Zac Brown has a way with lyrics and I suppose they are successful because so many identify with their words. It often seemed in my life they were writing songs to go along with my life. Presented in reverse chronological order as it was my bit of life here. (with two extra songs added in).

  1. My Old Man – he is me, I am him. He showed me everything I needed to know. he was a man.

2. When I was younger, I was foolish, selfish and unfair.

3. “We are born in hospitals to moms and dads who work and pray, the chosen few get shipped away to reap the tax that must be paid”

4. I remember the day it all clicked for me that she had been gone for years and there was no saving her.

5. Better men than me met this fate, it was not my time.

6. Then this happen, with a different ending (see #4 above).

7. There were sad, hard times and it almost killed me.

8. At one point Bart Crow provided my get up and live theme song – I played it on repeat out in Texas. It was cathartic.

9. I ended up literally driving Highway 20, for a while every weekend, heading east to see the two people I loved more than anything.

10. And then I met Bri, and well…

11. Loving her is so very easy.

12. Last year this one almost came true – shotgun and all.

13. And it goes full circle from the first song in this list to my most important purpose in life.

2023 Update:

Music as an art form can, still even in our deteriorating culture express truth in ways other attempts cannot. I do not really use social media and I do not have Facebook. All the ways and means that old acquaintances use to “check up on” someone I do not have. When one does they generally find me here and go to my “about” page and then straight to here. I suppose we all see the truth music can tell. I do not know how many living humans know all the stories that make the above selection so relevant to the timeline narrative presented but the Zac Brown band has a way of relating to many people – others too as represented by additional artists here. I suppose that is why this page is so popular. I have added below a few additional songs from various artists that help me explain my story to me at least.

14. Before 2020 my optimism overruled my realism. I was involved in all manner of things socially, entrepreneurial, and even politically at the county level. Despite knowing what I knew about the world I really thought we could make it better. But beginning in December 2019 events and action really highlighted just how confused and lost most are, how confused and lost we all are. For a brief moment, I thought I had to be the only one that really saw it for what it all was.

I was, of course, not totally alone. Complex and confusing times seem to act as a filter of sorts, catching the rocks and leaves. I looked back recently at the years 2020-2023 and found them to be a blessing to me. Over a lifetime of reading old books, it seems that long-dead men presented truths most have forgotten or never learned. I made new friends and found new purpose and new duty to fulfill.

15. As my beard has now turned almost entirely gray, I have now the perspective that seems the exclusive domain of those (some) that have traveled multiple journeys around the sun. I understand much more about the old men and simple preachers I first wrote about a decade ago. For the first time, I have noticed friends dying of natural causes. But if they found a fountain of youth, I would not drink a drop. We live in the times God ordained that we should live. I was made for my time, I would not do well in the times that are arriving.

16. I have come to know that duty and principles are second in importance only to the next topic below. Duty and principles are also intricately related and dependent upon higher truths. All we have in this life is our character, not how people perceive us because most people are hopelessly lost but rather how we measure our actions and adherence to duty relative to true-truth. Long before I was wise enough to understand the full scope of it and long before I had any capacity to even attempt to truly live according to true principles I wanted to deep down. I have never been afraid to stand outside in the rain, alone if necessary. This explains why I was such a troublemaker my entire career in the eyes of men that did not live by true principles. It is why I hold loyalty (glued tightly to true principles) in such high regard. It is why I show so much patience and forbearance with those that cannot show true loyalty or live by principles. It is why I have such low expectations of others in this regard and am perfectly happy to walk away and stand out in the rain, hoping they might someday “get it”. The nature of our struggle demands no less.

17. True-truth reveals the metaphysical realism that ties it all together. It explains the failures and mistakes that led to some of the circumstances described in the story above. Ultimately it is the reason for the hope and optimism that I hold to so firmly. It is the exclusive reason for the duty I hold to. It was Grace that kept me from either dying or exploding in a literal or figurative fireball throughout many points in my life. It was Grace that allowed me to find Brianne and for the first time in my life experience giving and receiving real love. It was Grace that called me, and through Faith justified me, saving me from that which I could never rescue myself. At the very end, no matter what others might choose or think and no matter how low we might sink as a people in this fallen world it is first and last Grace that saves us. Ours is to have faith enough to accept it and then the courage to do our duty.