Monday, December 28, 2009
This year's Christmas has been different than the usual... we didn't have any celebrations on Christmas Day, and instead I spent most of my day working on planning the worship service for the upcoming Sunday. That evening we traveled out to Ohio for Christmas on the 26th with my mom's side of the family. It was good, and I got a few gifts I actually asked for (which almost never happens haha). I couldn't help but laugh when my grandma got literally every girl in the family the same sweater (aunts, cousins, grandchildren, etc.) and all of the guys in the family the same sweater..... I only wish we had been able to get a group picture of us ALL matching. :)
I was back at home Saturday evening and immediately went to the church to finish up planning the worship. Sunday morning came and worship went well, and the message Jonathan (our youth pastor) preached was really good. He talked about the geneology of Christ (Matthew 1:1-17) and how it included every kind of person... kings, sinners, ordinary people, and people we know nothing about... and it was a challenge to us to realize that no matter what our status in life, God wants to use us for the greater purpose of his plan. It reminded me that wherever I end up using my music (small town church or packed out stadium), God will use me. It also challenged me to make sure I am making myself available to God for Him to use me... which can be really hard to do!
Church was followed by an awesome time having lunch at Applebee's with the other young adults from church, then a "Christmas" party with my closest friends from high school where we got to catch up with each other and hear how God is working in all of our lives. After I left the party, I went to my grandma's house to celebrate Christmas on my dad's side.... however, it was cut short when I suddenly got a really bad migraine and had to go home and lie in the dark for 3 hours! It was so disappointing missing out on the entire evening with family, but I am finally starting to feel a little better after a night of sleep and taking it easy. I might even go to work this afternoon!
In case you are wondering, the scripture passages I shared with my friends that have been playing a big part in my life right now are:
1 Peter 4:10
Until next time...
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Only two people have responded to "A Study On Worship". Maybe I picked bad timing, with it being the holidays and all. I at least hope people read it and thought about it a little bit. However, I am glad that those two people responded. It gave me a place to start, and I enjoyed hearing what they had to say.
I strongly encourage you to think about responding to those questions I brought up about worship. You don't have to post them on here... feel free to send me an e-mail (MeganSauder@gmail.com) or to send me a message on Facebook, if that is your preferred method of communication.
Again, this may or may not turn into something more than just a study. For now, I am leaving it at that... A Study of Worship.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. While you are spending time with friends and family, caught up in the merriment of the season, take time to step back and worship our King, who was born for the salvation of our sins. It's a beautiful story... one that I hope you will not forget this holiday season.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
For You I sing, I dance
Rejoice in this divine romance
Lift my heart and my hands
To show my love, to show my love
I love the instruments... acoustic guitar, bass, accordion, and brushes on the drums. And Phil Wickham's voice... it's like there's an angel singing in the room. But it touches something beyond.
So today I was listening to that song, as I do almost every day... and a thought came to me. How do people view worship? Is it an act or a lifestyle? Can it be both? Must it be both?
1. The activity of worshipping
2. A feeling of profound love and admiration
2. Show religious devotion to, as of a deity
3. Attend religious services
So that's my vision... and I'm asking you. Yes, you... the one reading this. Tell me what worship is to you... do you do it or do you live it? How do you worship? What do you worship (be honest)? Where can you worship? Is there a feeling associated with worship, or is it a state of being? What have you learned about worship? What has Scripture taught you? What have loved ones taught you? Is it a discipline?
I'm not sure what I will do with the responses I get. My brother owns his own video editing business (http://www.pinnacleproductions.us/)... so I thought about turning my research into a video to show at church. Of course, I would ask Phil Wickham's permission to use his song as the music. After all, that is what inspired this whole thing.
I like to call it a study on worship.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Before you see the list, I should give credit to Brandon Adam Bible... who I've never met... but whose blog (http://brandonbible.blogspot.com/) inspired me to take on the task of completing this "Last 100" list. As mentioned in my earlier post today, I was seeking inspiration from other worship leaders who blog. Unfortunately I was distracted by this fun project.... but I will continue on my quest for inspiration. Take a look at who made the cut:
THE LAST 100
1. Iron and Wine – "Boy With A Coin"
2. Ian McIntosh – "Open Up The Heavens"
3. Hillsong United – "Devotion"
4. James Morrison – "The Only Night"
5. Joshua Radin – "Sky"
6. Mates of State – "My Only Offer"
7. Wilco – "You Never Know"
8. The Civil Wars – "Poison & Wine"
9. Planetshakers – "Cry Holy"
10. Sufjan Stevens – "Sister Winter"
11. Jason DeRulo – "Whatcha Say"
12. Coldplay – "Strawberry Swing"
13. Colbie Caillat – "Fallin' For You"
14. Norah Jones – "Waiting"
15. Phil Wickham – "Divine Romance"
16. Peter Bradley Adams – "For You"
17. Chris Tomlin – "Jesus Paid It All (Everything Glorious)"
18. Regina Spektor – "Eet"
19. Dave Barnes – "Greyhound"
20. Griffin House – "When The Time Is Right"
21. Iron and Wine – "House By The Sea"
22. Greg Laswell – "It's Been A Year"
23. The Gabe Dixon Band – "Further the Sky"
24. Jack's Mannequin – "Rescued"
25. Jack Johnson – "Middle Man"
26. Hillsong – "Mighty to Save"
27. Hot Hot Heat – "In Cairo"
28. Imogen Heap – "Bad Body Double"
29. Griffin House – "Lay Down In Your Fields"
30. Candy Claws – "Don't Turn Around"
31. Jars of Clay – "These Ordinary Days"
32. Matt Wertz – "Red Meet's Blue"
33. Shawn McDonald – "Beautiful"
34. Black Eyed Peas – "Imma Be"
35. After Edmund – "It's Alright"
36. Anathallo – "Hanasakajijii (Three: The Man Who Made Dead Trees Bloom)"
37. Ryan Myddleton – "On Your Own"
38. Moby – "Beautiful"
39. Amos Lee – "Black River"
40. Josh Garrels – "Mercy Triumph"
41. After Edmund – "Come and Rain Down"
42. Kyte – "Nothings Cruel"
43. Fiona Apple – "Window"
44. Eric Hutchinson – "You Don't Have To Believe Me"
45. Phillips, Craig, and Dean – "Hallelujuah (Your Love Is Amazing)"
46. Imogen Heap – "Swoon (Instrumental)"
47. Moulin Rouge – "Come What May"
48. Ellery – "Long Coat On"
49. My Morning Jacket – "Touch Me, I'm Going To Scream"
50. Patty Griffin – "One Big Love"
51. Erin McCarley – "It's Not That Easy"
52. John Legend – "Green Light"
53. Brandy – "Right Here (Departed)"
54. Eric Hutchinson – "Oh!"
55. Jars of Clay – "Revolution"
56. Jeremy Camp – "Beyond Measure"
57. Jazz Rolle – "Hiding Place"
58. TAB the Band – "Skip Your Class"
59. A.A. Bondy – "Witness Blues"
60. Ólafur Arnalds – "Raein"
61. Justin Currie – "What Is Love For?"
62. Shawn McDonald – "Lovely"
63. John Mayer – "Stop This Train"
64. AM Drive & Cliff Ritchey – "Don't Fear"
65. The Weepies – "Can't Go Back Now"
66. The Fray – "We Build Then We Break"
67. Kyte – "Boundaries"
68. Ratatat – "Five"
69. OneTwoThreeFour – "Leave Me Sleep"
70. Toby Lightman – "My Sweet Song"
71. Michael Bublé – "Sway"
72. Ben Folds Five – "Best Imitation of Myself"
73. Fall Out Boy – "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today"
74. Anathallo – "All The First Pages"
75. Nickel Creek – "Can't Complain"
76. Lili Haydn – "Strawberry Street"
77. Mat Kearney – "Undeniable"
78. Neo-Classical Piano Music – "Gray Sky Tone Dance"
79. U2 – "Breathe"
80. Snow Patrol – "Open Your Eyes"
81. Scott Tyler – "Storyville"
82. OneRepublic – "Someone to Save You"
83. Andrew Bird – "The Happy Birthday Song"
84. Will Gray – "I Can't"
85. Sigur Rós – "Inní mér syngur vitleysingur"
86. Augustana – "Rest, Shame, Love"
87. Dave Barnes – "Jackson"
88. Joshua Radin – "I'd Rather Be With You"
89. John Legend – "Everybody Knows"
90. Will Gray – "Where You At"
91. Matt Wertz – "Everything's Right"
92. Sigur Rós – Milano
93. Rihanna – "Wait Your Turn"
94. Iron and Wine – "Innocent Bones"
95. The Gabe Dixon Band – "And The World Turned"
96. Ted Nash – "Cheryl's Theme"
97. Phil Wickham – "Heaven Song"
98. Sigur Rós – "Gódan daginn"
99. The New Pornographers – "The End of Medicine"
100. Jack's Mannequin – "The Resolution"
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Megan -
Monday, December 14, 2009
(c) 2009 Megan Sauder
Turn on the spotlight
To my insecurities
Afraid to face the spotlight
Down on my knees
I know that there's beauty
In the things I do
But why can't I see it
When I'm compared to You?
There's beauty in everything
All I see and I hear
But I just keep missing it
It would lead me to You
Please lead me to You
Cloud my perception of this world
I want to love like You love them
Heal this broken world
And I know that I've failed You
Time after time
Can You see through me
And see what's on the inside?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
One of the things that bothers me is how when I get the chance to see a friend or talk to them on the phone we spend most of our time catching up on what we're doing in life. Suddenly my life seems so stagnant. Suddenly I feel like I don't know my friends anymore, or maybe it's more that I just feel like a bad friend because I don't know what is happening their life all the time like I did in college. Distance tests the endurance of friendship. It's not convenient anymore.
I spent half of my day today hanging out with 3 Russian kids. Artum, Will, and Reagan. A good family friend adopted them about 2 1/2 years ago.... the oldest, Artum, is 15 years old. Reagan, the girl, is the youngest, and boy does she shoot fire when she talks! Today she asked me if I was in high school or college.... and when I told her I just graduated colleged she said, "And you're not married?!?! Why aren't you married?!?! Don't you have a boyfriend?!?!" Hah. In case you haven't guessed, she's not very shy. Will is, in my opinion, the sweetest of the siblings. He is kind, helpful, more mild-tempered (he seems to have less hot Russian blood running through his veins), and has a good sense of humor. I spent 4 hours playing Wii with Artum. Way too much time playing Wii, but all in all it was a fun day! They are spending the night tonight - so I will probably get to spend a little more time with them tomorrow on my lunch break.
That last paragraph was a major side note to what I really started writing this about.
I thought I'd give you all a look into my weekly schedule. Maybe the next time we talk on the phone or run into each other, we won't have to spend our entire conversation talking about what we're doing and actually just BE together. Also, this might give you a better idea as to when I'm free to hang out or talk on the phone! So, here goes:
Sunday - 8:15-11:45 lead worship at church
1:15-2:00 my precious rest & relaxation time
2:15-4:45 volleyball at Brookside
5:30-10:00 work at the church*
Monday - 8:00-5:00 work at Sauder Feeds
6:30-??? work at the church*
Tuesday - 8:00-5:00 work at Sauder Feeds
6:45-10:15 volleyball at Brookside
Wednesday - 8:00-1:30 work at Sauder Feeds
3:00-9:00 work at the church/rehearsals
Thursday - DAY OFF (clean house, practice music, be lazy)*
Friday - 8:00-1:30 work at Sauder Feeds
3:00-??? work at church OR begin the weekend!*
Saturday - a.m. - finish up any final details for Sunday
p.m. - 2nd official DAY OFF!*
* These times are the best to reach me by phone!
Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know... the reason I spend so much time at the church working is because I was hired as Crossview Church's new worship leader in October! As you can see, I put in a lot of time at the church.... I've been working hard to organize our very chaotic music library with the hopes of eventually increasing productivity, decreasing the amount of paper we use making copies because we can't find music, and creating an organized library so that the new worship leader that comes in after me will be able to jump right into the position without worrying about doing this tedious and time-consuming task. While I only get paid for 15 hours of work a week, I don't mind putting in more than that... the fact that I'm getting paid at all to do MUSIC is such a blessing. I find that I've been more joyful in the past few months because I'm not only doing something that God has given me the gifts to do, but also something I'm passionate about. Sure there are new stresses with a new job, but it's been really good. While I never saw myself becoming a worship leader, I know this is where God wants to use me right now, and that He is using it as a way to help me grow closer to Him. The verse I put in my profile has sort-of stuck with me through this new experience of working on staff at a church:
"God has given each of you a gift... Use them well to serve one another."
- 1 Peter 4:10
Who to pray for today:
- The country of Russia, and Amy Laur, one of my closest friends from Taylor who is doing the YWAM program in Perm, Russia. Spending time with the Russian kids today reminded me of her and her ministry there. She is doing her 2 months of outreach right now in another country. Pray for the people of Russia, and specifically the people that Amy has been and will continue to be meeting. If you'd like to read about her experiences in Russia, you can visit her blog at: http://amylaur87.blogspot.com/.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I am notoriously bad at writing "Christian" songs. If you think about it, it's quite the overwhelming task. I sit down at the piano, read a Psalm or two for inspiration, and then think to myself, "Why would I ever try to write something myself, when David already said it so beautifully?" So, I usually stick with my usual mind-wandering lyrics that sometimes make no sense. I always like to say that it's up to the listener's interpretation. It actually works quite successfully sometimes. Other times people will ask me what the lyrics mean... and then I have to try and remember why, several months ago, I wrote those lyrics.
So why not write lyrics that require no explanation? Is it so bad to be blunt? Metaphors can be very poetic, and lymerics can be very witty. I love being both of those things. But when the point of a song becomes the poetry, or being witty... has it lost all meaning? Can there be meaning in the meaningless? I mean... there is hope for the hopeless. Does the same rule apply?
I started writing some lyrics a month or two ago... haven't gotten very far. But it's one of those attempts I rarely make to write something about my faith. God hasn't gifted me with an incredible ability to write worship songs that churches will want to sing on Sunday morning services. No, I don't posess that gift. But I went to a Josh Garrels concert last weekend and realized that all of his songs overflow with spirituality... yet they would never be sung in a church on a Sunday morning. Not for theological reasons, and not because they aren't wonderful songs... but they are artsy, creative, and well, very different from most stream-lined Christian music you hear today. It was refreshing.
I only have one verse. But you can read it... it's nothing extraordinary. But maybe in a few months or years I will have something more. These are just lyrics to start.
I'm trading my sorrows for victory
Hoping that they will see Christ in me.
You say, "Seek and you will find."
But what happens if I've gone blind?