Best of 2011: BLOGS

Some say blogs are dead.

Those people are idiots.

 

Some say blogs are unreliable, biased, and poorly constructed.

Well, mainstream media is too… so those people are stupid, as well.

 

I enjoy blogs.

Do I consume my news from blogs? No, that’s what Twitter is for 🙂

I do, though, consume content. What good is a blog without content — content that conjures up creativity?!?

 

My google reader app on my iPhone is loaded with a few dozen blogs that I like to frequent, but there are three from this past year that I just couldn’t get enough of…

 

theveryworstmissionary.com

I look back on the blog that Joy & I had while we were living in South Africa (serving as missionaries) and chuckle. I wish that I would’ve had 1/2 the cajones as Jamie to just be real w/ people.

Don’t get me wrong… there are parts of living in South Africa that I miss everyday. Anything and everything we shared was true. God showed up day in & day out in some major ways. I desperately miss the kids that we got a chance to hang w/ on a regular basis.

But… there were also parts that straight-up sucked. Absurd living arrangements. Scraping by at times to keep the electricity on in our flat as we wait for our next ‘support check’. Subjected to some food that ran through our bodies like a runaway freight train…

I love reading Jamie’s blog because she has a way of sharing with you how lame some things can be, but has the ability to use humor in a manner that it never really comes off as just complaining. (That’s probably why I shied away from ever letting it all hang out — I’m just not that witty.) She never feels the need to half-heartedly declare that everything is peachy. And she never cowers from presenting the jaw-dropping, thought-provoking questions that beckon to be asked.

 

stephenbrewster.me

Brewster’s blog is pure gold for all things creative. Stephen takes everything that he has forged from experience (both individually & collectively in  regards to teams/leadership) and presents it to the reader in concise, poignant nuggets of wisdom. Whenever I find myself stuck within my own creative process, I know that I can easily spend 15-20 minutes on Brewster’s blog and then I’m ready to HUSTLE.

His content inspires me to pursue dreams, develop ideas, and craft my talents. Whether you are a songwriter, designer, film producer, or whatever — Brewster’s blog is a must have in every creative’s toolbox.

 

ragamuffinsoul.com

On multiple occasions, Joy has called me out on my man-crush for Carlos Whittaker. Honestly, I have a lot of respect for Carlos. First and foremost, his authenticity is legit. Faith & family are his priorities. He’s ridiculously creative & totally balls-to-the-wall when it comes to hustle.

All of this comes across in his blog.

Aside from maybe Seth Godin’s blog (the dude is yoda-smart), I would kill to be able to cultivate a community like what Carlos has on Ragamuffin Soul. One of the most discouraging things when it comes to blogging/writing is the lack of feedback one receives from the sweat & tears that go into crafting a dynamic post. Almost on command, each of Carlos’ posts are flooded with an overwhelming response of comments. It can make someone fragile & insecure like me a little jealous. Yet, if we only create to receive a response then we will soon cease to generate any further original ideas because we only seek affirmation from others.

side note: Do we compose our creation(s) for the love of such craft or do we fabricate a conception of things just to gain applause?

Anyway, Carlos is real. He is vulnerable. He says everything that you want to without the hindering fear of losing his job, forfeiting fake friendships, and/or receiving the stink eye (cuz’ haters gonna hate).

 

So… what were your favorite blogs from 2011?

“Love You for a Lifetime”… a song I wrote.

Sometimes I am such an idiot.

I fail to realize how much God has blessed me with an incredible wife & the raddest daughters ever.

It sucks when you take that for granted. I do that all too often.

Thanksgiving is a day that that looks me in the eyes & clearly states, “Yo STUPID, be grateful!”

And I am. I cherish the fact that my wife loves me more than I can imagine, even when I completely space on helping around the house or tune out during an engaging conversation because my twitter feed seems to be more important than the gal sitting across from me that I am MADLY in love with. She loves me when I open up my mouth and utter something completely ignorant. She is ALWAYS there for me. I am extremely thankful for her friendship. She is the coolest person I know.

To this day, Joy has given birth to 2 of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever laid my eyes on. (They take after their mother, of course.) Emerson & Reese continue to amaze me everyday. Its awesome to watch creativity in motion through the minds of 5 & 2 year olds. The songs they write. The pictures they draw. The stories they tell. Why would we EVER want to QUENCH something so priceless?!?

My family challenges me. These girls challenge me to grow in ways no one else could inspire me. It is completely evident to me that God uses them to stretch, mold, and shape me in the way He sees fit.

I wrote “Love You for a Lifetime” the summer after Joy & I moved home from South Africa. (We lived there for a year and a half, but that is a totally different story for another time.) We were approaching our 5th anniversary…

When we got married, I sorta improv’ed my wedding vows. I was a complete wreck. Just a hot mess of tears & stuttering. (Joy, of course, had written hers out & she was perfect in every way.)

I ended up writing out my vows & giving them to her on our 5th anniversary. “Love You for a Lifetime” is sort of an abbreviated version expressed through song & storytelling.

Check it out & share your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks. Take care…

Lyrics:

packing up my bags
leaving this town
on the southbound train
with nothing left to lose
my heart in my hands
and only love to gain

twenty-nine hours
these pages turn
and I’d die to see your face
there on arrival
walk on down those steps
to your amazing grace

ohhhh I’ll love you for a lifetime (x2)

five years down
this dusty road
with more than what we had
we’ve been blessed
with two precious girls
you’re a mom & I’m a dad

life in the slow lane
taking our time
soaking up the sun
I can’t believe
that I could ever be
you’re one & only love

ohhhh I love you for a lifetime…

Welcome to ansonsexton.com

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by & checking out my new digs. It’s pretty bare bones at the moment. I migrated my posts from my previous blog, so feel free to take some time to read a couple of my prior posts.

With ansonsexton.com, I intend to write more & create a space for my music to breathe.

My prayer is that I can cultivate a platform that ultimately spotlights that which I believe all of us face in life — the tension between faith & folly.

What happens when life doesn’t necessarily pan out the way we always thought it would?

Where/what/who do we turn to when the edges of life begin to unravel? When the heart of our existence is challenged & overwhelmed?

I certainly don’t have all the answers to those questions we all encounter at one point or another in our lives… c’mon I’m only 29, uneducated (college dropout), and I do my best talkin’ when I’m behind a guitar — but let’s take this journey together (omg, so corny).

Anyways, thanks again for stopping by. In the process of getting to know me thru this website, I wanna know YOU. So leave a comment and let me know who u be 🙂

Peace & Love

White As Snow…

This is my 4th post for the blog challenge hosted by my friend Sierra. This week’s topic is: What person in the bible do you identify with the most?

Though I’ve never killed a giant, let alone a lion or a bear… though I’ve never been a king of anything… and though I’ve never been a vigilante out on the run… I think I most identify w/ David.

When I take inventory of my life, I look at it a lot like David did in Psalm 51:

1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

Now, I’ve never had an affair. I’ve never killed someone to cover up a scandal.

But… sin is sin. When I look at myself in the mirror, I realize there are a number of things that I regret. I’ve had my fair share of mistakes. I have/still do definitely screw up.

James MacDonald put it best: When you choose the wrong, you’re really saying, “You’re not enough, God. I need this too.”

Whoa. That cuts me deep. Conviction compels me to cling more & more to GRACE everyday.

I love God. God loves me more. My hope is that God looks at me the same way he described David as a ‘man after His heart’. I believe He does.

And the same way that David is broken over his sin, I also identify with him when he’s totally stoked. Psalm 103 is probably my most favorite chapter in the bible.

So when it comes to folks in the bible — David is the dude I connect with most… well, other than Jesus of course. 🙂

One of my favorite songwriters, Jon Foreman (from Switchfoot), wrote a song adapted from Psalm 51:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WucHt6uno1o?rel=0&w=480&h=360]