Friday, March 28, 2008

3rd World?

We arrived at the Long Beach Airport with the High School Choir tonight, and I was a humorous way. It is an airport that is very reminiscent of one belonging to a 3rd world country. I am having flashbacks of Honduras. The only thing missing is the chickens running around outside the terminal. When we finally reached our gate, I laughed as I realized it was in what seemed to be a double-wide trailer. It is in a shotgun room with one magazine stand and a sandwich refrigerator at one end. My head almost touches the ceiling and you can hear the toilets flushing throughout the room. Very funny. I hope the planes are in better condition. Yikes!

Leaping the Country in a Single Bound...

We leave for DC today on a cross-country High School Choir Tour. I'm excited about it, and can't wait to see what God does in our lives, and in the lives of those we will be ministering to. Please pray that everything we do will glorify the Father. We are supposed to have wireless internet access at the church we will staying at, so hopefully I'll be able to give you some updates throughout the week. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Buzz Lightyear Challenge

Travis Cottrell and I hung out at DisneyLand yesterday and had a blast. It was spring break, so the crowd was unbelievable, but we had a great time despite the long lines. Space Mountain was amazing...thanks Denver, for the advice. The California Screamer was great, the Tower of Terror was my favorite, and then.....(cue fanfare)...there was Buzz Lightyear. For those of you who have not had the privilege, let me just say that the ride causes you to become very competitive. Each rider has a laser gun, and there are various targets throughout the ride. Your score is based on your ability to hit moving targets. So basically, it is a ride designed for "skilled" marksmen. I will only tell you that I beat Travis. He asked me not to tell the score. So, I'll leave it at that.....that I beat him really good. I won't say anymore about slaughtering him at the game. In fact it was rather competitive at first...when the score was 0 to 0.

(Travis...I held up my end of the bargain! I didn't tell anyone that I beat you
109,500 to your 5800. So, no one knows. We'll just keep that between you and me.)


Monday night was absolutely amazing. Max Lucado was at his best, and Travis Cottrell led us in a sweet time of worship with our Lord. If you are looking for a worship collection that will absolutely transform your people, 3:16 is a must have.

I was so proud of our choir Monday night. I watched as God did a work in several of them, then doing a work through them to glorify Himself. This choir worked so hard, memorized this entire thing in 6 weeks, and then sang it from their hearts. I could tell they had been living with this music, because it became more then words and notes on a page. It was, instead, worship that overflowed out of a relationship that they have been walking in with the Lord all week long. I am honored to serve with each of you. Thank you for the privilege.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

I know most of you had great Easter weekends. There is always a new found excitement surrounding all of the activities and services that are going on. At Immanuel, it was nothing short of incredible. Our Easter in Highland event on Saturday saw 18,000 eggs searched out and found within 15 minutes due to the mass amount of people that showed up. And Sunday Everything flowed well, the choir, orchestra, drama, and media teams were at their best. Our Pastor was on fire. And to top it all off, many people made decisions to give their lives to Christ! It couldn't have been any better.

Now, tonight the Immanuel Choir will be in Pasadena, CA in concert with Travis Cottrell and Max Lucado. It all begins at 7pm, so make sure you show up early, get your tickets, and find a good seat. It will be worth it!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter at Immanuel

Tomorrow, Immanuel is hosting our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Baseline. There will be 18,000 eggs full of prizes all over the campus for kids to find. Age groups will be sectioned off to keep things fair and balanced. There will be drinks, food, and a lot of fun. Make sure you are there at 10AM tomorrow morning.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Strange Happenings

I love real-life stories. Especially funny ones. A friend of mine recently told me about one that is so hilarious that I had to share it with you. Granted, I'm sure it was not funny for the people involved. But, for me, it is a winner. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Immanuel Choir

We had rehearsal tonight for Easter and MusiCalifornia . I love hearing our choir sing. It was cool to be able to put everything together with the orchestra. The music we're working on is Travis Cottrell and Max Lucado's 3:16. It has been an incredible experience worshiping through this music over the past several weeks. Scott Revo of Pinelake Music was with us tonight in rehearsal. He is heading up MusiCalifornia and really bringing new life to the event. I can't wait to see everything they have in store for those in attendance. I'm also pumped about leading worship with Travis and Max. That's going to be an amazing night.


Last night my visitation team and I had the opportunity to lead a young woman to Christ. She is a single mom trying to make ends meet. She was trying to do all the right things for her son, but was missing what she really needed; a relationship with Jesus. She prayed to receive Christ and could not stop thanking us for coming to see her. It was incredible. What a night!

Monday, March 17, 2008

On the Road

Our High School Choir is getting ready for their spring tour to Washington, DC. I'm really excited to be going along with them. They've been preparing for months both musically and spiritually, to share their faith in song and in testimony. We will have the opportunity to sing at Walter Reed Hospital, the National Mall, St. Mary's Church, and many other national landmarks.

The students will also be participating in a National Treasure Scavenger Hunt as we hit the nation's capital looking for clues in many of the landmark spots seen in the National Treasure movies. To top the whole week off, we are also scheduled to tour the White House. It is going to be a week that is sure to build memories, great experiences, and hopefully will change many lives for eternity. Please pray for our group that we'll see God do an amazing work in the lives of those that we minister to, as well as in the lives of those of us going.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a Great Day!

The Georgia Bulldogs are the SEC Champions in Men's Basketball. What a crazy and perplexed college system we have. Now, I am very happy that they won. But, how in the world does a team who won 4 out of 16 SEC games the whole year, win 4 straight conference games, with 2 of those wins within 8 hours of each other, become the SEC Champions? It's crazy. But, it is what makes March Madness so exciting. Now, on to the National Championship in Football, and that will be an amazing year!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


My Georgia Dawgs just beat Mississippi State in the SEC Semifinals. They play Arkansas in the SEC Championship Game tomorrow afternoon. Wow! I am blown away. They've had such a dismal year that they have to win the conference in order to make it to the NCAA Tourney. I'm starting to believe...but, it's usually at that point that they let me down. Who knows? We'll see what happens. Go Dawgs!

Go Dawgs!

The Georgia Dawgs beat Kentucky this morning in a 60-56 OT win. Because of the tornado in downtown Atlanta last night, their game was postponed until this morning. Now, they have to turn around and play the semifinal SEC game tonight, less than 8 hours after their quarterfinal game. They're at a disadvantage, but I'm still pulling for them. GO DAWGS!

Friday, March 14, 2008

March Madness

I've gotten to watch a little NCAA Basketball this weekend. Not too much, but I've really enjoyed a few of the games. Georgia pulled off a buzzer beater win against Ole Miss. I know it was just Ole Miss, but it was better than losing to them. Duke pulled it off against Georgia Tech. And Georgia is now playing Kentucky. I don't have a very good feeling about that one.

We picked the kids up today and took them to Richie's Diner for lunch. We had a lot of fun, and capped it off with banana splits and sundaes. After lunch we headed to a couple of stores and then to the
Biane Library at Victoria Gardens . The kids read books for a while, and Jody and I hung out and listened to the stories. It was a great afternoon. Tonight we made pizza and are watching Spiderman. Good times!

It doesn't get much better than this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Just My Opinion

It is amazing to me, that as Christians, we deal with negative opposition from other believers. This should not be the case. However, it often is. The problem is not that we all have different opinions, but rather that we choose to act like idiots to prove our opinion is the right one. It' all about attitude. There is a right way and a wrong way to get your opinion across.

Take this little test and see what you come up with:

1) Do you know anyone who thinks they're always right?
2) Do you know anyone who talks like they're an expert on a subject, when in reality, they know nothing about it?
3) Do you know anyone that has to have everyone agree with they're opinion, or they won't leave the subject alone.
4) Do you know anyone who always has to convince everyone why "they" are wrong and why "I" am right?

Do you know someone in all 4 questions? If so, you need some new friends.

You didn't recognize any of those as yourself, did you?

It makes me laugh when I hear people say "well that's just how I am". "What do you mean? A hard-headed, egotistical, arrogant know-it-all? Is that you? Oh. Well, then you've convinced us." I'm sure no one knows anyone like that, do you? (Yes, you do detect sarcasm.) The next time you think your opinion is the right one...don't act like an idiot. After all, is being right worth making yourself look stupid?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Worship Center

I met with the interior design team for the new worship center last night. It is going to be amazing. The people of Immanuel have been waiting for years to see this building actually happen. Well, it is going to happen. I believe that within 3 years we will be moving into the new building. The design is nearing completion, the money is coming in, and we are going to be celebrating the 2 year mark for our first financial campaign in May.

Pray - we must pray that we will see great growth over the next few weeks, months, and years. But we can't just pray. We must be intentional about helping to grow the church. Praying and sitting isn't helping. We must be a part of the solution and allow God to answer prayer through us. I don't know about anyone else, but I want to be a part of God's answer. Share Jesus with your neighbors. Share Jesus with your family. Invite friends and co-workers. Make growing God's church and investing in the lives of others a priority in your own life. God wants to reach our community more than we do. Just imagine what will happen if/when we all get passionate about reaching them for Jesus!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Biker in Training

Okay...I've been doing the dad thing for a couple of weeks in the area of teaching my son how to ride a bike. For those of you who don't know, Caleb was born with severe clubbed-feet. This means they were turned inward and upward. He has had 4 major surgeries and extensive physical therapy to correct this. Even with all of that, he will never have more than 75% flexibility in his ankles. So, he doesn't have the range of motion when he's peddling. It's just how it is. So, bike riding is coming a little later in life for him (he's 7).

Well, it has got to be the most frustrating thing I've ever done in my life. I've tried everything I know. I bought him a new bike he really liked. I have encouraged. I've pleaded. I've even spent hours running alongside him holding on to the seat. But, in the end, he's no closer to riding than he was when he was trailing around with training wheels. I am about ready to stick my own head in the spokes when he gets going down hill really fast. I've had it!

So, any advice out there? I can't be the only one...can I?


I had another song published this week. The name of the song is "He Came to Me". I'm excited to hear the demo that is being put together. Singer/songwriter Rebecca Peck will be doing the demo and I'm sure it will be incredible. I've listed the lyrics below. We're planning on doing it at Immanuel in a few months. We're kinda busy with plenty of other things right now. Anyway, here 'ya go!


Why would the God of Glory love a helpless soul like mine?
Why would the Great I Am send His only Son to die?
The price He paid for my sin was much too high a cost
But, Jesus came and found me and loved me to the cross

He came to me, now my blinded eyes can see
He forgave and set this prisoner free
He died, and He rose, and that's all I need to know
When my sin was all I could see
He came to me

Why would He choose to come down, leaving heaven's throne?
The earth and all within it could have made His glory known
Yet, He saw a worthless sinner and redeemed me through His love
I don't have to know the answers, for I'm covered by the blood

I'm forgiven, it's a new life I'm livin'
As a child of the King
I was lost, now I'm found
Since the Savior came down
And changed my everything

Copyright 2008. Thomas Peck Music (BMI)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Immanuel Makes Reality TV

For those who don't know, there is a reality show that comes on the CW Network called Girlicious. The band, The Pussycat Dolls, are looking to form a new "girl band" called Girlicious. From what I understand about the plot (no, I don't watch the show:), the girls are auditioning to be a part of the band while competing in challenges. One of the challenges took place here in San Bernardino at the 66ers' Ballpark. The girls were broken up into different groups and had to perform their own rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The winning group was rewarded by getting to sing their version of the National Anthem at the ballpark before the game. If you look really closely while the girls are singing, you can see the Immanuel Billboard in the outfield during the song. If you want to watch the video, you can search for it on YouTube. (I really didn't want to post it here.) Immanuel has made national television on a reality show called Girlicious! *Clearing throat*...maybe we should just keep this to ourselves.

How Crazy is This?

My family just got back from our first swim of the new year. What is the date? March 7th? That's crazy! The water was not cold at all and it was pretty warm today. The kids were so pumped when we picked them up from school and told them we were going swimming. It was a great day. We're closing the day out with a pizza picnic in the living room along with a movie. I love hanging out with my family!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My mind has been officially blown. I just found out that I have two songs that are listed on . CCLI is the Christian Copyright Licensing that all churches need to have. All published songs are listed here for churches to obtain copyright information, as well as cool features for many of the songs, including lyric sheets. Maybe one day I'll have a song hit their top 5000. How crazy would that be?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Hawk Nelson absolutely blew the doors off the church tonight. Literally. The line began forming a little after 2pm for the 7pm concert. By 6pm, hundreds had gathered in front of the sanctuary with their "Green T's" on to rock out to the Green "T" Tour. Run Kid Run and Capital Lights were also great bands, but Hawk Nelson were incredible. I've never seen so many video cams and video phones going in one place. They were all over the auditorium. It was a great night! Thanks for coming out Highland!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hawk Nelson

Hawk Nelson is going to be in concert tomorrow night at Immanuel. "The Show" starts at 7pm. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. The Green "T" Tour is on at Immanuel. It's going to be awesome.