Coachella Culture

So if you didn’t know, the music festival, Coachella, was this weekend.

I mean. Honestly, if I see another picture of a celebrity wearing a crochet croptop, ripped acid wash jean shorts, and a flower crown while frolicking barefoot in Southern California, I might vom. It’s Coachella. You’re an ironic “millennial flower child.” We get it.


OK OK. Maybe I’m being a little harsh. Maybe that’s because I secretly wish I was there. And that honestly I know I’d love it.


But I digress.

Coachella happened. Just ask Vanessa Hudgens, the “Queen of Coachella.”


Is it just me, or will I always only be able to see her as our sweet Gabriella from High School Musical singing Breaking Free with an airplaning Zac Efron fetus?



But anyways. I think it is kinda ironic that Coachella fell on “Good Shepard” Sunday.

Because, honestly…seeing grown men like Jared Leto (who let’s be real, slightly resembles Jesus) prance around barefoot in the meadows of LA wearing outfits that resemble burlap sacks…I was kinda getting the shepherd vibe.

Jared Leto rocks Zebra Print Leggings at Coachella **USA ONLY**

I mean, it’s funny. Thousands of west coast hipster youths jumping on the music fest “band wagon” — I couldn’t help but think that they’re all like sheep, being herded together to consume the latest alternative music hit.

It really is ironic when you stop and think about it.

Which is just what I did 🙂

One of the most well known depictions of Jesus is as the “Good Shepherd.”

Which, okay — the people in biblical times had a pretty clear understanding of what that really meant. But I mean — it’s 2016. Do sheep even still exist in the wild?

***I’m lookin’ at you, New Zealand…***


But seriously, that whole idea of “shepherd-ism” — suffice it to say, it’s a foreign concept in today’s world.

Shepherds would literally lay down their lives for their flock of sheep.

Sheep — they are straight up dumb animals. Left to their own devices, they would wander off and die. And that is not an exaggeration.

A shepherd’s life is completely devoted to these sheep. He leads them to water and the pasture so that they have food and drink. He herds them to the shade so they don’t overheat and die. He sleeps in the doorway of the stable so that no wolves or other predators come and kill the sleeping sheep.

A shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep and will protect them no matter what the cost.


But here’s the coolest part.

The sheep know the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd makes this “guttural throat sound” that the sheep can recognize.

John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me…No one can snatch them out of my hand.”

Which got me thinking…First of all, what an incredibly comforting image. And secondly, how can I hear His voice? 

DO I hear His voice? Would I recognize it even if I did??

That is some powerful stuff.

Because I do believe that He speaks to us. Every day. Maybe not through a burning bush or strikes of heavenly lightening…but in other ways…less obvious ways.

It’s a given that He speaks to us through a) the bible, and b) the quiet times when your mind and heart are still. But those aren’t the only way.

Maybe through a conversation with someone. Or in a “coincidental” situation. Maybe in a book you read. Or if you’re up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about this one specific thing. Or maybe even a billboard — or graffiti — you pass by.


For me, it’s through music. I’ve been a singer ever since I could formulate words, and so I have a very deep connection with music and singing. It’s my prayer language. I’ve mentioned it before, but the way I embraced recovery and let Jesus into my heart to heal my anorexia was through a specific song lyric I sang during chapel at inpatient.

I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that Cross.

Jesus spoke into my soul during that song. It moved me. Changed me.


I’ll wrap this up, but I really do love the image of the Good Shepherd – protecting, caring for, and speaking to me…the dumb, moronic sheep that, left to my own accord, would have a self-inflicted demise. And spoiler alert-we all have a little bit of “sheep-tendencies” in us. Just ask the kids trying to bring back bell bottoms and leather fringe in LA. #festlife

But I’m never alone. And He’s constantly speaking to me. I just have to have my eyes and ears alert.

So go on, Coachella. You can go ahead and flaunt your flower child carefree-ness all over social media. You’re just a beautiful reminder that, a) the seventies did no one a favor with its fashion trends, and b) we can let ourselves be herded by lots of different worldly “shepherds” these days. But don’t mistake Jared Leto’s messiah-like mane for the true Shepherd. He’s calling, we just have to listen for the shepherd’s voice.


**Quick Housekeeping: Let me know what topics you’d like to hear more of! I’d love your input for upcoming blog posts! 🙂 hugs and love xox


238 responses to “Coachella Culture”

    • Hi Jireh! Thanks so much. Oh cool! I mean, don’t get me wrong-I’m definitely NOT anti-coachella. I just think it is a beautiful and somewhat *colorful* display of humanity:) hehe thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  1. Love how you related Coachella and flock tendencies. Very witty. What would we do without those moments where we feel spoken to? Those are truly special and life-changing.

  2. Loved this post. Music is such a motivator, isn’t it! Sure loved hearing your testimony. Have you ever heard the song “Be Still, My Soul,” it’s one of my favorites. Here’s a version with David Archuleta singing it. Also the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” is another great one. See if you can get through this rendition without tears as you listen to the words:

    • Thank you so much! You’re so right- music IS a huge motivator. I haven’t heard Be Still. Thanks for passing it along. I can’t wis to check it out! And yesss I love that song! I know-so powerful 😍 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  3. Ha! You had me thinking about this too:

    ” I couldn’t help but think that they’re all like sheep, being herded together to consume the latest alternative music hit.

    It really is ironic when you stop and think about it.

    Which is just what I did”

    Another great post, as always! And, rather relevant.

  4. Thank you for explaining what Coachella is! I have been hearing about it but honestly I didn’t really make time to look it up. I thought it was a fashion show =P
    I like the idea of Jesus being the shepherd but also a shepherd just being a shepherd. Sacrificing his life for animals. Shoutout to vegans! 😉
    That picture of Zach Efron OMGAWD <3333333

    • Hey Ellie! Hah yeah, well it definitely is a fashion show too! Just not officially 😂 haha I know! Little baby Efron with the Bieber swoop haircut! Hahaha so priceless. Thanks for stopping by my dear! Have a beautiful night! Xox

  5. He spoke to me yesterday through song. I went to a play with church members ( the one about BeBe Winans life). I had been struggling with making a decision about something Saturday night and Sunday while I was at church. I decided by the end of church not to do the thing that I struggled with but was still slightly confused. One of the songs in the play said “don’t quit”. It was a song about BeBe being at a point in his life where he was lost and confused. It was the place I was in and I felt like the man was singing directly to me. I was fighting back the tears. I said all that to say, I totally get it. I felt like God used that guy to send a message to me to let know know I made the right decision.

    • Hi friend! Oh that is so awesome!! Wow. Yeah I feel that sometimes i hear a song that just speaks directly into my heart. It’s really true what they say: He works in mysterious ways! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  6. This is such a great post!! Had me giggling throughout so many times but also so very true! Just love your writing 😀 “don’t mistake Jared Leto’s messiah-like mane for the true Shepherd” hahahaha love it! Have a great day xx

  7. It is so timely that you wrote about this topic. I got to be part of a ” Spiritual Cafe’ this past Saturday evening and it’s all about hearing the voice of the shepherd for the lost. A number of people wondered in to receive a spiritual reading and there were 4 people who wanted the shepherd to come and live withing them. So cool. It is the authentic Spirit of the Spiritual world. Here is a shepherd who is so ordinary and yet not who actually shepherds sheep. I enjoy his short posts and thought you might like him as well. Bless you.

  8. Like one of your other commenters, I had no idea what Coachella was, one of the blessings of “spending all my time living in an Amish paradise” (apologies to Stevie Wonder). I thought it was a big clearance sale for purses. A book you might like (if you haven’t read it already) is A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. I found the perspective of a real-life shepherd very interesting.

  9. I must say you have mastered the art of the punch line, every thing I read is like the perfect method of delivery to where im blown away every single time, and I love how you always bring it back to GOD or what he is doing, thank you for sharing!

  10. Dearest BBB,

    I love your writing, your personal and spiritual witness to things that matter; that is, the business of making sense of our existence in space and time.

    A few observations about this post.

    The Jesus the Good Shepherd imagery AND reality is essential for me, too (as my sermon of this past Sunday testifies)…

    I will challenge you (well, not really, for I believe and accept that each of us is entitled to our individual viewpoint), for Jared Leto is not my image of Jesus, for the image of Jesus, I think, is historically, culturally, even racially defined.

    I’ll also aver that sheep aren’t as dumb as common wisdom (pun intended might surmise). Given that sheep can and do recognize their shepherd’s voice speaks to a developed sense of discernment. Moreover, sheep, with their language of baaing and bleating, exhibit a capacity to communicate that expresses (another intended pun!) an undeniable animal intelligence.

    ‘Nuf said. My big takeaway is my appreciation of you, your courage, and the crispness and sense of your writing.

    Carry on!

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your perspective and wisdom. Wow, I have never considered that about sheep and their descendent ability. Definitely some great food for thought! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  11. “Here I am to Worship…” Love that song, too. I learned first hand how powerful prayer really is… and singing worship songs. He hears us. Thanks for this really enjoyable writing of yours!

  12. I love what you said about music being prayer – I have the same experience. One of these days I will post a piano piece called ‘The Strongest Prayer I Know’ – it is my Go To when words won’t do.

  13. Great blog post 🙂 I especially love it when you imply that wearing clothing fashions of the 1970’s is not really going to garner an audience. Personally, I have nothing against Coachella, but why wear outdated clothes If (correct me If I am wrong) this is an event concerning millenials? Unless, it is an homage to the 70’s, they should really be trying to wear todays fashions. Then again, what do I know about Coachella. I will admit that Jared Leto bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus with that long brown hair. Makes you wonder why no studio agent has asked him to play Jesus 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Hey there John! Haha I know–he could play the hipster version of Jesus in a film! Yeah. I really have nothing against coachella. At all! In fact, if I lived in la I would love to go. I just think the whole “dress like a hippie” thing is kinda wild! Although, you know if I went I would be sporting a flower crown something FIERCE! hehe I guess I just wanted to write about its ridiculous glory:) anywho, it’s always great to hear from you! Hope you’re having a great night xox

    • Haha aw thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! This piece was purely fun to write:) haha thanks for the encouragement! Have a terrific night! Hugs and love xox

  14. A long time ago (at least it seems a long time ago, now) I did a spiritual reset, I’d just read a book that gave me some fresh conviction and inspiration and I decided it was time to get serious again. So I sat down in my room one night with my journal and wrote down my intimacy covenant–the chorus of the song Step by Step by Michael W Smith–and just talked, and listened. And what I heard that night was this: if I cry out to him, Jesus can’t hardly resist but respond. And if I speak audibly, he’ll respond audibly. Maybe not always with words, but our spirits know more languages than just words. We’ve made all kinds of excuses but when it comes down to it, hearing that voice is easy if we’d just take some time to listen and acknowledge him.

    Another great post, B – and as usual, I’m at a loss for words to really say everything it spoke to me – but then like I said, my spirit knows more languages than just words (: happy Monday!

    • Hi Carson! Thank you for sharing this. Step by step- what a great song. I’m so glad you had that encounter. How powerful. And I love that- our spirits DO know more languages than just words. Thanks for reading! Hugs and Love xox

  15. I know you’re still working on letting others love you… but could you maybe write about some biblical intentional-dating/marriage-potential advice?!

  16. Love, Love, Love this! It’s so funny but just this weekend in church this passage was brought up during a sermon and it hit my heart so hard. I never thought about the fact that sheep really are in need of guidance and the shepherd is there to really guide the sheep and protect them. Thank you for bringing such a beautiful illustration of God’s love for us into a very well-written and equally entertaining post! 🙂

  17. I love love LOVE your writing style. As a Christian, I’m going to admit that I do find many posts about faith to be boring- but not yours. You are so funny and so real, and you are always spot on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  18. I cry whenever I listen to Christian music. I know that He speaks to us through music. I love the rock band model of church now- because I love the music. I feel His power in such a different way. I’m glad you felt the shepherd’s strength through your recovery.

    • Hi Kelli! Oh I so feel you. Music is such a powerful form of worship. I absolutely love it. Amen to that. God is good! Thanks for taking the time to read! Sending big hugs and love xox

  19. This is brilliant! The sheep, though…hahahah had to stifle a laugh in my shared office. Thank you!

  20. I so enjoyed this! You’re so much younger I didn’t expect to find it interesting, but your good writing grabbed me regardless that I had no idea what/who you were talking about in the opening (lol). You’ve an enjoyable ease in written expression.

    Your soothing voice, your music is beautiful. I’m listening to it as I write. Peaceful, reaffirming, comforting, embracing. I hope you’ll share more. Kudos for a great post. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Thank you so much! Haha that really means a lot:) and Awww! Thank you for taking a listen! I think ten years from now I’ll look back and think to myself, “what was I thinking putting my voice on the Internet?!” Haha but seriously , thank you. That means more Than you know☺️ sending big hugs and love xox

  21. Love.
    Contentment: Finding it

    Great post by the way, really.
    Songs is my thing too. I am no singer but I am a worshiper at heart because I recognize that all that I am and have and the greatness I am headed for, I could never do on my own.

    I believe that God loves me so much He’s so good to me even when I don’t deserve it and it is that love that keeps me running into His presence always.

    My personality type predisposes me to running away but God just keeps calling me and leading me and directing me and for that I am eternally grateful and thankful for His love, mercy and grace and more for His gentle leading.

    I could never have better shepherd.

    • Thank you so much! Oh yes, songs get me every time! There’s something so powerful in song and particularly worship music. What a beautiful comment my friend. Amen to that- keep running into His presence. So beautiful. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  22. I am reminded of Psalm 73 by David, lamenting his sins; “I am as a beast before You.” A shepherd himself, claiming to be a sheep. I’ve often identified with his sentiment, as I must confess AGAIN my sins. How fortunate that we have such a great Shepherd!

    Always good to read your posts! Thanks!

    • Hey hey Jeff! Oh gosh I hear you. I always feel like God must think I’m a broken record. I know He doesn’t, but I sure to feel like that! Thanks as always for your encouraging and supportive words! Hope you week is off to a great start! Hugs to you friend! Xox

  23. HAHA! Trust me, yes rich celebs can be care-free too, but mate, put your shoes back on, we know they’re Chloe and your shorts aren’t really vintage, and you paid a lot to get your nails all spangly fancy, in spite of your bed head hair, in an attempt to fit in to the festival.

    Same though, if I was there. Gah. Planning to go next year!

  24. You’re doing just fine with Jesus as your topic, Sweetie. As you pick up on His messages to you, convey them to your peers; that’s your gift; you are a present-day prophet.

    • Thanks Kitsy! Oh gosh, wow! What a kind thing to say! I don’t know about thaaaat, but I do know that God is good and to Him be the glory! Thanks for your support my friend! Have a great week! Xox

      • Dearest, according to Merriam-Webster, a prophet is “a member of some religions (such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) who delivers messages that are believed to have come from God.”

        You look at the current culture and the goings on with Jesus eyes. I don’t mean to belittle your own intelligence, because clearly you are intelligent and a talented writer, but I believe the Holy Spirit whispers in your ear and you see things that Jesus wants you to, knowing you will speak up and people will listen. Your words are from God…hence you are a prophet, by definition. And, as you say, to God be the Glory.

      • Thank you my friend. To God be the glory. Seriously. HE is good, and I am just so grateful to be able to share His love and His power and mercy in my life. Hope you have a beautiful Thursday! Hugs and love xox

      • Actually, I spent last night in the ER accompanying my next-door neighbors…hence my latest post. Today I am relaxing all rules and restrictions on what I should be doing, eating, etc. In fact, I believe a nap is in order.

  25. Great post Coachella! I especially love that you encourage people to see and hear God in everything. I believe the Bible is Gods word, but there as a guide that should be used to help us see that God indeed can be seen and heard in all his creations.

  26. Here is a question for you…give me your best.
    Jesus says He is the Good Shepard, but Jesus is also the Lamb, right? John the Baptist says Ecce Agnus Dei / Behold the Lamb the God, from where the portion of Mass comes! So are those two things related? And if so, how?

  27. Topics to discuss: How about captivity and freedom(s). Weakness vs. Strength or The Difference between Being Teachable and Humility. Some say that growth may be, can be constant. Is that a reality, or is there always stagnation?

  28. This post made me smile this morning. My 16 year old daughter just happened to inform me about Coachella this weekend. Also, at daily mass today, the gospel reading was John 22-30. Perhaps God is trying to tell me something!

  29. Loved this post! Funny thing is if you go to Coachella at any other point in the year you will be highly dissapointed 🙂 Funny how because it’s “the cool spot” during that weekend everyone loves it. keep writing from you heart and allow God to guide you!!

  30. It’s so precious to be reminded that Jesus speaks to us. He uses any and everything to chanel reminders of His love. So sweet.


  31. Being a country North Carolinian transplant from New Jersey (does that even make sense?) I’ve never heard of Coachella. Great read! I may steal…I mean use some of this for my student ministry!

  32. I’m assuming that the mural of van Gogh in the background is no accident. You could share your reflections on his life story with us. Easter week I was up at the Getty Santa Monica and everybody was crowded around his Irises, which is of course a metaphor for the Good Shepherd. I also had the good fortune to visit the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and there was nothing so sad as the decay in his technique after his nervous breakdown.

    • Hey Brian! How interesting! I actually had no idea that was Van Gogh! I thought it was William Shakespeare! 😂😂😂 shows what I know! 🙈haha but you’re right. His nervous breakdown was very sad. Thanks for reading! Hugs xox

  33. Wonderful!! I don’t know how you do it. You take a vain subject and bring alive such Spirit from it. I also loved the song. It was just what I needed to hear today. Touched my heart.

  34. Totally agree! “The sheep knows the shepherd voice”. Nice post by the way!

    I would like you to make it more implicit, It would be more enjoyable (In My Opinion) if you relate the experience to the message you’re trying to deliver.

    I totally enjoyed this one ;D , keep it going sister! You’ll be a great author one day.

  35. I’ve always wanted to go to Coachella. Or any music festival (Stage Coach is awesome too!) And not because of the fashion but for the music. I love music! But nowadays, I see Coachella as a fashion show/drinking party. I mean don’t get me wrong. I love fashion. But I love music more.

    • Hey friend! I agree. I love love love music! So yeah in theory it would be great! And tbh I would love to go. And sport a flower crown haha thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  36. I am obsessed with this blog post! 🙂 The humor was spot on (I’m totally a dry-humor type of girl) AND so was the message. Great writing and beautiful photo’s as always. (Seriously, my favorite ‘book’ or ‘magazine’ to start the day with – after the Bible – is your blog…). 🙂
    I don’t even have any suggestions for you in terms of blog posts. You kill it every time!!

  37. Really enjoy your thoughts! I’m going to share your page with my high school students. I really think they would get a lot out of what you have to share (esp. my teenage girls). Thanks for what you’re doing here!!

  38. Great post! Since you asked about topics, would you consider writing about your influences? Which authors or teachers or ministers have influenced your writing style and theology?

  39. Coachella would be even more wonderful if you were there!! Yes I agree about Vanessa Hudgens. Whatever she does, I am sure it won’t be as much staying power as High School Musical. But you are way more awesome than her or any Hollywood actress anyway because you are real, with no rehearsal or makeup. I love your writings no matter the subject! xoxo

  40. Great post BBB! I have shared on my site as I am amazed at your ability to look at life in this world and bring it back to faith in so many unique ways. Topic suggestion…who are your inspirations…writers, musicians or someone else? Peace

  41. I think more people need to hear stuff like this when they are going through a hard time (recovering from an eating disorder) because (like you and I both know) there is no magical key to recovery – you don’t just wake up one day healed. It’s about little things, little choices, little steps. And a whole lot of God’s love <3 keep spreading the message you're a gem xxx

  42. Your blog is one of my most favorites, definitely. I LOVE your posts, they are so inspiring and so true! ❤️❤️❤️ If I’ve learned anything from having a blog, it’s that I love checking out others. Lots of love, MaryLouise. ❤️❤️❤️

  43. Loved this post, especially your take on Coachella and sheep. It’s so funny how people declare themselves FREE and INDEPENDENT and ORIGINAL and then they all do the exact same free and independent and original things. Together. Wearing the same things. Listening to and liking the same things. Together. And yes, ha, I WANT TO BE ONE OF THEM, TOO 🙂 You nailed that 🙂


  44. I used to mountain bike in the Coachella area. When it was just us pockets of nobodies sharing water and riding tips. Times did change and maybe for the better. We would get chased off because we were harming the environment but I can only imagine the impact of thousands of eco conscious drunk partiers are doing to the area.

  45. A most excellent post! Well done!-JW 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

  46. amica mia, you really have a gift, a spiritual gift, that I am quite sure our good shepherd is going to guide u into. Walking along with ur blogs, I sense a growing spiritual depth and confidence with every blog, I hear the voice of God speaking clearly through you. Your genius is that you are connected enough with this pop culture that you can speak its insane language, and you are separated enough from it by your near death experience of e d, that you in fact have something significant to say this crazy pop culture. You are truly a prophetic voice, and I am sure that as your following grows many will come to a saving faith in Jesus through your voice. I bless you and I remember you always in my prayers. ” above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you.” Joshuah 1:7 Listen carefully for His voice and He will continue to guide you.

    • Wow jack, thank you so much. I am so touched by your words. God is so good. He saved my life and so I can’t help but sing his praise. Thanks again. Your comment warmed my heart:) hugs and love xox

  47. “Maybe through a conversation with someone. Or in a “coincidental” situation. Maybe in a book you read.” – yep, that rings so true for me. That is the way I am spoken to.

    Also, the Bible readings that I start every day with and end every night with always seem especially chosen for me.

    The Reverend preached several weeks ago that God loves us as if we are the only person in the world that matters. It sure is true!

  48. From someone who lives in the midst of this insanity I was very amused at a New Yorker’s take on the California scene.

    Coachella music fest is hot, dusty and claustrophobic. Most of the people who attend aren’t even from California.

    Only one in four residents are native born, and we are the normal ones. The rest are from cold-weather cities like Boston.

    New Yorkers I have known haven’t lasted six months out here. It’s the culture shock. They either start to lose their mind, or their family back east does an intervention to bring them home.

    That happened to the last guy I knew. He came out for the summer, thinking he’d stay through Labor Day, but he couldn’t take it. He said he was losing his mind out here so he sold all his stuff — including a ton of Yankees’ memorabilia — to buy a plane ticket home.

    It’s like the Eagles’ song, Hotel California, “You can check out any time you like,
    but you can never leave!”

    California is an intoxicating place.

  49. This weekend and last the California desert hosted “Oldchella” featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan (the Nobel prize winner), Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who.

    Tickets cost $400, but the promoters printed so many (expecting a big turnout) that scalpers were only getting $200.

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