We SOOOOOO Got Robbed. Seriously. I’m Upset!

  • As you know, we entered J93’s Battle Of The Praise Bands. Yesterday, they made the first cut. I went online to vote for our praise band, and I was SHOCKED. We didnt make it. Lest you think I am just sour grapes, the three bands that I thought were WAY better than us didnt make it either. J 93 should have to serve jailtime for not putting Midway Macedonia’s video in the top 20. That was the best video in the contest, period. Click HERE to watch their video and tell me how they are at least not a top 20 band. Master’s Seminary in Griffin submitted an AWESOME video, and they didnt make the top 20. Click HERE to watch their video.  LIsten, I’m all about competition. If our band got beat by 20 bands that were better than us, I would be fine with that. But to make make the top 20 when you’ve definitley got a top 20 band…..I was madder yesterday than I have been in years. I was literally shaking on the way to work. I wanted so badly to email J93 yesterday, but I have waited until I cooled down. I knew my words and attitude yesterday would not have reflected the heart of Christ. (Yes, pastors get angry too. :))
  • Here’s what I think happened. The contest was advertised as pitting the top 20 praise bands against each other. The top 10 would open up for Pillar and Barlow Girl at J 93’s Back To School Bash. The best band wins a $10,000 sound equipment upgrade from the Ivey Media Group. I think what the contest turned into was the selection process came down mainly to what 20 bands needs the sound equipment upgrade the worst. Kind of like an “Extreme Makeover, Praise Band Edition.” If that’s what they wanted to do, that’s great. I fully support that. I’m all about kingdom expansion. Our church has blessed us. We dont need a new sound system. Ours rocks the casbah, thank you very much.  But, THATS NOT HOW THE CONTEST WAS ADVERTISED. If it had been advertised as a chance for needful bands to win a sound system they desperately need, and need made up a large part of the judging, again, I’m cool with that. But they advertised the twenty best praise bands would compete, and they did not deliver on their promise.
  • I invite you all to email Rick Davison, the marketing and publicity rep for J93. Kindly (KINDLY being the key word here. i.e., the love of Jesus) and explain your feelings on the contest. They won’t realize how they’ve upset people unless we let them know. His email address is rick@wvfj.com. We’ve already had several hot-headed emails which we don’t need any more of, so be Christ-like.
  • Today I started my Bible study in Psalms. God kind of re-focused me and cleared my head about the whole situation as I read Psalm 1:2. It says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates days and night.” Our delight is not found in making a top 20, winning a $10,000 sound system, or opening up for Chris Tomlin in front of 20,000 people. Our delight is in HIM, and HIM alone. Thank you Lord for the re-focus. Your Word always speaks into my life when I need it most!

Land Shark

  • My brother came to visit this weekend. It’s gonna be a blast- we went out to eat tonight, we’re going fishing and to a Braves game tomorrow. Of course he cam bearing gifts from my parents for Charlie! 🙂 They sent him a Buzz Lightyear (which he’s REALLY excited about), and this floatie for being able to swim in the pool. The floatie is a shark, and he LOVES sharks. He begged to put the floatie on. It was too cute not to share. Thank you Grammy and Papa!

Getting Ready For The New Service

  • Just wante to let all my church folks know the status of the new service. We are all really excited about it. Several weeks ago, we ordered some AWESOME equiment from PDH Systems in Atlanta. Our install date is July 28.
  • Some of the core team is going around right now and visiting different churches to see what we like/don’t like about their contemporary service. This past weekend we visited Mountainlake Church in Cumming, GA. It was so awesome! Great worship, relevant teaching, and most importantly, a church that cared that you came. I know their two lead pastors, Shawn Lovejoy and David Putman, and I love their heart for church planters and healthy churches. I want to thank them for their influence on my view of church health, and what it looks like to reach out to the unchurched and dechurched.
  • This SUnday morning our team is going to First Baptist Opelika, AL. I think it will be a very apples-to-apples comparison. Like us, they are an old SBC church that has stepped out to embrace a new service while still doing a traditional/blended service. I cant wait to let you know how it goes!

Sad Day

  • Some friends from our old church are devastated today. 5 weeks ago, they had twin girls. One of the girls just wasnt growing like the other. They did some tests and several days ago the doctors disovered little Anna Kate had a growth on her brain. They went in today to do surgery and the baby didnt make it. I can’t imagine what the parents are feeling- I’m kind of shocked myself. Just lift up the parents, Frank and Sarah, in your prayers. Pray that they will feel the peace and healing only God can bring, and pray that their community of faith will embrace them and love on them.
  • We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.- Hebrews 6:19

Mission Tour Diary- Day 6

  • Yesterday was a LONG, but fun, day. We went to Niagra Falls or our fun day. We sang at the visitors center in the morning, then had a chance to be tourist for the rest of the day. Niagra Falls was so beautiful and a testimony to the creative genius of our maker. We  didnt leave the park until about 11:00 last night. We stayed and watched a fireworks show at the Falls. Here are some pics from yesterday:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Collin, McCauley, Kirk, and Chick Magnet at the Falls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • And finally, Marcel with the plastic snake he bought:

Mission Tour Diary- Day #5

  • We had an INCREDIBLE day of ministry today. We started the day off with Dunkin’ Donuts (America runs on Dunkin’) and drove about an hour to Rochester, NY. Our students performed at a Teen Challenge and it was amazing. God has blessed our group by allowing them to hear amazing life-change testimonies, and He continued that today. We heard from several men who spoke about how God had freed them from their addiction. About how God was sufficient for them. One 20 year old male shared at the very end of the service. It rocked our students because he looked just like them. He came from a well-to-do family, he just searched for fulfillment in the wrong people and places. Last week he overdosed on herion and his friends threw him out of a moving car in Syracuse. I reminded our students that LaGrange High and Troup High are full of students like this- desperately seeking fulfillment and purpose in thier lives. It was awesome!
  • After Teen Challenge, we went to a mall for lunch. I really wanted one of those Chinese massages, but didnt have time. 😦 Maybe soon, haha.
  • AFter lunch, we decided to take the scenic route to our evening concert to that our whole group could see Lake Erie. So we went about an hour and a half out of the way to the state park, only to find that they wanted to charge our group an exorbitant amont of money to look at the lake for 10 minutes. I figure that it cant be much better than West Point Lake. 🙂
  • On the way to the next concert, our whole group pulled over on the side of the road at a fruit stand in Waterport, NY. It was so random, but really cool. Everyone bought fresh fruit that was really good. They had cherries, grapes, watermelons, plums, etc. Even homemade pies. Praise Jesus! Here’s a picture of the fruit stand:

 

 

 

 

 

  • This evening our students performed for a Celebrate Recovery service and it was awesome. We were able to establish some great relationships during a fellowship time after the performance. One woman wanted us to pray because she had brought several non-believers who are on the verge of giving their hearts to Jesus. Pray for them in your quiet time today. We also want to ask for you to pray for a young lady named Shawnee (the area we were in had a high Native American population). Shawnee has a serious liver disease, and unless she gets a transplant soon, the odds are not good. We also loved on a precious little boy name Ray. (or Lil’ Ray-Ray as I called him.) Lil Ray-Ray was a precious boy with autism that wanted to sing for our group as we were leaving. Our group loved him because he was in the back of the church doing the moon walk during the song “Living Water,” and liked to wink at the girls in our group.  Here’s a video of Lil Ray-Ray singing for our group:
  • Tomorrow (Friday) our group is singing at Niagra Falls! How exciting! We will leave about 9:45 a.m. Pray for a fun and safe day, and many chances to share the gospel. We miss you all. Love you Katie and Charlie!

Mission Tour Diary- Day 4

  • As posted earlier, I finally have the internet. I feel VERY behind on updating you about whats going on with our group. It has been an incredible trip so far.
  • Monday- On Monday, we completed the LONG leg of the trip. We left London, KY early in the morning and got to Buffalo late in the evening. RIght before we got to Buffalo, we stopped at a crazy rest stop. It was a McDonalds, but you had to walk over the interstate on a covered bridge to get to it. The bridge had clear glass windows and it was kind of eery to watch speeding cars coming right at you. Here’s what a semi-truck coming at you at 70 mph looks like:

 

  • Tuesday- On Tuesday, we began our first day of ministry. We actually served at the Buffalo City Mission twice on Tuesday. We led worship for the men in the morning and the women at night. The city mission is such a great place that takes people in and shows them the love and grace of Jesus. Several of the residents gave their testimonies of what Christ has done in their lives and it was powerful! They have such a great ministry. They teach people the Bible, feed them, house them, and also have food and clothing closets. Here is a picture from the worship service Tuesday morning: 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tuesday afternoon, we went to the mall (SHOCKER). It was really neat- we got to take some pictures with some famous people. Here’s a picture of Kirk Slay taking a picture with Hannah Montana:

 

 

 

 

 

  • I met Mike Piazza in the mall. I punched him in the face and represented the Atlanta Braves!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tuesday evening, we went back to the mission and ministered to the women there. It was a great service and so moving.  The women had their children with them and it was humbling to be able to worship with them and pray with them. Check out this video of a little girl dancing while the choir sang “In The Sanctuary:”
  • This morning, we sang at the Elderwood Senior Citizen Center. The were so gracious and glad we were there. They ministered to us as much as we ministered to them. Collin Montgomery shared a testimony about our mission trip to Ecuador and it was great. Here are some pictures of our group and Ben posing in the Elderwood parking lot after the performance. For some reason, they had a big caboose in the parking lot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tonight, our choir got to sing the National Anthem at the Buffalo Bison’s minor league baseball game. The choir sounded great and it was so cool seeing them on the field. I took a picture of them on the jumbotron. I took it with a cell phone, so its not a great picture, but you can get the idea: