People Stick

Purple shirt sitting on rail next to brick wall

Photo by Zoe Pamintuan

My good friend Dan was in town from Los Angeles by way of Kansas. Returning from his grueling 3-day karate belt-promotion trial, he made a stop in Oregon so we could visit. I got to sit with him at the Sage restaurant and introduce him to one of my mentors, John Rodgers.

I backed out of the conversation a little, allowing John and Dan to get to know one another, and began looking around the room. I made eye contact with the guy sitting by the far wall. I could tell by the way he smiled at me that he wasn’t a stranger. He knew me, and I was supposed to know him, too. I looked closer and yes, I knew his face.  I knew that I knew him. But why? From where?

As lunch ended and John took his leave, the guy from the wall table approached. He said, “Do you remember me?” and I said “No, I know that I know you, but sorry, I don’t remember.”

He said, “Eleven years ago you sang at my engagement party for me and my wife…”

My face lit up with a flood of memory, and I hugged this dude like the long-lost friend that he is.

He said, “Are you still playing music? You better be!”

Why is that the question people always ask me when we reconnect?

Here’s the back story: I once wrote a song called Without Love. It’s based on 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter. I wrote it while I was out walking off a fight that I’d had with my wife. The chorus has a call and response structure, where a voice sings the two words “Without Love” and then I respond with a lyrical line.

When Tyler and his lady were engaged(11 years ago), I somehow got invited to play at their party. It was just me and my Martin (guitar) and I played my best for them. Tyler was quarterback of the Linfield College Football team, so with his buddies in attendance, we had mostly football players crammed into the tiny space at the Wildwood Cafe. Big dudes, Manly Men. Muscles everywhere.

To this day, my favorite performance of Without Love was the time I had 20 or so football players singing that call at the top of their lungs. There was an awesome magic in those words borne on a chorus of gruff, hearty, powerful voices.

Without Love, it doesn’t matter what I lose or what I gain

Without Love, my best intentions would be totally in vain

Without Love, I might as well be lighting candles in the rain,


Back to the present (2014) — there at the Sage, Tyler and I made plans to reconnect, get together, do lunch, trade stories, catch up. We met exactly one week later. This is us at the wall table, reconnecting after 11 years.


He’s done amazing things. And why not, he’s an incredible son of God! With a twinkle and a grin, he said to me and I submit to you:

“People Stick! Circumstances come and go, but people stick!”

Would it be crazy if I re-recorded Without Love with those football players as the back-up singers? Ty says he can get them all and their wives and kids to show up.

Good thing we record in a barn — we can fit everybody.


New Jazz Tutorial

Above is a video tutorial I made for Woo for a Jazz tune we’re working on. You’re welcome to jump in and follow along.

Here are the chords that are used in this tune. I’m using the chord generator at If you find yourself needing to look up any chord, you can go there and type in the name and you’ll find a diagram of the chord.  It’s an excellent resource for a musician like myself who doesn’t have a lot of training or even know the names of all the chords I play.

In this tune, you’ll need the following chords:

GMaj7     Picture 3

Am11no5  Picture 4

Bm11no5 Picture 5

A#7b5      Picture 6

G#7b5     Picture 7

FMaj7      Picture 8

G7              Picture 1

CMaj7  Picture 2

C#Dim7   Picture 3

Bm7           Picture 4

Em7           Picture 5

Am7         Picture 6

A7             Picture 7

D9             Picture 8

See? Simple and easy, right?   🙂

Don’t be scared by the names of the chords. I’ll show you how in the video above. Go back and watch earlier videos in the Guitar Tutorial section if you need to do that. If I can learn this stuff, I know you can too.

In the last 12 months I’ve been blessed to meet some incredible people.  Matt Wolcott invited me along on a video shoot in Redding, CA, where I met Luke Miner, who was being interviewed by Blair Reynolds from On The Beam.


Luke (red shirt) is one of those amazing individuals with wisdom far, far beyond his years. At the age of 20, he is co-founder of the already 4th largest crowd-funding website,  He began this adventure just a couple years ago when he was 18!

I listened to Luke’s story about failure and resilience, and his motivation to help people.

Sadly, the reason his site comes to mind today is that a very dear friend of mine had a death in the family last night, and one of the services that provides is a campaign to raise memorial expenses.

Click Below to contribute to this campaign, and please help this family:

As you’ll see is also a great way for people to raise funds for many other needs and endeavors, including mission trips, so keep that in mind in case you know of a missionary who’s trying to fundraise.

Have a blessed weekend!




Late Night


My Dad being here for a couple weeks reminds me of this poem he used to quote when I was growing up:

Heights by great men, reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight

But they, while their companions slept

Were toiling upward in the night — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tonight my late night toil is the rehearsing of a riff on the ukulele. I’ll be recording it this coming weekend, on a studio remake of one of my tunes, My Father’s House. Thanks Karen, for letting me use this beautiful tenor instrument.

Must sleep, though, now. Savage workout in 7 hours. Tomorrow is day 40 of my 90-day challenge. Building me a 6-pack. It’s built, just gotta lure it into view.

Much love, and goodnight.



Live From The Living Room: Holy and Anointed One


Photo by Chrissy Green

I just posted a video in the Live From The Living Room series, a cover of the song Holy and Anointed One.

Bethany Palacios is about to embark on a missional journey through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). In preparation for that, she hosted a worship night fundraiser, and I was invited to lead this song. Thank you Aimee Palacios and Andy Nita for the invitation.

My next song in the Living Room series is going to be Trust and Obey, an old hymn that Sarine reminded me about. In fact, that’s the song I intended to record when I fired up the machines, but this song was in my spirit and I couldn’t seem to move on until I had expressed it.

Chrissy, thanks for the company.

Mother’s Day 2014


Photo by Darlene Taylor

What a treat to lead worship at Coast Hills Community Church on Mother’s Day, with my mom present! That was a gift.

Also a gift was the incredible team of musicians with whom I collaborated today: Petra Bolton(Vocals), Marci Ehrhart(Vocal and piano), Becky George(Vocals), Jeff Olsen (sound), Rhonda Fabreth (AV), Shasta Ehrhart (Electric bass), Kohler Johnson (Cello), Brennan Ranche (Acoustic Guitar), Matt Silver (Drums/Percussion).

Last night (Saturday) I played bass at the Salem Vineyard Church and I had to leave before everything was done. Thanks for the invite, Michael. I have grown very quickly fond of that part of the family. I wanted to get back home because it was 9:30 and they were still going and I had my parents with me, plus I needed to be up at 7 the next morningso I could be in Mac for 8:30 rehearsal.

I snuck off-stage, exited through the back hallway and pulled the car around to the front to pick up mom and dad. Then I thought I’d say bye to Chrissy and her friends since they had shown up at my invitation. So I ducked in to do that and was just coming back to the car when the resident crazy prophetic guy stopped me.

He said, “may I pray with you?” Then he proceeded to speak things over me that only the Holy Spirit could be feeding him. He talked about my past hurts and promised victories and he assured me that what God is about to reveal and exalt in my life is even bigger than I hoped.

Now here’s the thing. There is power in the tongue, and I don’t care if it’s a stranger, when someone speaks empowerment to your destiny, soak that up and keep it in a safe place. Somebody, sooner or later will try to tell you what you can’t do, what you’re not, what you don’t have and who you’ll never be.

So when a messenger speaks life into your dreams and your destiny, I say take a minute to really receive it. Own it, and let it change the way you walk. Here’s to you, brother T, I truly appreciate your words and the spirit in which they were offered.

Now I am going to get some rest and let my mind and body recharge for the week ahead.

To all the women who will read this, whether on Mother’s Day or any other day, to every Mother, every sister and daughter, every wife, girlfriend, “just-friend”, or friend, you are so important, so valuable, so necessary.

We wouldn’t get far without you. Just like brother T, you are the constant encouragers. You compassionately demonstrate the truth in this saying: “In the heart of every man, there is a prince and a beggar. The one you speak to will respond.”

Thank you all! Happy Mother’s Day!



Photo by Anthony DiRocco


Years ago when I lived in Los Angeles,  I wrote this song, “Wings,” on a particularly difficult Monday morning.

It’s about weariness and renewal, a cycle I’ve observed in my own life and I’ll wager you’ve seen in yours. You get to the end of your rope, pretty sure you can’t go any further, then you look up and you’re still standing, still moving forward, still pushing toward the goal line.

Sometimes weariness is a blessing because only when we are too weak to work, too weak to walk, too weak to do anything BUT wait…Then and only then we finally wait on the Lord and get our strength renewed. Doesn’t have to be that way, just seems it’s that way far more often than not.

With the collaboration of my friend General ( and by collaboration I mean continuous creative and philosophical disagreement),  and with the expert engineering of Producer JD at Pyrate Llama Recording Studios in Sheridan OR, we arranged and recorded this tune. I like the result. I really like it.

Chrissy inspired the bridge. She was writing a piece of poetry a couple months ago, and when she showed it to me, it took root and became the bridge .

We hope to have the song ready for you to hear by the end of May, and in the meantime I just wanted to let you know it’s coming, and it’s worth the wait.

Here’s the guitar track:

Stay tuned for more brilliant photography from Anthony DiRocco, and the completion of the song production.

Have a spectacular day!



By the riverside


Riverside iPhone Selfie

Hi guys!  How are you? Life is grand! Hope you are feeling the same! We are having amazing weather in Oregon right now!

As part of a marketing adventure that I’m on right now, I make many phone calls each day. Yesterday it occurred to me to take the list of numbers and go make my calls by the river. So that was my office for the afternoon yesterday. Today I worked outside again, by the railroad tracks. I love it that the world is my office and I’m listening to birdsong, taking in the deep rich fragrance of freshly milled oak, while I connect with amazing people, every so often glancing up at the spectacular foreground of field and mountain. I mean, really, this is my life!!!

Got a lot going on right now. “Wings” is coming along, now has acoustic guitar, vocals,  and drums.  Bass goes in on Saturday. Speaking of bass, I’ve been playing bass a lot lately, and several times at the Salem Vineyard Church. Cool people.

My creativity seems to be on the rise, maybe the result of participating in several things at once, but there’s definitely an energy rising. You know what, there’s a definiteness of purpose that’s distilling for me. Not writing music still, though. Not yet. It comes and goes. When I was newer at songwriting I would panic because I thought that meant I would never write again. I thought God had become displeased with my use or non-use of the talent and had taken it from me.

I’ve been talking about God a lot more of late, and that’s because I’ve been talking TO God a lot more of late.

I’ve also been meeting the most amazing people on the phone. I really just treasure the incredible people that are coming into my life, every bit as precious to me as you faithful ones who have been here for years and even decades. You have been so kind to me.

I’m actually leading worship at church next weekend, on Mother’s Day, with my mom there! That’s never happened, and yes, I’m going to lead this time, not from the bass, from the front. I’m actually very excited about it, and looking forward to it.

That means I must go offline now and begin charting the music for that worship time so I can get it out to the amazing musicians with whom I’ll be collaborating: Kohler Johnson on Cello, Marci Erhart on vocals, Petra Bolton on vocals, Becky George on vocals. I’m hoping to get a yes from Brennan Ranche for guitar and that would round it out for the team.

Give it away

Monday, Monday, I love that day, La La, la-la-la-la…

I’m working away, got a lot of phone calls and emails to engage today.

Just had a moment to connect with a friend from Los Angeles. She shared this: When you don’t FEEL hope, the best way to find it again is to give it away. Go give hope to someone and you’ll suddenly realize that you have more for yourself.

What?! Give what I don’t have?

There’s a story that brings to mind, of a woman and her son about to make a meal out of the very last little bit of flour they have. She’s accepted their fate, gonna make a final cake and then sink gracefully (or not) into death.

Man of God says to her, “make ME a meal first.” She does and then it turns out there’s more and more and more for her and the boy and they don’t die, and, cue happy music, they end up with more than they had, more than they need, more than they bargained for.

It’s just a story. It’s just a thought. Try giving hope to someone today.

See what happens.


Photo by Rory D Peters


Make it a great day!


Building a new site!

Photo by Zoe Pamintuan

Hi guys, Happy Easter!

I’m building a website today. I’ll be working on it every day for a while, so just stop by and see how it’s growing. It’s completely free to check out my writing and music and random bursts of inspiration. Stay tuned, maybe you’ll get some Joy or some Hope or some Love on you.