creator of all things had to and did die for you. It was meant to "right things" that have gone terribly wrong and to, among other things, put us back together again.

May you humbly realize the love God has for each one of us. May you realize the depths he has gone to to show each of us that love. May you receive it. May you find the joy in giving it. Amen.

Love and Peace,

-Jason

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Twitter

I do Twitter. I do think it's an interesting social phenomenon. Actually, I don't think that. Most people in the world know we like ourselves and think what we do is really important so "why wouldn't everyone want to know." That isnt a phenomenon. It's social media thriving on our "normal tendencies." I also like twitter for some other reason but either way this video is hilarious... more thoughts on twitter later. But for now.. enjoy. It will make you. Laugh out loud. Smiley Face.



(this is a real band. they are good. listen to them.)

winkey face,

-Jason

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A baby video for your enjoyment

Our kids are hilarious. They laugh a lot. Here is some evidence.

Please disregard the annoying sound I was making as the babies seemed to really enjoy it (it's similar to the sound from dumb and dumber that is claimed as the "most annoying sound in the world."

Also realize this... I have found children seem to empower you to do really... uhmm... dumb things.

Enjoy!



Love,

Jason and Diana

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Corporate Worship Sunday - 6.28.09

I had gotten away from this for a while but have been getting some emails about names of songs we are singing as of late within Visio Dei. So without further ado...

Week of 6.28.09

Not to Us - Chris Tomlin
All Because of Jesus I'm Alive - Steve Fee
Cannons - Phil Wickham
Doxology - Thomas Ken (arrangement varies)
From the Inside Out - Hillsong United


Now, I was not leading/present Sunday but I have heard great things regarding the band and their time of leadership. Band was Jon Hathaway, Jon Pritchett, Ben Davis, Zack Van Hoy, Larry Dempsey, and Julie Watkins. We have such a gifted church community. I pray God is glorified through the gifts He has given us.

I have also heard Shannon did an incredible job teaching. More on this later today.

I hope you're having a great week!

-Jason

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Session Notes

This past Friday and Saturday I had the privilege to lead a breakout session at a Conference here in town. I (purposefully) didn’t have notes for the session and told the folks there I would post the notes to my blog (in a shameless attempt to build my blog traffic. ;)

The topic I was asked to speak to was “Worship Leading in a Church Plant." I am by no means an expert but merely a guy offering things from my journey in serving in this capacity and learning from others who have doe the same. I would also like to add that this in no ways a "Theology of Worship" as that is not what I was asked to do.

If you are a worship leader, pastor, or starting a new ministry I pray this finds you as beneficial. If you are not, we ll then you just might not be all that interested in this post. Consider yourself warned ;)


Begin Notes
I broke this into 2 Parts and the notes are below. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Worship Leading in a Church Plant:

2 PARTS
Part 1 – Vision – why do you do what you do?
Part 2 – Practical – Tensions, Obstacles, Opportunities

PART 1
I) Vision – It all starts with vision.
As simple as it sounds – What is worship leading?
  • Whether you are in a church plant or leading in a church 100 yrs old -→ you have to be clear on what your vision is
    • You have to start with biblically faithful direction in what you are trying to do / called to do
  • So we start with what is worship?
    • Why? → You’re gonna be sooo busy in this whole thing you will forget what’s really important
  • A common temptation to start is – "if we want to reach these people or worship with these people then we have to sound like… or lead like…"
    • We cant start with – how do we get to sound like:
      • Chris Tomlin, or Hillsong United, Derek Webb, or Shelly Moore Band
        • Those can be preferences
          • preferences come out of Values.. and Values come out of vision…
        • A certain sound can be a preference, but it has to come through vision first
    • This is not just important for you but for your team…
  • What are we doing when we worship corporately – in your own words and can be different semantically – should somehow be able to point to this - “reflecting, remembering, and responding to who God is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do”
    • Not – playing good, tight, and/or loud music for God

II) From there (Vision) move to - Strategy – “How are you going to get there?”
  • What is it that you are trying to do? -→ That is Vision
    • Lead people through a worship encounter/experience, to responding to “said vision”
  • How do you do what you do? --> That is Strategy
    • What do you value? As a church and as a “corporate worship team”
  • Authenticity?
  • Interdependence?
  • Excellence?
  • Things to consider when looking for strategy/values/preferences
    • Who are you going to be leading?
    • Who is your church called / positioned to reach?
      • We all would agree we are to lift up Christ, the Trinity, and the gospel so the church could respond – but in what language, in what style
      • Pauls says – to jew I became Jew, to the gentile I became a gentile…
    • What are you becoming as a church
    • How has God gifted you (dont fake something)
This has to be at the heart of your church and It should impact how you do what you do.

Again --> Start with vision (what you do) and from there move to the how


PART 2 - Practical Tensions

1) When do I do what?

So, you want to have the passion Rock band – when do you do it?

When do I add drums? When do I add electric guitar?
• Don’t add drums for 10 people, etc
• Story about hungry band

Point – Don’t do something before you are ready --> There is a tension…. Stretch people but not before they are ready.

necessary -->Prayer and discernment.


2) Recruiting Volunteers

I talk to worship leaders at young churches… and even at big churches, especially when they are starting something new… and a big question is… “ How do I get musicians?”

no definite answer… I can tell you what I know other people have done…

• Daniel Renstrom – Hang out at Crusade (College Ministries - away from home and no local church)
• Jason – hang out in bars…
• Mike Passaro – Wait for Jason to find them and then steal guys form Visio Dei
• Stories – Drum Kit on stage and leave it…
• Pray!!!!
• Pray!!!!
• Pray!!!
• I can remember "telling" God – if he would bring talented and gifted people I would give my all to serving them and teaching them in a way that pointed them towards God honoring corporate worship

Point – No exact way – experiment, be creative, PRAY


3) High Ability low Character / High Character low Ability

This is so difficult… you have guys who you know are dynamite musicians but aren’t just all there…
  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of character
  • Low view of the gospel
  • Untimely or disrespectful of others
  • Christ follower yet unrepentant

OR – you have a musician/an artist who is the walking picture of Jesus… but is as far from ready to fit into your “strategy”
  • Doesn’t play well
  • Doesn’t understand how to play in a band
  • Style doesn’t fit

This requires a few things:
1) a vision (why are you doing what you’re doing)
2) discernment
3) pastoring / overseeing

Point – There is a tension between not using someone before they are ready AND stretching someone and giving them space to lead. The answer is in realizing there is a tension and not going to one extreme or the other.

necessary --> Pray, run through vision, pastor/shepherd those you lead


4) How do work through expanding your team/vision without burning out your volunteers?

The answer is in shepherding. Reason --> It’s impossible to know how and where to grow your team if you’re not in the life of those on your team.

Things you can do with your team:
  • Eat dinner
  • Have coffee
  • Vision meeting
  • Share time during rehearsals
Then you know what is going on… you can pull people back, pull others in, evaluate where things are.

DO NOT CHEW PEOPLE UP AND SPIT THEM OUT – the church has done this all too much…

Point – Shepherd those God has entrusted you to lead.

As your church grows this will become increasingly difficult yet it is critical in this stage.


5) Develop leaders

another way to expand your team and vision (number 4) is by developing other leaders…

this gets to what your vision is but any leader should be thinking about how to replace themselves….

Our vision at Visio Dei: our vision requires us to develop other teachers / worship leaders (explain)

Much is at stake when we aren't deveolping leaders. One worship leader is not healthy for a number of reasons:
  • We all need a break
  • Refuel
  • Others lead in different ways but equally valuable to your community
  • Only person leaves more room for pride
  • Developing other leaders increases kingdom reach

Point – we all only have so much capacity. Multiplying leaders multiplies your ministry as well as Kingdom span.


6) How do you work through the balance of time involved in starting something new (and having a small team) vs. time at home/family?

Start with your family first and don’t waiver.

Andy Stanly – I will give the church40/50 hours and God will have to do the rest

Driscoll – Do what has to be done… You don’t punch a time card.

There is a balance – No right answer all the time however always --> Start with family.

Point – Balance - Run hard… run long… You have great responsibility. You also have to be sustainable. Serve your family first. Love them, serve them, ask them questions. They will know where the line is. We don’t need any more kids growing hating the church because they lost their dads or moms to the church.


7) Your own personal worship – not of yourself ;)

None of this matters if worship isn’t a part of your life. Truly – we aren’t worship leaders… that is reserved for Jesus and really the holy spirit. We are more accurately serving as “lead worshippers.” (in a corporate setting to be exact)

Here are some good questions to ask yourself regularly:
  • Are you a lead worshipper outside of a corporate gathering?
  • Do you understand the gospel?
  • Are you repentant?
  • Do you confess your sins?
  • Are you worshipping God in the day to day
  • Do worship and Justice connect for you – (explain)

• Matt Redman – “Most likely you can only lead to a place you have gone and are willing to go yourself”

Point - Your church will not follow you on Sunday if they know they wouldn’t follow you Monday through Saturday.


8) Take care of Yourself

Planting a church, starting new ministries, breaking new ground is hard. You will work harder and more passionately than you ever have before. People will question you, doubt you, and maybe even laugh at you. ----> You have to take care of yourself
  • eat
  • sleep
  • workout
  • learn your craft (dont forget to learn and practice)

Point - Planting a church is hard work. Take care of yourself.


Love and Peace,

-Jason

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FIrst Trip to the beach

***For clarification this was the first trip to the beach for Aidan and Addison. Diana and I have been more times than we could count. Just to clarify.***

Our friends, the Gould's, were nice enough to invite us to the beach with them for Memorial Day. By nice enough I mean - even though we have 2 infants who could be difficult to manage on a long day trip, they still invited us. We had a great time and got some great pics / video.

Thanks to the Gould's for inviting us and to the Schlieman's for allowing us to use your crib (while Jon worked ;)

Here are some pics / video from the day:


In our new bathing suits...


Addison and mommy...


Addison's first time in the Atlantic...


Aidan loving it...


Sir in the back, please stay out of my family photos... and stop staring at my wife.


Addison after a long morning...


Aidan resting up...



video
A video of Aidan's first time in the Ocean. Note 2 things... One - Addison is crying and ready to go take a nap. Two - Aidan is totally loving it until the second wave (not a wave), which has a bit more force than the first, makes contact.

video
And now you can see - Aidan fully recovered from this traumatic experience that we put him through.

We have great kids. We are extremely thankful.

-Jason

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Tanner!!!


Most of you probably know our family pup, Tanner. Today the mighty Tan Man turns 2 years old. Tanner, simply put is an awesome dog. He brings a lot of hapiness and a lot of joy to our family. He's got tons of energy and drive and all he wants to do is have fun, love his family, work/play, and keep the "bad people" away. I felt it necessary to throw up some picks form the last 2 years in honor of the boy. So here we go:




The boy at about 8-9 weeks.




1st time on the couch...




An early on tiring day at the lake.




before the ears were standing up....




first driving lesson...




will me ears ever stand up?




Yes!!!! Ears up!




Loving his mom...



Playing with Harley (my mom's little chi wha wha)




Please come out....




this is not as it seems, I promise...




Tanner loves the dog park... he also loves it when his friends comes with...




Seasons changing...




Merry Christmas!!!!




Tanner loves the new additions to our family...




gentle giant with the babies...




always close by protecting...




still lounging when he can...




looking good...




2nd Christmas with Tanner... 1st with the babies!!!




always focused...




always nearby.


Tanner, we love you bud. Thanks for a great 2 years and we look foward to many more.

Cheers Mate!