Archive for March, 2010

Finishing up in Florida

Sunday, March 28th, 2010
First Presbyterian Bonita Springs

Beautiful First Presbyterian in Bonita Springs, FL

Well, I am totally exhausted, but it has been a great several days here in Florida.

Yesterday, mom and I drove across the state to Tamarac, Florida and I did a concert at Lighthouse Covenant Church. This was very last-minute as well – when I realized I was going to have a free day, I called and they put this together very graciously and quickly. This congregation is so dear, and they were extremely supportive of us last year when we were there and needing support for our Kenya tour. I was thrilled to get to come back and give them an update and sing some of the music inspired by that trip! It was also wonderful to get to see our friends, the DeMarcos. One thing I will say for Florida – we seem to have friends in every corner, and it sure makes traveling so much nicer when you’re staying with people you love to be with rather than lots of hotels.

On the way back, we saw the funniest thing! “Alligator Alley” is the stretch of 75 that runs through swamps across the southern end of the state. At a toll booth, there were these black birds sitting on the barriers between the lanes, and when I went to roll down my window, immediately two of them jumped in front of my window and just stared at me. Kind of freaked me out in an Alfred Hitchcock/ The Birds kind of way. So I did not put my window down, and as we were getting ready to pay, I saw the guy next to me roll down his window. Immediately this bird flew right into his window at his face and he was yelling and trying to push the bird back out and get his window up. When I got to the toll window, I rolled my window down two inches and pushed the money through and asked the toll booth guys what was up with the birds.

“Well, they hang out and if you have a chip or anything they might want on your seat, they dive right in. It’s hilarious! It’s the best thing about this job!!” Well, okay then.

This morning I got up early and went back to First Presbyterian where I sang on their morning services. Their choir did such an amazing job on their Palm Sunday piece – they literally made me tear up. Then this afternoon I sang a concert there. I was at this church last year, and was so struck by the excellence with which they do things – it was a pleasure to be back. Hope to see them often!

Now I’m sitting here totally tired, and getting ready to get up early and drive back to Tampa to fly home. No more Florida trips planned until next January!! What will I do?! 🙂

Back in sunny Florida

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Super kids club in Bonita Springs

Me with some of the super girls at Super Kids Club

WJYO in Ft. Myers

My promoter Wendell, me, the host Stephanie, and radio guru Jim at WJYO

Girls from Super Kids Club in Bonita Springs

More of the group at Super Kids Club – aren’t they beautiful!

Well, it’s been a crazy couple of days, but really good things are happening. My mom and I flew into Tampa on Wednesday and spent the night with my grandma. One great blessing of singing in Florida so much is that I get to see her and my uncle down here much more than I would otherwise. My grandparents (my grandpa is gone now) have been in that house as long as I remember, and I remember as a kid going out hunting for the little lizards that live in the yard to see how many I could count. I thought they were baby crocodiles. 🙂

Yesterday morning we drove down to Fort Myers and stopped into WJYO, Kingdom FM. They’ve been playing my music for quite a while, so it was fun to see them, and my radio promoter and another of my radio friends were there as well to help them with their sharathon. It was such an amazing coincidence that we were all there at the same time! I’m from Ohio, Wendell’s from Michigan, and Jim’s from Colorado – what are the chances? We had a great time catching up, and I got on the air a bit for their sharathon too which was fun.

Then we headed over to New Hope Presbyterian Church in Ft. Myers, and I gave a concert for the women’s group there. They were mostly young moms, and it was so fun to share with them! I also got an opportunity to talk to several women afterward who were either dealing with or concerned about sensory issues with their kids, and given what we’ve been through with Toby, I’m always grateful when God uses that experience to help other people.

After that we headed down to Bonita Springs where we stayed with friends, and this morning I did a woman’s group at First Presbyterian. It was totally informal, and very last minute, but the Lord really used the time. I had such wonderful conversations with those women afterward! I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve found that if we just go where’s there’s an opportunity, God will do whatever He intends, and He will use it.

This afternoon was really different for me, and such a great time! I got to share some of my regular music, and some of my kid’s Scripture songs as well as our stories from Africa with a group of at-risk girls in Bonita Springs. They are so beautiful, and were so musical themselves – very, very precious girls. Their parents are migrant workers, and many of them speak English as their second language. Their lives aren’t very stable, but this wonderful couple started an after-school club that serves so many girls – they help them with homework, teach them about the Bible, teach them crafts, etc., and they have a choir. It was beautiful to see how much they loved these girls! I was so honored to be a part of it for an afternoon!

Tomorrow we’re headed across the state – going to continue to be a busy couple of days. :

Another very kind review!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I got another great review today – hope you enjoy it. I’m headed out this afternoon for another weekend of ministry in Florida – 8 events in 4 days, it’s going to be interesting!

Article in The Examiner

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

I had this article come out this week in The Examiner. Check it out!

A fun review!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Here’s a fun review I got this week – hope you enjoy it. 🙂

God is With Us

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

This is part of the update email I sent out yesterday – thought it might be helpful to others. If you’d like to get the email, you can sign up here.


She’s one of my oldest and dearest friends. We’ve grown up together – known each other since we were five, call each other every day. And this week she’s had absolutely devastating news. The kind where you can’t catch your breath, you can’t believe it’s true, you don’t know how to get through the day. I’ve been some of the places she is right now, and it kills me to see her hurting like this. How do I help here? How can we know God is with us, even in the midst of this terrible tragedy?

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:26-27)

When she first told me, she said, “I can’t feel God. I know He’s here, but I can’t feel Him.” (Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”) She said, “I can’t even pray, I don’t know what to pray. But I know the Holy Spirit is praying for me.” (Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us.”)

And God gave me John 14:26-27. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the verse about the Holy Spirit reminding us of what He has said to us. My friend would answer her own questions with truths from Scripture, and that was the Holy Spirit with her. It was like He was telling her, “Maybe you can’t feel me right now, but that doesn’t mean I’m not here. Maybe you can’t pray, but you don’t have to, I will.” And by reminding her of the truths she knows, He proved that He is with her, even in this terrible place.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

As we hide God’s word in our hearts and seek Him every day, He meets us. Our smallest turn toward Him is met by His running, joyful acceptance. How He longs to be with us!

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.” (Isaiah 30:18)

Do not forget today that God is with you. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Whether it’s the best day of your life, or the worst, He is there. And that makes all the difference.

Guest Lecturing at Capital University

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Today was an interesting day. I went down to Capital University and did a guest lecture for their “Music Industry Applied Studies” course. Russ Nagy is their regular professor, and he asked me to come in and basically do a q&a about whatever aspect of the industry the students were interested in.

I had a great time with them – I haven’t been in a classroom since I stopped teaching at Cedarville University, and it was fun to get back. Also fun because they had great questions – how to book a show, how does radio work, how do you use social media (well, for starters, write a blog!! HA!), how do you know a good producer, etc. So, thanks Capital for having me, hope it was helpful!

Happy Birthday, Young Life!

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

40 Never Looked Better

Cliffhanger Yodeler

Young Life in Columbus turned 40 this year, and they had a pretty smashing birthday party to celebrate.  I love this ministry, and to make it more fun, it was started here in Columbus by my dad, Dave Chilcoat.  My brother, Mike, is now the metro director, and they do awesome work.  Young Life is a ministry to high school students, and they’ve changed countless lives for the Lord.

Last night we got together with about 700 of Young Life’s closest friends at the Renaissance hotel downtown, and celebrated 40 years of ministry.  They had their trademark hilarious skits, and Jim Tressel, the coach of the OSU football team gave the keynote.  I got to close the evening with my song, “God Loved the World”.  I loved ending with that song, because it is the gospel, and exactly the message Young Life is giving to young people.

Happy Birthday, Young Life!!

CTVN – Focus 4

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Today I had a great opportunity to go to the old stomping grounds of my parents.  I was on the show “Focus 4” at CTVN, which is just outside of Pittsburgh.  My parents met at U. of Pitt, and I went there a lot as a kid.  Young Life moved my dad to Columbus, OH, but it never took the Pittsburgh out of him, and my brothers latched onto that – in my house, not rooting for ANY Pittsburgh team meant getting beaten up by your brothers.  In a loving way, of course!  🙂

So imagine my surprise when I get to the show and realize that the other guest is the owner of both the Pirates and the Penguins!!  My brothers would have loved to be there.  And, thanks to them, I didn’t have to look TOO stupid!

Had a great time with Ron and Cathy on the show, we had an interview and I did 3 songs.  Can’t wait to go back!  Just a very warm, friendly place there, and I love their heart for ministry.

“Off the Bookshelf”

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I was the guest on Greg Bullen’s radio show “Off the Bookshelf” on WMPC in Lapeer, MI yesterday – he told me we should rename the show “Off the CD” just for the day in my honor. Great guy, really fun show, and such a heart for ministry. Thanks for having me!