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


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 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)


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)


Francisco Tárrega (1852 – 1909)


Zachary Roux (1993 - )


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…