Friday, August 15, 2008

Open up the archives

OK, it's hard to believe that Trey was this little. Kevin Moser took what has to be my favorite picture of the two of us together at a GBS spring picnic in 2003.

Side note: I just threw away the shoes I'm wearing in this picture. They lasted 6 years. It was a sentimental moment. Listen, if you want to buy shoes that last go with Nike.

Great Kids

Last night, Kassady clambered onto the bed with an armful of books, as is her evening custom. She didn't get too far, though. Reading is tough work!

Trey has been having a tough time lately. I've tried to influence his priorities for the good as he has matured. More than anything I want him to be a passionate Christian. A little lower down the priority list has to be a loyalty to the Cincinnati Reds. He's doing great in this area (thank the Lord he hasn't backslidden and become one of those evil St. Louis Cardinals fans), but he can't figure out why in the world the Reds would trade Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn, his two favorite players. Since he saw them play a few weeks ago they've unloaded both of these guys. He now says his "next-favorite teams" are the White Sox and Diamondbacks. Here he poses with his Adam Dunn bobblehead he got at the game.

Concert in the Courtyard

Wednesday, Liberty sang at Valley Shepherd Church of the Nazarene in Meridian, ID. Paul Ellis, former tenor, for Liberty is the Worship & Arts Pastor at the church. They have a monthly music series called "Concert in the Courtyard". It was one of those fun, relaxed outdoor concerts. A lot of our friends showed up for the concert. It was good to see my former college pastor, Edsel Trouten, at the concert. He's on my favorite persons list, for sure. He has had a great impact on my life and ministry. It was a fantastic night! Here are just a couple of entertaining pictures (thanks to Dee Sienknecht):

Paul joined us on "God Bless the USA". The boy can still bring it! That was a lot of fun. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with Dan's shirt. Either he's put on a lot more weight or he caught a sudden low breeze. Nice! Also, Doran has started grabbing his belt buckle to hit those high notes. As you can see, he's supporting the note quite well.

Yeah, we're still doing Doran's favorite song. "Gospel Plow" has kind of taken on a life of its own. Really, there are no words to explain what's going on here. So...there I leave it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


We had a fun-filled trip last weekend. The wonderful folks we sang to in California and Nevada enjoyed some of the new music Liberty debuted. I do have to tell you about one of those funny incidents that just seem to happen naturally to our quartet. We got to Lake Almanor, CA early in the day on Saturday. It's not too far from Gerber, CA, where we had been the night before. Doran had called one of our good friends, Dan Foos, and asked if there was any chance of getting out on the lake in one of his boats. Dan is a fantastic singer who occasionally sings a few songs with us when we're in the area. Well, he graciously agreed to take us out and we set off around noon. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The temperature was between 80 and 85 degrees, blue skies, and bright sun. We headed off across the lake to Prattville, a trip of a few miles, where we had a delicious lunch at a RV camp cafe. After lunch, Dan took us around the lake showing us the sights. As you can see from the picture, it's beautiful.

While we were drifting around, just enjoying the weather and conversation, Dan's wife called and told him that the wind was starting to blow and the water was getting rough on their side of the lake. Well, he decided we had better head back to shore. On the trip back we started to hit a few waves and it was throwing a little water into the boat. Doran had been sitting up front, but wasn't a big fan of getting soaked so he came back to where I was sitting in the boat. These guys with hair are wimps! So concerned about what might happen to their "look". I enjoyed the spray so I went up to the front of the boat, the splash section if you will. Before too long, we started to rock and roll. Let me provide you with some context before I go on. Dan Gilbert was in the Coast Guard for four years; he's an excellent swimmer. In fact, he has fins for feet. Royce is a pretty good swimmer. He's no Michael Phelps, but he can stay above water. I'm a mediocre to poor swimmer. I'm pretty sure I could save myself if for some reason I found myself in water a little ways from shore (I mean, after all, I learned in Gordie Howe's pool; remember those days?). Well, maybe that's a little ambitious . Doran can't swim to save his life. That's no exaggeration. So, here we are in the boat heading into what are becoming good-sized waves. As we're about half a mile away from the dock, the boat suddenly dipped into the water and a huge wave just came crashing over the front of the boat. Royce and I were in the front and were instantly drenched. It partially tore off the front panel of the boat. Royce decided he was going to play Bob Vila and bent down to make the repair. As Royce leaned down to try to push back the panel, we got hammered with another massive wave. By this time, there are several inches of water in the boat and it's beginning to seriously lean to the side (this is a large boat, mind you; not some little rowboat). Dan Gilbert yelled for me to grab some life jackets, and I started throwing them back to the guys. When I heard Dan asking for a life jacket, I knew it was pretty bad. However, I didn't have enough sense to get scared because as I looked to the back of the boat, Doran had scrambled for the top of the seat and was making his way to the roof. I have never seen anyone put on a life jacket so fast! He was trying to balance on the top of the back seat, while grabbing for the roof. His teeth were chattering at about 208 bps and he wasn't humored. Between that and Royce looking like a drowned rat, standing with his shoulders hunched, water pouring off him, I couldn't take it. I laughed so hard I was crying. Dan Gilbert was leaning over the side of the boat laughing. I'm sure I looked as bad as's no way I could have looked as bad as Royce! We bailed what water we could out of the boat and a very pale Dan Foos took us on in to shore. Dan has boated on Lake Almanor for 32 years and he said he had never had anything like that happen to him. I truly wish I had some pictures. It was one of those experiences that is going to be laughed about for a long time. Well, except for Doran. He still isn't laughing.