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.