Thursday, May 28, 2009

It Could've Been PANdemonium.

Sunday night, Angela offered me $1,000,000 to wash this pan.

She said if she had to do it again it might get ugly.

My least favorite chore? Similarly...loading the dishwasher.

What's yours?

PS - Angela wants me to ask if anyone has $999,000 she can borrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Concert in Raleigh This Friday

I just can't stay out of North Carolina. And there's a reason: it calls to my soul.

OK. Really, it called our booking number and so we have a concert this Friday night. If you are within driving distance to Raleigh, NC, come worship with us at Providence Baptist Church, Friday night at 7pm. Seth, Nirva, Lici and Julie will be with me, along with the awesome choir and band from Providence. It's gonna be fun.

I am actually there as part of a conference that the church is putting on. It's a tech music conference called Fusion, and you can find out more info here. If you serve in any capacity in the area of worship - tech-ish or otherwise, you should check it out. We were part of this conference once before, and it was really great. We are pumped about this weekend.

Come join us, Carolina friends!

Friday, May 22, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Angela and I headed off to Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago with Keith and Beth to be a part of the National Day of Prayer festivities with James and Shirley Dobson. We had a great time. It was fun to get away. Although, it probably wasn't very fun for the loved ones who were watching our kids cleaning up puke for about 24 hours while the flu ran through poor Lily Kate's system. And also, it's HARD to be away from your babies when they are sick. They are all better now (and have all officially had said flu).

We got there on Tuesday and headed straight for a tour of Mount Vernon. George's amazing view:

The back of his house (along with Beth's awesome assistant, Michelle):

We got a semi-private tour of the home. And our tour guide let us up to the very top of the house - a place that is not normally open to the public. Kind of like a lookout tower. And the view was beautiful.

We coudn't resist the photo op.

This is Angela trying to get down from the lookout tower, right after she threw her shoes down the stairs and scared the tour guide half to death.

We are nothing if not classy.

After the tour, we quickly changed clothes and headed to a banquet hall there at Mt. Vernon, for a nice dinner. This is where Angela and I got to meet the Dobsons for the first time.

By the way, when we arrived here for dinner, we were in a pretty small SUV. Our driver, Michelle, Keith and Beth, Angela and me. I was in the very, very, very back of the car. Which made me easy to forget. Which caused ALL of them (including my wife, not to mention my boss) to hop out of the car (in the pouring rain) and shut the car door behind them. Leaving me in the back of the car by myself. And unable to pop up the seat and get out. I was stuck. And they just got a BUG KICK out of the whole scene. Laugh it up, people. Yours is coming.

We had dinner. These were the friends at our table...which, by the way, was the hoppin'est table of the night. I'm sure the Dobsons were hoping for a hoppin' table.

After dinner, we heard a guy who taught us an amazing lesson on the beginnings of our country, and the spiritual legacy of George Washington. It was fascinating and extremely informative. I knew in that moment that the Lord was about to put a fire in me to pray for our country like I've never had. I also knew in that moment that I should've absorbed more history and less of The Jeffersons growing up.

The next day, Keith and Beth had some functions, but Angela and I didn't have to be anywhere until that evening. We stayed in our beautiful hotel. I went out for a while and walked around...we were in a beautiful part of the city. This is the view from our hotel room:

That night, we had a dinner and short program to pray for everyone who would be on the platform at the event the next day.

Here we are, along with the most patriotic balloons I have ever fellowshipped with:

Dr. Dobson interviewed Beth.

We were so thankful to get to meet Mrs. Vonnette Bright, wife of the late Dr. Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ), and pioneer in the National Day of Prayer history.

I also was ecstatic to meet Shaun Alexander, NFL running back and MVP. We traded workout tips. Except we didn't.

I sang a few songs, and we prayed. The prayers very impactful. It was a good night.

The next day began early. The official National Day Of Prayer festivities began at 9am at the Cannon House Building. It was a program filled with powerful prayers from very wise and important people...judges, generals, chaplains, congressmen and women, representatives. It was great.

When the brass quintet began playing, and the color guard made their entrance, the weight of the moment hit me, and I had to choke back the tears.

Mrs. Dobson was gracious and articulate warm and wonderful and can we please have Easter lunch at your house sometime?? Except I don't ever plan on exhibiting my parenting skillz in front of the Dobsons in this lifetime.

Beth, of course, BROUGHT IT.

After three hours of praying and singing and praying some more, we hopped on a plane and headed to Lancaster, PA for their NDOP celebration. As a side note, I was so excited about almost throwing up on the plane in front of all these people. It always thrills my soul to go grabbing for a barf bag in front of a crowd. It's always a joy.

This Lancaster crowd was AWESOME. 18,000 people showed up to pray for our country. 18,000! Their great NDOP choir and band were there ready for us. I was worried when I was planning the music with the choir director and event planner that we would have too much music. But I was WRONG. These people were ready to knock on the door of heaven with their worship. It was an unforgettable night. Hey, Lancaster peeps, we can't wait to see you again!

(As a worship leader, I try to never go anywhere without a point, a fist pump, and a sweater vest.)

It was a great day...a great 3 days, actually. I am very grateful to have been a part of it. And my fervor for praying for this land has been renewed. May God fill us with an abundance of grace, wisdom, discernment and compassion as we navigate our way as light in these darkening times.

May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You. (Psalm 33:22)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Papaw Is Ready For Idol

I'm feeling like a Papaw today because my doggone right knee is killing me. I'm not really sure why. And I so hate that these words are coming out of my mouth, but my right hip is hurting too. What in the heck? It snapped when we were leaving the Cracker Barrell tonight at 5:15.

Ok. That part isn't true. But it might as well be. To top it off, I watched just watched that Lawrence Welk Sketch from SNL, and it made me actually want to see The Lawrence Welk Show. I am disgusting myself.

So, who's ready for the Idol finale? I can't wait. It's been a great season. I can't remember if I have even blogged about Idol at all this time around. But the Cottrell household has been riveted. I think this might have been the best group of singers in the finals of all 8 seasons. Especially the guys. Anoop was an early favorite of mine from his first audition. So were Danny and Matt. I still think that Danny might be one of the best singers I have ever heard. Dadgum. He is great. I was shocked to see him go. Sort of. You gotta give props, though, to Adam and Kris. They went for it every single week. The girls were not so strong this year. Except for Allison, who grew on me as the season progressed. She is one heck of a good singer. When she has some maturity to add to the mix and depth of her talent, she will be amazing. And I love that she seems to be really unaffected by all of the hoopla...she still seems like a normal kid. With rock and roll hair.

I really hope Kris pulls out the win. I recognize that Adam has great vocal ability, but I am not a fan of his voice. I wasn't even a fan of that kind of voice when hair bands were big in the 80's. For crying out loud, I was buying sheet music to Running With The Night by Lionel Richie. I wasn't big on the 80's metal (although I do have a very faint memory of hanging out the window of my Subaru in 1987, riding home from Water Country with my friends, singing an ungodly Def Leppard song to the top of my lungs. I am not proud; I'm just sayin'. ). Kris' voice and artistry, on the other hand...he is AWESOME. Good grief, he has a great pop voice. Not extremely flashy, but great nonetheless. I will buy his record. And I will be voting tomorrow night.

I love that Kris made it to the finals, because the producers did not pick him to make it far at all, as you can tell by their early editing. Of course you know that they pretty much hand pick who we will vote for the most. They give all of their picks lots of camera time early on, and it's those very people that make it the farthest. They give us back stories and lots of one-on-one time with their chosen few, and those folks are ALWAYS the majority of the finalists. Never has a contestant that we did not have early camera time from made it to the finals. The closest we ever came was Elliot Yamin in season 5, who came in 3rd. I think the Kris phenomenon totally took them by surprise, because they had pushed Danny so hard from the beginning. I hate that they know how to manipulate us so well...but they do. Still, I enjoy the show. And I think it's going to be great tomorrow night. Expect the judges to call it overwhelmingly for Adam. And then expect Kris to win. Yesssss. I have my theory...and you probably have come to this conclusion, too...that everyone who likes Adam is already voting for Adam. But many people who were voting for Danny will now vote for Kris. will be interesting.

OK. Papaw's gotta hit the hay. After I take my Metamucil and set the VCR for Matlock, of course.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Seriously? Only 5 times since April 7??

Hey, friends. I hope you have had a good week. I am in Charlotte, NC. Actually, Concord, NC, which is a suburb of Charlotte. Mmm's good to be in the homeland. I am singing at Pitts Baptist Church this weekend. A couple of songs in the morning, and a concert with their choir tomorrow night. Julie, Seth and Nirva are also here singing with me. It's going to be a great night with NC friends. We start at 6pm...if you are in the area, come join us.

I was talking with one of my co-writer friends, Sue, this week (we have written a lot of songs together, like Alive Forever Amen, My Passion, This Is Our God, This Is The Day). I was lamenting to her that I have been a bad blogger recently. But then I let a snarky little comment slide out, saying something to the effect of at least I wasn't alone in being a bad blogger, because she had been a bad blogger too. Well, apparently this struck a nerve in Mrs. Smith, because she pointed out that I have only blogged 5 times since April 7. She has blogged 13 times since then. Ouch. Boom. Roasted. That one hurt. 5 times? Yikes. I have been baaaaaaad.

It's been a crazy busy season for us. I have been operating on minimal brain cells...I think I used them all in the making of this new live CD. I am starting to catch up. Plus...and this is kind of a confession...I have been spending my good blogging time on Twitter (come visit me at twitter). I'm sorry, TCM Blog...I shall not purposely neglect you any more.

I keep forgetting to mention this. My record label has teamed up with Worship Leader Magazine for a contest. Enter at my website to win free registration and airfare (that's awesome) to the National Worship Leader Conference, which will be July 20-23. This is a rocking conference. So many great worship leaders will be there - Paul Baloche, Tommy Walker, David Crowder Band, Michael W Smith, Mac Powell, Donnie McClurkin, and Christy Nockels, just to name a few. Go enter and maybe you will win! The contest ends sometime next week, so go over and enter today.

We have lots to talk about a certain TV show coming on on Tuesday. Sigh. See you soon.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Prayers Appreciated

Hey, friends...

Angela and I are heading to Washington, DC tomorrow for National Day of Prayer events. Beth is this year's honorary spokesperson for the National Day of Prayer. So she and Keith (along with the Dobsons) have graciously invited us to join them for ministry time. After a couple of days in DC, we will head to Lancaster, PA for an event Thursday night. We would so appreciate your prayers for us, for our ministry time to be focused, and for our kids while we are away.

Thank you!