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COULD THIS BE THE ONE – By Jeff Carnie

After graduating from high school, I worked for a company called “Brooks Camera”, which is no longer in business. I was employed as a film processor, which was not an enjoyable experience for me. The job required that undeveloped film be removed from its canister in a darkroom, then a weighted clip is placed on the end of the film, after which the film would be put on a machine that would dunk it into different chemical solutions. It was critical to the process that light rays were not allowed into the room while the film was being developed because it could cause film damage, or film fog.

 Because of breathing the chemicals for hours at a time, it was not uncommon for me to have headaches. My work shift began at 3:00 p.m. and ended on most nights around 1:00 a.m. On many occasions, I witnessed sunrises due to the heavy workload and my employer had a next day pick-up policy. My career as a film processor was short lived because digital cameras were just coming onto the scene; which had a significant impact on our work volume, work was slow. Thank God for digital cameras! While employed with Brooks Camera, I was still singing with my band. I expressed to the band members that I was looking to add a female vocalist to the group. Richard, the band pianist mentioned that he knew this young lady who he thought had a nice voice. He said that she attended the Catholic Church he played for on Sunday mornings. He asked if I would be interested in hearing her and if so, she was scheduled to sing for him at the midnight Easter mass. I recall going to the service and liking what I heard. After the service, I approached her and asked if she would be interested in singing with my group. We spoke briefly, and I explained to her that my group was scheduled to go on a road trip to Reno in approximately one month and that I would contact her with more information when I returned. Oh, I must mention that I went to hear this young lady sing with my then fiancé.

 I was scheduled to get married on July 4th; Easter was in April that year. My mother, who is a praying woman, was diligently praying against this marriage taking place. All I care to say concerning this, is to this day, my mother is absolutely convinced that God answered her endless prayers. Without going into more details, it was agreed that it would be best for my former fiance to return to her hometown of Mississippi; she left for Mississippi a week before my Reno trip. I clearly remember during the drive to and from Reno that I was extremely quiet. I was deep in thought regarding my upcoming wedding. I had many concerns, and was conflicted about if I should get married or not. Keep in mind I was not aware of my mother’s prayers. By the time I arrived home, I knew I would not be going through with the wedding. First I made a call to my fiance to inform her of my decision. It was not pretty! I then went about cancelling the necessary wedding arrangements, the rental of the church, the flowers, and repaying the bridesmaids for the purchase of their dresses.

Now, I needed to contact the young lady about joining our band. After speaking with her for a short while, she asked me if everything was okay because I sounded a little down. Being cool, I said nothing was wrong; to which she responded, if you are ever in need of someone to talk with, I’m available. I must admit her statement caught me off guard, I didn’t know what to make of it. I remember going to one of my band members and asking what he thought of her remark. I asked him if he thought it meant that she was interested in me. He said “why not ask her”? I looked at him like he had lost his mind. Although I was not sure what was going on, I knew something was stirring. I shared the conversation that took place between me and this young lady with my mother, hoping to get her opinion on what was said. That’s not completely true. Actually, I said to my mother, I don’t know why I feel this way, but I am pursuing this young lady.

 Bump de Bump  www.jeffcarnieandspectrum.com

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SPECTRUM NEWS

FBCEG Celebration 9:30 Service
(First Baptist Church  of Elk Grove, CA.)
Carole and I are extremely grateful to God for the individuals we serve with each week. We thank each of you for making Sunday Morning Services look seamless and effortless. In truth, there is endless personal sacrifice and tireless rehearsal hours that go into preparing for the weekly services. Their love of God, commitment to team, and dedication to musical excellence is a blessing to those who attend the Celebration Service. On behalf of leadership and the FBC congregation, many thanks!
Here’s a brief insight to the teams that serve weekly, and their commitment to service. There are currently three worship teams, and a contemporary choir that can be seen leading worship on any given Sunday. Each team has three weeks to prepare for their scheduled worship time. Although it can be personally challenging to prepare for and rehearse four different teams, the reward for doing so is that it creates opportunities for more individuals to get involved in our ministry. FBCEG is blessed to have musicians of various skill levels, while this is a blessing it also has its challenges. When assembling teams, the correct balance must be formed in order not to jeopardize the quality of music. I must also be mindful of selecting music that is challenging for those who are more skilled, while not frustrating those with lesser skills; marrying the two to produce musical excellence.
I am presently creating a fifth team to accommodate those expressing an interest in joining our ministry. This team is scheduled to lead their first service in early 2012. Join with me in thanking God for increasing our territory. One sign of a healthy ministry is growth. I pray that God will continue to guide my “footsteps” in terms of leadership.
This is a “must share,” while making my regular follow-up calls to new attendees of the Celebration Service, I spoke with an individual who shared how she came to join our service the previous week. She indicated she was a neighbor of one of our members who had been inviting her to our church for years. Since her background was Catholic, she expressed she had no desire in visiting our church. She was invited by another neighbor to visit their church, to which she agreed. The Sunday morning she decided to attend her neighbor’s church, she said she had difficulty locating it. On her last attempt to find the Church, one of her children pointed in the direction of FBC and said, “mom lets just go to that church”. Out of frustration, she did. She expressed that her family was greeted warmly, and the children were escorted to the prospective classes. She said the music she was hearing while waiting in the foyer seemed to be drawing her into the sanctuary. She had a feeling of not being able to get into that room soon enough. Upon entering ,she immediately began to cry. She could not contain her raw emotions, they just poured out. It was at that very moment that she realized she had never been lost. She was where God intended her to be all along. She had not responded favorably to the first neighbor’s invitation because that’s not where she wanted to attend. God allowed her to wander in the symbolic desert for a while before He led her home.
After hearing such a power testimony of God’s patience with His children, I revealed that I was the worship pastor for that service. She openly wept, and we had prayer together. I then invited her to return the following Sunday so we could officially meet.

Spectrum Community Chorus      
Spectrum Community Chorus was honored to go on their first road trip to lead an evening worship program at Rolling Hills Church in Danville. The experience was spiritually uplifting for all in attendance.

As their leader, it  has been a pleasure watching this group of individuals grow as a viable part of our music ministry. Working with Spectrum Community Chorus reminds me of my choir days. In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting than seeing and hearing a group of vocalist praising God as one cohesive unit.

This group has already shown their willingness, and commitment to learning music of all styles. They have dug in with determination and  built a respectable repertoire. Listed are a few songs the group has learned and performed by such artist as, “Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir,” “Israel Houghton,” Gateway Choir.”  I count it a blessing to serve this group.

The Carnies      
The ministry team, the Carnies have served as a musical ministry for twenty plus years. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. It seems like just yesterday we all enthusiastically embraced sharing and spreading God’s message through music. Debra, Carole, and I continue to be awed by God’s anointing on our lives.

In response to many requests, the Carnies will be releasing the “Best of the Carnies” in 2012. It will be a compilation of the Carnies six previous Cd’s.  Keep an eye out for this upcoming release.

Loving Hands Ministries
I love connecting hearts, building relationships,serving, and changing lives for the glory of God. The sheer power of allowing my heart to connect with those needing love and assistance, brings me joy. It allows me to live out this principle of God, ” what you have done unto the least of these you have done unto me.” Serving others has given me a greater sense of compassion and empathy, it has softened my heart. The lyricist writes, ” Soften my heart from all indifference, set me apart. To feel your compassion, to weep with your tears, soften my heart oh Lord, soften my heart.”

At the time of this writing, the Loving Hands Ministry  team is scheduled to provide 45 families identified by the faculty at Kirchgater Elementary  School as most needing our assistance with, Thanksgiving meals. Those same families will be provided meals and gifts for Christmas.

Can I count the many blessings this ministry has received which allows it to bless others, “NO.” What I can do is share a few of the ways we are able to be a blessing because of  “you.” Our Awana’s group collected and donated their annual can collection to the pantry. Girl Scouts Troop 431 partnered with our ministry this year and donated their canned goods to the pantry. They are also scheduled to participate in our “gift wrapping” party, where we get together and wrap the gifts which will be distributed for Christmas.  Shriner’s and Kaisers Hospital children’s ward is also scheduled to receive gifts from our ministry. Jeff is scheduled to sing for the disabled Veterans annual party this year, and has made arrangements to donate toys to their organization as well.

Joy comes from God, and pure happiness is doing His work.  Imagine with me if you will,  God sent His son “Jesus” to connect His heart with ours, to build a relationship with each of us, and to leave His message to serve and change the lives of His people through His word.  My desire is to do no less, what is yours?

Spectrum
God says, I will make you honorable amongst man. The members of our worship team continue to be humbled by how God uses our worship team to bless others. We are so thankful to those congregations who appreciate and value our ministry. And to the Pastors’ who entrust  their flock to be served by our team, may God continue to show grace upon you, your family, and church family.

On October 23rd our team led the service for the Assembly of God in Atascadero, Ca. What a spiritually high day. Carole gave her testimony during the service with several individuals coming to her after the service sharing their deliverance from a similar past. God has a way of taking our sinful shameful past and using it to glorify Him while healing others.

On November 17th, Spectrum participated in a Thanksgiving program held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Sacramento. Once again, our team represented God and FBC of Elk Grove with grace, humility and honor.

Below is an excerpt of a letter of commendation from pastor Rick Comstock, Senior Pastor of AOG Atascadero.

“Though Jeff is a very gifted vocalist and confident leader, he displays a truly humble attitude while leading worship and is ever

dependent upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He also has an infectious joy that helps inspire the people’s worship of God.”

We invite you to visit our website to see what people are saying about FBC’s very own group.

Spectrum Dates
Tuesday, December 13th
Disabled Veterans Business Employees Network Christmas Party
3410 Westover Street, Sacramento, Ca.
11:30 A.M.
(Jeff Carnie with Reggie Graham)

Saturday, December 24th
(Christmas Eve Services)
First Baptist Church of Elk Grove
8939 East Stockton Blvd.
Elk Grove, Ca. 95624
5:00 & 7:00 p.m.
(with Community Chorus)

Monday, January 16th
(Martin Luther King Day Celebration)
Shiloh Baptist Church
3565 9th ave
Sacramento, Ca 95817
6:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 4th
(Black History Celebration)
Delta College
5151 Pacific ave
Stockton, Ca. 95207
(Tentative).

Jeff Carnie and Spectrum
lead worship at
First Baptist Church of Elk Grove
every 1st and 3rd Sunday.