I have created another blog to give updates on my writing efforts. You can find it here.

April 27, 2009


I was trying to go to sleep and just couldn't. It's been in my heart all night to write about what happened at church tonight and I finally decided I needed to get up, come back in here, and do it.

My wife talks about "getting a blessing" at church. Usually this means something has happened during a service that has touched her and made her remember why she goes to church and connects her to her faith. It might be a scripture or a line from a sermon or a song or a prayer or something completely obscure to anyone but her, but when it happens it is a real connection, and the meaningfulness of it cannot be denied. I don't get that sensation myself nearly as often as she does. I'm not as religious as she is, nor as faithful. My blessings at church usually come from watching other people get blessed, and seeing the joy she gets from it. When she's happy, I'm happy. When she's blessed, I'm blessed.

Tonight at church I got a blessing of my own.

It was because of the kids. I've written on here before about the wonderful youth group we have at our church. Our church is small in terms of membership, but we have a disproportionately large number of kids. This morning when the kids got up and went to children's church more than half the congregation left the sanctuary. We have a large, vibrant youth group. Tonight, the youth that were at the evening service had rehearsed a couple of songs in sign language that they performed for us, then the singing began.

Usually on Sunday night we'll line the kids up in front of the platform and sing a few songs with them, then they'll take a seat and the grown-up Praise Team will take over. Tonight, for some reason, someone had the idea to put the kids in the choir section (usually empty on Sundays) and turn on the overhead choir mikes. They had a blast. There were maracas and wood blocks and tambourines for them to bang away on--one of the girls was using Beverly Boggs's big tambourine and I saw a couple of other kiddie-sized ones getting used as well. There was singing and clapping and dancing in the choir like I've never seen on a Sunday night. Some of the adults in the crowd were joking that the Sunday morning adult choir better be looking over their shoulders. At least, I think they were joking.

I stopped singing along at some point and just started listening to the kids sing. It wasn't particularly melodious--at one point I think some of them must have been having a contest to see who could sing the loudest--but it was passionate and honest and pure. It touched me. More than once I had to wipe away a tear, even during some of the more upbeat numbers.

I don't know if I can remember everyone who sang but I'm going to try: Jewel, Jessica, Morgan, Jazmine, Kayla, Brendan, Bailey, Matthew, Hunter, and Dylan. I think that's everyone. I don't know if the other Hunter was up there singing or not. If I left anyone out, I'm sorry, and I hope someone will please comment and remind me who they were. Kids, thank you for a wonderful night of music, and thank you for giving me such a blessing. It's nights like this that make me glad we found this church. I've always said it feels like a family. Tonight showed that to be true yet again.

I want to thank whoever had the idea to put the kids in the choir area tonight. Watching them perform gave me hope for the future of the church. It's a small church, and seeing the next generation getting into the spirit of the music tells me the future might be in pretty good hands. After the service was over I urged the pastor, as well as Lynn (the youth leader) and Mark (the music director), to make children's choir a permanent part of Sunday night services. I think it would add so much to the service. The church bulletin always lists the Sunday morning music as being provided by the Adult Choir. I'd love to open a bulletin someday and see that the Sunday night music is to be presented by the Children's Choir. I think that would be pretty cool.

April 15, 2009

Three years and counting

Today is our third wedding anniversary. I could go on for pages and pages about how lucky I am and how in love with this wonderful woman I am, but I'm sure she's tired of hearing it. If you're married, though, you understand exactly what I'm talking about. If you're not married, hopefully you'll feel it one day.

I will say this: there was a time not too long before we started dating that I was seriously starting to think I would never be married. Luckily, she and I got together and I was proved incorrect. Darlene, I love you, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Happy anniversary, my love.

The Happy Couple

April 7, 2009

Second draft is underway!

Keep an eye on my writing blog! I began working on the second draft of Silvershield tonight. I'll maintain a progress bar here, but if you want the blow by blow as revisions proceed you'll have to go over there. Wish me luck!

April 4, 2009

One of those months

It's been one of those months. There's been a lot going on but nothing to really blog about. I feel like I should be posting more often, but there just hasn't been a lot to say. I went through that introspective phase a few weeks ago and that just sort of shot my wad as far as having anything relevant to say. I hope you haven't felt too neglected.

Darlene's mom is doing well. Her radiation is progressing well and we're happy to report that spirits are high all around. This upcoming week is Spring Break so Darlene and the kids are going to go to Maggie Valley to visit her parents. I'll be doing the bachelor thing. Hopefully I can take the time to get caught up on 24 and Dollhouse and get some writing done. Keep an eye on the writing blog to see if I manage to pull it off. Actually, I'm going to post over there when I get done here about some books I've been reading over the last few weeks. Check it out if you want some good sci-fi/fantasy recommendations!

Today (well, technically yesterday, since it's after midnight now) was my nephew Jackson Tyler Brady's 2nd birthday! He's getting bigger all the time and I just want to take the opportunity to wish him a Happy Birthday from Uncle Bubba, Aunt Dar, and all the kids. We love you!

The birthday boy (pic courtesy of The Brady Blog)

My parents have an exciting summer coming up. You may or may not know that they are full-time RVers and have been living the gypsy life for several years now, since they retired. Last summer my dad took a seasonal job with the United States Park Service as a Ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. He had thought he was going back there this summer, but as it turns out he is going to a different park instead. He'll be heading west to Glacier National Park in Montana. We're hoping to be able to take a road trip out there this summer to see them. That would be exciting. It's more than 2,000 miles from here, across most of the country. It would be a great chance for us to see a lot of places and things we've never seen before. Yet another reason for you to keep your eye on the blog this summer--to see if we get out west.

Huh. I said I didn't have anything to say and it turned out to be pretty newsy after all. How about that.

Go Braves!