K-Blog II

2nd Sunday of Advent: Sunday Sermon
December 11, 2013, 11:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

2nd Sunday of Advent: Sunday Sermon.

Jodie Wachsmann | Hope In The Unseen
December 9, 2009, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , ,

My friend Jodie from Texas…from Nashville…from Texas – just released her first album! It’s really good, ya’ll, so do yourself a favor and go buy it. If you need further convincing, just read my review below! If you want to get to know Jodie and a little more about how she arrived at releasing Hope In The Unseen, read the official bio written by yours truly.

Jodie Wachsmann
Hope In The Unseen
– album review

For artists, debut albums time stamp the genesis of a career that’s usually marked with glimpses of what’s to come. After the excitement of finalizing artwork and the hype of release parties pass, what’s left is a snapshot of a work in progress. In a society of “What’s next?!” we rarely take the time to experience the moment.

Call it just a good time – call it a personal soundtrack, you can really live into Jodie Wachsmann‘s debut album Hope In The Unseen. Once in a blue moon a first-take release by a take-a-chance artist exhibits the kind of maturity commonly found in a seasoned pro at the peak of their creativity. Raised under the Texas sun, Jodie Wachsmann has obviously been crafting her sound to make this moment as meaningful and lasting as possible.

Although the tone is immediately set as a fun, high-energy pop record with “On The Inside,” one thing you can’t call this project is singsongy. A budding writer, this is one attribute that she will refine with time. Big and concise choruses throughout combined with several strong hooks makes up for the occasional wordy verse, however. The end result is a very introspective and telling collection of tracks. After all, Jodie does have something significant to say.

The chorus of the title track beautifully answers the verse and powerfully carries the banner for the album’s theme (There is hope in every sunrise / Light piercing the dark / A harvest appearing after a long, hard drought / Amid the dark shadows that cloud her mind / I believe, there is hope in the unseen). Among the many great but shallow records out there today, it’s refreshing to come across an artist who offers a project full of hopeful and positive messages without sacrificing the integrity of its sound. Hope In The Unseen is a masterfully produced project and Jodie tells it like she means it.

“In The Waiting” might have been intended as the proverbial spiritual, but piggy-backing on the album’s vibe several songs reveal Jodie’s beliefs, quite frankly, in the unseen. “Hold On To You” (But this called for more than my comfort / You said “cling to Me”), “Again & Again” (Again and again, He walks this road with us / Where He knows our deepest need / Where He can love us beyond imagination / If we would only open up / And pour our hearts out to Him), and “Open Your Eyes” (Would you open your eyes / And you will see / A guiding hand to lift you up to set you free) provide for some the biggest and more spiritual moments on the album.

Certainly the most radio-friendly song on Hope In The Unseen is “Found.” In the vein of Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus, somehow this track is just at home in dad’s iPod as it is at his daughter’s sweet-sixteen party. As if we needed it, “Rollercoaster” allows us a closer look into who the real Jodie might be, but in a more light-hearted narrative than some of the more descriptive tunes on the record.

Experience new artistry displayed at the destination of a long journey. Take a moment and take it in. Take a seat or take it with you. Take a chance on Jodie Wachsmann – blue moon’s and debut albums like Hope In The Unseen only come around every so often.

– Kevin Sparkman

Click HERE to read Jodie’s official bio.

Preview: Check out the new music on Jodie’s MYSPACE page!
Buy: Hope In The Unseen on compact disc HERE
Also available on iTunes!

Check out highlights from last visit to Texas to interview Jodie, catch up on the latest of the album pre-release, and even play a gig!

Hot Dogs for the Homeless?
September 20, 2009, 5:23 am
Filed under: Light Talk | Tags: , , , ,

The past two Tuesdays have been interesting ones in the life of McKendree Church. It’s amazing what will happen to your front lawn when you start up the grill and throw a few dogs on the fire.

In an effort to better utilize our God-given location in the heart of Music City, we wanted to open up our front lawn area during the lunch rush hour in hopes of meeting a few new folks, stirring up engaging conversation, and offering a free meal to our neighbors.

As soon as the the scent of burning coals filled the air last Tuesday it was Nashville’s displaced population taking over our front lawn – not the business men and women I was expecting. I must confess that I was a little upset at first. Mainly, I didn’t want to be accused of perpetuating homelessness by offering handouts. There was nowhere to hide, we were right there on one of this city’s main day-time stages.

Once the fire was hot enough to grill and serve the food, there were over fifty men and women that do not claim addresses sprawled out all over our lawn and front steps. Then something crazy started happening. I noticed that the very same business men and women that I anticipated spending this hour with begin to avoid our stretch of the sidewalk. Groups of people full from lunch and carrying their bags of leftovers and foam cups half-empty with soda were making the extra effort to cross to the other side of the street before having to walk in front of our church.

Again, confessing my attitude, I was right there along with them. Would I have done the same thing if I didn’t have to be there helping with the cookout? Then I was reminded of Jesus, and how He calls us to “do for the least of these” (Matt. 25:40). I also think He implies the “NO MATTER WHAT” rule to this passage!

Hear me – I’m no better than anyone else because I decided to stay and converse with those hungry, homeless, and unemployed people. I’ll have you know that my attitude was in the same sorry place the very next Tuesday! However, rather than fearing what another man might accuse me of doing from a distance, I will choose to (reluctantly as it may be at times) leave my “boat of safety” (Matt. 14:22-33) and venture out onto the water to see what Jesus might be up to. Fear | NOT!

Question: What would happen if the business community and the displaced population were to share a meal together on Tuesdays on our front lawn? (Next event: THIS Tuesday @ 11:30a on our front lawn)

My Thoughts on “Obama 9/11: A Day Of Service”
September 11, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,
I know that it has been a LONG time since my last post. Man, I am surely eating my words! But here’s a little shout about my thoughts on President Obama re-branding September 11 as a national “Day of Service.”
“A Day of Service?” C’mon! Why don’t we all just call it what he wants to call it – “A Day of: let’s do what we can to draw attention away from the task at hand and slowly but surely use the influence of political correctiveness to run and hide from acknowledging terms like ‘terrorism’ & ‘jihad,’ etc. that are woven into the fabric of what this day and every day since 9/11 has encompassed. A Day of: slowly and surely beginning the process of introducing new elements into the remembrance of this day so that years from now…generations from now…the mere impact of it that drove us to resolve is diminished into nonexistence.” That’s what he is saying by re-branding this day as “A Day of Service,” right?
Questions that immediately come to mind: Is this how days like Christmas – which is now mostly recognized for a fat jolly old man that never existed – got started? Are these the type of initial actions that get things rolling and snowball into why Easter is all about bunny rabbits and chocolate?
I don’t want to dwell on or over-play the past. I’m also not a gun-toting Jesus NASCAR pro-Bush freak. But I just can’t be silent on this one.

New Stuff For My Face

Greetings friends, neighbors, Nashvillians, and the world… This will be a short K-Blog II post – lots to do today. But I was so excited about my new face accessory that I had to share it with you and would love to know your feedback – GOOD or BAD.

(If it’s bad, I got these glasses from Dr. Stephanie Judkins at Choate Eye Associates in Goodlettsville, TN. Please direct the criticisms there!)

And despite the fact that I highly respect him (and think he’s a handsome guy…in or out of  his glasses), I’m not trying to look like Matthew Paul Turner. Nor did I merely put a link to his blog here just because when ever I do that I seem to get a spike in visits to my blog!🙂


Here ya go, and thanks for your feedback!

Picture 1Picture 2

Picture 3Picture 4












Ok, back to work now on the “puzzle graphic.” Some of you will be getting a piece of a puzzle in the mail very soon. Bring it with you to McKendree Church on June 28!

My Lucky Shirt

Like some guys, I do not have a lucky shirt. But some guys do. One such guy who has admitted to having a lucky shirt goes by the name Hamish Hamilton.

I have been a fan of Hamilton’s work since I was a student at Belmont University when we watched the U2 Elevation Tour Live from Boston dvd on the big screen in Massey Concert Hall during an end-of-the-year party for Frank Baird‘s CREW. I now own the U2 Vertigo Tour dvd and Phil Collins‘ Finally…the First Farewell Tour dvd – all directed by Hamish Hamilton.

Thanks to my friend Stephanie Judkins who insisted that I would be “putting up with her,” I was invited to go see Coldplay last Saturday night at the Sommet Center. It was an AWESOME show! But this blog is about a guy with a lucky shirt, remember?

Before Coldplay goes on, I notice a tall guy with thick rimmed glasses standing just in front of us in the gated area where the front of house console was located. It looked just like Hamish Hamilton! So I walked up to him, nudged him on the shoulder and said “I loved your work on the Phil Collins dvd.” The guy gives me a blank stare for what seems like 2 minutes. He then says “You recognize me from that?! You are the first person EVER to come up to me and tell me they recognize me from the Phil Collins dvd! It’s usually U2…and even Whitesnake…but not Phil Collins!” He was totally blown away that I had said this to him.

To commemorate the experience, I did what I normally do not do in these situations – I took a picture with him! (Sorry, Hamish. And sorry for the floods of people asking to take their picture with you ho had no idea who you were!) Check it:


Me & Hamish Hamilton @ Coldplay Nashville '09

Me & Hamish Hamilton @ Coldplay Nashville '09


I was very impressed with his kindness and willingness to not only conversate, but to admit that since ’04 I was the first random person to drop the Phil bomb on him. In addition, he also was very kind to every person that was talking to him around his little work station inside the front of house world. He told me that he is directing the upcoming Coldplay dvd for this current tour and observed him taking notes during the show in Nashville. It’s obvious he was busy and could have shrugged us common-folk away. He seemed like a very genuine kind-of guy. You know, like “one of the guys” you go to the pub with to watch the big game. Thanks, Hamish – keep making killer videos and can’t wait to get the Viva La Vida dvd!

Here’s some of Hamish’s work:
Phil Collins Finally…the First Farewell Tour (buy):

U2 Vertigo Tour (buy):

U2 Live from Boston (buy):

Interesting angle here: Hamilton control truck/director cam during “Where The Streets Have No Name”

Hamish Hamilton interview from ’05 I found on YouTube:

Blog from coldplay.com: Greetings From Nashville

Lucky shirt

Back II Blogging – College Football in July

I’ve been bad. No, I’ve been BUSY. However, this blog was intended and created to document the very busy times in leading up to Rev. Stephen Handy’s first day at McK (which is just 3 short weeks away – yikes!). One thing I didn’t realize was just how busy I would be. It’s been SO crazy that I’m almost resigned to just recounting these things later when I have a second to think.

So why blog right now? 1) Probably just finished one of the busiest weeks of my life (I’ve been saying that every week lately). 2) Just to escape all of the mental pressure for a brief moment I actually had the idea for this post in the shower the other day! While I enjoyed that short moment of escape I knew that I would really enjoy the 20 minutes or so it would take to write this when I would finally be able to sit for a while.

Two new things for K-Blog II with this post. 1) Trying out the WordPress app for the iPhone for the first time. 2) Added a new category: Sports. Yes, this will be about college football in July. Weird, I know, but I tend to have the most random thoughts in the shower when it’s the only time I’m really away from any forms of multimedia.

I like Top 10 lists. Here’s one:
Top 10 Teams at FSU in the Bowden Era

#1, 1999: Wire to wire National Champs. Can’t really argue against the fact that this was one of the best teams of all time – PERIOD. Chris Weinke at QB, who would eventually win the Heisman the next season. Peter Warrick, who would have won the Heisman in ’99 if he didn’t go shopping at Dillards. Ron Dugans at wideout. Beat Michal Vick in the Sugar Bowl, wins over Miami, UF…heck, everyone in ’99. One of the most dominant teams in college football history.

#2, 1987: Only lost one game by one point – a heartbreaker at home to Miami by going for two instead of taking the tie and probably the National Championship with it. ’87 simply gets the nod over ’93 because of overall margin of loss and Bowden’s passion to get the outright win on the field of play. A 34-6 win at Bo Jackson’s Auburn and FSU’s 1st win vs. UF since 1980 are obvious highlights. RB Sammie Smith CB Deion Sanders were the studs of ’87 and helped to lay the foundation of winning at FSU. Nail-biting win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl to end the season.

#3, 1993: Here’s my best memories – 14 play goal line stand vs. Kansas in the Kickoff Classic to preserve the shutout win, Devin Bush picking off a pass and taking it to the house vs. Miami, Warrick Dunn going for 73 yards (check my stats) at Florida Field and whooping it up in the corner of the endzone with recruits visiting UF that day (ha ha!), 3 or 4 shutout wins, Charlie Ward winning the Heisman and then turning pro…in the NBA! Oh by the way, FSU’s first ever National Championship coming 3 years before UF could ever claim that title. Not bad for “that school up north” who had only been playing football less than 50 years.

#4, 1979: I was only like 2ish so I don’t remember any details, but this was FSU’s first 11-0 regular season. Was Larry Key the RB then? I think the QB was Jimmy Jordan?? I do know the ‘Noles lost to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Wonder what would have happened to this dynasty if they would have won the Championship this early in Bowden’s career in Tallahassee? Still, pretty crazy that talks of championships were happening in ’79.

#5, 1996: I was gone on tour this entire Fall. I did, however, see 2 games in person. Game 1 vs. Duke and the last game in the SuperDome which is one that I would like to forget. Still, looking back on it, if UF had to win their first National Championship at least they had to go through the ‘Noles to get it. At the end of the season, the two teams split the season “series” and if it wasn’t for the blessing of UF having the SEC title game to spring forward, the ’96 squad would probably end up being #2 or #3 on this list.

#6, 1997: A mediocre UF Gay-tor team upsets the ‘Noles in Gainesville and ruins a perfect season and most likely the National Championship. Big wins at USC, Clemson, and UNC kept FSU at the top of the polls and unblemished until the pressure cracked the Tribe at the end. With Thad Busby at QB a big win vs. Ohio St. in the Sugar Bowl was a nice cap to this one-loss (by only 3 points) top-5 team.

#7, 2000: Chris Weinke gets FSU its second Heisman Trophy winner and takes the Seminoles all the way to the National Championship game vs. Oklahoma. I honestly can not remember much about this season. I was a year into music school in TN and even though they were at the top of the polls all season long I just didn’t have the access or the time to follow them as I wanted. Did we complete the regular season undefeated? I think the combination of not as many memories and a bowl game played even sloppier than the ’92 Cotton Bowl puts this team down on the list for me. It’s really hard to win 2 National Championships in a row in college football. Any takers on the Gay-tors doing that this year? Anyone want to see Tebow get hit so hard his helmet pops off and his bloody mouthpiece flies out with teeth stuck in it?! ME!!

#8, 1988: Game 1 – a 31-0 loss at Miami. The subsequent games to follow…a week after week beat down to pay for that bad loss. This season includes probably the most iconic moment in FSU and Bowden football – the Punt Rooskie. “Butler…down the sideline!” I can still hear ‘ol Gene Deckerhoff screaming that to this day! I also remember Deion calling out the punt return like Babe Ruth pointing to right field and then DELIVERING! Other than Peter Warrick, when was the last time we saw that swagger with the results to back it up? Introducing Peter Tom Willis whose first ever pass was a TD bomb on the first play of the game at South Carolina. Oh, Deion Sanders literally ends his collegiate career by intercepting an Auburn pass in the endzone to preserve the win. Best athlete in college football history. Want to argue? BRING IT!

#9, 1998: Six Weinke interceptions at NC State led to a bad week 2 FSU road loss. Turning the season around and building the foundation to a Heisman career, Weinke gets the ‘Noles back on track just in time to suffer a season ending neck injury against Virginia the game before Florida comes to town (which we won 23-12). A crazy year, multiple factors and several planets had to align for FSU to make it into the National Championship game against Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl. Still, with an inexperienced backup QB, the ‘Noles came within 2 plays of the ’98 National Championship (a bad read/misplay by CB Mario Edwards that led to a long TD & a bad call on a Janikowski squib kick at the end of the game).

#10, 1989: Open the season 0-2 to So. Miss’s Brett Favre and a Clemson team out for revenge. Finish the season 10-0 and lay the foundation for Team of the ’90’s. Big wins at LSU, Syracuse, and Florida (which I think was Emmitt Smith’s last regular season game as a Gay-tor?) made those 10 wins even sweeter. The ‘Noles finished #2 in the polls and was considered the hottest team in the country at the end of the year. In fact, FSU started a string of being in the top-25 every week from week 5 of the ’89 season until week 10 of the 2001 season!

Honorable mention:
1994: Choke At Doak! FSU down 31-3 to Wuerffel and the Gay-tors with 10 minutes left in the 4th qtr. and ended up tying UF to a 31-31 final. I don’t care how many seats they add, the Doak will NEVER rock as hard as it did that day! FSU wins round 2 in New Orleans to finish 10-1-1.

1992: Charlie Ward’s first season as QB. Wide Right II as our only loss of the season was by 3 to Miami. For some reason, if this field goal was missed for the win instead of the tie, I think the ’92 team would have been in the top-10.

1991: Casey Weldon, Amp Lee, and Terrell Buckley provided for some memorable moments during this season. One of the most memorable games in FSU history, a 51-31 win at Michigan. Swamp-fest in ‘Tally on a rain-soaked field vs. Syracuse. FSU was in the National Championship race the entire season until a nasty win in bad weather at LSU proved costly as key members suffered injuries. Let’s face it, the last 2 games of the regular season just SUCKED as they proved to be the darkest 2 games in FSU history (Wide Right I and a 14-9 loss at UF). A sure Championship season would have to wait 2 more years.


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