by admin on January 4, 2011
As I reflect on 2010 in many ways I am glad to leave it behind (due to a leadership struggle and resulting exit of one of our founding pastors, and a tragic death in our church family)
However, I also like taking time to be thankful for many good things that have happened – and as an artistic creative person – to reflect and recommend some things that have encouraged and touched me this year.
So here goes!
Best experiences & highlights of 2010
Holland Tour – Late April 2010 Every time I get a chance to be with the Dutch people, I am grateful and humbled. I continue to have great hope and faith for the European nations and their expression of faith and love in our needy world.
Five day holiday in Barcelona (late April – early May) staying at Hotel 1898. Having 5 days to wander the Gothic Quarter and La Rambla with the wife of my youth was a incredible gift – eating some amazing gelato; attending an intimate ‘Spanish guitar’ concert in a small stone chapel, relaxing on the rooftop of our hotel overlooking the old city in the sunshine.
The Listening Party for Prodigal God on June 5, 2010. Even though I was a bundle of nerves – this was one of the best parties ever held at our place – and I’m so proud of everyone involved in this project. Even though it may turn out to be a commercial flop, it’s a project that I feel represents some of the best creative work I’ve ever been a part of.
Hosting Ed & Janet Piorek at the Shining Rose and doing the ‘Father heart weekend’ with them in late September in Abbotsford. Ed’s teaching was so formative for me as a new dad – and do something with him all these years later felt like an amazing gift.
Seminars 4 Worship ‘Glorious’ Events in 5 US cities with Paul Baloche and Kathryn Scott in Oct and Nov. I am so grateful to be part of something with not only Paul & Kathryn, (who are incredible people and worship leaders) but with the whole Integrity team. They were the ‘best run’ conferences I’ve ever been a part of!
(Here’s a random technology highlight)
The demo of the ‘Videowave’ TV at the BOSE store in Alabama (with Hans Groeneveld from Integrity International). It’s amazing when a company gets something so ‘right’ and BOSE nailed it with this one! Even though I don’t have 6 grand to buy one right now – I just enjoyed the pleasure of watching, hearing and admiring something so well done!
And the top one of the year:
My daughter Rachel getting engaged to Luke Vandevert on Sunday Nov 14 – looking forward to a wedding in July!
My favourite music of 2010
Not all of these albums were released in 2010 – but I discovered them in 2010 so that’s what matters to me.
1. Eastmountainsouth I know it’s not a new album (and the duo has since disbanded) but I start listening to them in the summer and I found their album matched the mood perfectly of this past autumn. Thanks Darryl (I love friends who pass on or recommend good music – what would life be without some great new tunes!)
2. Marc Cohn Listening Booth 1970 What a singer he is! Some great covers of classic songs.
3. Joshua Hyslop Cold Wind A stunning EP debut from a local lad (From Abbotsford B.C.) Check him out at www.joshuahyslop.com One to watch!
4. Lights The Listening What a stunning new artist – love the way she weaves potent truth into contemporary stylings – Saw her show in Oct at the Vogue in Vancouver. WOW!
5. Brooke Fraser – Flags The last song on her new CD is great! Also saw her in person this year (early Dec at ‘The Venue’ in Vancouver) The venue was actually not that great (nor was the sound) but still love who she is and her music.
6. Sara Bareilles – Kaleidoscope Heart Some stunning songs ‘The Light’ is incredible
7. Kathryn Scott We still believe The title song is worth the price of the album. I had the privilege of touring with her this fall in the eastern US – what a treasure she is!
8. JJ Heller Painted Red My daughter got this one – and it really helped keep me calm during the spring while working on the ‘Level Ground’ project.
9. Amy Grant Somewhere down the road It’s simply hard to underestimate the power of her voice – which continues to hold strong and clear after all these years. Love the opening track – ‘Better than a Hallelujah’
10. The Rescues Let loose the horses This is my latest purchase (again courtesy of Darryl) A very interesting blend of harmony vocals in a accessible rock/alternative/pop style. One of the things I love about this band is that it’s 2 men and 2 women and the combination is just stunning. The opening and title track just pulls you into the project. ‘Before the fall’ just riveted me from the first time I heard it. The final track ‘You’re not listening’ – wow – what a song! Thank goodness some real music is being made in the mainstream!
11. Jars of Clay The Shelter It was interesting to hear a CCM group do what I try and do all the time with my worship projects; feature other singers and artists.
Favourite Films of 2010
1. The King’s Speech. I just was so grateful for all the gifts and elements that came together to tell an important historical story. Just amazing!
2. The Social Network The music was very powerful – and it’s a clear look into the worldview behind ‘Facebook’ and all the social network sites.
3. Tangled I didn’t think Disney could do it again – but there was a lot of magic in this one. The floating lanterns were moving (especially thinking about what they were released each year for – parents looking for their missing child). Looking forward to seeing it again at home when it comes out on DVD!
4. Toy Story 3 Pixar continues to be the best of animation and this one is no exception – just brilliant.
5. Inception A fresh mind-bender. Keeps you guessing the thinking. It reminding me of what watching the first ‘Matrix’ film felt like when it came out.
6. The Book of Eli We had no idea what we were going to see when we saw it back in Jan 2010 . . but we walked out talking about it for a long time.
7. Secretariat One of my favourite things to do with a film is to visit another period of time – even if in this case it’s only 30 – 40 years ago. I loved the opening scene while the voice over is quoting from the book of Job.
8. ‘Tron – Legacy’ (which surprised me) I have to admit – I took Ben to this one thinking I would spend most of my time rolling my eyes – but I really enjoyed it.
9. Unstoppable – What I liked about this film is that there was no ‘bad guy’ – the antagonist was the train itself. And of course, Denzel is always good!
10. True Grit – I not usually a fan of Cohen brother’s films – but this one was likely as good as Western can get. The 14 year old girl was stellar – as was Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges. (During the holidays it was wild to see Jeff Bridges play two opposite roles within a week in this one and in Tron)
One of the ones that ‘got away’ that I wish was on my top 10 list was Narnia; Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It feels to me that the child-like wonder is almost gone – and they are trying too hard to be like ‘Lord of the Rings’. I wish they would target children more with the Narnia films (like CS Lewis did with the books) in some sort of whimsical fashion. Though I should add – Benjamin loves the Narnia films so I still enjoy seeing them and watching Ben smile!
Some of my favourite books:
Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan
Mark continues to write in a way that feeds and challenges me deeply. Having some personal time with him in the summer – and at his church in September was an added bonus.
The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead
This wasn’t my favourite book by Lawhead (I felt like he was a little rushed and didn’t take enough time to develop characters) but hearing that there are 5 books in the series makes me more interested in seeing where it’s all going. And he has been my favourite fiction writer so I’m still with him. (Loved what he did with the HOOD trilogy!)
My favourite songs that I released as a songwriter and recording artist in 2010
It was an unusual year for me in that I released more tracks than any other year (Level Ground CD & DVD – 14 songs) and Prodigal God (26 tracks – 23 songs). So that’s 37 new songs released . . . not likely to happen again.
Here are my favourite out of that bunch!
1. No return (Prodigal God – Act Two) This duet I did with Colin Janz (Prodigal Son) as the ‘Elder Son’ is really the turning point of my heart – my breaking point.
2. Enter the rest of God (Level Ground) Maybe it’s just a message that I need over and over again – but the way this song came together in the writing and arranging – I know it won’t likely be the popular one from Level Ground – but it’s my favourite.
3. Will you love me in the winter? (Level Ground) I wrote this one in the 11th hour of prep for ‘Level Ground’ . . . but I carried this lyric idea around in my back pocket for about a decade.
4. Why am I leaving (Prodigal God – Act One) There’s something about the way this song builds into the round that makes it one of my favourite of the musical.
5. Welcome to the place of level ground (Level Ground) This song, when it came and was finished, let me know it was time to do this project.
And I shouldn’t leave out the songs I loved and turned to as a worship leader of a local church.
Worship songs: A record.
The song that I used the most was ‘You alone can rescue’ by Matt Redman. The list includes songs by Kathryn Scott, Josh Fox, Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown, many others and yours truly.
My most used worship songs of the year: (top section in order of use)
You alone can rescue
Welcome to the place of level ground
Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)
Hope of the nations
The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Mighty to save
At the foot of the cross
We still believe (Kathryn Scott)
Today (As for me and my house)
Jesus Reign (My hands are worn) (Josh Fox)
Broken & Beautiful (As we break this bread)
(Songs that I used once)
Altar of love
Arms of Love
Be the centre
Be thou my vision / Just as I am
Blessed be your name
Christ the Lord is risen today
Come now is the time to worship
Enter the rest of God
Everything (God in my living)
God of wonders (medley with) Give thanks
Hallelujah (Your love is amazing)
Hosanna (Praise is rising)
Hosanna (Brooke Fraser)
I’ve found a love
I lift my eyes up
Lord reign in me
No one but you
Our Father in heaven
The Jesus Way
Thank you for the cross
The Saving One
We will worship Him
You never let go
You surround me