Abby Was Baptized Today

Abby was baptized today, so that was cool.  Except last night I told her that Grandpa Peterman (an elder at our church) would officiate and I would accompany him in case I cried.  I told Abby I was emotional sometimes.  The baptistm went well and Abby and her aunt Kelsey, and the children of another family (Go, Doans!) all publicly testified to their faith.  This was all good and I’m excited for them.

As it turns out Abby’s Sunday school teacher asked if I was going to do the baptism myself.  She replied in the negative.  When Mike, her teacher, asked why I was not going to do the baptism she said, “My dad has emotional problems.”

So there’s that.

Guitars, Guitars, Guitars

I have 6 guitars.  I’m not saying that to brag because I know folks with way more guitars than that.  I’m just going to start out with that information so I can tell you the story of how I acquired those guitars.  There are some fun stories behind a few of them, and frankly, they’ve all been gifts of one form or another.

The oldest guitar I have is my bass guitar.  I got that when I was about 15 because we needed a bass player at church and I volunteered to learn to play the bass.  I saved up some money and through a good deal that I worked with my youth group leader the guitar was purchased for about $200.  I loved  having a bass guitar, it was the best after having fiddled with my dad’s acoustic guitar.  I’ve worked on the electrical wiring, and it still gets the job done as needed.  That being said, I’d love to have a 5 string for those extra low notes.

The second oldest guitar I have is a 12 string Yamaha I bought from a co-workers husband when I was about 17.  It is impossible to keep in tune and it hangs on my wall collecting dust.  I interrupted worship at church a few times just to tune it because it was so out.  Yes, I was that tacky.

Third is my Washburn 6 string.  I saved up my money from work for a few months and purchased this guitar because at that point in time I wanted to be a worship leader professionally and that required a good guitar.  After some work and such I had about $900 invested in it and it is singly the most expensive guitar I have and all of the other guitars together didn’t cost that much.  Even with that much money it’s still not an expensive guitar by today’s standards.  I lead worship with that guitar and have so for about 14 years now.  I don’t lead worship professionally, so I guess that didn’t pan out 😉  I did manage to record this and this though. There’s also this historical Texas number.

Next is the Washburn 6 string electric I got the first year for Christmas from my family.  Jessica orchestrated to have everyone pitch in and I got the red burst electric.  I really wanted a solid color guitar, but Jessica didn’t know and my first reaction was to be sad that it looked “too country and western” and not enough “Nirvana”.  I play it semi-regularly and I’ve recorded with it for a long time.  It’s a great guitar and I’m over the country & western thing, and instead remember how proud my wife was to get it for me that first Christmas.

Several Christmases ago I picked up my acoustic bass.  It was really cheap and it has some fret buzzing on the upper frets, but it doesn’t require an amplifier and it sounds pretty good for the most part.  I wanted to be able to play with friends (namely my friend Brad Maston at the time) and it seemed like a good idea.  It probably wasn’t 😉

Lastly is the classical guitar that my friend Mike gave me last year.  It was in his closet and he asked me if I wanted it.  Excitedly I said yes.  I really dig the classical guitar, the sound, the feel, and the playability of the classical guitar are really engaging.  I’ve recorded with it a few times, too.  I’m grateful for the gift, and I’m glad that I can use it – I’m hoping to use it at church soon to do a Willie Nelson-like number I’m writing.  Yes, that’s very silly.

I have told Jessica a few times, “I’d like to get another guitar.” She rolls her eyes and laughs at me because let’s face it: 6 guitars is a lot of guitars.  Just in case you wonder how I could want another guitar here’s why: each one is unique and has its own sound and feel and stylistic quality.  I would like a dobro guitar (also known as a resophonic) because they’re classic blues guitars.  I would also like to get a fretless bass guitar – because they’re super smooth sounding and jazzy.

I’m glad that when I asked my dad when I was 12 (yes, that was 21 years ago) if he would show me how to play the guitar that he said yes and he showed me the C and G chords.  It took me months to get those chords down smoothly and I could barely play a song when I foolishly told my youth group leader, “I’d like to play the guitar for worship tonight.”  I did HORRIBLE!  That being said I’ve written a number of worship songs, a number of silly songs, and a number of impromptu songs over the years.  I don’t take the guitars for granted and if you want to hear the differences in the guitars let me know in the comments and I’ll try to record something that lets each one of them shine in context.

I Speak in Rabbit Trails

A friend from church said to me, “I speak in rabbit trails,” while we were discussing a Sunday school class environment.  That quote made me smile a big grin and I asked her for permission to use that quote on my website.  So now it is the sub-title for my blog.  It’s not original to me (obviously), but I feel like it is reflective of the places this mind wanders to.

What Matters Most?

Think before you act
That weird thing by my ear is a pop stopper on a mic stand

In a continuation on the series about things I’m learning about maturity (as I originally posted here) I’d like to talk about what matters the most.  You see I hadn’t figure this out in application until recently.  What matters most hasn’t changed, but the application of that has become much, much more important to me.  What matters most to me is my relationship with my Lord and Savior and that relationship being reflected in my day-to-day life.  My friend Craig told me recently in a conversation that he could tell a difference between Randy 2 years ago and present day Randy.

I used to run my mouth a lot (OK, I probably still do).  Maybe it was pride, maybe it was because I’m an extroverted influencer, but I’ve started listening more.  That only took 30+ years to figure out.  Listen more.  It isn’t as if James hadn’t told us in his letter to the diaspora of the church at Jerusalem that they should listen more.  It isn’t that I hadn’t read that letter tens of times.  It is that I didn’t realize I wasn’t listening.  Do you ever think that you are listening but you’re not?  I am learning to listen more.  The problem is that it takes discipline to listen.  It takes discipline to shut your jaw muscles down and just listen.  I’ve met good listeners and when they listen to me I feel loved.  I need to love by listening more.  Craig told me that during a series of tasks with him that I wasn’t talking as much.  I was working more, but I was also listening more.

A week or so before that I had another friend, Jim, suggest I listen (there’s that word again!) to some lessons by a mutual friend, Jeremy Thomas, who is the pastor at Fredericksburg Bible Church.  As I listened a yearning for a deeper understanding of God’s word just dominated my thoughts.  I have been insatiable in my appetite for what matters most: knowing my God more.  Jim also suggested I re-listen (and finish listening to) the Bible Framework series by Charlie Clough.  There is so much good material in that series.  The series is about thinking.  I know, that’s goofy, but its over 200 lessons on thinking as a Christian rather than just being a thoughtless Christian (that’s kinda blunt, but I don’t know how else to put it).  Craig is a good thinker and when he mentions that he thinks I’m changing it means a great deal to me.

What matters most (my relationship with the Godhead) impacts my work, my family, my friends, and my church.  At work I want to do an amazing job, but this change in my focus means that I actually pay more attention to details (which probably thrills some of my co-workers to no end).  My family has been getting a lot more of me praying and looking for teaching opportunities [and hopefully more listening].  My friends will hopefully find me a better listener – I’m sure praying a lot more for them (even if they’re agnostic or atheist).   At church I’ve been trying harder to pour myself into preparation for my lessons (not that I spent only a few minutes before).  I want my brothers and sisters there to hunger more despite being fed more, to listen more, and to grow more.  I want them to know I love them.  Not to be a creeper, but I want you to know I love you.  When Craig tells me he’s seeing changes he’s telling me he loves me and he’s been listening and watching.  I’d hate for that message (of love) to stop with me.  Listen to someone else today; love them through listening.  It is amazing what you’ll hear.  It is amazing what you’ll learn.  It is amazing how you will grow.