4. What is the most important insight you would have for artists who are praying for discernment in how to properly balance imperatives like personal worship, church serving (local), Church serving (the Bride entire), family, art (intake and output), rest, and asking famous musicians really long questions?
Balance is not exactly my area. Can’t you ask someone else?
All those things are spokes. Christ is the hub, the center. I know when I acknowledge Him as that, and rely on Him as my inner source of goodness, my relationships with family, other people, and work, are put right. When I get out of sync there, everything else begins to wobble and spin.
We need to take time to reflect, to be alone with God, to worship Him privately as well as with other believers. God wants us to experience our union with Him, to abide, to walk in reliant trust. Without taking time for that relationship, we’re just setting ourselves up for more self-effort, more frustration, more failure.
5. What (300 books?) have you been reading lately and how has it impacted you?
Since I’ve been in a songwriting deadlock for a couple of years I recently read a book called Art and Fear, a short, easy book but it packs a punch. I also reread a book by Brenda Ueland called If You Want To Write, with some of the same themes. If I could encapsulate both books in a few sentences, it would be “Nearly everyone struggles with feeling inadequate as an artist. Some people quit because of it. But we learn to write, to paint, to play, by doing it – not by theorizing about it. So sit your butt in that chair and get back to work. Stop thinking about quitting, and stop your lame whining and procrastinating.” Similar to Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, but without the “F” word. I highly recommend all three books.
Two more that I’m rereading right now (I have to read things over and over or they don’t ‘take’); Jeanne Guyon’s Intimacy with Christ, a humble, childlike series of letters by Guyon to a friend about various aspects of walking with Christ. And I don’t mean a figurative “walking” with Christ, like “read more pray more give more do Christian crossword puzzles more.” She shows what it is to be walking with Christ as an ever-present, indwelling Lord and Savior, and what it means to take up your cross.
And lastly, Dan Stone’s The Rest of the Gospel (When the Partial Gospel Has Worn You Out). Exactly what it says. This book gave me a lot more to go on than merely “Jesus died to pay my sin debt so I can go to Heaven when I die.” I can’t live on money that’s stuck in a trust fund until I’m eighty-five. I need spendable assets right now, every day. Dan Stone shows the pin number for the divine debit card so that I can access what I need, when I need it.
Thanks, Ron. Catch Ron at these virtual locations: