Matt Wertz-Snow Globe

I'm really excited to go see Matt Wertz and Ben Rector play tonight at Belmont University.  Matt has a new Christmas CD out called

Snow Globe

 and I had the opportunity to write three of the songs with him including the title cut, Snow Globe.  A little back story for that song...Tony Wood and I were writing together and we were writing a really serious Christmas song.  Somehow the word Snowglobe came up right in the middle of the serious song and I turned around to the piano and started playing this chorus idea.  Within about 10 minutes, the chorus was done.  I was with Matt Wertz in the next few weeks and I played that chorus for him.  He said, "PLEASE let me write that with you!" Tony and Matt and I got together and finished the song.  We all ended up really loving it.  We also wrote Wake Up! Wake Up! together and Matt and I wrote Christmas in the City.  Even without my songs on this album, it is a GREAT album.  Go check it out!  Click


and it will take you to iTunes!


The last month and a half seem like such a whirlwind.  On July 1st, we got the frightening news that our niece, Milly was diagnosed with Leukemia.  This is Sarah's brother's third and youngest child and she is 2 years old.  Our world became wrapped up in daily trips to Vanderbilt Children's hospital to check up on her and spend time with family.  The first piece of news that the doctors gave that first night we were at the hospital is that 85% of children that go through treatment recover fully and never have another issue with leukemia.  That was good news given that Sarah and her brother Chad(yes we have the same name) had lost a high school friend to leukemia.  The first few weeks felt like everything was going on schedule.  They were there two and a half weeks for the first treatment and then the doctors sent Milly home.  Chad and Marty(parents) were glad to be home but it was only to be for 2-3 days.  They took her back to the hospital with complications with a port that had been place in her chest.  The doctors fixed that and sent them back home.  They live an hour and a half away so it's not an easy trip to make.  The night she got back home, she started having a bad belly ache, a fever, and her body started swelling.  They took her back to the hospital where she was admitted for another week and a half.  Her body swelled so much that her little body looked pregnant and she couldn't open her eyes.  The scary part was that the doctors at Vanderbilt said that they hadn't seen this in a child going through leukemia treatment.  On top of this, she had kidney stones.  There were a few nights during this time that we thought that we were going to lose her.  Her body stopped making protein which apparently caused fluids to leak out of veins and capillaries.  We learned that it is called "third spacing".  It is what caused her body to swell so much.  They began to give her protein and she started losing the 14 pounds that she had gained.  She only weighed 28 pounds when she started treatment so this was a LOT of weight to gain.

We have spent so much time praying for her and asking people to pray in the last month and a half.  She is recovering slowly at home.  Evidently the second month of chemo is not as invasive as the first month which is good news.  There are months coming in the two and a half years of treatment that will be tough.  We went to go see her on Friday night and she seems to be in good spirits.  She is smiling which was good for our souls to see.   If you think about it, pray for Milly.  Pray for continued healing.  We have seen the Lord answer prayers over and over again.

True Greatness: The 2010 Belmont Best of the Best

On Saturday night, Belmont hosted the Best of the Best Showcase.  They have 5 student-produced showcases throughout the year and this show was the winners of all of those showcases.  The show was amazing.  The production was stellar...and again all student-produced.  For the past three years, they have honored someone tied to Belmont.  This years honoree was Vince Gill. 

My wife Sarah has found so much favor in her job at Belmont.  I think it's because she loves to inspire people.  She also loves leadership and is not afraid to walk into conflict knowing that something great can come out of resolving it.  For several years, she was the staff advisor for the student showcase council and walked closely with them as they planned the showcases throughout the year.  A couple of years ago, Belmont allowed her to hire and lead someone in those responsibilities.  She has a new employee in that position and is still in the process training and equipping her.  Because of this, Sarah has been more directly involved with the students as they prepared for The Best of the Best.  A few weeks ago, the student council went to breakfast with Vince Gill at Noshville and the students talked about how selfless he was.  He made the statement, "What if we lived in a world where we always put ourselves last?"  This quote was directly in line with what my wife has been telling the students.  She has kept saying, "This is not about you.  This is about honoring someone and it will make your show SO much bigger."

They succeeded in really making the show about Vince.  Sarah had hired a former student to do several videos about Vince's life as a musician, as a family man, and as a philanthropist.  They were very moving to watch and I teared up a few times.  There were also video tributes from Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley.  During the tribute, Vince's daughter Jenni played a song and told a story about asking her dad to play at he first grade talent show.  The week before, he was asked to play on the Grand Ole Opry for the FIRST time.  He turned it down to play for his daughter.  It reminds me of a Kyle Mathews song called "The Way We Go About It Matters".  His wife, Amy Grant and his friend Rodney Crowell both played a song. 

When Vince accepted the Robert E Mulloy Award of Excellence(which were replicas of his and Amy's basketball seats in the Curb Event Center), he kept telling stories that honored other people.  Vince is an AMAZING musician but what makes him truly great is much more than his voice and guitar ability.  He is so generous with his time and resources.  I was a recipient of his generosity in college.  I received one of his scholarships and was able to thank him at a reception before the show.

The students who produced the Best of the Best succeeded in making their show SO much bigger by honoring Vince Gill.  It was a wonderful evening with so much good music that was filled with true greatness.