Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twice in As Many Days....

...I felt the fragility of life.  (fra-JIL-ih-tee) no?  

A few days back, my twitter followers know this, I about burned my house down.  I had barbecued chicken, eaten the meal outside with my family and then put everything away.  I came inside to read a book that I needed to finish while Sarah put the kids to bed and I heard rain outside.  I glanced out the window, and...no rain.  I thought, "There must be a goose rummaging around in the bushes!" (they eat Sarah's plants)  So I ran out to shoe it away...but instead, I looked to my left and two bushes were completely engulfed in flames.  I was hearing the crackling of a roaring fire.  Not awesome.  I have rarely, if ever, been more frightened and pessimistic about the salvation of my house.  I ran back inside and yelled, "Sarah! FIRE!" Called 911, hit the Fire button on the security system and started to fill the trash can up with water when Sarah ran past me and said, "Hose!"  (One word sentences are the best you can do when panicked)  I remembered that the garden hose is right next to the burning bushes...ha, never put that together...and after 5 frustrating seconds of a gentle "shower" wash, I turned the hose to "Jet" and doused that sucker and saved my family.  I'm the hero but also the dunce that started the fire and never thought of using the hose.  The Fire Department came in two trucks and 5 Firemen walked through my house, much to Daniel's delight.  It was all a bit embarrassing.   Thank God He let me hear the sound of the crackling, if I had been in another room, or had music playing...

The very next day, we're over at some friends with their two boys and three other boys that were over (7 little boys under the age of 7) We're casually talking at the table when we notice a lady outside sprinting to the front door.  Dan Hannon (my friend and producer of 1st two albums) answers the door and she says, "Does anybody have a little boy named Daniel?"  Sarah joins the sprint having no clue why she asked that question.  It turns out that Daniel and Eli (5 years old) went out to play on the trampoline.  Eli was done and wanted to go inside, Daniel didn't want to, so Eli (as any 5 year old would) said "okay, see ya."  Daniel, completely independent as he is for a 2 year old, began walking around the neighborhood, talked to a lady 3 doors down, told her his name and said that he was playing in the yard.  He had no clue where he was...he got turned around.  

Can you imagine if we randomly discovered that we didn't know where Daniel was?  We got the good news first: he was found.  

God, thank you for letting me keep my family around one more day. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Hey all.  Wanted to tell you about the...powerful week I had last week.  

Omaha: Last year, Sam Thomsen went on a Boy Scott retreat when Tornados ripped through the area killing 4 scouts on the trip.  Sam was 13 when he died.  His devestated family chose My Savior My God to be one of the songs played at Sam's funeral, the words brought comfort and they recalled Sam 'rocking out' to the chorus when it would come on the radio.  Six months later, during the Christmas season, the four families of the boys decided to meet at the camp grounds in remembrance of their lost loved ones.  Sharon, Sam's mom, told me she was praying for God to speak peace to her heart when, in the midst of the non-stop Christmas music, My Savior My God was played.  Then again the next day on the way home!  They invited me to come and perform for Sam's one year memorial and I of course agreed.  Meeting the family, the friends and the town was humbling and stirring.  I doubt I'll ever cease to marvel at seeing the Lord work peace into the hearts of people in obvious pain.  The tears flowed freely that evening as I watched Larry and Sharon in the front row and it seemed that every word I'd ever written was for them to hear. 
Sharon told me they'd just bought a Japanese Lilac, which blooms every June, to honor Sam.  The worker who helped them buy it not only looked like Sam but shared his name!  Store policy demanded the worker's first name and the customer's last name be on the tree, so on yellow tape around the trunk was the name "Sam...Thomsen."  As Larry pulled the car around, he rolled down the window and guess what was on the radio...

The next day, I shot a video in Nashville for To God Alone...my first video shoot ever...we'll see :)

Then off to Michigan for my 4th visit to the Big Ticket Festival.  We flew into Detroit and drove 4 hours north to arrive 10 minutes after we were supposed to actually begin!  So I plugged in my acoustic and told the crowd, "Sorry we're late...if you're interested in stage set up, check out behind me, but if you feel like joining me in worshiping our God, just close your eyes and sing with me!"  (or something like that)  So by the time we sang Open the Eyes, We Fall Down and Here I Am To Worship (with an acoustic and 1,000+ loud voices!) the band was ready!  We rocked out half of our intended set before the shepherd's crooked yanked us off stage, Josh was actually playing for Natalie Grant's set 10 minutes later, then we drove back to Detroit!  3 hours of sleep (2.5) then we flew home.    And I've been sleeping ever since. 

It's crazy, but I love my job.  Thanks for letting me keep it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kenya Coldplay California KLOVE KSBJ Crazy.

I really need to blog more than twice a month, because then there's just too much to process and you don't want to read a 5 page blog.  

I told you about my first day in Africa.  We spend 3 days total visiting Compassion Projects from slums similar to the one in Slumdog Millionaire (just a different continent) to one 2 hours away in a Masai Village to a pre-sponsorship facility in the Rift Valley for toddlers and young mothers. Seeing the difference in the faces of those who were a part of these projects as opposed to those not involved was astounding.  Hope vs. Hopelessness.   We ended the trip seeing the beauty and grandeur of Africa by going on Safari!  Young Warthogs, Herds of Elephant, Crashes of Rhino, Hungry Hippos, Gazelles of all kinds, Cape Buffalo, Lion Prides, Giraffe Towers...unbelievable.  The country and the people are equally exquisite.  I'm still trying to process the whole trip in my mind.  I experienced so much it's hard to verbalize. 

After my return, I took a trip with my family to Pittsburgh to reunite with old and dear friends, we saw a Coldplay concert, attended my home church and ate classic Aliquippa food like Mac's Donuts and Breezy's Pizza.  We spent the last night hanging out at Mark and Rachel's eating amazing Ceasar's Pasta and taking turns riding a Quad ('4-wheeler' as they say in the South) and staying up way past bedtimes (for kids and adults) Great times though.  

I'm now sitting in the Houston Hobby Airport after a quick visit to K-LOVE and AIR-1 in Sacremento; they let me be a part of their morning shows and played To God Alone: thanks guys.  And the same this morning on KSBJ here in Houston.  Mayra called into the station and even stopped by to hang out while I was there.  She got some airtime!  After breakfast with Chris Hauser and Jim Beeler at the Humble Cafe, I came nice & early to the airport and discovered there's a flight leaving for Atlanta right now!  I tried to jump on since I have no baggage and want to get home.  (7.5 hours of sleep in the last 54) 

The gate agent told me, "I can get you on the flight for $50."
I said, "Hmm...But there Are empty seats, right?"
"And I'd be making a seat available on the next flight, right?"
"So someone else could have my seat then..."
"for $50."

What if you picked out something from my table at a concert, then changed your mind before you opened it/wore it and wanted an even trade.  I wouldn't charge you a Change Fee.  I don't get it. 

But...perhaps I don't know the whole story.  Anyhow, now I have time to blog.  

Hope everyone is doing well. 
Was this 5 pages long?