Altogether, this has been one of the most casual summers I’ve had in recent memory. I didn’t have any major church events going on, ML3 had only a few gigs lined up, and I tried my best to not take on any more projects. (Please see the new PHOTOS link above for some pics, including the photo to the left of ML3 performing at the Town Center Amphitheater.)
On the other hand, I witnessed the high school graduation of my second son, helped move my eldest son down to southern California to attend college, worked on a few albums, and celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary with my wife, so while it was a little slow, it was not uneventful.
The other big news of the summer is that I have been offered a book deal with Moody Publishers. Through a fairly remarkable set of circumstances, they will be publishing a version of Adventures in Faith and Art in book form, targeting those who are interested in knowing how their faith in God and the act of creativity are related. It is my hope that the book will affect the way artists of all kinds see themselves, the world, and their God, and encourage them toward the freedoms and responsibilities that He gives us. (As a result, I have had to take down a few years’ worth of posts from this website, as these posts provide the basis for the first few chapters in the book.) I do feel that this is a God-ordained honor, and I feel excited, humbled, and a little terrified by the possibility. So I have spent some time this summer with the manuscript.
The process of preparing a book for publication is in itself a humbling one. I have discovered that I don’t always express myself in my writing as gooder as I could (or is that better than I ought?). The process of creating a cohesively engaging dialogue with the reader over the course of a couple hundred pages is a skill I’m still learning.
The other thing I have discovered is that I now feel the weightiness of my words. I am coming to grips with the idea that this book I am writing (or more specifically, re-writing) will have a life of its own, meeting and conversing and interacting with people I will never meet. Do I really believe the words I am writing, the concepts I am thinking? Will I still believe them—with any sense of conviction—ten years from now, when the book is sitting on the shelf? The process has forced me to rethink every concept I have written, every paragraph, every turn of the phrase, to taste the words in my mouth and see if they are properly seasoned and nuanced.
The good news is that I still have convictions—still have strong feelings and occasionally deep thoughts about this mysterious thing called art. And I still feel the calling that is associated with it.
It is healthy to question one’s own beliefs periodically. And it is reassuring to have security in the belief of one’s own beliefs. But for now I need to come up with a catchy title. Hmmmm.