FYI. I am in Prague. Three of my best pals from my time at the Wesley Foundation in Athens are missionaries here. And I figured this is probably the best time to get to see their digs. SUCH a beautiful city! Have you been here? Anything I MUST see?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch [meaning America], this week has been very exciting for a couple of my friends. So I’ve shoved aside the scheduled post about courage to give you another post about courage.

That works out nicely.

Here’s the thing about Nashville. It’s full of good artists. And brave people. And brave artists.

You watch people work and work and work. Make art day after day. Write lyrics that are so raw and honest that they make you cringe. Sing past their easy place. Eat Ramen noodles and go on low attended tours. I’m telling ya, there are people all over that town who have spent their lives like this. Being brave as an artist [writer, actor, singer, etc] over and over and honestly, it rarely pays off.

But I have two stories to tell you today to remind you BE BRAVE. Because sometimes, you win big.

. . . . .

#1. Dave Barnes

Dave has been a singer/songwriter a long time. But this week marks a monumental moment.

Dave wrote the NUMBER ONE SONG IN COUNTRY MUSIC! And then he did a great thing by writing a blog post explaining songwriters and singers and how AMAZING this is that Blake recorded his song and took it to #1. Listen to the lyrics of God Gave Me You and you will hear courage woven throughout. It’s an amazing song… no wonder it is #1.

. . . . .

2. Mike Hobert

You may remember Mike – he screened a movie in Nashville that we all LOVED. He’s lived in LA for a long time, worked really hard, tried and tried again to get a break, and it has finally come.

Mike and his brother have created a TV show that got picked up by NBC. I’ll be sure to let you know when it is actually going to be on your television. But for now, this is terribly exciting.

. . . . .

So what am I saying today about courage? Courage means hard work. Courage means don’t quit. Sure, not many of our lives will involve having a #1 country song or being on NBC, but I think these are two amazing examples of men who were brave enough to do what their hearts wanted to do.

And on the stage of their lives, we are able to watch that courage pay off. I, for one, am grateful, because I am encouraged to keep being brave and trying hard and putting my art into the world.

On the success side of courage, it all seems worth it.