amateur writings


My stories from small towns, many thanks to Ike

We left this morning at 5:45 to evacuate to our farm in Floresville from Ike. And it’s been quite the adventure already. First of all, let me say that I love small Texas towns, and I speak the truth in love here. I wish I could’ve taken pictures of some of these things, because they’re just so unique. Here are some of my small town experiences so far (I say so far because I’m sure I’ll have more before this trip is over.)
My first small town experience from this trip was when we stopped for a little second breakfast at a small bakery in Hallettsville. Let me just say that they have awesome kolaches at all these little Czech towns. So while I was standing in the bakery, I heard the local radio in the background of the restaurant. (Note to self: Always listen closely to small town radio news. You won’t fail to be entertained.) So, as I listened closer, I discovered that the sweet old man on the radio was reporting the large list of closures in the area. I thought it would be “The schools in our district are closed on Thursday and Friday,” or something like that. Well, I was pleasantly mistaken. They started out like that, but in a couple minutes they were more like “The Parker’s family reunion will be postponed until next Saturday,” “The annual picnic at First Baptist will be canceled until further notice,” and “Joe and Mary’s wedding scheduled for Saturday will be held in two weeks instead.” Oh, how I love small towns.
We started back on the road to Floresville and after a few minutes we passed through Shiner, TX. Another lovely small town. I’d love to swing at the swings in their city park. They look like high quality swings. Anyways, back to the point. Driving through there, I was stopped at a red light and there was a bank there with a scrolling marquee. At banks they’re pretty standard, you know? The time, temperature, and date will scroll by. Well, this town was showing their feelings toward the hurricane in the Gulf. After the date scrolled by, another line showed up: “Take a hike, Ike!” Another note to self: Remember that scrolling marquee’s always produce quotable lines.
A couple signs I saw on the way were quite awesome. “Watermelon Jubilee” in Stockdale. “Children will play chimes in both services Sunday” at one of the local churches in Floresville. I also found some really cool product names at Wal-Mart: a gummy snake at least 3 feet long called “Big Fat Hissee Fit,” Universal Bike Tires…that come in 16”, 20”, 24” and 28”. (What?) And a couple salons: “Curl up and Dye,” and “Hair I am.” (Now I know for a fact that you can find names like that all over the place, but I’m just reporting these now, because they were a part of my experience this trip. But when I was in Uganda we came across the “Heavy Duty Bakery.” Wow, really?) And while we were setting up the lawn mower here at the farm, the instructions warned us “Caution: Gasoline is flammable.” Good to know. One thing I do salute them for here is one of my biggest pet peeves: the spelling of y’all. It’s a contraction of you and all. Not ya’ll, y’all. That’s one thing I do appreciate about small towns.
I thought my exciting experiences were done for the day after driving here, Olivia’s (a really good local Mexican restaurant) for lunch, and then driving around looking for a lawn mower for sale. But no, they were far from over. So I get back to the farm, and I had to go to the bathroom. So I go in, open the seat, and there, curled around several times, just making himself at home was a very large black snake. I’m not exaggerating, it was a very large snake. I’m not really a big fan of snakes. Especially when they’re locked in a small room with me. Needless to say, I haven’t used that toilet again.
So here I sit on the porch. Fixin’ to go down to the local Mickey D’s to get free wifi. Looking out over the farm, listening to Nanci Griffith sing
“I wanna ride the waves down in Galveston when the hurricanes blow in, cause that Gulf Coast water tastes sweet as wine when you’re heart’s blowin’ home in the wind,” waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. I’m sure I’ll have more stories soon. I love evacuating.


Life as an Intern

So this summer I worked as an intern in the Multimedia department at my church. My main project was working on interviews with the mission teams from our church. I used a CD recorder and, as the teams got back from various trips all summer, I did a short audio interview with a few people from each group. Then I edited those down to be audio for usually two short videos, collected the pictures from the group and put those behind the audio. Throw in a few lower thirds, some background music, an intro and outro and *tadah!* you've got my summer project. I got to use Final Cut Pro for the editing and Digital Juice stuff for the background music and graphics. It was a great experience. From interviewing the people who went on the trips, seeing their passion and how excited they get when they get to talk about their trip, to finishing up the videos and seeing how far they came and how all that work really paid was all good. Hopefully some of them will be up on the church's website soon, so I'll be able to put a link to them on here. Along with this main project, I learned how to use about a million different programs at the church. Great experience. Well, that's all I've got for now. Hope you enjoy the videos and I'll have some more stuff up before long!



My group from Camp Wild...

Sound Foundation...

Brad always takes my guitar...

Sophomore girls building our awesome octopus...

After the fact...


Ninja power-ranger white rafting crew...

My "friend" for 80's friend night at camp...

I'm such an 80's model...

Yes, I do know all the words to Jesus Freak, thank you very much...


Friends... : )

80's friends... : )

Hiking a freaking mountain...



I realized I haven't posted on here in a while, so I figured I'd do a brief summary of this summer. It's been crazy busy. It all started off with working at Camp Wild in Galveston again. I worked there last year and I still had a blast this year. Those kids are so fun! Right after that I worked at Basketball Camp at my church. I was so exhausted, but it was still really fun. And I was filming the whole week, so that was fun. Straight from Basketball Camp we left for Highlight Choir Tour in Corpus Christi. That was so relaxing and laid back. Really nice after two weeks of working with elementary schoolers. Chill at the largest pool in Texas, hang out on the beach, build sandcastles, try to skimboard, play guitar, sleep in. It was so nice. After that I had a week "off." Off of traveling that is. I still had to work.
The next Sunday we started our 23 hour bus ride to church camp at Silvercliff, CO. Beautiful. The bus ride was really long, but it was still good to talk to all my friends and such. And then the camp. It was just awesome. Best camp yet, by far. I don't even know where to start. There were about 90 kids from my church and we met up with kids from FBC Rockwall. Don Vanderslice was the pastor and he was absolutely amazing. I had to sit back and process everything he said after each talk. Fike and Dana were the worship leaders and they were really good. Then the atmosphere just couldn't have been better. I mean, it's Colorado. 80's friend night. Hiking a freaking mountain. Awesome. Then this last week was Master's Singers. I wrote about it last year, so if you wanna know all the gory detail you can read that post. This year was really good. A lot different than last year, but still really good. I learned a lot from it. Both musically and otherwise. It's just an amazing experience.
So that's my summer so far. I've still got a trip to Oaxaca coming up in August and then a little rest before school starts back up. Ugh. I love summer. I love rest. Anyways, just a little update from me. Oh, and I'll put up some pictures from the summer so far. Enjoy!




Okay, so I went to this Transforming Culture conference this week. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it inspired me to put some of my videos I've made/edited on YouTube, I have a youtube site. Go here, watch some videos, comments would be nice. Hopefully I'll get more and more up as time progresses. Well, I just thought I'd start gettting the word around! Check it out!


Oh, I am wrong and of these things I repent...

I repent, I repent of my pursuit of America's dream
I repent, I repent of living like I deserve anything
Of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
In our suburb where we're safe and white
Oh, I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent, I repent of parading my high liberty
I repent, I repent of paying for what I get for free
And of the way I believe that I'm living right
By trading sins for others that are easier to hide
Oh, I am wrong and of these things I repent

And I repent of judging by a law that even I can't keep
Of wearing righteousness like a disguise
To see through the planks in my own eyes

I repent, I repent of trading truth for false unity
I repent, I repent of confusing peace and idolatry
Of caring more of what they think than what I know of what we need
Of domesticating you until you look just like me
Oh, I am wrong and of these things I repent

So this last weekend a group of about 15 or so youth and sponsors from our church went to this thing called Poverty Simulation in Waco, TX sponsored by Mission Waco. We had no idea what to expect and I have to admit, I was quite skeptical. But by the end of the weekend I had learned and been made aware of so much more than before I went.
One of the many things I learned was how much stuff we take for granted and how much we really don't need at all. By the end of the weekend I've never been more grateful for my toothbrush, my bed, my car and other little things like chapstick and sunscreen. To get sunburned not because I forgot to put on sunscreen or because I didn't want to, but because I didn't have any was a completely new thing to me that I'd never really thought about before.
Another thing I learned that I'd never really thought of this way before was that we're here in America with all this stuff not because we deserve it, but because this is where God put us. He could have just as easily made me be born in the slums in Africa somewhere, but he put me here. He put us all here in America. We're not just lucky. We're blessed. And that's not to say that those born in the slums in Africa somewhere are not blessed, because it says in Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor." Andrew Peterson says it well in his song Land of the Free:
"'Cause I'm just a little jealous of the nothing that you have, you're unfettered by the wealth of the world that we pretend is gonna last. They say God blessed us with plenty, but I say you're blessed with poverty. 'Cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free."
So those are just a few of the things I learned this weekend. And the Derek Webb song describes a lot of the other things I discovered and I'm sure others did as well. If I described all the things I learned it would take way to long and you would get bored of reading by then, so I'll just stick with that. Oh, and I have to mention that Church Under the Bridge was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. I'm not going to describe it because as I said before it would take way to long and you'd probably get bored reading. Oh, and I'm headed off to the Transforming Culture conference in Austin this week, so maybe I'll post on here later this week about that! So many writings, so little time. So I guess that's all for now. Maybe I'll write another time about more things from this weekend, but for now I'm signing off.



I am still running...

Okay, so I've been loving Jon Foreman's new EP's. Fall & Winter...check them out. Anyways, somehow I found this video on youtube where someone has set clips from Forrest Gump to Jon's song "I am still running." It fits perfectly and it's really cool. I liked it, so I thought I'd share it with everyone! Here you are:

That's all for now!




Check out the video at about 1:15. You might see some people you recognize. : )

Gotta love Switchfoot! They're awesome guys. One of the best nights ever.