2010 was a BIG year…

13 12 2010

As I sit here looking at the Christmas tree and surrounded by folded laundry just begging to be put away, my mind wanders to the events of this year.  It has truly been a very challenging season for Sara and me, but when I think of all that has been accomplished, I realize how much God has been with us through every bit of it.

I just want to take a little time to give glory to God for some of the highlights of the year…

In the fall of 2009, I began to feel God leading me to further my education.  I began to research graduate schools online and had two schools to choose from.  After seeking counsel from my pastors, I decided to go with Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  I completed all of the necessary paperwork and enrolled.  Classes started on January 18.  I had signed up for full-time status (2 classes per 8-week term).  Even though I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of reading and writing assignments, I loved every minute of it.  After receiving very positive feedback from my professors, I began to see that I was going to succeed and surpass my expectations.  Although I have had to have student loans to attend graduate school, I somehow know that God is going to provide.

I began seriously running at the beginning of the year.  My goal was to complete the Gusher Half-Marathon.  In the process, I went to Tyler, TX to run the Tyler Azalea 10k with a friend of mine that I met on Twitter, Caleb Canal.  It was a really great run, and I exceeded my time goal!  I made a great friend and found out that the hills of Tyler were rough on the hamstrings!!

Gusher – I still cannot believe that I completed the Gusher Half.  13.1 miles without stopping…  I would have never dreamed that I would have completed such an insane event.  I can remember that I trained all during the winter/spring for the event with great weather conditions.  We had a cool winter with relatively no humidity.  The morning of the Gusher, we had an unbelievable amount of humidity, and it was HOT!  My body was not happy, thus my time was not great.  Hopefully, I can beat my time next year.  Even though I was a little disappointed in my result, I still can’t believe that I ran the race!!

In May, Sara and I moved one step closer to adopting our boys.  I can’t discuss any details of the case, and we’re still in the middle of a long battle; but I just know that these are our little boys forever and ever.

The summer of 2010 was a great year in our music department.  In May, I sat down to plan the entire summer’s music selections and gave all of the material to our phenomenal band leader.  Martin took all of the stuff and got to work with the band.  The vocal team worked very hard, and the end result was a power-packed summer of fantastic music and intense worship experiences.  To cap it all off, in August, we introduced a song – “You Are Worthy”.  It really was an amazing moment and one that I will not soon forget!

Also in August, Sara and I were able to participate in Israel Houghton‘s worship conference, A Deeper Level 2010.  This was my third year to attend and second time at the One Church Worship Academy.  God always meets us in a special way at this conference, but this year somehow seemed different.  The weight of the deposit from the Holy Spirit was just unbelievable.  I am still gaining strength from what we experienced this year.  Thanks, Iz!!

In September, I decided to join Triumph Church Physical Training as a part of the “Challenge”.  It is an military-based exercise program that’s just insanity defined.  We met 5 days a week at 5:20am at that Nederland track for 10 weeks.  Our instructors led us through some really intense regimens that challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually.  I got hurt at some point in the process and thought I was out for good, but the instructors made some adjustments to the program to allow me to be a part and ultimately graduate.  Speaking of graduate, the final challenge was AMAZING!!!  I don’t know how long it lasted that night, but I really felt like they were going to kill us.  As much pain as I was in, the feeling of accomplishment at the end was worth every minute.  I can’t believe that I was able to do all of that at 35 years old.  Either I’m stronger than I realized or am just plain STUPID!!

That brings me to December…

Sara and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe it has been 6 years…  I have the most amazing, talented, strong, funny, interesting, beautiful wife on the planet.  Thank you, Sassy, for being my best friend and love of my life.  You are an incredible mommy, too!!

Last Saturday night, Sara and I went to Grace Church of Humble, TX to attend their Christmas Concert directed by Pastor Hector Soto.  Pastor Hector and his wife Roxann have become dear friends and mentors of Sara and me over the past year.  God placed them in our lives, and I will be FOREVER grateful.  Anyway, the concert was BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, WONDERFUL, SPECTACULAR, etc…  The musicianship was unbelievable.  I’m still just amazed at what we saw.  That truly was a highlight of my year.

Tomorrow is my boys’ 4th birthday.  I wish I could talk more about them online, but privacy laws prohibit it.  Just know that I could not be more proud of them and all that they have accomplished this year.  They are still dealing with the effects of the events of their lives before they came to live with us, but they are doing so good and growing up so fast.  They’re my BOYS!!!

I know there must be more that I am missing, but these were the moments that really stand out.  Thanks for reading about some of my all-time favorite moments of 2010.

2011 is gonna be even better!!!!


Sunday Setlists & School?

25 10 2009

Wow. What a day @ Triumph – MidCounty!!

We have a new player on our team – Martin Trammel. Talk about an answer to prayer! We are so glad to have him join our band.

Martin played organ for us this morning, and it just added a whole new layer to our sound. It was amazing!! I participate in Fred McKinnon’s Sunday Setlists. Here’s the list:

Shout Joyfully by BJ Putnam
Saved By Grace by Israel Houghton
Sing Sing Sing by Chris Tomlin
I Call Your Name by Ricardo Sanchez
You Are Holy by John Ragsdale

No Condemnation by New Breed

Sara has been sick the last few days, so I let her take it easy this morning. We were going to do “Fire Fall Down”, but I had to do some last minute shuffling. It ended up being great. The power of God was thick in the sanctuary. The team was very tight, and I was very proud of our effort. I look forward to the future with Martin joining our team…

Okay. I have to say that if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know how badly I want to go back to school. When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration 10 years ago, I made the goal of getting my Doctorate by the time I was 40. Well, I’ve got 6 years left, so I had better get cracking!! I have spent much time trying to weigh all of my options… Do I go to Lamar and get a Music Ed degree? What about my MBA? How about a worship degree at Liberty Univ? How about doing theology or something similar? Well, after much deliberation and prayer, I have decided to pursue my Master of Arts degree in Religion from Liberty University Online. It’s gonna cost somewhere around $8000, so I have started the financial aid process. We don’t have $8000, so it’s gonna take a miracle. Pastor Deamon once told me, “Favor ain’t fair”, so I’m going for it. It’s a daunting task. It will take a lot of discipline and effort, but the outcome would be more than worth it!! Liberty offers a Ph.D. in Theology. Wouldn’t that be awesome!!!! When do classes start?!?!? Ha! Seriously, I covet your prayers for finances and increase of ability if I in fact do start classes in January…

Saturday’s run, Sunday’s Setlist, & other such stuff…

20 10 2009

What a full weekend!!!

It all started off with my very first 5k race Saturday morning. It was for our local CASA organization. There were over 200 racers at Parkdale Mall in Beaumont. It was wonderful to see so many folks come out and support such an amazing organization. CASA is made up of volunteers who look after foster kids in the system and see that they get the proper care that they need. I finished the race at around 26:15. I didn’t place, but I sure was proud of myself. I have another run on Oct 31 at Kelly HS. Can’t wait!

Just a side note about that day – CASA gave away door prizes. Well, Sara and I won a two-night stay at Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans! Can’t wait to get away! Boy, do we need it!

Sunday morning was amazing at Triumph!! Pastor Mike Hayes preached at our Sugar Land location and simulcasted to our Beaumont and MidCounty campuses. Technology is AMAZING, and history has been made at Triumph once again. The word that Pastor Mike released over our church was life-changing. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in us!

I participate in Sunday Setlists, so here it is…

“Still Standing” by Israel Houghton – Led by Brittney McIntyre
“We Have Overcome” by Israel – Led by my beautiful wife, Sara Price
“Overcome w/ This Is My Story” by New Life Church – Led by yours truly
“How He Loves” by so many people, I can’t even name them here – Led by Sara and me

Powerful set. We hit all transitions and the congregation really was engaged. Can’t wait for next week’s set. I believe it’s going to be amazing!

Sunday night, we traveled to our Sugar Land location to participate in a special revival service. Pastor David Binion was there along with Pastor Mike Hayes. Pastor David always creates such an amazing atmosphere for God’s presence to invade the place. Pastor Mike continued his message from the morning service. I continue to be blown away by the level of excellence at the Sugar Land campus. Even though they meet in a school gymnasium, the people know how to make it feel like home. My hat goes off to each of them!!!

I was privileged to be a part of a luncheon with pastors from the Houston area Monday. Pastor Randy and Pastor Mike led the meeting. Just to be in the same room with so many pastors with so much anointing was very humbling.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say about that for now…

Peace out!

Tomorrow’s my first race!!!

16 10 2009

So, tomorrow morning is my very first race. Well, not exactly my first. I competed in a 5k walk in 2004 in Vicksburg MS. It was the Over The River Run/Walk. I placed second in my age division. Kinda cool. Well, I set out in the morning to Hollywood Theater on Dowlen Rd in Beaumont for my first 5k run. I’ve done all the research on what to expect and gone out and bought some new running clothes. I’m SUPER pumped about it, but I got butterflies a few minutes ago.

What will it be like? How many people will be there? Will I be able to finish the race? Will I be able to run the whole time, or will I have to take some walking breaks? How will I place? Will I be cold? Will the boys behave for Mommy? Will we win the raffle for the playhouse? 😀 I guess we’ll find out…

I can say that I got so excited about the race that I signed up for the 5k race on Thanksgiving morning. There’s another race on New Years Day that I’ll sign up for. My hometown of Vicksburg, MS has an awesome 10k on March 6th. It’s a race through the Military Park. I CAN’T WAIT for that one! Bottom line, after 34 years, I think I have finally found my sport that I love!!

Here’s to a great run in the am!

Sunday Setlists and other things…

13 10 2009

Good morning, folks.

First, let me get this thing going by discussing Sunday’s Setlist. I read someone’s blog from this weekend on FredMcKinnon.com that called this past Sunday “full of opportunities.” I like that. This Sunday for me was FULL of opportunities!

We had stage challenges from the very beginning of the day which sparked numerous sound problems. Some scheduling stuff got off with some of our musicians, so we were unable to start rehearsing until 9:05am when we are to begin at 8:30am. Considering this is the only rehearsal in the week, getting less than an hour to go over everything isn’t cool.

Enough about the “opportunities”, here’s the list:

Celebrate – Derrick Horne – Led by P Kirk Ellender
Saved By Grace – Israel & New Breed – Led by me
Heaven On Earth – David & Nicole Binion – Led by me & Sara

Choir Special:
Bless The Lord (Son Of Man) – Tye Tribbett – Led by me & Sara

Taking into account that I am being over-exposed, this Sunday didn’t go over well. I think the congregation needs a break from me. They shall get it.

Other stuff…

I started week 3 of Gateway to 8k this morning. I woke up at 5:15am and heard rain outside. I checked the radar on my phone and saw that it wasn’t going to last long, so I got dressed and got going. It was a slow steady rain, more like a heavy sprinkle, that lasted for about 20 minutes into my run. It was actually quite nice and refreshing. Every week, the program pushes me to run my personal best, and I have to say that I always feel as though I have more in me when I finish the run. I suppose that’s a good thing as my goal is to compete in 10k & half-marathons by the spring. Is it a sign of addiction when you can’t wait until your next run and get mad when you have to take a day off?

Yesterday marked the month from our final court hearing for the boys. We really don’t know how this is going to turn out; and honestly, we are tired of trying to figure out all of the what-ifs, so it’s ALL in God’s hands now. The guys are growing up so fast, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Nicolas jumped out of bed this morning with the biggest smile and said, “Morning!” It was so cute. Nathen was dragging as usual, but they are learning to help more and be patient. They know the routine and are so proud when they do something to help. Jesus, please let these boys be ours forever!

So, here I sit in Rao’s waiting on my bacon, egg and cheese wrap. It’s been 10 minutes since I ordered it, and I haven’t seen it yet. They also don’t have the special coffee of the day out. If these guys didn’t have free wifi, I wouldn’t come here every morning!!!!! IMHO, they need new management. I think I shall share my opinion with the main office.

Christmas is still rapidly approaching. As much as I want it to, it just won’t go away!! I have to say that I am proud that I have found some really good music. We have already started learning some of it in our rehearsals. I think that it will be much less stressful of a season if we can have a real plan early enough. All of the last-minute stuff is what kills me! Hopefully, TPTB will come together soon and get a plan.

Enough of that… Until next time!

It’s been too long…

9 10 2009

I can’t believe it has been almost 3 months since I posted a blog. Unacceptable!! I hereby declare that I will do my best to post at least 3 days a week. I don’t know if anybody even reads my stuff, but I’ll put it out there for my own purpose if for nothing else.

What all has happened since July…

Well, with our boys – The judge set a final hearing date for November 12th. That means, in essence that rights would be terminated on that date. The parents do have the right to appeal the decision, so it’s certainly not a done deal; however, we feel the peace of God all over the situation and know that He has it completely in control.

With our church… We are currently riding on the promise that something BIG is about to take place. We aren’t sure where it is coming from or what “it” will look like, but we are praying that we are ready when “it” does arrive. Sara and I are leading a small group on Wednesday nights – “When Heaven Invades Earth” by Bill Johnson. It’s fantastic!!! My faith is rising everyday! We are currently undergoing some renovations in our foyer and our stage. Very exciting stuff happening at TRIUMPH!!!!

With Sara & me… To put it plainly, we have been under attack in every area this year. I can honestly say that I have never been ill as I have this year. Not really major stuff, but one thing after another. I got the flu and bronchitis in February. Then, I got sick with the sinus stuff as soon as we got the boys. Then, I got the flu again. Now, I have poison ivy from head to foot. We won’t even get into how rough it has been with our finances. September will go down as the worst months for us since we have been married. Through all of this, I can say that we have never felt more confident about what we are doing – in our family and in our ministry.

In our family… I’m sad to say that my sister has moved back to Vicksburg, MS. She got a great job and decided to move back. I’m very proud of her, but I will miss her terribly. The boys miss their “Sissy”. In the middle of all of that, my mom and dad put their house up for sale. There are very good reasons for them moving back to Vicksburg, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I will miss them more than they know.

In our ministry lives… I was honored to be at the inaugural “OneChurch Worship Academy” hosted by Israel Houghton in September. There were only about 40 students at the academy, so we were able to interact with Israel and the rest of the team in a very intimate setting. The impartation was amazing!!!! I will never be the same after the final session! The Academy kicked off the Deeper Level conference. It blew me away!!! Sara was able to come over for the last day and a half. Our lives will never be the same! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through us this year.

Other stuff… I turned 34 on Sept 18th. We finally got our house leveled. My washer and dryer broke, but God provided. I’m sure there is other stuff, but I just can’t remember it all right now.

Let me leave you with the scripture that Israel declared over us at the conference – “STRENGTH is for SERVICE not STATUS!” Rom 15:1 (MSG)

Have a good one!

Worship Recap for 7/26/09

26 07 2009

I do apologize for not doing a recap the last few weeks. I have changed my blog site, and that had me kind of thrown off.

Here it is…

First of all, our sanctuary was transformed into a swamp for VBS this week. We had lots of challenges with being able to see each other. The set was GORGEOUS, but it was fun trying to be serious with giant dragonflies hanging overhead!!

Pre-Service – “I Will Rejoice” by David and Nicole Binion
** This was a quick change. We were going to do “Open Up The Sky” by Jonathan Stockstill, but I wasn’t feeling it. People were too distracted by trying to figure out what was going on on the stage

Worship Set:
“Awesome God” – Ricardo Sanchez
“Sing Sing Sing” – Chris Tomlin
“Glorify Your Name” – Lindell Cooley version
“God You’re Beautiful” – Anthony Skinner/John Ragsdale
“How He Loves Us” – Kim Walker/David Binion arrangement

“Let My Heart Dance” – David & Nicole Binion

GREAT DAY!! Once the congregation got over the shock of the stage being crazy, it was wonderful. We really felt the power of God in “Glorify Your Name”. Transitions were smooth. Band ate their Wheaties!!

The special was spectacular!!! It was hard to end the song. The folks just didn’t want to quit singing and worshipping. It feels good to get one right every once in a while… 😀

Lots of work to do this week. Meetings, planning, etc. on the docket. Here’s looking forward to next Sunday!!!

This blog is part of Sunday Setlists at FredMcKinnon.com. Check it out!!