Category Archives: Music

Why I Cried

Last night I cried. Overwhelmed by emotion, I was sad, elated, confused, and oh so thankful. I have never felt so much meaning and purpose in a single moment. Just thinking about it now brings me to tears. 

Last night was closing night of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, this year’s Spring Musical at my school. I played the part of Caleb Pontipee, one of the seven backwoods brothers who learns about etiquette and gets himself a girl. I was the dumb brother and I loved every minute of it. I was able to make people laugh with my mannerisms and then turn around and sing and dance with people that are much more skilled in those departments than I am. I put so much work into this production and now that it’s over, I’m still not sure how to think straight.

After the last curtain call, Mr. Batchelder, our amazing Director, brought the seniors up to the front of the stage and talked about us all individually. When he talked about me, it all came crashing down. A wave swept me up on the inside and forced its way out my eyes. While he was explaining it to the audience, I was imagining my theatrical career at James Madison.

My sophomore year, in drama class, I could not deliver a monologue in front of my class because I was so scared. Just the thought of performing in front of people terrified me so much that I made myself sick and stayed home from school for a week. That was the worst week of my life. I was so depressed and did not want to live. By God’s grace, my mother helped me out of the depression and Mr. Batchelder encouraged me tremendously and gave me the confidence necessary to perform in front of others. The next year, I tried out for the Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride, got the part, made people laugh and had an absolute blast. That year, I was a salesman/dancer/townsperson in The Music Man. Next was Sir Galahad in Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail then Caleb Pontipee.

My journey rushed through my mind, paralyzing me in a state of raw emotion.

And so I cried.

I cried because I was so happy to have the oppurtunity to be in those plays.

I cried because I was so sad that it was over.

I cried because I’ll miss acting on stage with my friends.

I cried because of all the times I laughed.

I cried because of how much I’ve grown.

I cried because I was so thankful for all the encouragement.

I cried because being on stage made me feel special.

I cried because I could not hold it back.

I am crying now because this is so meaningful.

Switchfoot Concert (And Some)

Friday night, I went with some of my good friends to see Switchfoot at Martini Ranch. It was quite the adventure. We left right after our play practice ended and picked up everybody. Hungry, we stopped at McDonald’s because we all wanted some sweet tea. While there, we heard that the concert was sold-out. Bad news because two of my friends were planning on getting tickets at the door. We went back to school to drop them off and then sped (within the legal speed limit) of course) back over to Scottsdale. We waited in line for about twenty minutes in order to enter the venue that is about as big as my living room. The place was packed to the brim. Because we were so late, we were stuck in the back. As people moved around though we made our way closer to the stage using the classic wedge formation.

The show itself was spectacular. They played the full set from Hello Hurricane, their new album. If you haven’t heard their new stuff, check it out. It really is quite good. True to form, the songs are both hard hitting and soul searching. Jon’s lyrics are vulnerable and relateable, filled with hope and the power of real love. One of the standout songs was Needle and Haystack Life, which Jon sang from the middle of the audience. The Sound, one of the harder songs, sounded amazing live. Raw energy just flowed through the room. At the end of Free, Jon pounded the rhythm out of a bass drum. The addition made an already emotional song that much more powerful. Red Eyes brought the set full circle with the echoes of “We are once in a lifetime”.

Switchfoot played seven of their older songs as an encore. It started with Meant to Live, then a Stars/The Shadow Proves the Sunshine medley (I loved it when he sang “My shadows prove the sunshine”). After that was 24 followed by Oh Gravity! Then they dedicated Yesterdays to a soldier who was at the show. To end the night, they played Dare You To Move. It was a wonderful greatest hits style ending.

After the show, we bought some merch, including two fedoras and a golf hat. Then we went over to the trailer and met Tim Foreman, the bass player, and his brother Jon, the lead singer. I got them to both sign a cooker wrapper from McDonald’s. Jon lead a crowd to the other side of the street and started a little acoustic concert. After a few songs we were asked to leave by the police because of the noise. It was really cool that Jon would do that. We went back over by their bus and I listened to all of the conversations people were having with Jon. One in particular was really cool. A guy who was very emotional explained to Jon how thankful he was for his lyrics and how the gave him hope. The guy was just so genuine. He even sincerely apologized to the crowd for being kind of drunk. That is why Switchfoot’s music is so amazing. It gives hope to people who may not be exposed to the idea on a regular basis. I also listened to Jon explain his faith in a God of love. It was really inspiring to witness a regular guy who has been given an incredible platform to reach people with love and hope. Listening to Jon talk about Jesus on the street with a couple of dozen people around him, I couldn’t help but think that I was getting a little taste of what it would’ve been like to follow Jesus around and hear him talk to the crowds. It was a really cool experience.

Thanks Jon, Tim, Chad, Jerome, and Drew for doing what you’re doing!!!

Here’s video from Jon’s impromptu acoustic concert.

Late Night with Random Thoughts (#2)

It’s 12:34. I can’t fall asleep. My body is exhausted but my mind is in midday stride. I have a test tomorrow that I need to study for but I can’t concentrate on the material so I find myself delivering my thoughts to you.

Just finished reading a book called Tribes by Seth Godin. It’s all about leadership and it’s importance in today’s world of movements and tribes (groups united by a single vision/motive/product). Really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. Need another good read now.

Sometimes I get behind on stuff and it overwhelmes me. It happens with schoolwork. Today, it happened with my room. I was supposed to clean it (we just moved into a new house and are in the process of unpacking boxes) but I didn’t know where to put anything so I just didn’t do anything for awhile. After some time of doing nothing, I felt behind and overwhelmed. My mom gave me some practical/obvious tips and You gave me some much needed encouragement. I was able to get a lot done. I hate being immobilized.

Regarding the new home, it is quite amazing and fits our needs perfectly. It is a lot smaller than our previous behemoth of a house but I like that very much. It forces us to be closer as a family. We can no longer all go into separate corners of the house (all the kids rooms are about five feet away from each other). We have a huge (by East Valley, Arizona standards) backyard with a pool and patio with fireplace. And we have numerous parks and fields in our neighborhood. I love it. Thank You so much!

When someone encourages me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. I want to give other people that feeling.

Sometime soon, I need to apply to college.

Packers. Ouch! Losing to the previously winless Bucs? They only had to go about ten yards everytime they touched the ball. Our offensive line is stinky.

I’ve been listening to Switchfoot’s new album Hello Hurricane and it is really good. Sound is rocking, anthemic, and ambient. Lyrics are full of hope in the hard times. Really, really like this album!

Wondering, if I had the chance to go back to either Morocco or Rwanda, where would I choose?

Goodnight. I hope I dream about freedom.

Morocco Highlight Film

Here are some of the best clips from my flip that tell a pretty good story of our journey.

Wedding Dance Entrance

This is quite hilarious. Ideas are churning!

Owl City

Here is some music that’ll make you want to dance in circles in the middle of a meadow, face to the heavens, thanking God that you’re alive. This stuff is awesome. Pure joy!

A Little Something to Stand On

Great music from around the world.