Archive for January, 2008

Another Saint

January 30, 2008 2 comments

john.jpgYep, I was reading the latest Grapevine this morning and came across some of the saddest news in a long time, dear John passed away in Senegal last October. I only know him briefly in Thailand but he was one of the most impressionable people of my early teen life, I will write more for their blog about my remembrances of this great saint and man of God and know soon. Earth is better for having him, and Heaven is so lucky now.

May we all learn something from his quite diligence and love for others from him. My prayers, admiration and love for his kids he’s left behind that they will see his sample, love and dedication in them as we are seeing in their brave courage already through this. There is a perfect time for each of us and this was his time, and great is his reward!

For those that want to read more or who know him there is this beautiful tribute blog done for him at:

Categories: That's Life

Strawberry Jam (Album Review)

January 20, 2008 4 comments

strawberryrough-small.jpgWhat do you get when a punk-head and polka-rapper (as if there was any such thing) get together? The answer is Strawberry Jam. Make sure to put your bread in the toaster beforehand because you won’t want your ears to have all the feasting and you won’t want to have to get up and get something to eat while you’re listening to this, arguably one of the best sound-sweetening hours you’ll ever hear all in one sitting. I listened to it twice through back to back!

This album that was “thrown” together in 4 days (thus the title, 4 days at sea); while they never really were on the open sea during the recording they do have rhythmic sounds that set your mind a sail even when launching into the deep with such topics as the recent Virginia Tech massacre in “One Breath Away”, and only show slight moments of going adrift in “drugs”, but never run aground.

Overall their sounds are more practiced and tight then many bands that have been practicing together for years, breaking new ground and sounds into the Family with this album and doing so brilliantly. While 4 days is probably not the best formula for writing/playing/recording a full length album it seemed to hit the mark creativity with this free-flowing gang and their potpourri of easy listening music that will be around much longer then it actually took to make, for a change. It has no anthems for the Offensive or deep witnessing songs, but will no doubt become a dance staple for Family dance/parties for years to come. With all the hard metal there is coming out these days it is a tantalizing hour of alternative/blues/Latin/funky/R&B sounds that are just fun-loving and vibrantly rich, especially seeing that they are sounds you’d not usually expect from a bunch of teenagers, and they do it wonderfully.

This also marks the first real appearance for Florence, who we’ve heard before from Mando Bando, but this really highlights her personal singer/songwriter talent and vocal ability in songs like “Still Waiting”, “The Wall by the Shore” and swinger/kazoo blowing “Making Love”, that I hope is only the beginning and yet another wonderful female lead vocalist to our playlist.

While this album like its predecessors, Recycled, Heavenly Music, and Polka for the People might not be the best of news for some parents and J/T monitors with the content of some songs, we must see beyond that to the wonderful free gift this album is to that age group in particular who will most appreciate it, and would otherwise go elsewhere. Perhaps just ask them not to play “making love” out loud while there is a bible study going on in the same living room.

It highlights yet again what a few dedicated and greatly gifted (I chose the word gifted rather then talented for a reason) teens can do when they put their all and resources and energy together. We got a dynamic force that I hope will continue to make the right choices personally (like all of us) and together to make sure that this is not the last time we have such a wonderful jam treat.

How about cherry, blueberry or peach jam? I got my toast ready!

Download songs here

…or here and hear from them about making it.

Categories: Rock on!

Metal Matters

January 16, 2008 6 comments

Listening to: “Love” by Salt of the Earth (Live at Wordstock ’07)

Reading: Prayer Drive for January ’07

Writing/compiling: It’s The Music: Our National Treasure (40 years of Family music)

heavy-metal.jpgIt’s been awhile since I’ve written on music largely due to the seismic tremors this wave of Heavy Metal flood has been sweeping through the musical airwaves of Family bands and subsequently studios, music video feeds, download sites and eventually my headphones.
It’s worth mentioning here that it is not my style, in the past I have stated this clearly so there is no need to do so again in this post. My question is who is avidly listening/benefiting from them?

I would like to open this up to a discussion and I personally would be willing to chat, Skype or email with individuals or band members willing to talk about this matter, be they musicians, bands, teens, just listeners, or complaining parents. Let’s sit down and talk about it, and depending on the turn-out I’ll post some of it here on this blog for all.

I live in a home with every age group represented and I can’t find someone interested in Heavy Metal, from musically progressive FGA’s, wild new disciples, ex-system music-junky SGA’s (of which I’m one), multi-pierced teens, or computer savvy third generation kids.

Are we missing the new move in Family music? Or is this just a sub-genre like rap or techno that never really “sticks” to the broader Family audience? I like hard music, I’m a real hard rock fan and was very glad and ecstatic when this kind of music was introduced, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around these forms of sound combinations and vocal intensity songs. Please enlighten me!

It seems to mean something important to a lot of very dedicated YA’s and SGA’s (XD CORE sub-generation) and thus I can’t seem to shake it from my mind without hearing the other side. Please tell me why metal matters to you. I refuse to let my initial reactions and musical preferences interfere with engaging in a sincere and honest discussion that might be beneficial to others as well.

If you would like to help enlighten me (and my readers) leave a comment expressing such and I will contact you via your email with a few Q&A’s, anonymous posts will not be answered.

Categories: Rock on!

Home Vacation Vol3 (holiday on ice)

January 11, 2008 Leave a comment

We had planed a hike and cave trip for the third day and picnic but it was rainy so we got an idea to call and see if we could provision the local ice rink. it does not get cold enough for natural ice here but they put up a tent with a rink of man-made ice. It was raining but still +9 outside and below inside. A bunch of us went including the kids making for a fun time together. Here are some pictures, I did not take much time taking pics like I usually do as I only get an oppertunity to skate about once a year, so I lent it to others who where taking time off on the sidelines so these are pics from a combination of people, most of which who did not know anything about taking pics with my DSLR.


I’m not sure what I was doing when someone snapped these pics but I know the talent scouts will know the French sounding names for these complex moves and will be wanting to launch me into a solo career in no time.


Our ice train of most of our team.


I took my camera “live” trying to capture the feeling of movement from on the ice.

We got back home after two hours on the ice very tired and ready for the last vacation day at home taking extra rest and Word, and ready for another year!

Categories: That's Life

Home Vacation Vol2 (let’s eat)

January 10, 2008 Leave a comment

So we traveled back from the other home after a great time there. Next on our action-packed vacation was a “cooking contest”, no one really kept score but it was challenging (especially everyone in the home in our little kitchen). Three teams came up with two dishes each to present for 18 portions, this became a whole meal as we sampled everyones cooking and dishes were represented from 3 countries, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria, we even had a visitor over from New Zealand to sample the cuisine.

Here is the menu and pictures.


Categories: That's Life

Home Vacation Vol1 (let it snow)

January 9, 2008 Leave a comment

we are having a few days of “vacation” as a home here where we do things we usually do not have time for during the year. day one we wanted to take our homes 3 kids to another home for kids fellowship, we accomplished this by organizing a wonderful afternoon on a ski slope in their city. We were nearly 20 people and many great kids (and big kids) as we took to the slope in any way we could. here are some pics.


The slope with real skiers trainers and snowboarders, we just went to have fun without all the gear.


The kids had almost more fun falling into each other then riding the boards.


Cherise and I taking a ride.


Had my camera with me and caught some of the action as it happened, not generally best to sled without snow as the last picture shows, but everyone had fun without injuries. It was a great time and we went back to the home for a great time of inspiration and songs together.

Categories: That's Life

The Party Goes On!

January 5, 2008 3 comments

I just got back from an area party, one of the first of it’s kind with most of the singles from three area homes for a late New Years party, thanks to those that hosted it and all that came it was a wonderful time of fellowship, relaxation, sport, dance and enjoying it all together was the best of all.


Me and the hottest 5 feet+ of Fox the world has ever known, the lovely Shaz’er herself, and my wonderful friend. This picture was taken early on in the night by Ti, the greatest photographer to not have a camera (since I’ve got one again). I got it on my blog before you!! 😛


Inspiration time with one of our National Treasures, Jason, there is not much else like it. I grew up hearing him on old crackly compact tapes, and have since have had the honor of knowing him over the last few years as a wonderful friend and a great sample of devotion and dedication to the Family and our unique musical heritage, and he does all this (believe it or not folks) without doing Heavy Metal music, it can be done, you can sing meaningful ballads and still be remembered 40 years later!


Then the games begin!


Drinks are on the house!


Then things get kickin’! (high F-speed to protect anonymity)


It just would not be right to leave without playing soccer together even if it is -3 degrees with snow on the ground. Yes I was playing too, but the goalie and they were not testing me much so pulled out my camera and took pics of it all. I think I saw many bewildered faces of people running down to my end virtually unmarked and seeing me with the camera missed the goal altogether. I fully believe that it was because they did not want to hurt my camera, GBT! Who cares who won, we all had fun and have pictures to show for it too!

Thank you all for a wonderful time! Not all the action is in Mexico. Viva Volim Slo-Croatia!

Categories: That's Life