I have been taking the “Let it Go” show on the road of late as part of the Identity Series.
Synopsis: In His presence… as I begin to let go of who I think I am, of the hurts and struggles of the past, of the sins of my father and the guilt and disappointments that have held captive my heart… I make room for the real me to emerge. Like Lazarus materializing from the tomb, once strangled by that deathly shroud of the old man, of my old ways, I come alive… I am reborn… to be the person I was always meant to be… the precious child God knew before I was born. Jer 1:5 “Before you were born I knew you…”
This is a process of healing that begins in worship and continues with the learned prayer practices of Letting Go… of casting not just my cares upon the Lord but everything that keeps me in that prison of false or misshapen identity.
The Closer I am to Him, the closer I am to myself… the closer I am to myself… the closer I am to Him.
Here’s a video of a live session from CBC, the Church family that helped us move to California back in 93.
I was thinking today of the deep sense of belonging I have when, after I am able to find the quietness in me, I can be still long enough to ‘enter’ God’s presence. All I need is a moment, and the weight of the world falls from my shoulders and I remember once again who I am… and that I have some value… and an important job to do.
I am not sure what your typical day looks like but mine is mostly one of chaos in which I am constantly battling my way through a jungle of work, stress, finances, emotional ups and downs, fatigue, ‘getting older’, other people’s expectations of me and my own distorted view of the path ahead.
When David so beautifully wrote “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…” he knew what he was talking about.
We are each designed to be an important part of a puzzle… of God’s great plan. The plan doesn’t make sense unless all the pieces of the puzzle are in place.
I need you to be you as much as you need me to be me.
We spend so much of our time not really knowing who we are or believing the lie that we don’t have anything of value to offer our community… and or we see more value in another and so then we try to be like him or her… and that doesn’t work… no matter how hard we try.This is why… the one moment alone with our “Dad’ is so imperative.
Without water we dehydrate, without oxygen we suffocate, and without some aloneness with His spirit we depreciate our own spirit, our identity and our value to each other.
So please do me a favor will you… put down your phone… and take a stroll along the beach or sit for a few minutes in the garden or hide yourself away in the attic, or turn off the car radio on your way home from the office… and be silent and try to enter that mysterious place of welcome, of identity, of permission… to be encouraged, to be reminded of the simplicity of who you are and how valuable you are to the rest of us.
One organization chased me for years, wanting me to take on the role of their creative director. The job would have required me to uproot my family and move again… this time out of LA… away from where I believed I was meant to be.
After each polite refusal these guys would offer more money and bigger perks.
Their last offer was kind of crazy…”They would pay me $150k per year plus a large deposit on a house of my choosing and all I had to do was be an influence over the creative team… I didn’t have to do any specific work or show up at any given time…
It can be difficult as a ‘professional’ to step down from the ‘lofty’ stage-platform to enjoy music as much as the fan or the amateur. When I listen to my live recordings with my professional ears I hear flat notes, wrong chords, jumbles lyrics, imbalanced mixes and the occasional annoying cough from an audience member (would someone please pray for that person).
And so I need, from time to time to be reminded that, often the most beautiful recordings, perhaps like people, are the slightly broken or imperfect ones. And… I should know this… because it is in these ‘live’ moments that I am at my best within myself, collaborating with the other musicians and singers and of course, the most important people in the room… the audience.
Quite recently, a good friend was thanking me for my new live album and as he mumbled on about how he and his wife had been fighting over the CD… I wondered to myself… ‘What new live album?’ I soon understood that he was talking about this mix of live recordings I had collected over a few years and had (in a weak moment) given to him as a present.
The thing is… the request for the live concert recordings is becoming all to common… and while I battle with the sliding scale of quality I am gradually weakening my resolve in favor of the lovely messy moments of live music making… and like Jesus… I am stepping down off my throne… and setting the mixes free. For, my fan ears tell me that there is something lovely in these recordings… and these same fan ears allow me to enjoy or enter into the moments of worship as I listen to these tracks.
And so… I want to make this available to all the people that have encouraged or prayed or supported me over these many years. It is a live worship merry Christmas present (without the carols and bonbons).
Water is that lovely colorless liquid that forms rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and puddles. Water is also a metaphor for spirit.
Without a daily supply of clean H20 our natural bodies begin to dehydrate. Dehydration, can be mild to severe, based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. It can be a life threatening emergency. If an adult human being, without clothes, food or water were placed in a shadeless part of the Sahara desert on a hot day, he or she would be dead before nightfall.
To survive indefinitely in hot and exposed desert conditions, the average adult requires at least 6.5 liters (1.5 gallons) of water each day.
A life without the daily refreshment of spiritual water leads to another kind of dehydration.
An Oasis on the other hand is an area within a desert with a fresh water supply for vegetation and human use. It may consist of a single small spring around which palms grow or be an extensive area where the water table is at or near the ground surface.
Planted by the Water is all about helping creatives and communicators become carriers of this spirit water. Our mission is to awaken musicians, artists and storytellers to both the richness of God’s creative spirit and His desire to use their music, art and stories to carry love, life, healing and restoration to their communities.
Let us know if we can help your creative community.
Sometimes we have to wait a long time to receive an answer….. often years…. and after a while the question, desire, need or quest may have changed or been forgotten…. because we have changed and the answer we first sought is now quite irrelevant or… it just doesn’t matter anymore.
I am inspired by the 4th century desert fathers and mothers…. ordinary people who chose the way of the hermit…. sensing to leave behind all their belongings, their friends, their reputations, their dreams…. they embraced a life of solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Of course public opinion raged against them….. they were deemed crazy…… and though many were poorly educated peasants, former slaves and prostitutes, some of these and prostitutes, some of these men and woman were giving up vast incomes, houses, careers and good family names….. all in the search of something better……. something they knew they couldn’t find in their current lifestyles.
And…. after battling through years of loneliness, poverty, self sacrifice and inner torment….. these hermits…. these “losers” found joy in their waiting….. and many who had once mocked their poor ‘decision making’….. were soon reaching out to them for help…… traveling many miles across deserts….. even traversing continents just to sit for a few moments at the feet of a ‘wise one’. Some of these new ‘pilgrims’, these seekers of truth were actually the Kings, Princes, and the wealthy and the noble…… the movers and the shakers.
Of course most of the ‘new seekers’ returned home disappointed because they were not given the answer they desired.
Busy people demand immediate solutions to their problems.
No the desert fathers and mothers were prone to offer suggestions like this ….. “friend, consider the farmer….. he understands the seasons… first he sows… then he waters…. and then waits patiently, allowing nature do work all things together in perfect harmony… in its own time.”
Waiting isn’t easy…. if it were… well… anyone could do it.