Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

As our family celebrates the birth of our Savior, we want to take the time to say Merry Christmas to you and your family. This year, we adopted a family and our kids got gifts for their kids. This family is struggling each day just to make ends meet. It was an AMAZING blessing to watch our kids light up as we bought things at the store for them. I think they got as excited to do that as unwrapping their own gifts this morning.

We have been incredibly blessed as a family. We have spent nearly a week with Jody's family in middle Georgia, and we're driving up today to spend a few days with my family in Augusta. This year has been even more special because the kids are a little older (at least our older 3 are) and they appreciate the chance to see all of their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents even more than in past years. Jody's parents put together a family reunion so that we could see all of the family that lives scattered around the state. Our kids met cousins they hadn't seen in 4 years, and others they had never met. It was GREAT! Caleb and Abby had two of their cousins spend the night, and are planning on calling and writing on a regular basis.

I guess what I'm realizing even more is that FAMILY is what makes our annual venture to Georgia so special. It's not about punching a clock to say that we went home. But, it's something that is an investment in the ones we love, as well as ourselves. Our kids don't get that regular interaction with their grandparents on a regular basis. This trip home has been so important for them....and for all of us!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Caleb's Original

Caleb has really enjoyed learning to play guitar. We have seen him growing musically, and he has been showing some real talent in his natural rhythm and understanding of chord progressions. He seems to just have an ear for how chords work together. I posted a video below of his recital. He played a worship song called "Our God Saves", but in the video below, you will hear the first song Caleb has ever written. Though it's lyrically simple, keep in mind that he didn't just write the lyrics, but he also developed the melody line, a singable rhythm, and developed the chord progression used throughout the song. There are a lot of different things going on here. He is already asking me to co-write with him. I can't wait to get started on that! We're proud of you, Caleb! Stay focused and keep working hard.

"He Came to Earth"
by Caleb Bumgardner

Jesus, He came to Earth to save us
He washed away our sins
He washed away our sins

Jesus, He came to Earth to save us
He died and rose again
He died and rose again

He came to Earth to set us free
So we could live eternally

Jesus, He came to Earth to save us
He washed away our sins
He washed away our sins

Jesus, He came to Earth to save us
He died and rose again
He died and rose again

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great Vacation

Some good friends of ours invited us to spend the week with them in Newport Coast. Although we were only able to be there for about 3 days, we had an amazing time. Our kids all get along well, so it was a lot of fun to hear them laughing and hanging out together. We are back now, getting ready for tonight's Thanksgiving Eve Service at Immanuel. It will be a great time of sharing together in praise. If you are in the area tonight make sure you come to this service. The Immanuel Choir and Orchestra will be leading in worship as well as a couple of feature songs, including testimonies and video. See ya there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Difficulties in Sharing Christ

It is so easy to agree to the fact that Scripture says we are to "go and tell". But, when it comes to actually doing it, why do we get that nervous pit in our stomach and stutter in our voice? It happens to most all of us. I don't think the Lord ever expects us to be comfortable with obedience. But what He does expect is our obedience in the face of our uncomfortable situation.

Let's just be honest; if obeying was easy, we would all be perfect. Though none of us are, we do have access to the one Who is. Through obedience in sharing Christ we are investing in the Kingdom of God.

Stay faithful. Stay clean. And in the face of difficulty,  know that in our weakness He is strong.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Sweet Abby Cat

Abby put this on the pillow next to me when she left for school this morning. She's so funny and creative. And yes, that's a pack of peanut butter crackers.

Red Robin Tuesday Night

We are celebrating the season's last basketball practice. Only one game left. Tuesday Night at Red Robin. We're actually sitting at the same table we sat at when we reveals to the kids that they were going to have a new baby sister. Now little Ava Drew is sitting here with us. Just not in this picture.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

UPWARD and So Forth

Today, Jody was up and out the door at 7:45am. She had a Women's Ministry Event and was teaching a class on "Preparing A Thanksgiving Meal on a Budget". So, I took the two little ones to childcare (we love these people who care for our kids! Thank you Jesus for them.) Then, back to get the two older ones off to their UPWARD Basketball Games. We had two hours of games, and it was hot. What's the deal? Why is it getting hotter now that Thanksgiving is approaching?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Harvest Festival and Visiting Parents

My parents attended the Immanuel Harvest Festival for the first time with us Sunday night. It was our first Halloween for our kids to spend with their grandparents. I loved having them with us and seeing our kids with them. Our Immanuel High School Worship Choir sang at Harvest Festival, and they knocked it out of the park. They were great! I couldn't have been any prouder of them. Good stuff!

If you have ever been to Immanuel's Harvest Festival, write me and let me know what your favorite Harvest Festival moment has been. Here are some of ours from this year:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rainy Saturday and Georgia Football

It was a rainy morning today. IT was great to wake up to the sound of the rain, but my day began at 7:45am, calling the parents of my basketball players to let them know our game was cancelled due to the weather. Today is the day of the Georgia/Florida football game. As I write this, Georgia has turned the ball over 3 times and Florida has scored 14 points off those turnovers. How can you win a game playing like that? Ridiculous.

I'm really excited about tomorrow. Worship in the morning, High School Choir rehearsal in the afternoon, and then the Harvest Festival! I can't wait. Our Student Worship Choir is singing at the Harvest Festival, as well. So, it will be a huge day. My parents and nephew will be at their very first Harvest Festival and seem to be excited to see what it's all about. We will be there with a ninja, a High School Musical Star, and 2 lady bugs.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Perform With Mass Choir in New York City

I was so blown away by our opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall earlier this month. It was one of the top 5 experiences I've ever had. In fact, it was such top quality and put together so well that I've decided to help assemble a mass choir for a concert next June.

The dates are June 9-13. The concert will take place at the famous Lincoln Center in beautiful New York City. This choir will have the honor of singing with Larnelle Harris, Steve Green and Steve Amerson.   Choirs of 6-9 people helped to make up our mass choir at Carnegie. So, don't feel like you don't have enough people to make it happen. If you'd like more information, email me at Your people will never be the same after this experience. Guaranteed!

La Familia

My parents are in town this week. We are so excited to have them here. Our nephew came with them. So, we're planning to have lots of family time while they're here. This weekend, they'll get to experience their first Immanuel Harvest Festival. The kids are really excited about that. Hopefully, I'll get to post some pictures next week of their costumes. Pretty Cute stuff!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

State Convention and FOCM

I am now in Fresno, CA, for the Fellowship of Church Musicians and the California State Baptist Convention this week. I will be on a panel tomorrow with my Pastor, Rob Zinn , discussing Pastor/Worship Pastor ministry relationship, and fielding questions on how to lead a church as a team. Beginning Tuesday, I'll be singing with a worship leading team in the worship services at the State Convention. So, it's a big week for the state, and for me personally. I love hanging out with my Pastor. So the car ride up was nice, and I'm looking forward to our conversations and just learning from him on the ride home later this week.

Somehow, I got a room on the 1st floor, facing the parking lot, on the end of the hall by the front door. I had better not hear a bunch of noise or have car lights shining in my window all night or someone is going to hear about it :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

More New York News

After the concert at Carnegie Hall, the choir and Travis Cottrell and Melinda Doolittle, set sail in the New York Harbor for a little partying, food, and sight-seeing. It was the perfect ending to an amazing experience.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New York Postings

New York was an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall with two of my favorite vocalists, Travis Cottrell and Melinda Doolittle. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures or video in Carnegie Hall. As a result, the only pictures I have are of the city and some of our adventures. I will be receiving pictures from Carnegie's Photographer soon. When I get them, I will post some performance pics here. But, for now...

Jody and I went to see "Mary Poppins" on Broadway. It was so much fun, and it was the evening of my birthday.

Later, we decided to walk around downtown, and we went to one of our favorite Delicatessens in New York City. It is right in the center of all of the action in Times Square. And, the food is amazing!

I have other pics of Jody and myself that I'll post over the next couple of days. Check back also for those performance pics that I'll post as soon as I have them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going Through Home to Get Home

I am blogging right now from the airport in Atlanta GA, my home state. It feels strange to Have some of my California peeps with me in my home state. We Are on the way back to California after an amazing experience in New York City.

I will post some pictures here and on Facebook soon, and will give you more of the details. But for now, I'll Just sum it up with this: our people who were blessed to be able to make this trip have been approaching me with amazing stories of how God has worked in them during this trip. I believe we will never be the same after this experience.

Be I'm the lookout for some pics in the next couple of days.