Month: April 2012


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I had a fantastic experience this last week.

We go to a fantastic church and I had an awesome opportunity to play bass guitar for the worship team last Sunday.

How’d it go?  I’ll let you be the judge.  I’ll post the video at the bottom of this post where you can watch and listen.

How’d I feel about the experience?  Liberated!  If you know me, you know I love playing music.  And there is no better place that I love to do that than in church. It felt so good!

My favorite part?  Watching others worship and knowing that I’m being used to contribute to that.  It makes me feel fantastic!

I have to share a funny story though, because this experience was some serious trial by fire for my first time out.

Let me explain.

Our regular bass player, Brandon, (who is an absolutely amazing bassist) was heading out of town.  So, I got the call to fill in for him.  And let me tell you that is some big shoes to fill!

For those of you unfamiliar with the preparation that goes in to a service, our worship team is notified of the songs that we are going to play usually around the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday).  The band has a short rehearsal on Wednesday, then we run through the songs with the worship singers and choir early Sunday morning.  The band usually plays 4-5 songs during a service.

I practiced a lot on my own until I had the set memorized.

I went to church early Sunday to survey the scene, learn the gear, understand what I needed to do, and and warm up.  I was soooo ready.

A key thing to know at this point is that the first of two services is simulcast, which means that the music and worship is live at Cross Church – Pinnacle Hills, but the pastor is broadcast on the big screens as he preaches from our Springdale campus.

So, we jumped in to our first set.  And it was going great.  Then in my little ear monitor, I heard the production team, “Springdale just lost power.  We lost the simulcast.”  This means that there will be no preaching coming from Springdale.

This didn’t worry me, because I knew that the Pinnacle Hills Campus Pastor always has the notes in case this happens and preaches live as a back up.  What I didn’t realize is that there was a guest speaker in Springdale. ….and there were no notes.

So as we finished our set and were starting to unplug to leave the stage, the Campus Pastor says, “Band and Choir why don’t you go ahead and stay put.”  What was about to happen was spontaneous preaching from our pastor’s heart with lots of worship music!

The next thing I know, I hear our Julio, our Worship Pastor, in the ear monitors say, “Ok be ready.  I’ll call out the songs.”  This meant we were about to play a bunch of songs that we hadn’t rehearsed ….on my first time playing with the band.

The next thing I knew, the band leader and Worship Pastor were calling out songs.  I quickly found them on the iPad (which is how we read sheet music – pretty cool) and then about the time I found them, the band leader was calling out the lead in “1, 2, 3, 4” and away we went.

I think we played 5 or 6 extra songs.  Our band leader, Johann, was pretty awesome in the way he called the cues.

Everyone did GREAT!  We knocked it out of the park.  Praise God!  Because it was definitely all Him ….and not us.

The second service was much less eventful.  But had it been….we would have been ready!

Cross Church is a great church.  And we serve a great God!  I am truly humbled and blessed to have been allowed an opportunity to play with some great musicians that led others in worship. If God has it in my future, I hope to play again! 🙂

The video below is of the second service.  I am always open to feedback if you have any.  Enjoy!!


Easter 2012 – A Weekend to Remember!

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What a great Easter weekend we had in 2012!

Friday night we watched The Thorn, which depicted Jesus’ last days and ultimate resurrection. It was like the Passion meets Cirque du Soleil. Very artistic! The best part is that Emily asked lots of questions about Jesus and salvation. (remember this paragraph)

Saturday, a quick morning run for me, soccer practice for Em, work around the house and the new Jackson Casita, coloring Easter eggs, hunting around at the local nursery, and a bunch of shopping.

Early Sunday morning involved the girls waking us up with wonders of what the Easter Bunny may have brought. Unfortunately, I think the Easter Bunny was late making his rounds. So, we sent the girls back to bed. Luckily, Mr. Bunny happened to come around before the girls got back up. They found Easter baskets on the back porch and colored eggs hidden all over the yard. Ava was soooo excited. She said, “Look what that rabbit brought me!

Of course, we were quick to turn the tide to what Easter is really about – the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, his sacrifice and glorious resurrection! We headed out to church and Em sat with April and I in the service (instead of going to kids’ church). She fidgeted and squirmed the entire time. At the end when the alter call was taking place,  Emily revealed to us that she had accepted Christ in to her heart as her personal Lord and Savior. After asking her a few questions to make sure she knew what she was doing, she said, “Yes. Dad explained it to me all Friday night.” (reference the above paragraph!)  We rejoice at this new addition to our heavenly family!  Baptism will soon follow!

After church, we had a quick brunch and then it was on to the Jackson Casita to get dirty. Really dirty! We had already resolved to make a major change to the front yard – and a change we made! We ripped out overgrown bushes, a tree, stumps, pruned two Japanese Maples, and stripped out some swamp grass (my name for it – don’t know what it is really). I think our neighbors were ecstatic!  The yard really hadn’t been touched in four years other than the lawn being mowed occasionally. AND it now looks MUCH better!  Go Team Jackson on the Crazy House Adventure!

After a long day in the yard, we went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for dinner. It was fantastic! Interestingly, Emily had some prime rib, which is just shocking!  Ava loaded up on the bread and fries.  Steak and shrimp for April and a gorgeous prime rib for me! It really hit the spot.

Afterwards, we ran back over to the Jackson Casita for some quick touch ups and then home to rest.   I loved spending the weekend with my beautiful ladies.  And what a great end to the weekend with the most important part being Emily’s eternal salvation. April and I couldn’t be happier!

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Ava’s Awesome Antics #7

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“Make it stop! I don’t like it!”

-Ava responding to NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye coming on the radio

Step 3 Complete: Crazy House Adventure

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We’re moving rapidly down the path on our Crazy House Adventure!  (click here if you need the back story)

Step 1 was getting our Hendrix house ready for sale.  CHECK!

Step 2 was putting our Hendrix house up for sale.  CHECK!   Go to for further.

Step 3 – Buy a new house. CHECK!! And DOUBLE CHECK!!  

We ‘closed’ on the new Jackson Casita (little house in Spanish) earlier this week.  We got a great deal and are really excited!  Special thanks to Vicki Taylor at A-1 Realty for hanging in there so long with us and making it happen.

Today we went out to take in our new home and discuss plans for what improvements we need to make.  We even started slapping paint colors on the wall just to see what looks the  best.

There’s lots to do to get this little house ready to move in to, but hey….that’s Step 4 and it can wait until tomorrow!

And if anyone wants to help with Step 5 by buying our Hendrix house right now, we’re ok with skipping a step! 🙂

An April Fools’ Day Classic

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April Fools’ Day nearly came and went in the Jackson household without incident.

I thought I’d go easy on everyone this year.

That is….until bed time.  And then I fell for it.  Emily pointed at my shirt and said, “Hey there’s something on your shirt.”  Like an idiot, I looked down and she poked me in the nose.  Then shouted, “April Fools!”  She ran off giggling.

I couldn’t let that go.

So, I grabbed a rubber band and wrapped it around the spray nozzel on the kitchen sink.  Then while gathering the girls up for bed, I walked out of Ava’s room with a cup and told Emily to go rinse it out.  I didn’t even get to the kitchen in time before I heard the shriek.  April and I walked in to a very wet Emily.

I shouted, “April Fools!”

Em’s response?  “Well played Dad.  Well played.”