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Wednesday, November 09, 2005


For a long time, I've been a subscriber to the on-line magazine from Grassroots Music. I've always liked to dig out new music that none of my friends have heard before, and I've found that Grassroots constantly has a new stack of Indie artists to check out, complete with downloadable MP3's. However, every week or so, I receive their newsletter/magazine in my inbox. Many times I'll skim over the articles, and if one catches my eye, I'll stop and read it. Today's editorial piece was one of those that caught my eye - so much so that I'm putting it here for you to read. Challenging stuff.

November 8th

I just got back from LA where I screened the new Johnny Cash biopic, “Walk The Line.” There is a great scene in the film where Cash is auditioning for legendary record producer, Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Phillips stops Cash in the middle of his first song, a popular Gospel tune of the day, and asks if he has anything else.

‘You don’t like my Gospel?’ Cash asks.

‘I don’t believe you,’ Phillips replies.

I had an epiphany right there in the movie theater.

There is a lot of talk in our industry about being ‘transparent,’ and ‘vulnerable.’ Guess what? You don’t have to try very hard to be transparent or vulnerable. Most folks can see right through you if they are sensitive at all. And while people who know and love you might be willing to listen to what you have to say, those who don’t know you, who don’t love you, may not give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s not that what you have to say is false or invalid. They just don’t believe you.

Cash couldn’t convince Phillips of the truth of his Gospel, because he didn’t believe it himself (at least not at that time). It wasn’t inside him. What was inside was prison, and trains, and heartaches and honky-tonks. When what was honest came out, it made Johnny Cash a star.

Cash, it must be noted, was a tragically flawed hero. So were King David, and the Apostle Paul, and Moses, and a few others I could mention. What made them flawed with their propensity toward their darker human weaknesses – lust, anger, pride. What made them heroes was their tenacity, honesty, and commitment.

“I trust my instincts and do work that is honest, and it comes out however it comes out,” singer/songwriter, Derek Webb told Grassroots Music’s Kevin Breitinger. “I don’t always even recognize the full significance until long after the fact and it’s often something I never intended.”

What’s inside of you? What’s inside of me? No one with an ounce of sensitivity is going to believe our Gospel unless we first believe it ourselves. Selah.

-Mike Parker
Grassroots Music Magazine

Great post and a wonderful reminder that we need to be authentic in what we believe and how we live.
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