“But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.”

2 Chron. 32:31

The picture above was taken a couple of days ago in Chicago. I believe we’re in the middle of playing “Hella Good” by No Doubt. I’ll admit that I’m a bigger fan of the earlier No Doubt stuff (which seems to be true of most people my age) but this tune is particularly fun to play live and my friend Racheal – better known as RaeLynn – really owns it.

My name is Dane. I play guitar for a living.

I’ve been in Nashville almost two years now, which seems to me to be equally long and brief at the same time. On the one hand, I’ve learned probably 500 new songs since moving here. On the other…

…we still have boxes we haven’t unpacked from the move.

For a long time I’ve thought about keeping a journal or blog of some sort of my exploits here, but I’ve never quite known how to frame it. This morning, it became a bit clearer to me how and why I should go about this.

1) As the title states… this is what I do. This is not who I am. I have discovered very quickly that it is easy to confuse one’s vocation with one’s identity. My friend Andrew Sovine once told me “Your job doesn’t define you; your art does.”

My art.

My marriage.

My odd sense of humor.

My family.

These things – combined – give a much more complete idea of who I am than what you see on stage or instagram. I hope these entries provide an even more intimate glimpse to others… and to my future self.

HI FUTURE DANE. Gray hair is cool. Seriously.

2) Not everything in here will be about me; that would be a boring story indeed. I want to tell the stories of the people around me.

My job puts me in a position to meet lots of new people on a daily basis. It’s easy to keep the conversation surface level and never really pay attention to who they are or what they love. But I know they all have stories… important ones. Hopefully by starting this I can challenge myself to really begin to hear them and pass them on.

3) I read the above Biblical passage this morning. It’s about King Hezekiah, who became terminally ill and prayed to the Lord. The text says he received a “miraculous sign” but did not respond to it – or, as I’m interpreting it, did not give the Lord proper credit.

Too often I speak as if I got here by my own efforts. I know this not to be true, but I don’t communicate it often enough.

So my final hope for these writings is that they serve as a very clear and grateful testimony that I have the Lord to thank for every ounce of success and provision that I have received on this journey.

Contrary to the common hashtag, I am not blessed because I am doing something I love; I am blessed because I am loved.