Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.49.18 PM4 Oct 2015

Prayer (part 1): You’re Not Doing It Wrong

Originally posted at the Young Life Leader Blog, This is part of of a series written after my summer assignment as a speaker at Young Life Adventures. During that assignment, I was offered the gift of helping teenagers at the front end of their faith process work out language they found helpful. --- When people asked Jesus why He did what He did (healing people, being kind to cast-outs, teaching`), Jesus said, "Very truly I tell you, the

John Gibson 29 Sep 2015

Ashley Madison And The Hole In Our Public Narrative

If it’s true that, as Ed Setzer suggests, 400 leaders in Christian spheres will be or have been exposed as Ashley Madison users, then John Gibson was among them. And on August 24th, he ended his own life. That the world is broken and that both women and men are prone to wander shouldn’t be particularly scandalous to the Christian mind. The sinfulness of the human heart is part of the narrative we have been

Robot6 Sep 2015

Mr. Robot and the Unbearable Pace of Real Change

This short quote (a parable, really) by Mr. Robot's lead character Elliot really jumped out at me: “My father picked me up from school one day, and we played hooky and went to the beach. It was too cold to go in the water, so we sat on a blanket and ate pizza. When I got home, my sneakers were full of sand, and I dumped it on my bedroom floor. I didn't know the difference. I

SpotifyHasChanged4 Sep 2015

Everything Has Changed For Me,… including Spotify?

Q. WHY ARE YOU OK WITH YOUR MUSIC BEING ON SPOTIFY NOW? A. When I was a Young Life leader, I hung out at high-school football games, track meets and Taco Bell. I didn’t do any of that because I was really in to high-school athletics and food that can kill me. I did it because thats where high-school kids were hanging out. Had I waited for the average 17-year-old to meet me on my own terms, I’d have been a rather

EHCcover1 Sep 2015

Everything Has Changed

IS THIS THING ON? The last time I wrote and recorded a stand-alone collection of songs was in 2008. That is part of why this collection, entitled “Everything Has Changed,” is such a joy. I feel like I’ve been away from this medium for a while** and now I’m standing on stage, leaning into the mic, “Check. Check. One-Two. How does this sound?” Since 1998, my mission has been to help provide language for the process

Living Wisely and Well With Weapons

I remember, at one point during one of Aaron Sorkin's genius bits of West Wing dialogue, a representative from a sister Nation informing the President of the United States that it is difficult to hear moral instruction about the possession and use of nuclear weapons from the only nation to ever use one. I've always thought there was a powerful truth to that critique, but that it also illuminates a horrible kind of wisdom for the United States; perhaps someone

justin5mw30 Jun 2015

Frank Tate, 5 Minute Walk, Pizza and Rock Music

In 1997, I moved in to a house with a man named Frank Tate. You may recognize his name as belonging to the man who founded and ran 5 Minute Walk records (FIF, The W's, Dimestore Prophets, Black Eyed Sceva, Model Engine etc...). I lived with Frank for roughly eighteen months and, during that time, two significant things happened: 1. I, along with some overanxious and Craigslist-unaware friends, accidentally sold his armoire. 2. With Frank's guidance, I began a career in the arts. Similarly,

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 12.58.10 AM28 May 2015

Title Pending Guest Video: Painter Dave Burke

From Title Pending: "At a pivotal point in the writing of my first book, I spent some time at the Phillips Gallery in Washington DC. Along with many other great works, the Phillips Gallery hosts a col- lection of pieces by Mark Rothko, whose work I greatly admire. I stood in the Rothko room for what was probably fifteen minutes, though it felt like a week. I was entranced. And some- thing about that time

Title Pending: Dry Seasons

It is likely that, if you’ve been making art for a while, you have felt the seasons change but might not have had the language or permission to see that seasonal change for what it was. It may have felt like things had simply dried up—that rain wasn’t falling and the ground was hard. Everything took ten times the effort and even when your efforts did bear fruit, that fruit was sour. Certainly, it is

Title Pending: Keep It To Yourself

When I’m at the beginning of a project, I generally let just one or two people into my process and share my vision, or at least as much of it as I have clearly in mind. They are people who will hold me to the work I’ve committed to rather than just pat me on the back for coming up with the idea. They are people who will also say, “What’s your plan? How are you