10 Questions with ... I Am They
January 26, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Stephanie Kulla - vocalist, violin
- Matt Hein - guitars, vocalist
- Sara Palmer - drums, percussion
- Adam Palmer - Vocalist, guitar
- Justin Shinn - keys
- 2015 - I Am They
1. Brief history / synopsis
Sara - I was born in Carson City, NV and raised in Gardnerville, NV. I attended and graduated from Douglas High School. I have had too many jobs in my life, the first being a dishwasher at a local restaurant, I then spent time working in various retail locations, call centers, Starbucks stores, teaching small children and doing office administrative work. I grew up having many ideas of what I wanted to do in life but never really enjoying any of my odd jobs. When I was in my twenties I decided to learn to play drums and had no idea then that I would be doing that for my career I feel like I've finally found what I want to do, and I love it! Currently my hometown is Minden, NV...it's minutes away from Lake Tahoe and the views are astounding. #homemeansnevada
Adam - I'm a guy who was born in the city of South Lake Tahoe, CA on September 27th a while back. When I was a kid, I loved riding my bike and doing cray cray tricks on it, playing Nintendo (the kind you had to fix by blowing in the cartridges), digging in the mud, and using my imagination. As for jobs, well... I've been: a paint contractor's assistant, a waiter, a pizza delivery man, a factory worker, a woodworker, a staff worship leader, a lumberjack, a file clerk, an administrative assistant, a youth pastor, a federal acquisitionist, and now a professional musician. My current hometown is Minden, NV and I have spent most of my life living in a 20 square mile radius of this lil' hometown of mine.
Stephanie - I was born in beautiful Vancouver Canada. My dad was studying for his theology degree and I came into this world while my mom and dad were still there in Canada. Twelve days after I was born, their visas expired and we moved back to the states. We lived in Lake Tahoe for several years, and then my parents got pregnant with my little sister Melissa and so we moved down to Carson City. We have been living in glorious Carson City ever since. This was an amazing place to grow up. I has many childhood friends in my neighborhood and we spend many summer evenings frog hunting, playing in the back yard and having sleepovers out on the trampoline under the stars. I was homeschooled most of my elementary school years and one year of middle school. My family loves to travel and this was the main purpose for homeschooling, so that I could take off for weeks at a time to travel with my family. My first job was at Starbucks Coffee, I worked there for 2 and a half years and now I am working at Paul Schats Bakery.
Matt - I was born in Gig Harbor, Washington, but I spent the majority of my childhood in the lush foliage of a small town in NW Oregon called Forest Grove. Yes, there were groves and forests there. We also had black berry bushes and a big grape vine I used as the epicenter for my GI-JOE adventures. I was homeschooled up to the 5th grade, and then attended a private school called Emmaus Christian School. I was a mischievous, precious-faced child. We followed some of our closest family friends out to Carson City, Nevada when I was in the middle of 6th grade. I was actively involved in baseball, as well as marching band and orchestra - (I was a drummer, although my instructor would insist it be called "percussion"). I graduated high school from Carson High in 2004, and started my college coursework at what is now Western Nevada College. As a junior in high school, my first real job was bussing tables at a local Italian restaurant known as BSghettis. I took on a second job at a small music store and then as a senior in high school, got an intern position working for the Attorney General's office. Right out of high school, I got a State job working for the Nevada Department of Water Resources. I have since started a hashtag on Instagram known as #mondaysbelike, which weekly illustrates my cubical-life, after 10+ years with the Division. It's been great.
Justin - I was born in Long Beach, Ca. Moved to Carson City when I was about 2. I had a great childhood up until the 8th grade when my dad passed away, my mom was a full time nurse. It was rough after that. After graduating highschool, I went to WNC then transferred to UNR to study geothermal energy. Now I'm in a band. I currently live in Reno, NV working at a screen printing company when I am home from playing shows.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
Sara - I wake up and the first thing I do is check my email, text messages, and Instagram. Then I make a cup of coffee. Every single day of my life looks different from the prior; sometimes I'm working at home, sometimes I'm sitting in a van for hours on end, sometimes I'm sitting behind a drum set, and other times i am honored for the opportunity to hang out with and meet many of the coolest people in this world. Regardless of what each day looks like, I will usually end it the same way I started it...lying in bed, checking my email, sending one last text, and catching up on my Instagram feed. Then I kiss my husband goodnight and drift off into a very la-la land.
Adam - My body tells me to wake up at around 9-ish am. For some reason, I wake up super happy and ready to talk - which is strange given that I don't consider myself to be a morning person (I sleep in as late as possible when given the chance). I've learned that people don't like this so much, as most people kinda need about an hour of waking up before they like smiling and talking. So I tone it down for my wife's sake. We usually make some coffee, I eat a piece of fruit, and then I typically will disappear into my studio and work on music production projects (EP's for other new artists, demos for I Am They, learning how to get better at both of the aforementioned, writing songs, etc..). I break for lunch and then either go out and do some errands, or go back to work. At night, Sara and I have dinner together and we like just hanging out and watching Netflix or something else on Apple TV. We are very chill and very much homebodies. Then, honestly, we both tend to go back to work. We love what we do! We stay up until around 1 or 2am or whenever we get tired, then go to our very tall bed to fall asleep. Repeat.
Stephanie - A normal day in the life of Stephanie is pretty simple. In the morning there MUST be coffee, and that is not limited to just one cup I might add. If it is a work day, I proceed to get ready for work and then head off to the bakery. After working usually more than eight hours all I want to do is relax and not smell like sourdough bread for the rest of the night. The nights usually consist of meeting up with a friend or two, or just going home to spend time with my family and enjoy some of the best cooking in the whole world made by the loving hands of my mom. Then I usually proceed to journal and read my bible, and catch up on some hulu shows. Then sweet sweet sleep is long past due (considering that I am usually at work at 5:30am) So I crawl into the best bed ever created and proceed to coma for hopefully a solid 8 hours.
Matt - Granted there are many variables to this question, a normal day for me would likely include waking up to my alarm (the 1st time). Stretching. Showering. Clothing. Choosing a hat off the top shelf (which is covered in hats). Packing my lunch. Getting my two year old son, Micaiah, out of bed, packed, and dressed. Taking care of our two golden doodles (Shme & Cali) and hitting the road to be to the office by 8am. BBH Daily Devotion. 8 hours in the cubicle (usually using breaks to answer emails and keep up with band stuff). 4:30pm: freedom. Anything can happen after that. But likely/mostly: chores/helping my wife Tori around the house (while she works on new projects for her business - Colorsofmae.com). Dinner (Tori is definitely responsible for this aspect of our livelihood, otherwise we'd all be in grave danger). Read a book with Micaiah, say our prayers, and put him down to bed. Shower (that's right folks, two showers). Bed (it should be noted that I own an "itching brush," and I spend about 10 minutes scratching itches before I can settle down to sleep).
Justin - Before we leave on our first real tour, my day is much like many others. I wake up and go to work at 7, I'll get home around 4. I try to practice my keys for atleast an hour a day and try to exercise 4 days a week. After that, if I'm not doing something at the church, I'm at home watching netflix.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
Sara - "I Will Follow Love" by Tim Timmons. Love is my theme...it's just everything. This song blesses me on repeat. With every listen, the lyrics seem to always meet me in the most particular and perfect way; sometimes it's in a contemplative state, and other times it's in deep worship. And that bridge -- it just wrecks me every time. Do yourself a favor and go listen to it right now.
Adam - Man, I am a sucker for a great, hook-laden pop song. Right now I think the one that's most often stuck in my head is 'Blank Space' by miss Taylor Swift. I supposed that's not a really cool answer to have, but you have to recognize a couple things: First off, she's a ridiculously talented songwriter - she just understand hooks like nobodies business.As someone who crafts songs, I can really appreciate a writer who comes up with melodies that are smart yet catchy. The meter and phrasing in the melody is just killer, too. Second, I have this knack for hearing the lyrics incorrectly and thinking they're the real thing - and there's a lyric in this song that I could swear she says "Got a lonely Starbucks lovers", but I guess that is super NOT what she says. I suppose that's not really a second argument pivot point, but that's just where my brain went. Anyway - that song.
Stephanie - Right now I cannot get Live While We're Young by Johnnyswim out of my head. I think they are some of my favorite artists right now. Their musicality and voices are so enchanting to me. I love the chorus of this song the beat, the lyrics and the mood. It really inspires me and I feel the emotion they were trying to convey. This song makes me contemplate, think and feel, and that do me is what makes a great song.
Matt - I love so many types and styles of music, and there's always a hundred songs going in my head. A song that's been stuck in my head probably by external means (ie: radio) is "Shoulders" by For King & Country. Great melody. One that I haven't heard in a while, but that's been in my head is Jadon Lavik's "Nothing But The Blood." It is one of my favorites, if not THE favorite take on that hymn. Really love the guitar work too. I also randomly started singing the song "Love" from Disney's Robin Hood. That's one classic soundtrack right there. Great whistle tunes.
Justin - The song "Shuffle" by Bombay Bicycle Club. It's just so catchy, I can't get it out of my head.
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
Sara - During touring season we are often times in a new state every day. It's exciting and fresh for us and, while I'm certain that no one loves spending half of those days in a 15-passenger van, there's a lot of joy to be found in traveling the country with five of your closest friends!
As a married couple, touring together definitely has its perks, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. In some respect Adam and I have it easy because we're always together, but we've learned that time spent in the same room (or van) together doesn't always equate to "time spent together".
That being said, we have to be very intentional about making and spending our own individual time together to check in with each other and regroup in order to maintain a healthy marriage.
I will say that once we're off the road, we do enjoy ourselves a heathy dose of couch time in our PJ's and a good Netflix documentary on the tv.
Adam - We have traveled intermittently in the past year, but in the next few weeks we will be headed off on our first major tour (The Rock and WorshipRoadshow) and then immediately afterwards, a tour with Matt Maher - so we will be gone for the better part of three months. We definitely feel blessed to be able to do what we do, but there are also definitely challenges in doing so. Just speaking on a personal level, I have a unique situation in that my wife (Sara - drums) and I are married and living out that marriage with 3-4 other band members around us practically 24/7. It's definitely a different lifestyle and not one that many people can speak into from experience; but I HAVE been able to receive some encouragement from a few other artists who speak from a similar situation to us, such as Mark Hall from Casting Crowns (whose wife Melanie is the road manager for Casting Crowns). He's given me some of the most helpful advice I've yet received. He said "don't count your time together with the others as "time together" - schedule actual time together and stick to it." So that has been something we have both been very mindful of.
Stephanie - Right now we are traveling a little, but in February we will be hitting the road hard for three months. I absolutely love traveling. I was raised in a family of travelers. My childhood was spent in wanderlust. My parents taught me how to appreciate different cultures and ways of life. I was raised to enjoy and appreciate different countries and cities for their own unique beauty. I think the biggest challenge about traveling, especially overseas, is never having enough time to see everything. So that is why it is important to take in everything you hear and see. For this next season, I will not be traveling with my family by blood, but with my family in Christ. And I will miss my family dearly, it will be so different, but I will always see things through their eyes.
Matt - We haven't traveled all that much yet, but I can say the time away from my family has been the hardest part for me about the whole band-life thing. My son decided to pop out right when the band was taking off. Things have only ramped up from there, and 99% of the time my family doesn't get to come along. I've heard other band-parents try to answer the question too of how they balance, but I think I'm coming to realize that there really is no good answer or fix for it - it just plain sucks. I'm getting better at holding back tears when I see my son on a screen instead of in person, getting used to facetime/Skype conversations...but there's no place like home. All you can do on the road is 1. Try to plan out and line up schedules best you can 2. Get as many calls and as much time as you can with them (away from the band) 3. Cherish home-time and consume yourself with family back home
Justin - I love traveling, but sitting in a van for 8+ hours can get really boring! We need to find new ways to keep ourselves entertained. I haven't gotten very homesick on the road yet, but I do appreciate my bed a lot more when I'm away.
5. What's the biggest "God moment" that you've ever experienced?
Stephanie - The biggest God moment I have ever had was the day that my Grandma passed away. I know that sounds really weird, but she was the biggest influence on my life, and she was and still is to this day who I want to grow up to be like. She taught me how to sing an play instruments an taught me about how to appreciate beauty in life. When she passed on to be with the Lord, I felt heaven that night. I had dreams of what it would be like, and I felt the comfort and the presence of the Lord like I had never felt before. His love was so evident and tangible for me that night, that I felt like I could reach out and touch Him. He really showed up for me in my greatest time of need, like He promises to do.
Adam - Easily at the top would be when I first met God. I was 16 and friendless and loveless and an atheist, and had attempted suicide a few weeks prior, and was planning another attempt that would be undoubtedly successful. God sent someone, a girl named Alicia, to talk to me and shared Jesus with me. At first I was hard of heart, but then while reading a bible that her friend Sara (who is now my wife) gave me to take home, I came across a verse in John chapter 14 where Jesus says "Because I live, you also shall live." and it felt like Jesus was saying to me "Adam, because I live, you will live. You will not take your life." ...and it just wrecked me. That was a turning point in, really, my whole eternity.
Matt - Wow, that's a big question ...there are so many God-moments infused just into daily living. But when I see anyone make a decision to follow Jesus, I think that's a very real and big display of God at work. For someone to consciously surrender their existence to Jesus - something eternal is definitely at work there - and that's bigger news than I think we often recognize. I've seen drug-addicted criminals encounter Jesus and walk away completely reborn - literally in that moment. As a 5 year old, my own life was spared from a ruptured appendix. The doctor said I shouldn't have made it out alive - but God kept me around. There are masses of God-moments throughout my life - it's tough to narrow down which means the most or is the "biggest." But those moments always serve as reminders to me of both His realness and nearness - and His nearness reminds us of His loving kindness. Something God also spoke to me a few years back was that there is so much super-natural in the natural - we just often miss it or glance over it. God would make a terrible criminal, cause' His fingerprints are all over the place (Christian joke points right there).
Justin - When I got to share my testimony and pray for someone at a show who was struggling with the same things that I had struggled with. It was really cool to see my testimony give someone else hope.
6. What's the last book you read?
Sara - "Love Does" by Bob Goff. I believe that God has made a way to show His love in the most stinkin' creative ways through this man. This book is a collection of short stories that tell how love can be cleverly shown in the most common of circumstances.
The impact for me is this; I am in love the theme of love. It is our God, it is who are called to emulate, and the bible tells us that it is by this love for one another that we will be known. Love is easily seen and can be readily acted upon in every moment of the day...simply out, love does.
I have to be honest though, while this is my favorite book, I refuse to finish it. Because well, then it will be over. I do realize that I can just finish it and re read it again but there's something in me that tells me not to...and I probably won't until he writes a sequel.
Adam - I'm an avid book reader, so typically my list is wildly different each week or so, but here are some of my most recent ones: 'Why Jesus?' by Ravi Zacharias ...is an aptly titled book addressing the question of why one would need a God who is a personal savior juxtaposed to just living a self-centric spirituality, which has become an increasingly popular worldview. 'Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio' by Mike Senior ...is more of a reference book and provides good material on audio engineering.'Words to Live By' by C.S. Lewis, is a book full of quotes pulled from various books and letters and interviews C.S. Lewis said.
Stephanie - The Faults In Our Stars by John Green. I read this book in like two days, I could not put it down. Its about two teenagers battling cancer, and still finding beauty and love in their own little infinity together. It was just such a sweet story and I loved the way it was written.
Matt - Tortured for Christ. The author, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, endured fourteen years of Communist imprisonment and torture in his homeland of Romania. This book is, without a doubt, one you will tell others to read after you. It's a short but life-changing, soul-shaking read. One of the most impactful books I've ever picked up. Oh, and it's free. Need I say more? GO GET IT!
Justin - Well, technically the last book I read was when I was killing time in a Barnes and Noble in Denver, CO. It was a childrens book called "A Book With No Pictures" by BJ Novak. It made me feel smart.
7. How & when did you become a believer. What caused you to want to serve God in full time ministry?
Sara - I didn't hear the name of Jesus Christ until I was thirteen. Before that I had only ever know it to be used as a curse word. Because I wasn't raised in a Christian home this information blew me away; the stories, and this Truth that had not ever even been a concept in my mind before. I began attending a youth group and not too long afterwards I said a prayer to accept this Jesus Christ into my heart. It didn't feel like much of anything at the time...and quite honestly it took me a couple years (of bad choices) before I really DID feel it. One night at a party I had made some pretty heavy decisions -- these were decisions that could have had a very impacting effect on the rest of my life. I found myself at a crossroads and in the middle of the night I prayed harder and more faithfully than I had ever done before. I asked and believed that He could do the impossible for me, and it was in those moments that I truly acknowledge and accepted Jesus into my heart. I made a pact with Him that night, and my life did change. He faithfully saved me from my poor choices and my life has never been the same.
I choose to serve in full time ministry because I love people and I know that it took someone caring enough about me to show and share the love of Jesus with and I want to be that for as many people as I can be.
Adam - I was 16 when I met the Lord. As detailed above, God put a person in my path who interrupted my plan to take my life; a person who would eventually introduce to Jesus. After becoming a Christian, I become fiercely passionate about others meeting Jesus as well and I felt the call to devote my life to serving Him in that way.
Stephanie - I was raised in church, I said the sinners prayer when I was like five, and of course it really didn't mean anything to me at the time. My Father was a worship leader at our church and I sang my first song on the worship team when I was six. I sang "Were you there" its an old beautiful song about trembling from the power of Christ's sacrifice. Ever since then, I have always wanted to be involved in worship ministry. It is a passion that the Lord had purposed in my heart from the beginning.
Matt - I was 6 years old when I asked the Lord into my heart at a Billy Graham crusade in Portland, Oregon. It was in the years that followed that I learned what it was to walk with Jesus. And making music and/or ministry a career? I never intended, dreamed, or pointed myself at that! As worship leaders in our church, Adam and I brought together a worship team from some of the local churches in the area in order to facilitate a worship night for our local community. We remained faithful in that capacity and God began to open doors, which ultimately lead us into this ministry we now call I Am They.
Justin - After struggling with drug addiction, I came back to the Lord when I was in jail. I do ministry full time because I feel like that is where God wants me. I never feel more fulfilled than when I am serving.
8. Take us thru a couple songs on your new recording.
Matt - It's our debut album, and it's self-titled (I Am They). Our band name alone is a bit of a thought-provoker, so we just left it at that. The album is full of songs and lyrics that represent us and our personal stories well. Our single "From The Day," we like to say, is a salvation celebration! It's a commemoration of the day (and of the days since) each of us became a "They." It's a testimony to what God has done in us, from the day we met Him. I think if our soul's could project that glorious encounter in song form, the song would definitely sound like a party - so that's what we were going for. It's also been so amazing to hear from other "They's" out there what God has done in their life 'from the day.' There is another song on the album that speaks much of the testimony of (especially) the past three years of my life - it's called "Make A Way." As I mentioned, our band was surprised with some big open doors right about the time my son was born. The opportunities for the band were bigger than we could have ever imagined, but (as silly as it may sound) I was also internally conflicted by God's timing. I didn't want anything challenging or competing with the time I had with my wife and son. I also didn't want to let go of the comfort, benefits, and security of my state job I was so familiar with - "Especially not now, God! - Not with my newborn son in my hands!" ...But God leads us to the place we can best learn to trust Him. He asks us not only to confess faith, but to live it - and He is intimately aware in each of our lives of where He needs to take us in order for us to come to the end of ourselves. Some of the lyrics of the song are, "wherever You lead me, I know You won't leave me...You brought me this far - My God will make a way." It's a comfort to know that God doesn't just force us out into the unknown alone, but that He is leading us there by the hand. He is with us and He will make a way for us.
Stephanie - One of the songs on our album is called "King Of Love", and is very special to me. First of all we had the privilege of co-writing this song with not only the ever so talented producer of our album, Jonatan Smith, but also with the one and only Stu G. This was so awesome for me because I grew up listening to Delirious! I have always been a big fan of hymns in general, and when Stu brought the lyrics to this old hymn to the writing table, I fell instantly in love with it. And the chorus of this song is so triumphant and true as well. I really love the emotion of this song, because it is all about trust, trust in the shepherd and in his constant pursuit of us.
"From The Day" was the first single off the album. It is very meaningful to me because it is all about stories. And that is really what the band is all about, loving people and hearing their stories, because everyone has one worth sharing. This song encourages us to remember the day the the Lord rescued us out of our darkness and brought us into hope and light. People are really responding to this song because it is relatable to everyone. Everyone has a story, and being able to reflect on that and relive the passion and joy of salvation is amazing.
Adam - Our debut album is self-titled and is being released by Sony/PLG under the imprint Essential Records, and we are SO excited! Each of the songs has special meaning to us, and many of them feel almost like our kids in a way. One song in particular, 'Over and Over Again', was inspired by my teenage battle with depression and subsequent suicide attempt. In it, there's a lyric that says "When my fears chase my failures, Oh God//Oh when heaven's glow seems so far//Wake me up to your glory, oh God//Draw my eyes to yours - where my helps comes from" and it's speaking of how on my journey with God, the enemy sometimes tries to conjure up my past and remind me of where I once was - and when we are in that place of revisiting or feeling reminded of our failures, it can feel as though heaven is just a faint distant glow. But the amazing thing is that we have victory and forgiveness and Lamentations 3 says that God's mercies are new with each morning. Over and over again, His love proves faithful and his mercy felt anew, and over and over again, He pursues us to let us know that He loves us with an everlasting love.
'From the Day' is what we like to call a salvation celebration song. It's just a big, jubilant anthem celebrating redemption by the mercy of God.We've been so encouraged to hear from people literally all over the world that this song has been an encouragement and a song of worship for them.People from the US, to Brazil, to England, to South Africa have reached out to us to tell us that this song has impacted them, and we are so grateful!!
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
Stephanie - We are partnered with an organization called Feed The Children. This organization is absolutely amazing. The band was privileged to go down to Nicaragua last summer and meet the children that represent the communities that we are supporting. It was the most amazing and humbling experience. It was so special to be able to love on the kids and play soccer with them and truly be the hands and feet of Jesus in that way, caring for the widows and orphans. I am honored to be able to be a platform on which Feed The Children can further their cause. They are genuine people with a heart and passion for the hurting, and that is always something I can get behind!
Matt - Feed The Children (feedthechildren.org). And yes, we have been SO stoked to find and work alongside such an extraordinary organization! We have met some incredibly big-hearted people there, who are passionately putting feet to faith - pursuing the end of childhood hunger. Their method is very relational - very personal and heartfelt. It begins by meeting the urgent physical needs of the community (clean water, medical care, education, etc.), while working with the community to create long-term solutions to their cycles of poverty. We recently got to see this first hand on a trip we took with FTC to Nicaragua! We saw the joy on the faces of both children and grandparents, when we came. Saw the FTC staff already there (some of whom come directly from these communities themselves) with little kids in their arms - carrying them around on their hip as if they were part of their family. We saw the feeding centers, the orphanages, the medical facilities, the schools, the clean water systems, the employment centers (where they can learn a trade), the chicken coops, the green houses - just all this hope being poured out and built up in these communities that otherwise had none. Communities that otherwise live without electricity, without clean clothing or shoes. They literally are dependent on rainfall to fill the single stream that flows through - where they bathe, clean their clothing, water crops, and even gather drinking water. Each of us in the band have the opportunity to sponsor a child - my wife and I sponsor a little girl named Tahina. It's only $30.00/month to sponsor one of these children. Not just to sponsor, but to be a spark of hope. A matchstick in their darkness. To give them a chance at a future they didn't before even dare to dream of. We as a band are working with FTC in Nicaragua, but they are working all over the world - including domestically (here in the US - which I think is awesome). Our band name I Am They is all about being the disciples of Christ - being the hands and feet that are reaching out, taking action, and pushing back the dark. We have a heartbeat for hope, for unity in community, and for the gospel being multiplied - and we're seeing those thing happen through Feed The Children.
Adam - We were attracted to FTC because of their approach for doing what their very moniker implies - feeding hungry children in communities that need help.Not only do they help serve children in many poor and developing nations around the globe, they also have a presence in the United States in cities such as Detroit, Michigan. FTC has a goal of going into these communities with the goal of helping them to become eventually self-sustaining, which they accomplish by providing warm meals for children, helping provide facilities and training for parents to learn trade skills, and even providing these communities clothing and clean water and school supplies. I Am They is specifically involved with a small farming community about 3 hours north of Managua, Nicaragua. We had the privilege for spending a week there this past summer, and it had an enormous impact on each of us.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question.
Sara - Christie Nockles. Her music, from the days of Watermark, was some of the very first Christian music I have ever listened to and went with me through countless memories during my early walk with the Lord. Even now when I hear a song I am immediately taken back to those moments. Christie is a person that I have long admired and, while I run a high risk of becoming a sudden mute in the process, if I were ever given the opportunity to meet her I would be exceptionally grateful. To be able to somehow share with her the depth of my appreciation for her lyrics, the honest and true heart that she so vulnerably shared and the blissful encouragement -- all played a massive role in my walk and still encourages me to this very day.
Adam - My choice would be King David. I believe he would have some incredible insight and stories to share. I don't know that it would be a discussion as much as it would just be me listening to him talk.
Matt - Well, typically I don't like talking to dead peeps, but I guess I would probably choose one in this case. Can the conversation be recorded? ...If so, as morbid as it may sound, I would probably choose someone I was certain was doing time in hell. I think that would have the most eternal impact for myself and others on this side of death. If it can't be recorded and I didn't have to stand in line, then maybe the Apostle Paul. That guy is a deep well.
Justin - I would love to sit and talk with C.S. Lewis. His writing has been inspirational to me throughout my whole life.
1. Life verse/favorite verse?
Matt - My life verse has been Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." It dismisses a lot of anxiety about the here and now, and puts everything back into eternal perspective. It's also how I found a wife (. Another favorite verse is Psalm 116:15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." This verse has spoken to me differently at different times, but I think it piggybacks well off of John 3:30 which says, "He must become greater, I must become less." These verses remind us that when we empty ourselves of ourselves for the sake of Christ and those He loves - it is right then that we truly start to recognize, feel, and understand what it is to fully live.
Adam - My current favorite verse is Romans 12:10, which says: "Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."
My life verse is John 14:19b, where Jesus says "Because I live, you also will live." This verse literally helped change my entire eternity, as I felt like Jesus was speaking it directly to me, saying "Adam, you will not take your own life. Because I live, you too will live!"
2. Most embarrassing moment or Funny road story?
Matt - Well I remember when a full grown man introduced me to his stuffed animal teddy bear at the merch table. That was both memorable and amusing.
Adam - Just off the top of my head, I remember one of the hotel rooms we've stayed in was SO bad, that when we turned off the light in the room we all just busted up laughing, because what else is there to do?? This one particular one had holographic silver wrapping paper taped over a large hole in the ceiling to "fix" it; the pillows felt like they were stuffed full of rolled up socks; the entire back wall was covered with mirrors; and the TV was literally a vintage tube television held up in the corner by a seatbelt. Super awkward and uncomfortable. Glamor of life on the road, right? ;)
3. What artist or pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
Matt - Billy Graham had a great impact on me, since it was at one of his crusades that I first gave my life to the Lord. However, I would say that the person/pastor/teacher I most esteem would probably be Ravi Zacharias. I love to point both Christians and non-Christians alike to him. He is an inspiring combination of wisdom and grace.
Adam - A great man and Pastor named Pat Propster has undoubtedly had the biggest impact on my life. Without going into full detail, he helped me learn to trust again. God has used him in my life as a spiritual father and he has made a massive difference in my life.