Wednesday, October 18, 2006

...So one of the disadvantages of a commitment to excellence in work is that it leaves little time for existence in other areas. For example, I haven't lifted a finger in exercise for the 2 or 3 weeks I've been hitting it hard at work....and I don't eat well if I eat at all during the day. And get the picture.

I obviously hit a nerve with my last post....(sarcasm is harder in written form)

Last night I dreamed I was fishing (I never fish) and I was on the bank with a tree limb and a very short line (like 3 feet)...There were lots of fish and I was catching a few but I was aware that the bigger fish were further out and I couldn't reach them because of the short line. I was looking around and finally took one of my shoestrings out and tied it to the end of the line and started catching bigger fish. Now aside from a myriad of sexual inadequacy references, anybody wanna take a shot at that??

Dawn sang with the Nashville Choir at the new symphony hall Sunday night. Several guests sang with them including our local American idol star Mandisa (Which by the way, I've always thought was the perfect testimony to how our God never changes: who else would use a little black girl from Antioch to show the love of Jesus to 100 million people starting with Simon Cowell better than Billy Graham or Pat Robertson could ever do)

Anyway, the night was filled with wonderful music and Christ-loving people of many races and denominations worshiping together. The most interesting part of the night was when Dawn and I and 2 other girls were in the parking lot and one of those guys walked up to me and said "Excuse me sir, I'm down on my luck and was wondering if you could give me something to get a hotdog or something?" So I put my arm around the guy and talked to him for a few minutes and gave him some money and hugged him. As soon as he left a Symphony hall security guy came running over and said "Did that guy ask you for money?" When I told him yes he said "I apologize sir, we're trying to keep people like that away from here"....

Was God in there....or out there?

...the last shall be first....

Have a peace-filled week,

Saturday, October 14, 2006


After Dan Mcvay's short but powerful talk at Zoe this year, I recently bought a book he mentioned, "The New Christendom" by Phillip Jenkins. This book explains through solid research how the western world is no longer the center of Christianity and that there are now 100 million more Christians in Africa than in America....and that by 2050, if trends continue, only about 1/5th of the world's 3 billion Christians will white Americans.

Probably in my lifetime and certainly in my children's, the term "White Christian" may be a curious oxymoron, like a "Sweedish Buddist".

This is a hard sell to we post-modern American Christians. After all, aren't we the center of the universe in all respects. Doesn't everyone want to be like us? Aren't we the model of Christian society built on respect for God and his principles? Don't we perpetuate the ideals of freedom to the rest of the oppressed world?


Above is a 34 Star US flag (1863) I recently aqquired.


Monday, October 02, 2006

το καλύτερό μου

There was a 19th century funiture maker (although I can't recall his name..and I probably couldn't spell it even if I could) who, after spending countless hours perfecting his work and satisfied that he could not make it better, would carve into the piece in some inconspicuous place the Latin phrase that translated, "My Best".

I'm not much for Latin but above is the Greek equivalent.

This is my new philosophy on my job. From now on, when I sit down to make up a song, the end result will be the product of my best effort on that particular day. I understand some days will be better than others but that doesn't change what I expect of myself.

..and here's the bottom of the iceberg: I want this to be the micro-cosum for the rest of my life. Some days will be better than others but if I could end the day knowing that It was the product of my best effort as a Husband,Dad, Christian, Person....I think my head would hurt less before bedtime (although maybe a little less green tea might help too).

I wonder if they make those little ink stamps with Greek letters? Maybe Mars Hill bookstore?? :)

Holy Father, I am so bad at multitasking. Please make yourself the thread of consistency that runs through this wild ride called "ordinary life" and rain down grace, Love and peace on your broken but willing servant.

The only show worth watching "studio 60" had one of the cast members leading a prayer in last week's episode in which she closed the prayer "In the name of your son Jesus Christ-who must have had a great sense of humor to get so many people to listen to him."

..I'd like to believe that's pretty accurate.

HE is PeaCe-


Friday, September 29, 2006


My life seems to be so busy that I have trouble just living it, much less writing about it.:)

Things are good with us here. The fall is a busy time. Soccer. Gymnastics.Metal Detecting. Award shows. Zoe.

...oh, yeah..writing for the majority of artists that come off the summer tour season and all seem to record in the same month.

I went to a exclusive invitation-only party this week that Kenny Chesney put on for all the writers who had written a song for him. It was quite a little get together and I got to see friends I had not seen in a while. Got some good food and of course lots of things with rum in them. (It was Kenny's party, after all). Also got presented some nice wall candy to hang at the office and got to talk to Kenny for a minute or two. We had a laugh. I reminded him that the 1st writing appointment I ever had in Nashville was with him. It was right after his 1st single came out and we sat in the room and didn't write a thing. Then we went down to Mac's cafe in his little beat up Mazda truck and he bought me a bowl of chili and then we went to a guitar store and played guitars neither one of us could afford.
....Kenny made $36 Million......Last year.

For some reason I've yet to discover, that party got me thinking about stewardship and gifts and honoring God with my work...I suddenly became honest with myself about how easy it is for me to write songs on autopilot...and how many times I start a song with someone and the goal is to see how fast I can get out of the room and onto something I like better. and how the product of that approach resembles different shades of mediocre. And how for the 1st time in my carrer I am disatisfied with my activity and it has nothing to do with money. any case..I went to work the next day and wrote what I believe (and most people that have heard it believe) is the best song I've ever written....and as has been the case with any song I've written that has gone on to success, I barely remember writing it. The whole experience was....redemptive.

Big backlog of pictures coming soon....

I can feel in the deepest part of me God preparing me for Zoe....It always seems to work that way.....we look forward to seeing all of you that are coming up for it.

pieces of peace-

Monday, August 14, 2006


I Got two words for ya.....Fried pickles and Pig Racing.
It's funny sometimes that we had to move to the city to find the country.

Last week was the Williamson co. fair. We had a blast. Like the old co. fairs in "Charlotte's Web" Vegetable, cattle, rooster and rabbit judging. Great food, pony rides, bluegrass and rides,rides,rides!

Ironically, I started a 2 week detox, boot camp training with a trainer. Man, I feel better than I have in 2 years!! Green Tea, tons of water.

I also had one of those typical music business weeks where on monday I had nothing really going on and by Saturday I have 3 singles coming out on the radio in the next couple of months.

1st is the next single on the Canadian band, Doc Walker..they consistantly have #1 hits up there on mainstream radio and the song is an alternative rock thing I wrote with rock artist John Paul adding in late sept. single out early oct.

2nd is the next single on the new country band "Heartland". Their first single, "I loved Her First" is the fastest moving single on the charts right now and probably going to be one of the biggest hits of 2006. My song is called " Play Hurt".

3rd is I got an email forward from Ronnie Dunn saying that "Hillbilly Deluxe" will be the next single on Brooks and Dunn. There also some coke promotion where HBD will be on 4 million cases of Coke starting Aug go buy some of dat:)

Anyway, that's the way it goes in my business...Check back next week..I might all fall through:) Maybe not.....

Hope you are all well....all 3 of you.


Monday, August 07, 2006


It's a little known fact outside the music business but aprox. 35% of scheduled writing appointments are either cancelled or no-shows. I took this with the built-in icam on my Macbook Pro this morning during one of the no-shows. I knew it would come in handy one day. Frustrating.

Anyway...Letting that Romans thing lie for the moment. Spent some quality time in our life group last night. We have been trying the past few meeting times to approach some authenticity within our group that I believe is essential to creating true community. I think we, in this fiercely independent culture, have a really hard time being truly honest with anyone outside of maybe our spouse. The problem with that is (in my opinion) is that we are called to community that requires that kind of honesty to really work.

I think we've done a poor job of this in our fellowship. As evidenced by the fact that, many times, when there is disagreement about worship, exergesis, doctrine, tradition, food, dress or just about anything else, instead of church people engaging in dialogue about it and agreeing to disagree, all the time knowing and affirming their longterm commitment to one another (like we do in our marriages), they (we) just split and go find another church or start our own church. Most of the time this damages individuals, churches and our witness of unity to the world.

I can tell my wife that I disagree with her and I don't like certain things and such...But at no time does she ever question my love and commitment to her. WE are in it for the long haul-Warts and all. That's how we should be in our community of faith. That's what we're called to (Eph. 4). We are seeking that kind of authenticity and honesty and love within our small group that will cultivate that kind of community. I think that's where it starts. Pray for us.:)

"Dangerous Man" will be in stores next week.... I wrote the title cut with my boy Craig.


Thursday, July 27, 2006


Sorry about that....I'm back.

I really have too many irons...not just in the fire, but too many period. Maybe I should trade some in for brass... (It may take some you a while to get that:)

ANNNyway- I have been CONSUMED by Romans the past week or so...I sincerely believe that the more I really soak in the writings of Paul, the more I am convinced he is as brilliant and as skilled in the ways of subtle articulation as Aristotle or Shakespeare. And although his larger, intended message in any given letter could have easily been discerned by most Jews or Gentiles of the 1st century, the layers that are there, underneath, challenge the best minds of our time as well....There are no wasted words. Ever. The word of God shakes my soul to the very core. I am in complete and utter awe of it. Imagine how it will be in the presence of the One who it is about.

I am wrestling with trying to read Romans within it's Historical context, as though I were a pagan roman who has heard the Ευαγγέλιο Χριστού...(Gospel of Christ) while trying to reconstruct Paul's worldview as a lifelong Parisee, walking around as a Roman citizen and having met the risen Savior, now converted to this new theology.... Not an easy task...but I believe, for me, imperative to understanding what is really being said.
As much controversy as 1st Cor. 15 and 1st and 2nd Timothy has caused in our immediate faith (COC) over the years, Romans has brought about much more fundemental disagreements in the wider protestant world.

Here's a sample:

Romans 3:21..pretty much the scripture where I first saw the true Gospel....

NIV translates dikaiosune Theu as "Righteousness From God"...When in fact the greek is "Righteousness OF God" several of the literal translations correctly say. How does this change what Romans 3:21 says to you? What about 1:17? Same greek phrase....Not that the idea of Imputed Righteousness isn't supported by scripture elsewhere...but what is 3:21 about if it's not imputed righteousness?

Anyway....It was good to play at Crosspoint last Friday...It was good to play at Handy last night. It'll be good to play at the Bluebird on Aug 19th and 21th and at seaside (watercolor) the 24th. Sooner or later I'm gonna actually remember the words to my songs:)

Above is a picture of my new flag. It's a Confederate 1st national pattern that was made around 1890-1900. UCV=United Confederate Veterans. It's 60" X 39". It'll be interesting to see where Dawn lets me put it:)

Peace to those who seek it...


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