So much has happened over the past few months! I’ll start by sharing some pics of the new piano being delivered:
To be honest, I’ve been somewhat negligent at recording new content for the next podcast as there have been quite a few life-changes recently since I passed the CCIE Security.
First, and probably the biggest change is my departure from Soundwave. After over 10 years with the band, God has made it clear that I need to step down. The reason behind the decision was unclear at the time, but there have been a number of confirmations since.
Second, The Connection Church started a fourth service on Saturday Night last weekend. It was a HUGE hit, but this does come with a greater commitment of my time and also brings some clarity as to why I believe God brought me to the decision to leave Soundwave.
As the two little ones get older (now 4 and 6), they want to spend more time with dad, which I consider a true blessing. We are taking our first ever family vacation starting tomorrow and it’s going to be a blast!
With all this said, the next podcast release date is somewhat up in the air at this point, but I’ll keep you posted.
Our last full-blown concert put on by the band was over a year ago, and we are doing a full set of originals and a ton of worship that’s bound to be familiar to most everyone – especially those who go to The Connection Church. See the flyer below for details. We were working till after midnight last night preparing, and this is one concert you DO NOT want to miss! It’s gonna be awesome!
The band site, www.soundwave.cc is still down for maintenance, but we wanted to get Porta Fidei, the theme song we recorded for DCYC 2013 available to everyone. We’ve worked tirelessly in the studio to get this recorded in time for the event and want to present it as our gift to everyone who is a part of this ministry that has done so much to impact the lives of youth in the Austin area for Jesus Christ! We hope you enjoy the song.
It is often times difficult to find balance in life is it not? This year has been the most challenging yet, and I feel as though I have grown closer to God more than ever! He has been so faithful! I am so excited about 2013. The goals I hope to reach next year seem impossible, but with God, ALL things are possible. (Matt. 9:26) Here they are in no particular order:
Start and finish the next Soundwave album – We will start recording our next album after DCYC in January. Jeremy has enough songs written and so far what I’ve heard has been amazing. I am truly excited about God’s plans for us!
Retake the new CCIE Security Version 4 lab exam – In order to avoid taking the written exam again, I will need to attempt the lab exam by November 14th. For those who don’t know, I attempted version 3 of the lab last month and did not pass. The new version has a huge amount of new technology so I have hundreds of hours of preparation to undertake before November.
Finish the Music To Pray By Album – This is a difficult one since we plan to release the Soundwave album early 2014, a large amount of my spare time will be dedicated to Soundwave in the studio.
Post quarterly Music To Pray By podcasts – I believe part of the reason it has been difficult to be consistent in the podcasts is I’ve had unrealistic goals. A podcast every 3 months should be an attainable goal. This means podcast 67 should be posted in February.
Remain faithful to the Worship Team, the Ministry Leadership Team, and our small group at The Connection Church – This has become almost second nature, but does require time and is a very important goal. Our church has continued to grow and reach the lost for Christ and it is truly exciting and inspiring to be a part of it!
With my “day job” of IT consulting absorbing around 50 hours of my week, there are two remaining parts of my life that I know have to take priority over everything. My time with God and my time with my family. 2013 will truly be a great year, but I believe above all, seeking first His Kingdom (Matt. 6:33) and trusting in The LORD with all of my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6) is my true goal as I try to find a balance.
One more thing – I made a minor change to Podcast 66 about 4 days after it was posted to bring down the midrange a little since it was a bit much so if you’d like the update, just unsubscribe, delete the old podcast 66, resubscribe, and you should be prompted to download it again.
It is difficult to get into the details of what has happened to me over the past 3 months, but I feel it is important to share this with you. Mid-April was a huge turning point in my life. I had just left my job at AT&T to become a consultant with a much smaller company, the Soundwave tour was in full swing with weekly practices and concerts, there was my commitment to The Connection Church ministry leadership and worship teams, and Yoko and the kids were getting ready to leave for Okinawa without me for 3 weeks. On top of all of this, the enemy took huge advantage of a very weak point when I was under for a dental surgery. I literally thought I was dying and it was as though every Truth about our existence in God’s Word ceased to exist and my entire foundation was shaken to the core. I was flooded with more doubt and depression than I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I began to spend every spare moment I could find listening to God’s Word in the car, praying, reading the Bible, but the “near-death experience” had me convinced EVERYTHING was meaningless. It was so crushing that it took me 3 days just to recognize it as a spiritual attack. When I did, the enemy no longer tried to hide the evidence of the attack, which increased exponentially with fear added to the mix – unexplainable fear. I immediately began to call and text family and friends to pray. That night, I sought after God and relied on The Holy Spirit more than ever.
Over the past few months, there have been victories, but there have also been struggles with depression, doubt, and fear like never before. A split-second thought followed by wave after wave of spine-chilling goosebumps, sometimes occurring over and over for hours! Throughout most of my life, the enemy has used my flesh with sinful desires and bad habits, occasional doubt, etc., but this was different. It was truly a non-stop war on my mind. I have never had thoughts enter my mind that made my soul cringe like this – thoughts I don’t have the words to describe, and the enemy would trick me into pondering these thoughts to the point of spiraling into deep, dark depression that would last for days. Over time, God began to bring into greater light the spiritual war that was going on. Truth in the scriptures like 2 Corinthians 10:5, prayer, family (especially my bro David), and the same Power that raised Christ from the dead gave me renewed hope and peace. Our God is so faithful!
I truly believe that God is doing some GREAT things through this ministry and the enemy is not happy about it. Prayer IS the way we wage this invisible war by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and this fact has never been more real to me. A few days ago when I posted on Facebook asking for prayer, it had been another very rough few days dealing with a weight of depression that had no explanation whatsoever. I could literally feel the depression lift as you guys prayed for me.
I hope this encourages you to pray continually. Pray for the state of our nation. Pray for those affected by the Colorado shooting. Pray for the unsaved in your churches. Pray for your pastors, your family! …and if you have time, I am eternally grateful for any prayers lifted up on my behalf. Satan is a formidable enemy, but GREATER is He that is in me than he that is in the world!!! – 1 John 4:4
So much has happened since my last blog post almost 2 months ago! Soundwave has played at over 8 concerts/events across the state of Texas as part of “The Start” tour. Please check out our new album here if you haven’t already. Our drummer got married this past weekend. Of course, Soundwave played, which made us seriously think about doing wedding gigs for a living. 🙂 We have our first out-of-state concert in Kansas in a couple of weeks. It’s gonna be off the chain!
Things have been full throttle at The Connection Church. We are now serving for 3 services on Sunday, and ministry is happening! Rene is doing an amazing job leading worship, and Cole has been delivering powerful, applicable messages with passion 3 times every Sunday. It is truly an honor to be a part of that ministry, and if you live in the Austin area and don’t have a home church, I promise you it will be worth your time to come check it out!
Yoko and my two precious children went to Okinawa, Japan to visit her side of the family. They have been gone for a week and a half with a little over a week to go. I miss them so much. Please keep them in your prayers.
I also made the decision to leave AT&T after 8 years and accepted an opportunity at Accudata Systems as a Senior Consultant. It’s been almost 3 weeks now and I have to say that I love it and can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in this role. Adjusting to this new world has been a welcomed challenge. I also committed 10 hours a week to AT&T temporarily to help in the transition so I’ve had no time to devote to the MTPB album. Thankfully, this is only for a season.
One last thing – some of you may remember when I put everything on pause to focus on obtaining my CCIE. Well, I’ve decided to go for a second CCIE in Security. This time the plan is to spread it over a year in order to have more of a balance between family, ministry, and work. I am still planning to have the MTPB album out in Q1 of 2013. Please keep me in your prayers as I go through this very challenging time.
It has been too long since the last podcast. For this I apologize. Podcast 65 is almost ready to track. My goal is to have it posted by the end of the week. I’ve also scheduled a week off from work this month to spend time on the album. I haven’t made much traction on either front the past few months, but I do believe one day there will be much more time to devote to this ministry. Great things are coming – I will trust in You oh LORD!
Soundwave had the CD release concert last month, and some friends of the band put together a really nice “official” video of one of my favorite songs. Here it is:
DCYC 2012 was the best yet. Over 2,200 young people came out to sing and worship with Soundwave and it was an awesome time of ministry. Jeremy talked about some new arrangements of songs used in the Catholic mass by Matt Maher and mentioned the music and charts would be posted on my website so you can download them here:
I’m not catholic, but I have grown to deeply respect the catholic church especially after attending events like DCYC and being a part of the lives of some of my best friends in Soundwave who are devout catholics. Like Jesus said in Matthew 7:16, …”You will know them by their fruit…” Here’s one of my favorite songs from Mass of Communion:
We had a great time the past few days and we’re even more excited about the CD Release Concert on February 4th, 7:00 PM at The First Assembly of God Church of Lockhart off 183 before you get into Lockhart. If you’re in the area, please come and check us out. It’s going to be awesome!
I cannot believe it has been almost 2 months since I last posted any updates. For that I am sorry, but there is good reason. Now that Soundwave’s new album, “The Start” is about to be released, we have been intensely preparing for what God has in store for this ministry. Since my last podcast, we’ve done a weekend-long camp for some little ones, we’ve had a number of practices, and I’ve spent many many hours preparing some new technologies that should help us in a major way when playing live. We’ve also done four in-home pre-release concerts the past 2 weeks. Here’s a song from one of them requested by the host called “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan:
This weekend is DCYC, an event we’ve been a part of the past 2 years, and it continues to grow. So far, there are over 2,100 young people signed up to attend, and we are stoked! After this, I’m headed off to Canada for a week (work related), and the weekend I get back is our CD release concert in Lockhart.
Soundwave has a few more concerts in February and March, but I hope to record and post another podcast between now and the end of March. I actually recorded a podcast in December, but had technical problems again. I’ve also started work on the “Music to Pray By” album, and I’m torn between putting time and effort into that project and posting podcasts. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a balance.
With all that said, I am truly blown away at the number of downloads MTPB has had even without new podcasts. The site has just recently hit over 500,000 downloads with an average of over 1,400 downloads a day now. To those who continue to use this resource to enhance your prayer time – thank you. These numbers are truly inspiring to me.
The past few weeks have been a bit chaotic for a number of reasons so instead of further neglecting the family and forcing out a podcast today, I decided to take it easy and hang out with the wife and kids. I’ve already got the next podcast recorded and a very small part of it edited so I should have enough time throughout next week to get it posted next Sunday.
However, the new Soundwave album, “The Start” is finished and I have the master. We’re just waiting on album art so we can send everything off for print. The official release date is set for February 4th, but I believe we’ll have the album available for purchase at the beginning of the year. Below is a 5 minute preview of the album, which really doesn’t do it justice – I basically took out parts of what are currently my five favorite songs:
While you listen, here are a few things I’d like to share about the album:
– Soundwave started recording this album almost a year and a half ago
– It was tracked, edited, produced, and mixed from start to finish in my studio
– There was no “outside influence” on any part of it. Every part came out of the hearts and minds of the band and a few very close friends of the band
– I consider this one of the greatest musical achievements I’ve been a part of to date
– I know I speak for the whole band when I say to God be the Glory, and we pray the words and the music contained in this album open up the hearts and minds of all who listen to the wonderful salvation of Jesus Christ!
Unfortunately, there has been no progress made on the new website. I am still working with the developers to correct issues with the “contact” form, translation, and the e-mail subscription so those of you who are subscribed have probably noticed you’re not receiving e-mails when I post. I hope to have all these issues resolved soon.
Secondly, I’ve been hard at work the past year on the new Soundwave album, and it’s crunch time. We’ve committed release the album by early January at the latest which means I need to have all the songs ready for mastering by early to mid-October. Soundwave is a ministry near and dear to my heart, and the commitment I’ve made to the group is taking priority over the podcast at this moment in time. I will post updates on the website, album, and podcast as they come. Thank you in advance for your understanding and prayers.
UPDATE: The contact form, translation, subscription, and some other issues have been resolved but there are still a few things outstanding. Hopefully they’ll be resolved within the next few days. I plan to send out an official announcement as soon is everything’s 100%.
Every year since 2008, Cisco has spammed me constantly the months leading up to the event, and every year I have asked to go and have been denied the privilege. I was certain the same would happen this year. In fact, my manager told me last Wednesday he was unable to make it happen, which was no surprise, but the following day, a reservation within our company became available! God is good!
For those of you who don’t know, Cisco Live! is one of the largest technical conferences out there, and is by far the largest in regards to the technologies I work with on a daily basis as a Network Engineer for AT&T WiFi Services. Not only will I have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry, I will get to see and possibly play with some of the latest and greatest network technologies out there. The conference will be held at one of the hottest tourist destinations in the U.S. – Las Vegas, NV. With that in mind, I think of Psalm 119:11 – “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee…” might I add, “…while in the heart of Sin City for the first time” 😕
Please keep me and the family in your prayers this week – it breaks my heart to leave them for 5 days straight. It also breaks my heart to miss Sunday Morning service at TCC – especially with Jeremy, lead singer of Soundwave, leading worship.
For the techies, here are some of the seminars I’ll have the opportunity to attend:
– Enterprise Network Virtualization using IP and MPLS Technologies – Advanced Enterprise Campus Design: VSS, Routed Access, and Resilient Campus Networks – Advanced Scaling for Core and Edge Networks – CCIE Service Provider Operations – Data Center Town Hall: Enabling Cloud Adoption – Cisco NX-OS Software Architecture
For the non-techies – I also get to hear William Shatner give the closing keynote, and Train will be performing one evening as well. Another huge bonus is I’ll have the opportunity to attend an AT&T VIP event as well as a CCIE-only VIP party.
* On a side note, as the audience for Music to Pray By grows, I have considered moving these personal posts to a different blog. If any of you subscribers are annoyed by them, please send me a message using the contact form and I’ll make this a priority.
God bless, and stay tuned for Podcast 61 coming early August. It was recorded over a month ago, but I remember it being special with a new original starting it off.
With the commitments I have to family, church, Soundwave, and work, I have come to the conclusion that the amount of time required to edit, record, mix, and post bi-weekly podcasts is throwing my life out of balance. I’ve thought and prayed about this for a while now and I know this is the right decision. I pray someday I will be able to do music ministry for a living, but just as Paul temporarily built tents to provide for his needs, I temporarily build internetworks to provide for my family. I still intend to sit down at the piano on a bi-weekly basis and record podcasts with hopes that in the future I will be able to catch up or employ help for the editing and mixing. At any rate, expect the next podcast to be posted on the 8th of May. I hope you had a blessed Easter.
Once again, Soundwave was blessed with the honor of participating in the largest Austin DCYC event in it’s 53 year history! It was an awesome experience to say the least, and wanted to post some media from the event. Here is a Youtube video of something the Youth Animators put together. This looked much more amazing live. Unfortunately, my iPhone is limited in it’s video capabilities:
Here’s a picture I took of these motivated young people Sunday morning:
…and last but not least, Limitless – the Soundwave Original written specifically for this event and recorded in my studio. It’ll be available for download on iTunes soon:
Unfortunately, the WordPress 3.0 upgrade has broken quite a few things on the site including podpress, which is the plugin I use to post MTPB. I’ve been working on it for a while now and I can’t figure it out, and since this version of WordPress hasn’t been out for very long, there isn’t really any information out there on this problem. I’ll likely have to figure out a way to downgrade to the previous version. I have Soundwave practice tomorrow so it will likely stay broken through Thursday or Friday depending on how long it takes me to fix it. I’ve got the new MTPB podcast ready to post too! Please pray for me that I’ll find a fix quick.
This past weekend, Soundwave came together at my new place to record two new songs, and we got quite a bit done. I still have a lot of mixing to do, but the new studio is definitely helping. Check out the pics below:
On a side note, the piano was tuned last week, and I’ve got the next podcast recorded. I’m a bit rusty so it’s taking me longer than normal to edit, but I hope to finish it tonight. Stay tuned!
It’s not to another country or anything like that. Things are bad, but they’re not that bad yet. 😉 We’re just moving across the street to Buda. I probably should have blogged about this sooner but life has been full speed ahead! Since my last post, we’ve completely transformed this house into a new home staged beautifully. There have been a dozen people in and out of it helping us. We’ve got it listed for sale, packed up half of our stuff in boxes, and still have more to go. Somehow, I found time for a local Huey Lewis cover gig. We had a 10-piece band – there were 4 singers, two of which were the electric guitarist and drummer with an electronic pad, trombone, trumpet, and sax players, an organist with an old 60’s B3 and Leslie cabinet (beautiful sound), bass player,and myself with every synth sound I could hear in Huey’s songs. We performed for Valentines Day, and had a really great time. At work, we brought hundreds of servers into production in our new datacenter in San Antonio. It’s our primary datacenter supporting AT&T Wi-Fi Services. It’s huge, and I’m responsible for the network – lots and lots of pressure. 🙁 Yoko had her yearly Okinawa Tomonokai event in Downtown Austin where hundreds of people go experience traditional Okinawan food and dance. I also got to serve with Soundwave at a wonderful church in Bastrop, TX this morning. We had a great time – lots of similarities to my home church. I would have most certainly fit the podcast in if my piano were tuned. I’ve held off since it’ll need to be tuned after the move, which should be the beginning of April. In the new home, I’m going to turn a room into a studio where the piano will reside so recording podcasts will be so much easier. The new piano will just have to wait for now.
Below you’ll find a video I took of Sanban a while back on my iPhone, and I just had to share it.
Thanks for your patience in waiting for the next podcast. The next one will be recorded in our new home – stay tuned!
This past weekend was an amazing experience. One I will likely not forget. It was by far the largest motivating crowd of young people Soundwave has ever had the honor of serving. It was the most performing we’ve ever done as a band over a weekend as well. It started Thursday for us. We set up till midnight and was back at it around 8:00 AM. There was sound and lighting work, sound check, practice for the band and the Youth Animators, and things kicked off that evening. The Youth Animators actually taught movements choreographed to our song that we recorded in my studio to a crowd of over 1,800 excited young people. We then got to perform it live all throughout the weekend. Friday, Karli became very ill and had to go to the hospital Sunday morning at 2:00 AM. We’ve been praying for her. Jeremy’s last tweet says she’s doing fine, but please remember her in your prayers. I hope this video will lift their spirits. After the stills at the beginning, there’s video. All of it was shot from my iPhone except for some of the pics Jeremy tweeted. I shot the video portion at the end while we were tearing down after a massively huge and motivating God-filled weekend!
Piano update: It’s still not tuned, and I will be blogging very soon why – sorry for the long stretch between podcasts.
The past few weekends have been non-stop family and Soundwave. We had the “Night of Worship” on the 21st of November which encompassed a day of practice, Thanksgiving with the family the following weekend, two entire weekends of Soundwave recording, mixing, and mastering here in the studio after that, and I’ll be out in Sonora, TX hunting at the deer lease with dad and all my brothers this weekend. My goal is to take down the buck I passed on last season. (see last year’s blog and Youtube video) I’ll try and send out some tweets about the hunting experience if I can get online. The best part of it is going to be chillin’ with all my bros, David, Adam, and Josh for the first time in a very long time.
Here’s the song we recorded. Jeremy wrote it for the DCYC event we’ll be serving an entire weekend at in late January. It is going to be awesome!
I mentioned in the last podcast that I would blog about the new method of recording used in the last podcast. Instead of the Roland R-09HR, I used a balanced pair of Rode NT5’s with the Apogee Duet as an audio interface. The results were pretty surprising. Normally the EQ I use will have massive peaks and valleys throughout, but with the NT5’s, very little EQ or anything else for that matter was needed.
This is a good shot from the front. You can see the XY pattern used.
This shows the XY pattern from the back, and the placement inside the piano. I actually used Westone in-ear monitors, which completely block out any sound and listened to what the mics picked up using various positions over the piano strings and soundboard. This is what I came up with.
Here’s the MacBook Pro running Logic Studio 9 with the Apogee Duet ready to go. This thing is so quiet!
A shot of the whole setup.
Because of Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll be taking this week off from the podcast to spend some time with the family. Next Saturday, Soundwave is going to record one of our new songs here at the Maestro Music studio, but I’ll try to get another podcast recorded next Sunday after church. Happy Thanksgiving!