I love living in Portland. It’s a beautiful place that’s hard to compare to other places we’ve seen. But there’s something so special about getting to visit different parts of the country, and being able to see the unique things that we would never see in Portland. For my wife and I on this trip, fireflies were that unique thing. We had an amazing time watching them flash and twinkle all over the place as we would walk around during the evenings. I wanted to capture them and take them back to Portland!
Here are some of the photos from one night in Eldora, Iowa.
Its amazing how things can happen so fast but yet, somehow, take a life time to learn the lessons they present.
Its like time is racing ahead of us and all we can try and do is catch up and pretend that this is the normal pace that life should be. That things always move this fast, that the ideas that keep us grounded are always moving with such velocity and force. Its as if we were never meant to stand our ground, only to be carried away by the things in our life that we try and place value upon. I write this with a heavy yet full heart. A heart that has been realizing some things in my life that are not coherent with who I want to become, with who I am. There are so many things that we are always racing to catch up on. Catch up in school, catch up on TV shows. Catch up on some rest? Sometimes we just need to realize who we are, and what we have become in Christ Jesus. And that should be enough for us.
We shouldnt need to be running after so many things, but resting in the perfect love of Jesus! We spend a lifetime running after things to try and obtain something that we have no idea we need or want. We try and pick the things in our life that are going to make us happy, the things that are going to fulfill our deepest desires.. what we dont realize is that the things we are chasing are the very things that steal away our eyes from the true goal, the ultimate goal! That Goal should be the face and heart of God. All other things fade into the background when the Face of our Lord is present.
I Want to encourage all of you to take a look at what you’ve been striving for. Place your hopes and your time into the hands and perfect love of Jesus.
The band has been touring the country for the last few weeks visiting churches, camps, radio stations, bookstores, and even rodeos. We’ve covered nearly 4,000 miles and spent over 70 hours in the van. To say it’s been an adventure would be an understatement. Our crazy schedule has made us receive minimal amounts of sleep, and it’s easy to get side-tracked and exhausted. It always seems to happen in the middle of a tour. You start to forget the real reason you’re doing what you’re doing. You start missing home and the comforts of your “normal” life. You start to become selfish.
We started to notice that we were all becoming weary this weekend, and decided to face it head on this morning. So before we led worship at a church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we sat around a table and read the words of the apostle Paul in 1st Timothy.
"The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith." 1 Tim. 1:3-4 NLT
That verse really convicted my heart today. It can be so easy to lose faith and let your heart become filled with things that are not of God.
We decided as a band to work our way through the rest of 1 Timothy together over the next few weeks, and let the word of God transform our minds and souls to seek Him first.
I think this could apply to anyone reading this blog. Life can creep up and steal your joy, hope, and purpose. We can all begin to forget God’s call on our lives, and lose focus.
But don’t worry. His arms are never far off, and we can run to them whenever we finally decide to surrender.
Interviewer: So let’s start from the beginning; How long have you been with the band, and how did you get hooked up with the band?
Chad: Well I’ve been with the guys since October, so just about 9 months. And actually how I got hooked up with them is a pretty cool story. In April of 2009, I was invited to play at a church in Portland by a friend who was leading worship that weekend. (And he was actually former bassist for the band, but I had never made the connection.) So I played the weekend services, and though nothing of it. To me it was just another weekend of playing drums. But apparently the electric guitarist that played that weekend with me was the lead guitarist for Sixteen Cities. And also the full-time worship leader at the church was good friends with the bands manager. But again, I though nothing of that weekend. So I just went on with my life. I got a summer job at a camp in California doing maintenance. While I was working I got a call from Josiah (Lead singer of Sixteen Cities) saying basically, “Hey, our drummer just quit and I’ve heard your name from several people. Would you like to try out for out band?” At first I was super bummed, because tryouts were going to be in Portland, and I was in California. But God had been piecing it together from the beginning. Turns out tryouts were scheduled for the first week in October, and I had a plane ticket booked to come home for a visit and to see a MuteMath concert for the first week in October! I was stoked to say the least. So in about two weeks I learned all of their songs, packed my things, and flew up for the tryout. I tried out, and made it. Then Josiah asks me, “Wanna leave with us in three days to go on tour?” So I called my boss and was like “Hey, So uh… I just joined this band… Is it cool if I quit my job?” He was super cool about it. He said it sounded like a great opportunity and that I should go for it! Three days later, and with one rehearsal under my belt, we drove down to Bakersfield, CA and I played my first show with the guys!
Interviewer: Wow! What a neat story! Tell us a little bit about that very first show. What was going through your mind? Were you nervous at all?
Chad: Actually you know, I totally should have been nervous. I mean, I literally had one tryout, and one rehearsal with the guys. And our first gig was at a church of about 6,000. But funny thing is… I wasn’t the least bit nervous. I just felt like I was really doing what I was made to be doing. You know? For one of the first times in my life I really felt like I belonged.
Interviewer: Now I understand there’s quite an age gap between you and the rest of the band? Does that affect how you communicate/interact?
Chad: Yeah, there’s a little gap I guess. I’m 18, and the rest of the guys range from 21-25. But honestly, It doesn’t cross my mind that much. Haha. Unless we start talking about music that we listened to, or cartoons that we watched when we were younger. We notice the age gap when it comes to things like that. We like to call it the “Generation Semi-Gap.” Haha. I really look up to the guys though, they don’t treat me any differently just because I’m younger. I respect that a lot. And I’m thankful that they’re older too, it pushes me to just be a little more mature in general, and I feel like I have a ton to learn from them.
Interviewer: Awesome. I’ve spent a little time with the guys back in the day, and yeah, they’re really a neat group of individuals.
Chad: Oh yeah, I feel very blessed to be able to do ministry with them.
Interviewer: So you said you’re 18. Must have finished high school pretty recently, yeah?
Chad: Yeah I finished high school in June of 2009. Which was actually the end of my junior year.
Interviewer: Well tell us a bit about your high school years. Since it was so recent for you. And you must have done pretty well at it to have finished in only three years?
Chad: Haha. No. School was not my thing, at all. Being completely honest, high school was probably some of the worst years of my life so far. I have no idea how I finished. Especially in only three years! Hah. I don’t know, I just didn’t like the way the system worked. Now looking back on it, I realize that I don’t really learn well in a group setting. I don’t know why, but that’s just how I was. So, I fell behind once we started learning about things that I knew nothing about already. My grades dropped, along with my self esteem. I felt like so much pressure was being put on me to get good grades, get scholarships, and go to a really good college or university, then get a really good paying job. And honestly that made me quite depressed, because they made it seem like that was all there was to life. And if you didn’t take that route in life, you were a failure.
Interviewer: And what did you take away from that experience? Was there anything/anyone in particular that encouraged you during these times to finish high school? I know a lot of kids who drop out for those reasons.
Chad: Oh man, I feel like a learned a lot of life lessons, net necessarily during those years, but because of those years. I had some really good friends and mentors those years to help give me some perspective. And really my parents were the ones who were always encouraging me to just do my best. During the time I thought they had no idea what was really going on, and they had no idea how much I didn’t like school. …But they knew. Haha. They were always there to encourage me though. Always telling me to pursue me dreams and do what I love.
Interviewer: Any last comments? Maybe some advice to a teen struggling with the difficulties of high school?
Chad: Yeah totally. I believe very firmly that everyone was put on this earth for a reason, it’s just up to you to find that reason. And maybe your purpose in life is to do something totally “normal” by the worlds standards. Or maybe it’s something way different than what everyone else is doing. Whatever it is, if you’re passionate about it, and deep in you’re heart you know that’s what you were made to do, then do it. And don’t let anyone stop you.
Two atoms are walking down the street together. The first atom turns and says, “Hey, you just stole an electron from me!”
"Are you sure?" asks the second atom.
To which the first atom replies, “Yeah, I’m positive!”
— — —
What did the policeman say to his tummy?
You’re under a vest!
— — —
What did the grape say after the elephant sat on it?
Nothing, it just let out a little whine!
— — —
What does a vegan zombie eat?
— — —
What do cats eat for breakfast?
— — —
Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?
BECAUSE IT’S POINTLESS!
— — —
Why did the cowboy adopt a weiner dog?
He wanted to get a long little doggy!
— — —
Why does a Moon-rock taste better than an Earth-rock?
Because it’s a little meteor.
— — —
Have you heard the one about the Corduroy pillow?
It’s making HEADLINES!
Storm chasing in Nebraska! We got the opportunity to see one of the vehicles featured in Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” this afternoon on our way across the country! We drove right behind a major storm system all day but thankfully avoided any dangerous encounters!
We’re always thankful for save drives, and the chance to see fun things along the way.
So we’ve got a couple days before we head out on the road for a month! I was curious as to what normal people do before they leave on a trip! Here’s a list I found on the 10 things you should do before you leave home, followed by the band version…
Contact the kennel and/or house sitter
Make sure your family doesn’t turn your room into a study room while you’re gone.
Plan your first day
Make sure you have all your snacks in the van, cause that bench seat is your new friend.
Map out your first drive
Don’t map it out. You don’t want to know. Just let the GPS tell you what to do.
Pack your cell phone earpiece
Manage your cash flow
Haha, if only you had one of those
Do a Web search of your hobbies at your destination
Eldora, Iowa. Just hope they have a Starbucks
Check public transit maps on the Web
Actually a good idea. We have been known to leave people behind.
Check the local entertainment listings
We are the entertainment!!!
Check the weather
Any weather is better than Portland right now!
Contact the kennel and/or house sitter
Make sure your parents don’t turn your room into an office/study room while you’re gone! They might forget you live there!
Hope this has been helpful!!