Going to Mexico

Wednesday, I’m headed to Rocky Point, Mexico with a friend from school and his church (New Valley). We will be building a house alongside a local community for a family of four. The trip is facilitated by OneMission, an organization that sets up three to five day trips for churches and other groups.

 It’s gonna be really cool to provide this family with a home but it will be an even greater experience due to the mindset we are going in with. We are very purposefully not going in as the privileged giving aid to the less privileged. We are going in to build community by serving people who aren’t all that different than us. We’re not gonna work our butts off with power tools as they stand by and watch. We’re gonna learn from them, work alongside them,  and use their tools. Hopefully, along the way, we can create friendships and bonds that will be more powerful than anything else we build.

Like all the trips that I’ve gone on, it is a mystery as to what God will do during our time there. I’m willing to bet though that whatever it is it will be extremely meaningful and deeply entrenched in compassion. I am very excited to learn another culture, meet new friends, and gain a greater realization of my Father’s love for me. If you would, please ask God to constantly remind us why we are there (to serve as Jesus served and to shair love unconditionally).

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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.

The First Ending

Friday night was probably the last time I’ll ever play competitive tackle football. It was a hard way to go out, losing in the first round of the playoffs to a team we had beaten in the regular season. We weren’t really ready to play and they were. Throughout the entire game, I had a feeling that it would be the last one but it didn’t come home until after the coaches talked to us. They gave us their speech, walked away, and it hit. Hard. A wave of emotion, like a slow tsunami, rolled through my body and out of my eyes despite my best efforts to keep it in. Even though I was sad the season ended the way it did, the tears weren’t full of sorrow but joy. I was so thankful for my teammates and all the leadership they showed throughout the season, as well as all the stupid things we did that made us laugh. I was thankful for all the encouragement from everyone throughout the bad years. I was thankful that we even had this season to remember (we almost didn’t have a football team this year because we didn’t have enough guys). I was thankful for everyone’s hard work that gave us more wins this season than we had had in our previous four years combined. I was so thankful for You and the way You made me so that I could be a valuable part of the team. Like we said before and after every game (win or lose) “to God be the glory!” Thank You!!!

alexdeanfootball

Me and my little bro who became the starting defensive end. He was awesome!

Being a senior, I’m starting to understand the concept of The End. Football ending is just the first of many endings to come. At some point in the near future, basketball will be over and I’ll be in my last play and soccer will end with baseball and track & field. And then one day, high school will end. And then what? I don’t know yet but I’m excited and thankful at the same time.

Late Night with Random Thoughts

There is something intrinsically joyful about certain colors. Colors invoke feelings that are bottled up. Same thing with different shades of light.

A good creek bed is possibly the most peaceful place in my mind. Sometimes, that is where I go when I’m tired. That is where I am right now.

Life changes. Places move in and out. Things float by. Memories come and go. One thing stays constent. If it were not for Him, there would be no reason to hope.

I cannot remember the last time I watched a movie all the way through. This is weird to me.

Ever since I read that Matthew Thiessen (Relient K, lead singer) and Adam Young (Owl City) might have a side project in the works named Goodbye Dubai, I have been writing the name everywhere.

Ever since I can remember, I have been under the impression that God has something incredible planned for my life. I do not know why I am thinking about this now. It is just one of those things that I think about a lot.

I remember the last movie I watched all the way through. Simon Birch. If you have not seen, go see it. You will love it, no matter who you are. It is equal parts funny, sad, sweet, and inspiring.

Ok. I think that’s it for now. I am going to bed.

Love/Courage/Wisdom

Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world.

 – Ammon Hennacy (Catholic activist 1893-1970)

Amish Man in Marijuana Land

Family friend, Josh Willis, is still trying to get that internship with Jimmy Fallon. I think the results will come tomorrow. Whatever the outcome, this video is hilarious. The Amish Intern goes to a Cannibis Revival Festival to figure out what it’s all about.