Friday, November 7, 2008

I've Moved

For all of you readers out there... I have officially moved my blog.  This is my new blog url:

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Online Church

So tonight in our usual tiredness, JMann and I dreamt up a theoretical hyper-spiritual online church atmosphere.  Here's how we see it all happening:

Sponsor Your Child!

I just went to the Fishers of Men site and saw that the "Sponsored Children" section had some alarming info on it:
It appears that many of the children's sponsors have dropped the ball.  If you or somebody you know are sponsoring any of these children, please remember that they are depending on you to follow through each month.  You can also now sign up for automatic withdraw on the site through e-giving if you're like me and forget the out-of-site, out-of-mind types of things.

Praise Night

I've had a lot of you KYC'ers ask me when we are going to have another praise night.  Finally we've confirmed a date!  Wednesday, November 26th.  Be there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Am Self Righteous

There's no pun intended for the title of my blog.  I constantly make the mistake of thinking that I have "arrived" in my faith.  I think that I can take credit for where I am today.  It's at those moments that I prove myself wrong.  A while back I read this quote from a book I was reading:

"When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly that evil is still left in him... when a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less."
-C.S. Lewis

It's not that I should constantly condemn myself... but lately I've been praying that God would help me to remember where I came from and keep me aware of the things that my spirit is battling.  

"I realize that I don’t have what it takes.  I can will it, but I can’t do it.  I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.  My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.  Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.  The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.  I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.  Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.   I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.  I’m at the end of my rope.  Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does."

-Romans 7:18

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been watching this...

It's good... so you should watch it too.

(Phil Wickham)

New (original) Song

Here's a new song for ya'll!  When I say new, I mean like less than a week old... it happened while I was working on another song, so I just kind of went with it.  It's not completely done yet but I think we're going to use it as an opener at the Mix (next weekend!) and also give a test run tonight at the Matthew West show.  Let me know what you think:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book of the Month

I received this book at Catalyst this month.  Seth Godin (the author) GAVE away over 12,000 copies before it's release date to everyone who sat in on his session.

It's a very edgy leadership book that encourages you to challenge the "status quo" and to never resist change.  There's a lot of great material in this book.  I recommend it for anybody out there who is questioning whether or not they have the ability to lead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wolfman!

I have a new favorite show... It's called "Living with the Wolfman" on Animal Planet.  For some reason I'm really into people who have mastered animal psychology and then push the limits of their knowledge by interacting with the animals they've studied.  This guy (and his woman) is one of those guys.  
He lives with a pack of wolves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

At What Point?

At what point does a person gain the credibility to say things that completely alter the culture of their field?  

When Andy Stanley stands in front of over 12,000 leaders in Atlanta, Georgia... he could say just about anything and nearly EVERY person in the room is ready and willing to swallow whatever he has to say.

So again, my question is this: how do you gain so much influence on people that they will at least TRY to implement any advice you give them... just because YOU said it?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I believe that there are certain people in everybody's life that are irreplaceable.  If you don't have somebody like that in your life, then you need to.  

This blog is about ONE of those people in my life.
Josiah Lorentzen.  Most of you know him as "Si."  He and I have a musical and personal chemistry that is over 8 years in the making.  Bass playing is often a thankless job, so I feel like I need to give credit where credit is due.  Most of you probably don't realize what is happening between him and I on Sundays, Wednesdays and often Friday and Saturday evenings.  It's that thing that makes you start bobbing your head up and down while I fool you into thinking that you're listening to me shred on a guitar solo.  It's the goosebumps that you feel as a song starts to build and the thing that you're eager to get back in to while the song gets soft only to build back up again.

And here's the funny thing... we are so use to this chemistry that we often get frustrated with the other musicians we play with because they are more than likely not operating on the same wavelength as us, and understandably so considering the amount of time we've spent together (just ask our drummers! LOL).

Bottom line is this, the next time you think that I have ANYTHING to do with the moments that I sound good, take a second and listen to the backbone of the band.

My hat's off to you.

The Mix!

We're talkin' less than two weeks away folks.  Get ready to get rocked!

The Mix: ReDefine '08 from austinvallejo on Vimeo.

Something to Say Tour

What's up everybody.  Just wanted to give you all a taste of what's coming this Thursday:
That's right!  This week New Wine has been invited to be one of the opening acts for Matthew West (in other words... we're opening for the opening act)!!!  It's going to be a stripped down acoustic set due to a shortage in channels but it should be good nonetheless.

The show is on Thursday at 7pm at Heritage Wesleyan Church in Rock Island, IL.  If you don't have anything going... or even if you do... this is something you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New MacBook Pro

So I've really caught on to this whole Dave Ramsey thing.  Sell sell sell to get yourself financially savvy in terms of saving for your emergency fund and paying off debt.  Does the same principle apply when you want to update your electronics?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Audio Sequencing

I've been getting into to audio sequencing lately.  I'm not even sure if that's the correct name for what I've been doing.  Somebody said it at a creative meeting once and it just kind of stuck.  Let me explain what I mean.
This is a picture of a program called "Garage Band" which ships pre-installed onto any current Mac products.  It allows you to create music via real instruments or the many software instruments that come with it.

On the left you see a list of many different instruments that I handpicked to be a part of this specific composition (which happens to be a John Mayer song that we are playing tomorrow night at KYC).  All of these sounds and instruments literally act like invisible members of our band.  We play what we play live, and then all of these instruments fill in any extra stuff that I would like to put into the song... like bells, organs, a horn section and even additional background vocals.

This year we plan to sequence many of the songs that we'll be doing at The Mix: ReDefine '08.  So when you are in the middle of a praise set and convince yourself that there is a symphony of angels surrounding you... chances are you'll be right... just not in the way that you think.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Catalyst Notes

This was the last session of the conference.  And a great one at that.

Session 8 - Andy Stanley

“To reach people no one else is reaching, we must do things no one else is doing”
-Craig Groeschel
•We have people who live in this world who are waiting for something DIFFERENT. Not better, louder, weirder, etc... but different.
Take Away: Become preoccupied with those you haven’t reached as opposed to who you’re trying to keep.

“The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.”
-Focus, Al Reis
•The next generation product will not comes from the previous generation.
•Don’t do to the next generation what the previous generation did to you.
•Previous generations are recognizers. Next generation are creators.
Take Away: Be a student, not a critique.

“What do I believe is impossible to do in my field... but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?”
-Future Edge/The Paradigm Book, Joel Barker
•What do I believe is impossible but could fundamentally change my ministry?
Take Away: Pay attention to the people who are breaking the rules.

If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? Why shouldn’t we walk out the door, come back in, and do it ourselves?
-Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove
•Have the mindset of a new-comer instead of falling in love with the way I do ministry.
•No pain, no change!
•Where are we manufacturing energy? Where are things going on [in our ministry] that we’re really not too excited about?
•It’s never easy to change. If it were it would have already been made
Take Away: Acknowledge what’s not working and own up to why you are to do anything about it.

•Why am I unwilling to deal with this?

“When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near.”
-Michael Hammer
•Am I more willing to be more vision oriented than celebration oriented.
•The temptation is to celebrate what you’ve done and then coast
•Invest in the future, NOT the present (which is essentially in the past)
Take Away: Don’t let success overshadow your vision
•Success breeds complacency, and complacency breeds failure
•Do what you do best, better than you ever have before. Because our leadership is more important in our country than it’s ever been before.

Look OUT!

There's a new(er) song out right now that is kind of rocking my world.  It starts with "How" and ends with "He Loves."  Check it:
I'm normally not into songs that are quite this cluttered with words.  But you just can't beat that bridge.  I got to experience it for the first time at Catalyst last week.  It was awesome... and chances are, we'll be doing this one when we open for Matthew West on October 23rd.  If not sooner...

PS - The guy that performed it at Catalyst was named Eddie Kirkland.  He led, in my opinion, the best worship out of everyone who led at the conference.  Check him out.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Catalyst Day 1

Today I pretty much got my face rocked.  We heard AMAZING messages by Andy Stanley, Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Steve Furtick and Craig Groeschel.  I got the most by FAR out of Jim Collins' message.  Here are some of my notes.

Session 2 - Jim Collins

•Not all time in life is equal - I have a long runway in front of me (more time now than tomorrow)
•Good is the enemy of great
•Greatness is not a function of the cards that were dealt, it’s a function of conscious choice and discipline. We are not a slave of circumstance, we are free by our choices and discipline.
•A common misconception of an organization getting better is that it become more like a business. But that’s inaccurate because most businesses are considered average.
•Any truly great thing has a culture of discipline.
•Most overnight success stories are about 20 years in the making.
•Overreaching, undisciplined pursuit of more is how “the great fall” happens. You become seduced by your own success.
•The number one sign of overreaching is when you start compromising having your best people on the bus for the sake of growth
•If you have the right “who’s” you get better “what’s”
•The ultimate preparation for what you cannot possibly predict is WHO you have on your bus. Analogy: mountain climbing partner
•The signature characteristic of a level 5 leader from a level 4 leader was HUMILITY
•If it’s about you, you will not build something great. It has to be about the work, cause, values, etc.
•It’s not about personality
•What are you passionate about, what are you good at,
•the presence of a to-do list without a “stop doing” list is a lack of discipline.
•What gets in the way?
•We get in trouble when we confuse values with practices. Denominations are practices not to be confused with the big picture values.
•Every generation needs to create it’s own practices to exemplify their eternal values/faith

To Do’s
1. - good to great diagnostic tool to self assess how are we doing?
2. How many key seats are on your bus? Who are in those seats (right people)? How do you get that to 100%
3. Get young people in your face
4. Build a council
5. Turn off electronic gadgets. Built pockets of solitude.  Days without electronics.  Take time to think. Work is infinite, time is finite.

•Pay your mentors back by mentoring others
•Your responsibility is to those you are ministering to... NOT those who you are ministering WITH.
•Don’t give people titles, give them responsibilities
•You should only have THREE main priorities, otherwise you have NONE

Wednesday, October 8, 2008



We have arrived in the ATL for the Catalyst Conference.  I'm currently sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for Pastor Dan and Terri to get here with the moola so we can FINALLY get into our rooms and rest up for tomorrow's CRAZINESS.  More to come!

Friday, October 3, 2008

God Is Speaking...

Leadership assignments aside, this book is awesome!  I feel like God is speaking directly to me through this book.  And it sounds like it's having a similar effect on many others who are reading or have read it.

I know we are suppose to have it done by this Sunday, but even if you've yet to start it... go pick it up.  I think it's a timely word for us as the church.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


There are so many things in life that get us stuck.  We don't realize it half the time.  We get what we would like to call "comfortable," when actually we are sitting in a pothole ceasing to move forward.

I believe Quad City-ons (ites? ers?) have this problem.  You may or may not have heard me say these kinds of things about the Quad Cities before.  I don't want you to misunderstand me, I don't hate the Quad Cities.  And although you may disagree with me, I believe that you don't either.  

That's why you have so much to say about it.  That's why sometimes the Quad Cities makes you slam your fist on the table, pisses you off... yet sometimes makes you glad.  Sometimes you can't imagine living anywhere else, away from friends, family and the life you've built here.

Let me speak out of experience.  I had the opportunity to live half the country away from the Quad Cities.  And yeah, it was fun.  Yeah, it was different.  Yeah, I met people who liked me and I liked them.  But luckily (or... spiritually, rather) through my relationship with Jesus I just could not escape God's voice calling me back to the place that HE had strategically placed me.

So back to what I was saying.  We get stuck.  We run in circles and get into routines.  Take some time today or tomorrow and do something out of the ordinary.  Try putting on the eyes of an outsider or a child.  Get up early and watch the sunrise or take the time in the evening to go watch the sunset.

Then ask God to reveal to you what routines in your life have replaced or blocked the next fresh step that He wants you to take.

Take a risk.  You never know...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quarterlife Crisis Part 4

This week was a testament to those who may be greater in their years and think that their best times are behind them rather than in front of them.

Meet Kevin:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Worship Music

You know the first time I heard that music never got saved; that music is just music, it was almost like meeting Jesus all over again.  I finally had an explanation for the seemingly spiritual (God) experiences that I've had with songs of all different genres.

I love music.  And so do a whole lot of other people.  Music touches everybody in a way that nothing else can.  It's a powerful thing and can be used for good, bad, selfish and selfless reasons.  Music is used for worship.

I'm so glad that God chose me to be a musician.  But I now have the responsibility to be a good steward of the gift that he's given me.

What has God given you, little or big, to be a good steward of?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Worship Confessional #10

I'm biased... but tonight marked the beginning of yet another groundbreaking-could-only-have-been-a-God-idea series in KYC called "Letters to Hollywood."  Each week we're basing the entire feel and content of the service around certain Hollywood-status musicians/artist.  Each of which is handpicked by the subject matter of their songs.

This week was Kid Rock.  He has a bad mamma jamma new CD out.  Quite a few of the songs have lyrics of him crying out for more in this life than fame, fortune and all the "stuff" he already has.  So we're taking a no-strings-attached initiative to write encouraging letters to Kid himself letting him know that we love him and God loves him and has a plan for his life.

It's gonna be awesome.  Pray that God uses us, KYC, to actually reach into Hollywood from Davenport Iowa and make an impact on somebody's life.

Here's the set from tonight:

-Yesterday Threw Everything at Me - Athlete
-More of You - Planetshakers
-Panama/Bigger In Me - Van Halen/New Wine
-Nothing But the Blood - Charlie Hall