Friday, April 25, 2008

The Nighttime Terrorist

"A terrorist that strikes at night." That's how Dr. Scott Todd with Compassion International describes the Anopheles mosquito. This tiny little terrorist, prevalent in tropical areas and thriving in stagnant waters, claims over a million lives every year. Most of them are children. Most of them are in Africa.

Malaria is a completely preventable disease. We all but wiped it out in the United States 60 years ago. Yet every 30 seconds, it's claiming another life.

Today is World Malaria Day. A day set aside to remember those lost to this terrible disease...and hopefully, a day to get involved in the fight against malaria. I know you're busy. We all are. But at the very least, can you pray for the victims of malaria? Could you spare $10 to buy an insecticide treated net to protect a little boy or girl from these tiny terrorists who spread the malaria parasite?

There's no reason for children to die of a preventable disease. Get involved today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So...after 25 years of driving, it finally happened. My first accident. I was on my way to work this morning. It was beautiful...sunny. I had the top down on the Jeep, singing along to Extreme's Hole Hearted. There was one car in front of me doing about 30mph when the light turned yellow...and it appeared she wasn't going to stop, so I figured I'd follow right behind her. Mistake. She DID decide to stop. She rode her brakes pretty hard...and I slammed on mine. Only my big bruiser jeep has anti-lock brakes and 33 inch tires. It wasn't going to stop anytime soon. It felt like an eternity. I put all of my weight into both feet on the brake pedal as I focused on the back end of her brand new, shiny silver 2008 Nissan Sentra. CRUNCH! "*&^%$#!" Yeah, I said a few things I'm not proud of. I immediately jumped out of the car to ask her if she was okay. She said "Yes." Thank God. I asked her to pull over to the shoulder and she did. I called the police. It took forever for them to get there. Meanwhile, there's that feeling of being on display for everyone else who's driving by. The shame. I exchanged information with the other driver. I got a ticket. The back end of her Nissan with the temporary paper plates was scrunched...caved in. Undrivable. My Jeep, on the other hand, looked like it had nothing wrong with it. Except the license plate was a little bent. After all the dispensing of information, I drove away...leaving that poor woman crying there. But thankfully her husband had arrived to console her. Ugh. What a crappy way to start the day...for both of us. Thankfully we both have insurance. More importantly, thankfully, no one was hurt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I'm going to step away from my "christian artist/speaker" hat for a moment and talk to you strictly as an American. I realize I'm taking a huge risk talking about this, but it's something that has really bothered me for the past few days. I'm a bit ashamed that our country, under the direction of our president, is using horrible torture tactics to get prisoners to talk. I'm talking specifically about waterboarding. It's the act of holding a person's head in place, while he is strapped to a table, and pouring a constant stream of water into his mouth/nose. The prisoner feels the water entering his lungs, because he has no opportunity to take a break to hold his breath. He's constantly feeling the sensation of drowning. Here's a video, released by Amnesty International that shows how cruel it can be: I just don't know how Americans, in good conscience, can tolerate this. We yell "boycott the Olympics" because of China's record of human rights violations...yet we allow this to happen in our country. I'm not equating this to the terrible things China has done, but I am saying that it's torture. Cruel torture. I urge you to go to and read more about how you can help bring a stop to this kind of behavior. It's not like us. We're better than this.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bumper Stickers

I like to read bumper stickers. They say a lot about a driver's personality. Some are funny. Some are crude. Some are big and bold...while others have such small text that it's almost impossible to read. (So, if I'm riding you pretty close in traffic, I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just want to read what it is that you're so passionate about that you'd advertise it on your car.)

My wife was called up for jury duty once last year. As she was sitting in the courtroom with other potential juror candidates, one of the lawyers asked, "What bumper stickers do you have on your car?" He knows that bumper stickers say a lot about a person's passions. She doesn't have any bumper stickers on her car. Neither do I. But I do enjoy reading them.

But some of them are just plain confusing. Today, I saw a couple of bumper stickers that just threw me:
"I love ghosts."


"I walk in the ways of the ancient ones."

Okay, aside from the fact that those are just odd messages (I certainly don't get what the second one means), but I couldn't help but wonder: Who makes these bumper stickers? Who said, "Ya know, I bet if I create a "I walk in the ways of the ancient ones" bumper sticker, it would sell like hotcakes!" Isn't the point of marketing to create a product that has a mass audience appeal?
Some of the best bumper stickers are political in nature. Here's one that I saw...that I just love!

And another that makes a really good point:

Now those, I imagine, DO have mass appeal!

What bumper stickers do you have on your car? Or at least share some that you like.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm So Excited!

This past weekend, I spent some time in the recording studio...and we are definitely getting close to finishing the So Human project!

Yesterday, Bret Major came in and recorded a kick-butt bass track for Simple Me. Then, I had to do some background vocal work on a song called, I'll Drive Yesterday. I was really struggling with the song and had pretty much decided that if I couldn't get the background vocals to work, I was going to scrap the song. Luckily, I was able to make them work. So the song stays!

All that's left is a lead guitar track on Forgive and Forget...and background vocals on Turn Your Eyes. Then we start mixing!

Best case scenario: we could have this album ready for duplication by the end of May. Though that may be a bit of a stretch, because I'm pretty much booked with something every weekend in May. Ugh! So, most likely, we'll be ready for duplication sometime in mid-late June. It will take about three weeks or so to get the CDs back in they should be ready for sale by mid-July! Yay!

I'll be sooooooo glad to get this project finished...and make it available so you all can hear what I've been working on for the past two years! (With an 8-9 month break to have a baby of course!) Once we have a more firm date for the cd release, we'll start booking concerts to promote it.

I'll keep ya informed!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Typically, I steer away from using the word, "beautiful." I think it's severely over-used in our society. We've gotten to the point where anything we find pleasing is "beautiful." I don't think so. To me, the word should be powerful. It should only be used in those instances where words like "pretty" and "pleasing" fall way short.

I know I'm opening up a can of worms here, because beauty is a relative thing. I'm well aware that beauty is "in the eyes of the beholder." This beholder, however, has rarely seen it. But I would like to share some of those instances with you. These are some of the things that I find beautiful:

This is a grandmother in Bolivia...raising her three grandchildren by herself. Their father left them years ago and the mother passed away. A grandmother, struggling in poverty, working hard to feed, clothe, shelter and provide an education for three children that are not her own. That's beautiful.

This is Rosicela. I took this picture moments after she met the man who sponsors her through Compassion International. A few weeks before his visit, he sent Rosicela some money for her birthday. She decided she wanted to use some of the money to buy a new dress. She wanted to wear that dress when her sponsor arrived weeks later. Here she is, proudly wearing her new dress...and holding on to the stuffed moose her sponsor bought her. It was an absolutely beautiful moment to see the two of them meet face to face for the first time.

This little boy attends a Compassion project in Kenya. What I find beautiful about this boy is that he lives in extreme poverty on the outskirts of Nairobi...where HIV is rampant. Despite the deplorable conditions, look at the hope in his eyes. Look at the smile on his face. It is sheer beauty when a child can find a reason to smile amidst those circumstances.

Lest you think I can only find beauty in people, here's a flower I saw in Guatemala. I don't know much about flowers. I'm sure someone can tell me what kind of flower it is. But regardless, I find its intricacies and delicate design beautiful.

This is a brother and sister at play on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Look at the debris in the foreground. Look at the slums in the background. Two kids...just being kids...and playing in the dirt, in the midst of so much despair...well, to me, that is beautiful.

This is Yasmin. I have traveled to seven countries now with Compassion and I have never seen a more heartbreaking home than Yasmin's. Her entire house was the size of my laundry room...and it was made of scraps of wood, tin and even some old billboards. The floor was dirt. The stove was a pot. No running water. No electricity. Her favorite toy was this headless doll. My heart broke when I saw her. But then I saw her mother interacting with her. There was so much love in that tiny little house of scraps. It was, without a doubt, beautiful.

Friday, April 11, 2008

American Idol Includes Jesus

Okay, follow-up to yesterday's post. Last night, the finalists on American Idol sang Shout to the Lord again...but this time, they included the name of Jesus! Whoa! I wonder if there was some pressure for them to do it? I've seen a lot of blog posts lately...some saying it was wrong of them to change the words from "My Jesus" to "My shepherd" on Wednesday night. Others say American Idol has no business doing any religious songs at all. Some interesting debate. Regardless, last night, the name of Jesus was sung for millions of people to hear...once again...and I love it! On a side note: I think the way Ryan Seacrest handled the whole ousting of Michael Johns was in bad form. "Last year on Idol Gives Back we decided not to eliminate anyone...but this year...(pause, pause)...we're saying goodbye to Michael Johns." Bad form. Really bad form. "Glenn out."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jesus On American Idol

Anybody else notice how much Jesus has been mentioned on American Idol lately? Here are some lines from songs that have been sung on Idol in the past two weeks:
"We've all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the tree
And when I'm born again you're going to see a change in me." --sung by Jason Castro
"I've got all I need. I've got Jesus and gravity." --sung by Dolly Parton
"He said He'd never forsake you or leave you alone. Trust Him.
Right here by my side. Carry me home. Jesus!" --sung by Mariah Carey
"Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing!
Power and majesty, praise to the King!" --sung by the top 8 finalists during the closing ceremony of Idol Gives Back.
Now, for sure, the folks at American Idol know that Christians are big "givers." So it's smart on their part to include some religious overtones into the show when they're trying to bring in donations for the Idol Gives Back program. But isn't it interesting that the name of Jesus--considered so "offensive" by many--is brazenly uttered on the most-watched television show in America so much lately?
Don't get me wrong. I think it's wonderful. Who cares what their motivation, if any, is? In Philippians, Paul says:
But what does it matter? The important thing
is that in every way, whether from false motives
or true,Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice.
-Philippians 1:18 (NIV)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Real People

There are two commercials on the air right now that bother me. Both for the same reason. One is a KMart commercial, showing four women dancing around in their new outfits they bought from KMart. The voice-over says something like:
"These are real women wearing the latest fashions--and they bought them at KMart."
The other commercial is the Pizza Hut spot where families are gathered at what appears to be a fancy Italian restaurant. They are eating pasta, laughing, joking...only to find out that the pasta was prepared by Pizza Hut...not a top chef. Again, the caption on the screen reads something like:
"Real people at a tasting event."
Man. I'm glad they told me those were real people. I supposed to think they are some sort of animatronics or something?
I know what they're trying to say. "These are not paid actors." So say it that way! But to infer these people are real because they're not actors is a bit silly, isn't it? What? Are actors not real people?
I think what bothers me most is that the messaging further perpetuates this celebrity obsession we have in this world, where "real" people are separated from the supermodels, actors and rock stars. Last I heard, celebrities still put their pants on one leg at a time. (Though some may have someone to do that for them!) If we are "real" and they are not, then what are they? And are we to infer from these messages that being "real" is something less than desirable?
I think I'd be even more upset if I were a celebrity. Imagine someone saying to you, "You're not a real're a celebrity!" What?!
I have news for you, Pizza Hut and KMart, we are all real people.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I'm in Canada right now, London Ontario to be exact, for some meetings with Compassion International.

Last night, we visited a place that Canadians say is a "must-see" for visitors...a place called Tim Horton's.

I'm not sure how to classify the place. They sell donuts, coffee and it's sort of like a Dunkin' Donuts, I guess. But they also sell roast beef sandwiches, so they're kinda like an Arby's too. No french fries though. (What's up with that?)

But I got a chuckle out of the "donut holes" they sell...which they call TimBits. Of course, I had to take a picture of a TimBits box.

Okay...go ahead and start with the jokes.