Real Friends

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Let me tell you about my friend, Bobby Wintle.
Everyone who has met Bobby knows he is a stick of dynamite that explodes into a hug or a high five, or both! He is hands down one of the most positive humans I’ve ever known.

Bobby and I go way back to the myspace days, where we’d trade shows in our towns. Along with the show usually came a floor to crash on. That evolved into a friendship where we discovered we both had a passion for music and people, and we both laugh at everything.

I’m terrible with timelines and dates. But sometime in the last decade Bob and is wife Crystal, started something truly special in Stillwater, Oklahoma. They put their blood, sweat and piggy banks into District Bicycles. Then came Land Run 100. (A cycling event that grew from its start in 2013 to roughly 2000 participants.)

I messaged Bobby no less than 3 days ago because I wanted to ask him about what bikes I should look into. I should preface this with saying I know nothing about cycling, just that I think one day I’d like to own a legitimate bike. I message him a question or two, telling him my intentions and needs in a bike. Not an hour had gone by and Bobby was calling me. “Dude. I’ve got the perfect bike for you. I’m coming through St. Louis on Thursday. I’m gonna get it ordered, built and I will drop it off on Thursday…” “…just pay me whenever you’re able.”

Is this real?

Sure enough. I wrapped up a meeting at work and got a text that my old pal was here. Bob & I shared some BBQ and crammed as much story time as we could into my hour lunch break. One thing that stuck out to me is when Bobby talked about the people that come from all over to participate in their incredible event. At some point during our meal Bobby says to me, “I just want people to know that they matter.”

I’m stealing that. I think we all need to steal that.

Thankful for friends like Bobby and Crystal.

The point of this post is two fold. One to say how thankful I am for people like Bobby and Crystal who are a huge inspiration to me to pursue what you are passionate about no matter what. Secondly– to extend that piece of truth to you today… that you matter.

Bonus: If you need anything in the cycling world (I mean anything.) Give District a call.

 

So…I moved to Florida

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Wow. Let me blow the dust off this site real quick.
Ahh…That’s better.

Since I’ve last updated this thing a lot has changed for me. I’ll try and keep this short and sweet. Almost as long as I’ve been playing music as a serious profession, I’ve also been involved with experiential marketing, aka my “real” job. The word “real” only signifies the financial part of the job, as playing music has been the most difficult occupation to date. I digress.

This time last year I managed an event at the Florida State Fair for a company based in the Southeast. Over the course of a three-week contract and being far away from my wife and kids I was able to grab dinner with my friend I’ve made in this industry and his beautiful wife, Ashley. Adam and she have become some of our greatest friends:

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It wasn’t long after seeing them again that I get this text from Adam asking me to pray and consider re-locating and accept a full-time position at his company, Thuzi.

Jillian and I  began thinking and praying through this, asking God to give us peace and discernment. We spent weeks and months coming up with the right decision. This was not easy for us to make. I was leading worship on-staff at a church we had watched grow from joining the plant just 5 months in to it’s existence. We lived 20 minutes from both sets of grandparents. Some of our greatest friends were just a stone’s throw away. Our roots were deeply set in the St. Louis Metro East.

I asked God if we were making the wrong decision for Him to make it clear to me. Or for there to be some push-back in our conversation with family, loved ones and people we looked to for advice and council. I found nothing but affirmation from the people we spoke with, and even further confirmation we were doing what we felt God wanted us to do.

I sat down with the elders at my church and told them everything. My friends and pastors, looked at me and replied, “We’ve been praying for this opportunity to come for you for years…we just hoped it would be here in St. Louis.” They prayed for me and once again and I was on my way. All of this confirming even further our decision.

Fast forward to…now.

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Jillian and I are learning how to do normal ‘life stuff.’ We are tapping into that seemingly elementary skill of making new friends, which has proved much more difficult than I ever thought…(guys… I’m not cool anymore.) We are still “searching” for a church, though I think we’ve found where we are supposed to be. We’re learning where to buy groceries, where people bring their kids when they don’t have extra money, but still want their kids to have fun (the beach is free!)

I haven’t played music or led worship since moving here, which has left a bit of  a hole for me. I am looking forward to flying to Illinois this weekend to lead worship for some students. What a treat that will be to serve in this way. I’m hoping by God’s grace, for more opportunities to rear their head in this way.

My ultimate prayer is for my wife and kids to find their place here, for me to be a good husband and dad and lead them well. They are the world to me.

I think a tour is long overdue. Along with new music. Along with…

To God be the glory!

 

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