derek's journal

Past Journal Entries

fri 3:06 am

houston, texas

happy new year!! i really can't believe that it's already 1997. so sorry (as usual) that i haven't written, but we've been pretty busy these last few weeks. i think that it was a few entries ago that i mentioned the strange dynamics of this vocation, and these last few weeks have definitely been a great example. we were on a total break for most of december, during which time i barely saw anyone other than my folks, my brother, and a few friends that were in town from college. we didn't even play much, as metro Bible study (our normal monday night gig) was on break for the holidays. just a few days after Christmas we left for almost 8 straight days of shows. they were all texas shows, so at least we didn't have far to go. the highlights were definitely the conferences that we were able to play. the first one that we stopped at was the 'passion '97' college conference in austin. it was just amazing. there were a gang of folks there! we played there two nights in a row, and were staying in the same hotel that we were playing in, so it was incredibly convenient. i wish that we could always just play in our hotels. better yet, maybe we could start having the concerts in our actual hotel rooms. we do like intimate crowds... anyway, we had such a blast there because a lot of the people who were attending the conference were staying in the hotel as well, so we were able to hang out into the wee hours of the night with them. buddy and i were staying in the same room in the hotel, and we even got a note slipped under our door from some folks who attend baylor (rm. 1535). it was a really sweet note about the show, and that they would be sure and see us when we got back out to waco. well by the time that buddy and i got to our room and got this note, it was already about 3:15 am or so, but we figured still this note needed a response. they signed the note with their room number, so we proceeded to write a note of our own. on the way there we also purchased a pepsi from the vending machine. the note read as follows:

rm. 1535-
wow! thanks so much for the note. we'll definitely see y'all when we get back out to waco this next february. to show our appreciation, we've brought you this nice, cold pepsi. enjoy-
rm. 919
(buddy & derek)
we thought that it was rather appropriate, so we left the pepsi sitting on top of the note in front of their door, knocked, and ran. luckily they were still up. what fun. anyway, after our stop in austin, we went on to dallas. we first stopped and played for a wesley foundation conference (we just LOVE those wesley folks!), and then we went on to the campus crusade Christmas conference, where we once again got to play in the same hotel that we were staying in. what a blessing! this conference was really amazing as well. they had some really incredible people there representing all sorts of cool things that campus crusade is involved in. the general vibe around there was that everyone was really enjoying themselves at the conference. the one thing that we really hated was that we didn't really have time to get to see any of the actual conferences. cliff, keith (the incredibly cool guy that was sitting in playing some electric guitar with us), and i were able to stop in and see some of the praise music at 'passion' (sam perry had assembled an incredibly rocking praise band as usual), but outside of that we didn't really get to enjoy much of the actual speakers. we talked to a lot of people at all of the conferences, and most were just speechless. we've continued to get email from our friends who were attending different ones, and they are all just enamored with all that God taught them over the last week. we are so incredibly honored to play even a small part of the huge revival that we see happening on college campuses all over the nation. much thanks to all of the organizations that helped put all of this together. i must tell you that the biggest surprise of the week was the response that i got to a particular song. if you read my last journal thing then you are probably aware that God has brought someone very special into my life. now, i could probably count the 'love' songs that i've written in my whole life on one hand. having said that, i've recently written a song summing up my surprise with this incredible blessing that God has brought into my life. i made a little recording of it at our rehearsal house, and cliff was there while i was doing it so he heard the song. he very randomly asked me to play in at the end of the show that we played on new year's eve in san antonio, so i obviously did, but was very nervous about it. the response was very unusual though. so many people related to the way that i was feeling. we ended up playing it at every show this last week, which was find with me, as that allowed me much opportunity to tell everyone how cool my girlfriend is (i can't believe that i actually said "girlfriend!!" how WEIRD!!). i suppose that our love for people or things in our life is really such a reflection of our love for God, that sometimes it isn't until God really blesses us with something like that that we reminded of that tangible love that God feels for us. i think that i so often try to love God with my devotion or reverence, that i misplace that more tangible love that i have for Him. a better analogy would be when your parents give you a gift that you really want. that joy and love that you feel surrounding that gift doesn't stop at the gift itself, but with the one that gave it to you. i think about how much i love candra (that's her name, by the way), and it really makes me think about how much i just really love God. how unworthy am i to have such a blessing in my life, and yet God loves me and blesses me anyway. the point is that God loves me in spite of how unlovable i am. i am realizing the ways that God shows us and tells us that He loves us through people that He brings into our lives. i'm at one of those points right now in my life where i just sit up all night scratching my head wondering how why in the world God has blessed me so. anything short of death that God gives us is His conscious blessing, which is hard for anyone that lives on the western side of the world to remember (especially me), but sometimes it's a little more overwhelming than others. this is one of those times. just for the record, her name is candra cumberford, and she lives and goes to school in kansas city, missouri. so i'm off to bed. if you live in houston, you might open your windows tonight (if you can bare the cold), as you will probably hear me shouting her name at the top of my lungs from my roof. i did promise to me honest in these journals... wherever you are tonight, i pray that you will realize all of God's blessings in your life, not to mention your life itself, and thank Him for them. we are all so small, and God so vast. great talking to you again (finally). i'll write again soon. take care-


ps- i've had a few requests to post the lyrics to the song that i sang about her at these last few shows, so here they are.

somewhere north of here

it's a muggy night in houston
all the intersections are like full serve stations
i'm on my way to a familiar place
but it's cold in kansas city
and you can no more hear me than i can see your face
how i wish it was just you and me

we wouldn't have to talk above the crowd
we wouldn't have to talk so loud

i give you my life and all i am, but what have i to give
so i hand you a candid photograph of this little boy 'cause i've nothing to my name
but i can give you that
all things considered we're both certifiably insane
but i don't miss my mind
and i don't miss the driving
though i'm always driving in my mind
and wearing out the road that gets me there

driving 'till my eyes just can't see straight
but i suppose it's getting late

and i give you my life and all i am, but what have i to give
so i hand you a candid photograph of this little boy
'cause i've nothing to my name
but i can give you that

i may never find the sleep i've lost
all feeling in my hands and feet
may touch the ground but my mind's
somewhere north of here

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