Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do the (RED) Thing

I've gone (RED) and I hope you will too.

(RED) Products range from GAP clothes, an exclusive Red American Express credit card, to iPods, etc. Proceeds from the purchase of these items go toward eliminating AIDS in Africa.

There are SO many wonderful gifts to choose from.

People on my list are getting (RED) gifts for Christmas - I'm not saying who and I'm not saying what, but I like knowing that a gift I give will mean something to them, to me and to a country in need of our help.

And...just so you know...
(RED) Products from the GAP are on my list...for Christmas (12/25/06) and my Birthday (1/25/06).

  • the INSPI(RED) t-shirt (see picture below)
  • the INSPI(RED) hoodie (see picture below)
  • (RED) leather bracelet (i have the white one)
  • (RED) skull cap
  • (RED) cashmere cap
  • the INSPI(RED) cashmere scarf (there's a picture below)
  • Do the (RED) Thing label pin (there's a picture below of this one too)

There is also a (RED) Gift Card from the GAP.

I hope this Holiday season you'll give a gift that KEEPS giving.

www.joinred.com or www.gap.com

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas is Coming

Christmas in NYC. Here's my little 3' tree. It is loaded with some of my favorite ornaments...from a Snow Baby to Micky Mouse bulbs. I love my little tree.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

HOODS in the BIG APPLE (and Connie Chung)

Tim and Janet are here and today Janet got a crash course introduction to NYC. She’s never been here before and man, did we cover some ground.

They got in around 1:30 and settled in. They’re staying at private missionary residence on the Upper West Side. After we ate (Dallas BBQ on 72nd) we walked into Central Park. We entered the park, crossing the street by the Dakota. As we walked along the sidewalk, Tim and I spotted news anchor Connie Chung getting out of her car and walking into the Dakota.

In the park we walked around the IMAGINE mosaic and made our way to the Bethesda Fountain. We circled the fountain and then walk along the Mall and over to Sheep’s Meadow. Then we walked South and went along the ice skating rink and exited the park on the south east corner near F. A. O. Schwartz’s, the famous toy store.

We went and all three of us were overwhelmed by the variety and layout of the store. So much of so much. We went upstairs (passing the oversized piano keys imbedded in the floor - made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie BIG) and shopped around. Tim and Janet were looking for Christmas gifts for their godson and other kids. Tim and I checked out the corner of the store dedicated to all things Lego. They have larger than life Lego models of Santa Claus, Batman, Darth Vader and more.

From F.A.O. Schwartz we made our way down Fifth Avenue. We passed all the major designer stores, marveled at the elaborate window displays and then walked to Rockefeller Center to see the enormous Christmas tree.

It started getting colder and we started getting hungrier, so we crossed by Radio City Music Hall, then through the top of Times Square, over to 9th Avenue. We walked down several blocks and had a lite dinner at my favorite spot...Say Cheese.

From all the eating and all the walking, we were beat. We left Say Cheese and walked back over to Times Square. The temperature continued to drop (which makes sense since it is suppose to snow tomorrow) and we headed in the direction of the subway.

I dropped Tim and Janet off and then made my way home to write this very entry. Good times.

Tim and Janet at the Betheseda Fountain. Tim and a Santa made of Lego's inside F.A.O. Schwartz's toy store.

Tim, Janet and Me at Rockefeller Center.

Monday, December 04, 2006


It’s late, but I’m home...home in NYC.

It was a long drive back to Atlanta - though it didn’t feel as long as getting to Nashville. It was a beautiful day to be driving through the mountains of Tennessee. As I drove I snapped a couple of pictures. They don’t do the landscape justice but I tried to capture the expanse of it all. The trees were pretty bare but it was still nice.

I visited with my Grandmother for a couple of hours before her neighbor drove me to the airport.

A long drive, a long flight...

But I’m home.

P.S. Last night I played chauffeur after Antuan’s show and then we all went bowling (again with the Rockettes and the cast of the Christmas Spectacular show.) and I bowled a Strike. There’s a first time for everything

Bowling with Rockettes (Again!). Laura, an ensemble member or the show and a friend of Antuan's, was a cheerleader for me as I bowled. And got my first STRIKE.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Surprise, Surprise

The wedding last night was beautiful - from start to finish. Katy was a beautiful bride and I was honored to sing in her wedding.

The song I wrote, Testimony, wasn't completed in time for the wedding (Dennis, the one orchestrating the wedding for his daughter, had his hands more than full arranging the music for the wedding, rehearsing for a show that opens next weekend, and his church’s Christmas concert the week after that.) but the lyrics were reprinted on the back of program. Dennis sent me the song How Beautiful.

And it was...beautiful. A great choice for the ceremony.

I loved that Katy's only request for the music in the wedding was that if people had heard it, she didn't want it. I love that the wedding was a testament to her uniqueness. There was no Here Comes The Bride. No Canon in D.

I was so thrilled to be a part of the joining of these two lives.

The wedding drew a wide range of folks, including a lot of people I knew from both Avondale Estates and from the world of Atlanta theater. It was a nice reunion for me.

Today...I’m back in Nashville.

Yep. I did it.

Nashville is 4 hours from Atlanta and I couldn’t be this close without seeing Antuan. So, I did some driving and surprised him just as he was getting home from his third show of the day. With the help of some of his fellow castmates, the surprise went off without a hitch and he was truly surprised. He had just done 3 back to back shows, so it was easy to find him dazed and confused.

He was very glad to see me and speechless for a bit. It was so good to see him and being here helps make the time between now and Christmas seem not so far away.

Today he’s doing two more shows and then he’ll be off tomorrow. We had breakfast at Waffle House before he went to the theater and I did some Christmas shopping (and this journal entry).

Saturday, December 02, 2006


As I’ve mentioned before, I haven't written or talked a lot about my personal life in this Journal, but this is one of those times that I hope that something I write or share might help someone else. In Atlanta I did concerts and cabaret evenings that focused on my personal journey.

Though this isn't a song or show...the journey continues...and I am grateful for that.

For the last few months I’ve been on a personal spiritual journey to really understand Forgiveness. I thought, as I shared in some of my shows, that I knew what forgiveness was and is.

I didn’t.

One evening, about six months ago, I was shown - through my spiritual life - that I didn’t truly know what forgiveness was. If I did, I would be able to forgive people who have hurt me the most. The one's you love the most can hurt you the deepest. I told myself that I had forgiven anyone and everyone in my life who had caused me some kind of pain.

It was true. I had...I had let forgiveness take me as far as I wanted go.

I had farther to go, if I would walk it.

I started thinking and praying about forgiveness. God revealed to me that if I truly wanted a spirit of forgiveness...I would have to forgive someone who had never asked and who had no desire to be forgiven. It costs you everything if you choose to forgive the one who hurt you the deepest.

For me it meant that I would have to forgive someone who had lied and betrayed me. Abandoned me. Someone who left me with no answers and twice as many questions.

I made the decision that the next time I was in Atlanta...I would find this person and forgive them.

This was that trip.

A few weeks ago, I called my Ex and made arrangements to meet up for coffee while I was in town.

Our time together, my first serious relationship, had been scarred by dark chapters that overshadowed anything good I experienced. A relationship that had defined me as a man had left me hurt.

We met for coffee near my old apartment, just North of downtown Atlanta. For several minutes we spoke about the past couple of years of our separate lives - since there has been no communication on either of our parts. Then I told him the reason I had called him out of the blue a few weeks ago.

I told him about my Journey of Forgiveness and how every time I had talked about it, God had gently reminded me that I had someone I needed to forgive if I really wanted to understand what Forgiveness meant.

I was afraid that if I forgave that I was saying that the pain, betrayal, lies and wounds to my soul hadn’t happened. I learned just the opposite. I learned that it means it did happen. Not only did it happen but I survived it. Forgiveness is a softer landing for your heart than holding the pain in its place.

I had thought and believed that I had forgiven him years ago. I wasn’t wearing the end of the relationship like a badge of hurt, but I did keep the stories and pain close at hand if I needed to call on them. I no longer thought bad of him, but I didn’t think good of him either. I felt nothing. Apathy.

I felt nothing - which is worse.

I had mentioned to several close friends what I intended to say. One remarked, “Are you really going to use those words? Are you really going to say, ‘I forgive you.’”

I said, “Yes. Those exact words.”

I don’t think we use them enough. How different would our world be today if our first line of defense was forgiveness verses fighting. What if we used words and not war. What if we, America, led the world by example? What if after 9/11 we acknowledged and absorbed our loss and then went to those who attacked us and said, help us understand your hatred. Help us understand how you feel wronged. Would it have worked? I don't know. Was it worth a shot? Absolutely.

I did forgive and I used the words, “I forgive you.”

The response was gratitude and tears. A healing was planted.

My hurt, my relationship, my life...are so small on a global scale. Then again, how do we measure pain?

We’re moving into a season of Peace on Earth...and a New Year. Peace is my goal.

Join me?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Home in Atlanta...Wedding Bells are Ringing

I’m home.

Well...home, Home, that is.

I’m in Atlanta.

I haven’t been here in almost a year...but still so much has changed. The city continues to grow and spread.

My first stop in Atlanta was Peachtree Publishers. I made rounds and saw everyone; co-workers and friends that I’ve missed terribly. I also got to be reunited with Arthur, the company cat. On my last visit, back in January of this year, Arthur hit from me during my entire visit. This time he was sprawled out on a desk near the front of the office.

I got to visit with everyone and also took a few minutes to do some Peachtree shopping. I collected books from all of m favorite authors. The Spring and Fall books for 2006 are just wonderful and I had to add them to my collection.

From the office I drove around and then made my way to the wedding rehearsal, followed by the rehearsal dinner. The dinner was at Anthony’s, an old Southern home tucked away, just off Piedmont Road. It was wonderful. The food. The wine. The laughter. The tears. All of it.

It was good to get to visit with Johnny and Laura Griffin, Allan and Stephanie Harp, and, of course, the Father and Mother of the Bride: Dennis and Gail Lewallen.

As Jake and Katy spoke, and handed out the most beautiful gifts, we were all moved to tears as they both shared the journey of their relationship.

From the dinner I headed south of the city to the home of my friend’s, Tom & Greg, where I’m spending the night. It has been a long day...between the bus to the airport...the plane to Atlanta and the driving everywhere else.

Peachtree's OFFICIAL Mascot: Arthur. One of my favorite furry, feline friends. Mother-of-the-Bride Gail and Bride-in-the-Making, Katy.

Atlanta skyline. Yep, I snapped the photos as I was driving.