Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sushi and Coffee

So I haven't blogged in a while. I've come to terms with my own personality and I've learned to accept that blogging daily, weekly, or sometimes even monthly will be a hard pressed task. 

Nonetheless I am here. Which means something, somewhere. A whole lot has changed in my life since the past few blogs. There is no need to go into much detail, but I consider change to be a good thing. I anticipate it and rejoice in its arrival. Change demands persistence and perseverance which in turn leads to growth. When you begin to see the world around you changing, you rely on the things that can actually keep you grounded. For me, it's the Lord and the consistency and strength of his tender and stern voice from the Word. The Lord is the perfect Father. Sweet and sensitive, yet not afraid to be direct and poignant to the hearts of his followers. Both are necessary. Sometimes all I need is for God to say, "Hey, everything is alright. I've got this". And sometimes I need the sharpness of the double edged sword, piercing my heart and going to the core of my bones. 

I just ate lunch. At 2:52. I had some sushi from Publix and some coffee from Biggby. I enjoyed lunch. It tasted good. I know it's a weird combination, but its two of my most favorite things on earth so I figured it would be a good thing to mix the two. It was indeed a good idea. 

I could have a coffee shop. And enjoy it. I have a passion for good coffee. Some say that is my explanation for my addiction to caffeine. But I think passion is different from addiction. I don't just need my morning coffee, I love to experience the smell and taste of coffee every morning. That's my justification anyways. Or excuse. Take your pick. 

But I don't think I could operate a sushi restaurant. I wouldn't enjoy that. I have a bigger passion for coffee than I do for sushi. Don't get me wrong, I love sushi. It would probably be a big part in my "last meal" question that you ask when you are trying to get to know someone. Here is the difference, for those who care. I have a passion for everything about coffee, where it comes from, how it is brewed, how it is served, how hot the water is.. etc. Nerdy things. I enjoy the science of coffee. With sushi, I could care less. Make it taste good. I don't really care about where the fish comes from (part of me does, but mostly not), the art of making it, and what everything means etc. I appreciate those things, but I'm not passionate about them.

Pardon the above rant.  I was just thinking about how strange it may appear to drink coffee with sushi. 

Music I have been listening to:

Other Lives - Other Lives EP
John Mark McMillan - The Medicine
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
Mute Math - Spotlight EP

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mary's Sweet Heart and Joseph's Brave Obedience.

The Christmas season is now in full force. It's almost coming to an end. It's always interesting how quickly the Christmas cheer evaporates until New Years comes along. We are a people who long for good feelings. We enjoy the seasons of life that are able to create these feelings and we enjoy the experiences of life that put us in those places. I don't think there's much wrong with that really. Just as long as we aren't searching for true joy in those happy times. There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel good. How can you not when the music is uptempo and humorous and at the anticipated event, everyone gets gifts. What's not to like really?

I have found myself investigating the Christmas story this season. The first person who really stands out to me is Mary. Here you have this young virgin, innocent and pure, who is suprised to discover she is going to be pregnant; without having sex with anyone. Maybe its just me, but that is freaky, man. It's like saying to a chef, "You are going to have this amazing meal. Yet you are not going to cook anything. It will basically just appear and develop before your eyes". And this girl was young, probably 14 or so. Even as a male I can imagine the terror an anxiety news like that would bring. She may have thought she was crazy. She had probably seen the outcasts in town claiming they heard voices from God and heard guidance from "spirits". Even though the angel claims God has found favor with her, she was still most likely a wreck from hearing this news. 

But how does she respond? "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said". A beautiful example of a willing servant. God asked her to take part in something extremely strange, but altogether amazing. Later in Mary's Song she states, "for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant". Back to my thoughts on feelings. Mary did not decide to follow God's call because it felt right. It probably did not at all. Yet she trusted in the guidance of the Lord. God even used Elizabeth to affirm this in Mary's life. Sometimes following the Lord takes a leap of faith. When things just aren't coming together or making any sense, He is still there and his plans still succeed. (Luke 1:26-38)

And Joseph abandoned his feelings for the situation to follow the Lord as well. I can't even imagine the heartache of having my fiance coming me and saying, "I'm pregnant". I would be devastated and betrayed. The heartache would tear me to pieces. Joseph had already made up his mind to divorce her quietly, for the text says he was a "righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace". So even in his hurt, he was still able to look at her with just intentions. Can you imagine his own anxiety when the angel comes to him in a dream telling him of the Lord's plans for this child. Verse 24 amazes me, "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him..." Notice the lack of hesitation there. He didn't say, "God I've got to process this for a while. Let me sit on it. It doesn't feel right yet". On the contrary He obeyed the command he had been told without questioning whether it felt right or how others would view his decision. His desire was the please the Lord. And that's exactly what he did. He played his important part of the most influential birth the world has even known or will ever know. 

What a couple these two must have made. A woman, casting off her own fears to be exactly what the Lord desired her to be. A man, humble enough to follow the Lord when the call doesn't make much sense. However these were simply two ordinary people who were big enough to let the Lord rule in their lives and decisions. Beautiful. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

John Mayer's Search for Truth.

I'm a big John Mayer fan. I've like his music and guitar playing from day one. I love the trio, I love his band, I have all the albums, etc. Such a talented fellow. I will stand by these words: When I'm older my kids will ask me about the times I saw John Mayer in concert. Mostly because my kids will be well-versed in good music, but always because he already is a legend and will continue to do so until he dies. 

Usually at his concerts, he goes off on some ignorant tangent on life, to which I say, "Man, I came here to listen to you play music, not hear your 'wisdom'". But his comments at his concert on Tuesday night really grabbed me. This was the sum of his advice: "You can't live life like it is short. If you do, you are a [jerk]. The past is short, but we have a long life to live. In order to have a good life, I must live my live like it is long and I have a lot of time here on earth. So live it up."

So that's part of his philosophy on life. Another part is that everything he has earned for himself is solely because of his doing. Not anyone else. Interesting. 

I sat there at the concert and prayed for John Mayer. I've prayed for him before, but this time intently prayed for God to begin working in his heart. 

I was reading this morning and some things popped out that give me biblical grounds to say that John is wrong in some of his thoughts on life.  

"You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom bas he goes to and fro; He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it." Psalm 39:5-6

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

Honestly, who can blame John or people like him? If you lived live thinking that you are in control, there is no God, and there is no ultimate eternal destination, why would you feel that your life isn't as big of a deal as you thought? It would be absurd. (1 Cor. 1:25) The truth is that secular humanism just isn't practical. No one can actually live that way and honestly claim happiness. There will always be that void in their life. The search for answers will only lead to more questions. Any answers they claim to find, will leave them disappointed.  John Mayer, for instance, believes that "love" or "music" is the key. Just the secular love as in "love, peace and happiness". (I infer this from his comments on the "Where the Light Is" DVD). That won't fulfill the God-shaped hole in a heart. 

One more thing... The heart of life isn't good. Of course, every Christian knows why this is not so. Romans 3:23, 1 Cor. 15:22, and Psalm 51:5 show that. No discussion needed. 

Lastly, I firmly believe there is still hope for people like John Mayer. Isaiah 30:18 states, "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion...How gracious he will be when you cry for help." How I long for the day that John Mayer turns to God. I realize some people will not, and they choose to turn from the Lord of Life. It happens. Yet, while there is still life on earth, there is still hope. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Over the past few months I've spent a good amount of time in airports. I've made a few observations, socially and spiritually. 

1. Talking to people who don't want to talk is interesting and will lead to awkwardness.
2. People are very busy.
3. People who travel are always on the phone, don't think about interrupting that technological bond.
4. Business is fueled by caffeine and it would not function without it.
5. Traveling, for that matter, runs on caffeine and it would not happen without it.
6. If someone is reading a book, don't ask them what they are reading.
7. If someone is listening to music, don't ask them what they are listening to.
8. People like their space.
9. You can buy Apple products and other expensive electronic devises from "vending machines" nowadays. Just swipe your card. iPod pops out. Technology feeding technology. Sweet.
10. People in airports need Jesus too.

Some of my first points are a little cynical. I find it extremely hard to talk to people in airports. Mostly because people don't care. Maybe I am doing something wrong. Maybe I'm not praying enough or something. Every time I'm in an airport I want to talk to people about the love of Christ and how its changed my life, but often I can't even get past the initial conversation starters. So I seclude myself.  I'll admit there are sometimes when I find myself talking to someone, but its never about anything usually. Sometimes its Christians doing the same thing I want to be doing. That's always funny. But usually if I'm talking to someone, its something trivial like "Where are you heading?" or "What brings you to Minneapolis?".  The responses are typical. "Business, Vacation, etc."  Quick, one word answers don't start conversations. 

Because of its difficulty, I cut off communication inside the airport/plane. I stuck my headphones in, kept my nose in a book, and became one of the disconnected masses. I felt slightly convicted of this, but to be quite honest I got in the same mentality..."I'm traveling, leave me alone, I don't want to talk....etc". 

But I have a message that will save their lives. I have a relationship with the Creator of the world who would die to rescue me from being eternally separated from Him.  That should change how I talk to people or think about talking to people in a public setting.  I can't just sit back and wait for someone to come up to me and ask me about "religion". Here's the problem... I wish I was someone like my grandaddy. He was the kind of guy who could sit down next to someone and within 5 minutes they would be having a great conversation and he would be making them laugh hysterically. I love those kind of people. But I am not one of those people. I will never walk into a room full of people I don't know and leave with 15 friends. It's just not in the cards for me, and I'm totally okay with that. However, I can no longer use that as an excuse when it comes to evangelism. Unfortunately, I'm still trying to figure out how to effectively use my personality to spread the Gospel. I wish I could walk up to anyone I see and tell them about the love of Christ. Does that say something about me? 

The truth is I need to conquer this fear. I need to realize that it is inevitable that in a crowd that large there are people dying inside. The stench of death is always around. There are people who have spent their entire lives searching for something. Most likely they have no clue where to find the answers to the questions in their life that they avoid. Jesus loves those people just as much as he loves me. He died for them as well and they need to know. Their blinded eyes are longing to be opened and it is a crying shame if I sit around and let the lost continue to be lost. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Music and Truth.

Please check out THIS video. Amazing. 

"Truth trancends tunes. Truth will outlast tunes."

"If the truth is not clear and not objectively presented, those tunes will seem more powerful than the truth."


As a musician its hard to understand that. Or apply it to be honest. I'm ashamed to admit that I sometimes get so wrapped up in the musicality of what I'm doing that it's hard to keep in focus why I'm on stage. I believe that's a life struggle of a Christian musician. This video convicted me of my thoughts. In the end, God isn't waiting around for me to worship Him. I don't make Him any better by worshiping, and its insanity to think that I do. 

I want to love Jesus exponentially more than I love music. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The first half of a good trip.

The band is heading to Nawlins. I absolutely love traveling. My new camera now will be the visual aid of this blog. 

Today we got to go to one of my favorite guitar stores on earth.... Midtown Music. It's a fine boutique guitar shop. He's got a room that's basically full of Dr Z amps. His new Galaxie amp it unbelievable. I sat there an just played chords and felt that my guitar had never sounded better. Oh the tone search. 

Here's a shot of Micah playing his new Nash.

More news and photos from New Orleans coming soon.

Go buy John Mayer's live CD!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Sleep - Check. Rest - Finally Check

It's funny how sleep and rest can be different things. I've gotten sleep on the road, but after two of my mom's meals/desserts and two nights in my own bed, I'm now rested.  But the funny thing about being a musician, is that when you are on the road, you want to be home. As soon as you get home and rest, you want to be back out there. It's a good thing I only have to wait 4 days to head to Nawlins. Paradoxical life it seems. 

I'm buying a camera this week. So soon this blog will be flooded with poorly taken photographs that will soon become obnoxious. Oh well.