Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Boys Need Me Now More Than Ever

Photo_101909_013 I'm heading into that time in every Dad's life where it is getting serious.  My oldest is 10 and my youngest boy is 8.  It's hitting me pretty hard. They need me.  They need me badly. I'm hearing a loud voice screaming inside of me saying "They need me now more than ever."  I'm overwhelmed.  About being the dad my boys really need, I feel a mixture of excitement (this is what I've looked forward to since the day I learned I was having a boy) and fear (I'm not equipped to do this at all...let alone do it right).  Here's an article I recently was pointed to from "The Myth About Boys". 

So, this blog post is really just me expressing my fear and excitement about being that Dad that I hoped I would be when I saw and held my son for the first time.  Thanks for letting me ramble a bit. 

Here we go, boys.  I'm doing my best.  I'm going to say "I'm sorry" a lot because I will mess things up from time to time.  Know that I love you anyway. We're going to have a lot of fun, experiences and adventure together over the next 8-10 years, okay?!!

Here's something I plan to attend in 2010 with Alex, my oldest.  AbbasWay Retreat.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tales of a Dying Superman

This is a post written Brian Daniel, that I thought was worth sharing.  You can check out his blog by clicking here.  Enjoy the read….I did!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Small Groupologist Rick Howerton is fond of putting a note of authenticity to what is typically a mundane question when he asks, “How are you doing REALLY?” Recently I had an opportunity to have
lunch with a friend I spent some of my high school and all of my
college years with. Right away I asked him how he Superman was doing, he said
“fine.” There was a pause. The word “really”  hung in the air for a
moment before he added, “I don’t know. Sometimes I think bad thoughts.”

“Like what?”

“Like, ‘I wonder what would happen if I just left.’”

“What do you mean, ‘left’?”

“‘Left’ as in ‘left and never came back.’”

Of course we talked our way through it for a few minutes. He wasn’t
serious. At least, wasn’t serious in considering walking out on his
life. But what he was saying was how tired of the routines and the
mundane of life he has become. This can’t be uncommon in men getting
close to 40 or thereabouts. The word my friend used was “trapped.” In
an email exchange I had with yet another friend in this demographic I
got the following:

“I wake up a lot of days and have the same what I’ll
call malaise. It’s like the new day I’m facing is the exact same day I
had yesterday and tomorrow doesn’t promise to be much different or

Now that’s just being honest. Who can’t relate to something on the level of Groundhog Day
at least for stretches (for me it tends to be January-March). Neither
of these men would describe the lives as bad or their families as
anything other than a blessing. I’ve known them both for most of my
life and can honestly say that I love them. They’re both very
successful at what they do. But I do wonder what the sum of these
conversations is and what implication it has for the larger culture of
today. In what ways have we both robbed ourselves and, perhaps, been
robbed of adventure—which would seem to be part of the issue at hand.

If you take a moment to consider the various radio commercials you
hear as well as the corporate advertisements seen on television,  but
particularly television sitcoms, the sum of it is that it appears that
masculinity has been lost. There was time when every young boy dreamed
of being Superman. It was reinforced in our heroes, our culture—the
fact is that something was expected; that life demanded
something of you. A boy was expected to look the inevitable storms in
the eye, forge a path through the night and face the darkness, and grow
into significance. This is not commentary on leadership, but on
masculinity. This is how a man bears God’s image. Alas Superman! But
our culture it seems would like nothing more than to tear this image
down. Of course during peace times—times with little to no adversity,
strife, and war—this attribute of masculinity isn’t as vital. The
mistake that’s made, however, is that these times of perceived peace
are just that: perceived. The reality is that we are always at war and
masculinity should always be summoned into the breach of the battles
set before us. These battles tend to call out the best in us.

We need Superman, or what Friedrich Nietzsche referred to as the ubermensch
that overcomes traditional boundaries to rise above the herd. Symptoms
like the conversations I describe above are indicative of a dying
Superman, a Superman robbed of battle and adventure, conditioned to be
content to sit in front of the television on Saturdays and Sundays. But
instead we are moving more and more into a liberal era that continues
to look to external agencies like government for solutions and rescue
instead of the latent heroes within us. There is a Superman within us …
all of us. This, I can’t help but believe, is the essence of the human

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Being a Good Leader

by Glenn McClure

Many men (including myself) in our community have been disillusioned
by poor masculine leadership…many of us are desiring to be better and
more loving leaders…found this in Proverbs this morning…qualities that
make a good Christian leader…Eugene Peterson notes that “transforming
leadership is the kind where the first one transformed is the leader.”

Proverbs 16:10

A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.

If you notice, the values that we are learning (embodying) in our
community are helping us become better leaders. We should motivate
others and not mislead or exploit them. Can you imagine this type of
leadership in the workplace? Can you imagine a boss (or being the kind
of boss) who motivates with truth and honesty and desires your (
employee’s) ultimate good? What ripple effect would that have on
companies and careers?

What about at home? The best way I know to motivate my wife is to
serve her. She especially loves acts of service. She loves when I help
clean up the house, do the dishes or make sure the kids are bathed and
put to bed. When I serve my wife this way she lights up like a star.
When she gets “Mommy time” and is able to enjoy solitude and recharge
her batteries-she comes home not feeling mislead and exploited but

With my brothers-it is the practice of continued honesty, taking my
turn on the mat, bringing current sin to confession-this keeps me from
misleading or exploiting my friends.

As a father, apologizing to my son and daughters when I sin against
them, deposits in them a gift that Dad is leading and loving with
authenticity and not rhetoric. Bottom line: leading with honest
weakness and current struggle will ensure that I am not exploiting and
misleading the people around me.

I'm Drinking Lettuce

Yes, you read that right.  I'm drinking romaine lettuce chopped up in a blender mixed with distilled water.  Why would I do such a crazy thing?!  Well, my father-in-law was prescribed to do this from a natural doctor this year as he was not losing weight and feeling overall drained, worn down and tired every day.  After he drank 4 oz every 2-3 hours of the concoction each day for a week, he began to notice a huge difference in his energy level.  After 3 weeks, he noticed he was losing weight too.  I'm not sure how long he continued drinking the stuff, but it worked for him.  He looks great and he has a lot more energy. 

I decided to do some research on this via Google.  I found several links to blogs that explain what happens when you drink the stuff.  Here they are:

The KeelyNet Blog

Jessie X

Apparently, the health benefits are phenomenal.  My cels get a good cleansing and cholesterol has no way of sticking in my blood.  So far so good. 

Drive Yourself Further

"The man who will drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." - Roger Bannister (the man who first broke the 4-minute mile mark)

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Great Life

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: . . Let not your heart be troubled."

a thing becomes difficult in personal experience, we are in danger of
blaming God, but it is we who are in the wrong, not God, there is some
perversity somewhere that we will not let go. Immediately we do,
everything becomes as clear as daylight. As long as we try to serve two
ends, ourselves and God, there is perplexity. The attitude must be one
of complete reliance on God. When once we get there, there is nothing
easier than living the saintly life; difficulty comes in when we want
to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends.

Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the
witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace
of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry till it does or find out
the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a
sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness; there is no
simplicity or confidence in God, because the spirit of simplicity is
born of the Holy Ghost, not of your decisions. Every decision brings a
reaction of simplicity.

My questions come whenever I cease to obey. When I have
obeyed God, the problems never come between me and God, they come as
probes to keep the mind going on with amazement at the revelation of
God. Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of
disobedience; any problem, and there are many, that is alongside me
while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my
Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this

by Oswald Chambers
taken from "My Utmost For His Highest" daily devotional book.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Offers Quietime Christmas for $7.00

For a limited time only, Quietime Christmas will be available via for $7.00.  Check it out along with all the other seasonal titles offered.

Of course, you can buy it at Lifeway Christian Stores,, and download it on iTunes too.

Quietime Christmas at for $7.00

For a limited time only, Quietime Christmas will be available via for $7.00.  Check it out along with all the other seasonal titles offered.

Of course, you can buy it at Lifeway Christian Stores,, and download it on iTunes too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiger Woods - A Better Man For It

The 'coming out' party Tiger has had is a sad consequence of his actions, which are reprehensible.  However, like all of life's best lessons, this may just make him a better man in the end.  Read this article from Rick Reilly about Tiger Woods.  It summarizes what this optimist thinks of the situation. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Andre Agassi Open

In the last month, two of the sports figures I've admired most as a casual sports-a-holic, have had 'coming out' parties.  One was forced upon him - Tiger Woods.  I'll probably write a post about him later.  For now, I want to focus on Andre Agassi.  The latest chapter in his story ends happily (which is how I think Tiger's will end too).  No news article summarizes how I feel more than this one from Rick Reilly.  I hope you'll read it. 

I first saw Andre in one of his first tournaments at age 16.  He went to the semi-finals and lost to McEnroe there, but I've been a fan of his ever since.  As a tennis player, I admired his return game.  And now, in real life, his return from a seemingly hopeless situation is inspiring.

I plan on reading "Open" by Andre Agassi over Christmas break. 

Thanks Andre - for modeling hope and true manhood in the face of no hope and adversity.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Purchase Quietime Links

To buy Quietime CDs, you have several options. 

1. Go to any Lifeway Store in your area (there are over 140 across the country) and they will all be at the front counter when you check out. 

2. Visit and there are plenty available or

3. Visit and you'll be able to find them there.

To purchase Quietime music via digital download, simply visit iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody or and download all three Quietime albums: Quietime Devotion, Quietime Hymns and Quietime Christmas.

Great deals - peaceful music.

Wisdom and Thanksgiving

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. -- Epictetus

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -- Albert Schweitzer

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. -- Marcel Proust

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.
-- Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character of the best, and will receive the best. -- Wallace D. Wattles

What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it--would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have. -- Ralph Marston

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Magic of Thinking Big

Excerpt from Dan Miller, 48 Days Newsletter:

"I don't know of anything that can inspire, encourage, motivate and release a higher level of success than reading good books. Many books are worth re-reading. Here's one written in 1959 that I like to read at least once every year. In his little classic book, The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz provides 5 simple actions to help us feel more confident and accomplish more:

1. Be a front seater. Sitting up front builds confidence.

2. Practice eye contact. Looking the other person in the eye tells him, I'm honest and confident."

3. Walk 25% faster. Psychologists link slovenly postures and sluggish walking to unpleasant attitudes towards oneself, work and the people around us. The extremely beaten people, the real down-and-outers, just shuffle and stumble along. They have zero confidence. The walk of a confident person tells the world, "I've got someplace important to go, something important to do." Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head, move ahead just a little faster and feel self-confidence grow.

4. Practice speaking up. As you speak up, you add to your confidence. It's a confidence building vitamin.

5. Smile big. Try to feel defeated and smile big at the same time. You can't do it. A big smile gives confidence. A big smile beats fear, rolls away worry, defeats despondency.

Lou Holtz says he was given this book as a 47 yr.-old unemployed high school coach. It transformed his thinking. He listed 100 things he wanted to do before he died. Last I heard he had accomplished 97 of those goals. I wonder what it could do for you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Google Wave

I'm never on top of the latest trends.  I still don't have a DVR and, yes, I don't have an iPhone <GASP!>!  Yes, it's true.  I bought Vinyl records until 1990.  I just started blogging in 2008. I've never been ahead of the curve.

But, I am excited to check out the new Google Wave.  Maybe I'll be ahead of the curve on this one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have a couple of guys I meet with on a regular basis. We've been checking in lately with each other with an emotion that we're feeling right then.  The emotion choices are: Fear, Joy, Anger and Sadness.  We have to pick one and explain why.  We get right to the heart of the issues of our lives.  Needless to say, I'm grateful for these guys and the conversations we have usually impact me for hours or days afterwards. 

Today, I felt joy.  When you say 'joy', usually not much more needs to be said after that.  This time the guys asked me why I felt joy?  I said I was joyful because I was happy with the decisions I had been making lately.  I went on to describe that I felt joyful also because I was letting more things go and not putting too much pressure on myself.  I have fewer goals and that's helped me. 

As I thought about it later in the car on the way home, I began to ask myself.  What is real joy? Is it the joy we feel about ourselves?  Or is it the Joy of the Lord, as mentioned in the bible?  What is true joy?  I can't say that I've felt true joy very often.  Rare.  When I do, it's usually full of love, not a care in the world and an overall burdenless or light feeling.  I can say what I'm feeling is on the path to true joy though.  On the way to joy.  I'd rather be on the way to joy than anger, sadness or fear. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

iTunes Reviews Needed

If you're a regular user of iTunes and enjoy Quietime music, would you take a few minutes to write a review at iTunes.  Just click here and you'll be taken directly to one of the Quietime titles.  The more reviews and feedback they get, the more visibility we get for the Quietime brand.  I appreciate this so much!!

Quietime Hymns - Top Instrumental Album in Christian Bookstores this week


Thanks to Lifeway Christian Stores, Quietime Hymns
became the top selling instrumental album of the week in Christian
bookstores for the week ending 9/20/09.  Combined Quietime Hymns and Quietime Devotion, scanned over 320 units in sales, according to CMTA's Nielsen SoundscanQuietime Christmas releases this week in stores nationally. 

Quietime Hymns - Top Instrumental Album in Christian Bookstores this week


Thanks to Lifeway Christian Stores, Quietime Hymns became the top selling instrumental album of the week in Christian bookstores for the week ending 9/20/09.  Combined Quietime Hymns and Quietime Devotion, scanned over 320 units in sales, according to CMTA's Nielsen SoundscanQuietime Christmas releases this week in stores nationally. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's In Your Wallet?

Last night I finally did it.  I took out everything that wasn't necessary from my wallet and only kept the most important stuff.  What I took out was over an inch in height when I stacked it all together!  WOW, no more back pain...and no more Seinfeld, George Costanza jokes!  What's in your wallet?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Wave

HPIM2152 My little girl made her first actual attempt at a wave today.  Anthem is 5 and 1/2 months old.  She was in her Mommy's arms and she looked over at me and smiled/laughed really big like she always does.  Then, she lifted her arm and twisted her wrist back and forth to wave at me.  I wanted to see if it was an accident, so I looked at her again, smiled and waved.  She smiled and did the same waving motion again.  It was so cute.  I did it a third time, this time with her older brother, Kaden's help.  Sure enough, she smiled and waved again.  There you go, another one of Anthem's firsts.  Another Anthem milestone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nobody's Got It All Together

Every now and then (almost daily) I need to be reminded that nobody else has it all together - why should I?


By Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn

Working hard to tie up the loose ends

So hard to decide who you let in

Put your best foot forward with a grin

I can see the fear behind your eyes

Wondering if someone will recognize

You’ve grown tired of keeping up the lies

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause

Nobody’s got it all together

If you want to be like everyone else well

Nobody’s got it all together

I have seen the darkness of my heart

And found a love that taught me its too hard

To walk through life and not let down my guard

What good is it to say please savior come

If there is nothing you need rescue from

Life is something no one has a corner on

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause

Nobody’s got it all together

If you want to be like everyone else well

Nobody’s got it all together

When the parts that are self righteous

Start to disappear

Every other life is

Just another mirror

And life is way too short to run and hide

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause

Nobody’s got it all together

If you want to be like everyone else well

Nobody’s got it all together

(c) 2004 Juvintud Music / St. Jerome Music (ASCAP)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way


Every good marriage has a time of testing and trials...ours is no different. 

"Any Other Way"
Jill Phillips

Do you remember that Monday when

The world fell out beneath our feet

Both surprised that we had been

So close to losing everything

Putting one foot in front of the other

felt like such a long, hard step to take

We thought about moving and starting again

But it was something we could never outrun so we just stayed

I wouldn’t have it any other way

I wouldn’t have it any other way

Gaining back the trust we lost

Was harder than just losing it

But if we wanted change at all

The pain was a prerequisite

So little by little, a piece at a time

We were putting back together what was left of a broken life

It wasn’t quick, it wasn’t easy

But that kind of change isn’t one that happens overnight

I wouldn’t have it any other way

I wouldn’t have it any other way

When we first met, love was a feeling

But making it last, that’s a decision

A good decision

When we watch the kids run through the yard

Sometimes I just can’t help but think

That every bit of what it cost

Was worth it for this family

‘cause I wouldn’t have it any other way

I wouldn’t have it any other way

I wouldn’t have it any other way

Words and Music by Jill Phillips
From "The Good Things" CD

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quietime CDs now at

Alb-qtchristmas-m This is a bit of a shameless plug.  Quietime CDs are now available at  They also can be found at area Lifeway Stores, Family Christian Stores and iTunes for download.  Get em now while they're hot!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anthem's Milestones

Anthem turned 5 months old a couple of weeks ago.  Krissy and I don't plan on having another child - unless a real miracle occurs - and I do mean miracle!  So, we're a bit sentimental about our last child.  We will never again experience our own child's firsts.  Another way of looking at it is that we feel so blessed to be able to go through this experience again that we are appreciating so much more this time around.  We're having so much fun with her.  I rarely find myself complaining or whining about things. 

So that they are recorded forever, I'm planning a new series of our baby's milestones in the next few blogs - complete with video and pictures (if all goes well). 


Anthem smiled early and smiles often - very often.  All I have to do is look at her and she smiles, sometimes she even laughs out loud.  2009-4 ANTHEM9FxX She also loves the boys - she laughs at them all the time.  When she sees Mom she smiles and laughs too, but she mostly says "Mmmmmm".  It's so cute.  Here's a picture of when I knew that she laughed on purpose, not just because she had gas :).  She was about 2 weeks old.  This picture was taken in early April.  That's her Amo's hand next to her.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Franklin_Mom_Blog_Twitter_Image Lately, I've been helping my wife develop her blog -  We've been encouraged by the early response.  I must say that women really love to socialize.  I can see why MomBloggers are the most powerful bloggers in cyberspace.  We have some big plans for the site and for the community to get involved.  More to come soon.  In the meantime, if you are a mom living in Williamson County, TN, this site would be great for you.  It's jam packed with family fun activity ideas, grocery shopping lists, recipes, events in Franklin, advice and so much more for the Franklin Mom

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Ministry of the Unnoticed

Taken from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers

August 21, 2009

"Blessed are the poor in spirit..." - Matthew 5:3

The New Testament notices things that do not seem worthy of notice
by our standards. "Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . ." This
literally means, "Blessed are the paupers." Paupers are remarkably
commonplace! The preaching of today tends to point out a person’s
strength of will or the beauty of his character— things that are easily
noticed. The statement we so often hear, "Make a decision for Jesus
Christ," places the emphasis on something our Lord never trusted. He
never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him— something very
different. At the foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is the genuine
loveliness of those who are commonplace. I am truly blessed in my
poverty. If I have no strength of will and a nature without worth or
excellence, then Jesus says to me, "Blessed are you, because it is
through your poverty that you can enter My kingdom." I cannot enter His
kingdom by virtue of my goodness— I can only enter it as an absolute

The true character of the loveliness that speaks for God
is always unnoticed by the one possessing that quality. Conscious
influence is prideful and unchristian. If I wonder if I am being of any
use to God, I instantly lose the beauty and the freshness of the touch
of the Lord. "He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow
rivers of living water" ( John 7:38 ). And if I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord.

are the people who have influenced us most? Certainly not the ones who
thought they did, but those who did not have even the slightest idea
that they were influencing us. In the Christian life, godly influence
is never conscious of itself. If we are conscious of our influence, it
ceases to have the genuine loveliness which is characteristic of the
touch of Jesus. We always know when Jesus is at work because He
produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quietime CDs at Lifeway Christian Stores

Qt-devotion-cover image My instrumental CDs are featured in the front counters at all Lifeway Christian Stores (150 or so) for the rest of the year.  Quietime Hymns and Quietime Devotion through October.  Then, Quietime Christmas until the end of the year.  All at a special price.  Wooohoo.  They make great Christmas gifts!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Update

I haven't written since before July 4th.   Where has the time gone?  Let's see...

HPIM2100 We spent July 4th weekend with the Bryan's at their house.  We lit up firecrackers that night, which we bought at the Triune Mall Flea Market.  Not sure why the flea market part of that sentence was so important, but oh well. 

Then, from there, I flew to Denver for a short trip to ICRS (the International Christian Retail Show). Photo_071409_002 It's my annual convention for the Christian retail trade industry.  I met with many friends and accounts.  It's always a worthwhile time on many levels. 

We took our house off the market shortly thereafter as it was not selling.  We had 20 showings and no offers in 90 days.  All of us were tired of keeping the house clean constantly - especially with a newborn in our home.  We decided to take the rest of the summer to sell off the remaining items we brought back into our garage from storage.  I've read two books on eBay,, and Craigslist.  I feel very edu-ma-cated on the subject and beginning to work on online selling and marketing of my "stuff".  I'm currently reading a book on selling my house For Sale By Owner.  That's what we plan to do once we've sold all of our stuff. 

HPIM2114 We've been looking at several homes in several different neighborhoods.  We like new homes in the Stags Leap (off Arno Road), Kings Chapel (off 96 in Arrington) and Autumn Ridge (in Spring Hill) subdivisions.  We also like the idea of staying in our school district and keeping things stable for the boys.  However, we have only found homes that need a lot of work in Fieldstone Farms and Cottonwood.  These places are comfortable for us, but we're not excited about all of the work it's going to take to get them to where we need them.  In the meantime, we are making the best of things in our current house.  I have a lot of home improvement projects to do around the house.  We feel it may be best to take care of those anyway before we put the house back on the market. 

My parents have picked a condo in Tollgate, closed on the home on July 28th HPIM2130 and have just moved into the new home this weekend.  Furniture has arrived and they are settling in.  It's a beautiful 3-bedroom condo on the top floor overlooking the rolling hills of Franklin, TN.  They are just in the outskirts of Franklin in Thompson's Station.  It's a perfect location right next to the I-840 junction and an easy 10 minute drive to their future golf course community - Laurel Cove (planned to be finished next year) built by Greg Norman.

We had a fun time with Mr. Jim Harrison (from church) who took the boys and I fishing on Gentry Farm.  Check out the pic to the right.  The boys caught over 10 fish each - mostly Blue Gill.  Alex and Mr. Jim caught a catfish each.

We had church camp this past weekend.  We had such a great time.  We were at Tims Ford Lake State Park.  We stayed in cabins in the park.  During the day, we'd spend most of our time in a private cabin owned by one of the members of our church.  The theme of our camp was "Soar".  Isaiah 40:31 was our scripture theme. 

      But those who wait on the LORD
      Shall renew their strength;
      They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
      They shall run and not be weary,
      They shall walk and not faint. 

We had a wonderful time of worship, singing and teaching in the mornings.  Our afternoons were spent boating, tubing, riding Sea Doos, fishing, talking, playing golf and eating - lots of good eating.  We had a talent show one night.  We had some great laughs and great fun. Check out an iMix on iTunes of some of the music we sang at camp.

Yesterday, we went to Target, bought the boys some back to school clothes, rolling book bags and supplies.  School starts Thursday and I think we're all ready to get back into our school routine. 
We also visited with Amo & Apo at their place.  The boys had fun helping Apo put together the new TV stand in "their room".  I took a nap!  Then, we went over to Kings Chapel and spent time some good friends at their new pool.  That was nice, but we were tired in the end.  Krissy went to bed at 8pm.  I put the boys and Anthem down by 9pm.  And, I've finally had time to breathe. 

We have a lot to do the rest of the summer.  My work is ever changing.  I'm developing several offshoots to Go Global Entertainment - namely a direct to church division and direct to consumer division.  These will be my focus in the years to come in addition to the existing International licensing and distribution business.  I'm in the middle of changing my distribution systems and plan to move out of my existing warehouse this month. 

I'm back on P90X after a short break due to a small surgery I had two weeks ago.  I'm ready to get back at it.  I'm off now to go do Stretch X. 

More updates least now you're caught up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lifeway Christian Stores Features Quietime CDs at Counters Across the US

Alb-qthymns-m Beginning this week, Quietime Devotion and Quietime Hymns will be featured in Lifeway Christian Stores across the United States right at the front of the counter.  In fact, many of you, will be curious about Quietime products when you buy a CD at Lifeway and visit this site,  If this is your first time, thanks for visiting.  We hope to provide you with more quiet time Alb-qtchristmas-m inspirational resources for free and to purchase such as more music, books, journals and valuable gift items in the future. 

If you've not bought the Quietime music yet, you can find it in a number of places.  Here are just a few places where you can find it:

Lifeway Christian Stores
Family Christian Stores

Look for Devotion, Hymns and Christmas CDs in any of these places.  Quietime Christmas DVD is set to release October 13 in US stores as well.  More on that soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

What is Quietime?

Welcome to my first post.  

Alb-qtdevotion-m For years, I've considered developing this website, but it hasn't been right until now.  I've been blogging for over a year now (see my blog here).  I'm a writer of spirit-filled instrumental piano music.  I've always wanted to combine the two.  So this is my humble attempt to create a website that can be a resource for other spirit-filled believers.  

I hope to provide you most of all with some quality "soaking" music.  With this blog, I will write about my experiences and hopeful provide you with good information on quiet time resources, music for your times of worship and prayer, personal observations that I have on what it means to 'soak in the spirit' and so much more.  My wife and I lead worship at a small home group church (although we've grown and needed to move into a building) called "The Nest".  It's there that many of these resources and ideas take their root.  

I pray this website is a great resource for you.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The 'sir and ma'am' Debate

Anthem boys We'd like our boys (and daughter...eventually) to show respect to adults they interact with in their lives.  My two boys are 7 and 9.  It's been about two years now that I've been bothered by the fact that they don't look other adults in the eye or speak respectfully to them when they are spoken to.  But, when I tell them to show respect, I tell them to definitely look people in the eye, but from there, I haven't made up my mind whether they should address adults as sir or ma'am, Mr. and Mrs., Miss or Mrs., Mr. (firstname) or Mrs. (last name).  

I grew up that it was respectful to call people by their last name.  For example, "Mr. and Mrs. Keneally", for instance.  I think that stems from my German roots.  In Germany, I've observed they call each other by last name in business settings.  They don't say "Herr" or "Frau" much anymore, from what I can tell, they just call each other "Nordhoff", for example.  

But, here in the south (I live in Tennessee), most kids address adults as "sir" or "ma'am".  We've tried the southern way and sometimes it feels awkward. They boys don't always do it and they don't want to look adults in the eye.  Shoot, I can't even get them to hug correctly.  When, they go to hug their "Amo" or "Apo", they go into the hug and turn around backwards...that's a new one to me. I feel very southern, which is not natural to me, to teach them the "sir" or "ma'am" route.  I guess if the military teaches its privates to show respect to those higher in rank, it can't be all that bad.

So, I'm not quite sure my intent with this blog post other than to share (with my little world or readers...which is very VERY small) my thoughts and challenges of teaching my kids to show respect to other adults.  I haven't made a clear decision on this, and that's half my problem. My kids are going to be so confused about this issue unless I decide on something soon.

The Word of God is the ultimate authority for our family.  I don't know why I don't turn to God sooner...well, I do know why...I'm self-centered by nature...aren't we all?  Regardless, here's what it says about children respecting adults:

"Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord." - Leviticus 19:32

The Ten Commandments teach that we honor our parents.

Romans 12:10 exhorts us to treat one another with brotherly love "in honor preferring one another". Philippians 2:3 encourage us to "esteem each other better" than ourselves. I Peter 2:17 states, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." I Peter 5:5 exhorts the elders in the church to feed the flock and be an example to them, but not be lords over God's heritage. The younger are to be submit themselves to the elder.

So, to me, I interpret that we do have a responsibility to raise our children to show respect to adults and even as they become adults, to show respect to their elders.  

So, help me God, as I struggle and find my way to do this.

Here are a couple of articles on the subject that I've read...or at least, skimmed...


A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand. -Dorothy Sayers


"The more you invest in others, the more right you have to speak into their lives." - Anita Williams

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Christ follower vs. Christian

Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25 and the Search for the American Dream

Scratch beginnings I just finished this book by Adam Shepard on my vacation to Michigan.  Here's a quick review.  

I was turned onto this book by Dave Ramsey, who recommends it on his website.  

It's the true story of a young college graduate who sets a goal after 365 days to go from homeless with only $25 in his pocket and the clothes on his back to having $2500 in savings, having a roof over his head and a car to drive.  It's an entertaining story, told from his perspective. 

It made me appreciate what I have and reminded me to stop whining and complaining when I begin to think about what I don't have.  The book restored my "make it happen" attitude.  It reminded me to get back to the basics, set goals, and do everything I can to achieve them.  I highly recommend it.  I won't ruin the ending for you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Butternut Blog

Puggle What kind of people would give away a puppy - especially one as a cute and cuddly as a puggle?  Apparently the Nordhoff family, whoever they are, would.  A friend of mine forwarded this blog from a poor puggle named Butternut.  This puppy started a blog in hopes that his "Papa Eric" would find him.  How sad?  If any of my readers know "Papa Eric" or the Nordhoffs who apparently live in a place called "Nordhaven", please contact Butternut.  

Our prayers go out to you, Butternut.  From the looks of it, you may not want to find "Papa Eric".  He sounds like a very bad person to give you away like that.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Eat For Life

To truly live, you must learn how to eat.  Here are some simple reminders of advice you've probably heard before:

Eat 5 to 6 times daily (3 meals and 2-3 snacks).  It keeps your metabolism working around the clock.

Drink at least 8 eight ounce cups of water a day.  This also helps with metabolism and keeps everything well 'lubricated'.

Understand labels.  Ingredient labels on the food we buy are sometimes really hard to read.  Simple advice: if the list of ingredients is long, it's man-made and not good for you.  

Don't eat processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread and pasta.  Complex carbs are best - such as whole grains.

Stay away from saturated and trans fats.  This means anything fried or high in sugar.  Look for healthy fats high in Omega 3 and essential fatty acids.

Control your portion sizes.  Don't eat large portions.  A general rule: anything the size of your palm or fist counts as a portion. Remember this when you want to eat a portion of vegetables, protein and carbs.  

Keep the red wine to a minimum.  Anything more than one glass a day is harmful to you.

Slow down.  This one is tough for me.  I generally want to gobble up my food.  Eating slower and chewing well is good for your stomach.  It helps the digestive process.  It also allows your body to tell you when you are full much quicker.  Allow yourself to taste and savor your food.  It will be much more enjoyable overall.

Eat with your family.  I've read studies that families that eat together stay together more often.  Eating a meal with your family will give you an opportunity to touch base and talk about all kinds of things.  It's amazing what happens if we slow down for a bit and enjoy a meal together!



Sees 38% increase in registrations

The Gospel Music Association Australia-New Zealand (GMA-ANZ), an affiliate of the US-based Gospel Music Association, held it’s second annual conference May 28-29, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia.  The Gold Coast event saw a 38% increase in attendees this year - up from 102 registrations last year to 141 this year.    

“The standard of artistry on display during the various showcase opportunities was impressive”, says Anton Bekker, GMA-ANZ Board Member, “Our registrants were also very positive about the various workshops they attended.”

The event enjoyed top quality messages from industry leaders Mark de Jong (The Power Of A Song), Jeff  Crabtree (The Twenty First Century Christian Musician) and Roma Waterman (The God Artist - The Power Of Sound). The event also featured a special message from Dorry Kartabani, Senior Agent from the Harbour Booking Agency in Sydney, as as a last minute keynote speaker on Passion, Persistence and Perception.  The event featured showcases from the following area Christian artists: Rapture Ruckus, Trigger Theory, Lydia Cole, Magnify, Candice Long, The Smart, Chris Billing, Mark Lowndes and Nathan Eshman.

Anyone who could not attend had an opportunity to view a special 2009 GMA-ANZ Conference webcast.  Some of the content from the event will soon be will be put onto the GMA-ANZ website for members to access.

GMA-ANZ was formed on Easter Monday, 2006 when 150 people gathered in Toowoomba Queensland to express their enthusiastic support to the vision and idea of a Gospel Music Association in Australia-New Zealand.  The organization offers significant benefits to its Australia and New Zealand members including opportunities to connect, training and education, representation to local and national governments and financial discounts on music equipment, insurance and international attendance at the annual GMA Music Week in the USA.  To learn more about GMA-ANZ, visit

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Music in Recession published a summary of the current state of Christian Music.  It is eye opening and painful to read for us in the industry.  However, it's very important for us to know the truth so we can decide where to go from here.  

I highly recommend reading it.  Here is the link:

Many of you know I'm on the Board of Directors at the GMA.  President John Styll challenged us today to review the closing remarks from Charlie Peacock at this year's GMA Music Week.  It is important again, for our realities to be checked.  This is crunch time.  Do or die.  Insert whatever cliche you'd like.  Here are his words...(hopefully with his and the GMA's permission)

Gospel Music:
Following Where Jesus Leads

GMA Music Week
Keynote Address

April 15, 2009 
It is a great honor to bring the last of the keynote
addresses here at GMA Music Week.
I still remember my first GMA experience 19 years ago.  I wore a black fedora, backwards.  A gold silk suit and black janitor
shoes, with chrome studs hammered all the way around the outside rim of the
  And I wasn’t a young kid –
I was 33.
  I’d already been a
working artist for 15 years.
  I got
married when I was 18 and started figuring out how to make a living at
  By the time I arrived at
GMA I had already recorded for A&M and Island Records, worked for CBS as a
songwriter, and toured as an opening act for a bunch of eighties bands you’ve
probably never heard of.
  I was the
rarest of birds back then.
  I was a
Christian who had been in “secular” music.
  There’s nothing unusual about that now.  Most of you probably don’t even know
that part of my story.
  If you know
me at all, you’re probably saying: isn’t he the guy that wrote In The Light for
  Or, didn’t he discover
  Or isn’t he the guy in
the Verizon commercial?

I think I’m here today because I’m
haunted by four questions?
does it mean to be an artist?
does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
What does it mean to the love the church through music?  And what does it mean to create
winsome, imaginative music for the common good, for people outside the walls of
the church?

Recently I’ve written, and been
quoted as saying, that contemporary Christian music as we once knew it is
coming to an end. I do believe that. The modern worship music explosion, as
good as it was, was a game changer.
It put a dagger in the heart of music with lyrics that brought a
Christian worldview to bear on a diversity of subjects.
  That shouldn’t have happened.  People kept calling worldview music
crossover, or secular, or watered down, or vague.
  The problem was that many people couldn’t tell what was
Christian about the lyrics because they hadn’t learned to think Christianly
about the whole of life.
  As a
result, worldview music went into the world to be heard.
  Now there are a hundred artists of
faith having a huge impact on popular music – you know their names. Ten years
ago when that music began to exit the Gospel music community, you could hear
many fans and gatekeepers cheering, finally they said, the Gospel music
industry is getting back to faithfulness, and phrases like “core business” or
“your base audience” were on the tips of tongues at record companies, radio,
and retail.

Today, there are new game-changers
like the economy, and a 50% drop in CD sales.
  Gospel music’s small group of genre superstars are waning in
sales and public interest – names that the GMA has depended on to magnetize the
music, to promote the genre. Their replacement crew is even smaller, and
there’s no strong indication that the rockets of the new guys will even burn as
long as their predecessors. So yes, I think we are at the end of an era. But I
don’t see it as cause for panic or pessimism, or dismissing good work when we
see it and hear it.
   It is an
opportunity for course correction though, for fresh ideas, and new faithful
dreams for the music -- AND new dreams for the ways and means that people
encounter the music.

This is a critical, fresh moment in
America’s Gospel music history.
wonder though, will history show that we trusted God for good to emerge and
  Or will history show us
enslaved to the same old relentless metric of quantity, with no room for
  Will we, in this fresh
opportunity see that it doesn’t matter how many points you put up on the board.
If you still lose by God’s standards of success, you still lose.

All of us that care about music, and
its distribution to the church and the watching world, have to guard ourselves
from the extremes of oversimplification.
We always need to critique our work and cast a vision for what the
future may hold, BUT it has to be done with
with charity, with an understanding of history, and most of all with love.
   Those in the church who pride
themselves on finding everything that’s wrong with Gospel music without
providing solutions, are just as misguided as anyone whose hysterical optimism
refuses to take a critical look. If we love Christ, his people, and the good
gift of music, then our stewardship demands that we speak out with an inspiring
vision for the future and not just words and deeds that are drenched in either
negativity or unfounded optimism. Truth telling is always in order. An absence
of faith, hope and love is not.

Now is the time for all of us to
lead Gospel music in new, revitalized ways. We need strong voices, leaders who
will give us radical hope in the face of inconceivable cultural change. We need
musical and business leaders of courage, wisdom and flexibility.
  What we don’t need is another
short-term vision of music designed to serve the young alone or the most
immature of believers. Instead, we need a vision for Gospel music that will
last the test of time, faltering economies, and new technologies. No
sustainable good can come from an industry with a past that cannot promise a
future. We can’t let ourselves ignore audience attrition or artist attrition
just because there’s always a new crop
of baby Christians coming up,
eager for a soundtrack to their new Christian
lives, impressed that there’s positive music safe for the whole family.
  THIS VISION IS TOO SMALL.  Faithfulness demands more.  Our people, the church of Jesus Christ,
the young, the old, all ages, deserve our best efforts in delivering into their
hands and hearts, a lyrically and musically comprehensive Gospel music.
  A music big enough, and beautiful
enough to
deserve the name, Gospel.

What we want is a remarkable demonstration of the musical people of
God, everywhere and in everything, spiritually and artistically mature and
authentic, eager to proclaim the mighty works of God in the church and the
public square, for the good of the church, and for the common good of all. I
will not rest until this is the norm for the music created by Christians
everywhere, but especially here in America.

I love this country.  America is a great nation, not in its
absence of faults, but in its presence of assets, not in its absence of
problems, but its presence of solutions. I believe that the Spirit of Wisdom
working in the lives of Christian men and
women in America
is no small thing. The spiritual and intellectual capital
of the millions of Americans that profess faith in Jesus is True Wealth. And
the faith, enthusiasm, and dreams of the people gathered in this room is no
small thing either.
count, but they are empty without the currency of God and the fame of Christ
crucified and risen.
  Jesus came
announcing the time has come. In the advancing kingdom, the time just keeps on
  It’s time for many things,
but most importantly, it’s time for faith, hope, and love. It’s time for
trusting that Jesus really does provide all that we need for life and

Something good is coming. It’s not
far off. It’s coming with a demonstration of God’s faithfulness to sustain his
church and to provide for its true needs, INCLUDING MUSIC. We so easily forget
these truths about who God is.
We lose the Jesus/kingdom story-line. Other stories come in, they
compete for our attention, and in our weakness we exchange faith, hope, and
love for something altogether different.
Take Notice:
These kinds of stories have no light, no brightness, no true
  All they want to do, is
to see that you and I are scared, faithless, unimaginative, and unproductive.
Stories with this motive have leaked out of the world and into our music and
our ways of getting out to people. They divide, fill us with fears, and shake
our foundation. But this is not the time to run scared. As I’ve been saying,
it’s a good time to remember Jesus and his words--his story. His message went
something like this: Don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or drink--or
about your body, what you’ll wear.

Remember:  A follower of Jesus is one who
imagines, speaks, and acts the same whether in plenty or in want. Why? We
follow Jesus, not the money. Jesus holds the defining story for life – and HE
has all the resources to pull it off on our behalf. Like he said, we needn’t
worry ourselves.

I’ll say it again, this is the kind
of cultural moment that doesn’t come around that often. We’ve got to open up
the windows and let the wind blow through. It’s the right time for Christians
in the music industry to show through faith, hope, and love that they don’t
need a stellar economy and outdated music business models to make great music
to God’s glory.
  It’s time to focus
on Jesus, on what it means to be his kind of person in the world, and to use
the good imagination He gave us, fueled by the Holy Spirit of God.
  We’ve got some soul work to do though.

generation of Christian musicians think they are
the only generation to come along and change the music for the
better, to rescue it from being “cheesy.” But you know what, tomorrow young
musicians will think that all music is dated and boring, and they will create
something THEY think is current and not cheesy, only to become someone else’s
version of cheesy ten years from now.
They’ll say things like: “We just wanna show people that you can be a
Christian and have fun, too.”
“God has called us to change Gospel music, to show the world that not all
Christian musicians are irrelevant.”
Or, “We’re not gonna hit people over the head with the Bible. We’re not
Christian musicians; we’re musicians who are Christians.” Or, “We’re BOLD,
we’re totally sold out to Jesus. We don’t write vague, sugar-coated lyrics like
those other bands.”
  It won’t
matter what future generations say though if it’s
all retread hubris, pride, and boasting like this.  I’ve got good news for all of us.  Jesus doesn’t need us to protect his
  He’s protected his own
reputation just fine for 2000 years.
It’s his people, you and me, whose authenticity is vulnerable. Let’s
concern ourselves with asking whether we look like we’ve taken the word and
work of Jesus seriously – that it’s actually changed our lives.

Christian music has been a house divided for too long.
  One half the house is so good at
competing with the world musically -- so good at describing the human condition
in all its glory and shame.
other is so good at creating well-crafted music for the church and describing
the goodness of God and his salvation through faith in Jesus.
  Yet each half, each group, is always
sniping at the other, and each group at their worst, is a parade of fools.
  It reminds me of the story in 1
Corinthians where one group claimed to follow Paul, the other Apollos.
  A house divided against itself cannot stand.

take that statement too far.
Gospel music is not going anywhere.
You may fall, I may fall in this house divided.  But Gospel music is not going anywhere.

you want to go where the music leads?
Then you’ve got to ask yourself some questions. Are you tired of
repeating history again and again as if you were the first to arrive on the
  There’s been a lot of
foolish, cyclical behavior in Gospel music over the last forty years.
  This must change – cease.

you tired of being a cliché?
  I hope so.  It’s time for our musical community to
move from milk to solid food, from immaturity to maturity.
  It’s not about sacred or secular,
vertical or horizontal, modern worship or hymns, crossover or church, liberal
or conservative. This is the historical moment of the spiritual – now we will
deal in spiritual currency – people seeking God and a more beautiful, faithful
way of living that is holistic in scope – beyond pietism to a true
righteousness – the righteousness revealed in the person of Jesus.
  Not an American Christianity, left or
right, Republican or Democrat, but instead, an adoration of Jesus and his ways
of being human – his direction in being and doing, and reforming all things:
music and the arts, agriculture, business, education, politics, recreation,
communication, science – literally everything.
  It’s about being interested in what Jesus is interested in
and letting the music reflect those interests.
  It’s about following where Jesus leads.

he leading some to deal with the fallout from genocide in Darfur?
  Tell the story in song.  Is he pointing you to the glory of his
Father, God of wonders?
  Tell the
story in song.
  Is he saving and
bringing back to life your neighbor’s sick child?
  Tell the story in song.  Is he healing marriages in the sanctuaries of our
  Tell the story in song.  Is he leading you toward good work,
giving you good things, food, laughter, baseball, sex, and marriage?
  Tell the story in song.  Is Jesus present in the praises of his
  Tell the story in
  Is he alive and working
everywhere and in everything, in history past, present, and future?
  Then tell the story in song.  This is Gospel music – the good news
that Jesus is redeeming all that he loves, people and place and the culture
he’s allowed and encouraged us to create.
There is no end to the creativity of God and there’s no corner of
reality that He is not the LORD over.
Gospel music is only truly faithful to the degree that it reflects this
awesome truth.

of who God is and what He is doing, we can be sure that Gospel music is far
from being over.

Circumstances may change
But Gospel music is not going anywhere
The artists and songwriters
may change

But Gospel music is not
going anywhere

The economy may contract and

But Gospel music is not
going anywhere

It may rise and fall in popularity
in America

But Gospel music is not
going anywhere

It may be known by other
names and those names may wear out

But Gospel music is not
going anywhere

Believe with me, that right now
there is an army of gifted musical artists quietly praying to God in their
hearts, revealing their desires, saying: “Oh God, how can I not serve you? How
can I not live for you--make my music for you alone, everywhere and in
everything. Jesus, grant me this great privilege to be your kind of musical
person in this world, full of faith, hope and love for you, your people, and
for those who don’t yet know you. Oh, Spirit of the living God fill me, come
with power and wisdom and strength. Give me faith to take you at your word, to
ignore the stories that make me fearful, unimaginative and unproductive. Help
me to tell a musical story with my life that says I’m following you and nothing
else. And please Lord God, send me people to help me get my music out to the
church and to world for the common good of anyone, anywhere who would enjoy it,
and be moved to praise you because of it.”

can never, ever forget that the life, death, and resurrection of one man Jesus
Christ, inspired the greatest body of music and art the world has ever
  Gospel music is not going anywhere but forward to the new heavens
and the new earth where all God’s people will sing together:

"Worthy is the Lamb,
who was slain,

to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and strength

and honor and glory and

"To him who sits on the
throne and to the Lamb

be praise and honor and
glory and power,

for ever and ever! 
Let’s pray as Jesus taught
us to pray:

Our Father, who art in

hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily

And forgive us our

as we forgive those who
trespass against us.

And lead us not into

but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

Praise God, from Whom all
blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures
here below;

Praise Him above, ye
Heavenly Host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost. Amen.

BENEDICITON:  I pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus
be yours today and in every waking day here on earth.
  May the Lord cause your love to increase and overflow for
each other.
  May he strengthen your
hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and
Father when our Lord Jesus comes.
May the God of peace, equip you with everything good for doing his will,
and may he work in all of us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to
whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

As an optimist, I'm very hopeful about the future.  It may only not look quite the way I envision it.  I'm very eager to meet with the Board in about 10 days to begin to see the future of Christian Music.