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Archive for November, 2007


We just heard today that our long ago friend from New York has passed away.  He had been struggling with a rare disease that for 8 weeks kept him in and out of intensive care (mostly in), multiple surgeries, and LOTS of prayers for him and his family.

One of the hardest things to come to terms with, though, is his age.  Just 27 years old.  Dave was as youthful a 20-something as I’ll ever remember.  This picture was taken 7 years ago at the Creation East 2000 festival on a trip I chaperoned for our youth group.  But Dave was a chaperone too, you see – he was 20.

David Lo Piccolo

David played guitar with us on the church worship team.  I remember fondly the times we practiced together and worshipped our Lord with our music.  I remember Dave’s working at a local italian restaurant/pizza place.  Always a smile on his face, and a warm greeting on his lips.

My daughters liked him, thought he was cute.  My baby girl who was then about 6, used to draw pictures and give them to David after church.  He was an incredibly helpful young man, but modest as anyone could be.

One thing I know is that losing a child isn’t right.  There’s some unwritten law in the human makup that doesn’t allow for any kind of justification for the loss of a child.  Your child.  The one you cared for since birth, held closely, dreamed about and worried about and prayed for till you couldn’t pray any more. 

Even being born again followers of Jesus Christ and learned children of God’s Word, even the idea that God will be glorifed in his death doesn’t seem to fit or sit right.  I remember when we lost our baby girl Isabella when Linda was just 26 weeks along.  It hit us like a train.  And we are so thankful for all the love and caring people poured forth.  We couldn’t have made it without the love.  But it didn’t change the hurt.  It didn’t help the hurt.  It didn’t make any more sense because of the knowledge of God’s caring and provision for us.

But, and I am writing this specifically for Dave’s parents, Joe and Lynette, and his brother Brian and his family — He does get us through.  He does, dear Lo Piccolo family.  Believe it.  It’s like he is holding us in his arms.  Though we may not feel the comfort, we are being protected and cared for and….preserved.

The words of Natalie Grant’s ‘Held’:

..To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling…

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held…

Yes, we will survive.  YOU will survive this, and someday, you will think of David and smile a slight smile.  You’ll know where he is and that he’s waiting for you …… In paradise.

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So my quandry is – do I post this ridiculous picture on WorshipWebSite.net*?

doggetsit.jpg

I think Worship Leaders have a sense of humor – what do YOU think?

 -Mark

*Note:  WorshipWebSite.net was merged into the new Lifeway Worship Project and can be found at www.lifewayworship.com.  Look for ‘WorshipMap Pro’.

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Email Ettiquette


One thing that drives me nuts is when someone who emails me regularly has the ‘request read receipt’ turned on for all messages they send.  That means I have to click a button to either send or not send a return receipt so they will know exactly when I read it, or if I don’t click ‘Yes’, assume I didn’t read it.

Now, while this aggravates me to no end, I know where they’re coming from.  Oh yes. 

It’s almost like people on the highway who drive right up close behind you as if their car were of the opposite polar orientation and simply coming near you would push you ahead, faster.  So many people do that!  And I am not a slow driver.  (If you are one of those people, you should beware – I am seriously considering installing a James Bond-like oil slick gizmo on my car)

And so it’s the same with email recipients.  So many people NEVER RESPOND to emails they are sent.  Why is that?  Who knows, but it sure is annoying!  If someone sends an email asking a question, or in any way starts a new line of thought, it is your OBLIGATION to respond to them.  It’s only polite.  Like if someone asks ‘How are you?’, and you don’t answer – hey it’s the same thing!  It’s rude to ignore people, no matter how they communicate!  Just don’t do it!

Sure, if you get a message just saying ‘Thanks’ or ‘OK, see you then’ or something that confirms what you said in a previous email, no response is necessary.  But when someone sends you a message with a question, or something of importance (such as an invoice for money due) you need to respond that you received it.  Even if you can’t complete the transaction or fully answer the question – answer the stupid email!  Don’t let it sit for days, weeks without a response.

Even if you do not wish to correspond with the person anymore, let them know!

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Here is a short article on Worship Planning, from my point of view. I am sure I will be writing much more on this topic, but here’s the first. So why am I writing this?

Let me say this: I am not the end-all-be-all of worship planning. But I DO know something or two about the topic. Here’s a coupla things you might want to know:

  • I’ve played on worship teams (drummer) at two churches over a 6-year period
  • I worked closely with my Worship Leader to build the prototype for WorshipWebSite.net*
  • I am a web developer with 14 years of programming experience
  • I receive tons of excellent feedback on new features from my member churches who use WorshipWebSite.net in their worship ministries.

I’d like to take a moment on this last one. Ideas. What are they? If not for the ideas of these wonderful people who are my customers (but who I’d rather call my friends), our website would become stale, static, boring. But their ideas continually spark within me great new ways to expand the features we have to offer worship ministries, and to make the existing features work even better.

An idea is great, but without implementation, so many great ideas are lost forever. It’s like the thought you had for that book you’ve been wanting to write. But, you didn’t make a note of it, can’t remember it now, so it is, alas, lost for all time.

So I implemented our Suggestion Box for our worship leaders to use to let me know about any specific ideas they have for new features. It’s all tracked in the database so I have a handy reference with which to work from to put these ideas into action. Nifty idea! (Well, I do come up with one every now and then :))

One of my worship leaders came up with so much great stuff, some of it started to sound a bit um… crazy? Wild? Out of bounds? He said he wanted to see how far he could go before I told him no!

Well, I had to, but not before he came up with some great ideas for the site. Thank you to all who have made suggestions, and to all who will in the future.

Don’t get this wrong – WorshipWebSite.net is completely finished and ready to use. But we can never remain static. We must always be evolving, changing with the needs of our users, and adding more to the already impressive list of features. If you haven’t visited us, please do so today.

Thanks for reading!

-Mark

*Note:  WorshipWebSite.net was merged into the new Lifeway Worship Project and can be found at www.lifewayworship.com.  Look for ’WorshipMap Pro’.

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