Friday, December 07, 2007

Continental Singers

The CONTINENTALS were formed in 1967 as a non-profit, inter-denominational ministry. Powerful music and the message of Jesus Christ are the foundation of CONTINENTAL MINISTRIES. From the great cathedrals of Europe to the smallest believers' gatherings in Thailand, we reach out to the hearts of people . . . seeking to meet their needs spiritually, emotionally and physically. The purpose of our ministry is to build each tour member personally and spiritually, to develop a missionary heart, taking every opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Christ throughout our musical programs as well as one-on-one, and to encourage all believers along the way to a deeper and more meaningful commitment to Christ.

Beginning with one tour in 1967 by President and Founder Cam Floria, The CONTINENTALS have grown into CONTINENTAL "WORLD-WIDE" MINISTRIES including over 45,000 people and a phenomenal 1,500 concerts a year. We have performed in all 50 states and 76 countries. We have now established international groups in many different areas of the world including: South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Slovak Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Romania, and Singapore. These young people are being nurtured in their own countries to proclaim Christ in their own languages.


As a teen-ager, I first heard the Continental Singers when they came to my church in San Antonio, Texas. My parents bought their long-play record for me to listen to over and over. In May of 1972 (after my second year of college), my good friend, John Lee invited me to tour with his Continental Singers group to Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia during that summer of 1972. I never dreamed that could happen, but it did, and I believe it stands out as a significant experience (that I continue to reflect upon) that helped shape my future in music ministry. I went on to lead/direct Continental Singers groups in the summers of 1973, 1974, and 1976.

I have remained in close contact with many fellow "tour members" through the years. The founder and director of Continentals, Cam Floria has now (thanks to the internet) begun to reach out to all present and former Continental Singers Directors in a more intentional way.

His most recent e-mail blew me away. I know it is alot to read, but I hope you will take the time. I believe there is a reason the ministry of Continental Singers has continued for so many years, and here are some of the reasons why!

Dear Friends of Continentals everywhere,

On Monday morning December 10th the Continental office will close. And the staff and Dean and I will go to a secluded location to praise God for 40 years of blessing, thanking Him for his love and faithfulness and asking for his direction on our world-wide ministry for 2008 and the future. Please join us on the 10th anytime during the day. The Lord will hear our prayers as the Holy Spirit directs our thoughts and as we join our hearts with all of you. Here is a list of some of the things we are praying for:

1. Our Mission, that it will consume our hearts as we advance THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST around the world through music, missions, leadership development and performing arts' ministries. Our earnest prayer will be that God will enable us to accomplish this task in the coming year to a greater degree than ever before in our history. In Luke Gabriel told Mary that His kingdom would never end... and our "requirement" is to constantly follow our calling to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through all of our performance opportunities anywhere in the world.

2. The Continental INDIA MISSION-STRIKE TEAM leaves Friday December 7th for Hyderabad India. Pray for these 9 members led by Matt Wilkinson that the Lord will work through this team as he has the others the past 3 years... last year 4,500 people gave their lives to Christ during their Crusades with Harvest India. Pray for an even bigger harvest for the Kingdom this December. After India, the group will join with our Kenyan Continentals (an all African team from Nairobi) and our Brazilian Continentals for special Christmas week presentations in Singapore sponsored by a number of churches culminating in a large outdoor concert on Orchard Road.

3. Our partnership with COMPASSION... our 2008 goal is to sponsor 1,000 children in countries all over the world. Pray that God will open peoples hearts to be generous in offering support to these needy children at our concerts and performances. Compassion provides necessities in all areas of their lives for only $32 a month.

4. The new Continental relationship with CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP. Last year nearly 3,000,000 children prayed to receive Christ through that organization around the world. Pray for our partnership as we launch CONTINENTAL KIDS GOOD NEWS groups in cities all over America and the world to reach even more children for Christ through the performing arts in association with CEF over the next few years beginning in April of 2008 in Greenville South Carolina.

5. All of the CONTINENTAL INTERNATIONAL OFFICES and MINISTRIES in Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Holland, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Mexico and those developing in Israel, New Zealand, Philippines and through a new relationship with Jamaica Link in Jamaica. These offices will sponsor ministry outreaches with another 42 groups and tours in 2008. Pray for wisdom, continued opportunities in their countries and all of them need major financial assistance.

6. Especially for OUR STAFF that their efforts in recruiting, booking, administration and creative ministry production will be rewarded. Pray for encouragement as they pour their hearts and lives into this ministry. We need 650 concert hosts and 375 new Continentals for 2008! And pray for staffing needs in the areas of business management, recruiting and concert administration and the development of a volunteer staff.

7. That God will bless our BOARD OF DIRECTORS with wisdom, with faith, with financial increase and with the energy necessary to carry out the plans they are outlining for the future of the Continental ministry. Pray for them by name; Jim Schmidt, Scott Rummell, Brent Lauer, Hal Spencer, Thurlow Spurr, Marc Whitmore, Randy Swanson, Howard Parker, Joe Huntsman,Leen LaRiviere and Cam Floria.

8. The most significant new strategy to continue this ministry, the MORE THAN MUSIC PARTNERS fund raising campaign. Pray for enough monthly partners to empower all the ministry groups to continue. Pray that churches will add Continentals to their mission budgets and pray for more large donors whose gifts this year have been the miracle that came at the right time and just in time. Jesus promised that if we ask anything in His Name He would make it happen, so please pray sincerely with us that God will bless Continentals financially.

9. The funding of the CONTINENTAL FOUNDATION, whose goal is to eventually reduce the sponsorships the Continentals have to raise so that more talented Christian young people can come on tour and have the "life changing experience" and fund the administrative end of the Continental Ministries to secure a financially strong future. Pray for the three directors; Randy Swanson, Glenn Hughes and Robert Machado that God will bless their fund raising efforts with individuals, foundations and through estate planned giving.

10. For our 2008 ministry outreaches with the theme, A NEW BEGINNING. The new beginning we are talking about this year is the one that happens when people ask Jesus Christ to come into their lives and change them forever!! Pray for our two tours this winter and spring that will launch the 2008 program. Tour M to the Philippines and Young Continental Tour #1 that will tour the west coast of the U.S. And pray for Dean Butler as he finds the right music and production ideas to open the audiences hearts to receive the more than music ministry.

11. That the 40TH ANNIVERSARY ALUMNI CELEBRATION in Yorba Linda and Anaheim next summer on August 15 and 16 will be a launching success for the Continental future. A New Beginning for the ministry too with alumni support and prayer partners who will stand behind this ministry and pray for God's total direction on every plan, every tour, every person who is involved anywhere in the world as a Continental.

12. And for a young man named CAMERON BONNER, who needs a new kidney and a new future. A supreme and very successful Continental director with a huge following who was hired to run the booking and recruiting side of our ministry and was suddenly struck down 16 months ago with a brain hemorrhage and stroke and two open heart surgeries, all because he needs a kidney and suffers from lupus. Pray that the doctors approve all the blood tests for he and his brother and medicines that will make the transplant work in his body. And pray that this will happen soon!


Cam Floria

Friday, November 30, 2007


How did we ever exist before YouTube?

I really want to try this one Sunday morning!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wishing For More Blog Time

On the eve of my middle son's 18th birthday, I am briefly reflecting back on this Fall and the blistering pace of it.

Between high school band for Ben, Ben's 15th birthday, senior year football for Matt, our first grandson, Thanksgiving........I am still trying to figure out where it went.

Not to mention all the stuff I would like to write about but for those of you who know me well, know that I am a bit overwhelmed at this moment or shall I say a bit preoccupied with what sometimes feels like a frieght-train headed towards me, and I am running as fast as I can to keep it from running over me. (I know - I brought it all on myself, so I am not complaining - merely and lamely attempting to justify my lack of blogging for almost a month!)

For now, just click HERE and scroll down to observe a very short video of my son dancing with his son - for me, it is priceless.....

I still can't process me being a grandfather, granddad, papa, or whatever I am except that God has been more than gracious to me to give me my wife, my sons, my daugher-in-law, and now Elliott.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November 1 - A Really Good Day!

Friends and family tell you that becoming a grandparent is an amazing experience.

They are right.

On Thursday evening, November 1 at 6:19pm, our beautiful daughter-in-law, Arley gave birth to Elliott Benjamin.

He is a beautiful baby, and I am still in awe trying to imagine my oldest son as a father.

In these few moments after Elliott's birth, I have watched Seth, and I believe he is and will be a great father.

I can't wait to watch this kid grow up - what an absolute joy beyond words......

I held him in my arms tonight and stared into his face. I so wished he could tell me what he was thinking, but I guess I will have to wait for that...

in the meantime, it's very difficult to describe all the feelings and emotions of the past few days......other than God continues to amaze me at what He creates!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesdays and Lists

It's just another Tuesday - or is it?

This past Saturday, our pastor performed the wedding ceremony of one of his 23-year old twin sons. In his "talk", he referred to the Tuesdays of life. He talked about how normal they are, how routine they are, even how mundane and boring they can be, but also how extraordinary they can be when two people who have been called by God agree (in the sacred bond of holy matrimony) to lives their together for His glory.

This Tuesday morning, I am pondering those words that Mike spoke last Saturday.

Like you, alot is going on my life these days, and if you know me - I make lists - all kinds of lists - all the time - I always have one in my pocket....not sure why - just do....

So, here's my Tuesday list:

1. I am praying for my two friends currently in South Africa doing some incredible work with some of my most favorite people in the world - so wishing I were there with them...

2. I am praying for my friend, John Thomas who as I write this is giving Michael W. Smith a guided tour of the various ministries he and his amazing team are involved in there in Cape Town

3. I am praying for my dear friend who was diagnosed with MS just a few weeks ago. As I visited briefly with him last evening (in what I believe was not just random, but rather a God-arranged connection) at the Publix, I saw in his eyes both signs of weariness and peace. I admire his faith more than I can put into words...

4. I am praying for my oldest son and his wife who are expecting Elliott Benjamin anyday now - at least that is what I am told. I don't know how to prepare them for what is next, but God does.....heck, I don't know how to be a grandfather, either for that matter......

5. I am praying for my two sons dealing with high school - the highs and lows of being almost 18 and just turning 15......what college to attend next year - how to do well enough in my classes to get to my junior year - how to live out my faith when everything around me tells me I can't.....or shouldn't......

6. I am praying for my parents whom I don't see nearly enough - the sometimes guilt I feel for that - the pain of separation from them - the amazing range of emotions that I feel when I am with them as I watch my sister become the parent to them in how she cares for them - I felt some of that this past weekend as we spent some absolutely fantastic moments together - enjoying blessing after blessing that God has graciously given to us.....I am thankful for my sister's love and care

7. I am praying for my wife who keeps order in our home and protects family and constantly prioritizes the things that really do matter around here - and she still manages to have one of the most exhilarating and rewarding, but time-consuming jobs that anyone could imagine. I don't know how she does it, and I don't do nearly a good enough job of helping and supporting her.

8. I pray for my church. I don't thank God nearly enough for the following -
that I serve in a church that worships God, teaches scripture, gives to and supports missions, cares for the sick, poor, and needy, values families and the discipleship of kids, raises up leaders, and equips the next generation. May I focus more on that than the stuff of politics, bureaucracy, and strife.

9. I pray for those with whom I serve and lead - their lives are just as complex as mine, and many are brutally more troubled and devasting unfortunately. I don't know how they manage except for God moving and working and reminding and loving and caring and listening and healing. Praise be to Him!

10. I pray for the my son's friend who is sleeping in the room next to me as I write this. He's on fall break from college, and likes to stay here. I am glad he likes it here. His parents are no longer married to each other, and while he will see them on his break, he likes it here - that is because of what I said earlier about Karla's priorities of making this home a home.....

11. I pray for my friend, Ify and his family who are wrestling with so many things right now. The weight of their pain is evident. I so pray that somehow God can receive glory in all of this, but that is so very difficult to see right now. May God give them strength to endure, to live through this, to make very, very difficult decisions, to trust Him more when there is no strength left to trust......may those who have surrounded them with love and support realize the need for yet another "round" of a deeper level of love and support....

If you have made it this far in your reading, I encourage you to make a Tuesday list.....then keep it throughout the week.....

Make sure that every item on your list can somehow end up bringing attention and honor to God.......that really is all that will matter when we no longer make lists or have anymore Tuesdays......

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Territory For Me

I have lived for 55 years, and "first time" experiences are fewer and far between.

Tonight, however was one of those "firsts" for me, and a huge lesson in today's technology and "how things work these days"......

I received a phone call this evening from a college football coach at a mid-size university. He asked for my son, Matt, but Matt was not available. He identified himself and told me that he had received information on my son, and wanted to know if he had a highlight video because he wanted to see it.

I told him we had one (from the first 5 games of the season), and he offered to give his address so that I could send a DVD. I then did something that I can't believe I did.

I told him that my oldest son had put the video on YouTube, and would he like that link so he could view it that way?

To my surprise (or not), he gave me his e-mail address and asked me to send him the link - which I did, and now this coach has my son's highlight video.

Man, how things have changed!

If you want to view what this college coach now has, click HERE

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hospital Elevators

I'm not sure what it says that this post should have happened one week ago tonight. Good grief, life is busy....

One week ago tonight, long after visiting hours had ended, I stood alone on a hospital elevator and wept. I wept for my young friend and his family whom I had just visited. A 17-year old kid who loves rap music and basketball and has a million dollar smile, but there's not enough money in the world to help him walk again - that's up to God, and it hurts to see he and his family go through this. I simply could not contain myself - the only response was tears.

It makes me wonder how many people everyday walk into empty hospital elevators only to find themselves finally alone, and so they weep - overwhelmed with their pain and hurt and suffering and sense of hopelessness and emptyness over their loved one's illness.

I wonder what the blog would read like if the walls of hospital elevators could capture conversations? I have a feeling most of it would be no words.....just tears...

Please say a prayer for Ify Nonyelu....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Can You Say Crazy?

First of all, I don't know who had their camera with them at a location like this, and secondly, I can't believe they captured this shot! (I "stole" it off my son's Facebook site - that's a whole 'nother blog for another day!)

This is my crazy son (the senior) diving off some rocks here in our area somewhere.

I don't know what scares me more - that I don't know where this is, or that he somehow thinks this is "safe" fun!!!


OK, before you call me scrooge - maybe I'm just jealous.....and secretly wishing I had the nerve......

kids these days.....

Teenagers, iPods, and Traffic

This morning I got stuck with having to take Ben and his friend, Matt to school.

It was also "Late Start Monday" (which means school did not start until 8:15am) instead of the unheard-of hour of 7:25am.

My middle son, Matt usually handles the duties of taking the younger ones to school with him.

Well, I hate traffic - despise it - beyond most things I can mention. I believe it to be a colossal waste of time sitting bumper-to-bumper to get somewhere.

(side note - what is God trying to tell me that my sons attend a high school that is impossible to get in and out of because of traffic, and we attend a church which is impossible to get in and out of because of traffic?)

So, as I sat in traffic, trying to not comment on every idiot in the world breaking every traffic law written in their attempt to "get ahead of the line" (honestly, you wouldn't believe what we witnessed - I even watched a guy do a u-turn over the curb of the median right in front of me!), Ben decided to play with Karla's new iPod which was conveniently sitting in it's cradle waiting for teenage hands to mess with it.

Ben began to find all these songs, and he and his friend Matt were completely enlightened, entertained, and amused with this (while I sat steaming in my captain's chair).

I did calm down somewhat, and the thing that really amazed me about this whole Monday morning experience was when Ben got excited about finding a particular song on the iPod, and was shouting "oh, oh, oh, oh".....and he started the song, and the first four sounds you heard were a kick drum - that's all - just a kick drum, and Matt blurts out from the back seat, "Paul McCartney".......


I think we need a new game show for teenagers - an updated version of "Name That Tune".....Matt Edwards might win everytime!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Day Of School

It flies by. Everyone tells you that, but you don't believe it. It's true....and oh my, what a difference in (4) years!

The photo to the right is a few days ago. The photo below is (4) years ago!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Please Pray For Ify

I am somewhat overwhelmed this evening.

One of only (4) seniors "to-be" (when school begins one week from Monday) on my son Matt's basketball team at school was involved in a one-car horrific accident this morning less than one mile from where I live.

He is in critical condition tonight, having had surgery to relieve pressure on his spine from a broken bone in his neck. We have no idea when he will respond from what the doctors consider a successful surgery.

If you read this, would you simply stop and pray for Ify (pronounced - "ee'-fee").

I have had Ify in my car so many times giving him a ride home from games. He is a wonderful kid, and this is so tragic. I spoke with his mom tonight. She was brave.

I just pray for God to move and work in His most powerful, mysterious, and healing ways in this so that many, many people can see how great He truly is.

thank you....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Wrong Kind Of Profit

I read the following in today's USA Today (on-line).

(Hotel Hotsheet - by Kitty Bean Yancey)

X-rated entertainment is the profit center hotels don't like to talk about. It's big business, making hundreds of millions for hotels and vendors (I've never seen any figures made public, so if you know of numbers, please tell me.)

Anti-porn groups have unsuccessfully tried to stamp out raunchy hotel room entertainment. Wednesday, Morality in Media released a letter from its president, Robert Peters, to Marriott CEO Bill Marriott Jr. Peters writes that he tries not to stay at Marriotts, "despite their quality," because the chain offers porn. "I realize that Marriott is not the only major hotel chain that distributes pay-TV pornography," the letter says. "Marriott is, however, the only major chain whose founder (your father) was honored by Morality in Media for his efforts to fight pornography."

He inadvertently stayed at a Marriott when a relative made a reservation, Peters writes. And he was not happy to see an "Adults Only" movie option, that offered titles such as 100% Sex: Sophomore Sluts and All Sex: XXX Fantasies.

Peters writes that porn contributes to the breakup of marriages and to sexual assaults and that "Morality in Media, among many others, is of the opinion that a criminal prosecution of a 'mainstream' corporation that is in the business of distributing hard-core pornography is long overdue." He urges Marriott to "do the right thing" and remove porn.

I have written about this issue, and the position of Marriott and other chains is that they are giving customers what they demand and no one has to view porn in a hotel room unless he or she chooses to.

So readers, do you think hotels should remove porn options (as Omni hotels did)? Do you think businesses that traffic in pornography should face prosecution?
(end of the article)

This saddens me greatly because everything I read tells me that porn is beyond out of control in terms of its impact on men (and women) and the destruction of healthy relationships in the context of marriage.

I am quite sure that I have no idea the magnitude of profits derived from this horrific venture. I so hurt for those who believe that making a profit from this is necessary to their bottom line. May they find some other way to do business that does not destroy so many people in the process.

Did I read this correctly - hundreds of millions of dollars?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Saving Grace

I watched this show on Monday night. It was very disturbing.

I can’t figure out if I was offended or authentically confronted with the reality that much of the world is contained in the Holly Hunter character. Probably both…….

I don’t want to judgmental, but I also don’t like any kind of stereo-typical portrayal of what someone thinks followers of Christ are like.

I wish I were a better writer to be able to articulate what I truly feel.

Here is my best stab at it.

Just when I thought this show was over the top in it’s drama, they would throw in a line or two that reeled me back in. I wish I knew more about the writers. They either really get it or they are working very hard at trying to get it. Someone has done their research on dialogue, questions, and conversation topics of people who are asking questions about their faith.

Here’s what I mean by that - God is always pursuing people. Even people who are outwardly opposed to being pursued by God. He is always trying to reach them - get to them - save them, but it always comes down to people having to decide for themselves - do I really believe in God? Do I really need God? Is He for real? If I say yes to God, what does that mean? Can He really, honestly change me? Do I want to really, honestly be changed?

It always comes down to a question of faith.

I want so much to believe that that is the underlying theme of this show - does this Holly Hunter character really have the faith to believe? And if so, what does that mean?

I am curious to know where this series will take us. Yes, there are offensive scenes, content, and language, and there is some “out there” theology, but they are asking some “right” questions, dealing with some very real issues of faith, and I applaud TNT or whomever for bringing that into our homes via cable TV.

I guess we will see where it goes, and I suppose I will watch again not really sure why it has “drawn me in”………

Monday, July 23, 2007

Williamson County Wonder #3

Recently, in the Williamson A.M. section of our newspaper, someone picked the "wonders of the county" and wrote about them. Honestly, I don't remember what #1 or #2 were, but #3 was interesting to me because I drive by it everyday.

(Here's how the newspaper described it)

For more than a year and a half, Brentwood drivers have watched the progress of one Mockingbird Hill home at Concord and Franklin Roads.

The owners of the 20,000 square-foot, Mediterranean-style home have asked to remain anonymous, but we can tell you a little about the multi-million-dollar home.

It includes six garages and 126 windows, a wine cellar, sauna, home theater, a spacious master suite, a pool house and guest house.

Particularly unique features include a coffee bar in the master suite, a water feature in the master bathroom, a 30-foot-tall round entry foyer, an extensive swimming pool and waterscape, and an observation tower.

In a county of impressive homes, this one stands as a wonder to thousands of motorists who see it each day.

Here's my top ten things I have to say/ask about this as I read about it:

(please pardon my ignorance which I feel certain I will reveal)

1. How many people will live in the 20,000 sq. feet of space?
2. How many bedrooms?
3. What about the kitchen?
4. Only ONE home theater in 20,000 square feet?
5. Six-car garage? I'm guessing the guest house is bigger than my house!
6. What does "extensive" mean when describing the swimming pool?
7. 126 windows? My home has 12 - (if Karla had her way, we would have close to 120 even in our 2,400 square-foot home!
8. What the heck is a "water feature" in the master bath?
9. Coffee bar in the master bedroom - with 20,000 square-feet, why not a Starbucks!
10. The view must be amazing if they built an observation tower! I hope they like looking at our church since I'm certain it occupies the bulk of their view from their observation tower!

Who knows, maybe they go to my church! If so, please don't be anonymous - invite me over for dinner - I promise not to "gawk"!!! (is that a word?)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Run Fred Run

This is not a political post.

I was minding my own business driving yesterday, when as I stopped at a red light, I looked up to see this bumper sticker on the back of the car in front of me.

I laughed aloud for several minutes.

Whoever thinks these slogans up? Hilarious!

I have no idea why it hit me as so funny, but it did.....

Everyone needs to laugh a little......

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I May Be The Only Person

in America who does not watch American Idol.

I had lunch with a friend in the music business last week. He asked me if I watched it, and I had to confess that I don't. He said he didn't either until this year. Then he told me why.

Among other extremely popular artists that he manages, he also represents the person in this photo. Jordin Sparks is 23 days younger than my middle son, Matt. My friend has managed her "singing career" since she was (14). Needless to say, he has done well.

I laughed when he told me that he had encouraged her to audition for American Idol if only for the experience. Who knew she would win it all and become famous at (17).

I laughed even more when he told me that by encouraging her to audition for American Idol and now winning, he worked himself out of a job. Evidently, Simon gets to manage the winners on American Idol, so too bad for my friend.

What a crazy world we live in where a show with people singing on it is the number 1 rated television show in America......

I don't think that ever happened with Lawrence Welk! (OK, I really am old!)

entertainment and idols.........what a strange combination.......

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Worship? I'm Afraid So!

I know this event took place last month, but I have not made the time to blog about it.

If you did not see the news, over 92,000 Alabama football fans showed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL for the Alabama Spring Football Game.......that's right - the spring football game!!!

Talk about your fans.....or talk about worship - yes, I said it - worship. These people worship Alabama football, and many of them if pressed would tell you that Nick Saban better be the football "messiah" or else.

Man, this scares me.

Here is what the AP said about it:

In front of a crowd in excess of 92,138, the largest crowd in A-Day history, Alabama’s White squad defeated the Crimson squad 20-13 in the first public scrimmage under first-year Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama’s capacity crowd is well over the previous best for a Southeastern Conference Spring Day game, which is believed to have been set by Tennessee in 1986, with 73,000. It also nearly doubles this season’s previous best set by Florida at 47,500.

“I’d like to thank all of our fans, who made this a really special day today,” Saban said. “To have as many people as we had here today is a great self-gratification for the players. It shows what great passion and support we have at the University of Alabama and it certainly makes me feel great about being here as a coach.”

There are so many things that could be said about this, but here's my observation aside from football and a new head coach.

There truly is something to be said when over 92,000 people cram into one place to watch a sporting event that has no "pay-off", no end goal, no winner, no loser, no champion, no anything - just a spring football game.

I am now rambling, but I conclude with this - it is astounding to me that football in Alabama (and certainly not just in Alabama) is truly a religious experience - meaning, there is amazing commitment to it, it is valued far above many other things, and it is certainly what many, many people in Alabama spend alot of their time talking about.

Louie Giglio says it well - at the end of the trail of your affections, your allegiance, your energy, your time, and your money is a throne. Whatever sits on that throne is what you worship......hmmmm.....92,000 people.........

Saturday, May 19, 2007

There Goes The Neighborhood

We have lived in the same neighborhood now for almost (17) years.

Matt was (7) months old when we moved into this house and neighborhood. Ben was not even a dream or wish in our mind. This neighborhood has always been a truly GREAT neighborhood.......a great place to raise kids, to enjoy neighbors, backyards, and evenings much like tonight when the air is clear, clean, and cool - even in late May.

We have had our share of gatherings (both large and small) in our back yard. We have a great back yard because of the shape of it, and because it literally connects to the "common ground" that our neighborhood is so "known for". So, therefore through the years, we have hosted hundreds of people having fun and enjoying music, food, and each other!

Well, that may have come to an end - all because we now have a new neighbor who lives behind us - on the other side of what I would call a very small "creek bed".

Twice now, this neighbor has made his way over to our back yard to ask us to "keep the noise down because his small kids either need to take a nap or go to bed at 8:30pm". BUMMER!

What ever happened to the good ol' neighborhood where you could shoot off fireworks at any time of the day, hang out with friends in your back yard and maybe even be a bit on the "tame rowdy" side?

This "new-to-the-neighborhood" scrooge asked our boys to quit shooting off fireworks at 9:30pm - on the evening of JULY 4th for crying out loud! (Never mind the rest of the neighborhood was shooting off fireworks well past 11:00pm!!)

Now, last Sunday - near the conclusion of a most delightful Mother's Day - this clown actually came across his yard, through my back yard to my driveway and garage, and asked my sons if they would "tone it down" so his small kids could go to sleep (my sons were immensely enjoying one another playing different instruments in MY garage at 7:30pm!!)

Now before I sound like a ruthless, "you-know-what", I don't hate this guy. I feel sorry for him. My kids were young once - (check out the photo above). I don't think I would have ever asked a neighbor to "tone it down". That's not the "neighborhood way" - especially THIS neighborhood! We just have fun, and enjoy our neighbors with all our weirdness and differences and "stuff" that we deal with.

So, I don't want to not like this guy.

I realize in a few years, we won't have any more kids in the house except an occasional grandbaby, so who knows - maybe I might wander over his direction and ask him to quit mowing so my grandkid can take a nap!

Friday, May 04, 2007


This photo is stunning to me in so many ways. The young child is my sister's grandson, Wesley. The marvelously handsome elderly gentleman is my Dad. You are looking at a young boy - age 6 (I think), and a man - age 85.

As I ponder this photo, it is very difficult to articulate what I feel. I honestly remember being that age and playing baseball. I remember my much-younger Dad being at most every game I played even though he worked 14-hour days, (7) days a week owning and operating a Gulf Service Station.

I think about the fact that I will be a grandfather in November of this year. I don't think I fully realize what that means because I continue to believe that I am too young to be a grandfather, but I'm really not, and I could not be more thrilled about having a Worley rug rat around.

I think about what my Dad has witnessed in his lifetime. I think about his wit. I think about his solid faith, his example of love and commitment to my Mom, his stable and quiet approach to most everything in life that I can think of. The words "stress" and "my Dad" have never been used in the same sentence, even though I am quite certain he has experienced it......I would never have known.

I really wonder what runs through his mind as he watches his great-grandson play baseball. That must bring him great delight because I know how much he loves that game, and I know how much he loves watching kids play it - most especially, his kids.

I went to the doctor today because of some nagging pain that will not go away. I will spare you the boring details except to say that the orthopedic doctor told me to expect to have (3) different surgeries on (3) different parts of my body sometime in the next 5-10 years.

As I have pondered that statement, I almost have to laugh. Here's a doctor I have never met or talked with until today, and after reviewing x-rays and spending 15 minutes with me, that's what he has to say to me. Good grief - I don't know what's up with tomorrow, much less the thought of (3) surgeries in the next 5-10 years.

I think about my 85-year old Dad. I really think if he had been in that room with this doctor, he would have cracked a joke, and walked out of the doctor's office to go out and prove him wrong. After all, alot of things have to be "going your way" to still be around at age 85!

So, our bodies wear down, even our minds don't stay as sharp as we would like, but we get up each morning and thank our great God that we have breath and energy, and yes, even pain because we all know that there is much to be learned through pain.

I know I need to persevere because I want to still be around at age 85.....and watch my great-grandson play baseball or sing or play an instrument or make a movie or watch (Lord, what would I do!!??) my great-granddaughter dance or sing or play ball or paint a picture or laugh out loud.

I really do need to ask my Dad what that feels like, and as much as I need to hear it, I am quite certain it would bring him even greater joy just to tell me all about it.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Robert Webber - We Will Miss You

I wish I had had the opportunity to know this man as deeply as several of my friends knew him. That is my loss. Read about his life and contribution below.

After a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Robert Webber died Friday night.

Dr. Webber was widely considered one of the foremost authorities on worship renewal and ancient-future worship. He was the founder of the Institute in Worship Studies and a professor at Northern Baptist Seminary. He was also a regular contributor to numerous magazines, journals and newspapers and previously taught at Wheaton College for 32 years.

Dr. Webber was also the author of over 40 books on worship and the Church, including Worship is a Verb: Eight Principles For Transforming Worship, The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Ancient-Future Time, Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community-How can evangelism produce not only converts but also disciples who grow in faith and become active members of the church?, The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World, Journey to Jesus: The Worship, Evangelism, and Nurture of the Church, Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World-Current concerns focus on how worship and spirituality bring vitality to the church in postmodern culture, Renew Your Worship!...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Prom - What A Mystery!

Last night was the Junior/Senior Prom for Matt. What a mystery.

Where else do you spend that kind of money, dress up in clothes for which you spent too much money either in the form of a purchase that will never be used again or in the form of a rental that you enjoyed for one very, very long evening.

Where else do you stand around with people taking hundreds of pictures of you and your friends, then you get into a limo that cost a fortune to take you to a place for dinner that costs another fortune, then you finally get to the location of the prom where everything is carefully organized, and you do whatever you do at a prom, then in this case, you board the General Jackson for a "cruise" on the Cumberland until 2:00am in the morning!!!!

THEN, the "experience" is not over - you have to go to yet another person's home for yet another party connected to prom night, and finally you arrive at yet another's friends house at 8:00am to FINALLY go to sleep?

You sleep for 3 hours, then you come home before you have to go return your expensive rental tuxedo, then go to work from 3:00pm - 8:00pm.

Wow - what a weekend....

A friend told me that Prom is a "rite of passage". Not sure what that means, but I just know that I have (3) more of these to do before I am "done".

There is something strange about going to sleep knowing your 17-year old is out and not at home in his bed where he belongs, and worse - will be "out" ALL NIGHT.....

It's not about me worrying about him - it's about all the other crazy people who are "out" all night, and who knows what "state" they are in......

It does make me wonder how this whole "prom thing" got started and evolved to what it has now become.....??????

at any rate - I believe a fun time was had by all!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Do You Know Who You Just Walked By?

I read this amazing article on the newly discovered (for me) and wonderful blog of JOSH HARRIS

The Washington Post pulled off a very intriguing feat. They asked one of the world's greatest violinists to play one of the world's finest violins in the middle of rush hour at a downtown Metro station. It was an experiment of sorts. They wanted to see how many people would take note of the incredible music being played and stop to listen. Outside of the context of a concert hall, and with world-renown musician Joshua Bell disguised in a baseball cap would people realize what their ears were being treated to?

The full story is worth reading. And it's fascinating to watch the video footage that shows the response. In brief, hardly anyone noticed or took the time to stop and listen.

Be sure to pay close attention to the incredible article - there are some most amazing statements made - I know I will ponder them for some time.....

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Singing of Hymns

Alison Krauss

This weekend brought two experiences that I will not soon forget, if ever.

Almost two years ago, my friend, Billy Ray Hearn approached David Hamilton and myself about this idea he had to do a "Hymn-Sing" with the Nashville Symphony in the new $126 million Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville.

Well, his dream came true this past Friday and Sunday night, and oh what an evening (of the worship of God through the singing of some of the greatest hymns ever writen) both nights were.

(To read more about the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, scroll down on the right panel of my blog to Archives and click on May 2006 and find my entry dated May 11, 2006)

Billy Ray insisted that the evening be about the singing of these great hymns. I want to believe his wish was accomplished in grand style and with great fervor. The balance of some fantastic guest artists singing a great hymn, along with the amazing Nashville Symphony playing some of the most gorgeous hymn arrangements ever penned by both Ronn Huff and conductor, David Hamilton (including an orchestration by one of our church orchestra members, David Shipps!) allowed the evening to flow smoothly.

Steven Curtis Chapman served as a "down home" host for the evening, and when he sang "Fairest Lord Jesus" with his guitar and sang the words, "that makes the woeful heart to sing" - I just about lost it.......and that was only the 4th song of the evening. CeCe Winans singing "Blessed Assurance", the Fisk Jubileee Singers singing two spirituals, Steve Green singing "What Wondrous Love Is This" (on Friday night), then David Phelps singing it on Sunday night, followed by everyone singing "It Is Well With My Soul" acappella, then Alison Krauss came out and humbly and graciously offered her rendition of "Be Thou My Vision"

Last night, I was able to take my entire family including my mother and father-in-law, and we got to sit in a box literally over-looking the stage. My son, Ben was amazed watching the (6) arco players right below him (he could have reached out and touched them!), Seth was stunned by vs.3 of David Hamilton's movie-score-sounding version of "A Mighty Fortress", and then maybe the most moving experience I have had in some time was to sit next to my 17-year old "jock" son as he sang EVERY lyric to EVERY hymn we sang all evening.

I have pondered that all the way home last night, after I got home from the event, and this morning as well. How is that? How is it that a teenage young man would know these hymns and be willing to sing them aloud (especially sitting in a box perched above the stage where EVERYONE can watch you!)? I so want to believe that he has paid attention in worship for these past 10-11 years or so that he has sat in the balcony with his friends. I want to believe that the years of kids choirs where wonderful teachers and helpers taught him that these hymns are as important to him as learning Math, History, and English.......

I don't wish to take any credit here - I only rejoice that I got to sit next to him and listen......that I got to experience with my family the joy of worshipping God in the singing of these gems of theology........and I got to do that in a room that was designed for people to appreciate (and yes even sometimes "worship") great music!

This past Friday night and Sunday night, we heard some of the greatest music ever written, and yes we appreciated it, but I pray we were more overwhelmed and appreciative of the Creator of that great music - I know I was.......

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Top Ten Questions - 24

Just for fun - here are my questions/comments as we enter ?? hour of this season's episodes. Which, by the way, what hour are we in anyway?

Oh well - have some fun with me.....

1. What's up with Milo?
2. Is Doyle good or bad?
3. Is Tom Lennox good or bad?
4. Who's the next president after yet another Palmer dies?
5. Did I really say that Wayne Palmer will die?
6. What's up with the President's sister's friend in the hospital? Is that related to anything significant?
7. Is VP Daniels really as bad as we want him to be?
8. Please bring on more of Aaron Pierce!
9. You didn't really believe Audrey was dead, did you?
10. Where the heck is Jack's Dad?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter - Alan Jackson - My Boys

I'm not sure why, but it did not feel like Easter today.

Maybe it being 24 degrees with frost on the car when Karla and I left for church at 5:45am had something to do with it.

Maybe it was the strange fact that today Karla and I drove to church together for the first time in 14 years! We NEVER get that opportunity.

Maybe it was the fairly insignificant fact that Alan Jackson (country superstar) came to our second service.

One would think that after living in Nashville for 27 years, when people of particular fame and/or notoriety show up at church, it would/should be no big deal, but I still find it - that these people brave the awkwardness of being around a bunch of people and NOT be the center of attention, and two - decide that they want to come to our church. I'm glad I'm not famous.

I do know that Easter worship was meaningful, and we did our best to honor God.

I also know that I got to enjoy my sons today after church. It's not that often that I get them "all to myself", and it just happened that we all left church together to go to our friends house for lunch.

So, I convinced these crazy guys to pose for this photo. They bring ridiculous joy to my life!

P.S. You gotta love the QUIET sign that Ben is holding - we had these made for the back hallways where the choir/orchestra were "hanging out" during the services when we were not leading.....

Thursday, April 05, 2007


A month ago, Karla and I were browsing in one of our favorite places - the bookstore on the campus of The University of the South - Sewanee University in Monteagle/Sewannee. I ran across a new magazine (new to me) called GOOD

In the March/April issue, there is the following article, and I just think this is simply amazing - see if you agree!

The PlayPumps Water System performs modern-day alchemy, converting the energy of children cavorting on a simple playground merry-go-round into clean water. As children spin, the system pumps water from an underground well into a 25-foot-high storage tank. Instead of the time-consuming task of hauling water, villagers need only turn a tap.

Co-founder Trevor Field has even combined the brilliant engineering of the pump with a dash of commercialism: Each 650-gallon tank sports four billboards, two for advertising and two for public-health messages. PlayPumps International raises the $14,000 for each system's equipment and set-up costs. Ad revenues then pay for upkeep. One South African school principal has certainly noticed the difference a PlayPump brings: Now "learners can drink, a nutrition program is carried out with ease, our classrooms and toilets are clean," he wrote. "And we have just planted new trees."

There are now 700 PlayPumps scattered across southern Africa, and last year the U.S. government and several private foundations invested $16.4 million in the project - one-quarter of the money needed to reach a goal of 4,000 pumps by 2010, which would provide clean water to 10 million people in 10 countries across the continent. "It's estimated that a child dies every 15 seconds from diseases related to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation," says PlayPumps' president, Jill Rademacher. "The water crisis is something we can't ignore."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mission Trips and Blood Loss

Certainly a lot has been going on in my life since my last entry. Preparing to lead this wonderful team (pictured above) to Cape Town, South Africa has occupied most of my time, energy, and resource. In spite of my physical condition (more on that later), I would go back again very, very soon - probably……

God assembled this amazing team of individuals and allowed Karla and myself to lead them. This whole adventure began in February 2004 when we first met John and Avril Thomas. As they shared their hearts for developing Christian musicians in Cape Town and working in conjunction with their Christian radio station, we knew we had to do something - not because they necessarily needed what we had to offer, but because they wholeheartedly welcomed anyone who would offer themselves to encourage and help them develop their own gifts and talents.

We began making plans to bring a team of (for lack of a better term) “music specialists” to them to offer workshops and other training opportunities. In March 2005, we took our first team, and they evidently were pleased enough to invite us back this March.

Another part of this story began to unfold in the summer of 2004 when Karla and I made our first trip to Cape Town to simply “check things out”. During that visit, I met with the leadership of the Masiphulmelele Baptist Church Choir. This tiny church is in the middle of a township of severe poverty and HIV. This church is simply amazing, and the choir - well, they astound me. I have never met (22) young people more passionate, more committed, and make as much sound unto the Lord as these folks do. We were thrilled at the possibility of making a new recording for these wonderful people. So, part of our most recent trip was to do just that, and oh what a recording they made!

Let me back up to last year to tell this story because it just shows you once again how God works and how it connects back to the Masi Choir. I invited Jeromy Deibler (lead singer for the group, FFH) to go on last year’s trip. He agreed, and just before we left, he introduced me to his friend, Robert Beeson (who grew up in South Africa) and he was about to leave Essential Records to form his own label. As I began telling Robert about the Masi Choir, he began to express interest in them, and then asked his good friend, Steve Hindalong (producer of the award-winning, best-selling “City On A Hill” CD) to get involved. Steve was initially reluctant, but wanted to go to Cape Town to see what this whole thing was about. (Steve is the one in the red shirt - 5th from the right in the photo). I wish you could have watched this man work with this choir. What a blessing to sit and behold the producer allowing the creation to unfold and happen before him and “let it be”! He was encourager, cheer-leader, prompter, listener, teacher, player (he played his drum with them), and even the dancer!

So, now we return to America with this recording of this choir, and we wait to see what God wants next. We promised this choir we would make a recording of them, and we have done that, so if we only assemble the songs and moments onto a master CD and give it to them to duplicate and manufacture, then that would be OK. Somehow, we all believe there is more to it than that. Because of Robert Beeson’s vision and that of John Thomas, and now with Steve Hindalong on board, we believe there might be other artists who capture this same vision for raising the awareness of the work of this wonderful Masi Choir + the work of John and Avril through their Living Hope Ministries, and make this CD something much bigger and grander than any of us might have imagined.

I must admit that I have never had the honor and privilege of being a part of something that is substantially bigger than all of the people involved in it, but this might be it. I pray that it would be it. I have so loved being involved in my own very small way in something that I am absolutely convinced does not depend on my opinion and my input in order for God to accomplish something incredible in and through this project. In fact, everyone involved (at least to my knowledge) wants the same thing, and tell me how rare that is in this day of music business-driven egos, politics, and maneuvering!

I have tons of video footage to review, label, and give to Robert and Steve so they can see what took place two weeks ago 10,000 miles from here as we connected in deep and extraordinary ways with these (22) people.

In the midst of this uncontainable joy, I hate to admit this, but I had a horrible week when I returned from South Africa. Karla tried to warn all of the team that “re-entering” into our regular worlds and routines would be difficult. I agreed, but ignored the warning signs. I blistered back into a ruthless pace, and crashed and burned big-time last Thursday night. When will I learn? Ulcers, kidney stones, heart and other stomach issues……all of these things resulting in way too regular trips to the ER and days spent in a hospital bed are becoming all too familiar, and I know I must do something about it.

I have lost blood in my system since December. I have more tests next week to determine why. In the meantime, I am doing this week what I should have done last week - rest, take things much more easily and slowly - function at a more reasonable pace - and I am finding this is more about my mental/emotional state than my physical state……and it is refreshing, but hard. Why is that?

People have asked me if the trip to South Africa did this to me. My answer is without question, “no way”. If anything, returning did this to me. I love South Africa. I was at total peace in every situation while I was there - no, we did not go there to intentionally win souls to Jesus, build homes, offer medical relief, or any of the other very important and most popular reasons people go on mission trips, but we did encourage and inspire fellow believers to use their gifts to help bring more glory to God through their music - we brought hope to (22) young people whose lives are often more hopeless than hopeful…….. I got to be a part of that, and I wonder what is so different about ministry in Cape Town from ministry in Brentwood or Franklin?

I will ponder that in these days ahead and months ahead as I determine where God wants me to be so that I can be most effective for His Kingdom - I know this - I am of little use to Him and His Kingdom with a weak and weary body and a worry-filled mind…….

Thursday, March 01, 2007


My oldest son, Seth’s blog is a work of art. One never knows what will appear, and certainly his ability to write what he is feeling is something he gets very honest - from his mother, of course!

His entries on Wednesday, February 14 and Tuesday, February 27 are simply remarkable.

Seth has always had the most amazing imagination possible. When he decided to attend Baylor University his freshman year, I have to admit, I was stunned. I just didn’t see it, but God did. Not only did he connect with a church (and more importantly, a community) that will always be just that - a community of genuine people who love God and want to love one another - but he learned to express himself through written word - at least that’s my opinion. (Maybe he knew how before that year, but it really came to a reality during that year)

Seth has always used his sarcasm as a defense mechanism. That used to bother me. No longer does it bother me because we all have our defense mechanisms, and I know Seth’s heart. Regardless of how a person behaves, or what you think he thinks, and what you think you know about a person, if their heart is right - all is good with the world.

Seth’s heart has always been right. No one I know has a bigger or a more tender heart. I know because I have one, too. No one I know wears it on their sleeve more than my wonderful son, Seth. When you have a “right” heart, it will always be compassionate for those things that are worth being compassionate about. It will always care way more deeply than most hearts. It will also be broken way more than one can sometimes handle. It will always be in a position to be damaged.

When Seth’s heart is broken, it comes from a deep sense of validation. I so relate to this because all my life I have worked to prove myself to anyone who will pay attention. Parents, teachers, coaches, professors, friends, colleagues……..I have never felt that I could or would measure up, so………I convinced myself that if I work harder than the others, I will be appreciated - validated.

I am so sorry that I have lived my life this way for way too many years. I am sorry that I have worked myself into sickness for what I believed was what I was supposed to do at that time.

I so NOT desire that for my son - or any of my sons. I don’t regret caring for people, and serving them as Christ would serve them, but I have to believe I could have taken a more healthy approach to doing those things.

So, please, Seth - learn from that! Don’t worry about validation. Don’t worry about being appreciated. It will NEVER be enough. Most people are too busy dealing with their own “stuff” to concern themselves with appreciating your art. Sorry - brutal, but true.

Instead, concern yourself with being appreciated by only God Himself. For all the triteness of that phrase, it could not be more profound. If what you create pleases Him, then that really is all that matters…….

and……more importantly, if you never created another video/film for the rest of your life, you would find a way to express yourself in ways that would still make God smile and people stand in awe…….

I could not be more convinced of that…….

you are an amazing young man, Seth Byron Worley…..

Monday, February 19, 2007

Counting The Days

In a few days, Karla and I will celebrate 28 years of marriage!

We will get away from the stress of our lives and relax at this lovely cabin.

I so much respect my friends who make the time, create the space, and get away periodically to "recover".

The older I get, the more I realize how important that "recovery time" is.

It's interesting that the definitions that come up under the word, "recovery" are:

1) return to health - the return to normal health of somebody who has been ill or injured

2. return to normal state - the return of something to a normal or improved state after a setback or loss

3. gaining back of something lost - the regaining of something lost or taken away

I relate to all of these - in some ways. Illness manifests itself in many different ways. The returning of something to normal always makes me laugh because I have yet to discover what normal is! The regaining of something lost or taken away often relates to me because there are too many times in life when I have allowed something inside of me to be taken away or lost - maybe it's a piece of my soul.....or some fabric of my emotions that for whatever reasons prevent me from being passionate about those things I once believed in......

I have had several medical surgeries over the years. Not once have the doctors "wheeled me out of surgery" directly into my car to go home - there is ALWAYS a recovery period.

I am in need of a recovery period for reasons that I still don't fully grasp. I just know I need this time for me, and as selfish as that sounds, I know it's true.

So, admitting to my selfish motive and grateful to my wonderful wife who wants to get away with me - here's to an anniversary weekend with this person who has loved me unconditionally for 28+ years! You are one amazing woman!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Friday, January 26, 2007


I witnessed something this evening that will stay with me (unfortunately) for a long time.

It was a wonderful winter Friday night of high school basketball, and the only thing that would make it better would be a great rivalry, so why not....

My son's basketball team was playing "on the road" at a rival high school just south of us. The place was packed and there was tremendous "electricity in the air" (as they say!)

Early on in the game, it was very clear that a woman seated behind us would become somewhat annoying because she was ONE person representing the opposing team seated behind a larger group of visiting team fans.

Fans in the stands are always going to have a "friendly" competitive spirit - that's part of what makes these kinds of environments so much fun, not to mention entertaining.

I don't know if it was this woman's ridiculously loud, shrieking whistle that she made anytime she thought it might help her team or what, but it/she was terribly annoying.

Nonetheless, in spite of her obnoxious whistle, everyone around her seemed to be able to ignore her and engage wholeheartedly in the game - which after all, isn't that what the whole evening is about anyway?

Well, I was wrong. Not everyone around us ignored her. In fact, one visiting team
lady seated near us seemed to be VERY annoyed by this woman's whistle, and the whistle lady's subsequent attitude to the point that during halftime, these two women "got into it" - with me and my friend sitting between them.

I have to admit, I have NEVER experienced anything like this. I have never heard words exchanged (no profanity) that cut like a knife to another person like these two women exchanged. The timing and responses of the dialogue rivaled that of anything you have ever watched on "Gilmore Girls", and at times, I honestly thought it was scripted. I was surprised, appalled, embarrassed, hurt, sad, and wanting so badly to not be where I was, but I (like my friend) was trapped by the crowd seated around me.

My friend and I could not believe what we were experiencing.....simply unbelieveable.

I could go on and on, but as I sat there in the middle of this juvenile exchange of verbal assaults, I could not help but wonder what God was thinking all this time. Is this really how we are supposed to behave around our fellow humans - at a high school basketball game for crying out loud? I don't know these women (and part of me is really glad that I don't), but they revealed enough about themselves that I know they will be meeting again in a work environment outside of this high school basketball game setting. I can't imagine what that will be like, but I know I don't want to be around to personally witness the second round of that!

I am sorry, God for how we behave sometimes. We truly are human, and we are disgusting, humiliating, and horrible creatures at times. Tonight's display must have grieved you tremendously.

I am sorry that I did not have the wisdom to intervene with something that might have made this situation better. I have no idea what that would have been, but I just sat there, and maybe......just maybe, my "minding my own business" contributed in some small way to the lack of potential and possible reconciliation.

I guess I will never know.....I was too busy being terribly disturbed.......

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Me And My Gang

Apologies for the long dry spell from blogville.....

I read on one of my favorite blogs the list of top selling CD's from last year. I was somewhat surprised that #2 on that list was Rascal Flatts.

I don't know why I was surprised except that it just confirms that I need to pay more attention to this pop culture in which I live. If I did, I would realize these guys are something!

Their most recent CD - Me and My Gang sold 3,479,994 CD's. Good grief - that's more than a truck load of discs......

If that isn't enough, consider this -

My friend, Neil Thrasher wrote or co-wrote (5) songs on that CD. Can we all say a collective WOW!?

Have fun doing that math and figuring out how much more wealthy Neil is as a result of these incredible accomplishments! It could not happen to a greater guy!

So, congratulations Rascal Flatts and congratulations Neil!