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If you know me well enough to know my secrets, you know songwriting is one of the top three activities I most love doing. I’ve got about 40 songs completed with another 50-60 in the pipeline of creativity. Most are from the prolific period of 2004-2011. One dates to 1991, and a few are much newer (2016-2017). Years for each are on the lyric sheets.
I didn’t learn how to play guitar until 2001. I’m forever grateful to my friends Cindy L. and Nathaniel D., both of whom invested their knowledge into my future. Much enjoyment comes from writing songs that can encourage or reframe the perspective of others.
When I record songs for the Like a Road blog, I prefer to keep it simple, with just an iPhone and no editing of the video or audio. I’m more of a live music player than a studio musician, so there you have it. I’m not all that pleased with any “home studio” demo.
Now, if you wish, you can check out my list of favorite recordings. I’ll add new ones to the list as time goes on, and do my best to keep the full track list updated as well. Enjoy!
At first, maybe unimpressive. Just some guy singing part of some unknown song in front of a Joshua Tree. A few mistakes, some hesitant vocals, and the sound of birds and wind in the microphone at the end. So what’s the big deal?
This is a snapshot of change.
Something happened out there in the desert. I took that long, slow trip across the Mojave with no agenda but to eventually arrive in the mountains. Guitar in trunk, and having no idea how it would sound and look, I sang just to see what it would feel like. And it felt great.
Wishing I’d put more into it, I kept the video and started a fun new hobby: playing live music on the internet. Within weeks, this eclectic exercise in performance art showed me things about living that I would never let go. And I’m still learning.
But the big secret of this all, the one that would take me months to share with anyone, is that I knew I was facing the greatest challenge of my life. The physical pain and other effects of an accident nearly three years earlier was growing heavier and harder to bear. This was the day I started to understand the strength within myself just wouldn’t be enough.
And I started to see differently the many others who are lost and forgotten by the wayside.
I learned something new about what that felt like.
We can’t get through this alone.
We all need others.
I’m supposed to be about 6’5″ and straight as an arrow. But a few bad habits and one bad fall has me coming in a few inches short nowadays. My chiropractor has an opinion about this. “Stand tall. It’s better for everyone.”
Sure, there may have been a subconscious intent to lower my height to help even the balance in conversations. Some see this as polite, to others it’s patronizing. But what is it when it’s unintentional? It’s bad for everyone.
When I stand tall, he urged me, others will look upward and improve their own posture. It’s better for everyone.
What can we learn?
Rather than debase ourselves to make others feel more comfortable with their lesser height or health or wisdom, we can be the better example. Stand tall in your faith, and as others’ eyes are drawn upward, you can help them look higher still.
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32)
If you want to tell others what you know about God, draw eyes upward.
Encourage others to stand tall, to look outward and above. It’s better for everyone.