My brother just came out of something really painful. What’s weird about it is that I pretty much went through the exact same thing several years before he did. What’s weirder still is that as we talked about his situation, he had no clue that I had been through a similar event. You see, I had never told him.

It wasn’t because I didn’t want him to know. Sure, I was feeling bad about it, but it wasn’t that I didn’t want him to know. It wasn’t even that he wasn’t around, as we lived in the same house at the time!! I had just done a bad job of being transparent and sharing my life. I wasn’t telling my stories.

Revelation 12:11 says, “And they (being us, as believers) overcame him (the devil and his wiles) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” This Scripture says that we overcome by 2 things: the blood of Christ, and the word of our testimony. Read: we overcome partly by SHARING OUR STORY.

This is fascinating. We will have victory in our lives not by pretending to have it all together or by living in cloistered closets, but by sharing the good and the bad of our lives with others. The ups and the downs; the highs and lows; the hills and valleys. Everything that is our story.

As a worship leader, I hear from folks often who really think that I have it all together. I guess they just assume that since I’m elevated off the ground by 12-24″ and have a microphone with a cord going into some speakers that I’m somehow different! When I hear stuff like this I wonder if I’m doing a bad job of being real. Truly, I believe that it is by being transparent and sharing our stories (both the testimonies of God’s faithfulness and the disappointments of life in a fallen world) helps people OVERCOME.

Jesus cried in front of His disciples. Sure, there were plenty of stories to share about God’s faithfulness, but there were moments of tears too. He wasn’t afraid to show His sorrows as well as His joys.

The truth is, if I hadn’t gone through that painful season of my life, I would not have the countless blessings that I now have. I’m on the other side now! It was great sharing from this side, but I learned a bit today that I need to share “the word of my testimony” at all times, in all seasons. And because I went through that season of life, I’m able to give encouragement and comfort to someone who feels a bit disillusioned. I’m able to help someone overcome.



Playing At the Indy State Fair Memorial Service…

On Saturday, August 13th, 2011, the main stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed. With it, 5 people lost their lives and many more were seriously injured. Most of us at home sat  in front of our TVs just in shock. It was awful to watch as they played the same video clips over and over again. How could this have happened?

Here’s something you may not have seen in the news reports though: without even a second’s thought, dozens and dozens of concertgoers rushed not to the exit, but straight to the stage to lend a hand. You see, many of the people in the front rows were trapped underneath the rubble. No one knew exactly what to do, but these heroes that rushed forward knew they had to do something. Suddenly, someone yelled out “lift on three!” “1, 2, 3!!” All of a sudden, the crowd was pulling people out, getting them to medical personnel, and sticking it out to make sure no one was left behind. It was amazing to see.

It truly left me with a sense of awe. Wow, what would I have done? Would I have run to the exit, or to the stage? I felt so proud to be a Hoosier that night, and I still do today. That is true heroism.

The next day, Sunday, the news reports had confirmed that 5 folks had lost their lives in the incident and that there would a memorial service held in their honor. Shortly after, we were contacted by a friend to see if we would be willing to play during this service. Both Amanda and I felt honored to be asked to apart of such a service and of course said “yes.”

We decided early on that “Fail Us Not” would be the most fitting song. This song does not deny the existence of tragedy, but doesn’t end the story with it either. It boldly declares that God is above all things, and faithful throughout. Dr. William Enright’s words at the memorial seemed to echo the sentiment perfectly. I thought what he had to say was beautiful and powerful (you can view his message at the service by clicking here). 8:59pm on Saturday was horrible for sure, but it shall not be the last word.

I don’t get nervous often when we play, but I was incredibly nervous at the memorial. Honestly, I didn’t even know that the service was going to be televised nor did I know that it would be covered by so many news sources. I wasn’t nervous because of that. I was nervous because as I looked out at the crowd and saw people’s faces, I wanted to say something meaningful and hopeful to them. I wanted “Fail Us Not” to bring God’s peace in the midst of their grief and despair. I wanted them to have hope.

It is always tough when you are playing a song and you see people crying. You’re not sure if you’re helping or hurting. In the midst of these times, I am always aware that it’s not about me, but that God is in our midst and He is active. He is moving and touching. Honestly, I don’t know if “Fail Us Not” was helpful or not, but I know that the God that we sing of is an “ever-present help in times of trouble.” To be sure, Psalm 46 speaks beautifully…

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The service was closed out by all of us singing “Amazing Grace:”

When we’ve been there (heaven) 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun…

Our tragedies are real and they can be awful. But they are not the last word. Praise God that He reserves that right and that He will make all things new, and set everything aright.

Peace be to you,

The Story Behind the Song “It Could Be Me”

Hey friends, thought you might enjoy hearing a bit of background on the new single!

Filming a Music Video

So, some of you may know that we are about to release the first single off our upcoming album: “Wrecked For the Ordinary.” “It Could Be Me” hits radio stations on July 15th. In the meantime, we shot a music video for the song yesterday.

Honestly, I strongly dislike most music videos. When I go to workout at the gym, they play constant videos featuring content that usually has almost nothing to do with the actual song. Actually, most of the time it’s some girl’s big butt wagging in front of the camera with shots of some sweaty guys head banging, or some dude driving a 5.0 wearing a LOT of gold chains. 😉 Back in 2009 when we were told that we had to shoot a video for “Fail Us Not,” I said, “we’ll only do it if it actually serves the song well, and can stand on its own as something powerful and life-giving to people.” I’m very proud of what came out (“Fail Us Not” can be viewed by clicking here).

I took the same philosophy for this song as well. I wasn’t interested in creating something that couldn’t stand on its own; something that 10 years from now, we would still be proud of. I can’t wait to show you the output! Without giving away the whole video, I’m hopeful that it will serve to be used to inspire and create compassion.

The only thing I will share for now is that we did a shot out in an open field of us playing (no, we don’t usually play by ourselves in golden fields but it was a gorgeous backdrop to show how we play the song). Trouble for us was, this field was RAVAGED with mosquitoes. I cannot even begin to tell you how much “Off” we are wearing in that shot. Seriously, we are DRENCHED in it.

In between takes, we were running all over that field, swatting mosquitoes away from our eyes. The 1-2 punch of sweat and “Off” made for a strong passion to hurry up and finish the shot so we could get home and shower! Even now, I am itching my arms and back.

Though you’ll never see those pesky insects on camera (they are just too small), know that every shot of this upcoming video was done with passion! We really want it to be amazing!

“It Could Be Me” (the song) will be available for purchase at iTunes July 15th. The video will be out on August 2nd.

Happily showered,

My Top 3 Online Videos

So, we (1000 Generations) have done quite a few webisodes videos over the past few years (37 to date). I’ve created a number of these myself. Some of them I thought were pretty hilarious, and others inspiring. On your day before the weekend, I thought I’d share with you my favorite 3 1000 Generations’ videos:

I could NOT stop laughing as we filmed this. I even had to edit out some of my chuckling in the audio. This guy absolutely busted me.

I am so proud of this video. When we were first told that we had to shoot a music video for “Fail Us Not,” I was horrified. I thought it would end up being either really cheesy, or completely unrelated. I’m so happy we all came up with a concept that fit the song, and then had friends come out who wanted to share their stories vulnerably. If you want to hear more of their stories, you can find them on our YouTube site.

What can I say? Amanda makes me laugh!

What are your favorites?

Happy Friday everyone,