Saturday, February 23, 2008

Videos from Bridge Christmas Dinner

On December 23, 2007, almost 200 homeless people attended a special formal sit-down dinner for them at Christ Worship Center in White House, TN. They ate amazing food prepared by Tony Gore & The Galloways, and ate off the best China and drank from crystal stemware. It was a treat indeed!

I was not able to be there b/c we went home to NC for Christmas, BUT someone has posted a couple of short videos from that evening so you can get a small taste of all that happened. There were several folks that got saved and a few of them even got baptized that night! (The white boy singing with some SOUL is the one and only, Mr. Aaron Crisler.)



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Homeless 2

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Musings

Ah...Valentine's Day. Hallmark's way of making you buy a card and flowers to tell people you care about them JUST TODAY b/c they don't think you do it any other day during the year. :-p

I enjoy Valentine's Day...I do. But there feels like there is this pressure to do something out of the ordinary, and I always mess it up. Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, I made dinner and set the table with our best china. (Which, consequently enough, is the last time we have used our China...dinner party anyone?) That year, I decided to try my hand at making mashed potatoes, but wanted to be healthy, so I used skim canned milk. The mashed potatoes ended up being mush with butter. So, the past 2 years, we just went out to eat.

This year...I tried to be adventurous again. I was going to make this Dark Molten Chocolate Cake:

But I reversed the amounts of 2 ingredients in the recipe, and they came out looking like this:

And they tasted awful. And I was upset b/c I had all the ingredients here at the house and didn't have to go buy a single one. Oh well....chalk it up to experience. Now I know to use 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup flour NOT the other way around.

I did have to go to the grocery store at the last minute to buy a card b/c I felt the e-card I sent Kyle wasn't sufficient enough. :) As I walked down the card aisle, I was almost run down by men trying to get to the "Wife" section of the Valentine's Day cards. Men were running through the store from the floral department to the card department trying to get everything done before they went home from work. It was pretty amusing! And what's funny is that when the men saw one another in the card aisle, they just looked up at each other, nodded knowingly, and kept browsing through cards. It was if they understood the "rules" of this yearly ritual. Pretty funny stuff!

Now, my husband, who is the best man in the world, bought me very overpriced flowers. But he continues to remind me that HE picked the flowers out and made it very personal, that it wasn't one of these pre-arranged flower thing that the florist makes and you just point at the picture. So, here are some pics:

And yes, that is our lovely washing machine that they are sitting on. LOL

Here's the card that came with the flowers:

Can we say, "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" I choked up, and then went and playfully slapped him for making me cry. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a weekend!

Kyle and I arrived back in Nashville last night after a whirlwind trip up to Edinburgh, IN. I sang yesterday morning at Who So Ever Will Community Church in Edinburgh, and I had an absolute blast! The church is beautifully decorated, and it makes you feel as if you have entered into someone's home. Just so inviting and peaceful. The church has their own praise team which opened the service up. Granted, I had never heard the songs they were singing before, but I caught on real quick. It was great country gospel P/W, and I LOVED it! The Spirit was alive and well. There were stories of healing, salvation, miracles, and other amazing things that God had done. Truth be told, all the songs I sang yesterday morning were set-up prior to me getting on the stage! LOL I didn't have to do much after that!

This past Friday, we FINISHED MY VOCALS ON THE ALBUM!!! WOO!! Only one song is left to have BGV's added to it. SO exciting! The Galloways and Chris Unthank came in on Thursday evening to add BGV's to my two Chris Binion tunes, "Testify" and "God's Got a Word". They sound AMAZING. I'm pretty sure that this album has at least 4-5 radio releases, which is very exciting. We wanted to get a long life out of this album anyway since it had been such a long time coming. I feel so blessed that God gave us such amazing songs. I do know that as soon as the album is released, a radio station in Australia wants to play "Ask of Me". How cool is that?!? :)

I have my photo shoot next Monday, so that is exciting. I've been looking over pictures to give Kim an idea of what I *think* I want the photos to look like. I want contemporary classic. Make sense? :)

And I still have not decided upon a title for the album. It might end up being self-titled, but who knows? I guess if it is meant to have a title, God will hit me with one. Divine inspiration, please.

Back to work for now!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Well, it is 2:00 AM, and we just got home from the studio about 20 minutes ago. I'M TIRED. And why am I writing an entry at 2:00 AM? Ummm...b/c I'm still awake?

My friend Jonathan came in today to play on a last minute add to the album. (I'm not telling you what song.) And then I went and laid down the vocals. Doing a song that you have done for 8 years the same way, and then having to go in and change it in a matter of hours is not an easy task. The song is going to turn out gorgeous, and I'm sure I'm going to be happy with it. It just was a long and tiresome road getting there.

We get back to work at 6:00 PM tonight, and then more on Wednesday evening. The first round of BGV's come in on Thursday, and not sure when the next round hits.

Can someone Tivo "American Idol" for me??

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I want to be a Snowbird

Well, as most of you probably gathered by now, Kyle and I were in FL for 8 fabulous days. :) From the pictures I posted on facebook and myspace, you would think we were down there on vacation. Truth is, for 5 out of the 8 days, I was singing my heart out.

First Alliance Church in Port Charlotte, FL, brought me down to be their guest worship leader for their Celebrate Recovery program and for their 3 Sunday AM worship services. How they found out about me was really cool. One of their church members and CR leaders is David Kingsbury, and he is a former student of Hebron Colony. Apparently, while he was up at Hebron, I came and sang. (I think it was the week prior to my dad's heart attack. Crazy how that's like a marker, but it is.) He went back down to FL and he told his worship leader that they had to have me. And so, there ya go.

I had an absolute blast. Leading worship backed with a live band and vocalists was freakin' awesome! I want to do it EVERY week! And for the first time in a very long time, I had my confidence back. And it was also really cool to go in to a place where I had been talked up a bit, and then blow them out of the water. :) I had a 3 hour rehearsal on Tuesday night for the Friday PM service, my first trip to DISNEYWORLD on Wednesday, another 3 hour rehearsal on Thursday PM for Sunday AM services, lead worship on Friday PM followed by a 45 minute concert in the cafe, went jet skiing on Saturday, then lead worship for 3 (technically 2) AM services. (I sang the special music during the 8 AM service, but lead worship for the 9:15 & 10:45 AM services.)

In October '07, they kicked off their "Celebrate Recovery" program, which was started originally at Rick Warren's church out in CA. Celebrate Recovery is basically a time that those coming out of addiction, or even still suffering with it, can come as they are and be a part of worship, small groups, and then a great fellowship. It is the coolest thing. It's like a combination of the Bridge and Hebron Colony. My heart was broken at hearing some of the stories of the people that attended the service that night, but my heart rejoiced in knowing that God was working on them in mighty, mighty ways. (Seriously, some of the testimonies would make your jaw drop, but I won't go into detail on this. Just ask me some time, and I'll be glad to share them with you.) The night that I was there leading worship, they recorded their highest attendance EVER with 196 people present! That's so awesome! To be such a young program and to already be that successful...well, that's just God moving and working among a willing people. Too, too cool.

And of course, Sunday morning ROCKED. Well, except the having to get up at 6 AM part to get ready and start warming up. Having to sing "Redeemer" at 7:45 AM is not for the faint of heart. And then, I had to sing it like 4 or 5 more times within a 3 hour block. Lord only knows how many times I had to sing "Redeemer" during rehearsals and warm-ups. I can sing that song in my sleep now. But man...having a live band backing you...there ain't nothing like it. It is so freeing! I'm just going to have to take it down a slight notch when I do some other churches that aren't so "casual" in their worship style. :) I'll have to pull out more of the soaring ballad, Sandi Patty type stuff. ;)

They are wanting me to come back later this year, so I hope that comes together. The people were awesome, and Kyle and I fell in love with FL. We're really missing it especially went temps are dropping below the freezing mark. I mean, I was on a JET SKI last week going 40mph across the water and looking at dolphins swimming alongside us. HELLO?!? Who can't get addicted to that?? I want my own jet ski. :) We did not see any manatee while we were there, but we'll see some the next trip. Gotta save some stuff. I totally want to go back to Disneyworld though. I have to see Mickey Mouse again. And plus, we want to go to MGM as well. But dude...those are NOT cheap tickets. However, our tickets were paid for through the kindness of someone in FL. They wanted me to go to Disneyworld since I had never been, so they made sure we would be reimbursed for our tickets. :)

I had lots of people come up to me after the services and concerts and they all said very nice things. You know the typical, "wow! what a voice!" or "God has certainly blessed you!" or "You sang that better than Nicole Mullen!" or "I hope I can sing like that in Heaven!" or "Do you give voice lessons?" (The answer to that is "no".) But one lady came up to me and took me by the hand, looked right at me and said, "Yes, you are talented. Yes, you do have a great voice. But the most important thing was that when you were singing up there, I saw Jesus. You allowed yourself to be His instrument and speak through you." I was speechless, and I choked up. That is what I pray every time I go up on stage or whatever. I never want it to be about me. I really and truly do want it to be Jesus that they see up there. Yes, the attention is great and hearing my voice come through the sound system (especially a really good one) is awesome. I won't deny that. But if after a service someone can come and tell me that they saw Jesus and were ministered to, then that is what it is all about. I can sign as many autographs as the next person; sell more albums than anyone else; but unless God has spoken to them...unless I have let myself be the willing instrument...then it is all in vain. There are hurting people in and outside of the church that need to hear the message of hope that only Christ can bring to them. I want to be that willing instrument that He uses. Truly, this gift is his and not mine. He could take it away from me in an instant and it would be no more. But while I have it, I want it to be used for His glory.

So, that's Florida in a nutshell. And oh...they have GREAT fish sandwiches. ;)