Coffee is the Center of the Universe

Coffee is amazing. I'm pretty sure that no longer experience drowsiness, simply withdrawl symptoms. I am also pretty sure that God placed coffee on this earth to make me awesome. Before my first two cups of the nazarene narcotic, I am usually quite useless. I mean, sure, maybe most people running on consecutive days of less-than-ideal sleep would be just as sluggish, but in today's fast paced world, I need a quick fix more than a blissful 9 hours of slumber.

I even have a special press that I make my coffee in. I actually asked for it for Christmas, since I would only be able to take one thing back with me from Texas to Arizona on the plane. I am pretty much known as the fancy coffee guy in our church offices (it's like a normal office building, with about 40 people around at any given time, so that's saying something). I offer my caffienated goodness to all who ask, because of course I have extra... grounds, that is. As in, I could make more. I wouldn't dream of not having my full 32 ounces of hardcore jittery bliss.

I've been making better music since I succumbed to the bean. I don't drink it when I have to sing, but at all other times... my fingers fly across the fretboard or keyboard, as my mind pushes forward confidently whether I know what I'm doing or not.

Good music doesn't depend on perfection. It depends on confidence. Unless you suck.

Anyway, I am officially declaring Coffee the "Center of the Universe". On the first day, God created the heavens and the earth...
but first, He had His coffee.

Ever The Critic

I've learned a lot in these past two years about many facets of musical performance and worship leading. I am totally stoked that I am becoming better at what I love. I just wish I wasn't such a jerk because of it.

See, lately I've found myself being a critic of everything musical. I've been taught to analyze myself and find my own weaknesses, but instead I've been finding fault in others. In fact, criticism is inherent in the music culture, and it is often quite useful. It just makes it really hard to be a fan of local music, to be a supportive and attentive listener.

Instead I am listening to a running dialogue in my head, outlining everything wrong with this band/concert/church service. I outwardly cringe when harmonies don't quite work and singers get pitchy. I comment on how this band would be good "if only..."

I've become that really annoying person, the one you hate to listen to music with or see a show with. It sucks, because I even annoy myself.

This is why I've decided to turn back the clock, to learn once again to enjoy the pure simple bliss of a live local show. I must find some way to turn off my inner critic, make myself a little tone deaf, a little more forgiving... and just enjoy good music again, even when it gets a little pitchy and the mix isn't just right.

Resolved: To stop annoying myself at concerts.


When I first got to Arizona, I realized how much I had been surrounded by friends, all throughout Texas. Even in Dallas, there were friends to hang out with and do things with, but my first month in Arizona seemed to drag on endlessly. I found myself sitting alone at a bar eating pizza and watching a football game, wishing desperately that the bunch of black athletes behind me were my friends, that I could crack a joke and make them laugh, or say something about one of them and have everyone join in on the playful diss. I wanted to be cool again, because in all honesty I felt like a big dork.

Fast forward to tonight. I promised two friends that I would be at their birthday party, and I went. I didn't know anyone else there, and this wasn't one of those groups you could easily socialize with. They were closed, and their conversations were inwardly directed. I felt like a complete outsider, to the point that I left after about an hour, having made an extended appearance while still having an excuse to leave.

I went from there to the home of a dear friend, hanging out with people who have become close and important to me. I made silly jokes and everyone laughed. I was made fun of, and I poked right back. We had a great time, and I felt like I belonged. I thank God for that, because I realize how much that means.

At the end of this year, my residency ends, and most likely I will be in a new place, looking for a new group of friends. I most likely will find myself eating alone, or driving the streets alone, or doing something else rather lonely. Friends will call and say they miss me, but they will feel so far away, and I'll just be more lonely. But there are always people who are willing to become your new family, if you'd just take the steps towards them.

Treasure the places that you belong. Invite people in, because there is always someone feeling like an outsider around you, one person who needs to be included... and they might just be really really fun :).

Forever (God > Me)

I am tired today. God is never tired.
I went to sleep late. God never sleeps.
I painted some wood black. God painted the entire world and created ever color.
God also created trees.
I was born in 1983. God has existed forever.
I am six feet tall. God is infinite.
I play music. God created ears.
I listen to music. God created EARS.
I like my ears.
I hate waking up early. God NEVER sleeps.
I will die someday. God will exist forever.

I know God. I will be with him forever, because of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ has bridged the gap between me and forever.

Forever is so large, so hard to fathom. To think that His hand is in every aspect of everything we see, hear, feel, do, touch, smell, love, hate...

He PERMEATES our existence. He is OMNIPRESENT and we are where we are, most likely in front of a computer, slightly bored even while reading the greatest truths in the universe.

It's a lot to take in.


I want to be one of those crazy spiritual people. I want to be one of those people who sees God and feels God in every moment, in every breezy afternoon or painted desert twilight. I want to be one of those people who seems completely and totally different than everyone else in the room, one of those that makes people both uncomfortable and completely captivated by their "otherness" and peace.

I want to be the one who must have something wrong with him, because he just doesn't care about what people are supposed to care about. I want to be one of those people who doesn't care about dressing cool, one of those people comfortable in their own skin. I want to be one of those people who can stick to their convictions without wavering, even when everyone else is sure they are being too (legalistic, liberal, impractical, idealistic).

I want to be one of those crazy people. I want my actions to incite reactions, to live a provocative righteousness that puts hands and feet to words and melodies. I want to keep on singing, but I want to live those words out as soon as I get off the stage. I want to be one of those people that intimidates and inspires through a relentless and world-changing love that can only come from the Father.

I want to be so in love with Jesus that he becomes my identity, that I find my worth in Him. I want to live with a crazy, passionate love. I am tired of excuses and obligations that mean so very little in the grand scheme of things. I am tired of having a weak and ineffective love. I want to love everyone with a new kind of love, from a heart constantly in awe of the Creator and of His Creation. I want to climb a mountain and write a lyric, to ride the currents of a river and be inspired to music or prose. I want to live all out, and stop getting in my own way.

I want to experience a crazy love, a love that inspires me to act in ways that looks completely and utterly crazy to someone who hasn't experienced the same sort of love... because ultimately, that love is what people are looking for, and that love is the love that will change the world. It is a crazy love, and it is the love of the Father, given to us and shown though us.