Road Trip Mixtapes:
Vegas, Red Bull, and Faith On a Detour
by J. Churchill Morris
A refreshing new book that I am delighted to tell you about is Road Trip Mixtapes: Vegas, Red Bull, and Faith On A Detour written by J. Churchill Morris (doesn’t that totally sound like an author’s name). Morris is an Emmy-nominated songwriter, performer, and producer. He’s originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but now proudly calls Franklin, Tennessee his home base. He’s also a partner at Journey Church in Franklin, TN and serves on the experiential design team. He’s a bright light and a great creative attribute to the Church’s mission to glorify Jesus.
This is definitely a book that any adult older than twenty will enjoy. The book covers personal stories of failure, grief, self-absorption, and heartache — questions we all have faced at some point in our life. Morris lends a compassionate and patient yet reasonable voice to extremely difficult situations we all face as adults with a witty sense of humor and interesting Bible references along the way. You will literally laugh out loud, scratch your head, and even shed a tear or two along this journey. It’s not a heavy read, so it’s perfect for the ADHD-driven mind of our culture today.
The “About the book” reads as follows:
“Observing human behavior, it seems so often we see people through the lens of economic exchange. We measure the worth of a relationship much like a commodity and consider how much time to invest. With all of this relational management, spontaneity is lost and, more significantly, so is dignity.”
To me that alone is a powerful enough point to make a person grab this book and get lost in it.
What made you decide to write this book at this point in your life?
As you know my name is J. Churchill Morris so people would joke with me and say hey man you should write a book. So maybe that’s where the idea got planted. For me really it was kind of an accident. I was going through some struggles with work and career changes and I had found myself asking God, “What am I doing in this season of my life?” So I started taking all these questions I had about God and writing them on a white board on my office, and a close friend of mine suggested that I blog my way through and just post a question a day until I was finished. So I did that and at the end of a couple of months of doing that I had a stack of papers to sift through and that became the foundation and the earliest manuscript for the book. So I didn’t really necessarily set out to write a book, but I found as I was blogging with my questions that they were resonating with people and it seemed to connect. So it all started from there.
Could you tell us about your work with Journey Church in Franklin?
Journey Church is a great church. I have been there six years now and we have got lots of amazing people, all sons and daughters of God, an amazing worship team, and Pastor Jamie George who has a book called Love Well — it is coming out next month. So I am surrounded by this really incredibly talented, insightful group of people. But a big part of what Journey is about is just story. There is a big focus on the Biblical narrative and doing life with other people and loving each other well and getting to know the stories of the people around you. So that really affected me and my writing and just renewed my faith over the past few years. We are more than just, “Hey, what do you do or where are you from?” but, “Hey, actually, what have you been through and who is God allowing you to become?”
Share with us a little about your budding music career?
I have been a touring musician in some form or fashion since I was 18-years-old. I have been to 48 states and six countries, and I have toured with mainstream bands and Christian bands. I have been a musician on some of that; I have been more on the tech side as well. So I have kind of gotten to do a little bit of all of it with pretty much every one, from B.O.B. the rapper to Natalie Branton and a lot of stuff in between, which is really fun for me to do — to see how different people treat the people that work for them and the people on the road and their fans. It has really been a fun experience.