Thursday, June 28, 2007

Saddleback Arts Conference Day 2

The day started off with a worship event with a group that I have never heard before called “Generation Unleashed.” If I close my eyes, I could swear that I hear Darlene Zschech and the Hillsong worship team. What a great resource for youth music leaders today. (Jason, you might want to check these guys out. Very engaging with the young folks in the crowd.)

The opening speaker was Erwin McManus with the “Scribble’ team from Mosaic Church in L.A. I had the chance to see them at the Willow Arts Conference a few weeks ago, but still amazing! If only my midwestern mind could understand the “Urban Poetry” of the Scribble team. It’s so outside of my norm that it’s taken me until the second time to fully get it. It’s a good thing they came back to help me understand... What a great team! I can definitely relate with their stage manager throughout the performance. He’s my kind of guy! “Scribble That!”

Abe Laboriel, Shiela E, and a cast of a few other ‘A list’ musicians were on hand for the late morning worship concert, and I know that my good bud Larry Whitcomb wishes he was here. He’s the guy who introduced me to Abe and his music, and what a talent. Larry was right to be amazed. Anyone who can play chords on a 6 string bass while dancing around the stage is ok in my book! We were treated to about a 1 hour concert just before lunch, and as a nod to my sister Julie who is a drummer, female drummers rock! Shiela E was fabulous!

Following lunch at the hot spot of “In-n-Out” burger, and my introduction to the world of animal fries, we headed back to campus for our breakout sessions. Today i was treated to sessions on “singing to your full potential” and “writing chord charts.” Both were exceptional, and there were alot of things that could be implemented at Five Oaks. I had planned on going to a guitar course that was on the idea of unleashing the power of the fretboard, but upon arrival the class was completely filled and a sign on the door posted that we should take off for another class. This allowed me to attend the vocal class, which I was torn to not be able to attend. Good stuff. (I’m going to have to buy the DVD of the guy who was teaching the unlocking the fretboard class though...)

Following the breakouts, we grabbed a quick bite of dinner and ran back as soon as we could to get in line to find seats at the front of the center section for the Lincoln Brewster worship concert. Henry and I waited in line for about 10 minutes, and it was worth it! We ended up in the second row behind two seats that were reserved and ended up being empty for most of the concert. It was like being front row center! The three acts were Human Zero, Vicky Beeching, and Lincoln Brewster. Human Zero really forced my brain into overdrive in one song where the drums played in 4/4 meter and the rest of the band played in 3/4 or 6/8. That was what I call concentration!

Vicky Beeching has a wonderful gift, and what a personable leader she is. Her passion exuded from every ounce of her being throughout the concert. I’m going to have to get Melissa that CD so we can play it around the house.

Lincoln Brewster was all that we hoped for and more. As many of you are aware, we do quite a few of his songs at Five Oaks, and there’s nothing like hearing the songs performed by the original artist. What a gifted leader, singer, and guitar player. I think the thing that he taught me the most tonight is how to lead and live in the contradiction. I’ll have to write more on that later...

We finished the evening with a drive down to Laguna beach and a visit to the “hammer man.” What an interesting individual. We walked up and down the beach for awhile in the pitch black and ran into another couple of conference attenders who were soaking wet from head to toe. Two young guys were so excited about seeing the beach that they just couldn’t contain themselves and just ran into the water. They told us that they were from Kansas, which makes it a little more understood, but I couldn’t help but wonder when the last time I was so excited about something that I just couldn’t contain myself and just ran to it with complete abandon of thought and future consequence.

I think that’s what God wants from us each and every day, but it’s so easy to over rationalize and over-think all of the decisions that we have to make many times each day. I can’t help but wonder how many times God is simply holding out his hands and waiting for us to run into his arms with abandon every day, and we miss it.

The great thing is, He never stops holding out his hands...

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