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JFH Staff Blog | September 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Featured Fan - John D'Agostino

John D'Agostino - "Me in my room with MOST of my dc talk merch.  The photos on the sides are other parts of my room which I couldn't fit into one picture.  Then me with Kmax and tobyMac"

 

Favorite Band/Artist: DC Talk
Featured Fan: John D'Agostino
Location: Arlington Heights, IL
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: My room, at a Chicago signing (w/Kevin Max), and backstage at Shinefest 06 (w/tobyMac)
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: My older brother gave me his Jesus Freak CD when I was third grade, and I haven't heard anything better to this day.
Favorite Album by This Artist:  I hate to say Jesus Freak because that's everyone's answer, but... Jesus Freak. And as far as solo projects go - either Momentum (TobyMac) or The Imposter (Kevin Max).
Favorite Song by This Artist: "I Luv Rap Music".... just kidding.  It changes daily, every song has been my favorite song at one time.
Favorite Live Show Experience: The WHOLE dc talk solo concert in '01.  They all came out before the show for a radio interview and Toby gave me a high five (I was 10).
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: dc Talk: 1, tobyMac: 10 (and I just preordered tickets to another one in November)
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Jesus Freak CD - it's what started it all for me.
Your Website (Facebook/Twitter/Blog): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdbPg4eQq7c - A video about my journey to meet Kevin Max (which also features some shots of my room)

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pop Rally Tour wrap up - All good things come to an end

And as soon as it began, it was over. The Pop Rally Tour featuring TgT and Satellites & Sirens has ended. It was a very interesting, exciting, and exausting twelve days, but one thing is certain, God was with us every step of the way! We met so many amazing new friends, and saw some amazing places/things for the first time (Punxsutawny Phil, Scranton, PA, the state of Maine, lobster). It was quite a time for us as a band.

Of the many things I'll be taking from this tour, one thing that really affected me was the amazing hospitality our bands recieved while on the road. When you do this sort of thing 150-200 dates a year, there's truly an air of uncertainty that follows you. Sometimes never really knowing when you'll be sleeping in a bed again as opposed to your trusty sleeping bag, or if dinner is going to be the pop tarts Mom sent along with you, or a home cooked meal. I thank God that at every stop, every need was met. I can tell you that my heart was filled with joy by people I had only met that same day. God's love is as real as ever, and in that week and a half, I saw it in action. What a blessing to know that as we continue to travel and all that, that God will NEVER let us down! I'm thankful this day!

I'm also thankful for my beautiful wife and little baby girl. It's so good to see them as I return home. Nothing beats being able to come home from being blessed and seeing the two most amazing blessings God ever made, at least in my opinion ;-). But I can say that I'll miss them once again as TgT embarks on another run kicking off October 8th, entitled the Rebuild Your Love Tour. For the second half of the dates, we'll be joined by our friends in the Tampa, FL based duo Temple Veil. For all information on dates for that, please check out www.myspace.com/thegreattransparency. I'll be looking forward to sharing my daily thoughts with you during that time, and I've enjoyed sharing with you during this run! Be blessed, and stay safe out there!

love always,

Miah & TgT

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Anger Becomes Unforgiveness

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Is there someone you need to forgive? Are there names or faces that spring to mind whenever you become angry or frustrated? Who is it that has wronged you—wounding you and causing you to be cynical about your circumstances?

At times we rationalize our inability to let go of the pain we feel and to forgive others. We think that if we don’t constantly call our anger to mind, the offenders will go unpunished. If we don’t replay the evil they’ve done, it will be forgotten. In a sense, we believe our resentment and bitterness free us, but they really imprison us because they keep us focused on the people who hurt us.

Friend, if the Holy Spirit has identified a person or group of people that you need to forgive, it’s because He wants to free you from the devastation of unforgiveness. By holding on to your pain, you are not punishing the people who’ve wounded you. Rather, you’re only making what they’ve done to you exponentially worse.

In fact, when you refuse to let go of your bitterness towards others, you can become so afraid of being wounded again that you isolate yourself and shut yourself off from receiving the love you so desperately need. You forfeit the peace and joy that should rightfully be yours as a child of God by allowing memories of that person’s actions to torment you repeatedly. It affects everything in your life and may even cause long-term illnesses, emotional problems, and terrible conflicts with the people who love you.

It may be completely understandable that you’re angry and that you desire to be cautious around the individual or group that hurt you. You don’t want to be in that situation again, and you don’t want anyone else to be either. But you must understand forgiveness doesn’t mean you deny what happened to you—and it certainly doesn’t mean you allow the person who harmed you to abuse you again. Rather, you give the situation to the Father. You allow Him to heal you and set up healthy boundaries in your life.

As a child of God, you have the freedom and the ability to walk away from hurtful situations through forgiveness. Release the offender to the Lord and step out of the bondage. Make the choice to forgive others so that God can begin freeing you of the terrible consequences of unforgiveness.

Are you willing? If so, pray and open your heart to the Father. Don’t hold anything back. Allow the Lord to give you the strength to forgive, and receive the healing He wants to accomplish in your life.

Copyright 2010 In Touch Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org

Monday, September 20, 2010

Featured Fan - Josh Cowgill

Eric Newcomer, Tim Skipper, Josh Cowgill, and Jared Rigsby

 

Favorite Band/Artist: House of Heroes
Featured Fan: Josh Cowgill
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: Purple Door 2010 Jesusfreakhideout.com After Party
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: A Beatles and Relient K mix of awesome lyrics and musicianship, in which they mix in their faith, and it's an awesome combination
Favorite Album by This Artist:  The End Is Not The End
Favorite Song by This Artist: "The Invisible Hook"
Favorite Live Show Experience: Purple Door 2010 Main Stage
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: Twice
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Suburba vinyl, which was autographed
Your Website (Facebook/Twitter/Blog): http://www.facebook.com/godismyhome

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pop Rally Tour Days 7 and 8 - Tourists!!

Well, it's official. If our band wasn't the biggest collection of fans of The Office, then I don't know who is. Our stop today in Scranton, PA was certainly a memorable one. From eating lunch at the famous Alfredo's Pizza Cafe, to Chris getting pictures of every landmark that the "Electric City" has to offer, it was quite a day of tourism for the touring band. Day 8 actually started where Day 7 took place, in the absolutly gorgeous country of hilly Punxsutawny, PA, home to the world's most famous and influential groundhog.

Day 7 saw us play a wonderful show for some of the great folks of Punxsy, and we were fortunate to have stayed at the world famous Pantall Hotel, which was built in 1888. I gotta tell you that this place was amazing. It was right out of the mid-70's for sure, complete with classic radiator heating and actual keys to lock the room. Not those new-fangled key cards. It was just a great experience, capped off by seeing Phil up close before we left town.

I'll be checking in tomorrow from Whitefield, Maine. This will be my first time to this great state, and I fully intend to eat some real seafood, even if Jameson and Chris have to catch it for me. Have a great weekend everyone!

love always,

Miah & TgT

 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Featured Fan - Nathan Aufenkamp

Nathan Aufenkamp, Kody Kringstad and Soul Glow Activatur

 

Favorite Band/Artist: Family Force 5
Featured Fan: Nathan Aufenkamp
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: Lifelight 2010
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Not taking life too seriously, partying cuz jesus loves you
Favorite Album by This Artist:  Business Up Front/Party In The Back: Diamond Edition
Favorite Song by This Artist: Hmmm... "Keep The Party Alive?" "Put Ur Hands Up?" "Cadillac Phunque?" "Twas The Night Before Christmas?" "Luv Addict?" "Radiator?" I can't decide... lol
Favorite Live Show Experience: Lifelight Main Stage
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: FOUR!
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Crest Jersey Shirt
Your Website (Facebook/Twitter/Blog): youtube.com/natesmovies

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pop Rally Tour Day 6 - goodbye Maryland, hello PA

My greetings and salutations come to you today from Tommy's Grandparent's house in historic Canonsburg, PA, which of course is where the first modern Canon was used in combat, as well as photography. Anyone catch the funny there?

Monday, the tour stopped in Elkton, MD, a lovely town just minutes away from Delaware. And yes, in one way or another, all of us in TgT made sure we stopped in Delaware. Upon crossing the state line, I channeled the great Wayne Campbell and dryly proclaimed "Hi...I'm in Delaware." Something I've wanted to do all my life, really. But in all honesty, Delware is a wonderful state with lots to do, especially at the University of Delaware, which is where I got to spend some time the other night at a great coffee shop. The show was a good time, too. We played in a sports and entertainment complex that had it all: batting cages, laser tag, basketball courts, and all the ingrediants for a killer laser light disco dance party. Sadly, we did not get to challenge the Satellites & Sirens guys in laser tag, but rest assured, we will soon.

Last night, we had the great pleasure of playing alongside a great band with a lot of momentum right now in Ivoryline. Those guys are amazing, and play with quite a bit of passion. The venue is great too, the Blue Violet Cafe in Rochester, PA. Awesome people behind the ministry in the place, so if you ever are in that area, be sure to catch a show there. It's really cool. And some of the best home cooked food we've ever had! But on that note, nothing beats Grandma's cookin, and that's what we're about to have here at Tommy's G-ma's house, so I'll sign off for now and we'll see you tonight from the home of the world's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawny, PA!!

love always,

Miah & TgT

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pop Rally Tour Day 5 - Something Different

Hey everyone! We're in Frederick, Maryland tonight, and had a super rad time a the show tonight. However, I think I'm going to veer away from typical "tour talk" tonight and share a few things that God has been doing not only in the lives of us in TgT, but in the lives of people we've been meeting along out travels.

First and foremost, I'm so thankful to have a Savior who loves a loser like me enough that He lets me get into a smelly van with three of my best friends, allows us to go all over to play some rock music, and most importantly, we get to make all sorts of new friends. More recently, I've been blessed to have made some new friends through them having courage enough to approach me, someone they've never met before, and to share the burdens of their hearts. Through these times of sharing, and letting them know that I've been through so much in my own life, God allowed me to pray with these folks, and He moved in an awesome way! At Ignite Festival in Meadville, PA, I prayed with more people in that one day than any one show we've done that I can recall. His spirit was moving everywhere! It really blew me away. I thank God for those people that I talked to, and I know God has something amazing in store for them, as He does all of us I believe! As long as we stay faithful to following after Him, and learn the patience to allow Him to take control (a recurring theme within our camp as of late), then we'll be more effective in showing that same love and patience to those who need to know it and see it. On the note of following faithfully, I want to share with you one of my favorite passages of scripture from one of my favorites, the book of Psalms. I look to chapter 63: 1-8, where David prolcaims the following:

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.


One of the most frequently referenced passages, especially in contemporary worship music, there is, for my seeking heart, no better way to put how much we should be needing God everyday, and it puts it as plain as day why we NEED Him in our lives! SONICFLOOd's album Resonate contains a song aptly entitled "Fuel" that captures these verses and their meanings perfectly. To worship with David through this passage, I reccommend finding that song, and jamming it loudly! :-)

All this to say this: now more than ever, we need the fuel of God's love in our hearts. That fuel needs to feed the fire, so that we may burn bright, and as our band's name suggests, be so obviously full of love that people can see Christ just by looking at us. I praise God for that fuel, as it keeps us as a band going through al the crazy things and uncertainties that face touring bands. Take it from me, we're living proof that God's love and protection is real. Be patient, and let Him take control.

Might I say also that not only does God provide us with His fuel, but has always provided us with unleaded fuel so that we can keep coming to your towns, so praise God for never being stuck without gas! We'll see you along the next stop. :-)

love always,

Miah & TgT

 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pop Rally Tour Day 4 - The Ignite Festival

Good evening everyone! Tonight's entry comes from historic Edinboro, PA, home of Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle wrestling Bruce Baumgartner. Day 4 was just a blast to say the least, as the PRT took part in the 2010 edition of Ignite Festival, which took place in rural Meadville, PA. Friends, this was just a great time. So good to see so many great bands in one place, including Disciple, Shine Bright Baby, and our pals John Reuben and his mega-talented backing band. Also, the crowd was just a great, loud bunch who like to move. We like to move, so all was well with the world during the 30 minutes we had the stage. Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed a free day of fellowship, worship, and rock & roll. Thankfully, the rain held off until long after we had played, and decided to drop just as Decemberadio kicked off their rockin set, which included most all of the solo from Free Bird, which was impressive, and quite convienent. Why is that, you ask? Well for starters, it's a longstanding pet peeve for most bands, especially those of us who aren't exactly known for their "shredding", when you get those guys who shout for Free Bird in between songs. The closest we come is picking out some Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster riffs that, sadly, that guy probably won't recognize. So, Decemberadio went ahead and (masterfully) planned it into the set, and it was sweet. So good to see a legendary piece of rock music be done justice. But, I digress.
 
Day 4 capped off with some hang time backstage with the Satellites guys, and John Reuben's hilarious bass player (and fine indie-artist in his own right) Jonathan Hape. Now for some long-awaited sleep, and then it's off to Frederick, Maryland for Day 5. Last time we were passed through for a show, there was 12 actual feet of snow around, and we made the most of jumping and diving into every drift there was. What kind of hijinks will we get into in an early-fall setting? Tune in tomorrow night to find out! For now, be safe, be real, and be following this blog! Goodnight, dear friends, and God bless you!
 
love always,
 
Miah & TgT

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pop Rally Tour Blog Days 2 and 3

Hey there, users of the internet! Miah here, typing to you from Tommy's MacBook, and hanging out in safe, lovely, Port Huron, MI. WiFi has been avoiding us the past day or so, but we won the fight tonight lol. So first, a slight recap of Day 2.

Last night, Thursday 9/9, we played in Monroe, MI with our pals in Satellites & Sirens, and Michigan-based bands Cannons and The Undivided. It was a good time, and it was a nice early fall-outdoor show. Things were going along swimmingly until S&S took the stage. Technology proved to be too much for the band from the future as the sound system shut down on 3 separate occasions during their set. For me, it was both good and bad, as the first time the system shut off, S&S was playing my favorite song entitled "Breaking The Noise". So I suppose they really did end up "breaking the noise", eh? Oh boy, I crack myself up way too much sometimes lol. Nonetheless, it all worked out, and we all went along our merry way. Which brings us to today, also known as Day 3, here in Port Huron.

Day 3 has taught us two things: vans and click tracks hate TgT. It seems that every van we've ever had (all 2 of them) somehow ends up being really shaky, and we've done everything we know to do to make this not happen anymore. We think we finally got it, but this tours not over yet lol. And for all you techy people out there, take note that if you need cables, splitters, patches, cords, plugs, Tyco RC Maximum Heat, or anything technologically related, don't go to Radio Shack. Poor Jameson had to make 2 trips to get the same thing. Thankfully, it ended up working out just fine, and we had a rockin show in the Blue Water city. Also very cool to see and hang out with future tour mates Temple Veil, who you all need to check out for sure. But for now, we head to bed...at 12:47am...being the rock stars we are...as we leave bright and early for PA at 7am! Next stop for the Pop Rally Tour is Ignite Festival 2010 in Meadville, PA. After it's all said and done there, I'll be hittin ya with more news and views from the road!  See you at the shows!!

love always,

Miah

 

Pop Rally Tour Blog 1

Good morning, and greetings from the ever-trusty, never-rusty IBM ThinkPad! We're here in beautiful Canton, MI. Technically this could be considered a "Day 2" blog, but we'll make up for it tonight. Last night kicked off the much anticipated "Pop Rally Tour". We played a solo show here in Canton, MI last night, and it was amazing! What a great way to kick off a tour! It always blesses my heart to see kids moshing to TgT music. It gives me hope that we are as tough as we think we are. Haha. Anyway, more importantly than the kids attempts at hardcore dancing, was the fact that God showed up and worked in an awesome way in those lives that were there, including ours. Great time of worship, and not to mention there was an ice cream social right before we played....but being that I'm the singer....I wasn't allowed to have any! Not cool... ;)

Tonight though, we meet up with our buddies in Satellites & Sirens (www.myspace.com/satellitesandsirens) as they join us on the PRT. We'll be rockin it in Monroe, MI tonight, and after it's all said and done up there, I'll be giving you another cheerful update full of wit, whimsy, and...um...news about the band. Yeah. It's too early for me to be entertaining lol. Have a rockin day kids, and please keep requesting our single "Don't You Ever" everywhere! Talk to ya tonight!

Miah

 

Monday, September 06, 2010

We Recommend - Jars Of Clay, 'Much Afraid'

Much Afraid was actually one of the first albums I really got into. Although Jars Of Clay’s sophomore project isn’t as predominant as their classic self-titled debut, it still manages to stand on its feet. The first half of the album features great pop rock tunes like “Overjoyed,” “Fade To Grey,” and “Crazy Times.” The latter portion of the album (with the exception of a few ballads) takes on an almost indie feel which provides a lot of meat for listeners to chew on.  Of the previously mentioned ballads, “Tea And Sympathy” is not just an album highlight, it acts as one of most unforgettable Jars Of Clay songs ever (well, for me at least). Dan Haseltine also provides a impressive medium of simplicity, complexity, and vulnerability in his songwritting. The album won’t blow anyone away, but those who want a quiet getaway won’t want to pass up the band’s thoughtful lyrics or soft, intriguing music. - Nathaniel Schexnayder

Jars Of Clay
Much Afraid (1997)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "The band's brave sophomore project that offers thoughtful lyrics and soft, intriguing music." (Recommended by JFH's Nathaniel Schexnayder)
Perfect For: Worship, relationships, reassurance
Song Highlights: “Overjoyed,” “Tea and Sympathy,” and “Truce”

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Much Afraid? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Texas and Transmissions

Ooooh, and so the road adventures continue!!!  It’s been a little too long since we’ve checked in with you guys out on the interwebs.  We’ve been keeping busy with both life on the road and at home.  Buuuut, today’s update is going to revolve around our recent road adventures.  I know...some of you may be looking to hear some more crazy stories from domestic home life (see past posts...), but those are going to have to wait for the moment.  I’ll pull some of those out of the archives at a later date.  For now, we’ll discuss the rigors of the road, and more specifically the rigors of our band van...

 

If you’ve been keeping close tabs on us, you would have seen some Twitter and Facebook postings that mention our van...and boy has this van been a source of adventure.  Here goes the story...

 

About three days before we were to leave for our tour this month, our transmission decided to die on us.  Which, for you out there who know cars, you know that replacing or rebuilding a transmission costs a lot of money.  Well, lucky for us, we have a pretty new van and our transmission repair was covered under warranty.  This was a huge blessing, as otherwise we would have had to shell out some crazy money to get our ride up and running....soooo, our van quite literally got fixed at just about exactly the moment we had to leave for Montana to start our tour.  That’s right, Montana...that’s a long drive from Nashville if you’re counting.  We made it to Montana to play the Downpour Festival (which lived up to its name, fyi.  But it was awesome!!!)... Ok...back to the van.

 

After Montana we drove to Oklahoma to meet up with Decyfer Down to play a handful of dates with them.  On our way down, our “check engine” light turned on.  Of course, this isn’t good...  We immediately took it to a shop to check the engine codes to see what issue would turn up, and sure enough, the onboard engine computer said that we had transmission trouble.  Again.  Well...we didn’t have much choice but to take it to a shop in Oklahoma, who said they thought we’d be okay to get as far as Little Rock, since we had some time there to get it into the shop for a couple days to get fixed.   We then shipped off for Little Rock, and thankfully we made it...and back to the shop it went.  The guys in Little Rock got her all fixed up (so we thought).  Sure enough, by the time we were 70 miles or so outside of Little Rock, we started getting a big “thump!” every time we shifted from first to second gear.  This is bad, folks.  Really bad.  Well...we didn’t have much choice but to try to get as far as the next shop if at all possible.  The next shop was in Beaumont, Texas.  Once again, they said they thought we’d be able to make it.  So, after our last show with Decifer Down, we drove through the night to get to the next shop, and our next show... 

 

Now Beaumont is where things got interesting, and quite cool.  The guys in Beaumont said that it would take at least two days to fix the transmission, so that left us with needing a ride to our next show in Santa Fe, Texas, which was 90 minutes away.  Let me just say....the Santa Fe folks are really second to none.  Two of them actually drove their van up to Beaumont and picked us and our trailer up, and drove us to Santa Fe so we could play our concert.  While at the concert, they offered to drive us to the rest of our shows around Texas!!!  Granted, we only had two more after Santa Fe...but they included driving to Corpus Christi, and then to Petersburg, which is 10 hours from Corpus.  Sooooo, that’s a lot of driving, and these fella’s were completely game to help us out.  We went from feeling quite defeated, to feeling like a million bucks within a single day.  Justin and Pat....you guys rock!!!  We not only made it to all of our Texas shows, but we even managed to get back to Beaumont to pick up our newly fixed van.  So far so good, it’s still working.  And that’s a great sign.   

 

This whole adventure is a perfect example of how God has been providing for us out on the road.  We had to get our transmission fixed three times within about 3 weeks and our warranty has covered all the expenses...and then a couple of new friends graciously drove us all over Texas.  The timing of all of this is amazing.  We were within 8,000 miles of our 100,000 mile warranty running out.  It’s a good thing our transmission went bad now, rather than later.  God has definitely been watching out for us not only right now in the immediate, but also for our future endeavors as well.  We aren’t completely broke because of the van, and we’ve built lasting friends all over Texas because of our awesome new Santa Fe friends.  

 

As difficult and stressful as our August has been, God has provided in so many ways.  Sometimes it seems easy to over-look what God is doing in our lives, other times it’s quite obvious.  Right now, it’s obvious God is here with us helping us along the way.  The difficult thing is knowing that God is always there.  We’re never on our own.  This month has been a lesson on how closely He watches over us.  

 

Be Well,

 

David

 


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