Posts Tagged 'Christian'

March (Holy Week) Maddness

For most of us who work in the church Holy Week can be busy enough to drive you mad. Extra prep for Easter as well as additional services can shoot the stress levels through the roof. It can be maddening to keep up with everything, but by simplifying you can work smarter and not harder to pull off an awesome celebration of our awesome Lord’s resurrection.

Here’s how I’m keeping things simple to lower the stress and maintain the sane for Holy Week:

Ditch the Band: For our Thursday and Friday services this week I’m going acoustic. Thursday will be a solo show, and I’ll have some additional singers for Friday. It’s more work for me but it frees up the band to focus all their time and energy on perfecting the music for Easter rather than dividing their effort across multiple unique services.

Extra Rehearsals: Our team normally holds one rehearsal a week, but this week we are doing two. Again it’s a little more work for everyone involved but extra rehearsal time ensures that we can nail down difficult elements and go into the weekend services feeling confident and stress-free about our leading.

Leverage your team: I schedule the same singers for Good Friday and Easter. We have enough singers that I could’ve put separate vocalists on each service – but more teams equals more separate scheduled rehearsals. Rather than having two rehearsals for two teams we’re doing two rehearsals for one team. It’s fewer people to coordinate and communicate with throughout the week and the end result should be less confusion and a tighter sound.

Leverage your music: We’ll be singing “Were you there” on both Good Friday and Easter. Not only does it fit thematically with the mood and flow we are trying to accomplish for each service (It’ll close Good Friday and open Easter) but it means that time the singers spend practicing this piece gets to pay off double with two opportunities to lead the same song.

Do less music: A standard week around here includes 6 songs. Because I’ll be opening Easter acoustically with 2 songs this leaves 4 songs for the band to learn. 4 songs means more time focused on each song.

Any thoughts? How do you maintain your sanity during Holy Week?


Palm Sunday Recap

Set List for Chase Valley Church for Sunday, March 16

  • The Happy Song – Martin Smith
  • Hosanna – Paul Baloche
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche
  • Hosanna – Brooke Fraser
  • Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin


Singing with the children – for the last 3 weeks I’ve skipped out on the sermon to hang with the kiddos and teach them Hosanna by Paul Baloche. All the kids from k – 5th grade came walked in with palms and then came up front to lead this song. We had them piled on each side of the stage and they did sign language for the chorus. It rocked.

Simple Band – We scaled down to one vocalist (besides me), and only one guitar, bass and drums. It worked AWESOME.  The music was tight and we reached a new level today musically.

My voice didn’t quite “wake up.” It was tough to sing the whole set. We did Holy is the Lord as a response song after the sermon. Then as people are leaving we sing the chorus again. My voice finally felt ready to start as we were singing that final chorus.

2 Hosannas – Yeah it’s Palm Sunday, of course we’re gonna sing multiple versions of “Hosanna in the Highest.” They both went great.

Electric – I played my electric on the Fraser Hosanna. (I played acoustic on everything else.) I wanted to get the delay and cool riffs into the song. The bass carried a lot with out the acoustic so it still sounded pretty good with only one guitar.

Worship: Rock the Choir

Today worship was awesome!

Set List for Chase Valley Church March 9th, 2008

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • King of Majesty – Marty Sampson
  • Made to Worship – Chris Tomlin
  • Wholly Yours – David Crowder
  • Hear I am to Worship – Tim Hughes
  • Psalm 103 – Billy and Sarah Chia
  • The Heart of Worship – Matt Redman

We had a lot of music today.

Highlights & Lowlights

  • The hour time difference threw lots of people off. Half the team showed up late. Really late.
  • The Choir sounded phenomenal! (More on that below)
  • The band was super tight. Everyone worked hard on the music this week and it really showed.
  • I put so much into it I was pretty drippy with sweat when I got off stage.
  • No One Like You rocked. This is a brand new song for the congregation. It’s also a tricky one to learn in typical Crowder fashion. We did it pretty close to the CD version so there was a lot of nuances the people had to pick up on. Everyone worked hard and we nailed it.
  • King of Majesty – Not my favorite song, although a lot of people around here like it so we may be doing it again. I’m not a fan of lyrics like “These words are from my heart, these words are not made up.” They’re just a little trite for me, but I know some of the songs I like lyrically are too convoluted for some people. Being a worship pastor is not all about picking only the songs you like.
  • Made to Worship – tough song to sing. I even brought it down to A and it was still hard. I liked being able to play a lead line on this one.
  • Wholly Yours – I totally messed this one up. This song has a progression. The lyrics take you through a story of being broken and then finally giving your all to God. Well I showed up today ready to worship. I didn’t want to wait through the whole song. When we should’ve gone into the bridge with says, “But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all.” I shouted out “So here I am” and tried to go into “here I am finally all of me everything!” Apparently I was too excited and didn’t want to have to wade through “depth of the fall” to get to “all of me wholly yours.” Fortunately the choir was rock steady and went the bridge when they were supposed to. I fumbled a few chords and got back on track thanks to the choir.
  • Here I am to Worship – went well the first time.
  • Psalm 103 – I didn’t plan on doing this song. We front loaded a lot of music today and then band sat down and we went into offering. Normally the congregation sings a full song during offering, I haven’t really done “special music.” I came back up and started finger picking to give some back ground music while the offering was being collected. When I looked at my pastor to give him the cue that offering was done and he could come back up, he simply had his head bowed in prayer just vibing a spirit of worship so I started singing. It felt well received.
  • Hear I am to Worship (take 2) – I finished Psalm 103 and Fred gave me the cue to do another song. So we sang another verse and a few choruses of Hear I am to Worship. (The theme for today’s sermon was “Worship.”) I stopped playing guitar, and while the crowd sang acapella I put down my guitar and left the stage then joined the crowd to sing. So we sang with no one on stage but God. I didn’t plan this but I was hoping to underscore the notion that worship is not about the music or the band but it’s all about God.
  • The Heart of Worship. Didn’t quite have the punch I thought it would. Fred told Redman’s story of how worship had gotten stale and routine and that his church stopped using a band for a season to focus on what worship was really supposed to be. During this season Redman wrote Heart of Worship. I thought after the message this would really hit home, but perhaps the fact that this song is so oversung it may have felt like the stale, routine worship that Redman was trying to avoid the first place. (I’m just speculating at this point, really the whole day was amazing and I heard tons of great comments about both the music and the message today. Really every other song went spectacular and this one was not bad, but simply average.)

How to Rock the Choir

We don’t do choir the same old way at Chase Valley. Instead of a feature act, the choir sings once a month as the “back up” singers. They learn all the worship songs that we do for the day and sing on each one. They sing mostly melody but throw in a good mix of harmony as well. It has several benefits:

  • Having 10 – 15 extra people on stage leading really helps to draw people into worship.
  • The sound is really full because we use condenser mics and run them through the mains
  • They stay on track when I don’t!
  • There are tons more that maybe I’ll do a post on in the future.

I love doing Choir this way. It has it’s challenges and perhaps in the future we’ll do some special music but today I was really excited to being doing choir this way.

So there’s a lot there to comment on. Let’s keep a conversation going on this post (or other past ones) next week while I lighten the blogging and celebrate the best 2 years of my life.

Willow Creek Reveal Frenzy


This past week has seen a blogging frenzy* erupt over Reveal, a spiritual growth conversation headed by Bill Hybels and Greg Hawkins of Willow Creek Community Church. These two leaders have each posted videos on the Reveal website admitting that their previous model of doing local church ministry has flaws. Through the Reveal conversation they are seeking to create a new, more effective ministry model. While some have taken a critical attitude, many have pointed out Hybel’s humility.

The blogosphere began to see posts regarding the Willow Creek’s new direction in August when Hawkins’ book Reveal: Where Are You? was announced during The Leadership Summit. A recent influx of posts has been prompted by Christianity Today’s Out of Ur article. To help sort the mass of information Greg Hawkins has offered some clarifying points on the Reveal Blog.

Personally, I’m very excited to see what will come from this conversation. Willow Creek has always been committed to helping other local churches. They are on the right track with Reveal and I believe the results of their research will produce helpful insights that the whole Church can benefit from.

The Videos


Hawkins video is candid and earnest. When he speaks of the distraction a church leader feels on Sunday morning I felt as though he was pulling thoughts from my own mind. Skip the short version and watch the 13 minute one. It’s worth it.


Hybels brought a welcome humor to a serious situation. I laughed out loud several times throughout his presentation.

The Frenzy

*Some of the more content driven posts from this last week include:

The Beginings of a Rockstar

IMG_4966I promised Eve-Marie, my 7-year-old, that I’d start to teach her guitar when she finished her level 1 piano books. The other day she finished one of her books and Sarah bought the next level of piano books for her. So as a reward for learning to ride a bike I busted out my SG and taught Evie how to play Holy is the Lord. It was a glorious moment for me. I’ve given guitar lessons to more kids than I can count and always dreamed of the day I’d teach my own children.

Well it turned out I goofed. Apparently Evie didn’t finish her level 1 piano books, the book she finished is a pre-level book. So the level 1 books are really called “primers” and the level 2 books are called “level 1.” Sound confusing? Alright, it’s not just me then.

Sarah and I both want Evie to stay serious about piano so yesterday I told her that I would give her a guitar lesson only after she’d practiced the piano that day. Most days piano practicing is met with groans and whining but today Evie volunteered to practice with out coaxing. She then reminded me, “As you know, I practiced my piano today and you said you’d give me a guitar lesson when I did.”

At my house getting to practice guitar is a reward for practicing the piano. How do ya like that?

Find New Popular Worship Songs

PW Archive’s Top Songs is a web 2.0 style worship resource that can help worship leaders find out which new songs are popular in other churches. Learning which songs are used in heavy rotation in other churches in the US and around the world has several benefits:

  • Quality: Often songs are popular because they are of high quality both musically and lyrically. This is not always the case and there’s room for personal taste. (I’m not always a fan of what’s most popluar.) However, odds are that if you listen to songs that have popularity you will find several that you believe are also high quality.
  • Community: Singing well-known songs breeds community and connectedness with other Christians around the world. How cool is it to go to a Promise Keepers convention or to visit a church overseas and sing the same songs you do on Sunday morning? You feel instantly connected with those other people becuase you sing the same songs. (Note: Community is not only a reason to sing the newest popular songs, but also to sing the oldest popular hymns. The older the better as you become connected with other Christians not simply across the world but across time as well. )
  • Less Risk: Often times introducing a new song the congregation can be a nerve-wracking experience. There’s doubt involved in whether they will like the new song or connect with it. Knowing that a song has been used effectively in other congregations helps lessen the risk involved in introducing new songs.

Many worship leaders are familiar with CCLI’s Top 25. This resource can be inaccurate towards the end of learning which worship songs are popular. It is based on which songs get reported the most to CCLI, not necessarily which songs are sung the most in churches. (For example Lord I Lift Your Name on High by Rick Founds is Ranked #10 for August 2007 in the United States.) The CCLI Top 25 is probably a better representation an “All Time Greatest Worship Hits.” These are songs that have stood the test of time, but you won’t find a lot of newly popular songs.

PW Archive (Praise/Worship Archive) likewise does not track which songs actually get sung the most. But it does track which chord charts are requested the most often. By design this system has a propensity to highlight songs that are both new and popular. People most likely already have the chord charts for older tunes, but search online to find the chords for new songs.

Top 5 songs for October 2007

  1. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees – Copyright 2006
  2. From The Inside Out – Joel Houston – Copyright 2005
  3. Hosanna – Brooke Fraser – Copyright 2006
  4. Your Grace Is Enough – Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher – Copyright 2003
  5. Everlasting God – Brenton Brown, Ken Riley – Copyright 2005

As you can see from the copyright date, all of these songs were recently published.

Most of us use PW Archive as a place to get chords charts. It has some nice features, such as the ability to make an instant overhead or format your lead sheet in a variety of ways. However, I find that the chord charts are often wrong. (I personally use these charts more as a starting point to then figure songs our by ear.)

The real power of PW Archive is that it tracks how many times a chord chart get clicked on and then organizes that data. Each month you will find a list of the 50 most popular chord charts.

Take a look at the top 50 for this month. You may find a song on there you weren’t aware of which would be worth looking into. This is a great resource for finding newly popular worship songs.

The Best Evansville Dentist

I had a wisdom tooth pulled today.

To start everything out Dr. Charles Kendall, my dentist, gave me a numbing agent. While we were waiting for it to kick it he wrote me a prescription for Loritab (hydrocodone) saying, “You may or may not need this, you can play it by ear depending on how much it hurts.”

As he began the procedure he informed me that some teeth are easier to extract than others depending on the curvature of the root. Apparently my roots are as twisted as my sense of humor. When he busted out the drill I knew I was giving him a hard time.

He worked diligently and with precision. After removing the final piece a look of accomplishment came over his face like he’d just triumphed over an extreme challenge.

He then frowned sympathetically and advised me, “You’ll definitely want to pick up that pain medication.”

My dentist is a super awesome guy who goes to my church. Knowing my current job situation he gave me a deal. My pastor teaches us to pray, “Thank you God for [some hardship in our lives] because it means [some other blessing].”

Today my prayer is, “Thank you God for this excruciating pain becuase it means I was privileged to be able to go to such a professional like Dr. Kendall.”

New Stuff at

So I’m emerging after a week of no blogging with some shiny new features to tote:

No more Inept as Icing

Yep, I ditched the fancy blog name in favor of plain vanilla “Billy Chia.” I’ve been wrestling with doing this for a while. I think “Inept as Icing” has a catchy ring but I just wasn’t a fan.

I thought about doing like a “Billy Chia’s Blog” or “The Zany Adventures of Billy Chia in Blogland.” In the end simple and streamlined wins again. Although I am open to suggestions.

New Resume

I updated my resume page and put together a brand new resume. After much prayer and talking to some wise people in my church and on the web (Thanks Jon and Fred) I’ve overhauled my resume to more accurately reflect what I’m looking for and what I have to offer. I’m hoping to see some fresh results in the coming weeks and am hoping to be sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned.

New About and Top Posts pages

I tweaked a few things on my about page and redid my top posts page. Some fresh posts made it into the top ten.


I tell you guys what, God is speaking to me in a powerful way recently.

I need to fast and pray about it.

One of the things I need to fast is blogging.

I’ll be back when I figure it out.

Cool Parenting Blog

This one’s for the ladies:

One of the authors for a local magazine Evansville Parent has started an excellent new blog called

Parenting through the Great Unknown

This is a wonderful resource that shares the honest narrative of woman trying to figure out how to be a housewife and mother who glorifies God.

She shares insights and practical tips on subjects ranging from cooking to child rearing to making your marriage the best. She does so with a unique poise, intelligence and humor.

Did I mention this published author is my beautiful wife Sarah?

Yeah I’m crazy proud of the girl.

You can read her article in September Issue of Evanvsille Parent entilted:

Lifelong Learners (Pg. 16)

Share Answered Prayer

How I Pray

I find myself praying all the time for different people, especially when they ask for prayer. When I commit to pray for someone I start praying right there at that very second. That way I don’t forget about it but also it puts the prayer in my head and my heart. The next time something reminds me of that person I find I remember to pray for them again because I already did.

Often I find myself praying,

God help this situation… or is that already taken care of?

Many people ask for prayer, but few seem to get back with you and tell you how God has answered that prayer. I love when people keep me informed with news like,

God said, ‘yes’ here’s what happen…

God said, ‘no’ here’s how I’m dealing…

God is saying, ‘wait’ right now keep praying…

Some Answers

This past week I received several answers from friends that were extremely encouraging. Some were simple “the situation went well” emails but it was so nice to be in the loop instead of still wondering.

I have been praying for one friend who has a very serious medical condition for several weeks. I received multiple email updates as the situation changed and even when it didn’t change. Then yesterday I got an email sharing that amazing recovery had occurred. The doctors described it as “atypical.” One doctor said,

Keep having your congregation and your friends pray, because those prayers are working. [my friend’s] response is unbelievable, and even though I prescribed some medicine, there’s something bigger at work here, and I know that.

In this case the answer was “miraculous healing” which is cool. Although that’s not always the case. I believe all the answers to prayer, even “no” and “wait” are in fact miracles even if they don’t seem that way to us. I love to hear back from people either way.

For those who have been praying over my job search

  • Praise God my voice is improving every day. Pray for healing, my throat is sore from doing some vocal exercises wrong. I think I have it figured out now.
  • Praise God there’s been some exciting developments in my search. Although I’m still in talks and haven’t received a definite “this is the the right place” just yet. I’m still sending out resumes.
  • Thank God for all the awesome people who have been helping me out by pointing churches to my website.

How about you?

Do you like hearing answers to prayer?

Classy Church

Recently I applied for a worship position at a church and after taking some initial steps in the interview process we decided it wasn’t a good fit.

To show me how much they appreciated the effort I’d put in the church sent me a letter along with a Starbucks gift Card!

It made me wonder – if this is how classy they treat people who potentially want to work with them how cool must they be to their actual staff?

Whether your staff is paid or volunteer it reminded me that doing small extra things can go a long way towards shaping a productive staff that works together as a team.

It doesn’t have to be a cup of coffee but small things like a phone call, thank you card, leaving a comment or linking to someone’s website can be great affirmations.

BTW send Jon some link love. Apparently the poor guy doesn’t know what an iPhone is.

Packing Light GTD

Right now I’m at the library working on updating my resume and writing some blog posts.

Getting things done from home was becoming difficult. I kept distracting Sarah and Evie from school and they kept distracting me from my tasks. (What can I say? My girls are simply beautiful and I love spending time with them.) So today I hit up the library for some quiet time and to give the girls some space.

As I walked out the door felt this amazing sensation that comes from not needing to take anything with me. I keep everything online:

It was so freeing not to lug around a ton of junk. I used to be anchored to my laptop, but now I can work from any computer. I am almost completely severed from using a Palm or Microsoft Word. I keep a small notebook in my pocket and keep everything else online.

Now if only I could fit my camera in my pocket

Top Posts for September 2007

Most popular posts on Inept as Icing for September 2007

  1. Lo-Fi Tribe on Church Websites
  2. Aldersgate Worship Highlights
  3. Our Atrophied Jewish Holydays
  4. Changing Worship Lyrics
  5. Manly Cup of Coffee
  6. Review: Jesus Painter One Way DVD
  7. Worship Confessional | 09.02.2007
  8. Grandma’s Homebaked Ministry Tips
  9. More on Bad Worship Lyrics
  10. The Sweet Spot of God’s Will
  11. Worship Confessional | 09.30.2007
  12. Review: Shane and Shane in Concert

Can Someone Record LA Ink for me?

Los is getting Inked tonight on TLC. He posted a fun promo on his site:

I don’t have cable.

Can anyone record if for me?

Worship Confessional | 09.30.2007

I received such a positive response to my last worship confessional I decided to break out my guitar again and do a little teaching on how to play slash chords:

September 30, 2007 Worship set list at Christian Fellowship Church:

  • Open the Eyes of My Heart – Paul Baloche
  • All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises – Paul Baloche
  • Filled with Your Glory – Tim and Jon Neufeld
  • He is Exalted – Twila Paris
  • Agnus Dei – Michael W. Smith
  • Just as I am – Charlotte Elliott and William Bardbury
  • Here is My Heart – Martin J. Nystrom

Updated version of older worship songs using slash chords:

Open the Eyes of My Heart by Paul Baloche
Arr. Sam Lynn

Chorus/Verse 2:
E5, E5/D#, A2/C#,A2, E5
Verse 1:
Bsus, C#m7, A2, Bsus, Bsus, C#m7, A2, Bsus

Billy Chia slash chord voicings:
E5: —– 079900
E5/D#: – 069900
A2/C#: – x42200
A2: —– x02200
Bsus: — x24400
C#m7: — x46650

He is Exalted by Twila Paris
Arr. Sam Lynn

G, C/G, D/G
G, G/B, C, C/E, Dsus
G, G/B, C, D/C, C/D, Dsus, Esus, E
Am, Em/G, D/F#, D, G, G/B, C, G/B
Am, Em/G, D/F#, D, G, G/B, C, G/B
Am, Am/G, F, C/D, G

Billy Chia slash chord voicings:

G: —— 3×0033
C/G: —- 332010
D/G: —- 3×0232

G/B: —- x20033
C: ——- x32033
C/E: —- xx2033
Dsus: — xx0233
D/C: —- x30233
C/D: —- xx0013
Esus: — 022200
E: —— 022100

Am: —- x02210
Em/G: – 322000
D/F#: — xx4232
Am/G: – 302210
F: —— 133211

Twila Paris did updated version on her 2005 release He is Exalted Live Worship. It actually kinda rocks and has some electric guitar with a little delay. You can listen to the new version on her website.

Did you do a confession for this Sunday?
Drop a link in the comments.

Free Monk and Neagle Music

Monk & Neagle were featured today on

Beautiful You one of my favorite songs off the new album, is available for free.

Conner clued me into this site a while back.

I have to say that each week they seem to have at least one good song. I’ve subscribed for a few weeks now and I haven’t gotten any spam from them.

Also available for free this week are True Love by Phil Wickham and Red Five, Standing by by A Denver Mile.

You can go snag your free music.


Check out my interview with Monk and Neagle.

Top 5 Reasons I Should be Your Worship Pastor

Are you part of a Church looking for a worship/creative arts staff member?

Here are the Top 5 Reasons I should be on your team:

1. I am a worshiper.

I often tell worship teams I lead, “The most compelling credential you have that allows you on stage is your relationship with the Father.” I hold the same standard for myself. Everything else is secondary to living worshipfully. Any “leading” I do in a corporate setting is really just a side effect of the fact that God is intricately involved in my life everyday.

2. God has called me to worship ministry.

No amount of skill, talent, money or resources is going to make me effective without God’s call. God has placed a powerful call to worship/creative arts ministry on my life.

3. My wife is loved.

I know how to love the Church because I know how to love my wife. I’ll let Sarah speak on this one. See some posts on her blog: Awake, Just One More, Love Song for Billy, HOT!

4. My daughter is obedient.

For 5 years Sarah did amazing job of raising Eve-Marie as a single mom. Over the last two years I’ve had the joy of parenting together with her. I love my girls like crazy and I manage my family well in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:4-5. You can take a look at what fatherhood means to me.

5. I am a learner.

Because “disciple”means learner, I equate following Jesus with life change. God is working on me in a radical way. Because of God’s love I’m not the same as I was yesterday. Apart from the Bible, prayer, fasting, fellowship, and personal and corporate worship, God tends to use books, blogs, magazines and experiences to change me.

If these are qualities you are seeking in a staff member please visit my resume page for more information.

Church vs. Target

I’m a big Church Marketing Sucks fan, but I have to dis on a recent post:

What if Church was Fast, Fun & Friendly?

in which Kevin D. Hendricks compares church to Target and chimes that it should be more:

Fast – You’ll probably accuse me of being too consumerist, but how many visitors can sit through a 45-minute sermon? I know I can’t.

Well, Kevin, consider yourself so accused.

Wedding as Worship Part 6

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 6th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 6 – Lighting the Unity Candle:

Flame – Nooma, Rob Bell

Sarah and I sifted through tons of music to get the best picks for our wedding. We couldn’t seem to find a song that fit with the lighting of our unity candle. We though this was more representative of what we wanted to convey.

You can purchase Flame at

Wedding as Worship Part 5

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 5th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 5 – The Bride’s Entrance – Vows:

Billy’s Vows:

SARAH!! I take you to be my wife, confident in my soul that you will be my lifesaving helpmate, true friend and loving companion

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy,

I will always protect you, cherish you, and sacrifice myself to love you as Christ loved the Church

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to lead you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Sarah’s Vows:

Billy, I take you to be my husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy, confident in my soul that you will be my faithful protector, true friend and loving companion.

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your wife,

I will always help you, respect you, and submit to you as to the Lord–

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to join you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Wedding as Worship Part 4

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 4th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 4 – Processional:

Not to Us – Chris Tomlin

We had our bridesmaids/groomsmen/parents walk in during Not to Us. At around 1:30 on the video you see my brother, Al, walk in my mom-in-law and then see my best man, Kevin, raising his hands. Al’s not much of a church kid so not really knowing what Kevin was doing he gives Kev a high-five.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 3

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 3rd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 3 – Worshiping God through Song 3:

Better is One Day – Matt Redman

One of my favorite moments from that day is at the end of this video when I let the people at my wedding lead me in worship.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 2

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 2nd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 2 – Worshiping God through Song 2:

In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend

BJ laid down a nice little solo. Scope it:

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 1

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

Over the next 7 days I’ll be posting 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 1 – Worshiping God through Song 1:

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • Indescribable – Chris Tomlin

The band:

Rob Bell – The Gods Aren’t Angry Tour – Tickets on Sale

Rob BellI bought tickets today for Rob Bell’s new speaking tour entitled The Gods Aren’t Angry kicking off in September. We all know and love Rob from his various contributions to the Christian conversation including Velvet Elvis, Sex God, and Nooma. If you’re a fan you need to check out this show. Even if you’ve never heard of Rob bell I highly recommend his new tour.

Continue reading ‘Rob Bell – The Gods Aren’t Angry Tour – Tickets on Sale’

Seeker’s, Evansville

Seeker’s, Evansville Posted by Picasa


vintage…yeah Posted by Picasa

Going to Promise Keepers 2005

I’m starting to look forwad to Promise Keepers this weekend. I wasn’t really all about going because I knew at some point in the weekend they’d talk about marriage, and that’d be a huge downer. Then a good friend of mine reminded me that I need to focus on the future and what life could be, instead of looking at the mistakes of my past. It’s easy to say, “Christ has wiped the slate clean.” It’s completely separate thing to really believe that and live your life that way. I think this weekend should be very cool. It will be some good times with my Dad and other Godly men and they always have a really good worship band.

Edit: The “friend” I talked about in this post is Sarah, my wife 🙂

chaotic repeal

ok, I know I’m weird but I really love this kinda stuff:

I’m so happy to be at the end of a busy, yet fulfilling week. God has given me so much more peace about life. Thank you to everyone who sent me encouragment and prayers. I really belive it was your prayers that got me through it. I’m still searching, I still don’t know all of what God has in store for the future, but I’m much more in a state of calm about the situation and trusting that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” – Rom. 8:28

the Source: rocked
Frisbee time: rocked
the Show: rocked

88mph is one of my favorite bands right now. I think that One Day Less, Special Delievery, Lost for Words, 88mph, and the Rising Tide need to go on the soundtrack to our Kung Fu movie. I have to work on the getting the sycronization rights. The singer from Special Delievery was way cool about it, he even gave me a free sticker.
(p.s. was not a “Battle of the Bands” the actual Battle is in Midland at the Rock next month, more info to come, you should totally hit that)

You gotta hit this show

I’m way excited for Battle of the Bands at
Saginaw Valley Church of the Nazarene.
Friday, June 10 6pm


Purevolume: ———- Website:

One Day Less ———
88 MPH ————–
Lost for Words ——-
Special Delivery —–

With special guest speaker:

Me 🙂 –

directions from Google:

See ya there.

Coffeehouse tomorrow. Yay.

Coffeehouse tomorrow. Yay.

A Broken and Contrite Heart

Tunes: Relient K, Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…”

My heart is so shattered. In the wake of a failed marriage I sought to fill the void with every kind of community and ministry that I could get myself involved in. Now I do 10 million things and individually, they are all good, but collectively, serving the Church is killing my faith. I feel God calling me to “cut” ministries out of my life, but it’s so difficult.

I’ve dug roots into the deep recesses of a soil that doesn’t want to let me go.

I’m trying to keep everything in context. I’m been wrestling with my future path. When I moved to Saginaw I thought I’d only be here for a few months and that turned into a year, and now God may want me here longer. God has put so many roadblocks to me going to seminary I have to wonder if I am really called there.

For a long time I have felt a call to go to worship school to be a church musician. This was very evident to me in Texas where my church didn’t have a worship team, and as my guitar lay in the corner collecting dust I felt blackness with in my soul.

I was the wicked servant who buried his talent in the ground claiming that the master would reap where he had not sowed. When I started a guitar class and my high school students lead worship, a new light dawned. I felt this again when I got back from worshiping with Michael Gungor at Acquire the Fire. Then when I went to this worship conference last week my heart was pulverized by the Spirit and open to his leading. This last week I’ve been praying over what God wants me to do in the long run and I feel such a strong calling to be a full time Church musician.

This is a scary thing. The options have always been: pastor or youth pastor. I guess I’ve never doubted whether I would be a good pastor or youth worker. God has confirmed over and over again that I’m good at all the stuff that is required of these two vocations. But I’ve always doubted my musical ability.

When I lived in Texas my ex-wife’s camp held a Christian music festival called “Lutherstock” where people like Lost and Found and Agape would play but they would have local bands open. My wife was talking to me about who should play the next year and I said, “Billy Chia.” She laughed. She thought I was being sarcastic. In all fairness I make jokes and I’m sarcastic all the time and people always tell me, “Billy, I can never tell when you’re being serious.” Well this is the price I paid for not letting my “yes be yes” and my “no be no.” I was serious about playing Lutherstock but my ex-wife just didn’t think I had the talent.

Blah, I hate feeling this way. I hate the uncertainty. Submission is so hard. I wonder if I just want to do music because I’ve done the whole theology/Biblical languages thing in college and as much as I’m looking forward to the experience of Seminary, I’m not looking forward to the classes. I’ve been there/done that. And my time in Texas satiated my need be a youth minister. Is music just my new ephemeral passion that’s going to fade in the long run? I mean in a way that’s silly, I was doing music way before I was ever involved in the Church. It was the one gift I brought to the Church that I didn’t learn there. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13, around the same time I felt a call to be a pastor.

Deep down inside there’s a voice that says, “Ya know what Billy, God’s really gonna be happy regardless of what you do as long as you are serving him. It’s not really his ‘will’ for you to be a youth pastor, or ordained pastor, or worship leader, or graphic designer. In essence it’s your call, just do it to his glory and you’ll be good to go.” That’s even harder to deal with. I make so many crazy mistakes and do so many stoopid things I don’t want to be in charge of choosing what to do when I grow up. I mean for goodness sakes I’m 26 and a ½ and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I need to grow up already. Jonny, I’ve stayed golden for too long and it’s time for Ponyboy to move on.

The Fun Part About Tomorrow

Tunes: 88 Miles Per Hour
Worship was pretty excellent this morning. I saw some many kewl people I wish I would’ve had more time to talk, the downside of leading worship. Although we played with a guest drummer today who goes to a presbyterian church in midland. He was very talented and when you’re playing bass with a good drummer it just opens up room for the Spirit to come. I swear more people were raising their hands today than normal. I know worship’s not all about people raising their hands but there is a difference between just worshiping God personally and corporate worship where there’s a communal sense that the Spirit is present.

So this band really rocks, you should check them out:

into the darkness…

I think yesterday is the first time I’ve felt really sad in a long time. People often tell me the stories of their life, some are amazing tales of hurt and in those moments I feel sad for my friends, but yesterday I think my personal spirit was bruised.

I guess I forget from time to time that the Gospel is offensive and people become offended by its message. After all, Jesus wasn’t crucified because he was telling people to live holy lives or be good people. Jesus was killed because He was hanging out with all the wrongs kinds of people and drinking with them and telling these sinful, broken people that they were forgiven.

Although maybe that’s not why my friend was offended at all. I honestly have no idea why. I’m not very good about being able to “read” people; I need to be told very plainly what is up. I think that’s why I’m so honest. In any case my lack of intuitiveness and blatant honesty has caused conflict before. I guess I’m willing to pay the price for being true to who I am, but it still hurts to feel this rift.

On the upswing, Thursday night went awesome again. Next week you’ll be able to download an mp3 of the teaching from the website. After the Source, I really enjoyed hanging out with my new pal Kenny and I’m excited about the ministry that’s going to happen this summer.

Seminars4Worship Confrence

Tunes: Ross Parsly

wow. I have been looking for a long time for what God wanted me to do next. I felt a tension in being too busy and knowing that I needed to stop doing some things and really step up on others and over the last two days God answered in a big way. I spent the last two days and a seminars4worship conference where I heard amazing, compelling, encouraging, convicting talks from the country’s leading worship leaders on everything from Postmodern culture to multi-generational worship. God melted my heart like an ice cream carton left out overnight. Right now the kitchen floor’s a sticky mess but I’m totally in a place for God to reshape me into something cool and I’m way excited.
I have a lot to pray about and consider over the next few weeks. God is moving. It’s awesome.


Tunes: 88 Miles Per Hour

Today was Jeni’s baptism. I was completely bummed about getting out late at my church and missing the actual baptism at hers but I loved the spiritual vibe of her congregation. Worship was so free there. God was totally present. Hanging out after worship was super fun.

Worked on the kung fu movie with Beth and Alaine. After being pretty ADD for a few hours we finally got to task and we have a pretty solid storyline down. It’s going to be rocked out if we can find a few extra people who are down with being in the movie.

Rich’s Grad Party

Yeah, today was so amazing I just have to lift up praise to God for all of his awesomeness and the blessings that he poured out on me.

First I got to lead some worship songs for my church’s men’s group. It was way early in the morning and I stayed up way too late last nite working on the Source website. I was so tired my mind felt like oatmeal. There was no way I was in a state to lead but God showed up so huge, he took over when I felt weak for our weakness his power is made perfect. Just to listen to these men singing out to God was amazing, from that point on I knew it was going to be a good day.

Then Alaine and I went to Rich’s birthday/graduation party. It was freaking sweet. I just laughed like crazy and we took a million pictures. It was so much fun. I don’t know when the last time was that I really just enjoyed spending time like that (and I pretty much spend everyday enjoying everything I do)

Today’s only downer: no frisbee.

After we got back to Saginaw I gave Alaine a guitar lesson. I really excited about having her as a guitar student. Alaine is the kinda kid who just seems to be good at anything she applies herself to. She’s draws amazing anime and she’s a very talented writer. She was picking up the musical concepts I was laying down really quick.

I super excited, Monday and Tuesday I’m going to a worship conference with some people from my team at church. I’m especially looking forward to going to a session on postmodern worship and seeing how what the broader Christian community has to say compares with what is going on with the Source.

Oh yes, God is kewl.

The Best Day EVER

Tunes: ACDC, Back in Black
Yeah yesterday rocked it out hardcore. My older brother and his super cool friend Mike (who’s like my other older brother) hooked me up with a chance to record in a real studio. It was amazing. I think it’s a process I need to highly recommend to everyone. I’ll have a 4 or 5 song EP coming out soon so I’m way excited. Be on the look out for a new website featuring yours truly in the role of the rock star.
Also how cool was Star Wars? Pretty darn cool. Although I think I liked the massive amounts of light saber battles in the parking lot and chilling with friends before the movie than the actual movie.
Favorite Star Wars movies in order of favortiness:
Episode II Attack of the Clones
Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Episode IV A New Hope
Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Episode I The Phantom Menace

oh a great many things

Tunes: Mae, The Everglow
Hanging out for Shakespeare was excellent. I laughed so hard it was outta control. All the kids were great, but I was totally blown away by Beth’s mad acting skillz. I’m like 10,752 times more excited for the kung fu movie now that I’ve seen Beth do some acting and Alaine do some writing. (We’re not scraping the script)

Star Wars is coming up and that should be sweet. We geeked up for it today by watching some clone wars cartoons. It was way fun on the big screen. I’m all about bringing my lightsaber to the show, but I’m not so down with the cause play. (is that how you spell it?)

I was thinking about how powerful memories are. Like when I was in high school I had a good friend named Jacqui who introduced me to emo and indie music. I always had fun hanging out with her and consequently I expereienced all these happy memories listenting to emo. I think that’s why I like it so much now. I hate country, but I love this song, “If you’re gonna play in Texas you gotta have a fiddle in the band.” I just remeber always having fun in Texas when ever we listened to that song so I luv it. Recently I haven’t been able to stop singing, “Pink Tux (I love the 80’s)” Everyone got all goofy and into it at the concert when I busted out my cellphone so I think that made this positive memory and now I like that song more than if I would have not heard it at the concert and had that positive memory attached to it.

My theory is that most things in life are like this. If you like acting, tennis, basket weaving, or appraising 3rd century indonesian art odds are that at some point in you life you had a positive memory attached to this activity.

the Source Kick Off

Yeah so the Source was phenominal! God just way blessed it and I can’t wait till the next one. Going to see some Shakespeare tonight, so I’m geeked.


Tunes: Relient K, Sadie Hawakins Dance

Oh yes fun times abound. Getting more excited moment by moment for the Source the concert and Beth’s play. It’s been absolutely beautiful outside lately. Also the yogurt that comes with McDonald’s fruit and walnut salad is so good it’s like that good crack rock.

Convenience charge?

I can’t find anything convenient about $14 tickets costing $30. Yeah ticketmaster, you fail. Also I haven’t heard form a friend of mine in a week and I don’t get to hang out with a good pal on Saturday. This week is so jank it feels like I’m being doused in downers. I can’t wait till next week.

Outside it’s nice. The air is hot and windy as fat drops fall. Thunderstorms are always a reason to rejoice.

Samurai warrior

God is really cool. I am so thankful he answered some prayers recently to bring certain people closer to him and open door in the life of one of my friends.

I am sad though. I’m worried about some of my friends.

In ancient Japan, samurais considered flower arranging a martial art because it prepared them for war. They also wrote poetry. I figure since my family owns a flower shop I’m a martial artist by trade. I hate mother’s day. 13-hour days the week before are crazy.

teary eyes and a sore gut

Tunes: Simple Plan, Untitled

Ya know when you laugh so hard your somache hurts? It’s good.
1 cup of coffee, 1/2 a frappachino, 2 subs full of bean sprouts, and 8 hours of engaging conversation later it was a pretty excellent day.

Also, May 13th Relient K is opening up for Good Charlotte wOOt! (although I don’t think Simple Plan is playing on that date) I think I might have to hit Beth’s play on Saturday nite (although if Friday is the only nite I can make it I would totally skip Relient K to see you do some Shakespeare anyday Beth)

Well I’m certainly surprised

Yes, I did actually enjoy the Michael W. Smith concert last night. Who knew?

Postmodern, Emergent and other buzz words

Tunes: Mourning September, Glorietta

Went to Kevin and Nikki’s today to pray over the Source and what God will do through that ministry. We were planning out some of the logistics but I found it hard to focus. I was just enjoying being with my friends too much I didn’t want to get “down to work.” I think that’s a good sign for the ministry, after all that’s what the Source is about. It’s about creating community. That community will be centered in God’s word but ultimately the Christian walk all comes down to relationships: with each other and with God. It’s not a set of rules (no matter how much I luv rules) or commands to follow. So even if we have trouble getting down some of the planning details I think we’ll be good because we know how to practice the community we preach. (and we did finally end up logging a few things on the todo list, praise God for Kevin and all those of a task oriented nature)

It’s funny, it just occurred to me that I’m uber task oriented when it comes to the worship team. I always get frustrated if people start talking to much and I always want to work more on the music. I think this has multiple causes. I think I’m more confident in my ability to lead MY kind of worship & Bible study @ the Source than I am leading a different style on Sunday mornings which causes me to feel musically insecure and desiring more practice time.

I think the core of it might be my relationships to the other people on the worship team. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t even know everyone’s name. Could it be an age difference thing? Could it be because I’m still relatively new?

Hmm, I was feeling a little uneasy earlier tonight. I think I just needed a little bit of overanalyzation to feel comfortable again. ahhhhh.

Shoebox greetings

Tunes: Saves the Day, Rocks Tonic Juice Magic

While talking to a friend last night I started thinking about high school. At about 2AM I set out on a quest. My personal grail: a shoebox full of all the photographs I took during the 4 years between ’94 and ’97. (These feature various configurations of hair and piercings.)

Memories are like water from the sky. Sometimes the rain pours, and your clothes are soaked, but you just keep dancing and jumping through mud puddles. Other times it hails in a white wash of frozen pain you can actually feel on your skin.

Among the treasures I unearthed was a journal I kept for my 5th grade English class. An entry dated in 1989 stated,
“I rented the best game today:
Super Mario Bros 3!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I also found a Six Degrees of Separation 7″. I don’t play on the record but my picture is featured on the jacket. (I joined the band post recording, but pre production)

Most difficult to sort through was a shoebox containing every love letter Jen and I wrote to each other when we were dating. I picked up note at random and read a bit. A section read, “I know you’re the one I want to be with forever.” It was hard not to feel betrayed all over again. In the end it was an exercise in growth. Though it was like trudging through thorns, opening old wounds, I think I’m a step closer to healing. Running away never solves problems. You gotta face ’em down and smack ’em with a backhand of triumph.

"His heed’s the size of a mellon…

…he’ll probably go cry himself to sleep on his huge pillow” – Mike Meyers, So I Married an Ax Murderer

I think I have this big head sometimes. All the time people are telling me how cool I am and how much God uses me. It’s funny to think that at one point I had this terribly low self image and thought very little of myself. Maybe sometimes it’s still a struggle but I think there are some key things.

It’s all about the parable of the talents. (see Matthew 25) God gives everyone gifts and “talents.” If you are using them for God’s glory, you are going to feel good about yourself and people are going to start telling you how cool you are. (consequentially, the more you are into Jesus the more people will tell you how NOT cool you are)

I think the real benefit of being a mellon head such as myself is that when you feel good about yourself, you can feel good about telling other people what is good in them. In fact, the people who read this blog/post to it often are the ones who I think are cool. (yeah, that’s you, I really think so. <3)

Who Ordered the Snow?

Tunes: Relient K, Charles in Charge
Yeah I know I’m from Texas and all and God thinks it’s funny now that I’m back in Michigan to hook up a little extra snow, but I mean c’mon it’s April! Blasted April you hear me!

That’s ok, I don’t think too much could put down my mood right now. Praise and worship night was phenomenal. God totally made his presence known. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people in my church just being free and worshiping God.

Friday was pretty cool too. I was sick most of the day and that made it not so fun, but I did get to tromp around in the woods for a bit and we saw dead animals. And we saw this one skeleton and someone was like, “Is that a dear?” and I thought to myself, “Ah, now is the time, it’s finally arrived, all those years of teaching boring outdoor ed classes when I worked at various camps is going to pay off because I know how to tell what a dear skull looks like.” But alas, the crew was none to impressed with my outdoor trivia.

Other awesome highlights were the cool bands that played at my church’s coffee house. The Rising Tide (who will hopefully make it into the kungfu movie.) They had a moog, it made me happy. And Dawn Xiana Moon who had this amazing powerful voice. It was kewl to talk to Dawn and her keyboard player Alex after the show. They are from Ann Arbor the kewlest place on earth, so I’m a fan.


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