Sunday, September 21, 2008


Sorry I didn't post last night, but here is my attempt at making up for it... PICTURES! Hooray! These are from my last couple weeks in the States and my arrival in bella Italia. Enjoy. And I posted these because the free music of the day is found at Andrew Osenga's website. Download Letters to the Editor Vol. 1 by clicking on the tab that says free, Letters to the Editor Vol. 2 by clicking HERE and look at the album notes on both because four or five of my pictures are featured!
My sweet STINT team at our first team dinner L to R: Ella, Sam, April, Jimmy, Kanda, Jenny, Brian, Kerry, Me
My nephew Brayden Kai... he is an all-star
My niece Peyton K'aloha, the toughest little two year old you will meet
Pure Romance says it all... was a cozy(?) I cut up to make an armband
Me and my friend Adam were jealous of the other couples... so we put our arms around each others waist. Not gay, comfortable in our masculinity.
Four generation of Men of the Sands Hotel represented here.
My niece Miriam

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Long Day is Over

Today was a long day. A good day, but a long day. Spending about two hours on public transit taught me a valuable lesson; dont take the bus in rush hour. Such is life in Rome, life in a big city. Today was a day of figuring out what this next year might look like. The picture is not in focus but it is clear enough that I can make out outlines; hopefully in the next week those will clear even more. We had meetings as all of staff in Rome with Agape Italia and our national team and then the second half of the day was with just the leaders. I am helping lead the STINT team and also helping lead a Missional Team (we will have a narrower focus on a couple campus's and faculties) and honestly, today I didn't feel like a leader. Instead, I felt as if I was tagging along, sitting in meetings that I didn't necessarily belong in. I know I have a lot to learn and I know God has put me here in this position for a reason, I just think I can get a little intimidated by such experience that surrounds me. And maybe a little scared that I know God will change me and I know that won't always be comfortable.

I finished the day watching "A River Runs Through It" with some of the guys. Never watched the whole movie and the cinematography of it is beautiful. Much like the river featured so prominently, there is an ebb and flow, a rhythm to the movie that is contemplative, never rushed but never still. Some of the last words of the movie were in a sermon that the reverend delivers. He says "And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding." I thought that was a pretty powerful statement; we can love without complete understanding. I dont always understand... I want to but I dont, but I want to learn to love with Christ's love, even for those that baffle me, that I disagree with, and that I never understand.

In support of this contemplative music, I offer you the music of Alli Rogers. I highly recommend the last song, "The Things We Can and Can Not Keep." I think offers a level of insight that the normal song doesnt. I am also a big fan of the song "Hope." This girl can sing, is pretty mellow... check it out

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Trotting Through the Day

I love Bar Agostini. Seriously, this cafe is the best possible way to start my day. And I was reading AW Tozer this morning with my team, a book called "The Radical Cross," and that book is stinking sweet. The paragraph that I read and was quite challenged by says this:
"If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us. To do this is to submit the whole pattern of our lives to be destroyed and built again in the power of an endless life. And we shall find that it is more than poetry, more than sweet hymnody and elevated feeling. The cross will cut into our lives where it hurts worst, sparing neither us not our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works."
The rest of the day was pretty chill; we got cell phones for all the new STINTers, had a little Rome Ministry Orientation and then had a picnic with the long-term staff and their kids. I got to throw the football and wrestle with a bunch of little kids, which is always fun. Jenny and I had some intense planning and then I went running with Brian and Jimmy, part of my training for the Rome Marathon. Yes, you heard me correct, I am trying to run the Rome Marathon. Pray for me :)
MUSIC: Check out The Daytrotter Sessions for some kind of weird, sometimes good, sometimes bad music. Click on THIS LINK and check out Basia Bulat, Bon Iver, Ingrid Michaelson, and We Barbarians for some music that I downloaded. You can listen first, then download if you like it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today was a good day. We got our bus passes (I functioned as a translator, which was a lot of fun and made me somewhat proud of my Italian), tracked down packets that we need to apply to stay in the country (3 places, third time's the charm), had the chance to walk around campus and pray for it and then had our very first team dinner! And then we got all the forms filled out that we need to so hopefully we can apply in the next day or two! BUT my two highlights of the day were in the morning, getting to go back to my beloved Bar Agostini and see my friends, the barista's who work there.
At Bar Agostini last year
Maria-Antoniella, Anna Maria, the dude who works in the bakery and his son... loads of fun and good time reading my Bible with my iPod and cappucino and ciambella. And, as an added bonus, I got to see one of my friends, Maria Teresa, standing in line and talk to her for a while. Second highlight of the day was I ran into my good friend Jody on campus and got to talk a little with him. We are hopefully meeting soon. Jody was one the highlights of last year; he is an all-star guy, super friendly, and we had a great time reading and discussing the Gospel of John. So the music of the day reflects that... do get it free you have to enter in 5 friends names but you can also pay 1 dollar. The tagline is "Hopeful*Inspired*Involved" and it featured Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and Charlie Peacock. Thoughtful music and a sampler album to promote their upcoming tour, which the proceeds go to International Justice Mission. For those who have never heard of this, IJM is the organization that works hard to "rescue victims of individual human rights abuse, working to combat human trafficking, forced labor, slavery, illegal detention, unprosecuted rape, police brutality and illegal land seizure" They do good stuff. Check it out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Tired

I am so tired right now but I promised an album a day and I will deliver... First, we are here safe and sound in Roma. Jet lag is killing me right now but I am about to hit the couch so it is all ok. We had a crazy hectic day of settling into our apartment, trying to get details for the rest of the week figured out, and trying to stay awake so we can get on Rome time. I am excited to visit Bar Agostini in the morning for a cappucino and cornetto. I have discovered I am not a very patient fellow when I am tired and there are too many questions. Pray for me on that... back to the music.
Check out to check out The Autumn Film, "a 3-piece band fronted by charismatic lead singer Tifah Al-Attas. Formerly a five member band known as Tifah, the remaining three piece ensemble pushes the limits of drums, a guitar and a piano can do. Though led by the piano styling of Tifah, don’t expect Ben Folds or Andy Davis piano-pop here; expect something more like a female-fronted Snow Patrol or a Sigur Ros experimental mentality. Of course, all this with Al-Attas’s unique vocal styling. When I saw them live, the first question that popped into my mind was, “Where is all this sound coming from? Sounds like 10 people are on stage."

Expect for The Autumn Film to blow up sometime soon; endless touring, rumors of talks with high profile managers, and quality music speaks for itself. But you can be the first to say, “I liked them before they sold millions,” by downloading not one, but two free 4-song EP’s off their website. Just like any good story, the So Loved EP gives a look back at where they came from and the second gives a look into the future. The Grey EP Though often lyrically ambiguous, the songs reflect the bands commitment to beauty and honesty. is at times cathartic, at times hypnotic, and always fascinating." (this exerpt if from an article I wrote on them)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Arrivederci America, Ciao Italia!

I am sitting the airport right now, contemplating that I am on my way to Rome, Italy for Round 2 and I am pumped. Granted, currently there are problems with my visa/plane ticket and I am not guaranteed to be on the flight from Washington DC to Rome (yet), but I am still excited to go. Expect a detailed, well thought out post about the summer sometime soon (probably will write that on the plane ride) but for now, I want to pass my excitement on to you! So for the next week, I will try to post a new, free album to download every day. Not bad eh? We will see if I stay up to date on this, but with my first one, go to and download the album "Singalong." I am warning you, this is straight up Jesus music, so if that isnt your thing, you can skip it. But I am loving the fact that it is Phil, a guitar, and 2000 people singing along to songs that give God glory. My favorite is the one called "Beautiful." So check it out, enjoy, and stay with me for another year in Rome! And dont worry, if this music isnt your style, there will be something for everyone over the course of the next week.