Thursday, July 31, 2008

Immanuel High School Choir

The Immanuel High School Choir will be kicking off at 3:30pm on Sunday, September
7th. Sadly, after many years of service with the High School Choir, our own Connie Jones is saying goodbye to the ministry that she has served so faithfully. The growth, success, and ministry that we have come to know over the years through this choir has been as a result of her dedication and love for our students. She will be greatly missed. Also, Cindy Smith has stepped down after many years with the choir. She has been directing drama with the choir, but is now turning her attention to other areas of ministry. Thank you both for all of your hard work and dedication to these students over the years. Your shoes will be BIG ONES to fill.

However, we will do our best. This year, we are separating drama and choir. They will be two different entities. While they will work together on projects and tours, they will meet at separate times. So, you CAN be in one without having to be in the other. Although, we encourage you to participate in both if that is your passion. Lisa Lyons will be directing our high school drama, and it is going to be awesome. I personally, will be directing our High School choir and I can't wait to get started.

So, make sure you are in place for High School Choir on September 7th, at 3:30pm. Invite your friends and everyone you know to be a part of this exciting group. There are going to be many awesome events we will be working toward.

With that in mind, I NEED ADULT LEADERSHIP in major ways. I need adults to help with fund raising. I need help with leadership. I need help with chaperoning events. I need adults who are willing to be a part of rehearsals and simply sit with the students and sing the parts with them. This helps them learn the music more quickly and increases their confidence. You will NOT be singing concerts with them. They are on their own at that point. But, you will rehearse with them and help invest in them musically. If you are willing to help in anyway, please email me at .

I think this is officially the longest post I've ever put on my blog. Thanks for hanging with me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Yesterday was a major first for me. While it is true that I have felt a couple of earthquakes during our time in California, the 5.4 that I experienced was like nothing I have ever felt before. I was sitting at my desk in my office at church, and felt a rumbling under my feet. The rumble slowly grew more intense, and soon turned into an office shaking experience. I literally felt like the building was swaying back and forth at one point. It was amazing. Life in California sure is interesting. Fire season starts pretty soon.

Speaking of fire, a large portion of what we visited in Yosemite recently is now burning. Our timing sure was good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Vacation

We recently took a trip to Yosemite. It was a lot of fun. The best part was found simply in just hanging out together. Here are a few pics of our adventure:

Here is Jody and her brother, Eric. We usually only see our family at Christmas, so this was a great treat to be able to spend time with them.

Abby found a giant pinecone!

This was one of our favorite overlooks at Yosemite. It was absolutely beautiful...and right at sunset, too.

Caleb and Ella, hanging out at the Santa Monica Pier. This was actually a few days prior to our trip north.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

All of us have a story (or many stories) of crazy, funny things kids have said. Well, I am no different. The most recent one happened on our way back from Yosemite on Saturday. We stopped at a Bar-B-Que restaurant, which was awesome by the way, and Caleb decided he wanted ribs. He is a rib eating machine. As he was eating his ribs he said, "I wonder who invented ribs?" "God did", I said. "In fact, he has given you ribs, too. And, when He created Eve in the Garden of Eden, he took a rib from Adam to make her." Caleb stopped his gnawing on the rib that he held in his sauce covered fingers. As he slowly turned his head to look at me, I could see the strange look on his face. "Yeah. That's spooky", he said. "That's just really spooky."

I laughed and laughed and laughed. In fact, as I sit here typing, I am laughing some more. I guess it is kinda spooky when you think about it. Can you imagine witnessing that operation? Spooky indeed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Back!

We're back from Yosemite, and yes, we did have a good time. All of Jody's family have gone back to Georgia and we're left with a messy house, tired bodies, and great memories. I'll post some pictures soon. We took lots of them.

We're in VBS all week this week and I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait until Friday when we hear how many kids have given their lives to Christ this year. I am teaching some Bible lessons, a few songs, and just hanging with some of the people the rest of the time. It's going to be a great week.

I've got a couple of stories to share with you over the next couple of days, so check back. And I'll post those pics when I get a few minutes, too!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm really going to miss my choir for the next couple of weeks. With VBS coming up next week, the choir will not be singing for the next 2 weeks due to sets and stuff. So, the choir has 2 weeks off. No rehearsal again until the last Wednesday in July. Enjoy your break Immanuel Choir....but be faithful to return. I'll miss hangin' with you.

Birthday Party Extravaganza

Last night we had a birthday party extravaganza. "What is that" you ask. Well, I'll tell you. Because our family lives on the east coast and we live on the west coast, we are not able to be together for birthdays. So, Jody's parents began this tradition of having all of the kids' birthday parties at one time when they are together. With Jody's brother's two kids, that makes for 5 grandkids together last night for the Birthday Party Extravaganza. We grilled out (or for our west coast friends, we bar-b-qued), we had homemade ice cream with fresh strawberries from our backyard, we had a talent show in which everyone HAD to participate, and we had presents for all of the kids. It was a great time.

So, what was my talent? Well, I told a knock-knock joke. "Knock, Knock." "Who's there?" "Amy Fisher." "Amy Fisher wh....BANG!"

I know. I know. Only the adults understood it. But, that's how I roll.

We leave tomorrow AM for Yo-sa-mighty. Good times. Good times.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family in the IE

Jody's parents and her brother's family are all coming in today. We are picking them up at LAX around noon. I think we're going to hang in LA most of the day. I'm excited about having family around. Next week, we will be going to Yosemite (I pronounce it "yo-sa-mighty"). I have no idea what we are going to be doing there, but it will be fun to just hang out for a few days.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Something that has become pretty neat for me in recent months is that I have opened a facebook account. For those of you who don't know what that is, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Facebook is an online site that allows you to connect with people from around the world. It is protected in the sense that no one can access your page without you approving them. I have reconnected with friends from high school and college that I haven't spoken with in 15 years. It's been great.

So, if you have a facebook account, request me as a friend. If not, create one, and then request me as a friend. I check out my account every 2-3 days. It's safe. It's fun. It's something else to do.

See you online!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My Son - The Ninja

Caleb has progressed again on his quest to become a Ninja. He earned his Orange Belt. They had the Belt Promotion Ceremony for him and presented him with the new belt on Monday evening. This is a picture of Caleb with his Muay Thai coach, 'Smokin' Joe Sarkissian.

The Hymns

I love the hymns. I was raised on the hymns. In fact, in seminary I took many classes that were all about hymns; Hymnology. I enjoy history, as well. So, I will often times do little studies on the history of many of our hymns and hymn writers. One of the funniest things I've found lately is a little known hymn written by Isaac Watts. Isaac Watts is known for his preaching, writings, as well as his hymns. Such hymns are Joy to the World, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Alas! And did my Saviour Bleed, At the Cross just to name a few. But, this one little hymn is so unlike any of the others. The title alone makes me laugh, but I've also included the lyrics below. They're deep (maybe a little too deep), but in light of the title, the lyrics become funny too. Check them out:

Blessed Is The Man Whose Bowels Move

1. Blest is the man whose bowels move,
And melt with pity to the poor;
Whose soul, by sympathizing love,
Feels what his fellow saints endure.
2. His heart contrives for their relief
More good than his own hands can do;
He, in the time of gen'ral grief,
Shall find the Lord has bowels too.
3. His soul shall live secure on earth,
With secret blessings on his head,
When drought, and pestilence, and dearth
Around him multiply their dead.
4. Or if he languish on his couch,
God will pronounce his sins forgiv'n;
Will save him with a healing touch,
Or take his willing soul to heav'n.

I have written a 5th verse that I think Isaac should have included:

5. One thing with prayer will heal your pain
Or take away whatever grieves 'ya,
So pluck it from your grocery shelf
And drink a little milk of magnesia .

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra are going to be at Immanuel tomorrow night. I am so excited. I love this group! They will be performing a Patriotic Concert and we will be honoring our military and their families.

We have been getting everything ready for weeks now, but most preparations are done in the final 24-48 hours. Since we are expecting these guys to minister to our people, we are going to do our best to minister to them. I know of so many churches that feel that since they are paying a group to come in, they should just be happy having a bathroom and a chair to sit in during their down time. I feel just the opposite. I want Immanuel to be the place by which they judge all other experiences. We are setting up their greenroom with snacks, couches, drinks, a WII game system, a sound system, etc. I want to give them a place to unwind all afternoon between sound checks and the concert.

If you want your people to minister to others, set the example!

It is going to be a great night tomorrow night. Be there and bring everyone you know!