STORY Interview – Angela Thomas

I’m excited to be attending STORY in Chicago in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to see it live and in person. If you’ve heard any of the talk around this event for the last couple of years, you know that Ben Arment and his team pull out all the stops to inspire artists and leaders as they dream together.

STORY is a conference for the creative class. The theme for 2011 is IMAGINE NATION which speaks to the power of spiritual imagination. In Exodus 35, the artists of Israel came together to build a dwelling place for God. They carved poles, fashioned gold, and constructed curtains “with cherubim woven into them by expert hands.” The job of these artists was to envision the kingdom and use their gifts to heighten peoples spiritual imaginations. An Imagine Nation.

Join a tribe of creative artists attempting to learn more about their craft, story telling, and imagination. One of the story tellers at STORY this year is Angela Thomas and I’m thrilled to post this interview with Angela to let you get to know her a bit more.

Angela Thomas is a gifted storyteller, teacher, and bestselling author. She has written 11 books and five video studies, including Brave and When Wallflowers Dance. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Angela calls Greensboro, North Carolina home and enjoys making her husband Scott and their four children her main priorities. For more, visit www.angelathomas.com

What is your best personal definition of a STORY?
My personal definition of STORY is: A tiny snippet of the journey, gift-wrapped in meaning.

What is one way you have found to grow or engage your imagination?
Growing my imagination has been about trying to pursue STORY from the most neglected perspective while still making an application that connects with most people.

In your experience what is the best nontraditional form or STORY telling you have seen, heard, or experienced?
To me, the best nontraditional STORY is one not overly-crafted or slick. Most of the time not even planned. Today I saw a photograph taken at a Navy Seal’s funeral. Beside the casket lay the soldier’s dog. The unplanned and unposed picture told a STORY that keeps moving me to tears this afternoon. God bless the brave SEAL and the dog who loved him.

If you could encourage a creative person with one tip on being imaginative what would you tell them?
If you have heard it, seen it, or read it somewhere else, your imagination is not at work. The STORY of your imagination will begin in your heart. Turn off the internet. Stop scanning what everyone else has done. Be still long enough to let your God-given passion shout above all the other noise. Trust the Creator. The One who placed imagination in your mind is creative enough to give new STORY through you.

What is one thing you are excited about sharing with the tribes attending STORY 2011?
I am coming to STORY 2011 because I’ve had the great privilege of reading other people’s stories and writing about our GOD in their STORY. The project is called The Story of Your Life, co-written with Matthew West. In this book, it has been an honor to interact with someone else’s journey and as a humble observer, point readers to our God of compassion and purpose.

Thanks Angela! If you are looking to register for STORY, head to story2011.eventbrite.com or www.storychicago.com for more info.

Hillsong Live – Our God Is Able

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2exW2cUdC4&ob=av2n

 

God is able, He will never fail
He is Almighty God
Greater than all we seek, Greater than all we ask
He has done great things

Lifted up He defeated the grave
Raised to life our God is able
In His Name we overcome
For the Lord our God is able

God is with us, God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know, Far above all we hope
He has done great things

God is with us, He will go before
He will never leave us
He will never leave us
God is for us, He has open arms
He will never fail us
He will never fail us

© 2010 Hillsong Publishing (APRA). Admin in the US and Canada at EMICMGPublishing.com. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The Elephant Room – Round 2!

They’re back!

Earlier this year I attended the first Elephant Room event and left challenged, inspired and impressed with the hearts and minds of these men. I took notes on each session which you can read here –

Preaching to Build the Attendance vs. Preaching to Build the Attendees: Matt Chandler and Steven Furtick

Culture in the Church vs. Church in the Culture: Mark Driscoll and Perry Noble

Compassion Amplifies the Gospel vs. Compassion Distorts the GospelMark Driscoll and David Platt

Unity: Can’t We All Get Along? vs. Discernment: My Way or the Highway: Steven Furtick and James MacDonald

Multi-Site: Personality Cult vs. God’s Greater Glory: Perry Noble and Matt Chandler

Love the Gospel vs. Share the GospelGreg Laurie and Mark Driscoll

Elephant Room Takeaways


Will you be attending Round 2?

Aaron Shust – This Is What We Believe

Worship leaders, you are probably familiar with Aaron Shust and his song “My Savior, My God” from a few years ago. Singable, simple-not-shallow songs are what Aaron is known for and he’s back with a new CD releasing today from Centricity Music, “This Is What We Believe”.

I’ve had the opportunity to listen through the CD a few times and I’ve got to say that I am a fan of these songs. The production is great (what else would you expect from Ed Cash?), the songs are accessible and memorable. I can hear several of these songs working as part of our Sunday morning repertoire here at my church.

More than the songs, though, what impacted me as I listened to the song was the story that Aaron & his family have lived through the last few years. Listen to Aaron talk about it here –

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeZu6rTuDTk

As a dad, I can’t imagine the pain and helplessness he must have been feeling as the doctors tried to look for answers. And what a celebration that family must be going through knowing that God has healed their son!

“Through all of the sickness and heartache and loss,” Aaron says, “my family has run to God and his promises. We’ve been forced to our knees, but this trial has made life exponentially more meaningful. And through it all, God has never left us.”

Amen. The conviction of this new reality for the Shust family comes through on several of the tracks – starting with the opening title track, a great song filled with timeless truth of the nature and character of God, his goodness and faithfulness and inspiring reminders of who he is.

You can buy this CD today in a few different spots –

Aaron’s website – www.aaronshust.com
Centricity Music – www.centricitymusic.com
iTunes –  Canada | USA

SoundCue iPad App Review

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jqVW5DJKDI

The guys from SoundCue were generous enough to send me a review copy of this app and I was not disappointed! I’ve been looking for an app to play click tracks for months and SoundCue is definitely what I was looking for.

Here’s what I love about the app –

  • Big buttons, very simple interface – easy for drummer or audio guy to hit the right button in a live setting
  • Import songs to the SoundCue library as email attachments or through DropBox – not limited to audio files synced with iTunes
  • Fade out the track rather than a hard stop
Any changes? The buttons are nice and big but I’d love to be able to make them bigger. You’ll see in the review but I don’t need 25 click track triggers on my screen so I’d love to be able to drop that down to 3, 4, 5, whatever and have the buttons be that much bigger.

All in all, this app is probably one of the more expensive ones you’ll have on your iPad but I would say if you are looking for a great way to play click tracks with your band, SoundCue is a great solution!

SoundCue – www.soundcueapp.com

App store – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instantplay/id435884307?mt=8&ls=1

 

 

 

 

 

Songs for Communion

I asked my worship leader friends on twitter today what songs they love to lead during communion services at their church. I got a bunch of replies and wanted to pass them on to you. Here’s a list of songs that worship leaders are using for communion –

Carried to the Table by Leeland

Jesus Thank You by Pat Sczebel

The More I Seek You by Zach Neese/CFNI

Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin

Remembrance by Matt Redman

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus by Robert Lowry

Before the Throne of God Above by Vikki Cook & Charitie Bancroft

You Gave Your Life Away by Paul Baloche

Behold the Lamb by Keith & Kristin Getty

Lead Me to the Cross by Francesca Batistelli

This Is Our God by Hillsong United

Blessed Redeemer by Casting Crowns

Sing of the Blood by Jonathan Stockstill

Nothing but the Blood by Matt Redman

Above All by Paul Baloche

Lord Almighty by Kristian Stanfill

Remember by Tim Hughes

Come to Jesus by Chris Rice

Worthy is the Lamb by Darlene Zschech

O The Blood by Gateway Worship

Once Again by Matt Redman

My Jesus I Love Thee by William Featherston

What Can I Do by Paul Baloche

 What songs do you like to lead as part of communion services?

Series – Summer Blog Mixtape

I’m really excited about the next two weeks both here on the blog and in my life. A while ago I asked people to let me know about specific songs God was using in their church. There were some great submissions and I’m excited that we’ve got TEN guest posts ready to go live – one each weekday for the next two weeks.

What will I be doing? I’m on holidays!

As much as I wish my holidays look like this (maybe without the flowery hat!) my next two weeks will be looking more like this –

Yep. The wonderful reno-cation. We will get some cottage time towards the end but bringing my kitchen back to life is my job for the next little while.

I’ve loved reading all of the entries that came in for the summer blog mixtape series and I think you’ll really enjoy reading these stories as well. We have worship leaders talking about songs that most churches are singing, songs that have been written from a local church experience and, most of all, songs that are allowing people to express their worship and devotion to the Lord in a very real way.

Here is a list of the guest posts coming over the next couple of weeks –

So without any further ado, here’s the summer blog mixtape series.