. . . Sent co-founders Andi Ashworth and Charlie Peacock all over America for twenty years to speak on the core ideas behind an imaginative, creative life to Art House America advocates.
Heard U2 frontman Bono sing three verses of “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love” while sitting at the fireplace in 2002, after he encouraged a room full of artists to engage with the AIDS community and the extreme poverty emergency in Africa. . . .
So, after twenty plus years of an open door, we declared a sabbatical.
It was the start of something good. In the press of always taking care of others, we hadn't been taking care of ourselves. Without extra people to feed, we could eat smaller and healthier meals. We also returned to something we love — ending many of our days with a vigorous walk in the trails of a nearby wooded park.
In essence, this was why we met that day in my living room: because beauty matters to God and because, as the body of Christ, we testify to one another that God sees us, that our work matters.
There was some venting, yes; there was philosophy; but above all, there was connection. In the sprawling Dallas metroplex lined with suburban brick homes, school zones, and shopping centers, visual artists, musicians, and writers assembled. We peeked into the crevices of our landscaped society and found wildflowers.
Nobody seems to know where the foolish word came from — a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, obviously, but we don’t say lupper or dunch. Someone claims a reporter for the New York Morning Sun coined it in the early twentieth century as a way to describe the way a morning newspaper man ate: frenzied, I suppose, too busy to eat breakfast.
I gave up breakfast a long time ago, when I realized it just makes me hungry for lunch hours too early, but I think that portmanteau-inventing reporter and I, teaching college freshmen to wrangle words in the early mornings, are kindred souls.
car to the left
gravel under tire
geez that house is ugly
sprawling, uniform fence did not
under any circumstances
History is watching. The story of how we are reacting to disease and extreme poverty and hunger is being written. How are you using your imaginative and creative abilities to tell a good story? Art is about making, but it is never better than when it accompanies a life well made. Set your compass toward living a seamless creative life where the full weight of your gifts are offered to the great needs of the world, from the need for beauty to the need for vaccines for the poorest children. This is the just and artful life.
Pulling English Ivy is back-breaking work. . . . You are sweaty, thirsty, and exhausted. You use words not part of your common vocabulary. You want to scream. You want to give up. You look back at the sailboat rounding the bend, the stars and stripes flapping in the breeze. WHY are we doing this?
You've chosen a noble vocation. Or, perhaps music has chosen you? That's even better. An invitation is preferable to a cold call.
At all times and in all ways, you must relentlessly pursue success. That is, as long as success is defined as increased skill and ability, imagination, humility, generosity of spirit, good humor, gratitude, innovation, love, and empathy, and becoming more like Jesus, not less. Your life as a musician is an invitation to become one kind of person in the world and not another, while leaving the world a better place than when you first arrived. It is a unique calling to live a seamless, integrated, creative life before God and the world, cultivating and enjoying the gift of music. Take it seriously . . .