Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rent "Rocky Balboa" Tonight!

So, I'm not much of a "sports movie" fan. Never really have been... there are inspiring moments in the good ones, but it's not really my deal. I know plenty about sports, can play 'em (not well, but enough to be a challenge at the church picnic!), enjoy watching a football game now and then (mostly to cheer for my favorite team... The Referees!). On that note, I'm not much of a "music movie" fan either, but I digress.

Having paitned that picture of myself and my "ho-hum" attitude towards flicks about sports, I say most emphatically that you all need to see "Rocky Balboa." It's been available to rent for a while now and if you have those cool RedBox $1 DVD rental stops near you, it should be there. It's easily one of the best movies I've ever seen. It's totally "anti-Hollywood" in the sense that the guy is faithful to his wife (who's been dead for a couple of years in the movie), doesn't curse (rated PG for some cool cinematography in the way they show the punches), and takes care of people in need without taking advantage of them. Best of all, it has not one, but SEVERAL inspiring monologues and moments in the movie. And the ending is perfect!

I wasn't a big Rocky movie fan. I think that Rocky fights Mr T in the second movie (I think) and the only one I think I saw was Rocky V where he fights the massive Russian dude. "Rocky Balboa" is an amazing movie. I'm glad they didn't call it "Rocky 6" or "Rocky Reloaded" or something like that. The movie really does stand alone and it stands as an amazing, inspiring, and encouraging movie, unlike the majority of what is available in theatres. And it's clean. That alone makes it worth seeing!

So, if you're looking for a great movie, "Rocky Balboa" is your movie. You'll walk away wanting to be a better person and empowered with the reminder that, in Christ, you can be!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One For The 3CW History Book

To start, I would like to say that we've had some pretty awesome shows lately. Some have been huge turn-outs, some have been intimate gatherings, but with the exception of a couple where I think I did really poorly (tired voice = bad, off-key vocals), it's been a wild ride.

Tonight takes the cake.

We played for the Middle School Fuel midweek event at Crossroads Church in Loveland, Colorado. The event started off kinda rocky, particularly for me. When we got to the event, we were getting setup when I bashed my head (really hard) into a hanging speaker. I'm just recovering after 9 months from a similar injury that wasn't nearly as hard as the hit I took tonight. I plan on seeing the chiropractor tomorrow just to make sure I'm okay before this upcoming tour. The big difference is that we got ice on my head and neck right away and I took two Aleve to help with any pain and swelling. Also drank LOTS of water. And will see the chiropractor tomorrow (I hope). The last time something similar happened, I just let it go and didn't do anything about it until my body and mind went nuts (no joke, I'll have to share that story with you someday).

Anyway, took a serious hit to the head, but then took a serious hit to the band. As we were sound checking, the youth pastor looked over at Iain and I (I was sitting at the sound board) and asked if we could turn it down a little. We honestly thought he was joking. You see, we didn't even have the main speakers up yet, just our amps and drums, and we pride ourselves on being one of the quieter bands you're going to hear (we care about your ears!). It's loud, but unlike most, we take care to keep it as lower than the norm. We were all so thrown off by the request and didn't exactly know what to do... well, Ben came up with some good strategies to help reduce the sound, but I was freaked. Partly because I hit my heard, but partly because I thought "uh oh... what did this church think they were getting when they invited us in?" Truthfully, we were afraid that the volume would still be too loud no matter what we did, or that the sound would be just awful, or that maybe they didn't really want us to be there, or a whole bunch of other "uh oh" thoughts, and that this was probably the last time we'd ever be invited.

I just felt a tension all night that I couldn't shake. Even Ben and I started argue a bit.

And then God moved on Josh in a powerful way that changed the rest of the night. All of a sudden, Josh goes "I'm getting that feeling I was getting last week... we're getting attacked spiritually and I feel like God wants me to pray."

James 5 says that the prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.

Soon after that prayer, things starting coming together. And we ended up having one of the best shows I can remember. The crowd was crazy into the whole set, the energy was high, and we were all having a blast!!!

AND THEN, the coolest part of the night happened. At the point where I normally share from one of our quiet times, I felt like God said "not tonight, Joe... tonight, just give them the Gospel, straight up... John 3:16 style." And that's what happened. Iain gave me his Bible and that was the subject. It wasn't a long talk... maybe 5 minutes... and there was prayer... and like 12 students raised their hands saying they had just prayed to commit their lives to Jesus Christ for the first time.


That's the best part of the night... and the best part of the series of shows we've done in the Rocky Mountain Front Range these last 6 weeks. It was intense... it was beautiful. It was unreal. And it was exactly what God wanted. And it was the best part of everything. As Ryan, the youth pastor said after the set, making that commitment is the single most important thing anyone can ever do. He's right. It really is.

And as a Christian, being a part of someone's spiritual birth is about the coolest thing in the world. In fact, Jesus said that there is rejoicing in Heaven when even one person goes from being "lost" to being "found." So, if one causes a party, I'm pretty sure Heaven is having the coolest rave you could imagine.

I had the chance to talk to some friends of ours after the event who expressed their sadness that so many Christian bands start off so gung-ho about their faith and then with more success, seem to back away from their former boldness... it stops being about reaching people for Christ and starts being about "ambiguously making an impact." Nights like tonight remind me of what I already know everyday... we aren't that band and we never will be. We couldn't survive and NOT talk openly about Jesus Christ and our relationships with Him. He is central to the band's existence and to our very lives. And at the end of the day, we're not trying to make the world a better place as an end in itself... the world is going to burn someday and be replaced according to Scripture. We're trying to reach as many people as we can with the life-changing, soul-saving Good News of Jesus Christ.

We would be miserable if we stopped doing that, because as the Apostle Paul once said... "I am compelled to do it; I feel like I almost have no choice in the matter" (JPT - Joe's Paraphrased Translation...).

Anyway, it was a perfect way to end this set of "local" shows ("local" as in Rocky Mountains), and to transition into this upcoming Western USA tour.

Speaking of, please pray for us... pray for our families, for us, and for all of our safety.



P.S. With the upcoming tour, we're going to try to keep up on our updates from the road. So... starting the middle of next week, make sure you're checking in on us every couple of days for updates, pictures... and maybe some video... from our time on the road. Should be fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

On the road again...

While Ben drives, Iain sleeps. Ah... Life on the road!

Steamboat Springs rocks!

I really wish we didn't forget Ben's camera. I would love to show you footage or even some stills from our crazy new friends in Steamboat Springs. We got a couple of messages from some students saying that it was one of their biggest youth group nights ever. Seems like crazy cool kids from all over Steamboat, Craig, and the surrounding mountain towns came out to celebrate.

We got a chance to play with Nate Allman ( again, and as usual, he did a fantastic job. He's got some great tunes you can check out on his site and myspace page.

Our favorite part (well, other than rocking out with a bunch of wild fans who knew the songs... which was cool considering it was our first time in Steamboat) was getting to hang out with the staff. From Chris, the sound guy extraordinaire who drove me around Steamboat looking for a power supply for my computer and telling me crazy stories of major bands he's mixed for, to Jake, the youth pastor/former CU football player who still looks like he could take you out with his pinky, but is an amazing servant and shared his broken heart for the teens in the area, to Nick who has the best laugh in the world and is as good at telling his own funny stories, and his future-rock-star wife Amy who was a tremendous encouragement to me, along with the host of interns and assistants who love Jesus, their students, and music... man, it was a great time.

Top it all off, we got to stay at the Hampton Inn in a 5 bed, 2 bathroom suite and hot breakfast this morning... yep, it was awesome!

But as always, our favorite part was hanging out with the staff, students, and music fans that came out. And God did some great work that night! It's always our greatest honor to get to be a part of what HE is doing, not us.

Alright, off to Green River, Wyoming in a few. I'm stoked!

See you next time, Steamboat!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lake Evergreen

Conclusive Evidence that Joe from Three Cord Wonder is NOT cool...

I realize that most band guys spend a lot of time (and money) making sure that ridiculous photos of themselves do not fall into the hands of the general public. Publicists, management, even lawyers are brought in to quell the number of paparazzi shots of celebrities and leaders the world over. You're probably thinking "so why are there still a ton of photos in the tabloids at the supermarket?" Honestly, the answer is that there would be a whole lot more if it wasn't for this army of protectors that prevent the dissemination of such contraband.


But not with us. Nope... at Three Cord Wonder, we have no reason to make you think of us as something better than you. We're not. We never have been. We never will be. In fact, we celebrate the fact that we are just like you... and to some degree, inferior to you. Probably hard to believe that a band would say that. Most bands want you to think they're the greatest thing ever. Not us.

And to prove conclusively that we are lame-wads, we present:

EXHIBIT A - My Rear End Concert Sweat Spots!

Next time you feel depressed about yourself, just click on the picture, look at the sweat spots, and be reminded of how much cooler you are than your favorite lame band... Three Cord Wonder.

We're here for you!


Happy Fall Season!

Picking apples with my daughter! Happy Fall Season everybody!