WHY I DO WHAT I DO

“The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation!” (Psalm 118:14)

“So much to do in so little time!”  Isn’t that the story of our lives? I’m a husband, father of three with another one on the way, singer/songwriter with a busy tour schedule, little league coach, churchgoer, etc, etc, etc, and my terrible golf swing is evidence that I don’t have time for that game anymore.  In my so called spare time, if there is such a thing, I’m attempting to write a book, record a charity swing album and finish my 11th CD due out next January.  I have so many irons in the fire that I often find myself getting distracted, overwhelmed and discouraged.  So why, with all this said, am I making yet another weekly obligation to write this blog?  Well… This blog is part of a challenge I’ve made with myself to set aside some quality time everyday to slow down, chill out, pray, study my bible and then reflect on my heart, my family and my love for Jesus.  Hopefully I will even brighten up someone’s day while doing so.  This is something I should have started a long time ago.  I’ve got to give a big thanks to all the fans/friends that, for the past few years, have encouraged/harassed me to start something like this!  So here we are the first entry of the Barbed Wire Halo Blog.  Finally!

WHY I DO WHAT I DO (or perhaps “why I do what I try to do”)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)

Let’s rewind back 10 years…

In the beginning my passion for music revolved around me, myself and I.  Like most 20 year old boys, I was chasing after rock star dreams.  You know, fame, fortune and perhaps a girl or two. 🙂 It’s kind of funny now, but I had no clue of what I was getting myself into.  I guess, thanks to my ignorance and cockiness, I actually thought I’d take over the music industry over night.   Obviously that didn’t happen!   During the first year or so, I lived at a gas station, played over 200 shows and managed to not make a dime.  I would eventually improve my living accommodations but paying my dues while paying for the van, the band, the trailer, the gear, the gas, and the hotel rooms would remain a constant struggle for the next 5 years.  And it didn’t help that I was second guessing myself every step of the way.  For instance, I questioned my decision for passing on an opportunity to pursue a record deal in the early stages of my career.  They flew me out to Nashville, drove me around in a fancy foreign car but something just didn’t feel right.  It all seemed like a bunch of hollow words and empty promises.  Did I make the right decision?  Who knows?  Maybe I would have become the biggest thing since sliced bread then again maybe I would have gotten dropped like a hot potato!   I am confident now knowing that God steered me in the right direction.  Even if I had been ready to take on the world musically I was definitely not ready spiritually. An old cowboy preacher, after one of my Fort Worth shows 7 or 8 years ago, put it best when he said, “Aaron, in the end, selling a million CDs will be worthless if you aren’t glorifying God while doing so.”  Well that ol’ preacher hit the nail on the head but this was something I had always known in my heart but had never backed up with my actions.  I knew I wasn’t giving God my best and it was time to step it up a notch.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well”.     Martin Luther King Jr.

Now let’s rewind back 20 years…..

My biggest hero was the custodian at my Church growing up.  He drove an old brown station wagon that had orange shag carpet on the dash.  The only thing flashy about the man was his purple heart and other military medals that he would let me take to school for show and tell.  He coached every little league team I ever played on, and has revolved his life and love around me since the day I was born.  Yep, you probably guessed it; I’m talking about my Daddy.  I learned my greatest lessons in life while spending time with Dad.  In fact, I’m still learning from him today.  I recall one time in particular, I was probably 11 or 12, while we were cleaning the bathrooms at the Church.  Dad was in one stall and I was in the next one, wearing yellow rubber gloves, scrubbing, complaining and wanting to cuss that porcelain pot a blue streak.  Dad, with his humor, gave me the classic line “it’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it”.  Then he said, “Son, I don’t like cleaning these toilets anymore than you do but I do it because I love you.  I give my best because I want to show God that I am thankful for being blessed with a job that provides for my family.”  Then he added, “Not to mention that I am honored knowing that, in a way, I am cleaning His house.”  Looking back, I probably cherish those times with Dad wearing those yellow rubber gloves even more than the times we spent wearing our baseball gloves.  Perhaps from our society’s materialistic point of view, Dad was an insignificant janitor with a lower class job.  But in God’s eyes I know he saw Dad as a hardworking, faithful and courageous servant.  And to this boy he was everything!  In the 3rd grade a kid made a crack about Dad’s job while out on the playground, before I had a chance to react, one of my buddies knocked that kid on his can.  I guess I wasn’t the only kid who considered Dad a hero!

Take a second to revisit the Martin Luther King Jr. quote above and replace each underlined “street sweeper” and “sweep streets” with your own personal occupation whatever that may be.

We are all ordinary people with a very extraordinary God!  You don’t have to be the next Billy Graham or a missionary in Africa to glorify God with your life.  The bible is full of average, everyday kinds of people like you and I doing some amazing and almost impossible kinds of things.  There’s the story of the runt shepherd boy David, or the farmer Gideon, the widow Ruth, or how about the prostitute Rahab!   And then there’s Jesus!  Even though he was the Son of God, He was born in a barn to a lowly Carpenter and his wife.  Years later Jesus would go on to choose a dozen unwanted rejects to be his disciples and to help spread his message.   And that message would spread to all four corners of the world.  I’d say not too bad for a bunch of country boys!

So to sum it all up: Put your faith in action and make an impact in your corner of the world.  Have a great week!

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Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm  Comments (45)  

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45 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awesome! Glad I took a few minutes out of my crazy day to read this. Looking forward to more.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Aaron. Not only did you make me tear up, you made me pause and evaluate my frustrations with work. I’m so happy to do what I do and help children every day. Not many people can claim the emotional fulfillment that I get from my job on a daily basis.

  3. Thanks for sharing! Was at a show a month back & it’s so great to see an artist sharing the Lord at his shows. You may not think it’s much, but telling everyone to get their rears to church in the morning is a HUGE thing! It speaks volumes about your faith! Keep up the great work & keep serving the Great Man upstairs, Aaron!

  4. Thanks Aaron. You are our favorite artists because of this, how you use your work as a ministry. I’ve recently made a commitment to do the same in my own small business. If it’s not for His glory, it’s just wasted time. Thanks for your inspiration, you will probably never know how many people you are touching around this country. We’ll see ya next trip!

  5. Absolutely beautiful and well said!

  6. Thanks for writing this… You’ve always had such a way with words, and are always so encouraging! I know we don’t get to chat too often, but you make as much of an impression on thousands every weekend, just like your daddy did for you and your friends growing up… Seeing the positive thru the muck and yuck, knowing that diamond will shine and sparkle when it’s all said and done… Don’t you know Heaven shines brighter than we can imagine!!! Always great to be reminded of how the simple things make the biggest difference. We just have to take time to listen 🙂 Love ya’, Friend!

  7. Makes me proud I know you! Your mom and dad must be proud of you, too! I know ACU is!

  8. You are just awesome!!!

  9. You are so awesome and such an inspiration. You are proof that you can do what you love without giving up who you are or losing your faith. And congratulations on baby number 4. are you planning on having an all Watson band one day?

  10. amazing! what a great testimony and inspiration! thanks for writing 🙂 i’m only recently getting to know your music, and i like what i hear. but seeing the man behind the music is always the best part, especially one with a heart for God. thanks again!

  11. Aaron,

    This was amazing. I truly enjoyed reading it, and now i am looking forward to the next one. There is something i read one time, and it makes sense to me. “I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life” This is definitly my thought and take on God. Have a great day, and God Bless!
    -Melissa

  12. Your blog is a blessing! Thank you for it!

  13. Aaron you are such a blessing! You are my favorite country artist. And not just because you sing so well, have amazing talent, and are great to watch live, but because the love of our Savior pours out from your soul. Thank you brother for giving thanks and glory to God and for allowing so many to be apart of that with you.

  14. Arron, thanks for this, I forget that God is in “everything” we do. Your music strikes deep bro…

  15. Wow! I saw a link to this blog posted on a Facebook friends wall and just started reading it…I truly have chills running up my spine. I would have to create my own blog just to say how much I enjoyed stumbling upon this today. Although I havent had the good fortune of seeing you play live, I do listen to a ton of your music and Im definitely a fan. Thank you so much for giving the man upstairs the credit he deserves and for being like me, a man doing his best to be like Christ.

  16. Thank you Aaron!

  17. awesome. i am trying to live this as we speak. i recently went on the Walk to Emmaus, if you havent been i strongly suggest it. i always have beleived in God, but after this i have accepted him. i am know trying to teach my son the same thing. give God the glory if we win, give God the glory if we lose.

  18. I really don’t know what to say but Wow!!! Have to tell you that my late husband took a job in Tx July of 09 you were the first TX singer he went to hear. Got you to sign pics for our kiddos. He was hooked Kenny went out and bought all of you Cd’s we joined him that Sept. Lived in TX For 18 months and then moved back home to NM because our kiddos were very sick in TX but he got to live his dream there riding bucking horses and having tall green grass. Shortly after we moved home he was killed riding bucking horses and I was expecting our fourth child. We played Barbed Wire Halo at his Memorial and every time I hear it I think of him!!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR MUSIC!!!!

  19. I first met you in late July in Waco. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by your 2 hr show. But the best part of that show and 6 others since is visiting with you after each show. The way you conduct yourself on stage is the same way you react with fans afterwards. Thanks for professing your faith on stage. This blog is another way you can inspire us.

  20. I started reading your words and somehow, I put my own thought into perspective. I say have the same work ethic wether it is for $8 or $20 because that is what I agreed to when I took the job. I didn’t realize how of that came from my own father because he was an alcoholic when I was younger and he was never around. I have always woke up in the morning and thanked the Almighty for allowing to do it again another day. I just hope he understands my father did more than he knows.

  21. Thank you for sharing! God wants to help each of us…we just have to let Him. God’s plans are far above mine, thank goodness!

  22. Hey buddy, congratulations on your new edition to be and Thank you for the testimony. And you don’t have to say it, gonna give the babies a hug from you. Be safe on the road and tell Kim we said hey.
    God bless, Corey.

  23. I know it’s not easy to carve out time to write, so thank you for making the time to start this blog. This was such an encouragement to me, and your stories about working with your father will stay with me a long time.

  24. I know it’s not easy to find the time to write, so thank you for making time to start this blog. This post was such an encouragement to me, and the stories about the time you spent cleaning with your father will stick with me a long time.

  25. Odd..Just listening to Barbed Wire Halo and this came across…hit me just at the right time as our lives have been challenged lately. Puts everything in perspective and you are right…we all need to slow down, find peace, and praise God.

  26. I just love your sagely perspective. You and your story remind me of my life growing up.

    My dad was a diesel mechanic. When we first moved to what I consider my home town, in the 5th grade, a couple of kids thought we were bottom of the pond.

    My dad had better work ethics than anyone I’ve ever met, was a Korean War hero, companies and drivers from all over the US sought him out. He would often get calls in the middle of the night from other states where drivers would want his advice or troubleshooting when their trucks went down.

    Dad was a quiet servant. He was trusted and revered for doing his best work always. And, last but not least, he and mom raised four children that have met the Lord. He was my hero. Praise the Lord, I got to tell him so.

    Thanks for the wonderful thoughts.

  27. Thank you for sharing these words, Aaron! Reading your blog was a great way to start out my morning. It made me reflect upon my life, and realize that everything will be all right, because someone greater than me is in control!!

    I enjoyed seeing you last night at the Nutty Brown Cafe. You put on an amazing performance! You are a gifted artist, with a sincere heart. Keep up the good work, and thanks again for the “words of wisdom.”

  28. Thank you for being a light and sharing your faith.
    Colossians 1:9-12
    For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

  29. I’ve always wanted to let you know that Barbed Wire Halo has always been a song of yours that has hit me straight to the heart. The reason for this goes back a few years back when my younger brother John had me take him to the Luling Watermelon Thump to see you because you were his favorite Texas Music Artist. I have to admit that I had never hear of you before, but that night I understood why you were John’s favorite. Now in 2008 my brother was diagnosed with leukemia and survived until Feb. 16th 2010. I miss he dearly, but I remember he telling me and I still have the text stating “just keep your confidence. When I get hit with something bad during my cancer treatment i just stay confident. you will be alright as long as you fight.” John is my Barbed Wire Halo and I just wanted you to know that the song will forever remind me of John. Thank you and God Bless

  30. Aaron I have loved you & your music since I was turned on to it by some friends in Wichita Falls. Just something about the way you & the band presented yourselves was awesome & this blog just reinforces all that. Not to mention that your music & thoughts have gotten me through some pretty rough times. 🙂 Thanks!

  31. Awesome post and inspiring words! Looking forward to reading more each week. You know, there’s a lot of us that love the Lord with every beat of our heart, and still like to listen to great Texas music and even scoot a little boot. You have a tremendous talent – and are a blessing to alot of people!

  32. wow! So glad I took the time to read this!

  33. Nicely done Aaron. I was reading something this week that mentioned a quote and a creed of Mother Teresa. Quote: “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love…” Creed: “The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.” Your love and peace seem evident when talking to you and watching you talk with others. Pursuing growth and excellence and service is so much better than pursuing position, power, and wealth. Blessings to you in this new endeavor of encouraging others.

  34. not sure how likely you’ll be able to read this. but here it goes anyway..

    You know, I love the fact that you haven’t “sold your soul” per say, to the “big” recording companies. As a music fan, it’s always great when one of your favorite musicians sticks to their roots and does it all in the name and love for music.
    Yall’s performance at the Nutty Brown was definitely one of my most favorite by you all so far. It was a lot of fun and as always, you take the time to acknowledge the fans and interact with them.

    I can’t speak as a musician, but i personally believe this – even when you start to doubt yourself, just think of how far you’ve come and how much you can still go [;

  35. Wow, another reason we love you! Good job! Thanks for encouraging us all with your words and your life!

  36. I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed this today! I’ve been sitting at my desk wondering why I should continue on the path I’m currently on. Growth and conversion is hard & emotional but in the end will be well worth it. A couple of weeks ago I bought your Barbed Wire Halo album and listen to it almost every day. I love Barbed Wire Halo as it reminds me of my Granddaddy and Sonshine is now right up there on my top songs list. I plan to share it with my Bible Study group next week. It’s such a fitting song for the Easter season. Many blessings to you Aaron and keep up the good work.

  37. I just found your blog on the site.. It made me sit back at this job, and take a minute to reflect on everything. Thanks for doing what you do, and helping us with our Bullies Against Cancer benifit. Your truley a great person and look forward to your new music coming out.

  38. That first scripture you shared is my favorite! I have to quote it to myself almost daily. This is an awesome thing you’ve started. Keep it up.

  39. Aaron, you are such an inspiration. This is why we love you so much!!!! You are proof of the huge difference one person can make, truly. You are using your God-given talents to glorify Him and you are lifting others up, reaching a HUGE, diverse audience (Some of whom might not get a whole lot of “church” elsewhere!). It’s so cool that whenever you play, your audience not only gets to listen to incredible music & two-step or waltz the night away:) but we also get to be blessed by the person you are and the message you carry and the love of Christ which you embody. I LOVE what you wrote about your dad … so awesome. Your parents obviously did a great job raising you, my friend. And you know what? I, for one, think you absolutely made the right decision by following your heart and not signing the deal in Nashville. God had a bigger plan for you, and you are living it out every day. You are making the world a better place, and I am very proud of the decisions you make and the way you carry yourself. You set a great example for all of us. Keep up the good work! (and we’ll keep spreading the word about your awesome music!!)

  40. A Thank You really doesn’t suffice Aaron. I am so glad to see you starting this effort and working in your own way to spread a good message. Everytime Phil 3:12-14 comes on my ipod, followed by Barbed Wire Halo, on my long days in the tractor, it always gives me a reminder to make time for some reflection. One of these days I’ll find my way to make an impact, no matter how remote my lil ranch country part of the world may be. Take Care.

  41. I’m a little late at reading this one, but it came at the most perfect time in my life. God has a crazy way to do that. I am miserable in my job as a nurse. Not the occupation itself. I LOVE THAT but the place I work is getting at me, and even though it seems to be a luxory job to some, its a lot of waiting on people, and “faking it till you make it” on rough days. I had forgotten why I was guided in this career path many years ago. It was to glorify God and be a light in someones rough day, and even though its rough and dirty and not always what you want it to be. Its helping someone and making the best out of it. Your post reminded me that its the not so glorious jobs that make you the glorioust person. So thank you!! Keep writing, because you always seem to be writing about something I can relate to, and thank you for singing and being the amazing texas man you are!

  42. Hey Aaron! Happy to join your blog. You say some great words, my friend. You have helped me to look at my life and where and who I am. Keep preaching the good word! You have a great opportunity to reach lost souls.

  43. Thanks Aaron!! I just started reading your blog and its become a part of my daily routine!! I’ve learned a lot from you and your words inspire me keep up the good work!

    ps cant wait for some of the new music!!
    -emily<3

  44. Wow! What a blessing. I was already a fan of your music; but finding out that you are a Christian who has his priorities in order, makes your music sound even better! You and your family will be in my prayers as you continue to grieve for your sweet baby girl.

  45. You are such an inspiration to me I love your blog and your words are words similiar to those in my own heart. I lost my 41 y.o daughter to domestic violence last year. I wish I could be as sane as you are. I will follow your blog because it is so beautifully written and for inspiration to attain the level you are at in your grief and understanding. Thank you for being so open and sharing.


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