What Garth Brooks Taught Me In Concert

FullSizeRenderWithout a doubt the CD I’ve listened to the most in my lifetime is “Double Live” by Garth Brooks. 

There is something magical about this album to me. Garth Brooks’ songbook was the soundtrack to my childhood. Growing up in Tennessee and Georgia I was raised on 90s country music. And Garth’s music was the gold standard.

“Double Live” collected all of Garth’s greatest hits across a 2 disc live set. So to begin with every song was a winner. Add in the raucous live crowd that Garth drew to his incredible live performances and you have the makings for an amazing album.

I listened to that CD on my headphones in the backseat of so many family car trips. I blasted it on the boom box in my room. I’ve rocked out to it with the windows down in every car I’ve ever driven.

Those opening chords of “Callin’ Baton Rouge” on disc one stir up a special feeling in my soul no other album does.

So there weren’t a lot of surprises when my fiancé and I saw Garth Brooks this weekend in Atlanta as part of his first world tour in over 12 years.

I knew when all the solos would be. I knew when Garth would stop singing and let the audience sing the words to “Unanswered Prayers”. I knew to expect the mysterious 3rd verse for “Friends In Low Places”.

Yet as many times as I’ve listened to Garth Brooks live on CD, there was something so incredibly different about seeing Garth Brooks live and in person.  Continue reading

How To Overcome Stage Fright

Robin-Williams.-006You may not consider yourself an actor. But in this life you are a performer. 

I’m not saying God created us just to put on a show for Him.

I do think He created each of us to perform a unique role in His story.

Being called on to perform is incredibly scary. As you stand backstage waiting for the curtain to rise in your life, the weight of your burden can become suffocating.

As you run through the lines you’ve rehearsed in your head, you wonder about everything that could possibly go wrong.

It’s called Stage Fright. It’s a feeling every performer understands. It’s a force every performer must overcome each night.

Just when you’re about to make a break for the exit, the curtain finally rises.

When it’s time for you to hit the stage, you do your best to stick to the script you’ve seen so many other performers before you follow.

The problem is God didn’t create you to stick to a script. Instead we are called on to improvise. Continue reading

How To Have Complete Job Security

Anchorman-2Weathermen and Sportscasters have it easy.

A good portion of their job performance is based on prediction. Each night the weatherperson forecasts what the temperature will be. One segment later the sports anchor gives you their gameday picks.

They’re both just guessing. And most of the time they’re both wrong.

Yet there they sit night after night, week after week, offering their often incorrect predictions.

You probably saw it this week with high-stakes playoff football and wacky temperatures across the country. Even with incredible technology tracking the weather and advanced analytics watching every game, no prediction can be perfect.

Forecasters and sportscasters are given gobs of grace based on their personality rather than their prediction performance percentages.

It must be nice to have a job where you’re not really judged on your performance.

I think sometimes as Christians we become too concerned with The Measuring Stick – how we are judged by God based on our performance in this world. Continue reading