Man, I’m so excited about the response that “Pilgrim Man” man is getting at radio. It’s so difficult for a new artist to get airplay…so to have 79 stations take a chance on an unknown like me is really extraordinary.
I hope people are being encouraged by the song. I usually write things that I need to hear myself, and so what happens is that I’ll pop the tune in my car and something will hit me in the lyrics that I really needed to hear. That’s amazing to me, and makes me feel like God is involved in this process…that it’s not just about me being clever or talented. It’s about God using a semi-normal guy to create a tool that He will use to encourage His children…including me! What an honor to be a part of this!
I’ll be getting my Pilgrim Man preview CDs from the duplicators this coming week. It has four songs on it, plus me talking about where the songs came from, why I wrote them, etc. I call it a preview CD because I’m working on the full CD project right now. I’ll be taking the preview CD to concerts or selling it online to promote the full project. If you want to buy just the preview CD for $5 you can do that…or you can buy the full CD for $15 and I’ll send you the preview CD now, and the full CD when that’s completed. Shoot me an email if you’re interested: email@example.com
I’m blown away by how the new songs are sounding. I’m working with people who are soooo talented. I can’t wait for you to hear songs like “Here’s Your Life” that I wrote with Scott Sheriff — it sounds a little like Lionel Richie meets Phil Collins’ “Sussudio.” Also, “This Is A Time For Hope” that I’m writing with Chris Davis is a powerful dramatic song, and helps to fulfill my desire to pour buckets of hope all over people, regardless of their circumstance. Tim Brown has taken the song I wrote with Scott Krippayne, “Don’t Forget Me When I Fall,” and turned it into something magical.
We’re going to have to have a big party when this thing is all done. You’re invited!
This week I’m excited to bring you a special guest blog from author Bob Perks. His latest book, I Wish You Enough, encompasses 8 values needed for true contentment and happiness, and transforms them into 8 wishes — or sentiments. Through short, inspirational stories about everyday people, Perks reopens our eyes and hearts to the abundance all around that we so often take for granted. Hope this blesses you!
Most anyone would find joy in watching their child graduate from high school or college. What appears in my mind as just yesterday, is in reality 16 years ago. If one had the chance to thumb through any family photo book, you’d most likely find a few pictures of smiling, happy faces huddled around the cap and gown clad graduate.
What you might not realize is there is often a story behind the picture.
My son Keith had to take his last step on the stage of his high school in order to take the first step in saving his life.
He was already registered for college when we discovered he had Ewings Sarcoma, a cancer of the bone. The first step off the stage took us on a journey no one was ready for.
I can clearly remember walking with him into the doctor’s office prior to hearing the diagnosis. I remember how differently we walked out of that same office and on the way to the car. Our steps were slow and unsure. I don’t remember a word I said to him, but I remember I had my arm wrapped around his shoulders. I believe it was more to support me than it was to comfort him.
I can see every step we took during his chemo treatments and visions of him standing on crutches in the hallway of the Hershey Medical Center.
The moment I treasure most was sitting in the audience a few years later, watching him walk across the stage to receive his college diploma.
My mind drifted back to seeing his tiny feet for the first time. I clearly saw his first baby steps, the first time he climbed the stairs, and the first time he rode his bike. I cheered him on as he ran around the bases in little league. I remembered seeing him step into his first car and drive away.
I realized then that our sole purpose in life is to raise our children to be strong enough to stand on their own.
“Keith Perks,” the speaker said. I stood up and cheered. Others in attendance saw a proud father. They didn’t know the real story. Seeing him walk across the stage meant not only did he graduate, but he lived to do it.
Since then I have seen him walk in to a room to introduce me to the love of his life. I watched him walk down the aisle when they got married. One day he will walk down the hallway to introduce me to his first child.
And I? I will look at her feet and wonder where they will take her.
When my story ends one day, both my sons will carry me to my final resting place. It will be my last step here and my first step into Heaven.
My Grandma Mildred was a poet, a writer, a teacher, a musician. She focused on being creative and then taught others to do so, as well. She demonstrated how to live an unconventional life, showing me that I could as well. She was rootsy and advantgarde before I knew what that meant, or even more, how to appreciate it. She taught me that life isn’t always lived between the lines.
I love that whenever we’d visit her Eau Claire, WI house as kids, the house was full of mystery and intrigue. She always let me explore. She always let me put my hands on new musical instruments I’d never seen before, or to play her big organ with all the fun sounds. She always let me be adventurous. I’m grateful for that lesson and hope to continue to be adventurous, and encourage others to do likewise.
I love that she did an acting stint in the Grande Olde Players in Omaha. She taught me that you’re never too old to put on makeup and get up in front of people and act silly.
I love that she took such good care of our dog Scamp in her final dog days. She showed me that even though you live alone, you never have to be lonely.
Grandma Mildred was never fake or artificial. She never wanted to convince anyone that she was anything other than just herself. Sometimes that meant putting on makeup and big jewelry to go play the piano for all the “old people”. Sometimes it meant just lounging in her nightgown. I’m grateful for her teaching me that there’s a time and place to be fancy, even if other people don’t agree.
I don’t claim to understand a lot about how she lived her life, or how she managed to live as long as she did on her regular diet of crossword puzzles and romance novels. But I admire her contentment with simplicity. As I grow older, I hope to eliminate clutter and excess.
Her love for me appeared to grow with her age. Oddly enough, the less she was able to walk, the more she was able to say “I love you” to me. I hope to say “I love you” more, the older I grow, as well.
Here’s another entry of encouragement for Graduates! This is taken from the inspirational book When God Winks on New Beginnings by SQuire Rushnell. This book would make a great gift for someone you care about who may be graduating. And this short writing is especially appropriate for someone who might be wondering what career path to try and follow. He writes:
So how do you uncover the attributes and passions that point toward the career path you should most likely pursue? The best starting point is to taken an inventory of younr innate strengths and interests. Determine what you are good at. Make a list of the talents you possess and skills you have already mastered. Think about which tasks are easy for you to perform.
Go ahead. Get yourself a pad of paper and start writing down honest answers to the following questions:
• Is it a joy for you to talk with people? Does interacting with others come easily to you and leave you energized? If so, perhaps you could find a job in retail that would place you in frequent contact with the public. Or consider working in sales, where you’d probably talk to people every day, and the more orders you generate, the more money you can make.
• Is it easy for you to organize meetings, events, or parties? Those attributes could lead you into marketing, event planning, or management roles.
• Is problem solving something in your comfort zone? Career pursuits in nursing, teaching, or government agencies may be the right fit.
Perhaps you like to cook or you love cars. Or maybe you enjoy traveling, raiding, or taking things paart and putting them back together again…Each of these interests could be inner compasses pointing you toward a career that is just right for you.