A Guest Blog From The Road…..

This week finds us on our annual April West Coast run.  It’s always wonderful making this trip and getting to see all of our friends along the way.  We also have a special treat this week as our beloved leader Scott is providing us with a guest blog!  So read on and enjoy!

 

Recently, our nation was reminded once again just how tragic the end result is when troubled and misguided young men adopt an irrational, violent, misguided radical ideology.

Not long before the Boston bombing, I was shocked to hear these words: “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”

These are the words of Melissa Harris-Perry.  Melissa is an American author, television host and liberal political commentator.  According to Wikipedia, Harris-Perry’s is of the Unitarian Universalist faith.

Contemporary Unitarian Universalism espouses a pluralist approach to religious belief, whereby members may describe themselves as humanist, agnostic, deist, atheist, pagan, Christian, monotheistic, pantheist, polytheistic or assume no label at all. (You need to do a little research and see what all these “beliefs” believe).   As of 2006, fewer than about 20% of Unitarian Universalists identified themselves as Christian.

Can I “vent?”  When I was a kid, my dad told my friends parents as well as my teachers at school that they had his permission to discipline me to “make me behave.”  If Tommy’s mom had to discipline me for something, I got it again when I got home.  I couldn’t use the “collective” argument that Mr. Smith has already spanked me for that. I guess my dad thought I belonged to him. … the nerve!

Now that I’m a dad, I too tell my kids bus driver, teachers and neighbors that if my kid is with them, I expect them to make them behave and require the same manners and code of conduct they expect from their own children. I realize that churches, boy scouts, youth groups, Sunday school classes, schoolroom classes and such are all “collective bodies” and as such influence and are responsible to our kids safe keeping while they are in their charge. I get it that our kids are influenced by lots more people than just their parents.  But I don’t think Harris is referring to that obvious reality.  I believe that “collective” and “community” is euphemism for Government.  Do we really want to trust our government to raise our kids for us? The same folks that are ok aborting children by the thousands every year?

Again, don’t misunderstand me. I do not have an issue with having an involved Community. I advocate it. If I find someone breaking into my neighbor’s house, I’ll call the police.  When my neighbor is on vacation, I’ll clean the newspapers off his driveway and cut his grass. When Preston and Bailey have a friend over to our house, I make that child obey the rules of our home.  He can’t be mean.  He can’t be disrespectful.  He must share. He must use his manners.  If he misbehaves, I let his parents know and I expect the same when my kids are at their friend’s homes.  But ultimately, my kid’s friends are not my responsibility.

But Harris is not talking about just this type of community. She is talking about a public school system that takes a more active role in raising your kids and my kids and imparting their values on them because they are after all, “the community’s children.”  I want my kids schools to educate them….not indoctrinate them. I DO NOT want the government’s help in raising my children.  It’s not their responsibility. Raising Preston and Bailey is the sole responsibility of Taryn and me.  I can’t help but wonder if Harris would want me raising HER kids?  I doubt it. Assuming she has kids, I wonder how she would react to me correcting or advocating my value set to them?  She and other folks like her think their way is superior to our way.  They think they are enlightened and we are ignorant hayseeds.  Don’t get me started!!!

So…what’s a parent to do?  What’s a grandparent to do?  Take responsibility for teaching and modeling Godly virtue to your kids and grandkids. Do not abdicate that to ANYONE ELSE. ”

I will choose the “communities” and the “villages” that I want to influence my kids.  I will choose where to worship and with whom my kids associate.   Allow me to quote Adam Mitchell’s stirring speech from the movie, “Courageous:”

As a law-enforcement officer, I’ve seen firsthand the deep hurt and devastation that fatherlessness brings in a child’s life. Our prisons are full of men and women who lived recklessly after being abandoned by their fathers, wounded by the men who should have loved them the most. Many now follow the same pattern of irresponsibility that their fathers did.

While so many mothers have sacrificed to help their children survive, they were never intended to carry the weight alone. We thank God for them.

But research is proving that a child also desperately needs a daddy. There’s no way around this fact. As you know, earlier this year, my family endured the tragic loss of our four-year-old daughter, Emily. Her death forced me to realize that not only had I not taken advantage of the priceless time I had with her, but that I did not truly understand how crucial my role was as a father to her and our son, Dylan. Since her passing, I’ve asked God to show me, through his word how to be the father that I need to be.

I now believe that God desires for every father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there or providing for them, he’s to walk with them through their lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their father in heaven.

A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect and should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity.

Some men will hear this and mock it or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence he has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value but the souls of your children do.

Some men will hear this and agree with it but have no resolve to live it out. Instead, they will live for themselves and waste the opportunity to leave a godly legacy for the next generation.

But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same, and, whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction.

In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family, because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my sons to follow Christ, because l will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do? I am their father. I will.

I accept this responsibility, and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and his blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you, men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and to say, “I will. I will. I will.”

I’m really not concerned about being politically correct.  I’m concerned about being Biblically correct.  Now….let’s go radicalize our kids for the cause of Christ!

Scott

 

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Why It’s An Exciting Time In Southern Gospel…..

Southern Gospel music is in my opinion one of the most incredible music forms that exists today.  It is extremely unique in its approach.  It is vocal driven as opposed to other forms of music which are driven by the instrumentation.  When it is recorded right (that is a completely different blog in itself) the vocals are the feature and are used to share the message or to share a story about the message.  That message and story is to me what sets this genre apart!

 

There have been many discussions over the last few years about the growth or decline of Southern Gospel.  Folks have also been very concerned about the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for groups to find replacements for those choosing to leave the genre.  Both of these are very valid points and are issues of concern that I think we, as a genre, are going to have to address.  But let me share with you a few examples of why I think it is an exciting time in Southern Gospel.

 

First, there are some incredible people in the industry right now.  I remember being in the studio cutting vocals on the Give The World A Smile CD when Scotty said that a guy named Chris Alman might be returning to Greater Vision.  Greater Vision is a group of guys that we love and get to work with on a regular basis.  As a tenor singer myself, I cannot explain to you the joy of standing in the wings and getting to hear Chris sing.  What an incredible voice and what a wonderful person!  When you combine that talent with the talents of Rodney Griffin and Gerald Wolfe, let’s just say you are in for an incredible concert!

 

Anyone who has heard the Mark Trammel Quartet in the last few years has heard a young man named Pat Barker singing the bass.  Not only does he have a great voice, but he brings an incredible amount of energy and personality to the stage.  The other thing that I love about Pat is you don’t talk to him for very long to realize how much he loves and respects this music and that is a wonderful thing!

 

One of the things I have enjoyed about being in Legacy Five is the chance to work with my friends The Booth Brothers.  All three of those guys are incredibly gifted but I can’t do this blog without mentioning the talents of Michael Booth.  Not only is he a gifted vocalist, he is one of the best communicators that I have ever seen.  There are talented people who can sing a song, and Michael can stand toe to toe with all of those.  But to me what sets him apart is his incredible ability to communicate with an audience.  It is an amazing gift that he has, and it is incredible to watch him do what he does.  Combine that with the talents that Ronnie and Jim have and you can easily see why they are what they are!

 

All of these are guys that I have had the privilege of working with over the past few years but this next fellow is one who I have yet to get to be on stage with.  But I am totally impressed with his abilities and his love for this music.  His name is Matt Felts and he sings with the Dixie Melody Boys.  Anyone who has been around Southern Gospel is familiar with the Dixie Melody Boys.  Many current group owners and members came up thru the Ed O’Neal University.  But it has been Matt’s incredible efforts over the past few years as tenor and his skills in marketing that have brought the group some much deserved recognition.  I have had the privilege of speaking with Matt and I can tell you, the reason he is doing what he is doing is his incredible love for Southern Gospel Music.  I love that!!!!

 

This is only a few examples of the people I have met over the past few years who on a daily basis do everything they can to make sure that the greatest music on earth continues to be just that.  So join me in praying for everyone who lives this life, and pray that God will continue to bring new people to the genre who are truly wanting to carry on the greatest music and message there is.

 

Until next time…..

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A Question And A Cabin…..

One of the most common questions I get at concerts is “so what is it like getting to travel on that bus?’  I think if every artist was honest the answer to that question would be “not very enjoyable.”  So why would anyone do this job?  Well, let me explain.

 

My family just returned from a quick little get away to Pigeon Forge.  We originally were going camping at the request of my daughter.  She turned 16 on March 23rd and I was in Canada.  So I told her that when I returned we would get away for a few days and celebrate her birthday.  I was truly shocked when she said she wanted to go camping!  But you have to understand that her version of camping is not the norm.

 

Those of you who know me probably realize that I am not the tent camping type.  So when Kylie says camping, she really means get an RV.  So I rented a trailer and we were all set.  That is until my wife found out that our rental agreement clearly stated no pets.  We then set out to try and find someone to keep our beloved dog Chewy.  When no one could be found my wife and Kylie decided to skip the trailer and get a pet friendly cabin.

 

All seemed to be great.  We are used to last minute changes in plans and we as a family are very good at just going with it.  What we didn’t realize was that because it was a holiday weekend, all the cabins were booked.  But once again my wife came thru and found a place for us to spend a few days.

 

When we arrived at the cabin we quickly realized that it was not what we were used to.  It was considerably smaller, and it had a lot of residences around it.  We generally try to find something that is somewhat isolated and we love to open all the windows and enjoy the view.  That was not possible with this cabin.  The view consisted of five single wide trailers and three private residences.  So needless to say the windows did not get opened and the only thing we did on the deck was cook.

 

But here is why I shared this.  WE HAD A BLAST!  Yes you read right.  We had an incredible time together playing games, enjoying the fireplace, talking, and just enjoying the blessing of being able to be together.  I am blessed with a family that enjoys each others company so truth be told, that cabin was perfect for us for that trip.  We focused on the fact that we were together and everything else seemed unimportant!

 

That is the best explanation that I can give for what it is like traveling on a bus.  It’s a small space, there’s no privacy, we don’t really get to see anything but the venue, and every exit really looks the same, BUT IT’S STILL THE GREATEST JOB ON EARTH!  I can only speak for our bus, but I can assure you that most of the people who are privileged enough to get to sing Southern Gospel on a full time basis would agree.

 

Everyone on this bus knows why they are here.  It’s because we know this is what we are supposed to be doing!  We are called to this life.  Each of us realize just how truly blessed we are to get to do this.  So everything else seems unimportant!  We also get the bonus of people who share with us how our music has touched their lives or helped them thru a difficult time.  It is truly a humbling experience!  What an incredible thing to be a part of.

 

Stay tuned for the next blog when I will share with you a few of the reasons I feel that right now is an exciting time to be in Southern Gospel music.

 

Until next time…..

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Branson, Brackets, and a Birthday…..

We are on the bus heading home from a wonderful three days at Branson Praisefest!  What an incredible time we had.  I love being in the same place for three days.  It gives us a chance to spend more time with you our friends.  I truly enjoyed having the time to laugh and share with our friends. 

 

What a blessing it is to get to do something that I love to do, and to be able to share that with so many.  It’s also an incredible time to be in Southern Gospel Music.  We just finished Branson Praisefest, and already having done our Celebration event, which was preceded by the first ever Christmas Jubilee tour.  Truly it is an incredible time to be a part of something so incredible on so many levels!

 

Next week we head to Canada for 7 nights in 7 different cities.  Our good friends Greater Vision will be with us on 5 of those nights so we know we are in for a wonderful time of music and fellowship.

 

There will however be a huge change happening at the Gaches house while we are away this time.  Most of you know that I am blessed with a beautiful wife and two wonderful children.  My youngest child is my daughter Kylie and she will be making a huge change this next week.  Next Saturday Kylie will turn 16!  I have to admit that I wish I was going to be home for that one!  But we have already made plans to celebrate when I return. 

 

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that my baby girl is going to be old enough to drive.  It just doesn’t seem possible that time could have moved so fast.  But the truth is that I am blessed with a very bright, beautiful, intelligent young Christian lady and I am honored to her my daughter.  Be sure to stop by her Facebook page and wish her a happy birthday next Saturday!  Love ya bug!  PTM!

 

Speaking of Facebook pages, Matt is doing an incredible job with the Legacy Five Facebook page.  For those who are into brackets, he has put together a Legacy Five bracket and the winner will receive a free CD!  Be sure to stop by and follow the link to make your bracket!  Or you can go directly to the page at:

 

http://legacyfive.mayhem.cbssports.com/e?ttag=13_cbspaste

 

Password: legacyfive

 

We hope to see you soon in concert!

 

Until next time…..

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An Award Winning Idea…..

Most of you know that I am a huge hockey fan.  This year with the season being cut short by the lock-out we were unable to enjoy hockey until just recently.  One of the things that we lost was the annual gathering of the best of the best.  The All-Star game!

Now truly, I will admit, it is not much of a game.  But it is fun getting to see the best from one team paired with the best from another, which got me thinking.  I know, be scared!  Be very scared!

The folks at the NQC have been looking for a way to make their awards program to be different and I have figured out how.  Preselect some Quartet standards that everyone should know, the same number as final nominees.  Then put together groups from the nominees with no two persons being from the same group.

For example, if there are 5 nominees in each category select 5 songs and assemble 5 groups from the nominees.  Let them draw the songs from a hat and then perform the songs live on the main stage during the awards program.  Can you imagine hearing a line-up like this, Eric Bennet with Mark Trammel, Arthur Rice and Brian Free accompanied by Kim Collingsworth on piano!

That would be awesome to see, and there would five of those groups for everyone to enjoy!  None of the nominees should know who or what they will be singing so that it is completely off the cuff.  That would, in my opinion, be incredible!  What do you think?

Until next time…..

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What Do You Say…..

On our Facebook last week Matt posted a question that got some interesting responses so I decided to do an informal poll here on the blog to see what everyones thoughts are on the subject. Be sure to vote in the poll, then if you would like, post in the comments and let us know what you voted for and why.

Until next time…..

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall…..

So how many of you that read the title were able to finish that sentence?  I would venture to say most everyone, though I wish I could recall scripture as easily!  That’s a blog for another time!

A thought occurred to me this morning.  I know!  Be afraid, be very afraid!  I woke up to snow on the ground and had a nice couple of cups of coffee just watching the snow as it fell.  I then went into the hotel to get a shower and that’s when the thought hit me.  Let me explain.

I enjoy a little bit of quiet time each morning.  When I am home I get up with Tam and we have breakfast together before she leaves for work.  My normal routine at this point is to just enjoy a time of quiet that I use for various things from devotion to reflection.  The quiet lets me process my thoughts and is usually a very productive time for me.

I was in this mood when I finished my shower and opened the shower curtain.  Directly across from the shower was a huge mirror.  I began to think wouldn’t it be incredible if that mirror could serve as an advisor in my life.  What if it could see not only the reflection it was projecting, but into me as a person and could offer a true opinion of what it sees.  Completely and totally uninfluenced or biased in any way.

I like to think that I am able to do that myself, but many times my own critique is influenced by my own views on a particular subject.  Let’s be honest here.  It’s easy to feel like you are doing well, and give yourself a rousing thumbs up.  But it is always more difficult to be honest and address the things that need work in your life.

It is always so much easier to just exist.  But just existing is not a fruitful place for a Christian to be.  So to have a way to get constructive criticism is very appealing.  The truth is that none of us really like to hear these things from our friends.  It’s always difficult to be that person who goes to someone and says I really feel like this is something you should work on.

Maybe it’s because so many so called friends have abused that privilege by trying to impose their own beliefs or thought process into our lives, as opposed to giving truly Biblical advice.  There are many who feel it is their duty to share with others what everyone else is doing wrong as opposed to what they are doing right.

But there is also a group that exists now who don’t want to tell anyone that anything is wrong.  They simply want to focus on all that is “right” without offering any consequence for negative things in a person’s life.  Yes, it is a much more “seeker friendly” approach.  But at what point does the responsibility for the way someone lives come into play.

That my friends, explains my wish for the mirror.  A totally unbiased yet honest look into your life that would instruct you about the things that need to be fixed, and rejoice with you for the things in your life that are good.

My question to you is this, if the mirror truly existed, if you could stand in front of it today, what would you like to hear it say?  Could you handle an honest and open look into your life?

Until Next Time…..

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