Archive for January, 2007
My last two Saturday evenings have been spent in bars. No, I’m not denouncing my faith in God and becoming a drunk. Instead, I’ve been recording a local band by the name of Point of Real. For comparison’s sake, they’re in the realm of Nickelback, Tantric, Hinder and bands like that. I got hooked up with them through my roommate, Brad, who is friends with a couple of the guys in the band.
We’ll get to the music in a minute, but I just want to say this – these guys are some of the nicest guys in a rock band I’ve ever met. There’s a lot of adjectives to describe rock musicians, but “nice” usually isn’t one of them. I’ve come to really respect these guys, and have enjoyed working with them. Travis (lead singer, guitarist) is a preacher’s kid who has also spent time in Iraq. He “knows a thing or two” about life, as Johnny Cash once said. This makes for some great songwriting. Shawn Durr (guitarist) is very deceiving. When you see him rock out on stage, you’re amazed that someone so soft-spoken and calm could be so aggressive with a guitar in his hands. Greg Betsworth (bass) is the true rock star of the band. This isn’t at all to say he’s not a nice guy – he’s great. I have a bit of a connection to him since he went to school with my brother, and I went to school with his sister. But, all-in-all, he plays the part of a rock star the best. T.J. Taylor (drums) is quickly becoming one of my favorite drummers. Not only is he extremely talented, but he has a great personality to back it up. I personally know that drummers can be guilty of having an ego (*pointing finger at self*), but he checks it at the door.
Musically… these guys rock. I’ll keep this short and just say they have labels looking at them, are friends with Tantric, have opened for the current hit band Hinder, and will open for another national touring act next month. They’re the real deal. I’m hoping for the best for these guys. They deserve any good things that may come their way. Go check ‘em out…
Derek tagged me. So… I get to list six weird things about me. I tend to think everything about me is a little weird, so this might be tough to choose just six. Here goes…
1.) One of my favorite snacks is two pieces of American cheese put together, then folded over until they “break” into four smaller pieces stacked on top of each other. In a perfect world, I eat this while drinking Mountain Dew.
2.) I pretty much can’t function until I have a shower in the morning after I wake up. I have a pretty strict routine I follow from the time I step out of bed until I’m dressed. Not so much because I’m anal, but more because I don’t want to forget something. It’s not a good feeling going to work and realizing I’ve forgotten to comb my hair or brush my teeth. So… I just do everything in order so that I don’t forget anything.
3.) I like some music that other people think is really weird. I enjoy techno music, for example.
4.) I’m more content sitting in front of a computer than sitting in front of a TV.
5.) When I was a little kid, I had what I called “little people.” I would cut up crayons into small pieces, use small nuts (the hardware kind), the little rubber balls that would come with toy guns… anything in that same realm of small things. With these things, I would act out sports games and other very dramatic events on my bedroom floor. I kept them in a Zip Lock bag. Once, I took them on a trip and was dismayed when the crayons melted from being left in a hot vehicle. It was a tragic loss of “lives.”
6.) I don’t like the color brown. I’m not sure UPS could pay me enough to work for them.
BONUS: I think the trombone is far from being “God’s instrument” as my college band director says. In fact, I think it is the least useful instrument outside of a bassoon or oboe. I can’t respect an instrument that causes me to think of circus music anytime I think about it. Sorry trombone-playing friends.
No… this isn’t a post about catchy new lingo that you’ll hear at the latest “yo momma” put-down contest. This post fits into the “cool new Internet feature” category. If you’re a blog owner, webmaster, or have anything to do with websites, I suggest you use this cool new feature. It’s called Snap – when you scroll over a link on a page, it pops up a small preview of that page. I dig it. It took me less than two minutes to have it up-and-running on this site. If you have trouble, I can help you…
> Get Snap
I recently redesigned the CLS website. The new look isn’t anything terribly fancy, but looks much better than the previous design (what was I thinking??). The kicker is this – according to the group that sets the standard for HTML coding has declared the site perfect – no errors! That’s the first time I’ve done that. See for yourself:
I’d like to introduce everyone to the online home of Brad’s Music Center. After several months of delays and complications with the web host, I finally got Brad’s site up-and-running this past week. Go visit his site (better yet – stop in and buy something from him!)
This isn’t really a “weekend update” like I used to do. It’s more of a combination of a weekend update and random blogging.
Works Like a Champ (even if it came from Radio Shack)
I’ve been having trouble with the wireless in-ear system I use at church. It actually doesn’t belong to me, but the owner never uses it, so he was cool with me to giving it a try. It’s an el cheapo Rolls system. Since I’m not able to switch the frequency on it, it has a tendency to drop signal once people fill up a room with cell phones and other wireless devices. So… I’ve been looking around for an affordable option to replace the Rolls. Most “good” wireless systems are in the ballpark of $500. I don’t think I’ll be getting one of those anytime soon.
Radio Shack saves the day (believe it or not). I found a wireless audio system at RS for $80. It’s meant to be hooked up to a computer so that you can play your music from your computer on a home stereo. The cool thing is that it transmits the audio in stereo (as opposed to wireless in-ear systems that are mostly mono). So, I decided to give it a shot. I was skeptical, but knew I could always take it back.
Well… to my surprise, it worked like a champ today at church. Not a single drop-out, and I was able to monitor my recording in stereo – way cool! I’m interested to see how it behaves in other venues. Even if it does act up, the icing on the cake is that it has 8 selectable channels…. surely one of them would work.
I’ve been hearing a song called “Drifter” on the radio a lot, so I decided to check out this band a little more. Turns out, I love them! Think southern rock done Christian. I wouldn’t call them theologians based on their lyrics, but musically, they’re a nice change-of-pace from the average praise music on the radio these days. At least I’ve found a good option for when I want to listen to some more rockin’ Christian music (I’m not of fan of the more “hardcore” Christian bands that like to scream more than sing).
Starting in 2007, Thom Brennaman will begin working with his father, Marty, broadcasting Reds games on radio and TV. The spawn of Marty will do 45 radio games with dad, and 45 TV games (solo?). He will also continue his obligation of calling weekend games for Fox. The elder Brennaman is nearing retirement, so this would seemingly mean his son would be his replacement at the end of Thom’s four-year contract.
I’ve become a bit lazy recently with my journaling. I sometimes don’t crack open a Bible everyday. Does this sound like you too? I came across this link today and plan on giving this a shot. It sounds interesting:
Looking back on 2006′s motto, “Potential: Reached,” I feel as though I accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do in 2006 (insert: “praise be to God”). I grew in a lot of areas, and surprised myself a few times along the way. So, for 2007, I’m announcing my motto as “Raising the Bar.” While I still don’t feel like I’ve truly reached my potential in a lot of areas, I’m confident I can raise the bar even higher. Now that I’ve seen growth, I can also see that I can do more.
I don’t really have many resolutions. I guess they’re easier to keep if you only focus on a few important ones. I think focusing on self-discipline will help me raise the bar. Simple stuff like going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. Eating better. Procrastinating less, and focusing more. Better time management. A lot of simple steps that make a difference in the big picture.
A resolution I will share is this: I plan on reading at least one book per month. I enjoy reading, but a lot of times find myself in the middle of several books at once, and I never finish any of them. So, for 2007, I’m just going to read one book at a time, and not pick another one up until I’m done with the current reading. Here’s my projected reading list for the year:
- Faith in Future Grace by John Piper (currently reading)
- Living the Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney
- God is the Gospel by John Piper
- The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
- Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus
- Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Books I started in 2006 that I’d like to re-read and finish in 2007:
- Desiring God by John Piper
- (Re)Understanding Prayer by Kyle Lake
Devotionals I’ll read along the way:
- My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (I’ve read this semi-regularly for the past couple of years and enjoy it a lot)
- Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, Savoring Christ, A Godward Life, and Taste and See – all by John Piper
- Ants Marching (Dave Matthews Band) – my all-time favorite song by my all-time favorite band. Not so much for the lyrics, but the energy of the music, especially live.
- Hold Fast (MercyMe) – the first time I heard this song, I thought it was one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard. I still feel like that way, and it’s just as powerful live as the studio cut.
- Superstition (Stevie Wonder) – the horn lick in this song is one of the catchiest snippets of music ever. Funky.
- Pictures of You (The Cure) – I’m a child of the 80s, so I figured I needed to have an 80s song or two.
- Here Am I (MercyMe) – the epitome of living the Christian life. We’re called to “go.”
- Where the Streets Have No Name (U2) – one of those songs you wish were longer. If U2 wrote five more verses and repeated the chorus several more times, I wouldn’t have complained.
- Speed of Sound (Coldplay) – my favorite song from 2005. I would love to see Coldplay live, and hear this anthem.
- Is It Any Wonder (Keane) – another rock anthem. I would love to be a part of writing a song like this. I have a rule to only play this song loud in my car. All talking stops, the volume goes up, and I just listen.
- Wonderful Cross – I didn’t label an artist for this because it’s been performed by praise bands everywhere. I prefer David Crowder Band’s version, which I’ve heard twice live. Aside from that, I think the Josh Martin Band’s version is second-best. Not to mention it’s a song about the focus of my faith.
- Every Breath You Take (Sting) – Another great 80s song.
- To Make You Feel My Love (Garth Brooks) – everyone has their favorite love song, and this is mine.