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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Purple Door 2009: Day Two

We started day two off by watching Farewell Flight perform, really good band, I picked up a couple of their albums. (I'll have links to all the band websites at the end of this post.) After that we watched Reilly perform again. They were really good. They didn't have their full band the night before and they just came out to do some praise and worship songs, but they did their own songs on Saturday.

(Farewell Flight)


For lunch we left the grounds and sought after food elsewhere. We ended up at Neato Burrito.

Jesse enjoyed his burrito.

Natalie enjoyed her burrito.

April enjoyed her burrito.

I was defeated by my burrito in a bowl.

Anywho, we went back to Purple Door and decided to rest in the shade of a tree and try to take a little nap. That rest was interrupted by some really bad hip-hop, I won't mention who it was. So we went to the Gallery stage to see Deas Vail perform, followed by Seabird, and then Bradley Hathaway. All great performers, although I prefer Bradley's poetry over his music.

(Deas Vail)

(Deas Vail)



(Bradley Hathaway)

While we were at the Gallery Stage we signed the Purple Door. Here's April signing her name:

(She broke her ankle a week before Purple Door, but she was still able to go. She was such a trooper walking all over the place.)

(Can you find our names?)

We went back to the main stage where Renee Yohe, from To Write Love On Her Arms, was supposed to speak but she couldn't make it. Then Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms was supposed to speak in her place, but he was not able to make it either. Instead, Stephen Christian from Anberlin came out to speak on their behalf. He had a lot of good things to say. I wish I could find a video on YouTube of his speech but I don't see any, sorry. But here's a picture:

Natalie and I went to the main stage merch section to look around. We spoke with the drummer of Farewell Flight. Natalie gave him Plural Form's business card and he said he would take a listen. We don't know if he ever did. We also spoke with the guy who plays trumpet for mewithoutYou. He's a new addition to the band.

We finished out the night by watching John Mark McMillan, Disciple, mewithoutYou, and Anberlin perform. Sorry, I don't have any pictures. Actually, I have some from when I went to Purple Door two years ago of mewithoutYou and Anberlin, so I'll use those. The pictures are kind of blurry, it was dark out.



(Anblurlin...I mean Anberlin)


Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. I hope to go again next year and the year after that and so on. Here's the list and links of all the artists that played on Saturday:

Oceans In Love

Farewell Flight

High Flight Society

Children 18:3

Run Kid Run

Every Day Process



John Mark McMillan




Ace Augustine

Texas in July

Becoming the Archetype


I am Terrified

War of Ages

The Showdown

Project 86



B. Reith


Deas Vail


Bradley Hathaway

One thing I noticed is there are way too many bands with the word "flight" in their name.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Purple Door 2009: Day One

A little over a week ago I went to the Purple Door arts and music festival with my girlfriend and my friends Natalie and Jesse. There were a lot of great bands there this year. We arrived Friday evening on August 14th. We watched House of Heroes first and then walked around the grounds looking at all the booths they had set up.

(House of Heroes)

There was a booth for Compassion
, The Love Alliance, Fakelife Clothing, and Relevant Magazine just to name a few. So Purple Door isn't just about music and art, it's also about activism. It's about getting God's people to get out there and make a difference because that's what true Christianity is about. Unfortunately for many Christianity has become reduced to t-shirts, bumper stickers, and music that doesn't do much more than rip off popular culture. It has become a lifestyle for many rather than a life change.

Anyway, I'm ranting. Back to the experience we had. And sorry for such a link-heavy post, but there's a lot of good stuff out there to see, so click on them, after you're done reading this blog of course. Just kidding, click on them now before you forget to. After looking at all the booths and merch, we went back to the main stage to see pastor speaker, and artist Eric Samuel Timm. He had a great message and painted this awesome picture:

It says "Share Your Love" if you can't see it, or you can click on any picture to see it full size. After Eric was finished a band called Reilly came out and performed some praise and worship music. I went through my rap and hip-hop phase a few years ago but I'm not really into that kind of music that much anymore, but I will say that I was impressed by an artist called Lecrae. He had some great lyrics and had some cool things to say up on stage. Finally to end the night, Family Force 5 performed. We stayed for a couple songs but my girlfriend and I both agreed that they were really obnoxious. They weren't that bad when I saw them at Purple Door in 2007. But they were just annoying this year, I'm sorry if I've offended any fans. Maybe I'm just getting old, I just turned 31 this past Saturday.

We met up with Jesse and Natalie at the hotel room that we got a good deal on. We paid the same for a suite that we would have paid for a regular room at the Wyndham hotel. It wasn't a huge room though, but we didn't spend a whole lot of time in the hotel. They had a pretty good continental breakfast in the morning though. After breakfast we went back to Purple Door for day two. I'll talk about day two another day, but below is a list and links for all the bands that played on Friday night.

House of Heroes




Family Force 5

Shawn McDonald

Rescue is Possible


The Pledge

Receiving the Ghost


The reason they were able to have so many acts in one night is because they have three different stages. They have a Main stage for the bigger acts, a Gallery stage for the up and coming acts, and a Hard Music stage for all the hardcore music.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hope Hill ~ Day 5,6, and 7

Day 5 ~ Finishing Up the Fence

We kept working on the fence all morning, we were getting closer and closer to getting it finished. We did as much as we could before lunch. Then we met with the girls again. They were playing basketball outside during their recreation time. Then we played them in a game of softball. We weren't trying to hit the ball over the fence or anything, but we gave them some good competition. They were making their own rules up too. One time I was running from first to second base and one of the girls grabbed hold of me (she was a big girl too) and said "You're not going to second!" So then I was tagged out. It was funny. After the game I went up to her, shook her hand and told her it was a good play even though I don't think they would allow that in a real game. It was good to get out and be active with them rather than doing arts and crafts with them all day. After dinner we went back to the fence one more time and we finally finished it!

And it made the cows happy.

Day 6 ~ Water Balloons!

We had a big surprise for the girls on Friday. We had water balloons and squirt guns. It took us hours to fill up hundreds of water balloons and they were all gone in less than ten minutes.

But there was plenty of water to keep refilling the squirt guns. The girls had a blast with it. Most of these girls probably never got to play with squirt guns or throw a water balloon at somebody before. I was glad we were able to give them that experience. Then there were those who had buckets and coolers full of water dumped on them. I think it was probably the most fun some of them had ever had. I was glad to be a part of it. We had to say goodbye to the girls after that. A lot of them were really sad we had to go. We were all sad we had to leave soon. That evening we built a campfire and sat around it. We had some S'mores.

Day 7 ~ Departure

It seems that every time our church has a mission trip something bad happens to one of the vans. Fortunately for this trip the only thing that happened was one of the vans had to be jump started before we left. Even though we were all tired and sore from the week, we didn't want to leave. It's hard to go, to get back into the normal routine of life after an experience like that. I worked on a slideshow most of the way home that would be shown in church the following week. We stopped at a Ponderosa to eat on the way home, it was alright. The trip home didn't seem as long as the trip there, but even the trip there didn't seem that long. I hope I can go back again next year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hope Hill ~ Day 3 and 4

Day 3 ~ Water, Water Everywhere

The third day we went back to the fence to chip away more paint and apply new paint which I think was actually tar. But soon after we started some dark clouds came rolling in. After a few drops of rain started falling, our team leader came down the hill with the truck to take us back to the bunk house. Soon after it started pouring heavier than I've ever seen rain pour down. There was a lot of lightning and loud claps of thunder. We stayed inside most of the morning just relaxing. The power went out in the bunk house for awhile. At noon we met up with the girls again. Another person on our team shared her life story with the girls. Then they did another art project where the girls painted on stones that had been painted white. One one side they painted words and images of the negative things that happened in their lives. On the other side they painted what they wanted their lives to be like in the future. The idea for the white stone comes from Revelation 2:17: "Let the person who is able to hear, listen and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches. To the one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death, I will feed you with hidden manna and give you a white stone. Upon this stone, a new name is engraved. No one knows this name except for its recipient." After the girls painted on the stones and had a chance to dry, they were placed outside the chapel among some of the flowers and plants that grew there.

That evening we had to clear some weeds away from a grape vine. The vine didn't even have a lattice or an arbor to grow on. We got all those weeds cleared out of there though. After that we went back to the bunk house to get as much rest as we could for the next day.

Day 4 ~ Back to Work

The rain wasn't so bad on Wednesday. We went down to a storage barn to separate the junk from the good stuff. All the junk went to the trash heap while all the good stuff was consolidated into a large barn.

On Wednesday, they have a chapel service at the school. most of the girls at the school attend this every week. There was a guy and a girl who came to lead the group in a couple worship songs. Then one of our team members gave a message. Then the girls had to go back to their classes. Shortly after all this happened, the little ten year old girl was attacked by two large white dogs pictured below:

No, she wasn't really attacked, unless you consider getting covered in doggy slobber an attack. They were the nicest dogs. We did another arts and crafts project with the girls after the chapel service. They were given small notebooks to use as journals, but since the notebooks were spiral-bound they couldn't be given to the girls. But then we worked something out, we took all the metal coils out of the notebooks and tied them together using ribbon. You see, the girls at the school can't have anything that they might use to harm themselves or others. That includes the metal wiring on a notebook. So when we altered them they were able to keep the notebooks. They spent time doing artwork on the covers of the notebooks.

Later that evening we went into town for more supplies and I had to pick a few things up as well. I got a chance to call my mom and my girlfriend while we were in cell phone range. While we were at Wal-Mart I was walking around with two of the girls that were on the trip. The one accidentally walked into the mens' room. When she noticed she was in the wrong place she started to walk out just as someone else was walking into the mens' room. She looked at him and said "I don't know where I am." It was hilarious. Then I was walking through the womens' clothing section with them because one of them needed socks. Two of them went around the corner to look at more socks and I saw a pair that looked really soft so I touched them. I said "Those are nice" as I peeked around the corner to tell them. They weren't there, but there was a girl standing there I didn't know who was looking at bras. That was a little embarrassing. After Wal-Mart, we stopped by Dairy Queen for some treats. Look at how determined we are:

After we finished up a DQ, we went back to the bunk house to turn in for the night. But when we got there we found out we had a little more work to do. Our leader and his son had gone over to the cafeteria to wax the floor. So we went over to help by moving all the furniture and everything else back into the cafeteria. It ended up being a pretty late night, we didn't finish until midnight.

I'll have the rest of the story up later, hopefully tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hope Hill ~ Day 1 and 2

I'd like to talk about the mission trip I went on a couple weeks ago to the Hope Hill School in Hope, Kentucky. I might take the next 2 or 3 days to talk about it since there is so much to talk about. I'll section it off into the 7 days we were there. I'll tell you a little bit about the school first. Hope Hill is a school for teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been abandoned, abused, or may have been into drugs and alcohol. Many of the girls have behaviors and can lash out violently or verbally. I've never seen it in the two years I've gone there, they're usually well behaved when work camps come, especially if the work camp is there to spend some time with the girls and do activities with them. The goal of Hope Hill is to give these girls a second chance at life, to try to turn them around so the don't end up dead or in jail. The program is Christ centered. There is a chapel at the school and the girls are encouraged to attend, but not forced. About 85% of the students attend. There is also a Bible study during the week and about 50% of the girls go to that.

Day 1 ~ The Arrival

We packed up our two church vans with supplies and luggage and started out around 7am. It's a 7 hour trip. I spent most of the time in a sleeping bag in the back seat because the air conditioning was blasting. I spent the time getting to know my teammates better, working on my laptop, reading my Bible and Relevant Magazine, and messing around with my cell phone. When we arrived we got unpacked, pictured above is the bunk house we stayed in. Some of the team members wanted to walk around the campus. I was there the year before so I gave them a tour. I told them about all the different buildings on campus and showed them the horses. They have a horse therapy program at the school.

After the tour we went back to the bunk house and just unwound from the long trip. We played some board games and read from some journals that people who have stayed in the bunk house have written in. There were some funny entries left in there, mostly by some teenage kids. One entry said: "Dear Journal, These last few days have been very weird. First yesterday Hillary got run over by a van and went to the hospital but nothing was broken, and I'm really glad nothing was because me and her were best friend for six years until middle school, but were still good friends. Then after that, the second bathroom in ours got flooded and then leaked through the wall into our room and got all over our stuff. That was bad plus today we looked at horses and one of them bit Rachel on the arm. And now its bruised. Plus its been raining pretty much everyday, all day. But I think God does everything for a reason and I'm glad that I got to come here. It should be all uphill from here. I feel that God brought us here for a reason and is doing his work. This is a very blessed place. I hope to come back next year. Bye." I think my favorite part is where she said "It should all be uphill from here." That's hilarious.

Day 2 ~ The Work Begins

We met the groundskeeper, Andy, to find out what jobs he had for us to do. The first job he had for us was to scrape the old paint off a fence and then repaint it. He told us we should have it done by noon. Here's the fence:

Noon? Oh, he must have meant noon next Thursday. I just want to say we were not done by noon. By the way, there are about 5 or 6 more sections of the fence that go out of frame to the right. But we did finish it before the trip was over as well as many other jobs I'll talk about later. We worked on the fence for a few hours and then went back to the bunk house for lunch. Then we met up with the girls at the school in the cafeteria. There were 45 girls attending the school at the time. One of our team members told her story about her life, it was pretty heart-wrenching. At one time her 10 year old daughter who came with us got up and gave her a hug while she was talking. All the girls at the school gave a big "Awwwwww." It was so sweet. That little 10 year old girl was the heart and soul of the trip, she got along with the girls at the school very well and she made a lot of friends. After the talk we did an art project with the girls, we tie-dyed bandannas. I wish we could have spent more time with the girls at the school but we only had limited time each day. We worked on the fence a little while longer and then went back to the bunk house to eat dinner and play some games and talk for awhile before going to bed.

I'll continue this story tomorrow.