Friday, January 29, 2010

My Worship Staff

I am blessed with an amazing ministry team at Immanuel. Not only do we have awesome volunteers, but I would put my worship staff up against anybody's in the country. I have not been in the office all week, due to the birth of our new little baby girl whose video you can see if you scroll down on this page (shameless plug). But, they have not missed a beat in my absence. They always do an incredible job and I am blessed to serve with them. Thanks Ellen, Eric, Byron, Larry, Amy, Sharon, Lisa, and Brad. You make me look good and I am so grateful for you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just wrote a song that I feel the Lord gave me. The subject came from a question that I hear people ask themselves often. The question for some is "how do I know that I am saved?" While for a mature believer it may be hard to understand why someone would have this question. But, if you'll think back to the early days of your walk with the Lord you may remember being full of questions as a new believer. While our questions may not all be the same, the fact that we have questions propels us into a deeper understanding of Who God is as He teaches us through His word and the power of His Holy Spirit.

This song actually asks no questions at all. Instead, its message is to provide the answers. A reassurance, if you will, that God has the power to save. The chorus flows from the heart of a believer that speaks one simple truth; "I know that He saves". The world may ask "how do you know?" Well, I know because He saved me. In fact, this is the title and overall message of the song. Below is a simple chorus from the song that gives you an insight into the heart of this tune:

I know that He saves
I know that He redeems
I know that He can rescue
Because He rescued me

I know that He loves
I know that my Jesus lives
Because He made a way from no way
I know that He saves

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ava Drew's First Day

My baby girl was born yesterday. She is the youngest of 4, and her big brother and sisters are so ready for her to come home to play. We still have another day or two in the hospital. But, then it's play time! God has blessed us tremendously and we want to share those blessings with you. So, without further adieu, here is Ava Drew!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Ramblings of a Mad-Man

I have had some new songs birthed in my heart lately. It has been wonderful to be inspired by God's word and to hear it set to a melody in my head. There's nothing like it. Now, it's just a matter of sorting it all out and putting it on paper. The hard thing for me is that multiple ideas seem to come at once. Then I'm left to sort out the clutter. But, I'm thankful for the mess.

We have just over 2 days left until Baby Ava Drew arrives. We are really getting excited now. I can't wait to hold her in my arms and kiss those little baby lips, see those little baby fingers and toes, and know that we have a life-time of joy ahead with her. I can't wait!

Today, we had our last doctor's appointment before the birth. While in the waiting room, a man fell asleep waiting on his wife and began snoring. He was so loud that you could see people all over the room laughing at him. I actually got this on video tape, but my wife's conviction and fear of legal consequences has convinced me not to post it. I think there should be a law that states "if someone allows themselves to look foolish in public, someone with a camera has the legal responsibility to hold them accountable by making an example of them on youtube, or a similar web-based site. To have said camera and not to act is Punishable by Law." I believe that only then will we see a decrease in public stupidity.

Speaking of which, I think we were behind Richard Petty today on the way to the doctor's office. He had the same cowboy-ish hat on. He was sporting the same dark glasses. And, he was driving like he had no idea what he was doing. Similarities - completed. He would stop 25 feet short of a stop sign. Then slowly pull up to the stop sign. Then, stop again. At a red light, he put his blinker on to change lanes, stopped, sat in front of us until the light changed, then turned his blinker off and proceeded to go straight. The craziest part of all of this was we could not seem to ever get around him. What?!

Okay...I'm rambling. So, I guess I'll sign off for now. I'll be posting video footage of the baby soon after the birth. Jody made me promise not to post any of the birthing process. No worries. I'll just post the good stuff :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Caleb's Mission Project

Every 4th grader knows, if you are in public school in California you will have a HUGE Mission Project to do. My 9 year old, Caleb, is one such 4th grader this year. He chose to do his project on Mission San Juan Capistrano. We decided to do the most interesting option for the project; a video tour. Caleb acted as host, and was SO nervous. But, it made it even cuter. We had so much fun working on this project. Check it out below. You may learn a little something you didn't know before.

Sunday Worship at Immanuel

I always like to cause the average worshiper on Sunday morning to think; to use their minds and engage their hearts in worship. We should always understand and internalize the lyrics of any song as we offer it to the Lord. Each song is not just something chosen by the Worship Pastor for the purpose of filling a spot. Instead, each has a purpose to help put into words our commitment and heart-felt gratitude. We need to understand the scripture and intent of each song we sing.

Today, I pulled things back in our contemporary worship service. I felt that we needed a time of intimate, reflective corporate worship. So, I gave the band the day off and I just sat at the piano and led the church in worship. As they entered, Psalm 5:7 was on the screen, and the stage had low lighting to draw people's attention to the scripture. I then began to play and led us through the chorus of "Here I Am to Worship". We moved on into "All I Need" and "I Need Thee Every Hour". We capped it off with "Revelation Song" which I had a female lead vocal on as the congregation sang with her. I think it was just what we needed today. It was simple. It was without distraction. It was genuine.

I long for those worship moments with the church.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Wife's Blog

What started out as a simple idea to take a passion that Jody had and give her a project to enjoy has turned into an amazing adventure! Jody began posting video blogs and cooking advice on her blog, West Coast Peaches , just this week. Already, she is getting hits in the triple digits. The popularity of her blog has doubled mine in less than a week. I'm blown away, and at the same time so excited for her. Thank you for checking it out.

If you have not yet visited, make sure to go check it out today. She really is just scratching the surface of what this blog is going to become. I get to be in on the creative side of the blog development. That's more my thing, and I'm loving being involved. Make sure you visit and post a comment. She'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

8 Days and Counting

The countdown has begun! We are 8 days away from the birth of our new baby girl, Ava Drew. January 22 is the expected arrival date via C-Section. We have had all previous 3 children by this means because of internal issues Jody has, and Ava will come by the same means. The room is painted, the crib is in place, and the stuffed-animals are scattered throughout the room just awaiting the arrival of their new master. I can't wait for those sheets to have drool stains and the rest :0) It is going to be fun. Our nights ahead are going to be some sleepless ones, but blessed ones.

So, Jody and I have begun the conversations of "what is she going to look like? Whose personality is she going to have? Will she be a pink baby with no hair? Will she have blue eyes or brown?" You, know...the normal parent conversations. Because she is a girl, my questions are more along the lines of "will I have to kill all the little boys in her life, or will my threats and 6 foot 4 stature do the trick?"

I am planning on posting some video of her first few hours right here at The Chief End. Make sure you're tuning in to see some footage of Ava Drew. I wonder if she'll come early. You never know. But, being a girl, I'm sure we'll have to go in after her. She's not going to be on time.

Wow! As a teenager, I always wondered what it would be like to live in a girls' dorm. 20 years later I guess I'm about to find out with all these women in my house. 3 girls? Caleb and I are out numbered!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Well, our worship pastors' conference, MetroWest, just ended today. It was an honor to host and an awesome time to hang out with my friends and brothers. I feel challenged and encouraged. I can't wait to see our people tonight at rehearsal.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Family and Worship

I am so excited right now. I am leaving for the airport in about 5 minutes to pick up my father in law. I love this man dearly and owe him so much. As a parent, I am learning everyday of the sacrifice he made in granting me his daughter's hand in marriage. I am so thankful he trusted me and loved me enough. He has always treated me as one of his own. I can't wait to hang out with him.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and you know what that means. Thats right - worship at Immanuel! I actuallly have bronchitis and laryngitis. I'm praying I will have enough voice to make it through the services. But, if not, it wasn't about me anyway. So, I'm just praying His will is worked out tomorrow and that He'll allow me to just be a small part of it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

West Coast Peaches Returns

It has been nearly two years since my wife's last blog. Today, she posted her first NEW blog at . Her new blog will primarily be dedicated to cooking tips, recipes that my family gets to enjoy on a daily basis, plating and presentation ideas, and those little tips that many people overlook when preparing a dish. It will be a fun and interactive blog for all of us who love to, like to, or HAVE to cook. Most who fall into that latter category feel they "have to" cook because of the frustration cooking brings. With the tips you are going to learn and the creative dishes Jody will show you how to prepare, you are going to enjoy being in the kitchen more than you ever have before.

There will probably be 2-3 blogs each week with pictures and recipes. We will have some guest blogs as well, and Jody will even be featuring some of your recipes. So, head on over now to West Coast Peaches and start the journey today. Some of the blogs will even feature video of Jody in the kitchen sharing tips and strategies with you. You are going to love the way you cook!

Praising the Lord for the Mac

I finally got a new Mac Book Pro yesterday. In fact, this is my first blog from the new mecca of all laptops. The main purpose for the Mac, is to build click tracks for the band, create music, and scoring. I know that anything music is better on a Mac. So, I'm praising the Lord for this new ministry tool.

I haven't quite learned it all yet. In fact, the music program I need is still a budgeted item that we've not quite attained. But, we'll get there. So, get ready Immanuel. We're taking things to a whole new level!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Since my postings about the recent cuts some of my songs have gotten on different recordings, I've had many asking about songwriting and wanting tips. While I do not consider myself to be an authority on the subject by any means, I would suggest a few things.

First, write about what God is showing and teaching you. It may seem like common sense, but far too often people try to emulate successful songs they've heard, and they adopt subject matter that they only know from a distance. Write about what you know about.

Secondly, to write about something you know about you have to be teachable. Stay in God's word and allow him to show you new things. Write about those things from your new perspective.

Speaking of perspective, write from different points of view. Every song doesn't have to be to God. Just as every song doesn't have to be about how you were a sinner and now you're saved. While true and a worthy subject, there is so much more to write about.

Finally, write for the church you are serving. That will be a place where God's will confirm His calling for you to be a writer. If your own church is not accepting of your writing, then there's a good chance God is not calling you to write for Him in a professional setting.

This is just a little advice. Take what you will and leave the rest for someone else. Even if you never desire to share your songs with anyone else, let me encourage you to write for the Lord. Write out of your personal walk with Him, for Him, and sing your song to the Lord in your time alone with Him. Afterall, we only have a song in our hearts because He placed it there.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Final Sonogram

Today, Jody and I are at the hospital for the final sonogram. We have just 2 1/2 weeks left until the scheduled C-section on January 22. We are really getting excited to meet this little kid.

Hopefully they'll be able to confirm boy or girl today. They said girl the first time so we'll see. Our real concern is not the sex of the baby, but the health. We are checking for club foot, as well. Having history with that, we want to be prepared if there are any issues.

So, the countdown is on!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 Has Begun

We are in the new year! That scientific age to which we had only imagined reaching before. Now, what will we do with it?

My 2010 is booking up quickly. We will be giving birth to a new baby sometime this month. February will have me on a short, yet significant pre-trip in preparation for our high school choir tour to Chicago. Never having been to Chicago, I am very excited. July will be our high school choir tour in Chicago. I have been honored with an invitation to teach other worship pastors for Lifeway in Glorietta, NM in August. September will be a pre-trip to a yet to be determined location for SWC 2011 mission tour. The Immanuel Choir will be in concert with Travis Cottrell at Carnegie Hall in NY City in October. And finally, we are planning on visiting our family in GA next December.

So, 2010 is looking busy for me already. However, I am so excited about seeing what God is going to do in and through our ministry throughout the new year.

Please pray for godly wisdom. My desire is to serve the Lord and to serve our people to His glory. Pray also, that the Lord will continue blessing my songwriting. As He chooses to expand our platform for ministry we will see an impact on a far greater number of people. For His glory and our good.