Saturday, March 29, 2008


We're somewhere around Dallas, TX right now. Just rolling down the highway. We just finished a delicious Italian dinner with Bud and Nancy, Dan's inlaws. Yesterday, while Dan was fellowshipping with Bud, Nancy, and Donna (who made it down for the visit), Royce, Doran, and I headed to LA Fitness to play a little racquetball. I've been playing since Christmas and I love it. I'm no good, but I love it. Last night, Royce took 3 games, I took 2 and we ended up playing about 2 hours. We were whipped by the time we got out of there. That's what I like about the sport: it makes cardio fun. Today Doran killed us in bowling. He's good. Who knew?

Last week was one of those family memory-making weeks. Trey was on spring break, so we did all kinds of stuff. We went to the Discovery Center in Boise, saw "Horton Hears a Who", played at PoJos, and went 4-wheeling with Pastor Dave, William, and David. Actually, just Trey accompanied me on that expedition. I have a ton of pictures to upload, but unfortunately my very slow connection is going to force me to postpone that 'til next week. So, I'll get to it. Maybe. We're in the studio all week recording a new album. Phil Cross is flying in to produce this one. That's always fun.

Hope your week went well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet 16

The countdown is on. Bring on the Sweet Sixteen. I'm currently in fifth place in the standings. I even enjoyed a short stint at number one last weekend. As usual, Talisha Taylor is in first place. She won it all last year and she's making a strong run again. Last week, my donning of the IU jersey did little to help their game. That one hurt. FYI, I hadn't put on the jersey since I was in high school. It still fit. Kind of.

Candid Quote

Part of my lunch conversation today with Kassady:
"Kass, you're awesome, do you know that?"

"Yeah, well I'm a genius, too. I can do magic tricks and stuff. I'm using my imagination. I can be anything I want to be."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Piano Lessons from the Phenom

By the way, Doran Ritchey is now teaching piano lessons. He has about 5 spots left. If you're interested call 860-5135 or email He might have bad breath* but he can sure teach piano!

*OK, I don't think he really does have bad breath due to his immeasurable intake of Orbit gum. Wrigley Field will soon be named after him.


We had a meaningful Easter. Pastor Dave once again rang the bell with his Easter sermon. And, wow! What a crowd! Our church is growing weekly and that's not an exaggeration. Yesterday was the largest Sunday morning crowd I've ever seen at Grace. Packed! Lori said they had a large group of kids in Children's Worship, too. The cool thing is that we're experience dynamic spiritual growth in our church. We're hearing reports every week of someone new getting saved. I think there were 8 or 9 that accepted Christ Sunday morning. I'm thankful for a vibrant, passionate church that's loving people into the kingdom. I'm seeing more and more people connect to the Grace Bible Church community. They're connecting, growing, serving, and ultimately coming full circle to love the new people God sends our way. (Side note: for an insightful article on the importance of connection, read Mike Avery's article in the March Revivalist)

It was so good to see so many friends again. Several people who I have met through my Liberty touring showed up on Sunday morning. In fact, there are several who have started going to Grace in the last year. I enjoyed spending some time after church with Clark and Shelby Dyess (not to mention their daughter and her family). Clark and Shelby were in from Wyoming and showed up for morning worship. Shelby, I know you read the blog, so let me say thanks for coming.

If Royce ever fires me, I have a back-up group ready to go. The last few times I've been home I've sung with Philip Batten and Matt Ritchey as part of the morning worship. We're all tenors, but we've pulled it off. We sang the Eldridge Fox classic "Gone" yesterday morning. We didn't come close to the Teddy Huffam and the Gems rendition, but I sure enjoyed our interpretation. Those boys can sing!

In the afternoon I was privileged to sing for Robbie and Crystal Rehling's wedding. Julia Keep and I are getting to be quite the wedding singers. The wedding was at 2:00 in the afternoon, so the Waggoner family ran over to the Keep residence to scarf down some sandwiches and practice the music. Well, that was the plan anyway. By the time we got done eating we had just enough time to run through a verse and chorus of one song. The song that we didn't practice came off without a hitch (Nat King Cole's version of L-O-V-E). The other song was "I Will Be Here". We had practiced the song in F (I think), but Julia blanked out and started playing the song in C. When she started the song, I thought something was odd, but I opened my mouth to sing anyway. My first note was one note above where I normally bottom out. My brain immediately went into overdrive trying to think of what I was going to have to do to make it through the song. I started by changing the melody. Steven Curtis Chapman wouldn't have recognized my initial rendition. I was all over the place. After about 4 lines, Julia subtly did a keychange to F and off we went. I'm sure it was noticeable (actually I know it was noticeable) but it sure saved the rest of the song. Another plan should we have continued in C was to pull off a Bill Gaither narration of the song lyrics. I'm glad Julia had the guts to pull off the key change. Alls well that ends well, I guess. The rest of the wedding was beautiful. Amelia Jensen did a fantastic job on the decorations, food, reception, everything. I'm happy for Robbie and Crystal.

Later that evening we went back over to the Keeps to finish our meal and play a competitive game of Rook. Actually, Dave and I got our socks blown off. I think we finished in the red.

We had been reading about Jesus' arrest, trial, and crucifixion in our family devotions. Last night, we finished our reading with the empty tomb and the reappearance of the living Christ. We then had a discussion about the awesome love of God for us. The whole Easter story has been a tough concept for Kassady to grasp. And, you know, sometimes I don't totally get it myself. The miracle of redemption. It was a cool way to bring Easter '08 to an end.

The Madness continues

By the way, I'm in 5th place in my March Madness tournament. Not bad out of 25. Last weekend was kind of like a vacation to Hawaii. You're loving every minute of it and already dreading the inevitable return to normalcy. Davidson, Western Kentucky, and no Duke. Ahhhh...this is wonderful!

***By the way, I've never been to Hawaii which Lori would be quick to point out. But that's the only comparison that came quickly to mind.


I found this Mike Luckovich cartoon to be hilarious.