Life

The Summer Trip

May 16th was our two year anniversary! We planned to take a road trip to southern California and sleep in our car for about four days. In the weeks leading up to leaving, we found and ordered what we thought we’d need (car tent, power supply, air mattress, cooler, gas stove, etc.) and then took…

Dear Readers

We are drawing the curtain on the year, and I want to say thanks – thanks for stopping by this page to read my work and my thoughts from time to time. Maybe you found what I had to say helpful – maybe it make you stop and think – maybe shake your head. Maybe…

Tell Yourself a Story

One of my goals is to become a counselor. That said, therapy, mental health, and counseling ideas are something I think and read about a good deal. This week, I came up with an idea for a way of helping myself understand my own life, and I wonder if it might be helpful for someone…

Do I Have to Give Money When People Ask?

I’ve never been big on using the language of “spiritual attacks,” but I think I was spiritually attacked. The week before we moved to Arizona, we bought a bike for me. It was a beautiful red and silver bike with narrow road tires and a heck of a lot of gears. I was pretty proud…

Telling Tales, Taking Trips

In the last two weeks I put put together three videos telling stories. The first is about the first week of vacation bible school at Aim Right. The second is a highlight video shot at Circle K Camp in Colorado where Aim Right takes a group of teens each summer. And the third is a…

How We Got to Memphis

Carolina. Last summer, Aleisha and I were in Arizona sitting around a dinner table when someone threw out a job offer and said we should move out. At the time, I was doing an internship for my degree while Aleisha was leading a group of interns at Aim Right Ministries. After those six weeks in…

Dreams, Come True & Run Dry

Come True It’s easy to miss recognizing things working out. I have a tendency to update my goals as I go, which is good, but it makes it harder to realize how good the present really is. I remember wishing so badly for a “real” guitar to replace the rather chinsy, never-staying-in-tune, stringed piece of…

The Water Reviews

In Phoenix this summer, Aleisha and I tried all different kinds of sparkling water. And then we rated them on a scale of 1 to 5. I recently set up Stripe, so I could use this platform to earn money at some point. The form below is evidence! Perrier – Peach Aleisha: “The shape of…

“Art, Wearing Masks, and Being Homeless”

Collin and I are both beginning our senior year of college. It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were riding in a silver Ford Focus, I turned toward him and asked, “So are we actually gonna go to college?” And he said we were.  Somewhere along the way, we both decided to transfer and…

The Bull Pen Swimming Hole

On July 16, Aleisha and I took some friends to the Bull Pen Swimming Hole, a lovely place near Camp Verde. We used directions found on this website to get there, but we had some trouble finding our way. Below are pictures of our excursion as well as directions on how to get there. The…

Week One

Our Place We got into Phoenix last week around midnight on Saturday night after a very long day of traveling from Oklahoma City. We get to stay this beautiful, fully furnished home, the owners of which are a law professor and a speech therapist who are traveling as a family during summer break. We’ve both…

limes.

My friend, I remember sitting on a blanket in the backyard across the street after a phone call. 2,000 miles away your car had gone off course by 12 ft., and you weren’t breathing anymore; we were trying to keep breathing ourselves. I remember feeling like a slice of lime tumbled around in a glass,…

Making “Pete”

First, you marvel. Then, consider the possibility, Finally, you take up your tools and work. This sort of process has been my experience over and over again. I see someone make something – the coolest thing ever. And it’s like they must have been blessed by the gods to be able to create like that.…

Slumber nor Sleep

“I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids.” (Psalm 132:4) It is somewhat trivial in relation to worldwide catastrophe, but I sure do miss waking up in the morning to the thought of needing to be somewhere soon. Of speed walking across campus because I took too long in the…

armchairs again

A few nights ago we were at Aleisha’s place for board games and food that never got taken to a cancelled Christmas party. The ten of us sharing in the warm company of friends and the cold cheer of hot chocolate poured seven or eight favorite songs ago. We were scheming about Christmas, that good…

Episode 3: talking about college

For the last couple of months, I’ve been working at the radio station at Toccoa Falls College (we record stuff in our studio but don’t broadcast live). In the past, I’ve always set aside a day (or two) for work, cramming all my classes into the other days. This semester, that didn’t work out. When…

holes

Tonight, I’m gonna get on an eastbound airplane and go back home. Aleisha, Isaiah, and I were slated to be camp counselors with Mike next week at the ministry where he’s serving for a year. That was yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon I went to Walmart and bought a watch for camp. Yesterday night they bought…

toccoa falls college (and what’s up)

At the beginning of 2019, I transferred from Tri-County Technical College (which is near Clemson University) to Toccoa Falls College (which is in Georgia). TFC is a four-year, Christian, liberal arts college in Toccoa, Georgia. I transferred in as a second semester sophomore and am planning to double major in Mass-Media Communications and Biblical Studies.…

Universal Basic Income: a conversation

The other day my good friend Andrew Martin told me to check out Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate. Martin is someone with whom I love talking politics and all things abstract. He’s great at helping me understand ideas, and he’s currently attending Clemson University to become an structural engineer. Tonight we sat down and…

Wine and Ball and Rock n Roll

I’m about half-way through Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” a novel from which I’ve gathered, if nothing else, that the French sure like their wine. They’ll stop twice for drinks on the way to dinner where they’ll drink again before heading to a drinking party. They speak a language of wine and liturgically share the…

descending from the city on a hill

This video depicts a Wednesday at Tri-County. As of Tuesday a week a ago, I have given my last presentation at Tri-County Technical. I have climbed and descended those great flights of steps for the last time. Tri-County is something of a city on a hill. I’ve told friends that if disaster strikes, that’s where…

the sun comes up

I try to stay writing. And it’s funny how what I write goes in cycles. For a long time, I’ve had a general goal of writing at least one song every month. Some months I’ve written many more…and some none at all. Recently, I’ve been missing the mark. I haven’t felt much like writing songs,…

concerning dreams

10/17/18 11:11 p.m. It’s 11:11 and I can write anything I like – I can wish upon the stars that whirl above October. They always ask us what we could be if we could be anything we like. Well that’s kind of hard I think. But if you say it like this, like, “What would…

Title

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics, philosophy, and commerce in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, and music” – John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780. — There is hardly anything I like more than music, That’s why it’s…

Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Loose Change: the Essential Resources

In sociology we’re studying why some people groups are still sticking animals (and each other) with spears while others are putting men on the moon. One theory goes that it has absolutely everything to do with geographic blessedness. Simply, if you live in a place where you can grow and store crops, domesticate animals, and…

Sights and Sounds of Summer

As of this morning at about nine o’clock when I walked up the giant hill into the doors of Oconee Hall at Tri-County, summer is over. These are the (more notable) things I watched, read, and listened to all summer long. I’d love to know what you picked up and why I should see/read it…

130 Reasons to Ride with Me

About a week ago Luke and one of his friends decided to make a list of their top 100 songs. I thought I’d do the same…and then didn’t have the heart to round out the last few dozen. So…130. It’s in the Rolling Stone’s top 500 format, sectioned off and ascending (the best are at…

Saturday

Today I sit down with my grandpa and grandma and ask them what it was like starting a community almost forty years ago. These two people are definitely heroes of mine. And, odds are, if you live in Oconee County, it’s due in part to them. Today we’re giving away That Printer of Udells – Harold…

Friday

My friends, it’s Friday. Look how far we’ve come. Today my friend Trina Beachy and I drink French press coffee and ponder why it’s important that we read books. We also talk about The Hiding Place, The Lord of the Flies, and other cool stuff. Today we’re giving away All Over but the Shoutin’ – Rick Bragg as well…

Thursday

Today Lavon Bacher and I talk about mission trips, learning from other cultures, and what it means to be faithful to your own community. Lavon is a family man, small business owner (Swing-O-Things), school board chairman, and a hockey fan. He’s the kind of guy you want in your circles. We held this conversation outside…

Wednesday

Humpday! Today my good buddy Andrew Hollinger and I sit down and talk about Parkinson’s Law, rites of passage, and Earnest Shackleton. You’ll learn about why it is that you never seem to do your homework and why adolescence seems to stretch on and on in America. This was a really fun conversation. Today we’re…

Tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday, Tonight I had a conversation with my friend Emily Smucker beside a drum set in a Missouri basement. Emily lives in Oregon, so most of the time she is about as far away from my interviewing apparatus as one can be. But on this weekend we met in the middle for the…

Monday

Over the past several weeks I’ve been interviewing friends and talking with them about all kinds of different stuff. It’s been really fun…and I’ve been learning my way around Audacity. It started as an idea I had one night while trying to go to sleep. I hope you enjoy today’s edition, Welcome to Monday. Today…

Springtime

Part 1: A few months ago I got the idea that I needed a work desk, a better one. I have a desk in my room, but it’s the one that Dad had at his mini-barn office…and my knees are always hitting the top…and it’s pretty ugly. So I decided I’d make a better one.…

“If It’s Broke, Fix it” – a story for you.

This past weekend I went in the company of three good friends to see our buddy Gabe at bible school in Pennsylvania (SMBI). Right after we turned out the lounge room lights on the second night of our stay, someone mentioned Olan Rodgers. And soon thereafter his face was on a smartphone screen telling us…

“My Dear People” a project.

I’m ankle deep into a project that I’m really excited about.  I think it came from listening to Andrew Osenga’s podcast, “The Pivot”. Here’s the skinny: I’m going to sit down behind a microphone with six of my friends (and then myself), ranging in age from about 20 to 70, and have a conversation. It…

Unnecessary.

This morning I left my Music Appreciation class 10 minutes early so I could be on time for a short meeting with my English teacher across campus. Dear Ms. Skaar gave me an absence for those ten minutes I wasn’t present. Bless her. 5 minutes later I flopped my 10 page rough draft down on…

Today I Met a Professional

Two days ago I got a $50 parking ticket at school for backing into a space instead of pulling in. When you only work two days a week at a job that doesn’t pay very much, $50 is enough to make you write angry emails and vent to your mother. Today as I was packing…

Rambling Anthems

you can listen to the full album here: https://wordpress.com/post/javenbear.com/3276 I write stuff – sometimes even when people aren’t holding guns to my head. I want to make sure to give a clear description: if you give me $5, I’ll give you a copy of a collection of demos I made called “Rambling Anthems”. I wrote most…

Old Friends

7/19/17 12:45 p.m. Between Red Mesa, Arizona and the Grand Canyon On Friday the fourteenth we drove from Post, Texas to Canon City, Colorado where the long lost Stoltzfus’s live in a nice house with a great view and a gravel yard. They kindly put us up for about four days. For some reason all…

New Orleans

7/12/17 5:21 p.m. Mobile, Alabama Mobile is, as it turns out, the hometown of Forrest Gump in the novel – but not in the movie. Colson is the d.j. as we head south and west towards New Orleans. I’m sitting on the bed we framed into this van as we roll down 65 to the…

The Dawning

This page was created as a medium to keep friends up to date with what was happening in my life while I was away from home. And now July has come, I am home at long last, and its purpose has been fulfilled. Moving forward I’m not sure if I’ll use it anymore or not.…

Montana

Leaving home and volunteering with a ministry which focuses on traveling, I get pretty good at, or used to, saying goodbye to places and people. Goodbye room. This trip was a banquet tour, which means that most of what we did was put on banquets instead of going into prisons. These banquets raise support and…

Jawbone Flats

Some weeks ago, about three, I got to go hiking with some friends. We walked about seven miles total and saw lots of lovely things. This is what it looked like from the point of view of the guy always trailing behind and clicking away. Ben’s Honda Civic traversed several miles of the most pot-holed…

A Million Miles in a Few Minutes

Greetings friends and strangers and those in between, Yes I totally ripped off Donald Miller in the title. Because A, you should read him. And B, it feels like there’s a ton of things to show you this time. And C, naming things is hard – I wonder what must have come over Adam. Travis…

Washington

Hello my friends, We recently, sort of..it’s been at lest a week, got back from a twelve day tour to Washington, which is somehow even rainier than Oregon I think. The winters out in this part of the country are just relentlessly wet. The other day it rained as we walked into church, snowed briefly…

Comings and Goings

Subway. 9:31 p.m. – Lakewood, WA Hello friends. I hope you’re having a good Monday. This morning we played a few songs at a lovely Methodist church with giant sloping wooden walls and a big stained glass window where the pastor talked about the love language of quality time and how we ought to take…

Under the Rainbow

Hello my friends. This is my January as described in words and images. I hope it was a good month for you all. It definitely dealt its ups and down to me. Saturday, a week and a day ago, our youth group loaded up drove a couple hours west towards the coast for the annual…

Coast to Coast

It’s 11:35 p.m. in the living room and there’s a fire burning. This is about my favorite time of day to be alive. They let me fly home for Christmas on December 20th. The plan was to go home for Christmas, head to Florida for a few days, come back for another week, and then…

Snow on the Green Grass

It is now without a doubt looking like winter and feeling like Christmas. Both of the local Christmas pageants have been cancelled because of bad weather and icy roads. And it just seems strange to me because the fields are still green, and I seen some of Debbie’s roses still hanging on all the way…

walking tall, flying high, and sitting down

Hello my friends. It has been quite a while, I’ll bet you hadn’t noticed. But I cut a deal with myself that I’d update this sucker before I watched a movie. And if you break a deal with yourself, you are the wrong-doer and the wronged. A few things: first, I changed the format of…

Fall Tour

Preparing to leave. It’s kind of weird packing for a two week trip when you’ve only recently moved. It feels like you just pretty much take everything. Travis and I restrung our guitars before we left (thank you Esther for the Elixirs). And this was my first time replacing a bridge. It took me a…

9/30/16

Someday I’d like to have a desk that looks like Einstein’s. I got to go a concert last week to see Jason Gray, Josh Wilson, and JJ Heller. It was a pretty good show that was held a beautiful dome-shaped church. JJ Heller was my favorite; her and her husband Dave did most of their…

August.

The Rock of Ages retirement village in McMinnville, Oregon hosts an event every year that features lots of live music, hot air balloons, food tents, face painting, bouncy houses, and my favorite, a huge water slide for anyone who wants to get wet. As it turned out that meant me and tons of kids from…

A Long Way Home.

Summer tour has been wrapped up. My good friends have come and gone. Here’s pictures of it all. Butte, Montana We had a day where we got to go hike around the falls in Idaho where the Snake river takes a plummet. I forget where these houses were but they really cracked me up. They…

Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Here’s pictures from our week in Goshen. We had a nice meal in a beautiful old barn and then later in the week was the annual ‘all team sing’. While in Goshen we stayed with Ron and Julie Martin..they took us swimming.. ..and fishing with a friend on Lake Michigan.. That night Everett and Charlotte…

Recording and Ambling On

The kids finished recording their new album after three days of hard work with the guys in the Gospel Echoes studio. I think it turned out pretty well. During the recording I didn’t have a whole lot to do besides observing the process. During the time we were in Goshen, I got to see the…

Thousand Oaks Gospel Camp

On Friday the 24th we arrived at the annual gospel sing event that happens in Winkler, Manitoba. It’s a great gathering of people (about a thousand) who come to camp, hear music, and spit sunflower seeds. I found their spitting method peculiar. They put one seed in their mouth at a time instead of loading…

Oh! Canada

Today about 5 p.m. we crossed into the second greatest country in all of North America..it was pretty exciting. We entered Canada with no trouble at all. Right now I’m sitting in the McDonald’s of the Walmart Supercentre where we’re parked for the night. I hear Maroon 5 on the speakers, so apparently they have…

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