Monday, April 28, 2008

For Freedom

I put the final touches on my arrangement of "For Freedom" today. Eric Kelley will be orchestrating it this week. It is going to be a great song for us on Memorial Day. Our military men and women deserve to be honored for all that they do for us on a daily basis. Along those same lines, their families deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices that they make in giving up their loved ones for us...For Freedom. Memorial Day weekend we will be honoring all of those. Those actively serving, those who have given their lives for our freedom, and the families of those who have served our country so faithfully. It will be a day you will not want to miss.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Something happened today that I've never had happen before. I was trying to do some rearranging and clean-up in the garage when it all went down. I was moving my electric guitar to a new place. Because I take great care of it (dad), it was in the box that it came in. As I picked it up to put it in its new home, the box opened up on one end and the guitar fell out. I know what you're thinking. "Oh, no. His poor guitar." Well, the guitar is fine. Not a scratch. It was cushioned by my left big toe....which is now broken. It hurts just thinking about it. Gotta love that.

What made matters worse is that I was just about to get ready to go to a memorial service that I sang at. So, I immediately had to shove my swollen, broken toe into a dress shoe. Nice. That's a moment that I can't really describe to you. I believe the Lord has removed it from my mind to help keep me from doing any real mental damage. Tomorrow (Sunday) morning should be very interesting.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Warriors's official. The weekend is here, and yet things aren't slowing down. I have been working in the garage, and around the house, today, I have a friend coming into town tomorrow to do some work with our media department at church, we've been trying to get Caleb's room painted (and finished today - cue the Hallelujah Chorus), I have a memorial service that I am singing at tomorrow (what an honor!), and today Ella started with an ear infection. (Phewww...I'm tired just thinking about it all.) But hey...that's life...and I love it.

I'd love to be taking an MMA class like Caleb, but I can't find another night of the week. Not to mention the fact that I'm afraid videos of my (lack of) wrestling skills might then hit the world-wide-web. That's all I need. So, for now I'll continue meeting the needs of the ever evolving world I call my life...and enjoying every minute of it.

I had to mention this also: I received several cards, emails, and offering plate notes this past week that were so encouraging. Thank you, to all of you who decided to make a difference in my life this week. It was wonderful to hear from you. Thank you also to Kevin and Cat who treated me to a (some-kind of meat) sandwich at Zabella's. I loved hanging out with you. (I'm still afraid that I'm going to find out that sandwich was some kind of cow tongue or something.) I love our people at Immanuel!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Ninja

Just in case you didn't catch my previous post about Caleb's quest for a black belt, let me catch you up. My seven year old just began mixed martial arts. Monday night's class is grappling (wrestling). Tonight was his second lesson, and it was very entertaining. While his wrestling may look like a normal 7 year old, he is actually utilizing moves that he was taught in class. The hold you see him put on the other kid is called a body-lock. Once you feel that grip, there is no escape for you. I call him Caleb "the anaconda" Bumgardner. You'll be able to purchase tickets for his first fight at UFC 379. Get ready!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Love This Country

America finally got it right this week on American Idol . Christy Lee Cook is finally gone. Now, it gets very interesting. We'll have the opportunity to see people either raise their game, or fall flat. I believe that with the remaining contestants, we will see some real head-to-heads that will cause many of them to move into a new league. David Archuletta is still the man to beat...but David Cook is coming on strong. Carly definitely has the best pipes of any of the idols, but she doesn't seem to do well with criticism. She was actually doing better earlier in the competition. But, I feel we'll see her get a great song soon that will catapult her into the top 3.

Working on Designs

Having been in ministry now for 15 years, I have learned how important encouragement and communication are. All of us need to be encouraged from time to time...some of us more than others. And, communication is the key to any successful relationship. With a ministry the size of Immanuel's, it is virtually impossible to make a phone call to each person. Even when you do, you only catch a small percentage at home. Mail outs can only be done on occasion, and even then they take time to reach your recipients. So, living in the 21st century I decided to take advantage of technology. Within the next couple of weeks I am launching a communication email that I will be sending out on a regular basis for the purpose of both encouragement and communication. I will post some info here soon that will tell you where to subscribe so that you will be on that mailing list.

I get excited about little things like this, so I can't wait to send out my first one. I really believe it is going to make a difference in the lives of our people, ultimately impacting the effectiveness of our ministry.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God and Country

We are going to be celebrating God's blessings on our country on Wednesday, July 2nd at Immanuel. Every year we have a big patriotic blowout, but this year will be a little different. Yes, we will still be honoring our military men and women from throughout the community. Yes, we will be celebrating what God has done and is doing for our country. But, it will not be in the form of a choir and musical. Instead, we will have Denver and the Mile High Orchestra in concert with the Immanuel Choir. DMHO will be leading us in a patriotic celebration that will be amazing. The concert is free, and so is the ice cream afterward. The place is going to be packed...and for good reason. I have already had other churches calling to ask if they can bring their people to worship with us on that night. So, make plans now to attend with your family and friends. It will be an incredible night!


Wednesday is always a very interesting day. We have choir rehearsal tonight and I always look forward to that. I just love being with our people. It's great to see what God is doing in their lives, in addition to hearing and seeing them sing to the Lord. What a blessing. The preparation for Wednesday is always great, too. My staff spends the day working hard to get things right. Some on graded choir rehearsals, along with Immanuel Choir logistics, etc. Others are preparing for orchestra rehearsal and all that goes with that. Still others are doing the "real" work of pulling music, setting up the rooms, getting choir and orchestra notes ready, setting out prayer cards, and the list goes on and on.

Speaking of prayer cards...we've begun a new ministry within the worship ministry. We have cards printed up on which people can write notes of encouragement. Our staff mails them off and our people have a more active role in ministering to those around them. Though it's just getting off the ground, I've already heard back from others about the impact it has made. Keep up the good work Immanuel Choir. You inspire me to be better.

Monday, April 14, 2008


When I was a kid, there was a show that came on television in which a young guy was training to be a ninja. I loved the show and used to pretend that I was a ninja, as I would swing in trees and imagine myself in the midst of a martial arts battle. I must say, I went undefeated in my time as a ninja and have the imaginary records to prove it. Well, as time has gone by, the Lord has blessed me with a son to whom I now pass the torch and ninja training.

Caleb starts his first mixed martial arts class tonight, and he is very excited. I must admit, I am a little nervous for him. I just want him to enjoy it. If he doesn't, then it's not worth doing. BUT, I am looking forward to having a little ninja at home. How cool will that be?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

San Diego

My good friend Travis Cottrell invited me and Jody to come to San Diego for a Living Proof conference this past weekend. For those who don't know, Travis leads worship for Beth Moore's conferences. So, off to San Diego we went. It was a quick trip, but fantastic. We had a great time hanging with you Travis. Thanks for the invite. And the worship was incredible. Thanks for leading us.

Here are some pics of the conference. Yes, it is a women's, it was a little strange being surrounded by so many ladies. I haven't been stared at like that since I forgot to zip my pants before my 5th grade talent show. If Living Proof is coming to a city near you anytime soon...make plans to go. It will greatly impact your life - ladies!

Friday, April 11, 2008


The blogosphere has been heating up about American Idol contestants singing "Shout to the Lord" on the Wednesday night Idol Gives Back show. Some were upset that they sang the song at all. Others were upset that they took the name of Jesus out of the performance. The fact that they did the song at all shocked me. But, on Thursday night's results show, the group sang the song again, only this time...they sang the name of Jesus. I think that is a huge deal in a world that claims there are millions of ways to "god". Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Choir Rehearsal

Wow. I am still soaring as a result of last night's choir rehearsal. We absolutely had an amazing time of worship. I think the difference in what we do and what many others do is that we don't enter into a time of "it's just rehearsal" in our minds. Instead, when we meet together we meet expecting God to do something in and through us. Yes, we spend a lot of time working hard. Yes, we punch notes and polish cutoffs and work on vowel pronunciations, etc. But, we do so knowing that we are not just preparing a song. This choir knows that we are preparing an offering that we going to be presenting to the Lord. It makes all the difference in the world.

Last night, we stood and closed out with a song of worship. It was incredible to stand before the choir and see their hearts on their faces. Soon after we closed in prayer, something totally unexpected happened. Different groups began to gather around the room, holding hands in prayer. It was mind blowing to look around and see God moving in people's hearts. Thank you Lord for the blessing of serving among a people who Love you and search to know you more!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

American Idol

So, I'm a big American Idol fan. I can't deny it. I love following the story of each person, and watching their growth throughout the process. And I really like hearing the songs and different people's take on them. This year seems to be very different for me. What was billed as the most talent-packed season ever, has disappointed in many ways. I will go as far as to say that this IS the first season I can remember having a top 12 in which I feel that all 12 can sing. Seasons past had red-haired crooner dude that I felt like shouldn't have made the top 50, Chicken Little, and must we mention the Mohawk?!

I feel that this year's title is David Archuletta's to lose. While I believe there are more talented people left, he has a solid voice, musical skills, and seems to be leading in the popularity side of the competition, as well. David Cook and Brooke disappointed last night, but Archu seemed to have another good night.

So, my favorites are:
1) Brooke
2) David A.
3) Michael Johns
4) David Cook
5) Syesha

Who are yours?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Our House

It is about to get busy at the Bumgardner house. UPWARD Soccer is starting up and both Caleb and Abby are playing again this year. I am going to be an assistant coach this year instead of the head coach so that I can attend both of their games. In addition to soccer, Caleb starts next Monday in mixed martial arts. That will be on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Abby will be taking dance. So, check out our new weekly schedule:

Monday - Caleb in MMA, Tuesday - Caleb in MMA, Dad in Outreach, Wednesday - Abby at Soccer, Church Activities for all of us, Thursday - Abby in Dance, Friday - trying to keep it open, Saturday - Soccer Games, Sunday - Worship.

I'm tired already. I'm just thankful that Ella is not ready yet to get involved in all of this. Stay young sweet child. I don't have enough time to figure out your schedule yet. And, with all of this, we just have one car. So, we haven't quite figured out yet how we're going to make it all work. But, there is a way, and we're determined to figure it out.

I know many of you probably have crazier schedules than ours, but this is a huge plate for us. In addition to all of this, we will have occasional auditions with agents for Abby...if all goes according to plan. Pray for us! (But, I have to admit...I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I know I'm going to miss these days when they're gone.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Abby has decided that she wants to pursue modeling. So, we decided to send a few pictures to some talent scouts around the LA area. She has actually been picked up by a company in Las Vegas that wants to represent her. They work with agents from places like Ford Modeling, Disney, and Hannah Montana's Agent...whoever he/she is. This doesn't mean she will soon be hitting magazine covers around the country. Instead, it just means that they feel like she has the potential to be picked up by one of these types of agencies. So, we'll see what happens. But, it's always nice to hear that you didn't give birth to a sasquatch-like offspring.

E For E

I was privileged to lead worship this morning for Equipped for Evangelism. It is a conference that was held at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA today. I love hearing God's people sing. So, it was a thrill for me to sing with them today as we worshiped. Tom Rainer was on hand to bring a message from the Lord. I am honored anytime I have the opportunity to worship and to lead in worship. What an incredible gift the Lord has given us to glorify Himself.

March Madness

I really enjoy college basketball, but there is nothing like this time of year. March Madness is in its final stages, and it is crazy. Check out this dunk by Patrick Ewing, Jr in the slam dunk competition. It is reminiscent of a dunk I had in college, only he actually reaches the rim.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Sorry it has been so long since my last blog. I was caught in areas with no WIFI and was unable to access the online world. That was an adjustment in and of itself. The trip to DC was great. We ended up being able to see everything that I had hoped for, except for one...Ford's Theater. For those who do not know, Ford's Theater is the place that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. After he was shot, he was taken to a home across the street, where he died the next morning (7:22am, April 15th). We were able to go through the home, but the Theater was closed for renovations. One day, I am going to be able to see it. Maybe when the kids are older.

For those of you planning a DC trip in the future, let me warn you to take your walking shoes! We must have walked 21,074 miles by the end of the week. I have the legs of a body builder now....well, sort of....a 12 year old body builder. But, all of the walking tired us out. However, it was well worth it.

The kids were great. The experience was great. And I look forward to seeing God continue to do a work through our experiences in the lives of all who went. We're already looking forward to next year and making plans for a location.