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!
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.
“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."
Labor Day weekend of this year, I had the privilege of joining some of my best buds from back in Texas on a kayak tour along the Buffalo River. Here are some words about the trip from the dudes themselves.
Photos by Cameron Muilenburg
HDDN: Were you excited about this trip? If so, why?
Todd Matthew Farnsworth: Excited? Yea two reasons, best buds and wilderness. I sit at stare at a computer most of the day at work, in a city that I love but let's be honest SA isn't exactly known for their awesome outdoor scene. There are certain groups of people that you can throw together for a random trip and it doesn't even matter what the trip is, you're guaranteed a good time. That's how this trip was.
HDDN: How did the trip come about and did the plans evolve?
TMF: How? I think initially it was brought up by Jordan (Vonderhaar) wanting to send Nick into fatherhood on a high note but it quickly developed into an opportunity for adventure in the backwoods of Arkansas. Ky randomly found the Buffalo and was easily the biggest proponent in getting us there.
HDDN: Any takeaways from the trip worth noting?
TMF: Takeaways? One of the things I loved most was adventuring with Cam. The dude is one of the best friends I have and is always doing incredible things. It seems like ever since we left Rockport, getting together and experiencing the many things this world has to offer outdoors has become more and more difficult. So the fact that we got to get together on the Buffalo was something I really enjoyed. On trips like this when you're out there in it, and you don't see anyone else but your crew for a few days naturally good conversation wells up. Perhaps my biggest takeaway is that Mark Gove still has a thing or two to learn when it comes to mild Rapids navigation in a kayak. (Mark may have gone overboard a few times) Honestly though if there is one thing that stuck with me its that trips like this bring men life, and they are necessary and they are worth sacrificing a little bit for in order to make them happen. I'm grateful that I have a family that encourages me to partake in those kinds of adventures.
HDDN: How did this trip come about?
Nick Coxwell: I had talked to Jordan at the beginning of summer about doing a trip in August or September. For me, it was going to be the last time to venture out into the wilderness with my best friends and a time to refresh my soul before the next adventure comes - fatherhood. We initially talked about going to Big Bend, but after several discussions we landed on a river/fishing adventure. Kyler had recently read about the Buffalo River and pitched it to everyone. After seeing a couple pictures, we were in. I was excited about the trip for lots of reasons. I love packing my bags and going places. I love spending time with the group of guys that had committed to the trip. I love rivers. But really I don't think it mattered where we went, as long as we were out doing something together.
HDDN: Any takeaways from the trip worth noting?
NC: Deep discussions were had at 3 am in the truck while driving through The Middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma. Fish went uncaught. Mark fell into the water. Multiple times. Cliffs were jumped off of. Campfires were cooked on. And Jesus was talked about. I loved every second of it. Trips like those always feel sacred to me. Going out into the wilderness with your best friends will always be one of my favorite things. It will be a trip that I tell my son about and hopefully get to do with him one day.
There was a recurring theme as I spoke with each of the guys as the trip was coming to a close. Yes, we all thought that the Buffalo River was beautiful, but you could have thrown us all onto a creek running through our hometown and we would have been stoked. Time together with men who challenge you to be a better man. Now that is a truly beautiful thing.
Video coming later this week. Stay tuned.
You may have noticed (after about two years of stagnancy) a few slow changes in Hidden's activity. The URL, the type of content, the lack of the word clothing.... to name a few. Well I hope to clear some things up here. With a new year, comes a new Hidden. Here are a few things you can expect.
- Expanded Content!
While I used to focus exclusively on BMX, Hidden's new objective will be to document and share all types of adventure/community. This will involve trips, telling individuals stories, tons of collaborations, blog posts, videos, zines and more.
- Clothing is Not Dead
It felt strange to call Hidden a clothing company, since I wasn't designing the actual materials, but the graphics. With this new direction, while not calling Hidden a "clothing company," the plan is to do a LOT of collaborative clothing projects with other artists. In fact, telling their stories and traveling with them will be a big part of the future content.
- BMX is Here to Stay
As you may have noticed on the Hidden social media accounts, I still plan on doing plenty of BMX content. These new changes just broaden horizons. Since I'm already traveling and meeting incredible people all the time, I'll now be able to use Hidden as an outlet for sharing more than just bicycles. Some of this content will include climbing, bridge jumping, skating, painting, touring different landscapes on bicycles, kayaks or canoes, surfing, sailing...etc.
All in all, I am so freaking psyched to get started on some exciting projects and sharing loads with you guys beginning with this new year!
As I was going through some old hard drives this week, trying to find backups of the drives I lost in Africa, I came across something awesome.
A few years ago, I was riding with a kid named Nathan Standish in the Dallas area and was just blown away by his progression. He had been riding for a very short amount of time and was riding above the level of quite a few pros in the industry. Every time I rode with him he blew my mind. I asked him if he'd like to film for a video project and he was down.
He got hurt. I moved away. For a handful of reasons, the footage got archived away and forgotten, until today.
In honor of today actually being his twenty-second birthday, here is that long-lost raw footage along with some words from the man himself.
HDDN: Do you remember when this was filmed and what your mindset was at the time?
Nathan: I honestly don't remember when this was all filmed, I'd have to say maybe 3 or 4 years ago? I've always enjoyed riding bikes. It's always been my get away. My mind was usually filled with stress and more negative things but riding always helped block that out.
What impact has BMX had on your life?
Anyone that knows me knows that from the time I was 14 when I got my first bmx bike to the time I broke my leg when I was 20 all I did was ride bikes. That was my main focus in life. Have fun, ride bikes, and not worry about the little things
In addition to short films, music projects and travel-logs, I'm happy to introduce the newest feature of the site, the "profiles" series. The two things I've been trying to focus on are adventures and community. I think these are two beautiful gifts from God and I want Hidden to really highlight them and encourage everyone to find them in our own lives.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to go sailing on my good friend Alex's boat with him and another friend, Lydia Smith. Lydia had planned on making a long drive that day, and threw out those plans to go sailing with us. Listening to her describe her love for sailing, the ocean and just life in general was inspiring. I thought I'd ask her a few questions about how she got into this passion of hers and where it might be taking her. Enjoy!
Hello Lydia! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Lydia, I’m 20 years old and originally from North Carolina. My family lived in Raleigh and in Winston-Salem, NC when I was little but now lives in Birmingham where I go to school at Samford. Hmm, fun facts… Iced coffee is my favorite thing in the world, I pretty much have a life jacket tan year-round, I used to figure skate, I love playing the guitar but I’m not very good at all, and one of my life-long goals is to write a book.
I think it was about 5 minutes after meeting you that I found out that you love sailing. How and when were you introduced to sailing and why do you love it so much?
That’s how it normally goes — it’s hard to know me without knowing that I love to sail. So my parents met at Camp Seafarer and Seagull, brother and sister sailing and seamanship camps on the coast of North Carolina. When I was little, I actually hated sailing because I was scared of jellyfish, but I guess when I started going to Seafarer for a month each summer, my fear turned into a tolerance and eventually into something that I absolutely loved. I love the freedom of sailing. I love that it can be the most peaceful thing in the world but it can also be exhilarating and even scary at times. The feeling of the wind on my face and the sound of the waves against the hull of a boat just make me feel more content than I can even begin to put into words. Being on the water just makes me feel at home and a little piece of heaven on earth.
Tell us a bit about how sailing has been a part of your life over the past few years?
I grew up going to Seafarer as a camper and then have worked on staff since the summer 2012 as a cabin counselor and sailing instructor. When I’m not at camp sailing and teaching sailing, that’s what I’m thinking about and looking forward to. In addition to spending my summers on a boat all day every day, I studied abroad in the caribbean last semester through a program called Seamester and lived onboard an 88’ traditionally rigged schooner. Before that experience, I’d only sailed small boats — no more than 21 feet with the exception of a few days on our family friends J/122 which is 40 feet. This past spring though, I learned about a whole new kind of sailing and even got the opportunity to race on an 112’ schooner in Antigua Classics Yacht Regatta.
Did community with others on a sailboat differ any from your expectations beforehand? If so, how?
Definitely. Before I went on Seamester, I expected living on the boat to be comparable to living in a cabin at cabin. In lots of ways, it was, but it was WAY harder. My favorite part of living on the boat was waking up to my best friends every day but it was also the part I hated the most. I would 100% describe myself as a people person and very very extroverted, but I learned how much I take advantage of alone time at home. I don’t think my bed was more than three feet below the bed on top of mine and there were five others that touched mine, not to mention the other 14 that were right around me. I found myself learning to step up and confront people when I was frustrated with something because there’s no way you can just ignore things and walk away when you’re so close to everybody all the time. I learned to take advantage of being awake on deck by myself in the middle of the night for anchor watch and to study by myself at a coffee shop every now and then when we went to shore, but I also learned to take advantage of the constant community I was surrounded by and found myself awake way later than I ever planned on because I didn’t want to stop talking about life with my people.
What is your favorite thing about community with others while sailing?
While actually sailing, the teamwork for sure. Sailing isn’t a joke, especially on such a big boat that literally has nothing mechanical to help you out. (It’s traditionally rigged which basically means everything is controlled by a rope which we were then responsible for controlling.) Some of the lines can be adjusted with just one person, but most of them take 2+ people to pull in. Another thing I love is the depth in which I got to know people on the boat. There’s something about sitting on bow watch at 4 am that just makes people share their lives with each other. My friend Micah and I had some of the deepest, realest conversations sailing through the night at 4 am and I don’t think that would ever happen to the same extent sitting in a coffee shop in the States.
What is the most difficult aspect?
I kind of touched on this earlier, but the people. There is absolutely no getting away from someone when you live and work together in such a confined space. I built the most incredible friendships during my time on the boat, but every single one of them were fought for. About a month in, there was a span of at least two days that was just absolutely miserable. We were all exhausted and everyone was mad at somebody else for something — some things little, some big, but we just hit a breaking point. One morning after breakfast, our teachers basically just made us all talk it out before class and after learning how to confront each other, it got a lot easier. I think I try to forget that those few days happened because of how incredible most of the semester was, but learning how to push through that was a foundational part of us working and living together as a family.
What advice would you give to someone with no experience wanting to get into sailing?
Just sign up! Most of the people on Seamester with me had never sailed before and my experience on small boats didn’t really even transfer over that much. U.S. Sailing offers "learn to sail" classes across the country and there are lots of programs like Seamester for all different ages and lengths of time. Honestly, just google “learn to sail” or “student voyages” and you’ll find lots of opportunities. It’s definitely something I think everyone should have the opportunity to get into and it’s never too late to start.
Where all have you been?
I think I've travelled 1320 nautical miles to 12 countries and over 30 islands.
o you have any goals or is this just a passion and you’re seeing where it takes you?
It’s a passion that I plan on pursuing the rest of my life, but yes, I do have specific goals as well. Eventually, I want to get my Captain’s License and work on boats somewhere. So we’ll see!
Just that I really and truly would encourage every one to try sailing at some point. My friends would laugh if they heard me say that because of course I say that, but I’m really so serious. It’s so incredible as a "just for fun" activity or as a sport, but the community of the sailing world is super cool. Like anything, having sailing in common with someone else is a fun way to connect, but it’s unique how quickly you can get to know so many people across the world through sailing. And, this is a church-y answer, but literally what better way to worship the Lord than by being out in His creation. The water, the sun, the sky, the combination of all of them are such a tangible reminder of how awesome God is.
Huge thanks to Lydia for sharing.
To follow Lydia's adventures in greater detail, check out her site here.
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?