Friday, December 31, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 10

My final post in this series. My final post of the year. My final post to get you thinking about life and all its possibilities.

I don't know of anyone who doesn't want to make any positive changes in their life. And if someone says they don't have anything to change about themselves, they're delusional. Everyone changes in some way or another. We grow, we learn, we adapt. We become embittered, we become enlightened. We search for the best this life has to offer. Think about some thing or things you want/need to change in your life. Remember, you can't change anyone else. You can only change yourself. Do you have your change(s) in mind? Good. Now, let's talk logistics.

The top ten best times to make a positive change in your life:

10. Now.
9. Right now.
8. Do you know when "now" is?
7. This magic moment.
6. The time has come.
5. Isn't there something you should be doing besides reading this?
4. Wait ... you're still here?
3. Don't let this opportunity pass you by ... Oh, there it goes ... Well, catch it!
2. Why in the world are you still reading this?
1. It's always "now."

So, what are you waiting for? As my mama always said, "Don't put off today for tomorrow."

Peace, Love, and Now

Thursday, December 30, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 9

These are my top ten most memorable moments of 2010:

10. The Nashville flood (including baptizing the van in Jackson, concert in Glasgow, KY, and getting home)

9. Getting the honor of performing with Acappella Classic at Acafest

8. Visiting Bob Marley's home/museum

7. Learning about the murder of my good friend, Hal Moreland, the weekend before Christmas

6. Western Heights drum line winning drums at Konowa Marching Contest/Western Heights marching band getting straight superior ratings at OSSAA Marching Contest (first time to get an overall superior rating since 1999, first time to get superior ratings from all 3 judges since 1987)

5. Being on the Amazon River (as a matter of fact, the entire Brazil trip was unforgettable)

4. Steph's 30th birthday

3. Finding out we were expecting/Finding out we had to give our baby back to God before we even got
to hold it in our arms

2. Our first wedding anniversary

1. Sending Dad to his eternal home

What are some of your most memorable moments of 2010?

Peace, Love, and Memories

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 8

And I quote...

10. "These people better not get a divorce or I'm gonna be so mad!" - Zac George at a wedding we sang for after a 16 hour drive ... after a 3 1/2 week Brazilian tour ... after a really long summer ... before a long trip back home via Nashville ... on a bus that broke down in Nashville ... after the air conditioner broke down ... in August.

9. "If I can't whoop 'em, I don't want 'em." - Steph speaking of other people's children

8. "Lil' girl, you can take your attitude elsewhere 'cause I ain't the one you need to mess with today." - Me at school ... 'nuff said.

7. Courtney Fowler to her son: "Brock, would you bring me my house shoes, por favor?"
Brock, after running to get the shoes: "Por favor is back!"

6. "Everybody ought to love sweet potatoes!" - Papa J telling the story of how he tried to bribe Dad to keep him from tattling when they were kids

5. "Aaaaaand ... there's water coming into the van." - Anthony Lancaster as we baptized our van

4. Gabby: "Are you gonna wear those shoes with that dress?"
Steph: "Are you gonna wear that face with that dress?"

3. "I'ma pray for you ... a lot!" - Me

2. "Lots of laughin', lots of lovin', lots of exercise; that's what's gonna make life fun!" - Steph

1. "I love you, Son." - Dad

End quote. What are some of your favorites from 2010?

Peace, Love, and Good Quotes

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 7

I did Christmas movies the other day. Now, it's time for movies released in 2010. There were some great ones; many that I had to leave off my list because there were so many good ones. Here are my top ten:

10. Dear John
9. Shutter Island
8. Toy Story 3
7. Tangled
6. Letters To God
5. How To Train Your Dragon
4. Alice In Wonderland
3. Megamind
2. Inception
1. The Book Of Eli

Maybe you can hip me to some that I missed.

Peace, Love, and Good Movies

Monday, December 27, 2010

TEN TOP TENS OF 2010: part 6

Today's post is the top ten blogs I've read this year. Here goes:

10. Brandon Scott Thomas
9. Blake Bergstrom
8. Patrick Mead
7. Anthony Evans
6. Joshua Graves
5. Terry Rush
4. Mark Driscoll
3. Pete Wilson
2. Compassion International
1. Trey Morgan

Which blogs do you like to read?

Peace, Love, and Good Blogs

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 5

Since it's Sunday I thought it would be appropriate to share my top ten worship songs for this year. All of these songs have helped me get through various situations over the course of the year, whether good or bad. I hope there's a song on this list that speaks to you in a very real way:

10. Glory And Honor - Acappella
9. Trading My Sorrows - Darrell Evans
8. Blessed Be Your Name - Matt Redman
7. Healer - Hillsong
6. Our God Is Greater - Chris Tomlin
5. Majesty (Here I Am) - Martin Smith; Stuart Garrard
4. God Holds The Future In His Hands - James Rowe; James Vaughan
3. Firm Foundation - Jamie Harvill; Nancy Gordon
2. All I Need Is You - Hillsong
1. Rejoice - Anthony Evans

Name some of your favorite worship songs.

Peace, Love, and Worship

Saturday, December 25, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 4

Christmas Day - the biggest movie box office day of the year! How many blockbusters have been released on Christmas Day? Surely there's a count somewhere, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about great movies about Christmas, involving Christmas, set at Christmastime, etc. Let's spend a little time at the movies, shall we? This is my top ten Christmas movie list (this one was tough because there are so many great Christmas movies, so please add to this list):

10. Home Alone 
8. Elf
6. Scrooged (and all the other movies based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)

Name some other great Christmas movies.

Peace, Love, and Merry Christmas ... at the movies

Friday, December 24, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 3

Today's list is all about traditions - Christmas traditions. Every family has Christmas traditions; some more than others. Here are ten Christmas traditions my family (Brannon, King, Fowler, Hackett, etc.) keeps:

10. Holiday travel
9. Christmas music on the car radio
8. Opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve
7. Day-after-Christmas shopping
6. Football!
5. Baking Christmas goodies
4. Decorating the tree
3. Caroling in nursing homes, schools, stores, and other places that need Christmas cheer
2. Spending quality time with family/friends
1. Jesus: the real Reason for the season

Feel free to share some of your Christmas traditions.

Peace, Love, and Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 2

Today's top ten list is dedicated to sports - the ten greatest team/school mascots. Some are serious, some are funny, all are the real deal. This ought to be fun! Here we go:

8. Muleshoe High School Mules (note: Why are they the Mules?)
7. Mustang High School Broncos (note: Why are they not the Mustangs?)
4. Stanford University Cardinal (note: Cardinal is singular)
1. Montgomery Biscuits

Gimme some more good ones!

Peace, Love, and Great Sports

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TEN TOP TENS FOR 2010: part 1

I love top ten lists so I want to share ten top ten lists on the last ten days of 2010. Some of the lists may be funny (although ... probably not very funny), some may be more serious, and some may be just plain ridiculous. Hope you will add to them if you have something to add.

For the first list, here's my top ten list of books I've read this year (in no particular order):

10. Stuff Christians Like - Jonathan Acuff
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
8. The Haunted Mesa - Louis L'Amour
7. Good Book - David Plotz
6. Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey
5. Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings - Tyler Perry as Madea
4. Plan B - Pete Wilson
3. Love And Respect - Emerson Eggerichs
2. More Than Enough - Dave Ramsey
1. Ecclesiastes - King Solomon

Your turn to share your favorite books of 2010!

Peace, Love, and Good Reading

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I guess I didn't come right out and say it, but I knew from the first episode who would win season 2 of NBC's The Sing-Off. If you read my post an the first week of the show, you might have guessed who I wanted to win, too. So, I'll give my congrats now and give my take on the show a little later.

Congratulations to COMMITTED from Huntsville, AL! I've been a fan of theirs from the first downbeat I heard them sing. Their harmonies blend naturally and all of them sing great leads. They are all musically advanced and sensitive to each other, as well as to the song they're singing. Kudos to these six young men. I wish them all the best!

Tell me what you thought about the show.

Peace, Love, and Good Music

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm gonna keep this one short, sweet, and to the point.

If you haven't been watching The Sing-Off, you've been missing out on some great music! This week's shows have been outstanding, to say the very least. It started out on Monday with six remaining groups and is now down to four (not three as it was originally intended). Although one of my favorite groups - Groove For Thought - was eliminated on Monday, the four who remain - The Backbeats, Street Corner Symphony, Committed, and Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town - gave stellar performances on Wednesday. So stellar, in fact, that the judges couldn't bring themselves to cut either of them.

So, now it's up to you, America. Choose this day (or at least by Monday) whom you like the most and vote at As for me, I think I'm gonna have to vote for everyone (except The Backbeats; they've never been a favorite of mine. Don't get it twisted, though. They are quite talented and their rendition of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac was outstanding. I just haven't quite bought into them yet.)

For a different point of view, check out judge Ben Folds' comments here!

Peace, Love, and Good Music

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It's back with a vengeance! NBC's hit a cappella competition, The Sing-Off, has returned for it's second season and the competitors are even more fierce than the first season. The ten competing groups are all outstanding. I'm glad I'm not a judge because I would not like to send any of them home. However, if there is no one willing to to send them home the show might drag on forever, and (almost) all good things are only good in moderation.

So, I'll give you a brief opinion of the groups each week. Hopefully, these few posts will encourage you to take interest and share your opinions of the show. I have no affiliation with the show, but I do love a cappella music and am a proponent of seeing it flourish on a national level.

1. ELEVENTH HOUR - the sole high school group on the show. These kids have great energy, lots of personality, and the determination to not be looked down on because of their youth. Fun to hear and see that kind of focus from a young generation that generally has very little interest in anything besides video games, computers, and being self-absorbed. Unfortunately, they didn't make it past the second show, but I do think they have great things in store for their future if they stay with it.

2. ON THE ROCKS - 15 dudes from the University of Oregon (the college of which Acappella's own Zachary Wilson is a huge fan). These guys are a ton of fun to watch. I'm interested to see them get more serious and sensitive. They remind me a lot of the Beelzebubs from Season 1.

3. GROOVE FOR THOUGHT - our resident jazz ensemble. These guys have a warm sound, a great blend, and fantastic ears for tight harmonies. I guess it helps that the majority of them are music teachers. I really dig this group.

4. PITCH SLAPPED - the mixed ensemble from Berklee College of Music in Boston. They have a good look and a great energy, but their sound was a bit forced and not quite balanced from top to bottom. I expected to see them go a lot farther based on their pre-performance vignette, but they were eliminated the first night. I do, however, wish them all the success they can handle!

5. JERRY LAWSON & TALK OF THE TOWN - our resident a cappella legends. Jerry Lawson, formerly of The Persuasions, has teamed up with a group of veteran music-makers to create an unparallelled representation of our a cappella roots. The music these gentlemen make is the type of music on which I was raised. They remind me of a lot of the old church singing groups I listened to (and sometimes had the honor to sing with) as a kid. Mr. Lawson has a humility about him that reminds me a lot of my dad. This group is very special to my heart.

6. THE WHIFFENPOOFS - America's first collegiate a cappella ensemble. This group of Yale seniors have a rich choral sound that is quite lovely. They are quirky, fun, and surprisingly enjoyable to watch. Unfortunately, their stiffness and lack of versatility has cost them a spot on the show. They were eliminated on the second night, but I trust their tradition won't be eliminated for a very long time.

7. MEN OF NOTE - some young, talented singers. These guys are ambitious and energetic, to say the least. The unfortunate part is that their energy became nervous energy on the competition stage and they got a little ahead of themselves. This caused them to be a little rigid and not quite relaxed enough to continue in the competition. They were eliminated the first night. I believe, however, that they are not finished singing!

8. STREET CORNER SYMPHONY - our Nashville connection. I'm a little partial to these guys because they are from Nashville and a couple of them have some connection with Acappella Ministries. Jon and Mark McLemore are two of the six southern cats who just rip it up with righteous harmonies, fantastic leads, and rock-solid time. I'm hoping to see them for the remainder of the show!

9. THE BACKBEATS - our resident conglomoration. This group of twenty-somethings is a mash-up of several different groups from southern California (some of them were on season 1) who have come together to create a very solid ensemble. Their strongest element, in my opinion, is the emotional connection they make with their audience. They really know how to dive into the heart of a song. I'm wondering how this will affect them in more up-tempo music. Can't wait to find out.

10 . COMMITTED - quite possibly the next Take 6. This group of youngsters are from the same college as the members of one of my favorite groups ever, Take 6. There must be something in the water there because these kids are crazy good! Their arrangements are ridiculous, their blend is unreal, their soloists are just dumb, and their overall cohesiveness is out of this world!! As much as I love some of the other groups, these guys are my run-away favorites. I don't know if they can be beaten. I guess we'll find out soon. By the way, Committed is primarily a ministry-oriented group, which makes me dig them even more!

So, there ya have it. That's what I think about season 2 of The Sing-Off so far.

What do you think?

Peace, Love, and Good Music