I saw God.

Yesterday I saw God.

I saw him in the disenfranchised.

I saw him in my black brothers.

I saw him in my gay friends.

I saw him in my Muslim neighbors.

Yesterday I saw God.

I saw him in the president elect.

I saw him in the voters spewing hate from both sides.

I saw him in the immigrant children that feared for their safety.

I saw him in me.

I saw God in the believer and the skeptic.

The hopeful and the rejected.

I’ve seen God in the drug addicted. The abused. The prostitute. The rich and the poor.

I’ve seen God in the oppressed. The privileged.  The light and the dark.

I’ve wept with God. I’ve cheered with God. I’ve danced with God. I’ve yelled at God. I’ve questioned God. I’ve fed God and I’ve been fed by God.

I’ve learned not to limit where God can show up. Where God can prove my ego wrong. Where my pride can be cast down.

You know what’s interesting? In Scripture, Jesus hung out with sinners… like he had a choice. Where were the blameless? Jesus hung out with us (humanity)… all of us. Our pride tends to find the sins that we want to burn at the stake and use those as the benchmark for sinners. Jesus trashed the benchmark. Not only did he spend time with the thieves and prostitutes, which we romanticize a flaunt because only Jesus would be humble enough to effortlessly spend time with “those people”. He also spent time with the tax collectors…. Think of the disdain that we have for modern day corporate lobbyists. I’m going to venture to think that Jesus would spend time with the conservatives and the liberals, the republican senator and the socialist community organizer.

The past few days have been trying on my spirit, as I have witnessed brothers and sister disregard conversation and resort to social media bull horns. I’ve watched my black brothers be furious with results and spew hate. I’ve watched my rural white brothers say some of the most ignorant things towards my black brothers. But I haven’t once seen one of them say to the other one, “Let’s grab lunch and talk.”

I’ve seen the fear and I understand it. I’ve seen the anger and I get it. I’ve seen the frustrations and boy do I get it. These things have been on both sides for longer than acceptable.

My heart craves justice. But what is justice? What does justice look like? Some are rejoicing because the thought Trump was justice. Others are mourning because they felt that Clinton was justice. But neither of those are justice. Justice is looking at you brother or sister and recognizing them as that. You want to receive justice? Start by administering it. Start by looking your brother and sister in the eye and offering it. Offering them the justice they crave, regardless of their position.

When I consider what justice ought to look like I only have one place to look, The cross. The justice that I’ve come to know whispers “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” The justice that I know is called grace. Where the undeserving receive, the first become the last and our concept of justice is left laying dead in the dirt.

We get caught up in pursuing what we see as right that we neglect to consider that we are just being assholes to each other. Today, don’t be an asshole… be family.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

I saw God.

Guerilla Life

I know there is something to be said. I know that at some point I need to say it… I struggle with what it is and is it even worth saying.

Here’s what I know:

I have black friends.
They do live a different life than I do.
They are treated differently.
They have legitimate fears that I don’t have.

Let me explain something. I do not look like an upstanding citizen by traditional standards. I have long hair, tattoos, depending on the day I may be dressed fairly homeless. That puts me at a slight disadvantage when it comes to authorities… but it’s all by choice and let’s be honest that disadvantage is probably all in my head. I’m a 34 year old white male from the south.

Some of you reading this are probably saying, “Damn Bobby, not you too.

My response is. “Shut the f*** up!

Let me tell you reality.

A couple of months ago I was driving home from a meeting. The meeting happened to be at a brewery where I had 2 beers over the course of 2.5 hours. I was not under the influence of alcohol in any way but the fact is that I had consumed alcohol.
About a mile from my house there is a 4 way stop. 4 cars all stopped at the same time, which happens often at this spot. I had my radio cranked blasting pop music (don’t judge) and I decided to be the first to go. Little did I know that a police officer responding to a call was speeding around me and turning directly in front of me! Maybe I should have looked better… but I didn’t and I hit a cop car!
They literally called CSI because they can’t investigate their own accidents. During the course of the 1.5 hour investigation I found out that my license was not valid! I was legal to drive but I had to get a new drivers license and I wasn’t able to drive home from there.
Also, the registration on my car was not current.
The entire time I was thinking, “Just don’t ask where I was coming from.” That would have been the icing on the cake!
By the end of it all I had hit a cop, had extreme fear that they would ask where I was coming from, had a not valid drivers license, no current registration on my car.
I was terrified I was going to get a ticket or worse in the beginning. After the investigation it was determined that the accident was not my fault and the officer was actually at fault! By that point I was joking with the cops on the scene, even poking fun at the one at fault, he didn’t seem to happy with it… but hey I’m white.

Let’s contrast my story, where I was in the wrong on several points with a story from a friend of mine. Carlton and I grew up in the same town. We’ve literally known each other the majority of our lives. Carlton is a great guy. Always has been.

Here’s a story that he just shared:

“The other day our house alarm went off early in the morning. I jumped up, got my 9mm and started searching the house. Got a call from the security company. They asked if I needed the police to come out. I said yes.
By the time the police got there I was outside with my gun searching the outside of the house.
Then I thought “oh crap, they’re about to approach me, and I have a gun in my hand.”
Then I started thinking about all the innocent black men who had been killed by cops, and I immediately started fearing for my life, thinking what if they mistake me for the robber instead of the person who lives here.
Not really knowing what to do, and having very little time before the police got out the car, the only thing I could think to do was hide the gun under my right arm.
Now some may think that wasn’t the best thing to do.
Maybe. Maybe not, but today we obviously know that telling them that you have a gun wasn’t the answer (as we recently just found out).
The cops approached me on my left side. They asked me for my license. I gave it to them.
We had just moved so my license address didn’t match my current address …smh. They called that in to verify my identity.
Now mind you all this is happening while a 9mm is tucked under my right arm. Finally after everything cleared, we realized it was a false alarm, and I thought everything was good, the white cop reached out to shake my hand. My RIGHT hand !!! All I could do was keep my gun tucked and shake his hand like I had something wrong with my arm and couldn’t extend it. That was scary. God was definitely watching over me!”

Notice the difference here. I actually had a few things that could have been held against me… In fact I would say if I were black I would have been taken to jail and charged with several things. I was really only worried about getting a ticket.

Sure there was a gun involved. But we all know damn good and well if I were approached by a cop I could say, “Officer I have a gun on me because I was concerned for my family.” And the situation would be fine. Carlton didn’t even have the option.

Carlton on the other hand was literally just making sure his family was safe and was fearing for his life. Carlton is a church musician and producer, y’all! He’s not a hardened criminal by any means. But he had to fear for his life.

There is something wrong with this.
It is wrong that my friend had to fear for his life because of the color of his skin.
It’s wrong that fear has gripped this country for far too long.
It’s wrong that my black brothers don’t feel like my brothers.

I’m here to say it loud and say it proud.

“You are my brother!”

“You are my sister!”

If you are with me and you feel any different you better call my ass out quick.
The truth is that all life matters, yes. But for far too long there has been a devaluation of black lives. So when people get up in arms about‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ it’s time for me to step in and say something.

It’s time for me to say we are readjusting the racial economy now. We are moving towards equality. Excuse me if I use some of my words, time and energy to build value in my dark skinned brothers. If that offends you, then by all means be offended. I won’t let your offense stifle my love for my brothers and sisters.

Your ignorance is painful.
Your ignorance will die.
Your ignorance only prolongs the solution.

The good news is that there are people searching for a solution. There are people who care. It’s time that we care a little more. It’s time that we destroy some walls.

You really want to kill the ignorance? Starting living together. Let’s begin small. Let’s offend the offended by our love for one another.

Black friends, you matter. You matter deeply to me. If you need an ear to talk to, I’m here. If you need someone to stand beside you in protest, I’m here. If you need anything, just ask me.

I feel like my words are meaningless compared to the enormity of the loss that we’ve seen lately. The loss of life is one thing but the loss of respect and the loss of safety needs to be addressed. If we begin addressing that we can begin to restore the value of these lives in the eyes of those that seem to not understand. If we want to stop the cycle we have to do it together. We have to do it as a family.

It has to start somewhere It has to start sometime

What better place than here, what better time than now?

All hell can’t stop us now
All hell can’t stop us now
All hell can’t stop us now
All hell can’t stop us now
All hell can’t stop us now
All hell can’t stop us now

Guerilla Life

Healed hands heal many.

A friend of mine once said something that has always stuck with me,

“Healed people heal people, hurt people hurt people.”

I can acknowledge so many places in my own behavior that is true. I can see where I have hurt people because of my hurts and I can see where I have helped bring healing because of healing that I have received.

I believe that we are designed to pass healing to the world. In fact we (Christ followers) are called to be ambassadors of Christ, be his representatives. Which would put a responsibility of healing on us. Spiritual healing is a gift, and we love to share our best gifts.

Our responsibility is to receive as much healing as we can! The overflow of that will be the passing on of that healing. The only way to receive healing is to die to the things that are holding you back from that. Generally, pride.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

One thing about the truly poor, they can’t hide it. It’s out for us all to see.                          Loud and not so proud.

We, however, have no idea what that’s like.

We play our highlight reels on social media daily.

We show our riches to the world.

We hide our poverty behind our pride, we hide behind the jealousy of others, we mask our poverty with Instagram smiling faces.

I’m not saying that we should be tweeting ashes and sackcloth clad selfies, that would be the same thing as the smiling photos that are masking the pain… it would be a façade for the actual spiritual poverty.

What I’m saying is maybe our poverty would be best put on display by not displaying anything for a moment.

Maybe our poverty would have a chance to actually gain a voice if we silenced the constant public broadcast of ourselves.

 

The cure is in the silence.

The kingdom of heaven begins to whisper to us quietly in those moments when we take a moment to listen and not talk.

When the selfies are put on hold

when the highlight reel freezes

when we are too broken to care about those things.

In those moments, listen… be patient. Be still. Just know.

Healed hands heal many.

unpacking, sorting and vomit

It’s been a while since I’ve sat behind the keyboard to write what’s on my heart. It’s also been a while since I’ve stopped what I was doing long enough to think about what’s on my heart. Hell, it’s been a while since I’ve slowed down to realize that I don’t even know what’s going on in my own heart.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. It’s how I sort out thoughts and unpack the things that I’ve been wrestling with. I’ve wrestled a lot the past year or so, but I haven’t slowed down enough to unpack and sort through the wrestling. So, there’s a lot of unpacking that I’ve got to do.

For the past year I have shifted gears drastically. I made a huge career change and I’ve become very successful in that. I believe that the Lord led me to that change and has blessed it. But within that blessing I have lost focus. I’ve been looking at the gift, and maybe I’ve lost focus on the Giver.

I’m going to enter into a season of focusing on the Giver and I would like for you to join with me… mostly in prayer. I’m going to use this time to sort through and unpack through this blog.

My goal is to have a focus that I haven’t had for years.

So here I could have erased everything that was just written and started over… but I think it’s a great testimony to how the Lord works. And just as the Lord often does, as I completed the sentence above…Elijah vomited. It was the perfect reminder that I’m not the same person that I used to be, I have 4 children, all at an age that require more of me than I’ve ever given. The Lord was quick to remind me that the years of focusing on the Giver were not in vain and the years of focusing on my children are just as important. There will be a chance to return to that level of focus but he has given me gifts that require care, the best way to honor Him is to honor them.

So with that, I will be continuing to write, and wrestle and unpack… but in a “live blogging” turn of events, I won’t be doing it with guilt. I’ll be doing it with a new perspective. I still ask that you pray for me as I do attempt to renew atleast portions of my former life, and integrate them into what I am now. But maybe also, pray that I do this all without a sense of guilt to be something that was another season, something that will probably return, something that I loved, but something that is ok to not have right now.

 

unpacking, sorting and vomit

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

Change isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s hard to even talk about. As is the case here.

 

It’s no secret that The Harris Bunch has been through some difficult times over the past year. Our most recent one being Crystal’s recent eye surgery, and just to update on that as well; the biopsy came back with precancerous cells. She will be going back in 3 months for a follow up to see how things are progressing.

As a result of this I have had to reevaluate my personal life. I work a lot. Even when I’m home I’m working, or exhausted from being out late the night before. The past year has been the most difficult for my family and they have lived a majority of it without me.

I don’t say any of that without acknowledging the blessings. We have grown closer through these trials. I love the people I  work with and spend so much time with. I love the people that I meet. I love having the relationships with touring bands and having mini family reunions when they are in town. I love that when my family was in need there are people that I work with who helped us through. THERE IS A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR!!!!

 

Now that I’ve avoided to real subject for long enough;

In 2 weeks my role as staff at Rocketown will come to an end. I have accepted a fulltime position with Boswell’s Harley Davidson as their marketing manager for all of the stores in Nashville and the one in Cookeville. Crystal and I have been praying for a while now about what is best for our family. It’s time for a change.

My love for Rocketown will be the same. Once you are a part of that family, you are always a part of that family. My new schedule will allow me to make shows occasionally and still be connected with you guys and gals. The music industry is a part of who I am and that’s not going anywhere.

There’s an interesting thing that happens when something you love becomes a “job”. For the past 2 years I have worked in the music industry, a love of mine, but I have put such an unfair pressure on that to provide for me that I have forgotten the love. A few nights ago we had a huge show in the white building, and it was bitter sweet. I knew at that point that I was going to have to write this. I knew that I would not have that as a “norm” every week. Part of me was thankful, because if I weren’t there I would have been at home with my wife and kids, but the other part was beginning to mourn. I will also continue to work with bands via The Reflex Agency.

To avoid the risk of forgetting someone I’m not going to list everyone that I should thank. You know who you are. I will list the one person who likes to mentioned every chance he can…. Wes Breedwell (yes I did include your name in the search terms so next time you google yourself you can see this). Thanks for making me feel welcome after you made my job a living hell 😉 I am thankful for everyone that has been a part of this time. Each and everyone of you have shaped my Nashville experience for the better.

Life is a crazy journey, the last bit has been an epic tale. I’ve shared it with thousands… tens of thousands and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The next bit will be equally as epic, and I’m thankful that I will still be able to travel back to lands that were once foreign and have solace.

 

I will never be able to express my gratitude. I love you all.

 

NO FRIENDS ALL FAMILY.

blackshortRCKTWNjpeg

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

Hell Can’t Tear Us Apart.

I struggle with being completely open. Sometimes it’s mistaken for strength, but in reality it’s a weakness. When life get’s hard I don’t always relay that. You know what? The past year has been hard as hell. There I said it.

It’s been hard in the traditional, we ain’t got no money kind of of way… but it’s deeper than that too. That’s the purpose of this blog. I need to be open on that.

Most of you know my wife, Crystal. You know that she is my best friend. She is the mother of my four children. She manages our household. She keeps me going. She inspires me daily.

On Friday the love of my life is going in for surgery. She is having a tumor removed from her eye. There will be a biopsy on the irregular tissue. This is terrifying.

I don’t have alot of time to process things, my life is constantly GO GO GO… so I’m pretty matter of fact about the whole situation, but in reality, when I slow down and process the whole thing it scares the hell out of me.

For the past month and a half we’ve slowly let a few more people know about this, but now that we are getting down to the wire I need to be open and ask for your prayer.

First, for Crystal. She is going through more than most people can handle. Pray for strength and healing.

Second, for the kids. Ariyel knows whats going on, she is so strong. But the other kids are living within this over lying stress and tension of what lies ahead… which is a mystery at this point.

Third, pray for me. I don’t really know what I’m doing right now. There is uncertainty and that’s hard. I don’t always let my needs be known, so pray that I’m transparent within that.

Your prayers are coveted. Your friendship is priceless. Your love is more important than you know.

Hell Can’t Tear Us Apart.