Happy Day

I love this song.  Usually here at home we do the acoustic version, but at FLAME last month, we got to do the electric version…along with many of the children (who are playing drums on the steps in front of the band) and our flutist and violinist doing some motions.  This was a great morning of worship.  We started with “Forever,” then “Happy Day,” “Mighty to Save” and finished with “Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King.”  As you can tell we had a great time.

The Importance of Perseverance

Today’s post is a hybrid of sorts – It serves as last Sunday night’s Sunday Night Thought. I just realized that in 6 years of writing this blog, I think that’s the first time I missed it – This is also today’s running post and a FLAME recap.  So hold on – here we go.

It really seemed that the theme of this FLAME was perseverance.  Several students and professors had to surmount what seemed to be impossible obstacles to attend this FLAME in Frankfort, IN.  Several of the staff were in rough shape physically and yet each one persevered.

Speaking of FLAME, we had a great time in Frankfort.  My family came along with me – which explains the silence on the blog all week.  FLAME does keep us busy – for one, there are six worship sets to work out.  One of the cool things this year was the amount of talent in the worship band – each one leads worship back home.  As I saw the names sign-up, I recruited several of these worship leaders to lead a worship set this week.  So instead of planning 6 worship sets, I only had to plan 3.  The musical worship was amazing this week.  I got to play electric most of the week, except for one morning when I played bass and when we had a little technical difficulty with my electric interacting with the projector – then I played acoustic.

While out in Frankfort, I ran every other day, starting with Sunday.  That day was a long run clocking in at around 8.5 miles.  Tuesday’s run was 6 miles.  Thursday I did a group run with several other runners from FLAME.  We did a short 4 miles before getting caught in the rain.  That brings us to this morning’s run – the plan was to do eight, but it was one of those runs where I just had to keep talking myself into the next mile, especially after passing the 4 mile mark.  I’m glad that I kept on persevering.  I was able to complete 8 miles at an 8:45 pace.  I’d like to get  up to 10 or 11 miles at that pace – we’ll see as I run over the next couple of weeks.

Today I have two scriptures – you might be going through some tough times, but I want to encourage you to persevere.

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.

James 1:2-4

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

So when the going gets tough – Press On – persevere!

FLAME Worship Sets

Frankfort, IN – August 2012


  • Raise Up A Crown (All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name)
  • Sing to the King
  • Your Great Light
  • Hosanna (Frazer)


  • Jesus Paid It All
  • Glory to God Forever
  • Our God
  • Waiting Here for You


  • Your Grace Is Enough
  • Blessed Be Your Name
  • 10,000 Reasons
  • My Savior’s Love

Wednesday Communion:

  • Pour Out My Heart
  • Fill My Cup, Lord
  • I Stand Amazed (Jernigan)
  • Isn’t He
  • O Come Let Us Adore Him


  • I Am Free
  • From The Inside Out
  • It Is Well With My Soul
  • How He Loves


  • Forever
  • Happy Day
  • Mighty to Save
  • Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King





FLAME Set Lists


  • Forever
  • Sing To the King
  • Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
  • Your Great Light


  • Everlasting God
  • Your Grace Is Enough
  • The Wonderful Cross
  • Offering


  • Sing, Sing, Sing
  • All Creatures of Our God and King
  • Revelation Song
  • I Will Follow

Wednesday Communion

  • Mighty to Save
  • Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)
  • The Great I Am
  • How He Loves


  • Not To Us
  • Blessed Be Your Name
  • The Saving One
  • Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)


  • Awesome Is the Lord Most High
  • Hosanna
  • Your Love O Lord
  • Your Great Light

FLAME Worship Sets – Colorado Springs


All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name

Lord, Reign In Me

Mighty to Save


You’re Worthy of My Praise

Awesome Is The Lord Most High

Everlasting God

Glorious Day



Your Great Light

Here I Am to Worship

Wednesday Communion

Come, Now Is The Time to Worship

Your Grace Is Enough

The Wonderful Cross


Revelation Song


Blessed Be Your Name

Sing To The King

How Great Is Our God

How Great Thou Art


Not To Us

Beautiful One

Days of Elijah

Heading to FLAME

By the time you are reading this, I will be heading off to Richmond, VA to fly to Denver, CO to lead worship at FLAME.  For those of you unfamiliar with FLAME here is a short synopses.

FLAME stands for the Fellowship of Leaders Acquiring Ministerial Preparation. FLAME is an intensive weeklong conference of classes for those students 28 years of age and older (certain students under 28 can be admitted with approval of their DBMD) working towards transfer of ordination, ordination, lay ministry, commissioned ministry, or special worker. A typical week is divided into two sections so that a student could complete two courses in one week, or if need be, only one. It is a great opportunity to complete two classes towards ordination as well as meet other students in ministry from around the U.S. and Canada. We bring in knowledgeable professors in their field of study and combine valuable class time with worship, fellowship, and fun.

The three main goals of FLAME are:

  1. To encourage a renewal in the spiritual life of the students, to encourage them in their life and ministry, and to remind them of God’s calling in their life. This is accomplished through praise and worship times, testimonies, prayer times, and a special service held for the students during the week.
  2. To establish networks and lasting friendships those non-traditional students will use and treasure through their years of ministry. This is accomplished by having students from all across North America attend the classes and by encouraging friendship and fellowship throughout FLAME.
  3. To impart some of the best possible practical ministry training from some of the finest teachers available to the Wesleyan Church. FLAME has established lists of teachers who have been highly rated by our students for their ability to be current, cutting edge, and able to connect with students on their level.
My good friend Wayne is the director of FLAME.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am a graduate of the FLAME program.  In addition, I also have a degree in Church Music from Indiana Wesleyan University.  It has been interesting to watch the way FLAME has changed over the years yet still remain true to the core values.  I was at the third FLAME and have attended attended at least one FLAME a year (either as an alumnus or student) except for 1998 (the first year of FLAME) 2000 and 2002.  I thought it would be interesting (at least for me) how that has worked out.
  • August 1999 – Eastlawn Wesleyan Church, Indianapolis, IN – we sang a song here and there before we would eat all of the a capella.  On Wednesday the Eastlawn praise team led the students in worship.  One night we took a field trip to Pizza Hut.  There was a no cost option for housing, which meant staying at the church.  I also forgot to bring a pillow or a sleeping bag.  Thanks to another student I was able to have a sleeping bag.
  • August 2001 – Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church, Greenfield, IN – by this time FLAME had a worship team.  I asked if I could join by playing piano.  They agreed and my FLAME music career was born.
  • May 2003 – Wesleyan Woods – Vassar, MI – this was an ad hoc worship team.  Wayne remembered that I played piano at Brown’s Chapel and asked me and several others who brought instruments to lead worship.  I ended up leading half of the days playing guitar.  While I had played guitar for many years and sang, this was one of the first times I led worship with guitar.  Before that I usually lead worship at the piano or keyboard.
  • August 2003 – Wesleyan Conference Center – Frankfort, IN – This time I played bass in the worship band.
  • Spring 2004 – Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church – Stroudsburg, PA – Wayne asked me to lead worship.  I was back in my own stomping grounds.  I led with both electric and acoustic and at least one morning with the bass (which is always more difficult.)
  • Spring 2005 – Stroudsburg, PA – Again I led worship with a combination of electric and acoustic.  This would be my final FLAME as a student.
  • August 2005 – Inferno – Wesleyan Conference Center – Frankfort, IN – I attended my first FLAME as an alumnus and served as one of Wayne’s assistants and ran sound for worship.
  • Fall 2005 – Victory Mountain Camp, Sophia, NC – Pam and I went down for a surprise visit and helped serve lunch on afternoon.
  • Spring 2006 – Stroudsburg, PA – This would be my final trip to Stroudsburg, because we were now living in southern VA.  This time I led worship, just with acoustic and would do that for the next several FLAMEs.
  • Fall 2006 – Victory Mountain Camp – Sophia, NC
  • Fall 2007 – Table Rock Wesleyan Camp – Pickens, SC – one of the most beautiful places on the FLAME tour.  Table Rock is fun because of the acoustics.  We worship in the gym and it’s always cool to sing accapella.  There were several solo worship leading opportunities because we didn’t have many musicians this time.
  • Spring 2008 – Wesleyan Conference Center – Frankfort, IN
  • August 2008 – Wesleyan Conference Center – Frankfort, IN – the August FLAME is always fun to lead worship.  It is the largest FLAME gathering each year and many students attend with their families.
  • January 2009 – Table Rock Wesleyan Camp – this one had a smaller band; just me on guitar and a bass player with several vocalists, but that didn’t dampen the experience.
  • August 2009 – Wesleyan Conference Center – Frankfort, IN – I brought my brand new electric and led just one or two songs on it because we had a fantastic electric player.
  • November 2009 – Table Rock – Pam needed just one class at this FLAME, so I brought my electric and ended up playing drums for two days and electric on the final day.
  • March 2010 – Frankfort Camp Ministries – Frankfort, IN – This was another fun band.  One of the things I have discovered is that each FLAME is special in its own way.  Never anticipate what God has in store.
  • November 2010 – Table Rock – A friend of mine let me borrow his Fender Telecaster – that was alot of fun.
  • March 2011 – Frankfort Camp Ministries – Frankfort, IN – This week was a little different in that I led from electric the first two days, keyboard on the next two and then acoustic on Friday, which was also the day the earthquake struck in Japan.
  • June 2011 – On our way home from our daughter’s Canadian wedding we stopped in at the opening ceremonies of the first Canadian FLAME.
  • Which brings us to Mt. View Wesleyan Church – Colorado Springs, CO – because I will be flying, I am using the keyboard at the host church.  This will be the first time that I have led from keyboard for the whole week at FLAME.  I am really looking forward to see what God has in store this week.
It’s hard to believe that this will be the 21st FLAME event that I have attended in one way or another.  18 of those events I have attended the entire week.  1 event was for a half week.  This will be the 14th FLAME that I have led worship.  Only 6 times did I go as a student.  It is fun to invest back into the lives of others as I lead worship and serve others at FLAME.  I would appreciate your prayers over the next week.  Blessings….

Frances Havergal

This is a paper that I wrote for one of my FLAME classes — Spiritual Formation.  We were to read the book “Heroes of the Holy Life” by Wesley Duewel and then write a reflection paper on one of the heroes mention in the book.  I wrote mine on Frances Havergal, who wrote “Take My Life and Let It Be” and other hymns of the faith.

Frances Havergal’s story was the one story that inspired me in the book. I think it was that she was precocious mentally and spiritual. She was hungry and open to the Word of God and spiritual things even at a young age. Not only that, but she was smart and willing to learn about God from a young age.   Frances’ heart was so open to spiritual aspects that at the age of six she knew the Holy Spirit was convicting her.  She was wise enough to take refuge in prayer and the Word of God. When she could not find the answers by herself, she went to her minister for answers.  After she worked through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, she became a great witness for God.  She did that verywhere she went and used her gifts of poetry writing for God throughout her life.

The thing that really impressed me was her spiritual discipline in memorizing the scripture.  By the age of twenty two, she had memorized the all of the Gospels, Epistles, Revelation, Psalms, and Isaiah. Later, she memorized the Minor Prophets. She also used her gift of poetry when she was anointed by God, which gave us the great gospel songs “Take My Life and Let It Be” and “Like a River Glorious”.  Her passion for the lost was shown in the story of Frances at school.  She was the only Christian in the school and endured persecution.  Despite that, she witness and prayed to her fellow students.  Some Christians would be overwhelmed by the odds. Frances knew that prayers and the Holy Spirit could overcome the odds.

I would like have the relationship with God that Frances had even at her death.  Those who were with her at the time of her death described her last moments “like she saw the Lord and surely, nothing  less heavenly could have reflected such a glorious radiance upon her face.  For ten minutes we watched that almost visible meeting with her king and her countenance was so glad, as if she were already talking to Him.”