Thursday, December 18, 2008

today I have an 11 year old..

My daughter Maddie turns 11 years old tonight just after 6:00PM. I can remember the day she was born very vividly. I remember how excited I was about the fact that we were going to have a child. I remember how nervous Jen was that morning about the whole process of birthing a baby. To top it all off.. we had no idea what Maddie was going to be... a boy or a girl. We had refused to find out, we enjoyed the surprise. She had so much hair! She was so cute. I was afraid I would break her.

She is starting to grow up now. We have had 11 great years of growing, laughing, playing and just amazed by what she has been able to accomplish. The next 11 years will be full of many things that I can't even begin to predict, except for one thing. I will always love you.

Happy Birthday Maddie!

I am so very proud of you.

Love Dad

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

one crazy weekend...

Well, we just had one crazy weekend. It started on Thursday night when the guys and I met for a meeting to work out the details of the band. We discussed our future, where we were going, what is our purpose and what do we need as a band to continue to do this thing...whatever this THING is. We grabbed some dinner, sat down for a lengthy discussion, prayer and then maybe the best practice session ever.

We worked up some new songs and then crashed at 2AM. On Friday, the girls went to my parents. Jen and Anna went shopping. Luke, Trent, Jordan, Carter and I sat down for the first ever song writing session. It was a grueling process. I felt many emotions through out the evening and into the morning. We ended up just crashing at 4AM. The result... our first decent worship song. I am sure this is not the finished product, but its got some legs.

Jen awakened to Luke, Trent and Jordan asleep on the couches and the house looked like a bomb blew up in Guitar Center. Guitar and drum gear everywhere. We rolled out of bed and then prepared our selves for the travel to Bainbridge for the Worship the King event. We were the headliner...ok that is a stretch but we were scheduled to play at 9PM. We left my house with gear loaded around 1PM...a mere 8 hours before our schedule appearance to lead the people of Bainbridge United Methodist Church to the throne of God in worship! Here is where it gets interesting... Luke pulled out of my drive way and on to the route suggested by the GPS to take to Bainbridge, OH and it happened...
our bands first breakdown. Luke car had a flat tire.. on a large hill... with a car crammed full of guitars, amps, pedalboards, cables, etc. As I jumped out of the Jeep to help, I dropped my iPhone onto the cold hard pavement. This seemed insignificant at the time, but as the situation progressed... having a phone is pretty important now a days in situations like this.

After we transfered the gear to another vehicle, I changed the tire, while Trent and Jordan directed traffic(we were not only on a steep hill, we were on a blind curve in the road) and we were back on the road..with plenty of time to spare! Until 500 feet later... FLAT TIRE number 2 this particular road trip. Jordan and I ran the first tire back to the house to inflate, then another tire change and we were now back on the road again.

We finally arrived at our destination about 1 hour and 45 minutes later. This sort of put a crunch on setup time and practice time. We had decided to run through our new know..give it a good "road test". We were ready at 4:15 and then it was time to wait... and wait....and wait and wait some more. The thing is..I am sure we are like any other band. When you get ready to play..YOU WANT TO PLAY! So patience was a virtue we had to really work on for the rest of the evening. As each band played, we became more and more antsy. The line up was great! Megan's band from Shawnee played, the girl singing with her rocked "Trading my sorrows". It holds a special place in my heart, was the first worship song I ever learned to play :) Megan and Rusty sang a few of their favorites for us. Rusty had the coolest hat ever! lol! Matt Blouser played his 12 string and shared his obvious passion for Country Music and the Gospel..that boy has got some twang in his voice! I think there is a huge need for more talented people in that genre... (Christian) country music. I think there is a difference between that and pure gospel/southern gospel music. It is all gospel music.

Paul and Mike were great guys who played 2 sets.. they bookended the fellowship and food break with Christmas music and some few original works. Great spirit and worship. It is obvious that they love to play music and sing. They sang a song that our friend Caitlin wrote the lyrics for when they were in Delaware, OH. Awesome!

Our good friend Jesse Houser put together a band with his mom, Shirley, his brother, Jordan, his friend Derek and his college roommate. I will forever refer to them as the Jesse Houser Extravaganza! Who knows maybe it will stick? I have known Jesse for a while now and had the pleasure of watching him grow into his own as a worship leader. He use to play bass, drums, guitar or whatever else we needed him to play in the worship team at Salem Community Church. I was impressed by how much stronger he is vocally. They did a great job and really got everyone to a place of worship. It was a great set. Everyone was singing.

Now I want to interject here a little story. A few years ago, we were asked to play at a small music festival in a parking lot of a church. This was back in the old school MFE days. We were to play very early in the line up. The headlining band had brought their own sound gear. We were told that all of the bands on the main stage would be playing through their gear. When we got their..the headlining band had not been told this bit of news. Needless to say, they were not happy and it was not that much fun. They gave us a bunch of attitude. I tried to be very thankful and appreciative of their efforts. They were honestly just frustrated. They setup, they had to run sound for us, they had to play, then they had to tear down. Honestly, I could understand if they were not prepared for the situation. I did promise my band that if we were ever in that same position, that we would remember that moment, and be gracious. At BUMC, we setup, ran sound, we played and tore down. We were happy to serve the other bands. It honestly makes for a better experience for the audience. Faster change overs = less waiting and more music. Everyone is happy! I was blessed in hearing them play their music. We know what it is like to be the opener, with no one to listen to you play and we know (on a very small scale) what it is like to be the headliner. We as a band know we will find ourselves at any of those positions in between moving down the road. We pray that a band that we share an evening with walks away going...I love those guys, they are doing this for all the right reasons.

At this point, the crowd of people had been there for 4 hours! Most crowds would have been tired and ready to go home. NO, not at BUMC! They were ready to go to the throne! Really they needed a bathroom break but Scott spoke about how Christmas was all about consumerism and that we needed to get to the central idea of Christmas...Jesus. Which worked perfectly for our intro. Speaking of intros... i think everyone in the MFE..we love intro's! I think about ways of opening worship that really gets people prepared to sing, to let go, to worship. I have so many ideas in my head, and very few of them involve pyrotechnics, stunts or giant animitronic demons (although that thought of Luke battling a giant fire breathing demon with his Tele would be pretty cool). I enjoy watching other bands start their worship services and just learn what makes a good start and what doesn't. I will be the first to admit that Sunday morning worship is a little different than what we do on a Saturday night, i think people are more prepared for a concert like worship service in those Saturday night environments(that is a whole other blog post). We decided to kill the lights and show the Advent Conspiracy video..powerful..thought provoking and tied in great with what Scott had to say. ...lights come up..into the first song! I know..maybe a little bit of a rock star moment. We were so keyed up form all of the events of the day, awaiting our turn patiently, writing a new song in which we were going to test out on the BUMC'ers and honestly, worship was just what our band desperately needed.

I felt like each song set up the next song. The evening kept growing, getting bigger, displacing more energy. God had prepared us for moments like this. The moment where you go from hoping you can bring people to God to BRINGING people to God through worship. A whole new level. Now nothing about this set was perfect. We still played the songs and made mistakes, but I am not sure we have ever brought energy to worship like that before. I was proud and humbled at the same time. It was surreal and a rush at the same time. I am a different person because of worship on Saturday night. We might be a different band because of worship at Worship the King!

Song #5 in the set list was labeled "New Song?". We were now at that point in the worship. Do we play it? Do we cut it? Will people like it? Will it be worshipful? Will God be pleased? About 50 other questions flew through my mind in the split second before I looked at Trent, Jordan, Luke and Carter for affirmation that we were going to test out the new tune. And so we went for it.

Take off your shoes is a song that came from a few conversations, a ton of study, and a special piece of agape for my friend Eli (he is the next lay director on Chrysalis and the weekend theme is Exodus 3). He asked me to be the music director for the weekend. I thought how cool would it be that the theme song for the weekend was actually an original song! I wanted to surprise him, but I honestly was too excited about what little bit of the song I had already written to keep it from him. The song is about a burning bush experience. Moses, you or me, it doesn't really matter. It is a song about doubt, doubting myself and God's plan. It is a song of understanding my past mistakes, our pain as a people of God. It is a song of obedience, God's call in your life. We try to justify, even attempt to tell God he has the wrong person. A song about no matter where you are in life, you still are invited to Holy Ground. God still wants to commune with you there. He is a God of confidence and strength. He is a God of love and He is big! He is I am!

I think God's call to Moses in the bush was more about the fact that Moses actually saw the bush then it was that it was about the bush burning. My friend Steve confirmed my thought the other night. We probably walk past burning bushes everyday and never seem them. The most important thing is that when God calls out, we answer with "here i am!" That is so hard to do.

The song went off with out a problem, except for Luke's mic being muted. We had only played it once in practice. We found great worship moments in the song. It actually messed the whole band up. We were really sloppy on the next song because we were still reeling from how well everyone worshiped to "Shoes".

In our minds the night was a success for everyone involved. The church collected lots coats and shoes. We worshiped, a lot! We shared in communion. We were attacked all day , but we could not be touched that night. God was present!

One last thing, we have a video clip from Saturday night, I hope you are blessed by it. Thank you for all of you who support what we do. We love you.

Worship the King video...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

here is what is cool about this...

Last night Maddie turned on the TV just in time to watch the Grammy Nomination Show, we caught the end. Taylor Swift was singing a medley of songs then it happened...

John Mayer and BB King appeared on the screen and for me (a total guitar freak) time stopped for a minute. A little dramatic? Maybe, but here is what is cool about this moment. John Mayer is to the point of being giddy while playing with BB King. Even though I think John is a better guitar player at this point, he is not a guitar icon..yet. John Mayer, known for his pop sounds and crazy facial expressions, has been redefining himself as a guitar player over the last 3 or 4 years. You can here it in his music. You can see it in his projects, he seems to be on a journey to share the stage with some of guitar legends and musicians that obviously influenced his music.

You know you have made it when someone can walk into a record shop(do those still exist?) and can hear a riff from the music playing and know who is playing. BB King's style and sound has that recognizability (i think i just made up that word). John Mayer is quickly gaining that notoriety for his guitar skills even though he has a song writing style of his own already. Enjoy the next few minutes of guitar bliss while I stay up way to late working on my own guitar skills that are being heavily influenced at this very moment by John, BB and Lucille.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a break down of NYWC thorugh my eyes and ears...

I had a great week last week. I few days in Nashville for the National Youth Workers Convention. My previous post highlighted a few of the first couple of days. Saturday was sort of a blur... I fell asleep by taking 4 Nyquil drops I purchased from the hotel store. I was fighting a cold, I had no voice, and I needed to be ready to sing for Big Wednesday (that is a whole other post). I woke up at 10:30AM! I rarely get to sleep like that, but the Nyquil knocked me out. The Buckeyes kicked off at 11AM so I skipped the General Session and stayed in to watch the blowout. It was great to have a win like that against the Wolverines. I headed over to the Convention Center about the 3rd Qtr when the game was well out of hand. I sat in on the Tech Session which was cool to see how they work their magic during the convention. It was a ProPresenter lovefest which was very frustrating. At this point Jordan and Carter were the only 2 people I had ran into from our RVCC contingent. I spent the entire day alone. It has been along time since i have had that sort of isolation. It was good for the soul.

I grabbed a bite to eat around 4PM, by myself. I went to another session then made my way to the general session. Lincoln Brewster led worship and he reminded me just how bad of guitar player I am. Francis Collins spoke on being a Christian who believes in Evolution. It was an interesting talk, but he was pissing people off left and right. I sort of enjoyed that :)

After the General Session, I headed over to the hotel to drop some of my things. I hung out with Alan for a few minutes then headed over to grab a bite to eat with Jenn and Eli. We had a great chance to catch up. After dinner, (12:45AM) I stood in line to see a friend of mine from our home town who moved to Nashville to take a chance on his music career. Lewis was playing at the Stage on Broadway. The rest of the Waverly contingent was already there...they went over around 10:30PM. I told the door man that I was Lewis's cousin and he let me in ahead of about 75 people in line. The place was packed and Lewis was rocking the place. I stood about 5 feet from the stage and watched. around 1:30AM a guy grabbed me by the shoulder and asked that I help him get to the stage. It was John Rich of duo Big and Rich. He had a friend with him (Dierks Bentley) and they got up on stage with Lewis and sang a few songs. It was alot of fun, but I was out way too late. I got to bed by 3AM and i woke up with no alarm at 7AM and was over to the convention by 8AM for a seminar and the General Session with Shane and Shane. It was great stuff. I took my Baby Taylor to have the guys sign it and they remembered my from a few weeks ago when we met them at Mt Vernon.

Sunday was a crazy day and we drove home after the last General Session that night. I am glad we stayed for to hear Danielle Strickland. Her talk was fantastic. I crashed int eh back of the van and made it home by 6AM.

There were lots of great moments at NYWC, but after I break it all down my favorite moments were:

6. Crowder autograph

5. Danielle Strickland talk

4. Shane and Shane encounter

3. Lewis Copeland in his element.

2. Francis Chan talk

1. Robbie Seay Band Worship on Thursday night. They really impressed me. A great band. Very tight. It was my favorite worship of the weekend. They played 2 new songs that I have to find the charts for. I have scoured the internet, but can't seem to track them down. Carter and I went up and met Robbie, he was a great guy. He was very down to earth. It is encouraging when you get a chance to meet people and they don't disappoint you.

It was a fun weekend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

at the National Youth Workers Convention...

I have been at the the National Youth Workers for the last day and a half. My family should be here, but they bailed. I am totally messed up from Francis Chan this morning. He thoroughly brought the goods with his talk. "You are standing in my pile of crap and you are ruining it!" "You are unflavored salt!" This resounds in my soul... i guess you had to be there...

Crowder Band rocked the house as usual. I hung around afterward to get Dave's autograph on the Baby Taylor guitar. The signatures that make it on the Baby Taylor are people who have changed my life with their music. Third Day was the only people for the last 4 years...until today. Crowder got a kick out of Maddie's Halloween costume (she dressed up as Crowder).

Tonights General Session was interesting. Three speakers. Tony Campolo warned of the Fall of Babylon(USA), Andrew Marin talked about how we are to love gays and lesbians, not convict and judge them. Shane Claiborne reminded me how much more like Jesus he is than I. lol

The Crowder Band had a complete meltdown at the beginning of "Neverending" and was quite entertaining.

It was a day that both challenged and encouraged. By the late night session, I was in the mood to laugh so we went to watch for some illusions. Great stuff.

I am going to go hang out at Gruhn Guitars in the morning then off to the General Session and catch the Buckeyes game. Go Bucks!

See you on the flip side.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Picture in need of a caption...

WOW... need a caption for that one... thanks Alan for the photo.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

loving God...

My friend John said to me today, "People really struggle with a loving God." WOW. Profound. I never really thought about it that way. People actually struggling with the thought that our God loves everyone. I guess I have always taken that for granted. I have always believed that God loved me. It is what I was taught growing up. Jesus loves me this I know.... Why do we struggle with accepting the fact that He loves EVERYONE! EVERYONE? Yes, everyone!

We say that God is love, but struggle to believe it.  How can God love a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Nazi, a homosexual, an adulterer, a sinner, or me? It is easier for us to look past our own sin and point at others and say they are unworthy of love. I see that as hate. I will admit that my opinion on this matter 10 years ago would have been drastically different. If I even had an opinion about the subject back in those days.

We are talking about God's love here, not about eternity or heaven. Two entirely different discussion points.  We want so much for God to love who we want Him to love and condemn those who practice things we do not understand, disagree with, or outright disgust us. It is easier that way. I think people struggle with God loving everyone, because we, honestly, are a competitive world. We compete for friends, jobs, sport, material things, and even God's love. We have all done it... attempted to elevate ourselves over others to make us look more important, increase our social status, appear smarter to co-workers and even more loved by friends, family and God. A life of competition like this puts us in a life pattern of some form of hatred. Call it extreme if you will, but I think the root problem is hate.

I do believe this form of hate is not blatant, but exists in the sub-conscience. Years of programming has forced society to this place. I am watching a generation that is over coming this in powerful ways and that excites me. I know that I have grown a tremendous amount since my collision with Jesus. My thoughts and ideas of how our God loves is still being molded by books, friends, teachers, pastors, youth and adults alike. But no witness is more shaping than how God loves a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Nazi, a homosexual, an adulterer or a sinner through ME. We are all the same, loved by God...only the decision is the differentiator.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I forgot to post this....

Some might say the next Billy Graham... or at least it is Mr. Graham's pulpit. Happy belated Birthday Mr. Graham.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

this hit me pretty hard....

I am following a worship leader from ATL via LA named Carlos. I really dig this guy. I have been thinking that he and I are similar guys, would probably be good friends if we worked together or went to the same church. He went and posted this on his blog. This hit me pretty hard. He was describing me. I am embarrassed to admit it. I know most of us can look at that list and say...yeah that is me, but man.. Los hit the nail on the head. It messed me up to the point that i struggled to sleep last night.

You are not alone my friend. Similar to the core, to the point that i think way to much about my appearance, hiding my visual flaws and my style as a worship leader. Just saying that turned my stomach. Just know you are not alone in this trap and you don't know me, but I am praying for you Los. Even though we have faults and failures, God still uses those of us who are obedient to His call.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

David Crowder Band responds....

Luke and I talked about doing this for the 5th QTR on Friday night.... but looks like Crowder Band beat us to the punch... thanks YS_Scoop.

Friday, September 19, 2008

again with the name thing....

Thank you to YSMarko yet again with the name thing...

My pirate name is:

Captain Harry Cash

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

just call me Stick...

Thanks to YSMarko for pointing this out.  The Sarah Palin Baby name generator

So if Sarah Palin was my mom...

Martin Lewis, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Stick Freedom Palin

My friend Eli is related to me... his name is Plank Castle Palin...

Good to know she uses Long John Silvers names for Chicken Dinners...Chicken Planks and Chicken Sticks...
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a field trip....

On Friday, we embarked on a little field trip.  Our goal was to drive to Chicago, visit our friends Mason and Valerie at Wheaton College. Steve Good, Val Francis, Eli Ruggles, Carter Good and myself climbed into the Good mobile and set off for our destination. We enjoyed great conversation along the way.  We had to stop for lunch at Panera Bread in Dayton.  We stopped to replace the windshield wiper blade that was subsequently ripped off of the van just north of Indianapolis (thank you NAPA). We stopped 10 miles later for Starbucks coffee. We missed a toll booth (we all smiled at the camera, the bill soon to be mailed to the home of Steven M. Good). We finally arrived at Wheaton.  We toured the dorm and met Andrew, Mason's roommate and few other guys from Fischer 5 West. We grabbed dinner with Mason and Valerie.  It was great to catch up and here how excited they both were about life at Wheaton. Mason continued to explain all of the history of Wheaton and special events like the Kingdom Run. Sounds like they are having a great time.

After dinner we went back to the Chapel where we took in a Phil Keaggy Concert.  This guy is unbelievable. I have seen Phil a few times and he continues to amaze me with his creativity and humbleness. He played 15 minutes shy of 3 hours.  I don't think this is typical.  It is obvious that he LOVES playing the guitar, but more important, he took a moment to share the gospel.  That was very cool. After the show, we went back to the Stoop for some ice cream and more touring. We finally crashed about 1:30AM.

We grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel where we ran into Larry Thomas. He played the Soup Nazi in a Sienfeld episode. He was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Master of my domain". Steve and I recognized him and a quick trip to the W confirmed our suspicions. 

We met up with Mason and Valerie for a tour of the Billy Graham Museum.  It was a cool exhibit until I violated copyright laws by taking a picture of some cool art on display (my apologies to the artist, I have no plans to sell them). It rained the entire time we were there. We decided to not take the train downtown, but to take the kids to Target to stock up on supplies. We grabbed lunch at Giordonos, a famous chain of Chicago style pizzerias and then back to the dorm to say our goodbyes.

We started back to Ohio and it was pretty quiet in the van. I think everyone was tired.  After a while, Eli propped his laptop up on the dash of the car and we watched half the 4th season of the Office. Even though Steve assured us he was not watching, I believe the propping up of the laptop on the front dash is illegal in all 50 states including Puerto Rico, but that doesn't keep the Office from being hysterically funny.

We arrived at my house at midnight on the nose and I crashed. All of this is worth visiting kids from our youth group. It is great to see them enjoying life, and hoping that maybe your experiences that you shared over the last 3 years may help them make great choices. I love these guys like they were my own kids, and honestly...i sort of felt like they were the last few years. I have so many more to go visit in due time. I love them. I hope they feel it.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Last night as we drove home...

Last night, we went to hang out with our friends Chris and Tesa. They were having a hot dog roast and a camp-out in their yard for the kids. As we headed back to Chillicothe, it was just Jen and I. The car was quiet. We have made this drive thousands of times. As we approached Hoffman Lane, my thoughts went to my Grandma Pettit. She lived on Hoffman Lane my entire life. So many times we had turned on to Hoffman Lane to go visit my grandparents. I spent so much of my childhood at the end of that Lane. I had played many pickup football games, caught many lightening bugs, learned to drive a car, and ate some of the best food in my life at the end of that Lane. At that moment, the realization that I would never have a reason to drive down that lane ever again. It hit me pretty hard. Last July, my Grandma passed away.

As all of these memories filled my mind, I told Jen, "I don't have a reason to ever drive down the lane again." She replied, "I know." I had the responsibility of delivering my Grandmothers eulogy. I started replaying her service in my mind. Did I say the right things? Did I portray her life in a way that she deserved? Would she have been pleased with service? Did I do her life justice with those short 15 minutes? I was starting to get emotional. I began to have a rush of anxiety that I just did not do enough! It was way to quiet in the car! I grabbed the volume on the radio and broke the silence... As the radio over took the silence, I realized it was the song. I sang a song for my Grandmother at the service. I will lift my eyes by Bebo Norman. I looked at Jen with sort of an astonished look..."what are the chances that song would be playing?" There she was. My Grandma. Re-affirming that it was all good.

A year has passed. I miss her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

last night was crazy...

My friend Luke and I went to see the Dave Matthews Band last night at Crew Stadium. The evening was interesting to say the least. First, Luke and I had major conversation on the ride up and back. It is great to have diverse friends, both young and old. Luke is about 15 years my junior, but we have many things in common. We are different in the same respect. He is much smarter than I, so it makes for enjoyable conversation. I received a really cool text from Jen giving me a hard time for going to see DMB without her, it made my day. We grabbed a bite to eat and then enjoyed a few minutes of one of our shared favorite past times.... Guitar Center! We played a few guitars we could not afford and then it was off to the concert.

Next we arrived at Crew Stadium to find it to be lacking air conditioning, ok.. I am just admitting it was hot! We walked into the Stadium to immediately find our good friend Devon and his girlfriend. We took a moment to talk about how much better our seats were and then it was off to A2, 17, seat 23 and 24. The stage production looked amazing! I could not wait until the sun went down to check out the lighting. I giant video wall was the back drop. There were 2 tall thin side stage LED video screens and 3 large LED screens that could be raised and lowered to variable heights depending on what look they were going after. Dave walked out to introduce the opening act about an hour before he took the stage. The opener was good. Very talented vocalist.

I started my barrage of DMB tweets on Twitter just before the show started. I received an array of harassing tweets, emails and phone calls from friends who were all very jealous of me at that moment in time :) Some to say..."you are a jerk!" others to say, "dang you are lucky" and even a " I can't believe YOU are at a DMB concert!" The three large LED Video wall was lowered to create a screen for the band to come out and the crowd starting going crazy. The lights came on and with a bang, the screen started raising up over Crew Stadium and the Dave Matthews Band kicked the show off with "Don't drink the water"!

I was impressed with just how little Dave interacts with words with the crowd, but his songs are highly interactive. There were people dancing, jumping, raising hands, pumping fists and singing at the top of their lungs. Most everyone around me knew every word to every song. The band is pretty impressive. It is a great mix of flat out jamming and amazing musicianship. This band is tight.

The concert sort of went like this... Dave sang, band jammed, Dave danced, band jammed some more. Luke is a Dave Matthews Band historian. He spent most of the show shouting the words to ever song, trying to guess which song Dave was going to play next, and letting me know we were witnessing Dave Matthews Band history when Dave decided to play the outro to "so damn lucky" different or share a rare "Water and Wine" moment. DMB covered Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". WOW! Great cover!

As I stood there singing "Everyday" with the thousands of people, I realized something. Dave is an amazing worship leader. He was leading this giant choir of souls. There were people who were messed up (in more ways than one), broken, beat-down, oppressed, depressed, rejected, confused, hurting and sad. Dave has this ability to help these people forget about the craziness of life for a few hours and just let go. It was a very spiritual event for me. I remember telling Luke, "I am not sure I can continue to lead worship the same way anymore." I think I need to take more risks in worship. I am finding myself in a comfort zone. Not pressing. Not moving forward. Not taking chances. Not writing. Not growing. Not changing. I hate change and at the same time I love it. I am called to change. "Take these chances, Place them in a box until a quieter time, Lights down, you up and die". That is not what I want to do with my chances. Thanks Dave.

Last, Luke and I grabbed a soda at Buckeye Donuts and then went home to crash. Luke knew I needed a little shove and realized Dave was just the guy to do it. God knows I am getting stagnant in worship and He realizes Luke is just the right guy to give me a shove. Thanks Luke.

Finally an update...

It has been a long time since I updated my blog. I have had a great deal of things going on in my life and have had many things worthy of a blog entry. I just have not had anytime to sit down and write. So here is a run down of the last 2 months of my life. Maddie has had soccer practice. She went to a tryout for a U11 Girls team. We are preparing for the fall season. She loves it. Caroline is in gymnastics. Gymnastics takes place during soccer, so Jen and I usually have to split up to cover each. I had been preparing for a Chrysalis Flight. Team meetings and the actually weekend have taken up a great deal of time. The flight went off without a problem. It was a terrific weekend. I huge burden of weight pulled from my shoulders upon its completion. The Band has been playing a lot more lately. The Band looks much different than it use to for the simple reason that we attend River Valley Community Church. It is hard to maintain 2 bands, 2 practices, 2 gigs and keep everyone happy. We have played at a youth detention center, a small festival, a few churches, youth events, and a summer camp. It has been incredible. The core group has been pretty consistent, but we have had a few different bass players sit in with us (Mason, Eli, Brady, and Jesse). I feel a little bad that I am stealing away a few members of the worship team from RVCC and making them play in my band. I think they enjoy it though. :) We have had moments where we have all look at each other in the midst of worship and go... WOW! God you are awesome! Great stuff. We hope we are giving people a more clear path to worship God. We have started Remedy! A young adults gathering that basically is a small fellowship/discussion group with a little bit of music thrown into the mix. It has been terrific. I love the people who are coming, and it appears they are testing the waters to see if it is a safe place to start inviting friends to come check out. I can't wait for those moments, when we see real people living real lives and sharing those lives with others in a open and honest way. We bring a lot of junk to the table, remedy could just be the cure for some of those ailments. I am excited to see what is in store.

Friday, May 30, 2008

positive blogging

I really like Mark Lee's post about positive blogging here. I have not been blogging a lot lately due to not enough time...and I am honestly tired of all the negativity. I really enjoy reading blogs about random thoughts, music, books, family, funny stories, etc. I really do not enjoy reading negative blogs. It is destructive. It seems that blogs have become a place where you air out your frustrations and I am good with that, but i think there is a fine line. I don't think it is a place to be judgmental. I read blogs everyday that basically judge others and hide it behind their ideas and religion.

So from this point forward, my blog will continue to be about the good. ALL OF IT. I will refrain from negativity and destructiveness. I had a great life lesson this week and it was awesome. I hurt someones feelings, I talked bad about someone and personally did not practice what I preach. I think Gods can use anything to help us grow, especially our own stupidity. He showed me something really cool and gave me some correction and insight I have never had before. I am not perfect, will never be perfect. I will make stupid mistakes. You think I could use my spiritual gift of discernment to figure that out before i make them, but it doesn't work that way. Discernment does not equal psychic. Thanks Sarah.

I am thankful for a friend that I became much closer to this week. Thanks Bob. I am thankful that even though I may have found myself frustrated and ready to quit something very important in my life, someone else was reminding me why I do what I do. Thanks Luke. I am happy that I know what I am getting Jen for her birthday... before it actually gets here. Thank you JESUS! ;) I wish I had a better worship set for Sunday, but hey ...God will work that out. Thank God!

Positive Mark said... They will never put up a statue of a critic in your town square.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

last night...

Yesterday was sort of a good day turned bad. I spent most of the day in a good mood.  The craziness of work spinning around me.  I feel as if I have no where to turn or go. But I do. I know I do.

I really miss my grandparents.  They are all gone now. There is no one to fill that void in my life. I have been thinking about them a lot lately.  I know that most people have these same feelings, I am not alone. My Grandma's were wonderful ladies.  They were great cooks. They loved me a lot. I think that is what I miss the most, just them loving me. My Grandpa's were terrific gentlemen. They understood me even when I might not have even understood myself.  They always had the right things to say to me. The best advice a grandson could ask for.  I forget how often I actually talked to them about my life. I remember my Grandpa Ford scolding me for the way I was treating my parents. He did it in such a loving way, he made it easy for me to see my parents point of view.  Wow, I miss those relationships.

Last night, I had band practice in Waverly. My friend Eli and I have become accustomed to having these great short conversations while I take him home after practice. Last night I told him I really wanted to swing by the grave site before I head home. The cemetery is on the way to Eli's house.  He said, "Stop by on the way home, I am not in a hurry to get home." So that is what we did. 

I pulled up near were Papaw and Grandma Ford were laid to rest. The flowers looked nice. There was a Mockingbird sitting on the the headstone. It stayed in the same spot until we started to pull away. I told Eli stories about my Grandparents and the other family that are buried nearby. It was good to share. It was good to laugh about funny stories.  it was good to remember the day we buried Papaw Ford. Eli looked over at the head stone and said, "Martin Lewis..". I am sure he knew that is who I am named after, but I think it connected when he saw the name on the stone. I am not proud of many things in my life, but I am proud to have his name.

As we pulled away, I said, " I wish they knew Maddie and Caroline."

The real irony was the Mockingbird.  I have thought for a very long time, that my Grandpa was just like Atticus Finch. A pretty cool moment that turned my day good again. It was 5 minutes out of my day, but a lifetime for my soul. I drove home to the family.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

a few weeks ago...

A few weeks ago a large group of us went to see Third Day over in Cederville. It was the last night of the tour and they sounded great! It was a great evening with great friends. I really enjoyed the new songs from Mac, Mark and the guys. I had the opportunity to open up a Sanctus Real concert a few years ago, so I knew the Sanctus guys would rock the place. "I'm not alright" and the very worshipful "We need each other" were my favorites.

The Band I was most impressed with was Decemberadio. They are a throwback band to the 80's with a fresh twist. They broke into "Wayward Son" which was awesome! They played a song called, "Drifter" which has had some radio play locally for the past few weeks. Great tune! Check it out...I could totally see Bon Jovi doing this tune.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I had a quick conversation with a friend of mine today. I had not talked to him in a really long time. He has gone through alot of changes in his life over the past couple of years. A new place to live, a new life essentially and my guess he has new friends. One of his first comments to me was, "just thinking about you...I have been a bad friend." To me it was a funny statement. I questioned why he was concerned that he had been a bad friend to me. I honestly had to ask him what he was talking about? I think he was concerned that it had been so long since we last talked. My mind went into a flurry of thoughts that mostly centered around how I treat my own friends.

I have many friends. I like to imagine that I have many friends. All of these people I call a friend might have different opinions. A person I may call a good friend, might think I am a casual acquaintance. I believe there are many levels of friendships and that it is difficult to judge where you fall in that order with your friends. I find that depending on the situation, the level of friendship can change. "Hey Marty! Do you know John?"..."Yeah, John is a great friend!". A week later with another person...."John is a friend of yours...right? Did you hear that he got himself into some major trouble?" I might respond to that differently. It is human nature to disassociate yourself with friends when it might look bad on YOU. I hope I never do that to my friends, but I am afraid I may have in the past.

I have friends that are merely acquaintances. I may have met them a few times, know them through another friend, or just want to associate yourself with them. I sent out a twitter today that talked about my friend Mark Lee from Third Day. We are not really friends. We met a couple of times. He does not know me from Adam, would not recognize me from the Baby Taylor signing, but I like to think of us in that light.

I have friends who are very close. They know intimate details about my life. I talk to them when I have problems. We live life together. This is obviously a small group of people....maybe even not half a handful. These friends are precious to me. They are even closer than family at times. I laugh with these friends. I cry with these friends. I fight and argue with these friends. These best friend types of friendships are often volatile. I say that because they are so deep. They can't be superficial. If you find they turn into shallow relationships, then they dissolve. They go away. In these intimate friendships, all senses are involved. They are sensitive. I find that i can be angry with them at one moment, but forgive them in the very next breath because you know how important they are in your life. You need them, they need you. I have these relationships. At any given point in time, I am at every point in the spectrum with that friend. I love them just the same.

I have many friends that fall anywhere in between those to extremes. They are there because I choose to put them there or maybe they choose to be there. Sometimes these friends grow to become friends in that upper tier. Sometimes distance, time and life get in the way and you just can't be as close as you want to be or allow you to grow apart. I can go years without seeing some of these friends and the second we have an encounter, it is like we have never been apart. Others is like starting from scratch. It comes down to the amount of "life" i do with these friends. Lets be honest, how many BEST friends can you really have at one time?

All of this is why I thought it was funny that my friend felt like he needed to apologize for being a "bad friend". He did not choose to be my friend. Our life circumstances brought us together, through music, chrysalis, church, etc. I honestly wanted to be his friend more than he probably wanted to be mine. I really appreciate what friendship we do have at this point in our lives. We don't get to talk everyday. That is not my expectation. He doesn't make sure he sneaks a visit when he is in town. I am not offended. If he sees me on line and says "hey". I will reply and not worry about how many days since our last conversation. I do not worry about things like that. I am a forgiving friend. I hope my friends are as forgiving of me.

My fellow was great to catch up with you today We need to hit the slopes, then we can relax and play some tunes on our guitars. If we never get to catch up and do will still be a great friendship.
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This is a test....

I have really been frustrated with Safari as of of late. It slows my Mac down and crashes frequently. My friend Mark Lee (From Third Day (Ok, friend might be a stretch, I stalk him on twitter and read his blog, we met at Music in the Rockies a few years ago and he played my Baby Taylor and signed it for me)) posted a twitter about Flock this morning. I thought I might try it out. It has some cool features, but I am still unsure. The reason for the blog post? Well flock will allow you to post right from the browser. So I am testing. This is only a test....Sorry Laura Tiu, I know you are expecting a good post from me. I promise, one is coming very soon.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

this is no fun...

A stomach bug is no fun! The girls and I are at home....feeling quite ill. I have been very lucky all winter. I have yet to have a cold or the fl. Jennifer has had a sinus infection all winter long, and had to have surgery. I have been fortunate most of my life have not lost a lot of time being ill. Yesterday, I spent the entire day on the verge of puking up my guts...TMI! I realized I could have worked, but infecting my entire office was probably not the best thing to do. We are swamped at the moment and can ill afford more people out due to sickness. I have always taken pride in my ability to work through sickness, but have come to realize that sometimes you need to think about the effect you might have on others. So, I sit at home and rest. This is no fun.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I found this quiz on YSMarko's blog.

You're The Hobbit!

by J.R.R. Tolkien

All you wanted was a nice cup of tea when some haggard crazy old man
came into your life and told you it was time to do something with yourself. Now you're
all conflicted about whether to stick with your stay-at-home lifestyle or follow this
crazy person into the wild. While you're very short and a little furry, you seem to be
surrounded by an even greater quantity of short folks lately. Try not to lose your ring,
but keep its value in perspective!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Monday, March 10, 2008

When I was a kid I lived for this....

We had the biggest snow fall total this weekend than we have seen in years. When I was a kid I lived for these days. I remember bundling up and not wanting to come in for anything. Maddie and Caroline were in and out all weekend long. I went out with them and took a few pictures. Due to the snow, we had a great weekend.... playing with the kids. We played Uno, Guitar Hero, Battleship and another game I can't recall what it was called... It was nice to not have to be anywhere... because everything was closed. I did take the Jeep out on Saturday to make a McDonalds run... helped lots of people unstick their cars. It was pretty cool to see others, just stopping to help push... out of the kindness of their own hearts. One particular car was stuck trying to get out of the alley near McDonalds. I jumped out of my Jeep to help give them a push. A guy pulled up in his Toyota Truck to help. He had a shaved head, pierced nose and lip, and numerous tattoos hidden under his leather jacket with chains. I did not think twice. I was happy for the help. I had been pushing this car for a few minutes and was not making progress. He jumped out, smiled real big and said, " I think you need some help." The lady driving by this time was quite upset and she tried to say, "Yes", but it did not come out very clear. Dr. Brown pulled up beside us and jumped in to help along with one of the guys who frequently walks around downtown Chillicothe mumbling to himself. We all four gave a big shove and off she went. We all smiled. Shook hands and went our separate ways. It did answer a question I have been asking myself for some time now.... would Jesus ever wear a nose ring and sport a tattoo? He did today! Thanks Bro! Whoever you are, thank you for being a servant to someone in need. Cool stuff.

Here are some pics...

Monday, March 3, 2008

not enjoying the politics....

I think there was a time when I enjoyed politics. When I was younger. My friend John West and I would debate, but ultimately come to the conclusion that we held the same values. I turned 18 on election day in 1988. I voted! I was so excited to exercise my right to vote as an American. I have not missed many opportunities to vote in my lifetime. I will vote on Tuesday in the primaries. I no longer get excited about politics. I think I frustrate the kids in the Youth Group because I don't want to banter about the issues. They joke that I am agnostic. Webster's Dictionary defines agnostic as: a person unwilling to commit to an opinion about something . Maybe this is true. I am still forming my opinions about many things of this world. I can be persuaded. I don't think that is bad. I do not agree with entitlement. I don't believe that the Government owes us everything, only the freedoms that it promises. I do not like Big Government. I have never been much for rules, but I have always been one to follow the rules that are set before me.

I honestly have watched time and time again, so many politicians tell us what we wanted to hear and then not follow through on their promises. I understand that things change and sometimes keeping those promises are more damaging, but I feel as if I have been greatly disappointed by people who want to be politicians.

A great leader is someone who is thrust into that position because of necessity. Anyone who wants the job.. is probably not the best person for the job. I don't really like my choices for this November. Regardless of who wins, America will keep moving forward. I only know of one person who ever changed the world single handedly, and trust me...we are not going to be voting for Him on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

something you don't see everyday...

I was driving down Bridge Street in Chillicothe, OH today and saw something you don't see every day. The Statue of Liberty...pushing a car into the gas station. I had to do a double take... I thought for sure that the last time I saw her..she was lighting the way with her torch at Staten Island.  But not this day, she was a good samaritan! 

Thank you to the Liberty Tax Service guy who ran across the street to help some kid who ran out of gas.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

this is funny...

My friend ELi sent me this... can find it here. I am reposting here for your enjoyment.

January 31, 12:24 PM
Creed Thoughts

Being in a band is the greatest, especially if you’re into smoke machines. You’ve got to be careful about who you put in your band, though, because if you get the wrong combination of rockers, you could be in for a lifetime of pain. I made a little guide to help you out when you’re choosing band members.

These guys are the toughest to pick. If you’re a guitar player yourself, consider yourself lucky that you don’t need to find one because these dudes have the biggest egos. They’re the ones who want to be front and center all the time. They’re the first ones buying the leather pants and they’re the ones spitting whiskey fireballs at everyone after shows. When you’re finding a guitarist, look for one that says stuff like “Maybe the drummer should be the singer,” or “Sometimes I like to play with my back to the audience because I don’t really like attention.” Trust me, he’s going to work out a lot better than picking the guy that says he wants to dress up like a sexy astronaut at every gig.

Bass Players
You want your bass player to be the coolest guy on the stage and the quietest. If it were up to me, kids who were taught to play the bass wouldn’t be allowed to speak for the rest of their lives. There’s something calming a bass player who slaps out the notes without a word. You know why I’m so against bass players speaking? They’re the first guy to steal your lady and the first guy to rat you out to the cops to save their own hides. I know this from experience. They should also be expert head-nodders, as this is a major part of playing the bass.

When you’re looking for a drummer, you want crazy but not too crazy. You want a beat-keeper that’s going to pull up foxy lady’s skirts with his drumsticks when he passes by, but you don’t want someone that’s going to hit you in the face with those sticks if you tell him he needs some gum. Once in a while you’ll find a drummer who embodies everything that is rock and rock, but most of the time those guys flame out real fast (I miss you, Moonie). Bottom line: make sure whomever you pick can count to four and hold his liquor.

If you put a keyboardist in your band, I will personally kick your ass no matter how old I am. A dude that plays the organ is a different story, but I don’t even have time to tell you to find someone like that. It would take hours.

Horns Section
You don’t need them, but for some reason, these guys will always buy the beer. I think they’re just glad they’re not in marching band anymore.
If you follow my advice, you’re going to wind up with one hell of a band. Just make sure you have a killer name, too, or you can just give up before you start.

Monday, February 4, 2008

a Survey of Books....

This came from my friend Eli. He tagged me on his blog of which you can find here.

It is fair to say that I do not command the reading prowess of my friend Eli or my wife Jennifer. They read amazingly fast. They read more books in a month than I do in a single year. Last year, I did make a new years resolution to read a certain number of books, so that I may find favor in my reading friends. I was well on my way to smashing my expectations, when I ran into a few books that really made me stumble. ( I did reach my goal, but barely). I would love to say that I savor my reading, but my guitar or even my adult ADD get in the way. I have been able to fight my way through some books over the years, that may allow me to answer some of these questions.

1. One book that changed your life.

I believe I may have already answered this question in a previous post... which you can read here. To Kill a Mocking Bird has been a favorite of mine since High School when my English Lit teacher made me read it. I still quote lines form the book. I still love the name Scout for a girl because of the character. I wrote papers about the book in college. It is my number one book. I wanted to go have Harper Lee sing my copy at a booking signing in Cleveland. Marty at a book signing? Just doesn't play well. I see Atticus as being a truly humble and virtuous man. A standard that i fail to achieve everyday, let alone living up to the standard Jesus set for us to follow.

2. One book you have read more than once.

To Kill a Mockingbird makes that list. I have read a few books more that a few times. The next on my list is The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. I know this is a children's book, but I can't count the number of times i read this book. I received The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis for Christmas when I was 10 years old. I have read all of the books a few times, but I always found myself going back to the main story. I was able to imagine myself in that world. It was so alive to me. I could watch all of the action unfold in my mind. A fantastic adventure.

3. One Book You would want on a deserted island.

This is very difficult. Of course I would say The Message which at the moment is my favorite paraphrase of the Bible. It would consume a lot of time and I totally need to be more focused in my study of the Word.

4. Two books that made me laugh.

I can think of only a few boks that have made me laugh out loud. Lamb, The gospel according to Biff by Chris Moore. This book is a satirical look at Jesus's life from about 10 years old up to the crucifixion. This book is hilarious. I find myself chuckling through out the entire text. I know it is probably a bad thing to be laughing about, but a great lighthearted attempt to fill in some blanks, so long as you keep an open mind.

David Crowder and Mike Hogan's Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. This book was very witty and smart. I remember laughing a lot at the banter that Crowder and Hogan enjoyed. It reminded me a lot of how my friends and I banter at work. I

5. One book that made me cry.

Henri J. Nouwen's Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming was that book for me. It took me a while to get through it. Only because it made me revisit my life and all of the times I have been like both sons and even like the father in that parable. It is hard to admit sometimes that you just need to go running back the Father. That is when I cried. Great book and was a wonderful gift.

6. ONe Book you wish had been written.

This one was very easy for me. I wish a book that told all of the stories my Grandpa Pettit told me over the years. He was a fantastic story teller. I would laugh so hard. He just had a great wit about him. I would love to be able to hear those stories about his childhood, the military, and raising his kids. It is a book that would make me cry, make me laugh, but also allow me to remember my Pap.

7. ONe book you wish had never been written.

i don't have one, I would not read it if i did, so what is the point.

8. One book you are currently reading.

I am reading Lamb. I am almost finished. I am also reading a book called
Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul by Erwin McManus. I am reading it a small section at a time. Very thought provoking. I am not good at reading more than one book at a time.

9. One book you have been meaning to read.

I really want to read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Just can't seem to find the time....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I must explain something...

The previous 6 posts are random thoughts that I typed into my iPhone through out the days of my trip. I can promise there are misspelled words, bad grammar and weird spell check errors from the iPhone. Please do not judge my writing skills by these post. They are not eloquent or perfect. They do describe in broken sentences my experience of the week. My hope is to put down a summary as I reflect on the on my trip to Switzerland. I did have a great time. I am happy to be at home. I am thankful that I met some great people who God has blessed with the heart of missions. God blessed me with their new friendships.

Day 6...the last day until the trek home

I got up around 9 and found out that it was Karen who had fallen and had abig gash ok her forehead from missing the last step and falling into the doorjam.

I showered and headed out to explore. I walked for a couple hours just taking in the sights and taking pictures. The village is so quaint and cute. The houses are close and the streets are tight. There are orchards and vineyards all around. Vince picked me up as I walked back to the house and we headed out to meet the rest of the group for lunch. We ate at a Greek place called the Olympia. It was wonderful. We walked over to the Campus Crusade office and then we went to the BFA for a tour. We meet lots of great people, what a great educational facility.

We went back and crashed for a while after a little bit of sight seeing and a drive to Basel SBB to buy another train ticket for the trip to the airport.

We headed back and I watched pride and predjudice with Chloe and then met up with the rest of the group for dinner. Dinner was great, we spent a great deal of time sharing our testimonies! I love hearing everyones path to Christ.

We headed home to sleep and prepare for the long day of travel. All of the guys got up at 2 to watch the Buckeyes.

We headed to the train station and that started our journey home. I happen to be traveling with Andy, Christy and Liliana. I totally believe God put us on the same flight. I know what it is like to travel with an infant and all of the gear that comes along with the territory. They are a fantasic couple and I hope our paths cross again. I pray God blesses their lives and their ministry.

I can't wait to get home and see my family. It has been very hard to baway from them this time. It would have been great to share this experience with them. Jen wrote letters for day I was gone, I looked forward to reading them everyday. They kept me close to home. They were very special. I feel horrible that I was not there for Jen's surgery. I could not stop thinking about her and she had many people here in Europe praying for her.

Maddie and Caroline occupied many of my conversations over the last days. My prayer is that they grow up without the fear I have for being brave enough to face change and new environments.

The Purpero's were amazing people. They opened their home and their lives for us to share. They have an incredible ministry. They are building relationships with people all over Europe and now find themselves in an area that has agree need for evangelism, but with a support group to help encourage them and stay focused on their mission to share the love of God with all of Europe. I pray that God lifts them up and blesses them for their obedience and faithfulness. The Purpero's showed me how a family can share in a ministry and be an example of light in the world.

Day 5...the close of EASY and a crazy day of travel

That was fast turn around. I went to the train station after breakfast to buy my train ticket to Basel. I am still a little confused about the trains. I feel good that I have the right ticket. We headed off to camp to close out the morning worship and then send everyone off to go home. It was awesome to pray for the needs of each nation as they each gathered in the middle of the room. There were a lot tears and hugging. It was good to know that hugging is international. These kids were awesome! There were 10 countries represented and 140 students. There plan was for 90 students so the event was a huge success and carries a great amount of momentum for Christ in these countries. We sent the kids on their way and then cleaned up Camp Rock. I spent much time with Pepe' from Finland. We became very good friends over the weekend because he was the sound guy. We had much in common because of our love for worship music and kids. We talked shop about every piece of sound gear imaginable. I think he was impressed that I actually knew what I was talking about. Here are some intersting facts about my new friend Pepe'...

He has worked for Campus Crusade for Christ since 1979.

He was the Finnish Teen Idol (think American idol) back in 1983.

He owns a successful production company and a killer recording studio at his house.

Pepe' has an awesome mullet. All business in the front and a party in the back!

He was great, I have no doubt I will see my brother Pepe' again.

So here is where things start to unravel. We loaded up all of Pepe' gear and time was short so we packed upour gear and headed to back to the hotel to grab the rest of our stuff. We needed to walk to the bus station to catch the 2:30, but at 2:15 we realized that Paul had left his laptop at the camp. We were able to get a hold of Vince to grab Paul's laptop. We has to split our group up, Vince, his family and Christy and 1 yr old Liliana rode in the van to the Purpero's house in Germany. The rest of hurry to the train station to meet them in Basel BAD in a few hours. We arrive Bescheschel Stadt train station a few minutes before the train arrived. We were Nine Americans standing watching incoming train... We all stood and watched door close and wonder if it was our train? YES! The station attendant ran out and stopped the train for us. We all loaded in while Paul helped an elderly women get on the train. Once on the train we could all relax, One change over before we hit Zurich and we were on our way.

The guys played chess and I took pictures and took in the scenery, it was great time. When we arrived in Basel SBB I realized I did not have the right ticket to go on to Basel BAD, I then purchased a ticket at the kiosk and rushedvto the platform... Train was gone. Most of the group had gone ahead. Paul, Andy and I had missed the train. I look at the ticket I just purchased and it was to Baden. I found the ticket counter and calmly exchanged my ticket. I walked back to the platform and ran into the other group! The train had not left us... Good news!

Bad news! This is when I realized I had forgotten my coat at Camp Rock! In the panic to leave in time to make the train I forgot to grab it.

We called Vince to see how close he was to meeting us. We found our that Vince had broken down and was still in Zurich. They were waiting for friends from Kandren to come pick them up. We found our the Vince's kids Chloe and Anthony were sick with a high fever.

We felt horrible for the Purpero's trouble. I felt helpless and on top of it they have 9 people coming to their house. We decided to bail on the train and grab a meal at an Italian place that was delicious. We hung out there for a few hours waiting. We headed over to catch the train and ran in to Rick and some one from Black Hills Academy. Rick is Karen's Brother and they had room for one person to go with them so we sent Andy so he could meet up with his wife. We headed off the Basel BAD which was just one stop away and waited about an hour for one of Vince' a friends to come pick us up. What a life saver. We finally arrive at the Purpero's around 10:30. We all basically crashed. With all of the adversity the Purpero' were still so gracious to have us. I felt very guilty. Paul, Ryan and I all crashed in the living room and finally fell asleep around 1am.

I awoke to the sounds of Chloe throwing up in the hallway. I felt helpless, everyone was exhausted and there was Karen cleaning up the mess, caring for her family, completly overwhelmed and still has to deal with people sleeping on the floor in her house. Paul said a quick prayer and we were back to sleep oNly to hear Chloe get sick again. We heard a loud crash and though someone had fallen. An hour later we hear Anthony get sick as well. Was a very rough night for the family. Vince had to get up at 4 to take paul and ryan to the airport so they could fly to Rome for 2 days. They tried very hard to find a way to just stay in Bosel and go from there to not trouble Vince any more. What a craZy day. I really think that awesome things were happening at EASY and the attack of today was affirmation of that fact. I am happy that it is over.

Day 4... an afternoon in Zurich

We got up grabbed some breakfast and off to the camp. When we got there the kids were preparing sack lunches for the trip to Zurich. We packed our lunch then jumped on to our session. It was the Americans turn for entertainment and we thought about the Peanutbutter Sandwich Machine Skit but they don't have peanut butter so we went with the roller coaster skit. It went over well. But alas we wee still the stupid Americans.

We shared in worship once again. The Spanish put on a skit about the El Camino. They painted a beautiful picture of how difficult the camino can be, but spiritually can be amazing. They are trying to get at least 100 kids to come and walk. They are in need of adults to help cook, set up camp each day, and many other things other than walking. The Spainish are so passionate about the Camino. It is so exciting to see there love for people.

We loaded up in buses and drove to Zurich for an afternoon of touring and evangelism. We were able to visit a famous chocolate factory and a watchmaker. We went through a cathedral that was once a monastery has the most beautiful modern stained glass I have ever witnessed. You were not allowed to take pictures. This was my highlight of the day for me.

It began to rain as we left the church and went to the main shopping streets of Zurich. This was very cool. It reminded me of shopping along Union Square in San Francisco. The second street was a little different. It was a cobblestone walking street that winds its way above the river side. There many shops that sold everything you could imagine, but mostly clothing and shoes. Everywhere I look....addidas. I walked around with my new friend Ryan. He is the creative pastor at Four Corners Church in Mason, oh. I want that job :)

We have a ton of things in common but we seemed to settle our conversation on music and shared our influences in worship. We were a little concerened that they allowed the kids to try to find the bus station on there own so Ryan and I took a little different route trying to keep an eye on the kids. The city is crowded, it seemed that everyone in SwitZerland was out and about shopping and filling the streets. Our fears were confirmed when we lost 2 teenagers. One of the leaders said... "they are Swiss, they can find there way back to the camp." The American "leave no man behind" mentality won out and we were over an hour late leaving Zurich. We did find them. I felt relieved.

The worship band is from Holland. There website is I got to spend some time talking to the keyboard player about my ideas on worship and our philosophies were very similar. He had sat in on my seminar and had great comments. I really enjoyed sharing with him. We traded info so we can stay in touch. They did a fantastic job all weekend and now are officially the worship bands for campus crusade for Christ in Europe.

We spent the evening in worship and prayer for all of the countries represented at EASY. We closed the evening with a variety of alternative worship opportunities. Communion, foot washing, prayer stations, etc were available to the kids. I helped Deb from Orlando to pray with any of the Americans who wanted prayer for specific things. We were able to pray for Anthony and Vince Purpero. That was very special. We prayed for my new friends Adam and Chandler, they are expecting a child. Chandler specificly requested we pray for he so she can relax and enjoy being pregnant. She is so worried about the health if the child that it is wearing her out. After our conversation, I am positive she will be a wonderful mother!

It was a very long day but a great day. I am finishing this around 2 am. ... More to come..

Day 3...Life at Camp Rock

I got up this morning and showered
in the sink... Looking forward to a shower later today. I went down to the tavern for breakfast and grabbed some orange juice and a granola bar. We headed to the camp and the drive is awesome. I am taking pictures. The camp house is very busy, kids everywhere. We opened with worship and then went into small groups.

I prepared for my seminar this morning during small group session. I hope it goes well.

I sat in on Vince's boys session. It was great. A tough talk with boys, but reminded me of singles talk question session on a chrysalis flight. Vince was very real and did not pull any punches.
Talking about sexual purity with boys is always a tough subject.
My seminar was tough. There were mostly Swiss kids who did not speak English so I had a translator. Annette did a great job helping me bring across that worship is way more than just the music. I had decided to not take a guitar to Switzerland, but in that moment I really wish I had my acoustic guitar. The Kidd really wanted to talk about worship music and I could have saved it from disaster. I prayed for a little help and the door opened and a guy walked in with an acoustic guitar. Wow! So we worshipped. Was crazy...

After lunch we ventured outside and completed a bunch of team building exercises. There was a rope bridge, faith fall, blindman course, balance log, climbing wall and other things. The kids not only had to work together but they had to work through the language barrier. I had kids from Spain and Portugal in my group. They were amazing.

We came back to the hotel for dinner and a meeting with Vince. We discussed more ways we could possibly partner with the other Student Venture groups scattered out across Weatern Europe. There is a tremendous need of support and Vince and his staff are really heading a revival in the youth across Europe.

We went back to the camp for the evening worship service. Each country had to demonstrate Gods love in their native language. We Americans gave out Hershy's chocolates and sang God Bless America. I have met some great people through this trip. They have such great love for kids and God, it makes the trip much easier.

It was Spain's night for entertainment and we played a great group game similar to thumb wrestling. The worship band closed the night with a fantastic version of "David Danced ". The kids went crazy it was very Spanish in style. Julie P needs to learn the keyboard part, it is rocking! It was like a great big party! Everyone was singing and dancing! So much fun! So much love for God in one room.

I returned to the hotel and was able to shower! I feel pretty good, but I have another long day Saturday, we are going to Zurich for some evangelism.

More to come...

Day 2... in Zurich and traveling to Bischofszel

Well... I am not sure of the start of my trip. I did not sleep on the plane so I crashed on a bench in the airport arrival area where I was to meet up with Daniel who was picking us up. I slept for 3 hours! I think I have missed them so now I find the train I am suppose to be on. I honestly have never felt so ignorant in my life as I do in this moment... More to come...
Jen just called... Yes someone to talk to! She was able to keep me calm and get me to think straight. I was having some serious culture shock.

I just hung up the phone and I found someone holding an "easy on the road" sign! Amen! Now it looks like a 12:15 train to Bischofszel stadt with Tom and Yohanna who is working for Campus Crusade.
I am now happy and feeling much better with a little bit of sleep and not feeling lost.

Tom and I rode the train to Winterthur, changed trains in Weinfelden and final destination of Sitterdorf where we were meet by Daniel. Daniel drove us to the hotel and explained that there are basically 2 churches in Switzerland. The catholic church and the reform church.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I dropped my bags and hit the streets with camera in hand. I probably would have taken a nap, but I will find sleep later. I think I got some great pictures of Bischofszel. I will find out once I get back.

Vince met with team at the restaurant in our hotel and we had dinner. I sat with Ava from Spain, Annette from Germany and Deb from Orlando. We had great conversation about what types of ministries are going on in each others countries and about our families.

We set off for the 10 minute drive for Camp Rock. When we arrived the kids were in the midst of worship. The band is great. Everything was in English. It was a good night. I am worn out. I crashed hard at around 11:30. I missed a phone call from Jen... Slept right through it. Sorry. Love you all, thank you for your prayers. There have already been a few hand of God moments so I know your prayers are important. Nathan from Florida that came up to me and had ties to Waverly Ohio! Wow! It was at a moment where I was not fitting in, and the connection brought great comfort.

In Christ hands,


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Here is the picture...

Here is the picture for the post below...

a great start to the trip...

I came across a fellow Jeep owner in need this morning. Yes, that is a Jeep Wrangler on its side. This little mishap costs me a bit of time on my way to the airport. What a way to start my trip. It could be worse, it could have been my wrangler. So the adventure begins.