The Great Adventure Recovery Week

The Great Adventure Recovery Week

Hey, friends! Hope all is well with you. Whew! What a week it’s been. An adventure of its own. Coming down off of the mountain top of the Great Adventure reveal has been relatively harmless…but I’m exhausted, nontheless.

The week has been filled with back-to-normal kind of stuff. I’ve been finishing up recording a Christmas musical for choirs. And the team and I traveled to Madison, AL to be a part of Asbury UMC’s missions conference (we had a great time). We are gearing up for two concerts this weekend with our Jesus Saves Live tour – Saturday night in Winona, MS, and Sunday night in Cullman, AL. Can’t wait. Come join us!

I am still going through and processing all of the amazing encouragement that has poured in from you all about our Great Adventure. I am thankful to you for all of the kindness, prayers, and affirmation you have given to us. It means so much. We are truly BESIDE OURSELVES over this call and this season. I am pumped for you to meet my new church, and my new pastor and his sweet family. They all will undoubtedly be filling the pages of this here blog for years to come.

Many folks have sent emails of stories that are similar to ours. And some are stories that may be different, but are still stories of people looking desperately for God to speak to a searching heart. Please know that we are praying for you. We are praying for you.

My brain has needed some time to just do a whole bunch of nothing this week. And American Idol has filled that slot. And that phrase, ironically enough, describes this season of the show for me: a whole bunch of nothing.

I don’t even know what to say about it, except to say that I gave that show 4 hours of my life this week. And all it gave me back was 4 hours of awkward.

Surely it will get better…right?

I haven’t blogged a normal-day blog in so long, I forget how to end. So…

Cottrell, out.


  1. albritton5 on February 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I feel so weird leaving this in a comment, but I feel led to let you know how God has used you. Reading your Great Adventure posts brought me to a place in my spiritual walk that I really didn't want to go. I became very, very angry with God. You see, my husband and I have been asking God to show us how he wants to use us for a long time now. We both know there is something going on, and it's going to be awesome, but there has been no word from God on many things we're praying about. As I read your blog I became more and more frustrated, wondering why God spoke so clearly, and gave you such discernment and ACTION when he was so silent with us. I dealt with jealousy, and I don't even know you! I feel really ridiculous sharing that. Anyway…long story short (too late)…between my Bible study and godly friends, and recent sermons, God has spoken and I have found peace in not having answers. I have found so much joy in where I am, though I feel limited in what I'm doing. I have been reluctant to comment at all, because for all you know I'm a big weirdo. But because you shared your story, I was able to look at my heavenly Father, whom I've known for 26 years, and really tell him how I feel. And now I feel more useful to him through doing that than I did before. No more "happy church face", I finally have an honesty that I didn't have before. Thank you, and congratulations on such an awesome new ministry!

  2. Fran on February 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Your journey has encouraged me so much considering this past year has been nothing but change after change. God does have a plan and I'm so anxious to see where He is going to take me and for now I wait for The Great Adventure Fran Style to unfold. 😉

    Praying for all of you. Can't wait to see y'all again soon. We are loving our visits to EBC…baby steps.

    Blessings over all of you!

    Oh, and AI has me bored to tears.
    And of course I know nothing. So there ya have it.

  3. Rissa on February 26, 2010 at 2:56 am

    American Idol haha, heres to hoping it gets better! I liked the Seacrest out sign off! Nice touch!

  4. ThirtysomethingMom on February 26, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I have loved reading about your Great Adventure. Praying for you.

    God bless you!

  5. Wendy on February 26, 2010 at 9:32 am

    First of all, I agree with you on the American Idol thing…I'm not too impressed so far, either! Secondly, I am so excited for y'all to be a part of Englewood. I went to Union Univ. and that was my "home" church while I was there…I am so blessed to have been a part! I was a part of the music ministry there and loved singing in the choir and being able to minister in that way. Now, we're just down the street in Memphis and go to Kirby Woods Baptist and I have carried on my love for music singing in the choir and being part of the music ministry…I, too, love music and guess that's why God has led me to be a music teacher and have an awesome job at Briarcrest Christian Schools here in Memphis! Why do I share all of this? Not sure, other than the fact that I love hearing how others are using their gift of music to reach others and like sharing how God is using me, too! I've enjoyed sharing your journey with you through your blog and will be praying for you and your family. I know several people that still attend Englewood and I'm sure we will pop in for a visit in the near future to worship with you! Oh, and one last thing, "Mercy Seat" from your Jesus Saves Live cd is amazing and has spoken to me in immeasurable ways…I had church up in my car last week coming home from choir practice over that song! 🙂 God bless you, Travis!

  6. Dianne on February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Glad you have had some down time, but sorry American Idol has been such a disappointment. It has been for me as well. Surely it will get better. I didn't watch all 4 hours, but what I saw is definitely disappointing, to say the least.

    Your adventure has been so encouraging and inspiring to us as my husband surrendered to a call to ministry within the past 6 months. We don't know what or where or how we will get there, but received such encouragement in reading about your great adventure and looking forward to our own.

    My husband and I and some friends will see you in Cullman on Sunday nite.

  7. Kay on February 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    The Great Adventure posts were like a mystery novel I couldn't stop reading! (I kept hearing STC singing "Great Adventure" in my mind as I was reading). God is awesome!

    AI was so frustrating and BORE-ING this week! Why don't they let America pick the top 24? Better yet, why don't they have a separate contest where commoners enter themselves to win a spot as the fourth judge? That would be cool.

  8. Siesta OC on February 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Don't be so sure AI will get better…
    Loved the GREAT ADVENTURE, you are a great story teller – very happy for all of you! GOD IS SO GOOD AND FAITHFUL!

  9. Anonymous on February 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Travis and Angela, We are rejoicing with you on the Great Adventure! We pray for your ministry and support you wholeheartedly wherever God leads you! Praying God's favor over you in all that is going on in your life…so blessed to call you friend and to have been a small part in your lives @ Two Rivers BC.
    Looking forward to meeting your "new friends" in Jackson thru the blog, and we're pulling for you
    and "Jesus Saves" Dove awards in April…Praises to The King, Most Holy!

    Susan and Dennis Harris

  10. Pattygarv on February 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Feel free to delete this saga of a comment, butI just had to write and tell you about one of the ripple effects of you listening to God's voice and obeying.
    I have also been wrestling with God for awhile, in my case about releasing some "ministries" I had taken on. This Nov/Dec I led Beth's "The Inheritance" study at our church. Through that study the Lord showed me that I was so busy claiming and tending others' properties that mine had become full of weeds and pretty much useless. My husband is pastor of our church, and, one-by-one, temporary positions I took on became permenant ones, one of these being music minister.
    In the meantime, my God-called task, women's ministry, had fallen through the cracks. (Before "The Inheritance", it had been over a year since I had led a Bible study!)
    So I finally heeded His much-insistent (by this time) prodding and began releasing some of these other positions. Not an easy task, but difinitely a freeing one!!

    Then we have an associational choir workshop. Led by our state music director, Terry Williams. I had a great time, loved singing in the choir, loved meeting Terry. He spoke at our church the next day (Sunday). Over lunch, he turns to me and says, "You ought to join the FL Baptist State Choir." I laughed it off. After all, he was only being polite, right?

    A couple of days later I get an e-mail. Terry's thanking us for the weekend and telling me I need to join the choir soon and participate in their recording of the CD for "God of the Ages". Now I'm really laughing.
    I e-mailed him back and explained how I would feel "cheesy" (giving away my age!) coming to a recording session having never been in the choir before. He e-mails back and assures me there will be other 1st timers and that it will be a great Spirit-filled time.

    Too late to make this long story short, but I'll just say I finally did some serious praying, I went, and Terry was right. I had a blast! 350 people singing praises to the Lord…. a touch of Heaven!!!

    During one of the breaks, a fellow (can't remember his name) gets up to tell us that a friend of his is in charge of the music for the Southern Baptist Convention this year, which is taking place in Orlando. He was wondering if our choir would be interested in singing for the Pastor's Conference portion. We assured him we would. Then he tells us that an "up-and-coming" music minister will be leading us. His name is Travs Cottrell.
    So, I thought I'd just go to your website and leave you a little message telling you how I'm looking forward to working with you.

    I get to the website and realize I haven't read your blog in awhile. Then I see all this "Great Adventure" stuff. So I start reading.

    Your & Angela's journey was just another word from the Lord to me. If we listen to Him, leave the things he says leave, the next great adventure is going to be more than we could ever dream!!

    So sorry for the length of this epic, but I am so incredibly excited about our God and His workings!! The fact that it is 12:24 AM and I'm full of Dr. Pepper could have something to do with it, too!

    Thank you so much for the ministry you and your wife have, and your willingness to be used by Him and to be transparent about your struggles. It helps us all to be a little freer in our pusuit of Him.

  11. carolyn on February 28, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Your post made me laugh out loud this morning – in reference to American Idol. Isn't the name just something to ponder anyway…American IDOL?! LOL. I have gone to "watching" it online, and it's amazing how fast I can click through it – especially in this year so far of "not-amounting-to-much-at-all-hope-it-gets-better-soon". Where's Mandisa when we need her? Can she audition again?! Seriously!
    I have rejoiced, cried, prayed, and absolutely marveled at our Soverign God's leading in you and Angela's lives these past few months. God has used your testimonty to minister to me in oh so many ways…I have been saying that this year is a BIG year in what God is doing and WHERE He is taking us. Our job….HANG onto CHRIST alone. He showed me recently in some pretty tough stuff He had me face, that I didn't need to know the final answer – just be willing to be willing…and obedient. I coined it "being like Abraham" like he was when the Lord called him to take his son Issac up the mountain…and so I want to continue to say "Yes Lord? when He calls…and YES LORD!….when He calls. You are in our prayers, thank you so much for letting us see the process in the Cotrell family as God shifted hearts, directed mindsets, and was so faithful in every step of the process. To GOD be all the Glory – amen and AMEN

  12. Little Millie on February 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey in making this decision with us. I have enjoyed reading them. I pray blessings on your new ministry.

    I want to thank you again for all the times your music touches my heart.

  13. elawhorn on March 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I loved reading your Great Adventure and how it all unfolded. You are an amazing servant of God and your ministry is awesome. I loved hearing you when you were in Knoxville just a short time ago.

    I feel God is leading me on a Great Adventure, however, I struggle because my once spirit-filled hubs has become very carnal and perhaps downright rebellious in his walk. I struggle because He could do so much "with us" if we would both heed His call in our lives. I know God is working on him, I believe it will happen sometime, I am just desperately wanting to share my Christ with him, how He works mightily in our lives, but, my words fall on deaf ears. I know God can still use me for BIG things, I just long for HIm to do BIG things with us, like you and Angela. Please pray for my marraige, that we might one day glorify God in our service together, side by side, just like you two!! Thanks for allowing us to follow your blog. You shine like stars in the universe to us!!

  14. Linda on March 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I just read your Great Adventure series, because my daughter saw it first and said I had to read it. Wow, I love what God did in and through you and your wife. My daughter and I were privileged to worship with you at the Siesta event in Houston January 22-23. Who knew you were going through such a struggle at that time? Well, we're so happy for you and your new ministry. We thank th eLord for your ministry with Living Proof as well. Thanks for writing about this journey. It has given me just what I need as I try and figure out what the Lord has for me as an empty nester. Count on our prayers as you move to this new community and new comminuty of Forever family!

  15. COLCindy on March 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    so happy for you and your family in this new direction that God is taking you. Thank you for sharing.
    I had no idea that you were at Asbury! Our neighborhood is right behind the church. We go to another church down the street. I am sure they were blessed by you. We noticed the parking lots full all weekend.

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