#unitedbymusic

I have a secret love for pop music. It’s not something that I broadcast, but my wife knows about it. I really love all kinds of music. She may get in my car to blaring Ice Cube one day, Waylon Jennings the next and New Found Glory the next. I love metal and most all things rock n roll. But pop… I love it too. In fact, I cannot pick a favorite genre of music. I really think that each genre of music is able to speak to me on some level.

I love the simplicity of most pop. It’s easy to feel. There are no surprises. It just is. If I just want to not think, I’m throwing on some pop. That’s not saying it’s bad music and I don’t want to think about it, it’s just easy to digest. It’s easy to rest and listen to pop for me. My brain is able to detach from everything and focus on the simple rhythm.

I love the aggression of metal.

The story telling of country.

The way that rap tells me stories and allows me to feel something I may never have had the chance to otherwise.

I love the sexiest guitar lick EVER written in the intro of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” by Zeppelin.

I love the fun super light hearted pop punk of the early 2000’s.

I love the heart of change behind Rage Against The Machine.

I love to get lost in the story that Coltrane can tell without a single word.

I love Stevie Ray Vaughan’s prayer of forgiveness through his guitar in Riviera Paradise.

I simply love music. But over the past 5 years my love for music has evolved. I still love the same music, so my taste hasn’t evolved, just my love. I no longer feel the need to “bathe” in music. I crave quite time. I crave conversation.

Music has become more intimate now. I invite it in to the things that I love.

When I’m cooking breakfast for the family on a Saturday morning there is a good chance that I’m blasting old country from Willie, Waylon and the Boys.

When I’m writing I’m listening to mellow instrumental jams or maybe pop.

When I’m in the gym… RAP!

When I’m driving, 90’s alternative.

When I’m sitting alone in my office at home there may be a Zeppelin record spinning.

My life has changed. My tastes have not. I still love to feel. I love to feel art. EVERY artist that I enjoy regularly has a gift. They have a gift to evoke the emotions in me that they intended me to feel, and it’s beautiful. It’s intimate.

Music should be intimate. It should connect with more than just your ears. It should connect with your heart and soul.

Living in Music City had almost killed that in me at some point. But music has a way of taking hold and not letting go. Sometimes we just have to unplug and feel. Just allow an old track from earlier times that we connected with to take us back.

“Wait, Bobby isn’t talking about motivation or Jesus… is he OK? Is he going to have some crazy M. Night Shamalan moment and flip this on us?”

NO! I’m not. This is literally about music and our ability to miss the art in it (you can read into that if you want and blog about it on your own). This is about how music is a gift. How it has the ability to transport us to new places. How it has the ability to connect us across dividing lines.

Our country is CRAZY divided right now, but you know what? I probably listen to music that ALL sides listen to. I’m connected, if not by ideology, atleast by a song. And from my in depth scientific research (sarcasm) that song is probably a much deeper and real connection than some ideology which is fueled by human ignorance and pride.

Music is powerful, when we allow it to be. It is designed to connect to us on a deep level, a spiritual level.

Maybe next time you think it may be appropriate to post how your political view is “just the best and only way” you could think about sharing a song that speaks to you. Maybe even one that speaks to you so deeply that it could cross the dividing line and you and “the other side” may actually enjoy together.

Here’s my commitment. Outside of blogs, I’m going to do my damnedest to not share opinions that are divisive and I will share atleast one song a day that I think will speak to someone on a deep level. I’m going to commit to 30 days. But before I do let me get this one divisive thing out of my system. The Stones are always going to be better than the Beatles… ALWAYS.

Now who’s going to join me on this journey? Let’s connect. Share a song that speaks to you on a more than just surface level. Share something that has meat and feeling. Maybe even share why it speaks to you. Let’s have some fun with it and make it a point to listen to something we wouldn’t normally.

I’m going to start with the hashtag #unitedbymusic and maybe you can do the same. Let’s cross some lines folks.

Advertisements
#unitedbymusic

Failure may not always be optional, but it is always necessary.

Awake at 5am. The intention was to get in some quiet time and write, but I sat down and began working on work. I’m launching an ad campaign today. It includes TV, radio, social, search display… basically everything besides print. I wrote the copy, handled the entire creative direction, the ad buys, laid out the entire digital strategy, the email automation… all me. There’s no telling how many people are going to see this, and with any luck at all it will be wildly successful.

Why am I writing about this? Because at 5am I’m concerned about failing. I’m concerned that if I don’t make sure all ads are rolling and targeting is on point that this whole thing is going to fail. I’ve done this before… it was successful then, but I can’t get the idea of not being great out of my head.

I know I’m not a failure. I know I’m actually great at what I do. People pay me to do this. People make money because I am good at what I do.

Failure is a tricky thing. It’s real, very real. I have failed many times at many things. It’s those failures that have made me who I am today. Even though failure is part of the foundation of my success I still fear it.

The truth is that if I were to fail on this campaign I would still be in business. I have built a foundation of trust with everyone that I work with. They know that I’m gifted at what I do. They have experienced the fruit of that.

The fear of failure is based on a lie. Failure isn’t fun when it happens, but it does spur us on to grow. Failure is a learning opportunity not something to be afraid of.  The lie of failure is that life is over if you fail. To be honest, life generally get’s better after a failure. Take it from a 35 year old who takes a lot of chances… with chances come the inevitable failures.

Failure is a lie when your have the right perspective. It doesn’t really exist if we use failure as an opportunity to grow! In that case failure becomes success. With each failure we get better. We grow and move forward.

Today is a good day to re-evaluate failure. It’s a good day to look at the things that we are afraid of and understand them for what they are, lies. It’s a good time to look at our successes and remember the failures that led up to them and be thankful for the lessons we’ve learned each time.

Take chances.

Fail.

Grow.

Succeed.

Failure may not always be optional, but it is always necessary.

Hungering for Holy Things

 

We are interesting. We are physical. We have mass. We can touch and feel. We can see ourselves. But then we are spiritual too. We can’t see that. But we can feel it.

We exist on 2 planes of reality at once. Jesus spoke of a kingdom that is “not of this world” and I believe that we have direct access to that and all of the glory that it has to offer at all times.

I believe that our desire for “more” is because we are designed to be intimately connected to something that this world can never offer. And because we are both physical and spiritual we attempt to achieve fullness through physical, because it’s just the easiest.

What generally happens is that we try to reach completeness and end up feeling more empty that before. Because our means of completeness have wildly false expectations.

We attempt to fulfill this hunger. This Desire. This NEED. With things of this world.

But in truth this is a hunger and thirst for the Holy things of a kingdom unseen.

We thirst for a living water, translated from the Greek as a water from a spring. Clean and pure.

We hunger for justice and mercy and redemption.

John the Baptist shouted “Repent. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And then Jesus exploded onto the scene.

turning Water into wine

flipping tables

hanging with Samaritan women

calling men who the ministry already rejected to follow him

building a church on a man who fell more times than we may ever

restoring sight to the blind

feeding thousands with a child’s lunch

healing the crippled to walk

dying to defeat death

 

You want to know what that void in your life looks like fulfilled? It looks like Jesus. Complete and total connection with that world that you can’t see but you feel calling your name.

That void is full of submission, service and sacrifice. That void was never meant to be filled by anything that you or this world has to offer. It wasn’t meant to filled by a man or a woman. It wasn’t meant to be filled by success or achievement. It is fulfilled with direct and intimate connection with the Father.

It is filled by the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit. The direct presence of God dwelling in in you. Nothing will make a man or woman feel more complete than the moment that the Holy Spirit says, “Alright, I’m here. Now let’s get to work.”

When the Spirit of the Living God takes up residence in you the things you feel change. The unseen kingdom becomes almost tangible. The stories of the bible of the blind seeing, the lame walking the water turning to wine… those stories become real. God begins to ask us to partake in those modern day stories.

He uses us to bring healing.

He uses us to continue his work.

He uses us to preach the good news.

He uses us to prepare the soil.

He uses us to scatter the seeds.

He uses us to harvest the crops.

Crops of redemption. Crops of salvation. Crops of wholeness.

There’s one thing that is consistent in scripture. Where ever the spirit of the Lord went things were impacted and history was changed.

Are you so addicted to control of your life that the Spirit of God in you is being restrained?

Let go of control today. See what it looks like when leave control and pride at the alter. Allow the Spirit of the Father to direct you.

Allow healing and restoration to flow from your finger tips.

Allow miracles to be a part of your life.

Allow your broken story to become complete.

Allow praise and prophesy to flow from your lips.

That void that you have held onto has held you back for far too long. Today, dive into the water. Sing at the top of your lungs. Dance before the Lord. Today is a new day. Today is THE day that you allow the Spirit of the Lord to be free from the tiny box that you put him in and stored away in the corner of your heart.

Today, live.

 

Hungering for Holy Things

Pull this thread…

There’s something beautiful about brokenness. Maybe it’s the fact that brokenness reminds me of wholeness. Maybe it’s the fact that brokenness removes the responsibility of being perfect. Maybe it’s just that every single one of us have been broken at some point.
 
Regardless of what it is… it’s beautiful. We all share it. It’s a common thread of humanity. We have all been broken. We’ve all felt a small crack in our porcelain and we’ve felt that crack grow with each new hit. Some of us have shattered, some us haven’t hit that kind of pressure in life yet. But we’ve all cracked for sure.
 
Brokenness is a common thread, but it’s what happens afterward that separates us.
 
Do you live in brokenness or repair?
 
Do you allow pain and fear to drive you or do you seek wellness and joy?
 
There is no simple “just click here” for healing. That would be an asshole thing to suggest, but there is a path to wellness, for some people that path is long and winding and others it’s a short hop across the fence. Either way it is a process that you choose to engage in.
 
Healing doesn’t come from a quick snap of the fingers, it comes from the process. The process rarely involves being alone. Generally our healing comes in community. Where we can be vulnerable. Where we can be open. And where we can be poured into.
 
So, does your brokenness drive you?
Are you always striving to become whole?
Are you always looking for that next thing to bring fulfillment?
 
Here’s the deal. Those things that we want to bring wholeness never will. We weren’t ever meant to be fulfilled by much. The most fulfilling things in life are generally the simplest.
 
Friends.
Family.
Love.
In most instances those are the root of what brings wholeness.
 
Seriously consider it for a second. What would bring you true long-term fulfillment that doesn’t have Friends, Family or Love at the root?
 
Like, I’m trying to think of something and I can’t.
 
The point is that we try to medicate our brokenness with success, fun, lust, things, titles, the list goes on but in the end the only thing that will heal us is actually going to be rooted in love.
 
You know the beauty of love? It actually is the exact opposite of the things that we attempt to medicate ourselves with.
 
Hmmm… weird.
It’s like there is some sort of outside force that tries to force us to do the exact opposite of what will actually help. Like there is some sort of unseen battle going on. Like maybe there is some kind of “kingdom” that people have been talking about for millennia that maybe isn’t of this world…
Where the first are last and the last are first.
And where complete wholeness comes from emptying oneself out to the point of death.
And through death life is given.
And where the guilty are pardoned.
And where the faithless are faithful.
And where the head of it all washes feet.
 
It’s like there may be a better plan for us to be restored to completion than the one we make up for ourselves.
 
If brokenness is the common thread hanging from our sweater, the world is sing. “Pull this thread as I walk away. Watch me unravel I’ll soon be naked. Lying on the floor. I’ve come undone.”
 
But maybe we don’t have to walk away. Maybe we can walk towards. Maybe we don’t have to lie on the floor naked and alone. Maybe, just maybe we can stay there, threads hanging and all. Maybe we can gather around the table with our shabby sweaters and feast.
 
Friends.
Family.
Love.
Pull this thread…

All of creation groans.

Creation is engrained in us. We are part of it and we partake in it.

We are created and we create.

We inspire and we are inspired.

The truth of it is we can’t escape that part of the image we are created in.

 

God created.

 

The wind.

 

The waves.

 

The mountains.

 

The forests.

 

The desserts.

 

The birds.

 

The fish.

 

The mammals.

 

The reptiles.

 

God created us.

We are created in the image of a father who breathes life into nothingness.

In the C.S. Lewis novel The Magicians Nephew there is a scene where Aslan breathes creation. From his breath springs forth life, beauty… all of creation. The scene is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I literally cried while reading it.

THE son of God has is the direct representation of love and the shining example of what we should look like as image bearers of the Almighty.

 “Through him all things were made”

Through this man who laid down his life for you ALL THINGS were made. He is the creator broken for you. It is his nature (whatever that means when referring to wholly omniscience) to create.

I can’t wrap my mind around any of it really. I can only try. I can only trust.

Creation is part of who we are.

Creation is part of the sacrifice that God made for us.

Creation is.

You are designed to create. You are unique color on God’s infinite palate. You are uniquely you. And that uniquely you that you are is here to create and be part of the masterpiece that the Lord is preparing.

You may not feel it.

You may not know it.

You may not understand it.

But you are part of it. You are beautiful. You are a masterpiece.

What are you creating currently? How are you attempting to connect with the creator by accessing that part of his image in you? Creation is beautiful, it is a gift. How are you offering up creation as a gift?

Today, create.

Paint.

Draw.

Write a song.

Build something.

Start a business.

Type the first chapter of a book.

Make a friend.

 

Creation is wide. The limits are far. How do you create?

And then when you do create, how do you offer it back to the creator? How do you say, “Thank you Lord for allowing me access to this gift which is part of your character?”

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now, take that and run with it.

Make.

Build.

Create!

 

All of creation groans.

Fear is a lie.

Make it a point to kick ass in everything that you do. Because kicking ass is memorable. Be the best damn whatever it is that you are that you can be! Be better than everyone around you at what you do.

Meet new people.

        Hear their stories.

                    Invite them into your stories. 

These are the things that you will remember.

You are going to remember that day that you sat in the front yard drinking a beer while your wife drank a glass of wine in the perfect TN spring weather.

You are going to remember running a 5k with your daughter.

You are going to remember coaching your son’s soccer team.

You are going to remember making homemade pizza with the help of 4 kids.

You are going to remember doing that one thing that you’ve always wanted to do but fear has stopped you… you will either remember doing it or being too afraid. Which do you want?

Life’s too damn short to be afraid of trying.

Go after those dreams.

At least try! 

Life is a gift. It’s short, but it’s full of amazing things to share with others. If you allow fear to dictate your decisions you will go through life experiencing only a fraction of the gift that it is.

You were created. You were uniquely designed. You have a distinct role to play. Fear will only stop you from being a bad ass in that.

The God that created you has empowered you to chase after those dreams. As a father I know what it feels like to watch my children chase their dreams. I can only imagine that is only a fraction of the joy that our Creator experiences when we pursue the unique gifts that he has for us… that he designed us for!

But don’t get so caught up in kicking ass that you miss the opportunity to enjoy the moment. Stop and breathe and smile and just BE! All of the ass kicking in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not going to enjoy it.

So put your phone down and either go to sleep so you can kick ass tomorrow or go ahead and do something kick ass right now. The world needs more of us who aren’t going to let fear stop us from shooting for the stars.

Fear is a lie.

Slow the eff down.

I’m sitting outside of Starbucks.

Watching Netflix,

wrapping up an ad campaign,

blogging,

dreaming,

planning,

being thankful.

It’s amazing outside. I have 1 daughter that lives and breathes compassion, 1 daughter that views life through the creative lens of our father, 1 daughter who fiercely knows and demands her place in life, 1 son who loves violently. Each one of them holds the most beautiful pieces of their mother, my captivating wife.

Life get’s busy. We move through and forget to stop and enjoy it. It’s a gift. It’s full of things meant to be enjoyed.

The blue sky that I’m looking at. The iced green tea that I’m drinking. The gentle breeze that is currently blowing. These are things that I generally take for granted. But right now. They are real. They are here. And so am I.

Slowing down is hard. It’s not natural. It goes against everything that we desire.

But who cares. Do it! Make it happen. Stop what you’re doing. Walk outside. Hell, kiss your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend whatever. Hold your kid. Go for a run. Sit in the grass and soak in the sun. Do something and stop thinking in the moment. These moments don’t last, they’re here, then they’re gone. Life’s too short to not do things not worth remembering.

That moment… the one that just happened, it’s not coming back it’s gone.

Will you even remember it?

 

This moment is a gift.

Take it in.

Be thankful.

Live.

Slow the eff down.