Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Time travel has always been appealing to me. I'd love to go back and meet my great grandfather, a Texas politician in the House who was also a voice teacher and a Baptist preacher. I am sure he was quite the character. He had a long history of public service before becoming a Rep. I'd like to meet him.

I'd like to see what Rome was like back in "the day". What was it like to live in that city? I'd like to see that.

I'd like to sit with my ancestor, David Price Thomas, who migrated from Ireland in the 1800's, and ask him all sorts of questions about people we don't know about and can't find. I'd like to meet him.

I would like to meet Jesus, of course, but I am profoundly glad to know I can have a relationship even today with his living presence. I'd also really like to meet John. I love the book of John and have always been fascinated by his close relationship with Christ. I'd like to sit at his feet and hear some stories.

Time travel. Could it also mean that I could snap my fingers and be at the beach instead of driving through the night? Yeah, I'd like one order of that, please...and hold the pickles.

Maddie is so funny about car trips. She loves them. She'll often ask, "Daddy, can we get in the car and go to sleep and drive somewhere?" How many of us have vivid memories of family trips in the car? We marvel at how more of us weren't killed by rolling around, unbelted, in the back seat. My place was leaning up between the seats listening to my parents converse. I didn't want to miss anything, you know. My father would play the harmonica and drive me crazy. Harmonicas can be quite cool. Just not for hours on end. Sheryl remembers her sister drawing a line on the seat and telling her not to cross into her space. I'm sure many of you have similar memories.

Please pray for us as we drive the 8 hrs to the beautiful white sand and blue green oceans. Pray that we'll stay awake. Pray that we don't kill each other. We're excited for rest and relaxation. Have a great week, friends!

Do these images of car travel prompt any memories? I'd love to hear some.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Working intensely on Pepperdine stuff. We are looking forward to being out there with the ZOE family and seeing all those wonderful faces of people we love. I have to finish up by tomorrow so I can head out of town tomorrow afternoon.

We had a great dinner at my mom's house last night. A Texas BBQ place in Nolensville has the best Texas BBQ I've had since moving to Tennessee 10 years ago. It's called El Tejano or something. Amazing.

It was great to be at my mom's house. I hope the girls will build memories of going over there. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house in Hamlin, TX (where my mom is from). I have lots of fond memories of creaking floors, old carpet, soft chairs, juice glasses from the 1950's left over 20 years later, my Granny's old floral apron she'd always wear, "Post Toasties" for breakfast, greasy hamburgers from the local diner, watching Hee-Haw on Saturday nights and more. I want my girls to have memories like that.

Coupla funny notes on the girls...

Ella likes doing the "this little piggy" thing, but that piggy never goes to market. He goes to TARGET.

Maddie is learning to persuade. For some reason she feels the need for Ella to feel the same urgency to "dress up" as she does. She'll set out a nice princess dress for Ella and then proceed to convince her of the benefits of wearing said princess dress. It's always a hoot.

I love that Ella calls Maddie "Sissy". I know I've said that before, but it's so cute to hear her call Maddie her pet name.

There are so many cute things that happen all through the day--as all of you with children know. I just wish I could remember more to write down! Maybe we'll have some good stories coming back from the beach that don't involve Sheryl giving birth. For the love.

One of the benefits of these praise team meetings I have been having for over 3 months now is the interaction and shared dreaming. One of our team members suggested we have section leaders. After considering it for a while, I appointed section leaders this week. I am really, REALLY excited about this. These folks will serve in more of a relational role than a musical, although all of them are highly qualified to serve in that way too. Each person will help me keep track of the people in that voice part, they'll send weekly emails of encouragement and prayer requests, they'll plan nights out for all the sopranos or whatever the case may be. I think it will be a very good community building thing for us. It's hard to keep track of 70 or so people in the way I want to. This will help.

I promised to provide the name of the book that has really helped on planning Emergent Worship. There are two workbooks published by Abingdon Press. One is called Worship Feast, 100 Awesome Ideas for Postmodern Youth (Order# 0-687-06367-1). The other is called Worship Feast, 50 Complete Multisensory Services for Youth (ISBN# 0-687-06357-4). Call 615-749-6421 to order. Hope that helps. While the title suggests these are for "youth", they are very adaptable for all ages. I think you'll find them helpful. Also, be sure to check out Dan Kimball's website at their church Vintage Faith.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, April 25, 2005

This just in! Here's a picture of Jonathan Shaub with mom, Sharon, and sister, Nicole! Keep praying!!!

My cousin, Jill, died yesterday. She was 37. She had lived a very hard life but had pulled her act together a decade ago enough to enjoy her family and kids. She had cancer and somehow developed 7 brain tumors last week. Her teenaged boys found her Saturday night on her bathroom floor. Please pray for her boys and all those impacted.

I had such a great morning yesterday. The team was maybe one of the best we've had in a while, they were VERY engaged in leading worship. It was a great morning! Tim's message about the water of life was powerful too.

I called our neighbors all afternoon and never could get an answer. They don't have an answering machine. (lucky them) I was disappointed they couldn't come. But--as always seems to happen, the Lord worked in all of that. We had some great worship time and then talked about the message that morning which turned into something really amazing. We had some very deep and open sharing. I was really thankful that we were able to go that deep. It was cleansing and healing for most everyone there, I'd imagine. There are always those who will never allow themselves to be vulnerable, but when those who are willing to confess open their hearts, there's nothing better than that.

Sheryl went to the Dr. this morning. Apparently, she's growing a large baby in there. WELL, DUH!! Finally the doc admitted it. Looks like we'll be having this baby somewhere around May 26th. That's exciting!! Ella came 2 1/2 weeks early and was 9 1/2 punds. That will tell you something right there! Please pray that Sam doesn't decide to be born in Florida (where we're going Wed) or while I am away in Malibu, CA. the following week.

We leave Wednesday for vacation. I am taking my first vacation day of the year. PRAISE THE LORD! We're heading to the beach with Ryan and Sarah Williamson and their kids. The girls are already wearing their swimsuits every day in preparation.

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Friday night we were HOME. Ahhhhh, home. What a nice change. Twila Paris went late doing her vocals so I switched my schedule to record yesterday during the afternoon while the girls were napping. We spent much of the morning cleaning and working on finishing touches for Sam's room. Sheryl nailed a rope lasso all the way around the room above the chair rail. It looks so cool. The cowboy theme is almost complete!

Since Mom has never been in town while we recorded I invited her out to see the studio and get a feel for what it's like. She brought her book and sat in the nice leather couch in the engineering room and watched Chris work his magic. The session went well and we are now officially DONE recording. Praise the Lord above.

This morning we are studying the woman at the well section of John. The theme this morning is living water. I think it will be a very encouraging. It's also Sheryl's last day on praise team for a while. Probably QUITE awhile! Tonight we have life group. I hope our neighbors will come.

I hope you all have a very uplifting day of worship. I remember Mike Cope saying once that sometimes we allow our worship services to dictate how much we worship. Some places have dry, boring worship while other places have energetic, upbeat worship. Whatever the case, God is still God. Even if you're in a place where you're singing Night With Ebon Pinion reeeeeaaaaaallly slow, He is still the same God and still as exciting, holy, full of mystery, love, and grace. Let's lift up His name this morning!

Here's our order of worship:

Welcome—Tim Woodroof
Family prayer
Meet and greet

Praise and Worship—BST
--At the Name of Jesus
--All Hail the Power
Reading (Jer. 2:13, John 7:37-38, Rev 7:17)
--Send Your Rain (chorus to the end)
--All Who Are Thirsty
--It Is Well With My Soul (verses 1,2)
--Jesus, Flow Like A River (Hymnal)

Teaching—Tim Woodroof
--Who Can Satisfy (Sheryl starts with solo)
--There Is A Fountain (…filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins” vs one only)


Ministry Moment
Shepherd’s Close and Blessing
--It Is Well With My Soul (last verse)

PS: Someone asked last week about the meet and greet time--the focus of that is always just getting people up and into each others' space. It's hard to really enter into worship when you haven't spoken to or even acknowledged the people around you. We encourage people to get up and introduce themselves to those around them realizing that we are all about to enter into a very important and heartfelt time of worship.

Rick--Scott Owings has a great book of ideas for Emergent Worship. I will get the title and post tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Wednesday night was fun. We met early and worked on Pepperdine stuff. It was fun to talk and plan and tell Eve and Philip what a treat it is to be there. We had a great rehearsal.

Afterwards, I had time to catch the last half of Evening Prayers (our Wednesday night assembly). Because of rehearsals for Christmas, then Easter, then recording and now Pepperdine, this was my first one since early fall. What a blessing! WOW! The stations were awesome. There was one for encouragement where we could write encouragement cards to Otter folks who are struggling (their names were on a list). There was another station where Scott Owings and Leland Vickers (one of our elders) stood and received people to pray. They had oil and anointed your head and said in reminder, "The Lord is your Shepherd" and then prayed a blessing. The other station had all kinds of fruit, nuts, bread, etc. It was a table for "feasting and fellowship". People quietly took some of the food while hugging and blessing those around them. Meanwhile a wonderful meditative CD was playing in the background. The evening concluded with worship. JV and Amanda led (JV played piano and sang with Amanda). It was so incredible. Amanda sang "So Are You to Me" and it flowed into "A Shield About Me". It was so beautiful. I found myself just falling to my knees and soaking it in. How I needed that!! I am so grateful for those who help to execute these times on Wednesdays. They are a huge blessing.

Yesterday we all tried desperately to become more "highly effective". I have to say it was the best day yet. That whole book is like sitting through my entry level majors courses at ACU. Go Carley Dodd! I was reminded of a lot of great communication techniques, but still felt convicted that sincerity always wins out over technique. And--sincerity CANNOT be a technique. We had some really great discussions and group time with the staff. It was a very beneficial day.

Last night we worked some solo stuff for the record. Twila Paris is also recording and in the same studio in the room next door. Her stuff was sounding good! She has a new record coming out soon. Anyway--Sheryl nailed "Living Prayer" and JV and Melissa did a great job on the trio with her. We then moved on (MUCH LATER) to "You Were There". That song is a booger. Seriously. It's one of those that--once we really, really get it--will be awesome. It's just really hard. Sheryl laid down the vocal to the first part and then I am singing the middle part of the song. Towards the end of the song the solo switches to Jason. He did an incredible job. There's one part at the end of the song where he goes up to a high b flat and just stays there. It is AWESOME! We're beginning the conference from the first of the book of Matthew. (We hope Donna Hester and Jill Maxwell will come and do their dramatic piece) This song will fit perfectly in that time. I don't want to give anything away--it will be a great weekend! Oct 6-9. Make plans to come.

Tonight I am going back out to lay some more vocals down. I think my mom might come see the studio. She has never gotten to see that part of the process and this studio is so cool, she'll enjoy it.

One of my goals for today is to select and appoint praise team section leaders. We're going to try this and see how it goes. This is more for relational purposes than musical. I'll let you know how it goes. I pray you have a blessed day! Please keep praying for the Shaubs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I am loving this weather. It makes me want to just be outside all day! My mom and Kiki came over last night and between all of us, we got Sam's room cleaned out and painted and the girls bathed and put to small accomplishment. It looks really good! I know Sheryl is home right now organizing and nesting. It seems crazy that he's almost here!

I have been working on Pepperdine today. I am especially looking forward to our Thursday late night time. If you're going to Pepperdine--please come and bring your bible. We're going to do something similar to what we did here last Sunday night with open sharing and scripture readings woven through songs from the Desperate CD and a few others. Come prepared to share a passage that has blessed you during times of desperation and another passage of thanksgiving. It will be so cool to hear the Word come to life in that setting. I love that week and I love those people! There is nothing better than gathering in a standing room only theater with people who are passionate about worship.

We are rehearsing tonight for Pepperdine. Pray for this group. We have a couple of newbies coming. They are seasoned vets here at the Creek but they'll be new to the Pepperdine experience. I can't wait for them to be there! (Eve Clevenger and Philip Henry to be exact)

I had a phone call from a good friend this morning who poured out his heart about some family issues. It reminded me of how grateful I am to have community. It reminded me how little I really know and that sometimes the only thing you can do is listen. Then another friend dropped by the office. I hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks and it really made my day. It's amazing how God can minister to us in little ways. I am so thankful for all the gifts He's given. One more...this morning as I left, Maddie said, "But Daddy, I don't WANT you to go to work. I want you to stay and play with me!" She's said this several times lately. While it breaks my heart, it's also a wonderful thing to hear. There may be a day when she's too wrapped up in her stuff to say or want that. I won't go all Cat's in the Cradle on you, but I am trying to soak in these days.

One thing Seven Habits HAS done for me--in writing out the roles and tribute statements (basically, what do you want that specific person to say about you on your 80th birthday regarding that role), it's made me more aware of the little things. Now when either Maddie or Ella says, "Daddy, come play outside with me" or any host of other requests, I find myself putting down the bills, or whatever has my attention and going with them. For that, I am grateful. I can be so easily distracted by the "urgent". There's nothing more urgent than spending time with Sheryl and the girls. These days are so short. I don't want to waste any time.

Tomorrow--our last all day staff retreat working through the Seven Habits workbook. My desk still looks like a disaster area, I still feel like I am juggling a thousand things, and I am still living in "quadrant one", but things are improving slowly.

Anyone coming to the Emergent Conference here in May???

PS: For whatever reason, my counter bit the dust last month. I kept hoping it would revive, but no luck. So--we've got a new counter, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to this blog site. Come back any time!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Sunday was exhausting...but in a great way! Yesterday morning we had one of the most powerful times of worship and teaching that we've had in a long time. Tim's message was so convicting to me. He talked about John 3:13-21. People who love darkness hate the light because the light exposes their deeds and they don't want them exposed. Basically, that was the gist.

I honestly was so convicted by the Word. It is so hard to lead worship in those times and after hearing it the second time, I couldn't avoid saying something after the message. I just confessed my own hypocrisy. I know that there are things in my heart that I hold on to that are not of God and I don't want to do that. It was such a great morning for me. I hope it was for others. If I could have just gone to my knees for the rest of the service, I would have. The guided time of meditation during the supper only convicted me even more.

After second service we had the luncheon for those who are interested in Otter Creek and becoming a part of this family. It was well attended. We hurried home and put the girls in bed and Sheryl headed out to her shower. Let me just say this...Sarah Williamson and Beth and the ZOE girls all did such a great job of making it a wonderful afternoon for Sheryl. Sarah Williamson is one of the most creative people. She had the attendees address envelopes as they came in with their own addresses so she could give them to Sheryl along with thank you cards that she made. Really--such a great friend! She went way above and beyond to make it a very special day. Thank you, Sarah! What a gift to us that you and Ryan are back in Nashville now!

She came home and we both looked at all this boy stuff and just shook our heads. I am telling you, I have been swimming in dress up clothes, the color pink, and every princess thing imaginable. Don't get me wrong--anyone will tell you, I love being the father of little girls. It is priceless!! But what a change in scenery to see blue blankets, boy shirts and pants, blue passies, etc! The craziest gift of the day went to Eve who gave Sheryl these things called "pee-pee tee-pee's". Basically, they are little triangular cloth things that you put on his you-know-what when you're changing his diaper. We have little to no experience with changing a boy's diaper. But--we're getting all kinds of reports and stories now. I am sure there will be some bloggable moments to come. Pee-pee tee-pee's. Yep.

After looking quickly through the gifts I had to jet out and head back to OC for Celebration Sunday. We had a great night! We had several sections of open mic times where people could just come up and read scriptures of praise. At one point we had a time where people could read or share about a scripture that has gotten them through a difficult time. It was very moving. I always love getting to do things like that where it seems like we really do "church" more like what it ought to be. We're all sharing, we're all speaking the Word. It was another encouraging moment.

I came home and crashed. In fact, Sheryl had to thump me to wake me up after laying down with Maddie. I think I went to sleep right there in her bed. Sunday was anything but restful. Has anyone ever heard of Sabbath? I mean--what the heck? Does it exist?

To keep the theme running, I got up at 6:30 on my day off and headed to a ZOE meeting that began at 7am. Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to say last month that Mondays are my family day and I couldn't stay beyond 9am. It was a great meeting. We talked more about the conference this fall--fleshing out the theme and the journey through scripture we'll take that weekend. I am really pumped about this conference.

It was great to see Mike Cope and all the ZOE gang. And--might I add--that Randy Gill pulled out the guitar and we had a wonderful time of worship. I wasn't able to sing a note after singing so much over the weekend. It was so frustrating to not even be able to get a sound out. But--Greg Taylor who sat next to me was belting it out and it was really cool. It was almost like he was singing for the both of us. GT--who knew you could really sing?? You've been holding out on me.

I left at 9 and came home to spend the day with my favorite people. After being snowed in last Monday in Colorado and being in the studio all weekend we haven't had a family day in a really long time. We set out for the park. Sheryl stopped in at Wal-Mart to buy a helmet for Maddie since we were taking her bike. My mom met us there and brought some really good lunch food. We enjoyed the beautiful day while the girls wore themselves out. I loved watching Maddie ride her bike around the sidewalks at the Granny White Park. Ella and Maddie both stayed on the swings for what seemed like hours.

It was serendipitous that Julie and Betsy Corlew (they both have married names now) showed up with their kids. We all went to ACU and they are old friends. It was nice to catch up with them. We also got to have some quality time with my mom, David and Becky Rubio, and then later--Wendy Bowling and Kristen Thompson and their kids. Ella was thrilled to see Jamie--her pseudo boyfriend. The Granny White Park is a favorite! We stayed for over 3 hours and had a blast.

We came home and crashed and then went to BAJA BURRITO--yes, I comes as a shock. It's just that--it's the perfect place to go and sit outside. May I offer that if you ever visit Nashville, it's a must.

What a great day! What a great weekend! I am thankful for the community God has given us and the family He has given me. I am grateful for the warmth of the sun, the good health we enjoy, that my back and shoulders have loosened, that Sheryl seems better, that pineapples and salsa really do go together, and for the butterfly, Eskimo, and "lippy" kisses that I got tonight from my girls before they drifted off to sleep.

To borrow a line from the Cindy Morgan song..
"Thank you, Lord! How could I ask for more?"

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I woke up Friday morning with my shoulders and neck feeling completely seized. I tried massage, hot tub, Advil, pain killers, hanging from a bar at the gym (which gave me the most relief, I might add), and so far nothing has really helped. I felt awful while we recorded this weekend. However, I kept thinking about Sheryl and tried to keep my mouth shut. She's such a trooper.

Recording went very well. We finished all the group songs. "You Were There" took us all day Saturday. It was quite difficult, but I am really excited about the outcome. Thanks again to Kiki and my mom for helping with the girls--and Steve and Karen Speake who entertained them on Friday. Apparently, Maddie and Ella spent the time dressing up Steve in their princess attire. How I would have LOVED to have a picture of that!

Today is Sheryl's shower for baby Sam. I am so excited!! We have only about 6 more weeks to go and it seems really hard to believe! We were out with people from our old life group last night celebrating Jeff McInturff's birthday and we were all laughing at how our lives have changed. Rusty and Andrea Bragg are about to have another boy this week, Chad and Elizabeth Milom are having another child right after and then Sheryl. There were kids running all over that room screaming with delight. I still remember when Maddie was the only child in our life group and people would squirm when she screamed. Some people hate to hear it, but the phrase, "You'll understand when you have kids" is really so appropriate. They will and they do!

Tonight is Celebration Sunday--a time of worship and praise. We're going to encourage people to read aloud from their scriptures tonight. We're singing songs of praise and thankfulness and then giving open mic times through out. I'll let you know how it goes. We've done that before and it's been a real blessing.

Have a great Sunday!

Order of Worship
Welcome--Tim Woodroof
Family Prayer
meet and greet

Praise and Worship--BST
--God is the Fountain Whence
--You Are Worthy of My Praise
--All In All
--A Shield About Me
Teaching--Tim Woodroof (John 3:13-18)
--He Is Mighty to Save
--How Deep the Father's Love
Teaching--Tim Woodroof
--Healing Grace
Lord's Supper--BST
--Responsive Reading
--Shepherd's blessing--Steve Adams
--Here I am to Worship (vs 1 and both choruses and the tag--everything but vs 2)
Bread and Cup
Ministry Moment-Mark Ott (Sanctuary)
Close- BST
--I Belong to Jesus

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tonight we head back into the studio. We are recording Fernando Ortega's "When All Thy Mercies" and Avalon's "You Were There". None of us have the freakish voice of Jody though. I wish the label would just let him come sing it on our record. We're excited for Jody and Stephanie. They are also expecting and are due around the same time we are. They'll be great parents.

Our good friend from Disney, Charles, is coming tomorrow to hear us record. We're glad he's here. He came in for GMA week and stuck around to visit some family. Can't wait to have you join us, man!

Thank you for all the wonderful birthday remarks to Sheryl--they were all so nice (well, almost all). She is such a gift to me and I know to many others. Praise God for her life!

I got an email today from an old college friend, Drew Anderson. I haven't talked with him in probably 12 years. His mother died last week and he wrote to tell me that some of the ZOE CDs helped to soothe her over the course of the last days of her life. It was very encouraging and humbling.

As we go into the studio tonight, it's we are once again faced with the conviction that this is NOT about us. We are but small vehicles that the Spirit is using to touch lives. We'll never know how some of this music impacts people--and it's really better that way. It's God's thing and He'll do what He wants to with it. It's always really humbling to think that God can take what happens in those hours at the studio and turn them into holy moments for His glory later. None of us--not one single ZOE member-- misses that profound truth. We know it's not us. That's why we continue to seek your prayers for this project. We know how important it is that we approach this in a way that honors the Lord. Please keep praying! We're almost done.

Have a great weekend, blog family!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Isn't she a hottie?? WOW! How did I manage marrying someone like Sheryl? Today is Sheryl's birthday. She is a Godly woman. She has weathered many storms in her life. She has blessed more people than she could ever know. She is a real friend to people. When Sheryl is in your life you know you can count on her tenderness, her sensitivity to good and right things, her kindness, her passion for Jesus and her genuine heart. I have been the beneficiary of those things for many years now. I am a much better person and Jesus follower because of her influence in my life. (and did I mention that she's hot??)


If you'd like to send your own message of birthday greetings, you can email her at

We are rehearsing with ZOE tonight for recording again this weekend. It's also GMA week and the Dove Awards tonight. I am trying to go to a few things related to GMA this week, but it's a hard week to be out of the office after being gone. I hope you are all having a blessed day. It's a special day to celebrate a rare gift in my life. How has Sheryl blessed you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Wow--what a week we've had! Steamboat Springs was really beautiful. I forgot to mention the newspaper article too. It was a huge spread with a picture and everything! Since it was written by a non-Christian it had an interesting slant. But--I really liked it.

Saturday was incredible. The mountain was gorgeous. It was pretty slushy down at the bottom so we went straight to the top. We really had a lot of fun skiing...especially after Philip remembered how to ski. :) The rest of the group rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain and met us for lunch. This was a huge accomplishment for JV and Amanda--both terrified of heights. I know I've written that I am also afraid of heights, but for some reason ski lifts don't bother me too much...except while riding with Kyle Dickson. I've skied more times with him than I can count and he always tried to terrify me by rocking the seat back and forth.

While we ate lunch we asked about the weather. We had heard that bad weather was approaching and thought maybe we should drive to Denver that night to beat it. Everyone just dismissed our concerns...silly Tennesseans. Well, sure enough--that night after dinner we got word that the impending storm had shut down airports in Steamboat and Denver the following day. We were beginning to get worried. When we called the airline, apparently we were the ONLY ones who didn't get the word early enough and re-book our flights. Thankfully, there was one seat left the following afternoon. We all agreed that Sheryl should get that seat. We then spent the next 24+ hours trying to figure out what to do. As we watched the news from Denver we were just horrified at the thought of driving into that storm...not to mention that there were blizzard and avalanche warnings between Steamboat and Denver. So, we decided to make the best out of it.

Sunday, after spending hours on the phone to the airline and car rental places, we went into Steamboat to look around. It is really a neat place. The shops were cool and we found a couple of little things for the girls.

What makes this story even weirder is that the weekend we were there was the final weekend of the season. The town turns into a ghost town for a few weeks until summer. In fact, the hotel we were staying in right at the base of the mountain--and most all the others around it--closed. We were homeless. Thankfully, John Ott's parents took us in.

That afternoon the Otts took us up the mountain to Robert's cousin's house. It was seriously like something from "Man From Snowy River". Amazing. It's quite common place there to see a porcupine amble across the road, to see Elk grazing, a fox scamper in front of you, or to meet a nice family of black bears who live just over the ridge from this house. For as far as the eye could see there were mountains and valleys--mostly covered in snow. This house they took us to was a huge--HUGE--log cabin. It sat on over 30 acres. There were large windows in the living areas where you could see the mountains and all the snow. Their golden retriever waited loyally at the door. It was like walking into some Colorado Magazine shoot. Amazing.

We got home and all bedded down for the night at the Otts. We knew we had a busy day ahead. Early the next morning we rented the car and began our trek to Denver. Sheryl was waiting in Steamboat to fly and would meet us in Denver if everything worked out. We prayed before we drove out and asked the Lord to watch over us. The next 4 hours were incredible. When else would I be driving through the Continental Divide after such a snow storm? I have never seen scenery like that in my life. I almost felt like we were on an expedition discovering new lands. Much of that stretch was uninhabited. We saw some beautiful snow covered mountains and trees. We saw some peaceful lakes covered in ice. We saw several huge log cabin estates--who are these people?? The entire time we thanked God for his provision and commented that if we had to be stuck, we couldn't imagine a better group of people to be with. The stress of what we were missing at home was purposefully put aside since none of us could do anything about it. There were a few interesting moments in driving, but overall, it was a safe trip.

We got to the airport where 2000 people had been stuck the night before and it looked like Armageddon! Lines everywhere, bags as far as you could see, tired, grumpy, "postal" people. It was not pretty. We decided to head back out to the curb to take our chances there. Thankfully, we got checked in and through security in plenty of time and Sheryl was on her way. We all had a happy reunion at a Mexican food restaurant near our gate. We were extremely glad to be heading home.

I don't know why all this happened. Perhaps it was because God was protecting us from something else, perhaps it was so that we could have an extra day with the Otts and Whitney, perhaps it was simply because of the obvious. Whatever the case, we had much to be thankful for. I have those beautiful images burned into my mind of the driving trip from Steamboat to Denver. I don't think I'll ever forget it. Laughing with friends while we drove the the Continental Divide--awesome!

We could not get home fast enough. The girls immediately opened the door squealing with delight. What a way to come home! I could have eaten them up. We all fell on the floor and giggled and hugged and tickled. It was a heavenly reunion. I'm not sure who was happier that we were home though--the girls or my mom and Kiki. THANK YOU to those two and Sarah Williamson for helping with our girls. We are very blessed.

I'll leave you with some pictures the Otts took while we were on the mountain on Saturday. I wish I had some pictures of us singing too. Unfortunately, we only had the camera on Saturday.

Gatha Ott (John's mom), Philip Henry, and BST on top of the mountain!

JV and BST riding on the gondola. JV is just a breath away from a major panic attack over heights!

Amanda and Sheryl riding the gondola

The group after eating on top of the mountain

Again--thanks for all your prayers. We really believe that God guided our steps over the weekend. Have a great week!

Monday, April 11, 2005

We're HOME!! Praise the Lord. It's late and I am exhausted so...details tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers. It was so great to hug my girls tonight!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Here's the update:
As of now, Sheryl has a seat on an afternoon flight tomorrow that will get her home around 7:40pm. The rest of us are going to watch the weather and, Lord willing, will rent a car and drive to Denver to try and catch flights out of there tomorrow afternoon or evening. If you've watched the weather, you've seen the conditions there. It's blizzard-like. So, please pray for our safety and wisdom as we make these decisions. If anyone has any pull with United Airlines, let us know!

Saturday, April 09, 2005


As of now, all flights are cancelled out of Steamboat tomorrow--in fact, it's looking like we're stuck here until Tuesday. Please, please pray for us to be able to get home. We have kids who need us to come home, Amanda has the Country Music TV awards Monday and her job depends on it, JV will have to go to unpaid days, etc. It's important that we get out. Please pray for us!

We've had a great time in Steamboat! Friday morning we sang for the school and the kids really seemed into it. They were all really great kids. Last night we sang at the big dinner at the Grand Hotel here. What an amazing place! The group did an incredible job and we all had a great time too.

After the event last night we walked outside and it was snowing buckets. I was really excited. We didn't see much snow in Nashville this year and I missed it. We got back to the hotel and Tonya (our new front desk friend) graciously allowed us to uncover the hot tub outside. It's HUGE! Amanda decided not to go but Philip, JV, Sheryl and I went out to brave the elements. It was hilarious. Snow was coming down like a heavy rain. Sheryl and I ended up using the cover as a shield so we could enjoy the hot tub without being covered in snow. It was cool because from under the cover you could watch the snow falling down. We all commented that it looked like something out of the Polar Express.

This morning I looked out our door and it looked like God had over turned a huge bowl of whipping cream. The trees are laden with snow and, hopefully, the mountain will have good conditions. I am excited about skiing. I haven't been in a couple of years. I just hope I don't kill myself.

They're calling for a winter snow advisory for tonight. Please pray we can get home. I know my mom and Kim would appreciate those prayers too! :)

Have a great weekend, blog family. Let it snow!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

No time to fully blog today. But I wanted to share a funny story that Rick Johnson sent me. I always love these things. Why are church bloopers so funny? And...why is it that laughing in church or someplace you're not supposed to be laughing SOOO much more fun?? (with my laugh--I've never been that subtle. It can be quite the disturbance!)

A visiting minister during the offertory prayer:

"Dear Lord," he began with arms extended and a rapturous look on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..."

He would have continued, but at that moment one very observant little girl (who was listening carefully for a change!) leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?"

Church was pretty much over at that point...

Have a great weekend, bloggers! Snowy Colorado, here we come!!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

the ZOE girls pause for a photo opp. while recording last Saturday
L to R: Sheryl, Melissa, Amy, Karin

The guys gather around one mic to cheese for the camera.
L to R: David, Jason, Peter, JV and BST.

I wanted to share some pictures Amy sent me. I hope you enjoy them. I just returned from our staff retreat. We went to this incredible retreat center called "The Hiding Place". WOW! It was amazing. We had a good day together and some great discussion. I really hated being away from Sheryl though. I was worried the entire time. It was hard to keep my mind there. Sheryl is hurting very badly today. We're going to the doctor in a couple of hours to see what's going on with her back. Otherwise, after Monday's appt with the OBGYN, the baby seems to be fine. Praise God!

I am running around trying to make sure I have everything I need for the trip to CO. tomorrow. Mercy. I am looking forward to it though. I think our time out there will be really cool. I had the most interesting discussion with a newspaper reporter from Steamboat yesterday. She called because they are doing a story on us coming out there and printing a picture and stuff. Anyway--I don't think she was a Christian--or at least had much experience with church stuff. We had the coolest discussion about music and worship and the name ZOE and what it means. She asked some great questions. Hopefully, the story in the paper will be a good one.

Please pray for Kim and my mom as they keep the girls this weekend. I know the girls will have a blast--they always do. I just pray that everyone stays healthy and safe.

Monday night we went out to Rose Pepper Cantina--one of our favorite Spring-Fall places to eat. We sat outside and baptized my mom in what Rose Pepper is all about--the delicious cheese sauce, the amazing enchiladas, great drinks, etc. Mom really loved it. However, one of the best moments was when Ella got out of the car to go into the restaurant. She immediately grabbed my mom's hand and was ready to go. As mom was walking with her we mused that these moments--the random eating out kind of moments--were why she moved to Nashville. It's so wonderful having her here. She is SUCH a blessing to all of us! Please don't be mad at us, Abilene people. We're trying to appreciate every bit of her presence here!

I may not be able to post in Steamboat Springs. If not, I'll report when I return. Thank you for your prayers. Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Yesterday was a great day. After church we went over to Byron and Beth Williamson's for lunch (Ryan's parents). They've been like family for many years. Ryan's sister, Shelly, and her husband, Adrian, are here picking out things for their house. They are moving here in a couple of months. It will really be so fun to finally have them all in one city! Adrian is chief resident at a hospital in Kansas City. He's moving here to work at one of our Nashville hospitals. I always love talking to him because he ALWAYS has a good story for me.

Yesterday afternoon the singers came over to work on stuff for our trip to Colorado this week. It was a very productive rehearsal. Man--Sheryl and Amanda could just do the entire thing singing solos and it would be incredible. We're doing part of the time acapella and the rest with piano and guitar. It's a little different from what we normally do. Friday morning we'll sing and lead worship for the school there and then that night we'll sing at the formal dinner there in Steamboat. The night thing will be more presentational. We do that from time to time and it's always a little hard to make the transition. But I think it will be a really cool night.

Last night we had life group. Kyle led the discussion on joy. I was outside on kid duty. Judson Chaudoin and I played ball and had so much fun. I apologized to Jay and Kim when we went inside saying that Jud was muddy, sweaty and bloody. It gave me a taste of what it will be like to have a son. It's so crazy how instinctively different they are. Judson takes risks that Maddie and Ella would never take (well, maybe Ella would!). He was swinging on the tree swing at the top of our yard twisting and turning upside down swinging his light saber, he dove for the ball as we played, rolling down the hill, he would fall and skin his knee and get right back up. I honestly was taking it all in thinking about what Sam might be like. We're in for even more fun in the days ahead!

After group sharing time, I went back in and we noticed that our new neighbors, Jason and Anna Maria were walking down the street. I went out and asked them to come in and join us. The group really loved having them there. I sat at the piano and played and we worshipped for a little while and then circled around them and prayed for their family and their new life here. We talked afterwards about the possibility of them coming regularly and using our group for some fellowship time for the people they are reaching out to in Antioch. I am really excited about that possibility.

As I write, Sheryl is at the baby doctor. I am hopeful that we'll have some more information after this visit. These feelings of contractions--what are they? Are they contractions? We need to know. Thanks for your continued prayers. Please keep praying for the Shaubs too. Jonathan's 25th birthday is Thursday. He could use some encouragement.

Have a great Monday! Have I mentioned that I love Mondays? Karen Carpenter has no clue. It's my favorite day of the week. I have all day to be with my family. I pray that your Monday is filled with joy.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Whew! I feel exhausted tonight. Are you sure we can't gain an hour instead of lose one tonight? We've had a long, but awesome weekend recording. We've really enjoyed recording at the Bennett House this year. It's been such a comfortable, "vibey" place. We got a lot done. Here's what we recorded this weekend:

--Mighty Is the Power of the Cross
--The Bread Has Been Broken
--Ps. 23 (Clarissa's)
--Let Us Be You (Clarissa and Michael Lusk)
--Living Prayer (we got everything but the solo done. Sheryl will come back later and lay down her vocal.)

Last night my mom kept the girls. They had all the cushions off the couch and played hard all night. They had a blast. Today Aunt Kiki kept them. It's wonderful to have family like Mom and Kim. The girls love them and it makes it easier on us.

Tomorrow morning we are talking about Jesus clearing the temple and the Lordship of Christ. It will be a great morning. Afterwards, the singers are coming over so we can work some on our set for next weekend at Steamboat Springs. Then we can all crash.

I know I keep asking and reminding, but I have thought a lot about Jonathan today. Please keep praying for him. He really needs intercession right now--for encouragement and healing.

Good night, bloggers!

PS: here's a reading we're doing in the morning. I took it from the book of John and just pieced some things together. Feel free to use it if you ever need a congregational reading on Lordship. I had a really hard time finding something I liked.

Leader: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: In Him was life and that life was the light of men. The true Light that gives light to every man has come into the world.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: Yet to all who received him and believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: He prophesied, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days”, and so it was accomplished.

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Leader: He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and the Omega, our Redeemer and the Victor over death!

All: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Friday, April 01, 2005

OK--I know I have already innundated you with pictures today...but Sheryl had Ella's two yr portraits done and they turned out so cute--I had to share!

It's April Fools!! My dad and my crazy aunt Dot used to love this "holiday". One could never be sure what might happen on April 1st. I also have a friend who was born on April 1st. Now that's sad.

Some funny moments lately from the girls:
--Maddie's view of reality when it comes to hair is sharply skewed thanks to her father. Most normal children would warn you if your hair is sticking up. Maddie becomes concerned when my hair is "sticking down".

--Maddie and Ella have taken to singing "Shout Hallelujah" and they love to dance while singing it. However, their version says, "Shout Hadalujah" sung with great gusto!

On a much more somber note, please continue to pray for the Shaubs. Jonathan got some bad news yesterday. The doctors said that the pelvic area around the large wound they have been treating is beginning to ossify. Basically, that means due to lack of movement and the inability to get the wound closed, his body is beginning to produce bone-like tissue in the area which could impact his ability to walk. Please join us in praying that JD will be able to beat this and return to normal soon. Doctors told them yesterday that they expect to keep him in ICU at least another 6 weeks. That was hard news for everyone.

Tonight we head to the studio. Peter flies in around 3 and we'll rest some before we head out to Franklin. Please keep praying for this process. We are asking that God would anoint this time and sing through us.

I'll leave you with some pictures from our Easter weekend.

Maddie and Ella ready to go to the Otter Creek Easter egg hunt on Saturday

My mom with the girls at our house

Maddie and Ella with their cousins, Cannan and Sierra (Fajita's kids!)

These little bunnies all have their mouths full!

Thomas family--at my mom's on Easter Sunday. (nice pic of Maddie, huh? This was sort of her mood for good chunks of the weekend)

OC Easter Sunday morning--the Easter Choir (we're missing a few, but most of them were in the picture. The girls wanted in too! The sweet cherub sitting next to them is Abby Cox--sitting next to her mom, Clarissa!)

Thanks for letting me share. I hope you guys have a great weekend. We'll feel your prayers as we resume recording tonight. Thank you!!