Nashboard Dashville

Last Wednesday I had one of the best days I’ve ever had.  My favorite person and I drove up to Nashville because we had tickets to see one of my all time favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional.
Before the concert, we spent most of the day at the zoo, then had dinner at the pub connected to the venue.  Zoo was great, got to pet a kangaroo.  Food was great, ate really good sandwiches.
Then we went to the show.

The openers were both really good.  They were both local Nashville bands.  Dashboard was phenomenal.  They played most of my favorite songs and some new ones, which I never expected to happen.  I think I really just thought that Dashboard was over.  That’s definitely not true.

One of my favorite parts of the show though, happened to be the conversations I overheard.  Most of the people in the audience seemed to be talking about the music on an educated level, like it mattered.  They talked about the stage presence and sound quality and the musicians.  And later, we did too.

I like experiencing music.  I like it more than just listening to it.  I’m going to make an effort to make shows like these more of a priority in the future.  Be enveloped in it.

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Blogging Everyday in July|What Music Does

A few people have asked me to write about a few different aspects of music.  Why it’s important.  How it affects people.  How it changes things.  What it means.  I’ve even been bugged because I haven’t written it yet.  So here are some thoughts.  Apologies now if they’re not all together.

Open your computer.  Go to spotify (assuming that you have it) and pick a playlist that you made a couple years ago.  (This works with iTunes too).  Set it on shuffle and close your eyes.  Do you remember why you made it?  What do you feel?  I have a playlist on my spotify account simply called “Sad.”  I made it my junior year of college, and I remember listening to it on repeat.  I used to spend a lot of my life simply that, simply sad.  Music had a way of speaking into that part of me.
I have playlists that I made because the guy I was hanging out with at the time showed me all these bands.  Those playlists made me feel closer to whoever they were for.
I have playlists from road trips I took with my favorite person, my bestie, my soul sister.  Playlists filled with songs we would belt like ballads, songs that we would fake sob to, and songs that just made us laugh.  I’m a lyric person, she’s a beat person, so when we find the perfect combination, the song is gold.

Often times, people will say something that will remind me of a song lyric and I’ll just quote it, or start singing the song.  It makes me laugh.  It reminds me of a different time.  It gives me something to share.

There are songs that I could almost say have saved my life.  I think God speaks to me through music sometimes.  And he quite possibly uses my music to speak to people sometimes.

Sometimes there are no words to say.  But then a song says it.  Songs say what you can’t say on your own.  They have the depth, tone, and emotion that words on their own don’t.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but the song Jesus, Jesus by Noah Gundersen is one that I keep coming back to.  There’s an honesty there that is hard to find.

Jesus, Jesus, there are those who say they love you, but they have treated me so god damn mean.  And I know you said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” but sometimes I think they do, and I think about you.  If all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?  What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?  What about me and all my friends; are we all sinners, if we sin?  Does it even matter in the end if we’re unhappy?

That’s not something that you can just say to most people.  Put it in a song?  It says it all.  Songs have soul.  You want to see a glimpse of someone’s soul?  Hope that they’re a musician.  I firmly believe that anyone can find a song, even if they don’t get to play it or sing it more than once, ever.

Imagine a life without music.  Without birds that sing.  Without love songs and breakup songs and songs about Jesus.  A lot less would be said.  A lot more broken people would be unheard.  Music makes us whole again.  Go find your song.

I Must Be Doing Something Right (When Things Go Wrong)

I have a philosophy in life.  It’s that nothing is easy.  I fully believe that when my life is going the right direction, that’s when I hit the most opposition.  Some Christians would call this persecution.

One of the biggest forms of “persecution” for me is car issues.  In high school I was supposed to go to Panama on my first ever mission trip.  About a month before I left I got hit head on by a car that was driving on the wrong side of the road coming around a corner on a dirt road.  He totaled my car.  But that was a trip that God was sending me on, and it changed my life.

When I started college, I had a Miata that I loved.  I went to a school that God told me to go to when I was 15, and I was definitely doing the right thing by going there.  Suddenly my Miata started having random problems.  The alternator suddenly went out.  My brake pads welded to the wheel so I couldn’t drive anywhere.
My sophomore year I moved onto a different car that slowly fell apart.  I had to replace the transmission, and after a few months, the transmission started to fail again.  I sold it and bought a Honda.
My Honda was great at first.  But when I started my senior year of college the brake caliper just randomly fell off while I was driving.  The idle control valve went out my junior year, so I had to replace that.
After I moved to Mammoth, I still had the Honda.  I did the School of Ministry, and my car was falling apart more and more.  The second gear stopped working.  The speedometer went out.  Eventually the alternator started failing and I couldn’t start it without a jump.
But God was directing every move.

Last summer I bought a new car and sold my Honda.  I am in love with driving and I am in love with my car.  It’s a new car, should have no problems, and I haven’t had problems since I bought it.  Last week I decided to follow the prompting of my heart and I put in my 2 weeks notice to move to Alabama, where I felt called to go months ago.  On Sunday, through a series of events, a bunch of sensors in my car decided to go off.  There’s not anything wrong with the way it drives, but my safety features might be compromised.  Except I’m supposed to drive it across the country.
So on Thursday I get to take my car to the shop in a small town where I might be charged too much, and there might not be anything major wrong with it.  He might just have to adjust some wires.

Basically, when I’m doing something right, things go wrong.  Especially with cars.  So I must be doing something right.  It’s time to trust again.

When a Stranger Speaks Your Name

I’ll rest in this a while
Although I’m not sure what this is
A stranger passing spoke my name
Without ever saying a word

I find myself unable to move
Carrying a weight of a land that I never knew was home
My heartbeat is this rhythm
The beat of the rain on the roof over my head

There is a love here that took me away
A longing that aches for a return that is on its way
Could you ever know it?
Wake up and hear this song

These words slap you across the face
Yet gently tuck you into bed
Somewhere safe to lay your head
As you belong here

A welcoming with open arms
An unexpected arrival
A pasture to lay down in
Sectioned off fields of fairness

Floating through every step
As if a ghost lives inside of me
Maybe it’s time to start listening
When strangers call my name

Whispers of warmth tracing across the cracks in this cobblestone heart
Hearing angels pulling at the seams
Take off your coat and feel the mist
Be ready to experience a homecoming

You don’t have to know where you are
In order to know that this foreign land is your home
Your entire life you have been on holiday
Let the prodigal return

Ireland waited for you
Embraced you in her loving arms
Not ready to let you go
Hear her in the whispers of strangers

Listening

The whispers float by like clouds of thought
Sound waves that tickle the ears of innocent listeners
Hearing truth
Hearing life
Hearing love

Because they were listening
They were searching
They knocked and the door was opened
They asked and received

Not being caught up in the mundane
Not getting lost in the day to day
As that is far too easy to do

Finding intentionality
Listening
Breathing
Searching
Being
And hearing his voice once again