Song Altars: “In the Dust” by Brandon Heath

Song Altars: In the Dust by Brandon Heath

Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelite people constructed altars. Altars not so much for God as for themselves. They built altars in places where God had delivered them, so that whenever they passed back across those particular locations, they could see the victorious altars of yesteryear and remember. Remember the victory, remember the Victor. Last summer I helped construct my own physical altar while hiking a Pacific coast trail with some beloved brothers. Several months later, I unwittingly passed that same altar and remembered. Today, I start a new blogging series called “Song Altars,” featuring pivotal songs I’ve encountered along my journey. You might call such songs the “soundtrack of my life.” Here’s one that first hit me in the fall of 2012 during an uncertain … Continue reading…

Wandering Wednesday #16 – Newport Beach, CA

Thomas Mark Zuniga: Wandering Wednesday in Newport Beach, CA

Gosh, I’ve missed wandering with y’all. But guess what?? IT’S WANDERING WEDNESDAY TODAY. ALL. DAY. I’m going to try and make my video wanderings a more regular routine again. Hold me accountable, guys! I’ve honestly missed the intentionality of wandering to new places, and I’ve missed communicating with y’all beyond merely digitized words. Today’s wandering is pretty awesome. One of my favorites. I ventured to the coast of Newport Beach and literally walked out as far as I could! You’ll just have to watch to see. Oh, and a super special surprise guest makes an appearance midway through my wandering. You WON’T want to miss that. So without further ado, take it away Me! What I’m wondering on Wandering Wednesday: What’s the furthest north/south/east/west you’ve ever … Continue reading…

Onething 2013: How I Viewed the Christian Body Changed

Onething 2013

For the last dwindling months of 2013, I kept a secret that only me, myself, and I knew: after Christmas spent with family, I’d fly to Kansas City for the International House of Prayer’s Onething 2013 conference. I received a lot of flack for my ongoing travel secret, inside my family and out, but can you really blame me? When your life becomes a literal open book, it’s refreshing to regain a secret or two. I’d listened to IHOP’s worship music for years, and I’d always wanted to attend one of their annual young adult conferences. I just never felt courageous or “random” enough to attend Onething — until this year, that is. Onething 2013: The Christian Body is Huge I knew 30,000 people would … Continue reading…

My OneWord365 for 2014: Hunger

Photo courtesy The Rocketeer, Creative Commons

If you go on The Twitter, you’ll find the nifty hashtag #OneWord365 that many twitterers across the globe have embraced in lieu of traditional, bulleted, often impossible-to-keep New Year’s resolutions. OneWord365 trains you to view your upcoming year through the lens of a single word and to simply live out each of your 365 days to the fullest extent of your OneWord365. Here’s how my OneWord365 for 2013, IDENTITY, shaped my year: I wrote a book that examined and exposed the core of who I am – the struggles and redemption moments alike. I gradually blogged more vulnerably about my identity. Rather than wallow in self-pity about not returning to Camp Ridgecrest last summer, I embraced my youthful identity with part-time positions at summer school and … Continue reading…

Where I’m Wandering These Days

The Wanderers' Way: A Thomas Mark Zuniga Newsletter

Quick post today! I just wanted to update y’all on my many winter wanderings. A couple days ago I flew from Los Angeles to Philadelphia by way of Houston and NOT Belize. That will be a fun travel tale to tell in the new year (you might have caught some of the drama on my Twitter feed recently). When it was all said and done, though, I landed in snowy slushy Philadelphia and surprised my beloved grandparents with my unexpected arrival. I don’t think my grandmother’s jaw has finished dropping yet. Over the coming days, I’ll be gallivanting about Pennsylvania and Maryland with some long lost (and yet made!) friends, and then I’ll be returning to the City of Brotherly Love-ish Area for Christmas. AND THEN. … Continue reading…

Wandering Wednesday #15: Fullerton, CA

Downtown Fullerton

Today is a great day. I don’t care if I get stuck in Los Angeles traffic for hours or lose my favorite watch. (Oh wait, that second thing already happened.) Today is WANDERING WEDNESDAY. At long last. But it’s not just “another” Wandering Wednesday. It’s quite possibly my most pivotal Wandering Wednesday adventure yet. First off, it’s a Wandering Wednesday featuring my current hometown of Fullerton, California. Guys, I LOVE this city. It’s amazing. I hope this video helps you understand just a little bit of my love for Fullerton. But beyond the excitement of sharing my home with you, I have some big news to share. HUGE NEWS. You’ll have to watch until the end of the video when said news is revealed. I … Continue reading…

My Storyline Conference Lessons: Suffering is Good

Thomas Mark Zuniga and Donald Miller

Last week, I blogged about my impressions from my recent trek to Nashville for the Storyline conference. Storyline is an organization run by Donald Miller and friends; its sole purpose, to help people of all shapes and sizes and ages find their subplots in God’s story. Moving beyond those first impressions, I learned a thing or two. Here’s the second of this two-part Storyline recap! Storyline Conference Lesson #1: Clear is Good A good story is a clear story. If I had to pare all the quotes and all the notes from Storyline into a single line, a single lesson, it would be that: good stories — good lives — are clear about what they are, what they’re not, and where they’re going. And any good … Continue reading…

My Storyline Conference Impressions: People Are Beautiful

TMZ at the 2013 Storyline Conference in Nashville

A couple weeks ago, I attended my first Storyline conference — a three-day escapade in Nashville, Tennessee. Storyline is an organization run by Donald Miller and friends; its sole purpose is to help people find their subplots in God’s story. From Day 1, Moment 1, I was just so jazzed to be there. Here’s part 1 of a two-part recap from my time in the Music City! Everyone’s here. That was legitimately my first impression as I walked up to the sign-in table and received my giant paper-bag of goodies — complete with nametag, session binder, workbook, postcards, and even an official Storyline-emblazoned WATERBOTTLE. Oh man, I love free stuff. But back to the whole people thing — seriously, every age group and demographic seemed … Continue reading…

Introvert Issues: Why I Weary

TMZ with Midnight Wandering painting

I’m weary. Good-weary, but weary nonetheless. Two days ago, I returned from a ten-day pilgrimage to Nashville with subsequent Tennessean stops in Franklin and Chattanooga. The journey continued onward with Georgian escapades in Watkinsville, Athens, Milledgeville, and Helen. It wasn’t so much the constant moving around that wore me out. It was the people. Good people, but people nonetheless. From the Storyline conference to visits with friends, family, and fans, the last 10 days utterly exhausted me. Even upon returning to southern California two days ago, I hit the ground running with social meals and birthday gatherings and – I just needed to get away. I skipped church last night and went to a coffee shop for several hours instead. Came home and fell asleep by 8:30, … Continue reading…

When Life Gives You Pissy Mattresses…

Pissy Mattress

Since flocking my East Coast nest three years ago, I’ve felt like something of a wanderer. A vagabond. Beyond my lack of a stable home or a “big boy job,” one particular element of my westward move has lent to such a wandering feeling. It’s been my consistent lack of a bed. Think about it: beyond a car, beyond a job, beyond even a house itself, what makes you feel grounded? You come home after a long day at school or work or multiple coffee shop escapades, and you put down your backpack briefcase purse, and after some dinner or TV or fireside reading, what do you do? You plop down into your bed and you stay there until the sun returns to your hemisphere. When … Continue reading…