Thursday, November 26, 2009

How I became a guy that leads people in musical worship of Jesus pt. 1:

So, I have been thinking about a blog post I have been wanting to write concerning my job and this is the first one.

I come from a long line of men that played guitar. My grandfather played in many bands and toured with a band (playing upright bass) that toured with Johnny Cash and was jam buddies with Buddy Holly. My dad was also a great musician. Dad learned guitar from my grandmother and became a great musician. He played saxophone as well and played electric bass for Jerry Lee Lewis.  Dad also played music in the church at some point. Dad could really play the guitar!

Somehow I wasn’t destined to follow in the family footsteps musically, at least that’s what most of my life said. I learned how to play a G chord my third year of college when  I was 20. I would hold a G chord and play songs. Strumming came naturally but I didn’t pursue the guitar. The next year (in June) I heard a song called ‘I will not forget you’ and I said to one of my roommates, “that would be fun to play”. He said it was only four chords and that I could play it. I was hooked after that. I sat in front of the TV and went from G-D-Em-C over and over again. Most of the time I wasn’t even strumming. I was now about to turn 22 and decided to learn to play acoustic guitar.

I had a pretty big issue that summer.  I sucked at playing guitar. I was confident in strumming but it started to be bad. I was living with my grandfather and working at camp all-american. The guitar just wasn’t happening. I couldn’t even play ‘Light The Fire’. Sitting by the pond behind my grandfather’s house I had a come to Jesus meeting with Jesus (these usually don’t go well). I said “God if I am not better in a month I am quitting. You have 4 weeks to make me at least be able to play ‘light the fire’ well. If you deliver I promise I will make much of you with this instrument.” A few of things you need to know here: 1) I have never tested God like this 2) I wouldn’t recommend it 3) I am physically pained by not keeping promises 4) I am not uber spiritual 5) I have no clue why God delivered, but he did. After four weeks I was able to play ‘light the fire’.

In the next month I was a completely different guitar player!  In October I led music for BSU at Truett McConnell. I knew three songs well. That night was the 1st time I closed my eyes and played guitar. I remember finishing that song and thinking “THAT JUST HAPPENED”. It was a big day for me. The next Feb. I led a retreat for FPC Marietta and after that retreat I started to pursue figuring out what it meant to lead people in musical worship.

More of my story to come but this was the start of my journey of becoming someone that leads God’s people in musical worship. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The rant of the last 6 weeks.


1)    my girl is six weeks tomorrow and I haven’t blogged since she was born so I figured it was time.

2)    After having bay # 2 I think I have a realer(if that’s a word) sense of real friends.

3)    I think our community group is pretty awesome. They have been an incredible help to us.

4)    My fantasy football team has more I juries than you could imagine. I had 6 guys on the bench, 5 were injured and 1 had a one guy on my starting line up on a bye week. It sucked.

5)    My boy is crazy sweet to his baby sister.

6)    We put up our 1st tent in the back yard. It was fun. But the amount of time L played in it didn’t match his excitement about putting it up.

7)    I am excited about oct 24th

8)    I have enjoyed watching flashforward

9)    I love making music with our band at church

10) One day I will record again. Not sure what but I think the day is coming sooner than later

11) My buddy Les and his bride are having their 1st baby this Friday, pray for them

12) The next few are very selfish wants of mine

13) I desperately want an iphone. The new droid phones give me some hope that Verizon can compete. We will see at the beginning of next month when they release them.

14) I also really want to add on to our house or some how have someone buy us a bigger house. We need a bit more room for kids and hosting folks. Praying for this one.

15) Praying that in the next year God will provide another car for us. We are doing well with just one car but I think its almost time for us to have 2 cars again.

16) I want our church to have our own building. Seriously praying for this.

17)  I really need to go to bed because L keeps waking me up early to go to the bathroom. So I have more to say but I am off to night.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bella Grace Slaten

So today we have a baby girl in our family. I am writing this a few days before her birth, which makes this a bit strange since I haven’t even met this girl who I am writing about.

Her name is Bella Grace Slaten.

Let me explain where her name came from. One night we were in bed trying to figure out what we were going to name this baby and I threw out the name “Bella.” Camille said, “I saw that name today. I like that but didn’t think you would like it. It means ‘my God is a vow’.” I responded, “I like it, is that her name?” After that we prayed about it and we knew that this was the name of our daughter.

In Hebrew Bella means ‘my God is a vow’ and Grace is Camille’s maiden name and it means the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners.’

For us, Bella is a visual reminder that God has made a vow with His children. She is not the fulfillment of that promise she is merely a reminder that God gives us what we need. Not what we want or think we deserve but what we need and what we need is salvation through Jesus. Our prayer is that her life would point people to that end. That she would live a life proclaiming that Christ is the win, not things, houses, cars, having kids, new jobs, marriage and even us as parents. Jesus is the win and he alone is the giver of life and love to us.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yesterday I turned 31 and some things in life are just different.

(I started this blog on the 14th and finished it tonight)

Well, I had a birthday yesterday. I was good. I was able to spend the morning with my bride and son. They got me a chickfila biscuit and an ESV study bible. If you read the bible you need the ESV study bible. Then I worked till 5, had preschool orientation then band practice. Got home at about 9:45 from band practice and ate dinner. So the day wasn’t crazy special but it was nice to hear happy birthday from so many friends.

 

It was a different birthday for a couple of different reasons:

1)    this was my 1st birthday with out hearing from my dad. 30  years of hearing “happy birthday baby boy!” I missed that.

2)    This is my last birthday with just one kid. L made me a great card with dinosaurs and rhinos on it. It will be different with a little girl around here. I am excited about her so please don’t hear me saying that I am not excited, life is about to change that’s all I am thinking.

3)    Our band practice went really well. I hope we can duplicate the sound Sunday.

4)    I played basketball last Wed. night like always and wow I felt old. My body hurts a bit more than it used to when I play ball with college guys. 

5)    I will be waking up earlier this semester. I will see the # 6 and early 7 more regularly than ever in my life.

6)    Jumping on a trampoline hurts my head now for some reason.

7)    The first day of preschool was harder on me than my boy.

8)    I thought by now I would like yard work. BUT NO.

9)    I am much more handy than I would have thought I would be at this age.

10) I feel like I love my bride more today than I did when we 1st were married.

11) Parenting is scarier than I thought it would be, I knew it would be hard just didn’t expect the fear.

 

So I am 31 and kind of feel like it will be a great year. 

Sunday, August 09, 2009

more blogs to come

I started this blog a couple of weeks ago, and i am just now getting it online. so some of it is old. but i am going to post it anyway.

Today was my 1st day back in the saddle. I have been off for the past 2 weeks. They were incredible. I had a blast spending some great time w/ my bride and my boy. It was so much fun. There are a handful of things I thought I would share with the blog world.

To start; my boy got his first set of golf clubs. Our first night in St. Simons Eli told L “you can have my red golf clubs. I am too big for them.” That kind gesture might have changed our world forever. We hit balls in our yard for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s really cool that we have tons of land for him to hit. He has a couple more years before he can out hit our yard. We went to the park while in Marietta and he hit a ball 68 yards. Really amazing. I love to watch him swing. I love being his dad.

Next: I want to talk a bit about adoption. Strange jump I know. But our friends down in St. Simons are soon to adopt some kids from Ghana. I am so excited for them. Check out their blog here. Also, my brother and sister in-law are adopting a girl from China. This adoption process will be a while but my heart leaps at the thought of God blessing them with a beautiful Chinese girl. I personally think that adoption is the clearest picture of the Gospel. There will be a moment in time when these Ghanaian kids and Chinese girl will gain all the rights of their new family. This sweet Chinese girl will be a Grace and have every right that comes with that name. A home, a mom and dad, a great big sister, she will be loved, fed, held, dressed, played with, really anything you can imagine that comes with a loving family. At that moment these Ghanaian kids will gain brothers, a house miles from the beach, a trampoline, a dad that will dote over her, these kids Ghanaians will be totally loved. I remember hearing that they were going to adopt, as I imagined seeing them come up the escaladers at the airport I cried. I cried because I love the picture of Jesus rescuing me. I can’t wait to see my niece and these Ghanaian kids!

Fear is next in line: watching L play with the Fritchy boys freaked me out. Watching him try and keep up with an almost 7 year old and 8 year old boy is frightening. L really is growing up and I am learning daily that he is not my kid but God’s kid.

Next up: Fight Club 09 http://www.fightclub09.com/ I helped lead the music for this and it was a great time. It’s was a packed house and fun. 350 men making much of Jesus good times.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

5 Reflections on being a dad…


I have been a dad for 3 years now and I have spent a few minutes tonight thinking and so I come here to share.

1)    I didn’t realize how much time you give up to have a kid. When a kid comes along you basically make a choice: either to be a dad or be THAT dad who is a dad when it’s convenient for you. Video games: exist only when he is asleep. Guitar playing: I always have a playing buddy, which is both good and bad. TV watching: I watch more Disney crap than I normally would. (yes, I say normally because I randomly watch Disney crap). It’s just a funny thing to see how much life changes when your have a kid.

2)    I am a guy that enjoys playing sports outside but I have never been the guy that just loves being hot outside just to be outside. I am that guy now. I find myself walking in from work, putting on shorts and going right outside. I sweat through my shirt at least 3 times a week from playing outside.

3)    I laugh crazy regularly at our boy. Tonight we were at our favorite Chick-Fil-A and the cow was walking around, L was calling the cow “hey tow, tome here, tome here tow” slaps his leg and makes kissing noise like calling a dog “tow over here, he not see me. Mooo, Oh oh oh here he is”. My bride and I laughed SO HARD at our boy. We just love that kid.

4)    Vacations are out the window. At the beach all I do is play on the beach and swim in the pool. No break until he goes to bed or takes a nap.

5)    The hopes I have for my boy’s life are things I have to give to Jesus every day. I know that my heart can make him more in my life than he should be and so I fight hard to not allow this sweet boy to be an ultimate thing in my life.

 

Tonight our family of 4,yes I included our dog, were all sitting on L’s bed and I thought to myself: “this won’t happen again after September when our baby girl comes.” Honestly, it was a bit sad. Listen I know I will love this girl and we of course will LOVE her being a part of our family. But tonight our night was great and the knowledge of that changing is hard.  So tonight I blog just to say I love my family. My bride is the love of my life. My boy is so precious to me. We play together sometimes and I tear up with joy of being his dad and a husband. Today we had a picnic, I couldn’t have asked for much of a better meal. My bride sitting there eating here sandwich and chips, my boy chomping on cracker sandwiches, our dog resting on the blanket and I thought to myself: this is the perfect family picture. Love it!

I’m a dad and I love it. I am excited about this baby girl and know that the Gospel is greater than all of my fears of being a dad to a girl.

So all of you dads out there, let’s step up to the plate and be dads. Love your brides, care for your children, BE THERE. We don’t want our kids to grow up and feel like they don’t know their dads. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Here We Go

So I abandoned my blog.
I let this thing grow mildew and dust all over it.
And now I finally feel like I have crap to say.
And you will now hear that crap I have to say.

I have struggled to write for some reason ever since my dad died. Its isn’t like he gave me inspiration to write, I think from the crap I have written, you can tell I haven’t had anything really inspire me, I just wrote. (nice run on huh?)
I will now crank this bad boy up again with a Rant.

1) I am looking forward to helping lead musical worship for fight club 09. If you’re a guy in the ATL area you should be there. I am excited about getting to sing and make much of Jesus with a bunch of men.
2) The Red Mountain guys are working on a new record…looking forward to that. We have done one that I hope makes the record “All things new” by Clint Wells. I really like it. I have played it twice in the past 3 weeks.
3) I am off for a couple of weeks starting this Monday. Looking forward to it.
4) Watched slumdog…liked it but didn’t love it. Good story, just didn’t change my life like it seemed to change everyone else’s life.
5) Could anyone explain the Jonas Brothers phenomenon to me?
6) I am enjoying a new record, new to me atleast, the civil wars. Check them out.
7) I still hate the Yankees.
8) I am really excited about our band being back together on a regular basis in 4 weeks. This fall we will bring some THUNDER.
9) I am an "on the border" addict. Seriously. I love that stuff.
10) I am so glad we have summer interns this summer.
11) I get that MJ was a person that really changed music. But if almost ANYONE else in the world would have paid 20 million to make a child sexual assault case disappear, we wouldn’t be celebrating like this. Please don’t comment about this part of my rant. I am not questioning anything about MJ’s impact on music. So seriously don’t comment about this. I am deeply saddened for his family and kids. Loosing your dad sucks.
12) The Gibson might make its way on stage for fight club 09.
13) I have been enjoying the xbox and wii again recently.
14) we have a baby girl coming in September. We are not telling her name, so get excited about hearing about her.
15) We had a great time on the 4th. It was a small party that turned LARGE. 14 adults and 9 kids. It was so much more fun than going to Bishop Park like we had planned.
16) I am listening to a ton of Matt Chandler to much right now. really enjoying him as a communicator.
17) I thought I was going to be in bed before 11 tonight…didn’t happen.

Goodnight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tonight I went to a joint Good Friday service with another local PCA church in town. The service went fine but during it I had this thought: how do I age and care more about the Gospel than my preference.

Nothing in the actual service started this thought. I saw an older couple walk into the sanctuary and thought about what I would be like when I am their age. A large part of me really wanted to have my band with me tonight and I thought there is no way that couple would like that. Then I thought: am I going to be 70 hating whatever new stuff the young folks are doing. My hope is that I would care more about reaching and investing in a younger generation.

Do you think you will care more about the Gospel than your preference of music or instrumentation? Now I in NO WAY think you can sacrifice solid lyrics for catchy tunes. We must sing songs that tell the great story of Jesus’ redemptive love. I pray heartfelt prayers to be the person who cares less about my preference or how I have always done it: and care more about the Jesus in those songs.

On a side not I watched Mars Hill Seattle’s Good Friday service….WOW is all I can say.
http://www.marshillchurch.org/live

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Set list for Saturday night

This is whats been my world. I figured i would post this for folks if they want to purchase some of what we will be doing Saturday. (all through itunes)
1st here is whats going on on Saturday: church blog
2nd these are not all exactly the versions we are doing but close.
3rd here are the songs:
Deliver Us
Streams of Water
why should i fear?
It is finished Pt 2
God Of My Life
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Vision of You
Come and Welcome
Our Great God
Come Thou Fount
Immortal Invisible

There Is A Peace
None But Jesus
Before The Throne
Mighty To Save
Help My Unbelief
Jesus Is Our Great Salvation
God Of This City


No Sweeter Subject

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time Magazine Names New Calvinism 3rd Most Powerful Idea

Four Ways 'New Calvinism' is So Powerful

1)Old Calvinism was fundamental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture. New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.
2) Old Calvinism fled from the cities. New Calvinism is flooding into cities.
3) Old Calvinism was cessationistic and fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinism is continuationist and joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
4)Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them.

i have decided...

I am going to blog again.

So maybe the 4 of you will be excited and I will rock your worlds.

I have a lovely rant coming.

Here i come world, i am trying to walk out of this fog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

still not sure

so i still am not sure if i am leaving but here are a few things i thoght i would rant about.
1) http://jimspages.com/States.htm this is fun and harder than you think.
2) I really enjoyed the song our great God this morning.
3) i would have loved to watch the red sea fall in on the egyptians. not to watch them die but to see my God do something like that to save me.
4) i really enjoy our community group. i hope they like it as much as we do.
5) i had a brilliant time with Brent the other night at YHC.
6) Rev really loved and invested into his students. YHC will miss you
7) it was kinda funny to see some of the folks that showed up for Revs last chapel.
8) we are doing v-day tomorrow night.
9) i enjoyed ryans new pedals this morning.
10) finally got my ipod setup and updated(1 year later) using an external is the way to go!
11) i don't sleep enough these days.
12) my new favorite words "fank you for shoootin wit me daddy"

off to sleep now....maybe.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Have i left the blog world?

maybe.
Since my dad died, i have stopped reading blogs. Not really because of any particular reason, just because i have no desire to read other blogs or write one.

so here is my small attempt to share my life with the 5 people who read this.

a rant if you will:

1) i need a shower. tomorrow morning it would have been 3 days since i have showered. gross i know. i take fridays off usually and don't shower until after lunch. but this friday i had to go into the office for a couple of hours. so i missed my window to shower, then i was to sleepy when it was time for bed. today i didn't want to shower until after i worked on sound stuff. Mark and i spent about 3.5 hours on sound stuff and i would i would be sweating so i didn't shower again. so i will shower and shave in the morning. sorry if thats to much and gross for some of you.

2) i love building fires with my little man. he is such a big help. he really, is going to big at that type of stuff.

3) I will be going to California in a couple weeks. Very last minute, SUS is getting married and none of my brides friends are making the trip and I didn't want her to have to go alone. my boss worked with me on my schedule:) i have never been to cali, maybe i will like it, who knows.

4) we are excited about gro's wedding.

5) I miss my dad. i have stopped aching i just miss him, especially his voice.

6) I am excited to see our band keep getting better.

7) i talked to my friend Ericka the other day, we had such a good friendship in school, and she married a guy that loves her to pieces. i couldn't be more excited for her, that she has Jon and Waylan their dog.

8) i need sleep. so i am going to get some sleep now.


maybe i will leave the blog world, not sure.

night.

oh and i am not proofing this so if there are a million errors in it, deal with it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homeless folks in Athens

a buddy of mine made this documentary on the homelessness in Athens, check it out.



nice job dan.
-a

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Words that wont leave my head

These lyrics are from the song "o love that will not let me go"

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.


how i have loved these words the past 3 weeks.