Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Hey, friends. Are you all looking forward to this week? We sure are. We are having some family and friends over for Thanksgiving. I guess there will be 20 or 25 people here. Angela and her mom do some radically awesome cooking, and I for one can't wait. I am even thinking about chiming in with some dishes of my own. I have dusted off my famous broccoli casserole recipe. And by "my" I mean "my sister's"...just to clarify. I know that's not an especially original dish, but this recipe has the anointing, for sure. I have also been known to make some mean chocolate peanut butter balls (Hey! You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my chocolate! I watched too much TV in the 70's.). There will also be much consumption of parades and football. And maybe a few mean games of Nertz and Boggle.

I will be at the Crystal Cathedral this Sunday (I think it will air on TV the next Sunday - the 7th), and then our Christmas tour begins December 4. I hope you will check out our tour schedule, and see if we are coming somewhere near you. I hope you can make it.

As this time of year begins to rev up, it's my prayer that we all will be very purposeful to keep our eyes and hearts and minds focused on Christ. And I pray that we will remember the importance of gratitude...humility...thanksgiving...for the mercies of God, which permeate our every breath. I am thankful for so many things. But my awareness of His perfect and faithful mercy is almost more than I can bear this season.

We thank you, Lord, for Your new mercies every day. And we pray that You would continue to teach us to extend those same mercies to those around us. And we pray that Your peace would abide in us, around us, and through us. We are so thankful for Your perfect goodness. Have Your way in us today. In Jesus' name, amen.

Many blessings to you this Thanksgiving...

Galatians 2:20

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coincidences Between The Assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy (guest blog)

YO PEOPLE!!! This is Jack, Travis's son. Some of you may know me, some not. I was just gonna share something interesting I found out about at school. There are like a billion that are same about the assassinations of presidents Lincoln and Kennedy.

1. Both presidents were elected to the presidency in '60.
2. Both were runners-up for the party's nomination for vice president in '46.
3. Both presidents assassins were born in '39.
4. Both presidents were elected to the House of Representatives in '46.
5. Both successors were Southern Democrats named Johnson, born in '08.
6. Both presidents were shot in the head.
7. Both presidents were shot on a Friday.
8. Lincoln was shot in Ford's theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Ford car; a Lincoln limousine.
9. Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy who told him not to go to the theatre. Kennedy had a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln (who's husband's nickname was Abe), and she warned him not to go to Dallas.
10. Both Oswald and Booth were assassinated before they could be put on trial.
11. Lincoln and Kennedy both have 7 letters.
12. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald have 15 letters.
13. There are 6 letters in each Johnson's first name.
14. Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and hid in a warehouse, while Oswald shot Kennedy in a warehouse and hid in a theatre.

Aiight. Peace out yo!

Save The Date

A few weeks ago I referred to some fun ministry plans in the making. I still don't have a lot of information. But I would like to tell you to mark January 25, 2009 on your calendar. On that night, my team and I will be recording a new live worship CD and DVD. We will be recording at First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA (Atlanta area). We will be joined by the church's 300+ voice choir. We will also be joined by a couple of VERY SPECIAL be named later. ; >)

I am so excited about this night, and all that God holds in store for His glory through all of these sweet people coming together to worship Him. If there is any way you can make it, I would love for you to be there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chillin' Like A Villain

Good morning, friends. I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I have been home all weekend, which has sent me over-the-top happy. I love to travel, and I love my calling. But after a really long stretch of hard work, it has been nice to just be home and chill this weekend. Wednesday or Thursday I hit one of those walls where I knew that if I didn't get a break soon, I was going to go bazerko. Not sure if that's a word, but I'm not going to look it up. I have already spent too much time figuring out how to spell villain.

I started off the week in Houston, leading worship for the Southern Baptists of Texas Conference, (which gave me the chance to hang out with many great friends). Then I came home and led worship Tuesday through Thursday at the National Christian Women's Leadership Forum at LifeWay, here in Nashville. We had a great time. I've led at that conference pretty much every year since I was 11 or so. Or maybe 30. I don't know. A long time. Anyway, I love it. It's like leading worship for family in many ways.

Tuesday night I did a concert for them, and I gave them a little "Christmas At The Forum" concert. I's a little early for a Christmas concert. But I wanted to change things up a little bit for them this year. And I also wanted to give my new Christmas music a run-through, and practice through all my new Christmas songs. Lily Kate came with me and brought along a friend. They worked as little elves, passing out candy canes to the peeps.

We had a good time.

Once the conference was over, I went into chill mode and have been home ever since. When the kids went to bed Thursday night, a buddy of mine and I played Mario Kart Wii until the wee small hours of the morning. Something tells me I'm too old to be doing that. But I just tell that something to go away and bother some other middle-aged worship leader. I'm not listening.

Then on Friday, I could hardly wait for the kids to get out of school. IT'S FRIDAY AND I'M HOME! LET'S DO SOMETHING FUN! So, we went to Mellow Mushroom in downtown Franklin and had some pizza for dinner. Then we did what our family loves to do best: we went to Target. We wandered around the Christmas aisles. It was better than seeing the decorations at Opryland Hotel. Well, maybe not. No...YES it was. It was better. Target is always better.

We left with a $1.00 jump rope, some hot chocolate, a bag of marshmallows and a new copy of "Elf" (we wear a copy out every year).

We came home, made the hot chocolate, and watched Elf. And by "we" I mean "they" watched it. I was asleep by the end of the beginning credits. Mario Kart got the best of me.

Inspired by our friends at the Target, we got up Saturday morning, put on Christmas music, pulled out the decorations and put up our Christmas tree. I know. It's obnoxiously early. But leave us's how we roll, yo. And Ooo, it was fun. Football on the TV in the background (yes, there was music playing AND football on at the same time), friends coming in and out of the was a sanguine's dream Saturday.

Although I must say that I had some choice thoughts about the makers of the pre-lit tree. They give you these replacement fuses and light bulbs to use in case a strand of lights goes out. Only they don't tell you that you will never find where the burned out light or fuse is. And then they will proceed to wrap and fasten those strands so tightly and securely onto the tree that you will eventually want to jump out a window in frustration over trying to JUST GET A TREE FULL OF PROPERLY OPERATING LIGHTS.

Actually it wasn't that bad. I thought at first that it was going to send me over the edge. But there were only a couple of strands I had to contend with. And I think it's the first time in our family's history that we started AND finished our Christmas tree on the same day. Woo hoo.

I have the cutest little five-year-old who has snuck down the stairs and plopped himself beside me. So I'm going to put this computer down and go have some fun with him. Happy Sunday to you all...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You Never Know What All You Will Find In A Five-Year-Old's Pocket.

Some Pics From My Holland Trip

This song is good everywhere in the universe...

So is this.

Post-concert comfort food.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Can Hear The Imperial March From Here

Hey, everyone. I am home from Holland. Thank you for your prayers for my family and me while I was away! I have pictures and stories to share, and I will share them soon.

First, I have to share this story with you. My wife is so funny. Levi brought a picture of a turkey home from school that he was supposed to decorate and take back to school. So Angela helped him decorate the turkey. Nice costume for a turkey, if you ask me.

Angela took this turkey over the edge when she actually read its intergalactic mind:


Angela's funniness was trumped only by Levi (accidentally), who thought it said, "You don't know the power of the Darf meat," which of course is what Levi thinks the character's name is. Darf Vader.

May the force be with you.