Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

A few weeks ago, I went flying to Nashville then driving a few miles north to Hendersonville, TN – the home of TBN studios. TBN was nice enough to invite me to do a half hour Christmas special for broadcast this coming season.

Their grounds were decorated to the hilt for Christmas with more lights than you could count and varying scenes from the manger to fields of Christmas trees, sleighs and Wise Men.

We set up right in front of the main house on the grounds. Just so happens it used to be the private home of country music legend, Conway Twitty. Before TBN purchased the property, it was known as Twitty City….yes, you read that right . . . Twitty City. You might have heard of Dollywood in the east Tennessee hills near Gatlinburg. The theme park opened and featuring music and the life of Dolly Parton. Well, Twitty City, on a little bit smaller scale, allowed fans of Conway Twitty a more up close and personal look at the Twitty life.

So, TBN has converted this property to their Tennessee home and run many of their programs from there. I think it’s pretty cool that there is a presence there that can afford so many Christian artists – many of whom live in the Nashville area – opportunities to be on the TBN programs.

I was thankful to be there and thankful to have some time on their upcoming Christmas schedule. Thanks to Jennye Gardner and to the entire staff – camera men, audio team and production staff for a great time.

I got to spend the night with my son, Neal and his boys. Man, they’re growing up so fast – and changing.

From Nashville, I went on to Ohio to play a concert in Dublin. The pastor and all the folks at Meadowbrook Christian Fellowship were so good to me.

I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this again. While the music industry is changing as fast as little boys are growing up, I never cease to be amazed at the love and hospitality I find in churches all over the country. And churches of all sizes. At one point, we (read “I”) were so concerned with the size of the venue and how many tickets were sold. It got in the way of the simple beauty of intimate worship and fellowship. There are fewer pressures and that makes way for a peaceful time with each other and with Him.

Speaking of simple pleasures and laying back…the week before Nashville and Ohio, I was in Michigan and Indiana. I’ve seen the random Amish buggy before, but good grief, there were just about as many buggies as cars! They don’t seem worried about the price of gasoline either. I saw some out at 11:30 at night. . . with lights and ground effects! Didn’t hear any bass coming from their stereos though. And the exhaust was, uh, different.

A happy Thanksgiving season to you all. By the way, rev up to spread “Merry Christmas” to everybody for the next month. The other day, I passed a Salvation Army volunteer ringing his bell outside a drug store. As I walked by, he gave me a very warm “Happy Holidays”. I’m not really an in-your-face activist type, but I was so stunned that the Salvation Army has gone all “Happy Holidays” on us that . . . well . . .

Anyway, as always I’m thankful for all of you that read and follow and pray for me.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey Everybody....

Well, better late than never! I'm taping a Christmas special at the TBN studios in Nashville tonight - Nov. 13 2008. We're starting at 5PM central time and I'd really appreciate your prayers! Thanks.