Wednesday, October 31, 2007

flava flav

Alan's staff dresses up for Halloween. Stop by the office if you want to see some great costumes. You might can even get Flava Flav's autograph!

Friday, October 26, 2007


My eleven year old, Allison, has always been infatuated with Radio. Yeah, the one with the movie about him. Now that we have been driving back and forth to Clemson so much and she has realized that T.L. Hanna High School is nearby, she constantly nags us to take her to meet Radio.

"Why do you want to see him so badly, Allison?"

"I don't know. I just have to. I want to be in breathing distance of him."

It was not an unreasonable request, actually. I had nothing to lose by trying. So I emailed the principal and asked if we could work out a meeting with Radio. And the answer was, "Absolutely."

So that is what we did to kick off our four day weekend. We watched "Radio" last night for the twenty-eleventh time and went to T.L. Hanna in Anderson today to meet Allison's hero, Radio, and Coach Jones. They were so kind and funny and down-to-earth...they just blessed our hearts!

Allison and Radio...
My family and BFF Elizabeth with Radio and Coach Jones...
We took Radio some surprises, one of them being the TrueNorth Band CD, Radiate...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

four day weekend

So the kids have a four day weekend with school being out on Friday and Monday. If you are like me, you're looking for something fun to do. Here is a list of local events or day trips that will help fill your weekend while the teachers are crunching those report card grades:

Fat Man's Forest (Laney Walker, Augusta): a family tradition during Halloween and Christmas. Browse the costumes and "spooktacular" gifts. And don't forget the "Almost World Famous Boiled P-nuts"! They are one of my seasonal luxuries, right up there with the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. But not together. That's gross.

Jack-o-Lantern Jubilee (Georgia Avenue, North Augusta): From 10-4 on Saturday, the main drag in downtown North Augusta will be filled with craft and junk food vendors, inflatable jumping thingies, and local entertainment to celebrate the fall season. Your child will be sure to win the costume contest if their costume is homemade and insanely creative. Don't forget to stop by the Pink Dipper to get the kids a single scoop of Coffee Almond Fudge on a sugar cone (not that that's my favorite or anything).

Masters 7 Cinemas (Washington Rd, Augusta): All movies before 6pm are 99 cents. With those prices, who cares about spending a little more for coke and popcorn? The movie listings will be updated on Friday, but I know Ratatouille will still be on!

Hammond Hill Elementary Book Fair (West Woodlawn Ave, North Augusta): I volunteered at the Book Fair this week and they have lots of books and trinkets to choose from. If your kids like books, you might as well buy them from the school because they get to keep some of the money!

Chuck E Cheese (Wrightsboro Road, Augusta): 'nuff said.

North Augusta Yellow Jackets vs. Aiken Green Hornets: at Aiken, 8pm

Hunger for Life Dance Concert (Monte Sano Elementary, Augusta): Okay, so this is a shameless plug for my friend Beverlee, owner of Tip Toes and Taps Dance Studio, who has organized a fundraiser for the Golden Harvest Food Bank for nine years. Come watch a variety of dance styles that were choreographed by adults and children alike. I think some belly dancers will be there too. For real.

Scarowinds (North Carolina): Carowinds Theme Park is transformed into Scarowinds where you can "hear the creatures creeping up behind". Thriller. Oh yeah.

Edventure (Columbia): Okay, now I really can't decide what to do. Edventure is a Children's Museum in Columbia that is sponsoring an event called "Hallo-Wonka" on Friday night from 5:30 until 8pm. It's all things Wonka with activities such as Nerd Toss, Pixy Stix Art, Roarin’ Runts Relay and more! Visitors can also drool over the “Candy Sculpture” contest where all sculptures are made entirely of Willy Wonka candy.

Boo at the Zoo (Columbia): Riverbanks Zoo is decked out for Halloween and from 6 to 9pm each evening, you can take your costumed little ones trick or treating through the zoo.

TrueNorth Church (North Augusta High School): Church doesn't have to be boring! Music, skits, small groups, and relevant Bible teaching are part of the exciting environment in Journeyland (ages baby to kindergarten) and Kidzstuff (elementary). Our Baptism service, affectionately known as Dunk'd, will be held in the gym at 9:30 and 11:11am on Sunday morning. Come and see!

This is just a sampling...I hope you find something fun to do. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

today's funny

I woke up to my radio alarm clock this morning and the first thing I heard the deejay say:

If you are shopping for a personal trainer, you should wear a t-shirt that says:


Sunday, October 21, 2007

backstreet's back

Well, we closed out the SHAPE series this week at TNC and I just had to show this clip of a backstreet bird using his abilities and talents. We would have been all over this one if the bird had just used "Shape of My Heart" instead of "Everybody". Just kidding. Not really. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hot Seat with TJ and Kevin

These guys could barely be still for me to take their picture. TJ Barton (pronounced tee'jay) and Kevin Bradford are worship leaders at TrueNorth Church. Let's see how the BFF's handle being on the hot seat:

1. How long have you been leading worship?

TJ: Since 2004.

KB:I've been leading worship for a little over 10 years. My first leading opportunity was for my church youth group playing such greats as "Pharoah, Pharoah" and "I've Got A River of Life". Wow, those were the days...

2. What is your biggest challenge as a worship leader?

TJ: Remembering the chords and the lyrics!!!!! Really, the biggest challenge for me is trying to veer away from being performance minded. I truly believe that we have to give our best to God and that requires us to practice and strive to get better. However, I constantly have to remind myself to just trust Him...if I do that, then everything always works out.

KB: Removing who I am and what I've done to prepare and allowing God to take control. It's very easy to put confidence in how much I've prepared and how I feel about the songs going into an experience with God. The most challenging for me is to remember God and that He's on the throne, in control, no matter what I'm doing. Jesus said that the rocks will cry out if God's people don't. So he's going to be worshipped regardless of whether I'm involved or I'd rather do it His way!

3. What is your favorite aspect of leading worship?

TJ: Getting to connect with and feel the heartbeat of the church! I get to be one of the few people that faces the people during worship, so I get such a different perspective. It's great to be able to worship God and hopefully take almost 1000 people with me!

KB: I have always been thankful for the unique vantage point of a worship leader. We get to watch others connect with God through song and other things. People have asked me in the past how I worship because I've got so many things I'm responsible for when I lead worship. Well, that's it...watching others. That is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.

4. Who inspires you musically?

TJ: David Crowder, Incubus, Coldplay, Dave Mathews Band, Hillsong United, Steve Fee (FEE), Future of Forestry

KB:I have quite a range of influences...Harry Connick Jr, Maroon5, the Passion guys (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, etc), Switchfoot, Vertical Horizon...I could go on and on! Oh! And how could I forget Mute Math???? Those guys are amazing!

5. What have you been listening to in your spare time?

TJ: At the house I've been listening to Marshall yelling at the dog. In the car, I've been listening to Francis Chan and Craig Groeschel podcasts. Good stuff!

KB: Spare time? What's that?

Monday, October 15, 2007

the green room

Ever wonder what the TNC band does during the sermons on Sunday mornings? Well, here is a sneak peek.

We listen to the first sermon, but the second sermon is our time to chill out and take a break. Oftentimes a band has a designated place for congregating called "the green room". Here is a definition I found on the 'net:

A green room is a space in a performing venue which is set aside for band members to lounge in when they are not required on stage. It is typically set apart from the stage and the audience, so that the band members can hold conversations without being heard by the audience.

This is what our green room at TrueNorth looks like. No fluff, no comfort, just lots of interesting talks, cereal bars, and orange juice. If we miss our cue to get back on stage, just come find us in the stairwell.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Hot Seat with Melanie Kumrow

The Hot Seat is back! This time my victim is Melanie Kumrow, a breast cancer survivor and my "fish" who I invited to TrueNorth Church. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month I asked Melanie to share her experience here:

1. How were you first diagnosed with breast cancer?

I went for my first routine mammogram at age 40. No lumps were present, just microcalcifications. One biopsy showed stage 3 breast cancer.

2. Has cancer affected your spiritual life?

I developed a staph infection from surgery that almost killed me. My friends and especially my mother-in-law prayed steadily for me. I realized it would take God's power to pull me through that situation and it was a turning point of surrendering my life to Him.

3. How has God been able to use your cancer to help others?

I am a registered nurse and I have a new job where I work directly with cancer patients in research. We are hoping to find a cure and treatments to give patients a prolonged, better quality of life.

4. Many people think that cancer is the worst thing that could happen to a person. What do you think?

I lost my dad suddenly at the age of 64 from a massive heart attack. That devasted me more than being diagnosed with cancer. There are definitely worse things than cancer.

5. How has being a breast cancer survivor changed your outlook on life?

I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. My motto is to live in the moment and not waste a single day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

in addition

Alan got a nice surprise at work today. Some of his patients gave him a sweet thank you card for being such an awesome dentist, a gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants, and some Clemson souvenirs. These gifts were given IN ADDITION to the dental bill they paid. This kind of gesture is rare but it shows the generous heart of the givers.

This Sunday at TNC, a special offering will be taken to help with startup costs for our new campus in Columbia County. The challenge will be for each individual to bring one day's pay to help create the TNC experience across the river. Many more lives will be changed through this new location. I hope you are praying about what God wants you to do. Perhaps He is asking you to bring something IN ADDITION to the challenge!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

i almost got beat up at van halen

Ha! Now that Perry has told his story, I feel better about telling mine.

So we are singing/yelling along with David Lee Roth at the Van Halen concert in Charlotte. He is singing "Running with the Devil". My group is singing "Running FROM the Devil". And then the devil shows up.

I begin to smell a familiar smoke smell that I haven't smelled in a long time, and I am not talking about tobacco. Every person near me spins their head around, looking for the culprit who has invaded our airspace with that stench. She is in the row in front of me, diagonally down the aisle. After she lights up her third doobie, she sees me staring at her. That is when the yelling starts. I turn my head quickly because...Is she screaming at moi? I look out of the corner of my eye and see her pointing and screaming in my direction. This is the moment I realize I just might get beat up by a Mama Cass wannabe (from the Mamas and Papas). I try to ignore her, still singing along, cell phone raised. She is still yelling at me. I picture my mug shot and my mangled body. Are they going to let me wash the blood out of my hair first? Will I pass a drug test since I have been sniffing her smoke? Should I just go ahead and lie on the ground so she doesn't pull me down by my hair? The screaming and pointing is getting louder now. I continue to ignore her. The BFF I am with takes notice, steps in front of me and points back at Mama Cass and tells her to SHUT UP! She eventually shuts up and leaves our section. My friend saved my life and my hair from getting messed up.

What did I learn from this experience?
1. Don't stare at people smoking dope.
2. Have friends who would lay down their life for you!

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."


The best part of a Clemson football game is...

Monday, October 08, 2007


Here is my Catalyst Cata-LIST of my favorite conference speakers and what information stood out to me personally. Some of it was affirmation for me and some of it was toe-stepping conviction.

1. Andy Stanley - He has been reading my mind. After hearing Andy, I knew why God worked it out for me to be there. I felt like I was the only person in the room.
I am afraid of power. And I thought that was a BAD thing. I thought being afraid of power meant I wasn't a good leader. The reason I fear power is because I have seen it misused in leadership. I don't ever want to be in a position of power where I use it for my own sake. I want to be a person of influence instead.

2. Francis Chan - I was mesmerized by him, therefore I took very little notes. The big idea here was "do what God tells you to do, not what other people tell you to do. Believe that you were created for this."

3. Rick Warren - I took two pages of notes from the Purpose Driven Pastor. I loved what he said about being a church of DEEDS and not CREEDS! We should know what we believe and DO IT!

4. John Maxwell - Another extremely valuable and applicable rule of leadership: Be a people person. Value people on purpose. If I ever stop relating to other people, I am firing my own self from leadership.

5. Craig Groeschel - Great communicator! "A practical atheist believes God exists, but lives as though he doesn't." Ouchie.

6. Dave Ramsey - I want to be his new best friend. "What could the people of God do for the kingdom of God if they were debt free?"

Steve Fee and Christian Stanfill were amazing worship leaders as usual. There's nothing like singing 'Mighty to Save' with 11,000 of your closest friends!