Monday, August 29, 2005

home by rule of hurricane

The wet weekend finished well, though it was a miserable experience with United Airlines. Thankfully we made it to Mass. and back, which was in doubt before we left Nashville due to airline issues. I was with Little Big Town, and we played the Taste of the World festival near Springfield, MA. I have had so much fun with these guys, as the songs are pretty ingrained in my mind and I can just have fun playing the music each show.

We (the family) had a great trip to Chattanooga for a Friday night show with LBT, opening up for Clint Black. It was a nice breath from Nashville life, though we didn't get a chance to do much outside of walking around downtown. The highlight for Sam was that it was Harley weekend, with thousands of bikes filling the streets downtown. He loved watching the people and the action, listening to the pipes fire up and rumble down the road.

I was supposed to rehearse today and fly to Baton Rouge tomorrow with Andrew Osenga and friends for a show...unfortunately the hurricane had other ideas. Hopefully it will work out to play the rescheduled show, though I haven't heard yet. He writes some great songs, and I was really looking forward to this one.

Its Monday night, and I'm in the middle of the draft for my fantasy football league, 12 of us gathered around the draft board pouring over lists and numbers. I randomly selected a list at Football Docs, and picked according to their suggestions. I've used a little of my own thinking, but figured why not try an underground approach (everyone uses ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and such). We'll see how it plays out throughout the fall.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

not forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten my blog. Unfortunately I have just been very busy, and it has made writing sit closer to the backburner more than I like. Yesterday and today I've been working on a project with friends Matt "Fluffy" Stanfield, Ben Phillips, and Stephen Leiweke. Some groovy pop/rock of sorts. After a full day in the studio, I have a rehearsal with Little Big Town to prep for upcoming shows. Speaking of, tomorrow Cari, Sam and I will drive down to Chattanooga, TN for a day of fun and then an LBT show opening for Clint Black. I'm excited to play some more shows with them, as it is fun to play familiar songs and make them more our (the full band's) own. I'll be in and out of town a lot over the next 2 1/2 weeks, so God's grace and mercy will definitely be evident as everything holds together!

I've been writing another article for Relevant Magazine's 850 newsletter, which I will post in the next day or two. It seems to be a good summary of the past 8-9 months...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

busy week

Well, the weekend is here, and thankfully so! This week's activities included a couple of days in the studio, a full week of Blood:Water Mission work, and somehow squeezing in a fair amount of family time. I worked with Andy Osenga on a project he's producing, and with Mitch Dane producing Andy Dolson (artist from OH). Both were a joy, and opportunities to share the rhythm section with Paul Eckberg.

We are doing some suit shopping over the weekend, trying to avoid the 100+ degree temps as well as take care of a few things on the to-do list. I have some meetings and dinners coming up that call for nicer dress than I have in my we're trying to see what is out there (and there is plenty) and what will work. It was kind of shocking to see myself in a suit and tie! Of course the price tags can do that just as well.

I was reading in Psalms this morning and I kept seeing the phrase "steadfast love and faithfulness." But today the word before the phrase is what surprised me...MY--as in God's--steadfast love and faithfulness. He is faithful while we are not, and He loves completely while we are all over the map under the controls of selfishness and motivation. What good news indeed!

Monday, August 15, 2005

free gift

In Romans 5 we see the two adams portrayed...the first Adam had one act that brought death, the second, Jesus Christ, brought life (restored life) through one act. The Christian faith is distinguished from any other religion in that its God took on flesh, an Almighty God taking human form. Other religions may be ashamed of their god(s) for doing this, a disgrace to the throne. But God saw fit to form His creation out of nothing (the greatest artists still have no comprehension of the depth of this claim) and to place Himself in deep relationship with His creation. His is a kingdom of restoration and reconciliation, one that has a destination ahead.

Jesus' life, death, and resurrection have implications for those who have faith and believe. Our sins are placed on Jesus in THE sacrifice, and His righteousness is credited to us as we stand before God. We are much worse off than we imagined, yet we have received the gift of justification beyond our imagination. Over and over again we are told this is a free gift...because we immediately try to take credit for anything good on this earth (or we desire to make it so). We are no longer hopeless, seeking to live up to something we are not and never can be...indeed we have hope and rest in the hope of the claims of the Gospel.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

the river of busyness

I realized that it has been a week since my last entry...nothing wrong with that, of course, though it immediately raises the question internally of "What have I been learning in life?" For here I am able to reflect on events of the day or readings of the week, for my own benefit and perhaps the benefit of others. It is so easy to be carried down the river of busyness and never see beyond the riverwalls on either side.

Imagine floating down the Mississippi, but only seeing the immediate surroundings--the trees, cabins, animals--along the river. Now some may say there's not much to see for most of the way, but think of how many cities of various and distinct cultures lie close to the Mississippi: New Orleans, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, Davenport, Baton Rouge. Then consider rural life that fills most of the land surrounding the river. Suddenly this mighty river appears very closed and cut-off if you never take in the land and sights beyond.

Without turning into a navel gazer, taking stock and finding context in our lives is crucial. There we discover what we've been learning, we remember what is important, and we cling away from ourselves. We can actually care for the community around us because we are not too caught up in our own lives. And we can bring a deep breath to others, as we experience its contagious benefits.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Judgement and redemption

"He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord...their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more...I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord." Jeremiah 31:11-14

It does not take long to look at ourselves and the world around us and see brokenness. What hope is there if this proclamation of the Lord is not true? God is not disconnected from His people...He is so connected and passionate that He pays the ransom and makes redemption possible. The response of Israel is more than is complete joy and gladness, eyes turned away from self and to the Almighty God.

"Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities." Jeremiah 31:21

Perspective and context are vital components of faith. We are pilgrims, on a journey with a defined destination. Every experience is important in the overall journey, producing a deepening of the Gospel within the heart and a contagious overflowing of the Gospel into the world.

"I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Jeremiah 31:33

Just when we think it is up to ourselves to make things right with God and the world, we are humbled again and realize God is the source and His Spirit the mechanism. He changes our hearts and the way we see the world. He calls us, and He brings about faith within us. What more reason to rejoice and sing on the height of Zion, radiant over the goodness of the Lord.

Monday, August 01, 2005

LEAP in London

We have 5 members of City Church arriving in London today for the LEAP conference...London Evangelism and Prayer conference. They will be posting updates at, and please pray for them and check out their reports in this opportunity!

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