Friday, November 24, 2006

A Time to Give Thanks

We've come to that time of year, again, where we take some time to list things for which we are thankful. Well, I'm thankful for my family and my friends. I'm especially thankful for my "second family," the Fowlers. I've known them for 6 years now. From the first time I met them they made me feel like I belonged with them and I now try to set aside one holiday each year to spend with them.

This year, we went to Papa Mike's (Fowler) parents' home with the rest of that side of the family. Pop Pop asked us all to share (if we wanted to) the person who has influenced us the most in our lives. I had just gotten off the phone with my biggest influence when it came to be my turn. I kinda had a hard time naming my influence and expounding upon the subject because I don't know that I'll have that person around too terribly much longer. You see, my dad is my greatest influence and I believe he's nearing the last seasons of his life. He's been an inspiration for me for a very long time, but not only for me. He has reached countless numbers of people for the sake of Christ and still has a strong impact on so many. His quiet confidence and pleasant demeanor, along with his soft-spokenness, are all traits that I have tried to mimic in my life. I also picked up his love for good story-telling, and his stubbornness along the way. He's one of the most patient and resilient men I've ever met and I hope I can be like him when I grow up. He's a great man and it will be sad when it's his time to go home, but I'm ready to celebrate his life now and later on. Therefore, I hereby proclaim that B.C. Brannon is the most influential person in my life. I hope you take some time to figure out who's been influential to you and, if you have the means, tell them about it.

Peace, love, and Chocolate

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Joys of Traveling

So I'm sitting in the Amarillo airport waiting for my flight to take off and I'm tired. It's a good tired, though. I mean, it stinks that my flight was delayed 3 hours and I'll make it to Phoenix at 3:15 PM instead of 11:25 as per the original plan, but that's not my fault and I can't do anything about it. Apparently, there has been lots of bad weather in Houston and our flight crew got into Amarillo way late last night which has pushed our departure time back to 11:00 instead of 8:00 (which is part of why I'm so tired). I got here in time to catch an 8:00 flight but, since I have no transportation and it's really way too early in the morning to call a friend for breakfast...and they wouldn't want to drive all the way out to the airport, I'm just sitting here, a little bored and a lot frustrated. I don't guess I'm so much frustrated about arriving so early, or even about my flight being late. I'm frustrated because the Enemy has it out for me...especially when I travel. I have been on more trips that have gone wrong than I care to remember and the majority have been within the last year.

It all started with Japan. We had just returned to Nashville (on a Monday night) from my second trip with Acappella. We left our equipment trailer in a church parking lot since we didn't have an adequate place to store it at the time. That Wednesday was our next scheduled rehearsal day. When we showed up at the alotted time, the trailer was gone. All of our sound and lighting equipment, some clothing, some personal items (Zac's backpack) and our "livelyhood" had been taken away from us by a "theif in the night." Needless to say, we were all pretty bummed. We had to scramble to purchase enough equipment to take to Japan by Thursday of the next week (thanks for all your hard work, dedication, know-how, and faith, Gary!). That was just the beginning of my problems.
I came home to Texas that weekend to pick up a lot of my stuff and take it back to Nashville. What a surprise it was when I arrived in Canyon that Saturday night expecting to find my passport and, instead, finding a letter from the passport agency stating that I had overpaid and that I would need to send two more forms of identification as well as another check for the correct amount. (One would think that they would send the passport with a refund check, wouldn't one? As I found out, one would be wrong.) Oh boy, scramble time! That Monday, I spent virtually all day getting the right information together, putting an overnight mail package together (including an overnight envelope addressed to my Nashville address), making phone calls, begging and pleading for my passport to be processed and sent to me so I could leave for Japan that Thursday. I drove back to Nashville on Tuesday, on the phone the majority of the 14 hour trip...with people and with God! We had at least half a dozen federal officials involved, including Kay Bailey Hutchinson from Texas and Bill Frist from Tennessee, yet the results were consistent. "There is no way we can get your passport to you in time. You're going to have to miss your trip. I'm sorry." All day Wednesday was the same thing. Same conversations, same results, same frustration, same faith. We kept praying and praying and praying.
Thursday morning we left for the airport. I was going with the guys so I could take the van back to the studio and look for a job over the next two weeks. Just for fun, I called the passport agency and asked about the status of my passport, thinking I might be able to catch a later flight and still do most of the concerts. (This is the cool part.)

"Hi. I'd like to find out about the status of my passport application..."
"What's your name?"
"Robin Brannon."
"...It looks like it was processed at 3:09 yesterday afternoon and put in the mail at
8:00 PM."
"It should arrive at the Goodlettsville post office at 8:30 this morning."
"It should arrive at the Goodlettsville post office at 8:30 this morning."
" time is it now?"

God is pretty cool, huh?

There are many other stories I want to share, and I will later. I don't want to give it all away right now. I won't have anything left if I do...okay, maybe I will. Anyway, I said all that to say "I've had worse."

It's almost time for me to head toward the gate. Peace, love, and big Chocolate blessings to you and yours today and always!

Oh, did I mention that our international flight left at 10:30?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Your Opinion Matters

I received a comment on my previous blog that kinda disturbed me. The comment basically went contrary to everything the blog said. If you haven't read it, I recommend that you do, so you can fully understand the comment. This person said, in a nutshell, that people in higher governmental positions should not profess their faith. I beg to differ. I feel that political figures who proclaim the name of Jesus in their daily lives have just as much right as anyone else to share their faith in the workplace. It just so happens that their workplace is one of publicity and many will hear the message. Whether they will listen, or not, is a different story. Their decision to get angry because of the truth someone else was bold enough to tell could be a reaction to the Word pricking them in the heart. Just know that we must be ready. God's wish for us is that "every knee will bow and every tounge will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." Don't hate the messengers. We're just doing our job. If you're going to hate, hate the Deceiver who fills our world full of lies and wickedness. The same lies and wickedness that the brave politician from Kansas denounced will be the demise of this old world. I can't wait until we leave this world behind and move on to the Great Beyond! I'll see you there!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bold Words: Follow the Leader

I got this incredible profession of faith from a friend of mine from Texas. This is the type of person I aspire to be, but often find myself lacking the courage to do so. It is my prayer that we all will learn from this and make the proper adjustments in our lives to become more bold so that the truth, grace, love, and power of God will shine brighter than ever through us. He is the only one who can fix our broken lives and our world that is steeped in peril. Check this out and see if you can learn something valuable from it.

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people. When Minister *Joe Wright* was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, *'Woe to those who call evil good,'* but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have *exploited the poor* and called it the *lottery.* We have rewarded laziness and called it *welfare*. We have *killed our unborn* and called it *choice*. We have *shot abortionists* and called it *justifiable*. We have *neglected to discipline our children* and called it *building self esteem*. We have *abused power* and called it *politics.* We have *coveted our neighbor's possessions* and called it *ambition*. We have *polluted the air* with *profanity* and *pornography* and called it *freedom of expression*. We have *ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers* and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest! In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord's help , may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm Not Dead Yet!

So, for those of you who have been wondering why I haven't posted in a while, I'm really not sure. I've had a lot going on in my life lately. I guess I could write about everything that's been happening. That's a start.

Let's see, the road has been interesting. We're just getting to the point where our schedule is starting to regulate itself. This is possibly the first time since I moved to Tennessee that I feel fairly confident in my schedule. I know that I'm out of town most weekends and in town during the week, which is what we were supposed to have been doing since some time last year. It's nice to feel somewhat normal for once! This summer has been travel-crazy, though. Since our northwest tour, we've performed in Tennessee (four times), Kentucky, Arkansas (three times), Texas (and headed back soon...giddyup!!!), New York state (not the city, unfortunately), and West Virginia, as well as a much-needed break during 4th of July week. Lots of traveling in a short amount of time. That's what we do!

I've made a lot of new friendships and relationships recently. I've also been able to catch up with some old, dear friends. Praise God for that! In the midst of all the joy I've found in my friends and great relationships, I've had a lot of bad junk going on as well. Last week is a prime example. I have been dealing with all kinds of problems over the last month or so, and last week, they all started to cave in on me. First, my truck broke down. I haven't gotten it fixed yet but I hope to do so very soon. Then, I had to deal with more financial woes, partially because of the truck, partially because of other junk I can't even talk about. I had to go to a doctor on Thursday (with no insurance) because of a very infected rash on my arm that had begun to spread all over my body. He thinks it's either viral or bacterial but I haven't heard back from him yet. That's scary. It's getting better now, thanks to the stuff he gave me to put on it, but it's not over yet. Pray for me!

To top it all off, I spoke with my dad for the first time in a while and he gave me all kinds of bad news. He told me about having to drive to San Antonio, which is about 9 or 10 hours away from his home, to visit his brother who just had another heart attack. On his way there, he was pulled over for running two stop signs he didn't see. After his visit, he stopped to see a friend and got lost heading home. He ended up way out of his way (Hamilton, TX) and had to figure out how to get home. It was getting late and he was getting very tired. Sometime late that night, he got pulled over again! This time, the officer asked him how much he'd been drinking! He was so exhausted but he still had to keep driving. He finally stopped around dawn some time at my uncle's house. After sleeping for a few hours, he got up and started driving again. He had to make it home for a funeral. He was still an hour late.

The funeral was for my step-neice, Leandra, who was murdered by an unknown shooter. She lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area but her body was found in New Orleans stripped of all identification and, I'm sure, money or anything of value. She was only 25 years old. Our family was rocked by this information, especially my step-sister, Kay, Leandra's mother. Please pray for my family as we grieve.

So, there's a look at my life as of late. Kinda crazy but that's the way it goes. I've been trying to make some big changes in my walk with Christ. Just when I get to my most vulnerable state is when the enemy attacks. I bet it's like that for everybody. When we're trying to do God's will things start going wrong by our standards. By God's standards, when we do his will, things work out for us on an eternal level. May your walk be blameless and pure as you strive to stay in His grip. Blessings until next time!!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

James 5:16 - The Pain of Reality

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Before I write the rest of this blog, I want to thank each of you who read/have read what I have to say and are thoughtful enough to leave me encouraging messages and comments. It truly means much to me to know that people actually care about the dribble that comes out of my brain. Thank you so much.

Now, it's time to get down to business. This is probably the toughest blog I have written and may be the toughest I'll ever write. If you've ever had an experience that made you change the way you think, speak, or live your life, you'll understand where I'm coming from. We just came back from the North American Christian Convention in Louisville, KY. The convention gave me one of the biggest reminders/wake-up-calls/reality checks I've had in the longest time. You see, the constant, underlying theme of the convention was unity. It was mainly about church unity but the thing that got to me, much more than church unity, was something that Jeff Walling (preacher in Charlotte, NC) said. He was talking about "Sunday clothes." You know what I'm talking about. We put on our best faces when we're around "people who matter" but as soon as we're alone or around the people closest to us, that's when we get real. That's when all the ugly comes out. That's when we start talking badly about people, going places we have no business going, being who we really are...ugly, rude, mean, selfish, bitter, lonely, unhappy, pitiful people. Take me for example. I'm in a semi-high-profile position among Christian music listeners and supporters. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to travel across the country and around the world proclaiming the good news of Christ and his love for me. I get to see so many great places, meet unbelieveable people, eat incredible food and be treated like one of the most important people in town for different periods of time. It's great. All I have to do is act like a good Christian guy and it's all good. Here's the problem, folks. I mess up every day and I don't know how to stop. I want to share something with you that I wouldn't normally share but it needs to be said. I AM A SINNER AND A MESS!!! I wouldn't want anyone to live this mess that I call a life. I've screwed that up plenty well, thank you. The thing with which I am struggling the most at the moment is gossip. To some, that doesn't sound too terrible but it is devastating to me. When you hear rumors about yourself, especially rumors that are untrue, you get upset and take offense. When you hear rumors about yourself, especially when they are true, you feel betrayed and your reputation is ruined. Now, let's turn that around. When you're talking trash about people, you're ruining their reputation. You're betraying their trust. You're losing what could be a dear and valuable relationship. STOP IT!!! It's not worth the pain to talk mess about folk. If I were to talk trash about you, you wouldn't be reading what I'm writing. We probably wouldn't be considered friends, would we? We need each other more than ever so that we can stand up for what is right. There is strength in numbers. I know that I can't improve my attitude or my actions without help. But understand this. GOD LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE WAS WILLING TO SUFFER MORE THAN ANY OF US EVER COULD, AND GIVE UP HIS SON'S LIFE SO WE COULD HAVE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE. It's called grace. Without his grace, I am nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing. I am a dead, useless, lifeless, waste of space. God doesn't have to have me living on this earth. He wants me living on this earth so I can make him proud. The same goes for you. We are here for God's pleasure, not for his pain. Therefore, let's learn how to live our lives the right way. Whatever junk you're dealing with in your life, there is no better time than the present to let God clean it up. We're at the prime of our lives. Not because of our ages nor the stage we are currently in, but because there is no time like the present to make a change in our lives in order to please God. I'm on my knees begging you (I wish you could see me right now) to open your heart to what the Lord has to offer you. His grace is true, his power is immeasurable, and his love is unconditional. Whatever you're going through or have been through can be taken away and you can have a fresh start if you simply ask God. Talk to him. He's waiting to hear from you. When you do, would you pray for me too? I need it desperately. In the same way, I'll pray for you. That's what our calling is, no matter our profession. Again, I end up talking to myself. I think there's a pattern here. Blessings!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Big Ron: The Man, The Myth, The Legend (as seen on myspace)

I remember growing up in Texas with my family. I was blessed to have a mom and dad who took care of me and showed me love in ways that some kids unfortunately never experience. I also had a brother around for the first 8 years or so. Ron Williams was born 10 years and 3 days before me and, when I was growing up, he was about 10 times bigger than me. He taught me about life in the real world. He had some interesting ways of doing that, though. Sometimes he'd share great music with me (Run DMC, Aerosmith, The Fat Boys, Prince, AC/DC, Sugar Hill Gang, Ready for the World, etc), sometimes he'd pick on me and make me defend myself (that's how I learned the phrase "They're just jealous."). Sometimes he'd have to babysit me while my folks were out of town, so he'd make me take responsibility for myself by doing extra chores (mine and his). He went off to college when I was 9 and we started seeing less and less of each other. It was while he was away that I began to realize how much of a hero he was to me. By his example, he showed me how cool it could be to be a Christian and to be unashamed of it. He would "encourage" his friends and teammates (he was a lineman on a football scholarship) to go to church with him. There weren't many people at that church (or at that school) but he always had at least one guest with him. I'd go and visit some weekends and I'd go with him to round up friends to go to worship assembly. He'd bang on their dorm room doors with his humongous hands or kick the door with his size 17 foots and make sure those guys got to the building on time. The epitome of boldness.

He moved to California right after he graduated from college (that's where he was born and lived his first 8 years on Earth, and where our Gram lived). He had to return to Texas only a couple of months after he left so he could attend our mother's funeral. She lost her battle with breast cancer on September 17th, 1989, which was one of the last times Ron was in Texas. After that, I had to go to California if I wanted to see him. Fortunately we'd go every summer to visit and we had some great times together. He showed me the meaning of pure, unadulterated, heart-felt worship. I don't remember ever hearing him sing softly, especially in a church setting. He was the first to start calling me "Rob" on a regular basis, which is why I still go by that name. He also taught me that it was okay to wait a little while to get married. He was 28 when he got married and he started having kids soon afterward. The rest of my brothers (and my dad) got married in their early 20's or late teens. He showed me that people are just people, no matter who or where they are. I remember this one time when I went to visit him and his family. We were driving to his house from the airport and stopped at McDonald's drive-thru to grab a quick bite of dinner. When we pulled up to the window, he spoke to the guy serving us like he spoke to me, his brother. They had never met before but Ron treated him like they were lifelong friends. Ministry in action.

Ron had been my counselor at church camp, my teacher of life skills, and my best friend. He was the one I always called when I needed a boost. He always seemed to know just the right thing to say to make my day go better, or to motivate me to be the man I've been called to be. On March 28th, 2003, God decided that Ron had served his time here on Earth and took him Home. His body left but his spirit remains strong in everyone he came across. You can see him in his daughters, Shinarri and Bethany, his wife, Melissa, his sister, Rahnee, and her daughters, Sumaya, Miriam, Corrine, and even baby Felicity (the ones in the picture with me...that I can't get to load...long story...maybe later). You can see him in his former students/youth groupers. You can see him in his friends and family. You can see him in me, especially when I'm on stage.

I write this on this day because this is the day he was supposed to turn 40. I always envisioned us growing older and our kids playing together while we sat on the front porch and talked about old times. I guess that won't happen in this life but I have the feeling that anything is possible in Heaven.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Brilliant, Bloody Brilliant: A Magic Moment from Colorado

If you love food like I do, you'll love this post. Growing up with a southern family, I learned at an early age the significance of gravy (if you don't like gravy, I'm not talking to you...and shame on you). It's a well-known fact (and should be a law) that gravy makes the world go round...figuratively speaking, of course. You can put gravy on most anything and improve the quality of the dish tenfold. That's the nature of gravy. Its function, if you will. Gravy is good. Then, if you add stuff to said gravy, like meat, the improvement is improved tenfold, making for some serious improvement. It's magical, really.

For the past several years, I've prided myself in making really good breakfast burritos. I have a certain recipe I created by experimentation (and I change it pretty much every time I make the burritos). Usually, when people eat my breakfast burritos, their taste buds are satisfied and they become closer friends with me...or at least they want to. I mean, what's better than eggs, bacon, chorizo, and cheese wrapped in a tortilla? Not much, I should guess (if you don't like breakfast burritos, I'm not talking to you either...and again, shame on you).

Now, imagine this scenario. Let's say we have 2 guys who are roommates and they are eating breakfast together one fine spring morning. We'll name one Fred and the other Earl. I don't know why Fred and Earl, but I also don't know why it has to be a fine spring morning, so it doesn't really matter, does it? Anyway, Fred has a tasty breakfast burrito and Earl is enjoying some biscuits and sausage gravy. They both want to eat each other's food but they want to eat their own as well. They both have a little left over (big breakfast) so Earl gets the bright idea, or maybe it was Fred, to pour some of the gravy on the burrito. BRILLIANT!!! You've got your breakfast burrito that tastes great alone. You've got your gravy that, as I stated earlier, makes the world go round. Putting these two elements together has just unleashed a new breakfast beast that cannot, and will not, be tamed. Thank you Fred and Earl!

How do I know so much about this magical concoction? Because I witnessed its power firsthand. We ate breakfast at Lois' Place in Grand Junction, CO. It was there that I partook in the goodness that is the Country Burrito. I was so awestruck I couldn't sit still. I went on and on about the plate of magic I was eating until I succeeded in annoying everyone within a 10 ft. radius. I didn't care, though. The world needed to know about the taste enlightenment I was experiencing. That's why I wrote this blog. I felt like I needed to continue sharing the joy I had. I will continue to share it with all who will give an ear. It's that important to me. Maybe you can experience it too. Or maybe you already have and you haven't told me about it yet. If you're that person, once again, shame on you!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Play Time, Kids!

Hey everybody! As you may or may not know, Acappella has released our latest album, Radiance. This album features cool songs like "All Men Will Know", "Be Devoted", and our new radio single, "Lord, Save Me." This is where you come in. If you like Acappella (or any other Christian music) and you listen to Christian radio, or even if you don't listen to Christian radio, call your local Christian radio station and request the song "Lord, Save Me" by Acappella (from Radiance). This is a great opportunity to help our ministry and stir up a new buzz about us. Let's see how many times we can get the song played in your area. As always, your prayers are welcomed, encouraged, and urgently needed. Thanks and blessings! Rob

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Just a quick note to ask you all to pray for my dad. I spoke with him earlier tonight and, when I asked how he was feeling, he said "I'm suffering." It broke my heart. 87 years is a long time to live and he's done it well. Please pray for him and my family. I'll write more about this when I have more time and sense about me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Simple Gifts

I've been thinking a lot about my life and what it means to be me. That sounds like a weird concept but maybe I can explain. Taking an introspective approach on life in general makes one wonder what's really important. I mean really, what's important to me? Obviously, God is the most important thing in my life, followed immediately by air, food, and water. Let's be realistic. Then comes family and friends, music, ministry, me time, entertainment, and it starts to go into the realm of less important from there. It's different for everybody but that's what it is for me. Notice that I didn't say anything about job, competition, deadlines, or anything of the like. My reasoning behind this is as follows. Your job is living. Actually, your job, if you are a believer, is living for Christ, and if you are not a believer, your job is to accurately and adequately prove why you are not a believer (and then give your life to Christ once you realize you can't prove Him wrong). Life isn't about making money or being better than anyone else or getting the last word in. Life is about exploration. It's about finding out what your purpose is. It's about finding joy. It's about sharing that joy with everyone you meet. Everyone's entitled to a little joy, right? We recently got to go to Ecuador and see Compassion International operate. We saw how much Compassion does for the children there and we were amazed. What was more amazing was the joy those kids proved to have. When we showed up, they welcomed us into their small, humble homes and made us feel like we were at Grandmama's house. That's just a good feeling. It made me realize that (1) we have a lot more than we think and (2) we aren't as grateful as we should be. I'm not trying to put anyone down, but as Americans, it's tough to see how blessed we are at times. Most of us have food, shelter, clothing, clean water, transportation, proper medical attention, entertainment, etc. Maybe we don't get what we want when we want it, but we get what we need when we need it. For example, my luggage is missing right now (this is not hypothetical, it's really happening) and we left Nashville yesterday morning for 3 weeks. I definitely want my bag. I don't need it. It's just stuff. I still want it, though. That doesn't mean that I'll get it anytime soon, or that I'll ever get it at all. It doesn't matter, though. Even if I never see that bag again (with my souvenirs from Ecuador and enough clothing for 2 weeks) I know God will provide everything I need when I need it, and not before. His time is perfect. Mine's not.
Along the same lines, we got to go to a Special Needs softball game on Saturday. If you've never witnessed people with special needs play sports, you should check it out. It might change your life. These are people who enjoy life. They enjoy being alive. It's amazing to watch a large group of people who are different than you function as a society. It brings me to a revelation. You ready? PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. Wild, huh? God created us all the same, yet individually different. We get so caught up with gaining stuff and taking care of ourselves that we forget to pay attention to the important things. I mentioned ministry as being important to me. The biggest ingredient in ministry (besides God) is people. If you have nobody to minister to, what's the point? I purposefully didn't mention people as being important because without people, there is no ministry. Life can be a ministry in itself. It's such a joy to see life being lived to its full potential with no worries or reservations. Maybe that's what we should be thinking about with the way we live. No regrets, no hesitation, just pure joy. James said "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:2-3) There are going to be tough times in your life, but the darkest hour is often just before the break of dawn. Whatever trials you go through, God's gonna make them go away when He decides it's time for them to go away. Most of the time, people with special needs don't worry about anything. They just enjoy the lives they have. I want to be like that. I want to completely enjoy life. It's the only one I have and I don't want to waste it worrying about things like money or luggage or fussing and fighting with one another or anything but praising God. And the fussing and fighting can just cut that out right now. There's simply no need for that. I'll blog about that more extensively some other time. Back to the point at hand, what do you want to spend your life doing? Would you rather waste time storing up earthly treasures and worrying about stuff that, in the long run, won't matter the slightest bit? Or would you rather completely and totally live? John 10:10 says that Jesus came "so that we might have life and have it to the full." That's what I want. Life to the full. I think we can make that happen.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hi. I'm Samson...

So if you've ever gone to my profile on, you've seen what my greatest weakness is...beautiful women. Wow, I just came out and said it, didn't I? Well, believe it or not, I have other weaknesses. It's just that beautiful women take up more space in that part of my life than most anything else. It really makes me feel like Samson. Not that I'm all strong or anything. If you've ever studied about Samson, you know that he had a great weakness for beautiful women. He also had issues with an invincibility complex that ended up killing him. That's another story. I'll get to it in a little while.
Back to the confusing topic at hand (let's see if I can make it less confusing). In a recent Bible study, we talked about Samson and the different things that made him special and memorable. For example, Samson was "set apart to God from birth" (Judges 13:5) and given strength unmatched by any man. Let's be honest. This guy was a freak of nature. You can't deny it. Anyone who tears a lion apart with his bare hands and beats a thousand men to death with a donkey's jawbone is pretty much a freak of nature. Even though he had all that strength, his weakness consumed him until it killed him. You see, Samson kept getting himself in trouble with people because of the woman he loved. His first love ratted him out to the thirty friends that were given to him as a wedding gift (Judges 14 makes more sense of this story). In his anger, he beat up thirty men, stole their clothes, gave them away, all while his wife was being pawned off to a friend from his wedding. He let his temper get the best of him and sought vengeance. He burned up grain, vineyards and olive groves that belonged to the philistines, who, in turn, burned up Samson's wife and her father. He went back and attacked the philistines, slaughtering many. It took three thousand men to capture him and tie him up, only for him to break the rope and commence the bludgeoning with the donkey's jawbone. It was all about revenge and it was all because of a beautiful woman.
He had a small matter with a prostitute and then there was Delilah. Oh, Delilah. Such a beautiful, crafty, eventually deadly woman. Long story short, she talks him into telling the secret of his strength. Now here's where a lot of people get confused or mislead. Many people think that Samson lost his strength because his hair was cut off when, in actuality, God left him. Samson had relied on himself for so long that he became arrogant and took his God-given strength for granted. You should read the whole story for yourself. It's pretty interesting. You can find it in Judges 13-16. (If you don't know where Judges is, it's in the Old Testament, the seventh book of the Bible. It's right after Joshua and right before Ruth.)
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with me and why I went into that crazy long episode giving a summary of Samson's life. Here's why. I'm in the same boat. Granted, I'm not going around ripping lions apart or beating people to death (although I feel like doing that on occasion), I often find myself being persuaded (easily) by beautiful women to do things I wouldn't normally do. I've noticed that I usually become a total goober around beautiful women, as do most guys, and that turns into me wanting to prove my masculinity and ending up doing or saying something stupid that I'll regret later. Any male who has ever had feelings for a woman can probably relate to what I'm saying. You do everything you can to impress her and you would defend her to the death if you had to. The problem is this little thing called pride. You feel like you have to prove your worth and when someone opposes or embarrasses you, you seek vengeance. It may not be physical, but the attacks are very real on an emotional and a spiritual level.
That brings us to the watershed moment. The turning point where you decide you're going to get rid of yourself and, being emptied of all your sinful ways, be filled with God and let His grace give you a fresh start. So now we have a decision to make. Do we keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over again? Or do we make that life-changing move toward living the life we've been called to live, holy and righteous in His sight? Here's the catch. It's not going to be an easy road to travel. We're gonna face all kinds of temptations and trials. It all depends on how strong we are. God has given us all strength beyond our realization or understanding. It's our job to harness that strength to do His will. I have to make that decision every day. I challenge you to start facing the things that are wearing on you and figure out how to overcome them. Here's a hint...the figuring starts on your knees.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Things I Learned in Tulsa

Hey everybody! This past weekend, I was at the Tulsa International Soul-Winning Workshop. I had a great time but I found myself disappointed or frustrated from time to time. My reasoning is that I was expecting to go to lots of classes and hear lots of speakers talk about church unity and brotherhood and love and stuff like that. I was gonna be encouraged like I hadn't been in a very long time. It was supposed to be a "life-changing" experience for me. Didn't happen that way. Since it was my first time at the workshop, I didn't really have a clue what I was getting myself into. I spent most of my time at the Acappella booth or trying to get ready for the next event, whatever that event was. I didn't get to go to one class at all. I was so irritated! After it was all over, we went to worship Sunday morning and got to lead a few worship songs along with Watershed. Then Jerry Taylor from Abilene Christian University gave one of the best sermons I've heard in a long time. He talked about vision. He talked about our vision versus God's vision and how inferior we are. He talked about us making sure our vision is clear before we start checking on other folk's vision. He made me realize that I need to be more careful when looking at people so that I don't judge them. I was encouraged by his sermon but I was more encouraged by Watershed. We got to eat lunch with them after the worship service and had the best time I'd had in a long time. I'm sure I can safely speak for the other guys when I say that we were truly blessed by the Watershed guys and their families. They are some of the coolest guys to hang around with. We have become fast friends with them and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them (maybe we can do some more events together if we get booked together....hint hint!). The other thing I realized is that by being a blessing to others, God blesses you more than you know. We saw thousands of people over the course of the week and I noticed how much a smile can mean to some folk. Sometimes people just need to be spoken to. I saw so many people whose days were brightened by a simple "hi, how's it goin'?". The trick is...get this...are you ready? Listen to them when they answer. I know, novel concept, but so effective. When you're engaged in what other people are saying or doing, you're blessing them with your presence. That's not an arrogant idea. God put so many of us here so that we can look out for each other and bless each other by being near each other. That nearness, be it physical, emotional, or spritual, helps us to draw nearer to God and his infinite mercy and grace. I really said all that to invite you (and myself) to encourage one another and everyone with whom you come in contact. You might notice your day get a little better!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Time Has Come

Take It Away
To Whom Shall We Go?

He Gave Her Water

Be Devoted


It's finally here! The latest release from The Acappella Company is officially on the market. We debuted RADIANCE at our Madison, TN concert last night and it was awesome!!! There's nothing like singing for thousands of people at your (new) home congregation. I was honored to be able to do a concert like that. It wasn't without it's problems, though. As many of you may know, we've been without our lights for nearly six months now. We just got our new lighting system and had to learn how to set it all up and make it work. We're so blessed at Madison to have people who know about things like lights and sound and are willing to lend a helping hand when we need them to do so. Mark Carver is one of those people. He's a humble and talented man of God who spent lots of time and effort programming and enhancing our lights and we really appreciate his work. We also had lots of help from Todd Hibbs, Tim Coates, Corey Callis (Acappella intern), Darren "D-Money" Whorton (our genius of a sound man who spent countless hours ordering the new equipment, figuring it all out, telling us what to do with it, and programming it to do what we needed it to do), Shana Curtis, and several students from Madison Student Ministries. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude. They are all incredible people and they mean so much to Acappella and the ministry in general. Gary Evans came to Nashville for a few days and offered tons of assistance and advice. He really made things easier for us and got us to that high level of preparation for which we've been striving for so long. We were also blessed to have Nic Dunbar, former Acappella baritone, in the audience. He spent a short time in prayer with us during the intermission and God heard his prayer. It was so good to have him and his lovely wife (and their friend) there with us. The one person who did the most work on this concert, however, was Phillip Holt, the promoter. Phillip is an amazing, genuine, humble, honest, godly man and it shows in every aspect of his life. He worked his tail-end off to make sure this concert was a success and it really was. He worked so hard, in fact, that he ended up "deathly" ill the day of the concert. By the grace of God, he found the strength to get through the evening and troubleshoot like a pro. He really did an outstanding job. We had such a good time on stage. With our new lights came new video footage, courtesy of Ryan Smith, friend and intern of the Acappella family. He put in hours and hours and hours of his time to create and edit most of the video footage we use in our program. The Master and Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening were Cory Fleming of the Nashville Kats arena football team and Madison's own "U-Turn" Lavern, respectively. They did a great job getting the crowd fired up and ready for an incredible night of praise and worship. They brought out our special guests, Durant, who sang beautifully and got the crowd ready for us. We came out and did a higher-than-normal energy concert that was blessed by God. Toward the end of the concert, we brought out another special guest. Keith Lancaster came out and sang "He Gave Her Water" and "Well On My Way" with us, and brought the house down like he always does. Cory and Lavern hyped the crowd some more and brought us back for an encore. Durant joined us and we sang "To Whom Shall We Go?" from the new album, RADIANCE. After a fiery concert, we closed the evening in true Acappella style (with the help of Durant) by singing Glory and Honor, which has become our signature ending taking the focus back to the one who gave us the talents we have in the first place. Now we have more work to do getting ready for future endeavors. Please keep us in your prayers. If you're ever nearby and want to give us a shout, don't hesitate. We love hearing from you. Hope to see you soon. Next stop, Tulsa!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Just Around the Corner

Not long until we release our first album together. We've been hard at work trying to prepare and it looks like the hard work is paying off. We're so excited we almost can't hold back. Can't you tell from the pictures? Actually, these were taken over the last couple of months. Some are us on the road, some are in the studio. One is of Keith putting some finishing touches on one of the songs during one of our last recording sessions. I'm pretty sure that pic is him developing my favorite moment of the album. Four words: "Hey, Hey, Yeah, Yeah!" You'll see when you get the album.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ten Guidelines

Ten Guidelines From God
Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. Please, follow these 10 guidelines.

1. QUIT WORRYING: Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST: Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME: Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE: Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME: I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH: I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE: You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT: I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND: Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF: As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only -- to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget......

Thanks to my friend, Jennifer Smith, for letting me post this on my blog. I really felt convicted and challenged after I read it and I hope you do to. Blessings!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cold Sunshine

Ahh, sunny Florida! When you go to a state to the south of you and it takes several hours to even reach it's border, you can expect it to be warm, right? Not this time. This trip to Florida turned out to be quite a bit colder than we bargained for. I guess it really is winter all across the country. This trip was quite the trial for our bodies. We remembered how much Satan tries to do to stop us from doing our godly duty. We started out the trip with Jordan being sick as a dog (no offense intended for dog owners) and barely able to stand up, much less sing a whole concert. Although we didn't know if he would make it through the day, God reminded us how good He is and gave JHouse the strength to perform the first 3 concerts with no worries. God is good! The bug hit us again, however. After Miami, we had a day off in which we drove to Tampa and spent the night. Thanks to Dan and all the folk who hooked us up there. We were pampered by all the gracious folk who put us up in their homes while we were on the road and to those folk we say a heart-felt thanks! Unfortunately, as JHouse got better, Zach "Z-dub" Wilson got sick. He was the only healthy one when we left Nashville Wednesday. It was interesting to see that he turned out to be the only really sick one when we got home. God is still good! He helped Z-dub to get through 2 grueling concerts and he is feeling better daily. Praise God! We had some "repeat customers" at a few of the concerts. We're so glad you think we're cool enough to want to see us twice in a week. I know there was one guy who followed us from Gainesville to Miami which were back-to-back evenings and about 6 hours apart from each other. We also had some folk meet us in Clearwater who saw us in Gainesville, and a few wonderful people who had seen us in Tampa last month came to Winter Garden. We got some real troopers here! I think Gainesville really likes us. I've spoken to a few people on my "myspace" site ( who are coming to the big cd release/dvd shoot/ benefit concert in Nashville next month and they're from Gainesville too. That just makes me smile! I hope to see lots of you there. I also hope to see a bunch of my favorite people in Texas next weekend. I'm looking forward to it. I expect to see people I know at Abilene and Seminole. If you know me and you live anywhere close to Redwater (Texarkana), I expect to see you there too. Remember God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Good Times in Alabama

So we went to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Wednesday. We had such a good time and didn't want to leave the next day to come back to Nashville, but almost every good thing comes to an end. I say "almost" because I can think of one good thing that will never end...chocolate!!! (just kidding) We were hosted by Byron Sommerdahl, who put the site together. He's a great guy and a humble servant for the Lord and we appreciate him and his hospitable church family. The concert was a lot of fun. We did a short worship set in the middle of the concert and found out that the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa is one singing church! They really sang well and God was truly glorified. We even set off the fire alarms in the church building. That was fun. Afterward, Byron took us to the Cypress Inn for some of the best catfish and smoked chicken I've ever eaten (and I know about some catfish and smoked chicken). We stayed at a luxurious hunting lodge complete with pool table, ping pong, 48" plasma tv and all kinds of other amenities. We hope to visit Tuscaloosa again soon. Next stop, Alpharetta, Georgia and then back to Florida.
By the way, our upcoming album went to mastering this morning. We are so excited about the release of this album we can barely hold it in. I urge you, if you can find a way to make it to Nashville on March 11th, please do so. The "Quiet the Stones" concert at the Madison Church of Christ is going to be on fire! We're anxiously awaiting the day when we can hand people copies of our voices together for the first time. Hope to see you there!

Psalm 100

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Off We Go

One trip down, many more to go. I have to say Florida was a lot of fun. The weather is beautiful there and so are the people. It takes about 14 hours for us to drive from Nashville to Tampa and, fortunately, there are plenty of drivers in the group. As of right now, we travel with 6 people (the 5 of us and our sound man extrordinare, Darren "D-money" Whorton) so we get around well. After taking a couple of wrong turns, we finally made our way to the Northwest Church of Christ where we sang for an energetic 500+ crowd comprised of mainly youth groups and sponsors. We then drove to Englewood, FL where we were loved on by Garry and Joy Clark and the members of the Fellowship Church there. We had a fun battery experience at the first of the 2 church services we sang for. We got the wrong batteries for our mics and in-ear monitors (or "ears" as we call them) and did the "I-need-a-new-battery-but-it's-the-middle-of-a-song" dance. God intervened and got us through that concert without too much embarrassment. We got better batteries for the next service and had a great time with the people there. After eating at "The Fishery," we drove across the Everglades to Boca Raton for our third concert of the day. We got the pleasure of hearing the Brazilian Gospel Union before we sang. BGU was very good and we wish them the best as they strive to raise funds for their upcoming album.
Speaking of albums, we've been finishing our upcoming album since we got back from Florida. I think I can describe it in one word...WOW!!! The new album is incredible. The songs get back to the older Acappella sound with our own little twist here and there. Keith Lancaster has written all but one song for the album (which his son, Anthony, wrote). Some of the songs sound like they should have been on earlier albums but they fit very well together to create a new energetic vibe that has quickly become the Acappella trademark in our live concerts. I have some pictures but I'm having trouble getting them downloaded from my computer. I'll try to get them on soon. Have a great weekend and may God bless you all!
Under His wing

Rom 8:28

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Road Before Us

It's Wednesday night before our first trip of the year and, in true Acappella fashion, we're going through lots of trials and transitions. It was announced today that Gary Evans has left the group. As a group, we are going to miss him terribly. Personally, I have grown to love him like one of my best friends. He's got the heart of a servant, he always gets the job done no matter what that job is. He's a warrior for the Lord (and he sings real good too). I'm gonna miss him like crazy. Fret not, however. The very talented and faithful Allen Brantley from Birmingham, Alabama has graciously stepped into the "bass-ment" to hold it down on the low end. Allen is a great guy and an awesome asset to the group. I want to ask that you all pray for Gary and his future endeavors, for Allen and his new position, and Acappella Ministries as we strive to spread God's word.
I need to add a couple more prayer requests to your lists if you don't mind. I received a phone call today with a message that Rosemarie Scott, my high school voice teacher, was found dead in her home yesterday. This comes as a huge surprise to everyone who knew her, especially my high school choir director, Johnny Miller. Mrs. Scott was like a mother to Mr. Miller and I know this is a devastating loss to him. Please pray for her family, Mr. Miller, and all her students. Pray a special prayer for the student(s) who found her yesterday. I'm sure they are traumatized.
The other request is for my dad, B.C. Brannon. Dad has been a preacher longer than most of my friends' parents have been alive. He was baptized by Marshall in the early 1940's and started preaching in October of 1943. Needless to say, he's seasoned. The prayer request is for his health. He's not feeling too great now. He has strange pains all over his body, he gets fatigued easily and he basically has no cartilage in his right knee. He is 86 years old and I often wonder how much longer he'll be around. I don't mean to bring everyone down. I'm just asking for prayer for him and my family.
On a happier note, we're doing our first road trip of the year this weekend. Florida, here we come! It's going to be a long weekend but it's definitely gonna be worth it. I'll try to get some pics and log them next week.
Eph. 2:8

Friday, January 13, 2006

Acappella: The Journey Continues

Hey everybody! Welcome to my new blog. I'm gonna do my best to keep you updated on our Acappella journey. You might see serious moments from the road. You'll more likely see a bunch of funny stuff. I'll always try to send some type of encouragement in each posting and I'd love to hear from you. Feedback can be a great tool for Acappella Ministries to grow. I'll get some pictures posted soon, but in the meantime, check out for info about the group and when we'll be close to you. If we're not close enough to you, contact Rhonda Coleson and let's see about Acappella coming to your town soon. May God bless you this week and keep you safe as you strive to please Him.
Under His wing,
Robin C. Brannon