Dr. Travis Doucette is an award-winning singer/songwriter, minister, educator, historian and archivist. His creative output is represented through the various social media buttons below.
Following his passion for pop culture history, Travis started Retrobox Media Transfers in 2013, a service-based business dedicated to the preservation and digitization of obsolete video and audio formats.
Store Clerk and Music Consultant at BJ's Records and Nostalgia
Higher Education | Ontario, Canada, CA
The first and foremost thing that defines me is that I am a Christ-follower. My two greatest passions in life are music and education. I am known for my infectious enthusiasm for my passions. I am a life-long learner, avid reader and effective communicator-educator. I am also a hard-working administrator who values and implements organization and systems. I am a self-starter who works well both on his own and as a team member. I believe in adding value to people and when functioning as a leader, go out of my way to ensure team members are placed where they can be the most effective contributors to the cause. My tenacity ensures that work is accomplished in both an effective and timely fashion. I am a creative person and take great interest in crafting my talents both as a musician and songwriter. I enjoy a good challenge where I can exercise my creative problem-solving skills. I am a natural, proven, responsible leader with excellent professional social skills who finds great gratification in realizing and releasing the potential in others.
2013 - Present
Store Clerk and Music Consultant / BJ's Records and Nostalgia
Store clerk in a vinyl record store, specializing in sales and maintenance of analog formats, specifically to collectors and audiophiles.
2013 - Present
Owner/Operator / Retrobox Media Transfers
Owner and operator of a small digital media editing business that specializes in restoring, transferring and archiving analog media to digital media formats.
2013 - Present
Private Music Instructor / Retrobox Music Studio
Currently providing private lessons in contemporary keyboard skills, music theory and songwriting to a small studio students.
Adjunct Instructor / Liberty University
Adjunct Instructor of Music Theory, Aural Skills, Songwriting and Worship Studies. Helped formulate, build and implement a newly designed songwriting curriculum. Taught Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior level Music Theory, Aural Skills and Songwriting classes. Also co-taught classes in Worship Studies, Congregational Ministry (Church Music Administration), Artist Development and Stage Presence. Taught private lessons in Music Theory, Aural Skills and Songwriting.
Song Scout Administrator/Director Social Media Marketing / Red Tie Music
Worked as a Song Scout Administrator. Specifically worked with artists and songwriters in the development of their songs in preparation for publishing and use on various worship projects.
Graduate Assistant / Liberty University
Worked as an Assistant to Dr. Vernon Whaley at Liberty University’s Center for Worship. Responsible for grading worship papers, organizing special worship events and ensuring the daily organization and operation of Liberty’s worship department.
Musical Instrument Salesman / Music Pro Ltd.
Musical Instrument Salesman: Responsible for serving musical needs, being knowledgeable about various musical instruments and accessories and giving musical advice/service.
Assistant Music Director/Administrator / Harvest Bible Chapel (Barrie and York Region Churches)
Responsible for leading, arranging and planning church worship services, training, counselling and mentoring church members.
Store Clerk / Treasure House Book Store
Responsible for assisting customers, managing and ordering product, stocking shelves, pricing and accounting.
Photo Laboratory Technician / Wal Mart Photo Lab
Photo Laboratory Technician: Responsible for assisting customers, developing and processing film, mixing and cleaning laboratory chemicals.
Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Activities: Teaching, leadership, instruction, guidance, production and administration.
Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
Activities: Teaching, leadership, instruction, public speaking, Bible study.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Activities: Bible studies, ministry teams, songwriting, leadership training.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Music and Worship Leadership
Activities: Bible studies, ministry teams, songwriting, leadership training.
Emmanuel Bible College
Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.)
Church Leadership with Worship Enhancement
Activities: Worship Team, Theatre, Outreach, Bible Study.
Barrie Central Collegiate
High School Diploma
OAC High School Diploma
Activities: Concert Band (Percussion section leader), Drama Club, Morning Show, Newspaper.
He was so much smarter than me. A fiercely devoted academic, he could run intellectual circles around me despite the separation we had in age and position. Yet he never took himself that seriously. Perhaps that’s why we ended up living together for nearly two years.
Flashback five or six years ago. I find myself wrapping up my tenure traveling with Liberty University Ministry Team, Exodus. We’re at North Point Church in the Atlanta area and LU alumni and friend, Lauren Gaillard is insisting I come listen to a talented drummer. I walk into the room to meet John-Michael. Like so many, I am instantly taken by his contagious smile and enthusiastic personality. That was one of the things that was magical about being in JM’s presence: you could be having the worst day of your life and he’d find a way to engage you and make you smile.
It wasn’t long after that that I was auditioning JM for a spot on one of LU’s ministry teams. It quickly became apparent to the staff that JM was the type of person we wanted representing the school - not only with his musical talents but with his social skills and vibrant love for others.
Our staff decided to form a new Ministry Team called “Seventy-One” and JM was recruited as their drummer. With nearly every member on the team being a freshmen under the age of 20 and unable to drive a 12-passenger van, my job description instantly expanded to ‘van driver’. For me this was a ‘victory lap’, having already been on the road myself for over three years as a member of another team. The difference this time around was I was afforded the opportunity to mentor, observe and watch this team grow.
During these two years on the road, I think I learned more from this group than they did from me. JM specifically made an impact on me as we engaged in deep theological conversations and spent many late nights discussing dispensationalism and substitutionary atonement in hotel rooms and host homes! In ANY battle of wits JM always emerged as the winner: either by proving me wrong or by making me laugh.
JM loved to read. He was remarkably disciplined and given his choice in the van (when he wasn’t sleeping), he’d prefer to listen to a John Piper Sermon, discuss the latest John MacArthur book or, try to explain to us how JRR Tolkien was the most brilliant Fantasy writer of all time. Any one close to JM knew about his obsession with “The Lord of the Rings”. Key word ‘knew’, not understand …
We clocked a lot of miles on the road that year and had a lot of memorable experiences. Far beyond the music, JM’s chief concern at any ministry opportunity was communicating and sharing the Gospel. He was relationally minded and would take it upon himself to speak to anyone about Jesus. As opportunities arose, we became increasingly aware that Christ had given JM not only a pastoral heart but a unique ability to communicate God’s Word.
When JM decided to move off campus. I was quick to make him aware of an opening vacancy in the house I was renting. I remember being so excited at the prospect of having a roommate who would not only be a great guy to live with, but who would challenge me and inspire me to be better. Our like-minded hearts for ministry made us a good fit and JM moved in and the friendship that began on the road continued in the home we now shared.
Realizing JM’s unique gift and passion to communicate the gospel, we decided to launch a Bible study in our home called “Straight Line”. We took the name from a passage of Scripture that instructs God’s men to have the ability to draw a straight line through Scriptural text and interpret it accurately. We held the Bible Study in the basement and JM flourished. Under his leadership, the group grew from five people to nearly 60! There would be weeks where there was no room left for anyone to sit - even on the floor! Some of us had to sit on top of our washer and dryer!
God met us in that cramped little basement and used JM to pour truth into young college-aged men and women. We prayed for one another and worshipped together. Every week, JM would faithfully prepare the Word. I marvelled as I sat back and watched God move through his teaching and preparation.
Not surprisingly, during his final years at LU, instead of drumming on a ministry team, JM was asked to teach at youth events and mentor those on the team he once served on. We have so many incredible memories of being on the road with him. You couldn’t help but to smile around JM. The joy he radiated was contagious.
John-Michael adopted John Piper’s challenge not to waste your life. And he didn’t. John-Michael’s life wasn’t wasted because he spent it on the Gospel. He spent it on loving others and telling others why Jesus loved them. But most importantly, JM’s impact was significant because he practiced daily what he preached. He shed tears over the lost. He spent hours on his knees in prayer for for his siblings and those closest to him. He loved greatly and in turn, was greatly loved.
Life gets busy and as seasons changed in both mine and JM’s lives, we didn’t talk as regularly as we did when we lived together. But we still stayed in touch frequently. About a week or so before he passed we had an encouraging Twitter conversation which later continued on as a text conversation. Now on the other side of things, I am so thankful the Lord afforded me that opportunity to tell JM how much I love and appreciate him before he passed.
As we move forward and come to terms with the loss of a beautiful human being, my heart is turned to praise. Praising God for JM’s incredible parents who raised him and instilled so many great things in him I became the beneficiary of. Praising God for his widow, Alex, who was the love of JM’s life and sole distraction in his last year of college ;)
But most of all, praising God for who he made JM to be and that He would see fit to intersect our lives and put His greatness and glory on display through a friendship that will never be forgotten, but cherished until we see him again. I am so thankful God has a plan and doesn’t waste anything. He certainly didn’t waste John-Michael’s life but instead used him greatly to further the Gospel John-Michael lived for.
To God be all the glory.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servant”
One of my summer projects this year was to repair our hot tub which had been shut down for the past 3-4 years and largely neglected the year before that. I took on the project thinking ‘how hard can this be - if I get stuck, I can always consult YouTube’. I learned a handful of life skills from this adventure, including some basic plumbing and electrical skills.
Here’s what the hot tub looked like when I first cracked ‘er open …
For something that had been untouched for four years I am actually surprised at how little dirt had accumulated …
As you can see there was a bit of everything in the hot tub from mould to cobwebs to dirt, grit and grime …
The hot tub cover itself was pretty much toast as the backside of it had almost completely calcified over time …
The outside wasn’t bad but was desperately in need of a sanding and staining job …
The bottom corner seemed to be area in most disrepair …
As I cleaned the inside of the tub with a water/vinegar mixture, I realized that the actual jets could pop out of their sockets. I ended up removing all 20+ jets and let them soak in pure vinegar for two days. They had never been removed to be cleaned since we bought the tub 15 years ago. Only two were broken upon removal. I have since been told by Beachcomber that it is remarkable than only jets this old needed replacing …
We knew from the get-go that the motor needed replacing as the bearings had worn out. I was told that hot tub motors/pumps can often be rebuilt. However the test of time had worn our little 3.5 HP pump. We ended up buying a brand NEW one for $500 from the folks at Wallwin Electric in Barrie. All was going smoothly at first with installation. But I hit a bit of a hiccup when my new motor started sounding funky …
Turned out it was an operator error and each side of the PVC pipe attached to the pump just needed tightening!
Onto the next problem … May I introduce you to the heating chamber …
That silver pipe that runs under the ‘management system’ (high-tech name for all the computer guts) is where the water passes before it’s pumped and circulated within the tub …
The heating chamber has a small wire with a silver end on it that’s wedged under the chamber. This is an electronic thermometer that measures the temperature of the water …
Within the silver chamber is a heating element. Turns out ours was busted. So after another $115 that component was replaced. When I went to disassemble the heating chamber the pressure gauge (which helps control when the heat is turned off and on) fell into my hand. Turns out it had rotted and rusted out completely. Add another $100 to the bill …
Once I had the pressure gauge and heating coil replaced, things were smooth sailing from there on out. Reassembly was fairly easy. I learned that our water ozonator is a technology not often used anymore in hot tubs and was pretty-much an unneeded component to repair.
We ended up needing to buy a new set of steps for the hot tub. The old wooden ones had rotted out. We opted for some high quality plastic ones which we are told are better suited for the harsher Canadian winters ($250). The most expensive thing needed replacement was the hot tub cover which ran us $600. When all was said and done, the entire project including the cost of water, stocking up on chemicals and re-staining the outside cost us around $1800. We’re confident we’ll be able to double that number and add that to the value of the house if/when it’s listed on the market.
Here’s the finished product - what do you think?
It’s been great to have it up and running again. We heat the tub at around 100 degrees. Cool summer evenings are the best times for a nice soak. We’ve certainly put it to more use than we had previously. We ensure it’s used 3-4 times a week.
Should you be deliberating on whether or not you could fix/repair your own hot tub, let me be the first to say the technology is VERY easy to comprehend and if you aren’t afraid of rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty, you can do much, if not all maintenance/repairs on your hot tub and save a tremendous amount of money. Ours is a Beachcomber 350. After restoring it, it’s hard to believe it’s actually 15 years old. They are certainly made to last when maintained and cared for.
Few Canadian actors may be as recognizable as the multi-talented Gerry Mendicino. With a career that spans four decades he’s been a mainstay within Canadian pop culture playing a variety of roles due to his incredible versatility.
You may recognize Gerry’s iconic face from a number of TV shows and movies including the horror film series, “Saw” …
Or from the film, “Lucky Number Slevin” …
Or perhaps from the blockbuster, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” alongside fellow Canadian colleague, Andrea Martin …
More recently, Mendincino has landed a reoccurring role on the highly successful “Murdoch’s Mysteries” TV series. But long before working on the big stage, Mendincino worked on the kids stage with a different groups of co-stars …
Yes, long before playing Busy’s dad on Global’s 90′s pre-teen hit, “Ready or Not”, Mendicino was educating those teens as toddlers on TVO’s Polka Dot Door …
Gerry recently joined us at one of our annual “Polka Dot Parties” we hold to celebrate and honour those who built TVO’s educational empire in the 1970′s and 80′s …
Following our lunch, Gerry was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about his career, highlighting his early days as a Polka Dot Door host. You’ll be delighted to learn about his humble beginnings as one of PDD’s most memorable and beloved hosts!
With more than 40 years in local and regional politics, Janice Laking shows no signs of slowing down. Whereas journalistic etiquette would prevent me from disclosing the former Barrie Mayor’s age, I may as well have been talking to the same woman who first took her seat on Barrie’s City Council in 1972 as the only other woman on Mayor Dorian Parker’s council. With a mind sharp as a Ginsu and a full breadth understanding of Barrie’s current political scene, it is no wonder why Barrie still listens to their beloved former Mayor.
Bringing a rich political background (her Father was Mayor of Barrie) and a well-secured reputation as a caring counsellor and teacher at North and Central Collegiates, Janice Laking is a mainstay in Barrie. Her numerous contributions to the city including the purchase of Tyndale Park from the Town of Innisfil, the establishment of the Skate Park in Queens Park, Victoria Village and the McLaren Art Gallery continue to be enjoyed by Barrie residents to this day.
An unashamed Liberal befriended by Trudeau, Laking took a stab at provincial leadership in 1993 but was the only Liberal in Ontario to loose the seat to another party - by a mere 126 votes. Some have suggested that the citizens of Barrie intentionally voted for her opponents as a sideways effort to keep her in the Mayor’s seat in Barrie. Laking held the helm of Mayor until she was defeated by O.J. Perri in 2000 bringing an end her 12 year stint as Mayor and nearly 30 years of service on Barrie’s City Council.
Laking, who incidentally is my neighbour, was so kind to sit down with me for nearly two hours to tell me her story in her own words, set the record straight on a number of things and to reflect upon more than four decades of service to her community. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
5 Things Every Musician Wants From Their Worship Leader
Building and leading a team is one of the chief responsibilities of every music director. Here’s five things every musician is looking for from their leader.
1. Preparedness. Effective Worship Leaders come prepared. When you are prepared you demonstrate to your team that you have thought through the details. You show that what you are doing is valuable by the intentionality and time spent to ensure things run smoothly. Preparation speaks honour to your team by respecting their time and talents. Being prepared means planning ahead and showing up with a plan that makes it easy for your team to succeed.
2. Encouragement. Effective Worship Leaders are encouragers. They look for ways to spur their team on to success. They go out of their way both privately and publicly to acknowledge the efforts of their team. They speak words of life that cultivate value in a person not only for what they can do, but simply for who they are. An encourager aspires others to see what they can’t yet see and be what they’ve yet to become.
3. Leadership. Effective Worship Leaders live up to their title. There is nothing passive about the call of God on a person to lead His people. Worship suggesters are all to common. Effective teams have an integral leader who has the heart and skill to fulfill the vision, run the race the cut through the tape at the finish line. An effective Worship Leader isn’t afraid to step up and set the example. In fact. that’s what their team is looking to them to do.
4. Friendship. Effective Worship Leaders value relationships. The most significant ministry impact any leader will have will flow through their ability to relate to others. In a world often separated by hierarchy and social class, effective worship leaders hold no prejudices and seek to build meaningful and enduring friendships with their teammates. If your only interaction with your team members is when you rehearse or play together, there’s more you can do to befriend and build a relationship with them.
5. Musicianship. Effective Worship Leaders are skilled and trained. As nice of a person you may be, it was your talent that initially attracted others to you and landed your job. Chances are you had to work hard on sharpening your skills to develop the raw talent God entrusted you with. Team members are looking to their leader for musical competency and proficiency. Effective leaders are lifelong learners who are always looking for ways to preserve and perpetuate their skills.
It’s funny how the traumatic events of your childhood rarely lose their grip on you. Such is the case with the tornado that ripped apart Barrie. Its memory still rips through the cobwebs of my mind, reminding me how God protected our family from a disaster that should have produced far more casualties.
At the time, we lived at 91 Cumberland Street in Allandale. Our house situated on South East corner of Bayview and Cumberland gave us a front row seat of the impending storm that dismal Friday afternoon.
I was four at the time. I remember riding my tricycle on the sidewalk outside of our house. The power had mysteriously gone out and having been warned by a neighbor that a storm was approaching, I was instructed to ‘go inside’. To this day I wonder if I would be here had I not heeded her warning.
As the wind picked I noticed the sky turned an unusual colour of green. I abandoned my trike and made a beeline for the front door. My next memory is somewhat unusual but demonstrative of the power of the impending disaster lurking only a few miles away.
I remember helping my mom close the front door. Our century old home was equipped with a ‘chain link’ lock. I remember being able to get the link in the hole, but the force of the wind prevented the door from closing completely. To this day I can vividly see tension on that chain link as we struggled against the powerful wind.
No less than five seconds after successfully closing the door, my Mom became intimately aware of the horror unfolding as she looked out our front window and saw the black mass ripping apart Allandale Heights one block away.
With my sister under one arm and me under the other, my Mom knew enough to take us to the basement where we took shelter against the wall. To this day I remember her brief prayer, “Lord, please protect me and my family”. After what sounded like a freight train passing - in mere seconds it was all over. Although we came outside to sunny skies, we were far from happy as we came to grips with insurmountable damage the tornado had caused.
30 years later, I’ve seen a lot of powerful storms come and go. Still none comes close to the terrible twister that unleashed its fury upon our city and rocked my little world as a child. In the months that followed, any time the wind would howl, Mom and Dad would often have a third guest jump in bed with them at night. In light of what we had lived through, they were happy to accommodate me.
If you were living anywhere near Barrie, Ontario on Friday May 31, 1985 you will know the meaning of “Black Friday”. Before being used for pre-Christmas sales, this label meant something very different, especially to the citizens of Barrie, Ontario.
This coming May 31st marks the 30th anniversary of the deadly tornado that ripped apart Southern Barrie and claimed the lives of 12 people. Around 4:30 PM on that warm Spring day the power was mysteriously cut off. Children were sent home from school early, factory workers resigned for the day.
The inconvenience was a blessing in disguise. Unknown to Barrie citizens, a wind storm had knocked down hydro lines South of the city’s boarders. Officials were instructed to conduct blackouts to conserve electricity. 15 minutes later, all hell broke loose in Barrie as the deadly F4 tornado forged its path.
Coming from the West, a ruthless tornado ripped apart Barrie’s industrial area beginning at Patterson Road before jumping highway 400, lifting the roof of a school where children were 15 minutes earlier and destroying much of Allandale Heights. Cars were spun, lifted and catapulted like toys. Homes were effortlessly plummeted de-roofed and levelled. It is an absolute miracle that only 12 people were killed.
But even more significant than the Tornado itself was the determination of the City of Barrie to rebuild. Communities rallied, public service workers clocked countless overtime hours, millions of dollars were raised and in a years’ time the once war-zone in Barrie’s South was nearly undetectable.
30 years later I am sifting through photos and creating video montages to commemorate the efforts of my great city, to remember those we lost and to honour those who gave so much to help our community in its greatest hour of need.
You can be a part of this amazing event and I would encourage you to do so. Tickets are FREE but you need to register to be on the guest list.
Come join us as we pour over pictures, hear stories and watch videos that tell the story of Black Friday. I promise that there’s a happy ending.
Do you know if there's an update about the Save TVO's Archives project?
<p>I know it’s a 5-year campaign that is more than halfway through its duration. No further updates have been shared with me. Please <a href="https://secure3.convio.net/tvo/site/Donation2?df_id=2940&2940.donation=form1">donate</a> if you haven’t already!</p><figure class="tmblr-embed tmblr-full" data-provider="youtube" data-orig-width="540" data-orig-height="304" data-url="https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Ft%3D22%26v%3DlwZjzbuPLnw"><iframe width="540" height="304" id="youtube_iframe" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lwZjzbuPLnw?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque" frameborder="0"></iframe></figure>
This past May 2nd, Peggy Liptrott (original developer of Polka Dot Door) and myself hosted another successful ‘Polka Dot Party’ at Peggy’s home in Toronto.
For those who may not know, ‘Polka Dot Party’ is the name of a gathering that happens twice a year for former TVO personalities and staff. Through the years, more than 50 former employees have attended our gatherings. The purpose of the events is to celebrate TVO while giving attendees the opportunity to re-connect with former colleagues and friends.
In attendance this time (pictured above L-R standing) were Gerry Mendicino, myself, Garth Scheuer, as well as (seated) Peggy Liptrott, Jane Luk, Nonnie Griffin and Carrie Loring. We enjoyed a terrific BBQ and heard some wonderful stories as we ate, laughed and caught up with one another.
One of the highlights of this gathering was the announcement of the forthcoming TDO archive, a new fan-based TVO archive that will house many treasures accumulated by independent historians and archivists of TVO material. The site is expected to launch this summer. You can visit the splash page and bookmark it at www.tdoarchive.com.
Having recently lectured in Barrie on the history of TVO and my ever-growing TVO Interview Series on YouTube, it was an absolute honour to finally sit down at this year’s event with a true Canadian star of stage and screen, Nonnie Griffin. You can watch our interview below:
I also had the wonderful opportunity to interview Gerry Mendicino. That interview will be posted in the next month on my YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already: www.youtube.com/travisdoucettemusic
A very big thanks to our videographer/photographer at this year’s event, Sam MacLennan. We had an incredible time and are already looking forward to our next gathering tentatively scheduled for this Fall. Polkaroo!
Much has been said, much has been read and much has been speculated about the closing of Simcoe County’s oldest secondary institution. In this exclusive interview with Mayor Jeff Lehman, the leader of the City of Barrie candidly and clearly shares his thoughts pertaining to the closure.
Pretty stoked about my recent finds at the #Toronto Record Show this past weekend! Total cost = $80. All original first presses (mostly Canadian) except for a beautiful Eddie Floyd Japanese press! #vinyl #records #recordstore #music
Why is Good Friday “good”? Because 2000 years ago the sinless Son of God stood in our place and absorbed the wrath of God due us so that the filthy mess we make of ourselves could be cleaned up and used to put the power, glory and greatness of God on display! Every single sin forgiven forever: past, present and future. Now that’s GOOD news! #easter #goodfriday #jesus #cross #redemption
On Monday March 16th, 2015 I had the opportunity to sit down with the mayor of Barrie, Ontario - my home city. Mayor Jeff Lehman is now in his second term as mayor having recently been re-elected by a landslide.
My objective in this interview was to get to the heart of this leader and record a piece that could be looked back upon and valued for posterity.
Before conducting the interview I asked the general public through a Facebook forum what types of things they may ask the mayor if they had 90 minutes with him. I was amazed at how every-single response was issue-based.
Opting to go against the grain, I did the opposite. The interview is largely biographical and personal. Whereas some issues come into conversation, there are no overt questions that lead into any one particular issue.
Having “drunk the Kool-Aid” at Liberty University, I am a big believer that Christians can make an eternal impact by politically engaging with society. I am always surprised of how many evangelicals choose not to be involved in municipal politics, yet it’s the level of government that will directly effect them the most.
Mayor Jeff has always been incredibly open and accessible to his constituents. The fact that he gave me 90 minutes of his time for a project that has no agenda other than to document his tenure as Mayor speaks to this. I was surprised to learn Mayor Jeff is only 5 years older than me. It’s amazing the different paths our lives can take us.
Whether you are a resident of Barrie or an outside observer of Jeff Lehman, I am sure you will enjoy this interview and perhaps see a different, more personal side of one of Barrie’s youngest mayors to hold this office.
Ministry provides lots of opportunities to problem-solve. Most problems in ministry will fit into one of three categories. Understanding which category your problem fits into will help bring about the best solution:
1. Sin problem. This person has fallen into habitual sin that keeps him/her in chains and manifests itself in a detrimental way within the ministry.
Solution:Repentance leading to restoration. Sin needs to be brought into the light so that healing and restoration can begin. Confrontation and council is required followed by strict separation from temptations alongside appropriate accountability.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16, ESV).
2. Perception problem. This person may be right in everything they are doing but wrong in how it’s looking. As Christians we are not only responsible for truth but for the perception of it. In many cases perception is reality to those watching us.
Solution:Humble and heed. Help them to see what they cannot and challenge them to change their behaviour so their actions, timing and demeanour align with their intentions.
For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil (Romans 16:19, ESV).
3. Chemistry problem. This person is capable, able and willing but just not a good fit for a specific culture, group or position. They are on the right bus headed in the right direction, they’re just in the wrong seat.
Solution: Add value by re-adjusting. Loving and leading people means finding both the right fit for one’s gifts as well as the right environment for them to be used. Do the hard work of finding the right ‘fit’ for each member on your team. Your team (and church) will thank you.
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10, ESV).
Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with records. Long before vinyl came back ‘in vogue’ I was spinning. My favourite childhood objects growing up were my Fisher Price and Mickey Mouse record players.
Anyone else have these record players? Years ago, my mom found the same Mickey Mouse record player I had as a kid in an antique store and gave it to me for Christmas - a very cool (and thoughtful) gift!
When I was born vinyl was still the dominant medium of music. My parents, having limited funds as a young couple, were happy to support my interest in music (vinyl) albeit with discount records at the time. Because of this, some of my earliest memories of music are rooted in late 70’s soul and disco music.
One of the earliest albums I remember listening to as a kid was a groovy K-Tel compilation called “Disco Eclipse”! “Quality sound from master recordings of original hits”, baby!
I am happy to say my music taste (and collection) has matured beyond disco and recently I completed the large six month task of inspecting and categorizing every record in my collection using an online database called Discogs. Within this system you can identify the condition of every record, specifics relating to its pressing and give it a 1-5 star rating. You can view my collection of 894 LP’s here:
Alternatively, here’s a visual of what my collection looks like in my living room on my Ikea Kallax ($120) shelf:
I am happy to say I have listened to every single album in my collection at least once, many multiple times.
I think the power of nostalgia will always keep me interested in vinyl. There’s something different about the warm sound, the large album artwork and the physical interaction with the source that provides a different experience than the 'disposable’ mediums of CD and MP3.
When I listen to vinyl, I’m not only connecting with music I love, I am connecting with a piece of my past. In fact, I play all my records on my Father’s turntable, a beautiful Pioneer PL-550 purchased back in 1976. It still runs flawlessly.
For the past two years I have been working at a record store (the largest one North of Toronto). That in itself has only fuelled my passion for LP’s and grown my collection substantially. It’s a fantastic store built on the values of carrying popular titles in near mint condition.
Today I collect a little bit of every thing. From Abba to Zeppelin, you’ll find all genres of music represented in my collection. Some of the more quirky stuff I enjoy includes lounge music, experimental and classical synthesizer/Moog music from the 1960’s.
Because of the size of my collection, my 'want list’ is quite small (21 items). Part of the 'fun’ of record collecting is visiting record stores when I travel, hunting for items on my want list.
The great thing about music is that there is always more to discover - both in the present and the past. And with vinyl having made a comeback in popular culture, people seem to be more interested and respectful of this hobby, realizing that not all vinyl collectors are obsessive, socially awkward grown men who never leave their basements :)
This past Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel Barrie we were honoured to have Luke MacDonald preaching. He preached Leviticus 9 and hit a home run. Being that worship is one of my passions in life, his message had a profound impact on me. His outline draws a straight line through the text and is very easy to remember:
1. We are called to worship sacrificially.
2. We are called to worship under human authority.
3. We are called to worship precisely.
4. We are called to worship fervently.
5. We are called to worship reverently.
I made this nifty graphic to help keep these truths in front of me.
In honor of one of the greatest and incomparable performers of our generation who gave life to many great songs including this one written by R. Kelly. RIP Whitney Houston. Your last ballad was one of your best.
I had my students analyze this number one song from 1964 in class today. It’s Brian Wilson at his best in my opinion. Everything from the harmonic progression, to the song form, to the experimental use of fuzz and reverb on the guitars (the first #1 song to do so) is just amazing. This blogger has some great things to say about why this song is so great. It’s a great listen and a great read. Enjoy!
A quick-guide to quick-start inspiration for the songwriter. Remember, you can’t determine when inspiration will come, but you can facilitate it and be ready to capture the moment when it happens. Fill your life with things that inspire you and you won’t be able to write fast enough to capture those moments.
I love a good break-up song! This is one of my favorites. What’s one of yours? Faith Hill’s vocal range here is pushed to the limit, delivering on a sound that marries beautifully with the lyric and message of this song, not to mention the title!
Crafting a lyric that communicates universal truth a different way than how it’s been said before will set your song apart from all others.
Co-writing? Decide on the front end who owns how much. If you both are contributing and are in the same room as the song was crafted, 50/50 is usually fair. After all, you may have never got to ‘that’ idea had the other person not been there or said what they said! Check out this link of a sample agreement that can be used to record each writer’s percentage. If it’s a hit or gets recorded/used anywhere, this will be critical for royalty payments. Do the tough work of figuring it out on the onset of your session.
<p>I hope the resources I post bring out the best in your artistry. Let me know if there’s anything in specific you’d like addressed. All the best to you!</p>
Thanks for the follow, and if you're looking to network with musicians on Tumblr, I think you'll want to interface with two of the coolest here http://leeyounger.tumblr.com and here: http://jedbrewer.tumblr.com<br />
Meanwhile, I'm glad to return the follow...
Thank you for following my blog. You have just opened up a whole new world to me. Your blog is fantastic and looking through it, it is deffinitaly going to help me develop my songwriting. Thank you so much.
i think that songwriters deserve respect for being able to compose music and lyrics. they have to do something that neither the musician or the poet has to do: combine the those two art forms. you don’t simply throw in any music to a lyric, and vice versa. they have to match. if you ever hear a song and think “this music isn’t really that good, and these lyrics aren’t really that good, but i love this song”, it’s because the songwriter did a good job putting the two together.
Here are some classic mistakes to watch out for when you are writing a worship song.
1. “Help, help, I’m stuck in a worship song…” Try and give your song an ending or at least a way that people can escape. Some churches have been singing “Light of the World” non-stop for two years now because they can’t find a way to resolve it
2. Beware of the “Fyllables”! “Fyllables” are sounds that fill up the space of a syllable but contribute nothing (e.g. just, really, that or even Lord). They can suddenly appear as if from nowhere. “Stretchers” are bad, too. They sneak in and add extra syllables to words that shou-ouldn’t be ther-ere (e.g ev-er-y instead of ev-ry). Writers often just don’t really notice that it really is just happening. Make each word count!
3. Dead-end Streets These are lines with words at the end that force you into using an obvious rhyme (e.g. love and above, life and strife). Reverse out slowly and move the offending word somewhere else.
4. Back to Front Writing A weird technique involving “the order around of the words changing” to try and make things sound more hymn-like. Try speaking your lyrics, would you actually ever say it like that to somebody?
5. Christian-ese Shhh…this is a secret language where although-it-doesn’t-actually-say-what-it-means-we-know-it-probably-means-what-it-says-so-we’ll-sing-it-anyway-even-though-if-we’re-honest-it-doesn’t-actually-make-sense. Avoid.
6. Wobbly Stepping-stones Singing a song can be like crossing a stream using stepping-stones. If the stepping-stones are wobbly because they are balanced on weak lyrics, or in odd places because the phrasing is strange, then it makes it more difficult to do.
7. Watch the Step Tripping up into a song is never a dignified way of entering. This can happen to congregations when the first line starts at some seemingly obscure place after the first beat of the bar, usually known only to the songwriter (or not).
8. Don’t em-PHA-sise the wrong BITS Sounds ob-VI-ous, BUT make sure the emph-A-sis IS on the ‘important’ words IN the LYRICS.
9. Sorry, but It’s the Law Believe it or not there are musical rules for what makes songs written in a rock/pop style work, and the chance of you accidentally stumbling across some brilliant new and undiscovered way of writing a great song without taking any notice of them is not very likely. Listen to what makes good songs work and learn from them.
10. Stay Out of the bars! Don’t add extra bars at random places simply to try and create some sort of added tension. It may feel great when you are writing in your room, but it can cause absolute chaos for a congregation. Have pity on that poor soul who will come in by themselves-at the top of their voice-at what they think is the start of the chorus.
11. It’s a Community Not an Audience Finally, don’t forget that when you are writing songs for worship you are writing songs for other people to sing.
…oh, and by the way, I only know these things because I have been guilty of all these mistakes!
Andy Piercy’s songs include “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” “You Have Searched Me” and “Come Let Us Sing.”
The folks at Tunecore (a great site for getting your music up in iTunes) have put together this condensed crash course on the basics of copyright. This is a quick read for those songwriters who perhaps don’t have a lot of energy topic but know they ought to know the basics.
Caution: Genius at work - Paul Simon. Taken from his best selling release “Graceland” (1986), an album all songwriters ought to own. This footage is from the famous 1987 South African concert that followed the unprecedented success of the Graceland record.