This cruise started on Thursday June 30, 2005. We left Columbus and spent the night somewhere in Tennessee. The rest of the band left on Friday. It was a long trip for the band, they left at 6:00pm and arrived in Hot Springs, AR at 5:30 in the morning. After getting everyone to bed we started planning the day.
Around 4:30pm the band is all packed up and ready to go. We leave the resort and head to Jacksonville, AR which is about an hour and 15 minutes from the resort we were staying in. We arrive in Jacksonville at 6:00 to set up for the next day. The first concert was set for Sunday morning at 10:00am. After we had everthing set up the band practiced the set before leaving. Chris had every one prepared as he always does. After practice we loaded everyone back into the RV and headed back to Hot Springs. We all got to bed about midnight. Most of us had to be back up again at 6:00am.
Getting everyone up and running turned out to be alot easier than I had expected. The band members left an hour before the rest of the crew. This made logistics a little easier. However on the way to the concert in Jacksonville, AR the generator went out in the RV. The Church that we went to that morning was awesome. Their was a member there that wrote the band a check for $700 to pay to fix the generator. God is so good. The pastor announced from the pulpit that the generator had died and this memeber of the church felt lead to give to this cause. The Band is so blessed. The concert was great and the Folks at the First Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, AR liked us enough to invite us back for next year.
From Jacksonville in the morning we went to Levy to the Grace Church of the Nazarene. This is the church that I grew up in. It had been 30 years since I left this Church to move north. I had been back a few times in the past but not on a regular basis. I was worried about how the band would be accepted here. I was really pleasantly surprised. Xtremity was very well accepted. The rock and roll sound was applauded. Grace Church has also requested that we come back next year.
This Concert was over around 7:30. After loading up all of the equipment we were blessed by the church and its members with a pizza dinner at the local Pizza Hut. This was very nice it gave the band members a chance to mingle with some of the church members. There was a good time had by all. We got back to the resort around midnight again. We were worn out.
Monday was an everyone for themselves day. Our family had a family reunion. My mom's birthday was the 4th of July. So we went back to Jacksonville where we were blessed with an indoor facility. Much nicer than what we had done in the past. With the temp near 100 and the humidity near 90% we were all pleased to be able to beinside in the airconditioning. We did however go ourside to play a little basketball.
Aaron and our drummer Q had an opportunity to witness and lead someone to Christ during this time on Monday. You never know when one might get the opportunity to share. If for no other reason this made the trip worth while.
Tuesday ended up being some what of a bomb. A few of us went to play golf and the rest just played aroung at the resort and were planning on going to a water park in the afternoon only it started raining so that was cancelled. We still had a good time, we went and purchased a Texas Hold-em Poker set. That gave us plenty to do. The nice thing is everyone got to bed at a decent time that night.
The next day was another opportunity to play around of golf. The rest of the gang was free to do as they pleased until 1:30, which was when we were to leave for the last concert of the trip. When we first decided to go on the trip, I don't think anyone realized how much work was going to be envolved. We all worked very hard to make this tour work. It turns out that it was well worth the effort.
This concert did not go off without a hitch however, when we arrived at the site of the concert it was discovered that Chris had forgotten the key to the trailer. All of our equipment was locked in the trailer. We had someone go to a nearby factory to see if they had a bolt cutter they did and very graciously offered to let us use it. After that small set back the concert went very well. The youth pastor at the Marshall Road Baptist Church had invited several other churches to the concert and there was a great turn out. Several of these churches expressed interest in having Xtremity at their church the next time we are in town. It is hard to say which concert was the best, God was present at all three.
Thursday turned out to be the highlight of the non concert days. It started off with a round of golf at the Belvedere golf club, a beautiful course. The after noon was the actually highlight. We rented a pontoon boat and two deck boats. Everyone got a chance to ski and to tube. It was a great time. Even my sister was on the tube for a while. It was great fun.
Although I am glad to be home, I really hated to see the week end. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and worship. Everyone is already looking forward to the trip next year.