Moving

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, but I have a good reason for that. A lot has been happening over the past few weeks, a lot of life changing decisions have been made and I can now say that on August 28, 2011 my wife and I will be packing up, driving across the country and will be moving to my hometown of Cumberland, Maryland.

We have started packing which is an adventure in itself, but the real adventure will be our 8 day road trip. Here’s what it looks like:

Day 1 – Camarillo, California to Las Vegas, Nevada

Day 2 – Las Vegas to Provo, Utah

Day 3 – Provo to Casper, Wyoming

Day 4 – Casper to Rapid City, South Dakota (we are going a little out of the way because we’ve always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore!)

Day 5 – Rapid City to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Day 6 – Sioux Falls to Moline, Illinois

Day 7 – Moline to Dayton, Ohio

Day 8 – Dayton to Cumberland, Maryland

I will most definitely be blogging and uploading pictures from the trip because not only will it be my wife and I, our 5 trusty dogs will traveling with us.

Why are we moving to Maryland you may ask? Well, I accepted a job at Cumberland Community Church as an associate pastor overseeing high school, middle school and children. I’m super stoked because we were able to go back and visit two weeks ago and everyone we met was awesome. I’m looking forward to getting to know the students and being a part of their lives. Lots of different ideas are running through my head like starting a weekly podcast, developing a website specifically for the youth and installing a disc golf course at the house we’ll be living at.

Totally random but I’m also really excited to be living where it snows. Here’s to a white Christmas this year.

 

 

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I was in a band once – Part 2: Songwriter

Once I opened the door to songwriting, it was as if the floodgates burst. I started writing songs all the time. Some were horrible and were quickly forgotten but some were quality and I still play them from time to time when I pick up a guitar. One thing I learned as I began my songwriting phase is that when you write a song, you want someone to hear it! I wanted an ear to listen to what I had to say. The songs I was writing were conveying emotions, stories, my heart was being poured out and I needed someone to catch it.

At first I would play songs for friends who would take the time to listen, but as the months went on I wanted to take them to a broader audience. I started playing at a church on Sunday mornings with some friends. We would do some worship songs and as a thank you the pastor would take us out for milkshakes. These types of things broadened my spectrum about who else at my campus played and sang and through that I learned about places where I might be able to play.

I kept writing so I had a repetoire of decent songs that I thought people would enjoy, but I also learned a few cover songs that people would recognize. My first year in college came to a close and I had yet to play a show but I knew I would be ready when the fall came. That summer while I was home in Maryland I continued to write and I began to play some solo songs during youth group as special music. I would bring my guitar and sing songs for my hometown friends to get their feedback. My confidence in my songs and my voice grew and finally the summer drew to close and I went back to Florida ready to share my music with the college scene.

I was able to schedule a few gigs around Lakeland and to my surprise people came. Not just my close friends, but people I didn’t know! Most of the times there were a few different acts playing so I started off opening up the shows and I tried to include friends (playing bongo’s or singing with me) but as time went on I was pushed back later in the show’s lineup until finally I was the closing act a few times. People actually stayed through all the other singers to hear me. I was ecstatic. Songs continued to be written, I had inspirating coming in from all areas and I was enjoying the singer/songwriter life. 

Then one night a few of us guys got together to jam. It sounded good, we blended together well, we planned another night to play together, and in the back of all of our minds we started thinking about band names…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

No it’s not Christmas, no it’s not Valentine’s Day, no it’s not Thanksgiving, it’s baseball season. The 2010 season is upon us and I couldn’t be happier. Every fan has the greatest expectations for their team, even if its the Baltimore Orioles (don’t worry I grew up a fan!), because a new season means new hope.

I grew up in Maryland during the Cal Ripken era and was a black and orange Orioles fan, but since I moved to the greater Los Angeles area my blood has turned blue. I have become a die hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan (Mannywood and all!). The last two seasons have been great except for those blasted Phillies. Anyway, there is nothing quite like walking into Dodger Stadium for the first time in a new season. “Think Blue” on the hillside of Chavez Ravine, the lights of downtown glowing in the early evening, the crack of the bat and the thump of a ball landing in a glove, Dodger Dogs and garlic fries, and the list of wonderful things could go on and on.

163 games or so from now most fans will be gearing up for a long, cold winter, but I’m hoping that baseball here in southern California goes deep into October.

For those who don’t know me, a quick overview

I was born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland for the first 17 years of my life. I have a lot of great memories of growing up there and I have a lot of friends from there who have grown up and scattered themselves around the world. I spent two years after high school living in Lakeland, Florida going to college. It was an interesting time and I learned a lot about life and God. While I was home I saw a choir from Africa and my life was completely altered. The next 3 years of my life was consumed with traveling around the world as a sound technician and “father” to children from all over the wonderful continent of Africa. Finally, after years of touring with Africans I moved there and spent 3 years living in Uganda. I traveled around East Africa working with numerous organizations and lots of children. It was the most amazing time, loving these kids and showing the love of Jesus to them on a daily basis. I’ve made friends from all over the world along the way and even though I don’t get to see them much, they are still great friends. In October of 2005 I met my future wife while in Uganda and a few years ago ended up moving to southern California where she was from and I have been living here ever since. We’re happily married now and we’re loving it!