yesterday was the day ikea came to tempe.

today was the day Jodi decided we needed to go to ikea. chaos ensued.

there was a line of cars so long just to get off the exit ramp that they had to close the exit. we had to go down to the next exit and turn around. then, there was a long line of cars merging to simply turn into the ikea parking lot.

once parked, we packed our day-packs and made the trek across the great divide that is the ikea parking lot. finally inside, we waded through the herds of cattle, milling through the novelty of modern furniture and decor at decent prices. it was crowded in the main showroom. it was crowded in the marketplace. it was crowded in the warehouse area. we had to endure all three areas. you can't avoid walking through them in ikea.

fortunately, we knew what we wanted, so we went straight to get those things. I had to remind Jodi we weren't there to shop. we were there to buy - there's a difference. she did pretty well though.

the line to checkout wasn't actually all that bad. but once i'd walked all the way back to the car, there was another line, just to drive it up to pick up what we'd purchased. and yet another line to leave the place.

by the time we were done, we were tired, thirsty, grumpy and had to go to the bathroom. ikea must be doing something right.


norton anti-virus messed with my worship

had such a great day. truly a blessing. Josh (drummer) and I went to a local radio station and did a live on-air performance of "blessed one" and "tug on my heart." the show was such classic AM Christian talk-radio. Pastor Ernie Olea was the host. as he talked, there was dramatic music playing in the background. and at one point, he pulled out the oil bottle to annoint the airwaves while he prayed. he's such a kindred spirit. we were really blessed to be there. josh played some tasteful djembe and bongos.

tonight was the debut of my band, hopefully in this form for the next few worship gigs. carl, kurt, josh and me played together for the first time at about 5pm today. we then played at 7:30pm for our first show- a two hour gig! it was at an outreach house & branch campus for a local Calvary bible college. the vibe there was so great. our sound guy, steve, is a guitarist - and musicians almost always run sound better than your average church sound guy.

all went smoothly... that is, until norton anti-virus started automatically on the laptop in the middle of our worship set. freaked Jodi out a little. otherwise, things felt really good. sold a few CDs. made a few friends. got another couple of gigs. thanks Big Man.


back to the studio (your opinion, please)

i'm so stoked. just got back from the recording studio of a new friend. he is the producer for a worship CD that's being recorded among all the foursquare churches in AZ.

he said he wants to use one or two of my songs for the worship CD! and he wants me to play some guitar parts for the other songs that have been recorded.

this is so much an answer to prayers. the song he said would definitely fit on the CD is one i just wrote in august. i've been praying for God to provide me a way to record some of these new songs without having to pay for the musicians and studio time. this is just like Him to make a blessing happen this way. i just met the guy last month at a retreat.

what's starting to feel wierd is this: God blessed me by giving me this opportunity. and I am very thankful. yet there are people with whom i've talked and shared my vision for worship, songwriting, and recording over the past year - and i never really heard they were still looking for songs for the CD until last month when i ran into this guy. meantime, a few specific people have known what God is calling me to do, and have known that this CD project has been under way for almost 2 years, but have never told me about it. sheesh, am i whiny and bitter!

so should i call them out on it? if they comment about the CD or my song, should I tell them it would have been nice for them to mention it to me instead of leaving me to find out about it on my own? your opinions are welcome.


6 gigs :: 1 weekend

thank God i had 'em. and thank God it's over. here's the rundown:

#1 - friday night at a christian coffeehouse in Phoenix called Sweet Daddy's. the overall vibe was like an open mic night. i think that when Tim (dumbek and djembe), Kurt (acoustic) and I got up to play, the timid musicians and supportive crowd of 10 were a bit blown away by how loud it was. we played hard and loud. a quick, solid set - but almost no crowd. i recorded the show on my new handheld digital recorder.

#2 - saturday afternoon i led 4 worship songs with DJ cre one backing me up. he and i totally gelled! it was so much fun, except.... the church we were playing for essentially had a split in the weeks leading up to the event. we ended up playing for the few remaining members of the church (fewer than 10) and a couple of the other MC's who were playing later. everything got started late because only a few people came to help set up. our 12:30 gig didn't start till 1:45, almost making us late for...

#3 - late saturday afternoon at a mostly African American megachurch. they were having an outdoor non-halloween festival. this thing was decked out. at least 10 big inflating slides/obstacle courses, games, a mini-ferris-wheel. the whole night from 5:30 - 10:30pm was booked with rappers, dance troupes, and multi-ethnic shows on the stage. but who was there to open the show? wahba and the white boys. sound was rough - lots of feedback, no guitars in the mains or monitors. but who's whining? we had a chance to play and got decent comments from a few people. but not many since we had to grab a quick bite and head down to...

#4 - tucson, AZ - a christian bookstore who were doing something so cool. every saturday, they stay open late (midnight) and only let youth in. they give like a 25% discount on everything in the store and have live bands all night long. it's free to get in and did they ever get a turn out. there were probably 50 kids in that little bookstore when we rolled in about 8:45. josh (bongos/percussion) and I were supposed to be the middle band, starting at 9pm. but since the first band ended early, the third band set up and started by the time we got there. we lost at least half the crowd of kids by the time we started at 10. but the vibe was great - the kids rocked - and we got some wahba fans out in tucson. got to bed at 1:30am and was up by 6:30 for...

#5 - played bass at church. i love playing bass. it's my secret obsession. dan, jesse and kurt rocked on sunday morning.

#6 - i was the acoustic backdrop for crosspointe's Trick or Trunk. an outreach where we set up in the community with candy and games out of the trunks of our vehicles. a little sketchy ("come 'ere kid, i got somethin' ta show ya in my trunk") but it worked. lotsa kids.

now i'm a bit run down for work this morning. have a little cold. have a wife who's mad at me for setting up one of the clowns to freak her out last night. alas, we press on.