Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mr. Gustav

We had another wonderful weekend. We started off by flying to Phili and driving to RevGen festival in New Jersey. We had a great time opening for Chris Tomlin and the crowd was fantastic! The next morning we woke up and flew to Omaha, Nebraska then drove to Sioux Falls, SD for LifeLight festival. This is probably the band's favorite festival by far. It's free... so there's about 200,000 people attending. We opened for Michael W. And I think we played to about 120,000 or so. Unbelievable.

Any ways, everyone is back home now and we're waiting to see what this hurricane is going to do. It's not going to hit Houston straight on, but we will get some fall out. Probably a lot of rain and maybe some flooding. Please pray that our houses stay safe. And pray especially for the people in Louisiana because it's headed straight for them.

We're going back out on Thursday so also pray that we don't have any problems getting there.

Thanks everybody!


Friday, August 29, 2008

At the gate...

We woke up at 4am again, and came to our new home... the airport.

c ya in New Jersey.

-the leeland boys

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Power of the Gospel is Love

Knowing God is this simple. Love God with everything and love people (Matt:22:37-39). When we seek God in prayer and studying his word, we build up our spirit man and the fleshly desires pass away. Not only can we draw close to God by prayer, but by actions of love to others around you (1 John 3:18-19). Love is the power of the Gospel because God is love and when we love others we fill ourselves up with more of God.(1 John 4:16)

We are called to love others because we're in love with God. You notice Jesus said first love the Lord God with all your heart then love your neighbor. Loving people should be a reaction to the action of Jesus dying for you and your sins. It's not a chore or a duty, but it's realizing God loved and forgave me, so that I might love and forgive others, and when I have hate for others I have hate for God and God does not dwell in me because love does not dwell in my heart. You can't separate people and God. Your actions to people are also actions to God. Jesus said "if you've done it to the lease of these, you've done it to me"(Matthew 25:40)

It's not easy to love others. It's easy to love God because God's love isn't conditional and will never fail us, but Jesus said even sinners love people who love them (Matthew 5:43-48). The true demonstration of God's love is loving everyone, even your enemies. The only way that you and I can effectively walk in love is realizing that your life is no longer to be lived for you and your desires, but it's for God. My life is not my own. Once we truly turn our whole self over to God, we set our hearts at rest in his presence and life.(1 John 3:18-19, Matthew 16:24).

Thanks for reading and know that I love you guys.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Washington Weekend

I love these trips. We spent less than 72 hours away from home. Drove through beautiful scenery. Played two great shows and met some amazing people. All in a tour bus you may ask? No people... I'm talking about two matching Toyota minivans, the real way to travel.

Last night was a great time with a not so huge crowd but everyone had great hearts. They were all super worshipers! And tonight we played at a fair with Jars of Clay. It was a big crowd but I felt so bad for them because they were standing in pouring rain our entire set. They were champions though and stuck in there. It turned out to be another great worship time. Tonight was our first night to play "May Our Praise" live. I can't beieve we haven't played is sooner seeing as it's my favorite song on the Opposite Way record. Any ways, it went over very well, and we didn't mess up with the tracks so that's always good.

Here's some pix from the weekend...

Flew to Seattle.

The drive today was amazing. Leeland wanted to get out and climb it but we didn't have time.


ate at Red Robin...

kept driving...

jake in his emo hoodie... listening to his ipod and he totally can't hear anything we're saying to him.

Leeland's getting some wind here.

We got to the fair and played to the great people in the rain. These girls were awesome; they made custom Leeland hoodies to protect them from the elements.

I know this is kind of random... but I have to fill you in. Marcus (our sound doctor) never wears shoes. We give him a hard time about it. He might have learned his lesson here.

Oh... and then we made him put his hair up in a pony. We can't decide if he looks like the bad guy from "Kindergarten Cop" or the jerk instructor guy from "Karate Kid"? Thoughts?????

I'm armed with my pillow and a boarding pass with a window seat. Time to get on the red eye and try my best to sleep on the way home.

love love love!


Friday, August 22, 2008

I love worship... I don't like 4am

So... we just got back from the Hillsong Conference here in Houston. It was amazing worship tonight! I was crying like a baby while we were singing "Hosanna". And "With Everything" was off the charts... God was off the charts. He totally overwhelmed me tonight with His love and His goodness. I love those moments when God sweeps you off your feet and just surprises you once again with how great his love is. Then when I feel the reality of that love all I can do is tilt my head up until my neck hurts... open my eyes and sing through the ceiling and just shout to heaven. This is worship people!

Any of you guys had an awesome worship experience lately? If so... tell us about it. If not, stop what you're doing right now and just tell God how amazing He is. Then begin to live for this incredible God. That's worship.

I've got to pack now and then go to sleep. We've got a 5am call time and that means I have to wake up around 4am. Fun!

Later gaterz.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Angels in the Outfield

So we find ourselves once again at the Anaheim Angels Stadium for the Harvest crusade. This is our second year at the crusade and it's such an honor to be a part of this. We're here all weekend playing three nights. Tonight was so special... 50,000 people packed into the stadium. We played with Kutless, Lincoln Brewster, & P.O.D. After Pastor Greg's message (which was so powerful and compelling) thousands of people came down and filled the outfield making decisions for Christ.

Here are some pictures from the last couple days.

We met P.O.D. Really nice guys.

Leeland and Shelly (our sister) decided to match tonight.

The crowd was packed tonight.

Pastor Greg gave the Gospel message.

Thousands responded and gave their lives to Jesus.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pix from Malawi

Sorry it's been so long since the last post. We just got home yesterday. It was another thrity something hours of travel! We flew from Malawi to South Africa then to London... then we ran to our plane in Heathrow and almost missed our flight. After that it was another 10 hour flight home... and eventually we made it back to good old Baytown. I'm not going to lie; it was nice eating some Texas food! I definitely missed it. Here's some pictures from our trip! It was absolutely amazing.

A snapshot on the drive from the airport to the hotel. It's so dry... they haven't had one drop of rain since March!

The stage. The Fire Fox choir from Lilongwe was singing. Imagine the most jubilant and celebratory African music ever! It was so fun.

We went to the market and bought tons of little trinkets and such.

Leeland kind of stood out... so he's about to get bumrushed by some aggressive salesman. haha...

Marcus is making deals here.

The next day we went to the Village of Hope Orphanage in Lilongwe.

The kids sang for us.

We met some of the children and heard their stories. This beautiful girl is Esther. She's six months old, and her mother died in child birth. Her father wasn't alive either so the village chief asked one of the elders to kill her. The Village of Hope found out about it and rescued her.

The little girl in the green is Potso. Her parents aren't alive, so her uncle took her in. He couldn't afford to take care of her so he put her out in the trash. But God knew her name and made sure she would be taken care of at the Village of Hope.

We got to give the boys some soccer balls. Mike said it was the best game of soccer he'd ever played.

In just three days we fell in love with the nation of Malawi and the continent of Africa. We can't wait to go back and stay longer. Please be praying for the nation of Malawi. The church is strong and thriving amidst hunger, poverty and devastation. There are over a million orphans roaming the streets. We believe that God will give them a home.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Africa - Blog 2

I'm in Malawi and we're having a great time. God is moving in this nation and the people are so hungry for God here. They're walking for hours to come this event and tons of people got saved tonight. The worship has really been amazing as well. It was so intense! We sang "With Everything" a song on the new Hillsong record "This is our God". I've got to post the video because everyone was singing to the top of their lungs and shouting for spiritual victory in Malawi! So powerful. And tomorrow we're going to an orphanage here in town... so we're so excited to meet the kids. I think they have a special program prepared for us. Mike is hoping to play some soccer as well.

The internet is pretty slow here, so uploading pictures is almost impossible. It would probably take hours... but I'll definitely post some pix and video as soon as we get back to the states!

Oh... and today we went into the market and bought some souvenirs. It was hilarious! We were all bargaining and haggling the prices. Theses guys are pretty aggressive salesmen and when they see an American the price starts sky high. It was really fun and we got some pretty cool stuff. Jake ran out of Kwacha (Malawi's currency) so he ended up trading his leather wallet and his watch for some stuff! haha.... it was amazing. I think he got taken on that one.

Tomorrow is the last day. I'll be back with another update. Be blessed and encouraged and please be thankful for all the God has blessed us with as a nation! Trips like this totally put my life back into perspective.

Talk to you tomorrow.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Africa - Blog 1

So... we finally made it to Malawi. After 36 hours of travel we're here! We've only been here for a few hours and God has already started something in our hearts. The second we walked into the football stadium and saw everyone dancing and singing we started crying. There's just something about the joy that these people have. Their thankfulness and praise ushers in the presence of God in such a powerful way.

We sang "Save Your People" tonight and they went crazy! Everyone was jumping up and down and singing as loud as they could. We're playing again Saturday night and Sunday. Thanks for all your prayers and comments... we appreciate it so much.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Love love love!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Leeland in London! say that 10 times really fast...

I've got to hurry because my computer is running out of battery and we have a plane to catch. We had a 9 hour lay over in London today en route to Africa. Instead of sitting in the terminal all day we decided to explore a little bit.

Here are some pix...

Got on the Heathrow express into london...

We stopped by St. Paul's Cathedral. Probably my favorite place in London. It's been there for 300 years and it's the most amazing thing you've ever seen inside. Unfortunately you can't take pictures in there. :-(

St. Paul's

We had to go see Big Ben. Classic.

Love you guys! Talk to you in Africa. Please be praying for us; we're kind of tired.



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Taxi cab driver meets Jesus!

Hey everyone I hope your all doing well and following Jesus. Well, I wanted to encourage you with something pretty cool that happened today. Me and Matt got a ride from a taxi to "Barnes and Noble" and on our way back we got to talk to our cab driver Dave. I told him about our band and that we were leaving today for Africa to be apart of a christian youth conference there. I told him about our faith and what God was doing in our lives. Anyways when we stopped at the hotel to get out he just started pouring out his heart about his belief in God. He told me that he grew up in a religion that had way to many rules and at a young age it didn't feel right. He told me that he was always drawn to the story of Jesus and accepting his forgiveness of sins. So I explained what it meant to follow Jesus and to give your whole life away to HIm. I asked him if he wanted to pray with me and ask God into his heart. So we prayed together and he got saved!! It was awesome! David is a cool dude, I cant wait to hear about what God is going to do in His life and the lives of his family!

So be encouraged and stay plugged in to Jesus, you never know who you'll meet that needs to feel the Love of God. Love God and love people! What's God doing in your life today? Big or small please share!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kingdom Bound Vlog

We had a pretty serious conversation about candy bars in this video.

matt- butterfinger
jake- twix
lee- kit kat
jack- expensive european chocolate that he can't afford
mike- undecided... likes them all

We want to know your candy bar of choice... c'mon let us know. Peace!


Monday, August 4, 2008

The Ride of Steel

So... today we rode a few rides. This is the best thing about playing at theme parks. We're all scared to death of rides, but we can't help getting on them again and again. Here's some pix..

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This one was awesome. You sit on tiny little motorcycles. Genius!

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Leeland and Jake found a coon hat and some fire arms.

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Loopty loops are the best!

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The best part is that we had an escort from the park that let us cut in through the exit. No lines!

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Superman: The Ride of Steel.

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He's totally pumped.

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The drop.

Any ways, that was our roller coaster excursion. Also, we just got off stage and the show was amazing tonight. God really showed up and the worship atmosphere was intense.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back again soon. Much love!