Wednesday, April 20, 2011

..a taste of His goodness..

an enjoying morning to reflect God's wonderful grace and forgiveness started with a delightful caramel macchiato from my kitchen.

it was a delightful morning not getting up super early partly because i did not have to wake up for work and the other part was being disturbed by a crazy storm last night. the sirens went off for a tornado warning and the thunder shook the house therefore it was hard to sleep. 

today has been nice though drinking a delicious drink along with hearing a new band. the city harmonic.

.the city harmonic. .manifesto.  

this is a band that has a powerful message of God and the pulse coming through the speakers will hook you instantly. i encourage you to listen to them and see what you think.

this is the biography on their website which i feel even more in tune with! it is incredible to see what their focus is. honestly i cannot wait for their full album now. 

read this and i have highlighted some areas that have stuck with me today.

You know, without audio I’d swear this crowd was at a seriously great hard rock show,” suggests the Bible camp’s video producer as he watches footage from a worship concert played by The City Harmonic the night before.  The crowd pulses along to the band’s piano hook-laden “Manifesto” with hands and fists raised in worship while they swing back and forth like a hammer to its steady, driving beat. And even when the band puts down their instruments the crowd takes over, raucously singing again and again the chorus to a tune they have only just heard.  Before long the band stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other, and eye-to-eye with their audience, gathering whatever instruments they can find and leading the room in a rowdy, folk-tinged rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” In the middle of the stomping, clapping and shouts of “comin’ for to carry me home,” it’s clear that for the crowd, this moment isn’t only shared with God, but also each other.
When listening to The City Harmonic, you instinctively turn up the volume and join the chorus as the music dynamically bounces from sparse intimacy to soaring celebration and back again. It’s a musical metaphor for the band that plays it—with their feet in the dirt and their eyes toward the heavens.  It isn’t long before you find yourself singing along and not because you ought to, but because you want to. Like a spontaneous outbreak of “Hey Jude” around the campfire, you want in on the moment. And getting people in on the act—hearts pounding and feet moving—is at the core of what The City Harmonic is about.
The Canadian band’s six-song EP debut, Introducing The City Harmonic, is a nostalgic Brit-pop meets campfire sing-along mix that features raucous, gang vocals along with agile, soaring anthems crafted to include the listener.  The band, consisting of front man Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, isn’t as interested in finding fans as they are looking for participants in the journey. “Both art and worship are participatory acts—not consumptive acts,” says Elias. “What is meaningful for people is the experience, that creative moment when art is shared. To us, it’s almost as though these songs just don’t sound right without everybody involved.”
The songs on the self-produced EP seem to embrace the horizon line between the wonder of God and every-day life, and nowhere is this more evident than the opening track, “I Wonder.”  A pulsing chant-a-long driven by Aaron Powell’s soaring, echoey lead guitar and accompanied by a sweeping string arrangement, it is a song that captures the band’s fascination with the overlap between this world and the next. Front man Elias shares, “There’s this old Celtic proverb that I love: ‘milking the cow is Holy.’ It reminds me that everyday moments are profound and that we worship with our lives, not just a couple of songs. Just think about that first ‘true love’ moment in your life. People have written more songs about that moment than any other event. How much more profound will our first face-to-face moment with God be? ‘I Wonder’ is really about approaching these moments with wonder and knowing it’s a glimpse of even better things to come.”
Even the band’s name is partly derived from the sense that in communal worship we catch a fleeting glimpse of the world that we pine for. Elias explains: “C.S. Lewis said this thing that’s always stuck with us:  ‘If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.’  It’s like there’s this hopeful nostalgia within us all for the way things ought to be. It’s great when coming together feels like that – like it’s the unveiling of something bigger and better than ourselves. If we can somehow spark in people a dream, something they just can’t shake, then that will inspire them to sing like every word matters, to live like every day matters, and having tasted heaven they’ll get on with helping this world feel more like home.”
For much of the past decade the band members have worked with TrueCity, a movement of local churches in their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario working together for the good of the city. Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’”  “Sure, we hear this all the time – but there are six important words that are often overlooked:  and the second is like it,” says Elias.  “God doesn’t separate our ability to love our neighbour from our capacity for loving Him.  It doesn’t matter how much so-called religious fervour we muster up if we’re living selfishly. It’s no wonder, then, that we should care about social justice if the thing most like loving God is to love my neighbor. It’s a no-brainer.  It just makes sense.”
With a sound informed by mainstream acts like Arcade Fire, Coldplay and The Beatles, The City Harmonic seek to create music they enjoy themselves “I guess we didn’t worry too much about whether these songs were ‘singable’ or not,” admits Elias “People don’t sing along to old hymns because they’re ‘singable’ – the songs move them and mean a lot to them.  They weren’t simple in the way that people sometimes suggest worship songs should be, but people connected with them anyway. We can’t make worship music formulaic, we have to move and inspire people. I hope we can write songs that are creative and honest. The kind of songs that capture people’s hearts and minds – then I believe their voices will follow. I pray people can connect with them and make them their own. Hopefully they aren’t worship songs simply because we say so, but because they come from honest, worshipful lives and inspire the same in others.”
Introducing The City Harmonic is just a taste of what’s to come from this creative Canadian foursome. The band’s upcoming full-length album will continue the journey—songs and stories that tell of hope, unity and seeking a greater kingdom, and music fans are already pulsating and singing along at the top of their lungs as they eagerly await this highly anticipated debut.

it is awesome to see a new band coming forth to give us a taste of His goodness. through this music we hear how amazing God really is!

in the song .manifesto. verse 2 goes 

We are free, He died and lives again
We will be a people freed from sin
We’ll be free, a Kingdom with no end

today as i reflect more about Jesus death i remember its to free us of sin and i continually praise God. through this music i feel closer today. 

.i want to make my everyday moments profound.

..these past couple weeks..

over the past few weeks i have enjoyed some spring cleaning. there have been a lot of things that susie and i have wanted to do around the house to make it more of a home but life has been very busy between my jobs and her schoolwork along with her work at Fossil as well. 

so we made out a plan and said what we wanted to do and things have been moving really swiftly. at the beginning of the month i saw a killer deal on a new refrigerator so i had to take advantage of the new samsung.side by side.led maker.water dispenser and two times as big! of course it was in the scratch and dent section but not at a place i would picture buy..

i enjoyed picking it out and getting it delivered because our stairs to climb would kill a normal man and it was free delivery and haul away which made us very happy. getting a new fridge is also part of our process of remodeling in the kitchen a little more to make it more up to date. we are adding a pantry in there and trying to make it more 2011. with the new paint and new floor last year this year we wanted to continue to add our touches.

so this week we had the refrigerator delivered and it is so much bigger and nicer and susie's favorite part is it will keep our ice cream completely frozen :)

some of the other projects we are undertaking is getting more pictures up in the house which is a lot of fun. we spent a whole afternoon cutting out mattes and framing some art that is vintage looking. we put up a new coat hanger in the entry way so that we do not have to hang our coats on chairs or others up in our closets. these are things that we have been talking about for a while but it was just finding the time to do it.

one of the bigger task that we are doing is going through each room and reorganizing each and everything. from clothes that we are donating to rearranging closets and moving dressers the task are kind of fun to think of things we used to wear and thought was trendy or cool. yep. you know what i am talking about the things we thought were cool. now it makes me want to go look at pictures of when we were young to just laugh and reminisce.

here are the pictures we cut mattes for and framed.

two of them went up in our living room.

more pictures to come soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

..visit to Tom & Valarie's..

as i arrived to frankfurt, Germany i hopped on a train where i would spend he next hour and a half seeing the country side of Germany at it's finest.

i asked to borrow someone's cellphone when i arrived at kaiserslautern. it was interesting when the person said sure but they wanted to make sure i was calling a landline because calling other cell phones cost.

a few moments later tom pulled up in a bmw to pick me up. we took a 15 minute drive to the cute little town of baalborn. soon enough we were doing things that we did when we were roommates in college.. exploring.

we took a hike through the beautiful country side of germany into the woods where we soon wound up in a field that was an old battlefield. there we found no vegetation and several old foundations to old forts and an old bunker with a supply train track to it. 

after an adventurous afternoon exploring and retelling many memories we had from the good ole' days we met up with Val to go eat at a german pizza place. 

the night ended with all of us outside of their house next to a fire pit enjoying the brisk spring air telling many stories. 

for the next couple of days that i was going to be in germany tom and val wanted to take me around and show me some of their favorite places. 

landstuhl castle ruins. this is a great castle that is located on top of a hill that over looks the beautiful city of landstuhl. today they use this castle for tours and shows taken place in this stage area below.

the beautiful city behind us 

next destination was "Falkenstein" or falcon rock. here we were at one of the highest points in the area. 

the view from Falkenstein 

Falkenstein castle 

the village below the castle 

after exploring some more we got very hungry and went to the restaurant in Falkenstein 

it was 65 and sunny with a little bit of haze but we could see for miles

 tom wanted me to order "Falkensteiner Teller" extremely bad but I had to get a schnitzel so he got the teller and had me try it. (saumagen is pig stomach)

"Falkensteiner Teller" i tried some of tom's and it was surprisingly tasty. the dumpling was like meatloaf and the pig stomach was like a sausage with a little spice with meat and potatoes inside

"Allgauer Art" noodles with lots of cheese and onions

i had the zigeunerschnitzel with fries and a salad and it was really good. the sauce was rich and the breaded pork was tender. the fries were extra crispy and the salad had a creamy delicious dressing. 

from castles to countryside with excellent restaurants along the way this was an excellent visit to germany. cant wait to take susie back with me!