Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cruisin' the 49th

This cruise of Alaska has been fun I must admit.  It's super hard leaving your family behind so I was dreading it a little, but i knew it would be fun hanging with the boys together.  Brandon Heath is here (just saw his new video for "Give Me Your Eyes"- really great!)  We hit the hot tub a couple times although last night we were only in for 2 minutes when they closed it and we had to leave.  

We played a 30 minute show on Sunday night, me and Brandon together with the band, we played a bunch of worship songs to kick off the week right.  Then Monday morning I had a 45 minute set and I played 6 songs from Anything Worth Saying, VH1 storyteller style.  Something happened on Tues morning that I had to get up early too. Brandon did a show Tuesday night after we cruised Glacier Bay National Park and I came out to play Red Sky and Give Me Your Eyes on the piano.  I led worship early Wednesday morning, just me and a guitar.   

So this morning was my first chance to sleep in a little since who knows when.  When I'm home, I wake up to the sound of "Daddymommy!  Daddymommy!" (which I really miss hearing right now)  We need to get up at 6:30 tomorrow to fly to California, so I'm ready for my only sleep in day.  But at 6am I hear a knock at the door.  Room service.  Breakfast.  Prune Juice.  Steamed Prunes and Muesli.  The worst possible breakfast you could imagine.  Yes, one of the band guys thought it would be a good idea to make me laugh.  at 6 in the morning.  Just before I fell back to sleep, the kitchen called to see if I was pleased with b'fast.  One wrong number later, I unplugged my phone and finally around 10am, i fell asleep til 1.  

awesome.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Misplaced Praise


I had a great time filling in for Steve Fee and getting to play with the rest of the band earlier this week.  A great bunch of High School students, those Grace Brethren.   Steve's little boy, Price, was having surgery and Steve asked if I would fill in for a couple sessions at the conference while he was with his family in the hospital.  All turned out well!

When I got home to my family, we had a special little time with all three of us playing "tent" on the bed.  I hide under a blanket with Daniel and he smiles and shakes cause he's so excited and calls out in a sing-song voice, "MAHH-mee!"  Then Sarah sneaks up on us and tickles his belly.  It's a rather fun game, because he has a blast.  Therefore we do.  Once we were all lounging together, I started singing a lullaby I wrote for him when he missed his mommy one time called "Oh Mommy

The strange thing was, as I sang it (about Mommy) he kept looking at me and saying "Daddy! Daddy!"  I kept interrupting my lyric saying "no, this is about Mommy"  Then Sarah sang it and replaced "Mommy" with "Daddy"  BUT, when she was singing "Oh Daddy" he would look at her and say "Mommy!  Mommy!"  (did you follow that?)

It made me think: we often misplace our praise: we'll praise the SINGER and not the OBJECT of the song!  Just like Daniel did.  He was so enraptured by the fact that i was singing, that he would clap and yell my name, and missed the fact that I was singing about "mommy."    We can get so enamored with our favorite artist that we praise the unworthy instead of the Worthy.  
I just thought it was interesting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pour Some Sugar on the Stillness of My Heart

Josh and I played a cool stripped down set in Susanville, CA at the County Fair Wednesday.   We played at 8:00 or something in the Grandstand area, where they race cars.  We had a small kit set up, a keyboard and two acoustic guitars for us to hop around on.   I had been hearing this band play from somewhere across the fairgrounds through the course of the day, during sound check and what not.   I thought they sounded pretty good.  They obviously had a couple different singers...a guy sometimes, a girl others.   By the time we played, we were the last set of the day.   While the promoter was introducing me, he asked me if we were ready.  It was really casual, so I just asked him off microphone if that other band was almost done...cause they were still rockin it.  He said he was pretty sure they must be almost done.  So we started into a few songs nice and loudly, as loud as two guys can get, not being Nelson.  By the time we got to "Stillness" I stopped to talk about how God quite often speaks through silence and quiet...but I couldn't help notice that the sounds of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" were echoing throughout the park while I was talking.   And even on into the song which was extra special during those quiet intimate moments. 

It turns out it wasn't a band at all.  It was the mechanical bull that was just on the other side of the Grandstand.  

Awesome.  I told the crowd it was kinda like this commercial...but bad. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

Integrity

Happy Bastille Day

I've heard integrity described as consistency in one's actions, regardless of circumstance.  I'm still working on that.   This is an embarrassing blog to write: not proud of it.  But it's a good lesson I believe.

Yesterday morning at the BWI airport we had two people working on checking in our baggage.  The lady was sweet and the gentleman was not very helpful, he looked rather bothered when anyone asked for help.  He ended up giving us a hard time about our luggage...which, long story short, I didn't feel was consistent, so I expressed my frustration in a moment of impatience.  Don't get me wrong: I didn't cuss at the guy or anything...i just intentionally revealed my disappointment. 

Then after we got my credit cared back (that got charged considerably more than it did the day before for the same exact bags) she said, "I think I have one of your CDs."

boom.

Why did I act differently than I would have if I had met those people the night before at the concert?  (I even treat the people who tell me my merchandise is too expensive kindly)  The point is: It doesn't matter if you don't have your own CD.  It doesn't matter if you're not Billy Graham himself.  When you least expect it, someone may know who you are and watch you act un-Christ-like.  Or even if no one knows you, you may squelch an opportunity for God to speak to one of His children through you!  Kinda like I did yesterday morning .

God forgive me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Work (I'm not in Kansas anymore)


Forgive me if my blogging has turned from a devotional into a log.  I've found that people are also interested in what we musicians do from day to day, but I also miss sharing with you some truths that I stumble across in life.  I'll try to incorporate both. 

Just got back from Kansas again.  I know, that never happens, the same place twice in 2 weeks.  I got up at 3:30 on Sunday to fly out and got up at 3:00 this morning to fly home.   It was 98 degrees while we set up and sound checked, and I know all things are relative, and what we do will never end up on that Dirty Jobs program with Mike Rowe or whomever, but every once in while I have to compliment my guys on a day of hard work.  At the end of the show last night as we drove back to the hotel, we were spent.  Exhausted from little to no sleep the night before, then all day on a plane and in a van, eating fast food, setting up in 100 degree weather with no water, merch not showing up, performing with a monitor mix that wasn't the same as it was during soundcheck, finding out your hotel room hasn't been serviced when you were about to take an hour long power nap...  

Like I said, I know many of you serve in the military or maybe you have a job you wish you didn't, and for some reason, the music business is seen through rose-colored glasses (people thinking it's the best job ever) so I'm not comparing to other jobs at all...only some days it's a blast, and while we love what we do: some days it's work.   Every one of the guys on my team have cushier days on the road with other artists than they often do with me.  And I'm just grateful that they like to stick around.   And WORK with me.