Monday, February 25, 2008

This past Sunday Annette sang in church, and so I thought I'd record it and post it. She performed the Watermark classic "Captivate Us," accompanied by our dear friend Hexel Hernando.
You may notice that the stage is bare- we are in the midst of a $350,000 remodel of our facility, which will include new carpet, new theater seats, and new projectors and plasma screens in the foyer. They've repainted the entire church, and we now have new tile throughout the hallways. It's looking really great.

Frank Hill is a dear friend and one of my favorite soloists from my choir. He sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow" Sunday morning in our Gospel service, and it was anointed. It was an all-around pretty good day for music, I must say.

Here's something you don't see everyday. Our church pulled out all our pews to make way for new theater-style seating. We asked for help following the morning service, and 77 guys showed up, and took 40 minutes to pull the pews, pull up the joints in the floor, and a few other minor moving jobs. We thought it would take the better part fo two hours. It was really pretty cool! The kids in the photo are my friends, from left: Cody Anderson, Katie Burford, and Marissa Mirsky.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Here's Chloe, 2, and Connor, 5, in front of the house following our morning services at church.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Last Saturday night, Annette and I attended a Valentine's dinner put on by our church at Ventano's, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Green Valley with a sweeping view of the Las Vegas strip. We were entertained by our friends, Whitney and Marianne Phoenix, who were just terrific, and by a special appearance of one of the top Elvis impersonators in Vegas, Brendan Paul. Brendan owns the Graceland Wedding Chapel on the Strip, has appeared as an Elvis impersonator in a number of films (including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with Johnny Depp), and is a friend of ours from church. His wife Deedee is a doll, and they have two boys around Connor's age. You always know when Brendan is at church, with his height, and abundance of jet black hair.
For a while we had two Elvis impersonators attending the same church service, sitting on opposite sides of the auditorium. I imagined that they would glance at each other in a competitive sort of way, and give each other the Elvis snarl.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Leah Orsack sings in my choir, is a soloist on my praise team, and a dear friend from church. Our kids all love Leah! She interviewed Celine Dion today as part of her job as producer for the 4PM newscast on KLAS-TV Channel 8 in Las Vegas. It was a thrill for Leah, who adores Celine. Congratulations, Leah!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another Simpson family milestone...
Connor lost his first tooth Friday afternoon. He was so excited. I know that, because he kept telling everyone, "This is so exciting." I haven't figured out how much cash the tooth fairy should give, but it's a bump up from the 25 cents I got as a kid (which was pretty good back then).

Friday, February 01, 2008

When my wife's Grandparents moved from their Fort Worth home of over 40 years last year, they allowed us to go and pick a few items from their affects to take as keepsakes. We had travelled by plane, so we selected a few small items (otherwise, I would have had so many great tools!).
I picked up a first edition hard back copy of Pastor David Wilkerson's classic, "The Cross and the Switchblade." Later I found out Annette's grandmother Estelle was David's secretary when he moved his ministry to Texas.
Last April I attended the Pastor's Conference at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York (it was incredible), and David Wilkerson was a late replacement speaker for Tony Evans, who coudn't get in to NYC on account of bad weather. Wilkerson was inspiring, and I decided that I should send him the book at his Manhattan church office, to have him sign it for my newborn, Caleb, as a keepsake. I did, and he sent it back with the inscription: "Caleb Benjamin- Stay close to Jesus! He's all that matters. David Wilkerson"
By the way, I read it again on my way back to Vegas when I got it, and it was a fast, terrific, blessed read once again. I now need to reread "Run, Nicky, Run!"