Category Archives: Blog

Sound Palace

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Justin Amundrud and I have joined forces to create music under the name Sound Palace. We are influenced by many different artists, but a few of the most influential are: Washed Out, Two Door Cinema Club, St. Lucia, and Foals. We have our first show this Friday at 7PM! Come and hang with us in the brand new HSM Room at CCFTL! Tell your friends!

Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook! 

Event: OE Artist Show
Date: September 27th @ 7PM
Location: Calvary Chapel FTL : HSM Room - 2401 W Cypress Creek Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL ‎
Price: Free

Eikon Downtown is Next Week

Eikon Downtown is next week at Revolution LIve and it is going to be awesome, so you better be there! I went last time and it was so good. I am pumped to be in the band this time, it’s going to be nuts. This is a great venue to invite your friends and introduce them to the gospel. Let’s show South Florida that church is about God and His people, not a building!

Location: Revolution Live - 100 SW 3rd Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL
Time: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 8PM

 

 

Summer

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I can’t believe summer is already over! It was easily one of the greatest, if not the best summer I have ever experienced. I got to road trip and play music with my best friends in North Carolina and Georgia. I got to lead worship with my old crew at Hammock Street Church. I reconnected with old friends and built strong relationships. I got to go camping with my favorite bros in the Keys for a weekend. I recorded videos, wrote music, drank coffee, explored cities, played racquetball, read books, went to the beach, and took lots of photographs. How blessed am I?!

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I got together with a lot of people this summer to write, and we always ran into the same problem: thinking outside of the box. The box is what limits great ideas and makes them mediocre. The box is what stops so many people from being themselves and writing the message that they were created to tell. I hate the box. I feel like I am finally breaking through those walls and creating some great ideas. I can not wait to share them with you all! It was wonderful having time to spend on writing songs and trying new things. I feel really refreshed musically and I get so excited to play out now that I take every opportunity that comes my way.

I am currently enrolled at Palm Beach State College and I am pursuing my AA degree. I am not sure what my future holds, but in the mean time I want to educate myself and keep pushing myself to work hard. I love learning about subjects that are relevant to my life and being challenged to think differently. I am taking College Composition 2, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Introduction to Sociology, and Digital Photography 1. It feels so great to be back on a structured schedule again. I’m not looking forward to writing essays and taking tests, but I really do enjoy listening to the lectures and reading the material.

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In other news, I managed to fall in love with an old friend of mine, Cathryn. Our relationship has grown me and matured me so much these past few months, it has been amazing. She is currently back to school at BIOLA in Los Angeles, California. We decided that we cared enough about each other to try and make this work, even if we are three thousand miles apart. I am actually flying out there in a few weeks to visit her and finally see the West Coast! I am so excited and so blessed to be doing life with her. She inspires me daily through her pursuit of godliness, her desire to do things well and work hard, and her caring and encouraging spirit.

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I feel like I am in a great place right now. I am very involved with Calvary Chapel and I get to play at almost all of their campuses, which is amazing because I get to maintain all of the relationships I have created the past two years. It is wonderful being at PBSC and being forced to think for myself and stand up for what I believe in. When I was only surrounded by people that thought similarly to me and agreed with my ideas, such as church, Ocean’s Edge, and even my parents, I started to become numb to it all. It is so refreshing to be able to have a solid Christian community, but then to go out and actually be challenged and have to put my faith into action.

I have had some amazing opportunities and experiences this summer. It has been an incredible season of my life and I really have nothing to complain about if I am honest. I am thankful for where I am and I am thankful that you took the time to read this. Now I need to get to work on recording those songs!

If you would like to see more photos from my adventures this summer, feel free to view my Instagram feed: DavidGurr

Florida Keys Photos: #DelwoodandSons
Georgia Photos: #OESM_Trip
North Carolina Photos: #SouthbrookTrip

 

Stone Mountain, Georgia

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It was a pretty stressful couple of days leading up to our departure. I logged onto Planning Center to find almost 30 songs that we would be playing. I had also been scheduled to play at Eikon the night before we left. The stressful part was that four of the songs on the Eikon set were new to me, not to mention there was quite a few new songs we were playing for our Georgia trip. By the time I got home from Eikon, packed, and practiced some more, I ended up staying up all night. I had to be at Calvary at 4 AM for our departure to Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA. I kept telling myself I would sleep on the eleven hour drive. I totally did. I barely remember anything, haha.

In the past, we usually drive up a day early so we have time to get settled in. Due to a few of us playing Wednesday night, we were forced to leave the day of, and that is why we left at 4 AM. I have to admit it was pretty rough trying to get myself pumped to play after an eleven hour car ride. At least I slept!

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One of the biggest downfalls of the trip was lack of communication and preparation. By the time the set list was up, we only had 6 days to go over the songs and we only had one rehearsal that was about an hour long. That still wasn’t a final set either, because we did not have the conference schedule until the day of.. and by the day of, I mean a couple of hours before we arrived at the church. All that to say the first part of the trip was a bit stressful and tiring. I ended up not really caring about what I was doing because everything was subject to change at any given moment.

Of course, that was a rubbish attitude to have even with the circumstances, which I soon realized and apologized to the rest of my team. We were all kind of feeling the same way, so we all got together and talked it out and then prayed about it. The fact was, we just wanted these kids to connect with God. We couldn’t let our feelings get in the way of worship.

I remember going to these summer camps when I was younger and watching the worship team. I remember hoping that I would be good enough to be the guy on stage one day. Then I realized that I was living my dream.. I was doing it. I certainly did not feel as excited as I thought I would when I was younger. But in that moment, I was grateful for the opportunities I had been given these past two years that got me here. I am always striving to be better and sometimes I forget how far I have already come and to be thankful for it.

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Everything ended up coming together and we got more and more comfortable with each set. We were all good musicians so we weren’t really worried about changes or getting out of our comfort zone. It is always more enjoyable to have everything planned out well, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. The conference was three days long and it kept getting crazier each day. By the time we played our last set, the kids were up front jumping and singing. A few of the young girls seemed to take a liking to us too. There were a lot of pictures and autographs going around. It was bizarre. I felt bad because I was just thinking to myself that this was not the goal. We didn’t want them to think that we were awesome, but rather that God was awesome. I guess you can’t escape it, I’m sure Chris Tomlin has some crazy fans too.

During our weekend there, we stayed with Zach Yoder’s family. Their house was incredible and their hospitality was wonderful. I am always amazed that people let us come sleep in their home and that they go so far out of their way for us. They made us an amazing breakfast every morning, always had fresh iced tea ready, and cooked fantastic meals for dinner. It was unreal. They were just so welcoming.

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Secretly, I was really excited to go to Stone Mountain because… well I wanted to see Stone Mountain! We made plans to go our last night and watch the sun set. What we didn’t plan on was the random storm that came through. I was so bummed because I knew we were leaving the next morning at nine. Seriously, I was super bummed. Later that night, during an intense game of Phase 10 (which I was dominating.. until I lost, haha) I came up with the idea of going really early in the morning before we left. I got a few other people on board and we were good to go. After our very competitive Phase 10 game ended at 2 AM, I went to go sleep. Mark and Bry, who weren’t waking up at 6 AM to go hike up the mountain with me, decided they wanted to play Call of Duty until 3:30. So I basically took a nap and then I woke up to hike. I am so glad it worked out though. The whole experience was incredible. The weather was chilly and almost mysterious. There was a very thick fog that had settled over the mountain. So thick that when we reached the summit, we couldn’t see much of anything. You might think that was a bad thing, but I felt like I was on another planet. It was unreal! I have never seen anything else like it.

We had a lot of fun adventures during our stay in Georgia. We found this really hip coffee shop called Alcove located on the edge of a lake. We ended up going there three days in a row. We also had quite a few competitive matches between playing Monopoly and Call of Duty. We’re always fighting for bragging rights, and Tokyo (inside joke).

Who knows where I’ll end up next. Be sure to subscribe to my blog below and follow me on Instagram! Thanks for reading!

See the rest of our photos from this trip at: #OESM_Trip

Playing with the Big Dogs

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Pastor Clay and a few other Calvary Chapel staff members were in Brazil teaching at a conference this past week, so I finally had my chance to play with the Calvary Chapel FTL main campus team, the “big dogs”. I was filling in on rhythm electric guitar and running click and loops. We only had enough time before service on Wednesday night to run through the songs once and then go back over transitions. That wasn’t a problem though, because they were great musicians and they knew their parts. I remember looking over during worship and I was just like wow, I would have never imagined that I’d be playing with these guys. It was a pretty unreal experience. The best part was that I wasn’t nervous, I knew that I was prepared and I knew what I had to do.

This summer has been filled with so many great experiences already and it isn’t even over yet. I have learned a lot, made close friends, and found time to relax in-between. Next Thursday I am heading up to Stone Mountain, Georgia with a group from Ocean’s Edge to lead at a conference. In the mean time, I think I should probably apply for a job and sign up for some classes next semester. Haha, thanks for reading!

Anyone Can Read the Script

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The other day I was at my friends house and his little brother, who plays electric guitar in the middle school band at church, said, “Worship music is so boring. It is so repetative.” Then I said something dumb like, “Well there is beauty in simplicity and repetition.” I still agree with my reply, but that was not the answer that he wanted to hear and I doubt it moved him. I know worship music is pretty basic and usually very easy to play. Honestly though, if it is so easy, why aren’t we all playing in bands like Jesus Culture? First things first, skill is the main thing. If you can’t strum a G chord without bending the strings out of tune or set your delay pedal correctly, you obiviously are not ready.

I started thinking about it a little harder and I would venture to say that I think the issue is more about attitude. Why do we listen to Hillsong, Jesus Culture, and Bethel? Sure, they have great musicians and producers, but more importantly they are passionate about their God and you hear it when they sing, strum, and shout. We all know that a musician who does not play with passion is usually one we do not enjoy listening to. If the musician doesn’t believe it why should the audience?

Think about the last great movie you watched. Did it stir up an emotion inside of you? Usually this emotion is evoked by the connection formed between the actors and the movie goer. You ever watch a movie with a great plot, but horrible actors? You probably did not enjoy it because they were just reading the script. It is the same reason that seperates Broadway from the high school across the street. Anyone can read the script.

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I have had a few people tell me that I am the “ideal worship guitarist”. I would argue that it is because I am passionate about playing and worshiping, not so much about how much time I have spent practicing, although that is very important. When I play those simple lead lines, I play them with everything in me. I am also very intentional about the way I play and worship while on stage. I want people to know I am serious, so I convince them. My favorite part of the week is getting on stage to play music, so I let everybody know that. People see my excitment and joyfulness. People need that connection.

I led at Hammock Street Church this past Sunday and a few people came up to me and thanked me when they did not have to. Most of those people told me they really enjoyed my voice and appreciated how genuine I was. Guess what, I am really not that great of a singer and I know that. The playback CD made me cringe! But I will tell you what I am good at and what I love doing. That is being honest, genuine, and caring. I wanted those people to connect with God and to believe every word I sang. That is exactly what I did. Anyone can practice until they sound like the record, but can they make people believe that they mean it?

 

Leading Again

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(This is my homie James Thomas. So much swag)

It has been a few months since I have led worship, and I have not really led worship consistently at all the past two years. About two weeks ago, I was invited to fill in at Hammock Street Church for July seventh and July fourteenth. They asked me to put a band together and lead the services. Now one thing you must understand is that outside of Calvary, there isn’t a lot of musicians to schedule. Almost everyone I know is plugged in at Calvary. So I went and asked a few people if they could play, although I figured they would decline. They ended up accepting, so I gave Hammock Street the green flag and started arranging songs and creating loops. The plan was to play a set really heavy with synths and drum samples.  A week before the first set I got a text from my main guy saying that Calvary needed him and he could not play with me. I must say I was pretty angry at first, I mean, I got the short end of the stick and that always sucks. In the end, I am glad it happened. You wanna know why?

First off, God was in control so He worked everything out. Secondly, since I haven’t led in so long, I was hoping to almost hide behind all the production. I knew that if the arrangements, loops, and band was tight enough, no one would care about a few mistakes from me. I ended up facing my fear and just going completely acoustic, which I used to absolutely hate doing. I got my buddy James Thomas to come play second acoustic with me and I decided to still give my best. So I sat down, sucked it up, and switched some songs around and made completely new arrangements that would fit the mood better. And guess what, it was a whole lot of fun to create the set and a wonderful time playing it. There is something beautiful about a simple set that is well thought out.

This morning I realized how much I have grown the past two years in so many different areas. I gained a lot of confidence back and even rediscovered my love for leading. I do not have the best voice, and I am not the best guitarist, but God does not care about that. He just wants to use me and He wants to use you too.

Next week I will be playing with James again and I also got Hammock Street’s drummer and bassist to play with us. I am really excited about next week’s  set. If you are wondering why I did not use their musicians this week, it was because it was just too late notice. Part of being a good worship leader is really thinking through things and respecting people and their time. I want everyone on my team to feel comfortable and be on board with my vision. In the end, I just want everybody to be able to worship God and I do not want to get in the way of that.

Trip to Southbrook Church in North Carolina

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So me and some Ocean’s Edge alumni got the opportunity to travel up to North Carolina and lead a youth event and Sunday services for Southbrook Church. We embarked on our eleven hour drive Thursday morning at 8 AM. There is not much to say about those eleven hours… but here are some road trip shenanigans for your enjoyment: Vine #1 & Vine #2

Anyways, we eventually made it into North Carolina and met up with Kimberly Brown (Ocean’s Edge alumni and worship leader at Southbrook) and her brother at SmashBurger. We ate our fill and then headed to our host homes. At first I was quite nervous about where we were staying because all I heard was, “He is a college intern”. I thought we were staying in a dorm! Turns out he lives with his parents and we got to stay in his entertainment room which contained a humongous projector screen complete with an Xbox 360. Needless to say we had some fun nights.

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Friday morning we woke up and hung out around the house until we got picked up to go to Mellow Mushroom pizza for lunch. We did some exploring around the area and then headed to Southbrook church for soundcheck. I was the only electric guitarist in the band so I had some fun playing rhythm and lead. That night we led worship for the Southbrook Church Summer Tour which was basically a really epic youth night. All I know is that there was a unicorn on stage at one point. That is all I have to say about that.

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Saturday we woke up for our rehearsal and then went to a local bakery called Amelie’s French Bakery. It was filled with vintage furniture and eclectic odds and ends. I loved it! We all got sandwiches which were delicious, but a little small, so I definitely had room to get their extra thick hot chocolate that was to die for. I honestly wish I could go get one right now. After that we all went to Freedom Park which had lakes, trails, bridges, and even a lovely stream. We spent a few hours walking around and hanging out by the stream. It was wonderful.

We had an appointment to meet some people at Elevation Church at 3 to observe how they rehearse and prepare for their 5 o’ clock service. I was really glad that we got to experience that. I must say that they were doing everything that I thought I always wanted church to be, but in the end I felt that it was just too much. I fear that we may be making church more about the experience and less about the gospel. I did however like a lot of things they did and plan on trying to implement them in the future wherever I am. I must say I was impressed by their organization, skillfulness, and attention to detail. Most churches should be taking notes from these guys.

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We got to lead Southbrook Church’s two Sunday morning services which was awesome. Everything went really well and the congregation seemed to connect and was singing along. After church we went Uptown in Charlotte to check out the city. We had a blast exploring the area for a few hours. There was so much to see and do! We just saw a glimpse of what the city was like and I loved it.

We all headed home Monday morning. Most of us slept the whole time. This trip was amazing and I was so glad we all got to share the experiences together. It was a great way to start summer off.

See the rest of our photos at: #SouthbrookTrip

My Final Log as a Student at Ocean’s Edge

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I am still recovering from the maddness that ensued the last few weeks at Ocean’s Edge. After we finsihed all of our finals, we had to immediately start rehearsing for the Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale takeover weekend and The Show. I was pumped to be scheduled for the takeover weekend this year. Last year I played and I must say that I was quite nervous. This year I felt way more confident and really enjoyed the experience. I learned the songs well, so I all I had to do was worship and have fun, and that is exactly what I did!

I would not have believed you if you told me that Bry and I would be playing on the main stage at Calvary FTL a few years ago, but we did and it was great. I am proud of my friend and honored that I had this opportunity.

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I was glad to have more involement with The Show this year. I created a remix arrangement and loop for You Alone We Praise. It was a tough song to remix because it is in 3/4, but I had fun with it and tried some different ideas that I think worked well with the mood we wanted to set. I also got to play electric on six songs, some crazier than others. I definitely went nuts on stage and danced, it was a blast. I hope you were able to make it out to one of the shows. If not, you should definitely go see the next year’s class. The Show is always an amazing night.

See more photos from the show at: #OEShow13

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Ocean’s Edge School of Worship has been the best, hardest, craziest, and most fun experience of my life. I am a completely different person than I was two years ago when I started. I have learned so much these past two years. Of course I became a better guitarist and singer, and yeah I learned music theory and how to record and produce music, but the main thing I learned was who I am as a person. I realized why I respond to things in certain ways, how easy it is for me to be lazy, and how quickly I can fall apart. I learned that I can not place my worth in anything other than God and that I certainly can not let people taint my view of who God is. I know what I believe now and why I choose too. The hard part is believing and walking in those truths and ignoring the lies.

I had to say good-bye to some friends this year but thankfully most of them are sticking around in Florida. I am hoping to get more involved with Eikon and other ministries like Ocean’s Edge over the summer. I want to use my time wisely. I am going to push myself to keep learning, practicing, and most of all creating. I look forward to the rest of this summer and I can not wait to see where I am in a few months. I am excited for whatever is in store for me.

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I am currently in North Carolina with some Ocean’s Edge alumni playing at Southbrook Church for the weekend. I am living the dream! Traveling, sight-seeing, and playing music! It does not get any better than this!  Thanks for reading! I will be sure to tell you all about this trip when I get back home, but for now I am going to enjoy the time I have. I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am right now.

Follow me on instagram to see what I am up to: DavidGurr

Let Hope Arise Now Available

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Let Hope Arise is now available for purchase on iTunes or you can stream it through Spotify! As you may have seen in an earlier post, I wrote the track “Holding On”, so be sure to check that out and let me know what you think! Our hope is that this album speaks of God’s truth in a fresh and inspiring new way to it’s listeners. I pray that you enjoy it and are encouraged to carry on trusting in the Lord and his promises.

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