Saturday, November 03, 2007

Youth Challenge continued

So, anyway, about my Youth Challenge trip...

I have to give some kudos to Jonathan Heath for the most impressive backdrop yet. The theme was "What if" and the graphic design guru (Jon something-or-other) used the ebay ad as inspiration (using the multi-colored it). Jonathan then took the concept and came up with the prop idea. Very nice. By the way, I shamelessly stole the picture from Tara's blog (good to see you, Derek).

I was only able to make it to two sessions: Randy Brown on Friday night, and Matt and Dorcas Hallam on Saturday morning. Randy rang the bell. The dude preached an hour, but could have gone on another hour and still had the crowd paying attention. Fantastic! I went to school with Randy way back in the day and it's incredible to see how God is using him. Matt and Dorcas rang the bell with their presentation of the ministry that they're involved in. Dorcas felt led of God to start a school in the inner-city of Cincinnati, geared specifically to the street kids that they work with in a mission. It's awesome to see how God is blessing their efforts. They brought up several kids who gave testimonies of what God is doing in their lives. Very moving.

Randy Brown gave an invitation on Friday night and scores of kids came forward. I was behind the curtain separating the musicians from the crowd and when I saw that the altar was full I decided to help out by moving a few folding chairs that would free up some space. I reached down for a chair, just your typical average motion that you don't think anything about, and BAM, out of nowhere I felt the worst pain that I have ever experienced. Seriously. I've had my ankle run over by a car, I've had my appendix taken out, I've broken bones, but I've never had pain like this. I staggered about two feet over to the edge of the curtain and fell on top of a large speaker (uh, a sound speaker, not Randy Brown or any of the other convention speakers; the clarification is probably not needed, but just in case, now you know). Jonathan Bender and Steve Shipman happened to be close enough to see that something was wrong, so they quickly ran over and helped me shuffle to some chairs. It was actually more like they dragged me over to the chairs. I couldn't sit down, I couldn't stand up, it was terrible. Finally, they put several chairs together and helped me lay down. This didn't do a lot to stop the back spasms. I was having trouble even speaking the pain was so intense. Finally, Gumby (for those of you who know Nathan), the convention drummer, remembered that there was a clinical massage therapist in attendance and ran off to find her. In the meantime, several people were stopping by to offer their condolences, such as, "yeah, I know what you're going through. I did that and never walked again" or "well, good luck with that; but that pain doesn't compare to the ulcer I had last spring". Very uplifting. I felt much better. The massage therapist finally showed up. I'm here to tell you that Kathy Sheppard was a Godsend. She is actually the cook at UBC, but is a licensed therapist as well. She worked on my back and legs for an hour. My legs were in bad shape. In fact, when she was attempt to work on my leg, just above my knee, I thought I was going to lose it. It hurt so bad. Well, she never did get the nerve to release, but she did a lot of good. About 20 minutes after she left, I was finally able to roll off the chairs, and with the help of a couple of guys get on my feet. I staggered to my room, where Jon Plank and Jonathan Bender amused themselves at my expense. Actually, they did tie my shoes for me. Fortunately, on Saturday I was privileged to fly all the way to Oregon (a total of 6 hours in an uncomfortable seat). There were times I wanted drugs.

By the way, there was a picture taken of my massage. My supportive family, namely Tony and Abby McCrary stopped by to sympathize with me. No, it was more like laugh at me. Abby snapped a picture of Kathy working me over. I would post it, but she hasn't sent it to me yet. Which probably means that it will soon show up on Doran's blog.

I am still in serious pain. I went to see the chiropractor and he informed me that it's going to take a while to get over this. He also mentioned something about bending my knees when I lift. It has made what I do challenging. I don't move near as much on-stage as I normally do.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Same story

We're on the road again. "This is my story, this is my song..." and it will continue to be for the next week or so. There has been a lot that has happened since I last posted.

First of all, for those who pressure me to post pictures immediately or right after some special event I'm part of, forget it. I'm one of those bloggers who doesn't feel obligated to post something everyday. I post whenever I feel like it and that's just the way it is. So, Mom, give me some space! OK, OK, it's not Mom. I was just talking to a fellow blogger this past weekend who said that he feels that he owes it to his reading public to get something up everyday. You know, you don't want to lose the massive audience who oohs and aahhs over all your pictures. That just ain't me.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to hang out with my buddies at Youth Challenge last weekend. I was able to fly in on Friday afternoon, direct the choir and the worship that night, and then fly out to meet the quartet on Saturday. I stepped down from the Youth Challenge board this past January, which by the way was a gut-wrenching decision, but the right one nevertheless. So, the rest of the board honored my years with the organization Friday night (along with Troy Keaton, who also stepped down). It made my night! They presented me with a beautiful plaque and John Manley said some kind words. I'm going to miss being a part of YC.

We're pulling up to the church in Benson, AZ so the rest of this will have to wait. There is some good stuff coming up.