so being away from boston for the past 9 days has helped me realize some things. first off, I miss the HECK out of the boy. i've also been learning so much from him.

he's the purest thing I've ever been a part of. he knows no sin whatsoever (though, yes, he may have been born with a tendency to sin, he hasn't yet sinned, therefore, he IS purity). in this sense, he's one of the people closest to Jesus that I've ever been involved with.

and get this: he knows exactly what he needs, but when he gets it, he's totally satisfied. true, he's really needy and dependent at this point. but he doesn't whine or complain, or move on to the next thing he thinks he needs/wants once he gets something. he's totally content until his body actually physically needs something else for him to survive. man, do I wish I could be that way.

boston has helped me learn that there's room in my heart to discover love again. he's shown me a back door to a whole warehouse full of affection that I never knew was in my blueprint. crazy. just crazy.

god - help me to keep learning from him. may I learn to smile back, no matter who smiles at me....


more boston pics

okay. so everyone's been bugging me to see more pictures of the little one. here are some links:

these ones are of his third week of life.
this link takes you to pics of wahba and jodi's parents visit for Thanksgiving.
and these are recent pics since he turned one month old.


daddy mac

so I finally did it. took the plunge. made the switch. battened down the hatches. as of this week yours truly....

... became a mac user.

got me a shiny new macbook pro for christmas. so I'm flailing. trying to figure out all the little nooks and crannies of this thing.

it's already way faster, more intuitive, and more aesthetic than any PC i've ever used. it totally brings back memories of (gasp!) 10 years ago when I was in college and I always used the Mac lab instead of the PC lab. why I didn't switch back then, I'll always wonder.

for now - if any of you have tips (downloads, must-have programs, keyboard shortcuts) that can help with this little transition, please holla at a playa!


happy december

current temperature in tempe, AZ: 42 degrees.
current temperature in new york, NY: 68 degrees.

it's actually chilly out here. got down to the 30's last night. instead of shouting "I'm Full!" like the guy in the taco bell commercial, i feel like shouting "I'm finally cold!"

this is a good thing.

in other news... BOSTON! he's a very cool chap. really mellow at times. he's been giving us his first smiles and coos. yesterday, he met the quite famous Mr. Santa Claus for the first time!

other funny moments have included:

-passing gas while we put lotion on his bottom.
-peeing into his own eye while we're changing him.
-only falling asleep in his grandmothers' arms - not his parents'.

everyone has said - ad nauseum - that having a child would change my life. well it has - but in different ways than what I expected. i'd describe it more like falling head-over-heels in love with a person.

you think about him/her all the time - especially when you're supposed to be doing something else. you want to tell everyone you know about him and show everyone his picture. you want to tell stories about him. and you can't wait to finish whatever it is you're doing so you can hurry back to get him in your arms again.

when I was younger and had a big crush on someone new, I'd drive really ridiculously slowly. I guess because I was totally distracted and in some sort of dream zone.

let's just say that there are reports of slow-moving 4runners spotted across this town lately....


it's a Boston!

hey y'all. just wanted to share the news. Jodi and I gave birth to a baby boy. here are the details:

name: Boston William Wahba
born: November 6, 2006, 10:27am
weight: 7lbs, 3oz
length: 21 inches

click here to see more pictures of the bugger....


blog neglect, baby update, car wreck

i'm pathetic. why do i feel guilty when I don't blog? is it because I'm neglecting something electronic? something organic? am i in some way neglecting my ministry because my blog is related to that? do you feel ignored? shunned?

what if i blogged everything that happened and every thought I had? would you think i was psycho? I don't think I'd have time to think or have anything happen to me - i'd be blogging all the time.

(raising imaginary beer stein) so here's to neglecting our blogs and living our lives instead.... and here's a quick recap, starting with the most important news:

our child - most of you know that we're due in a week or so. well jodi's body parts seem to already be getting ready to pop out our gender-unknown/name-unknown mini-wahba. in fact, if we don't deliver by this weekend, jodi will be induced this sunday. please say a prayer for us - especially jodi. the whole deal goes down at noon on sunday - that is if we don't erupt prior.

gigs - staying ridiculously busy. we've played campus crusade, chi alpha, praxis church, a church carnival, and the AZ state fair within the past couple of weeks. my last scheduled gig will be tonight - then we'll take a month off - see above for one good reason why.

car - for those who didn't know, we had to get rid of jodi's VW Beetle. it was paid off, but we might as well have had a car payment on it because it was in the shop every month. when the clutch started to get jiggy, we realized it was time to say farewell to Marianna Prosperity.

so we got a new (used) one. a 2005 Civic. deduct several thousand cool points for overall boringness. add about $20/week in gas money to my wallet.

alright, so I'm on my way to a recording session last night in our new car and KABLAM-O! I get rear ended by a kid. he pulls up, airbags deployed in his car. sees i'm okay. gets out and sees I'm calling the police. as I'm talking to 911, this guy hops in his car and speeds off! but not before I get his license plate....

police went straight to his house - he doesn't speak any English. he has his car registered, but doesn't have a driver license (apparently you don't need a license for the AZ-DOT to take your $$). and of course, he has no insurance.

get this - as the police pull up to his house, he and a buddy are found on the street in front of his house, cutting out the airbags from his car so it can't be identified. our car has a banged up rear bumper. the trunk doesn't close. the right rear fender is bent out.

anyway - I don't have any injuries or anything. I'm just really glad jodi wasn't in the car with me. everything would have been totally different.

aside from a psycho ex-girlfriend that keeps emailing me and a 4-hour driving class I had to take to get out of a speeding ticket in Scottsdale, that about catches us up to date....



today marks the day that I was born - 32 years ago. today also marks the day i've decided I'm kinda over the whole birthday thing - a few hours ago.

i had a chill day. no work. led worship in the morning for some local campus ministry leaders. then had lunch with our "son", Paul.

the day got better when we found out Jodi is already 2cm dilated! (though she's not due for another 2 weeks.)

and then a little better when I had dinner with some good friends.

all in all a day I enjoyed. but also a day i'll probably soon forget - like so many other birthdays (except that day my friends in Raleigh scared the crap out of me with a surprise party - i yelled so loud i scared them).

more blog-babble soon.


warning: uncool pictures

sometimes hipness is what it ain't - tower of power

at the request of some friends and family, I've posted some pictures of our baby's room. deduct 5,000 cool points now.

but in being uncool, I just might be cool. I mean, the less I care about being cool, the more cool I am, right? right.

call MTV. we wanna be on Cribz.

glider and changing table. baby crap shall be experienced here.dresser. and a good look at the paint job. designed and painted by Jodi.


rough worship experience #2

setting: womens' ministry house where we were invited to play for their weekly prayer/worship gathering.

the scene: although it's a womens' ministry, they invite both men and women to their weekly meetings. we definitely seemed to be the loudest worship band they ever had. and we were obviously a bit different stylistically than what they were used to (as the speaker politely stated, "we certainly appreciate the... heart with which you sing your songs....").

what went wrong: there was no major turning point or event per se. just an overall creepy vibe. worship went fine. many of them were raising hands and worshipping pretty well. there were a few people praying in their 'prayer language'.

the weird part was at the end of the sermon. there was a female "prophet" who had been invited as the speaker. when she was nearing the end of her talk, she invited people to come up and have hands layed (lain?) on them for prayer. there was loud tongue-speaking - into microphones - without interpretation.

what followed were events that bordered on crowd manipulation.

she pointed people out in the small gathering of 30 or so people. asked them publicly to come forward because they needed prayer. she spoke out a specific prayer she felt the Spirit prompting her to pray for. but as she prayed, she'd push - hard - on the person's forehead, almost forcing the person to lose their balance and fall backward. if they resisted, or did not fall, they were gently rebuked for not surrendering enough.

as if rehearsed, there were folks waiting behind those being prayed (preyed?) upon, in order to catch them when 'slain.'

at one point, the speaker pointed me out. my heart raced as I rose from my seat to step forward. i was relieved to find that she was just asking me to be a 'catcher' for a tall fellow in the front row whom she was planning to lay hands on. she placed her palm firmly on his forehead and applied pressure. he stepped back with one foot to catch his balance. she pushed farther until he backed up far enough to sit back down in the chair he'd just been sitting in. my catching abilities hadn't been needed after all.

my issues/disclaimer: i believe in spiritual gifts. in teaching, healing, prophecy, laying of hands, and yes, in tongues (although the latter is biblically the least of these gifts). i've witnessed what i believe to be the orderly and wonder-full occurrence of tongues with interpretation. although I can't think of a biblical reference for it, i've seen numerous people 'fall out' during intense times of these gifts. and I will never claim to be someone with the authority to decide whether these events are truly of the Spirit or not.

i do know that sometimes i get filled with awe at these events, and at others, i get filled with bad vibes.

what i learned: i found myself having to counsel my band members a bit after this service - to make sure they weren't totally freaked out. I found myself guarding my language, and asking them to guard theirs in remaining respectful to the people we'd witnessed participating in this spectacle.

our downfall as Christ-followers begins when we start to think we've got it all right. when we think our way of worshipping and living out our faith is the way. what seems most important to me right now is maintaining more a sense of fear and trembling - NOT pride - as we discuss worship service style in the Church.

i'm absolutely positive that a typical worship service from the Acts-era of the Church would look/feel entirely foreign and uncomfortable to us, as compared to our contemporary/modern services.... it would freak us out - and vice-versa.

humbleness is key. in fact i insist that we pray, even beg, for humility as we approach this concept we call a worship service. there's a really good chance that when we meet up with Jesus again, he'll give us a pat on the back and say something like "nice try. you gave it a shot. you're covered though - let's go."

let the hate mail cometh.


rough worship experience #1

i don't usually back-blog. but for the anonymity of the group I'll be discussing below, I wanted to wait until ample time had passed.

setting: young adult service where my band and I were asked to lead worship.

the scene: we set up in a large auditorium. one that could hold at least 2,000 people. it was an evening service, so we didn't expect a huge crowd and that was cool with us. we got their huge/incredible sound system fired up and were playing pretty tightly together in sound check.

what went wrong: when it was time for the service to start, there were about 12 people present, including leaders. picture it: gi-normous room. big sound and visuals. itty-bitty group.

we were ready to start and the sound person wanted us to wait a second. there was dead silence. I said "big room!" into the mic, laughing.... not even a sound or even a chuckle was made.

we led worship and were really feeling it. getting into worship like my boys are good at doing. no major mistakes or trainwrecks - always a blessing. so as I start to look out at the small gathering toward the front of this auditorium, I see blank faces. nothing. just apathy.

only 1-2 of them would continue clapping, even after I asked them to clap along. nobody raised their hands to worship - even during some of the more worshipful songs. and a few had actually sat down. i specifically recall a person slouched back in his auditorium chair, the side of his cheek perched on his fist, and a completely flat expression while we were worshipping.

this person was easily the most apathetic of the bunch. and he was one of the lead pastors.

my issues: i've led worship before where the congregation was less than excited to have me as their worship leader. and our sound is pretty specific, stylistically. so I'm a grown-up and can handle it if not every group we lead is ecstatic to have us. for some reason though, this got to me. in fact, i was infuriated.

i was a little bitter because the leaders didn't care about the situation. because we felt no sense of welcome as visitors. because they seemed they weren't even remotely interested in worshipping, let alone in having us.

i should also acknowledge that i was paying my band to play, and i didn't get paid for the service - and i definitely didn't sell enough CDs to cover my costs. nobody apologized for, or even acknowledged the fact that i was "in the hole" for that gig financially. not even a love offering was suggested for us. that might have contributed to my bitterness as well.

what i learned: not every worship set will be a great one. even if my band and I do our very best, and are actually getting beyond playing to where we're worshipping. i shouldn't expect to be recieved warmly at all times or to have people excited about worship. and I shouldn't take myself so seriously (that is, I can take worship seriously, but not myself).

this isn't a scientific theory, where I can take it to different environments and try to recreate a specific response. it isn't a formula. it's people and their God. and most of us worship differently from each other - in a good way. I should value that and not be bitter.

finally, I should be more prepared. not just prepared to play, or prepared spiritually to worship. but prepared to engage people more. from that point on, I began to prepare little stories or brief explanations of songs from life experiences. most of them funny, all of them short. when stuff like this goes down, I've got a little trick in my back pocket to help me disarm them. yes, disarm.

this group needed to be disarmed and i wasn't ready for it. they had their guards up and i let them stay up. i'm more ready now. thanks for humbling me Lord. thanks for making me grow.


our best advice

Jodi and I have been talking about something over the past few months.

what if we took the best 2 or 3 things we've learned lately and told all our friends about them? what if we made it simple, so that people could follow the advice easily? and what if we made it so that all our friends can give us their best advice too?

our hope is to pass this wisdom on to you, our friends, so that you are able to learn from our recent shortcomings and (sometimes) bad decisions. we're hoping to keep this thing going. so feel free to blog or comment with any tidbits of advice from your universe....

so here it is. our best advice:

1. don't move to Arizona.
2. don't buy a Volkswagen.
3. don't get a PhD.

runners up:
-if you're in or around pittsburgh, go to one or all of the following: the O (best fries), the Beehive (best coffee), Quaker Steak & Lube (best wings), and Primanti Brothers (amazing sandwiches)... just go.
-don't use a moving broker - or any moving company that isn't national and reputable.

i know most of these sound really negative. but we felt that you, our friends, should know about them. each one has a good 2-hour story behind it. so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

and remember, let's keep this thing going (e.g., can anyone say "don't plant a church"?). blog, comment, email... go ahead.


power to the (worship) people

so for about 2 years now, i've been incorporating what i call 'multiple choice worship' into the services i've been fortunate enough to lead. sort of a choose-your-own-worship-adventure deal where the last song of a set, i'll let the congregation pick which song we sing together.

we'll post 3 choices and let them 'vote' by screaming or snapping or something stupid. it always seems to engage them a bit more. even if the congregation is split and we do a song that a few people didn't vote for, i've noticed that everyone sings and participates more on the multiple choice song.

it's much more interesting for me as a worship leader. it gives me a better gauge of where the worshippers are. it makes the setlist different every time - very non-linear. and it's another way to encourage a spirit of community - giving them ownership in the service and in how they feel led to worship at the moment.

i'd been giving them the choice of all faster, more upbeat songs. but the last few times we worshipped on ASU campus, i've thrown in a slower, more worshipful song. i was figuring that they'd probably pick one of the other two uptempo songs. but i still wanted them to choose. who was i to say they wanted to end the worship set with a fast one?

man, was i wrong. in every one of the last three services where i gave these college ministries a chance to pick a slower/worship song, they picked it! they wanted to dive back into worship instead of keeping things all happy and clappy.

i'm so impressed with these young people. and i'm really honored that God gave me this idea, to engage them and point them back to Him in another creative way.


the white cord

it's funny the things that become symbols of status in our little pockets of culture. i remember when Guess jeans were hugely popular. that little triangle on your right cheek meant you were somebody when i was in high school. or it at least meant that you thought you were somebody.

at one point in high school, i remember buying a really nice pair of sony headphones with my paper route money. then i remember someone at my youth group asking me if i was rich because i had a real walkman. and i remember just laughing, not letting on that i had these sony headphones plugged into a cheap emerson wanna-be-walkman that was tucked in my backpack.

around here, everyone's got an ipod. a few people i know actually own several ipods. go walking around, to the park, the gym, go on a hike or to the mall and you'll see the telling white cord. it's like every other person has one. even marlow commented on just how many people have ipods out here. you don't even have to see the ipod itself - the white is all that needs to be showing.

even some of the non-apple headphone manufacturers are making their earphones with white cables. it's as if they don't want their customers to be mistaken for all the other, inferior, non-ipod users (okay, that's probably a stretch, but i know it's true to somebody, on some level).

anyway, the great irony about these stock ipod headphones is that they pretty much suck. they sound terrible. in fact, i have a pair of (black) $12 sony earbuds that sound fuller/richer, and that are a little more comfortable. the sony's don't distort when you push them. and they actually get louder than the white ones at full volume.

i'm not trying to over-think this - especially people's view of me (as spoiled as i may be). but i'm settling into totally being happy with people thinking i don't have an ipod. it's a little more understated. maybe a little less pretentious. and heck, it might even be safer.

my E3c's are a boring gray color. and that suits me just fine.


brandon's new site

hey, check it out. my buddy brandon has a new website. listen carefully to the songs to hear yours truly on all the rhythm guitars and backup vocals....


more NC pics...

let's try this again.
rob and joanna did a short acoustic set at the pour house. so cool to hear them doing one of Grandma's gospel songs in a bar. this is wes and rob after their set.
I got to lead 4 worship services in one day! this one's at good ol' hope chapel. good to be home. from left to right, that's bruce, jennifer, me, rob (behind the cymbal) and neal. note brenda's artwork on the wall behind us - darn you guys for moving away before we got a decent painting for our house out of you!
stacy clearman and I got to lead some acoustic worship for the church alive youth on sunday night. this dude is an incredible artist and lead worshipper.
che played skins with us. don't know what che's last name is. maybe guevara?stacy and his little ones, rachel & david. no, they're not twins. can't believe you're a daddy-o, bro!

NC trip

monday night was a rough one. we had to come back from north carolina, where we spent the weekend. always a little depressing leaving anywhere to come back to Arizona!

jodi had a trying flight - pregnant, swollen, uncomfortable - we're just getting to the point where she's having trouble getting comfortable at all. and to top it all off, the Steelers were defeated by the Jagoffs... I mean, Jaguars.

but here are some highlights of the weekend. we stayed with Diana and Wes (below). they're lots of fun now that they're finally married.

I have lots more pics. but 30 minutes is about my max when dealing with Blogger. they make it so difficult to upload pics. and you wonder why I only blog like every 10 days. we'll try again manana.


09.09.06 - TruWorship with Leeland

last night was so incredible. after a worship workshop through the afternoon, we opened for leeland.

the "we" in my previous sentence was a hodge-podge of local worship leaders. we were thrown together at about 4:30pm and had a whole worship set by 7. the Big Guy definitely helped us pull it off.

from left to right, that's yours truly, then Israel from oneplace, then Dwayne from the Gathering.

also present was Jeff Merry from Worship Arizona, Gerald Fercho from the North Hills Church of God, Marshall McCluhan from Northridge Community, and Ben from Calvary Church. each of us worship leaders got to lead a song (they actually asked me lead two songs - sweet!). and we all backed each other up for the rest of the set.

what's so funny is that I've met or heard about all these guys from all the other gigs i've been playing. in fact, last night, i easily ran into about 20 musicians/leaders from churches across the Phoenix area that I'd met over the past 3 years of doing this worship thing. even ran into Jacob Boyd - a former Reign King! and Jeff Gilbert, who'd asked me to sit in with his former band, Ember/This Daily Summer. and so many people who have played with members of my band and had heard of me/vice-versa.

such a blessing. I haven't really felt a strong sense of community among the local music/worship scene in a long time. it's now been rekindled.

and one of the highlights of the night was that the bass player in our "conglomerate" band was none other than Patrick Andrew of the band PFR. sweet, funny guy with a great heart and an incredible voice.

here's a pic with Leeland Mooring (of the band leeland). this kid just turned 18 and is touring the US. he's got the voice of songbird and a killer band/show. really nice guys too.


bye bye wuerfele's

last night we had a goodbye party for Kurt and Serena Wuerfele.

these people rock! they're the ones who've endured this desert experience with us. they moved out to AZ within 2 weeks of us moving here. they stayed with us for a bit, and kurt's been my right hand man in the band.

we'll surely miss their friendship (and kurt's guitar playing). you've affected our lives in amazing ways guys! go back to NC with peace. we'll see you there soon....


catch up

i totally forgot to mention a few things that have happened over the past week.

blue man group - such a great show. clever, rhythmic, smart and funny. yet really artistic at the same time. totally not what I expected for a vegas show. they had a live band, and were so interactive. these guys definitely make the crowd part of the show. a definite must-see - and this one might be more possible - they're going on tour this fall.

oh yeah, and while we were in vegas, we ran into Steve-O of jackass/wild boys fame. he was walking into the casino of our hotel with some friends. jodi had no clue who he was. I didn't realize it was him until we were just past him - otherwise, I might have stolen a fake "i'm your biggest fan" snapshot with him.

we also just missed Paris Hilton's CD release party. it was scheduled the night we left at a club right near our hotel. I know we're both really disappointed. that would have been a real treat to see such great musical talent.

catch U l8r. gotta go work on getting the baby's room ready....


farewell, dear stratocaster

today, I said goodbye to my strat. I've had it for over 12 years now - my longest guitar relationship. we had good times and bad. we laughed, we cried.

I held on to it because it played so well and had such great hardware on it (locking tuners, a rolling nut, lace sensor pickups). and everyone I talked to that ever owned a stratocaster said they regretted the day they got rid of theirs.

so, I guess I may regret today... someday. but for now, peace out and nice to know ya! hope the dude from craigslist enjoys playing you. your replacement should arrive early next week!


derek webb's album

courtesy of ashdown, derek webb is letting us all download his album for free. click 'em.

I'm totally down with his philosophy. I guess it doesn't mean all that much for me to allow downloading/sharing like this as a measly indie artist. I hope to be a bigger nobody someday - so that when I say people are allowed to download my album, they actually do it!


new guitar!

oh happy day. I just ordered a new guitar. should arrive in the next week or so. i guess to some folks that isn't a big deal. but i get new guitars more seldom than I get new cars - not often enough!

anyhoo, i'm so pumped because i've never owned a fender telecaster before. the tele was the first electric guitar to ever go into mass production. indeed, it was the prototype for all solid-body electric guitars that are used in music today.

i'll be joining the ranks of all these tele players: keith richards (rolling stones), jeff buckley, thom yorke (radiohead), bruce springsteen (couldn't leave out the boss, eh ryan?), george harrison (beatles), andy summers (police), john fogerty (CCR - that's for bill g).... the list is too long.

so now I will have owned/played all three of the major production electric guitars - the Tele, the Strat, and my Les Paul. what's next? maybe a martin acoustic?


birthday tribute

jodi is easily my favorite person in the world. in honor of jodi's __th birthday, here are some of my favorite jodi-quotes.

"how old am I?"

police officer after jodi's car breaks down again: "we'll call and get a wrecker out here soon."
jodi: "we don't need a wrecker, we just need a tow truck."
officer: "that's what a wrecker is, a tow truck."
jodi: "oh"

"so here's my plan...."

(pointing left) "turn right here."

and my personal favorite: "i'm not high maintenance, i'm high product. there's a difference."

happy birthday boss....


re: Love

holy crap, was this show amazing!

i'm talking jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, sensory overload - this was a SHOW. from gravity-defying acrobatics to incense, amazing props/set, lighting, and the best part - it was set to all Beatles songs. if you're ever in Vegas, GO!


off to sin city

jodi and i discovered a few days off in both of our schedules. we've decided to take a last hoorah! trip before the baby arrives and we're off to Vegas, baby!

i'm so excited - we're going to see love - Cirque du Soleil's show with all Beatles songs. and tomorrow we're gonna see Blue Man Group.

wish us well. stories and pics to come....


08.25.06 - brandon and FFH

had a smokin' good time playing lead guitar last night with brandon for the FFH show. soundcheck was rough and brandon's guitar had some serious feedback problems.

but the good vibes and energy made up for our technical woes. not a bad deal for our first gig together as a band. scroll down for pics and a list of all the mistakes I made!

our fearless leader.
me and Bruce, the keyboard wizard. holy crap can this dude play.

andy robbins, founder of christian metal band, holy soldier, and nominee for nicest-guy-in-the-whole-stinkin-world.

tim "t-money" ernst. former drummer of Reign Kings, and drummer on about half of the beautiful effect.
nicole and jeremiah, representin' for the wahba constuency.

regretably, and ironically, there are no pictures of josh here - who played some mean percussion last night and who played drums on the other half of the beautiful effect.

so here it is, the list of all the mistakes wahba made:

  1. i played/sang an extra chorus in "i don't think so" - the whole band, including the lead singer had to follow me on the spot.
  2. at the end of "misfit" andy and I are supposed to swell into a D chord - I swelled into a G.
  3. i forgot to take my setlist on stage and was forced to look across the whole stage at andy's setlist - which I later found out was in the wrong order.
  4. as a direct result of #3, I removed my electric guitar too early, expecting to be handed my acoustic so we could play "blameless life." someone in the band informed me that we weren't playing "blameless life" yet. I turned around and put my electric guitar back on. this happened after THREE songs in a row, until "blameless life" finally came around. i'm so smooth.


acoustic guitar tapping guy

this is mind-blowing - courtesy of my buddy kurt.

he reminds me of michael hedges a little bit. except he's even more emotional and melodic - not just technical. crazy.


OHPA! tour 2006 - odds & ends

here are some more random pics from our tour. let's start with the trailer (at kurt's request).

luxurious, no?

kosta, tina (my sista) and us.

here's jonathan winning a Coke at the ring toss. he actually hit two Cokes, but only got to keep one. he wanted to drink the Coke so badly, that he agreed to run down to the lake and back before he drank it. you go, boy!

and here's luke, winning a punching ballon at the ring toss - he hit that dolphin with all 3 rings in the same turn.

this is my boy, right here. little jackson at 10 weeks old.

here's a pic of shannon and jackson. shannon started smiling once she got over her wahba-phobia.


08.13.06 - new springfield, OH

our second gig in the same day (and our last gig of the OHPA! 2006 tour) was with the new springfield church in ohio.

crazy how God connects people. the youth pastors at this church are john & jennifer davis. jennifer's dad was the pastor who baptized me at the church i went to in pittsburgh when i was 13 years old. and john davis was one of my counselors at youth camp when i was a kid. the two of them each know jodi through different people. they met at whitehall and so did we.

we had much to talk about.

they've got a good thing going over in new springfield. ever since i started this worship thing, i've made an observation: people don't tend to support us (buy CDs, give a love offering, show up in large numbers) when we simply put on an event. putting out flyers and making it 'sound big' doesn't draw support for artists like me... community does.

every place we go that has a strong sense of community ends up being a place where: people show up; people participate in worship; and people contribute to our ministry to help keep it going.

new springfield church of god is such a place. thanks for a great tour, y'all. more pics coming soon....

08.13.06 - grove city, PA

the gang at the grove city church of god were so cool!

pastor Gene and his wife, Amy were shocked because they had never seen me "in anything besides shorts and flip-flops." I think they both wore sandals so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable - how nice is that! but then, I ended up wearing actual khakis and black dress shoes - you know how it is - gotta keep 'em on their (ahem...) toes.

here's a pic of us with jodi's parents at the grove city church....


08.11.06 - whitehall camp - emlenton, PA

camp was such a blast. it went by so quickly. i realized camp is a lot better when you have your own A/C, in your own trailer. we got to rest. we got loved on. we got our grub on.

i played bass on the worship team all week in the tabernacle. pastor david boots, our worship leader for the week, rocked us pretty steady on a good mix of country-style hymns, and contemporary stuff.

friday night, the youth (which had been meeting in a separate service all week), joined us in the tabernacle. the place was packed with like 2000 people. and I was asked to do a song during the service! this is me (with orion and brad) playing "giver" up at whitehall camp.

more pics from camp coming soon....


08.06.06 - cambridge springs, PA

we were so blessed to lead worship with the cambridge springs church of god. steve smacked away at the djembe so sweet - he gave us all a glimpse of heaven.

my nephews, jonathan and luke were the "merch boys." I'll put up a pic soon with the two of them sporting their wahba tees. they did such a great job selling. here was jonathan's sales pitch:

man, to jonathan: "and where are you from?"
jonathan (all in one breath): "columbus-ohio-ya-wanna-buy-a-CD?"

too funny.

I also made a major ding-move and took us on a 20-minute detour on the way to the church. I thought we had missed our exit, when I was really just reading the map wrong. we ended up being about 10 minutes late for sound check.


08.05.06 - meadville, PA

had a blast worshipping/playing at the meadville first church of god saturday evening. the crowd at meadville are always among our most supportive every time we tour this area.

as I was playing "lead us to you", I realized that for the first time in a long while, I was playing it well. not missing any chords. nailing the rhythms and lyrics. my pitch was almost dead-on too. almost perfect.

but then, as luck would have it, my guitar cut out. seems that I was getting 'into it' so much that as I stomped my foot, I accidentally hit my tuner - which mutes my guitar signal output. I searched frantically to find the tuner again with my foot. but the damage was done. I was humbled yet again.

the night of the show, we also christened our trailer - sleeping in it for the first time ever. steve and beth helped us break in the fold-out couch too.


08.04.06 - cleveland, OH

tonight, we played seekers, just outside of cleveland. such a great place to play. i mean, a true music venue - not just a christian coffee shop with a musician in the corner. great news too - they're looking to open more seekers franchises in columbus, and in north carolina! seekers tour, here we come.

and to top it off, I was reunited with my long lost craigslist pal, steve mokris. this dude can whack a djembe 50 different ways and get a different sound out of it every time. he hasn't played with me in about a year, and he nailed our 2 hour set with only a short practice.


08.03.06 - childrens' hospital

today, i played what has easily been the best gig thus far on our little tour. we went to childrens' hospital in pittsburgh to sing/worship with our close friend, Taylor, who's undergoing chemo right now. smiles and hugs all around....

an extra smile came when we got to have lunch at the O in oakland (which is closing soon - boooo! it's been there since 1960).


from the road...

if you're just catching up with us. we've finally updated the blog. i've been documenting every exciting moment - but i've had some serious internet issues. so please scroll down and check out pics and stories from our tour so far.

here are some pics of our beautiful fans donning their smashing wahba shirts....

little shannon in the one-of-a-kind pink wahba tee.

and our littlest fan. jackson at 6 weeks sporting his wahba onesie.


car woes and amazing in-laws

typically at my shows, I'll give away a CD. sometimes i'll have a corny requirement for giving it away - like "the person who got saved most recently" or "the person who was pulled over most recently." so at the greenville show, it was tough to do the "pulled over" deal since i got pulled over on the way to the show.

i've been having bad luck with cars in general lately. what's worse is that they're not my cars - they happen to belong to my parents-in-law who are generous enough to let us use their extra vehicle to run around in every time we visit.

since i got here 6 days ago, i've run over flowers in their new landscaping, i've run over a raccoon (felt much worse about the car than the 'coon), and i've gotten a speeding ticket. still, they let us use it to drive to canton, OH today.

i think they're crazy or something. good-crazy though. the kind of crazy that gives you a glimpse of what real love looks like.


07.30.06 - new castle, PA

thus go-eth day two of thine divine OHPA! 2006 tour: wahba playeth. the people kindly support-eth. a thrice beautiful time was had by all.

shawn shawbroek (I know I butchered the spelling of his last name) played some monster bongos. the folks at the new castle church of god love to do some singin'. love you all!

07.29.06 - greenville, PA

almost one year ago today, I played my first gig at the mustard seed jamhouse in greenville (PA, not NC). today, I had the distinct pleasure of returning for a repeat performance. such a cool little venue. it sits in the basement of a bookstore in downtown greenville.

good vibes all around. great turnout and fun crowd. i introduced my 80's metal ballad medley (they're all in the key of G, so a medley was inevitable).

i also broke the news to my father in law, mid-show, that i was pulled over for speeding in his convertible on the way to the show. he was most gracious and waited till after the show to strangle me (kidding). more on the ticket later.

at the break, the jamhouse crew dared me to partake of some "after death sauce" - a hot sauce beyond all hot sauces. i declined, but then gave in after the show was over. someone took video of the whole ordeal. i was fine for a couple of minutes, then started sweating and hiccuping a lot. ended up downing some Tums later on. i did it all for my adoring fans!

much love, jamhouse. y'all rock.