Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Are you the BOSS of the Church?

While sitting at the lunch table today, my 4 year old son asked me if "I was the boss of the Church?" I guess he assumed that to be the case, since I'm the Administrator (also Worship Pastor) and he frequently sees me giving direction as we set up and do other things.

Funny how kids are sometimes more perceptive than adults... I quickly explained to him that I was not the BOSS at Church but that GOD was! The Pastor and I only give direction to the ministry, following God's orders!!

Wonder how many Church "issues" could be avoided if everyone understood they were not the BOSS at Church... Just a thought!

Monday, December 05, 2005

CD recommendation

Well, it's been several weeks since my last post... has it been almost a month already? Yikes! I digress... People are always asking me what are the latest and greatest CDs. Just picked up the latest Israel Houghton project, and it might be the best one yet. It's called "ALIVE in South Africa" (recorded live in Cape Town, South Africa). Check it out, and pick up a copy at your local Christian Bookstore, or amazon.com. If you're not familiar with Israel Houghton and New Breed, you might also want to check out his previous projects. Great stuff - very singable (if you have a high tenor voice), always a great "hook" and a tune you can't get out of your head... the ingredients that great songs are made of. Happy listening, and don't forget your dancing shoes!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Look!!

Yes, I've changed the look of my blog. The "all black" thing was getting old, and a bit hard on the eyes when reading long posts... so here's something a little more calm.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brooklyn Tabernacle Music Conference

We were blessed again this year to be able to attend the Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Music Conference. There is really too much to tell, but I’ll try to give a brief synopsis of the weekend.

The Opening session with Carol Cymbala, began Friday with prayer and praise, as well as brief introductions of some of her staff. “Building a Strong Music Ministry” with David & Nicole Binion followed that. They have a great new song, “I Will Rejoice” which we will be teaching our church as soon as I get the chord chart. Beginning that evening at 7 p.m. we enjoyed Choir Rehearsal with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, which included a music reading session of most of the new project, “I’m Amazed”. It was somewhat different this year in that we had printed music to the songs we were to learn for Sunday, when in the past we have actually learned by rote – the way they usually teach songs to the choir.

Saturday morning we began with a Praise & Worship time with some of their singers and the Brooklyn Tab band. Their band is INCREDIBLE! They just pick songs, pick a key, and go, with no music. After that time, we enjoyed teaching from Babbie Mason, “Ready, Set, Write”. She also sang “With All My Heart”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” (in her own inimitable way), and closed with “To The Cross”. After Babbie, Lari Goss, well known arranger and orchestrator, hosted a Q&A Forum. Following lunch, we enjoyed the workshop “Effective Drama Ministry” with Susan Pettrey (the Cymbala’s daughter). Susan is an anointed speaker (shades of her Dad!)… they closed the session with scenes from one of their recent presentations, “The Unexpected God” – when God doesn’t do what you expect Him to do – built around the life of John the Baptist. Very moving and thought provoking. The closing session with Carol Cymbala was, as usual, full of prayer and worship.

Sunday we enjoyed Worship @ the Brooklyn Tabernacle. They have asked that you attend only one service, but we were fortunate enough to get in for two services, the 12 noon, and the 3:30 p.m. (They also have a 9 a.m. service). Part of the service, because of the conference, included conference attendees singing with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Yvette and I did not this year, but have in years past, and it is a blast. There is a “wall of sound” that comes from the choir loft that you can only compare to what heaven must be like. That many singers, in that concentrated of an area, singing their hearts out to the Lord. It’s incredible to listen to from the congregation as well. A treat this year was the choir’s encore premiere of “I’m Amazed” during the 3:30 p.m. worship time. This was part of the reasoning for our attending 2 services, as well, since we knew the premiere of “I’m Amazed” would take most of the service time. It was wonderful to hear Pastor Cymbala speak at the 12 noon service. His messages are always very conversational, timely, and Spirit-led. His emphasis this Sunday was on prayer – a common topic in his speaking, and one that the church needs to hear, since most churches are emaciated and powerless because of their prayerlessness.

Although it is expensive to go to NYC, if you ever have the chance to attend the Brooklyn Tabernacle Music Conference, or to just attend worship or one of their prayer meetings, it is well worth the cost. It is definitely a life changing experience.

Jogging in a Jug

Okay, this will be a quick one, and I'll probably get back to fairly consistent blogging this week... after a long absence. This is just a recipe that I received from someone at our church. As they say back home, "it'll cure what ails ya" - well, it does help if you're having stomach issues. Have been taking my 2 ounces in the morning for the last few weeks, and it has helped me!

4 oz. Vinegar
14 oz. Apple Juice or Cider
14 oz. Welch's Grape Juice

Drink 2 oz. every morning.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New York Philharmonic

Tonight we attended a concert at Avery Fisher Hall to hear the New York Philharmonic.

The program:
Gianandrea Noseda, conductor
Simon Trpceski, piano
BARTÓK Dance Suite
BRITTEN Sinfonia da Requiem
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3

Although the Bartok left a bit to be desired (brass were all over the place - several missed entrances and playing in the wrong places), the Britten Sinfonia and Simon Trpceski's stunning performance of the Rachmaninoff 3rd made up for it.

Who knew my musical tastes were so diverse?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Drumstruck (Off Broadway)

DRUMSTRUCK - great title, isn't it? If you are interested in African culture and/or like Drums, this Off Broadway show is for you! Not quite as entertaining as STOMP last year, but great fun nonetheless. Loved the interactive nature of the show - as you enter the theatre, you'll quickly notice there is an African drum on every seat!!! Let the fun begin! Try for 1/2 price tickets at the Tickets Tickets booth on Times Square...

Late Night with David Letterman

Today we finally made it to see a taping of the David Letterman show! We've talked about it for many years, and have tried to get tickets, but never succeeded. This time, we did! How did we do it? Called the number provided on their website, promptly at 11 a.m. the day of the show as directed. It was busy for a long time, but when I got through, they told us we were # 3 & 4. Well evidently 3&4 is a pretty good spot, because I think we were the last two to get in from the 'standby' line. Anyway it was great fun - exactly what you would expect in a live taping. The band was actually the best part of the show. Paul Shaffer and those cats can really play!!! Content of the show was alright - typical 'political' slants that you would expect. Guests were "The Rock" and Kit Armstong, a kid pianist, who could really play.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday Prayer Meeting @ The Brooklyn Tabernacle

Tonight we were priviledged to attend the Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting at The Brooklyn Tabernacle. As always (we have been many times now) it was a wonderful evening of worship and prayer. The thing that always strikes me about their prayer time is the unhindered, uninhibited, and unfettered prayer of the congregation. People are very relaxed and know they have the freedom to call upon the name of the Lord and cry out to Him.

The meeting officially begins at 7 pm, but the doors open at 5 pm, and from what we can always observe, people begin assembling to pray, and begin praying at 5:00. Every time we get there (around 6 pm or so) the downstairs portion of the sanctuary is already considerably filled. The best seats we could find this time were in the 2nd section from the front on the right side of the tech booth. At 6:30 one of the Associate Pastors went to the microphone and asked for the other Pastors/Staff to come down front to prayer with any in attendance who desired individual prayer. The middle aisle immediately filled with well over 100 people! it was an awesome sight to say the least. People not ashamed to express their need for prayer... The line stayed full until 7 pm when the "offical" prayer meeting began.

Tonight we experienced a first - there was a film crew in attendance, taping the service, for future use in a DVD and, from what we were able to gather, future Teaching Materials / Study Guide for Pastor Cymbala's recent book, "Breakthrough Prayer". The cameras did not effect the flow or the spirit of the service whatsoever. How refreshing!

The service was filled with prayers, individual, small group, and corporate, as well as great worship and an inspiring word from Pastor Cymbala. If you ever get the chance to attend Prayer Meeting at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, you will be forever changed!

If you just can't get to Brooklyn, NY, but are in the Atlanta area, feel free to be our guest at Truth Tabernacle of Praise on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. It's not quite a Brooklyn Tab experience, but we're working on it. (Brooklyn Tab is the inspiration and vision for our prayer meeting.)

Monday, September 19, 2005

When Worlds Collide ...after 20 years!

WOW! What can I say but thanks for the wonderful expressions of love through cards, letters, gifts and your presence – whether live or on video at my 20 year ministry celebration yesterday. It was a complete surprise to me – thanks to Yvette and her “helpers”. I can’t believe no one spilled the beans over these many weeks of planning and preparation. Needless to say I am very humbled by it all. Your part in my 20 years of ministry celebration will not ever be forgotten.

In so many ways it was quite surreal – that many people coming together, from different places, many not knowing the others, but all connected somehow. That many people in the room from so many years who all know me so well, was sorta ‘scary’… you should try it sometime… something like at least 3 different worlds colliding on the same day. Glad you all didn’t have too much time to compare notes! In a strange way like being at your own funeral, but not dead yet. HA HA!! Very cool, but extremely surreal. Actually, wouldn’t it be better if it were that way – if we were able to hear the nice things people think about us before we're gone? (Just a thought.) Maybe today you could contact someone you haven't seen or spoken to in years that had a positive impact on your life.

I pray that I can become even a tenth of the man of God that you all see me as. I’m just one beggar, trying to point other beggars to bread, really. One who is discovering the freedom God desires for us in worship and life that wants to encourage others toward the same. Thank you for your love and support over these last 20 years (or at least "your" part of those 20 years or more). I would definitely not be the person that I am today without each of you. Keep worshiping God with all your heart, with all your mind, soul and strength!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Documents tell The Truth!

Okay, I think it's been long enough, and those that are observant will notice this as a new "old" post. For the record here are the documents that led to and surrounded my resignation in October 2004.

Letter to Save Rehoboth (circulated Aug/Sep 2004)
Severance Agreement (Oct. 6, 2004)
Resignation Letter (read Oct. 10, 2004)
Letter from Rehoboth's Lawyer (Jan. 5, 2005) - please note I was not terminated, but voluntarily resigned
Reply letter to Rehoboth (Jan. 24, 2005)
Letter (Jan. 24, 2005) outlining declining offerings - though they continued to fund the "non-essential" TV ministry
Letter officially ending original Severance Agreement (March 2, 2005)

I know that most of this seems unbelievable, so that's why I post it for you to read and come to your own conclusions.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Singing at the Atlanta Braves game, June 21

Our own Truth Tabernacle Choir (you who know me well know that I love the sound of that) had the fantastic opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Atlanta Braves game last Tuesday, June 21. As I had been doing some Interim work at Eastside Baptist Church (Marietta) their choir was scheduled to sing, and they asked me to direct, and invited our choir to sing with them. It was great fun to sing an arrangement that I did several years ago for Mabel White Memorial Baptist (Macon) in front of all those people and to see Truth Tabernacle of Praise's name on the big marquee there at Turner Field. (Yes that is me [below] on the High Definition Video Board - BravesVision - the world's largest high definition video board measuring 72ft. x 80ft.) I still can't believe the whole experience. What great exposure so early in our church life.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

If the Horse is Dead: Dismount?

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In contrast, here's how many in the church respond when the find out their "horse" is dead:

  1. Say things like, "This is the way we always have ridden the horse."
  2. Appoint a team (or better yet a committee) to study the horse.
  3. Buy a stronger whip.
  4. Change riders.
  5. Arrange to visit other churches to see how they ride dead horses.
  6. Raise the standards for riding dead horses.
  7. Appoint a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
  8. Create a training session to increase our riding ability.
  9. Compare the state of dead horses in today's church environment.
  10. Change your definitions or rules by declaring, "This horse is not dead."
  11. Hire new staff members to ride the dead horse.
  12. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
  13. Declare that "No horse is too dead to beat."
  14. Provide additional funding to increase the horse's performance.
  15. Do a cost-analysis study to see if riding dead horses is cheaper.
  16. Purchase a product or institute a new program to make dead horses run faster.
  17. Declare that the horse is "better, faster, and cheaper" dead.
  18. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
  19. Revisit the performance requirements for dead horses.
  20. Downsize the dead horse.
  21. Reassign fault to the dead horse's last rider.
  22. Have a church picnic to celebrate the dead horse.
  23. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
  24. Declare the dead horse was "one of the leading horses" in it's day.
  25. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.
  26. Dead Horse, emeritus

adapted from p.14 of "Into the Future" by Elmer Towns & Warren Bird (c) 2000

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This one is too easy

Thanks to a friend (David Duncan) for sending these questions...

Welcome to the Spring 2005 edition of getting to know your friends.

What you are supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail & paste it onto a new e-mail that you'll send. Change the answers so they apply to you & send to a whole bunch of people, including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you'll learn a lot of little things about your friends, if you did not know them already.

1. What time did you get up this morning? MORNING!?!?! who gets up in the morning - yuck! I prefer high noon, myself. Actually that's one of my personal fantasies - Chandler usually sees to it that we are up no later than 7:15 daily.

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds Dahling.... too many pearls cast before ________ (well, you know...)

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Shark Tale

4. What is your favorite TV show? don't really watch TV too much anymore - spend too much time in front of the computer screen (confession), but if I had to pick a favorite it would be "24" - love the suspense...

5. What did you have for breakfast? don't usually "do" breakfast

6. What is your middle name? Wayne - my Dad's first name

7. What is your favorite cuisine? JUNK FOOD and anything CHOCOLATE!!!

8. Foods do you dislike? Chinese, Sushi, anything that resembles or tastes like dead pets...

9. What is you favorite chip flavor? currently Cheetos - love the orange residue they leave on the tip of your fingers - great licking!!! Used to be Doritos - Nacho Cheese for great breath!

10. What is your favorite CD? right now, Martha Munizzi (The Best is Yet to Come) and Clint Brown (NBC = Nothing But Church) and of course, anything Brooklyn Tabernacle or Christ Tabernacle Choir (Also brand new - Kurt Carr, "One Church") I could go on for days on this question.... see my website www.davidthomas.us for more great music

11. Favorite sandwich? not really a big sandwich person - maybe a meatball sub instead

12. What characteristics do you despise? Two faced creeps and manipulating powermongers - not teasing... ("religious" people can also be very annoying - and if you were offended by that, you may be one!) :-P

13. What is your favorite clothing item? casual - baggy gym shorts; dressier - anything black (my dark side), or orange and blue (Go Gators!)

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be? Paris, France.... followed by Africa = Maputo, Mozambique (it's supposed to be really beautiful there) a coastal paradise

15. What is the color of your bathroom? Hayseed paint with Maroon furnishings - my wife is a master decorator

16. What is your favorite brand of clothing? Alfani - that's Macy's 'affordable' version of Armani, also when on sale, like Claiborne (for men, of course), Calvin Klein... and if I could afford it, my entire wardrobe would be Perry Ellis and Hugo Boss

17. Where would you retire to? Ft. Lauderdale or Sanibel Island, Florida

18. What is your favorite time of day? NIGHT - definitely after 6 pm through around 1 a.m.

19. What is your most memorable birthday? haven't had it yet...

20. Where were you born? Jacksonville, FL

21. What is your favorite sport to watch? College Football

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? hmmmmmm.... not sure

23. Who do you expect to send it back first? Yvette (but David Duncan beat us all to it!)

24. What fabric detergent do you use? JOY - no, wait, that's dishwashing stuff... but I don't know anything about cleaning, you know?

25. Coke or Pepsi? Water, please (or Sprite on occasion - nice to have a bit of the bubbly every now and then.)

26. Morning or night person? NIGHT

27. What is your shoe size? 9

28. Do you have any pets? no, Chandler is quite enough for us right now. hehehe

29. Thing no one knows about you? I'm Mr. Six.... the Six-Flags dancing guy!!!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Fry's Electronics

One more for today. (And this will be a brief one.) If you enjoy electronics (and what man doesn't like electronic gadgets?) then you MUST visit Fry's Electronics. It is located in Atlanta beside the Gwinnett Place Mall, and has virtually anything you could think of electronic. The prices are pretty good too. You can visit their website at www.outpost.com. You won't be disappointed. Goodnight!

Have you seen my latest commercial????

Yes, Spring is finally here (PRAISE GOD!) and my latest commercial has been released. What!?!? You didn't know that I was on television again? YES - have you seen the latest SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA commercial? That's me! The old man (great make-up, huh?) who gets out of bed, gets all duded up in his black tux and red bow tie, jumps in the bus, then jumps out of the bus and starts dancing around on the sidewalk.

Yes, my fans sometimes stop me on the street, or in the choir loft (ha ha ha) and ask - was that you on the Six Flags commercial? Well, now you know officially - YES, it was and is me. No autographs please.

Seriously - NOT - but it was funny that some people think that when I direct the choir, it reminds them of "the Six Flags man". I even have a poster Randy Hardeman did last year that I need to get framed... Well, there are striking resemblances, don't you think????

Panera Bread

Okay - if you do spend considerable amounts of time on your computer, you need to know this. If you are traveling (or just hanging out wasting time while your daughter is in dance class) and need WI-FI access, find the nearest Panera Bread. They offer FREE - yes FREE - WI-FI access in most of their shops. Pastor even found this useful while he was without high-speed access in Chattanooga.

That was my free tip of the week!

2nd Blog - it's about time...

Okay. I know it's been way too long since my first blog, but here goes the second. First of all, it's not as easy to stay up on this as you might think... I mean, there are other things to do besides sit around composing your thoughts all day aren't there? :-) Well, yes there are. However, I wonder - - - how many hours do you spend on the computer every day anyway. I'll not tell, but it would be an interesting topic for posts.

So... How much time DO you spend on the computer every day. Please reply - those that care, and might be interested in this as well.

New post coming soon!!! (Much sooner than this one!) LOL!

Monday, March 28, 2005

the first blog

well, everyone has to start somewhere, so this is my first entry into the world of blogging. we will see how it goes… seems to be the latest thing on the web, so why not give it a whirl. Yesterday was Easter and today was a rainy day and Monday, and they always get me down. ;-) Easter – usually the Monday after is very much of a “let down” even though a bit of a welcome relief since it is always a very hectic weekend for ministers. …a great day yesterday at our new church, Truth Tabernacle of Praise. We haven’t even really officially started yet, and according to some of the “number people” we had around 150 people in attendance (including the children in the nursery). Did I mention we don’t even have a building yet either? We’re currently meeting at the Mountain Park Aquatic Center Activity Building in Lilburn. No let down today. Back to work ordering equipment that has been provided for the new church, and planning worship for Truth Tabernacle as well as Eastside Baptist Church. Fun to be planning worship for two churches while I do “interim” work at Eastside. Thankfully worship and worship planning are two things I love to do. Guess what? Jesus is STILL alive the day after Easter! Until the next blog…