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By Wisdom A House Is Built

By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.
- Proverbs 24:3-4 New International Version (NIV)

My partner and I are sitting in bed with a view of the mountains through the large, glass-paned door to our right. Several feet from us is a woodstove in which a fire fends off the cold Tennessee morning. And as we recline under the covers with bibles on our laps, my partner prays aloud for us both.

Recently, we've been through difficult times, both together and apart from each other. We've struggled in our relationship, ending it, mending it, and trying anew. And speaking for myself, through reading God's word, His grace has shed light on how far from Him I have lived; on how much I need His word to learn and grow; on how I can be a better man for Him and for my partner.

With an open heart, my partner prays for God to help us build a better relationship, one that glorif…

Do You Know an Inspiring Self-Taught Musician Like Cipriano Vigil?

Cipriano Vigil is a cigar box guitar builder we can all learn from. You can read about him in an article recently published in The Sante Fe New Mexican. There you'll discover that Vigil's New Mexico home is filled with instruments, some collected, and many made by his own hands. More importantly, Vigil is a high school dropout who went on to earn a bachelor's in music education and a doctorate in ethnomusicology (the study of music by the culture that makes it). Even more importantly, Vigil, a self-taught musician, has been awarded a lifetime achievement award from the New Mexico Music Commission for connecting New Mexican youths with cultural and music history through his cigar box guitar-building workshops.

Keep reading to see a rundown of key points you'll find in the article.

Self-Taught From a very young age, Vigil yearned to play music and therefore taught himself to do so. He reports that around eight years of age, he would sneak out of his family's house a…

Down To The River To Pray | 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Lesson

In this post, you'll learn how to play Down To The River To Pray on your 3-string cigar box guitar.

What you'll find in this post are

a short video lessonand free-to-download cigar box guitar tablature.
The video lesson includes on-screen tablature so that you can easily follow along. 
Because of this, you can pause the video as necessary to identify where you should put your fingers on the cigar box guitar fretboard.
And the free-to-download tablature is in a PDF format. 
Therefore, you can print copies of it to have on-hand whenever you practice this beautiful, old gospel song.
Video Lesson

Below, you can preview the 3-string tab.

Click here to download the 3-string cigar box guitar tablature for Down To The River To Pray.

If you need some help learning how to read tabs, there is a short instructional video on the Tabs page of this website.

Plus, you can see the same video on my YouTube channel.

More Gospel Song Tutorials
Do you enjoy old, gospel songs like Down To …

WIP 1 (Work In Progress 1)

I wrote this progression a few years back. After playing it here and there every so often, it's since sat unattended in the memory bank; pretty much right around the time I stopped making videos for YouTube in 2017.

Well, along with my renewed interest in playing music, and specifically music played on cigar box guitars, I'm pushing this progression closer to the front of my mind. There's a song in there somewhere, and it's time I unpacked the possibilities.

What do you think? Does this little work-in-progress speak to you? Do you hear anything in particular while watching the video?

There's another a couple more progressions that have simmered on the back burner for a few years now. With my passion for music re-ignited and my growing hope to glorify God through it all, I'm aiming to write my first full songs on this cigar box guitar, one way or another.

I'll Fly Away 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Lesson

Learn how to play the beautiful, old hymn I'll Fly Away on your 3-string cigar box guitar.
This post includes:  the video lesson from my YouTube channela link to download a PDF of the tablatureand why this song is important to me To help learn this song, the video below has on-screen tablature to show you where to put your fingers on the fretboard.

And if you prefer to play with a slide, the same on-screen tablature can be used to learn over which fret to place it.
Video Lesson

Below you can scroll through the tablature to follow along with the video.

Plus, you can download the PDF version to keep on your computer, and to print hard copies so you can take the tabs with you wherever you go.

Click here to download the PDF tablature for I'll Fly Away.

Also, please feel free to share printed versions of this tablature, this blog post, and video with anyone who you think could find value in it.

Why This Song is Important to Me
This song came to me, or at least it's bea…

What Distracts You From Creative Worship?

Here is an example of how easily we can be distracted from creating something profound in our lives.

Linked below is a short blog post from Shane Speal that demonstrates how a set of 25-year-old circumstances diverted him from an opportunity to develop an important spiritual concept: creative worship.

Then we unpack a little about what distracts us and why ignoring those distractions allows the space and time for our individual creative pursuits, and perhaps our own creative worship.

A Missed Opportunity
In his post titled The Old Man & the Omnichord, Shane describes attending a church service at which an old man led a hymn in a way Shane had never before experienced.

As Shane puts it, the man gave "... his offering to God in his unique style."

The old man's unique offering was made using an Omnichord: an electronic musical instrument you likely don't think of when you picture a church service.

The performance and the choice of the musical instrument were so int…

Christmas Wish: I Want My Father Back

It's Christmas, and I want my father back.

He passed away over 10 years ago and, to this day, I cannot think or talk about him long without tearing up.

It's evident without saying, but for the sake of clarity, I love my dad and miss him terribly and want him back for Christmas.

Christmas Day
This 44th Christmas of mine has been good; great, even.

Farley and I spent this morning at home, gathered around the tree – adorned with only blue twinkle lights and two ornaments, both of which were given to us –  exchanging gifts with her two children.

After the morning festivities, and as it seems with modern families, the four of us split up to enjoy separate family gatherings for the remainder of the day.

The kids went with their father, and Farley and I made the short trip to see my mother.

It was in my mother's living room that thoughts of my late father occupied and then nearly overwhelmed me.

Remembering My Father
Other than the trees attractive but standardized aesthetic wit…