Dear Blog Readers,
As this year draws to a close, I want to thank you for reading and supporting my blog. This post features highlights and lessons learned from this year. I’m gonna share a little more personally from my story and where I’m at right now.
If the past year had a theme, it would have been “New Beginnings”.
2011 opened amidst the disappointment and disorientation of job and church loss. Fortunately, I was able to secure freelance worship leading, teaching and speaking that kept me booked through out the year.
My primary goals for the next season were to release a new record, write a book and expand my missions work. I’m still working on the book, but two out of three ain’t bad.
In January I took a course on “Cultivating Prophetic Worship” at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. That was a strategic, inspiring and healing week. Afterwards, I would teach Harp & Bowl methodology in several contexts. The instructors were outstanding and I enjoyed good connections with them all.
What Words Can’t Say
The rest of January I finished the final mixes and mastering to the CD “What Words Can’t Say.”
I had written and tracked most of the songs many years before at the old Orchard Recording Studio. But it seemed we never had time and money at the same time to finish. Our once thriving jingle business had declined, then Ivalene got breast cancer. We eventually downsized, sold the studio and moved up the road. Then I got on full-time staff at the church, and that was an all-consuming career turn. So jumping off the hamster wheel of a very busy church staff job was finally my chance to focus on the project. Besides that, I had told everybody I was going to do a new record, and I intended to finish or die trying.
“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul …” Proverbs 13:19
I really enjoyed engineering and mixing in Pro Tools 9. It’s just amazing the sound quality you can get now “in the box.” I was pretty happy with the final results, though it took me forever to get there. We released it on my birthday, Feb 3.
One highlight was working with so many dear friends on the overdubs, people who had been part of my life and these songs. Jesse Parker and Jillian Harding must have sung What Words Can’t Say and Honor & Majesty many times in youth group. Another great time was the night all the Belmont worship leaders formed the choir on Never Alone and Heaven’s Song Suite. They were so awesome! And Chris Lowry, another youth-now-out-of-college who grew up with these songs, contributed his musical genius as a one-man string orchestra and percussion section.
Wholehearted Worship Seminar
I spent the first 2 weekends of February at Sonlife Church helping in their pastoral transition. I designed and taught a new seminar called the “Wholehearted Worship Seminar.”
This was intended to encourage a deeper understanding of worship for the entire congregation, not just musicians and singers. The response and impact were very rewarding.
Blogging! New Website! Online Re-launch!
The rest of February I “went to school” learning about all things to do with websites, blogs, social media and building an on-line platform. I learned WordPress and Standard Theme and relaunched robstill.com March 7.
It’s been a bit of an obsession since then.
Speaking/ Teaching Engagements
This rock band camp for youth was a major new endeavor that culminated the end of June. It was a huge deal to envision and execute, and I’m still amazed at what God did and how He was glorified. Because of a bazillion complicated factors, I was full of fear and anxiety right up until the very first day of camp. But God came through in an amazing way!
The biggest lesson I learned was to trust God, that God is faithful. He truly “showed up” and the camp was a fantastic experience for everyone.
This 5 week trip from July though August was very ambitious. A highlight was not only teaching at the School of Worship and other seminars, but preaching every Sunday at churches throughout the region. The response was outstanding.
We raise the funds to pay the expenses of these trips, teaching and ministering in under-resourced areas of the world. We have exciting invitations and opportunities for 2012. You can learn more about our missions work and partner with us here.
Hendersonville First United Methodist Church
Currently, I’m helping to organize and lead a new contemporary worship ministry at this traditional church. We launched in the late fall of 2011. The response has been very encouraging. They are wonderful people and I’m really enjoying this ministry.
This year was full of learning curves and new experiences. The accomplishments were awesome and worthwhile. But it was a very tough year financially and emotionally. Sometimes it was downright depressing. But God was always there. By His grace, we will finish well.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is to trust God.
God is ready, willing, and able take us from fear to faith.
What about you? What has this year taught you?
It’s never too late to make a donation to our missions work, partner with us.