Hey all -
We have had such an amazing summer. Traveling to every corner of the country and meeting the most incredible people along the way is the best part of this job.
Being on the road so much isn’t always easy, and is often the exact opposite of glamorous, but we know we’ve been called to this kind of life for a purpose. We know God has placed us where we are to reach this generation for His namesake.
We have faith that no matter what, we are called to run this race. And one that keeps us going is the encouragement we get through words.
We get so many emails, letters, and messages reminding us why we do what we do. We have been so very encouraged this summer by hearing the testimonies of people whose lives have been impacted by Jesus.
More than anything, it’s humbling. Because we know lives were changed, and it had nothing to do with us. We have simply offered our small offerings us to God, and asked Him to use them. We are doing our best to serve and be good stewards of that which God has placed into our hands.
So thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.
We have been blessed more than you know, and can’t wait to keep on running this race together. Thank you for your words.
These past few weeks a storm has been ravaging almost half of the country. The South, the East and the Mid-west have been hammered nonstop by Ice and snow and blizzard like conditions and we have been smack-dab in the middle of it since it started. Being North-westerners we don’t get to experience storms of this magnitude very often and we found ourselves confronted by something that took us out of our comfort zones, somethings that caused us to have worry about our future on the roads. If anything I’ve learned about being in this storm, is that God is always in control. God’s calling is always going to lead us, even if we are stuck, literally frozen to the ground, God’s purpose is still there. You see, when we got buffeted by the storm to the point where we could barely get 10ft out the door without slipping on the ice, we could’ve looked at our circumstances and said that our purpose of being on the road and bringing music to people was brought to a halt. We could have felt lost and confused because we weren’t fulfilling our “purpose”. We realized that it never is about “our” calling, it is never about what we can do for God for His will to be done. God’s calling still exists even when we cannot find the means to travel, because this life is not about bringing so many extraordinary abilities to God’s table and allowing Him to use our resources. Life is about saying to God, Lord, I want to be apart of whatever you are doing. Simple, surrender, allowing Him to have His will and purpose brought here on this earth. It is only when we come to God and ask what it is He is doing in this moment, this time right now, that we truly enter in to the calling He has for our lives’. I hear so many people that talk about this specific calling placed on their lives’ and I have no doubt that God might have placed it there, but if we as a people serving God allow our “callings” to get in the way of allowing God to have His will in the situation, we are greatly hindering what God might have for us in that circumstance. One thing this storm has brought to us, other than inches of ice and feet of snow, is an understanding that no matter what happens to us or where we go, as long as we are willing to say, Lord have your way regardless of where that leads us, we are always living in the calling that God has for us.
In response to the countless emails we’ve received from fans all over the world, we have launched www.PrayYouThrough.com as a way for you to post YOUR stories of how prayer has impacted your life, or the life of someone you know. People ask us all the time to share the story behind our song “Pray You Through”, and truth is, it’s not our story. It YOUR story. The story goes on every day as people around the globe are crying our to their Savior; reaching out to a loving God. We want to hear your piece of the story, and how God is using you to pray someone through a difficult struggle, or maybe how someone else is praying you through a hard time.
All you have to do to share your story is go to www.PrayYouThrough.com and fill in the blanks with your name, where you’re from, and your story. And while you’re there, you can read stories from other people who have been forever changed by the power of prayer.
And whatever you do, remember that God is always there, and He hears our prayers:
"The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer."
"And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
1 John 5:15
"And if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for."
"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
Hey guys! It’s only a few weeks until Sixteen Cities will join Remedy Drive on their “Guide You Home” fall tour! We’ll be visiting states all across the midwest and south, and hope to meet countless new people, as well as see many old friends!
Check out this video to see if we’re coming to a city near you! We would love to see you ALL there, so make sure you bring some friends and come to a show. We’re honored to be playing alongside Remedy Drive, and also the band MadeAVAIL will be on this tour.
See you guys in a few weeks. And if we aren’t coming close to you on this tour, make sure to tell us where we should go on our next tour.
See you soon!
-Sixteen Cities (Josiah, Josh, Joel, and Chad)
Nothing like some home cooked food!
I remember loving to eat out when I was younger. It was always a really special treat, and I wished I could eat out all the time! Being in a band has turned that around for me. When you travel over 250 days a year, you get quite accustomed to eating out. Too accustomed.
My remedy is to cook as much as I possibly can while I’m home, cause I know that fast food is waiting for me right around the corner!
This weekend I had the incredible opportunity to be apart of the World Vision Village Experience.
About a month ago I received a call about World Vision needing some volunteers for their Spokane tour date, where they bring the Village experience into the mall and open it to everyone for free! As it goes, I signed up for two evenings. As I soon found out I wished i had more time to give to this amazing ministry and relief organization! Soon after I arrived I was taken through training (giving us directions and information on what World Vision does) and sent into the field. With name tags and matching shirts sporting the World vision logo and an emblazoned Volunteered print on the back, we introduced and informed hundreds of mallgoers about the ministry and doings of World Vision world wide.
It was such an amazing thing to be sharing so much about what these people are doing around the world. Seeing the eyes of the youth opened to what is going on around the world. World Vision is a huge advocate of child sponsorship, bringing monetary support to children around the world, providing for them a means to get education, food, and necessary medical help. And seeing young children walking through the exhibit asking their parents if they can help another child just like them across the world, it was a very special moment to be sure.
As a Band, we have had the amazing opportunity to partner with World vision. Bringing their ministry all across America, raising awareness of what is going on all across the world and within our own walls. If you have never heard of World Visions ministry and want to learn more, go online at WorldVision.org
They’ve truly blessed my life and the lives’ of countless individuals and communities around the world.
Today I worked 7-4, went home and made a sandwich, then watched t.v., and now I’m blogging; And I feel like God was a part of it all.
As a band we’ve been doing a devotional called “My Utmost for His Highest.” In almost every devotion it mentions “Oneness with God.” A lot of times in my life I tend to make God one of those things that’s just nice to have when I need it, and when I don’t need it, it doesn’t get much of my attention. Every time we go through a devotion I’m reminded of how much God just wants to have a relationship with us. Not just a “sometimes” relationship, but relationship that’s 24/7. He wants to be a part of everything thing we do, and every decision we make.
When you have a 24/7 relationship with God it’s like you have a whole different outlook on the world around you. A heavenly or, eternal perspective, rather than an earthly perspective. Looking at things like work or relationships from God’s perspective rather than your own.
This is just kinda somethin’ that’s been on my heart lately. Something that I want to strive for more and more everyday. If you wanna check out that devotional it free and online at utmost.org. It updates with a new one everyday. Pretty sweet, eh?
Josiah here, and I’m excited to announce some amazing new things on the horizon for Sixteen Cities this year. After an incredible June tour, and an awesome album release this last Spring, we’re looking forward to the rest of this year.
We’re spending the rest of this summer at bible camps and festivals, as well as preparing for our big fall tour with REMEDY DRIVE! Starting in September, we’ll be traveling across the country playing shows every night. So make sure you check our tour dates, and come to a show near you!
Our new single, “Sing Along” has been getting traction around the world with radio stations. If you’re local radio station is playing our song, make sure they know how much you love it!
Also in September, we will be releasing our NEW WORSHIP EP! We have hand-selected some of our favorite worship songs, and recorded them “Sixteen Cities style”. The album will be available in the fall, so make sure you keep your eyes out for it!
Another big announcement: On August 21st, I (Josiah) will be getting married to the love of my life: Ashley! We have been looking forward to this for years and years, and now it’s finally here! Please keep us in your prayers as we embark on a new journey together as husband and wife.
This winter, Sixteen Cities will be traveling across the Atlantic ocean to do another tour in DENMARK with Youth For Christ. All the tour dates will be on our website in a few months, so if you’re a fan of Sixteen Cities, and danish, come to a concert!
As some of you know, we’ve also had a major change in the band lineup. Our longtime lead guitar player, Dustin, has stepped down from the band and will no longer be playing shows with us. Though we hate to see him leave, we know God has a plan for Dustin’s life, and hope the best for him. For more info on this, read his letter on our blog (sixteencities.tumblr.com).
Well, that’s all for now. Keep checking back as we post videos, blogs, and updates from the road. We’re endlessly grateful to you, our fans, for supporting our ministry. Thanks for everything!
Lead Singer, Sixteen Cities
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
Jesus had a lot of loose ends to tie up in the weeks before He was murdered. He needed to be alone with God. He needed to have a final meal with His best friends. He needed to warn Peter and Judas that they would betray Him.
Check out the story of David and Bathsheba.David had an affair with Uriah’s wife while he was at war, and she became pregnant. He tried to tie up his loose ends by bringing Uriah home quickly and tricking him into thinking that the baby was his. But Uriah refused to go home, even after David tried to get him drunk and make him do it (It’s true, read the story).
So, David killed his servant Uriah. Then he married his wife.
Now, there are two ways to tie up loose ends: our way or God’s way. David tried to do it his own way, but in the end there are always consequences.
2 Samuel 12
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”
I have an announcement to make.
I have some loose ends in my life that need to be tied up. There are some things between God and myself that need 100% of my attention. God has asked me to do some things lately, and I’ve been pushing them to the side. And I know that it’s not worth trying to do things my way.
So, with an extremely heavy heart, I’m letting you all know that I am not going to be playing with Sixteen Cities anymore.
A few things I’d like to say: First, THANK YOU to every single person who has ever come to a Sixteen Cities concert or worship event, let me sign their iPods/shoes/phones/hats, played cards with me at camp, danced and sang with me at the talent shows, listened to me babble about my guitar gear, lost miserably to me at 9 square, watched midnight movies with me, gave me hand-made thank you cards, splattered/stuck/assassinated me on Halo 3, and otherwise made a huge impression on me that I will never forget. If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you’ve blessed me in some way over the years.
Thanks to all those who have supported the music along the way. Especially the close friends who bought the CD even though they felt like they should’ve gotten a free one. :) Also, thanks to those of you who have listened to the music I’ve managed to release on my own, when I have the free time.
Finally, I want to let you all know how excited I am for the new Sixteen Cities Worship EP that will be coming out in a few months. I had the priviledge of working really closely on this project and I can honestly say it’s the best we’ve ever put out. You’re going to love it.
Thank you for reading the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. I hope you understand. And I hope you continue to be awesome friends and fans to the band in the years to come, just like I will.
37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.