5 Thoughts on the 2016 Grammys

  1. Make sure to bring an umbrella just in case the unforeseen glitter shower appears, courtesy of Taylor Swift.
  2. Stevie Wonder, I applaud you for your voice, life, and spirit. Amazing performance!
  3. Kendrick Lamar’s performance was the epitome of art and culture in one. Thank you for sharing your experience and telling it so vividly and unabashedly.
  4. Adele’s “All I Ask” featuring Justin Bieber is a clear demonstration of the power and necessity of the skilled sound engineer/producer. You guys are the heroes.
  5. Two words, Alabama Shakes. Yes.

And oh, apparently Adele’s piano mics had fallen on the strings, but the Justin Bieber story is a better one ūüôā



“Singing Christmas: What Child Is This?” at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

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Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 11 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). It was the first of the HBC Advent services. The worship team added about seven drummer boys from Harvest Christian Academy (the church’s school), so the steady beat of the drums made me excited to usher in the spirit of Christ’s birth. I was¬†happy to see generations of faith playing on stage together. It was relevant and cool, not just the separate children’s choir or orchestra that performs¬†at every special church occasion. ¬†I was so inspired by the worship. From traveling and visiting¬†many different churches, it was such a blessing to see old songs become¬†fresh and new. Meredith Andrews sang “Not For a Moment” with lyrics focused on Christmas. Instead of the normal lyrics of repentance and human emotions, we were suddenly transported to the backdrop of Middle Eastern shepherds, flocks, and angels singing over the birth of Christ. Whoever changed the lyrics did an absolutely brilliant job. It was effortless and truly amazing!¬†I didn’t realize that such¬†a simple change could make such a huge and refreshing impact.¬†Loved it.

This particular service was the intro to¬†the “Singing Christmas” series. James Macdonald hit it spot on with his first sermon. He first warned us to¬†caution, stating that he’d be preaching off of Christmas carols… and before the naysayers could moan about the “Biblelessness” of certain churches, he assured us that the songs he’d be focusing on would be biblical and truth. As I’ve stated before in my Step 1 post, I like that Macdonald lectures as if he’s a classroom teacher, probably because that’s how I teach too. He’ll use relevant topics, like Christmas carols, Elf on the Shelf, video testimonies, and even his own grandson to illustrate the majesty of Christ coming to earth.¬†He concluded with the conclusion of all conclusions, the worship and adoration of our Gracious and Majestic King. It was a¬†Christmas message within the relevance of the 21st century, and one that I won’t easily forget. “What Child Is This?” by William Chatterton Dix¬†will continually be a Gospel reminder for Christian families and holiday shoppers to come.

When the service ended, Witness and I checked out the Harvest Christian Academy (HCA) corner where we were able to meet Marc Abbatacola, the executive director of HCA. He was so very kind, friendly, and down to earth. I’m hoping to get connected to the right people so that I can join the sub list.

That was our fourth Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel… and I think it’s beginning to grow on me. Once we join small groups come January, I think we’ll be able to tell whether or not we’re going to fully commit to growing with this awesome church. Thanks for joining us onpagetwo! Let us know what you thought of the post!

With Love,



Tommy Emmanuel Classics + Christmas Tour at Chicago’s Park West

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On Friday¬†night, Witness and I attended the Tommy Emmanuel Classics + Christmas Tour at Chicago’s Park West. It was a lovely night away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Park West¬†felt homey for the crowd of about 700. Tommy and the Spirit of Christmas sold out the space, as some people stood and decked¬†the w(h)alls. I’m glad we got there at least thirty minutes before the show. We probably should’ve gotten there earlier, as parking in the city was quite a bother.

The makeup of the audience was mostly aged forty plus, but there were a few youngsters here and there in the crowd. Witness had¬†overheard two seventy-year-old men banter in the bathroom. They were both delighted by Tommy’s magnificent runs¬†played by his extraordinarily dexterous fingers. ¬†We¬†ran into a¬†small niche of college friends who are also avid beautiful music listeners. Overall, it was a comfortable space stocked with five bars. I was happy with my large yet overpriced coke.

Tommy Emmanuel is mesmerizing. And get this, he just turned sixty¬†this year! Every time he plays, an angel gets his wings… but seriously, it’s pure and genuine music to one’s ears. He’s incredibly passionate, and he plays with his guitar as well as his whole body. Tommy¬†Emmanuel’s¬†rhythms are seamless and awe-inspiring to the ordinary twenty-five year old. He’s a truly amazing artist. We look forward to seeing him again next year and hopefully bringing some more Tommy fans to watch this legend in his never-ending prime.

Thanks for joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you thought of this post!

With Love,