One of my favorite places in the world is Nashville, Tennessee. If you ever get a chance to go there, you’ll have a blast. What I love about it is the artistic culture, the coffee shops, the quirkiness, and the great friends I have made there. I’m also a bit of a music freak and Nashville is nick-named “Music City USA” — need I say more? It’s also where the
Dove Awards (like the Grammys for Christian music) are held each year – pretty awesome. I was a presenter at the 2007 awards show where I introduced Chris Tomlin and I had a great time. Oh, yea, and they have lots of great food backstage (mmmm… Chocolate…)!
I was just in Nashville again a little while ago. I had the opportunity to meet with the former editor of CCM (http://www.ccmmagazine.com/) just to pick his brain a little and see what he had to say about music and faith and how the two intersect. I also got to meet with an awesome photographer named David Bean (thevisualreserve.com) who uses his gift of photography to glorify God. Both of these men are Christians and both are outstanding in their field of work. Both use their influence to impact the world and the culture for the better. You see, God has given each of us a circle of influence we can use for Him and for others who have less than we do. We all see the bad in the world. Our parents and our newscasters talk about it, gripe about, rant about how it should be changed. We also hear about how entertainment and culture are full of negative influences. Daniel, one of my friends, says we shouldn’t just take the bad stuff out, but we should fill the space with the good, the true and the beautiful. This is what using our influence to change things for the better looks like when lived out.
During my Nashville trip, I also spoke at a retreat for students. There I met some high school guys who are using their influence in their church to help build a house for a girl and her mom who are really struggling to make ends meet. The young woman’s house was falling down around her and the guys decided Jesus would want to provide her shelter. So, they approached their church and also approached the students at the retreat and together they’re raising the money to build her a home. They could have called Extreme Home Makeover and asked them to do it, but then they’d miss out on the fun of meeting a need themselves. I’m really impressed by these guys and how they are investing their time.
That’s it for now. This next week I’ll be talking about our buying power and then my exciting trip to Australia!
Peace. Love. Justice!