Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I watched Bill Belichick give his press conference after the Patriot's loss to the Jets on Sunday night and felt a heavy sadness for him. Even though I was hoping the Jets would win so Pittsburgh would have home field advantage and Aliquippa's Darrelle Revis could have another homecoming (only to lose to the team he grew up cheering for), I still felt bad for Belichick. Not because the Pats lost, but because in the NFL, it seems the only thing that makes you or your team worth anything is winning a Championship: the Superbowl. Anything short of that, being a division leader, winning a division championship or a conference championship is practically considered failure compared to winning the Big Game. Teams that fall short dejectedly go home, confounded by thoughts that they should have won, they were robbed of their right to advance, that winning was their destiny but now they going to have to try-try-again next year, or so it seems at least.

I tried to imagine that Bill should have been happy that his Patriots had such a strong season and they got to play their favorite game and make money doing it. But he would probably get fired for that kind of thinking because franchise owners don't just want their players and coaches to have fun. They want to win it all! They need to employ coaches and players who want nothing less.

I'll speak for myself; there is a danger of adopting that attitude with the CCM business. "The Industry". And it is a danger. While I have a drive to succeed, to excel and be excellent with the talents that God has given me, I cannot place my value in whether or not I "win the championship." Maybe that means a Dove nomination, Dove Award, Grammy nod or Grammy Award. Are you kidding me? For a short amount of time, I get to provide for my family by writing, recording and performing songs that exalt the name of Jesus as the Lord of all! Don't for a second think that MercyMe are CCM's Dallas Cowboys that I have to defeat. Nor is Third Day our Atlanta Falcons. Brandon Heath is not Tennessee's Titan. I am not the Steelers. For better or for worse, we are ONE TEAM. Maybe some of us are the QB and some of us are the left guard, maybe we're sitting on the bench. But we all have a role and for some reason (and for a short season) God has seen fit to draft us on his "English Music on the Radio" team, so to speak. But He does not need us. We may get cut, we may go the way of Brett Farve and play for a very long time in the spotlight.

But we are on the same team!

...Except for Hunter Smith from Connersvine. He actually plays for the Redskins. I never thought this analogy could break down so badly.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Food. New Record. New Drummer. New Year.

January is half way over already! I haven't had a show since November 16th? Two months ago! But I've led worship at my home church every week but once since then, when my Grandma was threatening to meet Jesus any minute, she's still waiting for the bus to pick her up so to speak. :) (What an incredible Hope we have! Death has no sting!) I've spent time with my family as Nicky has been home from the hospital since Dec 15th. He's been off the tube since 12/30, the night before we moved him out of the nursery and gave him his own bed in the room with his big brother! He loves sleeping in the same room as his "Bubby" Nicky actually started eating mashed bananas last week! It's amazing to see him sit behind a bowl with a spoon in his hand again! Glory to God! We're so thankful God's plan involved Nicky being with us for a while longer! What a joy!

I've been working with Ed Cash since Thanksgiving on the new record. Mainly over Skype (iChat really) working on the songs, how they should go, how high, how low, how fast, how slow, which chords are the best, which melody is the strongest, production ideas like strings here or strings there or no strings at all? Big drums, no drums. A girl from Texas named April, whom I'm dying to connect with, wrote a song called My Hope Is In You, which has blessed my family so much, I'm planning to record it and hopefully it will bring blessing to your lives as well, phenomenal song, April. I'm usually quite 'protective' of my ability to write or co-write all the songs on my albums, to make sure I can get behind them 100% (believe what I'm singing): no problems on this song. I resonate. I'm actually hoping I can shoot a video for it when I go to Africa next week! We'll see.

Anyhow, I'm excited. I'm getting ready for a show this Saturday at Billy Graham's Cove in North Carolina with my band, including my new drummer Brandon Coker. I've played with him before and he's a beast on the kit. He's also a great fella. You'll love him if you don't already know him.

I'll leave you with this: I was reading in Acts 10 this morning. I love the story of Cornelius, the captain of the Italian guard, but I especially love his bio found in verse 2. "He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer." If that were said of me in 2011, even if I were not a success by the world's standards, I would be okay with that. ;)

And according to his picture here, he was apparently devilishly handsome too.

May our priorities be well focused this year.
Long live the King,