Where was I on 9-11?

I’m pretty sure you’re going to see a ton of blogs, posts, and tv shows about “Where Were You on 9-11.”  So, I thought one more blog couldn’t hurt! It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years ago since 9-11 happened. That day changed this country forever.  One thing that frustrates me is, no matter how many leaders we kill, no matter how many wars we win, those terrorists know that they forever changed the way we do things in America. It hurts knowing that they put a dent in our society that we can’t get back.  They’ll have their judgement one day though.  They’ll realize that all they were fighting for, made them lose everything.   They’ll have their day, and what a day it will be, when God judges those who hurt his people.

So, where was I that day?  I remember walking into a freshman math class at Stephen F. Austin State University.  I can still hear the guy sitting next to me talking to another guy saying, “Yeah, it just flew straight into the building this afternoon.”  I didn’t think much of it, although I was wondering what he was talking about.  As that class ended, I made my way to my next class which was in the music building.  There was a sign on the door that said, “Class is cancelled, go spend time with your friends and family.”  All I could think was, “Heck yeah, this is awesome!!”  Of course, still not knowing what had happened that day.  So, I made my way back to my 7X7 foot dorm room where my room mate was watching the TV.  He asked if I had heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers.  I said, “Oh, I heard some guy say something about a plane crashing somewhere.”  He pointed to the screen and said that a 2nd plane had just hit another building and that all the news anchors were now aware that this was probably an attack.  They were throwing around names I had never heard before like, Al Queda, Osama Bin Laden, Taliban..etc.  Just think now how familiar those names are now.  It’s crazy.  So, here we are 10 years later.  Our world is so different now.  Wall street never seems to stabilize, air travel is ridiculous, and an uncertainty of what tomorrow holds looms over us everyday.  Fortunately, there is One who knows exactly what tomorrow holds.  He tells us “to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” So, we take each day at a time.  Trusting that the Lord has a plan for all this.  That the pain we’ve endured for these 10 years has a meaning and that He will show us His path during our persecutions.  Trusting that he’ll show us His will throughout the wars.  Keep praying for our country.  Pray for it’s leaders to truly believe that we are one nation, under God.

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Top 5 new seating sections on a plane

I think I was too young to remember the days when there was separate seating sections on planes for smokers and non-smokers.  Thank goodness!!  Having a smoking section, anywhere, is pretty much like dedicating a peeing section in the pool.  It just doesn’t work.  Anyway, Kellie and I took our first trip together this past weekend, with Luke.  This was his first time flying a long distance, so we were pretty nervous.  Luke has flown from Dallas to Houston with Kellie, but that was only a 45 minute flight.  So, that wasn’t too big of a deal.  But, this past weekend we were in Daytona Beach, FL and we thought this would be a great trip for everyone to go on.  So, we loaded up all 6 suitcases filled with clothes, Cd’s, and then the other things that were not needed (packed by Kellie of course).   The first flight was a connecting flight to Houston, which was great.  Luke just played and giggled a little bit.  People are usually pretty forgiving in a 40 min flight.  But, the next flight was going to be 2 and a half hours.  The flight was totally booked, so that meant we weren’t going to be able to leave a seat in between us.  So, we got seated and Luke starts whining a little bit, but was manageable for the first 30 minutes.  After we fed him a bottle…..then another bottle (just to top him off) he fell asleep and slept almost the whole way!!  Yay.  So, we were lucky this time….but there will soon be another trip I’m sure.  While on the plane with a sleeping child, almost every little things makes you annoyed because you think it’s going to wake up your baby.  So, I’ve constructed a list that I think airlines need to follow on new seating assignments.

1. The Talker’s Section- If you haven’t been on a plane before, it’s pretty loud.  Basically it’s like having a huge 2000 horsepower white noise sleep machine in your ear the whole time.  I do enjoy talking to people on a plane, but I usually don’t because it “seems” as if you have to yell.  It seems this way because when people talk they try to hear their own voice (which is how we regulate our speaking volume)  Similar to when you talk with headphones on.  You yell to hear yourself while the person across from you and bleeding from their ears at your unnecessary speaking volume.  If I can hear you all the way in front of the plane, here’s a hint, the person next to you can hear you too!  So, I would suggest that the last section of the plane for talkers.  It’s my assumption that they will all be talking so loudly, that they’ll just get frustrated and all quit talking all together.  Therefore making it easy for the rest of us to sleep!

2.  The Kid Section- This section should be all the way to the front of the plane.  This is the section for the parents whose kids like to grab the seats in front of them and shake it like a Polaroid picture. If they are in the furthest front seat, ah ha, no seat in front of them to shake.   This is also the closest seat to the exit, in case I need to let your child go to the restroom outside at 30,000 feet!

3.  Smokers Section- “Adam, you know there isn’t smoking on a plane anymore.”  Yes, I do know that.  But apparently some airports (Atlanta) for one, have these death rooms they call smoking rooms.  This is where smokers, who can’t go 3 minutes without smoking, can sit in a cloud of smoke in a dedicated room in the terminal, and smoke.  This is a humorous room, because it is totally see through.  All the little toddlers and kids can come up to the window and gawk at the people inside.  It’s kind of like viewing the reptiles at the zoo except, instead of viewing the snake eating the mouse in the reptile room, you can watch smoke wrinkle away the skin of 20 people at a time.  ANYWAY this section is for those people who have just smoked a cigarette, or 20 cigarettes in some cases.  Obviously they think that they are the only ones who can smell smoke.  They come and plop down beside you wafting a cloud of smoke in the air that finds it’s ways to your nostrils. Thanks.  As if all the coughing and sneezing germs circulating through the air vents weren’t enough to make me paranoid.  Now I have to worry about 2nd hand/leather jacket smoke.

4. First Class Section (upgraded)-  This is for the people who, before the flight, found out that they could upgrade their ticket for only $60 and fly first class. Woo Hoo!  Basically, they get two free checked bags and get to sit in the very front. Oh yeah, you get your ginger ale before anyone else too.  It’s basically the same as paying the amount of checking two bags, so it’s not that fancy.  Just a $10 difference when you look at it. But, they snarl at you when you walk on, as if you are beneath them.  I’m surprised they don’t ask the flight attendants if someone from coach could come and fiddle for them, or play a sultry harp solo to lull them asleep.  This section of the plane should be moved to the wing of the plane.

5.  Drinks and Snacks People on a 45 minute flight-  It mind boggles me that the flight attendants think that we are all so desperate in need of a drink, that we can’t wait 30 minutes to get to the next airport to fulfill our odd flight drinks.  They are frantically sprinting up and down the aisles throwing bags of peanuts at you yelling and asking if they can get you something.  Usually this is occurring  while I’m trying to get my cat nap in, and the flight attendant rams my elbow with their loud 4 ton vending machine cart.  This raises another question.  Why do people, on a plane, order drinks that they never have in real life? “Yes, I would like a ginger ale with teaspoon of club soda and tomato juice.” Seriously? I am willing to bet $4 that the last time they ordered either tomato juice, club soda, or ginger ale was when they last flew, 6 years earlier.  I usually end up with drink all over me because, apparently, a little divot in my seat tray isn’t enough to hold a top heavy plastic cup securily when the plane drops 100 feet during turbulence.  Hmmmm, imagine that.  Now I have to hold my breath through the smoking section while “The Talking Section” laughs, way too loud, at me as I make it to the locker size restroom. At least the $60 upgrade guy is too busy enjoying his V8/Pine-Sol drink mixture to not notice my predicament.

What section would you like to see added to your next plane ride??

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What Is Your Batting Stance?

If you turn on ESPN about now, you’ll be able to see the Little League world series take place.  I talked about this, some, in my last blog I think my favorite thing is laughing at the kids who mimic their favorite baseball player in the way they stand at the plate, or the way they wind up to pitch.  You’ll see kids who are wearing all the equipment at the plate, while batting, that protects you from a 100mph pitch, yet they are only seeing 50mph pitches thrown at them.  They do this because their favorite player wears the same thing on TV. It’s a shame that some of these pro athletes live the way they live, yet have little kids all over the world who admire them and pattern everything they do after them.  Makes you really appreciate those who strive, as much as possible, to be good examples.  The Josh Hamilton’s, Philip Humber’s, David Murphy’s, Albert Pujols’.  Those guys are who I hope are still playing the game when my son gets old enough to play.  One thing you notice about all MLB batters, is that they do have different stances or way they hold the bat at the plate. 

Yet, at the moment they all start to swing, there hands almost always come to the same position.  So, it’s all in the style and look you are trying to achieve, I think.  Whatever stance makes you think you can hit the ball better, then do it!  But, again, if you’re hands don’t, inevitably, end up in the right place before you swing, you won’t hit the ball.  I think sometimes we as the church get caught up in that same thing.   (What?  Am I really connecting this analogy with church? Uh, yes I am)  I feel like we can often get caught up in the style of music, the dress code, the level of charismatic-ness (not a word), or even the types of people that attend the service.  When it comes down to it, none of that really matters if our hearts never end up in the right place.  If we’re merely just trying to put on a front and show how our personal “stance” is the right way to worship, or how our stance is the new cool thing to do, we’re missing the ball altogether.  Am I saying that it is wrong to raise your hands, or to only like to hear hymns or praise and worship music?  Not at all.  But, in the end, if your heart fails to get in the right position, none of those things matter anyway.

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Going Pro….at 12 years old.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sharing a hotel with the South East little league tournament.   When I walked in, I asked the hotel lady if I could please have a top floor room, cause I knew there could be some heavy running down the halls.  She said that the kids wouldn’t be running up and down the halls because they had a 10pm curfew.  I told her that I had a 10pm curfew, too, when I was in baseball tournaments, and that didn’t stop us from knocking on random people’s doors at 1:00am, pushing friends into the pools, and sumo wrestling in the hallways.  She laughed and gave me the only room available on the top floor.  I sound like I was bitter, but I really was OK with being in the same hotel with the kids.  It brought back a lot of good memories.  The kids actually didn’t make any noise and were pretty well behaved.  I guess that’s the difference in Little League and Dixie League, which I played in.  It appears Little League players need their rest to win games. W,e in Dixie League, would beat you on 1 hour sleep while swimming 20 laps in the pool 2 hours prior to game time…ha.  Yes, I’m bitter that little league gets all the glory and gets to be on ESPN.   BUT, back to the good memories.  Every year it seems as if a few of us players would find ourselves in some sort of hotel awaiting the playoffs and hoping to be noticed by MLB scouts at the age of 12.  We can dream can’t we?  We would play cards all night, talk about how short the fence was in left field, and practice our autographs (in case any cute 12 year old girls wanted us to sign one of our home run or foul balls.  I mean, those would be worth something one day) The drama was high with the parents. They were more nervous than us.  I mean, if their kid strikes out, they’ll never play pro ball…right?

I sat at breakfast listening to the dads/coaches go over strategy and what pitchers they’d pitch first. Talk about which player’s dad wouldn’t let them pitch more than 3 innings, because it would ruin their arm for their future pro career.  It was all so funny, yet seemed so familiar. All in all, I wouldn’t have traded those days for anything. I wish I would have cherished those days more actually.  Time definitely flies by. It’s still fun to visit with some of my old dixie league buddies from time to time.  On my phone, every year, I have an alarm set to call my friends and wish them a Happy Champions day, which the city of Carthage, TX proclaimed in 96, when we won the state championship…haha.     Several of them are still very close to me, still to this day.  The connections I made during those years brought about friendships that would even step outside the foul lines and into real life later on down the road.  I lost one of my closest baseball friends, to cancer, two years ago.  As he laid in his hospital bed, the memories of us goofing off at the batting cages, playing catch, embellishing home run distances, seemed to take his mind off the present sufferings.  How I wish I would have cherished those days more when we were kids.  I wish I would have understood how short life is.  I miss my friend, but I know he is resting safely in the arms of Christ now.

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Nothing Says I Love You Like Five Pounds of Pancakes

Today, Kellie and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.   My oh my, where has the time gone.  It seems like yesterday I was living in my apartment as a bachelor, admiring all the cool things I had hanging up on the wall.  Apparently, those things are not as cool as you think, once you get married.  Kellie swooped in and started moving things out left and right.  First thing she moved out was my room mate.  Not sure if I knew that was part of the deal, but I guess it’s necessary when you get married.  A lot of people at my concerts ask how Kellie and I met.  So, here’s the story.  After living in the ghetto for about 2 months, my room mates and I had gotten our cars broken in to about 3 times.  So, we kindly, but firmly, asked to be let out of our lease and move out due to safety concerns.  I now look back and see that the vandalism on my room mate, Scott’s, car was all part of God’s plan.  Thanks for taking one for the team Scott.  You shall receive a 25 inch chrome jeweled tire rim in heaven,  or something like that.   We moved out of that apartment and on to bigger and better things.  By better, I mean an apartment complex with a gate!  Upon arrival, we both noticed a couple of girls that were close  to our apartment.  Come to find out, they lived right above us.  My room mate immediately called dibs on the “tall one.”  So, as the months went by, he executed a series of bad pick up lines and jokes that led to him telling me, “I’ve had no luck, see if you can say something to her that would make her want to date me.”  So, Kellie and I went to lunch one afternoon and oddly enough, my room mate’s name didn’t come up..ha.  Oooops, my bad.  Kellie and I begin hanging out every day pretty much, since she was off for the Summer from college.  Our friendship grew and grew and before we knew it, we felt like best friends.  Eventually on Feb. 1st, 2008 I asked her to marry me.   We told her she was going to a bible study that night, and when she opened the doors to the sanctuary….I had a long row of fake rose petals leading her down the aisle (real rose petals were way too expensive, and I was already budgeting for the honeymoon.  Don’t judge me).  I mumbled a few things, that neither of us remember, and then proposed.  Was a lot of fun.  I had invited her whole family to drive down and surprise her. They, along with my family and some of our friends, got to see it all.

So, today you may be wondering what we did to celebrate.  Well, we ate the biggest pancakes I have ever seen at Ham and Eggs in Lewisville, TX.   It literally looked like we didn’t even eat them after we were done.   Luke thought he had won the food lottery.

I’m so grateful to be married to such an amazing woman.  She’s is an incredible mom, which has now added another level of love that I didn’t know I could have for her.  I can’t wait till next year, when we have another little baby with us to celebrate our 4th anniversary.  Although, I’ll probably still be full from today’s breakfast, and won’t be able to go and celebrate.

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It’s all in a heart beat. (Baby on the way!!)

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the doctor to confirm what we already knew……WE’RE PREGNANT!  Kellie is about 8 weeks along at this point.  Kellie’s mom is a twin, so there was still some anticipation as to whether she had 1 or 2 trouble makers in her belly.  The sonographer confirmed that we were only going to be blessed with 1 baby again.  Whewww.   Luke is excited too, kind of.  He was more interested in eating the mulch than finding out he was going to be a big brother, but we know he’s super excited.

Kellie and I were a little surprised about the pregnancy, but very excited.  I guess it’s normal, when surprised with a baby, to feel guilty that your current child will not get all the attention anymore.  But, we know that Luke will not remember being a single child and will grow up only knowing what it’s like to have a sibling.  So, that’s comforting and the guilt has passed (only felt guilty for about 3 minutes).  I make that point because, although we are very excited, the thought of being pregnant hadn’t really set in until we went to the doctor. We arrived, and felt like we were just there less than a year ago….Oh yeah….we WERE!!!!  We went through the same routines.  Kellie walked in weighed…..then I weighed (I like to know my pre-pregnancy weight too).  We sat in the room and listened to the nurse go over all the documents and procedures…blah blah.  We were both like..”.yeah yeah, we know all this already”….ha.  We were just sitting there not feeling too connected with the whole situation.  The only thing that was real to us at this point was that Kellie’s belly is starting to pop out a little bit.  They say in the 2nd pregnancy, that your belly starts to show quicker.  This was why we thought we might be having twins, but as I mentioned earlier, only one!  So, we did not know we’d be getting a sonogram the same day. Last time, we had to wait till 9 weeks. But, the sonogram lady was in the office and they went ahead and fit us in.   She went over her normal routine and checked the length, Kellie’s belly parts, and other sonogram-ish stuff.  Then, she said, you want to hear the heart beat?  What, heart beat?  Oh yeah, I forgot this little cute spec had already been shaped first inside, then out.  That it had already been formed in it’s mother’s womb. That it has been marvelously made! I forgot that, although we don’t know the baby, that God knows it inside and out, knows every bone in its body; knows how it was sculpted from nothing into something. All the stages of it’s life are spread out before it. The days of its life all prepared before its even lived one day.  So, yeah, let’s hear this heart beat. (Click for

Heart Beat of Baby 2)     

Wow, 152 beats of a hand made, hand woven miracle.  As we listened to this heart beat….Kellie and I both had tears in our eyes.  At this moment, it all started for us.  This is real, this is going to happen, and we can’t wait!  We won’t know the gender for 12 more weeks, but we do know that March the 3rd is the date! Wow, 7 months and 19 days.  Seems like a while, but as they say, it’ll be here faster than a heart beat.


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Who are our heroes?

Last Friday morning, Kellie and I were watching the today show and saw that the special guest artist for the Summer Concert Series was Chris Brown.  In the history of the show, the Today Show has never seen a bigger crowd.  Almost 20,000 people showed up to cheer and be memorized by this singer.  It is so astounding to me how, we as a nation, can simply turn a blind eye towards unspeakable acts.  About 2 years ago, Chris Brown pleaded guilty for assaulting his girlfriend.  Here is the aftermath of his assault.

It seems as if people have forgotten about this and just turned him into an idol now.  Yes, if he has repented and come to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, then we should forgive him too. But, over the course of the last two years, he’s been in more scandels than I can count.  But, “Hey, he has catchy tunes….so let’s push all that aside.”  Is that how we really feel as a nation?

In Philippians 2, we learn about a man named Epaphroditus. A man who has left his home, his employment, his ministry, his church, his friends, to go and serve the Apostle Paul. A very sacrificial man. Paul refers to him as, “My fellow Soldier, my brother, my fellow worker, my fellow commander-in-chief.” He’s quite a remarkable man…unselfish, humble, sympathetic, compassionate, all of those things. He’s a servant, he’s courageous, he’s godly. He built a strong bond with Paul. He worked fairly alongside of him and did his share and he was a great soldier fighting the enemy. He had no empire,  no fame, no money and no popularity. He was a humble, behind-the-scenes guy who gambled with his life for the sake of somebody other than himself.   In Verse 29 we read, “Therefore…Paul says…receive him in the Lord with all joy and hold men like him in high regard.” Receive him in the Lord…receive him really as if he were the Lord.   And then “hold men like him in high regard”. Hold him in high regard, hold him as highly prized, would be another way to translate it. Hold him as a precious man…even best, an honored man…an honored man.  I encourage you to Read more of the story of Paul and Epaphroditus .  This is the kind of man we should pattern our heroes after.  Men of God.

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Worshipping As A Minister

It’s nice to be able to have a Sunday off every once in a while.  Being able to worship with my family in my home church is always a blessing.  Today I get to enjoy the day with my wife and beautiful baby boy.  This is my last Sunday off all year basically.  Whewww….I hope I don’t get sick!  I actually have a mild cold today, so it works out perfect that I don’t have to sing today!!

What I wanted to write about today is something I get asked about all the  time.  People always ask, “Is it hard being away from your home church every Sunday and having to worship somewhere else week after week?”   My answer is usually always the same.   “Yes and No.”  Every once in a while I’ll sing at a conference and get to share my heart with music ministers and other church ministers.  What I always tell them is to not see your Sunday morning as your only worship time. Although it is a great time to worship, just don’t feel like that should be the only time you worship.  I say that because, for me, it is very hard to be focused on a Sunday morning when I’m singing.  I’m always thinking about the schedule of the morning or when I’m singing next.   Mostly I’m praying that the person putting the words on the back screen doesn’t fall asleep.  I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve had to re-write a song on stage because the screen in the back didn’t change.  Although I always have the songs memorized, when you’re used to seeing the words on the screen you just become dependent on it for that song…ha.

As I was saying, though, it is very hard to really just sit back on a Sunday morning and just soak it all in.  I get caught up in all the details and schedule of the service. I think that a lot of ministers become burnt out because of this reason. Whether we like to think of it this way or not, our ministries are also our jobs.  Do you think you could worship while sitting in a board room meeting at your job?  Probably not.  That’s kind of how it is for us.  We can sometimes get caught up in thinking that because we are at church on Sunday, that we are getting our worship service in for the week.  I think that can’t be further from the truth.  Just like me thinking of the songs I’ll be singing after the offertory, pastors are thinking of making sure they don’t stumble over their words, or that they don’t go over their sermon time, or that they don’t embarrass their teenage daughter with a funny family memory they plan on telling.  So, how do we make sure we don’t get burned out?  I think, for me at least, making sure that I don’t just rely on my Sunday morning as my worship service.  My wife and I are in a small group during the week in our home town, and we look at that as more of our “church” and worship service. It is a time that we can just sit down and not have to worry about leading music or singing.  We can fellowship with our friends and fellow believers and have nothing on our minds other than Jesus.  I’ve had pastors tell me that after they get home from preaching, they’ll turn on the TV and watch Dr. Charles Stanley or another church and use that as their time to be taught the word.  I think that is very critical for a minister.  I’ve always used the phrase, “Don’t let your ministry get in the way of your ministry.”  Basically, if you never take time to worship outside of your ministry, that can negatively affect how you minister when it comes your time to minister.   So, for all you ministers out there, always be sure to find time to worship outside of your Sunday morning.   If you’re a minister, how do you find time to worship outside of Sunday morning services.  What do you do?

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Mighty Fortress now Available

Very excited that my new single, Mighty Fortress has been released to radio stations all across the world.  We are already receiving some great responses to the song.  Be sure to call your station and ask to hear Mighty Fortress!!! 

Since it’s too hot to go outside, my wife and I had gotten caught up in the Casey/Caylee Anthony trial.  Wow, what a dissapointing verdict.  It seemed so clear that she murdered her daughter, but we have to respect the justice system I suppose.  The only 2 things that makes me feel OK about the outcome is knowing that little Caylee (or Keeeleee as Nancy Grace prounounces it) is walking with our Lord.  If she would have been raised with her immoral mother, she might not have ever been taught the truth.  If passing away at an older age, she possibly may not have been delivered to the arms of Jesus.  Also, as far as Casey goes, God will make all wrongs right one day.  Casey will get her judgement soon enough, and that is comforting.  It’s comforting to know that no matter how bad our fallen world has gotten, God will still have the final say.  He will still judge those who have turned a cold heart towards him. As Romans 12:19 says, “..Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. ” I’ll take care of it.”  WHEWW…glad this trial is over!!!

As I mentioned in my last post.  I hope to start being able to blog a little bit more and just have conversations with you guys.  You shoul see a “suscribe” link at the bottom of the page.  Feel free to subsribe and comment along the way!!

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New Website

If you’re reading this, our new website is up and running! Browse around and check out all of our new features and videos! Thanks to Aaron Rudd at massappeal.net for doing such a great job! This will also be an area where I start my blog and share with you guys about new things in my ministry. I also hope to just share with you thoughts in general about what is going in my life and….the world. So, check back often! More to come…

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