Side Affect - Live at The Camphouse

One of my housemates, Chris Johnson, is a super talented songwriter and musician. His shows are energetic and fun and I've wanted to capture a bit of one of them for a while now. At the end of January, his band SIDE AFFECT had a show at The Camphouse, a coffee shop and venue here in town. I took a really simple camera setup and one mic to the show and this is what it turned into. Enjoy! 

And be sure and check out Side Affect here and on Instagram

Sunrise on Signal with As Isaac

Over the past year, I've had the privilege of getting to know a few extraordinary people that happen to make up a band called As Isaac. If I showered them with complements in this little intro, it would not do them justice. They are humble, servant-hearted, and mind-blowingly talented. 

I've been itching to do a project with them for a while, and this past Saturday, we made it happen. We drove up to Signal Point before sunrise and recorded an original song of theirs called "Somehow," live. 

Below are some words from Zach about the process of writing this song.  If you're a Believer, be encouraged. If you're not, or have doubts about God's goodness, this is a sweet story of a man's communion with God. 

Zach Smith:
 “Somehow” began three years ago in the stairwell of a mission house in the Dominican Republic. Over the years, the whitewashed adobe walls and tile floors of that stairwell have been the scene for many late afternoons and evenings of singing and playing. This particular afternoon, I felt the Lord drawing me to simply sit and wait on Him. As I did, the refrain of the chorus settled in as if it had already been written. Although the verses began to take shape over the proceeding year and a half, it remained very much in the background. It didn’t mean nearly as much to me then as it would years later…

I recently heard a friend say that wanting is at the core of worship. Think about what you want the most: this is what you’re worshipping. If you back that up even further, think about what you’re waiting for with the most fervor: this is what you want the most. Waiting on Jesus is a pure expression of worship—you’re saying that He is worth waiting for. You’re saying that He is most desirable to you. More and more, I am beginning to see the depth of the parallels between the life of a farmer and the life of faith. It is no accident Jesus makes so many farming/gardening references in His word. Think about it: you’re a farmer who has just made a massive investment to sow and seed your fields. You spent months plowing and preparing the fields. You spent precious resources to purchase the seed. You lay them in the ground, and then all you can do is water and wait. Water… wait. Pray for rain… wait. Wait for the miracle of resurrection that is entirely dependent on the Divine to be accomplished in the hidden, unseen places. “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:10) It is only our experience of the death of Christ that enables us to walk in His resurrection life. Interestingly, the more wholesome variety of wheat is winter wheat. It is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring. The farmer has to wait through the cold winter and hope that a miracle is happening underground.

Waiting is at the core of wanting. Wanting is at the core of worship. To be gut-level honest, 2016 felt like one long, excruciating death. When the Lord first gave me those words, I had no idea how much they would mean to me these years later. He is so gracious in His vast kindness and wisdom to prepare us for what is ahead without us even knowing it. Last spring, we had the joy of being able to head up the east coast all the way to New Brunswick. We were serving at a Bible conference up there when this song surfaced again and we started to incorporate it into our sets. Well, there’s nothing quite like having an intensely personal moment in front of a few hundred strangers! However, I hope it resonated in many more. If we truly belong to Jesus, He will lovingly lead us to follow Him on that Calvary road. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) What are you waiting for? What do you want the most? When it is Jesus, you will always walk away with your arms overflowing in the harvest."

Some Mountains and Some Bikes

The finish is quite nice though. Jump over a couple rocks and turn to the right. Go through a large tunnel under the highway and dive straight into the river. From there you can let the cool muddy sweep you away and enjoy your secondary vacation through the Grand Canyon where you’ll never be seen again… (which is what Luke tried to do the day before when we were swimming across to the other bank and both his legs cramped! yikes) Or don’t and ride the last 6 miles back to town in a race to beat the clock so the bike shop doesn’t charge you an extra $25 for being late returning your rental bike.

Everyone was completely pooped so we ate some pizza, packed up the camping gear and went home.

I left out a lot. There is only so much you can put down in writing. I guess you have to be there if you want those details. Sorry?

-dan