Sunday, December 28, 2008

Something Different This Week

This week at Emmaus Church in Berryville, VA, our regular worship leader was out of town, leaving me free to sing a few different songs and do a few different styles. Here's what we did:

♥ Opening song ♥
Victory Chant (with hand jive motions)

♥ Worship set: ♥
I Saw the Light by Hank Senior
Better Is One Day by Matt Redmond
Enough by Chris Tomlin

♥ Offeratory ♥
All Who Are Thirsty by Brenton Brown

♥ Closing Song ♥
I'll Fly Away and Will the Circle Be Unbroken (both are Public Domain)

Our wonderful drummer, Ethan, was sick this morning so Keith filled in, playing BOTH fiddle and drums. It was kind of amazing.

The other amazing thing that happened this morning is about basketball. Emmaus Church meets in a school building and this morning, while we were worshiping in the auditorium, another group was playing basketball in the gym. Their happy sounds of bouncing balls and sneakers-on-wood-floor mingled with our music and made a joyful noise. Maybe some day our 2 groups will share more than a building.

This morning's worship team (in alphabetical order):
Acoustic Guitar - Viqui (also vocals and handmotions)
Bass - Erin (also vocals)
Drums & Fiddle - Keith (also vocals)
Electric Guitar - Seth
Sound and Tech - Walravens
Vocals - Diane (also hand motions)

Thank you to everyone who frolicked with me!

This is part of the Sunday Set List blog carnival on Fred McKinnon's blog. It's a wonderful group of people who share and care about the worship experience. Make sure you visit today.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best October Ever!

I'm just taking a minute to enjoy the events of the last month.

It started out great. A crashed laptop gave me an excuse to travel to Blacksburg to visit Jim at Tech, buy a cool new desktop system, and go to Outback for slabs of delicious beef. Beef cattle: delicious and slow. Mmmm. Here's a picture of Jim and me after we fired up and loaded up the system.

On 10/5, I got to lead worship at Emmaus. I had the awesome team of Erin on Bass, Ethan on drums, Seth on Electric, and Diane running sound. Caleb was out of town and I had the freedom to make my own mistakes and bad choices. Like forgetting to change the key to one of the songs so that it was so high, I had to scream it. But we had a winner with "Victory Chant" with hand motions. We had fun, God showed up. What could be better?

Then lickety split after church, I got to teach Caleb's guitar class how to do bar chords. We had fun and then our hands got sore, so we took pictures.

The next weekend, we picked and sang with the Turner Clan at their annual Octoberfest. Most appreciative crowd ever. They dance and sing and hoot and holler like we're Lynyrd Skynyrd or something. Once again, the weather was awesome and so was the company. Keith played a set with Flint Hollow Bluegrass after dinner, then played some folkie rock until the wee hours.

Next weekend, I was thrilled to be invited up to Highland County for back-to-back fun. I attempted to entertain the attendees at the fundraising Spaghetti Dinner for the Highland Logos group. Chris and Heather Scott are the best hosts ever. New Directions sang some wonderful worship songs and then I got up to do some more music. Since my entire front row was preschoolers, we did all the hits: B-I-N-G-O, Eensy Weensy Spider, E-I-E-I-O up to 5 animals, Chicken Dance, If You're Happy and You Know It, all the hits. Then we ate their awesome Spaghetti and cleaned up. Then it was off to the Laurel Point Bed and Breakfast, up to watch the sunrise over the breathtaking mountains, and on to McDowell United Methodist Church. Such a pleasure to lead worship with such a worshipping crew in that beautiful location. We had fun, God showed up. What could be better?

Delaware only has one Fiddle Championship and we try to go there every year. Another great trip for the Dill Pickers on 10/25. Did I mention that we're in Rehoboth Beach? We got there a day early and caught some of that great ocean air.

At the contest, Keith took 2nd in Fiddle and 3rd in Banjo and our band, featuring Ray Hesson on Banjo, took 2nd. Check out the video of his fiddle tune below. Our buddy, Frank Nanna MCs the event. He's not just great on the Banjo, he's great with a crowd.

After the contest, we had a fun evening jamming with the Prairie Dog Band and Route 40 at a local venue.

Ending out the month of October with a strangely good Hallowe'en, I took my guitar to work and played a little bit at our break. My coworkers are perhaps the most supportive ever, yelling out requests for songs from our CD and even letting me do 2 encores. Go Freight Team. Carry my LOVE, boys.

On Saturday 11/1, we played at our church's Square Dance. Now before you go judging our Square Dance, I have to say that it was the best church event ever. We ate. We sang. We Square Danced. We Line Danced. We did the Hokie Pokie. The weather was PERFECT, high 60's and no wind. Wonderful.

The month of fun closed out fantastically with Bluegrass Worship at Round Hill United Methodist just West of Winchester. We sang "I Saw the Light" and "In the Garden." Keith played the Fiddle so sweetly and so fiercely. It was great. Then, for All Saints Day, we closed out the service with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "I'll Fly Away." We had fun, God showed up. What could be better?

How great is my life??? So great!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jennifer and Nick - Not their real names

Today I heard from my old friend. We'll call her "Jennifer" but that's not her real name. This girl has had a lifetime of challenges in 20 short years. And today, she was having another of those challenges. So she called me.

I met Nick some time after I met Jennifer. Nick also had been dealt a tough hand. Jenn and Nick had a bit in common and found companionship and strength in just being together. They were both patients in the mental healthcare system from time to time. It's a tough life, as I said, and if you're not a part of it, I want you to say a quick prayer of gratitude for your good luck.

So Jenn called to say that Nick had taken his own life. He was found in the river, wearing his glasses, wearing a red dress. I wonder what kind of pain he must have been in to throw himself into the river in such an outfit. I wanted to hug him and tell him that I understood and that Jesus understood and that we both wanted to wrap him in our arms and cry with him until he felt better and could laugh.

But I couldn't do that. It's too late for me to hug Nick. Too late for me, but I bet Jesus is hugging him now, telling him He understands, holding him until he felt whole again and could laugh. Maybe even putting a really great dress on him; who knows what they wear in heaven.

So I listened to Jennifer cry on the phone. She was mad at God. She asked why He doesn't help people. I thought that was good. Good question, and good that she still thinks of God as real and capable of helping. And good that she called me, of all the folks she could have called. I want to be the one people call when they are mad at God.

I listened. I cried. We hung up.

I wish I knew why God heals some folks and not others. God has healed me from time to time. God has refrained from healing me at times, too. God is God and I'm not God so I don't understand God.

But I know one day, we'll see face to face and we'll know.

And maybe I'll be wearing a really great dress.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Salt Sandwich

Jesus calls us to be salt and light.

Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Mark 9:50 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

Luke 14:34 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

What do you think it means? It's a strange metaphor and I've heard many sermons about the meaning. Jesus, what did you mean when you asked us to be salt?

Me, I like watching people. And I have noticed one thing: everybody likes a little salt.

A little salt. Not the whole shaker. No matter how hungry you are, no matter how much you like the sparkle salt adds to food, nobody orders a salt sandwich. Nobody eats the whole shaker.

Also, folks grab the salt shaker and do their own sprinkling. The salt doesn't jump out of the shaker without an invitation.

So let's go with the metaphor, and apply the salt lesson to our Christian walk.

First of all, we gotta be out in it. Out with the tax collectors and prostitutes. Out with the gays and the democrats. Out where the food is, where the salt is needed and wanted. Where people need Jesus, where they are hurting and lonely.

Second, we need to sprinkle ourselves, not lumpy and heavy like a big ole salt sandwich. What if the hungry folks in my life feel judged and not loved. Then all I've done was serve them a salt sandwich. Yuck.

And we gotta be who we are, and not pretend to be sugar or crack or even sweet-and-low. Be salt. God made you just that way. Sodium and chloride.

So sprinkle yourself around and love somebody. Be salt for Jesus. And if you see me out there, be sure to sprinkle some of yourself my way. I need love and salt every day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh, Fudge

On Monday, my boss returned from a week of vacation at the beach, bringing with him delicious blocks of fudge in chocolate, chocolate chip, and peanut butter flavors. Monday morning, 8 am was a department meeting, where the fudge in fantastic flavors was revealed for all to enjoy. The scene inspired me to Haiku:

chocolate* fudge meeting
causes me to want a nap.
our boss, the best boss.

* 2 syllables, pronounced in the dialect of West Virginia.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I don't usually put out the birdfeeders this early. But this year is different. This year, I'm so ready for spring, so desperate for birds and bees and flowers, I actually got the birdfeeders out early.

This is a good faith exercise for me. I get to react to something that hasn't happened yet because I have faith that it will happen. I know it's silly but I feel like I'm putting feet to my prayers as I pray for the return of spring.

So I put out 3 feeders for hummingbirds. I put them out on the far corners of the back porch. Some lucky hummingbird male will be able to keep an eye on all 3 from the Silver Maple out back. Bright red liquid hanging in plain sight. Easy to see Easy to defend.

I have been tracking the hummingbird migration on the web.

They fly north this time of year, up from somewhere warm and southern. The first sitings in VA were at the coast, a couple of weeks ago. According to the website, hummingbirds made it to Richmond today. Shouldn't be too much longer until some scale the mountains and come flying my way. I am ready.

I also put out a feeder for songbirds. Just one. Usually the songbird food attracts squirrels and silverfish. Bluejays and cardinals will fly up to the feeder and get themselves some food. Then as they get their own food, some will fall to the ground for the doves and finches who are ground feeders. Soon we'll have a yard full of songbirds.

Soon. But not yet.

I'm ready.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Come Dance Zydeco

Keith Dill is a fast, efficient, and good record producer. While we were visiting family in South Carolina this week, his father gave him a Boss BR 1180, "World's easiest digital recorder," still not easy. The others must be wickedly difficult.

Anyway, Keith learned quickly how to use the thing and produced a usable version of a song I wrote. You can download the song from Check it out.

Here are the words, sing along...

Come Dance Zydeco
Written by Viqui Dill
Published by CompassMom Productions (BMI) ©2002

Well the girls in the city got a lot of fine shoes
But they don't got a thing on me
While they're sitting in traffic and cryin' the blues
I am goin' to a big party
It's out under the stars on the banks of the bayou
Where they've play the zydeco sound
Instead of sittin' in traffic, we're makin' such a racket
Every evening when the sun goes down

They got a fiddle in the cajun band
And we go dancin' to it hand in hand
Moonlight as bright as day
Just hear that squeeze box play
City worries getting out of hand
Give them all to the cajun band
They got the salt for your snap beans, Joe
Come dance zydeco

Verse 2
Well the girls in the city drive a lot of fast cars
But it don't mean a thing on me
'Cause I got the moon and I got the stars
Underneath a big live oak tree
Now we don't talk pretty and we don't talk smooth
But we mean every word that we say
There's no reason to hide what we feel inside
When the cajun band starts to play

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cheese toast with mustard and strawberry preserves

Cheese toast with mustard and strawberry preserves. I didn't think I would like it but it's delicious.

This week, I spent Spring Break with family in Lexington, SC. On Tuesday, my mother-in-law offered to fix me breakfast. "What do you want?" she asked me.

"Whatever you're having," I said.

So she fixed several pieces of toast with melted cheddar cheese. Then she sprinkled mustard on the melted cheese. Interesting, I think.

Then something hideously wonderful happened. She put a big dollup of strawberry jelly on the mustard and mixed them together, spreading the mixture evenly over the melted cheese. Mustard with strawberries over cheddar. Hideously wonderful.

I ate 3 slices. Try it sometime.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Top 5 Reasons I Love Gigging the Baby Shower Circuit

Top 5 Reasons I Love Gigging the Baby Shower Circuit
Yesterday, I got to bring worship to another Baby Shower. What a great gig. It's got to be the best gig in the world. This was my second baby shower gig and I want to do a zillion more.

Here are my top 5 reasons I really really really love gigging the Baby Shower circuit:

Reason 5: The HOURS
When I used to play in bars, I'd work from 7 pm until 2 am, setting up, playing, tearing down, waiting to get paid. With a baby shower, it's just a few hours in the afternoon. And the crowd is friendly. They don't smell like cigarettes and beer. There's hardly ever a fight.

Reason 4: EASY Set Up
Since the music is acapella, except for my guitar, there's no PA to haul around, load or set up. The set up and tear down are simple. Which means you get to enjoy yourself at the gig. No squeeling feedback to worry about. No power cords to untangle. No amplifiers to lift over your head. Easy.

Reason 3: The FOOD
The food at a baby shower is fantastic. When women cook for women, especially when women cook for pregnant women, the results are incredible. Each bite is oohed and ahhed over. Each cut veggie stick is praised for its healthfulness. And the prize winning Chocolate cake, first place at the Clarke County Fair, gets a special place of honor.

Reason 2: The MUSIC
The women, the girls, and the babies that show up for a baby shower are the best audience and the best performers you could ever hope to find. Each singer knows what to sing and when to sing it. Nobody is too shy. Nobody is too much of a show-off. We sing, laugh, cry, close our eyes and let the music come out. From the heart to God's ears. Sweet and honest. Awesome.

Reason 1: I'm NOT PREGNANT
When I stand next to a pregnant woman, I look and feel thinner. I can enjoy myself because the baby thing is in my long past. I know I can sleep late on weekends. Nobody follows me into the bathroom now. It's nice to cuddle a little baby. And it's nice to give him back to his mommy.

So thanks to you, wonderful women of Emmaus Church, for letting me bring worship to both of your baby showers. And thanks to you, babies Dominic and Hope, for joining our group and giving us a reason to celebrate. And most of all, thank you Lord Jesus, for always being willing to show up and party.

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