Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fill-In Gig: Leading Worship @ CCC & Musician Geek Gear Talk

I'm excited that Sunday I get to lead worship at Chesterfield Community Church. Yeah, I'm usually part of the worship band. It's something I look forward to every week. This week though, I get to put an extra dose of creativity into it, because I'm filling in for our worship leader, Ron Campbell.

Ron is an extremely talented worship leader and musician. He's put out a couple of albums. I believe information on them can be found online, but they're only available for purchase from him these days. Most Sundays you can find Ron playing acoustic guitar, and producing that smooth vocal croon he's known for. There's kind of a retro vibe to his vocals. However you want to describe it, he does his job well. He's no slouch on guitar either. On rare occasions, you might get to hear him on piano or bass. I've heard him tickle the ivories very well. Bass...I dunno. I've heard he can play, but I've never actually heard him. That's what he keeps me around for...

Anyway, every now and again, I get the opportunity to lead worship music at my home church, Chesterfield Community Church. Stylistically, Ron and I differ in our tastes a bit, so I like to mix it up when I have a chance. ...Give the people something out of the ordinary. As a multi-instrumentalist, that means I like to swap up what instrument I'm playing from one time to the next. Of course this comes with some limitations. Since several of the instruments I play are wind instruments, I'm limited to those I can play and still sing with when leading vocal worship music.

Last time I led worship @ CCC, I played bass with a full band. Next time will be a full band again. It's already on the calendar. I think I'll play electric guitar and tap one of the other guys to fill in on bass. This time though, I'm going for something completely different. I believe we're going to be a duo. Even then, I didn't stick with one of our church musicians to fill things out. Instead, on short notice I called in my long-time musician friend, Tim Siebe. He and I have been involved in a few music projects together over the years, and I know his heart for worship. Sunday, it looks like he's going to do some combination of percussion and acoustic guitar. Since we're in that direction...we're going to be a semi-acoustic duo this time.

For those interested in such music geek things, here's what I'm running this coming weekend.
Guitars:
  1. Seagull acoustic-electric w/feedback suppressor, & internal LR Baggs preamp w/3 band EQ
  2. Fender acoustic w/added Dean Markley humbucking magnetic pickup

Pedalboard: BOSS TU-2 (tuner) --> BOSS LS-2 (Line Selector) --> [splits into 2 signal paths]
  1. [LS-2 Clean signal] --> [LS-2 B Blend] --> Tech 21 NYC SansAmp Bass Drive DI (BDDI) --> FOH
  2. [LS-2 Send B] --> MXR Classic Overdrive --> DigiTech RP90 modeling processor --> [LS-2 B Return] --> [BDDI] --> FOH

Amp: Markbass F1

Cabinet: Homebrew 2-way 1x10" cabinet on amp stand, tilted up from the floor

This setup allows me to use the same stage monitor rig for solo acoustic/rhythm guitar, looping, electric guitar, bass, or for full range PA monitoring. The pedalboard handles all the instruments. The amp & angled cab handle instrument monitoring, or full range if I use the effects loop return. Makes for a great, one-trip load-in/out. I can use the LS-2 to route my signal accordingly for each instrument. Bass & acoustic guitar get a clean-blended signal path. Electric guitar gets 3 levels of gain staging, amp modeling, and a DI split to front-of-house/amp & cab. Throw in a looper and/or backing tracks and it's one heck of a versatile setup for solo performances. In bass mode, the clean blend with BDDI at the end allows me to always have a hefty bass tone with over the top distortion, effects, etc, to fill out the sound in my rock trio. Doug "dUg" Pinnick would be proud.

Eh, enough rambling for now...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Floodlight Revolution - Drone War

Here's a little something I made. You can find this song, and other less odd ones on my band, Floodlight Revolution's new E.P., titled "Prelude to a Revolution", found here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

New Song Cover: Free Ride

Check out my band, Floodlight Revolution, and I, on our cover of this Edgar Winter Group classic, "Free Ride".




Sunday, May 25, 2014

Parenting Thought for the Day: Father's Disciplining their Children

What's up with father's that don't discipline their kids? It's a wuss-out to leave that to the mother alone. If you love your child, you discipline them, for as wonderful as they are, they are broken people also. They need to understand boundaries, right and wrong, consequences, correction, unconditional love, respect, forgiveness, and restoration; so that they will view themselves properly, thereby promoting a healthy appreciation of their self-worth, as well as the worth of others. Fathers offer strengths in this area, and many others, that a mother is not fully equipped for, nor should be expected, to provide. This does not belittle the mother in any way. It's how we each were created. A father that leaves discipline to his children's mother alone is neglecting his children.

Disciplining children is not an easy task. I'm not expert, but I'm learning how to do it better by the day. I intend to continue learning, and applying, because I love my family. Christian brothers, notice how closely related disciplining is to discipling? Our heavenly Father intends discipline and discipleship for His children because He loves us. Look to the Bible for how to properly do both for your children. They need it, and they really need it from you. Oh yeah, and just on an immediate and practical level, if you're not doing it, momma likely needs a break!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Brothers and Sisters: Stand Strong!

Christians, stand strong despite the pressures of a decaying society! There are portions of the church that have compromised life in keeping with the Word of God, and many are becoming strangers to the Lord. The Episcopal Church is in shambles due to such action, yet there are those who remain faithful to the Lord, maintaining that a lifestyle of sin is not one to be lived or supported by those who claim to be in Christ. Read more here: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Home-Page-News-and-Views/Why-is-the-Episcopal-church-near-collapse.aspx?p=1

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Updated Blog Address

In case you happen to be following this blog at another address, please update your information to http://tenma4.blogspot.com/. Some other addresses pointing to this blog will be going away in the near future.

Stay "tuned" for more content soon.

Thanks.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Unwise Move by Dan Haseltine

CCM band Jars of Clay singer Dan Haseltine recently announced his support for gay "marriage". As a child of God, that was not a wise move. I could write a lengthy response, but I believe Michael Brown has done a great job of that here: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/43605-the-shattering-of-jars-of-clay

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Youth Band Surprise! - ONEEIGHTY Band

One of my surprise joys in the past 9 months has been organizing and leading ONEEIGHTY Band. I'll admit not all of my former experience in working with youth, or leading worship, has been positive. I found myself burnt out and needing a break. My heavenly Father granted that break, and a refreshing change of pace. It was then He began to renew the passion in my heart to demonstrate living a life of worship, in every day life, and from the stage.

After several months of healing, I imagined that regular worship leading and/or youth work probably was in my past...yet a desire burned on and continued to grow. Randomly I would get asked questions about working with youth. I was hesitant, remembering some of my more recent negative experiences. I was still playing music, so I began to seek a worship leader position that might coexist with my stay-at-home daddy duties. There were a few interesting things, but really nothing that felt like a fit. Add to that, I did not really want to change churches, as my wife and I had found a church where we seemed to fit in like we hadn't been able to in probably 7 years. We discussed it, always reluctantly willing to leave our church if that meant we began our next mission.

It was then we received a wonderful blessing. While I was setting mix levels for worship band practice at our church one evening, the youth pastor, Chris Sanchez, hurriedly asked me if I could play lead guitar (he'd never heard me play guitar, or anything other than bass). He was desperate for someone to lead worship for the 180 Ministries youth kickoff event in less than 2 weeks. Chris explained how the person that was supposed to perform the job backed out in order to fill a full time worship leader position just offered to him. Suddenly my heart leaped.

Did that guy just take the job I wanted? Would it make more sense to work a part time worship leader job with my current duties? Was God really moving me back into youth ministry? Had I ever really left it? Could I do this?

Perhaps the best answer to all of this was the fire burning inside of me to lead 180 Ministry youth in worship. The job asked for someone to involve the students. I know without a doubt God has called me as a worship leader...in different positions, but always a worship leader. I'm a team builder. I'm an organizer. I love working with teenagers, some of whom are still willing to consider truth and the direction of their life. I HAD to do this!

What happened next I'm not sure I can describe. Somehow over the next few days a band came together. Adults from the church helped out. Youth workers helped. College students helped. God renewed the passion in my heart for leading worship, specifically to youth. God gave birth to an ever-changing, growing, and dedicated group of musicians that I dubbed ONEEIGHTY Band.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for this worship team next school year! In the meantime here's a list of what we've been playing this past year:


  1. Audio Adrenaline - "Strong"
  2. Chris Tomlin - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"
  3. Chris Tomlin - "King Of Glory"
  4. Chris Tomlin - "Sing, Sing, Sing"
  5. Chris Tomlin/Passion - "White Flag"
  6. David Crowder Band - "How He Loves"
  7. dc Talk - "Jesus Freak"
  8. Fee - "Happy Day"
  9. Fee - "Rise And Sing"
  10. Hillsong - "Forever Reign"
  11. Hillsong - "Salvation Is Here"
  12. Jesus Culture - "Holding Nothing Back"
  13. Jesus Culture - "One Thing Remains"
  14. Jesus Culture - "Rooftops"
  15. Kristian Stanfill - "One Thing Remains"
  16. Lincoln Brewster - "Everlasting God"
  17. Matt Redman - "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
  18. Misty Edwards - "You Won't Relent"
  19. Needtobreathe - "Lay 'Em Down"
  20. Starfield - "Hosanna"
  21. Todd Agnew - "Grace Like Rain"
  22. Tree63 - "Blessed Be Your Name"
  23. Will Reagan & United Pursuit - "Set a Fire"

It's been a blast rockin' these tunes. I'm sure there will be many more opportunities. I'm also excited for the several prospective members we have. Band camp this summer should help us get them further involved. In the meantime, shouts out to my team members, former and current:
  • Kelly Sanchez - Vocals
  • Robert Kramer - Keyboards, Vocals
  • Ron Campbell - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
  • Tim Trace - Electric Guitar, Drums
  • Jordan Pond - Drums
  • Luke Sanders - Electric Guitar
  • Danielle Pond - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
  • Brendon Jette - Keyboards
  • Jonny Paneitz - Drums
  • Erik Noble - Tech
  • Whitney Dutton - Keyboards, Vocals
  • Stephen Adams - Electric Guitar
  • Chris Sanchez - Tech, Vocals
I love you and am thankful to YHWH for you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Worship @ Winter Camp

What an awesome weekend I had! It was sooo great to worship Jesus at Winter Camp at High Hill Christian Camp with all the cool teens from 180 Ministries. I loved getting to know many of you better. Small group leaders initiated great discussions on God's timeless truths. Robert Kramer, your team builders are lots of fun, and like you, very unique. ONEEIGHTY Band, you rocked. It's a pleasure lifting up the name of our Lord with you. Can't wait to do it all again.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Fest

It was fun playing at Harvest Fest yesterday with Ron Campbell. It's always a pleasure to co-lead worship music together with Ron. With hurdling the fire, eating some grilled chicken, hay rides, and trying to keep my son out of the pond, we had a great day. I'm still picking the straw out of my ears...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Foster's Pig Roast & Music Festival

I had a blast tonight playing, socializing, and eating at the Foster's Pig Roast & Music Fest. Looking forward to next year. Maybe Floodlight Revolution will perform.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

New Event

Just got a new event added to my schedule. Looks like I'll be heading up worship music for ONEEIGHTY Ministry's "Back 2 School Night" at Chesterfield Community Church in Ladue, MO on 8/15. Rock on.

See upcoming dates.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Message to Change.org, Re: Removing Boy Scout's Ban on Gay Scouts & Leaders


I hope there's no way anyone ever removes the Boy Scout's ban on gay scouts and leaders. A petition to do so merely promotes sinful, immoral, harmful behavior. Despite lies popularly spread to the contrary, evidence overwhelmingly shows to remove this ban would put many boys at risk to dangerous teaching and sexual predation by active homosexuals. Unfortunately we live in a sick society that is busy calling right wrong, and wrong right. The Bible, God's Holy and True Word, prophesied long ago that this would be the case in the last days.

I plead with you to please remove this petition immediately as it is inappropriate and indecent. I further urge you, and all who are considering such a petition, to repent, turning from their sinful thoughts and ways. Indeed repentance is the only thing that will save our society from eventual destruction, and domination by the coming world leader. Mark my words, sick homosexual behavior will be normalized before the utter downfall of this society. Throughout history, it happens time and time again just before the fall.

Please end this petition and do not harass the Boy Scouts of America.

Sincerely,
James A. Miller