Tour Dates

Tuesday
Apr152014

One Big Journey, Comprised of Smaller Ones

Hey there - happy Holy week!
It is the most important week for a Christian - the week we journey with Jesus; from the gates of Jerusalem, to the temple; from an upper room and a Passover meal, to the garden of Gethsemene; from the Sanhedrin to Pilate; from the scourging to the cross; and from the grave to an empty tomb. It is why we believe. 

I started Lent with a vacation - a road trip with my family. It was a great time to reconnect and relax. Of course, when you have a 6 month old and a 2 1/2 year old, the “relaxed” part wears off quick ;) But even in the midst of the trials of our journey, the truth remains -  road trips are important.  They give us perspective, they help remind us that life is, essentially, one big journey, comprised of smaller ones. The same could be said of our spiritual life. One of those journeys for me was last summer, in Brazil. I was invited to participate in World Youth Day, the largest gathering of people in the world. It happens every three years or so, at the invitation of the Pope. It is an invitation to pilgrimage. To make a physical journey, and a spiritual one. During that week-long journey, I was asked to sing “Lord I Need You” in front of 3 million people during a time of Eucharistic Adoration. It was a very special time of prayer. Hearing 3 million people be silent is actually a sound you remember.  I've had a lot of people ask me "what was that like?" "How did you feel?" "What was going through your mind?" So I've taken the time to answer some of those questions around this special moment on Copacabana Beach last summer. Check it out:

 

You know, people who are Catholic ask me all the time if I ever get flack for being a Catholic from fans of my music who are of another denomination, or non denominational. It’s always a joy to share that I’ve almost never gotten any. That speaks to me of a growing sense of unity in the Church - that despite our very real differences and disagreements (which are real), we still can be on a journey towards fuller unity as we stand in awe of what our God has done and continues to do in the world and through His Church. I can’t think of a better example than Pope Francis, who is reminding all believers to have a heart that is poor, and for those who are poor in spirit. 

Let’s all pray this is a special week for the Church globally; that we can truly have an open heart to walk closer to the cross, deeper into the tomb, and rise to greater spaces of experiencing the resurrection in our lives. God bless you

As well, if you’re looking for a resource to help you walk spiritually this week, check out the “Journey of Holy Week” series on YouTube.

Thursday
Mar272014

Will You Say Amen?

 

In August of 2012, my wife and son (and our dog, ollie) left Phoenix to move to Nashville, Tn.  That same month, i started humming a melody…about 6 weeks later, i found words forming around it…all i had was the phrase, “and all the people said Amen…”
At the same time, i was thinking alot about the album we were about to start making; this hybrid of live songs and new songs….and was looking for a song that would encapsulate one of my biggest passions as a songwriter - that is, writing songs that are inspired by historical phrases and ideas (some in old hymns, some in old quotes, some in the scriptures). In this case, i was thinking alot about the Beatitudes, and a song that would represent the core elements of this proclamation of good news:
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 
In touring and playing all over the place, you meet alot of different people. I’ve realized more and more that most people don’t have an abundance of good news in their life; in fact, they have the opposite. Alot of people’s lives are filled with disappointment, hurt, resentment, and the mundane. The milestones of life begin to become the tragedies, and there is a loss of joy and appreciation for the simple yet beautiful things in our lives. Yet the beatitudes remind us and call us to this renewed sense of hope in the promise of the love of God - to be people who bring good news, not bad. When we encounter and shine a light on these moments, when we are willing to lend our voice in agreement  - that agreement is our “AMEN” , our “YES. 

 

Wednesday
Feb192014

Hits Deep Tour Coming to Missoula 2/19/14

Friday
Jan032014

What Do You See?

Happy New Year! Merry belated Christmas!
Hope you have made some wonderful memories with friends and family. I know my family and i have....

I want to start the new year with a photo which to me represents the heart of being a Christian. 


THIS.

This image speaks volumes to me. 

I've been trying since Pope Francis was elected to sum up all i feel about it; and to be honest, i still don't have all the right words. But i do know this - with every word he speaks, there's a resounding "Amen" with each message. 

Catholics believe that each election of a new Pope isn’t just guided by human wisdom, but rather informed by the gift of faith. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t really be worth believing in. With the election of Pope Francis, there continues a particular timeliness to it. Like John Paul the 2 and the fall of communism, or Pope Benedict XVI and the rise of relativism, there is Pope Francis, who has a heart to deal with those on the margins of society, and the margins of the Church.

That said, back to the photo. This is from last year when, during a gathering addressing the role of the family in society, a young boy wandered onto the stage where the Pope was giving a message. Here's a link to the whole story.

There's so much to this moment that is entirely relatable to the life of a Christian.
But i just want to focus on one thing: the Pope's facial expression. 

What do you see?
Think about it. go back up and look. 

Here's what i see: wonder. awe. suprise. admiration.

Here's what i don't see: scandal. fear. judgement. anxiety. shock.

I think the God of the scriptures is all about suprising us with situations that will challenge our conventions of what is proper and polite and acceptable versus what is scandalous in the eyes of a particular society.

Jesus was God, and yet also fully man; and i don't think our humanity scandalized Him. In fact, He chose to wear it skindeep; and in that wearing of it, He came so much in contact with our humanity that it is unable to be the same. God touches our humanity in the Incarnation (i.e - what we all celebrated, "Christmas") in such a way that it left an indellible mark on history.   

See, I think the Pope isn't just admiring a young boy. I think the Spirit of God alive and well in Him is reminding him to admire the face of God, hiding in an unpredictable situation. Maybe that's the secret to living out the incarnation - maybe we're supposed to always be looking for Jesus - and not just assuming we're the ones carrying Him. Sometimes it means looking in the face of your little child and realizing the thing you treasure in them isn't you - it's God. Sometimes that means looking in a mirror and trying to see what God sees, cause you just see your brokeness. Sometimes it means going outside yourself, to where He's already doing something. 

I pray that in 2014, i have the courage to do that more and more every day.

Tuesday
Aug272013

Pick up Matt's album, All The People Said Amen, for only $7.99 right now on iTunes!