Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Trying - A post for my son.

I am dreaming dreams for you. I am thinking about how you and I can be friends. I want to mow the grass with you. I want to play soccer with you. I want to blow big bubbles with our gum and let them pop on our noses. I want to fix the house, the car, your toy, all with you by my side.
I remember times when I was helping my daddy and he got frustrated with me because I didn’t do it right. I remember how that felt inside in my heart. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.
I can see your heart in your eyes. I can see when I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry. I love you so much. I don’t know why I get so frustrated sometimes. I guess, if I’m honest, I am getting frustrated at the little boy that I was and getting mad at that boy. Why couldn’t he just do it right and make his daddy happy? Why did he have so many feelings? Why? I look at that little boy and wish he didn’t have to feel those things. And it makes me sad that what I am wanting is for you not to feel. Not to feel sad. Not to feel happy, angry, lonely, joyful. It is easier for me to love me as a little boy when I am not faced with who I really was.
But here is the problem, I love who you are. I don’t want you to change. I watch desperately as I try, uncontrollably, to make the real you go away, all the while wondering what I am doing to make you so frustrated with me. Why am I not trying to bring the little boy inside of me back to life? Is it possible to teach that boy that it is ok to feel? Can I teach him that by watching you? Can your feelings be the catalyst for my emotional recovery?
You are so smart and witty. You are clever and imaginative. You are unrestrained by “should”. You are also selfishly motivated. But so am I. Selfishness is not a childish trait but a human one. That being the case, what is the difference between you and me? You have Jesus. I have Jesus. You have ideas. I have ideas. You have love to give. I have love to give. You have me and I have you, I just come with more baggage than you. I’m trying, little man. I’m trying.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beauty Is In The Making

Is creativity a means to an end? Or is the process the point?

I recently heard someone say, “Creativity for the sake of reaching a production goal is factory work.” The question I have been asking is, “Do we ever really create just for the sake of creativity?”
When I sit down to write a song I often find my mind jumping past the writing process to the part where I am recording and releasing the song. I begin to fantasize about how the song will be received and what accolades I will win as a result. This is my narcissism. But do I need to be certain of the result to be able to engage in the process? I believe there are two things that keep us from engaging in an unfettered creative flow.

One | We live in an outcome-based, goal-oriented society. This is not inherently bad, but it can have negative effects when trying to create something completely original with no limitations on what direction our creative process takes.

Two | We are generally undisciplined when it comes to our creative processes. I know this statement sounds perpendicular to the previous one, but I think it is important that we know our own tendencies in creative moments so well that we are able to be intentional about placing limitations on ourselves to achieve the desired result.

I am beginning to think that our primary goal should be to find joy in procedure, to find beauty in the making. When we submit our ideas to a self-imposed set of standards or a guiding creative philosophy, I think we will find far more joy and satisfaction with both the creative process and the resulting outcome than we’ve previously experienced.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Meaning Behind "...isms".

I often write about things that I call "Euphemisms For Life". These euphemisms are anecdotes or metaphors that represent who I am as a person. They are parts to the whole. I titled my blog "...isms" because I thought it was a clever way to hint at what I've described above. I am diverting my course a little bit as I move forward with my pursuit of creating a "songwriter's blog". The name of the blog will not change because I still like it, but I will be experimenting with the content and the style a bit. I would love to hear comments and feedback on my ideas and blogging experiments. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who Understands What We Do?

Baptism Weekend at the LCBC Campuses!!!

Psalm 33:1-9, 13-15
1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord ;
it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song of praise to him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
4 For the word of the Lord holds true,
and we can trust everything he does.
5 He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

6 The Lord merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
7 He assigned the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
8 Let the whole world fear the Lord ,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.
9 For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.

This weekend people on every campus are making a public declaration of their intention to follow God and look to Jesus as their savior. Thru baptism an incredible thing happens as we symbolically shed our old nature and come out of the water with our sin no longer being the truest part of who we are. We are now saying to our community that we chose to be defined by Christ’s salvation in us. Does this mean that, thru our own actions, we are the ones doing the changing in our own hearts? No, it’s still the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Even when we try to make choices that honor our commitment to follow Jesus we still do things that are inconsistent with that decision. But we continue to follow with confidence knowing that He made our hearts and understands everything we do.