Featured article on Church Communications blog

I was excited to share as a guest contributor on the Church Communications site last week! It’s all about my church’s switch to a new Church Management System (CMS) called Rock RMS. It’s an incredible piece of technology that is going to help us connect with our church members in a more meaningful way. Much thanks to Katie Allred for the chance to share some of my thoughts about Rock RMS!

You can see the post on Church Communications blog site

 

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I’m back. Probably

I have most definitely have had an on-again off-again relationship with this site. I used to write here all the time (like in college, when I thought I knew everything), or at the beginning of a calendar year when I told myself I would write more, or to share about a big life event or random project.

I have written a good amount over the last few years on Medium. I really like the community and design of their site, but I find myself missing a place that I can call home online. Instagram is fun, twitter is… Twitter (I actually really enjoy using Twitter; it’s still my favorite social network).

Let me catch you up to speed since the last time I added something to this blog.

  1. I started a new job 2 months ago. I have spent the last 6 years at Indian Springs Baptist Church. I grew up at ISBC, many of my family members and friends attend that church, and I was able to grow in so many ways during that time. You can read a post on Medium about that transition if you would like more info.
  2. My transition to Highlands Fellowship has been incredible! I love my new job, I love the staff culture here, and I love the people of Highlands. God has been faithful and this transition has been such a blessing (that sounds totally cliche, but it really is true).
  3. BOTH of our kids are in preschool. A few weeks ago Emmylou celebrated her 3rd birthday, so she and Lionel BOTH GO TO SCHOOL. Last Friday kami and I went out for coffee and shopping by ourselves, during the day. It was amazing. Our kids are growing so fast, but I LOVE seeing them grow into little humans. To celebrate Emmylou’s birthday, I made a short (long) video documenting their life together over the last three years. You can watch the video below.

4. The Podcast is coming back! You should subscribe to WKLY (if you haven’t already) . New episodes are coming out next week (and each week for the rest of the year). You can find the podcast on iTunes or on Soundcloud

5. I was recently on a podcast with Nils Smith. You can check out our interview on the Social Media Church site. We talk about church online, community, and the struggles of online ministry. It was a really great conversation, and I hope to be back on the podcast again in early 2018.

 

Ok, that’s enough for now. See you soon(ish).

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WKLY Podcast

wkly_header

Hello, all! I am excited to announce that I am launching a brand new podcast, called WKLY (pronounced Weekly). I have been working on this project for a while, and I am excited to share it with the world. WKLY will have a new episode each week, so be sure to subscribe.

Join me on this wild ride as I attempt to release a podcast each week. There will be plenty of guests along the way; so, you won’t get bored listening to me all year!

Grace and Peace,

You can subscribe on iTune here

It is also available on Sticher.
http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/127123

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Podcast

The James and Ryan podcast is up! Beards, Songs, and Theology is happening.

Check out the first episode on Soundcloud (it will be on itunes soon).

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January 1, 2015

Happy new year!

Emmylou decided to stay up ’till midnight to party with us.

image

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Liturgy: it’s coming back

Alternative title: Liturgy: I feel like I am becoming my grandparents.

There is a shift in Church (big C, Church) culture that is making some waves in the deep waters of corporate gatherings and personal times of meditation.

Liturgy. Corporate experiences that direct and aid in worship and prayer.

I become more interested in Liturgy and sacraments after reading Chasing Francis by Ian Cron. It was a delightful book that brought great insight to the life of Francis, but also to the ideas that important parts of our faith do not always explode to life in a quick second, but that God does a work in us, around us, and through us in the stillness, solitude, and meditative nature of liturgy and the eucharist. I walked away from Chasing Francis with a desire to explore these ideas to a greater extent.

There is also a new group releasing music called The Liturgists. It is collaboration of various artists led by the talented and creative duo of Michael and Lisa Gungor. They have released a few songs here on their bandcamp page. It is reflective and purposeful. They create such a great environment of freedom and reflection. I literally had to block out some time on my calendar to listen to them so I could be free from distraction. It is difficult to stop, pray, listen, and meditate in today’s fast-pace world, so I am thankful for artists who are pushing for space to create and share with less time constraints and rigid rules for what a worship experience could offer.

This is new ground for me, and I have to confess that I am more of an observer that a faithful participator in liturgy and contemplative prayers. It is still a struggle to find time to be still, listen, and wait for God to speak, but I am thankful for the new resources being released to aid in liturgy.

Here’s to slowing down, waiting, and listening instead of just tweeting our pseudo-wisdom on twitter all day.

– James

UPDATE:

My good friend Brian texted me this afternoon to remind me of a few great projects that  totally forgot to add to the list.

Page CXVI. Such a cool band. I started listening to them when the came out with some refinished hymns. They just keep getting better. If you are interested in a new take on some old songs, check them out.

A New Liturgy: These are contemplative projects from Aaron Niequist. You can listen to them on the website and they are wonderful. If you are wanting to jump headfirst into some great content, check out A New Liturgy.

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Waiting on the Lord

Psalm 33:20-22

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love. oh Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

I do not like to wait. Phone gets slow….. just get a new one. Internet speed not fast enough…. time for an upgrade. The world we live in just moves faster and faster; it can be rather exhausting.

But David says that our souls wait for the Lord.

Wait.

Pause.

Waiting is not easy. It takes discipline (which is especially hard for this extrovert who just wants to jump from one thing to another. Just as me how many books I started last month…). Waiting on the Lord, however, it is worth it. Over the last few months God has forced me to wait in a few areas on my life.

The beautiful thing about waiting on the Lord is that He always comes through. His love is unending and He is faithful regardless of our lack of faith (or patience).

 

Exciting things are on the way in so many areas of my life, but for now I wait. I am accepting in a little more each day. Maybe we can call that progress??

Here’s to more trust in the steadfast love of the Lord.

– James

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