Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not A Huge Fan So Far

Blogging twice a week was one of my 2011 goals, and so far, it's gone pretty well. Looking things over, it appears that I have fallen short of my writing goal, usually averaging 5-6 posts per month. So I'm not quite there. However, I will not be legalistic about my writing frequency [or infrequency], but will simply do the best I can.

The process [although that seems too concrete a word for how these blog entries come about] has been interesting. I have heard it said that some people enjoy creating, and others enjoy having created. That is, the process is not enjoyable to them. For me, when I write music, I enjoy the creative process. However, writing these blog entries has not been very enjoyable for me. It's like working out; I am trusting that it is benefiting me [somehow], and so I am doing it even though I usually don't feel like it.

What the benefit might be? Who knows. Certainly there is no harm in wanting to improve your writing or cohesiveness of thought. There is nothing wrong with trying to discover your own voice. However, I'm just trusting that these benefits are taking place on a deeper level, because I am not perceiving them in any way.

Truthfully, I haven't put very much effort into these blog entries. In fact, the first few weeks I put in the most effort, and since then, have usually just been trying to get these posts finished. Just trying to accomplish the goal that I set for myself. I apologize to you, the reader, if there has been little of value here.

But for now, I'm not overly enjoying this discipline. I am trusting the results will be good for me, but currently....eh....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Working Towards Goals

I have spoken on this blog some about some goals I am working toward in 2011. I have created several goals for 2011, so that I can maximize my time, and not allow life to get away from me, always putting off things until the next day or the next moment.

It's going quite well. With the exception of one goal, I have made significant progress toward each of these ends.

All in all, I am finding deep fulfillment in a number of areas as I work towards these goals. I go to bed each night, content that at least some of my day each day has been moving me towards these goals. My hope is that they are helping grow me into being the person God wants me to be.

I highly recommend goal-setting. It has been said, "If you don't know where you want to go, any road will take you there."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Murder Isn't Sin

I am a sucker for John Grisham novels. I recently finished his latest, the Confession, which centers on a man who was wrongly convicted for murder and awaits lethal injection on death row.

SPOILER ALERT!! The good guy gets the needle. He is executed by the state of Texas.

This book has me thinking again about capital punishment. I am strongly opposed to it, to be frank. Reading the book made me upset. Not that, in the story, the wrong man gets the punishment, but that this system of "justice" exists at all. It is violent, hypocritical, and unjust.

Philosophically, it makes no sense. We kill people because they killed people. When an individual does it, it's murder. We prosecute. When the state does it, it's "justice." I just can't get on board with this idea. Either killing is wrong, or it isn't. If it's wrong for an individual citizen, it's wrong for "the state," too. [I use quotation marks when I say "the state," because this is merely a word to make us feel better about execution. It makes us feel like a faceless entity is doing the executing. In truth, it is judges, juries, doctors, wardens--men and women, real people--doing the executing.]

Every advanced society in the world, with the exception of the United States, has discontinued the use of capital punishment.

Consider this verse:

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it,
The world and all who dwell in it. [Psalm 24:1]

If the earth and all who dwell in it belong to God, then who are we to end someone's life prematurely? What gives "the state" the authority to decide that which should be left to God alone? Christians are certainly outspoken in their belief that abortion and suicide are sin. Why? Because it's the taking of a life that belongs to God. Can anyone honestly say that capital punishment is any different?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Perfect Storm

I'm happy to say that lately, I've been feeling great. Honestly, I feel like I can be kind of a moody guy. If not publicly, at least in my thought life, I vacillate between being optimistic and being incredibly cynical. Being encouraging and being sarcastic. Very moody. Eh, it makes me feel more like an artist.

I think I'm feeling so great for a combination of factors:

1. Working out a lot. I'm on about Day 50 of P90X, the hardest workout program I've ever been on. The workouts are increasing my energy level and general mental and emotional outlook. At home and at work, I feel focused and energized. It's exactly the boost that working out is supposed to give you. Check out P90X here.

2. Scheduling my week. I recently read a blog post by Michael Hyatt, the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing. He is an oustanding blogger, and recently posted a breakdown of how he actually schedules his week. I have been trying this lately, and am finding myself being more productive and focused at work. I love it. Turns out, I prefer more structure in my life than I originally thought. I think as long as I can create the structure for myself, I enjoy having a scheduled and organized week. It has really helped me a lot. You can check out Hyatt's blog post here.

3. The weather is improving. I think the weather is partly dictating my mood. I know that as a songwriter, I almost always match the type of song I'm writing with the weather [rainy=mellow, instrospective; sunny=upbeat, celebrative]. And I think it affects my mood as well. While it has been rainy lately, the warmer weather has been really helpful in my overall happiness and thankfulness.

4. Focusing on specific goals and attitudes. At the beginning of the year, I set some goals and attitudes I wanted to approach 2011 with. So far, I've been faithful to these goals and attitudes. It's going very well so far. The result is that I'm living in the sweet spot, focusing my energies on things that excite me, and am "using my time wisely" [as Mrs. Waggoner would say].

All in all, it's been a formula for an abundant, focused, joy-filled few weeks. Give it a try.

Monday, May 2, 2011


‎Last night, as I was about to call it a night, I saw the ESPN ticker breaking the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces. So, I stayed up and watched the President's address. And I jumped online and clicked around for reaction from the social media.

There is great emotion involved in a moment like this. Personally, I feel a mixture of emotions. I feel a little better [in that I presume, probably naively, that the world is safer without bin Laden].

Mostly, I have just been feeling a deep sadness. Sadness for our propensity for violence. Sad thinking back to 9/11. Sadness for how we glorify violence. Sad at our human desire for revenge. Sad that more life was lost. Sad that this will not be the end to the violence.

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble do not let your heart rejoice." Proverbs 24:17-18 (NIV)

Today is a day to measure how we're doing with the whole "Love your enemies" thing. And I don't think it's going well.