Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Life is good.

It seems like lately everyone's response to "how are you doing?" is usually "Busy!" I'm no exception in that regard. I have a lot going on, and am having trouble staying on top of it all, but when I look at all of the things I'm doing, I can't help but recognize each and every stressor and responsibility as an incredible and undeserved blessing.

Roughly one and half semesters of college left until the bachelors of arts in psychology is mine! Hardest semester of my life, but SO packed with valuable knowledge and understanding.

Worship through music at Incarnate Faith has been on a steady upswing - in terms of the technical quality of our music, the response and involvement of the congregation, and my own personal excitement and passion. Even more than I always have, I am starting to long for the feel of steel strings under my fingers, the mesh grill of the microphone on my lips, and the inexplicable outpouring of emotion from my hands and lungs that worship has become for me. I am so blessed to have this.

Warehouse work has turned into Guitar Tech work at Morgan Hill Music, and it is another huge blessing to have the direct instruction of a professional luthier. I am learning so much about the instrument I love.

And OF COURSE my incredible new Fiancee is dominating my mind constantly, as are plans for our wedding. I am so blessed to have this girl. I could never put it into words.

Between all of these things, as well as my family, leadership at iF, and occasionally sleeping and eating, my life is busy. But, it's like I said: life is good.

Life is good. And life is good because God is good. I am blessed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Well, in the ridiculous business of my life, we can all see how high on the priorities list this blog landed.
That being said, here is some BIG news! Although I'm guessing no one reading this blog doesn't already know this, Christina and I are engaged as of October 23rd. Details about our wedding will be posted by my lovely fiance and occasionally myself on our brand new wedding blog!

Snapshots in C#

Be sure to follow!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I can't rationalize American Lifestyles. Even the ones we would consider 'generous.' If giving a tiny percent of your fortune earns you a pat on the back and a good night of sleep, then what, or who exactly, did you do it for?
In this country we have an incredible shortage of people who give until it hurts. Until it hurts bad. Until your neighbors look at you the way Noah's did and say "what's wrong with that guy?" We have almost no one brace enough to live in a way that defies the American way to the point of causing difficulty and pain to themselves and unease in those around them.
Our pursuits - even the ones that come across as 'humanitarian' or 'globally minded' or whatever the current catch phrase is - all are, at their molten core, at their beating heart, selfish. We seek to please ourselves. To make ourselves comfortable. Financially, socially, yeah those are the easy and common ones to think about. But what about the steps we take to make ourselves spiritually comfortable, or morally comfortable?
And in those pursuits, where is Jesus?
I find it a lot harder to find fault in average Americans than to find fault in people like me. The people who have the audacity to call ourselves followers of Christ while doing our best, sincerest imitation of the rest of the world.

So easy to rant about, yet so hard to rectify. Good thing we don't have to deserve the grace we've been given.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I know this is a little late in coming, but it's been on my mind and heart.

I am disgusted to see that we live in a country that, despite the fact that there is/are:
• 27 million slaves in the world
o Over four times as many existed during the trans-Atlantic slave trade
o 2 children sold a minute
o Second largest (and fastest growing) illegal industry in the world.
• A hostage situation in Iran
• A North Korea that wants to blow up America (and isn’t that far from being able to do it).
• An economy that is falling farther despite attempts to fix it.

And yet I went five days without being able to turn on the news or look at Yahoo’s front page without seeing something about Michael Jackson’s death.
No disrespect to the man. He did a lot for the music industry and was a cultural icon, but please. There are more important things in the world.

We are a nation of people who are ready and willing to cry and mourn over the death of an emotional disturbed stranger for weeks, but turn the channel away from a starving child. We don’t feel comfortable learning about the millions of children who are forced into prostitution and sex slavery who need our help. We would rather think about Michael.

Wake. Up. There’s a world that needs wealthy American’s to put down the remote and save lives.

Take five minutes

Love 146

International Justice Mission

Trade as one

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sam Whittaker is:

Extremely busy even though summer is over
Not used to working 8 hour shifts after a semester of 5 and 6 hour ones
Still extremely busy despite it being summer
Consumed with thoughts of the future
Hopeful and trusting
Full of creative energy and never able to play or sing enough in a given day
Paranoid ever since the peer group started playing 'assassination'

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Abolition is happening. Thank you, Lord.

Seven little girls who deserve better than they've gotten are being sent to this new Love146 "Round home" where they will be loved, cared for, and taught how to live and function in society as a human instead of a product. Hopefully they will learn they're incredible value and importance as well. Pray for those little girls.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


What happened on a weekend 2000 years ago is thrown around (in Christian circles) so much that it is incredibly easy to lose sight of the significance and magnitude of it. I was realizing that today during worship. Realizing the weight of what was done for us.
As I sang "Jesus conquered the grave," it hit me how indescribably amazing and unprecedented the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is. All of the corny Christianese phrases: "Jesus died for your sins," etc. etc. have a way of desensitizing us to that. They have a way of making us get used to the knowledge of His death and our subsequent salvation; like getting comfortable in a hot tub that burned your skin when you originally stepped into it.
The fact that God wrapped himself in flesh, lived a perfect life, and died a brutal death, all out of a deep, pure, ineffable love for people who were yet sinners, is an amazing thing. Like He said himself, few people will even dare to die for a righteous man. Yet our God, perfect, and deserving nothing less than perfection, died for us while we were still dirty sinners. It is a love that we do not - cannot- understand.

And how sad that we allows that to take a backseat to anything and everything. Homework, relationships, theological debates, political disagreements, insecurity, jealous... there's an eternal list of things that we would let overshadow our Savior and His redeeming life and death. We have momentary highs of realization and understanding, but those are just islands in a sea of apathetic self-serving choices and movements. Our lives should be in constant reverence and humility under the shadow of the Almighty God that is powerful enough to create the universe and yet is loving enough to care about us while we were yet sinners.

This Easter, remember Jesus and His death and resurrection. But beyond that, let's take a shot at making our every waking breath be in awe of it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm currently sitting in the classroom waiting for the fifth and last class of the day to start. It has been one of those days where you wake up with heavy eyes and slow-moving limbs and they never really go away. Note the bloodshot eyes.

Once I get home I'll have about ten minutes and then it's off to an hour of worship practice with my junior highers, followed by an hour and a half of worship practice with my high schoolers. Draining day.

On a more positive note, I finally integrated Steven and Adolfo into the highschool worship program. I'm so excited for them; they are amazing guys with a great deal of raw undeveloped talent and great hearts. I can't wait to see them grow as musicians and leaders.

p.s. love146.org met their goal of raising $5,000 on valentines day for safehome building. Such a wonderful thing to hear.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

RIP Lee Walton

This is one of those things that you could never see coming in a million years.

In seven years of seeing someone almost every day, I could not tell you one bad thing about that guy no matter how hard I tried. He was always supportive (even of the younger guys that most older players trashed) and managed to be a respected and loved team captain without ever being harsh or a jerk. He was always kind.

I try to imagine what it must feel like to find your life so unhappy that you would rather end it yourself than have it continue. I try and fail. I wish I could understand what would make such a wonderful guy so miserable.

Lee, you may be gone but your memory is not. Thank you for making me feel comfortable as a home schooler coming into a competitive public school water polo team. Thank you for editing our highlights videos. Thank you for buying me lunch the time I forgot my wallet. Thank you for being an indispensable part of a great time in my life. Thank you for being who you were.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My hair looks like this after a full day of wearing a beanie.

Whenever (by laziness, not design) my hair gets this long, I hear a call from the dark side whispering "Hey, long hair was fun, remember? Do it again!" But let's be honest, I'll probably get it cut soon. But let's be honest; a haircut is loooow on my priorities list at the moment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank God for financial aid fee deferment. Thanks to good old Calgrant A, school this semester is going to cost a whopping $470! An incredible blessing, especially because my family has an incredible amount of bills that we are strugglin' to pay at the moment.

Also, by buying books online I saved myself about 126 dollars, which is no small amount considering the total cost from the Spartan bookstore would have been 335. Still a bummer to have to spend 200 dollars, but I'm happy that it at least cost less than it would have originally.

Also My awesome schedule happens to work so that I only have to make the trek up to SJSU twice a week. And that's with fifteen units of classes! It should be an interesting bunch of classes this semester.

The time for me to put my foot down about what my future career path will be is coming a lot closer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


incarnate faith was wonderful tonight. From start to finish everything was so fantastic.

I love leading worship at iF. There's something about hearing all of the voices singing along that makes me lose my intellectual and cognitive connection to the music and really feel it instead. It becomes emotion; a real connection between myself and God and all of the others worshiping along with me.

Then an unexpected person was baptized. I remember him from highschool; I had at least one class with him every year I was at Gilroy High. He's been coming consistently since the if started, and last approached Mike and told him that he was ready to be baptized. sitting in the water he said that he repented of his sins, and believed that Jesus had forgiven him and become his father, because his own father had abandoned him. He said he was ready to follow Jesus.

Sometimes He just reaches out for someone. Someone you might completely write off.

Then Isaac spoke. He talked about how churches and Christians are accused of being fake, and that it's a valid accusation. He talked about the fact that when you come into a church, you are surrounded by fake happy faces, and the fact that churches make people feel like they can't be transparent; that they need to put on a happy face and not open up about the pain and struggles they are feeling. He said it's time for that to change; for Christians and churches as communities to be there for eachother, and to really be a safe place for people to open their wounds and be healed. He cried as he exemplified this by sharing his own struggles with his self image. How he can't look in the mirror without seeing the 250 pound 'ugly' person he used to be. He talked about how Mike (in a previous sermon) had told the congregation that he struggled with clinical depression and communication problems with his wife.

They are truly leading by example. And Isaac is right, the church needs to be a place where people can heal and be healed. Where people can take off their masks and love eachother, unafraid. Where people ask "how are you doing?" without expecting the obligatory "fine, thank you."

I think we can do it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Writing spree

Since I started writing songs, I've had a track record of writing them extremely slowly. My critical nature, especially when it comes to art (and ESPECIALLY when it comes to music) makes it difficult for me to stamp something of mine with my approval. So in the past, it's taken me literally months to complete songs. (If ever. I have a whole album worth of incomplete songs that either got violently 'scratched' or just gradually faded away without ever being finished.'

However, lately this has changed completely. In the past month or two, I have written six songs (which, ironically, is exactly the number that I had written in ALL the time previous to that not including LFTE songs... about a year). Lately, I have written songs in a day or two, or in a couple of cases, in one sitting. Music and lyrics. This is absolutely unheard of for me, and wonderful.

They're not only being written faster, but differently as well. I'm writing lyrics and music simultaneously (in most cases) instead of one before the other. I'm doing this mainly because I have always had my primary goal be to convey a clear and consistent emotion and message in songs that I write; I want the words and the music to mesh emotionally so that they music supports and contributes to the meaning of the song. I want my songs to be honest and carry weight and meaning. I hope I'm accomplishing that.

Sooner or later I may work up the gumption to throw up some rough recordings/video/lyrics of the songs for some feedback(?)