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Over the course of the last 10 years my Christian life has been jam packed with activity, action, study, and reflection. I traveled in full time music ministry for 6 years. I spent 4 years studying heavily on many different topics, like cosmology, eschatology, theology, and science. And honestly, as a result… a lot has changed. I have changed. In many ways for the better. But, in other ways… maybe not. I couldn’t tell you.

All I know is that I will find out on that great day.

Recently however, I have felt a shift taking place. I have felt an urge come over me to slow my studies, to break away from the business of social media smart phones, and to simply live in the moment with God. To simply just breath it all in and exist.

It first came to me when considering the epic life of Moses. He did so much good for the kingdom of God leading the people to freedom, preforming signs and wonders, and being a leader. But, before that part of his life took place, he lived a different life. He spent 40 years in Midian as a meager shepherd. He had a regular job. He likely spent a lot of time in reflection rather than endless studies and worldly pursuit.

We read these events in Exodus 2 through 7.

This period of stillness struck me and has been with me for a while now. And as I step away from the hustle and bustle of smart phone addiction, the question comes to me “what to do with all of this extra free time”?

I could study more… and perhaps write a book on topics I am passionate about.

And while contemplating these things, a fellow believer unknowingly shares Ecclesiastes 12:12 with me.

The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.Ecclesiastes 12:10-14

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It feels good to know what God wants from me right now. And it’s so simple. No major projects. No rush to action. No heavy theological externalization. Right now, God wants me to simply be still and know… know that He is God.

I don’t know what the future holds. And to be honest, I am at peace with that. I have spent the last 10 years pushing myself in different directions non-stop. It’s time to just simply be still and know. I would hope that my time spent in Midian won’t be nearly as long as was the time for Moses. But, I know this… God is bringing me to this place that I might take something from it into a future that He has in store for me.

Moses had to learn to lead sheep before he could learn to lead people.

God is planning to show me something big. I can feel it.

And I will sit in Midian for as long as it takes. All of the studying we do. All of the events, promotion, success we strive for… it’s all vanity. It’s so much more simple than that. Just fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

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Well, the Light Phone 2 has finally arrived. I activated it last night and today was the first day that I had it on my person all day. I love the phone. It is easy to navigate and gets to the point. I have a few small things that I don’t like about it, but they are minor things that are only dislikes because of how much faster and easier the iPhone 10 is. After a while those dislikes will go away as I get used to the slower phone. I am currently dealing with one issue though. I can text, but for some reason my calls drop. I have been doing some studying on it and I think that it is an issue with my carrier and not the phone itself.

I am hoping to have this issue resolved within a few days.

(update: about an hour after I posted this, the carrier tech support managed to fix the call out issue.)

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With the recent purchase of the Light Phone, it was an inevitable decision to get off of Instagram under the simple reason that the platform is a phone based platform. Because of this I just went ahead and bit the bullet and got rid of it now rather than later. My new phone will be here before you know it anyway.

So, why delay the inevitable? I shut it down.

It’s sad to see the account go considering I have less than 100 posts, more than 1,000 followers, and am following no one. At first glance a lot of people will look at something like that and think highly of my music. Surely, someone that isn’t following anyone that has that many followers must have something good going on? And with that, surely this account has generated a lot of traction for my website in the past.

But the truth is, it’s all a sham. All of social media is when it comes to hype like that, to be honest.

I didn’t have that many Instagram followers because I have stimulating content. No, not even close. I had that many followers because of my years of experience using social media as a marketing platform as a full time touring artist. With the right skill you can make things appear in your favor even though they aren’t.

For example; when I was touring full time the main platform was Myspace. My player on that site by the end of my career had more than 1,000,000 plays. And trust me, it wasn’t because my music was all that and a bag of chips. It was because I knew how to hack the system. And people are still doing that today and we all know it. The reason why I started this Instagram and boosted the followers was simple. I had one record label recently tell me that they were looking for artists that had a decent number of social media followers. So, in less than a week I started up the account and had 1,000+ followers at the snap of a finger (and no, it did not pay for them, which is something you can do).

Don’t ask me how to do it, because I won’t bother telling you.

The point is this… social media is fake. It presents a construct of what we want others to see and not what true is.

The sad thing is that we all know it. And yet, are still addicted to this stuff.

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Don’t get me wrong… I have a passion to create art through music. And I want it to be heard. But at what cost?

If the cost of getting my art heard is an addiction to self-promotion through countless daily hours with the practice of false narrative in an attempt to get noticed via social media platforms, then what’s the point? I have better things to do with those hours, like experiencing life with family and friends. Or creating more music that should have the capacity to speak for itself.

As artists on the indie level, we spend way too much time trying to develop an online presence. And not enough time just simply being human.

Let your art speak for itself.

Good music is good. And if it deserves to get heard… it will.

Don’t waste all your time building up things like Instagram and twitter just so that you “look” like you have a following. That junk is fake.

And we all know it.

So… I’m quitting social media platforms like instagram and twitter (this time for good never to return).

And just maybe, the record labels I pitch to in the future will be able to look past my lack of online presence with a willingness to listen to what my music has to offer regardless.

I love art. And I want to pursue it. But, not at the cost of losing my soul to the negative sides of social media that we all know exist, but refuse to admit (addiction, addiction to self).

Create art. Not an endless cycle of self promotion.

Well, I have been working toward getting rid of my smart phone for a long while now. I am not one to get taken up with online addiction easily, considering the fact that I have gone more than a year without social media prior to starting A Martyr’s Oath as a music project.

The internet is great. I love watching lectures by people I respect. Or even documentaries on things I didn’t know. Beyond this and the GPS functionality of the smart phone, the phone doesn’t really take up much of my time. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive.

Hard to put down.

That is why I am finally making the switch to a WIFI free cellphone.

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This just seemed like the right time for the Light Phone, in my opinion. We have a new year just days away. Why not kick of 2020 right by setting myself up to have less digital distractions and more time in the real world.

I won’t be getting my phone until March. Regardless, the purchase has been made and I am on my way to living life with a lot less distraction. So, what is the Light Phone?

Well, here you go…

Because of this decision, I will be losing some stuff. For example, my AMO Instagram will be getting shut down at some point. Which is sad, because that is where the majority of my fan-base is settled with more than 1,250 followers. Even still… it will be worth it if I lose a few fans in the process.

I think the main thing I will miss just thinking on it right now would be photos getting sent via text between family members. That is probably going to be the hardest one to get used to.

I recommend everyone consider this phone.