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Sunday, June 28, 2009

sabbatical fruit - week 8 - ripening

In contrast to the frustrations of week 6, I saw much of the sabbatical fruit "ripen" this week. I pulled together the eight chapters of the devotional/study book on worship and sent off a draft to the printer. It is an approximately 100 pg. book based on eight sermons I delivered in the Winter of 2009. I have added some reflection/study questions and re-formatted it for personal or group study. It is tentatively titled The Breadth of Worship, and the proof has already come back to me for my proof-readers to review. I hope to be able to receive their comments and turn it back around pretty quickly, perhaps even to have a final copy ready in August. We'll see...

At any rate, it is very encouraging to see one of the major projects move tangibly toward completion.

On the music front, I realized one of the reasons that things seemed to be progressing so slowly is that I had so many songs going at once. It was hard to see progress when I was working through 12-15 songs adding guitar, then going back to add piano. But, having worked all week on these, most have enough recorded now to sound closer to "done" than to "just started" - and some time during the week it felt the accomplishment rather than the frustration.

I also think I'm going to simplify/reduce the goal in this area. I have two groups of songs: 1) contemporized hymns and worship songs; and 2) spiritual songs of relationship with God and others. I was going to try to create two different CDs along these themes (there are enough songs), but I think I'm going to do one CD with the 10-12 songs that are closest to completion. It will be more of a mixture of styles and content, but if/when I get to the rest of the songs, it can just be a continuation project. This is probably more than anyone cares to know... but it helps me to think through it "out loud" here.

Short version... I think the music project is also doable and completable by the end of sabbatical, which is also encouraging, particularly after the aforementioned week 6.

Finally, I had hit a plateau on weight at the beginning of sabbatical (after losing 25 lbs just prior to it). After gaining 5 lbs on vacation in week 7, I went back on Phase I of the South Beach Diet. Having shaken the cold/flu of week 6-7, I have also started riding my bike. So, I'm encouraged in this area and hoping to see some weight loss, hopefully through the plateau of the past two months.

Why share all this? One reason is so those who are interested can still feel in touch with me, at least through knowing what I'm up to (and hopefully praying for me). Another reason is my hope that through sharing frustrations, wrestling, and encouragements, others might find hope for the road they are on.

In God's grace....

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