Monday, March 26, 2012

Called To Love

Poster for Risen Today
Available at Concerts!
I'm sitting at the Madison (aka Radison) Wisconsin Airport with Glenn Lavendar (G.Lav) from Downhere getting ready to fly to our respective homes to be reunited with our respective families.  The first two weeks of the Spring leg of the Called To Love Tour is over and I couldn't feel better about how the evenings have been going.  Every night has been packed if not sold out in advance, people standing in the aisles, singing, shouting, laughing, crying, praising, worshiping. If you're on the fence about coming to a show near (or far) from you, please join us, people tell me it was a good decision to come and we'd love to meet you!  We've been doing a Q&A for the "Artist Circle" ticket purchasers before the show and it's been a great time of banter between Jason Gray, Downhere and myself and we're able to spend more time than we do in concert to go deep about what God is doing in our lives and what He's teaching us.  Plus you get to sit in the front row if you choose.  

10 week old Michael when I was picked up at airport
Michael is on some medication to help desaturate his lungs, they were a little...saturated with blood, making it difficult to breathe, therefore difficult to eat.  He's breathing and eating better now, which will help him gain that necessary weight before open heart surgery.  No word yet on when that imminent procedure will take place.  I suspect within the month.  He has remained healthy, which is vitally important to ensure his ability to have the surgery when he needs it.  Sarah and boys are holding the fort at home, but they certainly miss our community; we haven't gone to church, Sunday School, Kids Clubs or Daniel's weekly homeschool meetings since January.  Sarah did sneak the family into two local CTL shows to see me, but we kept Michael tucked away in the back away from people.  It was so good for me to see my family during such a long stretch of two weeks away and I think it may have been good for them to see daddy.  :)  "Uncle" Duffy made jump ropes for Daniel, Nicky...and me.  Yeah, I said he Made them.  Little known fact on Duffy, in high school, he was ranked 18 in the nation for...most...awesome...jumproper...

Writing with Mia Fieldes
In between our two weekends of shows in DC, Kentucky, PA, Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin, I wrote 3 songs in Nashville with Ed Cash and Mia Fieldes for the new album that I'll be recording with my band in August for a release next April (2013).  Pretty excited about the songs that are being unearthed and pray there are many more to come!  

Interesting story happened yesterday at home, while I was in Madison, WI.  My two older boys (5 and 3) went to play with the girls next door outside in the afternoon.  They're not allowed to touch so they don't pass any germs (again to keep Michael healthy for surgery), so they just run in circles and laugh.  Sarah was inside and saw Daniel run to our backyard and hide under the swing set.  She assumed it was hide and seek at first but soon realized something was amiss.  She called him in and questioned him and he denied there was anything wrong.  She called me and I encouraged further questioning; he could return to playing after the truth was given.  It turns out that he was accurately blamed for encouraging the 3 year old girl down their slide where she landed in mud.  When the neighbor mom asked Daniel if that was true he denied it and got scared because now he 1.) encouraged someone to get muddy and 2.) lied about it.  That's why he ran home and hid.  

Before Sarah had called him back in for further questioning, the kids were tossing little rocks and one in Daniel's hand bounced off the neighbor's window; no damage, but loud.  The mom came back out asking what was going on and saying reminding that we don't throw rocks. Now Daniel has 3 strikes and is afraid. If you know my meek little boy at all, you know he was devastated.  

The story ended well, honesty was spilled, Sarah assured him that no one was angry with him and our neighbor assured him of the same very sweetly when Daniel and Sarah walked over to apologize.  Sarah exasperatedly asked me, "What can we do to convince Daniel that we are safe and he can tell us anything!"  I responded that we simply continue to respond lovingly and safely so the next time he thinks about hiding, he'll know his parents love him and are safe.

Then I realized that it's also human nature not to trust and to tend to hide.  Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they disobeyed for the first time, and think about this: God gave them no reason to not trust Him! God is perfectly loving, perfectly trust worthy, they had Zero reason to doubt Him...and still they hid.  

Why do we hide from the safest place we can go whenever we stray from His wisdom.  
God help us run to Your safe and loving arms!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Cove and Michael at 8 Weeks.

Daniel, Michael and one-sock Nicky
This evening is my last evening here in Asheville, NC leading worship at Billy Graham's Training Center for the Samaritan's Purse staff.  My band drove in on Monday from Nashville and Atlanta and we dusted off some great hymns like How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Jesus Paid It All, Holy Holy Holy and It Is Well With My Soul.  We also rocked some "old" favorites like Our God Reigns, Shout To The Lord, Because He Lives and You Are Holy (Prince Of Peace).  They were certainly fun to re-learn (or Learn!) how to play and I believe those songs from our collective past made it really easy to enter into worship, focusing on the words and their meaning.  We also played a few "Shustunes": My Savior My God, My Hope is In You, My Matchless...Matchless, Risen Today, of course you can't go wrong with a Chris Tomlin song or 5.  But I think my favorite moment was playing a new song that I wrote 2 days before Michael was born on January 13th of this year.  It was the first time introducing it with the band and I am so excited about how it sounds.  It went over really well I believe.  (At least I loved singing it!)  It's the only song I felt comfortable playing 3 times during the week.  :)

I also wrote a part of a song after I walked down to the beautiful Chapel that Ruth Graham designed.  I loved that so much too that we played it the next night.  This place is so restful and the Spirit just seems to be speaking so loudly, if you'll listen you can't help but hear Him.  What a legacy of God's work through the lives of Billy, Franklin and now Will Graham.  Men after God's own heart.  Will spoke most of the week and he was fantastic.  Opened up my eyes about I Samuel 1-3.  My favorite quote of the week was a Billy quote: "Everyone wants to stay on the mountain top, but the fruit is in the valleys!"

Tomorrow I fly home to see my family!  Michael has been slowing down when drinking his bottle, a indication that he is having more difficulty getting enough oxygen to his blood while he drinks.  So I'm guessing his open heart surgery could be this month.  There is a small window at the end of March and the beginning of April that I will be home, hopefully the surgery can take place then, otherwise, I will fly out of wherever I am on the Called To Love Tour to go home with my family for a time.  

Honestly, I'm asking the God of Wonders who healed Nicky's Eosinophilic Esophagitis with a bat of His eyelash to give my Michael a whole heart with 4 walls and 2 valves before surgery even happens.  God will accomplish His perfect plan regardless what I ask for, but sometimes we have not because we ask not.  

Sorry for the month off the blog.  I was soaking up family time, can ya blame me? ;) 
Thanks for caring. 
aaron