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.