Category Archives: what God’s doing…

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?

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

we survived!

back in february the mckanna family took a leap! i decided to leave 13 years of government work, most of which was spent as a probation officer, to become a worship leader at The Woods. my wife left 17 years of work with the same hospital, in the same office, to join me. we decided to follow God in where he was leading us…Macomb County Michigan!

right off the bat things seemed to move at warp speed and everything was going great. kasey was able to find a new position with the Beaumont Health System. we accepted an offer on our house after only 4 days of being listed with a realtor. so we came up north and went through some homes, only one of which we really liked. that house was actually in a contract…but the contract fell through and the realtor for that property called our realtor to see if we wanted to make an offer?!? we did and in a matter of hours we were in contract to purchase the house. so we started packing and packing. we ordered the appliances that we needed and had them set to be delivered. we filled out the change of address form that was needed. we were all set!

until the week before our closing. all of the sudden there were delays and doors that seemed to have been thrown wide open…were closing. in the matter of a week, both of our housing contracts were default and in need of extensions. deliveries that were scheduled at the house had to be rescheduled. reservations for a moving truck and trailer had to be postponed. our mail just had to be stopped. all of the sudden there was this overwhelming feeling that we had absolutely no control and no clue how things were going to work out. because we didn’t!

i called the church and made sure that we had some type of housing to move into on a temporary basis. we seemed to be starting from scratch. i became very frustrated and angry, mainly with people that as far as i’m concerned weren’t doing their jobs. but i had to come to a point were i had to just trust God to take care of my family and provide for us. He wasn’t going to forget about us in the midst of this new journey.

to make a VERY LONG and frustrating story of phone calls, text messages, and e-mails a little shorter…we ended up default on both contracts for a second time. i had to push back deliveries to the last possible date and cancelled our truck rental. we got a trailer and just loaded up the bare necessities so we could still have our house staged for showings and we could move into a parsonage near the church.

but as i’m finishing loading up the trailer…the pieces start to come back together. both contracts were adjusted and back together. deliveries were back on and so were the rentals. i started unpacking the trailer to repack it for the actual move. it all worked out for us to move on the the last possible day, to not lose the appliances and add restocking fees.

with a lot of help from great friends and family, we got loaded up and headed out…once again things were going great!

until about an hour and a half into the trip. i was driving a 26 foot Uhaul truck, pulling a 6’x12′ Uhaul trailer and something just didn’t feel right. i looked in my mirror to see that trailer sideways at the back of the truck. this wouldn’t be a problem if i was backing it up somewhere. but i was in the middle of three northbound lanes on I75, going 65 mph. traffic behind me came to a halt as i gradually pulled the truck off to the side of the road and got the whole show stopped. the trailer was going ALL OVER the place, part of the time on two of its four wheels!

i got out and found that only one of the three safety chains was holding the trailer to the truck. the one that was supposed to engage the trailer’s braking system, snapped off and never engaged. but there was NO damage to either the truck or the trailer. NONE…they didn’t even touch when i brought it all to a stop! and it was in no way due to my masterful driving skills…

we ended up having the trailer towed to our house. we were 30 minutes late for the scheduled unloading…but all were there safe and sound. the deliveries were there on time and everything got unloaded. we lost four tiki torches and the front wheel of molly’s bike. but that was it, the glass top patio table didn’t even brake!

another group of great friends…and family…were there to unload “the heaviest couches in the world”, along with my 91 year old baby grand piano, and everything else that we managed to cram in.

now i’m here on the couch a week later. the boxes to unpack are much fewer. we have beds to sleep in and i’m pretty sure some of the nicest neighbors ever. people have been overly friendly and not shy about stopping in to introduce themselves. the kids have been a huge help with that. they were even invited over to swim twice this week! kasey and i have both completed our first official weeks with new employers. we’re still walking and talking…even still talking to each other. we’re even getting accustomed to the bumper to bumper traffic, blinking yellow and red traffic lights, and all of the u-turns you have to make since you can’t turn left?!?!

through it all i can honestly say this has been an amazing start to a new journey in life! i’m excited to see what God has in store for us in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead! but as for the actual move, i’m glad to say…

we survived!

we are now officially residents of the great state of Michigan…GO BLUE!


this week my son received a gift, a cape. it’s not just any cape. it was made for him by his babysitter. it has “SUPER COOPER” across the back and even has a hidden pouch for him to put his map in. he was immediately obsessed and put it on. i had to pack it in behind him in the car seat, extending the safety straps a little to make room. as soon as we got home he went running through the house in search for his sword. he was now able to conquer every bad guy. and in his heart and mind he was sure that he could fly! after finding his sword we just had to go outside so he could find the bad guys and show them he was…


words cannot truly express the scene as he made his exit from the house and off of the back deck, into the backyard…he had the sword held high in the air and off he went running across the deck. all that stood in front of him were two small steps down to the ground. but to show his great power, he decided to just fly and not bother using the steps. this ended in one of the most epic face plants i have ever seen. (only because i’ve never actually seen any of my classic wipe outs!)

i share all of that because it is a perfect picture of what life looks like when i put on my cape  and try to do life on my own strength and power…i end up in an epic face plant! (if you’re wondering, no i don’t really have  a cape!) but i do that. i try to do things on my own wisdom, strength, power, talent, ability… some of the time the tasks are so simple that i succeed and it feeds my ego. so then i try again with a greater task or a greater decision, only do find myself face down like…


this morning i could not sleep. so i got ready for the day and decided to do some extra studying. i found myself in jeremiah, chapter 17. this is what it says in verses 5-8 in the new living translation…

5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

at first glance i didn’t see it, i didn’t make the connection. but then i read over it a couple more times. at first i thought that i just shouldn’t trust other people…that’s the probation officer in me. but as i read it again God made it clear that i was a “mere human” too! He was reminding me that i can’t rely on my own human strength…and He reminded me of my son and his cape!

the best part of this passage is contained in the last five words. if i trust in God, rely on Him, place my hope in Him, only have confidence in Him…i will be like the trees along the riverbank…”they never stop producing fruit“!

i want that! i want that just as bad as my son wants to be…


FYI – we went on to the swing set and that helped him fly much better. he liked flying so much i’m pretty sure i threw my arm out pushing him for so long.