Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friends and Family

This Christmas season I have been given a gift that is worth far more than money could buy. I have been given the gift of time. Time well spent with my family and dear friends. We have been able to spend a good amount of time here in california this year visiting with some old friends and spending time with family i have not seen for a while. I really try not to take for granted these times. I was able to spend some time with my grandparents on this trip which was extra special because it very possibly could be the last time I see them. They are getting older and are not in good health and they live in northern california which we don't get to go to very much. I hadn't seen them in alomost 7 years and they had changed so much. It was hard to seem them like that but I'm glad we were able to spend the time with them and they were able to meet Jess and Cali. The thing that got me and made me a little sad was the thought that the good old days of sitting at their house at christmas and hearing them and all my aunts and uncles laughing while me and all my cousins ran around is over. It was as if my childhood had finally dissapeared and I was faced with the fact that I really am an adult and responsible for so much more. It's not a bad thing and I welcome this new season of my life and am enjoying it. It's just hard to say goodbye even when it's a nostalgic notion we are saying goodbye too. I hope I do get a chance to see my grandparents again before they are gone but if I don't see them here I know I will see them again in heaven.I will have an eternity to spend with them and make up for lost time.

I have also had the pleasure of spending time with some great friends that I haven't seen in awhile as well as some cousins who I haven't seen in several years. One of the hard things about working in a touring band is being away from family and friends so much. I just have to trust that God still redeems that time away from them and that I can have peace in knowing that I will have eternity to spend with them in the best place there is. As for now on this side of eternity i will cherish the few times I do have with these people and thank God for them. I hope that whoever is reading this will do the same. Enjoy the time God has given you with your loved ones and never take it for granted.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Live Beautiful


it's been a little while since I've been here and I have lots of good excuses but will not bore you with them. Most of my time away was spent in pennsylvania with jess' family. We had a great time and got to enjoy some snow while we were there. Another thing that has happened recently, and the reason for my return from blogging hibernation is a new business. It feels weird calling it a business because business sounds too profesional or something or too self important maybe, hey i own a business ha. Anyways, it's really Jess' business but I offer as much support as I can and I've also been appointed, by her, as the mr. marketing guy. The fact that I have next to no marketing experience makes this interesting but hey how hard can it be. Ok I guess now would be a good time to actually tell you what the business is. Drumroll.... Tote Bags. Ok that was probably anticlimatic so lets puty it this way. My beautiful wife who is much more talented than I has begun hand crafting unique and fashionable tote bags. But wait theres more, the tote bags are just part of it. We, she, wanted to make it something that was encouraging to women as well and that has a positive message to share. We, she wanted a way to express the beauty she has inside her and in turn wanted to encourage women to do the same. So, Live Beautiful was born. The idea is to tell women, You are beautiful so Live Beautiful. I'm very proud of my wife for taking on something like this and doing such a good job at it. This "business" is not something we are doing to get rich cuz that aint gonna happen. It's a way to fullfill three things. We can hopefully make a little extra money, Jess gets to express her creative side, and we are actively engaging the world with a great message and encouragement. This is the spot in the blog where I put the link to the site so you can all go look and say wow those totes really are great I should buy one or 2 or 10. So here it is So there is my marketing, I just marketed to you. Hopefully you don't feel used but rather thankful that I was able to share such wonderful information about how to obtain a unique handmade tote bag. Oh, make sure you tell all your friends too that would be real swell.

Enough marketing, I promise i will try to write some new stuff more often and I promise my wife is on me about writing more new stuff all the time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's Happenin

Four score and seven years ago I wrote a blog. It was an ordinary blog not unlike many others. It wasn't anything special but it was indeed a blog, which was the last of it's kind until this present time. I have many excuses for neglecting such a faithful blog but I will spare you. My blog has always been here for me but I, sadly, have not always returned the favor in kind. I always think about it with fond memories and want to share something but alas I become distracted by all the things in life that I probably could have been blogging about. All this to say that I will try to write when I can or when I feel so inspired. However, there may be times of drought and abscense so bear with me.

Things of note since my last posting:

My daughter is growing up way too fast. She is rolling over and starting to sit up on her own. She has already been to more states and experienced more things in her 5 and a half months than many do in a lifetime.

The band has been busy finishing up our fall tour. This weekend is the last 3 shows and then we have quite the hiatus through December. I am struggling to find something to occupy my time during our time off, preferably something that generates some income so if there are any ideas on that please do tell. This time of year gets busy in the personal life away from the band as me and jess try to juggle time between pennsylvania and california to spend time with our families for the holidays. We are excited for all of our extended family to spend time with cali.

I've had an idea in my head for a bit of a direction I might take this blog, at least for some of the time. I love to study many various topics and issues from philosophy and theology to history and science. I think there is a real lack of understanding about so many basic principles in all these areas, which makes it difficult to come to a comprehensive and complete worldview. I believe that part of the problem is that many times these issues or ideas are not properly explained or are spoken of in a way in which the average person can't even begin to understand. So, my idea was to maybe start presenting some of these topics in a very basic way so that anyone could understand them. Now I'm no scholar or teacher but I think it would be fun to try and maybe I will even learn more about these topics myself. In fact, if anyone has any suggestions about topics they would like to know about please let me know. Alright, that's all I've got for now. Until next time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

This may be a little late in the day but it's still Oct. 31 as I write this. So today is the day that millions of little kids roam their neighborhoods in pursuit of tasty little treats. It's also a day that gives adults an excuse to dress up in a way that would never be allowed on a normal day. Are these things bad? No, I don't think so. What I do think is sad though is the fact that very few people know or remember or even care really about the world changing event that took place on this day in history almost 500 years ago. On October 31, 1517 in a little town in Germany called Wittenberg, Martin Luther started something that would change the course of history. Martin Luther was a man who stood for what was right and true. He saw how the church of his day had strayed far from the teaching of the word of God and how dangerous and wrong that was. To stand against a force as strong as the church was, at that time, impressive and courageous to say the least. The church had distorted the gospel and was abusing the trust of it's members. The church had become something that existed to glorify itself and it's leaders rather than glorifying God. As a result, the church gained an immense amount of power and influence and was seen as the only bearer of truth and the only way to get to God. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of that church in Wittenberg, he was not calling for a new idea or a new religion. Luther was calling the church to account for what they were teaching because it was not based anywhere in Scipture. Luther was trying to bring the church back to the truth of the gospel as it is revealed in the Scriptrures, as it had been since the beginning. Luther's boldness proclaimed the gospel of grace loud and clear and shined the light of truth to people who were under a cloud of darkness. Luther paved the way for other brave men to stand up for truth and to reclaim the gospel for what it really is. Many men followed his footsteps and transformed Europe and eventually North America and much of the world. Luther was just an ordinary guy just like me whom God used to proclaim His truth. I can only pray that I can be as bold and as willing as Luther and many others to proclaim it as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Has Jesus Emerged?

This week I’ve been home and have had the ability to spend a lot of good time reading and reflecting. It has been a joy to get back into some good study of the Bible and the deep truth that it contains. I love the Bible because it is God revealing himself to us, it is the creator of the universe telling us about himself and explaining to us the way things are. I believe the Bible is the very foundation for everything and is really the only way for us to truly know anything. We could not make sense of this world without knowing God and we can’t know God without Him revealing Himself in His word. I believe that the Bible and only the Bible gives the preconditions of intelligibility, which means that it is the only thing that gives a consistent, coherent foundation for what we know and how we know it. For example, without the Bible you could not give a rational explanation for why we have morality or laws of ethics. People try to give an explanation but upon deeper review it is inadequate and illogical. All this to say I believe that the Bible is very valuable and I take it very seriously which is why I am deeply saddened when people who claim to want to follow it think that it is ok to try and change it or use it to try and make it say something it doesn’t. This is something that has happened since time began and probably always will as long as sinful men live. I think whenever an issue arises we need to go to scripture first and see what God says about it and to faithfully with an open heart let scripture speak for itself. We cannot impart our ideas into the text we can only take from it what it really says. There is sooo much more to say on this as it is something that men have spent their whole lives discussing and studying but I wanted to give a brief synopsis on my view of the Bible and it’s authority in our lives for everything.

I think it is important whenever we hear a sermon or someone speak or read a book to check what the person is saying with scripture. Is what this person is saying lining up with what God says in his word? If what they say goes against sound Biblical teaching we need to call them on it. We need to do it in a loving way with the goal of unity and restoration but it needs to be dealt with and not left to get worse. I think many of the problems in the church today are a result of men failing to teach what the Bible really says and good men doing nothing about it.

I can’t go into all the different erroneous theological views at this time nor would it be very fruitful here. However, there is one in particular that I would like to highlight at this time. I think is a dangerous one because it is so attractive and it really appeals to the modern culture. I’m talking about the Emergent movement. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bash these people or engage in attacking them personally. In fact I think I share common ground with them in their criticism of the modern “seeker sensitive” modeled churches. However, that is as far as it goes. It’s when they move from the criticisms and what wrong to their prescription on how to fix it that I feel is not always Biblically sound. I think many of them have an honest desire to follow Christ and to be a light in a dark world but I think they have changed the truth to be more appealing or more relevant to today’s culture and in so doing have lost all relevance. I think many people who have jumped on board the emergent movement don’t really know what it is that they believe and why but are more there because it’s the new exciting thing. I know I haven’t given any specifics yet as to why I feel this way and in what way that they are in error, which brings me to this. Here is an article that is brilliantly written by a pastor named Reid Monaghan. I think in it he does a great job of laying out the issues and showing why we need to be aware of what is going on. Reid gives a strong Biblical analysis and is very fair and loving in his approach to the emergents.

I can’t stress enough how worth your time it is to read it and to start asking your own questions and then seeing what God really has to say about it all. Has God changed? Is what he said then still applicable now? The Bible is clear and answers with authority and you can be confident in it, as it is the very word of God. Please check out Reid's article here for a more in depth look.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall Touring

We've just finished the first and longest leg of our fall tour. It has been a lot of fun hanging out with Jason and Taya Gray again and this time we have Lanae Hale joining us as well. We are extremely blessed to have been on a bus for this trip which makes it feel like a school trip with all your friends or something. We even got to take a sightseeing trip to Mt. Rushmore. This tour although fun with friends has been challenging as well. We have a full production which is fantastic but it takes a lot of work to put it all up and tear it down every day. I think everyone has worked together really well though and things have run fairly smoothly. We have definitely had a few hiccups and problems but hopefully nothing that the audience would notice or ever really know about. I think the show this fall is the best it's ever been which is why it is a bit sad and frustrating that more people aren't there to see it. The crowds have been fairly small but the ones who are there have been very gracious and had a good time with us.

One great thing about this tour so far for me is the fact that I get to have my family with me. I can't even begin to tell you what a huge blessing that is. I remember dreaming and praying about what it would be like to travel and do this job with my family and now it is a reality. I was sitting on the bus, which is another thing we have prayed a long time for, and I looked over at my wife on one side and my beautiful sleeping daughter on the other and I was filled with so much gratefullness tha t I was in that moment with them. Another cool thing this week was that it was Jess' birthday. We had a fun little celebration on the bus after the show with a cake and all.

This job is very difficult sometimes and we are taken away from family and friends and the normalcy of life so often. Often times I feel so worn out but after a week like this I feel so grateful for where God has me. I love the people I get to work with and feel so blessed to share life with them and to share this crazy life in particular.

To see some great pics from this week check out jess' facebook here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cali giraffe

This is our little giraffe taken yesterday by my lovely wife at home. I miss them a ton but am on my way home to them tonight. Cali's getting bigger and may be getting her first teeth but we aren't sure yet. I think she's pretty darn cute.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


This week I am in the land in which I was birthed. California, as usual, is treating us great and the weather is perfect. We are only here for a few days but are managing to zigzag up and down the state getting very little sleep and squeezing in a few rock shows while were at it. We have been presented with many technical challenges as is always the case when we fly but we've been able to overcome them and have some good shows. I love coming back here but it is always so strange now. I grew up here and know the state very well so it is very odd to come back as a visitor. It still feels somewhat like home because it always will but i actually almost feel out of place now sometimes when i come. Next week we start our fall tour which will be a lot of work and I'm fighting trying to get over a cold. I hope we have enough time to recover before the craziness starts. I have a couple more days to spend here in my favorite state and then I get to head home and be with my 2 favorite girls. Hopefully I'll be able to post some more interesting topics and thoughts soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Still Here

don't worry I haven't given up on this blog yet.I've been in pennsylvania these last couple weeks and without good access to the world wide web. It has been a great time to relax and enjoy watching the beautiful fall colors slowly come to fruition. There are few places that rival the beauty fall like PA. Maine is rumored to have amazing fall colors and I will see it first hand this weekend. I leave tomorrow at 6am to head to the airport and off to Maine for probably less than 20 hours. I will then finaly head home for about 3 days until I am off once again to my home state of California for a few days. It's been a busy summer and the fall is no different. It's been nice to have this time to relax and refresh a bit before things get crazy again. I'm really looking forward to the holidays when things slow down a bit. I'll try to post some more soon about the things I've been reading and learning. Now I must return to my family and enjoy them as much as I can for a few more hours before I leave.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Good bye Washington

Today is somewhat sad because we are leaving the beautiful and idyllic getaway that we have been at for almost 2 weeks. We have had a great time here and the guys have even managed to begin work on somke great new songs. Things are sounding good. So it is with a bit of sadness that we leave but i also feel renewed and ready to take on what lies ahead for the rest of the year. It won't be too hard at first since mer and Jess are heading to Pennsylvania for another week off to rest and enjoy family and hopefully cooler weather. I hear that it has finaly rained in Nashville and cooled off a bit so hopefully by the time we return the weather will be bearable. I think after this week I am really looking forward to the fall and all it has to bring. We will be on a tour with our good friend Jason Gray and it should be a great show. I think we were all feeling a bit road weary before we came up here but are now a bit renewed and ready to pick up the fight where we left off. Now the time has come to bid adieu to this place until next time. We love you winthrop.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

To live well

As I reflect on this week I feel renewed and encouraged. The irony is that this week I had an encounter with pain and although it hurt, as pain does, it was good. I found that pain and suffering can bring peace. It's in our pain and suffering that we are perfected and strengthend. We are so afraid to face our fears and problems because of the threat of pain. However, it is only when we allow ourselves to feel the pain and sufering and confront our demons that we can begin our recovery. I think many of us have been handicapped by the notion in the church that as Chritians we aren't supposed to feel pain or suffer. Often we are led to believe that we are to always be happy and filled with joy. The problem is that we live in a fallen world. The reality is that there will always be pain and suffering. We can't avoid it, the question is how do we deal with it. Do we bury it and pretend like we don't have problems and everything is fine? Or are we brave enough to be honest and admit that we hurt and that we struggle?

This issue is something I've thought about for awhile but never really done anything with it. Authenticity is something I've always desired but my fear of confronting and feeling the pain in my life has kept me from it. This week I had an experience with the pain of my life and it was a revelation. Was it hard? yes. Was it worth it? absolutely. Accepting the pain and being willing to walk in it allows me to know and accept who I really am. It's only when I'm willing to be broken and deal with it head on that I can live authenticly and be able to give myself away, my true self. When this happens there can be true intimacy with my wife, my friends, my family and everyone in my life.

I'm sure I will have more to say on all this in the future but I'm just flushing out what I have learned and felt this week. I'm on a journey and can only pray for courage to face my life with honesty and to live more authentically with those in my life.

Monday, September 03, 2007

On the road follow up

This week I find myself basking in God's glory and grace once again. I am very blessed to be able to spend time with my family and friends in one of the most beautiful and amazing places in washington state. We are at our anual artists retreat up in the mountains at one of the most luxurious places I'll ever get to be. This place would be a five star resort if it wasn't privately owned by some of the nicest people you would ever meet. So that is why posting has been off for a few days. I've been trying to relax and reflect and soak in everything we are lerarning up here. I will post more soon on the things that have been going on here but for now I wanted to give a quick update on one of my last posts. I asked the question of why i do what I do and tried to come up with a good reason. I wrote it at a time that was difficult and when I was tired and maybe a bit frustrated at the circumstances. We were on the road to go do a show for free 10 hours away, outside on one of the hottest days of the year. The set up was gruelling and the day was a hard one. It reinforced the question of why. What were we here for, why did we make that sacrifice? A couple days after the show we received an e-mail from the head of the radio station that brought us in to play. His e-mail was more timely and needed than he may ever know. The e-mail is as follows:

Let me tell you a story. One night, in a small city in the midwest, about 1500 people came to an outdoor amphitheatre to see a couple of new artists most, admittedly, had never seen live before. In fact, most admitted they had only heard one song on the radio from these performers at best. They came for the atmosphere, or because previous acts who had performed there were more well-known, or just because it was date night or something to do for free with the kids.

Then a shocking thing happened. The concert began. First two songs- still sitting on their hands, but starting to lean forward. Third song- now fully engaged and starting to sway. 5,6,7 songs in- riveted to the testimony and the music of this sweaty man named Jason Gray.

Fast forward ten minutes. By now everyone is wondering if the next band could possibly be as good as what they just heard. It was Friday night and the stars were out. Time for some mellow music and coffee right? The river was running deep just 20 feet behind the stage, a wedding reception was being held in white tents just down the Riverwalk. The mixture had everyone as relaxed as they could be... and then the music startled. That's right, startled. The first song was a rocking number that pushed adrenaline through the mostly middle-aged crowd and featured a low lead singers voice that was engaging and electric. This was worth staying for. It was written on every face.

Fast forward 5 minutes. The second lead singer opens his voice. Shock. Total, utter shock. People who brought friends turned with an "I told you so" look, but not matter. The newbies just stared, jaws dropped, not believing a band already impressively tight could be fronted by not just the guy with the husky voice, and accomplishment in it's own right, but this ridiculously perfect pitched second voice. For 55 more minutes they cheered the drummer, jumped with the bass player, hopped, swayed, raised their hands, pumped their fists... but they mostly just stared at the Canadian in cropped pants and a drenched white shirt.

By the end of the night the rock stars who need money, and their friend Jason had given much more than they would possibly receive that night. They absolutely, clearly pointed to Jesus, while simultaneously rocking the riverwalk crowd. In the end a tuxedoed wedding party member walked over, listened for a few minutes, bought a green t-shirt, and tossed it to his new bride.

I think a lot of lives started a new chapter that night.

Thanks for making it happen. Please give our deepest thanks to Jason and all 4 guys from the band. They traveled far and worked hard and we do not take it lightly. But man did they make some serious fans on Friday night. I literally had a guy turn to me 2 songs in to say "I'm convinced- this is my new favorite band!" They were absolutely spot on. Just fantastic.

Some great pictures are online at If you need the originals let me know.

Thanks for partnering with us,

Thanks Bob for your words of encouragement and thank you to everyone who came out. Also most importantly thank you Jesus for using us even when we weren't willing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The heat is on

Ok, seriously, I'm done with summer. Bring on the cool fall air. This summer has been insufferably hot here in Nashvegas. I haven't even been home for most of it but it seems nearly impossible to escape the heat when here. It's not just nashville either, it's been scorching all over the U.S. this summer. The difference here though is how unusually dry it has been. In some areas here we are 2 feet below the average yearly rainfall. Unfortunately me and Jess picked the wrong summer to try and plant our first garden in the backyard. No rain and little time at home to water it spelled certain doom.

Summer time for us in the band usually means a lot of outdoor shows including festivals. We go into it expecting the heat and less than ideal playing conditions. This year though was one for the books. It has been so miserably hot. Yesterday was one of the worst so far. We had a show in Tulsa, OK and the heat was unrelenting and fierce. The show itself was good and we surprisingly had a great crowd but we were all drenched in sweat and exhausted from the sun and humidity. It always seems much harder to keep a good positive attitude when you are miserable from the heat too.

The good news is that fall is just around the corner. Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the changing colors and the cooler air. I start to feel more alive in the fall. The start of football season and hockey doesn't hurt either. It's also the most festive time of year and with all the holidays it's a very family centered time. I like the cooler weather because you can always put more clothes on when it's cold but there is only so much you can take off when it's hot.

This week we are off to Washington state where it promises to be much more bearable weather and where we will get to relax with our record label family. After that me and the family are headed to Pennsylvania where it should be gloriously cool. Hopefully if all goes as expected we will miss the final days of this torturous heat in Nashville and come back to some splendid fall weather. I only have to survive 2 more days here. Until then I will be eagerly waiting for the best time of year.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On the road again

Here I am, once again, trapped in this metal box hurtling down some interstate road with nothing to do and plenty of time to do it. Why have I chosen this vagabond life? Maybe it has chosen me or maybe I was chosen for it. I’ve spent way too much of my life over the past decade sitting, as I am now, watching the world go by and what is left of my youth. I must be crazy, why else would I choose such a life? There must be more that makes this all worth it, makes an 18hour drive mean something. It surely isn’t financial gain because that would make me pretty stupid. Could it be my sense of adventure and desire to see the world? Maybe, in the beginning, but the world has been seen and adventures had and yet I’m still here, sitting in this van. What is it that would possess someone like myself to spend an incredile 9 full months worth of sitting in a van over the last 10 years? Part of me mourns that fact when I think about it. That’s a lot of time spent away from family, friends, life.

What’s it all worth? My life, and the lives of those I’ve been called to serve. There is fulfillment in a life of purpose. To do what you are made for, although hard sometimes, is the most fulfilling life there is. I was made to help bring a clear message of hope to a hurting world. I have to believe that by my obedience in something as small as sitting in a van for endless hours will ultimately be redeemed and used to change a life at the end of the road.

So, I will continue to sit and watch the world go by. When I get so bored I can hardly stand it, I will try to remember why I’m here after all and do my best to return thanks.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


So would anyone want an Iphone and only pay half? Oh yeah it also has more features and works with any cell phone service anywhere in the world. Anyone? Ok so what if it isn’t exactly an Iphone but you can’t tell the difference unless you were told? Ok maybe not electronics how about some adidas gear or should I say odidoss. Here’s the scoop, right now in China there are literally thousands of factories and company’s whose sole purpose is to copy as exactly as they can many popular products and then selling them for more than half the price of the original. In the recent issue of one of my favorite mags (Popular Science), where I get up to date on geekdom, there is a great article on this topic. In the past the Chinese were getting their hands on the hottest new products and figured out how to make them the same but way cheaper. The problem with this is that the Chinese knockoffs were far inferior and would either not last or were full of safety issues. You may have heard recently about numerous mass recalls that have happened to many Chinese companies because of problems with their products. It seems that just recently, however, the Chinese have gotten better at their engineering and many of their knockoffs are even better than the original. The Iphone copy, called the minione, is a good example. The fact that the Chinese are making exact copies of these products is not making the original manufacturers very happy. There have been many legal battles to try and stop many of these companies but it seems it is very hard to shut them down completely and there are many legal loopholes they get through. Many times these copy products were so identical the original manufacturers couldn’t even tell the difference and were even servicing the fakes under their warranty. This is good reason to be careful buying products online or from a non-reputable dealer because it may not be what you think it is. I think competition in the marketplace is good and it helps lower prices for us consumers. However, I also think that stealing intellectual property is just as bad as stealing the actual product and reselling it. It wouldn’t be bad if they were making similar products that were a bit different and hopefully better but they are manufacturing the identical product and simply changing the label. The problem is that this won’t stop because people buy the imitations because they are cheaper. I think we have a responsibility as consumers to make ethical purchases to the best of our knowledge. The only way to really stop the problem is to stop the demand. The Chinese government has been trying to stop this problem but it is a bit behind the game. Recently the head of their Food and Drug Administration was sentenced to death and executed. He was taking bribes from Chinese drug companies who were manufacturing imitation drugs, which ended up killing people. That’s how serious the problem has become in the extreme. Most of the cases are not that bad but it is costing companies billions of dollars and it is having a direct impact on the American economy.

I guess the moral of the story is be careful what you buy and cheaper is not always better maybe. I’m a huge fan of great cheap deals but not on cheap products that were made from stolen ideas. Here's the link to the full Popular Science article

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I have been richly blessed in my life. I have had the great privilege to experience God’s work in numerous ways in many amazing different places. This last week was certainly no exception. Last week I found myself once again in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As I grew up I always dreamed and fantasized about traveling to the land of my ancestors that magical isle so full of history and culture, Ireland. Now, here I was for the 3rd time living the dream. This 3rd trip did not include much sightseeing but it involved an historic event that I am honored to have taken part in. This trip was once again a “work” trip with Downhere. We had been invited by our dear friend Philip Simpson to come and open for Chris Tomlin at the largest music venue in Northern Ireland. There is a lot of history with Philip and us. He took a chance on us 3 years ago by bringing us over to play a couple shows and it turned into a great relationship. The first time Philip brought us to Belfast to show us around he drove us by the Odyssey arena and said, “Hey guys one day you will come back and play in there.” We rolled our eyes and thought aww what a nice, crazy Irishman. What we didn’t know then but know now was that Philip was a man of faith and vision who would actually make it happen. There were many obstacles that came in the way to making this happen which you can read about here.

A lot of people are amazed at how God worked through this test of faith and rightly so. The thing that strikes me most though is not the circumstances that allowed this show to happen but the fact that this event could even happen in that city now. The fact that 3,500 Christians came together to worship God, in a public venue in Northern Ireland is a true miracle. Less than 10 years ago that idea would be unheard of. Not only that it would have been dangerous. You may well know about the troubles Northern Ireland has gone through in the last 30 years or so.This beautiful country was split nearly in half between Nationalists, who were mostly Roman Catholic and Unionists or Loyalists who were predominately Protestant.Ultimately the issues were political namely who was to govern Ireland, the Unionists favored British rule while the Nationalists wanted a unified independent Ireland. The sad part is that religion became the identifying difference. Men and women who allegedly worshipped the same God and Saviour suddenly became mortal enemies.Where you went to church defined which side you were on. Each side engaged in brutal violence against each other making Belfast one of the most dangerous cities in the world. In the last few years though, things have taken a turn for the better. The people of Belfast were fed up with the violence and have made huge strides towards change and unification. Things are still not perfect, by no means, but the fact that this concert took place is a huge sign that things are a long ways from where they were.

God is moving in a mighty way in Northern Ireland. He is reclaiming that place for himself slowly but surely. I can only be humbled and thankful that he was able to use the little that I have in some small way to continue to effect that change. I pray along with my brothers and sisters over there that God will continue to move and unite his people to do his will and bring Him glory in Ireland.


Cali Isabella

I would like to introduce you to the sweetest thing around, Ms. Cali Isabella Lewis. This wonderful person enterd our world on May 25, 2007 and has blessed us more than we could imagine possible. Cali is the fullfillment of a dream that I have had for a very long time. For some reason one of my biggest goals in life and greatest desires was to have a family. Specifically i had a desire to have a little girl. The bond between father and daughter is a beautiful thing and something I always prayed for. So, I could not have been more excited when we found out that we were going to be having this sweet beautiful girl. I feel like God had promised me the desires of my heart and he fulfilled them, let alone the fact that he gave me the most amazing wife too. Cali's name literally means God's beautiful promise. She is everything I dreamed and prayed for and I can only thank God for the blessing he has bestowed. I am humbled to be given such a precious gift and pray God will give his wisdom and grace to raise her up in His ways. I'm sure Cali will make an appearance in many of the posts to come.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Is this my blog?

Ladies and Gentleman, this is the moment I know you all have been waiting so long for. I seem to have taken a wrong turn a couple years back and was lost in the blogosphere somewhere. I'm happy to say that I believe I have found my way back, at least for now. I cannot promise how long I will be here but I will do my best. I've decided that there is a lot going on in my life now and some of it may even be interesting to someone. The biggest thing right now is the addition to our family of our beautiful daughter Cali Isabella. I thought that if anything it would be nice to have something for her to read some day and see that her father was at least good for something. So I will give this another go. My wife has a lot to do with it too. She seems to think that maybe I have something to say about the world and when the wife speaks it's usually a good idea to listen. Well here's to another round of online communication. It will be interesting to see if anyone ever even sees this anymore ha. Here we go.