Tag Archives: tour

Greece and Cyprus Tour 2011

This afternoon, the Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir boarded their flight for Greece and embarked on a three week summer tour.  While I’m not going with them, my prayers go out for them, and I know that God will use them greatly as they praise Him in churches and other public venues throughout the countries of Greece and Cyprus.  Please pray that they would have the energy that they need to perform their best night after night, and that many people would be encouraged, strengthened, challenged, and perhaps even led to Christ by their ministry, and that they would all come home safely at the end of the tour.

Go do what you do best Men’s Choir.  Enjoy the concerts, the culture, and the incredible scenery, and spread God’s praise everywhere you go.  God bless!

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Monday (Not Constantinople)

As far as first Mondays back at school go, this one was actually pretty great.  Because we just finished with spring tour, Men’s Choir rehearsal was cancelled, and then when I woke up this morning I discovered that my two hour class at noon was also cancelled.  The homework load is light so far, so I can ease into the madness instead of being plunged into it headfirst, but I do need to be careful not to squander any time because I’ve still got a lot to do.  I’ve got two articles to finish up and turn in to the paper for the next edition, which is great because that means $40 in my pocket, and I’m almost done working out the details to go home and visit my family for an extended weekend soon.  Add to that the thrill of seeing all of my friends come back from spring break and being able to hang out with them again and you have a Monday that’s several notches above average.  Perhaps the most fun part of this particular Monday, however, was going back to classes.  While that sounds strange on the surface, it makes more sense if you’ve ever met Dr. Brian Litfin.  He’s the professor who played Switchfoot for the entire class earlier in the semester, and today as we talked about the history of Christianity in the Byzantine empire, he started to explain why Constantinople is now called Istanbul – and wound up blaring “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants over the classroom speakers.  And to think I was expecting the first day back in class to be boring!  Now, back at my familiarly cluttered desk in my familiarly cluttered room with that lightheartedly goofy and chipper song stuck in my head, I finally feel ready to get back to school.  It’s easy to hate on Mondays because they signal the start of a long week, but I say we ought to give Monday an extra dose of love.  A good Monday can set the tone for a great week, so why not aim to make every Monday the best day of the week instead of assuming it’s going to be the worst?  After all, Mondays can be pretty cool if you give them a chance.

Also, here are the hilarious lyrics to “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” in case you were curious:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve a date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can’t say
People just liked it better that way

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

Istanbul (Istanbul)
Istanbul (Istanbul)

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can’t say
People just liked it better that way

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

Istanbul

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Combo Breaker!

I knew it was going to happen on this tour, and I’m honestly surprised that it didn’t happen sooner.  After all, with spotty Wi-Fi at best on the tour bus and a 50/50 chance of any given guest home having readily available Internet access, it would be nearly impossible to go fourteen days without missing a post.  Still, after we passed the halfway point I was feeling hopeful that I might still be able to fully complete the PostADay 2011 challenge.  Then last night happened.  Last night, all thirty-some-odd of the choir guys stayed in one building, which was a lot of fun, but we were told there was no Wi-Fi.  As it turns out, however, there was one network available, so I turned on my computer and started composing a post.  It took me a long time to decide what to post, and in the end I gave up on writing anything original and was going to link to some videos of my favorite Internet funny man, Julian Smith, but just as I was about to hit the “publish” button, the network shut down and never came back online.  I was one and a half seconds away from keeping the daily post combo alive, but it was not to be.  Come to think of it, my weekly video streak died last week, too.  Apparently being on tour is not good for blogging resolutions.  Oh, well, missing one post and one video out of two and a half months is no big deal, and being on tour with the Men’s Choir is definitely worth the trade off.  Let”s just take a moment of silence for yesterday’s post that never was… then I’ll link you to those Julian Smith videos so we can break the silence with a laugh and get back to having a great Spring Break.  Goodnight, everybody!

Here are two of Julian’s signature goofy music videos:

“Red Eye Flashes Twice”

“I’m Reading a Book”

And here are two of his signature goofy skits, which he does when he’s not making music videos:

“Malk”

“Jump”

There are a lot more hilarious videos where these came from, so check out his channel for more good times.

Also, this:

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Halfway

The Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir performed our seventh concert tonight, and tomorrow is the end of our first week on tour, which means that tonight we are about halfway finished with the 2011 Spring Tour.  So far, it’s been the best experience I’ve had at Moody to date.  All 37-ish of the Men’s Choir men are a riot, and riding on the bus with them is always a great experience.  We’ve explored the Southwest U.S., seen some amazing sights, performed in half a dozen churches, met plenty of wonderful people, and probably spent almost 24 total hours sitting in the tour bus shooting each other with darts and making lame puns.  All of this has, of course, created countless stories, memories, and inside jokes, including (but certainly not limited to) the victory dance and the step of doom, and I couldn’t be enjoying it more.  Tomorrow is our day off, and we’re headed to White Sands National Monument for a while before we make our way to El Paso where we’ll be performing three times at two different churches on Sunday (and did I mention the concert in Las Cruces in between?).  I’m looking forward to both the day of rest and the following day of insane busyness, because every day with the Men’s Choir is a day well worth the effort.  I can’t wait to spend another week on the road with them, and to post my favorite stories here for you, but for now, I need to get to sleep (and no, Mom, I didn’t stay up until 1 AM.  It’s only 10:45  here in New Mexico).  So until tomorrow, have a great night’s sleep and God bless!

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Song of the Week: “Calling Out Your Name” by Rich Mullins

Nothing has impressed me more about the Men’s Choir tour so far than the incredible beauty of God’s creation.  Being away from the city after a long winter in Chicago and witnessing sights and terrains that I’ve never seen fills me with a feeling of indescribable awe.  God truly made a masterpiece when He formed the planet on which we live, and I only wish that I could live long enough to see every inch of its fantastic beauty.  So, as we drive through deserts and foothills and mountains and plains, I’ve chosen “Calling Out Your Name” by Rich Mullins as the song of the week.  This song perfectly expresses the joy that seeing creation in all of its majesty and wonder brings, and celebrates the fact that the glory of creation cries out the praise of its Creator.  The lyrics are absolutely stunning, and the music is just as gorgeous as Rich Mullins’ music always is, so enjoy this fantastic, poetic song of praise to our great God and worship Him through the beauty of His creation today.

“Calling Out Your Name”

Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob’s stairs
Yeah, they danced on Jacob’s stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant’s wings
And there’s fury in a pheasant’s wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith
That can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I’ve seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever ’til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song
Not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

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Palo Duro

Today, the Men’s Choir arrived early in Amarillo, TX, so we drove a few miles out of our way and spent twenty minutes in Palo Duro Canyon.  I can’t do the scenery justice with descriptions, so I asked my friend Jack if I could upload a few of the great pictures that he took.  He kindly obliged, so here for your viewing enjoyment are some pictures of the gorgeous Palo Duro Canyon.

A wide shot of the canyon from the drive down

Another sweeping view from the top of the canyon

A great view of the different layers of rock and dirt along the edge of the canyon

 

A closeup of the strata in the canyon wall

 

A look up at the canyon walls from the floor

This shot gives a good perspective of the depth and variety of the canyon's scenery

Jack, the photographer, with the canyon in the background

A few of the Tenor 2's relaxing in the canyon floor

Exploring the Southern United States, even in such short glimpses, has been an absolute treat.  The locals insist that the scenery is flat and uninteresting, but coming from Michigan, where you can’t look twenty feet without seeing a bunch of trees, I think it’s fantastic.  Hopefully I can come back and spend more time taking it in someday, but for now the tour must go on, so we’re heading to Albuquerque tomorrow for the next concert.  I hear there will be mountains, so I’m pumped.  What can I say?  I’m easily impressed.

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Oklahoma!

Last night, Daylight Savings Time began.  I normally don’t like the first day of Daylight Savings Time because I’m so tired from losing an hour of sleep, but this year it turned out perfectly.  The Men’s Choir stopped off in Oklahoma today, and the weather was simply fantastic.  There was a light breeze, the temperature was in the sixties, and in the evening a light drizzle started to fall.  During the intermission of our concert, I stepped outside, took a deep breath, and smiled.  Several of the trees were covered in white blooms, and the air smelled like damp soil and fresh flowers, and despite the fact that it was 6:45, the sun was still glowing brightly behind the clouds.It felt like I’d stepped into the Chronicles of Narnia and Aslan’s arrival had driven off winter overnight.  I can almost forgive Benjamin Franklin for having a bogus idea like Daylight Savings Time because of a moment like that.  Now if only I’d heeded his “early to bed, early to rise” advice maybe I wouldn’t be so tired right now.  Oh, well.

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