Friday, December 12, 2008

Song preferences

Tuesday night in our Starting Point group that meets at our house the subject of songs on Sunday morning came up. I don't remember how it started, but someone brought up the song "You Lifted Me Out" - specifically the "Whoa" part that is sung as part of the intro and outro. It was mentioned that it is awkward and no one knows what to do during it, but they liked the rest of the song. The room was immediately divided- in a good way- it was a lighthearted discussion- many laughs. Some liked the "whoa" some didn't. It was funny though everyone just started talking about their favorite song, or un-favorite song and everyone was going back and forth. Some really liked when we did the acoustic and bluegrass type music, some like the more hymn-like songs and some like the rocking stuff. I just sat back and observed with a grin on my face, trying to take it all in.

It's funny the lengths we go to to please people, and many times it's a good thing that we try too. I've heard things like (and probably said before) that we are there to please God, not people. But I've not seen the play-list on God's ipod :), so I'm not sure what He would prefer when it comes to song selection or style. (I am certain it's an ipod He carries, though) I got a feeling He would pick music that would turn people's hearts to him and truth that needs to be in our lives, whatever it sounds like. Music changes, truth doesn't. If fifty years from now Grace Community sounds the same as it did this past Sunday, there's a big problem. Although I think the music we currently do week in and week out consists of the style and lyric that will best reach the people of Clarksville we are reaching, I'm not naive enough to think it will never change. It will, and it should. But let's do our best to keep it fun when we talk about it. (Like this past Tuesday) Music is a tool, not truth. Truth is truth, it does not have a frequency only a constant existence. I wish we could have continued our conversation in our group, it's good to get candid feedback about what we do from the stage. But we did have some material to discuss as a part of our group. I'm sure it will come up in the future and I look forward to hearing how people are responding to the music and lyrics used at Grace.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One extra will you spend it?

Check this out!

Guess what!? We get one extra second this year, I did not realize it. I feel kind of jipped, would I have lived this year differently had I known I had more time in this year? I've heard people ask for an extra hour in their day, well for this one day you will get an extra second...spend wisely my friend.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's been a year!

One year ago my Mom found out she had stage four cancer. Her doctor gave her two options: do nothing and let the cancer take it's course or try chemo. Chemotherapy had not been very successful for treating her types of cancer, so they were not sure if it would work or not. As a result the option for not doing anything was a viable one. Fortunately she decided to fight it. She began chemo treatments soon after the diagnosis. Unsure if they would work or not we were on pins and needles with each check-up.

Long story short...The treatments have worked and she had a check-up last week that showed that the tumors have not grown any since they were shrunk earlier this year. Her next check-up is in four months!

For those of you who have been praying for her and us...thank you. Recently our family got together to sing, it was special because she was able to play the piano. You can see she is getting her hair back. It's hard to get us all together these days, but we could not pass up this opportunity with Mom working so hard to get ready for this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today in staff our website came up in the discussion. For those of you that don't know, I'm on staff at Grace Community Church of Clarksville, TN. Our website is:

Our site is pretty sweet for a church site (sad to say). But we try to stay on top of things here at Grace and discussed what is currently on there, what we need to update, what works, what doesn't, etc. Anyway, it got me thinking about different sites- how some sites just pop and how some sites simply don't. There always seems to be an 'X' factor to those that grab you. This is usually something only a great designer can create. But then you've got the content that needs to be injected to give it a soul. Below I've listed some sites I use regulary, mainly due to their content, not design. A designer I dig is Pixel Peach - go check them out. They do sites that pop for sure, but I usually use sites that give me good content.

Anyway- I'm curious to know some of your favorite sites --- and why.

Here are some of mine:
Yahoo -- I check out the latest news and link to my fantasy football team there : )
Google -- I have a few different gmail accounts I use- they have some great tools from google docs to their awesome gmail features.
Drudge Report -- I go there to check out just a mass of news and links to news sites
Worship Together -- other than being my publisher I'll go here to check out the latest worship offerings.
Album Art -- I use this site to find the album art that itunes can't find for me.
Rhymezone -- a good songwriting tool I use to get me out of writing jams.
Stumbleupon -- if you are just looking for some random cool sites, sign up for stubleupon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Money in my pocket!

Well, I have to say I am pleased with the recent price drop in gas. I'm compelled to point this out though, I read today in the news about oil dropping even more-- that's a good thing right? Well, it seems to spell gloom and doom for this reporter:

If I remember correctly gas prices ROSE because the economy was doing so poorly, now they're DROPPING because it's doing so poorly. I'm sure there's a ton of technical/factual stuff wrong with that statement, but either way-that makes me laugh.

Two good things I'd like to report here:
1. I actually blogged. : ) Sorry it's been a while.
2. I filled up my gas tank for $43 yesterday! (This summer we had to swipe the card twice per fill up in the truck because it would only let us pump $75 at a time. We regularly put $85 in it. Same tank, same amount of gas, much less $ going in to it. So, if there is anything positive coming out of this economic "slump" or whatever the media decides to call it, at least gas is back to $2 a gallon...for now : ) Go fill'er up!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why we do...

The question of why we do what we do was answered September 14th. Just a few weeks ago 43 people were baptized at Grace. It marked the 3 year anniversary of the launch of GCC. Here is a link to pictures from the day.

There are defining moments in life, this day was one of them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just As I Am

Yesterday Higdon and I were planning the service when the idea of using an old invitation hymn came up. Of all the great ones, "Just As I Am" stands out. It was made popular in our generation during the Billy Graham crusades. So we started thinking through how we would do it. We don't usually us a traditional instrumentation in our services, so we were thinking of how we could make it work with our set-up. Anyway- yesterday and today the song has been on my mind and heart and hopefully this Sunday we'll have something that should sound pretty fresh, maybe even a new chorus or something. The history of the song is interesting. Here is a brief story I took from the wiki entry:

An elderly man asked Charlotte Elliott if she were a Christian; she felt insulted, and told him to mind his own affairs. But after the man left, she could not get the question off her mind, and she went back to ask the man how to find Christ. He told her to come just as she was. She did, and wrote the beautiful song, "Just As I Am." - By B. A. Scherr

Monday, September 15, 2008

Voice Lessons

Hey Everyone- I'm getting back into vocal instruction. I had some students a few years ago, but stopped teaching when we moved to Clarksville. I had my first one a couple days ago. I have a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoons I'm heading down to The Music Store in Clarksville to teach. They have a great offering of music instruction. Kim Edmondson heads up the program and does a great job. The Music Store in Clarksville is definitely worth a look if you are interested in any type of musical instruction...even kazoo! : ) The number to the Music Store, also known as Mary's Music, is (931) 552-1240.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sci-Fi reality!

This is something you see in the movies, but today it's real. What happened is actually mundane, two white dots flash across a screen, but what it represented was huge. You can read about it HERE. It is a 17 mile loop made to collide particles (atoms). Be sure to look at the pictures in the link.

A thought occured as I read this...two white dots flash across a screen and a room full of some of the world's smartest peeps went nuts. To us, they are white dots, to them they are years of hard work. They understand what the two white dots mean, they know what's going on behind the scenes, behind the blips of light.

At Grace Community we see alot of people with different backgrounds. We see churched people who come in to worship and connect. We see unchurched people who have been waiting for the church to be relevant. And we see those who have no clue what's going on and trying to figure out why they are even there. Many of them come back again and again. It begins with once every couple of months and then it goes to once a month and then one week something happens. They begin to sing louder than they ever have. Or they go home and open the Bible to read it on their own for the first time. Or they invite a friend or even better, share their story with them. To the outsider it might seem like a small thing to open a book or sing along with a song. But to God it's so much bigger, he knows where they've been, what they've been struggling through on the inside, and what it took for Him on the cross to bring them to that point. I believe God celebrates the small seemingly insignificant white dots that flash across our lives because he knows what that small blip really means.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Hold On" Story

Hey, we've heard from lots of people about how the song "Hold On" has touched their lives. In an effort to create a community of encouragement and prayer we are giving an opportunity for everyone to share their own "Hold On" story. We'd love to hear about God's faithfulness in your life. Go read other people's stories and consider sharing yours! HOLD ON STORIES CLICK HERE

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day and Gustav

I hope you're having a happy Labor Day! Emily and I have had a nice visit with friends and are looking forward to the Tennessee Vols game tonight!!! Although it's been a restful day for many, our thoughts and prayers are with those whom Hurricane Gustav is affecting. I cannot imagine the devastation many are about to face.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hold On

If you've been to one of our concerts or events you have probably heard us play "Hold On". Most of our record (Greater Than Us All) is us talking to or about God; it's mainly a worship album. However, "Hold On" is God talking to us. The song seemed rather simple when it was written, but the more I lived with it the more I realized that it was our Heavenly Father speaking to Emily and I about our struggle with infertility. We were in the middle of this continuing season and really needed some hope. It came through the song "Hold On."

It is kind of odd how the song came about: One day as I was dozing off on the couch a song I'd never heard before began playing in my head. Well, after I heard the chorus I woke up, went to the piano, and wrote out all I could remember. About 15 minutes later "Hold On" was almost completely finished. I've tried dozing off to write songs since then, but to no avail. :) I guess that was one unique moment.

I pray "Hold On" can offer some hope in your tough seasons of life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Story

Some of you have read my wife's blog where she posted recently about infertility and adoption. I've never posted anything online about that until now:

God forgot to run His schedule by me for approval. Turns out He has His own timetable. I’m supposed to be a Dad right now according to my plans, but I’m not. My wife and I have been married over 8 years now. And for over half our marriage we have desired to have children. I did not realize the pain involved with infertility. I had seen people go through this, but did not understand the depth of their pain. My wife and I began walking that road together, and it’s been a tough one. We have both worked through bitterness and shame. I thought we deserved a child because we had done everything right. We both signed True Love Waits cards in high school and stayed true to our commitments. We had surrendered our lives to ministry and to follow God wherever he takes us. I have learned that God is not obligated to bless us. And that I tend to be concerned with one or two blessings I lack and forget the infinite blessings He has granted already. And mostly, I have learned that He does not abandon us in our pain and bitterness; even when it is towards Him. He continues to hold us and mold us. He is near us. His love is more faithful than the sun and rain. He is in control. We are at His mercy. And He is a loving father.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Couple quotes from a leader

"There is no contest between the company that buys the grudging compliance of its work force and the company that enjoys the enterprising participation of its employees."

"The purpose of work is not to make money. The purpose of work is to make the workers, whether working shifts or top executives, feel good about life."

~ Ricardo Semler

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I laughed...

Romans 1:9

I was diving into Romans today when this seemingly insignificant detail from Paul about himself grabbed me:

Romans 1:9 (NLT) God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.

Two questions I had to ask myself as I read this:
1. How often do I pray for people and their needs?
2. If I am serving God "with all my heart" am I doing this by spreading the "Good News about his Son"?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Long lost brother...

Recently, reports claim that Barack Obama's half brother was found far away, living in conditions completely opposite from his presidential candidate brother.

Read the article here

What an irony, the man who has a shot at holding the most powerful office in the free world has a half brother living far away, unknown, in poverty. When I read this I couldn't help but think about our plight; being far from God. But the story does not end there. Our brother (Jesus) has made a way for us to be adopted. We are brought from poverty to the luxury of His presence and future residence in Heaven. Father, open the eyes of those who are far away...

The Band

Today The guys and I got to hook up for lunch with our manager Mike. Mike's great, he helps keep us thinking ahead and stuff. The guys are fantastic, we are getting to rehearse a bit tomorrow and just hang some. After about 5 months of heavy touring we have had a breather, and this fall is looking kind of light for us; some dates here and there.

I'm sitting here in Starbucks on West End just recording some thoughts and stuff. Kevin Max (used to be in DC Talk) just walked in with his wife and family. ...thought that was cool...

Anyway, while driving today I heard Dave Ramsey suggest to a lady to get away for a day, get a hotel room, take a Bible and some legal pads and refocus. I've heard our co-pastor Chad talk about the verse "Be still and know that I am God..." He says the writer was saying to "cease striving" when saying "be still." Sometimes we just have to quit for a bit and refocus.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Popular Opinion...

Well, if you don't know me I've got to tell you: I'm an apple fan! I converted almost two years ago and received my first Macbook Pro over one year ago. I love it! Apple has done a great job marketing their product in recent years taking aim at "PC" guy. Well, when Microsoft released Vista it received some poor reviews and all the sudden everyone was a Vista hater.

Recently, Microsoft had a great idea to help change the (un)popular opinion of their latest operating system. It's amazing what people believe when they are just told, including me. (I have still not used Vista)

Check this out!

Last night...
Over 8 years ago my sweet in-laws, Freddie and Judy Page wanted to purchase a computer, they wanted an apple. I tried to persuade them not to get one. I said things like they are overpriced, they are not compatible with the rest of the computers of the world, there is so much more software out there in PC land, etc. They wanted a mac because that is what Judy used at school- she's a teacher. Well, last night I helped install a wireless router at their house and I did it on their 8 year old apple computer. They still use it everyday and it runs fantastic. I've had 2 PC desktops and 1 PC laptop during that time, neither of which do I still use. Shows you how much I know!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Relevant Students: Remix

Tonight I got to lead the Remix band at the fall kick-off for Remix-- Relevant Students weekly gathering. Relevant Students is our student ministry at Grace Community Church. The band is great- and all the tech stuff is rockin, too. A couple weeks ago the Remix band lead the Sunday morning service at GCC - and did awesome! Michael Bayne leads Relevant Students; his passion for students is infectious. There are alot of student ministries that are effectively reaching this next generation and I'm proud to say that Relevant Students is one of them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Image is everything!

Humanity...We try so hard to look good, sound good, and put our best foot forward. While I believe we should do all we can to become the best we can be, it's interesting the lengths we will go through to be 'perfect.'

We have all heard about the Olympic opening ceremony fireworks, and I'm actually cool with why they did that. They wanted to create digitally on home TV screens the grand experience that the camera's simply could not capture.

But, I'm not really cool with this. I'm not trying to point out the country or the leaders responsible, but to simply remind us of our human state. Who can blame them, their reasoning utilizes human wisdom. This whole thing reminds me of a song: "Video Killed the Radio Star".

Reality is that we are depraved and deep down we all know it, trying to fix it ourselves. This moment reminds me that we're all messed up and in desperate need of the saving blood of Messiah, Jesus.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Citizen's arrest!

If you need to report a reckless driver call *847. We did this, for the first time in our lives. This guy in a green Ford F150 extended cab was flying up behind the person we were passing. At a reasonable speed, of course... : ) He then swerved behind us and was extremely close to us. We got over into the right lane, let him pass and then got his license plate number. He was soon out of site. We called it in and felt like we did our citizen's duty. We were told they were sending a patrol officer out to the area. We're pretty sure they did not catch the guy, I mean really, what are the chances. Anyhoo - beware, I've got the highway patrol on speed dial now!

Friday, August 1, 2008

No Mo Chemo

No Mo Chemo! At least for now. Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying for my mom. She went in for a check-up yesterday and they decided to end Chemo treatments and simply monitor the cancer areas. She will continue check-ups for the next few months and then begin spacing her visits more if the tumors do not grow anymore. She will now focus on getting her strength back and recovering from the tough effects of the treatments. She has been great through all of this, and Dad has too. It has been inspiring to watch them walk through this valley together. I proudly call them my parents.

We thank God for his goodness to us. Today is a far cry from the news we received about eight months ago- not much hope for mom. He has restored our hope. Thanks again for your prayers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Half-way Over!!!

Can you believe it? 2008 is over halfway over. What a crazy year this has been- on many fronts. DDB has had an exciting year; from about March to this past week we have been on the road alot. It's nice to be home for a while.

I met with some friends yesterday morning to work on a song for the next record. I can't wait to share the result, it's a hymn-like melody in the verses with a modern feel on the rest of the song. It is about redemption, I can't wait to hear the church sing it! Next record??? It will be a while for sure, not until 2009 is over halfway over :) ...nothing is certain though.

I hope your 2008 is going well, and that this back half is even better than the first one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My youth guy...

My friends and I were in eighth grade, on the church van looking out the window waiting to go to camp. We were watching our new "youth guy" walking to the van, he was going to camp with us. It turned out to be Jeff Jones, a guy who would make a huge impact on my life. That was a couple years ago...okay, five years ago, okay ten...more like 15 years ago. whoa!

Well, we were on our way to camp Walk on Water in Oklahoma a couple weeks ago to do a camp with Park Cities Baptist Church of Dallas, when we were planning to stop for dinner in Memphis. I called up Jeff, who is now the BCM director at Memphis State, and wanted to see if they were available to hang out as we passed through. The last minute meeting worked out and we got to visit with Jeff, his wife Jan and their four children: Emily, Caleb, Ellie, and Ensley.

oh yeah...we met at Taco Bell- one of DDB's favorites :)


We got home last night from Orlando where the annual Internation Christian Retailers Association was held. We got to lead worship right before Anne Graham Lotz got up to speak- it was quite an honor to meet her. She is the daughter of Billy Graham. We got to meet Ron Kenoly, who was another worship leader that day. We had a great time making some new friends from all over the world.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Slow Fade by Casting Crowns

DDB was doing a Disciple Now at Eagle's landing a year and a half ago when Mark let me hear some rough mixes off their new record coming out. One of the songs he played for me was "Slow Fade." Of the ones he played me, that was my favorite. Well, I came across the video of this song tonight and I had to tell you about it.

Being on staff at a church I often hear of what the people are up to, good and bad. It breaks my heart to hear about what people get caught up in. Sometimes, I want to do more for them than just pray, but I realize I'm not the Holy Spirit and I'm not in their community group. : ) And, usually I just think, "who am I to judge."

This whole thought kind of freaks me out, too. I wonder sometimes if I'm the one fading, letting my heart grow cold. The one with the plank in my eye, pointing out specks. Hopefully I'm better about that than I used to be. If I am, it's because the older I get the more I see my flaws.

Anyway- check this video out...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Well, I have good news about my Mom. She has been battling cancer for about 8 months now and the cancer is becoming less and less. She is having a hard time with the side effects of the chemo treatments, but fortunately the treatments have been very effective! They are skipping treatment this round to let her body recover some and because the tumors have shrunk considerably.

Thank you so much for your prayers, you can see pictures of she and my Dad in posts about the tour this past spring.

Joe and Kari Stevens - Wedding Day

Following camp Cherokee we all converged in Knoxville for an exciting day! I'll let the pictures tell the story-- there aren't any from the ceremony- I was busy "ushing"... : ) Click below to check it out...

Click here to see photos >

Mayer Live

This isn't really a music journal, but I've got to tell you what I'm listening to. "Where the Light Is" by John Mayer is a fun listen! This dude is a freak musician. In a day when people ask where all the good music is, you'll find it on this live recording. It features an acoustic set, a Trio set, and then the full band set. It just came out a couple days ago- as soon as I heard about it I went to get the record. I am told you should get it exclusively from Target and get the DVD with it for cheaper than itunes. Anyway, if you like catchy tunes and some sweet jams- check it out. Especially the breakdown at the end of "Who do you think I was"- The bass line is ridiculous! If you liked "Try", you'll love this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rehearsing and stuff

Tonight we had a great rehearsal. I like to say we're creating a community of worshiping musicians at GCC. To this point we are. I remember when Michael H. came on staff a year ago he was constantly amazed at the heart and talent we had on the team. I am amazed as well; from musicians to tech people our worship area is flooded with some awesome people.

What's funny is that we are a garage band-- we have rehearsed in 3 different garages since Grace started. We rehearsed in the upstairs of our church office for a while till we needed that area for office space as the staff grew. We've been in a basement as well. I guess whenever we build a rehearsal area at Grace it will need to have a concrete floor with a garage door on the end of it, otherwise we won't know what to do... : )

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Coldplay record

The new Coldplay record "Viva la Vida" has been much anticipated and has proven to be worth the wait. "Death and all his friends" is my favorite track right now. It hits an epic moment about 2:30 into it. This record has a way of pulling you in. The whole album kind of feels like a book, from beginning to end it keeps you enthralled. I love the colors, contrasts and changes throughout the experience. I'll spare you my further thoughts in lieu of you going now to listen to samples on itunes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cherokee...hate it, love it

It was great to be back at Camp Cherokee this past week. The first week I went, two days in I vowed to never return, that was four years ago. This week marks our 6th week at Cherokee. Never say never... The things that initially were frustrating became charming by the end of the first week. The worship area is outdoors, under a pavilion. So, we cover all the equipment up every evening. Then at the end of the week we get a bucket of soapy water with rags and begin wiping down every cable and all the exposed equipment from the dust accumulated during the week. The flag football field being right next to the pavilion helps give a good dusting to everything in the pavilion. There is no air-conditioning on campus-- however there are two units in the pastor's cabin, which is quite small. There is next to zero cell phone reception and no internet. There are 2 land lines available. When you arrive you begin sweating constantly and do not quit until you leave. Oh yeah, arrival... The students are taken over by boat, across the lake. If you have equipment to carry over, you drive. It does not take too long to get there from Middle Tennessee, however the final 14 miles of the trip takes a solid 45 minutes. It is up and down a windy and narrow gravel/dust road. If you do not tape the doors of your trailer there will be dust all over everything, including pillows- as Bryan found out. Gnats, everywhere, all the time.

Camp Cherokee has grown on me. Charm, there is just something about it that is quite lovable about it. There is a huge kitchen at the camp, as a result the churches bring some awesome cooks to help feed the masses- the food has always been over-the-top awesome. When you get out on the lake and the cool breeze hits you, surrounded by nothing but beauty, you can't help but love the place. I honestly thought that this was what Heaven would be like, although I've read nothing of pontoon boats in Heaven, you just know some things... It is quite an experience to have such beauty surrounding you during a worship service. Although one year we had a bear spotted during "Here I am to Worship" and a rat run out of the subwoofer as soon as the band began one's worth it...

Each visit seems to have it's own signature memory. This one I heard about and later saw on someone's video camera phone. One of the students swallowed a frog, whole. A minute later he regurgitated it. The frog then hopped off, probably freaking out. I'm sure the frog's new abduction story is going over well with his buddies.

We had a blast hanging with the students and adults all week- everyone was a ton of fun. The speaker was Tom Richter- from New York and there was a drama group called Word Play there from L.A. It was quite a line-up. We all enjoyed hanging out at night.

Another year at Cherokee is in the was definitely a good one!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I just spammed!!!

This is a big sorry to anyone who I just accidentally spammed! I set an auto-reply on my mail to let everyone know I was out for the week and would not have internet access. About thirty minutes later Emily checks her email and finds I just sent 14 auto-replies to emails I'd sent in the last few days. bad! : )

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God Moment Pictures...begin reading Part 1 below

Click here to see photos

God Moment... Part 2

We unhooked the trailer and drove up to the church. We had nothing to caulk the tires with, so we found that the large bricks used on the wall at the hotel encompassing the parking lot were loose. So we grabbed a couple to make sure the trailer did not roll away.

We arrive at the church and find Melanie to see who we should speak with. As we walk in the production office she hands us a check. She said that someone had given it to her to give to us, with no knowledge of our current circumstance. The description line at the bottom of the check read, "Reach the people." I was overwhelmed. But, I knew we weren't out of the woods yet. We were eventually routed to their adult pastor and senior pastor who suggested we talk to a man named Bob. Bob Gifford is a retired owner of an auto repair shop, lives in an RV behind the church, has an old truck with a jack and all kinds of tools in the back, and has a heart of gold. He immediately came to the hotel to look at our trailer tire. When we get there we need a light to get started, fortunately Derek had his head-worn lamp to give us light until we plugged in Bob's light. Bob's light was powered by an AC converter box we bought at a truck stop that could plug into our truck battery. It was about 11:30pm at this point. Bob went to work. He pulled the tire off and a bunch of other stuff I don't know. It was loud as he worked and the hotel management came out to ask us to stop, I stalled them for a bit and promised we'd be done quickly. (Sorry to anyone we disturbed...thanks for your patience) Bob removed everything down to the axle, fortunately the axle was not damaged, but it would have been had we traveled any further on it. He told us what parts we needed to fix the tire and suggested some places to go. (For those mechanics out there- we blew our bearings and had to replace the hub)

The next morning Bryan and I set out to a an RV/Trailer parts store at 7am knowing that online it said it didn't open until 8am. We called and someone answered. Also, this shop was about 7 minutes from the hotel, not 30 minutes or more across town. We arrived at the shop around 7:10am, they had the exact parts we needed. Cost for parts were only $60. We called Bob on our way back to the hotel and he was already there. We got him the parts by 7:30am. He quickly fixed the tire and put it back on the trailer. We offered to pay him, he refused, but he did take a CD. We then took a picture, said our goodbyes, and we were off. It was 8:04am when we pulled out of the parking lot. We arrived just in time to unload and sound check in flagstaff, AZ.

So, at 8am Saturday (10 hours later) we walked out to find a fixed trailer...
I am still in awe of all the circumstances and details that fell in to place. The funny thing is that God is constantly orchestrating around us, we just fail to see because sometimes it is so spread out. This time he did everything so quickly and perfectly we caught him in the act! God truly is good to us.

God Moment... Part 1

Sorry for the delay on this post... : ) But I wanted to have some time to adequately describe what happened. In the middle of a three day run with Crowns we found ourselves nearly helpless and hopeless. The minutest of details kept us from proceeding on our 8 hour drive to the next venue.

I believe that God works over the course of all of history to bring resolve, which is ultimately everything for His glory. However, within the scope of history there are mini-stories of his intervention, masterful planning, and grace. We fail to see his weaving in this tapestry because the threads are too long, but sometimes he shortens the thread so we can see his mastery. This is one such instance.

As we left for California Derek arrived with his new head-worn flashlight...he was was goofy for sure. We drove 40 straight hours through a windstorm with a packed trailer to get there. On the way I picked up a power converter at a truck stop- to get power from our lighter charger to our phones and computers. We found out after the fact that it was made to hook up to the battery...useless. Also, we had pre-booked our hotels getting a better rate online

The second night we were in Corona, CA and wanted to cancel our rooms there so we could drive on that night and get a head start on our 8 hour drive to Flagstaff. We called that day asking to do so with no success. That night I went in and asked to cancel our rooms one last time to no avail. So, we began upacking the trailer to stay the night. As we unpacked Emily pointed out that one of the trailer tires looked funny, it did. It was actually not funny at all. We backed the trailer into a corner of the parking lot and hear what we just saw, the axle grinding on the wheel that was about to fall off.

We went inside and weighed the is currently Friday night about 10pm, we needed to leave at 6:30am to make it to Flagstaff in time for soundcheck. We do not know what is really wrong with the tire, just that it's not right. We called our manager, Mike, and asked what he thought. We talked about different options that would require tons of driving and moving gear around, ultimately he suggested going back to the church where Crowns was finishing up to see if anyone could help.

Joe mentioned a couple of times that these moments are exciting because this is when God really shows up. So we prayed, I prayed that we would walk outside to a trailer that is fixed...which that night when we walked out was not the case...

We headed up to the church...thankful that the hotel would not let us cancel our stay there...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Camp, West Coast, God Moments

Well, each summer ddb does some camps. They've been anywhere from Oklahoma to Virginia. Well this next week we are heading to Glorieta, New Mexico. Since we were so close to the west coast our management hooked us up to open for some Casting Crowns shows in California and Arizona.

We drove. All the way to California. It took a while. After our initial 40 hour drive to Fresno, CA, we drove about 7-8 hours each day to the next venue arriving by 3pm to set up and sound check. We would then play at 7pm or so, tear down, reload the trailer and go to the hotel. It made for a long day.

We opened up to about 3000 people - sold out show in Roseville. We then followed them to Corona, CA to another sold out show of about 3000. Both were church venues. Then today we followed them to Flagstaff, AZ to the amphitheater there. I'm not sure if it was sold out, but it was teeming with people- probably 3500 or so. Since it was an outdoor venue I'm sure they could always sell another few tickets, but I'm not sure where they'd have put them. :) Anyway- it was a pretty awesome three day run with Crowns. They are all great people- fun to hang with when we had a minute here and there.

Tomorrow(today) we head to Glorieta for Fuge! It begins Monday night so tomorrow will give us a chance to travel there and catch our breath a little. Actually that will be hard, given the elevation. :) Fuge will be a blast! This is actually the first fuge we've ever done. My brother and sister have been staffers at fuge a few years ago- so I know how much of a blast it is. We're pumped to be there. Pray that God will will move in the hearts of the students this week. We'll be leading worship for the morning and evening worship gatherings.

God Moment...I'm gonna save this story for another blog. Check back in a couple days. ..It's pretty crazy.

Well, I'm not a long thanks for sticking around, I'm surprised I have. But there's just so much happening out here. It's been a tough week since we left Tuesday and drove 40 straight hours to California. Yes, we drove straight there, through the night. Our mileage got worse and worse with the wind and the gas prices got higher and higher as we went West. We have paid well over $5 a gallon at some places.

Yeah... I can't wait to tell you about what happened last night and this morning. I'm still in awe...

Friday, May 16, 2008


Getting ready for tour I wanted to get a nice, yet portable camera to help us remember our moments. So I did some research and went with the Canon G9. I have been very pleased with it. It's very portable, yet has a ton of features. I was able to get some good shots with it while on the road. Towards the end of the tour we were in Frederick, MD. They had a cool downtown area that inspired some shots. Here are a few you are looking at now. I honestly do not know a ton about photography at this point, but plan to read a bit on it and figure out what some of the terms are and what my new camera can do. The cool thing is that Emily is in to scrap-booking, so this new hobby of mine kind of compliments hers. And it freed up our old camera (a bit smaller than the G9 and a great point and shoot camera) to be exclusively hers, which she loves that idea!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Twitter anyone? It's fairly new and you may not have heard of it, it's called Twitter. I've got a few friends who have bought in and regularly post. It's not the next myspace or facebook. It's more like an online chat you invite your friends too. But it's not really for chatting, I'm sure it could be. But it seems to simply be to give an update on you, what you're up to at the time. It's rather interesting. I've got an account and can go post right now, however I'm still trying to decide it's usefulness for me...or even for my "twittering" friends. So, do you twitter? Have you ever heard of it? If not, go check it out and I'd love to know if you think twittering is in your future.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


We're home. I'm in staff right now, so I'm probably supposed to be listening or something. But I wanted to say that I'm pumped to be here in staff, it's been too long since I've been hanging out with these great people. We have a good time in Grace staff meetings. It's grown over the last two and a half years. It used to be 3 of us at Border's, now there's ten of us in our own office building. ...I better get back to the meeting... : )

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Joe and Daniel

After a couple days at home. Joe and Daniel find themselves at the back of the bus discussing their break from the road.

Radio Interview

We got to stop one morning at HIS Radio 89.3 in Greenville, SC. Joe and I did an interview with Rob and Kristen live on their morning show. After it was over we stumbled upon their sweet station van!

Monday, April 28, 2008

In Case You Missed It!

Hey Everyone, due to some blogspot issues we had to create a new blog right after the first post. As a result the first post is not on this blogspot. So, this is the post from March 17, soon after the CD released. case you missed it.

The CD release concert was exciting! We had a ton of friends and family come out. We kicked it off with a worship set- featuring some of our congregational tunes from the record. Then we had an acoustic set where Richard Davis and Alison McKelvey joined us on strings. Ron and Chad came out and prayed for us. I got to share for the first time about World Vision and how we have recently partnered with them. Then we closed with "Love Like Rain" and "Blessed is the One". Here are some pics from the event. The black and white photo is backstage with our pastors, musicians, and production people- what a great team!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mom and Fredericktown

Tonight was special, mom was there. We were in Fredericktown, MO and had some friends up from the area as well. I was born only an hour away in Cape Girardeau and lived there till I was four. The only people I remember are those my parents have stayed in touch with over the years. After the show, those that came were standing together with the band and I was able to get a picture real quick.

Many of you have been praying for my mom, well the most recent report (yesterday) was that the tumors have shrunk just a bit more. They have shrunk 96% total from their original size! The treatment has been tough on Mom and they are giving her a break from treatments for a couple of weeks. Please continue to pray for her.

There's a song we do each night called "Blessed is the One." It is track 5 on the record and our favorite tune as a band. The bridge of the song says "I will trust You in the pain, when I can't see past today. When it's hard to life my hands to praise You, I will trust You." Dad has quoted that line in Mom's caringbridge blog. It is a prayer they have to pray too often these days. It was tough to sing it tonight, with them being there and all. I am inspired by my parent's faith as they weather this storm.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Psalms

Sometimes my soul is thirsty. When I'm dry I go straight to the Psalms. Psalm 32 is one of my favorite. A transformation of David occurs within the psalm. Go check it out and notice the progression of a confessed sinner. If you've been at one of the worship events I lead, sometimes I will open the night reading Psalm 32:1-2. I read it over and over until the people listen and truly respond. We are blessed, our sins our covered, we have reason to celebrate!

What are some Psalms or scripture that quench your thirst? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Beach

We got a chance to hit the beach one afternoon. We usually arrive at venues in the mornings. The band goes and gets ready for the evening. On rare occasions we get enough free time coupled with a local attraction to have a fun afternoon. On this day you see- we found the beach for a couple hours- thanks to some great new friends in Shallotte, NC! You might be wondering who the fourth guy in the photo with the band is...well, it's our friend David Browning. He is the music director for the tour. Bryan couldn't make it to the beach that day.

Friends and Family

One of the coolest things about being out here on the road is meeting people. I've gotten to see some old friends and meet a lot of new people. One of my best buds from high school, Ben is a student pastor in Valparaiso, IN. He brought his pastor and friends out to the show in Mt. Vernon, IL. It was so cool to meet all of them- we went out afterwards. Here's a pic with all of them.
If seeing my buddy from High School was not enough of a blast from the past, the Reubels made their way to the Mt. Vernon concert as well. Susan kept me in the nursery when I was an infant at FBC Cape Girardeau, MO. She is here with Larry, my Dad, and I.

My brother, Dad, and a couple of buddies from U.C. were at the Mt Vernon show too! My Mom, although unable to make it to the concert, made my Dad come out anyway since it was close to home. She'll hopefully be out to one soon when we're close by again. I got a picture of Chuck and Dad with Michael English.

Mt. Vernon was a special night for me- it was so cool to see so many friends and family!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tour pics

Today is an off day. We are hanging out in Charlotte, NC. It's been a relaxing day just hanging out. We are staying in some suites that have a kitchen, so we enlisted Joe to cook. He's our resident cook- a very good one. I love watching Joe get tunnel vision when we starts to cook. Apart from playing drums I've never seen him so focused for so long... : ) We walked to Harris Teeter and got all the groceries we needed and he is now fixing our dinner. I think our whole bus will be dining together, 12 of us.

I took some pics before a recent concert...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good morning! It's Cold in Florida.

Good morning! I wish I was on the roof of the bus. It's cold. Real cold. And we're in Florida. So, I'm up because I can't sleep. So here's what I'm doing. And, I just wanted you to see this hot mirror. This flugelhorned mirror really makes me feel like a musician!

I saw a great movie the other day, twice actually. I did not realize "Dan in Real Life" was a chic flick, so I popped it in on the ride home. Some of the other guys and I watched it. I got done with it and said, "Well I guess I'm gonna have to watch that with Emily, but I don't mind it was good." Well, we get home and she wants to rent a movie. I could feel it coming before she said're right...she wanted to see "Dan in Real Life." So I decided not to tell her I'd seen it just to be a nice husband for a day. We went and got it and watched it the next day or so. It was good...again. We both really like the movie. It is well acted and not as forgettable as most movies like it. Steve Carell just cracks me up.

Well I'm gonna go buy some gloves, a ski mask, a scarf, electric socks, electric blanket and hope I can sleep tonight.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Tour: Week 3 Begins

Back on it. We're driving through Atlanta right now. Joe and I spent some time writing as we barreled down I-75. I think it's time for bed. We are heading to Florida. I'm having a great time on this tour. I wasn't sure if I would or not. I tend to prefer my comforts, but I can roll with the punches pretty well, too. I've had the chance to meet some awesome people and hear some amazing stories these past two weeks. I look forward to these final five.

I've got some really sweet news about my Mom. A week ago Sunday she played piano at church for the first time in several months. She has been going through Chemo treatments ever since she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The chemo has been very effective, and playing at church was a special blessing for her and my Dad. I imagine it's been decades since she has missed church or playing at church that many weeks in a row. I just had to tell you, it was so sweet to hear that.

On a lighter note. I'm typing this blog on my recently repaired macbook pro. My keyboard and trackpad went out. I was lost for a week or so. I managed okay, I 0nly missed a couple things, which is not bad for me. : ) I have enjoyed my mac ever since I got it and I was quite impressed with the timely and easy repair. I hope to keep everyone updated more often now.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, we are officially on tour. We are on day 5 and it is our first day off. We've played four shows the past four nights. I hope to keep you updated on what's happening. For more insights and stories about the tour check out these blogs:
Bryan's Blog