What changed our lives…..

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

About 4 years ago, Kellie and I were praying about a ministry that we could get involved with, that wasn’t strictly related to music ministry.   I told her that I remember seeing this booth at different concerts I had been to of Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, Point of Grace, Selah, and many more.  I said that we should call them and find out some more info, as it seems they like to partner with artists.  So, I called Compassion International and was blown away at the responsiveness to my ministry and their excited they had of wanting to partner with me as well.  I had talked to other organizations like World Vision and was talked down to like a “nobody” and they told me they would maybe think about taking me on a small trip Mexico to see some projects.  But, only after I had gotten 1000 kids sponsored.   Compassion, on the other hand, told me that they wanted to take me right away to see our sponsored child.  Compassion knew how much that would impact my story and how it would change my perspective on poverty, by seeing it right away.  I knew right then, Compassion International was the organization for us.  So, Kellie and I got ready right away for a trip to Guatemala to go and meet our sponsored child.  As we were packing and preparing for our trip, Kellie had not been feeling well and decided to take a pregnancy test.  We found out just a few days before we left that Kellie was, indeed, pregnant.  We were nervous because we knew that traveling to a third world area was dangerous.  What if we drank the wrong water?  What if we had eaten the wrong food?  All those questions went through our minds, but we knew this was something God was calling us to do, so those fears quickly went away and we knew He’d take care of us.  We headed to the airport and made our way to Guatemala.  Once we arrived, we boarded a bus and begin to make our way to see our sponsored child.  Now, I’ll start by telling you this, Kellie and I took the least amount of Spanish possible, to be able to graduate high school.  My Spanish classes involved watching Man of La Mancha about 40 times.  With that said, I don’t know any Spanish..Cero!  Our sponsored child’s name is Gerson.  So, prior to us going over there we had been pronouncing his name just as it reads in english.  Gerson with a hard “G.”  As the bus approached where he and his father were standing, we could see them wondering if they were going to recognize us.  You’re able to send letters and pictures and other things back and forth with your child, so we had hoped he would recognize us immediately.  He did.  He ran to me and jumped into my arms with the biggest smile.  I looked at him and said, “We’ve waited so long to see you Gerson (with a hard “G”)  He looked at the translator and said something that had the word Loco in it.  Not really, but you could tell he was a little confused.  The translator quickly let us know his named was pronounced like “Harrison.”  So, we were able to show off a little bit of our East Texas country roots at that moment.  It was a great ice breaker though! Here’s a picture of our little sponsored boy.  People often ask why he has shiny teeth. There teeth often rot out, so caps are put on them at early ages to stop the rotting and to promote healthy adult teeth.  Compassion helps out with this process through their team of doctors.

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The most memorable part of that trip was having him take us to his home.  We walked down a path that was about 30 minutes long, one way.  Nothing but rocks and boulders the whole way.  Would almost be impossible to get a car down the road.  On each side of the road was layers of tress and jungle.  So, you would never know if someone was waiting to attack you, steal from you, or do who knows what to you.  As a 6 year old boy.  He walked this about 4 times a day.  He’d walk to Compassion’s school and back.  Then, he’d rest, and then walk back to the village to run errands for his family.  His home looked like a camp site.  Hard dirt floors with tin roofing stacked onto wobbly logs.  There were about 13 people living in a 400 square foot area.  There were clothes hanging from tree limbs and nothing but buckets and tree logs as furniture. Because of Compassion, they were able to have clean running water and a couple of soft beds to sleep on. I remember seeing a boy there in a wheel chair.  He had fallen out of a tree trying to pick fruit for his family.  He was also in Compassion’s program.  His mother would carry him each day to school and back.  The boy was at least 10 year’s old, so you can imagine the journey that was for the mother.  What an amazing act of love.  I couldn’t help but think of Mephibosheth, from the Bible.  He was the son of Jonathan, who was King David’s best friend growing up.  David has sent for any remaining family members of Jonathan, because he wanted to show favor to them, as to honor their father who had died. Mephibosheth was crippled,  so he had to be carried in to see the king. King David gave Mephibosheth everything that was once his father’s and also told him that he would, from now on, eat at the table of the King.  So, each day, Mephibosheth was carried to table of the King to dine with him.  What a perfect picture of God’s love for us.  Though we are crippled in our sinful nature and have no way to reach the love of God ourselves, God reaches down and carries us to his arms.  I saw the mother of this child in the same light as I did King David.  Carrying her son, each day, to Compassion’s project where he could learn about the love of Christ.  I get chills thinking about it to this day.  Here is that precious boy who couldn’t walk.

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As we left the home of Gerson and his family, we took Gerson with us to Antigua where we were able to shop with him in the village there.  We got him blankets and other things his father said they needed.  We then left and made our way our hotel where he joined us for dinner.  Kellie and I laugh because they are all so grateful and don’t want to waste a thing.  So, I remember the waiters bringing out every one’s appetizer….which was a bowl of soup.  Gerson tried his hardest to eat all of the soup.  You could tell he was so stuffed.  The waiters begin walking over with covered dishes, which was the main meal.  Gerson just kept saying, “Please, no more soup….no more soup.”   We laughed so hard.  He thought the soup was all we were having that night.  After the dinner, we went to the lobby of the hotel to wait for a bus to take him and his father home.  He was so tired.  He fell asleep in our laps as we sang to him some lullaby’s.  We shook his father’s hand hugged Gerson goodbye. It was sad seeing him leave.  Sad knowing what he was going home to….and what we were going home to.  Knowing we have so much, and they have so little.  But, they are not concerned at all.  We heard a child tell us how happy they were because they have Jesus Christ, and that’s all they need.  They have such a dependency on Jesus, it makes you jealous.  Here we are in America with all these blessings and stuff, that we think those things are what makes us happy.  They have absolutley nothing, but Jesus Christ is absolutely everything to them.  And they are truly happy. I would say more happy than we are.  

So, could you ask yourself this?  If all you had were the things Compassion provides to these children:  Food, School and Books, A doctor to check on you and your family, would that truly make you happy. If all you had was the cross of Jesus, would that make you happy.  Here in America, we don’t share the blessings we have because we think we need those things to be happy.  We think a $4 dollar cup of coffee is what gets us through the day.  We think that expensive meals out every night is the only way to eat.  We think $15 movie tickets each weekend is what fun is.  Yet, here these kids are happier than we could ever be.  For $1.26 a day, these kids have smiles that would make you jealous.  Smiles that say Jesus Christ is all I need.  We are seeing 500 children and adults come to know Christ EVERY day through Compassion’s ministry.  EVERY DAY!  That’s amazing to think of those numbers.  To know you could have a hand in providing one of these children the materials that will be use to teach them about Christ, is such a blessing.  What a way to teach your own children or grandchildren what it means to really give.  I want to encourage you to visit Compassion’s website and sponsor a child.  There are hundreds and hundreds waiting on you.  Click HERE to change a life today.  As of today, I’m so blessed to know that through my concert ministry, about 700 children have been brought out of poverty’s grips through Compassion.  Altogether, Compassion has over 1.2 million have been sponsored since its 1952 inception. Join this amazing organization today…

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A couple of months back I had the opportunity to be on the hit TNT Drama, Dallas.  That episode will be premiering on this coming Monday, Jan. 28th (The season 2 premier)ImageMy scene was with Linda Gray in the campaign office.  My role was the campaign manager! This was a fun experience and I hope to be able to do it again.  Maybe this will catapult me to be in the sequel to “Titanic” or maybe I’ll be asked to sing the national anthem at the next inauguration and not lip sync.  Fingers crossed.  The possibilities are endless!  I got an IMDB page out of the deal, so that’s something fun!

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3200295424/nm5473204

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Kellie and I started the dreaded potty training process on Friday.  Luke has been telling us, for a while now, that he wants to go potty in the big potty.  So, we took the plunge and went and bought him big boy underwear.

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He picked out his very own boxer briefs.  He was so proud of him self.  We only got one package of 3.  We figured that would be enough to get us through the 1st day, then allow us the time to wash and dry them to have them all ready for the next day.  We’d all eat cotton candy during this process and spin around in circles laughing at how baby-ish diapers now were.  So, we put Luke in his underwear and 5 minutes later he told us he had to go potty.  He pooped in the big potty in just 5 minutes.  Game over.  We’re awesome.  I told Kellie I was going to start writing a book about “Pro Potty Training For Parents.”   Fast forward 3 hours, and I’ve got poop on my arms and legs trying to keep Micah from crawling in it while Kellie is away getting signed up for her 10K.  Not sure why we have to pay for her to run.  I told her that she should just go up there and start running when everyone else runs, without signing up.  It’s free that way and also still legal.  ANYWAY, so maybe we jumped the gun on ordering our medals for potty trainers of the year.  But, Luke’s been doing great so far.  He may have figured out a system though.  Since he gets an M&M every time he goes, I’m convinced he holds half of it in, so he can go 10 minutes later to get another treat.  We’re running out of prizes to give.  Yesterday I had to tell him that the helicopter flying in the sky was a prize that dada called in because Luke went poop in the potty.  Hope it will fly over the house again today, fingers crossed.  The other plus side of potty training is that Luke will bring Kellie and I an M&M and a sticker every time we go potty too.  So, everyone wins.

Today, I was watching one of my favorite shows, “Finding Bigfoot.”  Now, before you start judging me, I’m not a believer in “Squatches.”  Although, I have been to a few “Squatchy” areas, as they would say.  But, I love this show because these guys are so adamant about the realness of bigfeet (plural bigfoot?) They conduct night investigations with night vision goggles and thermal cameras. They stop in the middle of their tracks and yell out a big “whoop” or “Call” to alert the Squatches in the area, similar to a hunter calling a turkey (except we know what a turkey call sounds like).  It’s their hopes that a big foot will yell back at them.  Usually, they hear a coyote and are baffled that there are coyotes out there.  If you don’t know coyotes live in wooded areas, maybe you should choose a different career path other than finding big foot.  Anyway, after they yell, they compliment the other guy on how good his Sasquatch yell was.  They’ll also be walking and see hogs or elk and say, “wow, this is a great area for squatches, because we know they love to eat elk and hogs.” You might ask, “what’s wrong with simple observation Adam?” “Why are you making fun of this show?”  Well, here’s what’s wrong with all of their observations and calls…..they have NOTHING TO BASE IT OFF OF.   There has been no record of a bigfoot anywhere, besides fake videos and people who want to get on TV.  You’d think with all the professional hunters in the world, someone would have one of these things mounted on their wall.  This begs the question, how would you even mount a Sasquatch?  Would you simply just mount the foot? The bigger the foot, the more impressive your big foot was?  Or, have his torso in a position to where he looks like he’s bustin through your wall.  You’ll tell everyone, “Yep, caught this one while he was eating beef jerky on the set of a TV Commercial.”   But, I digress. The TV Show characters have never even seen one, but yet they know exactly what it eats, how it yells, and when the best time to see one is.  Every episode they get frustrated and say, “Man!! These things are sooo illusive.”  By the way, every video in the world of a big foot has been taken in the day time. Why are they in the woods at 2:00am?

Before the commercial break today, they had a pop quiz.  It read, “True or False: Sasquatches can run up to 30mph.”  After they came back from commercial break, they confirmed that this question was indeed, True.  How can you even answer this? It would be like if I asked you, “True or False: Unicorns don’t eat from pecans, because it makes their horns itch.”  I sat there baffled and had the image in my mind of someone standing at the end of a 40 yard dash with a stop watch timing a big foots reaction time and speed.  Kind of like a B.F.L Combine for Rookie Big Foots hoping to make the team.

I often wonder what the TV Show crew’s plan is, if they happen to sneak up on a big foot while he’s ravaging an elk and using it’s horns for tooth pics?  If that really happens, the intro to that episode would be “Series Finale- Big Foot Found with sneak peaks of all cast members funerals.”  The tombstone of each character would read, “Squatches definitely be running 30mph.”

Here’s a clip from a recent squatch hunt that my guitarist, Spence Peppard, and I took on a trip to Oklahoma this past December

Auto-tune Has Taken Over

Posted: January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

As funny as this video is, it can’t be more true of most every artist out there, both Christian and main stream artists.

Hopefully there will be a day, AGAIN, where true God given vocal talent is appreciated and not just how long your hair is, or how cool you dress, or how many times you can say “forever” in one song. I miss hearing well written songs.  Songs from the heart, songs straight from the bible,  even just a song with a beginning, middle, and ending would be nice.  The word Tag is just something the band plays while the engineer works on auto-tuning the lead singers voice up 3 keys.  “Tag, you’re it!”

I imagine this is how the popular song below was written.  “Hey guys, I have an idea for a song.  I think it should go on forever.  Not only that, let’s say the word forever over and over again.  Yeah, let’s do it.  Forever on three……ONE, TWO, THREE….(hands raised) FOREVER!!.   Wait, how should we end it?  Oooh, I know…let’s throw them a curve ball and say “ever and ever. Let’s throw the word “yeah” in there too.  That’s way better than a “No.”

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever
Forever
Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever
Forever
Forever

His love endures forever
His love endures forever
His love endures forever
Forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise
Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Forever you are faithful
Forever you are strong
Foerver you are with us
Forever
And ever
Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forever you are faithful
Forever you are strong
Forever you are with us
Forever
Forever
You are God…..
Forever
And ever and ever ….

Hey Guys
If you’re looking for a tune up in your choir, praise team, or praise and worship band, Spence Peppard and I have begun doing workshops in association with our concerts.

Spence Peppard has played guitar for Female Artist of the year and Grammy Award winner, Miranda Lambert, Grammy nominated and GMA Dove Award winner Phil Keaggy, and has engineered for country music icons such as Willie Nelson and Kris Krisofferson. His credits span from multi-instrumentalist, to studio engineer and producer.

This seminar usually starts at 10:30 on Saturday with Spence doing a workshop for drums and percussion.   Spence will go over equipment, blending in with more traditional songs, correct ways to mic drums, Trap Sets vs. Electric Drums, the do’s and don’ts in church percussion, and also some great rudimentary skills any drummer can use.

Also at 10:30 I will be leading a vocal seminar for your praise and worship team, choirs, and any other person interested in further developing their gift of music through singing.  (See below for Adam Paul’s bio and workshop outline)

We break for lunch at 11:45 where we fellowship together for finger foods, sandwiches…etc. This is a time of fellowship and a time of growing deeper relationships with your church family.

At 1pm.  We resume with the guitar seminar led by Spence Peppard.

See Spence LIVE IN CONCERT

He’ll go over current trends in praise and worship, playing in the pocket, working together as a band, equipment, and ways to improve the skills God has given you. Anyone in the church who loves guitar, or bass, is encouraged to come. This is a great opportunity for not only your band members, but for your youth to come out and get involved in church music.

Also, at the 1pm slot we will begin rehearsal for the choir anthems that we’ll be performing the following Sunday, during our  concert.

This seminar is not only a great tune up for your music ministry, but it’s also a way that Spence and I can connect on a deeper level with your church family.  Spence and I spend every Sunday at different churches all over the world, and so we like to make each church feel like our home church.  Along with our concerts, this is great way to extend our ministries and hearts to your church and make us feel even more a part of your church family for the weekend.

Adam Paul has spent 7 years in the full time ministry. He was classically trained at Stephen F. Austin State University and has spanned the globe with his God given gift of music.  He’s worked with Contemporary artists such as Sonic Flood and 2012 Producer of the year, Ed Cash.  His music has been played on radio stations across the nation, including the #1 Christian radio station, KLTY.  He’s also sung with groups such as The Gaither Vocal Band and can be seen on a recent taping of InTouch Ministries at FBC Atlanta, GA with Dr. Charles Stanley.  From Traditional to Contemporary music, Adam Paul can guide and lead your prasie team and choirs through vocal warm ups, correct vocal technique for any style of music, vocal health tips, stage appearance, and blending techniques for choirs, bands, and praise teams.  Also, we’ll go over correctly setting the EQ for your church mics.  So, sound guys are encouraged to come.
http://www.adampaulwilliams.com/solo

Available 2013 Workshop Weekends (as of 5-17-13)
July     14, 21
Aug.    11,18,
Sept    8, 29
Oct.     13
Nov.    10, 17, 24

Flying on a plane the other day reminded me why I invented seating sections on planes last year. I’m still waiting on the FAA to approve my request. So, I thought I’d share,  this blog I wrote not too long ago.  Maybe they’ll get the message this time

I think I was too young to remember the days when there was separate seating sections on planes for smokers and non-smokers. Thank goodness!! Having a smoking section, anywhere, is pretty much like dedicating a peeing section in the pool. It just doesn’t work. Anyway, Kellie and I took our first flying trip with Luke last year, before Micah was born. This was his first time flying so we were pretty nervous. We were especially nervous since we were on a long flight to Daytona Beach, FL. But, we thought this would be a great trip for everyone to go on. Kind of our last hoo-rah as a family of 3. So, we loaded up all 6 suitcases filled with clothes, Cd’s, and then the other things that were not needed (packed by Kellie of course). The first flight was a connecting flight to Houston, which was great. Luke just played and giggled a little bit. People are usually pretty forgiving in a 40 min flight. But, the next flight was going to be 2 and a half hours. The flight was totally booked, so that meant we weren’t going to be able to leave a seat in between us. So, we got seated and Luke starts whining a little bit, but was manageable for the first 30 minutes. After we fed him a bottle…..then another bottle (just to top him off) he fell asleep and slept almost the whole way!! Yay. So, we were lucky this time….but there will soon be another trip I’m sure. While on the plane with a sleeping child, almost every little things makes you annoyed because you think it’s going to wake up your baby. So, I’ve constructed a list that I think airlines need to follow on new seating assignments.

1. The Talker’s Section- If you haven’t been on a plane before, it’s pretty loud. Basically it’s like having a huge 2000 horsepower white noise sleep machine in your ear the whole time. I do enjoy talking to people on a plane, but I usually don’t because it “seems” as if you have to yell. It seems this way because when people talk they try to hear their own voice (which is how we regulate our speaking volume) Similar to when you talk with headphones on. You yell to hear yourself, while the person across from you is bleeding from their ears at your unnecessary speaking volume. If I can hear you all the way in front of the plane, here’s a hint, the person next to you can hear you too! So, I would suggest that the last section of the plane be for talkers. It’s my assumption that they will all be talking so loudly, that they’ll just get frustrated and all quit talking all together. Therefore making it easy for the rest of us to sleep!

2. The Kid Section- This section should be all the way to the front of the plane. This is the section for the parents whose kids like to grab the seats in front of them and shake it like a polaroid picture. If they are in the furthest front seat, ah ha, no seat in front of them to shake. This is also the closest seat to the exit too, in case I need to let your child go to the restroom outside at 30,000 feet!

3. Smokers Section- “Adam, you know there isn’t smoking on a plane anymore.” Yes, I do know that. But apparently some airports (Atlanta) for one, have these death rooms they call smoking rooms. This is where smokers, who can’t go 3 minutes without smoking, can sit in a cloud of smoke, in a dedicated room, in the terminal and smoke. This is a humorous room, because it is totally see through. All the little toddlers and kids can come up to the window and gawk at the people inside. It’s kind of like viewing the reptiles at the zoo except, instead of viewing the snake eating the mouse in the reptile room, you can watch smoke wrinkle away the skin of 20 people at a time. ANYWAY this section is for those people who have just smoked a cigarette, or 20 cigarettes in some cases. Obviously they think that they are the only ones who can smell smoke. They come and plop down beside you wafting a cloud of smoke in the air that finds it’s ways to your nostrils. Thanks. As if all the coughing and sneezing germs circulating through the air vents weren’t enough to make me paranoid. Now I have to worry about 2nd-hand leather jacket smoke.

4. First Class Section (upgraded)- This is for the people who, before the flight, found out that they could upgrade their ticket for only $60 and fly first class. Woo Hoo! Basically, they get two free checked bags and get to sit in the very front. Oh yeah, you get your ginger ale before anyone else too. It’s basically the same as paying the same amount of checking two bags, so it’s not that fancy. Just a $10 difference when you look at it. But, they snarl at you when you walk on, as if you are beneath them. I’m surprised they don’t ask the flight attendants if someone from coach could come and fiddle for them, or play a sultry harp solo to lull them asleep. This section of the plane should be moved to the wing of the plane.

5. Drinks and Snacks People on a 45 minute flight- It mind boggles me that the flight attendants think that we are all so desperate in need of a drink, that we can’t wait 30 minutes to get to the next airport to fulfill our odd flight drinks. They are frantically sprinting up and down the aisles throwing bags of peanuts at you yelling and asking if they can get you something. Usually this is occurring while I’m trying to get my cat nap in, and the flight attendant rams my elbow with their loud 4 ton vending machine cart. This raises another question. Why do people, on a plane, order drinks that they never have in real life? “Yes, I would like a ginger ale with teaspoon of club soda and tomato juice.” Seriously? I am willing to bet $4 that the last time they ordered either tomato juice, club soda, or ginger ale was when they last flew, 6 years earlier. I usually end up with drink all over me because, apparently, a little divot in my seat tray isn’t enough to hold a top heavy plastic cup securely when the plane drops 100 feet during turbulence. Hmmmm, imagine that. Now I have to hold my breath through the smoking section while “The Talking Section” laughs way too loud at me as I make it to the locker size restroom. At least the $60 upgrade guy is too busy enjoying his V8/Pine-Sol drink mixture to not notice my predicament.

What section would you like to see added to your next plane ride??