Friday, November 5, 2010

Peace Out

This video is wrought with irony.

Peace Out from Travis Cottrell on Vimeo.

Sibling peace. A work in progress.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Quick Message To Women's Ministry Leaders

This is really late notice. But I feel compelled to let you know about an event that is happening next week. It's the 2010 Notional Women's Leadership Forum. This is a training event for women who are in ministry leadership positions of any kind. It doesn't matter if you have 5 or 500 women in your ministry. If God has called you to facilitate ministry for women, this event will be AMAZING for you.

The event is next week, November 9-11, 2010 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC. My team and I will be leading the worship all three days. Beth Moore, as well as her daughter Melissa and son-in-law Curtis Jones will be speaking. There will be breakouts of all kinds, where you can focus your learning to fit your specific needs.

I really should have blogged about this sooner. I'm sorry I didn't. But if it's not too late, and this conference fits you, I hope you will make every effort to attend. You can find all of the information you need here.

Anybody out there already coming?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Any Given Tuesday

I love Tuesdays. On Tuesdays at about 4:00, my two youngest kids come to my office. They both have piano lessons at the church - one at 4 and one at 4:30. While Lily is in her lesson, Levi and I have fun time together (when he was 2 or 3, he called it "boyish" time. I still love to call it that). Then when Levi has his lesson, Lily and I have great Daddy/Daughter time.

These times almost always involve a golf cart and a Dr. Pepper.

Good grief. I love these little people.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This Week at Englewood

Can't wait for this Sunday!

Sunday morning's worship -
When Jesus Lifts The Load
All The Earth WIll Sing Your Praises
Our God
Hold Us Together
Message - Greater Things: Relationships That Matter (John 13:33-35)

Sunday evening's worship -
When I Think About The Lord
Jesus Is The Lord
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Message - Dr. Greg Thornbury - The Reformation

Carnegie Hall

I have been putting off blogging about Carnegie Hall for a week now. The whole experience is still simmering in my head and heart. And I'm certain my words and descriptions won't do the experience justice.

From beginning to end, the whole trip was nothing short of spectacular. I'm so beyond grateful to have been given this experience. And let's be clear: this is not how I roll. I don't jet up and sing at Carnegie Hall just any old time. Why I was allowed to, I don't know. Imagine Jethro Clampett being invited to speak at Harvard graduation. Bingo. You got the picture.

But I had SO MUCH FUN. The orchestra played exquisitely. The choir sang...well, they sang every way; powerfully, passionately, tenderly, beautifully. You all know how much of a choir lover I am. I wanted to turn around and watch them the whole night. But I restrained myself. Mostly.

And, Melinda Doolittle? World class, amazing singer. Humble and warm-hearted. Set apart.

We arrived the night before. Pictured below are my friends Daniel and Christy Semsen (they came all the way from L.A. for the concert. Daniel composed and orchestrated the overture, as well as wrote many of the choir charts for the concert.), my intern Bradford and my assistant Kimberly. We were ready for the adventure.

Some pictures of rehearsal:

And after rehearsal, we ate what I'm sure most people eat a couple of hours before singing there:

There's nothing natural about walking down the street and seeing this:

So we had to bring some reality to it:

Ready for the big night:

We are both sneaker kind of people. But we were both a little bit in pride over our shiny shoes.

Speaking of sneakers, Daniel called me 20 minutes before the concert to tell me he opened his shoe box to find this:

So, Nikes at Carnegie it is. Love it.

About 15 minutes before the show, a security guard brought a card to my door. As soon as I saw the handwriting on the envelope, I knew who it was from.

It was my mentor and "worship daddy," Dick Hill. He surprised me and came all the way from Houston to see the concert!

It was by far one of the most heart-warming surprises of my life. He is the best.

It was a beautiful night.

After the concert, we went on a boat ride on the New York Harbor with the whole choir - all 220 of them. It was a blast. And we had some amazing views.

Melinda and I got to drive the boat. Or at least look like we were.

Uh, yeah. Travis, Captain Stubing called. He wants his hat back.

This is what artists, assistants and interns look like after a day like that day:

We were happy. Exhausted, but happy. It was a moment in time I will never forget, and a moment for which I am very grateful.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Week at Englewood

Sunday morning's worship -

Come Lord Jesus
My Savior Lives
Be Thou My Vision
God of This City
Message - Greater Things in Worship (Eze. 37:1-14)

Sunday night - Great Things Harvest Celebration (I may or may not be present at some point in a dunking booth.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This Week At Englewood

Since I'm gone this weekend, my good friend David Moffitt will be leading worship at Englewood. What a privilege for us to have him with us! David is my long-time friend. We traveled together in college, like 3 years ago. Give or take a decade or two.

I've had the privilege of writing scores of songs with David...Jesus Saves, Your Word Is Life To Me, Alive Forever Amen (along with Sue C. Smith), and You Changed My Name, to name a few. I'm so glad my church family will get to meet him this Sunday.

Sunday morning's worship -
Alive Forever Amen
To Our God
Blood of Jesus Be My All
Fountain of Life
Just As I Am (Response / Invitation)
Message - The Road Less Traveled: Submission (Eph. 5:21)

Sunday night's worship -
Come, Lord Jesus
Sing to the King
How Great Is Our God
Hunger and Thirst
Message - Journey With Paul

I hope you have a great weekend.

This Weekend

I'm all packed.

I'm going to two of my very favorite places in the world this weekend, and they couldn't be more opposite. I'm heading first to the Blue Ridge Mountains - Ridgecrest to be exact - to lead worship for a Festival of Marriage. Ridgecrest is one of my favorite places in the world. It actually is where I first heard God begin to call me to ministry, when I was 15. This is a great event for married couples...I look forward to it every year.

While I'm there, I'm zipping up to Boone (remember - God's favorite place, where He gets His mail and all) for a book signing at The Cornerstone Bookstore.

The Cornerstone is one of the coolest Christian bookstores I've ever seen. And it just so happens to be in my hometown, where I grew up going to buy things like this:

And this:

And this:

I will be signing books 1:30-3:30 Saturday afternoon.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I'm heading to another one of my favorite places - New York City. Monday night is the big night of the concert at Carnegie Hall.

I'm pretty pumped about this concert.

I guess that makes three of my favorite places in the world in one weekend. Either way, I'm thankful to be alive and serving in the kingdom of God in this generation.

And I'm thankful that you are too. And I pray that no matter where you are this weekend, that you...that we...will all give way to the Spirit of God to teach us, encourage us, and use us to be passionate and authentic storytellers of God's amazing grace. Everywhere we go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Me: Lily, how was your class at church?
Lily: Great.
Me: What did you drink to get that big red moustache?
Lily (pauses to look in the car mirror): Oh my. I didn't know it was that sincere. It's tragical.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This Week At Englewood

Sunday morning's worship:
He Reigns
Hosanna (Praise is Rising)
Jesus Saves
Our God
Message - The Road Less Traveled: Simplicity (Luke 12:13-21)

Sunday night's worship -
Children's choirs singing (woo hoo!)
Also -
Made Me Glad
The Solid Rock
Message - Journey with Paul: Paul's Challenge to Spiritual Leaders (Acts 20:25-28)

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Friday Morning

I keep forgetting to tell you this. I'm going to be on American Family Radio tomorrow (Friday) morning. I am co-hosting from 8:45 until 9:30. And then I will be interviewed from 11 until 12.

I think they have 200 or so stations across the U.S. They are 88.7FM here in Jackson, TN.

After that, I'm heading out on a camping trip with my favorite cub scout: Levi Cottrell.

Have a great weekend!

I Met An Old Friend For The First Time

This morning I am heading home from a whirlwind trip to Lancaster, PA for the National Worship Leader's Conference. Great conference. The team and I continued our new pattern of coming in from different places, which still feels a little weird (most of them from Nashville, some from Orlando, me from Memphis). We used to all be in Nashville. God has been uprooting us all in different ways, and now we are coming from lots of different directions. Wherever we come from, it's always could to be with my ministry family. I love them.

I was excited to minister at the conference. I'm always pumped for the privilege to minister to worship leaders. Of course, in light of my new work at my new church, that kind of ministry has a whole new light shed on it.

I was also pumped about this trip because I got to meet this guy and his sweet wife. I met Adam through his blog a few years ago. He and Karen blogged very transparently and powerfully about their sweet son, Gavin, and his struggles with Mitochondrial disease. Angela and I prayed often for Gavin and for them, as I know many of you did. I blogged about them, and received many sweet comments from you about praying for them. After a brave battle, Gavin went to be with Jesus last November.

Anyway, after a couple of years of communicating with Adam through blogs and tweets, I finally got to meet them both face to face.

We had a great visit. After the first few weird moments of sitting and talking with someone you know but you don't really know, we ended up talking like old friends. I got to hear about their sweet 6 year old, Madi. And they also shared their amazing story of their process to adopt a child from the foster care system, with special needs. What an amazing testimony these people have!

What a strange world we live in. How cool it is to be able, through these insignificant blogs and tweets and blah blah blah, to be able to meet all kinds of people...pray for encouraged by them...laugh with them. And in those seasons when we find ourselves on a road marked with suffering, to know there is a community of friends out there knocking on the door of heaven on your behalf...that's pretty great.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Living Proof Live Lowell / Boston

Living Proof Live - Lowell MA from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Random Phone Pics: Chicago Edition

This was the sink in my hotel room in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. I had to call the front desk to find out how to unstop it.

This is one of my all-time favorite dudes, Andy League. He was in my youth choir when I was serving at Two Rivers years ago. He just finished his Masters of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological University (some church needs to snatch him up...they will be glad they did), and currently lives in Chicago. I got to visit with him while I was there. Refreshed my soul to see him all grown up as a full-of-faith man of God.

It also refreshed my soul to eat this pizza with him.

Seth and Nirva on the walk back to the hotel from sound check. Looking cool crossing the street.

But he wasn't so cool trying to take the picture of Andy and me.

Not Chicago related, but I feel the need to share. My Appalachian State sticker on the back of my car has seen better days. Time for a new one. Can a fellow Mountaineer help a brother out?

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Sunday at Englewood

Sunday morning's worship -
Made To Worship
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
At The Cross (Response / Invitation)
Message - The Road Less Traveled: Service (John 13:1-17)

Sunday night's worship -
I Will Sing of My Redeemer
Mighty To Save
Message - Journey With Paul: Men Who Turned The World Upside Down (Acts 17:15)

Tick tock...Sunday's coming...can't wait...have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Thursday Randomness

1. I love Wednesdays. One reason I love them is because I love band practice and choir practice at church. Wednesdays are good. That's all.

2. Yesterday was no exception, although I did have to go to two places that aren't exactly bucket list places on any given Wednesday. I had to take my car to the garage (although that wasn't so bad, because I got some unplanned visit time with a buddy and some biscuits and gravy at Mrs. Winners beside the garage). And I also had to take an unexpected trip to the doctor. As we were talking and eating our (very delicious) biscuits and gravy, I began to have a pain in my left ear that rendered me unable to talk or even move my head. My buddy said he watched my countenance change as my eyes began look like a dude who was in pain. And I was. I tried to pull my ear off because I thought I was dying, but it wouldn't come off. So I called an ENT and they were able to see me right away. It wasn't an was one of a couple of things...still not quite sure. But I loved this doctor and am thankful for the treatment and diagnosis he gave me.

Since I know you're wondering, I was indeed able to finish my biscuits and gravy.

3. It's amazing to me how easily the weather can affect my mood. Seriously, this time of year makes me crazy with happiness.

4. Speaking of crazy with happiness, I'm heading to Boston tonight for our Living Proof conference this weekend. I don't think I've ever been to Boston. I can't wait! Boston in the fall...isn't there a song about it?

Anybody out there coming to LPL Boston this weekend?

I just checked the weather for Boston tomorrow: high of 71. I fear I may embarrass my loved ones with my giddiness at some point today. Or tomorrow. Or any day, really.

5. Spirit Week at my kids' school this week. Monday was 80's Day (which, according to my iPod, is any day).

Who are these children who are ready to mug for the camera so early in the morning??? Their mother's influence, obviously. :-)

6. Here's a good word for us all today:

Psalm 25:9 - He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Oh Lord, lead us today. We trust in YOU.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Portion of My Life Is Brought to Me By The Word SURPRISE.

So, my wife got in cahoots with the worship staff at my church today. They surprised me with a Book Release Day Surprise Party. Again, as always, I was clueless. Walked right by this door of the normally-empty extra office before the party and didn't even see it:

I'm sharp, let me tell you. Nothing gets by me.

They had's Chicken...strawberry cake...Dr.

Popeye's Chicken, I said. My wife knows my love language.

It was a room full of happy. That's what it was.

Here's Mr. Dorky McClueless walking in:

I bet Max Lucado doesn't get Popeye's on his release days. So there.

The strawberry cake was a conduit of the glory of God.

I even got presents.

I'm so thankful for the sweet people in this picture...and so many more, who have made me feel so special this week and always. Thank you so much!