May 9, 2008

Peace to the People

Good Friday to you all.
Yes, the above picture is my PEACE TO THE PEOPLE image that is sure to bring you great comfort and serenity.
My friend Zach sent me the picture and i thought it was humorous, especially seeing my friend Brandon Heath look on in agreement (look closely).

So that explains what's above.
Below, you ask?

This is an interview with the well known blogger, Kat ( and i thought i'd share with the tens of you who stumble upon my ramblings and can't click away fast enough.
(*and no, this is not me interviewing myself, but the mere thought of it just now makes me wonder at the possibilities)

so here we go:

--- What inspired the theme of Give Yourself Away? ---

First off, thanks for the invite to your blog kingdom.
Your reputation precedes this written exchange as one who is loved by thousands if not dozens of readers everywhere - and my wife likes you which carries value far beyond monetary measure.
Give Yourself Away was supposed to be my album, with my songs and my vision. God told me to screw off, in a Godly way of course, and He began to cross my path repeatedly with those in great need in situations where i couldn't turn my back and pretend all was well in happy land.
My life, my church and the music we were writing couldn't escape the grasp of mission and the idea that Jesus calls us all to something bigger than just prosperity and peace.
The storms of poverty and illness is waiting for Jesus followers to drive in and take up residence under dark clouds of sacrifice and little reward - and those basic premises of faith became the foundation for the new album.

--- Based on the theme of the album (and many of your wife's blog posts - one of which really resonated with me - was titled How Can We Not Move?), there's seems to be a lot of passion in your family for those in need. How has that affected the way you live and your daily perspective? ---

Well, I'm still a selfish pig, if that's what you're asking.
I wish it weren't true.
I'm still fuming this morning as my skim milk latte was not to my liking and i considered sharing my deep frustration with the barista. Luckily I was rescued from myself in such a weak moment by Kanye West.
"i've never heard Kanye playing in a coffee shop," i blurted aloud to no one in particular, though the unqualified young barista stared back with eternal blankness.
Kanye rarely leads to moral victories or even anger restraint in any scenario, however the unique combination of coffee and "Stronger" gave me reason to laugh aloud and recognize what a idiot I was becoming over a latte.

Truthfully, what has surfaced is a new tension in our lives - the collision of what is comfortable & self serving and what is giving & selfless.
Jesus has a call on each of our lives not to fill our pockets or fill our cups with lattes. Rather the call pulls us to the poor, the broken and requires us to extend the grace that has been life changing in our own lives.

If i wake up on days without that tension, i'm useless. I love reading about Peter. He embodied this tension in scripture and it seemed to follow him until his last days. He was a mess, much like myself, but on that struggle and ensuing honesty inside of an imperfect man, God built the church. So, maybe there's hope for strugglers like me.

--- What's the song behind the story for New Day? ---

The song was supposed to be my token pop song.
I went to an Nsync concert a few years back..there, you have it. my musical influence confession of the day. That's been weighing on me and now its finally in the open. (the ticket was free from a friend, if that makes it anymore digestable for your readers)

I saw girls waving their cell phones in the air like they just don't care -- I thought to myself, "I gotta do that".
So a few months later I began writing New Day but it really turned into a song for Liz and our life together thus far.
We used to dance in the kitchen, not very well i might add, in her parents home growing up.
I think her Dad thought that keeping us in the kitchen was better than us making out on the couch. True enough.
Its really a song about hope and though the world seems to be such a mess these last few years, love is strong and i'm thankful to have people in my life to share it with.
I've been thrilled about the response to the song thus far.

Oh, and its about coffee..we love coffee!

--- How do you manage your roles as a touring artist, a worship leader at your church, Ecclesia, as well as a husband and a father of 3? ---

It's hard.
That balance is always out of balance it seems.
Somebody usually suffers from most of the decisions I have to make in how i spend my time and energy.
The gift to me is that our church community is so giving and supportive of what we do.
My kids have come to know this life as normal, though i drive through the nights to get back to them - and time away from them is my greatest wrestle within.
Liz puts up with so much crap from me and my schedule, i owe her a thousand vacations to tropical places, with umbrellas drinks.
I truly never thought I'd ever be this busy in my lifetime, but I love every minute of it and I've been extended mountains of grace from everyone in my life to do this.

--- What artists are you listening to? Any indie artists you recommend? ---

Gatlin Elms will be a household name one day.
I just produced his album with him and he's fantastic.
Look for his album "Oceans & Stars" on iTunes.

One of my favorite singers just did an album with me, Jill Paquette. It was such a thrill to produce music alongside such a talented musician. I haven't heard a release date yet but hoping its soon. She's amazing!

I really enjoy Chris Taylor's new album as well. He's a new artist on BEC and is a great young songwriter.

Of course when I"m driving, I listen to a lot of music -- usually Jon Foreman, Amos Lee, Patty Griffin, John Mayer & Elliot Morris.

--- If you weren't a musician what kind of career would you have? ---

quit laughing.
When the CIA comes looking for a college dropout musician with no espionage experience or skill -- I'm their man and I'll get my spy on 24/7.

--- What are your hobbies outside of music? ---

My days are full so I usually spend free time hanging with my 3 crazy punk kids and my much smarter, wiser, and all around better human of a wife - Liz. We watch The Office and eat Tex-Mex.
I love Astros baseball games, the beach & George Clooney movies (does that make me a wuss? my wife says its a man crush..)

--- If you were a Major League Baseball Player, what would your at-bat song be and who would you play for? ---

uh, the Astros..hello! :)

I would be baseball's first reincarnated player, returning as a modern day Craig Biggio.

At bat song?
It would have to alternate between -- 'Fly Me to the Moon' by Frank Sinatra (this is my favorite song of all time, btw - it would be so out of place, the pitcher would be distracted, throw me a 90mph fastball down the middle and the rest would be Astros history)

Also, 'Get Up' by James Brown -- i love this song.

Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

RickHopes said...

For the schedule/time limits in all of our lives, it's your decision & life, just a suggestion to give your wife veto power over your travel, etc. That's something that might work if you don't have others travelling with you. So maybe not so great a suggestion, whatever...