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JFH Staff Blog | May 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

We Recommend - Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, 'II'

When a new band was announced that would be fronted by Underoath's old vocalist, I was on board.  Maylene and the Sons of Disaster's self-titled debut didn't really catch me too well though.  Then they released II.  I was sold.  It was raw.  It was southern.  It made me feel tough when I drove down the street with the windows down and the wind blowing through my once-long hair.  The amped up southern rock sound mixed perfectly with Dallas Taylor's gravelly screaming and it became my definition of southern metal.  Though I'm still not all that into their debut, II (and it's follow-up III) prove that Maylene is a force to reckoned with in metal. ~ Scott Fryberger

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
II (2007)

Click here for the JFH Review.

Our synopsis: "This is what southern metal should sound like." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Sunglasses, sleeveless shirts, cruising with the windows down
Song Highlights: "Memories of the Grove," "Plenty Strong and Plenty Wrong," "Darkest of Kin," "Raised By The Tide," "Wylie," "The Day Hell Broke Loose At Sicard Hollow"

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Like Falling In Love Part 5 - The Limit Of Words

More Like Falling In Love Part 5 – The Limit Of Words

Give me words

I’ll misuse them


I’ll misplace them

Cause all religion ever made of me

Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet…


In my continuing series about the meaning behind the lyrics of my song, “More Like Falling In Love,” we come to verse two, which begins with a statement about words.


I’ve been thinking a lot about words lately, specifically about the limits of words.  I love words and language and the stories they conspire to create, which is one of the reasons why, I suppose, I’m a songwriter.


And yet the older I get the more I’m aware of the limit of words.  Take for instance the exchange of words in any conversation: there are the words you speak and then there are the words that the other person hears, and they rarely carry the same meaning.


I am a person who – most times – painstakingly chooses my words so carefully in hopes of avoiding misunderstanding and unnecessary conflict.  I do this in my blogs, in my songs, and nearly all of my conversations.  It’s a form of control, I suppose – trying to manage things that are ultimately unmanageable.


I also place a high value on words because of how important it is to me to be understood.  That’s why my blogs are always so long, because I try to anticipate misunderstandings and preemptively address them. But no matter how many words I pile up on top of each other, few will read my words as carefully as I write them and I will still get emails from concerned readers who thought I was saying something I didn’t intend to.


So, though I love words, they fail me every time because while I can try to control the meaning I intend to convey, I cannot control how people will hear them and what biases, baggage, and meaning they will bring to my words.  In my marriage this can look like meaningful conversations degrading into fruitless battles over what certain words mean.  “No, that may be what you heard, but that’s not what I said…” is the way that I might try to answer Taya when her feelings get hurt over a misunderstanding, and it’s an answer that – even when it’s true – really only serves to clear my name but does little to make her feel love.  My solution is to use more and more words to try and clear up the misunderstanding – but more words only mean more opportunities to be misunderstood, and then we end up fighting about who meant what, etc.  A simple apology and gesture of love, absorbing the misunderstanding rather than compounding it, accomplishes so much more.


But I believe in words too much! I keep hoping they can save the day! But I’ve been thinking about Jesus as he stood before Pilate and said… almost nothing at all.  Jesus knew that words and well-constructed arguments would not save the day.  “What is truth?” Pilate asks. Jesus’ answer couldn’t have been more potent when he wordlessly stands there as Truth himself.


Ah words… I love and I hate them.  While they are a powerful avenue I have for sharing my heart with others, they distort as much as they reveal the truth – and this is what happens when my motives are pure!


Because there are of course other times when my motives are less than pure and I use words to hurt. We’re all familiar with the regret of saying things we wish we could unsay.  In my anger and hurt I’ve used precious words to wound people.  I myself have been wounded by careless words.  Sometimes we wound with the words we do not say. 


While we know all too well of this misuse of the power of words, there is a subtler and I would say even more insidious misuse of words, and that is when we use them to inflict hurt, gain power, or hide.


The Pharisees were lovers of words, and the words they loved and became skilled in appropriating were the very words of God.  With these holy, precious, and true words they stroked their own self-righteousness, silenced their detractors, lorded over the people they were to serve, and hid the wickedness of their own hearts.  White washed tombs is what Jesus called them!


Indeed, words are easily misused to distort the truth and wound others. But even when we have the best of intentions, our words are still just as likely to distort and wound as when our motives are less than pure.  Especially when it comes to conveying love.


With my wife, I’m often tempted to love her with the love of a Pharisee – hanging on her every word, cataloging them, cross-referencing them in an attempt to be a good husband and get a handle on what’s expected of me. But just as the Pharisees knew the words of God inside and out but failed to recognize Jesus as the consummation of all those words, so too have I often heard my wife’s words but missed her heart.


Ah words… you fail me at every turn.


Lately I’ve taken comfort in the notion that God can relate to my predicament. In the Old Testament God gave us words to live by – ten holy commandments that were to help make us free and come alive.  But down through the centuries these words have been misunderstood, maligned, and obscured as more and more words were added for “clarification,” only serving to confuse us and leave us more fearful and guilt-ridden than ever.  Is this a failure on God’s part to convey his heart?  Or merely one more example of the limit of words - the way the meaning of words (even the words of God) can get lost in translation when we hear them through the filters of our shame, guilt, and fear? Generations later Jesus would try to make it easier on us by telling us that really, there are only two laws to really worry about: Love God, and love others (including yourself).  And yet we’ve managed to misuse and misunderstand even these.


It’s comforting for me to think that maybe even God knows something of the frustration of the limits of words. And more than that, it’s inspiring to see His solution.


After centuries of words piled upon words, he created a new way of speaking, a new language that would speak louder and clearer than all the words that came before.  He spoke a single Word: Jesus – a living word, an incarnate word.


In the life and the loving of Jesus, the Word made flesh, the heart of God and the intent of the law is finally revealed. The Word of God now had hands and feet to hold and carry us with.  Love became less of a theory and more of a revolution. Where written words had failed us, a Living Word redeemed us.  That’s of course not to say that we should disregard the written words that came before.  On the contrary, Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law but to complete it. The Living Word, Jesus, helps us to better understand and see clearly the written word.  “Ah, that’s what God meant,” we say in wonder as we see the Mosaic law come alive in the life of Christ.


In other words (hah!  Here I go again, hoping to mitigate misunderstanding by using more words!), I can use words to tell my wife I love her, but when I add to those the action of living out my love for her in a way that helps her understand what those spoken words mean, she will believe and understand what “I love you” means.  Love incarnated is more persuasive than love merely spoken.


I’ve used a lot of words to talk about the limit of words, but permit me a few more as I close with a story.


I have listened to the words of many prayers over my lifetime, but there is one that I remember above all the others, and it was prayed over me by my friend Andrew Peterson when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. He listened to me and shared some great encouragement from the story of his own life.  At the end of several days of conversation, he asked if he could pray for me, and I said yes, grateful but expecting the usual kind of prayer that is a bit like preaching to the one you’re praying for.  But his prayer was like no other I’ve ever experienced.


We bowed our heads and closed our eyes as he put his hand on my shoulder.  And then… silence.  No words were spoken in his prayer, but I could feel movement and so I opened my eyes to sneak a peak and found Andrew earnestly praying words in his heart that I would never hear, with tears streaming down his face, his head shaking and bobbing with passion as he contended in prayer over my situation, in an earnest conversation with our God…  It was not a prayer for the benefit of my hearing, but for the benefit of my soul and reminded me that we serve a God who hears the deep unspoken groaning of our hearts.  When he finished after several minutes, he finally said the one word he would speak of that prayer: “amen”. And I’ve never felt more confident of a prayer being heard as I did that one.


Friday, May 28, 2010

ComeandLive! is funded!!!

So, just a couple days after posting about helping Come&Live! on its Kickstarter project, I read the news that their project had gotten fully funded!  They passed the $8,000 mark and now have the money to take their bands to summer festivals.  I talked with Jason Belcher from The Ember Days a couple weeks ago, and he was telling me a little about C&L!'s plans for the festivals, and he said something along the lines of normal shows like all other bands, but also, after midnight each night, they would just have worship and prayer for anyone who needed prayer.  Though the majority of Christian music festivals' audiences are followers of Christ, there are also those who attend that are not, and this makes for an amazing opportunity for C&L! to reach out to people who haven't heard the gospel and hopefully bring them into the family.

Let's keep the C&L! bands in prayer for their mission this summer.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parable of the Talents

Right now we’re cruising through the countryside of Oklahoma.  For a state that seemingly has only a few large cities, their attendance at shows is striking.  We’ve probably played in Oklahoma five times in the last few months, and we’ve been impressed with the turnout each of those shows.  Kudos to you Oklahoma! 


It really is a sad that day on a tour that you realize that it’s soon coming to a close.  We’re obviously at that point, as we only have one show left this time around.  We’ve bonded so well with the bands on this tour, that we’re going to dearly miss them once we go our separate ways.  We live in Nashville, The Wrecking lives in Portland, Maine, The Red Airplanes live in Beumont, Texas, and Manic Drive lives in Toronto.  That kind of makes it difficult to meet up for coffee every now and again.  I’m sure in time we’ll all see each other again, and God willing we’ll have the opportunity to tour again.  


I do need to make sure that we thank Air1, Compassion International, and Extreme Faith as we’ve been really impressed how well they’ve come together to run the tour.  We’ve seriously been honored to be on a tour that was supported, organized, and run by all of those fine folks.  Speaking of Compassion International...the amount of support that we’ve seen on this tour for Compassion has been amazing.  Over the last few weeks we’ve literally seen hundreds of folks sign up to support kids through Compassion International, which has made all of the bands extremely happy.  If you aren’t familiar with their organization, you owe it to yourself to go to their website and find out what their ministry is all about.  They really have something special going on there.  


Something that I’ve had on my heart to write about the last couple months has to do with the gifts and talents that God has given us, what we are doing with them.  Now, I have, in short, touched on it a little bit before, but I want to continue to encourage you guys in your talents.  I’ve met a lot of kids on this tour and I’ve managed to chat with a few about life.  One thing that has struck me is how few of them have really been encouraged in their strengths.  Most of these kids are at that age where they are really starting to grow into adult-hood and they’re looking to the future and to what they might be doing with their lives.  It saddens me to think that a lot of them are just settling for what’s easiest and right in front of them, all the while they are wishing that they could be doing something else.  I recognize that not everyone can do what they dream of, but most do have the opportunity, if they’re looking for it, to grow their strengths and gifts in such a way that at some point they will be able to take advantage of those gifts.  God has given us those gifts, and he wants us to use them.  Look no further than the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29.


“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talen, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents.  See, I have fained five more.’  His master replied, ‘ well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will puyt you in charge of many things. come and share your master’s happiness!’


The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I  have gained two more.’  His master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness.’  Then the man who had received the one talent came.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard mand, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you. His master replied, ‘You lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you shoud have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.  Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have na abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”  


God wants to use your gifts and talents.  That’s why you have them!!!  Don’t be afraid to tell people where you feel like your gifted, even if it isn’t well developed at this point.  I couldn’t have just told someone, “I think I could be a guitarist, put me in a band!”  That couldn’t work.  I had to practice and work at it, and earn my way into a position to possibly be able to do what I’m doing now.  Just as the parable shows, God wants to see us working and improving our talents, and for us to not let them go to waste.  Sometimes, all it takes is a small step in the direction of sharing with someone that you would like to learn more about writing books, or about arts and crafts, or how to play piano, or any number of things.  You might be surprised where that small step leads you.  Sometimes the most simple of decisions can change the course of our lives in a big way.  What if one of those decisions changed it for the better?




Monday, May 24, 2010

Support ComeandLive!

I've found myself growing in Christ a little more as of late.  And with that growth has led me to: 1) a hesitance toward riches in my own personal life, and 2) a desire to support independent musicians (ones I feel led to support, that is).  I fell in love with the ministry of Come&Live! Records.  If you're not familiar, go to their website ( to not only download some incredible music (as a free gift from the bands and record label), but to also get a glimpse of why that organization exists.

Come&Live! is doing an incredible thing, something that resonates within my spirit, and I want to support them as much as possible.  And that's why I wrote this blog.  As of today, Monday, May 24, 2010, Come&Live! has 7 days left to raise all the funds they need through their Kickstarter project:

They're a bit short, last I checked, and that's bad for them, because all the money that's pledged from the project's backers has not been collected from the pledgers (pledgers?), and no money will change hands unless their goal is met.  They need approximately $3,000.  Got a few bucks?  The minimum pledge is one of those bucks, so you don't even have to pledge all that much if you don't have the funds to do so.

If you got the time, and the dollars (and the friends or the church or any other organization that you feel may want to give some money to this wonderful community of musicianaries), check out the link above.  I don't usually prod for money, but this is something noble and completely worthwhile, and it would be a beautiful thing to invest a little in, even just this once.  Thanks guys!

We Recommend - Hoi Polloi, 'Happy Ever After'

Over the weekend, my wife and I took a mini-road trip to Maryland to see Jars of Clay perform an acoustic set of their entire 1995 debut album from start to finish. To prepare for the road trip, I made a playlist on my iPod of selections new and old, and in the process of selecting songs, I "rediscovered" one of my other favorite albums from the same year - Hoi Polloi's under-rated effort, Happy Ever After. After leaving Reunion Records in the early 90's, the New Zealand rock band Hoi Poilloi returned to their roots on their Via release, Happy Ever After, offering an aggressive, dark, and moody album... complete with a creepy album cover. The record had its moments displaying some of the spunk found on their earlier albums, but ultimately, their third (and sadly, final) album was a quirky rocker that still sounds good fifteen years later. If you're a fan of edgy 90's rock (maybe a light grunge?) or alternative rock with a raw approach, this album is still well worth looking into.

- John DiBiase (JFH President/Editor)

Hoi Polloi
Happy Ever After (1995)

Click here for our album page.

Our synopsis: "A memorable and under-rated mid-90's rock album that offers a healthy mix of attitude and spirit." (Recommended by JFH's John DiBiase)
Perfect For: Bold faith, Summer drives, Contemplative moods
Song Highlights: "Thaw," "Smile," "Sun, Moon and Stars," "Boat," "Lucy"

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Satellites and Sirens VLOG 8 - Air 1 Appreciation Tour



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This Is Why We Do It

The thing I love about driving through the west is that the terrain is so varied.  One minute you’re driving through rolling hills that just have grass and the next thing you know, those hills have turned into mountains with very little foliage, but, rather, they’re made up of large boulders and rock.  By the time you’re getting sick of climbing and winding through the mountains, the land flattens out and you’re out in the middle of the desert.  I grew up in Northern Indiana, which has to be one of the flattest, most boring landscapes in all of the United States.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it there, but when I’m driving through Colorado, California, and Arizona I wonder how I grew up only knowing corn fields and Dutch apple pie (Note: Dutch apple pie is better than your apple pie,  just sayin’).  It reminds me that I’m extremely lucky to see God’s creation every day.  I mean, some of the sights we’ve seen look like they’re straight out of a painting.  They almost don’t even seem real.  I’m inclined to think that God had a pretty good idea of what He was doing when He created this earth.  I can only hope that I take it all in, and not take it for granted.  


I don’t think I can write this blog without sharing an experience that we had this last week out on the tour.  Being that we are a new band, our fan interactions are somewhat limited.  We’ve been extremely blessed by the outpouring of support for our band and our ministry by the fans attending the shows here on the Air1 Appreciation tour.  One thing that many folks don’t realize, is how much they bless the bands by their actions and their words of encouragement.  


One such example happened this last week.  After our show, as we were at our merch table signing autographs, a woman pulled me aside.  She told me about how her 20 year old son had died this last year, that our music was now an inspiration to her as she continues to struggle through the loss of her son.  I was completely speechless.  I stood there for a second, and just asked her if I could give her a hug and she proceeded to give me one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever received.  I told her I was sorry for her loss and that she has blessed us more than she knows by letting us know that God was using our music in her life.  She was so happy to share it all with us and she walked away with a giant smile on her face.  Just as she was leaving our table, a gentlemen that witnessed the whole thing said, “Is that why you guys do this?”  My immediate response was, “That’s exactly why we do this.”  


It was a humbling experience to know that God is using our ministry.  I know that I sometimes doubt my ability to make a difference, but I remember that throughout the bible God used lots of people that didn’t seem worthy.  Every day people, even criminals.  He used Paul, someone who made his living persecuting Christians.  In spite of that, God revealed Himself to Paul and Paul was transformed.  He then became one of the key authors of the New Testament.  Just as He used Paul, He can use all of us...even though we might believe that we aren’t gifted enough, or smart enough, or that we are too much of a sinner.  God desires to put us in position to show people that He loves us.  God is good.  It’s such an amazing thought to know that an all powerful omnipotent God would still desire to use imperfect people to carry out His will.  Amazing.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Satellites and Sirens VLOG 7 - Tim the Merch Guy



Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Hey everyone:) I'm writing you from sunny Los Angeles. I have to admit, I've always wanted to go to L.A. and now that wish is fulfilled. Granted, we haven't really spent much time in the city, but mostly in the suburbs. For all intents and purposes, I'll take that as my first time in L.A. I can thank Air1 for the opportunity to tour through California. We're out on the Air1 Appreciation Tour with The Wrecking, The Red Airplanes, and Manic Drive. So far we've done two shows on the tour, and they've both been fantastic. It's always fun to be out on tour and to get to know other bands, and thus far we've been having a great time getting to know all the bands. It's going to be a fun tour.

Now, we did have quite the adventure in getting to California. We drove from Chicago to Denver, Denver to Reno, and then Reno to Sacramento for the first show. That's a lot of gasoline and caffeine folks. I think we've now figured out which gas stations and rest stops have the best coffee. It's always a treat when you find that one place that makes some exceptional Joe. For instance, we stopped at a random gas station in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah that had maybe the best white chocolate caramel mocha I've ever had. We also stopped at a gas station outside L.A. where the gas station attendent was also a barista!!! Yes...we appreciate the little things.

Whereas in previous blogs, I've focused on faith and trust, I'm currently doing a lot of thinking about grace. Truth be told, it's nearly impossible to not think about grace when you basically live in a van with three, sometimes four (band plus merch guy) other guys. We each have our own little quirks and sometimes those quirks don't jive with one or all the guys. You get thrown into this situation and it's very much like a family. So we have to learn to be a family and to get along as smoothly as possible. Sooo, we have to learn to have a lot of grace for each other.

A very valuable lesson that we've learned is that most times when someone isn't in a great mood, it most likely has to do with some outside circumstance. It'd be easy to just get frustrated, but we've begun to find a nice balance of knowing that it's a good idea to ask what's on the mind of the offending person. Nine times out of ten, we find out that there is something on their mind that has nothing to do with the band. Granted, that's not an excuse to be a jerk, but sometimes things end up on your mind, and you just aren't your normal self.

Personally, every time I read the story in John 4 about the woman at the well, I'm reminded about God's grace for us. There Jesus was, with a woman, whom He knew was deep into sin, but rather than condemn her, he spoke to her with respect, and pointed her in the right direction. He was still firm and made His point, but He had no interest in degrading her, or demeaning her. This is one of many examples Jesus left for us during His time on earth, and this is one that rings very true for me personally. I'm not an overly critical person by nature, but I think we all have a tendency to want to be right, to want to prove to someone else that they're being dumb. Sometimes we don't need to do that. We just need to find out what's on their mind, and gently remind them that they are loved, and that we are for them, not against them.

Be Blessed,


Monday, May 10, 2010

We Recommend - The Ember Days, 'The Ember Days EP'

This young group of musicians are wonderful.  They write worship songs full of heart and passion, and they also craft ambient, well-written music as the plate the message is served on (isn't the meal more appetizing and appealing when the plate is clean and fresh instead of stale and worn out?)  At times, the songs have a smooth, jazzy feel, like the waltz "Fortress," and other times it can be on the rockier side, like "Shine."  Either way, it works very well, and the listener feels the honesty and love in the vocals while getting lost in the music.  And they'll give it to you for free if you can't afford the five dollars.  Pretty sweet deal, regardless. ~ Scott Fryberger

The Ember Days
The Ember Days EP (2009)

Click here for the JFH Review.

Our synopsis: "A short but accomplishing indie worship EP." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Worship, Love, Hope
Song Highlights: "Shine," "Run To You," "Fortress," "Seven"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album The Ember Days EP? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mothers - A Godly Example

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Mothers have an incredible opportunity to impact their children’s lives in amazing ways. Perhaps you’ve heard me talk about my own dear mother, Rebecca, and what a great example she was to me. Throughout scripture, we can easily see how mothers have influenced their children in profound ways—some for good and some for ill. In fact, one of my favorite Scripture verses is 2 Timothy 1:5, “I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” That is the effect godly mothers and grandmothers have on their children and grandchildren—their faithfulness to God leaves a lasting impression on the generations that follow after them.

Of course, some people do not have the blessing of a godly mother for one reason or another, and it affects their lives deeply. Our challenge as Christians is to reach out to them, providing a loving example to them and always pointing them to Jesus.

You can have a tremendous impact on the people around you. The only qualifications necessary are faithful love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother never taught a Sunday school class, never sang in the choir, and never held an office in church. She was a quiet, unassuming, humble lady. However, she was very wise because her focus was on God, and His Word was central to her life.

So how can you impact the lives of the people you know? First, teach them the importance of studying the Bible and meditating upon its truth. Answer any question asked of you as best as you can, reminding others how important it is to apply the principles of Scripture to their daily lives. Second, show them how to talk to God. You do this by praying with them—not just by telling them how they should pray. Third, demonstrate trust in the Lord for all of your needs, no matter how difficult circumstances become. You do this by not complaining and by being thankful for what you have. Fourth, teach others how to obey God by submitting yourself to Him in everything you do. When others see your faithful obedience and His awesome work in you, they will want to obey Him, too.

And finally, love others unconditionally—just as Christ would love them. No matter what happens or how others treat you, love them, serve them, and encourage them with the truth of God’s Word. Why? Because that is the way the Lord cares for you.

A godly influence is an awesome treasure, and the children in our world need believers to reach out and show them the love of God. You can impact their lives in an amazing way by the way you live, what you say, and how you respond to the trials you face. My prayer is that you will allow the Lord full access to your life so that He can continue to make you into the loving example that will have an awesome influence in others’ lives.

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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Nashville Flood

Hey, hey, hey, Jesus Freak Hideout-land.  Here we are, back out on the road again.  We had a nice break after the Blood, Sweat, and Rock ‘n Roll Tour.  It was barely a week, but it was nice to be in Nashville for a few days.  We hit the road yet again this last week for a few days of gigs in Wisconsin.  We’ve been lucky enough to spend the last two days in Chicago with some great friends of ours.  Although, we’ve had to fix the van on this trip, it’s been great thus far.  Tomorrow, it’s off to Denver, and then we’re off to California for the start of the Air1 Appreciation tour.  We’re excited to be on that tour with a few great bands...Manic Drive, The Wrecking, and The Red Airplanes.  We’ll be reporting back to JFH throughout that tour, so we’re excited to be on that ride with you all.  


If you don’t know, right now Nashville is more or less completely under water.  We left right before Nashville was hit with rain of epic proportions.  Apparently Nashville got two months worth of rain within 48 hours.  The rivers, levees, and general drainage couldn’t handle all the water, and it spilled out into much of the city.   Please be praying for the residents of Nashville, and the surrounding areas.  There have been a number of folks who have lost their lives, and hundreds, if not thousands have lost their homes.  


As far as the band is concerned, Jonathan our drummer, was the hit the worst by the floods.  Some great, great friends of ours went over to his place to assess the damage and found that he had standing water throughout his place.  Thankfully, many of his valuables went unscathed, but his furniture is going to be a loss.  We are very thankful that his situation isn’t worse than it could have been...and it goes without saying that we are most thankful for the safety of our friends and family, and that they’re all safe.  Our belongings can be replaced.  


What’s strange about all the events in Nashville, is that despite it being our home, it feels distant since we are on the road.  It’s so easy to feel distanced from tragedy when we don’t see it with our own eyes.  I know I’m as guilty as anyone.  I’ve seen and been a part of a tragedy up close and personal, yet as time has passed since that event, it’s been easy once again to feel detached from those situations.  I’m sure something could be said about the human condition in all of this...I don’t know what that is exactly, but it makes me sad to think about it.  Whatever it is, it’s the same thing that keeps us on the sidelines when we see the recent tragedy in Haiti, or the famine in a number of African nations.  It makes me think a lot about where my priorities lie.  What do I really value in this life?  What do I do with my time and money?  Where does God fit into all of this, and how is He shaping who I am, and my life? Although, those things cross my mind, as I’m sure it does with many of us, it seemingly passes right through until the next time I really sit down and think about what’s important in this life.  Truth be told, I wish I had a magic answer for all of this, but all I know is that it always reminds me that this is yet another reason why I need Jesus.  It’s yet another reminder that I’m not proud of my humanity, and that daily I need to lay down my pride and come to Jesus.  He’s my redemption, my comforter, my rock.  In the light of the Nashville floods of 2010, I’m reminded that what really matters is God, family, and friends.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Praying For Nashville

Being in Pennsylvania, I do feel pretty removed from most of what happens down in Music City, USA - aka Nashville, TN. But it's no secret that the heart of Christian music is based out of the city. While much of the US has been kept in the loop as to what's going on with the insane amount of rain Nashville has been receiving, I have only heard murmurs of it here and there over the past couple of days (and, honestly, I don't watch the news).

Recent photos of a completely flooded Grand Ole Opry or houses under water up to the rooftops have been really startling. My wife and I were just in town for the Doves two weeks ago and to see roads we were traveling completely submerged is unreal. I can't even imagine what life is like there right now.

Our good friends in Me In Motion do a weekly "Movie Monday" on their YouTube, and I stumbled upon their latest entry tonight via their Facebook update. It's definitely worth a watch. Brian (AKA "Dexter") who you see blog here pretty often walked around Nashville and captured some overwhelming footage of the tragedy.

Please keep the city and our brothers and sisters in Christ in your prayers!

- john


Tour Pranks and Gooood Times

SATELLITES AND SIRENS "Blood, Sweat, and Rock ‘n Roll Tour" BLOG 9:

Hello again to everyone in JFH world.  We’ve officially wrapped up the Blood, Sweat, and Rock ‘n Roll tour.  To say it was a good time, would be a gross understatement.  It has been a fantastic honor for us to tour with Disciple and Decyfer Down.  Both bands are not only amazing musicians, but amazing individuals as well.  It was not only a pleasure to hear them play every day, but to also talk shop with them, as both bands have been around longer than us.  They have both helped us in more ways than I think they even know.  I can barely express our gratitude enough.  


We have had so much gratitude, in fact.......that we thought they both earned our love in the form of a couple pranks:)  A few weeks ago we hatched a couple of prank ideas that we believed just might work...  


Mission 1:  Disciple’s very own Kevin Young.  We knew our prank would require that we bring the rest of the band and crew into the fold and to make sure everyone was on board with the idea.  Within’ the last week, we made our way to each band and crew member to make certain everyone would go for it....and boy o boy did they.  And this is how it worked; Right before Disciple plays every night, the stage and room goes black, and from out of nowhere the band starts playing.  Kevin is usually at the very front of the stage going crazy and not really paying attention to what’s going on around him.  We decided that while he was going crazy at the front of the stage, that our band could sneak out on stage with him, rather than his band, and that it was likely that it would be mid way through that first song before he realized that it wasn’t his band up there with him.  We figured that the best way to make it work was to have their guitarists and bassist play the song back stage while we went crazy on stage pretending like we were actually playing the song.  To make it really convincing, we actually had our drummer play the song, and Disciple’s drummer video’d the whole thing from about the third row of the crowd.  And let me went exactly as planned.  Kevin could barely keep from laughing throughout the whole song.  And apparently we were pretty convincing, as a lot of people in the crowd thought we’d actually played the song.  Pretty amazing.  The video is priceless...and I hope that at some point it will surface so you can all enjoy the fun.  


Mission 2: Decyfer Down.  This one was pretty simple, but nonetheless fun.  They travel in a tour bus, while hauling a large trailer to carry their gear and production gear.  Well, to put it simply, our trailer is a toy in comparison.  So, while they were playing their set, we went and opened up their trailer, and parked our little trailer inside.  We knew that after the show they would be opening the trailer to load all their gear, so we made sure that we would be within sight of when they opened the trailer.  Sure enough, they went to open the trailer and lo and behold, they found our trailer.  A lot of laughter ensued.  Mmmm, more good times.  


As I sound off on this tour blog, I want to continue to encourage you to seek God out and to be willing to hear His voice.  I’ve written a lot in these blogs about our trust, or lack thereof, in whatever and wherever it is that God has us.  Trust doesn’t come easy, and too often it’s lost too easy.  When I’m disappointed in someone that I love, I don’t instantly write them off as being someone who doesn’t love me and care about me.  I encourage you to not lose hope in what God has for you, and not to write off what you know about Him and what He has called you to.  He is excited about you, and who you are:)


Philippians: 4:6-7

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In Love,