Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Little Left Coast Flavor

We had a great time in San Diego this weekend. Met some great people. Saw some great sites. Ate some great food! Had a couple of great concerts. All in all, it was a good weekend. It would've been promoted to great if our wives had been there, but it was still good. I took some pics. Some were better than others, but they are pics anyway. Enjoy!

David Bates is the man! He took us to the beach and hung out with all day Sunday. We sure do love him and his family. Pray for his daughter, Suzanne, who is marrying an awesome dude, Jason Godfrey, on August 1.

They put us up in a very nice hotel resort, complete with multiple swimming pools (that we didn't visit), restaurants, and a health spa! Thank you, Town & Country Resort.

You know we always love performing for any sized audience. It was especially nice to perform for nearly 2000 people at the Convention Center!

Even better than performing big concerts is witnessing souls, like Verna, being given completely to Christ!

And then we put Allen to work at the airport!

Keep praying for my family and me in our new endeavors. Anyone wanna buy our house? Seriously. It's really a nice house. Anyone?

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Back On The Road

So, we're finally traveling again. We will be in San Diego this weekend, then here in Nashville for ACAFEST next week. After that, we'll be in Rockford, IL on July 12 and then it's off to Brasil for 2 weeks! We're gearing up for an unforgettable summer. Hope to see you at a concert soon!

Also, keep us in your prayers as we go through this life change. There are obstacles and challenges we have to face in order to answer God's call. Pray that we will overcome any and every hurdle placed in our path as we reach for the goal set before us. Remember James 5:16 and remember us when you're before the Father.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wisdom Of An Eleven-Year-Old

I've been learning a lot and remembering a lot as we've been deep-cleaning our house to try to sell it. Gabby and I have been working together to get this house in tip-top shape while Steph is at work. Today, we were working on the spare room (if you have one, you know what I'm talking about) and we got to a point where we could start scrubbing the baseboards and walls. At one point, Gabby said something that reminded me of the way we live. She said, "This is the best this room has smelled in forever. It always smells like dust but now it smells so clean."

Part of what made this phrase click for me was the fact that I hadn't even finished the first wall yet. I was so tempted to say, "Well, wait till I get finished in here!" But I didn't.

But I thought it.

Then I thought about how messed up we are. Have you ever noticed that the moment we get the slightest relief from whatever painful situation we're facing at the time, we are so quick to say how good life is? The problem is that we have no idea how much better it's going to be. How's that a problem? I'm glad you asked. It's a problem because we like to sell God short and not be patient enough to wait for the finished product.

The moral of the story: "Patience, young Grasshopper." God is up to something way bigger than we know.

Anybody wanna buy our house?

Peace, Love, and...

(wait for it)


(doesn't that feel good?)

Monday, June 22, 2009

And I Quote...

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
- Albert Einstein

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Your Favorite Name

For Dads everywhere:

Almighty God
Lord of all creation
Ancient of days
The Holy One
So many names You've given us to call You
But one remains
Your favorite name

Your favorite name is Father
You love to hear Your children calling
You're there to catch us when we're falling
Your favorite name is Father

Eternal King
Alpha and Omega
Jehovah God
The mighty One
So many names You've given us to call You
But one remains
Your favorite name

Your favorite name is Father
You love to hear Your children calling
You're there to catch us when we're falling
Your favorite name is Father

Abba Father
Holy is Your name
Abba Father
Holy is Your name
Your favorite name is Father
You love to hear Your children calling
You're there to catch us when we're falling
Your favorite name is Father

Your Favorite Name Is Father
artist: Newsong
album: More Life (2003)

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Friday, June 19, 2009


By now, you may have heard about the AVB reunion concert coming up at Lipscomb University on July 3rd. If you haven't heard about it, you can get the details here.
In the meantime, feel free to watch this harmonized, rhythmitized, power-mulletized gem from classic AVB history!

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In the Words of C. S. Lewis

I just finished reading Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis and found it to be incredibly insightful and, though written in the early 1950's, very relevant. Here's an excerpt from chapter 7 entitled "Forgiveness."

I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the First World War, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.
I imagine somebody will say, 'Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy's acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?' All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one's own back, must simply be killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more. That is not how things happen, I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves - to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.
I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it somply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco...

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."
(Matt. 6:14-15, The Message)

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A & Q

I figure it's about time for me to answer old questions (really, statements) and ask some new ones (one).

A while back, I posted a list of my favorite music artists and said I would explain why later. Well, it's later, so let's see if I can make this clear yet succint.

5. Acappella - besides being in the group, I have been a big fan since my childhood. I remember when they came to my hometown, Borger, TX back in the mid-eighties, singing Shut De Do with their Miami Vice-ish skinny ties and sunglasses on. That was a turning point in my musical upbringing. Acappella has been a major part of my life ever since.

4. The Temptations - One of the greatest groups to ever sing a love song. They didn't only sing about love, though. They sang about life. They went through all kinds of trials to become (in my opinion) the most popular r&b soul group ever. They revolutionized the way we all listen to music. As a matter of fact, this song was the first song I ever sang to Stephanie. Thank you, Temptations, for pouring your hearts into every note you sang.

3. Tower of Power - Chicago meets the Temptations. In the seventies there was a horn-rock band movement that swept America. Tower of Power emerged from Oakland, California's East Bay and took the world by storm playing their own instruments and singing their own tight harmonies. Unfortunately, however, a lot of their music has been forgotten. I can say from experience that they are the tighest, funkiest, groovin'-est band I've ever seen or heard. Here's some proof:
Soul Vaccination, You Got To Funkifize, Diggin' On James Brown

2. Take 6 - This is, hands down, the best vocal group that has ever existed! The quality of each voice, mixed with the richness in the musical arrangements, and the heart behind all of it makes a legendary style that is often imitated but will never be duplicated.

1. Bobby McFerrin - The single most innovative vocalist in the world. The greatest vocal, non-verbal communicator out there. One of the world's most incredible vocal improvisationalists. In my opinion, simply the best.

So, here's the new trivia question:
What band has the most number 1 records of all times (Josh Graves)?

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tater Faith and Whatever

No, it's not the latest Christian bluegrass duo to land on Nashville. I just thought it would be a fun title. And it has a point, believe it or not.

Steph and I watched Faith Like Potatoes night before last and it completely sparked something in us. If you haven't seen this 2006 movie yet, I highly recommend that you go rent it or buy it and watch it as soon as possible (I hope I don't get sued for this free advertisement!). Here are three reasons I fell in love with this film:

1. It's based on a true story. Can't go wrong there.
2. It's about people completely surrendering their lives to God and stepping out in faith to answer His call.
3. It's about God showing what He does when we are totally sold out for Him. Basically, it's God showing off!

Seeing this movie has kicked us into gear. We've been sitting on some major, life-changing decisions for a while, but now we have to choose. Will we take the comfortable route or take a risk that will alter our lives forever? I think God has shown us what we need to do.

Go check it out yesterday! (note: if you have a hard time understanding thick Scottish and/or South African dialects, you may want to turn on the subtitles)

Faith Like Potatoes reminded me of a song I've been hearing a lot on the radio and it kinda hits me in the gut every stinkin' time I hear it. It goes perfectly with this idea of having "tater faith" (as we southern folk would say it). It also fits perfectly with today, seeing how God has allowed me to be another year older. I still say it's just Tuesday! Enjoy today!!!

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)
Sanctus Real
songwriters: Dan Gartley, Mark Graalman, Matt Hammitt, Peter Prevost, Chris Rohman

Peace, Love, and Chocolate Birthday Cake

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thinking of You

Pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
Philippians 4:6 (NCV)

Heaven knows no difference between Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon. God longs to speak as clearly in the workplace as he does in the sanctuary. He longs to be worshiped when we sit at the dinner table and not just when we come to his communion table. You may go days without thinking of him, but there's never a moment when he's not thinking of you.

Knowing this, we understand Paul's rigorous goal: "We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). We can fathom why he urges us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17), "be constant in prayer" (Rom. 12:12)... and "let heaven fill your thoughts" (Col. 4:2 TLB).

From: The Great House of God
Copyright (Word Publishing., 1997)
Max Lucado

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, "Groove Master"

On this date in 1939 my favorite drummer was born. Over his extensive career, he has completely changed the way we listen to music. He is the inventor and innovator of "groove" drumming. His name is Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, also know as the "Groove Master" and today is his 70th birthday!

The reason Bernard Purdie is my favorite drummer is not because of his technical ability (although he is technically sound), or even because of his groove (although he grooves harder than any other drummer on the planet). I love Bernard Purdie because he loves what he does and it shows. I know that sounds a bit cliche, but it is so apparent in the way he approaches music. It's like notes are words and he believes every note he plays. That's how I want to approach the music I make. That's how I want to approach the ministry I do. That's how I want to approach life in general; living like there's no tomorrow and loving every minute of it! Watch the videos below to understand what I'm talking about (since it's his birthday, I decided to give you three for the price of one!).

Here, Bernard "splains" his signature groove, "The Purdie Shuffle."

In "part 2," Purdie shows you how to really feel this groove. Pay special attention to the end of this clip. Classic Bernard Purdie!

This clip gives a very small glimpse into Bernard's career. Listen to his stats. Incredible!

Peace, Love, and Chocolate... and GROOVE!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Order Of Importance

This idea of prioritization has been pretty prevalant in my life lately. With as much as I've had going on, it only seems natural for me to go through all my "stuff" and remind myself of my priorities. It's up at the top of my order of importance so I don't forget what I need to concentrate on for that moment. Yes, I'm saying I prioritize how I make my priorities. Kinda fun, huh? Anyway, I thought I'd list my major priorities (I'll spare you the details) and maybe set an example for you to list yours (Really, I just want to see if anyone other than my wife reads my blog anymore ;) so take a moment to list yours if you are reading this right now... please). Mine go like this:

1. God
2. my family
3. ministry
4. my friends
5. other work / personal business (what I need to do today)

I figure if I can approach life in that order, everything else will fall into place as it should. So, how about you?

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


"The most dangerous man in the world is the man with no hope."
- Dr Brent McCall

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Is It Loving?

[Love] is not rude.
1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

When defining what love is not, Paul put rudeness on the list. “It is not rude.” The Greek word for rude means shameful or disgraceful behavior.

An example of rudeness was recently taken before the courts in Minnesota . A man fell out of his canoe and lost his temper. Though the river was lined with vacationing families, he polluted the air with obscenities. Some of those families sued him. He said, “I have my rights.”

God calls us to a higher, more noble concern. Not “What are my rights?” but “What is loving?”

Do you have the right to dominate a conversation? Yes, but is it loving to do so?…Is it within your rights to bark at the clerk or snap at the kids? Yes. But is it loving to act this way?

From: A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2005)
Max Lucado

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

How (Not) To Worship

I'm so glad we don't worship this way (he said with tongue planted firmly in cheek)!

Lord, forgive us for who we worship and help us to remember Who we were made to worship.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mmmm... Cake!

Do you ever have days when you really wanna do this? I know I do!

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What Can I Do?

When I see the beauty
Of the sunset’s glory
Amazing artistry
Across the evening sky
When I feel the mystery
Of a distant galaxy
It awes and humbles me
To be loved by a God so high

What can I do but thank You
What can I do but
Give my life to You
Hallelujah, hallelujah
What can I do but praise You
Every day make everything I do
A hallelujah, a hallelujah

When I hear the story
Of a God of mercy
Who shared humanity
And suffered by our side
Of the cross they nailed You to
That could not hold You
Now You’re making all things new
By the power of Your risen life

What Can I Do?
Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 2005 Integrity's Hosanna! Music

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Monday, June 01, 2009

Thought Provoking

I was listening to the radio the other day and an interesting question was asked, so I thought I'd share it and see if anyone has any good answers:

What does it mean to be spiritually mature?

Talk to me...

Peace, Love, and Chocolate