What a day! How do I put it all in a few sentences?
We were up before dawn today and saw a glorious sunrise from our hotel before heading out to register for Break Forth. Today featured all day intensive workshops before the 'official' start of the conference tonight.
Gerald spent the day with songwriter Don Poythress, and I focused on worship skills with Brian Doerkson and Paul Baloche.
When Brian started, I thought, "Oh, this is going to be casual and anecdotal." How deceptive! Within minutes, he had us on a 2 hour journey about the inherent nature of all humans to worship something, and the role of the worship leader in redirecting that focus to God. He spoke about idolatry, individualism, and the fascinating concepts of the "orphan mindset" and "fatherless worship." So much to chew on and sort through.
Gerald and I met for lunch in a busy pub to compare notes, and then I headed back for Paul Baloche's share of the day. His style was high energy, hilarious, and very practical. But before even hitting the 'practical' tools of organizing a set and leading a team, he brought us through the worship leader's Biblical role of "ministering to the Lord."
This evening, we had a full opening assembly. There were songs by Canadian singer-songwriters Steve Bell and Joel Auge. During the worship session, painter Lewis Lavoie created a canvas live on the stage. The main worship session was lead by the always wonderful Casting Crowns. Their music is so rich and full, and yet the songs are real worship songs - simple melodies, personal lyrics, and very accessible to sing. The hardest part of the evening was my still-missing voice. I can speak better than I could earlier in the week, but my singing voice is not back. Worshiping without a voice is a new experience for me, yet I still found the time moving and meaningful. I have a feeling a song may come out of this.
Our speaker, Dr. Kevin Leman, writes about family and marriage. His psychology was a little too Mars-Venus for me in some places, but he's absolutely hilarious, and when he really wants to make a point, it can be very powerful.
Gerald and I decided to skip the late night concerts tonight so we could review the day and continue to rest my voice. So much to see and do tomorrow! I haven't even hit the bookstore yet - my visa card is so excited!