Friday, May 29, 2009

By the Numbers

255,555... The number of miles on my car

I'm grateful that my dad taught me to be content with driving old Hondas. They are reliable and get good gas mileage. My parents have never had a car payment. Neither have any of their kids. 

My father-in-law was so generous and for our wedding gave us their '97 Cavalier (less than 2 years old at the time and only had about 40,000 miles). I sold that car for $7K, and bought the '94 Accord with 117,000 miles for $6K. I bet the Cavalier is in a junk yard somewhere. The Accord, on the other hand, is just getting broken in.

Thanks, dad, for reminding me that cars are just metal boxes. Godliness with contentment is great gain.

70 mph... My speed on the Interstate

After Alex's talk on Romans 13, I've been making a concerted effort to obey the law. You can find the message at

1... The number of farm machines I considered driving under

6:56... The time we put our kids to bed

You can hardly see the time because of all the sunlight reflecting off the clock. We are mean parents.

With our first couple kids, I had this notion that I was depriving them if I didn't let them stay up until 9:00 every night. But we were hanging out with some friends (Scheibe's), and we noticed they were putting their kids, who were older than ours, to bed earlier than we did.

We decided an early bedtime was in order. We found that our kids were much happier, and so were we. 

This early bedtime has also served to save our marriage.

Advice... You don't have to do 7:00, but your little kids probably don't need to be up much past 8. If Benjamin Franklin thinks it's a good idea, then it must be ("Early to bed, early to rise...")

10... The number of garden beds in our back yard

This is the hip way to garden. 

Row gardening is so 90's.

3... The number of books I'm reading

"I'm reading" is code for "books that sit on my nightstand that I look at every night and think, 'that would be a great book to read'...then I turn on the NBA playoffs instead."

Actually, I'm totally loving the Shaara book-it's one of the best WW2 books I've read. It's the first in a WW2 trilogy (thanks, Mikaela!). Mere Christianity is a book I'm trying to revisit on a more regular basis, and 1776 is a book that a friend loaned me (props, Carl). I love engaging history books.

397... Number of my vocal notes that Melodyne fixed

I'm actually not sure how many of my notes were fixed, but if you want to be humbled, record in a studio and have it played back to you without the band. Ouch.

Click here for the technology Todd Wallace has been using to produce the Anthem recording. This stuff is ridiculous. Amazing- especially the bit on changing the notes within a chord (we're still waiting for some of this software to be released).

33... The number of items in my nightstand (i.e. junk) drawer

How many do you count? 

To all the Baptist readers... don't worry, the Swishers only get used once or twice a year.

3... The number of wheels on my lawn mower

Four wheels is over hyped.

It's only fitting to mow with this 3 wheeled beast- it sort of matches the ethos of my yard.

1... The number of items we ordered at the Natural Kind Cafe

Leatha and I happened upon this hippie, organic cafe while we were in Omaha. It's the perfect place to people watch. Believe it or not, this green concoction was our strawberry smoothie. It's not every restaurant that adds chlorella as their secret weapon.

2...the number of people peeking while praying.
I have to give Makai credit- he looks very focused on the prayer, unlike me, who was busy taking the picture.

But we all know adults can peek.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


One of my favorite things in life is meeting up with good friends I haven't seen in awhile, having thought provoking conversations about life, God, politics and whatever else over a cup of coffee. This happened over Memorial Day weekend.

Here we are at the Old Market in Omaha on a perfect Midwest spring day (left to right: Dad, me, Clarke Stevens, Ed Noble). Clarke, who has visited the greatest cities in the world, considers the Old Market in Omaha to be one of the most cultured downtown districts.

Our conversations included...

The contrast between the Baptist Reformed and Holiness movements in America. These views would give vastly different answers to the question: What is the most true thing about me? The Reformed Baptist may emphasize "sinner saved by grace" while the other "saint who is fully equipped to live a holy life". Or, to bring it down one more rung on the abstraction ladder: Is it possible for a Christian to live a sinless life? The former would say, "Of course not, we're sinful to the core." The latter, "The grace of God enables us to say 'no' to sin."

There are also implications for eternal security, which started the conversation. Some people in my home church (Christ Community in Omaha) are alarmed at the pastor's openness to the possibility of someone losing their salvation. I can't speak to his view on this, but I know the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination has roots in the Holiness movement, which may be open (possibly teach) such a view.

I think a good look at church history would instruct and humble us. For the mainline traditions, it may push them to a more vibrant, orthodox faith. For the Evangelical/Bible churches, it would remind them that many of our ancestors in the faith thought differently on non-orthodox issues.

I have more thoughts on the "once saved, always saved"... for another time.

The Omaha Music Scene
Ed, from San Diego, commented on how teenagers in SoCal talk about the music scene in Omaha. Those bands would include Bright Eyes, The Faint, and Cursive. Here's a video for those interested...

Also, our friend Clarke happens to live near Conor Oberst's house. Doesn't his car (and the above video) epitomize Indie rock culture?
The Voice of God
I just sat back and listened as Ed and my dad talked about things God had been speaking to them about in recent days. Dad was speaking later that night on "hearing the voice of God." Ed talked about the "wool test." Does God speak to you? He speaks to his sheep (John 10).

I wonder if there are any loyal Greg Koukl followers out there who think that's not really what Jesus was talking about in John 10. Or that we shouldn't expect to hear from God. I'm not trying to patronize you- I think Koukl has some valid concerns about people's carelessness with this text, "My sheep hear my voice."

I can't wait to get to heaven, when conversations with old friends over coffee on a beautiful day will be a common occurrence.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Kids

We went to Omaha this weekend. Here are just a few kid shots...

Beck and DJ (neighbor kid) playing dead and getting help.

DJ was so cute. He kept saying, "I'm a coach." I'm not sure what exactly that had to do with getting resuscitated, but he was adamant about it.

Pink sunglasses? I guess that's what happens when you have to sit next to your older sister. 

We buzzed the boys. It's the easy, cheap, and efficient summer cut.

Ava reads nursery rhymes to Makai...

"The apple doesn't fall far from the apple tree." Nice tweaked Indy Air on the swing.

You never know what's going to happen when you send the kids off to fold towels. Here, Ava was turned into a towel mummy. We wondered why they were so quietly hard at work.
Ava in the back seat between her two ninety year old great grandmas. Grandma Marge (on the right) fell to the ground during a game of kick ball. She was totally unfazed. She is made of steel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I was meeting with a graduating senior, and he asked me, "Do you think Salt Company is cliquey?"

Yes. Salt Company is very cliquey.

But our problem is not that we have too many cliques, it's that we don't have enough. 

I'm all for packs of people who like to hang out with each other. The beautiful thing about a large group (i.e. TSC) is that you're bound to find people you "click" with. 

The obvious "duh" here is that the body of Christ should not exclude people or show favoritism based on interests or outward appearance.

But please no Christian butt head cliques. Those are banned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Give her a break

Leatha is 34 weeks along, which means she's getting very close to having a baby. 

That said, Cameron walks by and sees Leatha sitting on her ball, working on the computer.

He says, "Wow, mom, that ball must be really strong."

There's nothing like a comment like that to lift your spirits. Here are some others that have made this a special pregnancy for Leatha...

"Are you sure you're not having twins." (comment from a neighbor)
"Are you sure they got the dates right? Well, I guess it is your fifth child."
"Wow, you must really be ready to go."
"You look like you're gonna pop." (Cashier at Aldi's)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


For my fellow U2 fans, the video for the best song on the new album was released a couple weeks ago. I couldn't embed it, but you can find it here.

The video captures some of the magic and mystery of Morocco.

I still pray for my friends from there... Rachid, Abdessamad, Brahim, Mustafa, and the Tarbouni's.

For you gamers out there

What will video games be like in 10 years?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Surreal. Amazing. Epic. Mind blowing.

What other words can be used to describe the pictures from the Hubble? (click here).

My Friend Stan

I took the men on my staff team on a little outing on Wednesday and Thursday. One of the guys on my team is Stan. 

If you've never met a redneck, or don't know what people mean when they use that term, let me introduce you to my friend Stan.

This is how Stan rolls on the golf course...

Iowa rednecks can do anything. Because they grew up in a small town, they had to play every sport. Stan drives the ball 250+ yards (accurately) with a pitching wedge.

Below: Stan cooked for us while we were away. It was all stuff he killed. He asked, "Anyone up for breakfast sausage?" I said, "Stan what separates this as breakfast pork, and not just pork?" He said, "Because we're going to eat it in the morning."
A grill is not a foreign instrument to Stan. He pretty much has one ready to go in his truck at all times. 

Stan has 3 secret weapons...
"Accent" boasts on the front, "60% less sodium." On the back you'll find one ingredient: Monosodium Glutamate" (aka: MSG). The dude uses this in everything. China thinks Stan overuses MSG.

For Stan, "Just add water" is synonymous with "Just add Hee-Haw".  Our pancakes did taste a little better than usual.
Stan caught this fish using the chicken heart that he ripped out of the chicken he was cooking. He judges fish size by how well his fist fits into it.

I can be standing right next to Stan using the same lures, and he gets the fish. Natural selection must've taught them how to detect a worm guided by a city boy.
Below: When Stan sees a wild animal, in this case an Otter, he runs after it, not away from it. Here he is seen chasing the poor thing and trying to snag it with his fishing hook.

In the next two pictures, you'll see his resourcefulness. Here he uses a stick as a stringer.
Here his hat to hold our worms. If you see Stan, walk up close to his head, sniff, then ask, "You been fishin'? Your hair smells like worm."
[Not pictured]: When Stan thinks of what to bring on a _______ (you can fill in the blank, but in this case it was "retreat"), his first thoughts are "gun, football and frisbee"

[Not pictured]: For his discipleship with his freshmen guys, he takes them on a retreat called, "Hog Wild." He gets a hog, cuts it loose, and makes them catch it, kill it, and cook it. I'm sure if Jesus weren't Jewish he would've done the same.

All of this said, make fun of rednecks and hicks as much as you want (in this case, "as much as I want"), but if you are familiar with any great WW2 stories, you are bound to come across stories of Iowa/Midwest boys who won the war for us. 

Being around Stan I can see why. 

They are resourceful, bold as a lion, tough, know how to kill stuff, reliable, know how to do everything, have cave man instincts, intolerance for ideas and methods that don't work (a sort of fierce pragmatism), and a "Git'r'done" mentality.

If I'm on a landing craft staring down Normandy beach, there's no one I would rather be next to than Stan. That's one reason he's on my team.

God bless the rednecks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day and Weekend Review

Of all the sacrifices made by people in the world, I have to say one of the most overlooked is the sacrifice of mothers. Tragically, our culture is even making moms feel bad for aspiring to be a mom, and especially one who stays home to raise her kid(s). 

For the record: if you're a mom who is staying home to raise your family- you are to be praised. There is no job or status on earth that can be considered a greater success. May God bless you, beyond just today, with a sense of the honor and joy that is truly yours. 

If you're a mom with a bunch of little kids, your day was probably not much different than Leatha's. Her mothers day gift came late last night... Makai woke up screaming with a fever and shortness of breath. She held him until about 1:30 a.m., then I laid with him until he fell asleep. Despite my pep talk to the kids this morning, "It's mother's day, which means- no fighting, ask mom how you can help her, let mom do what she wants to do, and be good." We still had 3 fights, 2 fits, an unquantifiable number of whining, complaining, and bad attitudes.

So much for my pep talk. Apparently it wasn't enough to change their hearts. 

Below is a picture of the baby dedications in one of the Cornerstone services. Our church averages one baby born a week. 
I think you know you have a lot of kids if every baby dedication causes you to have this conversation with your spouse, 
Mark [in the foyer walking into auditorium, realizing it's baby dedication night]: "Crap, Leatha, did we ever dedicate Makai?" 
Leatha: "I'm not sure. I know we did Ava, Cameron, and..."
Mark: "Did we dedicate Beck?"
Leatha: "I think. But I'm pretty sure Makai hasn't been dedicated yet."
Mark: "Dangit."

I can't decide if we should take a loss on Makai, or if we should get Makai and the next one dedicated at the same time. Good thing we're not paedobaptists.

On with the weekend...

Here you will see Makai happily eating the Thai cabbage concoction that I often make on Saturdays. Leatha and I observed that if you start kids early, you can get them to eat anything. For a study in contrast, click here (we started Beck a little late...)
If we have a sixth child, this is how we'll roll...
Cub Foods sucks.
We saw this sign out earlier in the week, and we did what every big family does when they see free donuts, juice, and who knew what other good stuff they might have at "customer appreciation"... We went to be appreciated!

First of all, a little note to Cub... 

If you're trying to survive in the capitalism war (the new Fareway down the street is kicking their butt), is this the best you can do?

You owe it to us, loyal customers (we're not really that loyal- but that's beside the point), to at least specify... free donut holes. There is a big difference between donuts and donut holes. Donut holes are the part of the donut they almost throw away after making the donut. Donut holes don't come in sprinkles with a variety of frostings. Not to mention there's no hope for a filling. It's pretty much the scraps from the bakery. Seriously. Here's my point: Don't use "donut" and "donut hole" interchangeably. They are not the same thing. 

We love Fareway.
Above: The boys enjoying their juice.
Below: Amazingly, only one donut hole was lost in action.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wind of God, Blow!

This is yet another reason I read Ed Noble's blog... click here. 

I'm often left wanting more God.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Parenting Quiz

After looking at the picture below, this may seem like an easy one. At first glance, you may think to yourself, "You don't have to be Ted Tripp to figure this out...child uses the door as a white board...duh..."
But when you come near this child to discipline him,  you realize there's a problem. The poopy diaper creates a much more complicated situation.

As a parent, do you:

A. Ignore the fact that he just used a marker to write on the door; change the diaper and go on with the day.
B. Change the diaper, then spank
C. Spank, then change the diaper
D. Slap the hand, then change the diaper
E. Time out, while making him sit in his own poop for further punishment.
F. Change the diaper, then make him sit in a timeout. 
G. Comfort him, realizing that he already feels remorse for his actions (Just look at the poor guy, he's already crying and broken over his infraction...)

When our kids are teenagers, I'm sure we'll look back and wish for the days when these were our biggest parenting issues.

I chose B.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All Natural Fertilizer

I don't do this very often, but I want to give a little advertisement for organic, chemical free fertilizer.

If you like what you see below, you'd LOVE our organic fertilizer/pre-emergent that we used for the first time this year. 

Granted, it costs a little more than what you'd pay with your traditional chemical fertilizers, but this is amazing. You can literally eat the stuff. Who doesn't want a fertilizer you can eat?  

Anyway, it works like a charm.

I just took this picture of my front yard today. It speaks for itself. 

How handy is that... 
"Johnny, come inside- it's time for lunch" 
"But mom, I want to eat on the lawn"
"Okay, I'll set it right here on the grass...if you don't eat it all, it will make great compost."
"Thanks mom"

Go organic: it's the safe and ineffective solution for a beautiful lawn.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hilarious and Insightful

Props to Wally for the vine.

Mo's Advice

Yesterday I got choked up at our TSC leader's meeting. We said good-bye to a few staff people, who gave their farewell advice to our leaders. Mike Mogard's ("Mo" as we call him) was so money, I had to post it. He did it in the form of a top ten...

 10.  If you want to get close to someone, go on a trip and have an experience where the main activity is laughing.
9.  There is a glorious fire stop every once in a while to make sure you are building with gold and not straw.
8.  The amount of fun you have has everything to do with who you're with and little to do with what your doing.  Spend your life accordingly.
7.  With that said, some of the best leaders meetings/connection groups involve brightly colored discs and metal baskets (disc golf).
6.  If you find yourself ministering to someone and you realize you don't truly care for that person, think back to the beginning of the conversation, and realize... it was at that point where that person realized you didn't care.
5.  Before you tell someone they are dead in sins and separated from God and deserve judgement, ask yourself why your life hasn't already brought them that revelation.
4.  If you lift weights to the point where the circumference of your neck and waist are the same, it is time to stop lifting. (Below: I took a picture of myself and cropped in Mo's head. It's amazing what can be done with technology)
3.  A short parable.  A man came along who lived by the principles of God and couldn't decide whether he should feed the hungry, heal the blind, or preach the Gospel.  He chose to preach the Gospel because it seemed more important.  Then a man came who lived in the presence of God.  When faced with the same decision, he asked God.  The man decided to heal a blind man. The healed blind man then gave his testimony to the king.  After the king heard the blind man's testimony, he believed and threw a celebration and fed all of the hungry in the city.  Live out of the presence. 
2.  If people don't show up at an info meeting because Mo is scary, its time to unfold the arms and smile more. 
1.  If you ever stand to give a word in front of a group of people who have impacted your life in such a profound way that you know you could never repay them, just tell them thanks.  Thank you for everything.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blogging Fame

It has been brought to my attention that I have reached blogging fame.

Apparently I was thrown a vine from the "Stuff Christians Like" blog (Click here).

If you haven't discovered it yet, you should. Although his blog posts are a little too long, that dude is hilarious. One night my brother called me and made me read his "potluck" rant out loud. (Click here).

Women in Ministry?

I was interviewed by the Iowa State Daily about women's roles in ministry. Here's our interview...

1) Can you describe your call into ministry? Also, how did you take on the pastoral role in your church?

I grew up in a real Christian home. By "real," I mean that for my parents, Christianity was not a thing to do, but a person to love. Jesus was central to everything my parents did, and they did their best to raise us to have the same love they had. But love and passion are things that cannot be forced. Therefore, I rejected them and became a skate punk. But God took my young heart, and broke it while I was on a youth trip to Mexico, and again on a youth group trip to Minneapolis. At that time, I would say God helped me get to the point of saying (and believing), "I am yours, lead me wherever you want me to go." I discovered this "call" less as an event, and more as a process. There's a lot more to share for another time...

2) What roles do you fulfill at Cornerstone? Day to day tasks, etc. Do you have an assistant or secretary?

My title is Director of The Salt Company. I'm basically a college pastor. I oversee a staff of about 11 (it depends on how many interns in any given semester). In the fall we'll have 5 women and 5 men on staff. I have a spectrum of ministries I lead- everything from TSC to being an elder at Cornerstone Church, to leading Anthem (our next generation worship event), and many things in between. My time is spent meeting with TSC staff, student leaders, Bible studies with students, counseling, studying for messages, preaching those messages, etc

3) What positions are only/mostly fulfilled by men of the church--Women of the church?

   -what is the attendance of the men groups vs. female groups. (if uneven) why do you think this is?

-congregational attendance (men vs. women)

We have an all male elder team, per 1 Timothy 3:1-7. All of our pastors who teach at our weekend services are men. Women also give leadership in certain areas. Their importance is seen in the TSC staff ratio... we have about 700 students involved in TSC, and it takes a lot of work to try to mentor that many people. Our women on staff do an amazing job of leading, teaching, and mentoring women.

On Thursday mornings at 6:00 am, well over 100 men from church gather for prayer, accountability and Bible study. In the Thursday women's bible studies, I think there are similar numbers. In general, there's probably a few more women than men in our church, but the ratio is probably not as uneven as the national averages. We strongly fight against the passivity, complacency, and abdication of responsibility that is so prevalent among men. I would say there is peer pressure in our church for men to lead like Christ, laying down their lives for those they're leading. Genesis 3 gives some insight into why men struggle to lead.

I have no idea what the exact ratios are, but if you were to scan the crowd on a weekend, I don't think you'd notice more women than men or vice versa.

4) What roles in ministry are particularly women 'called' to partake in, if any.

I think women are called to lead, teach, prophesy, serve, give... I think what you're looking for is, "What are women not called to do?" Let me preface my answer by saying that there are brothers and sisters also serving Christ that have a different view on this. This is not a matter of orthodoxy. But we would not feel comfortable having women serve as elders and teaching in front of the whole church on the weekends. It's the "exercising authority over" that seems to be the issue in 1 Timothy 2:11-ff.

5) There has been a large movement of female ordination within many of the protestant denominations. Do you see this movement/interest within your church? Do you see female ordination overall increasing or decreasing in the future?

I can see why more women are pursuing ordination... The apathy and languid service among men in our culture is heart wrenching. Men would rather look at porn, watch sports, surf the internet, pursue hobbies and hang out at the bar than love  God, their wife and kids. This is the problem I'd like to address, not necessarily the problem of women wanting to be pastors. Bless them for their desire to serve God. But I also think some of their pursuit of ordination is because fundamental churches have not rightly valued their roles. Moreover, women should pursue ministry. We have 5 full time women on our staff team. I've seen women serve in total obscurity at orphanages in third world countries. They will be more known in heaven than Billy Graham and Rick Warren. The women I serve with have just as much impact on the lives of college students than any man I know. Interestingly, almost half of the people that Paul greets in Romans 16 were women. That's not to mention the role of women in the ministry of Jesus.

6) Do you view female ordination as a social problem or a positive gain for women?

This question may be a false dichotomy. If there are any problems in the church- the church is to blame, not the culture. So I wouldn't say, "Ordination of women is a social problem." Has the church been influenced by post-modern thought, feminism, and the low view of women that pervades our culture? Of course. But we need to fight this battle by affirming Biblical womanhood, not by bashing denominations that are compromising. I think we often generate more heat than light in those discussions- especially when we use the media to have those conversations. USA Today and N.Y. Times are not good mediators for the church.

7) In male focused/male only bible studies at your church, is it taught that men have religious/spiritual authority over women? Do you believe this has a negative or positive affect on women entering ministry?

The question seems to imply that "men in general have authority over women in general." I don't think that's a Biblical paradigm. In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages mutual submission in the body of Christ. However, God has wired the world in a way that all of us need to submit in some way. You could make the case that our unwillingness to submit is one of our core problems as humans. It's what made Satan, well...Satan. No one wants to take orders, but that is essentially what being a Christian is. Namely, trusting the infinite goodness of God enough to trust Him to lead our lives. His goodness is seen in the person of Christ. There is authority in the husband/wife, parent/child, employer/employee, teacher/student relationships, to name a few. But the Biblical view of authority shows a man who gets on his knees to wash dirty feet, spends his life to serve others, and ultimately takes nails to the hands. Rather than "authority", you might call it "loving leadership." God's leadership is not soft, weak or tame, but it always leads us to the good thing. But remember the agony Jesus faced in the Garden of Gethsemane- submission is not always peachy. Sometimes its sweats blood and says, "Yet not my will, but Yours." (Luke 22:39-44). Now we are getting closer to a biblical model of authority...

8) If there was a woman in your congregation that felt called to enter ordained ministry, how would you guide her to her vocation? Have you ever guided a woman through her discernment who had a similar situation?

I would encourage her to pursue ministry, but not to be ordained and/or take on a role where she is having to teach in a way that she's exercising authority over men. There are so many full time ministry opportunities that don't require ordination.

9) Do you see any differences between 'male leadership' and 'female leadership'?

There are women who are much better leaders than men, and vice versa. Generally, I would say men and women have different leadership styles. One is not better than another.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Anthem, "One Life"

It's all still a blur, but here are some quick highlights from this Anthem:

1. God seemed to show up in a big way

2. Both services were full...good thing we did two.

3. The technology demons went to work, so the recording didn't work at the 7 o'clock service. Why is this a highlight? Read on...

4. We had the prayer rooms intercede for the 9 o'clock service and sure enough, the recording started working again. God seemed to lay it on the heart of our recording engineer (Todd Wallace) at the end as we were singing, "Let Your anthem ring" that this Anthem was meant to ring beyond the walls of that auditorium.

5. At the end of the 9, the crowd clearly wanted more. So, we played one song, then another, then another... the crowd was going nuts. It's like God said, "The party is not over yet." When we finally stopped playing altogether and I said, "The end." In protest, the crowd started singing "Take the Day" accapella. It was a sort of worship protest. "We want more and we don't need your stupid instruments, sound system and lyrics (oh wait, they did need our lyrics...the verses were pretty pathetic until they got to the chorus). It was classic. People would've still been there if we would've let them.

6. I may or may not have crowd surfed during this "God is awesome encore." It may or may not have happened during the breakdown on "To Know You More" ("Glorify Your son, Your kingdom come!")

These Selahs were epic. Both of them spontaneously came together during practice. I think we'll have to turn them into full songs on the next album. We've already got some songs in the queue. 

I can't tell you how amazing it is to see the fulfillment of a vision before your very eyes. During one of the songs, I had a _______ (charismatics- please insert "vision", cessationists- please insert "thought come to mind"). It was a picture as clear as day of my dad standing before his sunday school class playing his omnichord. This is the cheesiest instrument you'll ever see. But dad would stand up and lead his sunday school class in worship. 

There I stood on his shoulders, leading the next generation.

"I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly, I do not seal my lips as you know, Oh Lord." 
- Ps. 40

Oh God, allow the next generation to stand on our shoulders, going further with the gospel, reaching more people, loving you with more passion, praying more fervently, and seeing your kingdom come with more power.

Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.
Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.