My journey through 7in7 is complete. Thanks to those of you who followed me through this. 450 listens this week blew my mind. I would love to know your favorites and opinions (even if they are negative) on what was created.
I went through last night and listened to all 7 of the songs I wrote this past week and was fairly surprised that I liked what I was hearing. (aside from the professional mixing of garage band of course) It is no surprise that I am my own worst critic and it is very rare that I enjoy listening to what I write. The stress and fatigue that came with this challenge was completely worth it as I have seen myself grow as a song writer.
Day 6 was a co-write with my housemates. I am amazingly blessed that I live in a house full of musicians. We began writing around 7 pm and had a rough vision for a song when we took a break at 9. As we ate dinner, a few of us agreed that the feel of the song was not what we were looking for and began to reshape it at 945. Somehow we birthed a song for the church with a completely different feel that I see as more creative and appropriate for corporate worship within the church. It still needs work from a production prospective but it is written and recorded and that is all that matters.
Day 7 began with extreme fatigue and really not wanting to push out one final song. I wanted to do something with a stomp clap beat and after a few failed attempts at recording my stomps and claps, I opted to the digital substitutions garage band has to offer. Not ideal but I feel like I got my idea across. This song was fun and easy to write and record with friend Erica. I love songs that declare the faithfulness of God and that was my goal. I enjoyed this song a lot and that probably had something to do with it being the final day.
God is Faithful
The best thing about this challenge is that I will not put down my pen anytime soon. I will continue to write and create new music where I can be transparent and genuine from my perspective and write songs for the church. I am excited to see what God has prepared down this path.
5 songs done. 2 to go. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
Day 5 was by far the most difficult of all days thus far. Learning to Love stemmed from a co-write with Erin. Co-writing with someone else is hard enough, but when that person is someone coming from different musical, writing, and personal perspectives on top of dating her was like walking on thin ice. That being said I was pretty happy with the outcome granted that it took a day and a half to write.
Erin and I were able to be vulnerable and transparent with each other as well as with our listeners. Our goal was to write a song telling our stories while staying away from cheesy lyrics as much as possible. We found that I am a cheeseball. Shocker. This may be the most vulnerable song that I have ever written but I am pleased with the finished product. That is what 7in7 is about. Writing new songs and learning to be vulnerable.
2 days are left and I am hoping my housemates and I get to collaborate for Day 6.
Here’s the link
Today (now yesterday) was rough. The new shiny gleam of the drive to write new songs is gone and I had nowhere to begin. Redemption came out of a jumbled mess of words written down on a stickynote on my computer. An attempt to capture the tension I have in my own life with my theory of Redemption came out like a half-assed structure in open tuning. (Which I still find cool) I have no idea what to think about the song I posted. I felt kind of gross after posting it but I suppose that part of 7in7 is getting over the fact that I don’t like a song for the sake of writing discipline. I know that I don’t like most of the things I write so I could be completely wrong about this song, but perhaps since I actually really liked Day 3, I set myself up for a downgrade today. Who knows.
I really am loving this experience with 7in7 even though I am starting to feel it wear down on me. Tomorrow (today) is a new day and a new song. A new song, that is a co-write, with someone that is dear to my heart. I am pumped for what we come up with. Even if it is cheesy.
Here’s the link for Day 4
Like I said in my last post, I had this song finished before day 3. I did this on purpose knowing that I would need today to rest after midnight worship. I use Saturdays as my Sabbath and didn’t want to worry about having to work on recording and writing a new song. Maybe it was cheating, or maybe not, but if the purpose of 7in7 is to be disciplined, then that includes keeping a day of rest in my opinion.
That being said, I came into writing this song with the intent of adding depth and trying to paint a picture of how I see Jesus. Not the commercial white Jesus with blue eyes, a perfectly trimmed beard, and a pedicure but a dirty, destained, and rejected man who went down the power ladder and still came out victorious defeating even death. A beautiful savior despite the path he chose. That is my Jesus.
From a musical standpoint, I wanted this to be a little different so I opted to an open D tuning. I really like the finished product and how full it sounds. This may be my favorite song to date.
Day 4 will be more difficult as I am out of initial ideas that I had coming into 7in7. I have 3 co-writes planned which leaves me with one more song to write solo. I am hoping to be transparent and vulnerable again with my last song.
Here’s the link.
So, I will tell you the truth. I had this song almost finished after I had the first one written while sitting on the toilet. But since the point of 7in7 is simply to write new songs in 7 days, I don’t feel guilty.
Remember, I didn’t write with any type of melody going originally and so I think I got lucky with putting music to these words.
This song is personal. I hate writing songs like this because of how transparent they are. Its almost cheesy. I flipped back a few pages in my memory to high school and used that time period to start writing. It wasn’t till I came to ACU when I realized that you pick up your cross daily to follow Christ. Not try to hide your flaws and see how good you look with what people see. Luckily, I have been set free from that fake type of living. It is still a battle fought daily. Thank God for grace.
Residue is sometimes a funny word but I think it works in this sense. Have you ever broken a glow stick open and gotten it on your skin. You look like you’re radioactive for days. That is the image I had writing this song. Because of his residue, I glow. Maybe someone will write a book on radioactive christians now.
I was so excited for day 3 that I may or may not have already finished it today. So far my journey has been relatively painless. But the fear of being vulnerable to people I love is way more terrifying that posting a song for the public to see. Until tomorrow!
Here’s the link!
Haven’t been on here in a while but I figured I would write about my journey through this week of 7in7.
7in7 is simply an opprotunity for song writers to be intentional about wrinting and recording 7 songs in 7 days. From scratch. Not using old unfinished material. In the middle of the semester. Ok I’m done but you catch my drift. Being vulnerable and disciplined sometimes comes with pain and I am sure I will feel it later in the semester.
So Glory was created when I came home yesterday after midnight. I sat down on the pot with my computer and began to write lyrics without a guitar. I decided the next day that I would try and put a melody to it and see what would happened. It took all of 5 minutes to write this song on the toilet. And surprisingly I didn;t have to change a thing when I sat down with my guitar the next day.
It is a simple song meant for the church. Nothing fancy or really spectacular. Just a simple song about giving Glory to God.
Day 2 is coming fast and I already have ideas. Tomorrow will be more personal, transparent, and maybe even dark. A song about my personal journey that may even bring you into a personal stance of worship.
That is all for now. Here’s the link to the song in case you missed it.
So The Daniel fast is a 21 day fast that is centered around Daniel’s diet. We abstained from all animal products (no meat), dairy, leavened bread, sugar, and caffeine. So we basically became very strict vegans while on this fast. This is the testimony of my journey through it and what happened.
Disclaimer. This post is in no way intended to lift myself up on a pedastool for completeing this fast but rather to glorify God for the things that he did, showed me, and prepared me for. Glory be to him for everything.
Its kinda sad that I have to include that but, with how quick christians use their sharp tounges, it is kinda necessary. Now back to the nitty gritty.
Originaly, I had planned on starting this fast with my family on the 1st of January and finishing it while up here in Abilene. Then I discovered that UBC would be doing it as a church and decided that I would pick up with them on the 9th and finish when they did. Overall, it turned into a 30 day fast for me.
I will admit, this fast started out as a way to loose weight mainly, and maybe grow closer to God and with my family but God quickly dissolved that. As a church we read through the book of John (21 chapters) and that helped put things back into perspective. Little did I know what God had instore for me. So here it goes.
Prayer. Lets be real, I struggle with reading my bible. A LOT. Its not easy and its a discipline that I have been trying to perfect for a long time. Its hard! Well this fast helped with that. And I admit, as I write this I still have a couple of chapters to catch up on, I will finish it and continue with a new reading plan. This goes along with prayer as well. Something else that is a constant struggle for me. I get easily caught up in praying for things or when things are rough and not praying for other people, or just to talk to God. So dumb, but this fast helped get me back on track.
Focus. Holy cow I have never been tested for ADD but after seeing how my focus has changed in a month, I swear I might have it. The focus that I have had for the start of this semester has been off the charts. It could be that I havent been pumping my body with preservatives and crap but still, it has been awesome to sit through a 3 hour class and not get distracted hardly at all.
Aside from studious focus, I have had a new focus for what matters. Christ and his love being shown through me, being real even in the face of adversity, relationships and how I can make them better, and worship. God has torn down idols in my life that were hindering me from being a better man of God. Although it is a constant battle, a war is being raged against sin. The want to rule over my life completely is being attacked as I write but though my heart and flesh fail me, my God is all that I need and he will give me peace.
Self control. Who knew I had so much self control in me. And heaven knows that I definitely didnt do it on my own. If you know me well, you know I LOVE food. Obviously because I used to weigh 235ish lbs. There were so many times that I wanted to eat bread or sugar but I refrained. One time, I went to Denny’s, with 2 friends of mine, and watched them eat a burger and an omelette. That was so difficult. God brought people in to my life, namely Brittany Baker, that made this fast so much easier. Doing it in community with someone else to have accountability and lift each other up was amazing. Who wouldve thought that that is how the Christian life should look like. Too bad it took 30 days of being a vegan to figure that out.
I have yet to do something this crazy in terms of a fast but it was so rewarding. Especially starting off 2012 like this. I am excited to see what God has in store for me personally, and for UBC as a community of Christ followers. And since I know people want to know how much weight I have lost through this, I now weigh 215. I was at least 235 at the start of this fast. Its pretty cool to see the benefits of being faithful both spiritually and physically. But then again, everything is spiritual. ;)
So thats it. Both physical and spiritual growth all from becoming a vegan. Question, comments, concerns, or threats?
Here comes another long unorganized ramble. :)
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
What an interesting statement. I really need this as a reminder. Should I be free from all of the normal typical wants. Especially a college kid wants. Wanting a SUCCESSFUL life (As in never failing. HAH), wanting a family in the (near) future, wanting to get the best out of life, material possessions, to be capable, perfect friendships and relationships, etc. But wait, the lord is my shepherd i shall not want. Does this include all of these things.
Typically, I think of the “bad” worldly things that we so often get our eyes on when it comes to this verse, but lately, this is not so.
We have been freed from out bondage to sin. Us wantign and seeking to find what pleases us, making us the center of our lives. You know the whole me addiction thing. I’ve heard it over and over again. But what about the normal things that aren’t really looked on as bad. The things mentioned at the top of this post. Funny thing is yes. All of these good, noble, normal things are part of this self centered sin. These things become tie downs, and bondage. Just not in the typical Sunday school style.
I recently wrote a song about this. It was cool how it all came together so quickly but are we really free? Its easy to say that I am free from all of the typical bondages but really? I think these wants, desires, whatever you want to call them, have become the same thing.
I mean, as a worship leader I have sung and lead singing countless times about God being all that I need. All that I want. Oh man was I wrong. And I think we overlook the magnitude of that statement way to easily.
The lord is my shepherd i shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
In my weakness you are strong, but oh what grace that we have, we now live. FREE.
Here we go with another post two in a row. I promise this wont turn into a routine. One because Im too lazy and two I just dont like to write or share my thought very much.
I used to be very wary of people asking questions about worship being genuine. Questions about people liking the way the song sounds, or if its their favorite, or why do people’s hands go up in only certain parts of a song. And for the most part I still am. “Dont judge a person’s heart” is what I always think. If worship is a response, or a an effect, to God’s action, or cause, in people’s lives, then how can you judge a person’s worship if it is their response and not yours. (That was a poorly written out way of me trying to sound like an english major… I hate english) But today in chapel, the question of genuine worship popped into my head on its rare occasion.
The last thing I want to do is sound judgmental, holier than thou, or a know it all and it may be very difficult during this next part.
ACU like to get into routines. The same songs will be sung over and over again and unless cued by the worship leader or its a song that everyone knows and loves, student wont stand or sing out, or be expressive in their response to God. I know first hand being a worship leader in Moody and the feeling of defeat when you feel that you have not led students well when students arent responsive. So I dont blame the leaders for repeating the loved songs to the students. But what happened today in chapel was praising the leader for picking a song that everyone loved. I’ve been told that instrumental worship is nothing but a concert or a show and that why CoC people dont like it, But what happened today, and what happens a lot of the time is, an applause and condoning of a show.
So is it possible to worship to a song that you dont know? Or in the awkward silence between songs? Or when the person next to you is way off key or obnoxiously belting a harmony because they know they are amazing? Or when you are forced to go to chapel 55 times a semester? I think in true genuine worship you can, because it should be a response to God not to the song. That is something called idolatry and its scary to think that it is mixed in with our worship.
I am just as bad at this. I am a perfectionist when it comes to leading, so when the set that I am leading is going wrong, I lose focus. If someone else is leading and they aren’t striving for perfection I lose focus. I also love music and everything that goes into worship music and its easy to get lost in that and lose focus. So this post is about me just as much as it is with the ACU students and everyone else.
What needs to be done to change this? I honestly have no idea. But if the revolution I want to see happen in Abilene and at ACU is going to happen, I think this needs to change.
Thought, inaccuracies, concerns, threats?