Monday, April 30, 2007

this was our family this week....

This is a disgusting little snippet that related really well to how our family felt this week..and a peek of what we went through..:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

this is scary acurate...i think

thank you for the addiction....

and that is all i have to say about that.....

and 5.695 seconds...and I now realize that I have slowed down in my old age....

Monday, April 23, 2007

this is some great stuff....

A friend of mine sent me this link to a blog I do not read on a regualr basis. The post was a good one, but I think I got as much out of the comments of the post.

It speaks of Music as being a spiritual discipline. I would have to agree.

Here are some of my favorite comments...

"I have always been moved by music, whether it’s the hymns I grew up on, classical sacred works (think Beethoven and Mozart), or modern worship. Music is an important part of my journey..."Comment by Allie — April 20, 2007 @ 8:36 am

"The connections being drawn here explain why the worship wars are so passionately wrestled over. It’s not wallpaper; it is the means by which people connect with God."
Comment by Rick L the Texan — April 20, 2007 @ 8:39 am

"Like other disciplines, I’d love it if this one were practiced at home even more than at church. I think it’s part of who we are intended to be as God’s people to be a “singing” people–and not just at our weekly gatherings. (We do have a whole book of songs in our scriptures.) .....I agree that there’s something about singing that seems to hit all the aspects of the greatest commandment at the same time–mind, heart, soul, strength. Do any other disciplines do that so well, and have this evangelistic “call” at the same time? I’m with the author, singing is a much bigger part of spiritual formation than we realize."
Comment by T— April 20, 2007 @ 9:11 am

"Western music (whether classical, jazz, or rock and roll) has roots in sacred music and Christian worship, even though these connections are largely forgotten. Why have Christians sung through the centuries? A proper understanding of sin and grace, I believe, demands a fundamental response in the human heart (jubilate, hosanna, lament, hallelujah), which is to say that theology EVOKES and REQUIRES song. There’s a reason Christians and Jews have sung the Psalms for 3,000 years. But I wonder: if we give up song — or relegate it to a few professionals — when, in other words, we have others do our singing for us — can we remain authentically Christian?" Comment by Darryl Tippens — April 20, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

There is much more great stuff in the post and comments, but one thing struck me as interesting. The Author makes the comment about how we are a "listening" generation. We are in search of the perfect sound quality, perfected vocals and perfect musical arrangements. I agree with all of those comments. I am not sure where the blame falls. I agree that there needs to be much more congregational singing. It is healthy for us to sing, to worship out loud. It is a way for us to respond to God. I think that Worship Leaders have failed to help congregations get back to the roots of worship. They have failed to lead people to a place of worship in their hearts. Worship leaders have made worship so easy for us that we don't have to sing. There is where we have failed.

I disagree that congregations everywhere are not singing. I think old and young are singing when they have a connection to the worship. Go to a Youth Workers Convention, there you will witness amazing congregational singing, whether it be very traditional "Morning has broken" contemplative worship lead by Jeff Johnson or "You are my joy" led by David Crowder. Oh yes, congregations are still singing...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 have got to stop me...

You Are Spider-Man

Quick and agile, you have killer instincts (literally).
And that kind of makes up for the whole creepy spider thing.

and again....someone....take me too lunch...

100 Years by Five for Fighting

"Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live"

2004 was about thinking and reflecting - but isn't every year?

This is what happens when i stay in my office for lunch....

You Are 30 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Is this me?

You Are An ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am not sure what to think if this....

I rolled over in bed this morning, and grabed the remote to the TV. I love my alarm clock! For the last 30 minutes, I had been listening to my alarm is an iHome2go. It was playing my favorite playlist on my iPod at the moment... the Gory Revealed cd. Go to my post about the tour here. I can't stop listening to this cd (a great video at the bottom of this page), great songs, but even better lyrics. I love that the songs get back to the Word, they are pulled straight out of the text of the Bible. They attempted to write songs from other books, not just out of the Pslams.

I turned on the TV to watch the news and I was distracted immediatly by the program that was on the Versus Channel (I fell asleep watching NHL playoffs). There were 2 people sitting in front of the camera, asking that I call their 1-800 number and receive my FREE, Now LARGER, Miracle Spring Water. They were sharing testimonies of people who had been healed, received money, got a new car, and many other things after drinking this Miracle Spring Water. I stared in amazement as the coverage moved to a service where the gentleman that was just talking about this free water was healing a woman who has MS. She started dancing!

I do not mean to sound skeptical, I have witnessed healing before in my life. That is a whole other story that I will not blog about, but will tell you the story if you ask me too. I was tempted to call the number, just to get my very own packet of miracle spring water. What made this spring water different from the water coming out of my tap at home? Did they pray over the water? Do they have a special spring that runs directly from heaven? Did they find the foutain of youth (Only the penitent man shall pass.....penitent....penitent...a penitent man kneels before the Lord)? I found it hard to understand.

I looked back and noticed that Jesus used water all of the time. He used water to sustain His life. He drank IT! He walked up to John the Baptist and asked to be baptised in IT! The wedding party was going so good that they ran out of He turned IT into the best wine...and saved IT for last! He and the diciples were out in the boat, Jesus was knapping, and a storm blew in and everything was crazy. The guys were scared, so they woke Jesus up and He calmed the storm and seized control of IT! The fisherman were all out in the boat, struggling in the water and Jesus walked acrossed IT! (This is a stretch...) Jesus spit IT into the eyes of a blind man and he could see!

There were lots of miracles associated with the water. Maybe there are still lots of miracles being performed with water. I think that there are still lots of miracles that are happening in this world. I think Jesus performs them everyday, still today. I am not sure that it has anything to do with the water.... Luke 8:46-48 NIV

46But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

Faith is IT!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I had a religious experience today.....

While the kids were off at Junior Jam and since I was embarrassing Maddie, I took the opportunity to search google maps on my Treo for a guitar store that would be close. Google came through with the Mandolin Store in Washington CH, OH. It was 20 miles away so I jumped in the van and headed out. I went to the first address and the store was no where to be found. I checked there website and found the new address just a few miles away.

I walked into the Mandolin Store...WOW! I was blown away by the selection of Mandolins. They also have an extensive collection of guitars, banjos, dobros, etc. I was greeted by a hand full of men. They were all sitting around shooting the bull. They reminded me of the Coffee crew that use to hang out in the Wagon Wheel Restaurant when I was a kid in Kingston. These guys were all bluegrass musicians. They were all selecting instruments to tune up for the jam session I could sense was about to start. I was admiring all of the Mandolins. What a great selection. My parents bought me one for Christmas last year. I love playing it. It is hard on my fingers, but the tone is worth it! There was a Breedlove Mando that I fell in love with, awesome tone, it had a wide neck and was a joy to play. Being a smart musician...I put the Mandolin down, since I am much stronger on the guitar in an impromptu situation. I grabbed a really nice Collins OM Spruce and Rosewood guitar and tuned up. I was playing around and one of the older guys asked me a few questions and then they were off. So i jumped in! I would not normally do this, due to my insecurities of my playing ability. The beauty of Bluegrass Music is is either in the key of G or in the key of A. I have those covered!

Wow, was that so much fun! After about an hour of jamming, the guy who had been singing up to that point asked me if I sang. I told him...Not Bluegrass! They chuckled and said, "Is there any other kind of music?" I said, how about Hank Williams tune..."I saw the light". One of the guys said, "we never heard of that one, but if you jump in there, we will follow you". I knew he was lying but I played along. It was awesome! We had a bass, 2 guitars, mandolin, banjo, and a dobro. After about another hour...I had to leave. I could have stayed there all day! It was a religious experience! We were complete strangers, all of us sitting there, in worship. One with the music.

So I give a shout out to the gang at the Mandolin Store! Thanks for making a great day even better. I will be back to do that again! Very soon! Hopefully my bluegrass chops will be much improved and maybe I will even pick up a Mandolin the next time!

Junior Jam was chaos...

I took a van load of RVCC kids to Junior Jam today and it was Chaos...pure craziness! I loved it!

I hope the kids had a great time. The Cedarville Students were like a bunch of Jesus's running around being goofy and crazy to entertain all of those kids. What a cool ministry! They danced, they sang, they played and they got to experience God in a cool new way! Thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

i promised more...

Let me first start by saying that last night was fantastic. It was intimate. It was acoustic. It felt very much like sitting on the front porch and worshiping. It had this bluegrass undertone through out the night that made me feel like worship was getting back to its roots.

Mac Powell is still the man. Great vocals. Great song writer. He and David Nasser have partnered to bring this Glory Revealed Tour to life. Nasser wrote a book about making the Word real and the focus. He asked Mac to help him out with worship songs that can be introduced into the church that are simple and strong in the Word of God. Mission accomplished. I could see us introducing every song off the cd into worship at RVCC.

Mac knows talent and this tour is no exception. He has brought in some great Christian musicians to help out with the project. The night sort of rolled between all of the artists, everyone with a mic, most with instruments. They seemed to pass everything around. I think four different people played bass. It was like a big Gaither sing along, only I liked the music. No disrespect. There were lots of harmonies, lots of layers of instruments, and no egos! It was like all persons involved enjoyed taking a back seat and singing harmony. Not anyone person was in the spotlight the entire time. I appreciated that so much.

Shane and Shane are amazing. You always know you have worshipped when they are involved! They sang "Yearn", which is one of my favorite songs (I am still scared to sing it in is so high). The coolest part was watching the other artist worship during that was real, it was humble, it was worship. Trevor Morgan was playing bass most of the night. He is probably the most underrated artist in Christian Music. I first heard him in Estes Park a few years ago and was blown away. He is a great guitar player and has a fantastic voice, influenced by Dylan a little, but better ;). My wife's favorite would have been Tim Nuefield, of Starfield. He sang "Son of God" which has quickly become a favorite at RVCC and it was fantastic with a little banjo and mandolin in the mix. Candi Pearson-Shelton was fantastic. I wish Anna would have been there to witness this girl's worship, amazing!

My favorite song of the night had to be from Shawn Lewis of Hyper Static Union. He sang a song called "Waters gone by"! This kid is talented! Great vocals, songwriting, guitar, bass and banjo! He sang a great high harmony part on Brian Littrell 's "Welcome Home", and honestly that was the one dissappointing moment of the evening. Brian Littrell sang two songs about half way through the evening. HE DID NOT PLAY THE GUITAR! He picked up a guitar, slung it around his neck and did not play it. He even had a guitar change! What? My OCD took over! LOOSING MY MIND! I will admit that he can sing, and he actually did a nice job singing harmony on a lot of the songs, but this was just a distraction for me. I could not get over it. I told Jen a long time ago that he was not playing the guitar in his music video and he confirmed it tonight. My advice to what you do best, I will respect you as an artist regardless of whether you can play an instrument or not. Remember your voice is as much an instrument as a guitar or piano. Even Mac did not pick up a guitar the entire night, you did not need it to make the song good!

This was a different evening due to the fact that they were video taping for a DVD that will be available this summer and for playback on television. There was only one retake the entire night, so I was impressed with that fact. All in all it was a fantastic night of worship and I was blessed by the experience. I have some new songs to learn. I have some great images to remember and had a really cool time with my friend Trent. Thanks for the Dew.

For more about the tour, go to

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

so Trent and I went to see Mac and the Shanes...

so this was very last minute, but Trent and I just arrived in Lancaster to see the Glory Revealed Tour...and above is a picture from our seats. Trent scored us the front row by using his mad skills...more to come ...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The crowd was not so much interested in them, they wanted him.

As I walked up #18, I imagined what it might be like to take that walk up the hill to the green with a 2 stroke lead and laying 3 on the front of the green with a tough pin placement. The grass felt good under my feet, almost like carpet. The air just had that smell, the smell of fresh cut grass and excitement! There was a buzz all around the grounds. He was here.

Mark and I walked on up to the practice green outside the Clubhouse. There were lots of spectators encompassing the green. As we edged closer to see who was practicing, we found ourselves standing about 2 persons deep from the ropes. There were lots of players out rehearsing their putting swing, so that they may keep the scores low on Thursday. There is still lots of whispering..."He's here somewhere..."and " there is his caddie, Steve". All the while the crowd continued to grow behind us. Something big was about to happen and everyone wanted to see.

Davis Love III, Craig Stadler, Stuart Appleby, Pad Harrington, Jeff Sluman, Sergio Garcia, Freddie Couples, Chris DiMarco, and many others were there. All of them working on their putting stroke, trying to stay consistent for the competition to come. The crowd was not so much interested in them, they wanted him.

From our left, we see the crowd start to part. Sharply dressed in all black with a white hat and shoes. The crowd was quiet, waiting for a reaction. He walked over to his golf bag and pulled out his putter. His caddie tossed out some balls and Tiger Woods practice had begun. I looked behind me and the crowd was now about 10 to 15 people deep completely around the putting green. It was crazy. Tiger Woods is like a rock star. Everyone was focused on him. All of the other golfers at that moment took a backseat to Tiger. Tiger commands attention, but he doesn't ask for it. He smiles. Tiger shakes hands with other players and begins his warm up regiment. I must say he is a very fit individual. He is very intimidating as a player, I think it is his structure. He practiced the exact same 4 foot putt for almost 20 minutes. He is a machine.

I was standing right next to his golf bag, admiring his signature Nike golf clubs I started thinking about the impact that Tiger Woods has on the crowd that was gathered there at the Master's grounds. They watched his every move. They waited for him to make a putt, tell a joke, smile, laugh, shake a kids hand. The spectators at Augusta just wanted to be near Tiger, to be associated with greatness. I think Tiger understands this, he is a smart man. My friend Steve had a great post about a local high school athlete that is getting the same type of attention in our area. Read it here. This is nowhere near the magnitude of Tiger Woods, but I am sure they have similar feelings on the matter.

Over the next 75 minutes, I stood and watched Tiger. I honestly started to imagine how I would handle that type of fame. How would I treat people if I were that powerful? This is what it was...power...influence. Tiger has a tremendous amount of influence! What ever Tiger wears, people want to wear. What ever Tiger drinks, then everyone in the golfing world wants to drink it too. People watch what he does and then try to be like Tiger Woods. There are lots of people through out time that have had this sort of influence. In my lifetime, it has mostly been sports figures that wield such influence. Michael Jordan was one of those types of people. So was Jesus. I could not stop thinking about how Jesus had that sort of influence. He had crowds of people hanging on every word. People were watching Jesus's every move. Waiting for him to heal, to cast out demons and teach about this new Kingdom of God.

The crazy idea in my head was not to compare Tiger Wood to Jesus, but to understand Tiger's influence. What if Tiger was a man of God? What if Tiger used his popularity to give him a stage to share the Gospel? What if Tiger lived a life like Christ? I could not stop thinking about this notion. If Tiger were a Christian, would anyone be able to witness his life? Could he live a life as if Christ lived and anyone be a witness to it? He has no privacy, but people only get to see his life as a golfer. Could he really love people? Could he afford to love people?

As I stood there playing all of this out in my head, I asked myself, "What if I had this type of influence?" What would I do with a stage that big? What sort of effect could I have on peoples lives, if I were as big as Tiger Woods? At that moment, the answer came to me in an instant! In God's eyes, I am like Tiger Woods. My role is just as big as Tiger's role in life. My influence can be just as great as Tiger's influence. I may not be able to make an impression on people that changes the way the dress, what they drink, or what type of car they drive. Tiger has that sort of power, but does that glorify God? I do know that I can show people the love of Christ through my actions, just as Tiger could if he so chooses. We both carry that same responsibility. We both have that power. It was given to us by Christ and what we do with it should glorify God. I fall short. Tiger falls short. We are both hitting from the same tee box, on the same course, with the same set of clubs, and trying to reach the same green. I am playing golf with Tiger Woods and we both have the same handicap! Our only shot at reaching the green in regulation is by dying to ourselves and coming alive in Christ.

This was a great day for me. I got to watch an amazing golfer and what appears to an outstanding individual. I love where God took me with my thoughts and I am thankful that He gave me this once in a lifetime opportunity. Tiger may or may not live a life centered around Christ, we will probably never get to witness that side of Tiger. Today, the gallery surges ahead, waiting to see Tiger's next perfect swing. What a day will it be when the crowd is not so much interested in them, but they want Him.

was a good day....

Today was a good day in the life of Marty Ford. I had taken a few days off to enjoy a little road trip. I should say thank you to my wife for allowing me to spend money we did not have to experience something I may never get to experience again in my lifetime. I spent the day walking the the fairways of Augusta National at the Master's Golf Tournament. It is a day I will soon not forget. This course is amazing! Amen Corner is is where the small par 3 #12 hole tees off across the water and #13 comes back up the right side. The background is littered with Azelias in full bloom and is where many of the Master's greatest moments have taken place.
I watched some of the great golfers of the present skip balls across the water on #16, it is a tradition during practice rounds they say.. Again, this was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Thanks Jen.

On Wednesdays of the Master's, they have a Par 3 Tournament. This is a very relaxed 9 holes of golf that is by invitation only. Previous Master's Champions and promising young amatuers fill the card for the invitiational. It is a round of golf where, trick shots are played out of the bunkers, 10 year old sons and daughters are caddies, and unsuspecting kids are pulled out of the gallery by the likes of Fuzzy Zoeller to putt in his last shot on the 9th green. It is fun, it is special and it is a time for autographs, pictures and wholesome goofing around. My new friend Mark Johnson and I found ourselves sitting just off the tee box on the 9th hole on this beautiful Par 3 Executive course on the grounds of Augusta National. We got to there around 1:45 just as the first trio made there way off of # 7 and on to #8. We were about 10 feet away from the action. The view to the green across the pond was perfect. We woudl call out the shots...."thats left...","come on, bite baby...", or "thats right at the pin...". There were many nice shots, a few shots went in the drink, and even one or two that I think I could have hit just as well. Here are a few highlights from some of my favorite golfers...

Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco were very playful with all of there kids. Mickelson hit a sweet shot about a foot from the hole. Nick Faldo was still in fantastic shape, his shot was off to the right and he sank about an 8 ft. putt with the putter between his legs and backwards to finish the round. Mark O'Meara left his shot about 4 inches from the cupp. Ian Poulter had a great shot, but an even better golf outfit that would make ChiChi Rodriguiz happy. My favorite was when the trio of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicholas walked up to tee off. That was history! I think that group has 11 Green Jackets between them! Nicholas and Player are still striking the ball really well. Palmer's back appeared to prevent him from swinging the club with any power. After hitting two balls in the water and not even coming close to the green, Nicholas suggested letting his caddie hit for him. I believe that Arnold Palmers caddie was his grandaughter. She did not want to hit the ball, but the crowd jeered her on. She approached the ball and took a practice swing...the prettiest golf swing I had ever seen, the gallery went nuts! She hit the ball across the water, and left it on the right fringe of the green. This hole was playing about 110 yards to the pin, and 90 yards of the shot was over water.

Augusta National has history, is immaculate and is Mecca for most golf fans. This is a day that I will be talking about for days, and will never forget in my life. It is not often you get to watch 3 of the greatest golfers of all time, play in the same group from about 10 feet away. It was a very good day. It was a Master's day.