Puzzle Date Night


Last night, Tab and I:

  • Turned off the TV
  • Broke out the card table
  • Grabbed some chairs
  • Fired up Spotify
  • And filled up a cup full of assorted chocolates (the most important part)

We then proceeded to open a 300 piece puzzle.

Paris Patisserie Puzzle

Our puzzle date had begun!

Finished Puzzle

Two hours later, Tab and I finished the puzzle. Such a great date idea! Big thanks to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, for their puzzle date night Christmas gift.

Midweek Design: Photoshop and Daigle


Last night, I unleashed my Photoshop powers and created some slides for my church. Enjoyed listening to Lauren Daigle’s Look Up Child album while working.

Christian radio about killed Lauren Daigle for me by repeatedly playing her older music, ALL THE TIME. Daigle’s new album is fantastic though. Drawing vocal comparisons to Adele, I appreciate Lauren’s thoughtful lyrics. Give her a listen below:

Also, here are a few of the images I cooked up for church:

Welcome to The MAC

Thanksgiving 2018

The MAC Family Worship Service

Hope ya’ll are having a fantastic Wednesday! Stay warm.

Wii Music – Music of the Night


Tabitha, Wyatt, and I played Wii Music for the first time. Our jam session ended in a battle.


Mii Maestro, a minigame within the game, allows players to use the Wii Remote as a conductor’s baton. Your repressed childhood dream of conducting an orchestra:


At the end of each musical piece, the game rates your conducting ability. Game on, Hall family.

The fog of music has erased my mind of whatever score Wyatt received. My own brilliant performance of conducting Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was spectacular. I knew that I had nailed it. I also knew that there was no way that Tabitha was going to best my score of 74. I was wrong.

Not only did she beat my score with an 80, her inspired rendition received a thunderous applause. Mii applause.

My pride shattered. How could I have been schooled in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? Wait, did I just type that?

I spent $0.97 on Wii Music. Worth every penny for a small moment of friendly competition. Now to find batteries for the other Wii Remotes. Multiplayer awaits.

Fostering the Soul


I am a sucker for a good beat. Any song with a catchy rhythm and rhyme is guaranteed to get stuck in my head for days on end. At times I take pleasure in being able to hit this mental repeat button, savoring the melodies over and over; other times I just shudder and wish that the song would go away. Music can be poison to the soul.

Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to Foster the People’s debut album Torches. The album paints a melodic landscape of smooth summer sounds tinged with a subversive darkness. The band’s career launching song, “Pumped Up Kicks”, best displays the bands musical groove/dance with the devil. Below is a sample of the song’s “happy” chorus:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

“Pumped Up Kicks” tells the dark story of a kid taking his dad’s gun and going on a shooting spree. At first listen, you’d never be able to tell that that is what lead singer Mark Foster is singing about. By the time you’ve looked up the lyrics, it is too late. The satisfying whistling of the chorus has already embedded itself. Whether the song is about raising awareness or celebrating teen gun violence doesn’t matter. What matters is what is now worming its way into your soul.



Two weeks ago, my church hosted the California Baptist University Choir and Orchestra. While not normally my type of music, I found the choir and orchestra to be absolutely beautiful! One of the songs they sang, Alleluia, has been stuck in my head since then. The chorus for the song is incredible! Almost haunting in a way… This morning I woke up with the song in my head…so I hunted it down on the youtubes. Enjoy!

On the Verge


So here we are, standing on the verge of another week; another week of the mundane mixed with unexpected adventures.

Went to church today and listened to the California Baptist University Choir and Orchestra. The group played and sang quite well! I enjoyed the experience most when the choir members came out and sang a few songs mixed-in with the audience. Talk about stereo sound!


The rest of my weekend was very relaxed. Saturday night my wife and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1. Overall, the movies pacing, intimate moments, and build-up to the final confrontation and battles made it a thousand times better than the dreadful Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film. Seriously. I had thought that the Harry Potter film franchise was sunk after watching Prince. Thankfully director David Yates found his bearings and cranked out one of the best Harry Potter films yet!

Otherwise, I didn’t have much time for video games this weekend. I did however have a chance to sit down and read some more of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. The political intrigue has finally begun!

So here we are again on the verge of a brand new week. Are you ready?



A recent run-in with a game developer got thinking me about game creators/ developers and the lens with which they view the world.

Worldview – “A worldview describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.”

As a Christian, I view the world through the lens of the Bible and the man Jesus Christ. Within this framework, I make judgement calls and live life. Everything I process and believe is tainted, per se, by my Christian worldview. What happens though when a game creator/ developer offers a rival lens with which to view the world? For example, say they view the world through a “patriot”-driven, anti-government, atheist lens. What then? Would all the games they potentially work on be flavored by their personal opinions? To some extent, yes.

I write this today in hopes of bringing about awareness. Christian or not, we should all be evaluating the things we take in, be it in books, movies, music, or video games.

iTunes Preview Times


The increased music preview times, that iTunes has added recently, are a real hit with me. I love how you can really get a feel for the music and the song being previewed. Kudos to Apple and iTunes for only making the listening experience better. 🙂

*Please note that this is not a paid endorsement by Apple. This is simply a note from a user who appreciates the little things in life.



It was October 24th 1995 and with little fan fare at the time the world of Christian Music changed forever and all it took was the release of a little blue CD. This Disc started the formation of a tidal wave over the Christian Music scene and would ultimately change the way the entire world saw Christian Music. Up until October 24th, Christian Music was a sideshow, making a few crossovers with songs from Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, but after the release of this CD and the 2 other albums that were released in the next 5 months, everything changed.

What watershed, paradigm altering album was this? The first Jars of Clay Album. Almost 15 years ago (yes we are getting that old) that little disc of 10 tracks and 1 bonus track changed everything.That album opened the door to the possibility of a Christian group making music about faith and God that could actually be better than secular music. It was a mind blowing thought that someone would actually prefer to listen to Christian music because it was better musically and lyrically instead of listening to it just because they didn’t want to hear the vulgarity that can be present in secular music.

2 months later, the tidal wave grew in strength with the release of an almost artwork less disc from a group who up until this point was a B team act that wasn’t good enough to head line shows. This album began a cultural phenomenon inside of youth groups all across the country and possible the world. Yes, The Jesus Freak Album from DC Talk was the Van Gogh to Jars of Clays Picasso. Painting with broad brush strokes with a heavy rock anthem (at least it seemed heavy at the time) this album pavedthe way for the metal and punk scenes that would later form in the Christian sub-cultures.

In February of 1996 the final push of the tidal wave that was the golden era of Christian music landed from arguably the most anticipated group of the 3. Take Me to Your Leader from the Newsboys showed everyone that we could rock just as hard at concerts as any secular band. The Newsboys brought so much energy that they were picked up by Virgin Records becoming the first Christian group to be picked up by a secular label.

In the last 15 years there are a lot of bands that have followed in the footsteps of these unlikely pioneers who were willing to take a risk in an industry that was dying of sameness and complacency. With bands like Switchfoot and others making big crossovers into the secular world our tidal wave has never been as high as it was back in 1995. While his aim was different I think that Hunter S. Thompson said it best, “And that, I think, was the handle – that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old andevil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had allthe momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later,you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”

We, the youth of Christian music, had finally tasted a win against the forces of secular music, and our world and eyes were never the same again.
Jacob Ingalls

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