Friday, November 07, 2008


So, last night Doran, Royce, and I are sitting in the lounge area watching a movie while Dan handled the bus driving duties. We were on US 93 S. toward Las Vegas. All of a sudden Dan shouts out, "You've gotta be kidding me! I just saw a UFO!" Doran and I went running up to the front of the bus to see what he was talking about. He explained that a semicircle of orange lights appeared in the sky, moved smoothly, and then all of a sudden disappeared. We didn't see anything so we went back to the lounge. About 15 minutes later Dan yells "They're back!" I ran up to the jump seat and sure enough, just to the southwest there was a semicircle of bright orange lights hovering and then slowly moving through the sky. After about a minute of so, it just disappeared. Talk about cold chills! This happened a few more times. Interestingly enough, though, the lights separated and became individual entities. It was the strangest thing I've witnessed.

I went online and found out that that stretch of road happens to be near an experimental aircraft test site. It is the real Area 51. Weird stuff. But, I saw this with my own eyes. I'm a believer (cue X-files theme).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Words of Wisdom

This was uploaded several days before the election, but the message hasn't lost its impact. John Piper is a thought-provoking author and speaker as you can tell from this interview.

Go South Young Man

Not to rub it in or anything, but I'm off for Arizona. Sunny skies and 77 degree temperatures. WOW!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Face

OK, I realize that probably only family will appreciate this, but here's the face of the newest Waggoner. He's gonna be a winner, I can already tell. I'm already a proud Daddy, three times over. God is good!

The big 5-0

Well, it's finally here: Royce's 50th birthday! As you can tell from the picture above, aging has taken it's toll. The arthritic hands, the bird legs, the protruding hip all point to the fact that he doesn't have that 21-year-old body anymore. We often find him wandering the bus looking for his Metamucil or at least some granola. It's actually kind of sad. He doesn't remember our names anymore, can't hear when we talk about him, and can't see that the GPS is taking him in the totally wrong direction. But, he's our Royce and we love him!

OK, ok. Enough with the schtick. Yes, he is 50, but he can probably still outrun me. Royce is a former Oregon state champion in track and field. At the expense of sounding like I'm delivering a eulogy, let me say a few things about our fearless leader. I've never worked with a man or woman who had more faith in God than Royce. I have seen Royce operate in the worst of times, literally. Times like when the bus has a major emergency and the funds aren't there to pay salaries and the mechanic. He'd call all of us and tell us that it was time to go to prayer. We would, and miraculously God would provide. This has happened time and time again. It has strengthened my faith in the process. Royce is passionate about his calling. If there was ever a person called to Southern Gospel music, it's Royce. People travel in this industry for a variety of reasons. Royce travels because this is what God wants him to do. He loves this music and can sing it as well as anyone. He has the smoothest bass voice in Southern Gospel. I'm proud of this guy and the accolades he's finally starting to receive from the broader Southern Gospel community. But, that's not what it's about. When I had my first interview with Royce, he shared with me his passion for the quartet to be more than just another performing group. While there are few emcees who can come close to Royce's comedic delivery, he has made sure that our concerts are more than just a laugh-fest, and always builds to an invitation. This isn't just something to make us feel good about ourselves and allow us to pat ourselves on the back; it's the real thing. And as a result, we've seen hundreds of people saved. One of the coolest things that we experience as a group is coming back to a church and having someone tell us how they gave their heart to Christ at one of our concerts, sharing with us the difference that Christ has made in their life. That's awesome! And, this all is part of Royce's heart for ministry. I know that people are often skeptical of Southern Gospel quartets and often for good reasons. Let me assure you that Royce is all about traveling for the right reasons. This is his calling and he is passionately pursuing it.

There are a few things I've learned about Royce in the last 3 years:
  • His mind works in ways simply unexplainable.
  • If you tell him that you absolutely can't sing a song, he'll cue it up.

  • If you put a gun to his head, he still couldn't figure out how to save an emailed picture.
  • Somewhere inside of him, there's a 7-year-old struggling to get out (the first trip I took with the guys, he took off running, skipping, and jumping through a mall shouting "whoo-hoo, look at me guys!"; I spent some time asking God if I'd made the right choice).
  • He hates the GPS but can't bring himself to drive in an opposite direction.
  • His political views are strong and will not be shaken.
  • He bleeds blue and orange.
  • If the bus stops so we can get to sleep, he'll wake up and start driving at a high rate of speed (ensuring that we can't sleep).
  • He absolutely hates to be late to anything.
  • He'd give you the shirt off his back, which Dan has often taken due to forgetting his own T-shirts on a trip. Dan has more of Royce's clothes than Royce does.
  • He hates to be left out of anything exciting or fun (this goes back to the 7-year-old kid).
  • His heroes are George Younce and Glen Payne.
  • He can't help but sing bass along with a praise and worship team. Think "Better Is One Day" with a booming bass.
  • He isn't at all inhibited when meeting new people. The jokes start immediately.
  • And, just because I could keep this going for a while, let me end with...he's a friend. One of the best friends I have.
I'm pretty sure he has another 50 in him.


An interesting article on the treatment of President Bush. I agree wholeheartedly. I don't remember ever seeing and hearing such blatant disrespect for a president, from the right and the left. Yeah, he's made some mistakes along the way, but what president hasn't. I have a feeling that in the next few years we'll be hearing from people who are starting to long for the leeks and garlics in Egypt. If it's change you want then it's change you'll get.

Have some respect, people!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The deed is done

Election 2008

It's election day. And, this year I have seen more doubt and fear in my acquaintances than ever before. In all honesty, I don't get it. Yes, I want John McCain to be our next president, but if it doesn't happen I'm not just going to lay down and die. Ain't gonna happen!

As I was shaving my gleaming dome this morning, I was pondering this whole "scare" factor that is just obsessing so many people. While I was thinking about this I found myself humming a tune to a hymn. Now, this may sound weird to you guys out there, but a lot of times I find myself unconsciously humming, whistling, or singing a song that relates to what's going through my mind at the time. God often gives me a song during the most stressful of situations. This happens all the time to me. When I realized I was humming this morning, I stopped to figure out what the song was. Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1
O God our Help in ages past
Our Hope for years to come
Our Shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal Home

Verse 2
Under the shadow of Thy throne
Still may we dwell secure
Sufficient is Thine arm alone
And our defense is sure

Verse 3
Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame
From everlasting Thou art God
To endless years the same

Verse 4
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun

Verse 5
Time like an ever rolling stream
Bears all its sons away
They fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the op'ning day

Verse 6
O God our Help in ages past
Our Hope for years to come
Be Thou my Guide while life shall last
And our eternal Home

Just what I needed to be reminded of. Later this morning, I found myself singing a Twila Paris lyric, "God Is In Control", the same song that I was humming unconsciously on 9/11/2001:

Chorus 1
God is in control
We believe that His children
Will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember
And never be shaken
There is no power above
Or beside Him we know
Oh God is in control
Oh God is in control

Verse 1
This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith
And determination
Don't lose the vision here
Carried away by the motion
Hold on to all
That you hide in your heart
There is one thing
That has always been true
It holds the world together

Verse 2
History marches on
There is a bottom line
Drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan
Oh but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing
That has always been true
It will be true forever

He has never let you down
Why start to worry now
Why start to worry now
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me
Watching over you
Watching over me
Watching over ev'rything
Watching over you
Watching over me
Ev'ry little sparrow ev'ry little king
Oh, oh, ev'ry little king, oh

Daniel 2:21 says that God "sets up kings and deposes them". If you need to be reminded of the fact that God truly is in control read Colossians 1:15-23. Am I going to be disappointed if McCain isn't elected? Absolutely! But, I won't be devastated or defeated.

God is in control.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Liberty Quartet Member

There will be an official press release forthcoming in the next month or so, but Liberty Quartet has added a new member, Jordan Cragun. Jordan is a fantastic vocalist and will be singing the baritone part for Liberty. Now, not to worry Liberty fans; Doran's not going anywhere. He'll still be singing occasionally, but wants to focus more on piano. For those of you who don't know Jordan, he's got a fantastic musical heritage (actually a wonderful heritage, music notwithstanding). His dad, Ray, sang bass with the Celebration Quartet for many years, the best quartet that most people never heard. His aunts include Kim Collingsworth, Julia Keep, and Sandy Adams; all incredible musicians in their own right. This is his first-ever song with Liberty, sung Friday night at the PGMA Music Festival in Eugene, OR. Special thanks to Ellen Gerig for the video. Jordan will start traveling with us full-time in January of 2009.

Jordan's solo on "He's Been There Too"...