Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tammy's Daddy

Do you all know Tammy Jensen...sweet red head who has sung on my praise team since the beginning of Living Proof Live 10 years ago?

Her sweet dad, Steve Taylor, passed away this week. He spent his life as a music evangelist. He had a beautiful voice and a wonderful, loving way about him. Everyone who knew him loved him dearly. Please pray for all of Steve's family, especially his 4 kids - Joy, Angela, Steven and Tammy, and tons of grandchildren. His funeral service was today (Saturday).

Random Randomness

Happy weekend to you peeps. I hope you had a great week, and a great holiday weekend last weekend. Angela and Flash and I are sitting out on the back porch with our friend Paige Greene, who spent the night with us. It's 7:53 in the a.m., and of course Angela and Paige have already been up for a long time...I woke up hearing words float through the, Jeremiah, the blood, refuge...and creamer, over well, and fruit salad. When these two get together, I am convinced they have signed a secret pact where they will not use less than 450 words a minute.

We had a great weekend last weekend. We started out by piling in the car and driving to Asheville, NC. We had a great day there on Saturday. The weather was perfect, and Asheville is a great town. A little Mellow Mushroom pizza...a little shopping at a cool toy store...a little bit of chocolate from Kilwins. All was well. And Angela, of course, washed her turtle fudge down with some carrot-apple-celery-beet juice from some store with the word GREEN in the title. She was happy. And according to her, all of her cells were brimming with live enzymes. What Memorial Day weekend is complete without some good live enzymes?

I sang at a church in Asheville on Sunday morning where the pastor from my childhood now serves - Jim Russell. It was great to see Jim, his wife Dale, and most of their kids, who were my kids' ages when I last saw them (in 1986!). Ouch. For those of you who were at Perkinsville Baptist in Boone in 1986, here are the Russells...with my dad (2nd from left), my sister (on the end) and me:

Here are Jim and Dale with their daughter Jamie and her son, their daughter Abby, and son Ryan and his fiancee:

And here is me and my dad.

After the concert and lunch, we headed to Boone for a couple of days. This weekend was the one-year anniversary of our Living Proof in Boone. That was one of my favorite weekends of my life. And this weekend confirmed my suspicion that Boone is the most beautiful and close-to-perfect place to be on the last weekend in May. It was stunning. Perfect weather, great food, and a crazy family to share it with. And by crazy, I mean crazy.

We played with cousins and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters. And Angela found a way to work in some shoe shopping. Live enzymes AND shoe shopping for my bride. I am the best. husband. ever.

Random fact: Levi tried to work in the word touche into his conversation All weekend. He has no idea what it means. He would just say it randomly here and there. Fun times. Touche.

Another random fact: I watched zero tv while in Boone. I even tried to...I tried to watch the Spurs, but I kept falling asleep. It was nice. Touche.

Have a great weekend. Take a few moments today to recount to the Lord some of the infinite reasons He is worthy of your praise, affection, and surrender. Talk to you soon...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beautiful Bird

Pretty much my favorite singer-songwriter ever is Cindy Morgan. I have loved her music since her very first record (Real Life, 1992). Her songs have always had a way of leading me to think, pray, cry, reach out, pause, act, dance, write...and most of all, worship.

So, I have been waiting for this week, because I knew the new Cindy record was releasing. And release it did. It's not in stores just yet...but you can download it at her website.

And rumor has it that her biggest fan is singing background on a couple of the tracks.

Please go download it. You will be blessed.

My favorite Cindy songs of all-time? There are too many to mention. But a few that come to mind are I Will Be Free, Last Days, God Is Love, The Master's Hand, Love's Sweet Name, Praise The King.

Enjoy the new CD. It's awesome.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heading to Asheville

I am heading to Asheville, NC this weekend. I am doing a concert at Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church this Sunday morning at 11. If you are in the area, come over for a visit!

I am excited to see the pastor of the church, Jim Russell. Jim was the pastor of my home church in Boone when I was youngER...probably from the time I was 10 until I was 16 or 17 or so. He and his family left and served as missionaries in Japan for a number of years.

My family is going with me (yessssssss)...we are going to make a fun weekend of it. We will probably head to Boone to see family for a couple of days, too.

Idol. OK. So, I think that David C deserved to win. I just wanted David A to win. But David C gave the most original and memorable performances week after week. After starting so strong, David A created a momentum that was just too hard to keep up for the whole run of the show. But he did a great job on both shows this week. I feel like he did better than David C this week...but taking the whole season into consideration, I think the right guy won.

Even though I didn't feel like this season was as strong as a couple of the others, there were some really amazing performances this year. Imagine, Billie Jean, Hello, Let It Be, Hallelujah. But my favorite performance of the year was Brooke's Love Is A Battlefield. Don't judge me. : >)

There were some bad things about the finale. Like the opening, when they had David and David staring each other down. What was that? So awkward. And speaking of awkward, how about those group numbers? Oh, the glorious group numbers. They bring me almost as much awkward laughter as an episode of The Office. They are just awful. I sometimes have to look away, I feel so bad for the contestants.

There were some great things about the finale, Seal (what a great voice), the duet with Graham Nash and Brooke (awesome...and don't you think "Teach Your Children Well" is a funny song for a nanny to sing?), George Michael - who, even though he has had some issues, is an amazing singer, and David A singing with One Republic (giving us a glimpse that he might indeed have a place in today's pop music scene other than the Disney channel...he sounded great). And of course, it was great to hear my favorite resident rocker chick, Amanda Overmyer tear into Hot Stuff. And how about the Michael Johns / Carly Smithson duet? Woah. That was killer. Possibly the best singing moment of the show.

You all have a great day. Hug those you love if you are with them. And keep praying for the Chapmans. Blessings to you today...


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please Pray for The Chapmans

From Fox News -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

McPherson said no charges are expected.

"It looks like a tragic accident," she said.

She said several members of the Chapman family witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville.

The brother apparently did not see the little girl, McPherson said. She did not have the name or exact age of the brother, only that he is an older teenager.

The girl died later at Vanderbilt Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.

Chapman, originally from Paducah, Ky., and his wife have promoted international adoption and have three daughters from China, including Maria.

Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 51 Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association.

The singer's Web site said that Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, were persuaded by their oldest daughter to adopt a girl from China. The experience led the family to adopt two more children and create Shaohannah's Hope, a foundation and ministry to financially assist thousands of couples in adoption.

The Chapmans did missionary work at Chinese orphanages in 2006 and 2007, according to the Web site.

"After our first trip to China, my wife and I knew our lives were changing — our eyes and hearts were opening to how big God really is, and we have wanted to experience more of that," Chapman says on the Web site. "We've really wondered whether or not we should just go to China and stay there. But I don't think so. I believe God is saying, 'I want you to go, get your heart broken, your eyes opened, and then take this story back to the church in America and around the world."'

Chapman also has released a book about being a father entitled "Cinderella: The Love of Daddy and his Princess."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Hey, friends. Hope your week is off to a good start. We are well at the Cottrell household...minus a small allergic reaction Levi is going through. Ang and the kids went to Nona and Pop's farm over the weekend, while I was in Boise. They had an off-the-chart great time riding horses and 4-wheelers and canoes.

They took pictures ON the horses and 4-wheelers and canoes...but I don't have those on my computer just yet.

The team and I had a great time at LPL Boise. The event was such a blessing...and the teaching on 2 Timothy was killer. I am still sorting out how to be a Timothy and how to be a Paul...and do I have a Timothy in my life...and do I have a Paul. Good stuff.

By the way, some of you have been emailing about the song playing on the video recap. It is called "We Long For You," and is from the cd "Found." This past weekend was the first time we have ever played that song live.

When the event was over, we had a special treat. We were unable to get a flight back home on Saturday, so we stayed there until Sunday. Ever the sanguine, Beth was not about to let us stay over and have lots of fun without her. So she stayed over, too. We all had a great time. We went to a cool pizza place in downtown Boise. Then we came back to a conference room at the hotel and played games for hours. We played Fishbowl (always a favorite). And we played Pit. have you all ever played Pit? It is COMPLETELY ADDICTING AND TOO MUCH FUN.

I know we don't look completely riveted in these pics, but trust me. We were. Intense. And riveted.

Because it doesn't matter, I won't tell you who won.

We also did a few rousing rounds of the Cha Cha Slide. Now THAT was entertainment. I wish I had a picture of that.

It's another Christmas-laden week for me. I have 4 more songs left to sing. I hope to get 2 of them done this week...1 tonight and 1 Thursday night.

You know it is a new chapter in life when I go through most of the day before I even realize the last night of Idol is tonight. All day...and I haven't even thought about it. If my buddy had not reminded me, I would have forgotten. Either I'm getting old or IT'S getting old. I feel SURE that it's getting old. Yeah, for sure. It's getting totally old.

I won't be live-blogging tonight since I'll be in the studio...but we'll chat tomorrow. Have a great day...


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm All Out Of Love

I just had a great idea! I could name all my posts different titles of 80's songs...

Just kidding.

I have written and re-written and re-written today's post...over and over and over. I can't talk about Idol without sounding mean or jaded or something. So I can't bring myself to post it. Let's just say that I'm confident that David will win...I hope David wins...and the other David is good, too.

And I am glad this season is almost over. I think I'm starting to run out of love for this American pastime. And I just don't have anything else left to say about it, really.

I am in the studio right now, cutting lead vocals for the Christmas record. Anybody feel like Christmas? At my current pace, I should be done just in time to put the kids in bed on Christmas eve. For reals. I sometimes can't believe I am actually a singer, I go so slow. I am barreling through these with all the speed and gusto of a turtle crossing the road. But the good thing is the tracks sound so AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL...and the producer is great company. So I am having a great time. I am excited for this project to be finished. It has been one of the best musical experiences of my life. If I could just sing in tune. : >)

One last cute thing...yesterday at the breakfast table, Lily Kate asked if God was a noun or a verb...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol - Down to 3

OK...hey, friends. Here we go...

Paula looks pseudo-normal tonight.

David A - And So It Goes - I was initially disappointed with them choosing this song, because I thought it was boring. But he was PERFECT on it. It was a stunning vocal, I thought. He made the melody stand out - what a great, timeless melody. I'm telling you...he is ONE GREAT SINGER.

Syesha - If I Ain't Got You - She sounded great...possibly a tad on the boring side...until the end, when she did that KILLER run. The last run was awesome. I think she did a good job making it her own. Although I'm not a fan of her making it this far, I think she did a great job.

David C - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - This is a great song. He didn't kill me. His falsetto was a little pitchy in the front part. The last note was INCREDIBLE, though. Overall, he is better than that usually.

My round 1 ranking is:
3. David C
2. Syesha
1. David A

Lily Kate is bringing me snacks to fuel my live-blogging. Pineapple, anyone?

David A - With You - He sounds good. I think I'm a little biased. I just like his voice. His lower register could use a little more focus. But he still sounded great through the whole song. Ladies and gentlemen...get ready to hear him sound just like that on the radio in about a year. He will be all over the place.

It was a little weird hearing him sing to his boo, yo.

Syesha - Fever - I love this song...especially the Michael Buble version. I think this was a smart song choice. It doesn't require her to sing too heavy - that's usually when she gets in over her head. But she is doing great tonight. And another great ending by Syesha! I totally disagree with the judges. I think it was a song that highlighted the positive side of her voice.

David C - Dare You To Move - OK...he gets the award for best song choice. I love this song. It's staying low a little too long...but the chorus is a great payoff. Oops...he's a little pitchy again. But still gritty and vibey and good. I agree with all the judges pretty much this time around.

I can't rank round 2. I just can't bring myself to do it.

David A - Longer - He is NOT singing Longer. I love this song so much. I am such a dork. But I am afraid they are going to give him a hard time for singing this song. Not that he had a choice. Weird key change. But once again...his vocals were AMAZING.

I am just realizing that I haven't blogged in a week. Rats. I promise I am going to try to do better this week.

Syesha - Hit Me Up - Why is Syehsa trying to get me to like her at this late date in the game? She is rocking it. Is this a Beyonce song or something? Oh...Rhianna? Sounds like it. She was good tonight...all 3 times. The judges are painfully avoiding complimenting her in their efforts to set up the David / David finale.

This is a whole NOTHER post...but my patience with the producer / judge pimping of certain contestants has run its course. I'm over it. They are killing their own show. More on that later. Back to the show...

David C - I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - They have totally set him up to win the night with this choice and positioning. Haven't we heard this from him like 12 times before?

Simon gives David C the night. But I give it to David A. More tomorrow. Blessings!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Haven't Watched Yet

Wahhhhh. I couldn't live-blog A.I. tonight because I am still in a writing meeting. My two co-writers and I have been working on an Easter musical all day...I thought I would be home by now...but alas, I am not.

I used the word ALAS because it's in an Easter hymn...and I am so all about the Eatser hymn at this moment.

WERE YOU THERE when the show was on tonight? (Get it? get it?)

ALAS...I must return to writing. I will be blogging soon. Have a good night!

Saturday, May 3, 2008