Redeemed: what if?

"Eric, you are the proud possessor of many gifts. It is your sacred duty to put them to good use. Don't compromise. Compromise is the language of the devil. Run in God's name, and let the world stand back in wonder." ~ Chariots of Fire

This is my heart's cry, not for myself, but for the Christian artist everywhere. I have a vision I like to call "redeemed" ... a vision of a music world and a theater scene brought into submission to God's principles, and thus liberated to touch humanity in the deepest and most lasting ways possible.

A vibrant community of talented artists, hot in the pursuit of excellence, skilled and gifted - and with Truth to share. Their message is not always pretty, not always clean and tidy, but it is accurate, desperate to accurately represent the deeper spiritual principles that underly the sensuality and physicality of the tangible world around us.

And when we rise up together, carrying the banner of true freedom, true passion, and true ecstasy, what else can the world do, but fall back in wonder?


For the love of theater

more run-throughs.

more sore feet.

more giggles backstage.

more surreptitious naps when I'm not otherwise occupied.

more love. more laughter. more life.

I love this. I really do. And I'm exhausted... so tired. But I have promises to keep/and miles to go before I sleep...

Why would i want to sleep, anyway, when living is so wonderful?


Thinks I Like

Beautiful, cloudy mornings.

Shadowed mountains.

Silly friends.

Polyphonic chords.


German accents.

Bare feet.

Jesus :)


Chief Difference!

I have been thinking about this for a long while, and I think I have found the answer.
Mormonism and Classical Christianity share many similar tenets... so what sets us apart beyond relatively trifling matters such as eternal marriage, baptisms for the dead, etc? I believe that it can be found in this quote:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . He was once a man like us; yea that God himself, the Father dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)
Aha! So, LDS doctrine states that God did not exist from the beginning of eternity. I believe that God has existed from all time in the same form He exists in now.

Well that clears that up :)


It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late.

"Can't you see, my child? On Me must you trust and wait."
He gives His beloved sleep.
"Rest in my love, so sweet and deep."
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy,
"My work in you no man can destroy."
My mouth is filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing.
My fear chased away by the strength He is bringing.

written 1.16.10, based on psalms 126 & 127


Attention, World-Changers!

So you want to change the world. You're hungry for a new culture. You're eager to see a revival in America, in the global community. You're fired up and ready to go.

But where do you start?

Alex and Brett Harris of The Rebelution co-authored a book a few years ago entitled "Do Hard Things," sharing the vision for a new generation of youth who were willing to do hard things for a greater cause. And now, they're releasing a second book called "Start Here," which is full of ideas and practical suggestions for changing the world. Starting here. Starting now.

Hop on over to therebelution.com and check out more information about the book, as well as news regarding their Book Bomb on Amazon.


The roar of greasepaint and the smell of the crowd

Theater magic.

There's a boy in my cast at school who has magic. The kind of magic that makes you stop and look, that makes you laugh hysterically, that makes you feel from the bottom of your heart. And as a cast member, I can watch as the magic is born. A simple direction like "stand here, then walk to this point at measure 13" is turned into a hilarious routine promising to steal the show.

Make-believe magic.

I watched an old Judy Garland and Gene Kelly movie tonight. They had magic too.

Sometimes, I think I have magic.

That's a big claim. So I just whisper it to myself. Magic.

And it's not all the time. But every now and then, I will sing something, or look something, or say something, and I can feel the magic. Today, for four bars of my intro music at a studio class at school, I had magic. I'm savoring it, storing it up for when tech rehearsals are painful and my feet hurt from prancing about stage.

I'm singing a song for voice lessons right now called "The Light in the Piazza." Watch this video of it, and you will see the magic I'm talking about. But be careful.

Theater magic, once tasted, won't ever let you go.


The Moment that Is My Life

today i was happy.

i was happy because i got an incredible back massage from a friend at school. ahhh.

i was happy because it was a beautifully sunny day, and i wore a tank top.

i was happy because i got a good grade on a vocabulary quiz.

i was happy because Jesus loves me. and i know it.

it was a good day :)


How to kill a dragon

I guess I've always felt like if I pursue God, if I am a "good Christian," if I try my hardest to be set-apart and poured-out for Christ, I will experience some positive returns in my Christian walk.

Like killing dragons.

I mean, it's only fair, right? If I seek, if I strive, if I push towards a closer relationship with Jesus, I should experience victory over whichever sin I'm particularly annoyed with, or I should have blessings in my life, or I should be seeing my friends come to a saving knowledge of Christ, etc, etc.

But my dragons don't die.

So where does that leave me? What am I left with when - despite my persistent prayer life, despite the time I spend in the Word, despite the hours I spend in worship - my sins and problems don't vanish away?

Sunday at Praxis, I was reminded.

I am left with the cross.

I cannot judge my Savior's love on what He may or may not do in the future. He has already sealed me, shown me the deepest, most beautiful love He possibly could. I am broken inside. I have a very real evil in my heart. And yet, despite my ugliness and my rebellion, Chris has reconciled me with God through His sacrificial blood.

Praise Jesus!

But what about my dragons? Aren't we promised that we will become slayers of dragons?

I think to a certain extent, yes. 1 John talks at length about the fact that if someone "sins" (aka, is living in continual, unrepentant sin), he does not know God. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, His power will immediately start transforming our hearts. As far as dragons go, however, there are two things I've recently found out:

1) The dragon I want to kill right now might not be the dragon God is working on. I struggle with many sins, and while I might be especially ready to get rid of sin A, God's timing might be to work on sin B first. Am I ok with that? I better be.

2) Sometimes dragons are really thorns. My best friend E was telling me that there is a difference between a dragon that needs to be slain, and a thorn that needs to be endured. Paul begged God, much as I have been doing, for relief from a particular suffering. But God chose, in His wisdom and knowledge, to leave that thorn right where it was. And personally, if I didn't have dragons or thorns to remind me how helpless and broken I am, I probably wouldn't come running to the cross looking to Jesus for help and mercy and grace.

As we grow closer to Jesus, we have to remember that God is not a vending machine. If I put in x hours of prayer and Bible study, I do not deserve in any way to get a Victory over Sin soda in return. We have a vibrant, real, and changing relationship with Christ, and the direction it will take is different for each individual Christian. I cannot compare my walk to anyone else's, nor can I demand that God will deliver me in the same way He delivered someone else.

But what can I do?

I can rest in His arms, under the shadow of the cross, knowing that above all else, He loves me.

And that's all I could ever want, anyway.


Happy Valentine's Day!

It's Valentine's Day! How happy :) I don't have a significant other, but God chose this day to reveal His love and redeeming power to me in brand new ways, so I am feeling exceptionally cherished today despite my lack of a man. Plus, my darling parents got me scrumptious chocolate, so I've been cheating on my healthy food diet and eating little heart candies while finishing up some homework.

But! Even happier news! Last week I brought up three of my grades from Bs to As, *and* I hardly have any homework this weekend. So I've been relaxing, chilling with family and friends, getting on facebook (guilty look...), and watching Olympics. It's been good.

Did I mention yet how completely in love with Jesus I am? It's been really special this past week. :)

And, I've fallen in love with something else, too - Praxis Church! It was my fourth time going this week, and it just keeps getting better and better. It has challenging, Biblically sound teaching, incredible music with passionate and intelligent lyrics, friendly and energetic people, kind pastors, and a deep-rooted intentionality that marks every decision the church makes. I just love it there, and am looking forward to getting more involved.

And, mark your calendars - Pirates of Penzance is running the first weekend of March and it will be absolutely hilarious! Do come!



I just got a poem published on a fantabulous webzine called Bloom, designed to encourage young women seeking to live a poured-out life for Christ. It was created by a few of my friends, and is really incredible. They have interviewed some pretty big-name people in the Christian world, and regularly post very inspiring and challenging material. Do go check it out! (And not just to see my poem :P)


Much much to busy for you!

I'm ornery. And I wish I could say that as cutely and wonderfully as my dear friend A can. But I can't. I'm just plain old, unromantically, and completely ornery.

I won't regale you with the long list of to-dos I'm facing, but it involves work, school, and music. I won't tell you all about each and every one of my classes, but I will say that my grades aren't as peachy keen as they should be. And I most certainly won't tell you about everything I'm singing these days (what? Me? Talk about singing? ha!), but somehow I sing and sing for hours every day and still haven't practiced everything I need to know.

Part of me is in love with this life. I relish the wonderful new things I'm learning, I enjoy dashing about from place to place feeling full of purpose. Singing, especially in choir, every day is a pure delight, and I wouldn't trade it in for anything else.

But, the other part of me is worn-out, anxious about GPAs and scholarships and futures, annoyed with circumstances that are out of my control, and ready to call in quits.

No! I won't give in! God and I will soldier through this stressful time. You know, I'll look back on my senior year and I know I'll only remember the wonderful moments.

Like, I'll remember the thrills I get in choir whenever we sing an incredible arrangement of How Can I Keep from Singing.

And I'll remember the laughter and general warmth I share with my music friends at school.

I'll remember nights spent writing poetry and laughing with my sister.

I'll remember how God revealed Himself to me in brand-new and exciting ways, even while I was completely looking the opposite direction.

But for today. tonight. tomorrow.

I'm ornery.



Audition: Check

Well, it's over. I've auditioned.

And it feels so good!! I just got back from a trip with my little brother to indulge in one of the most-forbidden foods for singers - ice cream! What a nice reward for all my hard work.

The audition itself was only 10 minutes long, though I was at the school for around 4 hours this afternoon. Lots of anxious waiting! It was a day full of God-moments, from praying in the car with my dad before we stepped foot onto the campus, to finding out my collaborative pianist is a Christian, to the encouraging texts my friends kept sending me.

Right before I entered the audition room, I remembered a quote my dear friend JG had sent me a few weeks ago - "Enjoy this moment: this moment is your life." I breathed in for a moment, relishing my nerves and the excitement and the thrill of it all. Then, I breathed out and walked into the recital hall, where I sang my little heart out for a few minutes.

The sightsinging test did not go so smashingly, but the rhythm test did go quite well.

I feel peaceful, fulfilled, and content. Even if nothing comes of it all, what a wonderful experience. What a wonderful moment. I plan on savoring it for the rest of my life.


The audition this weekend has cast into sharp relief all sorts of ideas about who I am, who God is, and what my purpose is on this earth. Call me dramatic, or what you will, but I take big moments very seriously :)

I mean, if I don't get into ASU as a music major, then what happens to the past 3 years of my life? Did I waste those thousands of dollars, hours of practice time, forsaken foods, missed parties, and on and on the list goes? Big dreams are beautiful when accomplished, but I, in a way, have gambled my highschool years on the possibility of getting accepted to a reputable music program.

Then today in choir, we were singing a song called Pasture, and the music touched my heart in a way it hasn't been touched for a long time. It felt like God literally reached down and held my heart in His hand, relieving my fears and just wrapping me in His love. Music brings me close to God in a way nothing else can.

And so it hit me.

If this was the last week I was ever able to sing, it was worth it.

If the last note I sang was the last note I'll ever utter, it was worth it.

Because when I sang, I felt His pleasure.