VOTE FOR YOUR FAVS (AND WIN A CD OR DVD)

(NOTE: CONTEST ENDED SEPT 4th. THANKS EVERYONE!)
Okay people of Earth, I have an assignment for you! Of all the songs I’ve written and recorded, what are your favorites? While it may come across as a little needy, I can’t help asking – and I’d really like to know what you think! This kind of info is actually pretty helpful as I look at freshening up the set list for my shows.

So to make it interesting… Please take the poll (select up to 10 songs) and then comment with your #1 favorite. I’ll randomly select one contributor to win a CD or DVD of his/her choice. Click on for the poll… Continue reading

Posted in CDs, Concert, Contest, Free Music, Music, Songwriting, Special Offers | Tagged , , , | 49 Comments

A HAND ON MY ARM

In my family, it isn’t okay to interrupt someone when they’re talking.

When Julie and I still lived in Tennessee we took a really helpful parenting class, and one of the ideas we came away with was to train a child to put a hand on your arm when you’re talking and he or she wants to say something. You can acknowledge them by putting your hand on theirs and when you’re finished talking you ask what they want.

When Emily was 4 years old, she accompanied me to a Father-Daughter event. While I was singing, she needed to ask me something, so she came up to me onstage and put her hand on my arm – while I was playing the keyboard and singing. As I continued singing, she got tired of waiting so she started HANGING on my arm. This is where that particular parenting strategy breaks down.

So the other day, Joey interrupted my wife and I talking – a big no-no. And I said “Josiah, you’re interrupting!” He explained: “I wasn’t interrupting – I was moving myself into the conversation.”

There may be a career in politics in Joey’s future … Continue reading

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PUPPIES AT THE RIGGAN RANCH

Five weeks ago, our sweet-natured black lab (Blackberry) had a litter of 12 puppies. They are cute and playful and curious, as you would expect. They are also poopy. And they like to bite – something which we’re actively discouraging. I especially love the wobbly way they all walk (a little drunkenly, it looks like) and how they’ll gambol around when they play.

We’re going to keep the runt of the litter, a chocolate lab that Josiah named Rhino (I don’t think Josiah knows about irony yet, but I love that name for such a little pup.) There’s another one that has kind of won my heart (sweet little Rose, a black lab who has more personality than the other 11 combined), but we can only keep one, so Continue reading

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CHERRY FESTIVAL – WHEN THINGS AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM

I’m doing a free concert at Cherry Festival in my town (Emmett, Idaho) on Thursday at 7:00 pm. This is our town’s week-long community festival, and it’s a really fun family event. But I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it because of what happened several years ago, the last time I played at Cherry Festival.

Things started off fine, but sometime during my first song, a few people began drifting off. By the second song, people were actually running away. Yes, running. So we all looked at each other wondering what we were doing wrong.

(My strategy in those kinds of situations is to glare at the sound man, so that if we sound bad everyone assumes it’s his fault…)

But anyway, people were actually running away from my concert. This could shake one’s confidence; it’s the kind of thing that makes a singer question if he’s in the right line of work.

So when I saw the smoke from the big building that was burning down the street (corner of Main and Washington), I have to say that I was relieved. It’s an ugly thing to admit … but I was really glad things weren’t what they seemed. Continue reading

Posted in Christian living, Concert, Family Stuff, Touring | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

FULL HEART

A few years ago, my wife Julie and I (along with Ben and Jackie, our good friends) moved to Nashville so that Ben and I could pursue a career in songwriting and music ministry. We left our home in the Northwest without really having any idea what we were getting into … no jobs, no place to live … and no clue how to get our songs heard.

Looking back, it’s clear that we were truly, profoundly dumb. What kind of idiots move 2000 miles across country without a plan for income and housing? Did we think that the music industry would announce our arrival with red carpet and trumpet fanfare? Continue reading

Posted in Bring Glory, CDs, Christian living, Music, Songwriting | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

JINKIES!

The fact that I really love goofy slang words will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well. For example, I don’t think we use the word “groovy” quite enough. There’s just something so satisfyingly silly about saying something is “groovy.”

My favorite expression lately has been “jinkies” – which of course I learned from Scooby Doo cartoons when I was a kid. It’s an expression of astonishment, and I can’t tell you how frequently it seems to be just the right word for the occasion.

You might be as surprised as I was to learn that the first known use of the word “bodacious” was way back in 1832 (instead of, say, 1982). It’s probably a blend of “bold” and “audacious,” and I think that’s kind of awesome.

Someone introduced me to the word “snickersneeze” the other day, and apparently it’s a vague, humorous threat that a parent might use with a child (“Spill your milk again and I’ll have to snickersneeze you!”). I’ve decided to try to use “snickersneeze” as often as possible.

So I’d love to know some of your favorite silly slang words. Leave a comment. If I get a good response, I may create a poll and have people vote for an overall favorite.

Or, if all I get is the sound of crickets I will know that I’m a complete dork…

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REMEMBER MRS. TAYLOR

**NOTE: THIS OFFER EXPIRED ON MAY 31 2012 – but the song is available on iTunes!**

In honor of Mother’s Day (this coming Sunday) and Memorial Day (May 28), I’m giving away a free MP3 of my song “Mrs. Taylor” from my “Act of Surrender” EP.

To get your “MP-Free”, all you do is go to http://www.volummonster.com and then enter this code: SCOTTFREE4MAY (you’ll be asked for your email and zip). Please feel free to download the song and share the link and code with anyone you think would be moved by the song. Read on for the lyrics to “Mrs. Taylor.” Continue reading

Posted in Act of Surrender, CDs, Christian living, Family Stuff, Free Music, Music, Songwriting, Special Offers | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

WHATEVER MY LOT … IT’S ALL GOOD

I had the privilege of singing at a funeral not long ago.

Although I wasn’t really well acquainted with the man or his family, I was fascinated by how those who knew and loved him remembered his life and character.

Over and over, he was described as an upbeat, courageous guy. Someone who always saw the positive side of things. An optimist.

As he was lying in his hospital bed near the end, whenever anyone asked how he was doing his reply was always “it’s all good.” Evidently this had always been his catchphrase – “it’s all good” – and it was his way of expressing optimism and hopefulness.

As I sang “It Is Well With My Soul,” I thought about the stories his family and friends had just shared, and the words of the song felt suddenly fresh and significant:

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say . . . it’s all good.

Is that something that I can say – in good times or bad? “It is well with my soul” or “it’s all good”…? I have to admit it; I’m a whiner when faced with frustration or difficulty. It doesn’t take much adversity for me to start complaining.

So today I’m thinking about that funeral and wondering if I can start to say “it’s all good” a little more often.

There are worse catchphrases.

Posted in Christian living, Family Stuff, Songwriting, Worship | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

BORN READY

An exchange in my kitchen on Saturday morning:

Julie: “Who’s ready for a muffin?”
Josiah: “I was born ready… except I wouldn’t have had teeth I guess.”

Joey is still at the age when he says really funny things with complete seriousness. Do your kids say things like this? Comments, please!

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THIS IS THE MARKETING PLAN

Christians have sometimes been guilty of the old “bait and switch” when it comes to telling people about Christ. It’s like we’re marketing a cool new product that everybody should have. If you have that product, you’ll feel good, you’ll be happy and your messy life will be all fixed up.

The problem is that we don’t have confidence in the actual Gospel message and we think we need to “nice it up” to make it palatable and attractive.

But let’s not forget: God’s Word tells us that the reason we need Jesus is basically this:

  1. God is completely HOLY and perfectly JUST (or “fair”).
  2. As a completely holy and just God, He is going to hold each of us accountable for our lives – and His perfection is the standard by which we will be measured.
  3. He requires from each of us moral perfection and flawless obedience.

This is all GOOD NEWS for anybody who is completely perfect. These people don’t need Jesus. But for the rest of us … Continue reading

Posted in Christian living, Worship | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments