Friday, December 25, 2009

The power of a storm... and the power of my God...

We had some significant winter weather yesterday. It was 28 degrees, but the windchill was 5. We had 40 mph sustained winds, gusting to almost 60 mph. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen. I went out for a few minutes by myself, and the wind was so powerful it pushed me around on the icy driveway (no use trying to drive anywhere whatsoever… the weatherman said “DO NOT TRAVEL”) Snow was flying everywhere, mixed with ice crystals. The drifts were as high as 4 or 5 feet. The roar of the wind in the trees was deafening. There was so much power in that storm, I don’t even know how to describe it. We as humans are completely subject to it. Oh yes, we hide in our houses, and try and stay warm, but there is absolutely nothing we can do to counteract the energy of the storm.

I stood out there by myself for a moment, contemplating. The God who made that storm… with all of its amazing power… that’s my God. The Man who walked on the water during another powerful storm… He’s my Friend. The One who raised Lazarus to life… that’s my Redeemer.

He’s promised to give me of His power.

His power… the same power that made that storm… the same power that performs miracles…

What an amazing thought!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Look up!

When I was on an 8 mile hike yesterday, I learned something… Not something new, but it became real to me in a new way…

We were hiking in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The area where we had chosen to hike is quite rocky (nearly the whole park is quite rocky), and I constantly had to look at my feet to keep from tripping on rocks. I was tired and cold, and I didn’t want to go that far. I wanted to turn around and go back… But we pressed on.

What I discovered as I hiked on… I kept on looking at my feet almost constantly. After all, I didn’t want to trip and fall. But after about 20 minutes of this, I paused to adjust my backpack, and looked around. The scenery was just beautiful! Mountains and trees, and of course big rocks… It was a refreshing view. And then I realized… it had been there the whole time… if I had only looked up…

Throughout the rest of the hike, I made a point of looking at the landscape around me. No longer did I want to turn back. I wanted to press on, and conquer that 8 mile trek through the wilderness… We made it, in less than 3 hours.

Sometimes I look at the path for my feet, and never look up. Oh yes, the Bible says to “Ponder well the path of thy feet,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t look up. And if you always concentrate on the little issues of life, and never look at the big picture: the beauty of Christ’s righteousness… the beauty of Christ’s life… the joy that is set before us… the things that are in store for them that love and serve Him…Then you miss so much of what He has purchased for you at infinite cost…

The beauty is there… if you only look up…

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another answer to prayer

Yesterday afternoon I had an amazing answer to prayer...


(To understand this story, you have to understand what a project file is. In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can put together video sequences. It saves various pieces of information about the clips [in and out points, volume changes, where they belong in the sequence, how much of them you used, which track they are on, what effects you applied] in a .prproj file. Then when you open the project, it loads all that information, applies it to the clips in real time, and eventually exports the data to Media Encoder or Encore, which can make finished video files and DVDs respectively. That way you don’t modify the original clips whenever you make changes. However, if you lose the project, you lose all your work, although you still have the video files that you had in the sequence. Also, the advantage of a project file is that if you need to move the project file, it’s very small, like only a few MB, so it doesn’t take up as much space as storing separate copies of all the clips.)


At around 11:40 I was finishing up my video work for the morning, and I saved my project and closed the programs at 11:51. In the middle of saving the project, the computer crashed. Now ordinarily, it would just be annoying to have my computer crash like that, but this was in the middle of saving my project, so I was kind of worried about it. However, I was pretty sure it had finished saving before it crashed, so I thought it should be fine. So, I left my computer off and went to give a piano lesson to Matthew, and then we went outside for a while, and then we came back in and did something else… When I went back to open that project, I opened Premiere, and the list of recent projects was blank. Well, that’s interesting, I thought, so I clicked on “Open project” and selected the right one. The little window, “Loading project” came up, and the progress bar started going across as usual. Then it got stuck halfway across, and it wouldn't go any further. Oh no! I had put over 40 hours of work into this project, and I couldn’t afford to lose it now. Maybe Premiere was messed up because my computer had crashed… I tried opening another project, and it worked just fine. So it must not be Premiere. It was that corrupted project… I opened it again, and let it sit for an hour while I ate lunch, hoping that if I gave it enough time, it would figure it out and open the project. I came back upstairs after lunch, and it was still stuck at that halfway point! Would my trouble ever end? I was quite upset, although I chose not to give in to despair. We had to leave the house a few minutes later to go for guitar lessons and errands, and the whole time we were gone I thought over my trouble. Actually not the whole time. I had a glimmer of hope. Two things: first, I prayed, and committed the whole situation into God’s hands – after all, He could fix a corrupted file if He chose to… and secondly, I realized that Premiere Pro will autosave every 5 minutes to a predetermined folder. If I could find that folder, then there was a chance that my project could be in there – but only if I had saved it at the right time so as not to override the autosaving. When I got back home, 4 hours later, the first thing I did after all the groceries were brought in and my evening chores completed was to go to my computer and find the autosave folder. I found the folder, and it had the 5 versions of my project in there (I have Premiere set to keep the 5 latest versions). My regular project was saved at 11:51. The last autosave project was saved at 11:50. I could hardly believe it. One minute was the difference between losing that morning's work and possibly the whole project vs. the opposite... Now of course there were 4 other versions, but they were considerably older, because I usually save my project very often in case my computer crashes, and that overrides the autosave, I think. So I would have had to spend quite a bit more time redoing the videos. I backed up the autosave project, and saved it as a “recovered” version of my project. I am now almost finished with it. Isn’t it amazing the mercy and compassion that God has on us? I am not worthy of such great love. But yet He arranged for my project to have an autosaved version that contained every single one of the changes that I had made that morning in my 3 hours of work.


Our God is amazing!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

GYC Promo video



I'm going! Who else is?

I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preludio...

I am delighted to announce... so very excited to announce...

Finally... my CD that I've been tirelessly working on for the past 3 months... is almost here! We have officially started production. It's been a lot of work to record, edit, mix, EQ, master, design, and get it ready in general... But our work is paying off, and now we have a professional quality CD under final production (burning, printing, packing, etc...)


You can listen to samples in my player below...


If you are interested in purchasing a copy, email me at reachingupwardstudios@gmail.com. The price is $11.00 plus shipping. I haven't shipped any yet (since they're not even produced yet) so I'm not exactly sure what the cost of shipping will be.


Manuel Ponce (1882 – 1948)

Preludio

Prelude No. 1

Prelude No. 2

Prelude No. 4

Prelude No. 6

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Prelude No. 1 in D major

Sarabande in B minor

Gaspar Sanz (1640 – 1710)

Canarios

Francisco Tárrega (1852 – 1909)

Lagrima

Zachary Roux (1993 - )

Prelude

Leo Brouwer (1939 - )

Etude No. 1

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair

Erik Satie (1866 – 1925)

Gymnopedie No. 1

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A life worth living...

Life happens so fast… Sometimes when I watch home videos, or look at old pictures, I almost cry, because those times are gone, never to come again. Not that they were the best times of my life, but whether they were good times or bad times, they are never coming back. It seems like only a short time ago that I went to my first Family Camp… I was 12 years old… and now I’m 16… and some of the friends that I met at that campmeeting are now over 20, and some of them are married, and they were 16, 17, 18, when we met… So my conclusion is that it’s only a short time until I reach that age… And from what older people (please forgive me for calling you older, but I mean older than me) have told me, the older you get, the faster time flies. It’s like a dream… it drags by while you’re in it, but it’s over in a flash. And then that’s it. There’s no more on this earth. If you don’t have anything to look forward to, past the grave, then there is absolutely nothing.

No wonder some people choose to end their own lives. They don’t have anything to look forward to beyond this life – which is gone so soon anyway. And so they decide that life just isn’t worth living anymore, and they decide to stop living it.

I heard about one man, that after he died (in his 90s), only 15 people came to his funeral. His wife, who was still alive, didn’t come – nor his daughter. Apparently he didn’t make the world any better for having lived in it, and no one appreciated him after he died. They didn’t have any reason to.

Now consider this…

There is something to look forward to, beyond this life… There’s a light beyond the darkness, a crown beyond the grave… reward, for those who stop to count the cost…

There is more to life than the endless round of duties, activities, fun, duties, activities, fun, and more of the same… There is more to life than doing what you enjoy… more than practicing music and video editing… more than spending time with my friends… more than going to Family Camp and GYC… more than school assignments…

There is something that makes life worth living… a life of service for God and your fellow man… a life of peace, even through hardship… a life of looking forward to the time when there will be no more sin, no more separation, and no more sadness… a life in the light of God’s presence…

And if you don’t have that, then there is absolutely nothing that will fill your heart’s need, nothing that will make life worth living…

Oh Lord, help me to always live in the light of Your presence… to surrender myself unreservedly to your Infinite wisdom. Because I’ve proven I can’t handle life myself… But You have promised never to leave or forsake me… I claim your promise…

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And one more thing I forgot to say before... Happy Thanksgiving!
Alright, well I'd better stop writing for now. We'll be back on either Monday or Tuesday. I fully intend to type up a real post when I get back. Oh yes, and my CD is nearing completion. I'm trying to decide how many to make, so if you are interested in getting one then please email me so I can take that into account. No pressure... But I am really exited!
I can't make these too long, or else it won't work from my cellphone. So hence my next post... I broke my thumbnail last week, so my planned special music for church is going to be rather interesting. I think it will turn out alright if I keep practicing and remember to pray before I get up front. :)
I didn't have time at home to write this post, so now I am doing it from my cellphone in the car. We're on our way down to Lake Jackson, Texas, to spend Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents. Left the house at 7 this morning,.. Temperature was 30 degrees.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whatsoever we ask...

Jesus said that if we believe on Him, then whatsoever we ask in His name, He will do it. Now that is a pretty powerful promise. Whatsoever we ask He will do. But do we believe on Him?

Of course I believe on Him! I’ve been a Christian all my life, and I’ve never doubted that He was the Son of God. Well, that may be true, but is that really believing on Him? No, it’s not. We have to believe about Him too – that’s certainly important. But believing on Him is something different. What is it?

It’s believing that He is able to do everything He says He will do for us. It’s trusting that if we give our lives into His hands, that He will be able to manage them better than we ever can. And most importantly, it’s the commitment to surrender everything to Him, because He is the only one who can take care of it.

This is a very important point. It’s the difference between being saved and being lost. Paul and Silas told their jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… and thy house…” So apparently all we need to do to be saved (which that should be our #1 priority) is believe on our Lord Jesus Christ.

So… if believing on Him is all we need to do in order to be saved… then believing
on Him is not just believing about Him. After all, Peter tells us that even the devils “fear and tremble.” Are the devils going to be saved? (Do I even need to ask that question????) So apparently there is some action involved in believing ON Jesus Christ. That action is turning ourselves over to Him.

It’s something that anyone can do. Rich, poor, high, or low. Your circumstances have no bearing on this whatsoever. You can submit to Christ – place all of your choices in His hand – at any time, any place.

The reward is incredible! Only a fool would refuse. And yet, aren’t we all foolish naturally, as humans? Yes, we are. But even from our faded viewport out of humanity, we can catch a vision of what is possible with God. How is that possible?

Because Jesus came to this earth and became a human so we could see what God is like…

Because God is love...

With men, things are impossible…

But with God, all things are possible!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yesterday we spent most of the day at Wichita Mountains. It was a gorgeous day! The weather was absolutely perfect. Not a breath of wind, no clouds, perfect temperature for hiking... I loved it!

You can look at my pictures on this slideshow...



We hiked to the top of Bat Mountain and looked around for a while.

There is a little cave in the side of the mountain, so the three more adventurous members of our family decided to go see if we could crawl down the side of the mountain and get in it. Now we had heard from the Visitor's Center that you need ropes in order to get into the cave, but we didn't have any ropes. But that didn't deter us too much. We've spent quite a bit of time on the rocks at that park, hopping and climbing and whatever else, so we are actually quite good at it. So we headed down the side of the mountain, and Mother stayed behind to pray for us... :) The mountain was very steep. We ended up descending through a little crack in the rocks. It was probably a very dangerous thing to do, but we didn't mind. When we reached a point about 10 feet above the cave, we were clinging to a nearly vertical sheet of rock, and had our bodies wedged in this little crack.

Around this time, my glasses somehow managed to become dislodged from my face, and went tumbling down the crack. By what I believe to be a miracle, they didn't fall all the way down the mountain. You can't see in the picture, but there was a little puddle in the rock, and my glasses fell into that. By some strange "coincidence" (but I don't believe it was a coincidence at all) they weren't scratched
the least bit!!! How did that happen? There's only one way - supernatural intervention!! They would have to have been scratched at least a little, falling down a channel of sharp rocks... I was considerably more careful with them after that happened!

Well, we decided to turn around and climb the vertical rock from whence we had come, because we realized that if we made it into the cave that we wouldn't be able to get out without a rope or a ladder, and of course we didn't have either of those at hand. So we made it back to the top safely, much to Mother's relief. She had been praying "without ceasing" that we would make it back safely and in good condition... :) What a dear Mother I have!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Right Must Win

Oh, it is hard to work for God,
To rise and take His part,
Upon this battlefield of earth,
And not sometimes lose heart!

He hides Himself so wondrously,
As though there were no God;
He is least seen when all the powers
Of ill are most abroad.

Or He deserts us at the hour,
The fight is all but lost;
And seems to leave us to ourselves
Just when we need Him most.

Yes, there is less to try our faith
In our mysterious creed
Than in the godless look of earth
In these our hours of need.

Ill masters good: good seems to change
To ill with greatest ease;
And worst of all, the good with good
Is at cross-purposes.

It is not so, but so it looks,
And we lose courage then;
And doubts will come if God hath kept
His promises to men.

Ah! God is other than we think;
His ways are far above,
Beyond our reason's height, and reached
Only by childlike love.

The look, the fashion, of God's ways
Love's lifelong study are;
She can be bold, and guess, and act
When reason would not dare.

-Frederick William Faber

It took me a while to understand this poem. Please take the time to read it over, until you understand it. It will be worth it. :)

~ Zachary

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sample from my new CD!!!

Finally I have a sample from my upcoming CD Preludio to share with you.

I can't exactly say it's typical of the CD, because no two of the songs are quite the same, but it does carry some of the impressionistic neoclassical sound that characterizes this CD.

I hope the audio quality is decent coming through the video. I am not finished with editing yet, so if it doesn't sound right feel free to make suggestions. However, remember that the audio is of reduced quality in order to stream it over the internet, so it will be higher quality than is on the video.

Enough said... Just watch the video!


video

If you like it, post a comment or email me at reachingupwardstudios@gmail.com.

If you don't like it... well, then you figure out what to do about it yourself... I'm not making provision for that! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back from Indiana Family Camp

Back from Indiana Family Camp... What a huge blessing!!! I don't have time at the moment to write a looooooooog post about it, but I will try to do it soon... :)

I'm almost ready to put up one of my samples for my new CD, Preludio. Look for it sometime next week! I'm really excited about it!

By the way, don't be afraid to leave comments on my posts. Your comments won't show up immediately, but they go to me and I publish them as soon as I read them (usually the same day if I'm at home). :D

I have so much to share about INFCM... I learned a lot, and was very inspired. Sean and I talked about standards in Christian video production for 40 minutes straight. I am not going to share all of that this moment... You can ask me about it if you want to know what we talked about, or else I'll probably put it up in a post later. :)

Well, I have to wrap this post up for tonight. More are soon to follow.

Zachary

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This morning, we left for Indiana Family Campmeeting. We're driving to St. Louis today, them finishing tomorrow. For once, we actually managed to leave at the time we had planned! We did bring a really lot of stuff with us though. I installed SoundBooth on my parents' laptop, and am going to try and edit some songs for my cd. I'm really looking forward to the campmeeting...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An update on my life...

I wanted to share this earlier this week, but I didn't have time to get it up here... So here goes...


Sabbath morning we went to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (or WMWR for short). We had heard about a fault line that was over by Meers, a few miles away, and was said to be responsible for the presence of these mountains in the midst of an otherwise ordinary plain.Before we left, we had looked up some info about the fault on Google, and looked at the fault on Google Earth. You can see it pretty well from the air. Not so well from the ground, as we found out later, but we didn’t know at the time. Before we left, we prayed that we would learn as much as possible, and be able to have a positive experience, even if we couldn’t find the fault. So we drove down to Meers, and went to the place that we had pinpointed on Google Earth. Of course, we couldn’t see anything that resembled a fault. But we had heard there was a seismograph in the Meers general store and restaurant, so we drove a few miles over to the store to find out what we could.

From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09
We walked in the door of this store, and we definitely were not prepared for what we saw inside.The building was over 100 years old, and had been moved twice. The walls were covered with signs, decorations, and old advertisements – kind of like a Cracker Barrel, but this was truly authentic. Apparently the main attraction is their hamburgers, which of course we weren’t interested in, but they must be pretty popular, because the line was packed up to the door, and later when we drove by again, it was out on the street.
From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09
They did have the seismograph in the store, but we were told that it didn’t work anymore, and that they had switched to computer monitoring of the fault. I could see why, when I looked at the seismograph – very old, antiquated, the kind that has the reel of paper and a moving pen, etc.
From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09
However, their computer didn’t look terribly new either. It was Windows 95…
From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09
My mom asked someone from the store how to get to the fault, and she told us approximately where it was, but that it was hard to see from the road, and that it was easier to see on private property. Our hopes plummeted, but we decided to try and see what we could, as long as we were there. First, though, we went to the Refuge and ate breakfast, had worship, and hiked around. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining, a nice cool breeze was wafting across the landscape, and it was just gorgeous.

From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09

In the afternoon, we headed out to Meers once more. We followed the roads, as we had been told, but we got to the place, and we couldn’t see a thing that looked like a fault. We passed a marker by the side of the highway, and pulled over to look at it. It was about the Indian chief for whom the pass was named. Just as we were ready to pull out, two vans passed us. My dad noticed the side of one of them said, “School of Geology and Geophysics” We couldn’t believe it!So what did we do??? We followed them, to see where they were going. After all, here they are, just miles from a major geologic feature. Surely they must be going to see it. They turned around, and pulled into a driveway of a ranch. We pulled up to the driveway too, but weren’t sure if we should follow them into it. Fortunately for us, there was a little Indian boy that just happened to be getting his mail right then. Poor little kid! He just wanted to get the mail. But we asked him if the fault was on his property. He said, “Don’t know.”
My mom asked, “So do you know anything about those vans that just pulled into your driveway?”

“Don’t know.” And he started to turn away.

“Well, can we go ask them if we can take a tour or something?”

“Umm… Sure, you can go right to that building and ask Tom.”

“Ok, thanks!”

So to the building we went. We talked to Tom, and the professor of the class, and they agreed to let us follow the class, and join their field trip. We were so excited! So we all hopped back into our vehicles, and drove the mile back to the fault. They pulled over by the side of the highway, and we followed their example. When we got out, the students were kind of looking like, “What are you doing here? You’re not part of this class…” But the professor, (who looked like a real naturalist), explained that we had permission to follow them, and that we were going to audit the class. We hopped over the fence, and walked about ¼ mile into the field, through the trees, and onto a hill. The teacher apparently thought very highly of homeschoolers, and she was very kind to us, and included us in the class (as much as possible). It was pretty neat. The lecture was actually quite interesting. She explained how the different actions of the tectonic plates could have formed the scenery we see today. Now I don’t agree with her time scale of millions of years, but the rest of what she had to say was very well put together, and informative.

From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09

On the way home, we were talking about how amazed we were at what had just happened, and I looked out the window and saw a strange rock formation at the top of a hill. I guess when you learn about rock formations, you tend to notice more things… So we pulled over, and took a picture.

From Wichita Mtns. 9-26-09

Isn’t it amazing how much God cares for us? It was so awesome, getting these opportunities that we weren’t even expecting.

Then, to top it all off, the Seilers came to our house in the evening, stayed overnight, and spent most of the morning with us. That was fun! Even though we had planned getting to bed at 8:30, and actually got to bed at around 10:00. (Do we ever go to bed early when we’re with the Seilers?:)) Then in the morning, we had breakfast with them, and Aubrey, Mr. Seiler, and I went to USAO and took pictures for my CD cover. We took 178 pictures… Most of them were great.Thank you so much, Aubrey! (and Mr. Seiler.) We had such a good time, talking about video stuff on the way home… (surprise, surprise…)

Oh, and by the way, my CD production schedule is just a little delayed. I had hoped to have it out by the end of this month, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I had to learn how to use my new editing software, which took some time, and also take the time to edit the individual recordings. And also I’m collaborating long-distance to get a cover, which is actually going quite well. The hold-up is me! So considering the other projects that I’m doing at the same time, a more realistic date for release would be at the beginning of November. Sorry this is taking longer than I expected… I’ll try to get some samples up here soon. I’m working on our annual Roux Review DVD, and making it substantially more professional (hopefully) than last time, so that’s been taking up a lot of my free time. And of course, you can email me if you want your name on the (currently pretty short) list to be contacted when my CD is ready. (reachingupwardstudios@gmail.com)

Well, I’ve got to wrap up this post… More to follow soon… J

Zachary

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wat we did wiff da spyder

This is a video of my brother when he was about 3 years old, and we were living in Yukon, OK.

He wants to tell us wat we did wiff da spyder...

Enjoy!

Note:
Be prepared, because the intro may not be what you expect. Just don't turn it up too loud before you figure out what it is. I had fun making it (from scratch) in Adobe After Effects. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I just found out that I have 20/40 vision in one eye and 20/30 in the other. Hmmm... At least I don't have to get new frames... I wish I was one of those fortunate people who don't need glasses. :) ~sent from my cellphone with sms text messaging

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some thoughts I had this morning...

I am coming to the realization that there’s a lot of benefit to getting out of my comfort zone. Especially to improve my relationship with Matthew.

It’s worth it…

- to take the time to play store with my brother when I have more “important” things that I “should” be doing…

- to go tromp around in the mud and weeds so that he can have a good time when I’d rather be sitting inside working on my computer… even if I end up with poison ivy and ticks so that I’m itchy all over for a week…

- to give up an hour of free time in order to do something for him, rather than selfishly hold on to every minute that I’m allowed to do something I want to do…

- to take up the cross, and follow Christ…

Why would I do anything else?

Because I don’t feel like it.

Can that be changed?

Most certainly! Jesus has provided a way. He has promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

So it boils down to a simple choice. When I choose His grace, then He can do amazing things in me… in my attitude, in my thoughts, in my actions… When I choose my own way, I have no power to change those things. Instead, I end up being forced by what I know to be right to do things for Matthew, and no wonder he doesn’t enjoy that time with me. Would I enjoy it if he did something with me just because he had to, because I’m his brother? Of course not!

So I am faced with a choice. Is it a choice of whether I should take time for my brother today? Or is it a choice of whether to accept God’s perfect grace, and His will for my life, relationships with family, friends, and everything else? The second…

From Nature Photos


So which will I choose? That remains to be seen. But I know from past experience that I will be MUCH happier if I choose the second. I don’t know what’s going to happen today. What I do know is that I’ll be confronted with many opportunities to choose.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God still works miracles...


Wow! Yesterday when I was playing in church, my finger felt so bad that I could barely play. I was wondering how I was possibly going to do special music in this condition. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, while I was sitting up front, that God would heal my finger, because there was no way I could do a difficult song like that for special music when I could barely play for church. My finger still didn’t feel better. But I had prayed, and I had faith that my prayer would be answered in the best way, although I didn’t know what that was. I sat up on the platform, and watched the service. Suddenly it was time for special music. I had this thought: “Don’t worry about special music, it will go fine.” I carried my chair and footstool up to the mic, then tuned

my guitar. Possibly because I didn’t want to tune too loudly and distract the audience, I tuned my B string very flat. Blissfully unaware, I started playing (on complete faith, because I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the song). Now the song I was playing (It is Well with my Soul) in this arrangement started on the B string, and of course it sounded really flat. As I’m sitting up there playing, all kinds of thoughts are going through my mind. “Why is it so flat? What can I do about it now? What are people going to think if I have to start over? How could I have mistuned it that badly?” Well, God gave me the impression to pause between phrases and reach over and tune it. When a suitable place came, (about 2 lines into the song) I went ahead and tuned mid-song. As it turned out, almost no one noticed anyway. From that point on, I really threw myself into playing. My reasoning was, since my finger was so bad, and I messed up the beginning, then I really should make the rest of it great. At least do what I can! So praying at the same time, I played the song. It was a miracle. My finger didn’t hurt

at all, and I made hardly any mistakes. God really blessed me, and I was not nervous at all. And from comments that people made after church, it seems that they really appreciated the expressiveness with which I played. (Note: Normally when I play, it tends to be sort of mechanical, just going through the motions. I practice expressively, so there’s some expression. But when I perform, I get nervous, so I just pretend to be expressive, and play what I had practiced. This time was notable, because I was able to be naturally expressive in a performance.) The air conditioning turned off during the middle, so towards the end of the song, when I paused before the refrain, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. It was just an awesome experience, having the Lord work through me in that way. I want to have that experience next time too. I don’t think it was because the circumstances were any better, it was because I knew I had to rely on the Lord in order to do a good job. I believe that if I can have that attitude every time, (even if my finger isn’t dislocated) then I can be much more

comfortable up front.



Isn't it incredible what God can do when we pray?!?!?!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My poor pinkie finger!!!

Sorry I can't do much of a post. I hurt my finger, and am having a hard time typing. So I had good intentions of putting a post up today, but oh well. I will as soon as I can. Sorry about that! Of bigger concern to me is that I am supposed to do special music tomorrow on my guitar, and a hurt left hand finger doesn't help that. So if you read this before tomorrow, please pray that something works out where I either am able to play (a miracle) or that I can find something else to perform, or (best yet) that I don't have to do it at all. Thanks!

Don't worry about my finger. :)It should be fine in a few days. I think I dislocated my knuckle, and it was quite painful, but it is feeling a little better after putting ice on it and wrapping it up.

My CD Preludio should be close to finished by the end of the month. I'm still editing the tracks, and when I get some done I'll put a sample up here for you to check out and comment on. It's gonna be fun... And of course I won't be selling them for an extravagant price - but the price is yet to be decided. It depends on how much it costs to produce. (of course) If you want a list of songs, send me an email at reachingupwardstudios@gmail.com. I can send you a list when I have one put together. (I'm working on it, but I still haven't decided the order of the songs. But I should have a better idea by the time I finish editing the audio.) If you are interested in purchasing a copy for yourself, email me at that address and I'll put you on the list. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Final update on Jester

Hello everyone! My goal is to put 1 to 2 posts a week, but so far I haven't been able to do a consistent rate. :)

Here's the final update on Jester...

He is now a free bird, living outside with all the wild animals. He is still somewhat tame, although he prefers to be on his own. But just two days ago he let me hold him for a few minutes. We had a major rainstorm yesterday afternoon, and didn't see him for the whole day. Matthew was somewhat worried, actually quite worried, so we prayed for Jester at worship. This morning he came to us, and we were relieved. Of course, we knew not finding him was better than finding a pile of feathers... But none the less, we were glad to see him. And it's nice not to have to spend all your free time catching grasshoppers to feed him (70 to 80 per day). :)

I will try to be more prompt in putting up posts, and making them interesting, not just long boring sagas about the things I've done that are interesting to no one but myself... :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Studio Upgrade



I am ready to say goodbye to Pinnacle Studio forever... I got Adobe's CS4 Production Premium Suite. For those who don't know what the difference is, CS4 Production Premium is Adobe's pro-level suite for editing video and pictures. It includes Premiere Pro, Photoshop Extended, After Effects, Flash Creator, On Location, Bridge, Illustrator, Encore, and Soundbooth. I am super-excited!!!


Soundbooth...
Premiere Pro running an AE composition


I spent an hour and a half this morning trying to figure things out, and produced this SHORT little video. Just presets, and a little modifications, plus a tiny bit of creativity. I'm still figuring out how to use it, so don't think this is really how I do video. Besides, it has no audio at all. Not very impressive, but I had fun figuring out a whole different way of doing things now that I have a pro toolset.


video

Now, I have a fully professional video and audio studio. Finally!!! Ready for customers... (eventually)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update on Jester

We took Jester outside this evening. He flew around, and sat up in a tree for about an hour. He is staying inside the house tonight though. We're not giving him total freedom - not yet. Here are some cute pictures of him and Matthew.