You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2008.

It helps to know people.

Ryan and Julie are the only other people in our church that are our age, so we’ve spent the past year trying to get to know them better.

We’ve been out to lunch several times – – usually after church on Sunday afternoons. One such afternoon, we realized that all four of us were wanting to have a yard sale. So, we thought, why not have one together?

A couple weeks later, we borrowed a few tables, woke up at an ungodly hour, ate a delicious McDonald’s breakfast (which always tastes better before your dinner has digested), and set up our most prized possessions from singlehood on our friends’ lawn.

The turnout was great. After I had donated half my book collection to some Ebay pirate, Ashley had gotten rid of clothes that were still in style only on “Saved by the Bell” reruns, and we had finished off an entire pitcher of Kool-Aid, we called it quits. Our cheeks were rosy with some extra freckles, and after five hours in the Nashville heat (yes, even in September), we decided that eating a lunch of hotdogs and burgers within the confines of an air-conditioned home sounded pretty good. The day yielded some extra cash that we put towards our new membership at the YMCA, along with quality time spent with our new friends.

Why all this back story? Well, the same lunch at which we decided to do a yard sale, Ryan and Julie invited us to a Switchfoot concert. Switchfoot’s current tour is called “Music Builds Tours” (also featuring Jars of Clay, Third Day, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band), and for every major city they visit, they partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a new home.

A few weeks after the yard sale, Ryan and Julie picked us up at our apartment, and we all rode downtown together to attend the show. Did I mention that this was a free show, compliments of Ryan’s high-rolling uncle who has a special suite that comes with stocked drinks and all-you-can-eat popcorn? Of course, I didn’t. It wouldn’t be climactic that way. I’ll admit that I walked into the auditorium with my head held high. For the first time ever, we arrived at a concert and didn’t have to wait in line (except for when we met Jon Foreman).

Jars opened up, and by the time they were done with their set, we had already consumed one bowl of popcorn. Even if you’re not a Jars of Clay fan, I recommend seeing them, because they usually put on a solid rock show. We were then introduced to Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Randolph, a slide guitar virtuoso, and his bandmates reminded me of the Allman Brothers, but with more soul. He was joined by some incredible musicians (all of which switched instruments several times), including special guests (his sister and pastor). It was basically a church service – they sang, danced, shouted, and even jumped for joy. They didn’t have to say the name “Jesus” or offer up any pious prayers for us to know what they were about.

Next, the stage was graced by Switchfoot, which is always a pleasure to hear. It seems that Jon is getting a bit more mystical in his thirties, but overall it was a Switchfoot show, which is synonymous with “freakin’ awesome.”

Following Switchfoot, a couple Mountain Dews, and another container of popcorn, we decided to walk around the Sommet Center for awhile. Once the stage was set for Third Day, we returned after absorbing the smells of the concessions, hung out for a few songs.

We thanked Ryan and Julie for an amazing opportunity and later reflected on all the blessings we’ve experienced since we got married in January. I don’t know how people struggle with arrogance when it comes to blessings, because I could never believe that I deserved all this. I can only say “thank you.”

Tonight, Ashley surprised me with a random date to the bowling alley. We shared a pizza and took turns beating each other, while getting yelled at by everyone else who was there for “League Night” and were taking themselves a bit more seriously than we were.

Since it was a date night, and I knew I’d have to write a blog, I was taking all kinds of artsy pictures and following Ash around to get a live-action shot… until I was told, “There’s no flash photography on league night.”

OK, cool. That’s understandable. Flashes can be distracting, after all. Maybe ten minutes later, I was taking a no-flash pic of my wife as she was making her way to throw another strike when some pudgy guy who must’ve been with the “United Association of Bowlers” or something told me that my standing in an unused lane was a distraction to the league guys.

Well, jeez. That’s a bit much, I thought. Talk about a kill-joy. But we didn’t let that get the best of us. We finished up our second game, packed up, and drove home.

In the parking lot of our apartment complex, we had a great conversation about our marriage so far and this season of life we’re in; I told Ash how I was learning to embrace the blessing of not having to do a lot right now and just being able to enjoy life together.

I don’t know much about marriage at this point, but I do know this – – we can’t always control our circumstances, but we can learn to love life, even at bowling alleys on nights when flash photography isn’t allowed.

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Christian music is something I am passionate about.  It’s great to work for a company like Provident Music Group that puts out product that you believe in and know that it’s helping others.

What you may, or may not know, is that Provident Music Group also has a films division, Provident Films.  I am also proud to be a part of that.  And Provident Films just put out a great movie that opened tonight… FIREPROOF.

This movie stands for the convenant of marriage, and that’s something that doesn’t seem to be taken so seriously today… including in our government or in the media. It’s something I believe so strongly in.

Whether you are married or not, struggling or having great days, this movie is for you.  It’s a great, real depiction of what marriage can be like… and how to fight for it.  It’s also a great picture of relationship in general and a great lesson on love.

Please go see it.  And not just because it provides a bit of job security for me 🙂

I’m kidding… kind of 🙂

Somewhere we missed a recap of August… and it’s almost time for a recap of September. Wow.

August started out with Jeff hosting a youth group from Atlanta for a brief mission trip. The group was led by a college buddy, Dale, and Jeff enjoyed being able to minister with the kids at the Nashville Rescue Mission and serving at a shelter.

You get a free bottle of Coke at the end of your tour!

I finally made my trip to Georgia! Jeff took me down to see AIM and meet more of the staff. We stayed with the Goodes, and they were wonderful hosts! It was so great to spend so much time with the family. And Heather threw a wonderful dinner party where I got to get to know even more AIM people. It was long over due, and I hope it won’t take two years for me to get back down there again.  We were also able to spend an afternoon touring the World of Coco-Cola and eat at The Sun Dial Restaurant.

The following weekend we went to my company’s picnic. Like last year, Provident reserved a party deck at the Nashville Sounds stadium (minor league baseball), where we ate typical baseball food and got to see Brandon Heath perform before the game.

And we ended the month and started the next with a wonderful long weekend in OKC visiting our great friends, the Damerys. We spent the weekend sight seeing, eating food and playing Phase 10.  We’ve already discussed making a joint purchase – – a helicopter – – so that we could do weekends and dinners more often.  If you find this a worthy cause, you may donate by letting us know through leaving a comment.  🙂