#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.

#unitedbymusic

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.

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.

love is life

Sometimes I neglect to marvel at the wonders of the cross.

The marvels of God’s deep, rich, indescribable love for me.

Seriously, stop what you are doing and reflect on that.

Reflect on his glory. Consider his majesty. Stop and consider this, written by Brennan Manning:
“The slant of the earth for example, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, produces our seasons. Scientists tell us that if the earth had not been tilted exactly as it is, vapors from the oceans would move both north and south, piling up vast continents of ice. If the moon were only 50,000 miles away from earth rather than 250,000 the tides would be so enormous that all continents would be submerged in water- even mountains would be eroded. If the crust of the earth had been only 10 feet thicker, there would be no oxygen, and without it all animal life would die, had the oceans been only a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life would exist. The earths weight has been estimated at six sextillion tons that a six with 21 zeros behind it. Yet it is perfectly balanced and turns on it’s axis. It rotates daily at the rate of more than a thousand miles per hour, or 25,000 miles each day… this adds up to 9 million miles each year. Considering the enormous weight of 6 sextillion tons rolling at the fantastic speed around this invisible axis, held in place by bands of gravitation, the words of Job 26:7 take on unparalleled signifigance: ‘He poised the world on nothingness'”

THINK ABOUT THAT! He created all of this for you… so that you could live! Every detail scientifically calculated, from subatomic physics to the quantum physics to the color of the sunset… He loves you so deeply and passionately that he created the scent of mountain air, the softness of an infants cheek, the beauty of the morning dew resting in the sun rise! Our lives are packed full of meaning!

The meaning of our lives is love! Love created us and love propels us through the universe at 9,000,000 miles a year on a tiny rock that only weighs 6,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo tons.

Nothing motivates love like love. Nothing in all of creation has the impact of love. Why? Because love wasn’t created… it always was! It is the very nature of the ever lasting God, who was, and is, and is to come! Love is the one thing that sustains us all.

Take a minute and reflect on that. Love is the reason that you are abel to read this right now.

Do me a favor, stop and consider that, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, think of the significance of you, so insignificant in comparison to the universe, and yet you are being sustained by things that are perfectly calculated… consider for a moment that it’s not by chance, but rather it was created just for you, to sustain your life; that your perceived insignificance is the distortion of the truth of your actual significance to something that loves you so deeply that it gave up everything to see you breathe. That your breath was the most precious thing in all of creation. Consider the possibility of a being so great that it was actually able to breathe LIFE! That breath was life! Not metaphorically speaking, but literally life.
Consider that the being had been separated from the very thing that it loved so much that it created the perfect environment to sustain life. Imagine the heart break of that, imagine the heart break of having what you love more than anything turn it’s back from you. And then consider the joy of that being when a new way was made possible; that the rift in the relationship was not irreversible. Consider that the tiny rock you are on flying through space and time on was created for you to come back to the original love that breathed life into you. Maybe, just maybe, the creator of all of this, created it just for you… just for you to come to him. Maybe, just maybe, he is waiting on you to come to him, and maybe… just maybe he created all of this to sustain you, but possibly he created it so intricate to point you back to him, so that you could not forget the extravagance of his love for you.

The significance of your life is immeasurable. You are valuable beyond human comprehension. When you compare your worth with the intricacies of the universe and the fact that they are created to sustain you, you begin to see glimpses of your actual value to the creator.

I neglect this love constantly. The amount of time I spend reflecting on this, when compared to things that are worthless in my life is insane. I would rather check facebook than check myself reflecting the glory of this love… Why do I do this? Maybe I’m not reflecting that glory and maybe I want to avoid that thought. Maybe it’s easier to fill my life with insignificance than to allow that love to take control… maybe it’s safer.

But the beautiful thing about love is that it has no regard for safety! When I begin to reflect on that love, so extravagant, I begin to throw caution to the wind and want nothing more than to live a life reflecting that love to the world. I want to live my life alongside the one that created me and sustains me through greater means than I will ever be able to fathom.

Safety is an illusion that separates us from life. Comfort separates us from love.
Love is an adventure, full of danger… and life.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

love is life