Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas

My gift to you, my blog family, this Christmas.

Oh, yeah baby.

Now that's a gift that will keep on giving.

Merry Christmas!

My Kids' Favorite Ornaments

Ok. This is it. After this, I'm shutting up about the ornaments. I've officially driven myself crazy.

My kids wanted me to tell you their favorite ornaments.

This is Lily Kate's favorite. Ballet shoes.

Levi's favorite - a picture of Flash during his first Christmas.

Yes. It says Top Dog. And yes, he is wearing an elf collar. Leave me alone.

This is Jack's favorite - Buzz Lightyear. I couldn't get high enough to get a great picture. We put him near the top of the tree every year. I'm not sure why. I think maybe we think he is going to keep the galaxy known as our Christmas tree safe from Zurg and any other predators.

This is Angela's favorite ornament.

She bought it back when we were first married. She brought it home from a business trip in Santa Fe. It's a picture of a small home or something. You put a Christmas tree light inside the ornament and it lights up. Kind of like what happens to a room when she walks in. :-)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Ornament Of The Day #7

Merry Christmas everybody! I've been a little absent this week. I know I don't have to explain the busyness of Decembers to you. Regular life + Christmas tour = sparse blogging. Sparse a lot of stuff, actually. Like Christmas shopping. And call returning. And fellowshiping. But it's all good. I am thankful that busy doesn't have to mean overwhelming or hard. It can be good, too.

This weekend of Christmas tour has been eventful. The bus left Franklin Wednesday night at midnight. We had a (very fun) concert at Westover Church in Greensboro, NC Thursday night. After the concert, Stephen (my friend and our video guy - called a VJ) hopped in a rental car and drove to The Cove because I had a concert Friday night. The rest of the tour peeps headed back to TN for a day off.

Stephen and I didn't get to The Cove until around 1:30am Friday morning. We got there, of course, after a stop for some NC goodness:

Eat great. Even late.

The next morning, we awoke at The Cove to the phone ringing about 10am. It was the folks at The Cove telling us we were going to have to cancel the concert because of snow.

Snow? We hadn't even looked out the window. Low and behold:

Yep. It had snowed. I was really sad that they had to cancel the concert. But I knew they knew best. So we sat and stared at the snow for a while. Then we got another call from The Cove people. They said that we probably needed to head off the mountain, because the roads were getting pretty bad. So we hopped in our trusty Dodge Challenger rental car...

...praying it was up to the challenge.

It was. It got us back to Greensboro. And the snow allowed us the opportunity to squeeze a 2 1/2 hour trip into 5 1/2 hours. The bright spot was getting to stop and have an impromptu lunch in Hickory with my sister Kathy.

Fun times. We laughed a lot at lunch. And one of the things we laughed about was how she was confused about where to look when an iPhone is taking a picture. I think she was off by just a little. :-) And by the way, look and see how the snow looks gray when stuck to the side of my head! Weird how that happens.

So, no concert tonight at The Cove. But Cindy and Shaun and I will be back in action for the Gloria tour tomorrow night in Wilson, NC. Looking forward to it.

I'm supposed to be talking about an ornament or something, aren't I? I'm running out of ornaments. But I want to talk about this:

This stuff came from my Christmas tree from when I was growing up. My mom bought it with her own sweet hands. It has the music to Joy To The World on it. I love it. Angela loves it too.

My mom loved Christmas. And she loved decorating the tree. Sweet mom. This is Christmas #6 without her on this earth. I imagine she's watching a re-run of the actual Christmas Story footage right about now. And I bet it's on a dadgum big IMAX screen to end all screens. I wonder if she's asking Mary if she's ever seen her Joy To The World garland.

I bet not. But I bet she is singing about the wonders of His love.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ornament Of The Day #6

Because every season is a season for disco.

(And it even turns.)

Expressing your Christmas groove is important.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ornament Of The Day #5

Angela and I went to Israel for the first time back in 1996. Lots of amazing things happened while on that trip...wonderful life-long relationships made, huge prayers answered, special memories made.

When we were in Bethlehem (it feels so weird saying that), we bought a bag of hundreds of these little Christmas tree ornaments made out of olive wood (sorry for the blurry photos). They are all over our tree, and remind us of that trip that the Lord used in so many ways in our lives.

Crazy. The Savior of the world. Born in BETHLEHEM.


Take it in. Unto YOU was born that day. A SAVIOR.

I sure did/do need a Savior. How about you?

Have you thanked Him today?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ornament(s) Of The Day #4

Three of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever honored us with. We are pretty smitten with these three.

P.S. - It is no small feat that those peppermint candies have lasted on that frame. It's a Christmas miracle, I'd say.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deeper Still Oklahoma City

DeeperStill Oklahoma City from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Random Pics Day

More random cell phone pics...

A couple of weeks ago, some nice folks came to our concert who used to go to my home church back when I was a little boy. They brought the church directory from back then for me to see. This is my family, circa 1976. Nice tie.

My children. Sigh. Sometimes a sugar addiction will make you desperate for ANY kind of sugar. Found this under the sofa cushions. (Also: Angela would like for me to say that she bought this couch at the goodwill for $10. She brought it home and literally hosed it down with the garden hose in the driveway. Sometimes she deals with bargain shopping pride.)

My morning coffee in my favorite morning mug. Gratefulness overtook me and I took a picture of it.

A snapshot of the "glamourous" life of a bible study teacher. In Springfield, IL. We couldn't get in the door. :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ornament Of The Day #3

School spirit on our Christmas tree. GO APP!

Ornament Of The Day #2

Today's Ornament Of The Day comes to you courtesy of my childhood. I didn't own this ornament when I was a kid. But it's from my favorite childhood book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I always loved this book. I even wrote a song in one of my theory classes in college with the lyrics (a song you will never hear, by the way).

My wife and kids all love it, too.

From there to here, from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.

A wise doc is he. :-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gloria Christmas Tour

Our GLORIA Christmas Tour starts tonight! Come join Cindy Morgan, Shaun Groves and myself tonight at First Baptist Church Minden, LA. We can't wait!

The rest of the tour schedule looks like this:

Thursday, December 10: Lexington, KY - Immanuel Baptist Church
Friday, December 11: Wingate, NC - Lee Park Baptist Church
Saturday, December 12: Jacksonville, FL - San Jose Baptist Church
Sunday, December 13: Fayetteville, GA - McDonough Road Baptist Church
Thursday, December 17: Greensboro, NC - Westover Church
Friday, December 18: Asheville, NC - And Evening At The Cove with Travis Cottrell (Travis only - no Gloria Tour) - The Cove (sold out)
Saturday, December 19: Wilson, NC -Raleigh Road Baptist Church
Sunday, December 20: Crestwood, KY - Crestwood Baptist Church

Hope to see you along the way!

Praying for all of us to find ourselves in awe of the One True Living God today. Have a great one!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ornament Of The Day #1

Angela and I love Christmas. We are one of the obnoxious ones whose Christmas tree is up by Thanksgiving every year. My wife is very gifted at decorating a Christmas tree. She uses a lot of lights. I have always told her that they could see our tree from the space station. (HAHA...just kidding, baby.)

So, Angela had an idea to blog an Ornament Of The Day every day of December. Well, it's now December 5th...I wasn't so much on top of things to get started on the 1st. But here we go. Better late than never.

We are pretty emotionally attached to every ornament on the tree. Sentimental are we. We don't have expensive ornaments. Just special ones. Lots of construction paper, glue and Kodak paper are represented on our tree. And lots of ones that have been with us forever.

Today's is a no-brainer. It is special for obvious reasons.

Sixteen Christmases with the most beautiful woman I've ever laid my eyes on. That's why I love that ornament.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It Was Joy of Titanic Proportions

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was active but restful at the same time. Does that make any sense? We had lots of people in and out of the house all weekend, and had a great time. I have some pics I'll post later.

I gotta say...the very best part of the weekend was taking my boys to the Titans game on Sunday. It was Levi's first time to go. A friend of mine from church was getting rid of three tickets. And since it's so rare that I am home on a Sunday afternoon, I jumped at the opportunity to go. It was especially awesome because we were playing the Arizona Cardinals. Kurt Warner is one of my all-time favorite athletes, and I wanted to see him play live before he retires. So it was a no-brainer. We had to go.

We had a top-ten day. The Cottrell boys made some doggone memories. Even though Kurt Warner didn't play because of a concussion. Concussion schmucshmushion.

Here we are getting ready to hike over the Shelby Street bridge to the stadium (I think it's the Shelby Street bridge. I do know that it is in fact a bridge.).

We were in awe over how good our seats were. I have never not been in the nose bleeds at a Titans game. Sweet.

Pre-game endzone prayers from the Cardinals. Maybe they should've prayed longer. :-)

Michael W. Smith sang the national anthem. And then broke into Friends right afterwards. Kidding.

It was an amazing game. Major heroics by Mr. Vince Young.

Post-game prayer time center field for both teams.

Happiness after previously mentioned major heroics.

I wish I would have taken pictures of everything we ate. But I think I didn't want such evidence in existence for a healthy mom or a potentially jealous sister to see. Needless to say, I think Levi knew a game was going on. But I'm positive he knows EVERYTHING you can possibly eat at an NFL game.

These kids. I sure do love 'em.