yowit gonna read this

9/29/17 : Auburn Academy

Today, Mollie and Azriel and I did a chapel and vespers service at Auburn Academy in Washington. It was the second time Azriel and I have done music here, as we came out 5 years ago (although then we were representing Union, not The Current, our independent ministry). 

Last time we came with a couple other good friends, Chavez and Lindy, and we did a few of Richard Young's old favorites. I found a video from that actual vespers, as well as one that we did here, but was recorded at a later date. 

I cringe listening to myself back then, but then again I cringe now too, so... I guess I gotta get over myself. 

Blessings!

9/12/17 : Bazz!

9/3/17 : One Year (Engagement) Anniversary

A year ago today was easily one of the best days of my entire life. I had my dreams of how I would ask Morgan, some more elaborate and spectacular than others. I think the most ridiculous pipe dream of a proposal was a flash mob in the street in front of the Disney castle at Magic Kingdom with Cinderella escorting her to the top of the tower where Tinkerbell flies out of. I'd be waiting there with a Mickey Mouse Ring Pop. 

Ultimately, I just wanted to surprise Morgan. We had talked enough about it that I knew I had to do it sooner than later because otherwise she'd start being on high-alert. Here's a few things to know about our engagement story. 

1) When Morgan and I first started getting to know each other, we began creating a list of things that we wanted to experience together. It was silly things like watching a certain movie that was important to one of us, or a fun road trip to our grandparents house. The reason this list is important is because something Morgan added to the list made me aware that she was interested in me: romantic, truck-bed stargazing. We checked many items off the list, but truck-bed stargazing never got checked off, even 3 years into dating.

2) Morgan is very allergic to peanut butter, but she loves almond butter.

3) Morgan spent a year in Africa as a student missionary right in the middle of our relationship and the relationships she made while there are some of the most special relationships I think she will ever have. She LOVES those kids from that orphanage. 

4) Morgan loves family. 

5) When I asked Morgan to be my girlfriend, I wrote a song to sing that ends with "Will you be my girrrrllll....friend." 

Here's the story!

So I used my album release party as a reason to get my family in town without raising any suspicion. I "impulse" bought a constellation projector, and my roommate conveniently left his Ford Ranger at our apartment. So I convinced Morgan to go truck-bed stargazing with me in a good friend's garage/shed. I remember on the way there Morgan realized that I didn't have a power cord for the projector. I don't know how I changed the subject, but I got sweaty with anxiety while I distracted her. 

We laid "under the stars" for about 15 minutes, and then I stumbled around in the dark trying to find a switch for some Christmas lights that my friends had left out after a "photoshoot or something...." I brought Morgan over there, turned on the lights and there was a TV on a stand there, where she watched this video. 

 

Then, this happened. 

"Is this REAL?!"

"Is this REAL?!"

After she said yes, I went over and opened the garage door which had BOTH of our families on the other side. We all had a grand time together, eating smores and ice cream!

That's the story of one of my happiest moments I've ever experienced in my entire life. Now we're married, and it's still awesome. 

Day 45: Don't "Blair Walsh" This!

Ironically, the thing I've written the least about the past 45 days is probably the thing in my life that dominates the most of my time and energy. I'm surprised when I read those words, because honestly I can talk for hours and hours about Union College and Christian education (and that's probably why I get paid to). 

Today was kind of the last day of "summer" for us in the enrollment office. There are already a bunch of students back from whatever their summer adventure was, but tomorrow truly marks the beginning of a new cycle. All year long I recruit new students, pushing a campus visit, giving tours, talking about finances, and sharing my experiences in hopes that some young kid will relate to them in a way that can help him/her make a decision about college. For the past few months, I've been praying and hoping that enough of them end up deciding to come to Union that we can actually grow (which is unusual in Adventist higher education right now). 

Now, we get to see the fruits of all our labors! It is pretty stressful. In fact, I'll compare it to being a kicker in the NFL. You practice, warm up, stretch, and maybe kick a few extra points or field goals, but then all of a sudden the game is on the line, and everything depends on you. Check out how dramatic the difference is between making the kick and pullin' a Blair Walsh:

Needless to say, I'm praying for a game winner at Union College. I know I will write again sometime about the various reasons I will support Union and Adventist higher education 'til I die, but in the meantime just know that the college deserves a win and I hope that our enrollment team can give it to them. 

Day 40: Invitations are Necessary

When I was younger, there was a rule in our house that you couldn't invite yourself over to a friends house because it was very rude. I thought I was pretty clever by telling Leif have his mom invite me over so my mom would say yes. 

I still feel like it's pretty rude to invite myself places. In fact, sometimes I even feel rude accepting invitations if I feel I was invited out of obligation. Yet, there are some people and some places that I am so comfortable, I don't always need an invitation to pop in or hang out; I'll just do it. However, I still think that's intrusive... I just do it anyways I guess, 'cuz that's how much I love those people!

So, when dealing with anyone who is polite, non-invasive, and cares enough to respect your space, if you want to spend time with them you're going to need to invite them. The invitation is necessary for quality time together.

Jesus is pretty polite, definitely non-invasive, and He will never impose Himself on anyone unless they personally invite Him. This is why I love to start off any worship set, concert, or program I do with an invitation to the Holy Spirit (basically the omni-present version of Jesus) to be present with me, and everyone else there. 

Azriel shares this sentiment with me, so here is a variation of the concert-opening medley that we did in FL. 

Invite Him in!

Day 38: NBA + Mawwiage

I think that relating funny NBA gifs to mawwiage is becoming one of my favorite things to do. So here's my small, window's view update on married life.

 

Sometimes, I complain that our AC is always set to 75 because I like it at 72. When I get frustrated because I'm feeling too hot, this is Morgan's solution for me. 

Sometimes, I complain that our AC is always set to 75 because I like it at 72. When I get frustrated because I'm feeling too hot, this is Morgan's solution for me. 

Here, you can clearly see me reacting to Morgan telling me she needs to lose weight. "From where?!"

Here, you can clearly see me reacting to Morgan telling me she needs to lose weight. "From where?!"

This is exactly how it goes down if I get in bed and haven't brushed my teeth yet. 

This is exactly how it goes down if I get in bed and haven't brushed my teeth yet. 

All in all, marriage is still awesome! We're lovin' it!

Day 33: 8 Weeks Ago :)

8 weeks ago today, Morgan and I celebrated our last Sabbath as "single" individuals (according to the state, at least). Our families and friends came together a day before the wedding to worship and eat together, and to just spend time enjoying each other's company. It was truly a blessing to Morgan and I, and one of the highest highlights of the weekend for us. 

Here are some pictures from that day! 

If you want to see more pictures like these, my brother-in-law posted about 250 on flickr, which you can view here

Also, a quick update: marriage is still awesome.

Day 28: "The Wire"

Who made up these rules
Who’s the star and who’s the tool
And who’s the genius and who’s the fool
Oh who made up these rules yeah

Who wrote all of these laws
When to spit and when to applaud
What’s of the devil and what’s of God

Cause I’m so tired of walking this wire
I’m either ice or I’m fire
I’m so tired of walking this wire
I’m either ice or I’m fire
— Allen Stone

This is one of my favorite songs by my favorite artist. Growing up an American citizien and Seventh-day Adventist Christian while attending a church service every week, I remember listening to this song the first time and thinking... yeaaaahh! I AM so tired of walking this wire!

Remember in middle school, when you had that classroom that you weren't allowed to chew gum in? Why?! I loved to chew gum! And its all because of those idiots that didn't know how to locate a trash can when their Juicy Fruit lost its flavor, resigning instead to sticking it under their desks, or stomping it into the carpet. The teachers' solutions: to outlaw ALL GUM CHEWING. 

There is nothing bad about gum chewing. If there is, there's no way it outweighs the good. Yet, the rules decided to skip back a few steps to prevent even the OPTION of sticking gum under the desk. If the logical rule of "no sticking your used gum in the carpet or under the desk" is too hard to enforce, then we MUST come up with more strict rules to have enforce our own desired outcomes. It is entirely out of a desire to be in control. 

Well, that's how anything goes that grows large enough to become a man-made institution. Without getting too far into politics (church or governmental), I will just say that I think most laws and rules are put in place as a means to control a specific outcome that may or may not even be mentioned in that law/rule. Rather than leaders educating people on the benefits of behaving a certain way, they create penalties and consequences to control their behavior. 

I don't want to give examples of the rules and laws that I believe create a "wire" for me to walk. I want you to think of them for yourself. What is causing you to tip toe, and why? Can you even explain it for yourself? Better yet, what are the guidelines in your life that you try to project onto everyone else around you, whether that be in church, at school, or in your workplace? You may be creating a wire for someone else to walk. 

As a Christian, I have to remind you (and myself) that it is never our job to change other people. Our job is only to love them. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change them. 

As a Christian, I have to remind myself (and you) that inner reformation is impossible by my own efforts. My job is only to let go of control. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change me. 

Don't walk a wire. Don't create wires. 

A new commandment I give you: Love one another.
— John 13:33

Day 21: Mawwiage (2)

So Morgan and I have been married a little over a month now, and we still love it. The "honeymoon phase" is still goin' strong, and I want to treat Morgan amazing every day. It's not that we haven't had any spats, or argued pointlessly about something silly, or even just annoyed each other a little bit (I can annoy anyone, soooo....). But overall, every single night I'm happy to crawl into bed with her, and I know she's happy to wake up next to me. 

My question that I've been mulling over this evening is this: Is it possible to treat each other with so much love and respect that we always love being married to each other this much? 

Please answer in the comments, whether you're single or married for 35 years. I'm truly interested in everyone's thoughts on the subject!

Day 9: 356 days to go.

The past few weeks have been the most exciting time for an NBA fan: the offseason. 
(Morgan just rolled her eyes)

I'm actually mostly serious. The drama is insane! Players leaving teams, demanding trades, while teams are pulling deals and contracts in the gazillions-of-dollars range out of thin air it seems. It's when every fan thinks they could be a better GM/Coach/Owner than the actual front office of their team. 

Morgan went from rolling her eyes, to this. 

Morgan went from rolling her eyes, to this. 

So anyways, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite NBA gifs, and what they mean to me. So [g]if you're into that kind of thing, enjoy!! 
(Even Morgan might laugh at some of these, and she is NOT an NBA fan)

This is Morgan, anytime I start talking about her to someone else.

This is Morgan, anytime I start talking about her to someone else.

Literally EVERY time I start to show off... #GodHumblesMe

Literally EVERY time I start to show off... #GodHumblesMe

This is me after telling Morgan to stop pinching my butt EVERY SINGLE TIME we're going up the stairs. #SheHasaProblem

This is me after telling Morgan to stop pinching my butt EVERY SINGLE TIME we're going up the stairs. #SheHasaProblem

When I'm checking my WIFE out, and she catches me. (NOT inappropriate, we're married.)

When I'm checking my WIFE out, and she catches me. (NOT inappropriate, we're married.)

Me when I cook a meal...

Me when I cook a meal...

vs. me when Morgan cooks.

vs. me when Morgan cooks.

Hope you understand now why the NBA is so relatable to my life. Blessings!

Day 1: 364 to go.

I feel like I just need to write! So here it goes. I'm gonna write SOMETHING each day for 365 days. I have no clue what each day will be about, but I'll write something. 

If you know me, you know I try this kind of stuff ALL THE TIME. So if you're reading this, and care to bookmark it and make it a part of your daily ready for the next year, leave me a comment saying you expect me to see this through, and I'll put your name down on The List. The List is a list of people I just decided I will pay a dollar to every time I miss a day this year. 

So I guess this first post is just about me posting. I've got a lot to write about that I've been learning. Probably tomorrow I'll tell you about my wife.

WIFE.

I'm married.

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Comment! Not only to get on "The List", but to engage. I'm big on making friends, relationships, talking and that kind of thing. 

I think this is going to be challenging for me to see through, but really rewarding. 

#WriteOrWrong