The Story of Moratori…um

I’m a big fan of the changing portions of each year.  Breathing in four distinct seasons in the lower 48 has been one of the few things that has effectively sustained the lengthy separation from my beloved Alaskan homeland.  I love each season for different reasons: The autumn is particularly brilliant here in New England – never has death looked so good.  The winter is wonderfully quiet and inspires true affection for the roof over our heads, the electric kettle my housemate’s mom recently bought us, and the shockingly pure uniformity that the snow brings to everything visible.  Every spring it’s hard to imagine the resurrection coming, and each year it miraculously stuns us all once again.  And who could deny the bloom of summer and the abundance that accompanies it?  The seasons have taught me – 28 and a half times in my lifetime, to be specific – that we are continually dying, living, and transitioning somewhere in between the two.  Often I find my soul identifying directly with the state of the nature around me, but this year, as summer begins to round its final corner, I feel its vast possibility just beginning for Marisa and I.

I released Moratorium on July 31 at the end of a week in Northfield, Massachusetts.  I’m sneaking in some pictures so you can get a proper glimpse.  The week definitely exceeded my expectations on all sides.  I was barefoot for ten straight days, jumped off an old bridge into the Connecticut River a time or ten, downed an unprecedented amount of ice-cream from the local Creamie, wrestled/wondered/stirred up life in Jesus through some incredible teaching and discussion, reunited with old friends and made some amazing new ones… and culminated each night with a well-balanced inhaling and exhaling of the evaluated life over sunset.  It was exactly one year since we moved from Kansas City, our home for the previous 7 and a half years.  The release party was simple, unglamorous, and absolutely rich.  When I look at the life of Jesus, I see a man who made real, long-lasting, die-hard disciples, not quick, cheap or shallow converts.  I’m hoping this album does the same…

Accompanying the sunset

The official Northfield 2010 posse

The Creamie experience

Moratorium has been out a couple weeks now, and the fall tour is beginning to take shape.  This weekend Marisa and I will be venturing over to Kansas City to offer back some of these tunes to our family at the KC Boiler Room, where many of them were originally born.  Hopefully sometime through the autumn we’ll be stepping into your corner of the woods too.  (Well, slight modification.  Marisa won’t be joining much of the fall tour, as the moratorium on her studies is finally lifting, and she’ll be starting classes at New England School of Law in another week and a half!  If you’ve tracked at all with us Chuds over the years, you understand what a massive step this is.)

We’re quickly (and with some serious joy) adjusting to the significant changing of the seasons, and want to give you the chance to help spread the love in a couple ways as it relates to Moratorium:

1) If you’re enjoying the album, log into iTunes and rate/review it

2) Sign up on the facebook page

3) Let people know you found something you like.  They just might like it too…

4) Contact me at if you have questions, suggestions, or requests.

In the meantime, thanks for the love through the seasons… Watch this space for more tour information and a soon-to-start weekly featurette (is that a word?) on various Moratorium tracks.  Word to all your mothers.

The Moratorium To Be

This post appears in the July 21 version of Campus America’s “Unbroken Voice.”  For more info, visit

I feel like it’s inappropriate to start any type of update anymore with a description of “how busy I’ve been.”  After all, everyone seems to be stuck in some kind of lifestyle of hyper-distraction, if for no other reason than to survive in the midst of the world’s greatest-ever information overload.  One of the things I’m doing on the side right now is teaching English as a second language in Boston’s Chinatown, and this morning I found myself adding the word “overwhelmed” to my students’ vocabulary.  I figure they’ll end up using that one a time or two in the days and years ahead.

It’s into this context that I’m releasing a new album in partnership with Campus America.  In-between sentences right now I’m finalizing shipping costs, artwork, and distribution plans for “Moratorium,” to be released (God-willing) August 1.  With a deep awareness of the vast multitudes of data, images, and words clamoring for our attention, especially as college students, the thought of “adding to the noise” (props Jon Foreman) is both vulnerable and intimidating for an artist of any kind.  The album is intentionally entitled “Moratorium” for this reason.

I like to think of this collection of songs as a pause in the midst of the madness… a sort of deep sigh around a well-balanced meal:  Some of these tunes began years ago, alone in my bedroom while wrestling through some crazy suggestion of Jesus, like “If you’d like to live, then you should consider dying…”  Some of them were pieced together in recent years with my family of friends at the KC Boiler Room during lengthy times of waiting on God.  Others were inspired in the wake of the Campus America tsunami (the good kind of tsunami, mind you).  This album is a series of questions, declarations, and desires that ultimately collides into some sort of attempt to bring a smile to God and consequently, over our ongoing chapter in His Story.

I’m indeed very stoked to share the album with one and all, and to hopefully give some collective language to our shared and much-needed moratorium.

Visit my “Music” page for a taste-test.