Archive for November, 2008

One answered prayer.

Posted in Random on November 29, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

I haven’t posted anything in a while so I felt it was time. This is mainly because I haven’t had any profound things to say, but I felt the need to at least say something this week.

Well, Thanksgiving was good and seeing some old friends in Greenville was also good, but the best part was getting to spend time with my 5 year old niece Morgan! Oh man, it made me want to be a dad so much!

Yah see, It’s been a rough two years within my family emotionally. My brother (Morgan’s dad) isn’t having anything to do with the family right now and its been extremely difficult on my mom, but even in the midst of storms, its amazing how God still shows His faithfulness and love through a 5 year old.

Last night, my parents and I were sitting around having a discussion about the fact that a year ago, we weren’t sure if we would ever get to see Morgan because of the issues with my brother, But God is faithful to answer prayers. My brother is still not speaking to us, but we are so thankful that we have a great new relationship with Morgan’s mom and now Morgan is getting to have sleep overs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! <– and gets to take naps with Uncle Brian when he comes into town!

I say all this, to say that I think the reason God doesn’t always answer all of our prayers all at once, it’s because He wants us to just be thankful for even just one answered prayer. I think these little doses of answered prayers are just a few ways that God reminds us of how faithful He is and that He does care and He does love us. The real question is, are we grateful for even just one answered prayer? better yet!… are we thankful even if God chooses not to answer any prayers of ours? Don’t we have enough to be thankful for?

Its a hard concept to really grasp if you think about it long enough (but at the same time its not!) , but I just love how God uses little examples like 5 year old nieces to so His faithfulness and love! 



My Gear

Posted in Music on November 19, 2008 by Brian Jarvis


I figured i would take the time to do something I wish more musician’s with blogs did… show the gear I use to get the sound i want. I’ll start with my pedal board. Well, if it was possible to love something too much, then it would be my board! 

Here is a list from top right to bottom left: (from guitar input to amp input)


  • MXR M102 DynaComp Compressor
  • Vox V847A Wah Pedal
  • Visual Sound Jeckyll and Hyde (Old Model!)
  • Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Overdrive
  • Fulltone OCD Overdrive
  • Fulltone Fulldrive 2 (Not the Mosfet!)
  • BBE Sonic Stomp
  • Dunlop Tremolo (old one.. they make a new one now)
  • BOSS RV-5 Digital Reverb
  • Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler
  • BOSS DD-20 Giga Delay (x2)
  • BOSS FS-5U Footswitch (x2) 
  • BOSS DD-5 Digital Delay
  • Ernie Ball VP Junior Volume Pedal




  • Fender Nashville Deluxe Series Telecaster – great sound! Has the perfect sound for any style you like to play



  • Fender DeVille Deluxe – There’s nothing like the sound of a good tube amp! You won’t get the right sound of the pedals if you don’t have a good tube amp supporting your pedal board.
  • I also recommend  getting a Omnisonic Volume Control Box. You can get them off Ebay for $20, they allow you to get the full sound of the tubes without making your ears bleed!

I hope this is helpful and feel free to let me know what you use or recommend trying out!

Me, God, and an ocean sunrise

Posted in Worship Thoughts on November 8, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

This morning i woke up at the extremely early hour of 5:30 and headed to the beach to spend some quality time with God and partake in some personal worship to Him. It’s funny, I lead worship ALMOST every day it seems, and I can’t honestly say that I remember the last time I had some one-on-one worship time! It was definitely refreshing and very much needed! I spent some time just praying and having a conversation with Him. I spend some time say sorry for some things and thanking Him for MANY things!

Another cool thing that happened was that for the first time in a long time I didn’t have my ipod playing ambient chill music in the background while I read. This was mainly due to the fact that I realized that by the time I had arrived at my select spot on the beach, I had left my headphones in the car! I think God wanted it that way. 😀

I say all this to throw some advice to those reading but to worship leaders in particular. We are always leading others in worship and having to focus on the music and all the other productional aspects of what we do, that its very easy to forget that we too need to have intimate times of worship with the Father. For those near a beach, i highly recommend getting up early and watching a sunrise over the ocean. It’s little things like that, that remind you how beautiful and artistic our Creator is! I mean after all, where do you think we get it from? 🙂 

I took these pics so you could see what I saw this morning while most of you were still sleeping 😉

Finally seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel you could say

Posted in Worship Thoughts on November 5, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

Well, it’s been a rough week and half at the church, but I can thankfully say, that things seem to be getting much better! Im thankful that God saw me worthy of the trials that I went through, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed them! Its not something I want to do often 😀 It’s obviously a sign that God is doing some awesome things in and through me at Northwood. Keep you posted on what He’s doing with me!

P.S. These would be post-trial pictures: 

Worship Taboos

Posted in Worship Thoughts on November 5, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

These are the Top 10 Worship Taboos that are common of worship leaders. Most of them are unintentional and I myself are guilty of a few of them. These are adapted from a worship leader in California named Curt Harlow. I took them and added to them based on my own personal experience. Enjoy!

1. The Look of Death.

Ever see a worship team singing about the joy of the Lord while their faces look like they rather a tooth pulled? Leading is not just playing music. It is engaging a group of people to focus on God. Our body language, and especially our facial expressions, can invite people into this experience or, often in subtle ways, exclude them. There’s nothing stranger than singing a song about clapping and dancing and nobody is actually clapping or dancing.

2. The Night Club Singer.

The opposite of the “look of death” leader is the person who uses the worship service as their American Idol debut. Ask yourself, am I leading or performing? Believe it or not, there is a way to do both!

3. The Amateur Night Guy.

If we leave all the worship leading only to the super talented, we will encourage a celebrity model of ministry that is not healthy. But God does deserve excellence and it is never a good idea to ask someone to lead before they’re ready or if they don’t have the gifting for the job. Bad musicians can distract from a worship set.

When we put people in that position, it is unfair to them and stresses the crud out of everyone else. For this it’s better to give those people lots of opportunities to play in small groups and as backups in the band before putting them in the role of primary worship leaders.

4. The Speed Demon.

What do you do when the service starts to lag? One thing you should never do is simply speed up the songs—fast does not equal liveliness. Good worship leaders can tell the difference between organic enthusiasm from the Holy Spirit and artificially induced mania.

5. The “Beat the Dead Horse Mode” leader.

There are no excuses for neglecting the process of planning and praying. When confronted with a problem, worship leaders often go to their well of familiar songs instead of working to solve the problem. Our worship becomes tired clichés instead of living expressions of praise. Worship leaders need to always be pursuing how they make the worship experience fresh, creative and participatory.

6. The Tune-Up Troubles.

Simply put, playing out of tune is a huge distraction. This is usually a sign that the team was in a rush before the service or that they are not really listening to each other during practice. If you find that you are playing with an out-of-tune crew, stop, be honest and take a moment to tune up. By the way, the more instruments you have, the closer attention you need to pay to tuning (not to mention arrangements, rhythm, etc.).

7. The Perfectionist. (MORE IN THE MONITOR!)

Ever hear a worship leader complain about the soundman in the middle of service? I have. I’m guilty of it myself! I believe whole-heartedly that we should have excellence in every area, but when we take this principle too far, we can develop an ego-driven style leadership.

I have seen leaders grunt and complain and huff and puff just because a monitor was not to their liking or the mic stand refused to submit to their “lordship”. It is too easy to get sucked into the world of performance while forgetting that worship is always a matter of the heart and not the ear. I always have to remind myself that truly excellent worship has been around far longer than sound systems or even electricity for that matter. (God has humbled me in this area plenty of times!)

8. The Sergeant Slave Driver.

This is more unintentional than anything else. We don’t even know that we sound mean, but in the heat of a set, if people are not responding, we can be very tempted to over-exhort. To avoid this taboo, take a breath and change your focus from them to your own heart. Concentrate on getting yourself to truly worship, I find eventually others begin to enter in as well.

9. The Huge Vibrato leader.

A lot of worship leaders seem to have watched too many Broadway musicals. Vibratos, while sounding great on some soloists, do not blend well with other voices. Our goal should always be to lead without standing out dramatically. In most cases, the more nervous the leader is, the greater the warble. Learn to use it tastefully!

10. The Talker or the “Let me just stop things here and preach to you” leader.

While a short, well-placed exhortation from the worship leader can be powerful. Nothing deflates a worship service like a worship leader who continually interrupts the worship set by preaching a sermon. Wade Joye is a worship leader at Elevaiton Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He wrote in a blog recently about only quoting scripture in 30 seconds or less. This prevents the awkward pause or preachy sermon that usually never comes out right. (I am guilty of this one from time to time!) By and large leaving the speaking to the teacher and the worship leading to the worship leader is the best way to keep the focus on God.


This is what I do

Posted in Music on November 3, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

These are a few pics of The Element service about 2 weeks ago. The Element is our Wednesday night service for middle school and high school students. I love what I have the privilege to do. I get to lead worship with some great musicians and great friends! I am constantly reminded why I do what I do.