Southern California Tour

(Begun in April, 2006)....

I've been in California the last 3 days on tour with Matt. It's been a pretty good trip so far. The weather of course has been amazing. I don't miss humidity, not one bit.

Friday I got to spend the night at my older brother's place with his girls. He got to have them all weekend so I made sure I got to spend some time with them. I got there about 12:30am and Hope (4) was sleeping on the living room floor on her little sleeping bag. Next to her was another sleeping bag and pillow she had set out for me before she went to sleep. I couldn't just pass that up and sleep on the couch, so I got on the floor and went to sleep. Both girls decided that 6:30 was a good time to get up, so that's what we did. We watched a few Dora the Explorer episodes and had some breakfast. Then Cory and I took the girls to Disneyland. That was great fun. There were so many people there, but it was a beautiful day. The girls were insane and we had quite a time trying to keep them in line. My arms are still sore from carrying Hope most of the day.

Sunday we were at Calvary Chapel Antelope Valley, which was great. Such a cool church, seemed like a great community of believers. Afterwards they took us out to eat. I haven't eaten that much food in a while. Of course it was my first real meal in 24 hours. I was sitting next to a woman who lived right down the street from Erin Brockavich back when her story was going on. She didn't have an immune system. It was interesting. That evening we were in Redlands at Calvary Chapel there. It went pretty well. We got into a great conversation with the music director there. He's an amazing man of God who is serving in a church coming from a life of professional (reeeeeally big time) music.

(Completed August, 2006)...

It's been some time since i first drafted this blog. I kind of lost interest in this blog site, not really sure what the point of it is. But I was reading some friends' blogs and got re-inspired to continue to think out loud on the internet.

To finish my last writings, I will attempt to remember some of what Kim Hutchinson, the music director at Calvary Redlands, said to us that night in April.

This is a man who, in the mid-80's, could turn on a radio in any city, and within 3 songs he could hear himself, either in his band, or songs he had played saxophone on. He was Quincy Jones' go-to guy for horns. He's on Michael Jackson albums. His band was travelling the country playing shows. He was making it.

Over some time, his band fell apart and he started losing gigs ... his purpose seemed hazy (what good is a musician that's not getting to play music?), his career, as it seemed, was over. Now he's "just a worship leader," it would appear from the outside that now he has fallen so low that a church is the only place he can play.

Well, that's how most people might see it. Here's his take on it.

Kim told me that we, especially musicians, tend to find our identity in "what we do" rather than "who we are." I would say this could include most people in any kind of performance- or art-based careers. It can be devastating when what we do is taken from us, because along with it goes our identity, our purpose, our goals.

But it is God's desire for us to know our identity and, even more importantly, to know that our identity is found in Him as His children. Sometimes it works out best for Him to take away what we do. Then, once our false identity is out of the way, we can learn who we are. Once we know who we are, it doesn't really matter as much what we do. So, in Kim's case, God took away what he did (although he still was very good at it, the oppertunities weren't there), and showed him who he was: a Christian, a husband, a father. Then, God gave back what he did, but it was in a different light. It didn't matter if he was playing for Michael Jackson's albums or filling in for the church band. His identity wasn't found in how big the gig was, but in who he was as a person.

Now, Kim directs the music for Calvary Chapel Redlands. He doesn't stand in the front and sing, and he rarely plays sax. He plays keyboards off to the side. If he played sax with that band, he would smoke any of those musicians and all attention would be on him. Instead, as a leader, he humbles himself to play an instrument he's not as comfortable on, and submit to the singer's leadership. He's completely happy, doesn't miss the road or the fame, and is content to serve God in the same place each week with the same people.

I'm still trying to find my identity in Christ. I'll be honest and say I'm not there yet. I feel useless sometimes when I'm not on a stage. I worry that God will take away what I do. More than that, I want to know who I am, because I know what I do will matter less. But I still like what I do. I don't want to lose it. But, ultimately (I think), I trust that if God takes away what I do, I will be able to find out who I am, and He will provide for my needs somehow.