Category Archives: Non-music Posts
Miraculous update on the prayer request February 13, 2013 in , Site Updates 3 comments
Our prayers have had a tremendous impact! While Yoko was in Okinawa visiting her sister, God opened up a perfect opportunity for her to share the love of Jesus with her sister, and Eiko agreed to pray with her and received Jesus into her heart! That which seemed impossible God made possible!
I had also asked for prayer that God would put in Eiko’s path believers. Before Yoko arrived in Okinawa, she was transferred to a hospice founded by a Christian, filled with Christians, prayer rooms, live worship, and New Testament Bibles! Out of all the places she could end up, this is truly a miracle.
One more update – Eiko’s health appears to be improving! In fact, she has improved so much that the staff at the hospice have encouraged her and her family to get a second opinion. She is also out of the wheelchair and is getting around more on her own. Still no official word yet on the cancer, but I believe God has fully healed her from this terminal disease! My prayer now is that she will fully recognize God’s Hand in all of this and give Him all the Glory – please pray with me, also that the Holy Spirit would give her boldness in her new faith.
We hear these sort of stories on occasion, but something this close to home just leaves me in awe of God’s Wondrous Mercy and Grace! Please continue to pray for her and her family as I believe through this the door will be opened for the rest of Yoko’s family to know Jesus! I post this with much love for you all and can’t thank you enough for your prayers as they have had a miraculous impact.
Our God is an Awesome God!
A quick MTPB update – Podcast 67 has been recorded and I’m in the process of editing. My goal is to get it posted this weekend or next so please stay tuned.
Porta Fidei – Soundwave – DCYC 2013 Theme Song January 19, 2013 in , Site Updates 8 comments
The band site, www.soundwave.cc is still down for maintenance, but we wanted to get Porta Fidei, the theme song we recorded for DCYC 2013 available to everyone. We’ve worked tirelessly in the studio to get this recorded in time for the event and want to present it as our gift to everyone who is a part of this ministry that has done so much to impact the lives of youth in the Austin area for Jesus Christ! We hope you enjoy the song.
You can also play it in the browser here:
If none of the ways above work, try this:
Huge prayer request – please pray now and often for… January 4, 2013 in , Site Updates 2 comments
Yoko’s oldest sister, Eiko was recently diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has already spread to her brain and liver and the doctors are giving her 2 months to live. She has 3 siblings ranging from 20 years old to 9 years old. She is only 48 years old, and has played a very special role in Yoko’s life as she’s mailed stuff and communicated more than anybody else in her family except for her mom. She is scheduled for radiation therapy on Monday. She does not know Jesus, and Yoko is planning to fly to Okinawa soon.
When I found out, I immediately started to pray that God would put in her path people who know the Truth, and God has already answered that prayer. Within days, Yoko’s mom told her that a parent whose child attended the same private school her daughter went to asked Eiko point-blank if she believed in Jesus and Eiko did not know what to say. Yoko’s mom made it sound like an awkward encounter, and the fact she said “believe” instead of “know” is a little odd, but the fact that Eiko felt it important enough to communicate this encounter to her mom, and for her mom to communicate it to Yoko means something. I do believe this was a direct answer to my prayer considering that only around 1% of Japanese know and believe in Jesus as their Savior – truly a miracle!
It will take many more miracles for Eiko to believe in Jesus, but with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Please pray that Eiko’s heart would continue to be softened, that she would be open and curious about the Truth, and that she will begin to seek out the Truth! Also pray that God through the Holy Spirit would prepare Yoko for this unbelievably important encounter – that God would give her a courage and boldness she’s never experienced before. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give Yoko the right words in order to speak the Truth in love in a way that Eiko will hear, understand, and receive.
Also, please pray for healing. I truly believe through healing God could open the doors for Yoko’s entire family to come to Christ. The doctor stated it would take “a miracle” for her to make it through this stage of cancer. We know our God is more than capable of miracles.
I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart for praying with me – Eiko means so much to Yoko, and even more to our Loving, Heavenly Father.
2013 Goals for Music to Pray By and more December 8, 2012 in , Site Updates 2 comments
It is often times difficult to find balance in life is it not? This year has been the most challenging yet, and I feel as though I have grown closer to God more than ever! He has been so faithful! I am so excited about 2013. The goals I hope to reach next year seem impossible, but with God, ALL things are possible. (Matt. 9:26) Here they are in no particular order:
Start and finish the next Soundwave album - We will start recording our next album after DCYC in January. Jeremy has enough songs written and so far what I’ve heard has been amazing. I am truly excited about God’s plans for us!
Retake the new CCIE Security Version 4 lab exam - In order to avoid taking the written exam again, I will need to attempt the lab exam by November 14th. For those who don’t know, I attempted version 3 of the lab last month and did not pass. The new version has a huge amount of new technology so I have hundreds of hours of preparation to undertake before November.
Finish the Music To Pray By Album - This is a difficult one since we plan to release the Soundwave album early 2014, a large amount of my spare time will be dedicated to Soundwave in the studio.
Post quarterly Music To Pray By podcasts - I believe part of the reason it has been difficult to be consistent in the podcasts is I’ve had unrealistic goals. A podcast every 3 months should be an attainable goal. This means podcast 67 should be posted in February.
Remain faithful to the Worship Team, the Ministry Leadership Team, and our small group at The Connection Church - This has become almost second nature, but does require time and is a very important goal. Our church has continued to grow and reach the lost for Christ and it is truly exciting and inspiring to be a part of it!
With my “day job” of IT consulting absorbing around 50 hours of my week, there are two remaining parts of my life that I know have to take priority over everything. My time with God and my time with my family. 2013 will truly be a great year, but I believe above all, seeking first His Kingdom (Matt. 6:33) and trusting in The LORD with all of my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6) is my true goal as I try to find a balance.
One more thing – I made a minor change to Podcast 66 about 4 days after it was posted to bring down the midrange a little since it was a bit much so if you’d like the update, just unsubscribe, delete the old podcast 66, resubscribe, and you should be prompted to download it again.
Quick update… October 29, 2012 in , Site Updates 4 comments
Our God is Faithful! This year has truly been life-changing for me, and I question whether I would have made it through without your prayers. I’m a little over 2 weeks away from my exam, and though I’m about 20-24 hours behind my study schedule, I have peace. I’ve already begun the editing process of Podcast 66 so it will hopefully be posted within weeks after my exam. My next consulting venture is a two-month long project in Houston so please continue to keep me in your prayers. For Jesus!
The invisible war wages on! July 21, 2012 in , Site Updates 8 comments
It is difficult to get into the details of what has happened to me over the past 3 months, but I feel it is important to share this with you. Mid-April was a huge turning point in my life. I had just left my job at AT&T to become a consultant with a much smaller company, the Soundwave tour was in full swing with weekly practices and concerts, there was my commitment to The Connection Church ministry leadership and worship teams, and Yoko and the kids were getting ready to leave for Okinawa without me for 3 weeks. On top of all of this, the enemy took huge advantage of a very weak point when I was under for a dental surgery. I literally thought I was dying and it was as though every Truth about our existence in God’s Word ceased to exist and my entire foundation was shaken to the core. I was flooded with more doubt and depression than I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I began to spend every spare moment I could find listening to God’s Word in the car, praying, reading the Bible, but the “near-death experience” had me convinced EVERYTHING was meaningless. It was so crushing that it took me 3 days just to recognize it as a spiritual attack. When I did, the enemy no longer tried to hide the evidence of the attack, which increased exponentially with fear added to the mix – unexplainable fear. I immediately began to call and text family and friends to pray. That night, I sought after God and relied on The Holy Spirit more than ever.
Over the past few months, there have been victories, but there have also been struggles with depression, doubt, and fear like never before. A split-second thought followed by wave after wave of spine-chilling goosebumps, sometimes occurring over and over for hours! Throughout most of my life, the enemy has used my flesh with sinful desires and bad habits, occasional doubt, etc., but this was different. It was truly a non-stop war on my mind. I have never had thoughts enter my mind that made my soul cringe like this – thoughts I don’t have the words to describe, and the enemy would trick me into pondering these thoughts to the point of spiraling into deep, dark depression that would last for days. Over time, God began to bring into greater light the spiritual war that was going on. Truth in the scriptures like 2 Corinthians 10:5, prayer, family (especially my bro David), and the same Power that raised Christ from the dead gave me renewed hope and peace. Our God is so faithful!
I truly believe that God is doing some GREAT things through this ministry and the enemy is not happy about it. Prayer IS the way we wage this invisible war by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and this fact has never been more real to me. A few days ago when I posted on Facebook asking for prayer, it had been another very rough few days dealing with a weight of depression that had no explanation whatsoever. I could literally feel the depression lift as you guys prayed for me.
I hope this encourages you to pray continually. Pray for the state of our nation. Pray for those affected by the Colorado shooting. Pray for the unsaved in your churches. Pray for your pastors, your family! …and if you have time, I am eternally grateful for any prayers lifted up on my behalf. Satan is a formidable enemy, but GREATER is He that is in me than he that is in the world!!! – 1 John 4:4
A long overdue update… May 7, 2012 in , Site Updates 2 comments
So much has happened since my last blog post almost 2 months ago! Soundwave has played at over 8 concerts/events across the state of Texas as part of “The Start” tour. Please check out our new album here if you haven’t already. Our drummer got married this past weekend. Of course, Soundwave played, which made us seriously think about doing wedding gigs for a living. We have our first out-of-state concert in Kansas in a couple of weeks. It’s gonna be off the chain!
Things have been full throttle at The Connection Church. We are now serving for 3 services on Sunday, and ministry is happening! Rene is doing an amazing job leading worship, and Cole has been delivering powerful, applicable messages with passion 3 times every Sunday. It is truly an honor to be a part of that ministry, and if you live in the Austin area and don’t have a home church, I promise you it will be worth your time to come check it out!
Yoko and my two precious children went to Okinawa, Japan to visit her side of the family. They have been gone for a week and a half with a little over a week to go. I miss them so much. Please keep them in your prayers.
I also made the decision to leave AT&T after 8 years and accepted an opportunity at Accudata Systems as a Senior Consultant. It’s been almost 3 weeks now and I have to say that I love it and can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in this role. Adjusting to this new world has been a welcomed challenge. I also committed 10 hours a week to AT&T temporarily to help in the transition so I’ve had no time to devote to the MTPB album. Thankfully, this is only for a season.
One last thing – some of you may remember when I put everything on pause to focus on obtaining my CCIE. Well, I’ve decided to go for a second CCIE in Security. This time the plan is to spread it over a year in order to have more of a balance between family, ministry, and work. I am still planning to have the MTPB album out in Q1 of 2013. Please keep me in your prayers as I go through this very challenging time.
Podcast update and Soundwave video… March 5, 2012 in , Site Updates 0 comments
It has been too long since the last podcast. For this I apologize. Podcast 65 is almost ready to track. My goal is to have it posted by the end of the week. I’ve also scheduled a week off from work this month to spend time on the album. I haven’t made much traction on either front the past few months, but I do believe one day there will be much more time to devote to this ministry. Great things are coming – I will trust in You oh LORD!
Soundwave had the CD release concert last month, and some friends of the band put together a really nice “official” video of one of my favorite songs. Here it is:
DCYC 2012 (Mass of Communion) January 23, 2012 in , Site Updates 0 comments
DCYC 2012 was the best yet. Over 2,200 young people came out to sing and worship with Soundwave and it was an awesome time of ministry. Jeremy talked about some new arrangements of songs used in the Catholic mass by Matt Maher and mentioned the music and charts would be posted on my website so you can download them here:
I’m not catholic, but I have grown to deeply respect the catholic church especially after attending events like DCYC and being a part of the lives of some of my best friends in Soundwave who are devout catholics. Like Jesus said in Matthew 7:16, …”You will know them by their fruit…” Here’s one of my favorite songs from Mass of Communion:
We had a great time the past few days and we’re even more excited about the CD Release Concert on February 4th, 7:00 PM at The First Assembly of God Church of Lockhart off 183 before you get into Lockhart. If you’re in the area, please come and check us out. It’s going to be awesome!
Podcast 64 is coming soon… November 21, 2011 in , Site Updates 1 comments
I had to work overtime to get it done, but after listening to the recorded tracks, I’ve noticed distortion throughout the podcast. I was determined to get this out tonight / this morning as you can see by the timestamp of this post, but I’m out of time and I really need to re-record the audio so I will get it done tonight after work. Thanks for your patience, prayers, and understanding.
Podcast update and Soundwave’s new album “The Start” preview November 13, 2011 in , Site Updates 1 comments
The past few weeks have been a bit chaotic for a number of reasons so instead of further neglecting the family and forcing out a podcast today, I decided to take it easy and hang out with the wife and kids. I’ve already got the next podcast recorded and a very small part of it edited so I should have enough time throughout next week to get it posted next Sunday.
However, the new Soundwave album, “The Start” is finished and I have the master. We’re just waiting on album art so we can send everything off for print. The official release date is set for February 4th, but I believe we’ll have the album available for purchase at the beginning of the year. Below is a 5 minute preview of the album, which really doesn’t do it justice – I basically took out parts of what are currently my five favorite songs:
While you listen, here are a few things I’d like to share about the album:
- Soundwave started recording this album almost a year and a half ago
- It was tracked, edited, produced, and mixed from start to finish in my studio
- There was no “outside influence” on any part of it. Every part came out of the hearts and minds of the band and a few very close friends of the band
- I consider this one of the greatest musical achievements I’ve been a part of to date
- I know I speak for the whole band when I say to God be the Glory, and we pray the words and the music contained in this album open up the hearts and minds of all who listen to the wonderful salvation of Jesus Christ!
The new website has officially launched! October 14, 2011 in , Site Updates 3 comments
It’s actually been up for a while now so most of you have probably already noticed. There were quite a few issues when it was deployed by the developers almost a month ago, but they are all fixed! The site is now available in over 50 languages which is also a huge improvement. This ministry reaches believers all over the world! Alex Anze is testament of that, and he has been a huge blessing to this ministry. Not only did he design the new album art as mentioned in this post, but he’s also responsible for this website. Below is the original graphic design he provided for the developers to use in building it. They did an outstanding job translating the graphic into what you see now and I’m truly thankful all this has come together. God is good! Feel free to comment on the design if you like. In the meantime, Podcast 63 is in the works and should be posted this Sunday evening.
Is the Texas drought ending? Is prayer a factor? October 7, 2011 in , Site Updates 2 comments
Over the past few months, people throughout Texas have been praying for rain. We have had the worst drought in my lifetime this year. I took the family to Burnett for a “Day out with Thomas” and on the way saw some amazing damage this drought has caused. Here are some images:
These are very small examples of some of the damage. There have been hundreds of fires all over Texas, and as a result of this horrible drought, there has been a surge of prayer at church, schools, rallies, and in homes all across Texas for rain. There was the prayer event in Houston inspired by the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, and now I believe we are truly witnessing an answer to prayer. The Bible has many examples of God’s people praying for rain and it’s very clear in Zechariah 10:1 Who sends rain. We’ve had modest amounts of rain over the past month but are in desperate need for more and theres some promising chances of rain in the forecast so please pray with me for Texas – that God sends thunder clouds full of rain! Thank You LORD for Your Grace!
Website and podcast update… September 25, 2011 in , Site Updates 0 comments
Unfortunately, there has been no progress made on the new website. I am still working with the developers to correct issues with the “contact” form, translation, and the e-mail subscription so those of you who are subscribed have probably noticed you’re not receiving e-mails when I post. I hope to have all these issues resolved soon.
Secondly, I’ve been hard at work the past year on the new Soundwave album, and it’s crunch time. We’ve committed release the album by early January at the latest which means I need to have all the songs ready for mastering by early to mid-October. Soundwave is a ministry near and dear to my heart, and the commitment I’ve made to the group is taking priority over the podcast at this moment in time. I will post updates on the website, album, and podcast as they come. Thank you in advance for your understanding and prayers.
UPDATE: The contact form, translation, subscription, and some other issues have been resolved but there are still a few things outstanding. Hopefully they’ll be resolved within the next few days. I plan to send out an official announcement as soon is everything’s 100%.
Pardon the stuff that’s broken… September 21, 2011 in , Site Updates 0 comments
My apologies to everyone as I migrate to the new website. There are a number of things that are broken right now. I’m working with the web developers to get them fixed. I should hopefully have everything working in a few days, at which time I’ll shoot out an official announcement about the new website. In the meantime, the podcast should be working now, and if you happen to browse here before the announcement goes out, feel free to comment and let me know what you think. More details to come on how all this came about.
Grand piano mic technique and hardware used to record the podcast July 25, 2011 in , Site Updates 1 comments
For those who are curious, here’s an update on the grand piano mic placement along with the types of microphones and hardware used to record the Music To Pray By podcast.
This has changed quite a bit since the R09HR days. At the low end of the piano, an EV RE320 mic is angled in parallel with the strings. At the high end, an AudioTechnica AT4033a is aimed almost perpendicular to the strings. Completing the 3 foot triangle is an XY pair of Neuman KM184′s. These mics run into a Focusrite ISA428 pre amp, which has an ADAT connection into a Motu 896HD firewire audio interface. Logic Studio 9 running on a MacBook Pro completes the DAW solution. Here’s a quick video of it as well:
Moments of Joy and The Ark Family Church July 18, 2011 in , Site Updates 1 comments
I distinctly remember the times Joy Clayton spoke briefly during Sunday service at The Ark Family Church. The messages have always been inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting. Earlier this year, Kyle Kutter called me and asked if I would put together a piano intro and outro for “Moments of Joy“, a short podcast of these messages, and I considered it an honor. I thought to check this evening, and quite a few have accumulated over the past few months. They can be found here. What a blessing it is to be a blessing.
Pastor Alan and The Ark Family Church are largely responsible for the early beginnings of Music To Pray By. The church would have men’s prayer on Friday mornings, and the first few times I went, John Fernandez was at the grand piano playing music similar to what you hear in this podcast. Eventually, John asked me to sit in for him. I was nervous at the thought of playing live during prayer at first, but those were times I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. That eventually led to the original album, which led to this podcast. Pastor Alan has sent me encouraging e-mails in the past regarding his use of this ministry, which have truly inspired me to continue doing this even when I’ve felt like quitting. If you’re reading this pastor, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am living proof of Isaiah 55:10-11. Though I see dimly what God has done through this ministry (1Corinthians 13:12), I am truly excited about what He has planned (Jeremiah 29:11). To God be the glory.
Cisco Live! 2011 experience video summary July 16, 2011 in , Site Updates 0 comments
I left out all the boring technical stuff for the most part. The event was an unbelievably amazing experience! Hope you enjoy the video – all of it was taken from my iPhone except for the last bit. I chose the song “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train mostly because they performed a concert at the Cisco Customer Appreciation Party towards the end. It was outstanding!
I’m finally going to… July 10, 2011 in , Site Updates 0 comments
Every year since 2008, Cisco has spammed me constantly the months leading up to the event, and every year I have asked to go and have been denied the privilege. I was certain the same would happen this year. In fact, my manager told me last Wednesday he was unable to make it happen, which was no surprise, but the following day, a reservation within our company became available! God is good!
For those of you who don’t know, Cisco Live! is one of the largest technical conferences out there, and is by far the largest in regards to the technologies I work with on a daily basis as a Network Engineer for AT&T WiFi Services. Not only will I have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry, I will get to see and possibly play with some of the latest and greatest network technologies out there. The conference will be held at one of the hottest tourist destinations in the U.S. – Las Vegas, NV. With that in mind, I think of Psalm 119:11 – “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee…” might I add, “…while in the heart of Sin City for the first time”
Please keep me and the family in your prayers this week – it breaks my heart to leave them for 5 days straight. It also breaks my heart to miss Sunday Morning service at TCC – especially with Jeremy, lead singer of Soundwave, leading worship.
For the techies, here are some of the seminars I’ll have the opportunity to attend:
- Enterprise Network Virtualization using IP and MPLS Technologies
- Advanced Enterprise Campus Design: VSS, Routed Access, and Resilient Campus Networks
- Advanced Scaling for Core and Edge Networks
- CCIE Service Provider Operations
- Data Center Town Hall: Enabling Cloud Adoption
- Cisco NX-OS Software Architecture
For the non-techies – I also get to hear William Shatner give the closing keynote, and Train will be performing one evening as well. Another huge bonus is I’ll have the opportunity to attend an AT&T VIP event as well as a CCIE-only VIP party.
* On a side note, as the audience for Music to Pray By grows, I have considered moving these personal posts to a different blog. If any of you subscribers are annoyed by them, please send me a message using the contact form and I’ll make this a priority.
God bless, and stay tuned for Podcast 61 coming early August. It was recorded over a month ago, but I remember it being special with a new original starting it off.
New Music To Pray By Album Art! June 12, 2011 in , Site Updates 1 comments
About 5 days ago, Alex Anze, a podcast subscriber and graphics designer contacted me and said that he felt led by LORD to help the MTPB ministry by designing new album art for the podcasts “…in hopes that a better album cover might be more inviting to more people and so increase the number of praying people.” Today, I received the following image from him and all I can say is, …wow!
When I asked if it was okay to mention him in a blog post, he asked that it be made clear that he did this for the glory of God and not for self publicity – that this was a way of advancing the Kingdom of God and he’s glad and proud to have achieved something that may just do that. There may be some improvements to the website as well thanks to Alex’s generosity. GOD IS GOOD! Thank you LORD for Alex and for the work You’ve accomplished through him, and I pray you bless him in a very huge way!