Worship Rehearsal Checklist

Solid prep work is essential for excellent rehearsals. Here is an extensive check-list to help you with many of the details.

Worship Rehearsal Checklist

A) Pre-Rehearsal Checklist (1-3 weeks ahead)

  1. Pray about the worship list. Ask God what He wants.
  2. Are there any special events happening this week? (communion, water baptism, etc.)
  3. Are these the best keys for the songs, leader(s) and congregation?
  4. Do these songs flow well? Is this the best order for the songs?
  5. Is there a good balance of fast, medium & slow songs.
  6. Double-check all the charts: Are all the chords and words correct?
  7. Write or buy any charts for new songs. (Worship Charts: 7 Keys To A Great Rehearsal)
  8. Are there transposed capo parts for the acoustic guitar player?
  9. Are all the tempos correct?
  10. When do the players come in and when do they sit out?
  11. What are the vocal parts for the songs?
  12. Sing through all the vocal parts to make sure they work.
  13. Are all the team members confirmed for that rehearsal?
  14. Have all the players and singers been sent the list and charts?
  15. Have you asked the individual players to work on the harder parts?
  16. Do all the players have access to a recording of the version you want to do?
  17. Are all the church owned instruments working and in good order?
  18. Do the tech people have all the details and words?
  19. Have you rehearsed and memorized the songs?

B) Mid-Week Rehearsal Checklist

  1. Clean-up the stage from last Sunday
  2. Set-up for this Sunday
  3. Have all the charts ready (either put on stands or have the players bring their own)
  4. Determine the flow of the rehearsal
  5. What song are you rehearsing first?
  6. Arrive early for rehearsal
  7. Greet the team members as they arrive
  8. Start on time
  9. Pray
  10. Sound-check
  11. Keep the flow of the rehearsal going
  12. Be ready for extra rehearsal for trouble spots
  13. Encourage excellence
  14. Encourage memorization (9 Keys To Memorizing Music For Worship)
  15. Rebuke bad work ethic, unprepared players and/or bad attitudes.
  16. Listen to the whole band (Is everyone playing/singing in tune and in time?)
  17. Are the players and singers coming in and sitting out where necessary?
  18. Are there proper dynamics in the music?
  19. Is the soundman comfortable with the stage volume?
  20. Worship (Get past the music and worship God)
  21. Singers: drink lots of water
  22. Work on transitions between songs
  23. Remind the team of good stage presence
  24. If time permits, run through the entire set again in order
  25. Make announcements: pertinent details for that week and upcoming events
  26. End on time
  27. Pray and spend time with the team
  28. Prep the stage for Sunday (clean-up any mess from the rehearsal)

C) Pre-Service Rehearsal Checklist

  1. Arrive early
  2. Set-up your gear, space and in-ear monitors
  3. Have water ready
  4. Greet team as they arrive
  5. Start on time
  6. Sound-check
  7. Pray
  8. Run-through songs and work on transitions
  9. Are the onscreen words correct?
  10. If time permits: re-run any new song or problem song
  11. Worship
  12. Review intros, endings and transitions
  13. Encourage the team
  14. Review service order
  15. Pray

Is this list complete? Did I miss anything? What works for you? Do you have any questions about these points?

Check out my new book.. “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’ available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.


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7 Great Strategies For A New Leadership Position

Ron Edmonson is one of my favorite bloggers. Here is his great advice for starting in a new leadership position:

Whenever I enter a new position, I want to be strategic. The first couple years in my new position were challenging and fun at the same time. I met so many wonderful people, but there were more opportunities than time it seemed.

It has proven to be a great ministry assignment. I thank God for the opportunity.

Since beginning, I have been asked repeatedly what my strategy was for the opening days. If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty strategic.


Here were 7 elements of my strategy for the beginning days:

1. Got to know key leaders

I tried to get to know the staff and key influencers in the church. I believe God uses the influence of others to build His church, so I wanted to know who I would be working with in the days to come. Think of it this way – if Moses was implementing the “Jethro method”, his primary energy would need to be communicating and investing in those leaders he enlisted to lead others. I used this approach. If I hoped to make any substantial changes, I knew I would need these influencers support.

2. Let people get to know me

For an introvert it was exhausting, but I was very visible in the early days. In fact, in my ministry I’m usually always very accessible, just as I am online.  I may not always be available but I can always be accessible. I wanted people to feel comfortable with me and trust my leadership, so I think they needed to see me frequently – even more so in the beginning days of my pastorate.

3. Set my initial vision

People wanted to know where I was going with my leadership. I set an initial 7 part vision for the people. I really wanted 3 or 4 initial initiatives, but I landed on 7 – because all these seemed important. They were all things I was passionate about implementing. Some got started faster than others – we are really just seeing a couple of them come to fruition – but the church seemed anxious to get behind all of them. And, just to be clear, I didn’t lead all of these initiatives, but I was the chief vision-caster for them.

4. Identified quick wins

I looked for some things I could immediately impact and change for good. These were things I believed everyone could agree with, didn’t require a lot of resources or long debates. There were a few minor paperwork nuisances which impacted staff morale that I changed immediately. For example: I invested energy in some areas of ministry which never received a lot of attention, but motivated people. I re-energized some areas the church had previously been excited about, but weren’t seeing much excitement about currently.

5. Did the unexpected

It seemed like such a small deal, but I roamed the balcony on Sunday mornings. It took a little more time, but it proved to be a big deal. I talked to the person who would be changing my slides on the screen prior to the service. This was a surprise to them. They said it had never happened before, but it proved to be a big deal. I roamed the halls of the offices during the day, walking into people’s offices, and allowing drop-ins to my office when I was available. All unexpected, but it brought very positive feedback.

6. Paced myself

I realized I’m only one person and although everyone wanted some of my time and there were more ideas than we could ever accomplish, I knew I would burnout if I didn’t pace myself. This meant I said no to some things – really many things. It wasn’t easy to say no to such eager people, for me or them, but I knew it would prove best in the end if I was able to last for the long run.

7. Moved slowly on the biggies

Being honest, there were some big items I knew I’d like to change immediately. I had enough prior experience, however, to know some changes are too big to launch quickly. I could have. I was in a honeymoon period. I could probably have “gotten away with them”, but the people didn’t really know me yet. I might have won a battle, but I would have lost the war. (To be clear, there wasn’t a battle – just using a cliché.)

Have you ever been the new leader or the new pastor? What advice do you have?

The original post is here.

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Mission To India Update

I want to give an update and say thanks for your prayers and support with my India Mission. The response has been exciting to see and with the help of so many, 90% of the funds have come in and the airline tickets and visas have been purchased.

On May 30th (less than 3 weeks away), my son, Josh and I will be heading off to work with Christo and Sarah Emmanuel in their church in Chennai (the 4th largest city in India). We will be teaching seminars on leading worship, developing a worship band, giving private lessons on numerous instruments, doing concerts, judging a ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest (designed to introduce non-Christians to the church) and preaching.

I am sending out this last post to ask if you could help us in raising the remaining funds. We will be also be bringing a keyboard for the church that was purchased with the help of Brent Cantelon and I also hope to bring a bass guitar if sufficient funds come in.

Thanks in advance for your giving and prayer.

For a tax-deductible receipt please send a check to:

C3 Church 

91 Commercial Court, Calgary,  AB, Canada T3Z 2A6 

(with “Mark Cole – Missions”, clearly marked) 

Or online by credit card at:

C3 Church (put ‘Mark Cole’ in the Special Offering Box)

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10 Ways To Eliminate Spiritual Uncertainty

By Perry Noble ~

#1 – Let what God says about you trump what other people say about you.  (Isaiah 43:1-3)  

#2 – Make the decision to build your life on God’s Word- even when it’s hard (Matthew 7:24-27)

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 8.56.18 AM

#3 – Take every single thing that has you stressed or freaked out, and imagine literally placing it in the hands of Jesus.  (I Peter 5:7)  

#4 – Ask for help when going through a difficult situation.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)  

#5 – Fight to believe that no matter how out of control the world seems, God is still in control and is using all things for His glory and our good.  (Romans 8:28)  

#6 – Memorize and apply II Corinthians 10:5!!!  

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

#7 – Ask yourself, “Have I REALLY trusted Jesus with my life…or are am I merely saying I have?” (Isaiah 29:13)  

#8 – Understand that nothing- NOTHING- can separate you from God’s love. (Romans 8:38-39)  

#9 – If there is a sin you are struggling with, tell someone you trust and then ask them to walk with you through it.  (James 5:16)

#10 – Understand that God made you on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose…and that an abundant life comes from living IN that purpose. (Ephesians 2:8-10

The original post is here

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Keys To Living A Blessed Life

Our Bible Study group recently watched ‘The Blessed Life’ video series by Robert Morris from Gateway Church. Pastor Morris talks about the blessing of being a generous and giving person. Here are some of my take-a-ways from his teaching.


  1. Being blessed means having supernatural power working for you.

You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-6

2.  True giving comes from the heart—not from a legalistic mind.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7

3.  Giving is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is a lay-down-your-life challenge.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. ~ Matthew 6:24

4.   A properly focused heart is more excited about giving generously than receiving.

Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. ~ Deuteronomy 15:10

5.  Debt can hinder our giving. So be very careful about going into debt.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. ~ Proverbs 22:7

7.  Give to the Lord first.

Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. ~ Proverbs 3:9-10

8.  God wants us to be good stewards. We need to be faithful with what He gives us.

‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.” ~ Matthew 25:21

9. God loves it when we give cheerfully not grudgingly 

 “God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

10. True riches are souls. When all is said and done, our possessions don’t make it to heaven: only our souls and those we’ve won to the Lord.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. ~ Matthew 6:19-21


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Where Each Instrument Fits In The Mix

By Kade Young

Most assume achieving a great mix is simply a matter of moving faders up and down. But, if you have been mixing for long, you know better.  You not only have to possess a wide array of technical knowledge, but you also need an understanding of where each instrument fits in the mix.

On top of this, every song is different.  If you feel overwhelmed with it all, you are not alone.  Good news is, once you understand where each instrument fits in the mix, it all becomes a whole lot easier.

Mixing Console worship

The Foundation: Bass Guitar & Kick Drum

A great mix is built upon a solid foundation.  The first thing you should listen for is the kick drum and bass guitar.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get these right:

  1. Are the kick and bass married together – or is one louder than the other?
  2. Is the energy in the room where you want it to be?  If not, you need more kick and bass (or maybe better subs).
  3. Are the kick and bass getting lost in the mix?  If so, bring them up as they should always be heard (they are the foundation after all).

It’s quite the phenomenon…it may seem like the electric guitar is too loud when the real problem is that the bass guitar is too quiet.  Bottom line, set your foundation first, then move on to the rest.

The Background: Instruments, Vocals, Toms & Cymbals

Most songs have one lead instrument and one lead vocal.  Lets consider everything else (other than the bass and kick) ‘background’.  After you have your foundation set, it is time to blend together your background instruments and vocals.

If you have a well-trained band, your background instruments will be playing in different areas of the frequency spectrum.  For example, your rhythm electric guitar will be filling up the lower mid-range with bar chords while the piano player is playing an arpeggiated pattern in the upper mid-range.  This makes it easy to fill up the full frequency spectrum with background instruments and vocals.

Bottom line, mix your background instruments, background vocals, toms and cymbals on about the same playing field.  Bring them up until they are audible and then dial back a bit until they blend with the rest of the mix.

The Foreground: Lead Instrument & Snare

Songs generally have one lead instrument (occasionally you will have two). For example, on the song Wake by Hillsong Young and Free, the synth is the lead instrument whereas the lead instrument on Grace on Top of Grace by Fellowship Creative is the electric guitar.

To achieve a great mix, you must first pay attention to what the lead instrument is in a specific song.  Then, mix it right on top of the background instruments/vocals.

The snare drum should also sit right on top of the background instruments and vocals.  A lot of energy in music comes from the kick and snare combined, so it is important to have these mixed right.

On the Top: Lead Vocal

Last but not least, it is time to bring up your lead vocal until it sits on top of everything else.  One of the most irritating things for the congregation is when they can’t understand the lead vocal – so, work hard to make sure this doesn’t happen.

If you have a hard time keeping your lead vocal above the mix, check out this post: How to Make Lead Vocals Sound Amazing.

The original post is here.

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My Top Adventures

I love the adventure of following God and seeing where that leads. The Bible promises that: “If you trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding, He will direct your path.” I have trusted in that promise since I was 18 years old.

Years ago, I surrendered my life to the Lord and told Him I would go where He wanted me to go, do what He wanted me to do and say what He wanted me to say. I was recently reminded of all the great places that I have been blessed to have travelled to and the great doors that God has opened for me. Jesus said it this way:

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 NLT

Here are various lists, goals and dreams from my journey so far. They are my way of giving tribute and thanks to God for all He has done. Every good thing in my life is from the Lord. He is so faithful!

How many of these places have you visited? What common interests and activities do we share? What adventures is God challenging you to do?

God Adventures 2

  • * already done
  • The unnumbered ones, with no dates, are adventures that I still want to do

Family List

  1. Marry an amazing godly Christian wife* 1983
  2. See my kids have a personal relationship with Jesus* 1990’s
  3. Take my wife & children on ministry trips to Africa, Asia & Europe* 1987-present
  4. Take my kids to Disneyland & Disney World* 1992 & 1998
  5. Take my kids on sailing trips* (San Juan Islands & Gulf Islands) 1997
  6. Take my son to Legoland in Denmark* 2005
  7. Take my daughter on U.S. ministry trips* (Louisiana & St. Thomas) 2004, 2006
  8. Help my kids get their university degrees* 2000-2010
  9. See my kids marry awesome Christian, godly spouses* 2006 & 2011
  10. Vacation with my kids & grandkids in Italy* 2015
  11. Take my son on a ministry trip to India* 2016
  • Pray for my kids and grandkids to be mightily used by God
  • Take my grandkids on a hiking & camping trip.
  • Take my grandkids on a sailing trip
  • Vacation with my whole family on a Caribbean Cruise
  • Live to 100 years old. (Live a healthy lifestyle & be blessed of the Lord)
  • Have all my kids & grandkids live close by
  • Celebrate my 70th wedding anniversary with Anna (33rd anniversary so far)
  • Personally hold all my grandchildren & great-grandchildren in my arms (2 so far)

Education List

  1. Grade 5 Royal Conservatory Harmony Certificate* 1970
  2. Grade 8 Royal Conservatory Piano Certificate* (with honours) 1973
  3. Moody Music Student Of The Year Award* 1973
  4. Bachelor of Music Degree (minor in English)* (UBC-Vancouver) 1979
  5. Read the Bible cover-to-cover yearly* 1981-present
  6. Write and publish a book* (Leading Worship: Notes From A Grand Adventure) 2014

Music List

  1. Do a 5 month/9 country tour of Asia with Living Sound II* 1973-1974
  2. Play with Living Sound on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii* 1974
  3. Play with Living Sound in Poland with Cardinal Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II* 1974
  4. Perform in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, Poland* 1974
  5. Play on a cruise ship to South Africa* 1974
  6. Play with Living Sound & Nicky Cruz, Cape Town, South Africa* 1975
  7. Play a major concert tour of South Africa with Living Sound* 1975
  8. See the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall, New York* 1975
  9. Play with Living Sound in Jerusalem, Israel (with Kathryn Kuhlman)* 1975
  10. Play with Grammy Award winning artist: Andre Crouch* 1976
  11. See Tom Scott & the LA Express at the Hollywood Bowl* 1976
  12. Produce an album* (18 so far) 1977
  13. Play on a radio show* (Taipei, Taiwan) 1978
  14. Lead a worship band on a tour of Taiwan* 1978
  15. Music Director for Living Sound III* (US & Europe Tour) 1981-1982
  16. Choir & Orchestra Conductor, Glad Tidings Church, Vancouver, B.C. 1982-1984
  17. Write music for an orchestra* (200+ arrangements) 1982 – present
  18. Produce a musical* (20+ so far) 1983
  19. Produce & write the script and music for a Passion Play* (11 so far) 1983
  20. Chairman of Music for the Billy Graham Crusade in Vancouver* 1984
  21. Play with Grammy Award winning artist: Phil Driscoll* (California) 1984
  22. Go to the Montreal Jazz Festival* 1984 & 2015
  23. Watch a Broadway Musical* (10 so far) 1984-2003
  24. Conduct the African Children’s Choir 1st public performance*1984
  25. Worship Pastor, First Assembly, Calgary, Alberta* 1984-1988
  26. Take a youth choir to Vancouver Expo 86* 1986
  27. Take a worship band to Kenya (twice)* 1987 & 1992
  28. Go to Crystal Cathedral’s Easter Show* 1988
  29. Worship Pastor, Christian Life Assembly, Langley, BC* 1988-1994
  30. Watch an outdoor opera in Verona, Italy* (twice) 1990, 2004
  31. Watch the Puyallup Passion Play* (Washington State) 1991
  32. Conduct for Dove Nominated, Alvin Slaughter* 1992, 1998, 2008
  33. Take a worship team to Buenos Aries, Argentina* 1993
  34. Worship Pastor, Glad Tidings Church, Vancouver, B.C.*1994-1999
  35. Record my own CD* (6 so far) 1995
  36. Music Director for Canada Arise, Vancouver, BC* 1996-1999
  37. Founding Arranger for Praisecharts.com* 1998
  38. Play with Dove Award winner, Ron Kenoly* 1998
  39. Music Director for Promisekeepers* (Vancouver) 1998
  40. Play with Darlene Zschech & the Hillsong Worship Team* 1999
  41. Music Director for the International Worship Institute* 1997-2002
  42. Play with Dove Award winning worship leader, Paul Baloche* 2001-2002
  43. Lead a worship seminar in Kampala, Uganda at Watoto Church* 1998
  44. Travelling Worship Leader for Christlove Ministries* 2000-2006
  45. Record a live worship CD in Copenhagen, Denmark* 2003
  46. Visit Hillsong Church* (Sydney, Australia) 2004
  47. See an opera in the Sydney Opera House* 2004
  48. Lead a worship seminar in Adelaide, Australia* 2004
  49. Lead a worship seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark* 2005
  50. Watch jazz at the Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City* 2005
  51. Arranger & performer: Calgary Stampede* 2008, 2009
  52. Musical Arranger for ‘Heaven’s Rehearsal‘, Toronto* 2008
  53. Worship Pastor at Eastside City Church, Calgary, AB* 2008-2014
  54. Lead worship playing electric guitar* 2010
  55. Sell over one million dollars of music* (arrangements, songs & CD’s) 2000-2010
  56. Worship Consulting & Seminar in Singapore* 2011
  57. Attend the Willowcreek Arts & Worship Conference, Chicago* 2012
  58. Go to the Blues Festival in Chicago* 2012
  59. Conduct at the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede* (280,000 people) 2012
  60. Attend the Gateway Worship Conference, Dallas, Texas* 2012
  61. Lead a worship seminar in Haiti* 2013
  62. Attend the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Drumheller, Alberta* 2013
  63. Worship & Staff Consultant, C3 Church* (Calgary, AB) 2015-2016
  64. Watch an outdoor opera in Sicily* (Carmen – Teatro Antico di Taormina) 2015
  • Teach and train 1000’s of worship leaders and musicians all over the world
  • Write at top #100 CCLI worship song (top 2000 so far)
  • Write a sound track for a movie (I’ve done a couple of TV shows)
  • Take a band and play Christian music in Red China

Musical Instrument List

  1. Piano* (Grade 8 honors) 1965-1973
  2. Drums* (drummer for the first band I ever played in) 1970
  3. Alto Sax* (B. Music) 1979
  4. Tenor Sax* (B. Music) 1979
  5. Flute* (Minor – B. Music) 1979
  6. Soprano Sax* (B. Music) 1979
  7. Baritone Sax* (B. Music) 1979
  8. Clarinet* (Minor – B. Music) 1979
  9. Harmonica* (learnt from Don Moen) 1975
  10. Tambourine* (Living Sound) 1975
  11. Recorder* 1985
  12. Tin Whistle* 1986
  13. B-3 Organ* 1990
  14. Synthesizer* 1992
  15. Acoustic Guitar* 1994
  16. Piccolo* 2001
  17. Electric Rhythm Guitar* 2011
  18. Ukulele* 2015
  • Learn to play lead guitar

Air Travel List

  1. Fly in a helicopter* (New York-LGA to JFK) 1974
  2. Skydive* (5x’s in South Africa & Oklahoma) 1975
  3. Parasailing behind a boat* (Tampa, Florida) 1981
  4. Bungee jump off a bridge* (Nanaimo, BC) 1985
  5. Pilot an airplane* (Vancouver) 1985
  6. Fly around the world* (London, Nairobi, Calcutta, Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, Vancouver) 1992

Animal Travel List

  1. Ride a horse* (Penticton) 1970
  2. Ride an ostrich* (South Africa) 1974
  3. Ride a donkey* (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) 1988
  4. Ride in a stage-coach* (Barkerville, BC) 1990
  5. Ride a camel* (Mombasa, Kenya) 1991
  6. Ride an Icelandic Horse* (Reykjavik, Iceland) 2006
  7. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage* (Old-City Rome) 2007
  8. Drive a dogsled team* (Canmore, AB) 2008
  9. Ride an elephant* (Phuket, Thailand) 2010
  10. Ride a water buffalo* (Thailand) 2010

Hiking/Climbing List

  1. Hike from Woodfibre to Salmon Inlet, BC* (3 days) 1970
  2. Hike down from Table Mountain* (1085m – Cape Town, SA) 1975
  3. Hike the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail* (5 days – 47km – Vancouver Island, BC) 1999
  4. Scramble – Cascade Mountain, Banff* (2998 metres-9835 ft) 2007
  5. Hike Black Tusk* (18km – Squamish, B.C.) 2006
  6. Hike & Jog Cinque Terra, Italy* (13 km) 2008
  7. Hike the Iceline Trail* (23km- Yoho National Park, BC) 2009
  8. Scramble – Fortress Mountain Hike* (22km – Kananaskis, AB) 2009
  9. Scramble – Yamnuska, AB* (2240 metres-7349 ft) 2010
  10. Hike the West Coast Trail* (7 days – 70km – Vancouver Island, BC) 2010
  11. Do the ‘Grouse Grind‘ in under 60 min* (West Vancouver, BC -853 metres/2,800 feet) 2010
  12. Scramble – Temple Mountain, Lake Louise* 3543 m (11,624 ft) 2011
  13. Hike the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska & Yukon* (5 days – 53km) 2012
  14. Ha Ling Peak, Canmore, Canada* (2407 metres-7896 ft) 2014

Land Transportation List

  1. Take a train across Canada* (Vancouver-Ottawa, 4441 km/2759 miles) 1967
  2. Ice-Buggy Glacier ride – Columbia Icefield, Canada* 1970
  3. Drive to Tijuana, Mexico from Vancouver, Canada* (2276 km/1414 miles) 1971
  4. Ride the cable cars in San Fransisco* 1972
  5. Ride in a bicycle rickshaw in Bangkok, Thailand* 1974
  6. Take a bus from Cape Town, SA to Salisbury, Rhodesia* (2518 km/1565 miles) 1974
  7. Take the Blue Train* (Johannesburg to Cape Town, 1398 km/869 miles) 1975
  8. Take a bus across the US* (New York-Los Angeles, 4518 km/2808 miles) 1975
  9. Take a train from Vancouver to Los Angeles* (2058 km/1279 miles) 1977
  10. Do a 3 day motorcycle trip* (mountains of Taiwan) 1978
  11. Take a train from Nairobi to Mombassa* (Kenya) 1991
  12. Motorhome vacation* (Vancouver Island, BC) 1999
  13. Quading in Mexico* (Cabo) 2003
  14. Go snowmobiling in the mountains* (Whistler, BC) 2004
  15. Ride the subway in New York City, London, Paris and Singapore* 2001-2012
  16. Drive from Rome, Italy to Avignon, France and to Barcelona, Spain* 2010

Water Travel List

  1. Water ski* (Deep Cove, BC) 1969
  2. Surf in Hawaii* 1970
  3. Cliff dive* (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico & Hot Springs, AR) 1974
  4. Canoe trip* (Arkansas River) 1975
  5. Body surf* (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) 1975
  6. Swim in the Dead Sea, Israel* 1975
  7. Snorkel in Cape Town, South Africa* 1976
  8. Do a ‘180’ on trick skis* (Lake Samish, WA) 1977
  9. Barefoot water ski* (Lake Samish, WA) 1978
  10. River-raft the rapids of the Thompson River, BC* 1979
  11. Ride a hovercraft across the English Channel* 1981
  12. Sail a Hobie Cat Sailboat with trapeze* (Florida) 1982
  13. Windsurfing* (Penticton, BC) 1984
  14. Scuba dive* (Hawaii & Mexico) 1985
  15. Get my sailboat captain certification* (Vancouver) 1988
  16. Captain a sailboat* (B.C., Washington & British Virgin Islands) 1989-2001
  17. Houseboat* (5x’s-Shuswap Lakes, BC) 1990-1995
  18. Go deep-sea tuna & swordfish fishing in Mazatland, Mexico* 1993
  19. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy* 1994
  20. Hydrofoil boat ride from Naples to Capri, Italy* 1994
  21. Jet Ski* (Shuswap Lake) 1995
  22. Salmon fishing* (Bamfield, BC – 25 lb. Salmon) 1997
  23. Sea-kayak in the Gulf Islands, B.C. Canada* 1998
  24. Zodiac whale watching trip* (Tofino, BC) 1999
  25. Overnight ferry ride from Finland to Sweden* 2005
  26. Yacht vacation – Princess Louisa Inlet* 2007
  27. Ride in a submarine* (Barbados) 2008
  28. Cave Tubing* (Belize) 2014
  • Get my scuba diving certification (Scuba diving twice but not certified yet)
  • Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia)

Favourite Beach List

  1. Daytona Beach, Florida* 1965
  2. Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, Canada* 1968
  3. Okanagan Lake Beach, Penticton, BC, Canada* 1969, 1971,
  4. Waikiki Beach, Hawaii* 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1985
  5. Seaside Beach, Oregon* 1971, 2006
  6. Tanjung Bungah Beach, Penang, Malaysia* 1974
  7. Subic Beach, Philippines* 1974
  8. Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa* 1975
  9. Gonubie Beach, East London, South Africa* 1975
  10. Addington Beach, Durban, South Africa* 1975
  11. Jerusalem Beach, Tel Aviv, Israel* 1975
  12. Jericho Beach, Vancouver, Canada* 1977
  13. Sand Key Park, Clear Water, Florida* 1981
  14. Blackpool Sands Beach, Devon, England* 1981
  15. Playa El Salado, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico* 1988
  16. Newport Beach, California, USA*1990
  17. Playa del Amor, Cabo, Mexico* 1993, 2001, 2003
  18. Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil* 1994
  19. The Baths, British Virgin Islands* 1995
  20. Long Beach, Vancouver Island, BC* 1997
  21. Mindanao Beach, Philippines* 1998
  22. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia* 2003
  23. Magens Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands* 2004
  24. Destin Beach, Florida* 2005
  25. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida* 2013
  26. Wards Island Beach (Toronto Islands), Ontario, Canada* 2013
  27. Miami Beach, Florida* 2014
  28. Roatan Beach, Honduras* 2014
  29. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas* 2014
  30. Condofuri Beach, Calabria, Italy* 2015

Cruising List

  1. Southampton, England to Cape Town, SA: 10 days: Castle Lines* 1974
  2. Cape Town, SA to Canary Islands: 8 days: Castle Lines* 1975
  3. LA-Puerto Vallarta: 7 days: Carnival (10th Anniversary)* 1993
  4. Puerto Rico to Aruba: 10 days: Celebrity (25th Anniversary)* 2008
  5. Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica: 5 days: Carnival (30th Anniversary)*2013
  6. Miami to Belize: 7 days: Carnival (31st Anniversary)* 2014
  7. Miami to Bahamas: 7 days: Carnival (31st Anniversary)* 2014
  • Cruise the Panama Canal
  • Mediterranean Cruise (Istanbul-Egypt)
  • Take an Alaskan cruise

Sports List

  1. Snow ski in the Canadian Rockies* (Banff, Lake Louise & Whistler) 1970-to present
  2. Go Caving* (Cango Caves, South Africa) 1975
  3. Snow-ski in Sweden* 1975
  4. Run the 10 km Vancouver Sun Run* 2001-2003
  5. Snowboard* (Switzerland & British Columbia) 2005-2007
  6. Attend the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (London, England)* 2005
  7. Road Bike from Calgary to Bragg Creek return* (70 km) 2007
  8. Do an overnight cross-country ski trip* (3x’s:Banff, Bow Hut, Asulkan Hut) 2007-2010
  9. Finish a Sprint Triathlon* (Calgary – Swim-750m, Bike-20km, Run-5km) 2010
  10. Snow Shoe to Arnica Lake* (11-km, Banff, AB) 2009
  11. Mountain Bike the Elbow Loop (2x’s)* (44 km – Kananaskis, AB) 2009-2011
  12. Bike the Lachine Canal in Montreal* 2011
  13. Win the 3.0 Oakridge Tennis Club Championship* 2012
  14. Watch a Blue Jays game in Toronto* 2014
  15. Attend Rogers Cup Tennis in Toronto* 2014
  16. Bicycle from Jasper to Canmore: 320 km* 2014
  17. Become a 4.0 Tennis player* 2015
  18. Mountain Bike from Banff-Canmore return* (43 km – Rundle Riverside/Goat Creek Trail) 2015
  • Become a ‘C’ level Squash player (currently D+)
  • Do the STP Bicycle Ride (Seattle-Portland)

Museum, Historical & Zoo List

  1. Vancouver Aquarium* 1970
  2. San Diego Zoo* 1971
  3. Auschwitz, Poland* 1974
  4. Metropolitan Museum of Art* (New York) 1975
  5. British Museum* (London) 1975
  6. Smithsonian* (Washington, D.C.) 1975
  7. Holocaust Museum – Jerusalem* 1979
  8. Louvre (the ‘Mona Lisa’), Paris, France* 1982
  9. Pompidou Center – Paris* 1982
  10. Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington* 1984
  11. Butchart Gardens* (near Victoria, BC) 1987
  12. Royal London Wax Museum* (Victoria, BC) 1987
  13. Vatican Museum – Italy* 1988
  14. Colosseum, Rome, Italy* 1988
  15. Calgary Zoo* 1989
  16. SeaWorld, San Diego, California* 1992
  17. Accademia (Statue of David)* (Florence, Italy) 1999
  18. Disney Animal Kingdom* (Florida) 2004
  19. Tower of London* 2005
  20. Night Safari, Singapore* 2010
  21. Pompeii, Italy* 2011


World Travel List (maps)

  • Visit all 50 US States* finished 1984
  • Visit all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories (6 Provinces. & 1 Territory. so far)
  • Visit 100 countries (67 so far)
  • Visit all 7 continents (only Antarctic left)
  • Visit the top 25 major capitals of Europe (20 so far-Prague, Budapest, Dublin, Moscow, Lisbon are still left to do)
  1. Drive thru Redwood National Park, USA* 1970
  2. Celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong* 1973
  3. Visit Borobudur Temple, Java, Indonesia* 1974
  4. Walk thru Stonehenge* (England) 1974
  5. Celebrate my 20th birthday in Salisbury, Rhodesia* 1974
  6. Dance the ‘Hora’ in an Israeli Kibbutz* 1975
  7. Go on safari in Africa* (3x’s-Kenya & South Africa) 1975, 1987, 1991
  8. Jog around the Old City of Jerusalem* 1977
  9. Dine on a floating restaurant in Hong Kong* 1978
  10. Have dinner at the top of the Seattle Space Needle* 1983
  11. Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park* 1983
  12. Visit the West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada* (largest mall) 1986
  13. Visit the “Christ The Redeemer’ statue* (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) 1991
  14. Visit the ‘Mercy Mission’ (Mark & Hulda Buntain) in Calcutta, India* 1992
  15. Visit Juliet’s Balcony in Verona, Italy* 1993
  16. Walk across Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, Italy* 1995
  17. Visit the source of the Nile* (Lake Victoria, Uganda) 2001
  18. Climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica* (Rome, Italy) 2001
  19. Visit Kronborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark* 2001
  20. Walk up the Eiffel Tower* (Paris, France) 2002
  21. See the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa* (Italy) 2003
  22. Climb the dome of St. Paul’s* (London, England) 2003
  23. Take Anna to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark* 2003
  24. Go to the top of the Empire State Building* (New York City) 2004
  25. Swim in the volcanic hot pools of Iceland* (Blue Lagoon) 2004
  26. Visit the Tower of London* (England) 2005
  27. Visit Edinburgh Castle* (Scotland) 2005
  28. Walk thru Piazza Del Campo, Sienna, Italy* 2005
  29. Walk across the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland* 2006
  30. Visit the Schoenbrunn Castle in Vienna, Austria* 2006
  31. Walk thru Central Park in New York* 2006
  32. Visit the windmills in Amsterdam* (Holland) 2007
  33. Tour the Atomium, Brussels* 2007
  34. Visit Windsor Castle, England* 2007
  35. Tour Berlin, Germany by bicycle* 2008
  36. Visit the Papel Palace, Avignon, France* 2010
  37. See La Sagrada Familia church, Barcelona, Spain* 2010
  38. Go to the top of the CN Tower (Toronto, Canada)* 2011
  39. Go to the top of Mount Etna, Sicily* (active volcano) 2012
  • See the ‘Aurora Borealis’ (Northern Lights) in northern Canada
  • Visit ‘Petra’ (Jordan)
  • Go to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bear migration.
  • Visit Red Square (Moscow)
  • Visit St Petersburg (Russia)
  • Visit the Pyramids (Egypt)
  • Visit the ‘Taj Mahal’ (India)
  • Walk the ‘Great Wall Of China’
  • Take a trip to Antarctica

Following God List

  1. Follow God: be water baptized & filled with the Holy Spirit* 1968
  2. Go into full-time ministry* 1973-present
  3. Play at the largest church in the world: Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea* 1973
  4. See 18,000 people accept Jesus in 3-1/2 weeks in Communist Poland* 1974
  5. Preach* (Vancouver) 1976-present
  6. Read the whole Bible* (35 x’s so far) 1981-present
  7. Lead worship playing keys* (Calgary) 1985-present
  8. See 368 people water baptized in one year (over one per day)  at Christian Life Assembly* (Langley, BC) 1992
  9. Do a 40 day fast* (Vancouver & Philippines) 1998
  10. See 15,000 people accept Jesus in 1 week in Copenhagen, Denmark* 2000
  11. Personally see a real miracle* (Copenhagen, Denmark) 2000 ~ MarkCole.ca – ‘The Coolest Miracle I Have Personally Seen
  12. Personally healed of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome* (Denmark) 2004
  13. Lead my neighbour to the Lord* 2005
  14. Play at the largest church in England: Kingsway International Christian Centre* 2006
  15. Lead worship playing acoustic guitar* (Calgary) 2009
  16. Visit the largest church in North America: Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas* 2012
  17. Lead the ‘Alpha Course’ and see people saved and water-baptized* (Calgary) 2010-2012
  • Personally see over million people come to Jesus (over 350,00 so far)

…. and any other adventures that God brings my way!

The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Jesus ~ Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.. and all these things will be added you..

Posted in Church, Exercise, Family, God, God Adventures, Healing, Music, Travel, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Following God: The Blessings, Character and Influence

God loves to bless those who love, obey and trust in Him. Here is an encouraging and challenging list of the blessings, character and influence of those who love and follow God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Following God

The Blessings Of The Godly

  • The godly are showered with blessings…
  • The hopes of the godly will be granted…
  • The godly are rescued from trouble…
  • The Lord directs the steps of the godly…
  • Blessed are the children of the godly…
  • The way of the godly leads to life…
  • The life of the godly is full of light and joy…
  • The Lord loves those who pursue godliness…
  • The godly run to the Lord and are safe…
  • The Lord watches over the path of the godly…
  • The Lord will never abandon the godly…
  • The Lord will not permit the godly to slip and fall….
  • The Lord loves the godly…
  • The Lord offers His friendship to the godly…
  • The Lord will not let the godly go hungry…
  • The sinner’s wealth passes to the godly…

The Character Of The Godly

  • The words of the godly are like sterling silver…
  • The earnings of the godly enhance their lives…
  • The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice…
  • The godly are directed by honesty…
  • The godly walk with integrity…
  • The godly are as bold as lions…
  • The godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit…
  • The godly care for their animals…
  • The godly hate lies…
  • There is treasure in the house of the godly…
  • The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking…
  • The godly love to give…
  • The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain…
  • The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again…
  • The godly are generous givers…
  • The godly sing for joy to the Lord…
  • Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly…
  • Justice is a joy to the godly…
  • The godly care about the rights of the poor…

The Influence Of The Godly

  • Blessed are the children of the godly…
  • We have happy memories of the godly…
  • The words of the godly encourage many…
  • The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed…
  • When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice…
  • The godly give good advice to their friends…
  • The godly always give generous loans to others…
  • God says, “I will increase the power of the godly.”…
  • The words of the godly save lives…
  • The family of the godly stands firm…
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Worship Charts: 7 Keys To A Great Rehearsal

One of the keys to having an excellent rehearsal is preparing great worship charts. I have found that worship bands frequently go into rehearsals with haphazard charts. No one has taken the time to really think through all the details of the songs. Next level leaders are prepared and a big part of that preparation is working on excellent charts.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.36.41 AM

There are two main forms of charts: a) the fully notated SAT chart, b) the words and chords only. I prefer the full written out chart because it gives you more details. But whatever charts you use, ask yourself these 7 questions to make sure the charts are clear and well-thought through.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.38.48 AM

1. What is the best tempo for this song? Have you notated it somewhere? Who counts off the song? Are you using a click track or metronome to quickly dial into the correct tempo?

2. What is the best key? Have you taken the time to make sure that this is the best key for the leader, congregation and band? Does this key flow well with the songs before and after it? Is this key too high or low for the congregation to sing with all their hearts? Have you double-checked all the chords?

3. What do you want the vocals to sing? When do you want the leader singing alone and when do the other singers sing? When does the song go into 2 or 3 part harmony? What singers are singing this week? What is the best way to utilize their strengths? Have you sung through all the parts and learnt them so you can help the singers sing their correct harmonies? Are all the words correct?

4. Is this the best musical form for this song? How do you want the introduction to go? How do you want to end the song? What is the best musical form for this song? How many times do you repeat each section? Do you have a reprise ready in case the song ‘takes off’? What is the recording you are basing this arrangement on?

5. What is the main musical feel? Is this a guitar or keyboard driven song? What is the drum groove? What rhythms do you want the bass player to play? What is the acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keyboard grooves? When does the band pause?

6. What instruments do you want or need for this arrangement? When do players sit out in this song? When does the full band come in? What synth, guitar or other instrumental sounds do you need? Is there a drum only section?

7. What are the key instrumental lead lines? Are the lead lines played by keys, guitar or both? Are they notated to help you remember? Have you asked the players to learn their parts before your rehearsal?

To do music at an excellent level, the leader or musical director needs to think through all the details. Confidence and excellence comes with preparation.

Question: What can you add to this list? What is working in your rehearsals? What charts do you use?

Check out my new book.. “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’ available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

Facebook response: Blake Paul ~ Great post Mark. Obviously having played for you I realize the truth of what you say. Preparation is key. However, I wonder if this is also a question of goals for the worship team? Yes, we all want to lead worship that is inspiring, creative and full of the Holy Spirit.

I am wondering if we are missing a key ingredient in today’s worship music, that being improvisation and collaboration of musicians within the band which can allow for a greater expression of creativity. However, I hear many bands and teams would rather just play the song by exactly as the recording.

I agree we need to be prepared, but at what point do we allow our bands to collaborate, and encourage improvisation? I guess the real question then is, how does one do the preparation that you write about, and at the same time allow opportunity for our teams to put their imprint on the music rather than just play the song like it sounds like on the CD? Especially as it relates to creating great charts etc…

FB Reply: Mark Cole ~ Great question, Blake. But the answer is harder to nail down. It really depends on the quality and creativity of your musicians and leader, the amount of time that you have to rehearse and what your ultimate goal is.

When I do original tunes of mine for the first time, I really listen to how the band and singers respond and what ideas they come up with. Then I’ll usually go home and rewrite the charts to reflect what worked and didn’t work.

I’m all for creativity with your musicians..but that is much easier if you have a set band of strong musicians that don’t rotate much… and if you have the time to really work the songs in rehearsal… If you’re just training musicians and the creativity level is still developing, then copying recording can be much more productive.. 

Notice.. in my article.. I didn’t talk about copying the recording.. Often times I will listen to multiple versions of a song and incorporate a number of different ideas (including my own) into the final chart that I write. I hope this answer helps.

FB comment: Gary Sharpe ~ I couldn’t agree more on having great charts. I actually think it cuts rehearsal time in half. If you can combine great charts with pre-practice (personal practice before rehearsal), you are 80% of the way there.

Mark Cole: I totally agree!



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Happy People: 12 Things They Do Differently

Just as a father loves it when he sees his children laughing and enjoying themselves; so God loves to see His children full of joy and enjoying an abundant life. Jesus said it this way, “I have come that their joy might be full.” Check out these powerful principles to live a life of joy!

Happy people

1. Express Gratitude

When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. If we aren’t thankful for what we already have, we will have a hard time ever being happy.

Paul ~ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. ~ I Thessalonians 5:18

2. Cultivate optimism

People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times. Christian optimism comes from realizing that God can bring good out of any situation.

Paul ~ We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28

3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison

Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. God created you with a special purpose in mind. God created us individually unique from our mother’s womb.

David ~ Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it. ~ Psalm 139:14

4. Practice Acts of Kindness

Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.

Jesus ~ Treat others the way you would like to be treated ~ Matthew 7:12 

5. Nurture Social Relationships

The happiest people are those who have deep, meaningful relationships.

Jesus ~ Honour your father and mother and love your neighbour as yourself. ~ Matthew 19:19

6. Develop strategies for coping

It helps to have healthy strategies for coping with unexpected life changes. Prayer and trusting God is one of the most powerful ways of dealing with stress and worry.

Paul ~Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

7. Learn to forgive

Harbouring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. Forgiveness is one of the foundational principles of Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus ~ But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ~ Mark 11:25

8. Savour life’s joys

Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. Rest. Be thankful to be alive. Take a day off each week.

Jesus ~ Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28

God ~ Be still, and know that I am God! ~ Psalm 46:10

9. Commit to your goals

Persistence is key. Powerful things happen when we commit ourselves to accomplish our goals. Don’t give up. Keep doing what is right.

Paul ~ Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9

10. Practice spirituality

When we practice spirituality, we recognize life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest life-form ever. Take time to read the Bible and pray. Take time to express your love for God.

Jesus ~ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ~ Matthew 22:37

11. Take care of your body

Nutrition and exercise: this is crucial to being well-balanced and the happiest person you can be. The Bible also teaches that sexual sin hurts your body. Treat your body with respect.

Paul ~ Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,  for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. ~ I Corinthians 6:19-20

12. Increase flow experiences. — Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task. Action and awareness are merged. The Apostle Paul is a great example of someone who learned the value of focus.

PaulI focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. ~ Philippians 3:13-14


Adapted from: The How Of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

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