Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I recently bought a Ben Harper CD on an “itunes original”. It has commentary between the songs that, I assume, are not on store bought CD’s. I’m kinda surprised at how much I enjoy the content of the songs so much more, hearing what Ben was thinking (we’re on a first name basis… me and Ben ya know). Anyway, in my humble opinion, the first one on the CD is worth the money by itself. (there’s another right before a song called “My Kisses” that’s money too) But, because I love you- “the never to comment on my blog but faithful anonymous blog reader nonetheless”- I took the time to transcribe his first comments for you. Here you go:

“The process for me in recording, in bringing out a sound, or the sound, is to be true to the song, be true to myself, to surpass my expectations of myself. Well, there’s 3 ways that I have to push myself musically.

  1. I am tireless in the studio. No one can keep up with me in the studio. No engineer. No producer. No musician. No one. I get there first. I leave last. And you basically have to sort of peel me off the walls when it’s time to say goodnight.
  2. I listen to music. Consistently- all the time. I’m always searching out new music and listening to music. Everyday.
  3. I’m going to see live shows. I go to see groups. I see 3 or 4 shows a month. Cuz whenever you go to a show, you see how they do it and you go ok- I’ve never been to a show that I didn’t learn something about- that didn’t inform my own way of presenting the music on stage. And listening to a record- I’ve never listened to a record and not heard something that you know the way something sounded that I wanted to learn from.”
There are thousands of applications to this, but in my world as a youth pastor and follower of Jesus.. I thought in my context it reaffirmed 3 things in me today.
  1. GREAT THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WORK HARD. The myth that greatness is something that falls on some and avoids others is a myth. Great athletes. Great musicians. Great writers. Great builders. Great painters. All of them work hard at being great. They are disciplined and devoted to their craft. I can expect nothing less. What I want to be great at, I must work at. Theologically… I believe God can step outside of this if he wants. However, I don’t want to mistake the blessing of God as some kind of lottery ticket I win. I believe God has called me and commanded me to do my part and let God do His part as He wishes.
  2. READ AND LISTEN TO LEARN. Whatever I read and listen to- I need to do so with a learners mindset. Take notes. Think. Don’t just soak it up, soak it in. Make time to read and observe and when I do… do it intentionally, keeping an ear for how God wants to use it to shape me.
  3. OBSERVE OTHERS. Don’t reinvent the wheel. I can never think I’m at the top of my game and I can now be the teacher. All great teachers are great learners. I must never stop learning from the achievements of those around me. Their achievements can and should be my learning moments.

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