Friday, June 18, 2010


A couple of months ago, one of my coworkers suffered the unimaginable. One day his daughter was laughing and playing and in a matter of a few days she was gone. I was able to spend a little bit of time with he and his family as they wrestled, and are still wrestling, with the questions that surround this tragedy. No one knows yet why she died. So many questions, but so little answers.

Obviously this made me reflect on how fragile life is. It made me think of how selfish I am when I am short with my wife and my kids. I often take for granted the blessings that God gives me every day. Namely, the gift of life and health. Too often I find myself getting annoyed at my kids for not listening to my wife and I or messing something up in the house. Often, I expect them to act older than they really are.

James 4:14 tells us that we don't even know what will happen tomorrow and that our lives are "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes". We don't know what will happen in the next minute. We make plans and schedules and get irritated when things don't go as planned. We get impatient with people when they don't move as fast as we want them to or don't do what we want. The fact is that we need to be thankful for today. We need to take every opportunity to tell those that we love that we love them and not only tell them, but show them. We need to give grace even when it is difficult. We need to be thankful for what God has given us NOW because tomorrow is not promised.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sharing Your Faith

I am listening to The Village Church podcast (specifically Path Part 11 - The Reign and Rule of God) and Matt Chandler had a great insight into sharing our faith. He asked if anyone had heard the quote, “Preach the gospel always and if necessary use words” and then said “That is a dumb quote…”

He explained, "It is a Bible belt myth that by you not ordering a beer with dinner, someone's gonna go 'I believe you can lead me to eternal life'. It is a Bible belt myth that you not using bad language is gonna make someone go, 'I need Jesus Christ, please explain him to me'. You can live your life in such a way that causes people to ask questions about your faith, you absolutely can...but you're eventually gonna have to open your mouth and talk about sin and the cross and our hope in Jesus Christ."

With Easter approaching, I’m assuming a lot of churches, including my own, are in high gear speaking about sharing our faith and encouraging its congregants to invite people that don’t know Jesus to come to church with them. North has the “100 man challenge” in effect where 100 men from the church has been praying for a couple of months now for 100 people to come to salvation through Jesus and get baptized by Easter. No matter how it’s packaged, the point is:

We are God’s plan to get the Gospel to the world. There’s no back up plan, there’s no plan B, we are the plan.

Matthew 28:16-20 – The Great Commission 16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

We are the plan that God has for the Gospel going forth. The fact is that sharing our faith isn’t a one time thing. We should “preach the Gospel always”….PERIOD. The Gospel is not, “I go to church, I got it all together and you don’t”. If you’re honest with yourself, you know that none of us have it all together. The Gospel is that we have all fallen short and sinned against God, God sent Jesus to die for our sins, after dying, he conquered death through the resurrection, and is now in heaven advocating on our behalf before God. Those that accept this free gift of salvation through Jesus alone are no longer seen as sinners by God, but as holy, perfect, and blameless because of Jesus’ blood that covers us.

I don’t know how to conclude this blog because there’s too many different ways to go. The point is that we, Jesus lovers, are God’s plan. We have to get over ourselves and love people like Jesus loves them through word and deed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


A few weeks ago, my friend Anthony told me that he felt that God wanted him to go to Atlanta, GA and record at Scotty Wilbanks' studio ( He asked his friend Kevin ( and I if we would like to join him in Atlanta to sing/play on some of the songs. After a lot of prayer and talking about it with Jill, I told Anthony that I would be able to join him in Atlanta. We calculated everything to see how much money would be needed to make the trip and started praying. On 1/17, Anthony had a concert at his home church in New Mat to raise some money for this trip. Kevin and I were able to accompany him at the concert. The place was packed and was an amazing time of worship and praise as well as overwhelming support from friends and family that came from all over. The concert lasted for about an hour and Anthony was able to share his heart, the plans for the recording project, and his heartfelt thanks to those that attended the concert. After all was said and done, the exact amount of money that he needed for this trip was donated. It was awesome to be there when the final count was made and the trip was one step closer.

We packed up and left Williamstown, WV at 7:30 am on Wednesday (1/20/10). Kevin has a Garmin and we decided to use/trust it to get us to the studio. About 5 miles from the Tennessee/North Carolina near Hartford, TN, there was a rock slide that caused us to take a 70 mile detour and we arrived 90 minutes later than expected.

Recording began at 10am on Thursday and our schedule so far has been: Thursday - 10am - 12:30am (14.5 hours), Friday - 10am - 2:30am (16.5 hours), Saturday - 11am - 4:30am (17.5 hours) and so far today, Sunday - 10am - 10:38pm (12.5 hours) and it seems that it's gonna be another late night. Andy Bowen (engineer/producer) estimated that it would take 65 hours to complete the project. On our way down here, we completely underestimated how long it would take to record these songs. The original plan was to record 5 songs in four days and that definitely did not happen. We will return with 3 fully produced songs (I Believe, Cover Me, and How Long) and 1 acoustic/natural song (I Love You).

This has been a great experience for me because I have even more clarity on God's calling on my life. While I love being in the studio with my friends and recording music that has the potential to change the world, it's not for me. That's not to say that I will never go to the studio to record more, but I am not called to this right now as a profession. I had this idea that being a full time musician and recording artist would be the life. Honestly, it's simply exhausting. I don't know that every studio session is as exhausting as this one, but I am wore out! When we arrived, After Edmund was crashed in the studio because they were up until 4am recording some of their new stuff (keep in mind we showed up around 9:45am). When we arrived, Scotty woke them up and they were out the door with about 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

After experiencing everything this week, I think God wants me at home with my wife and kids, leading worship at church, and working to provide for my family. If an opportunity comes up that Jill and I think God wants me to participate in, I'll go for it, but I think simplicity is the key right now. I'm going to do my best with loving God, loving my wife, raising my kids, and serving God however I can.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crazy stuff...

I was recently listening to a podcast recently ( and the last question they ask at the end of an interview is "What is the most embarrassing moment you've experienced while leading worship or during a show?" As I've listened to a few of the interviews, I thought of my most embarrassing moment and thought I'd share with both of my readers.

I was in Louisville, OH leading worship with my boys Billy Wayne, Dave (bass) and Dave (drums) for one of Billy's weekend retreats. I'm fairly certain is was Saturday night and Billy was giving the altar call. It was one of those sweet nights in worship where the Spirit of God just falls and you are overwhelmed by His presence. I don't know if my eyes came open much that evening because I was just worshiping the Lord.

Billy asked everyone to close their eyes and bow their heads. As he began to pray over and talk to each person in the room, he gave me "the signal" to play lightly while he was speaking. I got the signal and started playing. I was sitting stage right in a folding chair at that point in the night. The next part is a blur.

I remember shifting in my chair to get a little more comfortable and then it happened. It seemed like slow motion to me. The back leg of the chair creeped off the edge of the stage and I was gone! I tried to catch myself, but there was nothing stopping it. I ended up on my back underneath the sound table, feet straight in the air, guitar in hand and I could not get up!!! Keep in mind there was an altar call going on at that moment. When I finally made eye contact with "The Daves" they could not even look at me because they were laughing so hard! Dave the drummer couldn't catch his breath, Dave the bass player just laughed and pointed. Finally, Billy looked back and saw what had happened (keep in mind....altar call) and could not continue the altar call without laughing.

The Daves came over and helped me out from under the table. Billy Wayne tried to keep his composure. Once I made it back on stage, we couldn't even sing or play a song because we were laughing so hard. Luckily, I didn't get hurt, nor did any equipment. It was one of those things that you just look back on and laugh at yourself.

Afterwards, one of the students came up to me and asked, "Did you mean to fall off the stage?" LoL.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So much...

God has given so many opportunities to share His Good News in so many different places and ways. The main way has been through music and teaching. Whether leading worship at North, leading worship or playing concerts at other churches, teaching the word, or encouraging a fellow believer, God has wore me out this summer!! At first it was just Anthony and I, then God added a few more people to our group. Ryan, David Ray, David, Doug, Austin, Curtis, and Tracey have all given their time and energy to push the Message forward.

Anthony and I began recording a CD back in June and finally finished that up about a week ago. It's currently in Florida with a friend getting some finishing touches done. Anthony met Billy Wayne at summer camp this July and to make a long story short, he's in New York City with Billy as I type this sharing the Word through song and testimony. He will be back soon and really isn't sure what the next step will be for him.

The weekend of August 22, NPBC will be leading the worship service at Parkersburg's Homecoming. I am part of the worship team that will be sharing God's Word through song that morning. The great thing is that the services at North will still be happening as usual. I'm so grateful for God placing Jill and I at North. God does so much through the people and ministries there.

Our band (right now Redemption's Mirror, but we're looking for a new name) is going to play at Unify09 in Tomlinson Park in Williamstown on 8/29/09 at 1:00pm. It's been amazing what God is doing through that event. I think so many people will hear the Gospel, maybe for the first time, and have the opportunity to experience community in a whole new way. Through Unify09, Joe Webb (emcee for Unify) and I will be on WTAP's Daybreak on 8/24/09 at 6 in the morning. I'm not a huge fan of the 6am thing, but it's a great opportunity.

Who knows what God has in store. Only time will tell. Please pray that I will trust God in all of this. The most important ministry that I have is my family. I don't want to lose sight of what is most important. I just want to love Jesus and serve Him. Anything outside of that is not worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This is my first attempt at mobile blogging. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm one of the worship leaders at my North Parkersburg Baptist Church. I mainly lead on Wednesday night. Over the past year and a half, I've had the opportunity to learn about worship and what that looks like on a personal and a corporate level (I'll save that for another day). The Wednesday evening service at North is called "The Pulse". There is a great team that makes it happen; from planning to set up to execution to tear down. If everyone wasn't working together it wouldn't thanks to all of you that help out. While preparing for the Pulse, the planning team brain storms creative ways to help folks "encounter and respond to God".
As part of the planning, we take different aspect of God and use that to explore different ways to design the service. We have explored everything from God's faithfulness to His onmiscience. We dig through the scriptures, journal, pray about, and discuss these characteristics and then we plan the service. We also choose the songs that we'll play based on the worship theme. Ok, you needed some background to understand what's next.

Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9)
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

So often I put an "and" after Jesus alsmost as if He's not enough. For example, Jesus and good works or Jesus and reading the Bible and praying. I don't come right out and say it, but it's evident by my thoughts and guilt that I place on myself. I often feel like God loves me less if I don't read my Bible and pray every day. If I screw up, I feel the same. The fact is that Jesus' blood, His sacrifice, is all that was needed. From the moment of conversion, God sees Jesus' blood instead of my sin. I am forever a Saint. Even w hile I'm writing this "head knowledge", my heart doesn't completely buy it. It's as if I feel like I have to feel guilty in order to "pay the price" of my sin. By that, I'm not believing that Jesus' sacrifice is enough; Jesus and... The verse above we read that His grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in our weakness. I have to embrace my weakness and point to Jesus. He is enough. he is sufficient. No more Jesus and... Only Jesus.