Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Punk Rock Musician

She quietly slipped in through the sunshine wood colored door
found a seat on the right hand side in the corner of the balcony
the aroma of the evening was pitch black
the only light was coming from the illuminated colorfulness of the stage
He wore black skinny jeans,
converse hightops,
A Ramones V-neck shirt,
His hair was a Trevor McNevan blonde fo hawk
 He was singing a catchy punk rock melody
 It seemed to be that he was practicing for his senior recital
His stylish rock voice echoed through the walls of the sanctuary
She sat there, so still silently in awe holding her breath
"What's wrong with my voice!?!?" He says loudly
"I can't sing!, Let's try this again, can you rewind the song back a little?
He tries to sing to his desired perfection,
and again,
and again,
and again,
and again...
"Can I have just one more chance?"
"K, we'll give you one more try, then you're dead" the sound guy says jokingly,
The punk rock musician belts out his melody once last time with anticipation,
then suddenly,
he stops singing,
"I'm dead" he says in a serious disappointed tone,
"Yeah, your voice needs alot of work, let's call it an evening" the sound guy says,
Her heart drops into the depths of the abyss,
Tears, slowly start dripping down her face,
She is in horror what words she has just heard,
the endless unsatisfaction of the punk rock musician,
She is absolutely amazed by his voice,
and he overlooks his musical gift and only sees the negative,
Oh the unending silent cries of the passionate punk rock musician...
She secretly leaves the sanctuary breathlessly,
He looks up,
right at her,
she never notices,
how his heart smiled...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Boy In The Black Leather Jacket

The lights were dimmed
Everyone in the crowd around me had their eyes closed
A sweet melody flooded through the remaining gap from the stage
There was a calmness, a sense of God's peace
just when I thought life couldn't get any more mysterious
I open my hazel brown eyes
and there was You...
sitting on the floor right in front of me,
as if somehow God purposely staged this moment,
there You were,
the boy in the black leather jacket,
my nostalgic heart jumped suddenly,
I could feel the long awaited tears creep into the corner of my eyes,
I was taken aback to my musical past,
today was His birthday... his birthday....
Oh Father God, why did you have to remind me?
It's been a year, you're 23 now and I'm 18,
why did You have to put this boy with the black leather jacket in front of me?
Don't you realize how hard it is to look back to that beautiful yet tearful heart day?
That day I saw Jesus through His deep brown eyes for the very first time,
His kindness,
His smile,
Our letters,
Your heart...
then the day where life tore Love apart...
that boy in the leather jacket was was had to be You...
To this day, I will never understand why God put "You" in front of me,
I don't believe in just "mere coincidences"
only "Divine Appointments"
so one heavenly day  "you will see some day
that all along the way
I was Yours to Hold..." (Skillet)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Scandalous Death of the God Breathed Soul

I've been wanting to write this post for the longest time...Since I've been at North Central University for exactly 1 MONTH....I've come to the sad conclusion that the musicians of NCU....are not who they claim to be....or at least not who I thought they were....Let me explain my music story....

So one of the main reasons I came to North Central University was because of their AMAZING out of this world music ministry program. Out of all the colleges I applied to (10 total)  NCU stuck out in the wise...Chapel is held Monday through Friday at NCU and then Praise gathering (PG) is held Wednesday evenings from 10pm-12am. (it's basically where you sing worship songs and pray for 2 hours) After realizing these facts I knew musically...or at least up until today, I was called to go to NCU. What I am about to say, may and will probably offend a few or most NCU musicians, so I want to apologize in advance before I express my UNSUGARCOATED perspective about how I feel about NCU's music program/ministries. I pray and hope that EVERY single NCU musician would get the chance to read this...So first of all, I personally believe worship arts should NEVER be a competition....Let me repeat this...I Aiste, believe that WORSHIP ARTS...should NEVER be a competition. If Jesus has placed the relentless passion on your heart to worship him through music, then you should pursue it confidently and don't let anyone tell you differently. I THOUGHT that NCU was a music college that would take you where you are at musically wither you "suck" are okay, or are mozart/beethoven level, and train you to be the worship leader you dreamed your entire life of becoming....Sadly, I found out recently this is not the case...Yes...I just said that...I recently tried out for ENTRY, it's this praise and worship band ministry at NCU....and you know what? DO YOU know what? I think ENTRY is a FREAKIN JOKE...WORSHIP ARTS SHOULD NEVER BE A COMPETITION IF JESUS HAS PLACED THE PASSION OF WORSHIPING HIM THROUGH MUSIC ON YOUR HEART. I'm sorry, but when I auditioned I felt SO intimidated...I was surrounded by music majors, and I'm just a worship arts minor....How fair is that? TO be judged musically to a music MAJOR when you are FREAKIN music MINOR...isn't that a little unfair, or am I just stupidly musically BLIND?  Imagine the students who tried out who aren't even majoring or minoring in music!

Another issue I wanted to address is the "STUCK UP NESS" of SOME NCU musicians...yes, dear NCU musicians I don't know if you've looked in a clear mirror lately, but your nose is "just a little" TOO HIGH. I realize there is a difference between MUSIC PERFORMANCE & WORSHIP ARTS majors....THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Don't assume just because someone is majoring in MUSIC that both are the same things...It is two COMPLETELY different music culture worlds. In the music performance world I realize that these musicians have been practicing there a** off since the day they came out of their mother's womb. DUH. I know that. I'm not stupid! I realize that music performers practice 24/7 365, they are under ENORMOUS music pressure, and they have not a single second to spare to sit around. AHMEN. MUSIC PERFORMANCE = PURE 100% Competition. That's all it is...that's all it EVER will be. I realize that. I've noticed that when I walk around NCU's campus I can tell when someone is a music performance major just by the cockiness of how they carry themselves. They walk by me, they never say Hi, never smile, ignore me like I'm nothing and the are THEE best. They hold their noses high. I'm NOT saying EVERY musician at NCU is like that...just some...So I came to this music college to be UPLIFTED IN CHRIST by the very musicians that make me feel intimidated  and are BRINGING ME DOWN, music confidence wise, and most importantly spiritually...OUCH.....ouch...ouch..=( After observing Chapel & PG services for a month, and since I've made friends with an ENDLESS amount of Christian musicians growing up, I can tell when a Christian musician is faking or staging their worship and when they are worshiping God with their genuine whole heart. I can see past your cute lil red dress, or your geeky nerd black musician glasses...I'm not STUPID...I know your type...VERY WELL....VERY WELL indeed. Do you realize that when I notice that you are staging and faking your worship during chapel & PG that YOU are actually OFFENDING ME, and helping me DRAW AWAY from God....sound Scary? AHMEN...but it's the sad reality...the REALLY SAD thing is that most of the NCU student body is BLIND...they don't see what I see...So you can fool the ENTIRE NCU student body...but YOU WILL NEVER fool me, Aiste...I see past your scandalous musician EYEZ... On the other hand, I just want to THANK all the genuine musicians on the worship teams at NCU who sing and play their instrument to Jesus "With Everything" that they have inside their beautiful transparent hearts. Your example has FOREVER inspired me, it has touched my heart & kissed my dear Russian soul. I will NEVER be able to thank you enough...seriously...THANK YOU for living up to what it means to be a true worship leader who LOVES Jesus, music & all the NCU people and the people beyond NCU's doors. THis brings me to my other point. Some music performance majors think they are HIGHER  than me, it's like pretty much RACIST, but in a musician sense if you know what I mean. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A MUSIC MAJOR DOES NOT MAKE YOU BETTER THAN ME OR ANYONE ELSE...just thought I'd remind you, YOU seem to have forgotten your ACTUAL place in this world....WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN GOD"S EYES WITHER YOU ARE A MUSICIAN, A STREET SWEEPER, AN ARTIST, A BUISNESS MAJOR, ETC. REALIZE YOUR PLACE....and FREAKIN STAY THERE.....
Now you dear Worship Arts majors....Since Worship Arts = Praising God with your heart or leading people in worship, the whole intention and mindset is different. Worship Arts in it's purest form is not a competition. So overall most worship majors ACTUALLY HAVE a heart, and are very compassionate, friendly, loving and are fun to be around. But at NCU even worship arts HAS BECOME a FREAKIN competition....SAD. DAY...makes me want to leave this freakin college that misled me in so many ways musically. OBVIOUSLY Music performance and worship arts is not a black and white field there are many GREY areas, many reasons, many exceptions....So I hope that my perspective of NCU's music culture makes sense to you and that it challenges your thinking in an unsugarcoated and honest way...

Trevor McNevan of the Christian Punk rock band FM STATIC says it best:
"And you can tell me,
That I can't make a difference 'cause I'm just one,
But one is all it takes to start it
And you can tell me,
That I can't change the world,
Because I'm too young,
But I won't stand here and be your target
And you can push me,
And try to knock me down, but I won't listen,
'Cause I've got nothing left to lose and,
You can hate me, for everything I'm not,
But it won't change this,
'Cause now that I'm here, I'm not moving!!!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Tribute to My Dear Eastern European/Russian Friends

For my cultural anthropology class I had to write this "newspaper article" giving advice to International students about how to adapt to the American college life culture....(I apologize in advance if any of this article may offend you...LOL =P) I hope you have fun reading this as much as I did!!!

Dear Eastern European/Russian friends,
Welcome to North Central University! I am so excited that you are here. I just wanted to offer some perspective of the cultural similarities and differences you will experience during college this year. First of all, if you haven’t already noticed, we Americans are very outgoing, talkative and we can’t seem to stop smiling. (Trust me, no matter how “European serious” you might be it will eventually rub off on you.) Secondly, I would like to address appearance/clothing issues. In the cities, some people truly do dress like you (black leather shoes, boots, skinny jeans, & a leather jacket) Others in America prefer to rock the sweatshirt, sweatpants, gym shorts, t shirt, tennis shoes, and even pajama pants look. I know to most of you the second style of dress is considered a European /Russians worst fashion nightmare. Thirdly, I’d like to tell you about the food here. You come from countries that have a lot of healthy cuisine. In America, obviously food culture has lost its place in some aspects and there are a lot of fast food restaurants. As for breads,  we mostly eat white bread. They don’t have your favorite dark black/heavy rye bread. You have to buy it at a specialty store. Also, high fructose corn syrup is in mostly EVERY processed food product, so be careful when you buy certain things. The NCU cafeteria has a great variety of healthy food selections. I think you will enjoy it’s cuisine over all. As for the NCU sub culture, everyone here is warm, friendly and welcome so don’t be shy to introduce yourself to new people. I know in Europe/Russia the people culture tends to be more reserved. At NCU you have your musicians, bible scholars, artists, business, and sports people; a wide variety of groups that share at least one thing in common; their passion for loving Jesus Christ. NCU has a very strong Christian community, which I believe you will learn to appreciate and come to love. As for the language, we like to use a lot of slang/street language so once you start hanging out with all of us you will catch on fairly quickly. The symbols here are overall the same as those you are used to. I hope you found this perspective insightful and encouraging. I’ll be praying that you have an AMAZING year at NCU and I can’t wait to meet you!
May God Always Bless You,
Your sister in Christ,
~Aistė Miškyntė

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bob Jack

A year ago on this day, I look back on how you blessed my life
I can't believe how much I've changed
I can't believe how much you've changed
I just wanted to thank you for how you touched my heart and kissed my soul
your mysterious scandalous brown eyes,
your kind smile,
your warm handshake,
I'll never forget you,
those sweet coffee dipped letters,
how we talked about God, this beautiful life, and our crazy adventurous selves,
I will never understand why God let things happen the way they did,
but I believe one day...I will look into your dreamy brown eyes once again,
and see Jesus through you for the very first time,
as if all those trials, and this unpredictable life never got in the way,
I just wanted to let you know
that if it wasn't for you and the words of love & hope you spoke into my life
I would not be who I am at this very moment
I have no words to say, at how thankful I am that God let me cross paths with someone as beautiful as you in this amazing life,
From the bottom of my UNrussian Lithuanian heart,
Thank you,
Bob Jack...

The Heartless Musician

Well, it's been since August 24th since I last posted a's been waaayyyy too long, but recently I have felt inspired to write once again...At this point in my life I am now officially a freshman at North Central University...So many amazing blessings and miracles have happened, I don't even know where to begin....
how about with what I like to personally call "Thee Heartless Musician"....So at North Central University, I'm going to be auditioning on vocals for their worship band called ENTRY. Entry is a praise & worship band that leads worship on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursdays in the smaller chapel room during the regular sanctuary chapel that happens 5 days a week at NCU...and as I was filling out my audition application, I came across a question that really lit my passionate musician heart on fire...and the question was....."Why do you want to be part of the Entry worship team?" and you can only imagined how I answered this question...this was my response... I call this my "Musician's Statement" "To say that I am very passionate about worship arts is a HUGE understatement...I LOVE IT BEYOND my crazy being! Growing up I was always that girl who looked up to other Christian musicians and was so truly inspired by them and their transparency of how they reflected Christ. I've met and made many musician friends/people over the years and I've been treated kindly by some.......AND been hurt by others... I want to sing/ show the love of Christ to every beautiful dear sister & brother in Christ that God blesses me to cross paths with in this amazing life. I also aspire to be that Christian musician who is transparent, down to earth, and real with people...AND be EVERYTHING that all the other musicians were NOT to me growing up..." 
 After I wrote this thought out I was reminded why I do what I do with my music life...I realized that my passion for worship arts and Christian music is to reach my generation, especially my European/Russian generation for Christ. I want to be my crazy awesome "Lithuanian/Russian" self and love every single beautiful dear sister & brother in Christ that God blesses me to meet and walk life together with through my passion for music. Then I was also taken aback by remembering all those musicians I've met and seen in my life, who had inspired me....and others who totally disgusted me... I realized that when I die and leave this earth, God IS NOT going to say "GREAT music job BOB, you totally beat Suzy, Mark & Fred in every possible musical aspect, especially with your sick guitar solos... you were the best of the best, I am SO proud of you!"...ARe you kidding me? So this means that being a musician on this earth is SO MUCH more than being the best vocalist, electric guitarist, acoustic guitarist, bassist, drummer, flautist, you name it...But the sad reality is dear friends is that even some of.. those so called "Christian" musicians have let the whole "I'm the greatest musician ever FAME" thing get to their heads and beyond...I'm not saying all, but lately I've sadly noticed this recent trend...Personally, it really offends me. I don't appreciate musicians who think they are better than you JUST BECAUSE they may be a music major or they let their Beethoven music skills define who they are. I feel as if most music majors carry around this natural culturally inherited persona in which they are just downright stuck up! Am I stupidly blind or something, or is this not the dirt earth reality? I've been involved with Christian music since I was 8 years old, I've been to an endless amount of Christian concerts, so I believe I have my share of thoughts to elaborate on. I'm the type of person who believes that EVERY SINGLE PERSON who God has blessed with a passion for music has something to offer to the music world. But I feel as if society in general even among the Christian music society only seems to care about "the best of the best" musicians and doesn't give others any chance at all....I'm sorry, but that just doesn't reflect the body of Christ. I believe EVERYONE should be included and everyone who has a music passion should get a chance to share the God breathed melodies that the Creator has ever so gently placed on their precious heart. I feel as if this whole music fame thing, is practically an AMERICAN thing. What if someone had a passion to start a praise & worship band in the poorest area of Ethiopia? Nobody over there is going to care at how overly skilled you are in your voice or instrument...the only thing they will care about is how you LOVED them as your brother & sister in Christ as you shared your passionate heart through music....So the "I'm better than you because I'm a music major and I have the musical skills of Beethoven", is pathetically...absolutely....WORTHLESS. I know this may sound really in your face, but I don't sugar coat the areas of life I am very passionate about...So my challenge I leave you with dear friend is this...What is your "Musician's Statement", and what are your musical intentions at the end of the day?...