Back in January I made a decision. I made up my mind that 2013 would be a lighter year for my music career.
Of course, next year I’ll be back with a new record and a lot more touring, but for now I have plenty to juggle here at home. I’m a worship pastor, and between my work at Eagle Christian Church and family stuff, I have more than enough to keep me busy full time.
We’ve just built a barn at the Riggan Ranch, and for years I’ve been putting off a lot of work around here while waiting for my schedule to slow down a bit. What I’ve finally learned is … life won’t ever slow down until I choose to slow down.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m choosing to slow down for a few months. Of course, I still have shows on the calendar, and I’m working on a bunch of songs for my next CD… But I’m giving myself permission to take a break from constant booking work, shows, blogging, etc. I expect to come back refreshed and with renewed energy.
Thank you, all of you who follow my music and writing. Please be patient while I take this mini-sabbatical. I’ll look forward to reconnecting with you all in a few months.
Hey guys, just a quick note about the Songwriting Seminar that I’m participating in this coming Saturday, April 6 at Boise Bible College.
My good friends and fellow songwriters Ryan Stevenson, Ben Bauman and Staci Frenes will all be on hand. Interactive sessions will explore the art and craft of songwriting, including ideas to help the creative process.
There will be a chance to discuss tools and tricks of the trade in navigating the professional songwriting scene.
Participants may submit a song for critique and for a chance to win prizes.
If you are interested in songwriting, don’t miss this (and if you have any songwriter friends, forward this to them ASAP)! Click the image below to visit the website.
A couple of years ago we were visiting some friends who have a lake back behind their house.
I haven’t fished since I was a kid, but my boy Josiah was excited about trying to catch something. He actually caught a few small ones and tossed ‘em back in. And then he caught a keeper: an 18 ½ inch trout!
After the fish was cleaned, Joey brought it into the house and set it on the counter – and he about jumped out of his skin when the fish flopped and twitched again. He shouted, “Dad! That fish doesn’t know it’s dead!”
Now, we all know that dead is dead. The idea that a person or an animal could die and then come back to life – it’s the stuff of fantasy or sci-fi, fables and fairy tales.
And yet … the defining truth of Christianity is that Jesus returned to life three days after He was killed. Given the rarity of this kind of thing in our world, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many find His resurrection hard to believe.
This blog entry will not attempt be a definitive “here’s proof of Jesus’ resurrection” – that can be found elsewhere. Here’s what I’m interested in today: how did Jesus’ followers change – overnight – from cowering, terrified deserters into confident, bold and effective leaders? Willing to stand before all and proclaim Jesus is alive, and that He is God – and ready to die rather than recant? Continue reading →
Between baby goats and puppies (and soon, baby lambs), the Riggan Ranch is a busy place these days…
These eleven cute puppies can go to their new homes at 8 weeks old (April 4th)… The litter had two different “dads” – 5 pups are Lab and Australian Shepherd mix and 6 are Lab and German Wirehaired Griffon mix.
We have several pups already reserved. You can see more pics at my FaceBook page if you’re interested.
Since these were “oops” puppies (not purebred labs), Josiah (the Puppy Entrepreneur) is only asking $50 each. Let me know if you’re interested!
My daughter, Emily, has her own small business: Sparkling Water Ranch. She raises goats (specifically, mini-oberhasli goats). “Syringa” has just given birth to two new babies (a boy and a girl) and we’re expecting several more babies in the next week or so.
Here she is holding one of the new baby goats with mama watching me and my camera with more than a little suspicion…
My son, Josiah, has a purebred black lab (Blackberry) who has just had her second liter of puppies. Unfortunately, these 11 puppies were unplanned (by us), so they aren’t purebreds. But they’re definitely cute…
A friend of mine visited Bulgaria last summer, and while he was there he went to see one of the largest church buildings in the world.
He said the cathedral was stunningly beautiful and ornate. The architecture alone was amazing, and there was also breathtaking art – especially a series of intricate mosaics. He said it was the most beautiful place he’d ever been.
But as he marveled at the building, it occurred to him that this beautiful structure was, in fact, just a building. A tourist attraction. A cold – and mostly empty – monument to the church.
We who are followers of Christ ARE the church. The church is not that Bulgarian cathedral. It’s not your church’s building, nor any other.
We are the ones Jesus loves; we are the ones Jesus died for. He didn’t give Himself for the sake of a building – no matter how beautiful.
In addition to my songwriting/recording career, I’m a worship pastor, and each week I pray through dozens of requests that come in to the church.
Sometimes I’m just floored by what a truly broken world we live in. I read about heartache and loss, struggle and pain. Job stress and illness. Relationships in deep trouble. Loneliness. Doubt. Fear. All of this from people that I care about, people I serve each week.
When life gets hard, it can be a struggle to trust God, to continue to believe He’s with us and that He loves us. And the truth is, sometimes what we know and what we feel are completely at odds.
So allow me to share some encouragement from Jesus. But first, a warning: this is not the stuff of Hallmark cards; Jesus has never been the type to pretend that life will be easy.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jesus, John 16:33)
If you’re familiar with His story, you understand that Jesus knows something about “having trouble” in this world… Continue reading →
A couple of years ago I posed the question “what is your LEAST favorite Christmas song?” For some reason, that blog post has disappeared from my website, so I figured I should ask again. Here’s the poll – what horrible holiday song did I miss? And just to make it more interesting…
I have an older brother, and when we were kids, Rob possessed the very useful talent of always appearing to be completely innocent.
No matter what mischief we had gotten into together, when we were caught, I would get in trouble and he would somehow get out of it.
I guess he just had an innocent face – and he must’ve been smarter than I was since I would always be the one caught holding the evidence of our misbehavior. At least, that’s how I remember it…
Can you imagine having a brother like Jesus? Of course, certain schools of thought insist that, when the Bible says “brother” or “sister” it means something more like “cousin,” but it’s actually pretty clear that Jesus’ mother Mary and her husband Joseph had other children. Jesus had siblings.
So think about this: how rotten would it have been to have JESUS for a brother – someone who was actuallyperfect? The Bible doesn’t give us much detail about His childhood, so this would fall into the category of speculation, but I imagine the others got really tired of hearing “Why can’t you be more like your brother Jesus?” That must have been really, really irritating.