People ask me why I've avoided singing in bars, clubs and other similar venues.
First, I don't really like them. The noise, the alcohol, the smoking . . . that has never really been "me." Too many negative memories from my police officer days I guess.
Second, most of those venues involve starting to sing at 10 PM or later. I'm usually in bed by 9:30 PM.
Third, if you don't do well (connecting with the audience well), you may not get paid. Getting paid for singing has never been important to me. Don't get me wrong, it's OK, but it's not the reason I sing. But if you bomb, it will be out in the grapevine and others will hear about it before you can get home.
Fourth, I will never, never, ever, ever write a drinking song. I will never, never, ever, ever sing one either.
I sing instead at retirement and nursing homes, to children in hospitals, and at camps and community events. Why?
I like getting my hands "dirty" that way.
Part of the expression of who I am as a person is centered in how I live out a life of faith. I am at the age where I realize that practicing one's faith only within a "comfort zone" is in reality a very poor decision. For one's faith to grow, it has to be stretched . . . it has to be challenged . . . it has to be put into practice. That's why the idea of having a personal "mission" is so important to me, and why I share the concept with as many people as I can.
Having a personal mission gets you out of your comfort zone, and into the real world that is going on around us. Leaving the comfort of my very nice church office (seriously, I have a very, very nice and very comfortable office) . . . carrying a guitar, amp, backpack with music, cables and extension cords, music stand, etc. out to the car . . . driving to the place I am going . . . unloading it all . . . setting it up . . . and then singing "theraputically" in an activity room or in an individual patient room with the goal of building people up about how they feel about themselves, singing to make people feel better . . . for me personally, that is putting my faith to practice . . . I am getting my hands dirty.
"Dirty" theology . . . "Dirty" faith . . . is not bad. It's good! Getting my hands and life dirty in this way helps me to draw closer to God, and it helps me grow in the understanding of who I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am leaving the confirms of my safe home study here shortly to go to a nursing home in Keller, TX where I have sung every 3rd Wednesday for the past 4 years. I promise you, that I will be a different person when I leave there. Singing and playing the guitar, as a way of helping people feel better . . . makes me feel better also.
Find "your" way to get "your" hands dirty in some way. Helping others is always a good thing.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>