Friday, December 26, 2008

"I will kill you and cut off your head!!!"

This is one of my favorite quotes. For me, it symbolizes strength and determination in the face of great adversity. It was spoken by King David when he was but a youth before he battled Goliath.

The quote can be found in 1 Samuel 17. I think David and Goliath is a misunderstood story. It somehow has become simply a forerunner to Rudy, a "root for the underdog" kind of thing. When you take the story in context, it has a much greater meaning.

Let's set the stage. The Israelites and Philistines are locked in a military clash. At this particular time, there is a standstill. The Philistines have a warrior that is the stuff of legends: Goliath. He makes Chuck Norris look like a little girl (or little boy for the PC among you). He literally stood over 9 ft. tall. Every day of the standstill he would offer to fight any Israelite one-on-one. Whoever won in the duel would claim victory for his entire nation. The Israelites were understandably terrified. Death was almost certain for the man who faced Goliath, so no one took him up on his offer for forty days.

Enter David.

David is a shepard boy at the time. He visits his brothers who are "at war" and hears Goliath's boastful challenge. David's anger is immediately kindled. He is ticked that Goliath is defaming the name of God in his taunts and offers to fight Goliath himself. After the leaders realize that David is serious, they prep him for battle. He is given the sword and shield of King Saul. After a few steps he realizes the new armor makes him clumsy. He sheds them and walks out to meet Goliath with nothing but a pouch full of stones and a sling.

Goliath sees David coming and begins to chide the Israelites for sending out a youth to take him on. When he is done, David says this:

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

That is intense. What is even more intense is the next line...

"When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground." The story goes on to say that David then took Goliath's own sword from his unconscious body and cut off his head with it.

David RAN toward the battle. This is not some feel-good Disney story where a bunch of misfits get slaughtered in the preseason by the league favorites but "stick it out" to beat them in a thrilling buzzer beater in the closing seconds of the championship game. This is LeBron James dunking on your aging grandfather (or grandmother for the PC out there).

David was not intimidated by the challenge in front of him because he had great assurance in the character of God. David ran to vanquish evil in a selfless manner. That is how I want to live my life. Run with intensity to battle my problems, be they physical, spiritual, occupational, musical, whatever. I hope you will do the same.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My First Encounter with a REAL ROCKSTAR!!

This past week I flew home to Charlotte for Christmas time. I flew out of Burbank, which is smaller, closer, and more efficient than Los Angeles International. It is also quite a bit more expensive, but I scored some Frequent Flier miles, so that didn't matter...thanks Mom.

As I am walking toward my gate, I see a rather familiar looking person to my left. Not familiar as in "I have met you before," but familiar as in "I have seen you on CD covers, magazines, and on stage before."

I thought this guy was merely a look-alike, surely the guy I was thinking ok was not in Burbank Airport.

I get on the plane, find my seat, and proceed to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As the plane fills, I see the same guy sit one seat to the left and one seat ahead of me. We are on a very small plane, maybe 60 seats, and he is definitely in arm reaching distance from me.

For the next hour or so, I am battling in my brain with whether or not this guy is the frontman of one of my favorite bands, whose album sales have exceeded 50 million. My staring must have been intense because every once in a while he would break away from his iPhone to shoot a sideways glance at me. I would quickly gaze down at Harry Potter, only to resume my gaze a moment later.

Nope, it's not him. Can't be. He probably has his own jet. But then he reaches up and his sleeve drops slightly. I see his right wrist which is engulfed in flames of ink. It is him!

No, it's not him. Too small. But it could can I know? I know he's married, that could be his wife...

For a brief moment, I think about asking him point blank: "Are you Chester?" But that would be awkward now that I have stared at him for an hour and he has caught me at least 4 times. I decide to memorize the blue tattoo on his right pinky finger and get a good look at his wife. Some simple Google image searching should show me whether or not this was actually Chester Bennington.

I get home, and find this, proof that I was sitting very near Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park.

I wish I could say I talked with him and gleaned valuable insight into the music industry, then let him hear some demos on the iPod and traded e-mails. Nope. I got nervous. What would I say? It's easier to be the weird kid with the mustache reading Harry Potter.

Chester, if you read this, my name is Chad. Nice to meet you. I don't always have mustaches. I want to go on tour and tune your guitars. Or just pre-open your water bottles so that the plastic perforations are broken before you go on. Anything. I think you're great.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Facial Hair Extravaganza

This weekend I went on a retreat with my church here in LA. Over the course of the weekend, i sported several facial hair styles. I have no picture of stage 1, which was just a beard.

This first photo I like to call the "Van Buren"

Angle 2

Then I moved onto the simple 'stache with some nice big sideburns. Which are hard to see in this, but you get the idea.

I was hoping to get some points for comedy with all this. However, I learned an important lesson. Familiarity precedes humor. You might laugh at this because you see the pictures and say, "Oh, that Chad. He's so silly." But it doesn't have quite the same effect when you shake hands with a person for the first time rockin' the Van Buren. On the plus side, at least 10% of "Los Angelenians" have weird facial hair, so I was in good company. I actually got some new numbers for the ol' cellular. Kss, Kss.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Video Tour

So, some of you might know this, but I have moved. I lived in the beautiful suburb of La Canada when I first got to Cali, and I have sinced moved into Van Nuys. Which is right next to North Hollywood. Anyhoo, it's a sweet little pad and is as cheap as Chapel Hill. Too good to be true? Well, Van Nuys can get pretty ghetto. It is full of people like myself trying to be artists but don't make any money.

I live with three other guys. Two UNC alumni and a fella I met out here. It's a fun house. Our house has a pool and I live in the pool house out back. So, I have no plumbing, but the room is huge and it's great to play music in loud without disturbing others too loudly.

But enough talk. I made this little video to give you guys an up close and personal tour.

The first track in the video is a song from my forthcoming album ("Who is who.....") and the second track is a song I am recording for a client. Huzzah!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Men Like Trees


For starters, I have a new song up at MySpace. Second, I oft wonder when blogging whether I should do blog more or less often. Is it too conceited to think that people might check my blog every other day or so, only to be let down when no new material is up? Or perhaps people only check every month or so, in which case there might be a wealth of Chad's life in words that would be left unread between visits. But I digress...

Main Entree:

I was reading the other day in the Gospel of Mark and came across a peculiar passage. Now, many passages of Scripture are peculiar. For some, the entirety of Scripture is peculiar and strange, as is the idea of God being a man and rising from the dead. For others, the Scriptures make sense and provide a living metaphor for why our hearts and souls both ache and rejoice in this fallen world. I am in the latter group. So, to those who also fall into the latter group, I offer Mark 8:22-26 for your consideration. In this passage, a blind man is brought to Jesus. Jesus first leads the man away from the public (8:23 - And he took the blind man by the hand and out of the village.) and then proceeds to heal the man. He spits on his eyes (gross, but better than surgery, amen?) and lays his hands over the man's eyes. The first time around, Jesus asks the man, "Do you see anything?" The reply: "I see men, but they look like trees, walking."

Weird? It is to me. Often Jesus will heal people in public or pose questions/problems in public so that a learning point can be made. In this particular case, the man is away from the public. Once he says he sees "men like trees," Jesus lays his hands on him again and he sees everything clearly. It seems to me that there is no purpose for the double healing, seeing as Jesus could have healed him correctly the first time. So I am have been wondering for a while the purpose of this "take two" healing. Is it a botched healing? Is there a message for the blind man? For us?


I am working on a video tour of my new house. It is incredible. The house, not the video. Hopefully I will get it up here by the weekend, so check back then.