Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In All Seriousness

Click here for a glimpse into some behind-the-scenes spirituality and maturity happening on the Gloria! tour.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Random Randomness

Hey, friends. I'm sitting in a rocking chair in the Charlotte airport. "Why aren't you efficiently boarding your flight, Travis?" you may ask. Well, all I can tell you is that I want to speak a blessing over the lovely understaffed US Airways folks here at this very busy holiday airport. Apparently making sure I make it to PA to be sufficiently showered, ironed and with a warmed-up voice was not on the Homeland Security checklist this morning in Charlotte. Fine. I can dig it.

Translation: I missed my flight. Hopping on a later one.

But all is not lost. This is starting to look like a blessing in disguise. A special thanks to the nice Charlotte airport for getting all Cracker Barrel on us and providing some down-home chillaxin while I wait 4 1/2 hours for my flight.

Live music, too!

And I knew that God was totally in on it when I turned around and saw this right behind my Cracker Barrel chair:

God always provides the power we need.

OK. So I am going to work a little while I sit and listen and watch and chill. But first, some random things I need to share:

1. I left out a funny tidbit about my shirt and tie adventure at the Crystal Cathedral weekend. When I was at Wal-Mart (at 1am, by way of a cab), the lady that was ringing up my order asked to see my I.D. Looking at it, she said,"Woah! You look a lot younger here."

Thank you. Thank you very much.

2. Last night, I had a concert at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, NC (we had a great time, by the way. Thanks, Boone friends!). I had a time in the concert where I began to share about Compassion International (we had 26 kids sponsored). I made a comment something to the effect of how odd it is that these kids are in such poverty, while we have no trouble plopping down 4 bucks for a stinkin' cup of Starbucks coffee (and let me tell you, I include myself in that. I'm holding one as we speak). Anyway, note to self: be mindful of who might be in your audience, like a coffee lover, or maybe a very sensitive consumer, or...I don't know...maybe the SOUTHEAST REGIONAL MANAGER OF STARBUCKS.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

3. I'm still waiting on Cindy or Shaun to have an off night vocally on this tour. So far, no wrong notes. Zero bad notes out of about 4,000,000. Those cats can sing. I LOVE to sing with them.

4. Angela is packing up the kids and all of Christmas, and driving to meet me on our last night of the tour in Kingsport, TN on Sunday. My wife is Wonder Woman. She has not just held the fort down while I've been on this Christmas tour; she has built the fort, decorated the fort, furnished the fort, BEEN the fort. My baby is amazing.

5. I have a new addiction: Pathwords. It's a game on facebook. I can't stop.

6. I have an incessant need to constantly talk trash. I don't know why. Even when I have nothing at stake. I will open my mouth and start throwing down trash talk just to start obnoxious conversation with people.

7. Although I am behind Bigmama's Pathwords score, I am totally beating Boomama and Boodaddy.

8. The piano player here in the airport is playing "O Christmas Tree" right this second. And Ooo! Verse two is in minor. It's a scary tree.

Actually, he is doing a nice job, and his playing is making it very festive. Except that he just stopped in the middle of the song to answer his cell phone.

Happy weekend to you...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'd Give You the Shirt Off My Back

A couple of weeks ago I flew to LA to sing at the Crystal Cathedral. I was excited. I had been there before, and had a great time singing with their beautiful orchestra. And this time, I was going to get to sing with their choir too. Last time, Angela Bassett was on the same show as me, so it was cool to get to meet her. Her husband, Courtney Vance, was there too. He's on some TV show, right?

So the Sunday after Thanksgiving was when I was scheduled to be there. I was home all of Thanksgiving week. Actually, I had been home for TWO WHOLE WEEKS with no traveling, which was a wonderful Thanksgiving treat. I was the picture of chilled for the holidays. Lots of cooking and playing with the kids and decorating for Christmas. Lots of it. But nothing even remotely high on the stress meter.

Thanksgiving day came and went. We had a great day with lots of family and friends. And lots of food with sugar and starch and cream of (insert creamy soup type here) (apparently I like using the word lots lots). Friday was more of the same. So, when Saturday got here, I was ready for my trip to LA. Not physically ready, as in packed and standing at the door. But emotionally I was OK with leaving, since I knew I would be home in just over 24 hours. I kind of put off packing, because Ang and the kids and I were doing fun things and having a laid back and fun day. I packed a little and played a little, did a little laundry, headed out for lunch and shopping all together, came back and packed some more. The time came to head for the airport. I put my suitcase in the car, said my goodbyes, and headed to my flight.

Everything about the traveling was easy and low key. No waiting. No crowds. No problems. I had a great flight.

At one point during the flight, I said to myself, "Self, did you pack your church clothes that were hanging on the closet doorknob?" But I immediately dismissed the thought, choosing to not be stressed, even if I did forget. Which is very not like me.

As soon as we landed, I turned on my phone. The first thing that popped up on my phone was a text from Angela that said: DID YOU MEAN TO PACK THIS SHIRT AND TIE HANGING ON THE CLOSET DOOR?




I looked at my watch. It was 9:35pm.




OK. Let's think clearly and not make more of this than needs to be. I mean, there are real problems in the world, so I am going to keep this in perspective. I'm sure Dr. Schuller won't mind if I wear my black Adidas hoodie under my suit coat. It will be HIP and NOW and I might even hold my mic like Tobymac.

The church sent a driver to pick me up. As soon as I saw him, I said, "Hi! I'm Travis. Nice to meet you. Thanks so much for picking me up. Now, could you get me to a TJ Max pronto?" or something to that effect. He was all over it. So we hopped in the limo (a perk of being a guest at the CC...let me clarify that that is NOT HOW WE ROLL...but it makes for a good story) and hit the highway.

We drove and drove and drove some more. FInally we exited off, and I saw a bunch of shops and strip malls in the distance. We pulled up to a - YESSSSSSSSSS - TJ Max. He drove me right to the door. I looked at my watch. It said 9:59. Literally. I jumped out and there was a man at the door.

"We're closed."

"But I just need 60 seconds, and - "

"Nope. We're closed."

I didn't even try to persuade him. I knew he didn't care that I was going to sing on a world wide broadcast the next morning, and have to wear a black Adidas hoodie with my suit. Especially since I looked like a punk kid who was hopping out of limo and wanting special treatment.

I ducked back in the car, and the driver told me that Mervyn's next door was open until 11. I had never been to a Mervyn's, but I was happy. So I bolted into the Mervyn's. I had never seen anything quite like it. It looked like Dorothy's house, post-tornado. It was going out of business, and this was 11pm the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Do you get the picture? It was A MESS. I didn't even recognize the piles of things as clothes.

I made my way to the men's section. I finally found some dress shirts, and began to look through them. Couldn't find my size. Couldn't find a color that would match my suit. After about 15 minutes, I was despondant. I just grabbed a couple of shirts and a really bad blue tie, went to the register and paid.

I tried to act happy and grateful to the driver, but I was really bummed. As we drove to the hotel, I was so tired (remember? LA is two hours behind Franklin, so it was past midnight to my body). I tried to tip the driver...he was so very nice and gracious and helpful, but he wouldn't take it. I drudged me and my luggage and my new purchases to my hotel room, and began to analyze the possibilities. I pulled out the suit and the new ill-fitting shirts, and laid them out to see if it was going to work. It was clear pretty instantly that it wasn't.

AGAIN...let me iterate that I know full-well that there are REAL problems in the world, and I know that eternity is not hanging in the balance with my decision to wear or not wear an ill-fitting shirt. I am aware of this, and was telling myself this over and over. And over.

But still.

I changed my Facebook status to something that expressed my lot. Immediately people began to leave messages. Some funny ones, some encouraging ones, and one very interesting one. One guy said this: If you are close to a Nordstrom, you can call them, and often times, if you can get hold of a manager, they will help you in your dire need.


I'm sitting in my hotel room, wondering what in the heck I'm going to do. I decide I'd better find a solution and move quickly. I went to the desk in the lobby and asked if there was a 24 hour Wal-Mart close by. It's 15 minutes away. I have them call me a cab, and I make my way.

I will save you the details, but just know that this particular Wal-Mart was not so much in to the 16 - 34/35 dress shirts in any other color than hunter's khaki. And there were no ties. Well that's not true. There were ties with Christmas lights printed n them. But they didn't match my new hunter's khaki shirt or gray pin-striped suit.

The trip was a bust. And it was 1am (3am Franklin time).

I came back to the hotel and decided that I needed sleep worse than I needed a shirt at this point. I went to sleep and sent up one last prayer with my final waking second.

The next morning, I decided to do it. I was going to call Nordstrom. I found out there was one 5 minutes away. Good news. I called. No answer. I tried again. No answer. I hopped in the shower and started getting ready. You know, with my hoodie. It was 7am at this point, and my ride was coming at 8. I tried Nordstrom one more time. SOMEONE ANSWERED! It was someone who who works in housewares. I explained to him my situation. He told me that he didn't know if anyone could help me. But he said that there was an employee shopping hour scheduled at 8am. He said if I could find someone nice to come to the door, MAYBE, just maybe, they would let me in.

So I called the driver and asked if he could come and get me 30 minutes early. This was, of course, after dialing 3 wrong numbers and waking various Crystal Cathedral staffers and their families. He picked me up at 7:30. We were there by 7:40. I walked up to the big glass doors, and instantly saw my new best friend. Only I don't know her name. I waved her over to the door, gave her my kindest and most pitiful plea, and she told me to hold on for a minute. In no time, the men's store manager was at the door, letting me in and selling me my new favorite shirt and tie. Thank you, Terence, men's store manager at Nordstrom somewhere in California.


I was so happy. And I know that Dr. Schuller was somehow relieved that I didn't wear my black Adidas hoodie. Or my hunter's khaki shirt and shiny light blue tie with my gray pin-striped suit.

As an added bonus: my luggage didn't make it home on Sunday night. It seemed like the right ending to the trip.

It was an adventure. A perspective-strengthening adventure.

PS - You can see my new shirt and shiny new tie on Hour of Power this weekend.


Sunday, December 7, 2008


Gloria! Christmas Tour from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

Ringing Bells in Mississippi

Hey friends. I hope you are having a good weekend. I am in Byram, MS, getting ready for tonight's GLORIA Christmas concert at Country Woods Baptist Church. We have had two good concerts so far this weekend. Had a great time in Morristown, TN last night. It snowed! It was beautiful.

My voice is tired this morning. I'm doing my best to take good care of it and of myself during this month of lots of tough singing. I would appreciate your prayers for my voice today.

Shaun and Cindy have been killing it this week. They are both GREAT singers. Some of my favorite moments of the week have been sitting in the back and listening to them do their thing. Last night, the crowd clapped and clapped for an encore of some sort. We didn't really know what to do...we had already sung every Christmas song we knew. And i wasn't about to jump out there and sing Moses, with jingle bells. So Cindy went out and sang How Could I Ask For More. Do you know this song? If you don't, go find it. AWESOME> Angela and I courted (that word makes me sound as old as I am) to that song 16 years ago. Sigh.

Speaking of which, I am missing these faces a lot...

Happy Sunday to you...

Friday, December 5, 2008

One Down.

Last night's Gloria concert went great. It had its shaky, "first show" moments, but all in all it was great fun.

We head to Morristown, TN tomorrow night. Can't wait. I love East Tennessee.

I am going to try to twitter frequently while on the road. Are you a twitterer? Check it out.

Shaun Groves will also probably be broadcasting something over at his blog. Maybe a sound check. Maybe the actual performance. Maybe him fixing his supercool spikey rock star hair or putting on his skinny western shirt. Either way, be sure to check in.

By the way, both Shaun and Cindy pretty much rocked my world last night. Amazing...both of them. I am pumped to be able to hear them 8 more times. I wish it was more.

Happy weekend to you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Brief Word

Hey, friends. I have been a BAD blogger this season. I know. I'm so sorry. I want to blog more. In fact, I have an AWESOME story about my journeys this past weekend that I can't wait to write. But I will have to. I am in rehearsals all week for the Christmas tour, which begins Thursday night here in Middle Tennessee.

Speaking of which, you can watch our rehearsal tomorrow (Wednesday) over at Shaun Grove's blog. It's riveting and captivating. And by 'riveting' and 'captivating' I mean B.O.R.I.N.G.

Don't forget to check out the tour page on this website to see if we are coming close to you in the next three weeks.

Everybody doing OK? Shopping done? Staying warm? I hope all is well with you.


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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Survival Kit

I had practice tonight with the Forever Worship band and choir. What a great time it was! I love these people. Let me give you some history.

Back in 2005, I got an email from a promoter in The Netherlands who wanted to talk to me about coming over to do a small weekend tour with this choir. He said that the choir did a lot of my songs and arrangements. I was kind of flabbergasted by that. So I got online to see if I could find anything about them. I found a video of them singing Alive Forever Amen. I couldn't believe it. And they sounded incredible! The band, the singers...everyone. And, the unique thing about the choir is that THEY ARE ALL HOLDING THEIR OWN MIC. ALL 30 OF THEM. Cue the tears from the sound guy. I had never seen anything like it.

So, I got on the phone with the choir director. We prayed. And then we made some plans. And I came over for a 3 concert weekend that same year. And I fell in love with these folks the first night I was worshipping with them. We had a great weekend. The Lord did some merciful things during the concerts. But He did some really unexpected and wonderful things in our prayer times and devotionals as a group off the stage, too. I will never forget it. as I left, I told them I was going to see them again, and next time, maybe it would be on American soil. Little did I know how quickly the Lord would bring it to pass! We began talking, and before you know it, they were on a plane headed to Nashville! Like 40 of them. They came here the last weekend of February of '06. They sang with me at Living Proof Live Birmingham (were any of you there?). And after the conference, we came back to Nashville and sang in two different churches on Sunday morning and Sunday night. They went sight-seeing on Monday, we partied on Monday night, and then they headed home the next day. It was total joy. All of my friends chipped in and offered their guest beds for them to stay...what a blessing my community was to me that weekend.

So, now it is two years later, and I am so happy to be back with them (I only wish my bride was with me). They made me a survival kit and presented it to me tonight. Among other things, there was a picture of my kids, a snow globe picture of Angela and me, and a box of tissues in case I get too sad being apart from them. Here is a close up of the pics in the survival kit. Awwwww...

I'm taking that snow globe with me everywhere I go from now on.

(P.S. - Something's up with my picture posting. I can't post pics so that they will be bigger when you click on them. Not sure what is up with my Photobucket. But I will work on it.)

I need to point out that they also included numerous packages of my favorite cookies in the world - stroopwafels. See those little waffle looking things behind the picture? Come on with it. Mmmm good. When they came to Nashville back in '06, they each brought me a pack of stroopwafels. Angela and I froze those bad boys and ate them for a year.

This is a picture of the choir director and his wife - Marcel and Annemarie Koning - when they came to Nashville this past spring for Gospel Music Week. They call him EuroTrav. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

We are going to have a great time worshipping together this weekend. Please pray for us. Pray that the Spirit of the Living God will fall, and the glory of God will shine like the heavens. Pray that Jesus will permeate everyone's realities...and will change lives for the glory of His name. Thank you for your prayers.

Wow. It's Cold Here, Too. Funny How That Works.

Hey, friends. I made it safely to The Netherlands today. The trip was relatively uneventful and peaceful. I left Nashville at 4:30 and had a layover in Memphis. We pulled out of Memphis at 7:30 Wednesday night, and arrived in Amsterdam 8 1/2 hours later - 10:00am their time. I actually got some good rest on the flight. I watched the movie that was showing (Baby Mama), and tried to watch the next one (Get Smart) but fell asleep during the opening credits. I woke up about 20 minutes before we landed. Yessssssss.

My friends Marcel and Annemarie Koning were waiting for me at the airport when I arrived. We had a quick cup of coffee (the coffee over here is crazy good), drove to say hello to a couple of friends at their workplace, and then went to lunch. I wish I would have had my camera with me so you could see where we ate. It was beautiful. And the drive there was straight out of a movie. It was mostly two lane roads, with tall tress lining both sides of the road and leaves of every color.

I am staying with friends while I am here. So after lunch we went to their place and I got settled in and rested for a while. Now, I am at a church getting ready for tonight's rehearsal. I am at the church where we will be playing Sunday a town called Hilversum. Saturday night, we are in a church in Amsterdam. And I am staying in a town called Amersfoort. Here is a map so you can see all of those places. Because I know you are dying to know. Except for not.


OK...I'm signing off for now. Thank you so much for your prayers for my family and me while I am away.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cameron Magee Wins

My buddy Cameron from NW Arkansas left this comment on my "Islands In The Stream" post. Wow. And he wasn't even born until like 1990 or something. We got served:

Wow. You've got to be "Working Day and Night" right now, but "Don't Stop 'Til you Get Enough" OK? Sorry to hear about Lily Kate, "Isn't she lovely"? Sounds like she really bounced that junk "Off the Wall". "You Might Think" that body might "Wanna Be Starting Something", but hopefully she can be a "Smooth Criminal" and "Whip It", the sickness, away. Just take a good look at the "Man in the Mirror", and remind yourself, that you're not an "Owner of a Lonely Heart". You've got a whole family behind you, over there in that Tennessee "Love Shack" of yours. Good to hear that your "PYT" will get to travel with you on your next trip, out to "Bang the Drum All Day". It sounds like your schedule is all "Signed Sealed, Delivered", booked all the way until Christmas. I wish that I could be there, at your next show, to "Rock With You". Just know that you, Travis Cottrell, "Rock My World". Have a good week, it sounds like it's going to be a real "Thriller"!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Heading Across The Pond

Well, aren't you guys just so clever. Your funny 80's references in the comments were AWESOME. You FUNNY PEOPLE.

Thanks for your prayers for Lily Kate. She woke up just fine this morning. Although, she did try to milk it for all it was worth to get out of having to go to school. But go to school she did.

Tonight, I am praying that another one of our children doesn't do the same thing. We left a gift basket from some of the sweet ladies we met in Vermont sitting in our bedroom floor today. When we got home tonight, our child FLASH had eaten half of a cheese log. Anybody order a cheese dog???

He's fine so far.

I am heading to The Netherlands tomorrow. I'm so excited to see my Dutch friends. I have a couple of concerts there this weekend, along with a choir from there. We are going to have a GREAT time. I will post some pics next week.

I come home on Tuesday. ELECTION DAY. I have already voted. But it's just as well for me to be gone these next few days, to help prevent me from continuing in this election-obsessed trend I have been in for the past few weeks. I'm telling you, I have been in it deep. I'm embarrassed to say that I have even been DVRing some of my favorite news shows. What in the heck? Man, I can't wait for this election to be over.

I will check in with you when I arrive. Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Islands In The Stream. That Is What We Are.

Hey, friends. I hope your week is off to a good start. I am feeling like I am back in the land of the living. After the whirlwind stretch of high school reunion weekend going into the New England tour, I was down for the count. I spent most of the week last week staring into space and barely managing to put one foot in front of the other. By the time I started reemerging, it was time to hit the road again. Only this time, I got to have my bride with me. Ang and I (along with Seth and Nirva and Julie and her husband BJ) headed to Ridgecrest, NC last Friday to lead worship for the weekend. It was for one of LifeWay's Festival of Marriage events. This is a great event. If you have a spouse and have never been to one of these, you need to go. You can find info in the events section of LifeWay's website. Our speakers for the weekend were Dale and Jena Forehand. They are AWESOME. LISTEN TO ME: If you ever have the chance to sit under their marriage teaching, DO IT. And if possible, have them come to your church. They have an amazing testimony and are wonderful teachers. Check them out here.

This is us with them (and my mad timer shot skillz):

And our joy was made complete with the fact that our friends Boomama and Boodaddy came to Ridgecrest too. Cue: another fancy timer shot from lunch on Saturday:

We ate life-changing pizza and then went back to the conference center for a game of rummy that had all the frantic pacing of a three-legged race at a nursing home. But it was still fun. We sat by a big picture window and stared at the beautiful leaves while the autumn sun poured through the window and made us so happy. It was a beautiful NC day for the ages. I am so proud to be from NC.

Of course what social outing is complete without some 80's music? We belted out some 80's duets that would make you think it was Almost Paradise. HAHAHA...see what I did right there??

It was 80's synth and electric drum reverb heaven. Not to mention the fine harmony skillz of Ang, Boomama and Boodaddy. For real...they were rocking it.

I need to mention that as I am writing, I am also glued to the Titans-Colts game. And, to add to the adventure that is Monday at the Cottrell's house, sweet Lily Kate just threw up in her bed. My poor little princess. Not sure what caused it. I guess we will watch it play out tonight. But I can tell you that she managed to hit her bed, her sheets, 3 pillows, a night stand, the floor, the wall, and 3 Webkinz. She is a thorough chick.

Can you put a Webkinz in the wash? I guess I will find out.

I feel like now that I have the throw up washed off of me and her and everything else, the Titans are needing my full attention. They need to win, and keep us moving Up Where We Belong.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Heading Home

Good morning. I am in the lobby of the Hilton in Hartford, CT (no wireless in the rooms at the Hilton. Grrrrr.). We head home today...flight at noon. Yessssss. It has been an AWESOME week, but I am glad to be going home to love on my family. I am fortunate enough to usually not have to be gone more than a day or two at a time, so this 6-day stretch has been TOUGH.

Levi is on a horse trail ride with his Nona and Pop this weekend. He will get home tonight. I'm looking forward to the stories.

This New England tour has been a blast all week. We have had a great time in Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware and Connecticut (with a quick stop in NYC). Last night, LifeWay surprised Beth and the team and me with a reception and celebration. Rich gave us a book chronicling the past 5 years of Living Proof. It is amazing. And they made a thank you video that brought us all to tears. It was moving and wonderful.

The other teams (LifeWay, tech crew) took a flight out this morning at 6am. They originally scheduled us for that flight. But I went all musician on them and said forget it. We would like a noon flight, please. And they graciously obliged. Good thing, 'cause I would have karatied somebody if I would have had to have been heading to the airport at 4am. And they don't want none of this.

SO...have a great weekend. I will be with my 4 favorite people in the world. And my favorite dog. And my favorite guinea pig. And watching more football than would seem humanly possible.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Go to 50 States: Check.

Hey, everybody. Checking in from Delaware. We are doing well. I slept until almost 10, eastern time. What? I can't believe it. So glad to wake up on my own and feel rested. For some reason, though, my voice is really tired today. Must have overtalked during our day off. Imagine that. Could also be the vast amounts of unhealthy food I ate yesterday, topped off with one of the most delicious pieces of red velvet cake I have ever eaten, last night at about 9pm. We stopped for a quick dessert in some little cafe in NYC. Had a great time laughing and eating. There was a man there who apparently has no fear of making any bodily sounds in a public place. We got to laughing so hard, I thought we were going to throw us out. And for some reason, I felt really codependent, and didn't want to laugh, because I didn't want the man to feel bad. Of course, it was his own choice to emit said sounds in a PUBLIC RESTAURANT. But still. My sincere desire to keep our tickledness on the down low only made us laugh more.

So Delaware is the last of the 50 states for me to visit. I can't really believe I have been across this whole country. I am so thankful for every second of ministry in every state that I have been privileged to be a part of. I have some favorite places...but I can say this: our country is beautiful. Every corner. Every mountain. Every city. Every countryside. Every flat land. Every shore.

From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans...


Anyway, I am a thankful man this morning.

Here are some pics from our day off in the city:

These two guys keep us rolling. Ron and Rich. They are AMAZING.

Rich takes great pictures too, by the way.

It would be too easy to say that we were jumping for joy. So I won't.

Ate dinner here. It was good. And I PROMISE you that the Soup Nazi's apprentice works there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WAAAY Up North

Hey, friends. Greetings from New Hampshire. We are having a great time on our NEW ENGLAND NIGHTS WITH BETH MOORE tour. Last night was a great night in Burlington, Vermont. And tonight we are in Durham, New Hampshire. So far, both of our cities have been names of cities in North Carolina, so I feel very at home up here.

We had a beautiful drive down to NH today. Beth set out to find some leaves to keep. They are not short on beautiful leaves in this part of the country.

They were quickly confiscated and promptly used as a headdress.

We are having a great time. And very easily entertaining ourselves.

Thanks for praying for our travel and our events. We are anticipating the Lord doing some wonderful things for His glory this week. I will keep you posted. Take care...

Gal. 2:20

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I want to thank my friends Big and Boo for their TOTAL MAEDIA BLITZ of my Christmas CD. They are truly great friends...and their effort to make sure that everyone knows about this project is very humbling.

Hey, Big and Boo...Frydaddy thanks you!

And I promise to return the favor one day, when you both release your own Christmas CD's. You have my word.

Big is doing a giveaway of Ring The Bells this week. If you want to register to win a free copy, hop on over to her blog.

Thanks again, friends.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Hey, friends. Hope you are having a great week.

Today is RELEASE DAY! Ring The Bells is in stores today. It's up on iTunes, too. Woo hoo!

Thanks to all of you friends who pre-ordered, and also who downloaded's currently #4 on the iTunes Holiday album charts. Thank you!

I had a crazy weekend of travel, and have spent yesterday and today recovering. Now, I am in high-gear mental obsession with our activity for this weekend: my high school reunion. My 5-year high school reunion.


Ok. Whatever. The year doesn't matter. What matters is HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. Can't wait. I will have stories to share with you next week.

Gotta go watch the debate. Have a great rest of the week.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Boo

Today is BooMama's birthday. Go wish her a happy one!

Hey, Boo..what's it like up there? You know, in those high digits?

PS - I'm getting you and D one of those things in the You Tube video on my last post.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

But. It Is Very Safe. To Operate.

(Thanks, Jeff.)


I will, in fact, be in Birmingham on Sunday. But for all my west coast friends, I will be in San Jose Saturday night with this guy. I think it's going to be an awesome event. Come join us!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Coming To The Ham

Hey...all you Alabama friends...I will be in concert this Sunday night in Birmingham, at FBC Trussville at 6pm. We are going to have a great time. If you are in the Birmingham area, come see us. You can come see us even if you AREN'T in the area.

One update: all of the green and pink and blue came out of the kids' hair after Crazy Day. 3 washings and we were good to go. For all of you who thought that was a picture of the kids after a week without Mom...well, those pictures were much worse. Unbloggable, even. We are so. glad. she's. home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crazy Day

Today was Crazy Day at Lily Kate's and Levi's school. Or, as we call it at the Cottrell house, just another day.