"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood, and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Monday, March 29, 2010

An article from the Vineyards Campground blog . . .

I was recently asked to help with a camper jam session at the Vineyards Campground in Grapevine this past Friday night.   There is a blog article about the events of that evening here,

I enjoyed meeting Brooks, who had brought his new ukulele with him.  As we waited for others to show up, he and I went through the first three lessons in his uke book, and he quickly learned the C, G7 and F chords.  After that, we put on a concert, including the Beatles "I Feel Fine."   Brooks' mom seemed quite pleased with her sons first public recital.  What a fun evening.   I enjoy making a "joyful noise" or causing one to be made (see my mission statement).

I have heard that the city of Grapevine has given a very generous grant to the Campground.  There are going to be some great improvements made in the coming year.  It has already been voted as one of the best mid-sized campgrounds in the State of Texas.  I am sure that the best is yet to come.

Hopefully, that means more music opportunities as well.

My thanks to Barbara Tipton who invited me to come out.  This was the second time I have played at the campground, and hopefully will get to go back several more times this summer.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Monday, March 22, 2010

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

A very long process has come to a close, with the completion of my CD project, "Come on Down! It's Children's Time!" - a collection of 19 of the songs we sing each Sunday morning in worship during the Children's Time at the 8:50, 10:10 and 11:15 AM services.

Again, I am not the greatest guitar player or singer in the world . . . but I am very proud of this project. It is the first time I have ever done a project like this . . . for a "first time" . . . it was pretty good.

I am asking for a minimum donation of $10 for each CD. 100% of the proceeds raised from this project will go to the Kenya Kids Can project in the Rift Valley in Kenya and to the Hugworks Music ministry in Hurst, TX. Please feel free to give more than $10.

One sad note . . . I will now be returning the 1956 Silvertone Twin Thin guitar, pictured above, back to the Loper family . . . who graciously loaned it to me for this project. However, it is time for it to go home. In addition, Zulma and her family helped to underwrite half this project. I am very greatful to them, both that I got to play this wonderful guitar for this past year that belonged to Gary, Zulma's late husband, as well as for their help with the project.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sungha Jung . . . absolutely fantastic

No words needed . . . just watch and listen.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

And, oh holy cow . . . I need to practice.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Boss . . . Born to Run . . . Acoustic

I love playing with a band. I love it a lot. I love the group dynamic, the rehearsal, and having it all come together during a performance.

But my initial preference is to sing solo with my guitar. Always has been, always will be. I enjoy the intimacy of doing a song with just a guitar to back up what I sing . . .

Just seems to be more "pure" . . . it's a personal thing I guess.

When it's just me and a guitar . . . I think the audience is more inspired to sing with me, and, to be truthful . . . I really get a kick when people start singing together.

I discovered this video . . . the "Boss" doing and acoustic/solo version of Born to Run.

I think it show's what I mean . . . minus the flawed words of explanantion.

Awesome . . .

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Friday, March 12, 2010

Children's CD project almost finished . . .

Received word today that my CD project, "Come on Down! It's Children's Time!" is on the home stretch. The CD has been mastered, and we are going to have 300 copies made for the initial run.

The CD will be available for a donation of either $10 or $15. I haven't yet decided how much "the market will bear." It will not win a Grammy, but it is pretty good if I do say so myself.

Every single dollar donated is going to support feeding children in Kenya, as well as the "Hugworks" Music ministry of Rev. Jim Newton, who sings to children in area hospitals.

No one associated with this project is making any money at all off of CD. This is our way of helping "fill the hole."

This picture is the one we are developing for the CD itself. The guitar in the picture, which will also be on the front cover, is a 1956 Silvertone Twin Thin guitar, loaned to me by one of the families who helped underwrite this project. I officiated last year at the funeral of the gentleman who owned and played this guitar.

This guitar is a year "older" than I am. It has served as a good inspiration to me for this project.

The CD has 18 of the songs we regularly do at the Children's Time during Sunday morning worship. Hoping it will be available by Easter.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

God's grace still amazes me . . .

It has been a very busy, but good week.  Hospital calls, extra pastoral care counseling, studying for and writing a sermon, paperwork and rehearsals with the band to be ready to sing in worship this Sunday at the Heritage Campus . . . 

My knees hurt, I am tired . . . but I feel pretty good.

This past week, I decided to get serious again about morning devotions, and Bible reading.  That may be part of the good week I had.  

Thursdays are a very long day for me . . . a "double" in fact.  But more so yesterday because the night before we meet our daughters and their families for a birthday dinner for our oldest.  It was good to be together for a joyful, but relaxed time together.  

Up on Thursday at 5:30 AM, then teach a men's Bible study at IHOP in Southlake, an event that I look forward to each week.  The fellowship with the guys who attends gives me the energy I need to make it through the weekend.

Yesterday, the Bible study was followed by a hospital visit in Irving, where a friend and fellow band mate had knee surgery.  That was followed by driving to Hurst to sing for the first time at a nursing home.  Started with 3 people in the room where I was singing.  There were 30 people in the room when I left.  This group is fun . . . they like the old hymns, and they sing with you.   I was the one trying to keep up.  When I go back next month, I will have a good catalog of songs ready for them.

Then, back to Grapevine for lunch with a friend, then over to the guitar store a short look around.  Then, to the office for 3 hours of prep for last night's rehearsal.  

Another hospital call . . . and then a quick stop at Sonic for a burger . . . at which time I return a phone call to a dear friend in Houston, who tells me that the doctor says the cancer my friend has been fighting for over 5 years . . . is completely gone!

As I sat in stunned silence, a Sonic car hop brings me my meal, says "O look, a rainbow!"

Yep, the rain we had in the afternoon had let up, and there was a rainbow.

I lost it.   I just lost it.

A flood of emotions came to my mind.

I have a wife, who for the most part smiles when she says she loves me.

My two daughters are enjoying some success in life, have loving husbands, and are generally happy.  They both have celebrated birthdays in the last two months . . . and I was blessed to share in both of those celebrations.

My longest life long friend told me he is cancer free.

I had already sung once during the day, and was going to do so again with dear friends as we prepare to sing in a worship service this Sunday.

And I recalled a scripture I had read earlier . . . "be still and know that I am God."

Rehearsal went very well, and we all had a good time.   I came home ... watched the news and talked with my wife . . . then as I lay in bed . . . I just couldn't help but think how tired I was, and how ready for a good night's sleep I was . . .

But something else kept coming into my mind . . .

that God's grace still amazes me . . . daily . . . ><>

We are at the Heritage Campus this Sunday . . .

I will be preaching at the Heritage Campus this Sunday morning.   Can't go over there without the 1st Church String Band going with me . . .  it's going to be a good service.   The people who worship at the Heritage Campus are a great bunch of folk . . . I always enjoy preaching and visiting there.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Josh Ingram to lead "Hugworks" fund raising concert

This coming Saturday, and the Love and War in Texas restaurant in Grapevine, there will be a benefit fundraising concert for "Hugworks", a ministry that UMC pastor Jim Newton began many years ago. . .

For more info, click here.

For facebook stuff about this, click here.

Well worth your time, consideration and support.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>