Has it really been that long? My goodness, people.

I guess it goes without saying that I've been remiss in my writing. But it's a symptom of something larger that's been going on here. Maybe I can explain in 15,000 words or less.

It all really started about one year ago. We were doing alright, I guess. Really, we weren't playing as often as we would've liked, but we were having a general good time doing it. We played at the King William Fair and I was on top of the world, man. I mean, I really felt connected with what we do. Only ... somehow it just didn't feel right. Want to know something? Calling people and having them always say "No" to you is a battle of attrition. It takes a certain type of will power to accept defeat over and over again and be able to sustain it. I couldn't sustain it. In this business, people want what they can get from you for as little as they can get it and their willing to make you feel as small as possible to make it happen. For an artist, that's a very tough thing to endure year after year. So, I decided a re-evaluation was in order.

In (seemingly) other news, mere weeks later, I got to go to Chicago to the Willow Creek Arts Conference. It was here that I heard God, for the first time, call like the clarion that'd been missing in my life for so very long. I became aware that I'd become so very cynical. I never for once ever thought I'd become cynical -- but I did. And as I learned how to worship, to approach the lover of my very soul -- my essence -- and as I gathered around thousands of other artists and spoke with them and communed with them and prayed with them and made music with them I felt the scales of my heart begin to peel away and I was able to actually feel something again.

I cried.

There. In the middle of a small chapel in a foreign land I felt the living presence of God.

In (seemingly) other news. I declared that I'd realized that I really don't like myself too much. Well, at all. So, in an effort to be able to feel something again I joined a small band of believers in working out my spirituality in order to recover from my "hurts, habits, and hangups". It's a 12-step process. Once again I found myself admitting that my life had indeed become unmanageable and I was helpless to do anything about it.

And there I am, working my steps and trying to peel back the onion of pain and suffering that I've endured for so long. What I discovered is that even though I'd quit drinking and drugging, all I'd really done was learn how to be sober; but I hadn't recovered yet. I was still caught in the whirlpool of self destructive thoughts and desires and I needed to stop doing that.

Along the way God put it on my heart to get back to this thing called "a band" and get to doing it right. I sat down with a great friend of mine and he began mentoring me in the idea of creating a business plan. In order to really nail that down, I had to really nail down what we're doing -- what we're about. That led me right back to the beginning. Nothing fixed. I was doing it for me. I don't believe in me. I don't even like myself, much less actually believe in me. I mean, I believe I can play a tune and all, but I don't really think I'm that good at it. I don't really think that you, the reader of this blog, my FAN, likes me.

Crap.

So I gave in. The main thing that I've been after all these many years is a sense of self-worth and self-dignity and self-love. I'm none of those things because if you really want to know the truth of it all, I'm a degenerate. Of course I don't like myself. I was searching for my identity in Christ because I'm not worth it. Really, I'm not. And there it was. Plain as day and in front of my nose the entire time.

I can't go on the way I've been going. I don't like myself very much and I can't sell myself well because I believe it when the people I'm trying to sell myself to say I'm a loser; I affirm what they say. It felt like I was living a lie. You can say I'm coming out of the closet, so to speak. I'm a Christian ... and that's "Ok."

"So what," I think I hear you asking? It's incredibly significant because now it's not about me, dude. That's the deal. It's not ABOUT me. I'm nothing, but God is freaking GOD.

Take it this way: This is the very thing God created me to do. I don't do it for me. I can't do it for me because I don't even like myself. But, I love God with all my heart and all my mind and all my strength. I don't do it FOR Him. I do it because of Him. I am my Father's son. I can't help being who I am and despite whatever opinion I may have of myself the fact remains that this -- this making music stuff -- is what I've been built specifically to do in this world. The great sage Popeye put it best when he said, "I am what I am and that's all that I am." Amen.

So, that's the deal here. I've been on this arduous journey through the morass of my crap. And as it turns out, the more I think about it, the more I like myself. Who would've thunk it? I'm designed to do this and there's nothing else to be done about it but to follow it through. What that means is some changes that some of you might not like. Others of you will like it quite a bit, I guess. We're changing formats.

Oh, we're still playing the blues. The difference is that we're playing the blues from a Christian's perspective. That is, I can't help myself but to sing about my life as a Christian, my relationship with my Father, my relationship with other Christians, my relationship with people who aren't Christians, my struggle to live in a world that I don't belong to -- all because I can't help it, it's just the way God made me.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't even know if promoters will want to hire us. I don't know if you, the fan, will even want us. Where will we play? Will there be anyone to play to? Does anyone even care about what we have to say?

I don't know. Something says I should say that I don't care, but I do. I care very much. That's why I'm still in it, swinging away. Only, I want to do it right. I want to honor God. If you're a praying person, say a prayer of praise. If you're not, I hope you hang in there with us and maybe gain a better perspective of what a Christian goes through, 'cause it's not all a bed of roses like I used to think. Sometimes it can be a tough, tough life. Incredible fulfilling and gratifying, but a tough life, too.

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