Journey with Jesus from Palm Sunday to Easter

Jess RayEaster, FamilyLeave a Comment

A warm bath and soft jammies. A cozy blanket, the rhythm of a rocking chair, all settled in on Mom’s or Dad’s lap. And now the best part: Storytime. Our evening routine when our kids were much younger often felt a bit frenzied: dinner negotiations with willful toddlers, baths that somehow got mom and dad just as wet, persuading our … Read More

This Is One Tough Exercise

Jess RayMinistry, Music, Musings, ResourcesLeave a Comment

“Sixty seconds!! Let’s go!” I clear a small but sufficient space in the corner of our bedroom. A meager collection of hand weights line the wall. Teddy the goldendoodle lounges on my unmade bed, passively observing the strange spectacle before him. The voice of the instructor bellows from the TV: “Keep moving! Thirty seconds!” Burpees. As many as I can do. For 60 seconds. The heart-pumping, … Read More

Mom, ROACH!

Jess RayFamily, Ministry, Music, MusingsLeave a Comment

My coffee was still hot. The kids’ breakfast was underway. I settled into the corner of our living room couch, put my feet up, and opened a book.  Before I had even set my eyes on the page Evan’s voice hollered from the breakfast table: “Mom, ROACH!!” I followed his gaze to the floor of our living room, where a Texas-sized cockroach was scurrying … Read More

Caught By Surprise

Jess RayKids, Ministry, Multigenerational, WorshipLeave a Comment

Why was I so surprised? I scanned our choir room, taking in the sight of 40+ kids perched on the edges of their chairs. I was sitting alongside them as a helper, singing along to the songs Dave and I had recorded months earlier. As a brand new worship song filled the room, they started singing along – almost immediately … Read More

It’s In the Bag

Jess RayFamily, Ministry, MusingsLeave a Comment

Plates had been cleared from the table. We settled into the living room next to our spouses. Before launching into our small group discussion that week, someone asked: “Why did you decide to keep visiting our church?” Some were invited by a family member. Some lived in the neighborhood nearby. Some had grown up there. One of the wives spoke up with … Read More

#imsonotfine

Jess RayFamily, Kids, Music, MusingsLeave a Comment

His excited grin. Plump cheeks. His tiny hands clutching the obligatory “My First Day of Kindergarten” sign.  Facebook memories had done it again. I sat at the breakfast table and scrolled through pictures of my now 6th-grade son’s first day of “big” school. These photos carried me back momentarily to a time when his shoes weren’t bigger than mine and I still stashed … Read More

3 Reasons Your Church Needs a Children’s Worship Choir

David RayKids, Ministry, Music, Musings, Resources, WorshipLeave a Comment

Over the course of my childhood, children’s choir was an important part of my introduction to singing, leading worship, and faith. My debut performance in a church children’s musical was in No Fibbin’ Mephibosheth as the eponymous character, the biblical “Tiny Tim.” Then there was the somewhat insensitively titled Fat, Fat Jehoshaphat where I played the priest Jahaziel. But this … Read More