Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ultrasound results...

Ultrasound pictures confirm that my wife is preggers with another little boy! I am so excited about this, as it also revealed the boy is healthy and all his parts are in the right place. Thank God. We even checked out his little baby skull to make sure it's not messed up like his brother's (see previous blogs on Oak's skull surgery). All's well on the skull front too. Oak's drum prowess will hopefully be accompanied by a bass playing brother, fulfilling my dream of having a rhythm section that truly will work for food and "because I said so" offense to Jon and Matt, my current rhythm section. Love and Merry Christmas to all...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Be Faithful...

Be Faithful

As the readers know, I just got back form Peru. We had a great trip, made a lot of new friends and the blessings flowed both ways while we were there. I’ll get to that story later, but first I want to share something with you that happened the day before I left the country.

As a matter of promise, I always leave a musical seed (a musical instrument) everywhere I go outside of the US. I plant it, praying that the instrument will inspire those who use it to worship for the glory of God. My plans for Peru were much the same, except for one problem… I did not have the money to buy an instrument. I had it in one sense, but it was not the most financially responsible thing to buy an instrument at that point in time. I had almost talked myself into not sowing the seed, but the Spirit was coaxing me to rethink my decision. I knew I needed to get an instrument to give away. I actually knew exactly what I needed after talking to the contact person for the trip. She knew of a need for a saxophone. A saxophone…wow…they’re very expensive. I knew that and I don’t even play sax. Anyway, I obeyed the Spirit and grumbled all the way to the music store around the corner form where we live. “If they have a sax that I can remotely afford, I’ll get it,” I said to myself.

While I was walking into the store, the Spirit was just saying to me…be faithful…be faithful…be faithful. To me this has always meant, obey God in the things you know to do and never change course because of varying circumstances. Honor what you know to honor and let God deal with the short term, unseen things that try to distract us. “Be faithful”.

Well, as you could guess that they had a sax that I could remotely afford. I bought it, prayed over it and said “God, you know where I am, so meet the needs of my family. I buy this instrument for your glory and let it be used to build your Kingdom.”

Five minutes after buying the sax, I’m in Wal-Mart running and errand for Heather. My phone rings and it’s Steve (my manager and royal potentate of Blair Artist Management) Steve informs me that a big company has just ordered a ton of CDs from me to put in their stores around the country (more on that later too). In five minutes I went from faith to fruit and God filled in the blank that had worried me moments before as I paid for the sax. I am totally not kidding you…it happened just like that. So basically the sax was already paid for when I was buying it. Tell me that is not eight ways awesome!!

If that story sounds braggy, it’s braggy for the glory of God and a reminder of his loving kindness toward his people. Be faithful in what you know, because God is always faithful in what he knows. Jesus never fails…thanks be to God.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Crossroads Winter Conference

Hey guys I want to let you know about an amazing event that I have been a part of for several years now. It's Crossroads Winter Conference and it is happening this January over MLK weekend. Some of the best times of worhsip I have ever been a part of were during this conference, so please check it out and register today. I'll be leading worship with the band and the incredible evangelist Clayton King will be preaching. Hope to see You there and here is all the info.

JANUARY 18-21, 2008

A conference for a generation with a heart for the world, the gospel, the word and the community of the Kingdom.  Challenging and Biblical preaching, workshops that stretch the heart and the mind, and genuine Biblical community with people following hard after Jesus Christ.  Inter-denominational.  Informal. Intense. And FUN.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Big Big News from camp Cartee!!!

Wow! There is a lot of stuff to get out to you in a short time...

1. INSPIRE 08!!! it's a worship conference that Heather and I are hosting May 14-16, 2008 in Gatlinburg, TN. To find out more about it, go to, sign up to be there and come get inspired to be the best worship leader you've ever been. It's going to be great!!

2. My wife is going to have baby number two!!!! You heard it right kids, alert the media, sound the alarm. We're going to have another baby. Heather is due on April 29, 2008. That's just 9 days before Oak's 2nd birthday and 15 days before the start of the previously mentioned conference ( Please pray for us...we're going to have a busy Spring, but I have never been more excited about the future. God is setting a grand stage for his glory.

More later,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Testimony of the Year!!!

As a songwriter, you live to hear the stories of God using your music to bless the lives of his people. I was forwarded this e-mail this morning. It was sent to Steven Furtick, senior pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte. Steven and I wrote a song called Ready To Be Restored and the song intersected with a woman’s story and helped point her to Jesus…I could not stop crying the first time I read this. I now have an answer for the question "does what I do matter"...thank you Jesus!

(The Testimony of Teri Miller)
I will try to make this short and sweet, but I'll probably only be able to
follow through with latter the of the two. I am Teri Miller. I am 33 years
old and I have never gone to church. Never known Jesus. Never known God.
Definitely don't know the Bible.

I have a friend, Kirsten Bynum. Kirsten and I have been friends for almost
20 years. Kirsten has always gone to church. Known Jesus. Known God.
Kirsten has always, always asked me to come to church with her. I've always
put her off, coming up with different excuses each time. Who needs church?
It messes up my Sundays.

Several months ago, I noticed a wedge developing between me and my friend of
20 years. Concerned about this, I asked her if she noticed what I was
noticing. Not only did she notice it, she said it was intentional. Scared
to death of what was going to come out of her mouth, I asked her why. Her
response? "Teri, I have been waiting for the right time and the right way
approach you with this. I love you and that's why I
need you to know Jesus. I
need to know that you are saved and I need to know that I don't have to
worry about your salvation. I am not doing my job if I don't help you."
There was a different tone to her voice than
in the past, so I knew she meant business. This was more than just "come to
church with me." I
thought to myself "wow, she
really cares about me - that's pretty cool". Let me just tell her I'm going
to church with her to appease her. That will get her off my back about
going. Because who needs church? I've been just fine without God.

Then, I realize that we have to haul ourselves all the way to Porter Ridge
High School in Union County. At a high school? Really? You want me to
come all the way over there for church? I'm in the University area in
Charlotte and you want me to come all the way over there? To watch a
preacher on a screen? Really? I definitely don't need this church.

I used to laugh at Kirsten because she would say that she didn't want her
son to be born on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning because she
didn't want to miss church. Miss church? What's the big deal? Church is
boring. If you need some churching - turn on the tv and find a preacher -
open your bible and
read a couple of pages - but who cares if you miss church one
Sunday morning? Who needs church?

So.....on Sunday, June 10th me, my husband and our two children packed up
for our long haul to Union County for church. A parking crew? Smiling
at church? "Hi! Welcome to Elevation" screamed at us from every direction.
What? People want to be
here? They've got to be drinking the kool-aid.

Sunday, June 10th changed my life forever.

The sermon we heard was week 4 of Deep. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed
the worship and sermon, I was still skeptical. I've never needed church,
why do I need it now? So I came back the next week to see last week was a
fluke. I felt the same way this week. So I came back the next week. And
the next. And I haven't missed one since.

This Sunday morning, August 19, 2007 I accepted Jesus Christ into my life as
my personal Lord and Savior. There was no pomp and circumstance - so I hope
it's official! I was alone in my car on the way for my first day of
for the first time guests. I was playing "The Sound" cd and a song began.
It was a song that I've heard over and over again, "Restored" - but just
like page 23 for you - this song touched me in a way that I did not expect.
Tears were streaming down my face before I knew what was happening.
"Healer, come and make me whole. Make me over. Here in this moment.
Abandon my will. I am broken and poor...ready to be restored" It was
at that moment, sobbing, that I said a prayer out loud in my car asking
to enter my life and my heart and help me to be more like Him. At our small
tonight, I asked Kirsten to pray out loud with me about my decision - so as
to make
it a little more "official"! I also wanted her to know that she didn't need
to worry about my salvation any more.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Home From Camp

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I’ve been going to summer camp for the last 13 years. I am well into adult hood, way too old to be there, but some how I am drawn in. I added it all up and I have been to camp about 115 times in 13 years. That’s in weeks… yes... 115 Monday through Friday weeks. That figures out to be 575 days. A full year and seven months. That’s a lot of camp. A lot of guitar strings. A lot of revolving door band members. Many songs learned and forgotten, many written and forgotten, some remembered and forgotten again.
I have never counted all this up before, but I wonder if it’s being wearier than ever of sleeping on college dorm beds.
As I look back over these past 8 weeks of this summer, I still have the same feeling as I did when I led worship for my first camps out in Colorado and West Virginia. I loved every minute of it. There are few things that give my spirit a lift more than seeing hundreds of people sing songs to our great God.
So, as I always do at this time of the year, I ask myself… was it worth it? Was it worth all this windshield time in my van? Did I do something worthwhile? Is there eternal value in this ministry?
Well, I got to watch over 400 students obey the gospel of Christ this summer and who knows how many more God will bring to life by the seeds we planted. I can’t get enough of that and it’s worth every day I’ve invested. It’s not for me to wish I were somewhere else or get cynical because I am old and still going to camp. Jesus calls me where he wants me to go. If I go elsewhere before God calls me, I’d be arrogantly rushing into places I don’t belong. Who needs another arrogant musician nosing his way into where he does not belong?

In case it's forgotten, below is a set list from one of the weeks of camp. (*= original composition)

Monday PM
The Sound*
Everlasting God
Your Grace is Enough
Clinging To The Cross
Jesus Paid It All
Glorious Impossible*

Tuesday AM
Not To Us
Let The World See*
Unfailing Love*

Tuesday PM
You Never Let Go
Best Of Me*
Mighty To Save
Trust In You*
Amazed By You*
King Of My Soul*

Wednesday AM
Mighty To Save
Glorious Impossible*
You Never Let Go

Wednesday PM
Not to Us
The Sound*
King Of My Soul*
Ready To Be Restored*
Clinging To The Cross

Thursday AM
Your Grace Is Enough
Here I Go*
Unfailing Love*

Thursday PM
Best Of Me*
Everlasting God
Ready To Be Restored*
Glorious Impossible*
Trust In You*

Friday AM
Mighty To Save
The Sound*
Let The World See*

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

worship as evangelism

I was working on a few hours sleep. I was nervous that I would goof up the service. I was not sure my guitar amp was turned on until I tried to play the first chord. Confirmation: amp not turned on, no sound coming out, audience silent and bored.
"Alright everybody lets worship."
This was the scene a few nights back as I walked on the stage to lead an audience to the throne of God. I was not sure how to get there myself. But, before I walked on stage, I prayed that God would make something out of the music and use it for glory bigger than me.
After mumbling through the set and going back to my seat, I though, “I hope that was not as bad as I think it was.”
When the service was over I was standing at my CD table when a big 6’5” dude came up and asked to speak to me. Here is what he said. “When I saw you and your band leading worship tonight, I saw something in your faces that I knew I needed, but did not have. Your worship, led me to Christ and I became a Christian tonight… because of your witness.” Later in the week, this same guy surrendered to God’s call into full time Christian ministry. Wow.
Lesson learned: My emotions, moods, amount of sleep, energy or circumstances have nothing to do with God’s ability to use me. If I’m bouncing off the walls or falling on my face, it’s God’s work in me that brings about miracles. My only contribution is availability and obedience. Ask God to use you in spite of the way you feel. Ask him to lift you up beyond the natural. Ask for miracles.
I thank God for using me that night. Please pray for us that this kind of thing happens every night we play.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Holding me up...

I love leading worship. Using music to point people to Jesus. It’s especially good when I see something in the audience that leads me into worship. Those moments are wonderful. I get to receive, while someone else in Christ’s body points me to Jesus. It happened Memorial Day weekend at Fort Caswell on Oak Island, NC. I was leading worship for the Providence Baptist Church singles retreat. (If you live in the NC triangle area, you should check it out…, one of the best churches in the country)
While on stage the first night, we kicked into a tune and the place was ready to roll. Worship made sense from the crowd. It was believable. They spoke the language like they were born into it. I was excited to be worshipping with these people. I knew this event would be well worth my time.
About three quarters of the way through the first song, I noticed something unusual. One guy in the front row was behind another guy with his arms around him from behind. I have gotten pretty good at doing one thing while thinking another on stage. This was a time when I put that skill to use. “What’s going on there? Zoom in for a closer look.”
After I stared directly at the two men, I realized why they were standing that way. The man in front was unable to stand on his own because of a physical handicap. The man with his arms around him from behind was holding him up so that he could stand in worship. Both of them had eyes shut, mouths open, just singing to the top of their lungs (let that settle in your mind…). I have seen a lot in worship services around the world, everything from fights to people getting healed. Seeing this tops all the rest. This is what Jesus does and what he calls us to do. It is the perfect picture. It almost sounds made up to me as I type it, but It’s true. I saw it.
Thank God for your friends. Hold them up when they need you. Worship with them through every fire. This is where you find life and in nothing else. The songs don’t count unless they inspire something greater. The music and the motions are empty if they don’t produce a tangible fruit.
I have the image of those two warriors seared into my memory and I thank God every time I see it. It’s leading me to worship and teaching me that the journey does not always take the same roads. It’s not a musical, it’s an action movie with a good sound track. It’s not a one-man show, it’s each of us holding one another up.
Here is a project for you, dear blog reader. Try to connect your worship of God with an action toward your fellow man. Those watching your humble work will be refreshed…take it from me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

In the studio at last!!!

It’s my pleasure to announce that I hit the studio today after a long and restless abscence. I have been in studios a lot lately, but working on other people’s stuff. Today, I worked on my own offering for the music loving masses. A six song EP, due out by the end of May. It's still one of the most rewarding things I get to do and oh how I love to see songs finally lake their way onto the hard drives (bass and drums at least).
Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Matt Redman and Passion Band) served as the producer for the session and will be working with me through the whole process. We tracked at Bridgeway Studio’s, Franklin, TN, the incredible facility of Tom Laune (Michael W. Smith, Shane and Shane, Chris Rice) who’ll also be mixing the record.
We still have to get my guitars recorded, electrics, keys and vocals but it’s already got me really excited. I think we’ll be incredibly proud of the finished result. As always, please pray that God will make somethin
Stay tuned to the blog for continued updates and info about the music.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The End of An Era

After many faithful years and hundreds of thousands of miles, I will be saying good-bye to my green van (Jean Claude). It’s weird, but I am going to miss the little guy. As my new van sits in the driveway, I still feel a little loyalty to Jean Claude and he will always hold a place in my heart. Sort of like a dog, but one that drinks oil and smokes. The good news is that his ministry career is not over. Another ministry minded band, called One Foot Forward, who will use him to travel the country playing music, purchased Jean Claude.
I know he will serve them well, since he is a servant minded van, and a Christian.

Bon Voyage mi amigo...may your windshield see many miles and may you always stay between the ditches.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Latest News from Camp Carl...

Good news people! Lots of cool things are coming down the pike from us here at international ministry headquarters. I am excited about the next 12 months as they promise to be the most productive in a while. Here is a little list of what’s cooking in the Pot O’ Ministry here @ International Ministry Headquarters in Nashville, TN

I just signed with Blair Artist Management. This is killer news because it means I have help with so many things that have fallen by the wayside. Praise God for BAM!

Look for a new CD out in late May or early June. It’s going to be one of the best ever because I am excited about the songs and what God is showing me.

I am writing my first book! It's a cookbook with creative recipes for presenting the Lord’s Supper. Not really. I am creating a resource for worship leaders to be spiritually equipped for their jobs...Am I serious? You bet I am. Some would say I’m not old enough or smart enough to write a book, but that’s what the enemy says to everyone who tries anything. I have to stop listening to those lies. Insecurity is such a sissy little attitude.

Inspire 08’! Our first annual worship conference to be held February 21-23, 2008. Worship leaders, songwriters and musicians, mark your calendar and check and for soon coming details!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Cracker Barrel. What a place. Good pancakes, of course, but since yesterday it will hold a different meaning for me. It will now be a reminder of something quite bigger than gift shops and pinto bean plates. It’s now the place where I was challenged to a fight. Called right out and asked to put up my dukes.
While having dinner with a friend, he told me that God had given him some words for me. He wanted to ask me about some things. This guy is one of my closest friends in the world and I trust him completely. If he has something to say to me, I listen. I invited him to speak freely, so he began. Challenging me, he asked questions that were hard to hear and even harder to answer. He asked questions about my life and where it was heading. How I planned to live the next few years and what were my God sized visions? Did I have objectives inspired by pure and uncorrupted faith, was I willing to stop making excuses and do what ever it takes to see them realized? Was I going to remain the same, or stretch toward greatness for the glory of God?
Boom...right upside the head. I won’t ever forget that moment. It’s one of the first times in my life someone has asked permission to say something to me and then deconstructed everything that I have been feeling for the last 10 months. It was unexpected, threatening, but so refreshing. “Don’t waste your life. Your anointing is too great and your ministry to valuable for you to rest on talent and personality alone. Get help and equip yourself to win. Fight against mediocrity. Fight against apathy, laziness and insincerity. Push yourself in faith, passion and purity. God is worthy of your best!”
Hebrews encourages us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Have you ever been spurred? It’s not meant to tickle. It hurts. It cuts. It’s uncomfortable. It sends a message that makes you want to jump into action so you don’t have to get it twice. But thank God for someone who obeys the Spirit and says the hard things to a dear friend. Thank God for one who sees potential greatness and calls it out of you.
Needless to say, I am accepting the challenge. I have let disappointment and fear hit me enough. I throw my hat in the ring. Bring on the destiny. Best shots welcome. Please pray for me. Cheer for me. I’m all in
If I see you at Cracker Barrel, watch out. I’ll be in a mood to fight.
More to come.

(Thanks buddy...)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Update On Oak

Many of you have asked about our son Oak who had skull surgery 6 weeks ago. In some previous posts, I chronicled the day by day progress from the hospital and the first week at home. Six weeks past surgery, Oak is doing great! He started crawling last week and now behaves as if he wants to crawl around the world. He’s everywhere and all of the sudden our house needs to be child proof. It’s not. Send help fast!
With the exception of a really cool scar and having to sleep in his car seat for five more weeks, I don’t think he even knows what happened. God has been so good to us and my mind is full of answered prayers for his recovery. From every indication the Mighty Oak is back to normal. We’ll have to see the doc every year until he’s seven to make sure things proceed properly but besides that, he’s good as new.
Thank God.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dancing at Fellowship Bible

I go to church a lot. I work at church and I grew up in a family that was faithful to attend church. I have seen a bunch of interesting stuff happen at church. Some say church is boring. I say hang around long enough...somebody will flip out soon enough. One such thing happened on New Year’s Eve @ Fellowship Bible, the place where the Cartee’s attend. (
Oak was to be dedicated that Sunday along with 5 or 6 other babies so we had a lot of people in town to see the event. The baby dedication was after the first song and went off without so much as a tear from all the babies. They were great and every one was dedicated. We sit down and the worship band proceeds into their songs. Suddenly during a song called Your Grace Is Enough, the girl sitting in front of me and beside my in-laws, heads quickly out of her seat. “Where’s she going in such a hurry?” I asked myself. Seconds later she reappeared on the stage and starts dancing to the song. She’s tearing it up! She’s busting a move and doing a really good job. I got nervous. I immediately began looking for people’s reaction. What’s the worship leader going to do? I knew it was not supposed to happen as a component in the production schedule. What were my parents going to think? Did I want them to think I went to a dancing church? I went to a dancing church for the first eighteen years of my life or maybe it could be better described as a spinnin’ and floppin’ church...people just going nuts during all the fast worship songs. The issue at hand, is that Fellowship is not a dancing church. They are not averse to it and even have a church sponsored school of dance. However, it’s usually performed in a controlled context, with a spotlight and someone saying “Que dancers!” into a head set back stage. This was anything but that. It was totally unrehearsed and off the page.
So there I was going through all these “what ifs” and "oh no’s” when the Spirit says... “Stop focusing so much on yourself and worship me during this awesome song. Look at her, that’s what she’s doing. What people say or think about her expression of worship is the last thing on her mind. She is bringing her very best to me and that’s all she cares about. Her worship does not come with a comfort filter attached. It is wholehearted and humble, like David’s, my favorite kind.” Soon enough, I realized what I was seeing. It was one of the coolest acts of worship ever. It was graceful, unpretentious, unrehearsed but well done, Honest, joyful and pure. Once I got over myself, I recognized the most profound thing of all...the great humility it took to offer that kind of expression. Selfless and generous, she danced for the Lord. Obeying scripture in so many beautiful ways. My prayer for this new year is that I will worry less about what people think and more about humbly expressing worship to my Lord.
Dance more, worry less