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Ready to start blogging again . . .

Howdy y'all!

Work has begun in earnest to get my personal and ministry-based music ministry back and running since my recent "disease free" report from my oncologist.

How I wish now, in hindsight, that I would have kept singing regularly somewhere.  My fingers on both hands are going to need some re-training as I start playing and singing more.

About all I've done as far as guitars and singing since this past September has been the occasional Children's Time in worship; singing once for a kindergarten class that my daughter is the teacher of (that was a blast!);  singing a few songs for some 3 year olds who attend the Creative Learning Center at our church; and performing part of one gig with Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill of Hugworks.org, which I had to leave because of a call from a family that had experienced a death.

Except for playing here and there at the Grapevine Guitar Store (really not playing, just piddling around on new Guild and Taylor models) that's been about it.

By the way, the new Taylor GO models are really pretty neat, especially if you play a lot of music "unplugged" like I do.  I'm giving them (especially the 518e model) a really hard look at this time.

I have my first "concert" in over a year on May 28, when I will be performing for the New Horizons dinner and program at the church.  My program title is "Songs I Grew Up With!"  Needless to say, all the songs are ones the audience will be able to sing with me.  In the end, getting people to sing seems to be what I do best.

I am getting really excited about leading the opening session and doing music for our annual Vacation Bible School during the last week of June.  I will be meeting with our assistant Children's Ministry Director in the next week or so to get the details squared away.

In fact, I leave the afternoon of the last day of VBS (June 28) for Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, where I will serve the entire month of July as a chaplain.  I am very appreciative of the graciousness the FUMC-Grapevine Staff/Parish Relations Committee has extended to me in granting me a month of renewal/mission leave so I could accept the invitation to go to Philmont.  I hope to return on August 1st with fresh eyes to see my next 8 years of ministry here in Grapevine, TX.

Speaking of 8 years, I will celebrate the conclusion of my 8th year of service as the Senior Associate Pastor of FUMC-Grapvine, TX on the 3rd Sunday in June.  Awesome!  I truly love and appreciate this church as I have no other in my 25+ years of professional ministry.

After I return from Philmont, I hope to have calendared several singing opportunities around my pastoral calendar.  I want to return to singing on some regular basis for Hugworks.  I miss my partnership with Larry Dykstra, and getting to sing with my music and guitar mentors, Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill.  It will be good to rejoin them in singing to children in area hospitals as my calendar permits.

Secondly, I hope to start singing in a couple of our local nursing homes again in September.

Thirdly, and this is something new . . . I will be singing for the children our Creative Learning Center 2-3 times a month in the early afternoon hours, as they expand their schedule for the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, in the process offering new child development and learning opportunities.  I think I will enjoy this very much.

My daughter wants me to come visit her class on a regular basis this next school year as well.  That experience will be a major priority. My baby girl is a great teacher, and it is fun as all get out to watch how she engages each child.  Her classroom is a textbook case for positive classroom dynamics (in my humble and completely unbiased opinion).

I am also hoping to sing more in the local Grapevine area as well.  Again, my first priority is to the church and my pastoral ministry there.  However, I just feel it in my bones, and feel it in my spirit as well, that it's all going to work out.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…