My life has changed SO MUCH in these last few months. I haven’t really had a moment to digest it all. speaking of which…. i have no time to blog. at all. at least right now. every moment i have to “process” or simply “be creative”… seems to be needed on something “more urgent” or “more important”. My lesson this year……. that’s a lie. Apart from faith and family…. taking care of myself has to take priority over everything else. And for me.. being creative is how I survive.
blah blah blah.
Well….. there were a few moments this year where I had the great opportunity to get behind the lens and capture some fun moments. here are just a few.
Every once in awhile…. i spend some time reassessing and readjusting my direction.. my focus. Sometimes is about leaving something behind in order to grab on to something else with a much stronger grip. Other times its simply about realizing how far or how close i am to the destination i have in mind and the preparation both of those scenarios need in order to keep moving forward.
2010 has been an insanely busy year. There are things that i wanted to do.. that I couldn’t. Things that I started that I have yet to finish. And things that were just ok.. that are now much better than i thought it would be by now.
So… here i am. Figuring out a game plan that needs to be executed with precision and passion. And with all the plates and i have spinning above my head.. there is one that continually gets dropped over and over again.
Maybe I should be more specific: my music.
Obviously my job involves this medium greatly as I prayerfully plan and prepare how it can be used to encourage/motivate people to worship our Creator and Redeemer. And of course as I play for other artists and ministries to help them do what they are doing for the kingdom…. the industry.. or just their artistic expression.
But for me…. its been all about keeping those other “income supplying” plates spinning for as long as I can. I had no time for “creative space”.
Go figure. An artist.. with no time for art. (I actually don’t remember the last picture I took that was not a session or gig)
There was a moment near the end July and beginning of August when I jumped into 15 or 17 days of creativity: it was amazing how my whole view of everything changed. The energy that was found and created there…. overflowed into the other areas of life. As that plate was picked up and spun… it brought a balance and dare I say a hunger to the other areas. It fueled the fire.
October is another crazy month. But for good reasons. (Lots of changes are coming as our family grows from 3 to 4. Can’t wait to meet this little person!) For me… October has usually been the month where I tend to “reassess and readjust”. The one thing that I know is the creative space has to take a much higher priority. OR ELSE! This means changing the way I do everything. Work, side projects, ministry. Its not about putting creativity above all else.. NO WAY. But it is about changing how I do everything else… to create space for it. (And then to USE that space!!)Perhaps another plate must be placed down or dropped. We will see. But as I think about how this looks and the shape it will take… it gets me excited.
The question for me is… with all of the things that need to be let go.. or picked up… can I make this work??
My questions for you are: Are you able to carve out time for the things you are passionate about? Are you in need of a period to reassess and readjust your direction?
my mom has an old piano in her living room. its the same one i played on when I was a little boy.
oh the memories!
this old “LESAGE” piano moved with us from city to town and back again. i’ve lifted it up steep staircases, eased it down many driveways, and seen it go in and out of many moving trucks over the years. it is beautifully out of tune: creaking and cracking every time its being used. i can easily recall many moments that are attached to this mess of wood, ebony, ivory and wire. I remember the stories behind each notch, crack, dent and scratch (at least the ones that I am responsible for). All of them acting as a landmark in my childhood… and for my mom as well I’m sure.
well today a new story was added. a simple one yet one that i will remember for a long time to come.
it involves my boy…. complete with marker-stained hands and face… playing with such “precision” the masterpiece he has just written filled with complicated melodies that only he and God can understand.
oh the memories!
It’s was my birthday yesterday. And in the Brown household.. we take birthdays VERY, VERY SERIOUSLY. It’s a party. We are celebrating not just the fact that you were born.. (LOL) but also celebrating WHO YOU ARE… and being thankful that YOU ARE IN MY LIFE.
And yesterday… I was being celebrated. ME!!!
Had an amazing breakfast at SUNSET GRILL. (You need to check this place out…. the food was so GOOD!) Then headed downtown for some food and drinks at FIONN MACCOOLS with some amazing people.
But I have to admit.. the best part of the day…. was just chillin with the boy for an hour or so doing random things around the town. Life is always so busy for me.. so it was amazing to just do nothing.. together. We watched some WorldCup action at Best Buy (along with 17 other staff and customers), played at the park for a bit… watched and danced to the U2/360 dvd. Pure perfection.
As cheesy as it sounds…. the whole day was a great gift.
I love coming back to Toronto. It’s great to have the opportunity to visit family and old friends. Our time here is always short and usually always crazy busy. But I’ve learned that its better to spend longer times with fewer people… than it is trying to cram visits with everyone. Normally I return home tired and exhausted. But the last time I came back I returned home excited and fulfilled. So… we as a family are executing that plan of action. The down side is that we won’t get to see everyone.. which sucks. But at least we can make the most of the moments with the people we do get to see.
Here are some pics from my second day in the GTA. Hanging out with the MacIntosh family. Bek and Josh are a creative team, blessed with two adorable yet crazy kids. (It was fun to see them interact with the boy. Many laughs ensued.) So good to catch up.. chill.. eat, drink and be merry… together.
Fave pic: my son as Iron Man. he is the coolest dude ever!!!
the problem for me is simple: time. the lack of it.
there are so many things for me to focus on in my life.
- music/photography gigs and sessions
- creative + focus times for my own work
- social gatherings
so…. when it comes to carving out time to “blog”…. it just doesn’t makes “sense” to me. How can I justify spending time blogging when I have tons of $h!t to focus on and just get done??
I still don’t know the exact answer to that question. But here is where I am at right now.
I know that music and photography are wired in me. Sometimes I’m not able to flow in those spaces…. real life gets in the way and I need to focus on the things that it put in front of me in the moment. But without the creative elements in my life… i simply cannot exist. Its not “what I do”.. its “WHO I AM”. I’m beginning to believe that blogging can actually be a way to stay creative, to communicate in different ways.. but also create a venue for sharing my life, my work and my creative progress.
ya.. i know…. this ain’t new. but its new to me. and i’ve tried to blog for the last year or so with no success. the last time I had a consistent flow was when I was doing music as my full time career. so the question I ask myself now is… can I actually do this??
we will see.
Today was sweet in a few different levels.
1) It was part 2 of my sound experiment. Trying to see how the church reacts to louder volume levels. Not LOUD… just louder than normal. I think there is a point where things can sound nice and full without causing pain. And today we got closer to that. And it definitely was a part of what was going on. It was BEAUTIFUL to see people really stepping out of their comfort zones and really chasing after God this morning. There was a passion that I haven’t seen since I’ve been there. Things are moving, changing. God is moving.. and changing us. AWESOME.
2) It was great to the the band a chance to let loose, crank up the amps and just feel more comfortable. I know I did. Just having our massive amps turned to 3.. made a big difference in how we played, interacted with each other.. and how we worshipped thru our instruments.
3) We showed the Mission Project video. And had a great response. I was able to write a song for the video called “IN MOTION”. And it was great to see how the missions team were excited about. They felt I was able to put their experiences in music form. So good to see and hear about what they are doing in the DR. I hope people were inspired to give and to support them.
3) Tonight at BEYOND was great. It was so vibrant and energetic. And some wonderful spontaneous moments happened. It was very exciting to just sing thru my instrument with such freedom. Not having to worry about time or volume.
Such a wonderful day of worship and music.
Everlasting God (B. Brown) – B (Instrumental)
Let God Arise (Tomlin) -B
Blessed Be The Name (Redman) – B
Nothing But the Blood (DB version) – E
(Everlong -Foo Fighters).. we snuck this one in. it was cool.
Unchanging (Tomlin) -G
Let God Arise
Blessed Be The Name
Nothing But the Blood
Again I Say Rejoice (Houghton) – E
God is Great (Sampson)
Let the Praise Ring (Brewster) – D
Glorious (Tomlin) – D
Jesus Paid in All (Nifong arrangement)
Hallelujah For The Cross (an original) – B
Our God Reigns (Delirous) – B
How Great is Our God (Tomlin) – Bb
Hosanna (Fraser) – E
Glorious (Tomlin) -D
There are a bunch of worship leaders across north america who share their setlists, experiences and ideas with each other. you can find many of them here
Ok… time to get back to songwriting.
Gotta keep this short and sweet. My boy is tearing up my studio.
Today’s message was “WHERE ARE YOUR ACCUSERS”… part of the series “Hard Questions Jesus Asked”. So I chose songs with a heavy grace angle.
How Great is Our God – A (C.Tomlin)
Lead Me to the Cross – E (B. Fraser)
Scripture Reading –
What the Lord Has Done – C (R. Morgan)
Son of God – A (Starfield)
Teach (Part 1)
Teach (Part 2)
Grace Like Rain – E (T. Agnew)
Today was an interesting day. Though the songs were simple enough and the arrangements were cool…. i still felt unprepared. But God showed up like he always does. It was a great and fun morning. And it was so great to chat with the team and congregation and hear stories of how God spoke to them during the service. It was a simple and sweet morning.