Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Last Blog of 2008

So I figured I'd get started on this now...

2008. Jeez, is it already over? This year was an interesting year. For the first 3 weeks, I was incapable of driving, because I had a seizure in July of '07. What fun that was. To be honest, I don't remember a lot of events from earlier 2008, probably because it wasn't terribly exciting. May was a good month. Prom, two of them. I had an absolutely splendid time with an incredible date. Of course, Gallatin County's prom was waaaaaay cooler, I enjoyed Harrisburg's prom as well. And let's not forget graduation. Most people were very upset, and even crying during graduation. I, however, was far from tears. I was definitely ready to move on and continue what I was going to do in the fall. Due to a rash decision to attend a few friends' graduation, I was fired from my job at McDonald's. At the time, I was slightly upset, but after about 5 minutes, I could not have cared less. Despite making for a boring summer, it was nice to relax.

During June, I went on a mission trip to Alabama to work with the Alabama Rural Mission, a work that David and Amy became familiar with while going to college. It was a wonderful week of hard work and new friendships. I know a few of the workers want me to come back this summer and work there, but I'm still unsure if I will or not. In July, my band had the opportunity to do the music again at church camp. This year we were old enough that to be full time helpers, so our only obligation was the music. This was a big relief for me, because it gave us more time to concentrate on our songs and also gave us more time to relax, neither of which we had time for last year.

Then came August, an extremely memorable month in my life. August 6th my band was able to play with Run Kid Run a major record label band. To play with a band that is one of my biggest musical influences is something an 18 year old kid can only dream about. The next night, I went to see another huge influence of mine, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. I had seen him about 10 years ago, and had forgotten how incredible he is live. Just a few short weeks after that came the most life changing experience I have had to date: College.

I could go on for days about how much a semester of college has impacted my life, but I'll do my best to keep it condensed. On August 22nd, I began a journey that will hopefully make me the person that God has intended me to be be. The incredible people I've met, the lessons I have learned inside and outside of the classroom, and the experiences one can only have in a college dorm room. From the NSO Canoe trip, the first meals in the DC, COR 101 class movies, the writing of "The Birthday Song," the TV show obsessions, No Shave November, to the countless other events, college has been a life changing part of my life, and I am definitely better for it. It's hard to imagine my life without Mike, Jarrod, Perrin, Adam, BJ, Nathan, Caleb, Jeremy, Jon, Kaitlyn, Liz, Sarah Beth, and Heather.

Christmas break has been a nice time of slowing down and unnerving myself. There were times in the semester when I didn't think I was going to pass a single class. Thankfully, I did. Since I have been home, I haven't thought too much about much of anything, I've honestly been relaxing and keeping my mind off of all the stress that comes with school. I have a feeling, though, after this reflection of the year I will start missing some of the good times I had with my friends this semester.

Of course I cannot forget my boys Keelan and Ryan. Jeez, we've been through a lot. It's extremely hard to believe we've been making music for over 2 years, and we still love every minute of it. Our great adventure is only a week away, and I can't wait. These two guys would do anything for me, and I can't imagine being in a band without these two. I have had a few people ask me up at school if I had planned on trying to start a band up at school, and when I began to think about it, I had trouble imagining myself playing with someone besides Keelan singing and Ryan playing drums. I love you guys a ton, and here's to another year of great music.

This was not supposed to be a thank you letter of sorts, but I felt there was no better way to end this than to say thank you to everyone who has supported my great endeavors I have gone into throughout the last 365 days. My mother, who has always believed in me. Even though I know she doesn't like our new band name, she still supports everything I do, and I love her so much. My father, who I'm not sure thought I could really be a musician. I think I have changed his mind, though, and I'm glad he finally sees my true love. One person I have yet to thank, who I should have thanked quite some time ago: Erin. What an incredible friend I have in her. This summer we had the chance to hang out and talk about everything under the sun, and I really enjoying spending time with her anytime that I have the chance. For a small period of time, I went through a stupid phase where I didn't speak to her this year, and it might have been one of my greatest mistakes. Thankfully, she forgave me and I'm grateful for it.

Well, that's pretty much all I have to say. If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading through this, and I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's.


9:23 am

I'll Forever Sing
Run Kid Run
Album - This Is Who We Are

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stress Is Decreasing, Patience Is Increasing.

The past few weeks, at least for me, have been very stressful. If you want to find out more about that, read my blog "Stress is bad for you." This week has been much less stressful. I think what helped the most was having a good talk over dinner one night with Jon, a friend of mine up here at Greenville. We spent a good 2 hours talking about everything, and that definitely helped me to relax. It was nice to have someone to vent to, and I felt it helped him to have me to listen to what he had to say, too. Around that same time, I got a call from my grandpa telling me that Mamaw had gotten a new recliner and I could have the old one. Last friday night I went down and got the recliner, and got to have dinner with my parents for the first time in a long while. Usually when I come home, I spend a lot of time with my friend Ryan and others from home, and rarely get to hang out with my parents. It was nice to just sit with them and talk and have a good time. Once I got back up here, I sat in the recliner and realized that this was also a great way of relaxing as well. When you're in college and you're really stressed, it's nice to sometimes kick off your shoes, put on some Jack Johnson, and just be chill.

While talking to Jon, we discussed patience. I told him about what I had been struggling with, and he said that patience is something that is easy to talk about, but oftentimes difficult to actually attain. Being a music major, I've discovered that patience is very, very important. When I first learned to play guitar, I found it really easy to get started playing. I learned chords and praise & worship songs within a month, and was better than my teacher (David) within a few months of playing. The same happened when it came to learning chords on the piano. I sat down one night with my keyboard, and taught myself all the chords that I knew on the guitar that evening. However, when I got up here, things didn't come as easy to me as they had back home. I was having trouble understanding all the theory, having trouble getting the hang of piano, and failing miserably at guitar lessons. I was getting very frustrated and didn't understand why this wasn't as easy at it was when I started. It was about that time when I began to think about being patient. In Galatians 5, it talks about the fruits of the spirit. It says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Some of these things, such as joy, kindness, and love seem pretty simple to me. But patience is something I usually struggle with.  Recently though, I have become a fan of it. Whether it be with college, or a girl that you like, patience is crucial.

I feel that a lot of times, God is trying to show us things and requires patience from us. An example of this was with Lazarus. Everyone knows this story; Lazarus passed away, despite his sisters continued calls to Jesus. (Here comes some paraphrasing...) "He wouldn't have died if you would've just been here, Jesus!" they cried. "It's too late now, it's useless. You took too long, and now he's gone." I think we are like this a lot of times. Something happens, whether it's the passing of a family member, a relationship that didn't go well, or even something that is taking longer than we want it to. We feel that since it's past, or taking way too long, that all hope is lost. We feel that everything should be done on our time, and not His time. Anyway, as the story goes, Jesus comes to the grave where Lazarus was set 3 days ago, and raised him from the dead. I think the biggest struggle that we as humans have is realizing that we have to work on God's time, not our own.


1:04 pm

When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run
Pedro The Lion
Album - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank God for Youth Pastors

Today I got two packages. One was Ruth's new CD, Anorak, which I had ordered last week. We're getting ready to see how it sounds. Reviews have been good. The other package was from some of my dearest friends I have: David and Amy Fortner. Although the goodies in the package were excellent, it was the thought that touched me the most. Let me give a little background first, to inform you why this was so important.

My freshman year of high school, our church decided we needed a youth pastor. While we as the youth had little to do with the whole process, two couples were brought in and we were asked our opinion of the two. We favored the second couple, although the guy talked a hundred miles an hour. At the time, it didn't seem like a real big decision. In the end it turned out to be one of the biggest and best decisions any of us had ever made.

David and Amy have taught me so much, whether it be guitar, or just simple things about going off to college. I've been on three international mission trips and one national with David, one every year of high school. Those four trips have given us a chance to become so close and I learned so much from him. Not just from a work ethic standpoint, but about life in general.

David had a lot to do with me becoming interested in music. I the summer of 2005, right before my sophomore year, I was chillin' at David's house and saw his guitar sitting in the corner of his living room. I asked him, "Could you show me how to play?" He said, "Yeah, sure." So for the next few days, approximately two weeks, we went upstairs with two guitars, and he showed me a handful of chords. From there, he gave me some praise and worship songs to work on, and I moved on to learn some more chords on my own. 

Not long after, I started writing music of my own, and soon starting writing lyrics as well. From there, Mustard Seed was formed, and he was one of our largest supporters. He gave us opportunities to lead worship on Wednesday nights for the youth, chances to have shows out at the church, and even play the music for Church camp the last two years.

The last four years have been some of the best years of my life, and I definitely have David and Amy to thank for that. I know for a fact I would not be the person I am today without them, and they are honestly two of my biggest role models I have.

Having said all that, I love you David, Amy, Baylee, and Chloe.


3:33 pm

Who I Was And Who I Am
Album - Anorak

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stress Is Bad For You

So today started out alright. I had intended on going to chapel this morning, but slept through my alarm. Took a test I didn't study for. Then the not so goodness started...

Made a 65 on my mini-test in Ear Training. Then she started to talk about finals which got me all stressed. Went to dinner very hurriedly in order to practice a little bit for guitar lessons, which I didn't get to do. I practiced for guitar lessons a little bit, but not enough to keep the teacher from saying "What have you been practicing?" I can tell he gets rather frustrated when I'm trying to play, 'cause I get flat out pissed off. Why does playing notes on the guitar have to be so difficult? Everyone here makes it look so easy, but I struggle with that. He also said "I'm a little concerned with your playing for juries." Frankly, I'm scared to death. Basically, I'm gonna fail guitar lessons, and lose my scholarship. $6,000. Gone. $6,000 that my parents don't have.

If anyone reads this, which I'm beginning to doubt anyone does, keep me in your prayers.

6:32 pm

The Scientist
Album - A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Relient K and Ghost Hunting

So this week was quite the week.

Thursday, I had the opportunity to go see House Of Heroes, This Providence, Ludo, and Relient K at the Pageant in St. Louis. Although I got lost on several occasions, and had to make 5 U-turns, including being at a stop light and having a fire truck with it's siren on pull up behind me and me having no idea what to do.

All of the ridiculous driving problems were all worth it once we got to the show. House of Heroes was great, despite a short playlist, This Providence was pretty good, Ludo wasn't my really my cup of tea, and Relient K was incredible. The last time I saw RK, they played with Switchfoot on the Appetite for Construction tour. They were slightly disappointing on that tour, possibly because SF puts on such a great show. However, they were far from disappointing that night. Song after song was great.

After the show, I went and bought a House of Heroes shirt and This Providence shirt for myself, and a Relient K shirt for Erin (which she loved). In the merch room, I got to meet and talk to Tim Skipper, the lead singer of HOH, who was quite cool.

After that, we chilled by RK's tour bus waiting to meet them all. After just about 45 minutes or so, John Warne, the bassist, came out followed shortly by the other guys one at a time. I got my picture taken with all of them, and small talked a little bit with all of them.

Friday night, I was invited by my friend back home Ryan to go ghost hunting in "The Bottoms" back home. To give a little background, I live near the Ohio River, and his uncles have a farm in the low laying area down near the river. We, along with 4 girls, Annie Rose Martin, Abbie Bickett, Erin Ellis and Cacy Ellis, went together. For quite a while, Ryan drove us around telling us ghost stories, and I knew he was stalling for something. He kept calling one of our friends from high school, Kyle Lowery. He was giving him directions to a guy's house in a neighboring town. However, with the continued calls, I knew something was up, but he was so confusing with his talk, I stopped trying to figure it out.

We finally got to "Calico Lane,"and I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty darn creepy. It was way out in the middle of nowhere, and there was absolutely nothing on this lane. At one point in time, he stopped the car by this wooded area, turned off the lights, rolled down all the windows, locked them, then shut off the car. The girls in the back were yelling at Ryan to roll the windows up, but Ryan refused. I, personally, was a bit scared myself, but I played it off like I was tough. Later on, we met up with a few other friends, Kyle Morton and Derek Drone. We pulled up on Calico Lane a little farther and, with lots of persuasion, got everyone out of the vehicles and walked for a while. The girls were scared out of their wits and made sure to let us all know.

After quite a bit of walking, Ryan finally decided it was time to turn back around and go back to the vehicle. On our way back, two people came out from the ditches and scared all of us. It was Kyle Lowery and his sister Makenzie. Once I thought about it a little bit, I realized I could have seen that coming, but I didn't really think too much about it.

To sum up my weekend, it was pretty awesome.

2:59 am

The Lining Is Silver
Relient K
Album - The Bird And The Bee Sides

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Quick One Before Class...

So last night here at Greenville College, Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, came to speak to us about what they do. I had heard about TWLOHA about a year ago when I was looking through some Switchfoot pictures and saw he had on one of their shirts. It is such an incredible organization, and you should definitely check them out. www.twloha.com

One thing that struck me last night was when Jamie was telling a story about a young man who had a stroke at the age of 9. The man, now 25, was having a conversation with Jamie, and Jamie started to break down into tears thinking about how such a great and loving God could do this to such an innocent guy. The guy, Elijah I believe was his name, told him, (I'm paraphrasing, cause I don't remember exactly what he said...) "Dude, I have been in a wheelchair for a long time. And I don't know if I'll ever get out of one. But I know that when we get to heaven, I won't be in a wheelchair any longer. When we get up there, you and me are gonna go running." That really struck me, having a brother who is also mentally disabled. There were many, many times when I wondered to myself "Why God? Why me? Why him? It's so unfair." But when I heard Jamie tell that story, it finally hit me. In the end, it'll be worth it all. Although I get to see my brother fairly often, the day will come when I will see Michael up in heaven, just as normal as the rest of us. What a day that'll be...

1:16 pm

The Classic Crime
Album - The Silver Cord

Sunday, October 26, 2008

To start off this blogging expedition...

Hello all who decide to read this. I'll start out with a bit of personal information about myself:

My name is Matthew Ryan Moore, and I'm currently a freshman at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. I grew up in a county with no stop lights, no fast food, and graduated with 63 other students.

My passion is music. I love listening to it, playing it, and writing it. This blog will more than likely revolve around music for the most part. In fact, I will add what song I am listening to when I end every blog, just for your delight.

As you will come to find, my favorite band is Switchfoot. Their lyrics, their music, their love for helping others, it's incredible. One of my favorite songs by them is called The Economy of Mercy. It is one of their older songs, one they wrote prior to their mainstream fame of The Beautiful Letdown. The chorus goes something like this:

In the economy of mercy
I am a poor and broken man
In the currency of grace
Is where my song begins
In the colors of your goodness
And the scars that mark your skin
In the currency of grace
Is where my song begins

Isn't that incredible to think about? When it come to mercy, we are poor, and sure as heck don't deserve it. But because of God's "currency of grace" that he gives so freely, we are freed and "our song begins."

Anyway, that's all I have for now. I'll do my best to keep up with this.

10:05 pm

In The Valley Of The Dying Sun
House of Heroes
Album - The End is Not The End