One Year

One Year.

366 days, thanks to a leap year.

A lot can change.  A lot has changed.

To the dreams and aspirations from last year, good riddance.

To the new hope and the reality of my existence, let’s do this.

 

Sidelined.

Yesterday I watched Drew Brees stand on the sideline as he missed his first game since high school. He kept focused and would always break the huddle with an in-sync clap as he watched from afar. This stirred something within me and I finally figured it out this morning while I was laying on the chiropractors table.
 
-21996b3ef56e9a8bI have never been seriously injured. I wouldn’t even call what I’m going through a ‘serious’ injury, but it has sidelined me from a lot of things for this past month. It’s ridiculously hard to sit on the side and not be able to do the things you love and live for.
I look forward to getting back to transforming the theater each week at Piedmont Chapel. I look forward to playing music again and being able to have full mobility of my fingers. And most importantly, I look forward to playing with and picking up my son for more than a few minutes without knowing I will spend several hours in immense pain later that day. 
This isn’t really a post about the pain and suffering I’m experiencing.  I just wanted to take time to say that I’m glad I am living a life where there is nothing else I would rather be doing. I saw those same feelings on Drew’s face yesterday.  It was a beautiful reminder to find a life worth living and be completely in.
Monsters: Be Brave when facing our fears

Monsters

I try to be intentional with my son in the mornings on the way to school.  I believe the time in the car is a great time to facilitate conversation, laugh and create a deeper bond with your kids.

 

This morning I had an interesting conversation with my four year old. It went like this… Continue reading…

Taking the Quieter Path

I just recently took three and a half weeks away from Facebook. I have to be honest, it was the best three weeks I’ve had in a long time. I spent more time with people and doing things to deliberately build deeper community with those around me.

 

After the fifth person to approach me about not being able to invite me digitally to their birthday/gathering/bar mitzvah (okay, nobody did that last one) I decided that I needed to get back on and give a way for people to get in touch with me. Continue reading…

My Son Despises The Voices In My Head

My son and I were driving around town a few months back. If you have preschool kids, your time in the car is probably a lot like mine.  We spend it singing silly songs, answering every why question known to man (these end, right?), chasing trains and dreaming aloud about their destinations.

I was feeling even more quirky this day.  I decided to speak using the most random and bizarre voices imaginable.  I expected to hear laughter, but I got a response that I never expected.

4 year old: “Dad, Stop that!!!”

Me: “Stop what?”

4 year old: “Stop speaking in that voice!”

Me: (changing voices again) “Is this better?”

4 year old: “No! Stop it, Dad!”

At this point I was feeling a little sad. I was hoping we could be silly and laugh as we drove wherever we were going.

Me: “What voice do you want me to use?”

4 year old: “Your other voice. Your normal voice”

Me: “But there’s nothing funny about this voice…”

4 year old: “I like that voice. It’s your voice.”

It hit me…

…this simple truth spoken from the mouth of a child.

I spend a lot of time chasing after this ‘idea’ that if I could sing or play guitar like this person, or if only I could communicate as effectively as this other person…that then I would be effective and have an impact on others around me.

I have learned through the years that this isn’t just an ‘idea’… it’s simply a lie from the enemy to keep me from being who I was created to be.

Me.

That’s it.

My son was most satisfied when I stopped pretending to be somebody else and simply spoke in my own voice.

What voice are those around you hearing?

Let those voices come to an end as you walk in the strength of your own voice.

After all, it was give to you and only you.

The Dashboard

This post is from July 27, 2005 after completing a tour across the country.  It’s interesting to read this now while I wrestle with having the desires to tour again.

 

It is Wednesday. After 8000+ miles of travel, I am back at home. And yes, it’s lonely out there. Same roads, same songs. New places, new faces. No place foreign, but all things new.

 

Sometimes I think it’s my body that takes most of the beating from the endless touring, when in fact, it may actually be the dashboard of my car. Whether I’m venting my frustration (aloud to myself), enduring for hours on end my CD players belching, my talking to myself in quiet tones, braving the enigma that is modern radio, or the vast silence of radial tires humming for hours on end. The dashboard is a slave to the turning wheel, which is, in turn, a slave to me. They go where I bend them. In good running order they will succumb quietly. Aside from that, their submission is not so peaceable.

 

If only dashboards could talk… What would mine say about me? It’s seen me laugh hysterically with my friends, seen me pick my nose, seen me dry my tear-filled eyes, watched me eat scores of grilled steak soft tacos, heard me rant and rave about the lack of quality radio, heard me pray, heard me swear like a proud sailor, and seen me humble as a mouse. Were it possible, all the incriminating evidence a judge and jury would ever need to convict me of the “crime”of Insecurity could be wrested from the endless dials and knobs of plastic and metal moulds that comprise this dashboard. But it knows no better. It is a slave in the masters hand. It goes where its masters will bends it. It knows no rebuke, no rebellion, no angst. It bears me where I willingly go that I may bare my soul; sometimes into a lions den. I am a $34-a-night musical prostitute, willing to give all that is dear and within me for an on-the-house meal and some gas money. I am no saint for doing it. The dashboard can tell you that I am most assuredly not.

 

Is it worth the miles? The money? Worth the endless cycles of knock down, drag out fights within myself and worth the dashed hopes within my own soul? Probably not. But is it worth gleaning an ounce of respect from an audience of 10? Is it worth offering a moment, if only brief, of edification? Worth receiving that moment of edification? You bet. But just like the odometer, ask me that tomorrow and I may have changed my mind.

Pain: A Good Reminder

Nobody likes to suffer or experience pain or heart ache.

 

The fact that you are feeling anything is a good reminder that you are actually alive and your heart is not hardened.

 

After a season of having a hardened heart and praying that God would penetrate and soften my heart to feel things, especially the compassion and heart of God, I am reminded of his faithfulness to answer my request.

 

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.Luke 1:45

 

I will keep holding on to the promises that God has given me. I will persevere.

Living In The Moment

I was watching a concert from The Civil Wars the other week when I noticed how something that’s common in today’s society seemed out of place to me from the outside.  As Joy Williams  and John Paul White took the stage people in the audience began holding up their cell phones for the first 15 seconds of their set.   They proceeded to look down to send their photos to the social networking site of their choice, all while ignoring THE CIVIL WARS.

 

I mean, I get it.  I’m guilty of it. I’ll snap a photo to capture and share the moment while bobbing my head to the beat of the song. But this time it got me thinking of this from a musicians POV. What if that were me on the stage looking out upon an audience captivated by their phones?  I would have a few thoughts for you.  Three, actually…and here they are.

 

1. Enjoy this moment, now.   You’ll have plenty of time to share your night with your friends later.  There’s no need to update the world with what you’re doing.  Hey did you see that? I just did something that people will be talking about for a while and you missed it because you were on your phone, mr front row guy.  Don’t miss out on the memories by trying to collect one and share it with everyone.

 
2. Invest in your memory.  I still have vivid memories of events that I attended or certain activities I took part in as a kid. There are no pictures of those moments, but I can still see everything as clear as can be.  I can even relive the smells of certain memories.  You are a wonderful creation and God has given us these great things called memories. Invest and trust yours.

 

I’ll go back through my Camera Roll months later and often times have trouble remembering what in the world was going on in this picture.  Same thing is true with phone #s.  I still remember my  family and friends phone numbers from growing up.  I couldn’t tell you a single friend or family members phone # today.

 

3. Leave the outside world alone. Our lives are full of fears, worries and concerns.  A lot of us are guilty for not letting entertainment take our minds off of our troubles.  Put away that cell phone for a while. Leave it outside the venue and go on a journey with the artist.  You may find something that you desperately need for the world outside.

 

I’m not saying to completely do away with taking pictures of memorable moments. You’ll find me  taking a picture here and there. I am asking that you join me in thinking about how and when we do this.  (At least wait til the new song you never heard and take a picture. That will make us musicians feel better.)

 

What about you?  Do you find yourself trying to share a picture perfect moment of your life?