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Does anyone still use this thing?

I only see two actual people posting on my LJ friends page anymore.  I'm half tempted to get back to regular LJ updates, especially since MySpace is pretty much obsolete and Facebook has become a total monster these days.  (Theoretically, any non-protected entry here is supposed to get auto-imported into Facebook Notes anyway, though I'm not sure that's working at the moment.)  I spent the last hour or so reading my LJ all the way back to 2005.

Here are my thoughts, then I gotta go to work.

1) I love you Meg, you're my BFF for many reasons.  And friends I've met through Meg, I miss most of you.

2) There are two people I've shut out of my life who I wish would try to push their way back into it.  I've shut them out for a reason and won't go to them, but I do miss both of these people terribly and wish they'd fight their way back into my life just as Meg did when I was forced to do the same to her.

3) There is a certain person I miss, with whom sadly things did not go the way I'd hoped.  To this person, I loved you even though I was reluctant to say it, and in some ways I still do.  I could not and will not leave Courtney even if the opportunity came up to go back to what we once had, but I would love to get closer to you again, just in a friend sort of way this time.  We may not have worked out, but you're too special to forget about.

And unrelated to what I've read in my LJ, 4) Courtney, I love you with all my heart.  Be patient a while longer and I'll conquer my fear.

That's all for now, all three of you in LJ Land.

Inventory of Stuff I Ate at the Taste

  • Potato pancakes
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Rainbow cone waffle cone
  • Chocolate and banana egg rolls
  • Fried ravioli
  • Pad thai
  • Potstickers

Its that time of year again...

Time to watch Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Christmas worship service planning

Ok, I'm way way late on starting this this year. And to complicate things slightly, rather than "plug and play" hymns and special music into the previous year's order of service as was my pastor's instructions to me for the past five years, he tells me he "wouldn't mind trying a different approach."

Our church has both traditional and contemporary services on Sunday mornings, but only one Christmas Eve service and no Christmas day service (unless Christmas day falls on a Sunday, which it doesn't this year). Last year was the first Christmas since we had started the contemporary service. At first I was told to make the service appeal to all members, but keep it toward the traditional side of things. Ok. I inserted two praise songs at different points in the service. Born in Bethlehem by Third Day and Light of the Stable by Selah. I think I set Born In Bethlehem as special music and Light of the Stable to be sung with the congregation. What ended up happening after Pastor did his final edit of the service was both praise songs were moved to pre-service, not even the last two pieces pre-service, and we were ordered to strike the vocal side of our praise team set-up before the service began. (The instruments stayed set and accompanied a few of the hymns in lieu of or in addition to the organ.) Again though, he says he "wouldn't mind trying a different approach" this year, and has grown a little bit in his appreciation of contemporary worship. It should also be noted that between the recent money issue and a few other issues, several families have left the church and whereas we used to have about equal attendance between the two services, lately more people have been worshipping at the contemporary service.

I'll put a disclaimer here, I'm not trolling for a flame war on contemporary vs traditional. Even our contemporary service is still pretty traditional, following the liturgical framework of the divine service just with different words, songs, and instrumentation. And we incorporate traditional hymnody into our contemporary service as well. What I'm looking for is advice on what either I may set up musically or my pastor may do as part of the service that will be different from our usual approach and hopefully will make all of our members as comfortable as possible regardless of their preference of style. Since I'm so late, I also need something that can be thrown together in 24 days well enough to bring before God. I'm thinking no choir stuff, since we don't have a standing choir anymore (most of our choir members became our praise team and that keeps them busy enough, we'd have to have lots of extra rehearsal time to put together a choral piece or two), but maybe my sister or I could do a solo or duet that might take less prep time and involve less rehearsal. Our organist can learn pretty much anything at the drop of a hat, and our praise team is comfortable with hymns and can usually learn a song in 1-2 rehearsals.

Ok, here's what we did last year. The only changes in the four years before that were some of the choir pieces and the praise pieces. Hymns I more or less left as they were except I think I added "Of the Father's Love Begotten." (For you non-Lutherans, when I say LSB I mean Lutheran Service Book, our hymnal. For the most part, it's unimportant, just figured I'd put the LSB hymn/page numbers in for those Lutherans who might want to refer to them.)

  • Organist's Choice
  • Priase Team: Born In Bethlehem (Third Day)
  • Praise Team: Light of the Stable (Selah)
  • Choir: Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant)
Opening Hymn: O Come O Come Emmanuel LSB 357 ST 1
Choir: All Is Well (Michael W. Smith)
Isaiah 9:2-7
Congregational Hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem LSB 361 ST 1-2
Luke 2:1-5
Hymn: Once In Royal David's City LSB 376 (ST 1 soloist, remainder congregation)
Luke 2:6-7
Choir: Infant Holy Infant Lowly LSB 393
Luke 2:8-12
Congregational Hymn: What Child Is This LSB 370
Luke 2:13-14
Congregational Hymn: Angels We Have Heard On High LSB 368
Luke 2:15-20
Congregational Hymn: Away In A Manger LSB 364
Prayers of the Church
Service of the Sacrament LSB 160
Distribution Hymns:
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing LSB 380
  • O Come All Ye Faithful LSB 379
  • Of The Father's Love Begotten LSB 384
Service of Light (Congregation's candles are lit, the three Pastor/Congregation exchanges on LSB 243 are exchanged, but rather than go into the canticle after that he went right to the Collect designated for Christmas Eve.)
Hymn: Silent Night (first stanza pastor solo in German with guitar, then all three stanzas in English with congregation, pastor's guitar, and praise team guitars)
Closing Hymn: Joy To the World LSB 387

So yeah, different than that. Not looking for a total new service to fall into my lap that both pastor and congregation will love, but I'd be thrilled to have some ideas since I'll need to distribute music and start rehearsing ASAP.

Region Idol Round Two winners!

The following 18 contestants will be singing country this Friday:

  • Matt Alexander
  • Aiyisha Anderson
  • Jim Box
  • Jasmine Du
  • Paul Fleming
  • Dan Fulkerson
  • Aaron Gibson
  • Shelley Glenn
  • Laurie Heckler
  • Tiffany Letica
  • Luis Lopez
  • Pamela Ruiz
  • William Sayre
  • Tiffiny Schwartzkopf
  • Colleen Sellers
  • Angie Shirley
  • Rick Torres
  • Beth VanderWoude

Come check out the show and help fight multiple sclerosis. Show is friday at 7 pm at the Hall of Justice, 220 S. Main in Crown Point.

Region Idol Round One results!

The following 22 people will be singing Motown this Friday:

    •  Matt Alexander
    • Aiyisha Anderson
    • Keith Biro
    • Sara Diekman
    • Jasmine Du
    • Paul Fleming
    • Dan Fulkerson
    • Jim Box
    • Aaron Gibson
    • Shelley Glenn
    • Laurie Heckler
    • Pamela Janiszewski (Ruiz)
    • Tiffany Letica
    • Luis Lopez
    • William Sayre
    • Tiffiny Schwartzkopf
    • Colleen Sellers
    • Angie Shirley
    • Margaret Tierney
    • Rick Torres
    • Beth VanderWoude
    • Jennifer Wise
 Congratulations to all.  For anyone not familiar with Region Idol, come to the Hall of Justice, 220 S. Main in Crown Point this Friday at 7 pm.  A five dollar donation to support multiple sclerosis research is all you need to see some of Northwest Indiana's best talent!

What you talkin about, Willis?

So I discovered yesterday that the Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower. What the bloody hell? First Comiskey Park, then most of the theatres in Chicago, then Marshall Fields, now the former tallest building in the world? What are they gonna rename next? The whole city? Is this phenomenon going to expand past Chicago city limits? Are they gonna rename the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument?


The WTF Blanket

Total awesomeness