The Wrap Up - June

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The Wrap Up - June

What I read: Nothing. I was lazy in June. I have not finished any of the books that I have started. Grrrrr. I promise next month will be different.

Where I've Played: Luverne, MN ...you stole our hearts. There is a long story behind this show, to long to share right now (I plan on writing a whole post about it). We played an outdoor show in the center of town to help some churches celebrate the end of their week of service. It was hot, sweaty, but oh so fun. We met some of the most incredible people too. Check back for the full story soon.

What God has been saying to me: “I am never outdone in generosity”. I have had several moments over the past month or so where I have completely doubted God and his ability to provide for certain things in my life. I’m not sure why or where the doubt comes from, but it was present and really driving me crazy. Sure enough, when I least expected it, God moved, blindsided me, and reminded me of how faithful He is and how He always has MORE to give us, MORE than we could ever expect. If you are where I was (and probably will be again at some point) be patient, hold fast, He has something great for you, trust his timing.

Family life: Katie is a teacher, so she has the summers off. June was a slow month of travel for me, so we spent a lot of our weekends together as a family, which was awesome. Two of our favorite spots to spend our Saturday mornings are at Hygga in lowertown, St. Paul or the lakes over in Minneapolis. Katie and I also celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary! Holla!

What I am listening too: I am still on the jazz train. I know, I know... don’t get mad though :) I have also been diggin Ruslan, a west coast rapper from San Diego.

Music Happenings: The record is so close to being done! I will be getting rough mixes to listen to soon, and from there all we have to do is make a few last tweaks and we should be good to go. I am currently picking which songs will serve as the “singles” off the record, as well as putting together a release strategy. I am still booking out my tour for the fall as well!

 

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New Music. New Tour.

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New Music. New Tour.

Okay, so I have a new record coming out, and this will be the first time I have ever gone on tour to promote a record! We would love to come to your city! If you know of any church, school, youth group, bar, backyard, etc. that would be interested in hosting my band for a night of hip-hop & worship, shoot me an email, we’d love to make it happen.

We do have a few specific dates we are looking to fill. We will be passing through Kansas City on Monday night, October 15th and would love to play a show there. We will also be in Texas for a week, and we have two dates we still need to fill; Tuesday, October 16th & Thursday, Oct. 18. Again, if you know of anyone who would be interested in hosting us for a show, please shoot me a message! I know Texas is a big state, but we are willing to drive any where.

New music, new videos, new merch, new blog posts… all coming soon! Including an early look at the album artwork for this upcoming record.

Talk soon. Peace!

CF

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The Wrap Up - April & May 2018

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The Wrap Up - April & May 2018

 

I missed a month! I am so sorry. We hit a few bumps in the road as a family which caused me to put this wrap up thing on hold for a month, so I am going to try to combine two months into one… here goes.

 

 

What I've learned: Life doesn’t slow down. It really doesn’t. But we can find time to be slow in the craziness of it. As a family, we have been dealing with some “family logistic issues” regarding our work schedules and having Hadley in daycare. I won’t get into all the details… but it became very important for my wife and I to be intentional about finding time to slow down, to talk, and just be with each other… more on this below.

What I read: I’ve had my nose in a couple books recently. I really just need to commit to one and finish it. I am still reading “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” which is rocking my world. I really want to be an awesome dad; spiritually, emotionally, all of the above… I have a lot of work to do. I also have started on “Orthodoxy” by G.K Chesterton. Whoooo… this one will be a slow read for me. Lastly, I am re-reading one of my favorite books of all time “The Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen.

Where I've Played: It has been a slow two months. In April we had a show at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and in May we had a show in DePere, WI. I had never been to either of these cities. Check out my YouTube channel for highlights from each show.

What God has been saying to me: “Slow Down. Find Me”. This really ties in to what I started saying above about dealing with how fast paced life is. Everyday will present us with challenges, but everyday also presents us with new opportunities to encounter God. I have a choice each day. I can be swept up in the current of tasks and to-do lists. Or I can stand my ground, and find five minutes of silence to just be with God. This has been so helpful for me. I have been trying to do it at the beginning of the day, before the craziness ensues. It has been bringing me a lot of peace. I encourage you to try it. Five minutes of silence.

Family life: Awesome. Katie and I are loving life as parents. Hadley is almost 11 months old and just a rock star. Hadley’s favorite things to do are dance and hold things in her mouth. There is video evidence of her dancing, both arms up in the air, while holding one of her own shoes in her mouth. It is hysterical. We are also on the house hunt, so pray for that!

What I am listening too: Strangely enough, I have been listening to a lot of Jazz. Also, Andy Mineo dropped a new record called “The Arrow” which incredible. My favorite track is “Clarity”. If you ever have any musical suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments below! I love discovering new music!

Music Happenings: April & May have been full on "album production" months. I spent five days in Nashville tracking all of my vocals and networking with other musicians, producers, etc. It was a really life-giving week. This record has two different features on it, as well as some other backing vocals, all of which reside in different states. It has been a really fun challenge trying to get everyone to track their parts in their own respective hometowns, and then ship everything off to Nashville to be mixed into the final product. Guys, I am REALLY excited about this record. More on that in the June wrap up.

 

 

Looks like we made it! As I write this, I am thinking about all that has happened in June that I want to update you on. Good news! June is almost over, so I will be sitting down soon to write “the wrap up”. Check back in a few weeks! Thanks for following along on this crazy musical journey! Peace.

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The Wrap Up - March 2018

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The Wrap Up - March 2018

March will always go down as one of my favorite month's of the year... why? St Patrick's Day of course! This month was jammed packed with lots of friends & family time. Read on...

What I've learned: Patience is a daily choice. When I wake up everyday, I have to make a mental choice to be patient. Our world moves so fast, and I have noticed that the expectations I have for myself, my God, my family...even just my life in general move even faster. Growing in patience is not something that I necessarily want to do everyday, but I know it I need it.

What I read: This month I read a book called "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It is a fictional novel about a young shepherd boy in search of his Personal Legend. If you are one who is chasing a dream, trying to achieve a goal, or looking to find your purpose in life, this book is for you. "The Alchemist" both challenged me and encouraged me! I will leave you with this quote:

"Tell your heart that fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

Where I've Played: This month took me up North! I played a show at the "Lift Jesus Higher" Youth Rally in Toronto, Ontario, as well as for a Middle School Youth Rally in Bemidji, MN. Although very different venues, both were a ton of fun. Whether we play for 2,000 people (in Toronto) or for 200 (in Bemidji), we give them the exact same show. I am so passionate about bringing people an authentic, high-energy performance, regardless of the number of people in attendance.

What God has been saying to me: Be Still. Just be still. This is hard. I feel like I always have to be doing something; writing a song, booking a show, networking, etc. And well, I kind of do, but I also can't let busyness fill all the space in my schedule that God should be occupying instead. Trusting God only works if you give God the space in your schedule to work. Sometimes I get so caught up in my to-do list that I don't leave room for Him to do anything. So this month was a month of learning how to listen, how to be still and let God move in whatever way He wants to in my life. 

Family life: Oh man was it a fun month. First off, we threw an awesome St. Patrick's Day Party (if I do say so myself). We had an open house all day, welcoming family, friends, and even some strangers in to our home to celebrate the great St. Patrick and our much cherished Irish Heritage. The menu included Irish sausage, potato leek soup, honey mustard corned beef, scones of all kinds, Irish soda bread, Irish coffee, Guinness and more. It was a day of feasting! If you live in the St. Paul area, hit me up on the contact page, you may just get an invite next year :). March was also the month in which we embarked on our first family vacation to Florida! Katie, Hadley, myself and some of our closest family and friends took a trip down to Naples for a week. It was awesome. Hadley had her first pool experience, and, well, seeing that it is still snowing in Minnesota right now, she got her first real dose of warm sunshine. She loved it.

What I am listening too: Social Club Misfits, Beacon Light, Kevi, Lunasa, The High Kings, Dervish to name a few...

Music Happenings: My new album "Skyscrapers" is underway. We are currently in production with my team down in Nashville. I can't wait for you to hear these songs. There are plans being made for a few music videos and an end of summer/fall tour. If you would like me to come to your town, hit me up! Fill out the form on the contact page and lets talk.

And that's a wrap! If you are reading this and have not subscribed to my email list, please do! You will get my monthly "newsletter" which includes announcements about new shows, music, and of course, this "Wrap Up". 

Talk to you soon!

 

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The Wrap Up - February 2018

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The Wrap Up - February 2018

Dang, February was kind of crazy. It's already a week or two in to March and I am just now getting this wrap up out to you all. March & April will definitely be slower. I will not be traveling as much (which is great for my family and I) because I am working on a new record! That's right. New music is only a few months away! More on that later... keep reading...

What I've learned: Generosity always wins. I think some day I am going to write a book with this as the title. I have been so convicted of this simple truth. This month I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people both on the road and here in the Twin Cities. And every time I have been so struck by how generous people are, how much they want to encourage me and see me win! That's not the norm in today's culture. I want to challenge you today. Be generous. Be generous with your time, your money, your home, your encouragement, whatever you have to give, give more. You will be glad you did. Generosity always wins. Always.

What I read: This month I read a book called "Healing" by Mary Healy. It is an amazing book talking about the healing power of God and how our heavenly Father desires our healing and complete restoration on a daily basis. One thing that I haven't been able to stop thinking about is this: if I don't believe in a God powerful enough to heal the sick today, then whats the point? What do I actually believe in? This book has been stretching my faithfulness and boldness in prayer. I highly recommend it.

Where I've Played: If you've been following me at all on social media, you know that this month we had the opportunity to open for David Crowder on a three show run in the Carolinas. It was an incredible experience. We drove with all of our gear from the negative temperatures of Saint Paul to the sunny land of the south! In total, we drove 2,700 miles, spent over 40 hours in a van, and drank enormous amounts of coffee. I learned so much on this trip. I got a small glimpse in to what the tour life is like, I learned how to manage a band, deal with major technical difficulties, entertain and pray with a totally new and different crowd of people, and so much more. In a few days I will be posting a blog post about it here on my website, so check back next week to hear more about that trip and what it was like.

What God has been saying to me: Psalm 116: "The Lord preserves the simple". This phrase has been at the forefront of my prayer this month. I have been trying to simplify my prayer life lately, spending more time in silence and less time talking. I'll let you know how it goes :)

Family life: Hadley is almost 7 months old! Both Katie and Hadley flew out to South Carolina to catch the last show of our three-show run with Crowder. It was awesome to have them there. Unfortunately, Hadley fell asleep right before the concert started. I guess she wasn't that interested. She probably was like, "whatever dad, I can just hear you play your songs at the kitchen table... I'm going to bed". Not only did Katie and Hadley come, but my mom, my sister Hannah and sister-in-law Theresa came down and followed us around for all three shows! From giving feedback on our set, to setting up and tearing down our merch table, to filming and taking pictures, it was so awesome to have the at every show. Truly a blessing. I honestly don't think I could have done it without them.

What I am listening too: Mat Kearney, Filous, Andrew Belle, Abraham Gross.

Random Thought: Anytime I meet someone new or see someone I haven't talked to in a while, they always ask, "How are you, how is life?". My go to response, every time, is "life is busy, good, but busy." Honestly, my life is so much more than just "busy". My life is awesome. God is doing great things, and it is only busy because I have been blessed with a ton of amazing opportunities. So for March and every month after, I am making an intentional effort to not use the word "busy" any more. My life isn't just busy, my life is awesome. I need to be better at embracing that and communicating it. I am tired of being defined by my "busyness".

Have a great rest of March! Happy almost St. Patrick's Day! Looking forward to touching base at the beginning of April. Peace!

 

 

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The Wrap Up - January 2018

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The Wrap Up - January 2018

January has been a great month, most of which Katie and I have spent trying to find a rhythm being new parents. Notice how I said "rhythm", not "routine", we have absolutely no routine. Ha, But that's ok! Hadley is the best thing that has ever happened to us, and every day she surprises us with something new. See below for more details.

This new year has brought with it a lot of exciting new opportunities for my music career. Currently, we are just two weeks away from going on the road for a three show run opening for Crowder. It's gonna a be a blast. I have also been hard at work crafting the new songs for my next project with my drummer/producer Abraham Gross. More on that next month.

So as promised... below is "The Wrap Up". This is the first edition... so I am sure this will change from month to month, as it should!

What I've learned: I have learned that people have so much to offer... and most don't even know it. I have started asking random strangers "What can you teach me? What is one thing you have learned in your life that you wish to pass on?" Whether it is in an airport, at a coffee shop, on the sidewalk, or at the grocery store, I walk past hundreds of people every day, and I can't help but think that I could learn something from each and every one of them. They all have different careers, different beliefs, different circumstances... all of which I could learn from. To date, I have asked about 15 different people, and I have learned something different each time. It has been amazing. People also feel so valued and cared for when you ask for their opinion/advice. I encourage you to give it a try! Be careful, you might learn something.

What I read: This month I read a book called "Own The Moment" by Carl Lentz, Pastor of Hillsong Church NYC. Talk about an inspiring dude. His willingness to truly encounter the human person, love them, and hear their story is really something else. I highly recommend it. I can promise you it will change the way you interact with others humans from the time you rise until they time you go to bed. 

What God has been saying to me: "Steadfast". This word has been popping up everywhere in prayer. I pray with the Psalms every day, and the steadfast love of God is a constant theme throughout.

Family life: Katie and I are learning every day what it means to be new parents and it's a chaotic blast! Hadley is the coolest person ever. She is now sitting up (still with a little wobble to her), loves the song "King of My Heart" by John Mark McMillan, smiles all the time, and laughs at me every morning as I do pushups.

What I am listening too: Dermot Kennedy, Ty Brasel & David Hazeltine to name a few...

That's all I got for January. If there is more you would like to hear about from my life, let me know in the comments below. Check back on March 1st for the February "Wrap Up". Peace!

 

 

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I place my hope in the Giver...

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I place my hope in the Giver...

I place my hope in the giver, not in the gifts that I have been given. 

This line has been a driving force in my life throughout these last three years. As I continue to grow as an artist and build a career, I am more and more convinced that if I tried to do this on my own I would fail. If I leaned solely on my song writing ability, or just on my guitar playing, or just on my ability to entertain, they would all fail me. There is a purpose in everything I do, and that purpose is to point hearts back to the Giver. If I take Him out of it, than all of this is for nothing. 

And this goes beyond just my music career; my marriage, my friendships, my ministry; if you take out the Giver, you take out the purpose, and you are left with nothing to lean on, nothing to motivate you, you are left with no hope. 

So let us place all of our hope in the Giver, and not in the gifts we've been given. May our joy be found in Him and Him alone. 

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GUAM

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GUAM

This coming April I will be going to Guam. Guam?! Yes, Guam. I am just as surprised as you are! I am not going on vacation or to going to see family, rather I have been asked to come speak and perform at their Diocesan Youth Rally and Young Adult Ministry.  Guam is no small trip, it takes roughly twenty four hours to get there, with a layover in both Chicago and Tokyo. I may have time to write a whole new album on the plane ride alone :).  

I truly believe it is not coincidence that I was asked to be a part of this event in Guam, I trust the Lord is going to do some incredible things on this trip. I want to bring your prayer requests with me. If there is anything in your life that you would like me to pray for, please, click over to my contact page and drop me an email. Every day I am in Guam I will set aside time to pray specifically for you and your intentions. There is no request to great or to small! 

I am going to do my best to document this trip so as to be able to share it all with you when I return. Please pray for me, for my travels, and for my family while I am away.

Cheers!

CF

If you don't know where Guam is, click here, and then zoom out! 

 

 

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"Mountains" peaks at #11 on iTunes!

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"Mountains" peaks at #11 on iTunes!

In a world where streaming music is becoming the primary way people listen to music, I was shocked to wake up the morning of my album release a few weeks ago and find "MOUNTAINS" sitting at #11 on the iTunes charts. 

Of course I was hoping for the album to break into the charts, especially after "Close To You" peaked at #9 back in 2014. But people don't buy music like they use to, so I had to temper my excitement and expectations in the weeks leading up to this release. I had to remind myself why I do this, why I write, and what I hope to accomplish with this album. 

I write music to inspire the listener to live a more faithful life. I write music to open the eyes of a listener to a God they may never have before experienced. I write music to bring hope and joy into people's lives. I write music to challenge people to live with purpose. I write music because I feel like I have a story to share, and I want to invite others into that story. 

So the iTunes charts, well, it is a very clear sign that what I am doing is having an impact and people are being moved by the songs that I am writing, but I could go on without it, because charts change, and eventually, fade away. But real LIFE with our Creator; true joy, passion, purpose; these things never change. If my music can in some small way bring even just one person in touch with who they were created to be, then I've had a successful career. 

I am humbled by your support. Let's continue on this journey together. I am very excited for what 2017 has in store. 

Cheers!

CF

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