A Sweet Young Man

Entered this in the John Lennon Scholarship Contest for 2011. It would be cool if I won but I don’t necessarily think it’s worth 10K.

This was Blakely’s first time eating a frosty. She could not get enough of it.

Tender Loving Discouragement.

This has not been a very good day at all indeed. Today was the first day in a long time that I have been so mad. I was furious. I found myself at my wit’s end trying to deal with discouragement that I have faced for the past couple of days from some of my choir members. I have been working with them for the past five or six weeks and some of them have thrown in the towel for no reason. It’s ridiculous. Are we not supposed to listen to our elders? Right now, I resent them if I am being honest with myself. I have worked so hard to get them ready for the big day and I feel like it has all been a waste of time. I feel like a failure. 

I have been wondering or so long if I am guided by God’s will or my own selfish desire. Am I just afraid of showing up to practice and feeling like I have nothing to show and that I’m being paid to do nothing? This is where my dependence on God comes into play more than it ever has. Is he teaching me some lesson? Does he have an unseen plan that I have just not realized? I am constantly asking myself these questions. I do think that He is teaching me a lesson especially in the area of unconditional love. When I’m done feeling rejected, I can’t get down on myself. I am not the only one to be rejected. This doesn’t even compare to the amount of rejection Jesus and his disciples faced. Jesus was constantly rejected but he still showed love to those who rejected him. Love is unconditional. I must love those around me even if they disappoint me. If I am to act as Christ did, then I must remember act like it. So when I get angry, I have to take a second, calm down, and remember to respond in love even when I feel like no one is understanding. I have to love and understand those I disagree with. I also have to be encouraging. I have to remember that I am not there for them to encourage me. Why would I be there if that was the case? I am there to encourage them. For those of you who have been reading what I’ve typed, you might’ve just realized just as I have how selfish I’m being right now. Wow!!! You figured that out along with me. That was harsh. This is a growing process and I now have realized that. I’m sorry for the negativity, but at least it ended on a positive note. 

What is contemporary?

I have been leading music at Faith now for a few weeks and I have seen a lot of encouragement since I have been there. Faith is a very traditional church. The elderly will complain about the color of the sanctuary arguing that walls haven’t been painted in 30 years. Why can’t we leave them the way they are. Not only do they have this attitude about the paint on the walls but also they have this attitude about the music that is played. If the pianist can’t play it, then it isn’t worth being sung. When I accepted the position as music director, I knew what I was getting into but I just didn’t know it would be this difficult. I know things take time, but we humans want things to happen here and now. I need some patience.

I have been working with the choir on what most of them refer to as “contemporary” music. The term means “of or at the same time”. I have forgotten about this term. I don’t really know what it means anymore other than the fact that it refers to some sort of generational gap between older generations and younger generations. Times change and I don’t understand why we can’t change with them. Do we really want to be stuck in the past? Yesterday was yesterday. You can’t stop time from changing the world around you. It is a battle you will lose sooner or later. Many of the older church members think they can do this.

When I first tried to teach them songs, a lot of them would not have it. But I later began to see a change in them. They listened to the songs and heard there was a deeper message in the songs rather than just notes, melodies, and arrangements. This makes me think, “When did we get so hung up on what kind of music it is when there is a message that is so beautiful and so powerful.” Why should we let our focus be what we know and what we don’t? Why should we let our comfort limit our worship? I still have people shake their heads and say that the music wasn’t good on sunday mornings. I think, “Not only did the choir work their butts off for this song, but did you not even listen to the message in the song?” I guess I never will know. I do have people that keep me grounded all of whom I am very thankful for. I guess the generational gap is an excuse and it is really a gap between being close-minded and being open-minded. I just hope that when I get in my old age I don’t squabble about the paint on the walls or the music that is being played. Not only does it waist time but it also takes away from what we are their to do: worship our Creator.

Going to the Chapel

I started this blog to partly write about how the wedding planning was going and that is what i fully intend to try to do. Planning is under way for what we hope to be a late May, early June wedding. Danielle, her mother Debbie and I rode the the Mountain Park and Stone Mountain areas looking at a couple of places to have the wedding ceremony. We first stopped at Mountain Park First Baptist Church. This particular church held some history for the Thomason family. Her grandparents attended this church, her sister’s graduation ceremony was held at this church, and, most importantly, her parents were married at this church. Seems to be a very special place, right? As we all looked around, Danielle just didn’t fall in love with it and to tell the truth neither did I. Danielle thought that her mother really wanted her to get married here because it was a memorable place to them. But I think Ms. Debbie always sticks to the philosophy that it is Danielle’s day. 

Here’s a picture of the sanctuary…..

Also, this is not the sanctuary her parents were married in. There is a little chapel in another part of the church that is much smaller.

Then we all went over to Stone Mountain. This place was very nice. Even I thought it was a very good place. The pavilion was on the banks of the water. It was actually kind of cool under it considering this was a hot August day. Danielle was very impressed with this place. She knew that she had always wanted an outdoor wedding and this was in her opinion absolutely perfect. I liked it too. 

Here it is…

It was very nice. The package for it wasn’t at a bad price either.

Anyway, neither of the places are able to get back to us until Tuesday. Very random indeed but hopefully something will work out. Danielle has her hopes set on the Stone Mountain location so I hope we can get it.

Introduction

So this is my first post on tumblr. I thought I might start a blog because I’m thinking that this college year will be a crazy one. First of all, it is my senior year. The year that is on the edge of real, independant life. Secondly, I’m a biology major (with a music minor), which seems like a difficult major, but it’s fun nonetheless. With all the classes that I have this year, I think it would be good to work out my frustations in some form. Thirdly, I just started a part-time music ministry position at Faith Baptist Church of Americus, GA. It is a very traditional church and when I say traditional i mean it to the extreme. Whether it’s my calling or job to change this church to a more opened minded place is beyond me, but it’s fun and interesting nonetheless. And finally, I am engaged to the one I believe I will spend the rest of my life with, Danielle Thomason.

All this fun stuff packed into one year! I think there will be some interesting stories to be told.