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.