So we're currently in our van driving home from a show in Richmond VA last night, which was a lot of fun, except for the fact that my guitar kept going out on me during the show. Not to mention, the light controller crashed before the show. And also, the power for the entire building shut down halfway through our set. But besides that, it was a blast, and the folks in Richmond were super fun. What else matters at the end of the day anyway? :)
This was not the first show that my guitar has went out on me. In fact, I feel like the past several shows, I've had some kind of different issue with it every time. Last night, the first thing to go out on it was my wireless pack. The cable that connects my guitar to the wireless transmitter apparently has developed a short in it. But no worries, our road manager Josh came to the rescue with a guitar cord to replace the wireless. So we're good to go...for a minute anyway.
It works fine about halfway through the next song, and then something in my pedalboard started making tons on loud alien noises and then all of a sudden just went out altogether. I did what any intelligent person would do when this happens, and I kicked it several times, hoping that it would work out whatever kink it was experiencing. But no, that didn't work. So I bent down and unplugged my volume pedal and just bypassed it, hoping that this would fix the problem, as I've had issues with them in the past. But no, that didn't work either. Meanwhile, Tim and Dex were still playing and I was having to keep the vocals going on top of all of this.
I got so frustrated that I just said in my head "forget it", and unplugged the entire pedal board and went straight into one of my amps, going "old-school" again.
Luckily enough, this worked well enough to get us through the rest of the show.
Now as frustrating as this all was, it reminds me of a simple fact that I feel that God teaches me over and over again in my life, and it's simply GETTING BACK TO THE SOURCE. When I just took my guitar and plugged it straight into the amp, there was no room for error, and it just worked fine. With everything in between, there is a risk that any one of the small little cables or power supplies could go wrong at any given time.
This is the same with our lives, and the relationship we have with our creator. When we fill our lives with clutter that we so often think is essential to our survival, our "direct connection" to God gets fuzzy, and can sometimes get cut off. We forget that He is the reason for our being, and that He is the one true source of our purpose and balance. It's my prayer today for myself, and for everyone reading right now, that we are just reminded to get right back to "the source", and make sure there is nothing standing in the way.
PHOTO FROM AUGUST 2008 - ME IN MOTION IN SUTHERLAND, IA
Hey All! Sitting here backstage before we go on in Charlotte, NC. Sorry it's been forever since you've seen a blog from us. As you've probably guessed, we've all been crazy busy. One thing that has kept me particularly busy has been planning my wedding with my fiance! We are tying the knot on July 21 in Sweden following up our second year at a Christian Music Festival there called JesusRock.
Needless to say, all your prayers are greatly appreciated as we enter into this new season of our lives.
I don't have anything incredibly profound to write today, but I just wanted to share with you a reminder that I've received in the midst of doing all this thinking about marriage.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." (EPH 5:25-27)
"Hallelujah! The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong! Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory! The Marriage of the Lamb has come; his Wife has made herself ready. She was given a bridal gown of bright and shining linen. The linen is the righteousness of the saints." (REV 19:6-8)
I think there's something huge that we need to take from how much God correlates the church as His bridge in the Bible. Look at the verses above, Jesus instructs us men to love our wives just as He loves the church. Now when I think about marriage, and what it arises from, knowing that it is simply the union of two souls when they can no longer see their lives as complete on their own. Not to get sappy or mushy, but I can so easily relate it to my wedding coming up, and it just makes perfect sense - me and my fiance know that we no longer want to live as two individuals, but we know that God has brought us together to be one, and that we will have the most satisfied and fulfilled life this way. I think Jesus views us the same. He is one day coming back for His bride, as the Bible tells us. To think, how much Jesus loves His people, that he relates it to marriage.
Now I know a lot of you out there maybe don't have the best of marriage stories. Maybe yours is on the rocks as we speak. And we can also look at the church with all of its flaws that it has today, and criticize it until we the day we die. But lets just take a moment and think about what Jesus had for us by saying that we are His bride! I believe that He simply loves us so much, and wants to be with us for all eternity, which is the entire reason why He is returning for us to be "married" to Him. No more distance, no more pain. It will just be us and Him, in perfect communion forever. Sometimes it's a little scary to think about all the "end times" talk, and read the books about Jesus coming back to rapture His church. But for us who know Him and are living for Him, it could possibly be the best thing that we could ever look forward to - to finally join with our creator, and the one true lover of our souls for eternity.
What I take from all of this is that it makes me look at the church with a little different perspective. Sure, there are so many things that I might do differently about church nowadays, from what I've experienced. And of course, there are a lot of people that don't "practice what they preach". But lets remember that any time we involve people in ANYTHING, we are all inherently flawed. The church that Christ intended for us to be, as his body, and as His bride that He loves more than anything, is as simple as being a good wife - to submit to Him, to love Him, to support Him, to stay faithful even through hard times, and to have an open, honest relationship with Him. So until Jesus comes back for us to tie the knot for good, I want my heart to simply see the church become like the bride that Christ wants us to be.
My wife and I have 2 cars.We are very fortunate.One of these was a gift.Free.We talk a lot about how incredible it is that we have 2 working vehicles.Most people on this planet would be extatic to have one, and we have two.I have a silver pickup truck that we named “Cecil” and my wife has a 4 door green sedan called “Louie.”They are both mazdas and they were both made in the same year: 1991.Yikes. That is old.19 years to be exact.They are both just shy of 200,000 miles. They are also both running great.It’s incredible.However, they both have their share of battle scars.My truck has slammed into the guard rail twice due to icy conditions and poor Luoie has duct tape for a window.(The story behind that is another can of worms).The paint is also oxidizing and fading badly.
Every now and then we have a small repair to do and yesterday something happened.We drove Louie to church and after the service offered to take our friends Kellie and Caleb home.We all hopped in and as I turned the key…nothing happened.Dead.As a door nail.Not choking, not struggling or trying whatsoever to turn over.Dead.After attempting to get a jump from some very kind strangers we decided to give up.We got a ride with our friend Tessa and decided to tackle the problem with a tow truck on Monday.
Later that evening my brain started to storm.I thought maybe Louie’s battery needed an overnight charge and so I drove the pickup back out to the chuch parking lot to retrieve the battery.Before removing the battery from the stranded car I thought to myself, “What the heck,I’ll just try to start ol’ Louie. “Sure enough, she fired up the first try with a loud Vrooooooooooom!Well, since I drove to the church alone,I obviously couldn’t bring Louie back with me.I went straight home and picked up Jenna so we could get the car home.When the 2 of us got there we noticed Louie had a low tire and spotted a nail.We then headed straight to the gas station to fill it.Jenna drove the truck behind me as we pulled in to the station to fill the tire.I almost turned the car off but decided quiclky that I shouldn’t in case it wouldn’t start again.
The following morning I took Jenna to work and came back to drive Louie to the shop.Vrooooooooooom! She started right up again!The tire had lost air through the night so I pulled into the BP around the corner to give it one last breathe before heading to the shop.Like an idiot,I turned the car off.Wouldn’t you know,as I attempted to start her again she refused.Great.Back to the drawing board.Unbelievable.What was I thinking?!?!?!I put Louie in neutral and began pushing her to the edge of the parking lot.Just as I was about to call the tow truck and older man came up to me.He was filling his old red truck at one of the pumps and said,“What’s wrong with it?”
“It won’t start,” I replied.
“turn your headlights on, “ he said as he walked towards me.
This guy looked kinda like Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump.He was probably about 60 years old and wearing overalls.His hair was graying and all of his front teeth were gold.We talked back and forth about the symptoms and what we thought the diagnosis should be.Turns out he was a retired mechanic and it seemed like he knew what he was talking about.I popped the hood and he began poking around.He said the batterry was fine because the headlights didn’t dim when I tried to turn the engine over.After wiggling some wires and getting pretty greasy we agreed that it was most likely a bad starter.
He said we could just pop the clutch and I would be on my way.He climbed back into his red truck and pulled up right behind me.Our bumpers were touching.I put the key in the ignition to gain contol of the wheel and he started pushing me with his truck out into the street.About 20 yards down I let the clutch out and Vroooooooooom!Louie started right up!I pulled over and got out of the car.He rolled his window down and I said my thanks.I reached into my wallet and found a crisp five dollar bill.I handed it to him and he said “Now go get that thing fixed!”
I thought back to our tour wiith Sanctus Real.There was another band on the bill from Portland, OR called Above the Golden State.They have a song called “The Golden Rule.”The lyrics are a simple reminder of the greatest commandement.“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.And the second-love your neighbor as yourself.”That guy did just that. he helped me emmensly and got my car to the shop.Louie was fixed within a couple of hours and she’s running like a champ.Keep your eyes open for someone in need today.Love your neighbor.Pay it forward.This sums up the Faith that we hold onto.This sums up how we should live.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 17: APRIL 16 2010
Sitting upstairs in our green room here in Springfield, GA as we reach the last weekend of our tour with Sanctus Real. And what a tour it has been. It's definitely been the most genuine group of people we've ever had the pleasure of being on the road with. And last night, we had an experience that proves this.
We were leaving the church we played at in Rome, GA at about midnight, when all of a sudden, we heard a loud bang coming from the front of the van. So we did what anybody would do: we freaked and hopped out of the van. Thinking that we had broken another U-Bolt (for anyone who has read our prior blogs), we ran to inspect the trailer hitch. Nothing was wrong. So we hopped back in the van, thinking we may have just ran over something, a very loud something. But after driving for about 10 seconds again, the same thing, BANG BANG! So we got out this time, and knew something was definitely wrong.
After getting under the van and finding a piece of the wheel assembly completely disconnected, we knew that we wouldn't be driving very far like this. So, an hour later, a huge Triple-A Tow Truck, and switching trailers with Sanctus Real, the van was at the garage, and it turns out today, that our front left wheel assembly had just given out and broken. Not sure why, but it's just one of those things that inevitably happens with being on the road for 3 years straight. We were just hoping that we'd actually make it an entire tour without having van troubles! But we're actually here at the next show, thanks to our good friends in Sanctus Real.
We were so blessed last night when they offered to take us and our gear to the show today on their bus, even though it was very full already. They just made room, and made it happen. What an example this is of living out one's mission. I've been able to join them on stage each night in singing their song, "We Need Each Other", and it's just so refreshing to see a group of guys that really lives their lyrics.
Last night was just a great reminder of how we, as the body of Christ should really all work together. When I thanked Dan, their bass player, for helping us out today, he just responded "I don't know why we wouldn't have helped." And at the end of the day, shouldn't this be our response every time one of our brothers or sisters is in need? We just naturally do the right thing, and help! Not just because it's "right", but because of our love for each other, and knowing we really do NEED each other to make this whole "body" work.
Once again, we just give a big thank you to the SR guys for setting this great example.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 16: Rockslide
As we left Mansfield, OH last night we began our trek down to South Carolina.About 1:30 am I got a call from the tour manager.He was explaining to me that part of our route would have to change due to a road closing.We did a little more research on the matter and found out that Interstate 40 between Knoxville and Asheville has been closed since October of last year due to a rockslide!Can you belive that?I do recall seeing signs along mountainous roads that say crazy things like “falling rock” but I guess I just always think that sort of thing never really happens.We had to create our own detour and convince our GPS that it was indeed the way we wanted to go.The new way added on about an hour and a half of drive time. Inconvenient, but I was thankful that we knew about it ahead of time.
In life we don’t always have the luxury of knowing about detours in advance.They tend to sneak up on us out of nowhere.Bad news never has good timing,right?I thought back on some of our middle-of-the-night flat tires, engine and transmission trouble from the previous tour and then to the current tour and all the trouble Addison Road had with their RV.It broke down almost everyday and then finally caught fire and burned to the ground.Sanctus Real’s bus is having transmission trouble too.Then I started to think back on my life and some of the detours I’ve had thrown at me.Deaths, births,beginings and endings.Good news and bad, all mixed together.I thought back on when I Left home and started over, in a far away place,and then how I packed up to do it all over again.I never would have thought that I’d be where I am today if you would have asked me 5 years ago.
I know some of you are working through some of your own detours.You’re trying desperately to plan a new route because of some rockslides in your life.There is no way we can plan for what life is going to throw at us next.We have to take it a day at a time and trust that God is carefully planning out our path.He said that he wouldn’t give us more than we can handle.He also said that He has plans for each of us, and that he wants us to prosper.He doesn’t want to harm us.Let Him be your hope and your future.Let him lead the way.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 15: The Good Shepherd
I'm listening to Sanctus Real sound check from the safety of the green room here in a suburb of Indianapolis. I think they’re playing a radiohead song... anyway there is a picture on the wall of Jesus. It’s a pretty classic picture of him depicted as a shepherd. He has a big staff and is carrying a little lamb. I’ve actually seen quite a few sheep on this tour out the window of our van. I started thinking today about all the Biblical references to sheep. I got curious and looked on the internet to see just how many times sheep are mentioned in the Bible. The answer: about 190. The funny thing is, sheep are known as some of the dumbest animals. The even funnier part, is that Jesus is usually comparing us to these mammals with low IQs! Out of all these references, this parable is my favorite:
Luke 15:4-7 - “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
This story has always resonated with me. There is a song by Audio Adrenaline called “Leaving 99” that really drives this home. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. It’s such an amazing way of telling how important each one of us is to our Savior. He’s not the kind of God that loses you in the crowd. He’s not the kind of God who forgets about you. Even when your friends do, he’s still there. Maybe you feel left out at home, school, or at work. Don’t forget that He cares enough to leave the 99 and go searching just for you. He’ll keep searching until He finds you, and will bring you back with the flock.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 14: APRIL 9 2010
Sorry friends, it's been awhile since I've written! Much has happened since last time you've heard from me. I moved into a new house, got engaged, and now we're back on the road again with Sanctus Real! For those of you who know, My fiancé's name is Celi, and we will be getting married this July in Sweden, where she is from. When I proposed to her on the walking bridge in Nashville, TN, we even had the luxury of having a random live banjo player serenading us with an out of tune song that he probably wrote on the spot! :)
But anyway, what I'm really writing about this time, is about an interesting lady I met last night at a gas station in St. Clairesville, OH, around something like 4 am. It was my turn to drive, so I walked in to get my perk-up coffee, only to find a family of raccoons sitting by the back door, one one his hind legs, looking like they were waiting for food. They were not afraid whatsoever, and they almost looked like a family of pet dogs. So I asked the lady at the counter about them, and she proceeded to walk over, pick up some fig newtons off the shelf, and walk outside to feed them directly from her hand! They were even crawling up on her like they were her pets! Then I walked over to the door to see how close I could get, and they got scared and backed up. The lady whispered something to them and then they came back over. I had never seen anything like this before: a real live raccoon whisperer! She told me that they have been coming to that gas station every night for years. (see pictures) And when I asked her what their names were, she answered, "Sugar."
What an interesting sight that was. These animals are usually so elusive and scared of
people. But in this case, they just knew where to go each night to get their food, with no fear at all. It was their instinct. Although this may be a bit of a strange parallel to draw, I think we could look at this and be reminded where we, as believers need to go, to get our "food". We need to understand and realize that in order to survive, we need to be fully reliant on God. There's a verse that says that "man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God". So maybe right now you're feeling like you're spiritually "hungry", and feel like you have a hole inside somewhere that needs filled. Just remember, that the only way to be truly satisfied in life, is to turn to God, and ask Him to occupy every part of You. Be bold, and tell Him Your needs, wants and desires. I think God wants us to have that kind of relationship with Him where we just instinctively run to Him to fill us, instead of looking everywhere else in the world, that we often find ourselves looking.
It can be a tough thing to really have our first instinct to be to look to God, when there are a million things screaming at us for our attention, and countless self-help books and tv shows telling us how to fix our problems. I find myself often having to refocus and ask God to make prayer the first thing on my mind, even before talking to a friend about a problem or a need. So let's pray together right now, that He would be at the forefront of our minds, that He would be the one to satisfy our desires, and really become our provider.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 13: Final Bill
I’m staring at a bill. It is a gas bill. It’s “past due”. I’ve been staring at it for a while. Everytime I sit at the computer it stares back at me. Laughing at me. Taunting me. Mocking me. The funny thing is, nothing in my house is powered by natural gas, so it shouldn’t even be there at all. I moved out of my old house mid-December and cancelled/transferred all the necessary utilities. Even though I prefer to use natural gas for certain things, I was looking forward to dealing with one less bill at my fancy new, all electric house. After about a month of living in my new place I received the “FINAL BILL” from my old address, as expected. I paid this, and moved on with my life. It kind of felt like I broke up with my gas company and the letter just sealed the deal. Well, apparantly my gas company was holding some grudges about our past relationship and 3 months after I had been enjoying my gas free life another letter showed up at the door. I instantly recognized the letterhead logo and I was confused. I qucikly tore open the envelope to see what my ex-gas company could possibly have to say. As I unfolded the crisp white paper my eyes skimmed over an oh-so-familiar phrase, “FINAL BILL”. This time, it was for eighty-six dollars. I was enraged. I clenched my teeth. I grinded my teeth. I made a sound that was almost like a T-rex roar mixed with a horse whinny. My blood boiled. “How could this be? I’ve been gas free for over three months!” I grabbed the phone. I dialed the number only to find myself in entwined in an atomated labrynth of insanity. After what seemed like years waiting for an actual human being to pick up on the other end I tried and tried to no avail to speak some sense into these people. They wouldn’t budge. I asked for the supervisor, the manager, the president, the CEO, somebody! Apparantly there was a “metor discrepancy” and I was still liable for the remaining charges. The only thing I could think of to delay the enevitable was to demand a letter in the mail describing this predicament and simultaniously giving me more time. They sent the letter I requested, and I think today is the day that I have to suck up my pride and pay this ridiculous, undeserved, past due gas bill. I know in the grand scheme this little event in my life will be forgotten quickly. I started to think of people who go through much worse on a daily basis. I am able to pay this unexpected bill, but not everybody could. If this happened to someone else, maybe their heat would be shut off. Maybe a collection agency would begin harassing them. I think maybe God wanted me to know what it feels like to be wrongly accused. To be in a situation that is beyond my power, beyond my control. There are people all around us who are being wrongly accused. Open our eyes today God. Help us to see those who are in situations beyond their control. If we are able to reach out and help, show us how. Teach us to advocate for those who need our help.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 13: MARCH 31 2010
So yesterday marked a new day in my life, as I moved into a new house, which happens to be my first place on my own! It is a nice little 4-room yellow house in East Nashville. I guess I would consider this my second "big move". Ever since High School, I had lived with my parents for a while, and then moved to Nashville with some very close friends that have really become like a second family to me over the past few years. But I have realized that there really is nothing like having your own place. And I also realized something else while packing up and moving.
Through the process of packing and sifting through what goes where, I figured out something: I have a lot of useless junk! In fact, I think it may be a good possibility that I have more useless junk than stuff that I actually need. I may be more of a pack rat than others and have a hard time getting rid of stuff, but either way, I'm guessing I'm not the only person who feels this way. There's a problem when there seems to not even be enough space for all the junk. The crazy thing about it is, I don't even know where some of this stuff came from, and why I've held onto it for the past few years. Right now, it's all sitting in my basement, until I find the motivation to take it all to the dump or put it up on craigslist.
There seems to be a little bit of an obvious life lesson that I can learn from this, and I think that we all can at some point. We have a choice in life whether or not we will carry around "junk" with us every day. The junk might be in the form of past regrets, wrong priorities, unhealthy relationships, or striving towards things like popularity, wealth, and status (which at the end of the day, doesn't really matter). These things can all slip in without us even knowing sometimes, and before we know it, we're holding onto them, afraid to let go. As much as this may sound like an "Amish" philosophy, this quote speaks volumes of wisdom to me:
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." ~Hans Hofmann
Sometimes, I feel like we make life a lot more complicated than it ought to be. We have a great example of a simple life lived in Jesus. He placed priority where it really counts, people. He didn't have much extra aside from that, and encouraged the disciples to leave all their possessions behind in order to follow Him the best they could. As different as the times are now, 2000 years later, this calling for us is still the same. So my encouragement for all of us right now, is that we'll look at our lives and see if there is any extra "junk" that we are carrying around, holding us back from really fully living the way we're created to. Let's pray together that God would free us of regret, worry, and any baggage that keeps us from moving forward, and moving on!
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 12: Arrogance
We got to make a short stop at Mt. Rushmore last week.I had been before as a kid, but my memories were a bit blurry.It was right on the way, so we decided to stop and take a peak.As we drove up the mountain and gazed upon the chisled faces,I was in awe at the fact that human beings could actually carve something so massive.After reading all about the process of how it was accomplished, it was truly unbelievable.400 laborers were involved.Dymamite was involved.Lots of Dynamite.It cost $989,992.32 The Sculpture was started by Gutzon Borglum in 1939, and was completed until under the supervision of his son, Lincoln.Though I was truly amazed by the scultpture,a quote stuck in my head as we watched an informative video.A Critic by the name of Matthew Glass scorned Borglum and said,“What arrogant stone carver could possibly intrude upon God’s mountain sculpture?” I started thinking about all the amazing things we humans can actually create.Skyscrapers and helicopters,iPods and digital cameras, yet nothing will ever hold a candle to God’s creation.A photograph can get close…but to actually see that beautiful sunset with your own eyes is a thousand times better!I began to think of Job and when he got into and argument with God. This was God’s response to Job-
“Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;here is where your proud waves halt'?
I think we all tend to have times of arrogance in our lives.Sometimes we think we have it all together and need to tell everyone else how it should be.Sometimes we get so confident in our own accomplishments that we lose sight of the source,the one who gave us the ability to create, sculpt, write, build…Don’t forget that God is the source.He is the Creator, and only through him is anything possible.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 11: MARCH 26 2010
Sitting in our dressing room in Kansas City. Had a great show tonight here (see pics at bottom), and I'm just writing to let you know how exciting a week it has been for MIM, as a lot of you already know.
This past Tuesday, we finally released our first record to stores, and got to do a uStream chat with some of you guys last night as well. This has been such a long process of making this record, and it's just a great feeling to finally have it come to fruition. We'd love to hear from any of you on how you're liking it, and what your favorite songs are, if you get a chance to leave us a comment!
Patience is definitely something that I've had to learn in this process over the last few years. As the band has progressed, we've undergone many changes on the industry side of things, going from label to label, and finally landing at a great place we are now proud to call our family :) (CENTRICITY MUSIC) After all this, I'm so happy and grateful for the way things have worked out and how much we've learned in this whole process. It reminds me how much a lot of the time, our timing with what our wishes for in life, often differ from God's timing. And at the end of the day, God's timing is always best. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says:
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
This is a bit of a scary verse when reading it at first glance, especially the last line. Is it simply saying that it is impossible for us to ever comprehend what God's plan is? After thinking about it, I believe that is true. How can we, as humans ever know what God is really up to behind the scenes? And how can we really expect ourselves to see the big picture, when we are a "speck" in the spectrum of eternity? I've had so many things happen in life that have worked out for my ultimate good, but in the moment, I can remember questioning "What in the world was God letting me walk through it for?" Never once, have I ended up wishing things had worked out my way, instead of God's. Even in the case of MIM, we probably would have wished for our CD to be out 2 years ago, but after going through all of the processes we had to deal with, and facing the hang-ups that every band deals with at some point, we are all very excited for where God has us, and are even continually walking in faith, that His timing is really best for everyone.
Maybe today, you're struggling with having the patience to walk through a season of your life, that just seems almost endless, like you're in the midst of a black tunnel with no light ahead. I just want to encourage you today, that nothing is meaningless. As much as you've heard it said before, I'll still repeat it, because it is so true, but God has a purpose and a plan for everything that we go through! It's just up to us to turn over control and trust Him completely that He knows far better than us what He is doing. Maybe say a little prayer right now and ask God for the patience and the endurance to endure whatever it is you're going through, and thank Him that He is the God of the bigger picture. :)
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 10: Fika
Fika is a swedish word that we learned last summer in Kramfors.Fika is basically a coffee break with friends.We had some of the best coffee ever while we were in Europe and met some amazing people.Tonight I enjoyed some coffee with my wife and some friends and was reminded how good it is to be home and enjoy time with loved ones.
I think we Americans can really neglect our ‘Fika’ time and focus too much on work.Most other cultures place a much bigger emphasis on enjoying life and each other’s company and less time trying to succeed or climb to the top.Whether that’s the top of the class, the top of the corporate ladder, or the top of the charts,we always seem to be climbing.We tend to focus so much on the next rung that we forget to look around and take in the view.I know this all too well as being on the road can be so busy.Our schedule is sometimes so packed that the only thing that can possibly stop us is some sort of mechanical malfunction in the van, a flat tire, or an empty gas tank.I think God throws things our way from time to time so he can get our attention.Sometimes an afternoon spent in the lobby of Discount Tire is the only time I can stop and read, or just think.
I am so greatful to be home right now and enjoy a break from the road.As I look at the cup of coffee in front of me I am reminded of how much God pours his love into me. He always fills my cup to overflowing.Through time with friends and family I can see him smiling down on my little life.I can see good things all around me and hope you can too.I was reminded of Psalm 23 and the part that says,‘my cup runeth over’ stuck inmy head.I remembered learning this as a child and went back to the King James Version because it is sort of nostalgic, and poetic.Take a break from your busyness and read through Psalm 23:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
P.S. this is an exciting week for us as our CD will finally be released to stores!Join us Thursday night @ 6pm CST for a live stream here:
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 9: MARCH 20 2010, 11:06 AM
I think it's funny sometimes how I have nothing that I think is exciting to blog about, and then 10 minutes later, it's a completely different story...
So we pulled into Waukesha, WI a little bit ago, which is the last show on this run before we get to go home for a short break. Unloaded the trailer, and then me and Josh (our road manager) were going to drop the trailer in the other side of the parking lot. Now for those of you weather enthusiasts, you will know that it has been snowing for a little while this morning, and has formed a nice little layer of ice on every road, which caused several accidents we passed on the way here. This parking lot was no exception.
We backed the trailer up to a nice spot near the edge of the parking lot, and dropped it onto our usual cement block, only to find it slide completely backwards on the ice, and the trailer started rolling. I was turned the other way and heard a crazy scraping noise and Josh screaming, "Get the block!" So as I turned around, he was holding onto the tongue of the trailer to try and stop it, to no avail, and it was heading straight for a ditch, which would have been a nightmare for many reasons, had it fallen off the side...I did the only thing possible, which was to run as fast as I could to grab that concrete block and throw it behind one of the wheels of the trailer. And as it finally came to a halt, we breathed a sigh of relief! I didn't even know what had happened in this span of about 15 seconds, until after, and then I realized we didn't put a block of wood behind one of the tires when we dropped the trailer, thus, why it fell off the concrete block and slid down the parking lot on the ice. We didn't even notice it was on any incline until it started sliding.
Funny how life can do that to you sometimes, not just in huge, scary ways like this, but even in the little things. When you aren't prepared, and are thrown a crazy curveball, everything starts to slide downhill. The more I think about it, there is a really good lesson that can be learned from this, and can be played out in any situation.
"...Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out." (EPH 6:13-18 MSG)
A lot of you have read this scripture about putting on the "armor of God" before, but I think this is often one of the most misunderstood verses, and thus, the most disregarded ones. Today was a great reminder for me about what it means. All that God wants us to do is to be prepared, for anything that comes our way. If we have one part of this "armor" missing and if we're not in constant prayer, than we will be taken by surprise and start to fall backwards when an attack comes our way in life. I'm thankful that God knows we can't handle these things on our own, so He's given us everything we need to stand up under whatever we're going thru. It's often just a matter of praying and asking for it. :)
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 8: Mocha Club
Dexter here writing from Kalona, IA: the home of ‘Kalona Organics’ and delicious “Cultural Revolution” yogurt.We’ve been on the road with Sanctus Real for a couple weeks now.It’s been one of the best tours I’ve ever been on.Everything has gone so smoothly and everyone on the tour has been a breeze to get along with.We haven’t even had a flat tire yet! (knock on wood).Along with the bands, Sammy Adebiyi has shared the stage with us each night speaking for an organization known as “Mocha Club”.
Mocha Club is an online community of people who are giving their time and money to support relief and development projects in Africa.The challenge each night has been to donate $7 a month, (the cost of 2 mochas) so that people in Africa can have basic needs fulfilled.The main goal is focused on getting these people clean water.
I’ve been talking with Sammy throughout the tour about his story.He is originally from Africa: Nigeria to be exact and came to the States when he was 18 yrs old.He told me his parents enrolled him in a college in Toledo, Ohio, handed him $2,000 cash before giving him a plane ticket.Once he arrived at the airport in New York, it was totally his responsibility to find a way to get to Ohio (a place he had never even heard of),find a place to stay, and begin studying in the states.His parents told him “Ask a police officer how to get to Ohio…surley he can help you.” Soon enough,With the help of a few strangers, Sammy found himself on a Greyhound headed towards Toledo.
Sammy already spoke English, but he spoke British English which was cause for much confusion.Sammy told me he experienced so much culture shock and struggled with finances when his cashflow ran dry.This guy had never even seen snow, didn’t have a coat, and was fighting to find his place as he was thrust into a completely foreign world.
I was fascinated by Sammy’s story and asked him question after question.He went on to tell me that through all this confusion was when he really looked to God.It was in the lowest and scariest times in his life that he could only cry to his creator and found peace in trusting him.He is incredibly passionate about his involvement with Mocha Club, as it hits so close to home.If you have a second, please visit mochaclub.org and get involved.There are so many projects that need funding and help from everyday people like you and me.If you can, come to a show on the Sanctus Real Spring Tour.Dates are posted at meinmotion.com.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 7: Honesty
So this blog is going to be one of honesty, one that you probably don't read every day. Hopefully you all are cool with me opening my heart a bit for you to see. I don't have a lot to say, other than, sometimes being on the road is a mind and emotion-numbing experience. It comes in phases, and has really kicked in on me for some reason this week. Being in a van for 17 hours at a time, getting out, unloading, meeting tons of people, maybe napping for an hour or 2, playing the show, meeting more people, then packing up, and doing it all over again for 3 years in a row, can burn a person out pretty quickly. And for me, personally, I have to fight to not let it get robotic. What happens for me is that I feel like I fall into a funk and feel a bit lethargic. And I'm almost sad to admit all of this because we are doing exactly what we feel like God wants us to do, and doing what we love, in traveling and playing music, sharing a real ministry with so many cool people.
I think this may be the same for some of you out there, but just translated into an every-day life context. Maybe you're feeling a bit burned out with working the same job day in and day out, or going to school just feels like a pointless routine. Whatever it is, I think all of us can relate with this feeling at some point, and have to fight together to keep joy, passion, and a good attitude in life. As Christians, I think sometimes we feel like we can't admit these feelings, like maybe we always have to look like we always have it together, when at times, we really don't feel a thing. The same can also be said of being in a relationship. A lot of you married readers out there can probably attest to the fact that, even though marriage is one of the greatest gifts from God, if not the greatest, there are a lot of days when you really have to fight to keep love alive. That's why if relationships aren't rooted in true love, and something much deeper than a day-to-day feeling, they will fall apart, marriage or friendship equally alike.
But you know what I've realized at the end of the day, is that it's always best to keep an honest perspective, and to even know that there will be days when the "happy, fuzzy" feelings evade us. And that's ok. It takes humility for a person to admit that they don't have it altogether. This is an especially scary thing for me, because there is so much pressure that comes with being the lead singer for a Christian Rock band, that I, for one, have to "have all the answers".
But, the one thing I can conclude after all of these thoughts, and I hope encourages you as much as it does me, is to remember that God is consistent beyond all our feelings or circumstances. I'm always reminded of Job, who probably had more days than most when he didn't "feel" like loving God. And secondly, I always think back on our Savior Jesus, who, if He lived His life based on feelings, probably would have not went to the cross for us. He, after all, was completely human and felt the same things that we do. So, together, let's not be afraid to admit our feelings are real, they have a place, and aren't wrong to have. But let's also together, remember to even look past our feelings and know that they pass quicker than we realize it. We have a God who is way beyond all of them.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 6: Guilty As Charged
I got a speeding ticket.
I’m angry about it.
I was going 69 in a 70.
That’s right, you heard me.
Apparently in the state of California the 55 mph truck restriction applies to any vehicle towing a trailer.
I cannot begin to express the complete and utter feeling of helplessness and frustration when I saw those police lights in the rear view mirror.
I don’t feel like I’m an unsafe driver.Actually,I feel like I’m a good driver.My bandmates might say otherwise, but I honestly feel like I’m a safe driver.I tried my best to remain calm.I even tried some small talk with the officer. He didn’t care.The law is the law and it’s black and white.Even though I feel like I wasn’t endangering anyone, I still have to pay the ticket.The worst part about it is I don’t even know how much it is.He’s going to mail it to me.
I don’t usually like to think in black and white.But one thing is true: I’m imperfect.I may think I’m a good person, and I may even be.But I’m still sinful deep down and am in need of God’s forgiveness.As the cop handed me the citation there was no way I could change what had happened.I was reminded that Jesus paid our “ticket”.He took the penalty for all our mistakes and paid the price.I’m still not happy about my ticket, but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that big of a deal.After I received my ticket I got back on the highway and continued down the road.This time I set the cruise control at 55mph.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 5: Just One Bolt
It's currently 6:10 AM. Back in the van for an early morning drive from Bakersfield to Sacramento where we are meeting up with some of the awesome people from Air 1 Radio. The past couple shows have been no exception to a great tour so far.
A few days ago, we were in Las Vegas, and one of our sway bars that help connect the trailer to our van and help stabilize it just snapped while we were driving down the road, and proceeded to make a rather loud scraping sound as I'm sure the metal bar was sparking along the asphalt. It sounded a lot worse than it probably was, but needless to say, we were stuck with a predicament.
We took the bars off for the time being, and since they help the back of our van not sag so much, it was riding pretty low after that. The next morning, we woke up with a mission to go find the piece that we needed which had snapped off, which was a simple U-Bolt. Should be an easy task to find such a small, straightforward piece. So we started at the obvious, Wal-Mart. No luck there. We walked over to LOWE'S. Certainly they would have them, we thought. But once again, after searching the whole store for about 45 minutes, we were out of luck. So we drove around for a while and found a Home Depot. Maybe they would have something that LOWE'S didn't. But no, once again, we were proved wrong. Ok, so we were starting to get a bit frustrated as our quest from this mythical U-Bolt took us to the next place, which usually has the answer to everything - Harbor Freight Tools. This place is a handyman's dream, so we were sure our search would end there.
A half hour later, we walked out of the door with our heads held not-so-high, as they had nothing remotely close to what we were looking for. We even talked to a guy in the Marines inside, and he tried to help us out, but to no avail.
So, it was really time we got our heads together and figured out what in the world we were supposed to do. We came to the conclusion that we needed to get to a Trailer Dealership/Repair Shop. So we got on the phones, and called what seemed like every place in Nevada, and none were open, as it was Saturday and we were quickly losing daylight.
The last stop of the day, was quite an overwhelming one, Bass Pro Shop. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, this place is the IKEA of fishing. They have fish radars, fishing boats, fishing attire, and $1000 fishing poles that will catch and even fry the fish for you (well, maybe not the last part).
So, we thought since they have trailers for the boats there, we'd finally be in luck. But once again, as it was probably 7 pm by this time, we walked out of that place empty-handed.
I thought to myself, how could just this one bolt be such a thorn in our sides? It's such a small piece, but it keeps the whole assembly together. Sometimes I think the same can be said of our lives and our faith. If we have one part of our life that is out of whack, or "broken", then the whole wheel doesn't turn right. I think as humans, we have the tendency to want to have control. We want to turn our lives over to God and entrust them into our Maker's hands, but we want to retain a small part of "our" lives. Whether it's a small corner of our lives that we don't want to let God run, a secret sin that we keep running back to, or a relationship that we know isn't where it should be, anything like this can throw our whole being into a mess.
Yesterday, we finally found what we were looking for, as we made it to a small trailer shop in Paso Robles, CA. We left that place with a totally complete trailer system, as they had exactly the part that we needed. What a good feeling that was to have working sway bars again...
Today, maybe you're feeling a little bit like this situation, having one small part of your life ruining the rest. I just want to encourage you to take the time right now to turn back to Jesus, who knows you better than anybody else ever will, and entrust your whole life back into His hands. Let him fix what needs fixed, and be exactly what you need.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 4: Enjoy The Ride
Ever been lost?Yeah,me too.Our GPS has been known to lead us astray a time or two.Of course I always like to blame that little touch screen device, even if there was a bit of user error involved.We had intentions of going to the beach to watch the seals today, but our plans changed.I typed in the city where we were planning on going and we started our trek to the coast.However,there was some breakdown in communication and I confused the name of the beach with the name of the city and after 45 minutes we ended up at a dead end.A little frustrating.
Today was a day off for us, so it didn’t really matter.We had no schedule to keep,and nothing planned.On the bright side,the drive was beautiful.We passed through the fertile Salinas River Valley and saw countless vineyards.The Rolling hills were covered in short little green sprouts of new grass and the winding road seemed to have not a care in the world.Cows were lazily grazing and strange looking mule deer perked up as we chugged along.As cliché as this sounds,this brief little trip reminded me that so often we get caught up in the destination and forget to enjoy the ride.In our lives we are constantly worrying or thinking about some goal ahead that we lose sight of the beauty all around us.
The Bible tells us not to worry.Matthew 6:34 says :
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I got out of the van after we drove back into town and saw kids playing in the park.I just watched them play for a while, and tried to not worry.It was in a way theraputic to watch them.I know we all have a lot on our minds.We have a million things to do, everyday.Whatever you’re in the middle of right now-try not to forget that there is beauty all around you.Thank God for that, and let tomorrow worry about itself.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG 3: Out Of Control
Hey all! Sitting here in a Starbucks in beautiful Paso Robles, CA with a couple of our new friends from Above the Golden State. Super cool dudes! This tour has so far proved to be such a great group of people on the road. It's always awesome when we can pull up to a venue and feel a real sense of camaraderie with the other bands we are on tour with. And unfortunately, as many of you have already heard, one of the bands out here, Addison Road, has had more travel misfortune on this tour than any other I've ever heard of! They've had an RV breakdown about every day so far, followed by the entire thing catching fire along with the trailer and burning to the ground a couple days ago. Please send them your support and prayers, as we can understand when something like this happens, it can be very disheartening to be in ministry like this and stay strong.
To digress a bit, we've all had a bit of misfortune in one way or another on this run, nothing compared to what Addison Road has experienced, but nonetheless, here is my small bit of it.
We were doing an all-nighter drive from Albuquerque, NM to Chandler, AZ a few days ago, and it was about 8 AM when Tim pulled off to a rest stop to take some scenic pictures, which I have to admit, were quite picturesque. Dexter and Josh were asleep and I had woken up to go use the rest stop facilities. If you've seen our touring machine "VANBEARPIG", then you know the layout of how it's set up (Reference MIM Movie Monday # ). We have 2 full bench seats and a full double bed in the back with a spot underneath to sleep as well, which we have endeared "the hole". It is the most coveted sleeping spot in the van and Dexter was in it at the time. as I had just left the bed.
After walking outside to head back to the van, I quickly realized something. The van and the big black trailer, which are kind of hard to miss, were missing. At first I kind of laughed to myself and figured it was a prank and they had just pulled around the side or something. But after walking around the whole rest stop, I suspected that they didn't know I had even exited the vanand they just left. So, what does every American know to do in the case of such catastrophe, but to reach for the handy cell-phone and make a call. I reached for it, and of course, no cell phone. I had so conveniently left it in the van. Next, I realized that I had also taken my wallet out of my pocket, because I have this pet peeve where I could never ever sleep with its bulky mass bothering me. Perfect, so I couldn't even get a delicious, healthy snack from the vending machine. And then after walking around for a bit trying to figure out what I was going to do, reaching for my Carmex in my jacket pocket, I thought to myself "Great, I left my jacket in the van too".
What a predicament! I was so frustrated at the moment, because I thought it was inexcusable that this happened. Maybe if we were on a bus for this one it would be a different story, but in a van? This was just crazy! So, after wandering around for awhile and trying to figure out what to do, I found a nice lady who worked at the rest stop and she was kind enough to let me use her phone to call the guys in the van . Of course, the only numbers I could remember were for Dexter and Josh (our road manager), who were both asleep! I quickly saw that this is the downfall of cell phones, we never have to remember any numbersbut just look them up in our contacts instead. So, 5 voice mails and 20 calls later, I found myself still sitting therewearing this huge jacket that I borrowed from the lady, probably looking pretty stylish...
Long story short, I finally got a call back on her phone from Josh about 45 minutes later so they turned around and came back to get me, while I sat and learned from the nice lady about everything there was to know about the local area and its weather patterns.
So what is the moral of the story here? What conclusion can be drawn from all this? Well, the obvious, is to not get left at a rest stop. But even further than this, as I'm sitting here thinking about all the craziness that has happened on this tour with Addison Road and Sanctus Real (who had their trailer break off a few nights ago in the middle of a drive) I think it's loud and clear, anoften scary message that " we are NOT in control". I remember sitting at the rest stop feeling a bit helpless when I couldn't get a hold of anyone, had no money or jacket, and realized that it was out of my hands ....just like most things in life.
At the end of the day though, I've found it's a great thing that life really isn't in our hands, but instead, that God has control and is over everything that will ever happen to us. You've probably heard the questionor even asked it at one point or another, " why does a perfect God allow bad things to happen to good people?" I can even remember a lot of times in my life thinking this.
I'm not sure that I really have discovered a cut-and-dry answer to this question, nor that anyone really has either, even though many books have been written on the subject, sermons been preached, college classes been taught, and debates been held on the subject. But take a look at these verses written by Paul, who was no stranger to hard times, as he went thru sickness, hunger, imprisonment, and loneliness all for the sake of sharing Jesus' message. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 with me:
The Rescue (FROM THE MSG)
3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it.
8-11 We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part...
As I think about these verses, I know that when Paul speaks of sufferinghe speaks from experience. Think about the story of Job too. He went through every kind of loss you can imagine in lifeand still kept true to his faith. I also remember that the Jesus we serve, understands more than anybody else, that "bad things can and do happen to good people". In fact, he was completely innocent when he was taken to the cross.
So obviously, when we go through hard timeswe can know that we are not aloneand have had the best examples to go before us, and to still keep the faith. I know that just reading this probably won't clear up any doubts or questions in your mind and I don't know if I expect it to completely, but I want to leave you with a thoughtand a song that I wrote a while backwhen I was experiencing one of the worst sicknesses I ever had. Thinking I had mono, I could hardly get out of bed for about 5 days straight, and for me, when I go through sickness I experience so much doubt and questions in my head that I would never even normally think about. But after processing all of it, there was only one question that emerged in the front of my head: "If I had everything taken away from me that I lovewould I be fine with itand still be able to say that God is God?"
So if you are able, please go listen to this song , "I'll Be", performed by Newsboys (LINK AT BOTTOM), and maybe just take a few moments to let God speak to your heart, the way that he does to mine, every time I experience pain, loss, or heartache in life. He always reminds me that He is above, beyond, bigger, and stronger than anything in this world even though I can't see it.
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 2: Stumped
I have a long list of things that confuse me in this world, and area codes are high on that list. They just don't make sense. 615 is the Nashville code, but if you change one number, for example 616, you're almost 9 hours away in Michigan. Sometimes we play this game in the van and name off various area codes to see who can guess what city it's from. I'd like to think I have quite a few memorized but there is always one that stumps me. Sometimes the Bible stumps me too. Every now and then I'll come across a passage that doesn't make sense, and I get frustrated and close the book. There is a story about a man who is in a similar predicament in Acts Chapter 8. Philip is led by God's spirit to approach a man reading the book of Isaiah. He asks the man,
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
"How can I, " he said, "Unless someone explains it to me?"
Philip then proceded to explain to the man, and even baptized him. I think it's ok to feel frustrated with the scriptures. There is a bit of a language boundary. The original languages were very different from english and meanings can get twisted. Sometimes I come across something and I'll have to chew on it for a while. I have to do a little research and sleep on it. I think it's important though to also remember that The Gospel is for everyone. Jesus' message was meant for the simple, everyday people like you and me. Matthew 11 says, "You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people." Don't get down on ourself if you can't understand something in scripture. Chew on it, and ask questions. That's the only way we can really learn!
ME IN MOTION "SANCTUS REAL SPRING TOUR" BLOG DAY 1:
A FRESH START
Day 1. Sanctus Real Tour 2010. I can't think of a much better place to start a tour than the one and only Albuquerque, NM. As you've heard before, we as a band cannot get enough of this city, and word on the street is, we may be back again in May if all goes well! :)
I can't put into words the excitement we have for getting to share the stage on these 30 shows we're doing with such an incredible group of bands, and the amazing people that they all are. In the short time of saying hellos, and seeing old friends this morning, we can already tell it's going to be a great run. You just know when there is an instant sense of all being a part of the "Same Team" so to speak, that we are all working towards the Kingdom Goal...One cool side note for all you who like to know a bit of the "behind the scenes" of Christian music, on this tour, MIM will be performing for the first time, our new song "Seek Justice, Love Mercy" off our new record, and the cool thing about this song, is that it features Matt Hammitt, the lead singer from Sanctus as a writer on the song with me. Just a little nugget of info for you...haha. As a writer, it's such a cool thing when you can be on a tour with other bands who are playing the songs that you are a part of writing, and to see them shared from stage, is an exciting feeling, as I also had the opportunity to write with Addison Road (who is also a part of this tour) on a song for their upcoming record.
I just want to take a second and share with you a quick thought I have as I think about the idea of a new tour, and a new start. Let me reference a verse that hit me a couple days ago:
"If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God." (I JOHN 1:8-10 MSG)
I think sometimes we are literally afraid of the idea of having a fresh start. It scares us to think of the pain that it takes to get there and to be made new, because, believe me, there IS pain that comes with the cleansing! There could be embarrassment from confessing a sin to a friend, to say sorry when we've hurt someone, and it takes humility to admit a wrong. That, I can admit myself! But I will say, that there is NOTHING like a fresh start, just as I'm reminded as we hit the road for a new run with the band. Remember the verse, it says that God won't let us down. Maybe we're afraid that we've even hurt Him too much by the way we've lived. But just remember, He has a forgiveness like none other, and can always give us a fresh start, a clean slate.
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 17: Don't Let Your Tires Get Too Low
After a week off, we’re back on the road with RED for the last leg of the tour. The other day,I took the van over to Wal-mart to pick up a few things for the road.I was planning on unhitching the trailer and just taking the van,but I glanced at one of the trailer tires and it looked a little low.I decided it would probably be a good idea to fill that tire up before we hit the road again.I pulled into the shell station, dropped my quarters in the machine and began filling the tire.It’s a good thing I did because this tire was low. Really low. It was supposed to be filled to 80 psi and was only showing 20 on the gauge.
As I slowly filled the tire it reminded me of how important down time is. How we need to be refilled too: physically and spiritually.One of the ten commandments tells us to take a day off!Being home for a bit gave me a chance to recharge and to enjoy a time of “Sabbath” So often, we tend to push oursleves too hard.We are so busy these days!When is the last time you brewed a cup of coffee, and just sat down with a book?We need to remember to spend time relaxing, praying, and communicating with the God of the universe.Don’t let your tires get too low.Check the pressure often,and remember the sabbath!
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 16:
What Really Matters
Hey Guys, Seth here finally getting a chance to sit down and relax today! It's been a crazy one from sunup-til now. Been in the thick of finishing the production on the Newsboys Record, and I'm starting to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Late apologies on not posting an update for a while, more to come regularly this week! We're getting geared up to hit the road again early tomorrow morning, I believe 5:30 AM to be exact...Yikes!! There's something really tough, but special about night drives to me, because in the insanity of life, I get a chance when there's no one else talking, no noise, just the road, to sit and reflect. Reflecting is not something we often get to do when we're so preoccupied with our schedules and routines.
Speaking of reflecting, as I'm able to take a moment and do that right now, I realize that this is an exciting season that God has us in right now, for a lot of different reasons, one obviously being that I'm super thrilled to have our new record release in March, another being that I'm pumped about these great tours we are blessed to be a part of, but even more so, because I am realizing more and more every day that life is such an amazing adventure. It's such a humbling feeling to think that God is writing a beautiful story with us as his main characters, learning to love, be loved by Him, and share that love with everyone else through relationships.
I watched an amazing movie this past weekend called "The Soloist", which is the story about a homeless street musician (Nathaniel) who is found by an LA News Columnist named Lopez. Lopez is so intrigued by this man, that he spends countless days just hanging out with him, getting to know him, building a friendship, learning his story, and he eventually finds himself helping bring Nathaniel to a better life. I know you've probably heard stories like this one before, but it really made me reflect on perspective.
I think that at the end of the day, life, and even more importantly, the Christian life, is really all about perspective and keeping things down-to-earth. Jesus lived a pretty simple life. He placed an emphasis on things that were important, like relationships, loving people, and even spending time in prayer with His own Father (who is ironically, our Father too). What an example this is, that even Jesus, God incarnate, took time to be alone, and pray! There are numerous accounts in the Word that talk about Jesus going away to the mountains just to pray, like in Matthew 14:23, or Mark 6:46. How can this not speak volumes of wisdom to us about the things we should be focusing on in the midst of life?
This example for me, makes me think about how crazy it is for me to worry about some of the things I find myself gravitating to. There's really nothing as important as relationships.
My prayer for all reading out there, is that as you read this, that you just take 5 or 10 minutes just to sit, reflect, pray, and listen for God. Maybe He's speaking to You about someone that needs reached out to, a friend to be forgiven, or a loved one who has lost their way. Whatever it might be, let's just all remember together to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into loving relationships, even if we are afraid that we might not get love in return. Let's remember these verses:
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." (Matt 22: 37-40 MSG)
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 15:
Seth here, tired as ever, writing from our 8th story hotel room in Little Rock, AR. Just getting ready to drive back to Nashville after all the heavy stuff is loaded in the trailer. I've never been so ready to be home in my bed as now! For those who didn't know, I've been under some heavy weather the past couple days.
So I was talking to Tim earlier today, and we had an interesting discussion that sparked some thought in my head. We were talking about what life would be like if we didn't have a sense of taste, how eating would simply be to sustain life, and not for any source of enjoyment. I don't think there would be much of a food industry, since there really wouldn't need to be different kinds or flavors of food. People may not eat as much, and I think the world would be a much duller place. This convo led to thinking about, if we had to make a choice as to give up one of our senses, which would it be. We thought about the gift of sight, definetely a must have, as well as the sense of hearing, obviously a must-have since we are musicians. Then we talked about the sense of touch, which, if we didn't have, we'd probably just be tripping all over the place not even able to walk. And lastly, the sense of smell, which we both ended up agreeing, we'd give up before any of the others, although, we need it a lot more than we think!
I just got to thinking how much this is like the body of Christ, how, when you think about each part, how equally important each is, and just like we were trying to prioritize our "favorite senses", we couldn't manage to, because we really need all of them to function properly! Some of us are to be the hands, some of us to be the feet, others to be the eyes, and even some to be the ears...every single person in this Spiritual body is no more important than the next, and we need each other to benefit the whole thing, so let's all try to work together, and build each other up for the gifts that we have, realizing how important it is for us to work within our gifts, and not try to be something that we're not.
"You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything." - I COR 12:12-13 (MSG)
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 14: Foxes Have Holes
I’m sitting in the Hallway of the Days Inn in Las Vegas, New Mexico.This is the only place my computer can pick up wifi.Tomorrow’s show in Dodge City was cancelled as of an hour ago due to crazy snow and terrible roads.The guy at the front desk asked me,“So where are you guys from?”This is a question we get a lot on the road.Every time someone asks,my brain sort of hesitatesand I don’t know what to say.The three of us in the band moved to Nashville last summer,but we’re not ‘from’ Nashville. (Is anybody? ) I’ve always said- “Wherever you learned to ride a bike- that’s where you’re from.”I grew up in Kansas,Seth in Ohio and Tim in California. That's where we're from. We’ve all lived in several different places throughout our lives and sometimes I have to really think before I answer that question.It’s pretty crazy to think that we all somehow crossed paths,ended up playing together,and now live in the same city.I know where I’m from,and it will always be home,but with all this traveling,I can’t help but feel like a wanderer.
I’ve been reading a lot in the book of Matthew lately,and this question of origin brought a verse to mind.In Chapter 8,a teacher of the law says to Jesus,“Teacher,I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replies, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,but the son of man has no place to lay his head.” When Jesus started his ministry,he was sort of a wanderer too.He traveled from town to town healing the sick,teaching and even raising the dead.Jesus had a hometown.He grew up with family and friends just like you and me.He knew that his time on earth was limited however,and that the real kingdom was at hand.He spent the last 3 years of his life on the move passionately telling people about an eternal place and an everlasting life.I’m comforted when I feel homesick because I know that God can relate to that feeling.He knows what it is like to have no home,but he also has a hope to hold onto.There will be room in a big house for each of us who come to follow him.A place where there will be no pain,tears,or that feeling of homesickness.
J.R.R. Tolkien said “Not all those who wander are lost”.A friend of mine said he was planning ongetting that quote tatooed on his body.It’s a great reminder of our true home.I have a tattoo.It's a mapof the United States on my right arm.I’ve filled in the states where I have lived.So far I have 5 states filled in,but I still need to have Tennessee colored in.Maybe you don’t feel like me.Maybe you don’t feel like a wanderer.Maybe you feel stagnant where you are.Whatever the case,remember that Jesus was on the move for a purpose.My question to you,fellow wanderer…and to those staying put:Do you have a purpose?Do you have a reason for what you’re pursuing?You don’t have to be lost.You don’t have to feel alone.There is a kingdom that is coming.There is a place that will be our true home.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 13:
Hey friends! Seth here, writing from one of my favorite places we've ever been able to tour: Albuquerque, NM. It's been an eventful past few days. For those of you who follow our tweets and facebook updates, you will see that we've been having some issues with "Vanbearpig" (our dear van). It's days like these that make me wish that somebody in our band was mechanically-minded. See, the deal is, our van has been sporadically losing power and shuddering like it's going to blow up, not to mention a slipping transmission, but then the problem just works itself out on its own. And the check engine light has been on for the past couple weeks, which is quite a usual occurrence for us. But this one seems to call for more than just our usual fix of black electrical tape to cover it up. :p
Long story short, we dropped her off at the garage yesterday morning, picked it up this morning before load-in, only to find the same problem happened after a few repairs and $240. So we had to take it back and are just now getting ready to pick it up after the show. A hefty bill later, and all new spark plugs, wires, and some other random stuff, we're hoping that the root of our problem is fixed for good. I guess we'll find out when we're working our way up a steep hill with a big trailer behind us. Haha..
Problems like this one in life remind me of an even bigger problem, the problems that can get in the way of our relationship with God, whether it be pain, loss, addiction, or any kind of sin. We have a choice when it comes to these things. We can go to the root of the problem and deal with it, or we can just put a "band-ad" over it just like we've done for our van so many times, only to find it breaking down a few miles down the road. So if we really want to go deeper and hit home with our relationship with God, you might be wondering, how in the world do we deal with these kinds of things??
Maybe today, you're asking the questions of "Why is this happening to me?" or "How do I get out of this sin I'm trapped in?" And you're tired of just covering your problems up with a band-aid, whatever that might be. Some cover-ups that come to mind are keeping preoccupied with popularity, looking good, making money, being the best athlete ever, having the sweetest car, or whatever it might be. I just want to tell you right now, as I think about the situation with our van, and how we dealt with the root of the problem, that dealing with it sometimes isn't always the easiest way. Sometimes it hurts. And sometimes it can cost you every bit of pride that you have. We need each other to get through it. Let's read a verse together that talks about this:
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy." - Proverbs 28:13
Whether you're finding yourself stuck in a seemingly-hopeless situation, sin, pain, questions with no answers, or whatever it might be, I encourage you to turn to someone today for help. Just like the Word says, we can't do it on our own, we were never created to. So find refuge in someone that can talk with you about what you're dealing with. We're meant to need each other!
P.S. - FOR THOSE WHO REMEMBER ME TALKING ABOUT OUR NEW SONG "THE GOD I KNOW", WE JUST POSTED IT TODAY TO OUR MYSPACE AND FACEBOOK (MYSPACE.COM/MEINMOTION) FOR YOU TO CHECK OUT! LET US KNOW HOW YOU LIKE IT. :)
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 12: Discomfort Inn
The last show was in Phoenix, AZ at “Castles and Coasters”.They do a festival here every year called “Rage Fest”.I really love coming to Arizona,and especially in January.It’s always like a bit of a reunion when we play this festival.So many bands that we know through touring end up here on the same day.It’s kinda like a family reunion.After another all night drive through some crazy hills/mountains we made it.Played for a great crowd and got a chance to meet some great people in the air 1 lounge.
After our 11am show we grabbed some lunch and decided we should probably catch a few hours of rest at the hotel.We grabbed the keys which said ‘comfort inn’,punched it into the GPS and were off.The trip there was a mere 10 minutes but I was out cold.When we arrived, I forced myself to wake up,grab my suitcase and haul it up the stairs to the second level.“Room 275, “ says Josh,our road manager.In my sleepy state I’m a bit unaware of how long we’ve been walking and I start to realize that we’re having a hard time finding the room.The Hotel is basically in the shape of a giant circle.Josh says, “you guys go that way and we’ll go this way….surely one of us will find the room.”As I pass the corner, I ask one of the maids where room 275 is.She points.I drudge along.Well,we finally met up with the other guys and none of us were able to locate this room.In a moment of epiphany we finally check the address and discover that we are indeed at the wrong comfort inn.Ughhhh…. Back to the van,down the road a bit more, and finally to the right destination.
In this small moment of ignorance I was reminded that we do this to God.He is with us everyday showing us things through our everyday lives and, like that hotel address,we overlook him.Let’s try not to be like some of the people Jesus talked about.They only believed in Him after seeing a miracle.We can see God working if we just open our eyes!He is at work around us all the time.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 11:
BILL THE GUINEA PIG
JAN 29 2010
Seth here. Sitting here next to a guinea pig. I took a picture of him. His name is Bill. I just named him that. Look at his picture. Isn't he cute?
We just finished playing a killer show in Las Vegas. Night 11 of the Nothing and Everything Tour. Probably the best crowd so far! Nothing like 600 people screaming along with "Losers". :) Also, I should mention that this town has the world's biggest In & Out Burger, which Me in Motion highly recommends to anybody and everybody.
So before we went onstage, we discovered that Bill lives in our dressing room. He has a little cage with a large paper towel tube to go inside and hide in, a bowl of delicious-looking rodent treats, a water dispenser and some sawdust for his bed. Must be a pretty simple life! Some days, I find myself wishing that my life was low-key, like Bill's. No drama, no worries, no stress. Just eating, walking around, and sleeping. He has about the safest life I could imagine. Until of course, our road manager, Josh went and picked him up and put him inside this little clear plastic ball for him to roll around on the ground in. He was definitely was scared out of his mind, if he has one. I wish for this story's sake, I could say that he overcame his fear of being outside the cage, and rolled all the way out the door, down the hallway, outside, and escaped out into the great outdoors where he could live truly free!!
But no, he sat there, even when we tried to roll him around. He was totally sold on only living his little rodent life in the cage, and that must be good enough for him!
This whole thing reminded me of a new song that we wrote called "The God I Know", which is coming out on our new record in March. It talks about how living a Christian life is a life modeled after Jesus, who lived any way but safe and secure. He hung out with the lowest of the low, walked the slums with the losers, turned the tables in the temple, and proved His radical love for us on a cross.
I know sometimes it's easy to be content staying in our little bubbles that we so often retreat to, just like the little guinea pig in his cage, ignoring the world outside. But this isn't how we were created to live. We were made to live radical lives, like Jesus. Not just for the sake of "shock factor", but for the sake of showing true love, Jesus' love to people who don't deserve it, and who does after all?
Read this verse I found, which I think is an amazing example of this life that we are called to live, a life that goes the opposite way of the world. Let these words inspire us to think deeper about the kind of life we're living right now. :)
Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 10: The Tire Of Terror
Where do I even begin? Earlier this week we played in Abliene, TX and then had a 2 day drive to Monterrey, CA. Those 2 days were some of the most exhausting, ridiculous, and dangerous 2 days of my life. It all started about 30 min into the drive. We were passsing through the town of Sweetwater when it happened. I was behind the steering wheel as we approached a slight hill. In the distance I began to see what looked like a small piece of shredded tire flopping down the road. “No big deal, “ I thought. “Truckers blow tires all the time.” We might roll over a small chunk but we’ll be fine. The closer we got to the mysterious debris I realized that this “small chunk” was bigger than I first calculated. I soon came to the conclusion that this was indeed a completely entact semi tire, and at 65 MPH I started to worry about it hitting us. I clearly remember weighing the various options I had to possibly dodge the tire. I had a good 20 seconds to process what was about to happen. About 2 seconds prior to impact I saw this beast of a tire hit the pavement and bounce nearly twenty feet in the air. It was fully inflated. It was still mounted on the metal rim. Sam, one of the production crew guys was sitting shotgun. He told me later that I looked over at him and said in very matter-of-fact-tone, “We’re gonna hit that tire.” All I could do was brake. I pressed both feet down firmly on the pedal and we fish tailed a bit. I turned my head away as I squeezed the steering wheel but It was inevitable. The tire whizzed past me but continued to scrape along the back side of our beloved van. Then it immediately smashed into the front of our twenty six foot trailer. That familiar crunching sound followed. It was quick and loud and reminded me of an aluminium can folding beneath my foot in slow motion. I thought It was over as we slowed and pulled over. I could feel the rumble strips beneath me as I watched in awe as the out of control tire continued it’s path of destruction. It lunged forward into the ditch to our left. Then, rolling along the curved earth it launched itself one last time, bounced right next to us, and flung itself completely over the roof of the van. We were at a dead stop as we watched it roll into a Wendy’s parking lot.
Suprisingly, The van and trailer were both completely drivable. I called 911 and police were there in an instant. A police report was filed and the state trooper informed me that the driver responsible lost another tire, which hit another vehicle and a building. No one was hurt at all. We were back on the road within half an hour. Over the next 48 hours we were faced with obsticle after obsticle as we pressed on toward California. A blown trailer tire with no jack left us stranded for a couple hours, The tow truck man refused to help us due to fine print restrictions from his boss. I had to pay him cash on the barrell, and he was convinced. We almost ran out of gas, and when we finally found a station-the pumps were all closed. Later down the road the van started sputtering and we all had accepted the fact that we just weren’t going to make it. Miracolously, the van felt better after a short break and we arrived in Monterry, California on time for load-in. I even got to see wild sea lions on the beach. I have no doubt in my mind that God has been wathcing out for us. He’s kept us alive more times than I can remember, and at times I’m speechless. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue the Nothing and Everything tour. Don’t forget that God is on your side. He’s watching out for you too. Cry to him when you are in need, and thank him when you are safe.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 9:
PEACE AND THE BEACH
So it's been a blur of a past couple days! I'm sitting in the dressing room upstairs in the Golden State Theater, here in beautiful Monterrey, CA. This place is probably the sweetest venue we've played in a long time (pic 1), and this city literally looks like it is out of a national geographic magazine, or a story book. I definetely wouldn't mind living out here! Take note of the pictures, as we got next to some live seals and a real live pelican (pic 2), which we were so harshly yelled at by a local "nature police" for disturbing. Not sure how he figured that? hmm...
But anyways, to rewind. I had a super early morning flight from Nashville this morning to San Jose, CA. It's been a great past couple days as I was able to fly back and hit the studio some more with my good buddy Michael Tait. (I've had the privelege to work on co-producing/writing the upcoming Newsboys record, check out the new tuneage @ myspace.com/newsboys), and also worked on writing for another record as well. So needless to say, there was not much rest for the weary! This morning came too quickly, and before I knew it, the plane touched down in the Pacific time zone, followed by heading to the venue, setting up, soundchecking, etc...
But then I was reminded, when I finally took a walk down to the picturesque beach and watched the waves crash in, that you can only go 1000 mph for so-long. I finally had a moment of tranquility, a moment to breathe, and remember the things I so often forget about in the crazy chaos of life. It was one of those moments where God grabs a hold of you and you know it's time to turn your ear to Him. So I just listened...
In one way, I felt a little bit like I was "put in my place", as I looked at the vastness of the ocean, and the immense creativity of His creation. But in another, I felt a wave of peace as I was reminded of this verse, reminded of what's really important:
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Just take a moment right now to breathe, wherever you are. Forget about whatever happened in your life today, this week, this month, and just focus on God. Be reminded that no matter where you are, we have a God who can be our strength, a place to run, a "fortress" like the Word says. I encourage you, just like I needed to today, take a much-needed break, and just listen. :)
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 8: Just Stuff
On the road,it seems like something is always broken.Today it was a headlight in our van,tomorrow maybe tim’s amp will blow up or my cymbals will crack.Who knows?Something will be broken,that’s for sure.Practically everyday I’mfrantically searching for the duct tape.Sometimes we fix things the right way,like the other day we took the van to the shop to have new brake pads put on,but lots of times our methods are…well primitive,to say the least.
Thinking about all these broken things,I noticed some rust on the hardware on one of my drums.I remembered that verse in Matthew chapter 6 that tells about how moth and rust destroy,and that thieves break in and steal things.I was talking with Matt Jameson,the drummer for The Wedding.Last week their van was broken into and all of their backpacks were stolen.In a matter of minutes all their laptops,ipods,etc were gone.I would have been pretty upset if that would have happened to me.Matt seemed pretty cool about the whole situation as he was telling me that it really is “just stuff.”As we talked a bit more he said that nothing is really ours to begin with.All the things we own actually belong to God and he can freely give or take them away.
My computer is pretty rickety.It’s been dropped way too many times.I’ve gone through 3 hard drives,and the battery is held in place by,you guesed it,duct tape.The more I thought about all of this,I started to realize what a grip things can have on us.I honestly feel like I NEED my laptop,and to some extent it’s true.But If all I’m investing in this life are things. something is definitely wrong.Let’s not forget that people are what really matter,things can always be replaced.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 7:
I'm sitting here in our dressing room in Longview, TX, as we're getting ready to head onstage at the Belcher Center, which is probably the nicest place we've played all tour, but has the strangest name, eh? I wonder if the founder of this place should have taken more mylanta...
I wanted to start out this blog with a verse I was reading today:
"“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
I have to admit, that when I read this verse, it humbles me to think about how much widsdom I lack. I think back on the past few years of my life, and how much things have changed, mistakes I've made, lessons I've learned. All the doors that have been opened for Me in Motion, the blessing that we're able to do what we love to do every day as a band, to play music that connects people with our creator, is nothing that any of us could have arranged on our own.
I also think about God's perfect wisdom in the times that God hasn't let doors in my life open.
Last year I got a call from a person I've looked up to in the music industry ever since my youth group days, asking me to come play guitar for a very well-known multi-platinum successful secular artist, who has also done some of my favorite pop songs. After a few weeks of deliberation and constant prayer, there was only one thing that I knew was clear. I felt that God's best for me would be to walk away from this opportunity. I didn't know why, but I knew that this was the right thing for that time in my life. To be honest, it was something I was a little upset about for a couple days, because it was truly a step of faith, to run the opposite way when the world would just say "do it!" without even thinking.
Now in hindsight, so many things have happened in my life in the past year that I would not have even been given the opportunity to do, had I just said yes and walked thru that open door on my own - in my own wisdom - things that worked out even better than I could have imagined. God really did have my best interest in mind, just as he has for each and every one of us. My prayer for you today is simple, that you would simply trust God's plan. If you're at a crossroads in your life, where you feel like a decision must be made (big or small), go to God for His wisdom. I'm not saying that it will be plain-as-day, as to what you're supposed to do, just like a writing on the wall, because I believe that God doesn't always speak "audibly" or "just-plain-visibly". All I'm asking is that you take this verse for what it says, and just ask Him for the wisdom that you need. You'll find it one way or another... :)
Jan 23 2010
LIVE PICTURE FROM OUR SHOW TONITE AT THE BELCHER CENTER (LONGVIEW, TX)
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 6: Winnie
I got a call from my dad yesterday as we were driving through Texas. He told me that earlier that afternoon he finally decided to put our family dog, Winnie, to sleep. She was getting really old and my parents had been talking about it for a while. Every time it came up in conversation, I successfully convinced them to put it off a little bit longer. But as her breathing became increasingly labored, they finally made the decision to put her down.
I remember the day we got her. It was probably over 15 years ago. I think I was in the 5th grade. We picked her up after church one Sunday from a family who was giving away puppies. She was a good dog. Not too big, not too small. She was jet black with pointy little wolf-like ears that always perked up when somebody walked through the front door. She was half chow and reminded me of white fang, or maybe ‘black fang’ diligently pulling her sled across the snowy tundra. To be honest with you. I always thought people who got emotional over the death of a pet were a little cookoo, but as I started thinking about the next visit home to a house without Winnie, I could feel the sadness start to rise in my throat.
I know most of you reading this never met my dog. She doesn’t really mean anything to you. To those of you who did know her, you know that she meant a lot to my family, but especially my dad. She was his dog. She always followed him around, she would choose his feet to curl up next to by the couch. He took her on walks, gave her “treats” and sometimes he would let her hop in the back seat of the little green mazda for a drive around town. She was smart, obedient, and always there when we needed a companion. I think it’s going to be especially hard for my parents since my sister and I each got married this past summer and their house will be left even more empty.
I was reminded of a passage in the new testament as I thought about Winnie. Matthew 10:29 says “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” God knows about every little detail in our lives. The Bible also tells us that the very hairs of our head are all numbered. For me that’s easy- zero. ;) Jesus also compares God’s love to a shepard who left 99 to find the 1 that was lost. Don’t forget that no matter how small or minute you may think your problems are, he is aware, and he cares. Just as he cares for my dog, and my family as we all will miss her, he cares for you and knows your pain.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 5:
TASTE AND SEE
So we're here in San Angelo, TX, and enjoyed our first off-day of the tour yesterday in San Antonio. It was a much much much-needed day of rest, as we actually got to sleep in! We enjoyed going to lunch with our new friends in THE WEDDING, only to walk outside, and find that their van had been broken into, and all their laptops were stolen, right in broad daylight! So please keep them in your prayers, and I'm sure they would appreciate any of your support. It has happened to MIM in the past, so we know what it's like when you work so hard and have that kind of thing happen to you, it can be very disheartening, so please, please, please, send them your love.
On another note, I titled this blog, "Taste and See".
Last night, we walked into the place that is like an Oasis in a desert to each of us in MIM: CHIPOTLE. (and no, they didn't pay us to say that) Every time I enter that house of goodness, I'm reminded of the amazing smell of the freshly cooked meats, rice, fresh vegetables, and all of the other quality items that you can pack into one small, foil-wrapped, football-sized tortilla. And my taste buds instantly sing "Glory, Hallelujiah!" accompanied by the harmony of my bandmates. It was after I walked up to the counter and ordered my usual chicken burrito, no beans, rice, lettuce, pico, sour cream, cheese, and extra cheese, that I noticed chipotle had a sign promoting a new movie with a cow on the front of it (see picture) titled "Food, INC." This was followed by an explanation of how Chipotle wanted people to be aware of the high-quality, organic ingredients that they use to make their heavenly goodness, free from preservatives, hormonally-dosed cows for the meat and cheese, and everything natural that can be imagined. And I thought to myself...hmmm...I remember the days when I used to go to McDonalds every other day in high school and order a Big N Tasty with Fries, and how awesome I thought it was, but after experiencing a place like Chipotle over the past couple years, and having not eaten McDonalds in several months, I bet if I went back to the more "processed" fast foods (nothing against McD's), I'm sure my body would want to spit it all out! This made me realize something very quickly, and I drew a parallel to what having a relationship with Christ is like. Check out these verses:
"Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him." (Psalm 34:8 MSG)
"I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you've picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby's milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God's ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong..." (Hebrews 5:12-14 MSG)
These verses speak volumes of wisdom to me about knowing Christ. I can think back on some of the dark times in my life and remember not walking with Him. It's just like going from fast food to good food. You never know what you're missing until you try the "good stuff", to really have a personal relationship with our creator. And then I think about the times that I've fallen backwards in my faith. It's just like going back to eating unhealthy fast food: my body just wants to spit it out, because it knows that this isn't the right way to live.
So let me wrap it up and encourage you in two things:
1. If you are wondering about what having a relationship with Christ is all about, let me encourage you, just like Psalms, says to us, Taste and See that the Lord is good! Take it from our own personal experiences, He really is the only real thing worth living for.
2. If you feel like you have fallen back in your faith, just like we have many times before, try to surround yourselves with friends who are going to help disciple you in your faith. Part of learning to "eat meat instead of milk", is learning spiritual maturity, and we get this from digging into the Word, and from surrounding ourselves with good mentors, and friends. So get plugged in to a great community of believers. :)
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 4: Good News
Good news can be big. Good news can be small.
Big: A few months ago a friend of mine thought she found a lump and was scared it was cancer. She immediately went to the doctor to have the proper tests done. They told her they needed a few days to process the tests and they would call her and let her know. You know how the saying goes “no news is good news,” but after a few days and no call we all started to worry. She couldn’t take her mind off the possibility of haaving cancer. She couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and just couldn’t take her mind off it. When the phone finally rang the news was big and the news was good! The doctors said it was just a calcium deposit and that she had nothing to worry about. She had a party that night and everyone celebrated.
Small: late last night as we went to bed at our hotel we all set our alarms for 6:30 am. In the middle of the night it dawned on me that the load-in time might be later for todays show. I quickly booted up my computer to double check. Sure enough my little inkling was right. I decided not to wake the guys and tell them right away. When the first alarm went off at 6 I could hear their groans. I spoke up and said, “Today is a late load in guys-we don’t have to leave until 8:30!” The reactions were of sweet relief. 2 more precious hours of sleep. Perfect. The news was small, but the news was good.
In Luke 15 we read of some good news: “suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents"
Some people call the Bible the ‘good book.’ The message of that gospel is the biggest good news we could ever hear. Maybe you got some good news today. Maybe you got some bad news. Let’s not forget that in the midst of all the news we hear that the message of Jesus is the best news we could ever hear.
ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 3:
What Day Is It Again?
It's Seth again here in Victoria, TX...writing you from sidestage at the Riverside Multiplex as Pillar is finishing up their set. We're super thrilled to be back on the road with those guys again, as we got to do the Confessions Tour with them last year, and count them as great friends and an awesome band.
Just wanted to take a moment to stop and ask somebody out there, "What day is it again?" There comes a point on tour, some tours earlier on than others, where everyone on the road starts to ask this question, along with others like, "what city is this?" or even, "What state is this?" For me, that time came today on tour date 3 on the Nothing and Everything Tour, when I woke up at the Hampton Inn today at 4 pm, hearing our road manager Josh say, "Gotta go, soundcheck's in a half hour." I bet my head-confusion is a culmination of driving thru the night, sleeping at the hotel during the daytime, and eating spicy gas station burritos at 6 am, which have the power to erase one's memory as easily as a memory is made. :)
But what a great time we are having out here. Three solid shows in a row, makes a great start to this tour, and I'm reminded, even as we face the craziness and confusion of the road, that our God is a God of consistency in our crazy, confused world.
Let Hebrews 13:8 remind us today that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." So wherever you are at in life, whether your days are just a blur, and you find yourself waking up some days not even knowing where your head is, or your peace lies, let Jesus be that peace, in knowing that we have a faithful friend, father and refuge in Him, no matter what day it is!
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 2: COPY OF A COPY
Just finished playing at a place called “The Door” in Dallas, TX.It’s Friday night and today was definitely a better day.Everything seemed to go a little bit smoother and I think I can credit that to a good night’s sleep.We made it here safely,in one piece,and with all of our tires.Speaking of tires,in the midst of changing our flat last night I somehow managed to lose my van key in the darkness alongside I-40.Not that big of a deal except that we all have this bad habit of losing our keys.Mine was the only original left,tim and seth both have copies.I got annoyed pretty quickly asking to borrow someone's key,so this afternoon I decided to venture off to get my own copy made.
I used our GPS to locate the nearest hardware store and called ahead to ask if they had one of those key duplicating machines.The woman on the other end of the line cheerfully replied,“yes we do!”
I said,“great,I just wanted to check before I drove there.”Upon entering the hardware store I immediately knew something was wrong.This didn’t look likemost hardware stores I had been in before.This storelooked like a cabinet store.It was very nice but it appeared as if the only thing they sold were cabinets.I met the cheerful lady from the phone at the counter and sheepishly told her I was the ‘key’ guy.She asked me what kind of key it was and I pulled Seth’s copy from my pocket to show her.
“Oh,” she said in a less than cheerful tone.“We don’t copy car keys.” Bummer.Well a bit more driving around Dallas and I finally found a real hardware store and got my own copy-of-a copy key to our van.
The problemwith copies of copies is that they usually don’t work as good as the original.They also don’t work as good as the copy.So everytime my new key doesn’t work I’m reminded through my frustration that I do the same thing in my spiritual walk.When I’m following Jesus and using his life as a reference point I have a better grasp on what a Christian should be.When I follow people that I admire or look up to they sometimes fail me because they are more-or-less copies.It’s great to have people in our lives to look up to,whether that is a friend,favorite band,parent,or even a pastor. But people are always going to let us down.Let’s instead try our best to copy Jesus first and foremost.He is the one we should model our lives after.He showed us a perfect and selfless life.Let’s keep our eyes on Him because you and I both know that a copy-of-a copy isn’t as good as the original.
ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 1:
TOUR IS DEFINETELY HERE
Well hello friends. It's Seth here from Me in Motion. Just writing you from cold and cloudy Fort Smith, AR, chillin in the Fort Smith Event Center where the first tour date of the Nothing and Everything Tour with Red and Pillar kicks off tonite! We're super excited to be a part of this awesome team of great bands, and geniune people.
I titled this first blog, "Tour is definetely here", as we were reminded last night as we left Nashville at midnite, only to make it a half an hour down the road and have our brakes go out in our 26 foot trailer! (see picture below) If you know anything about touring and vans, this is a really bad thing! So we found ourselves standing in a gas station parking lot at 1 am, 18 degrees outside, pulling every fuse out of the van to see if it could be a blown fuse. No luck. We then proceeded to check the wiring on the back of the van. One sign of a problem, the wiring assembly had completely ripped off the back of the van, but was all still intact! So we then look at another wire, which we realized had been previously dragged on the ground, and covered with a mass of gaff tape! "There is our problem!" we all say. So begins, cutting the wire, stripping it all apart, and rewiring it all back together, to find ourselves back in a warm van at 2:30 am. This reminded me, tour is definetely here!
But that's not all! 6 am comes, and we find ourselves with a shredded trailer tire (see picture below), and no jack capable of lifting the beast of a trailer that we have (still accepting ideas for names, Bessy, Free Willy, etc?).
So we use our band ingenuity and decide to drive our trailer up onto some wood blocks, to find ourselves successfully changing the tire out, and getting back on the dusty trail by 7 am. Tour is definetely here!
And finally, 2 and a half hours late, we pull into the venue, and celebrate actually making it to the first show, and thanking God for getting us all there in one piece, and then setup went smoothly! (see picture below)
In moments like we faced last night, I was reminded of one of my favorite verses, which I'm sure a lot of you have heard, Philippians 4:13:
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
We found ourselves last night arriving on the realization of "Tour is definetely here", and that when we encounter all the difficulties the road has to offer, that we are only going to reach our fullest through living a life for Christ, and knowing that we will only be let down if we try any other way. I'll take it a step further for all of you and say that once we realize that life isn't always easy, in fact, a lot of the time, it's not, we need to be reminded of that verse, and find that once we're living as we're created to, that we will find, "Life is definitely here", we just need to reach out and take it. :)