so what do you do?

This is the desk I made from a vintage player piano that no longer worked.


so what do you do at 3:30am when your 4 year old wakes you up because he had an accident and then you simply can’t go back to sleep?

that’s an easy one…you lay in bed and think about things and people you don’t usually take the time to think about. you think about a man that was taken at least 22 years too early and all of the things that you learned from him. how to work hard and have a lot of fun. you think about the crazy things that he built for you during the 15 years you had with him. about how much fun he would be having with that 4 year old son that just woke you up and the crazy things he would be building for him.

then you realize that you have something stuck in your teeth and it really hurts. so you go find the dental floss  you work hard to avoid and finally put it to use!

of course you move on to thinking about people that you wish you could meet in a coffee shop and simply spend a couple hours with. some of those people you’ve never met and most likely never will. but they intrigue you and you want to sit next to them and listen to their story. some of them you just don’t get to see see anymore because you or they have moved away. besides there isn’t enough time in the day to fit all of those conversations in. (the coffee there would be time for.)

the next obvious choice would be to think about the people around you that are hurting or struggling through life. you think about all of the things that could make life better for them. you think about all of the things you wish would go away. you think about those who have lost loved ones, lost jobs, have struggling relationships or are battling illness. you think about wrapping your arms around them and telling them that they will make it through.

you think about what all you’ve made it through. about the marriage you don’t deserve. about the kids that you’re not supposed to have. about that blood clot that was found in time. about the gifts and talents that you’ve been blessed with and a job that allows you to use them each and every day. about the many people that have invested in you over 37 years. about the few that actually believe in you. about all that you’ve learned and even more left to learn. you become overwhelmed with thankfulness.

then you get up because it’s 4:30am and you don’t want to wake anyone else up with your random thinking. not to mention the tears and sniffing.  you open up your laptop and try to remember how to log in to that blog of yours that has been just sitting there unused for quite some time. you figure it out and start typing away only to realize that you really miss writing random thoughts like these. but you don’t want to be woken up at 3:30am to write them!

so you go back to thinking about coffee and how you should go make some…

at least that’s what i do.

so what do you do?


Sunday Setlists…7/22/12

This post is part of what is going on over at The Worship Community…specifically with the weekly posts of setlists done in churches all over the world. You can check out the submissions for this past weekend here. For purposes of this post, it involves what occurred at the North Campus of The Woods Church.

After two weeks away from leading worship, I can definitely say that I am glad to be back! I enjoyed visiting the beach and spending time with family…BUT I didn’t enjoy watching/hearing the flu go through the family while on vacation! ANYWHO…

Here we go…

1. God is With Us Now…by Gateway Worship in A

This was followed by the welcome and announcement time by yours truly. At this point there was a great highlight video from a recent youth trip out to the Desperation Conference in CO.

2. Rise and Sing…by Fee in B

3. God is Alive…by Fee in B

At this point I set up the offering time as well as gave a short spiritual direction focused on John 9. I tried to tie in what God had been speaking to me about, on giving and serving others…as well as hit on our summer reading program at The Woods, which was focused on John 9 and 10 last week. (Hopefully I did so in a way that made sense to those listening.)

4. Mighty to Save…by Hillsong United in A

5. O The Blood…by Gateway Worship in A

6. The Stand…by  Hillsong United in A

This was followed up by a time of corporate prayer, handled by David Hutsko. Pastor David is our Teach Pastor at The Woods and was speaking for us at North Campus this past weekend.

Our bumper video followed, right into his message on finding true retreat with God, speaking from Luke 5.


The service seemed to flow well for us. It was the second time to open with God is With Us Now…in the same month. I did that to make sure that it was still fresh in everyone’s mind, being a new song. The congregation really seemed to come alive through those first three songs and I’m thinking the highlight video from the youth trip helped out quite a bit!

Pastor David did a great job of setting the stage with his story of how much work it is to go on vacation and how we often need a vacation from our vacation. He challenged everyone and two of his questions really hit home with me…1) Is it just like me to regularly get away and just allow God to speak into me? 2) Or to allow Him to energize me?

For me it was an interesting weekend, being my first weekend back from vacation and also having our campus pastor gone…I felt a little more stress than was probably even called for. But I wanted to make sure that things could still function well, so he doesn’t feel like the burden of every weekend service is on him…if that makes sense. I thought things went really well and I didn’t get fired Monday morning…

so there you have it…

what was your Sunday Setlist like?

Sunday Setlists…7/1/12

This post is part of what is going on over at The Worship Community…specifically with the weekly posts of setlists done in churches all over the world. You can check out the submissions for this past weekend here. For purposes of this post, it involves what occurred at the North Campus of The Woods Church.

Here we go…

1. God is With Us Now…by Gateway Worship in A

I welcomed everyone and set up our July 4th video…here is a link to the video we used…

Next our service host, Christen, came up and worked through the announcements and a turn and greet time…

2. We Are the Free…by Matt Redman in A

3. Your Love Never Fails…by Jesus Culture in A

Lerrin, our campus pastor came up to set up the offering time…

4. Great I Am…by Jared Anderson in C

5. Forever Reign…by Hillsong in C

6. I Want to Know You…by Jesus Culture in C

We had a time of ministry and prayer, handled by Lerrin as well…

Then our series bumper video was played and Lerrin introduced the speaker for the morning. It was our youth pastor from the South Campus, Matt Ciaramitaro.


This past week was a seemed to really fly by! We decided to completely redesign our stage and give it a fresh look. So with the help of a couple volunteers I stripped it all down on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were spent making the changes and constructing pieces to go on the stage. Here are some shots of the change…

This is a shot from Easter 2012… This is the beginning of our tear down… Measuring, cutting, and predrilling… Constructing..and painting… Side angle of the finished product… View from the booth on Sunday morning…

I found a design of imitation truss on Church Stage Design Ideas…we decided to give it a try and it worked out great! In the end we constructed four 5 foot truss for right at $200. That includes the PVC, screws, spray paint…and the cleaner and adhesive that we bought, but didn’t use. We added some insulation panels to the back wall, that our South Campus had previously used and were going to store away…I was very pleased with how things turned out and with the money that we didn’t have to spend to make it look good! I had numerous people comment on the stage and how they liked the change.

The service went great. We were actually introducing the first tune and the band did a great job! The congregation was very involved in the worship time, especially during our second set. I could really sense God’s presence during our ministry/prayer time and it was evident that God was speaking to people, long before the teaching began. Matt’s message focused in on how we should fear God and not man…with some great real life situations where we all fear men. The congregation was really dialed in to what he was sharing.

(Side note…I hope to have a link or links up soon for the messages and worship sets…)

So there you have it…

Sunday Setlists…7/1/12

Sunday Setlists…6/24/12

This post is part of what is going on over at the worship community…specifically with the weekly posts of setlists done in churches all over world. you can check the submissions for this past weekend here. For The Woods, it was another morning to celebrate. For the McKanna family it was a special weekend, as our new church family officially welcomed us.

But back to the logistics of the service right?!

Our service and setlist at The Woods North Campus went as follows…

1. Tell The World…by Hillsong United in A

Then I gave a quick welcome with a turn and greet time. Pastor Lerrin came up for announcements and offering set up…

2. Counting on God…by New Life Worship in B

3. Let God Arise…by Chris Tomlin in B

Next was our new sermon series bumper…followed by our week 1 message by Pastor Lerrin on how not to stay stuck. He closed up the message by setting up a ministry and response time.

4. Sweetly Broken…by Jeremy Riddle in B

5. Marvelous Light…by Charlie Hall in B

6. Victorious…by Gateway Worship in B

I closed out the service encouraging everyone to go out and live victoriously in the week ahead…but to not leave too soon because there was a cookout/party after the service.


The service itself started out a little slow, if you know what I mean. It’s summer time in Michigan and people up here enjoy the weather when they can. Sometimes that means people tend to take their time coming into the service itself. This week was one of those weeks. But by the time we were taking the offering, the people had filed in.

I tried a more abrupt ending to Counting on God, as opposed to the more acapella ending that slows down. I also asked the drummer to hit the roll and start Let God Arise, right away. This was a little tricky because we were using a click track Counting on God, but not for Let God Arise. He pulled it off perfectly! The energy was definitely there by the time we got to the message. I’m even thinking it was just too much energy to then bring back down right away…but who knows.

Pastor Lerrin did a great job of keeping people engaged and spoke on a very relevant issue for everyone. His message was entitled, Going No Where and the passage that he used was John 21. He set up the ministry time of allowing God to break us free and get us out of being stuck. I played acoustic behind him to set up Sweetly Broken. It was our first week for this tune, which is undoubtedly my favorite to lead, and the band picked it up great! The final three song set went very smooth. Again we used a click track for the final song, but my drummer got that started quickly and I spoke briefly just to break up any dead space.

I would love input on using click tracks and how to keep from having dead space if they are used back to back…! Right now I set up each click track as its own playlist on an iPod classic. Our drummer has to manually start each one. I’m still getting used to using them and how to set them up for smooth transitions…

The welcome party was AMAZING! The church brought in a bounce house and an ice cream cart, in addition to the grilling that was going on. It was great to see about 80% of our congregation stick around and take part in the welcome. I’m not sure which the kids enjoyed more, the bounce house or the ice cream cart. I was all over the Choco Taco, so there was no questioning my favorite. Afterwards as I was driving home, I was overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of so many people. From the simple kind words and introductions to welcome cards and even gift cards for our family. We are more than blessed!

So there you have it…

Sunday Setlists…6/24/12…

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Love God, Love People, Serve Our World

this past weekend was my first celebration Sunday at The Woods. it’s a week set aside to celebrate what all God is doing in and through the lives of people. let me tell you, it was a celebration!

we celebrated with worship…child dedications…new members…graduates…and then the baptisms from the previous weekend. this was done with the help of a highlight video put together by some amazing tech staff at the church because the baptisms were done at the beach! you can check out the highlights…here!

then we continued on with more worship and another highlight video. this time it was showing what all was accomplished through a day of service that we called Serve Our World. around 350 people gave time one Saturday to simply serve our local community. take a look at some of the things that went on that day…here!

i can say that uprooting our family and moving to a completely different state has come with its share of challenges, fears, stresses…but God has made it very clear to us that this is where He wants us to be…these are just a couple of the reasons why!

Love God, Love People, Serve our World