Onefest Part 1


I just got back from Onefest. Too much to say right now. It was one of the highlights of my life. Everything not only went well, it almost went perfect. Heck, for all practical and spiritual reasons it DID go perfect!!

Highlights for me included meeting all of the bands, spiritual moments like watching the kids in Sheltered Reality beat on their drums, sitting up on the bleachers and watching everyone worship to newsboys, reading the quotes in the paper of how God touched people’s lives, and of course one of my favorite memories was watching Phil play his first major show. He had a 1a.m. slot on the main stage and nailed it. Mark my words, people. Phil Francis. Pray for him, because he’s a star in the works! Also, watching Leven just rock the socks off old and new fans. It was great to see them kick butt like they do!!

I also hung out with Project 86 a bit, a boyhood dream of mine, and saw possibly the best show period I have ever seen with 4th Avenue Jones. WOW!!!!! That is all I can say, people!! WOW WOW WOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!! NEVER pass up an opportunity to see this group live, regardless of whether you like thier music or not!! They are playing New Year’s Eve at Pete Beerman’s church. The one by the big corncob. Be there if you read this tomorrow!

I was super impressed by how smooth everything went, and even many bands literally said it was the smoothest festival they had been to. Amazing! AND THE FESTIVAL WAS PAID OFF BEFORE THE DOORS OPENED!!!!! That is almost UNHEARD of for 1st year festivals!! Halleluiah!!!

Tomorrow I’m spending New Year’s Eve with a new friend and we’re going to that 4th Ave. show. It will be a fun way to usher in the New Year!!

Here’s a picture of me and Project 86.

God bless!
Justin.

A Christmas Story and Ugly Linoleum

I bought “A Christmas Story” – the one with the little boy who wants the Red Rider BB Gun. I just watched the scene where he finally gets it. His brother is asleep on the floor with a toy zepplin.

This movie just makes me feel warm inside. I think much of the reason is because I have two brothers, and so many aspects of it speak to me. The little pajamas.. the falling asleep with the toys.. the look in those kids eyes when they finally get what they had hoped for so bad. I remember once when I was younger I got “Omega Supreme”, (a giant transformer that I wanted so bad), for Christmas. I said out loud “Thank you Santa Claus, wherever you are!” lol. Aah. Kids.

I remember afterward playing on the ugly linoleum downstairs with my new toy. That linoleum was the ugliest, hardest thing in our entire house. But it was big, and long, and open. The words “comfort” and “beauty” never crossed my mind on that thing.

But that was irrelevant.

With Omega in hand, my life was for a short while that toy. I laid on my stomach on that ugly linoleum and through some magic that have since lost sight of, I WAS that transformer. I lived in his world. I smelt the smoke after fire shot out of his arms.

My point is this. On the hardest, ugliest spot in my house I was translated to a different land where it didn’t matter.

It is part of the magic that is being a child.

What a wonderful magic. Christmas. Kids. Toys.

And above all Jesus.
Merry Christmas to you!
Justin.

Why do I do this?

I have had a couple of people that really complimented me on my blog and especially were surprised on how open I was. I believe that my life needs to be an example of what a real human goes through who knows Jesus. None of the fluff, none of the religion, none of anything except me bearing my soul so that hopefully you will be touched and you will be changed or blessed in some way. That’s why I talk about all of my failings on here, as well as successes, as well as whatever makes me overjoyed or angry. It’s because I want you to feel what it is like to be me, because I believe I have something to share, and whatever it is, it can only be seen clearly if I’m open and honest with you.

Visions

Connie Marquette had a good word for me in church tonight. She had a vision of a man sitting at a table playing with a Rubik’s cube or something (A vision I have spoken to the Lord recently about my life, how I want my life to be in order in all angles). She spoke that to the church. Then when I got prayer with her, she told me she saw me like a spring that was being pushed down and feel frustrated, and I was starting to start to spring back up. She said she doesn’t know what to say about the lack of direction except that I need to spend time falling in mad love with Jesus and worshipping Him passionately.

That is the key. Really, I have no direction right now, but that is something I will always know and fall back on- that I can passionately love Jesus and it’ll all be all right.

God bless. Justin.

Winter Wonder

This, the 3a.m. hour of Dec. 3rd, is the most beautiful winter night I have seen in my life. There is something about the snow, how it gently, but deliberately falls toward the ground. Like it knows how beautiful the journey is, but it keeps thinking about how excited it is to hit the ground. About the wind, how it is barely there, really just enough to make the snow’s path imperceptably sway on occassion.

And each snowflake dances toward my face like a strange mixture of a thousand fairies and angels coming down to bless me.

Blessings to all,
Justin.

What a night.

I just love going out. I’m all about mottos for my life, and I think a new one may be “God is out THERE!” Or, like the Brothers Frantzich say, “If you want to see the face of God, then get your ass outside!” Ok, so the language isn’t me, but they make a valid point. It seems like every time I go out, especially to bars, God gives me the opportunity to meet interesting people and usually talk about Him.

Tonight I went to Whistle Binkies and sat by the fire and read the encyclopedia. I was just trying to find someone to talk to, but since I couldn’t I decided to just enjoy some time with God. It was very nice. Then I went to Wal-Mart, and as I walk toward the door a man named James who I had met before at a Kiwanis meeting commented on my Bluetooth headpiece. I ended up asking him to to meet people just to hang out with, and he recommended the Jaycees. Younger than Kiwanis, and they still like to hang out as well as do social outreach things. I will check into them.

Then I went to Rookies and left. Went to Canadian Honker on a whim (I was looking for a place with music) and heart 52nd Street, a jazz band. Hung out with their drummer for a while. He’s from Italy and a chef, to boot (Italy and Mexico have the best food. And you can’t eat authentic food from either place without knowing someone who cooks it at home. It’s NOT the same!!! American restaurants can’t duplicate the fresh pasta or Mexican spices! All right, end of sermon.)

In talking with Roberto, (Italian dude), I mentioned that I had been in the music industry for six (6) years. (The parenthesis are an inside joke for all of you industry people out there). It was so weird saying that. That I HAD been in the music industry for six years. Tonight, for the first time, I spoke about the industry I love with sentimental tones and value. And you know what?

It felt good.

It really did. Not because I’m glad to be out, by any means! But, because I really did conquer it. At the time of my decision to leave, I owned an artist management company, a booking company, and was authorized to book around $100,000 worth of music each year. And I worked up to that in basically three years. I’m not saying that to brag, and I don’t care if anyone reads this post. Because I DID IT. I was the best I could be for the glory of the Lord, and I look back on those times with a fondness that few people in the world can know. I did it.

Been listening to “The Pogues” lately. Check out “Fairytale in New York”. Cool music. Very different. Kudos to the A&R Rep who risked his job on them. I would like to meet that man.

Not much new.

Not too much new, my friends and family. Please pray for Onefest. Specifically for many people to come to this unique, 24-hour worship event!

Life is good. I have been feeling a bit scared lately for some reason, I think it is because I don’t know what the future holds, and that dream I had about being on the cross a few months ago is on my mind. It frightens me. It is possible that vision was about the laying down the music industry, which I subsequently have done, but maybe there is something more. Whatever it is, I have no choice. Jesus is my life.

Been hanging out with friends a lot since I got out of the industry. It’s AMAZING how much free time I have now!! Halleluiah!!! I’m truly digging it!! This must be what it is like to be “normal”. lol. Thank you for this, Jesus.

God, thank you for the peace you have given me, and help me not to look for anything else unless You are wanting me to do so. Amen.