Brought to you by Andi Ashworth and Charles W. Ashworth (the musician professionally known as Charlie Peacock). The Ashworths are published authors and contributors to a wide range of books and periodicals. The couple co-founded Art House America in 1991, a non-profit created to inspire a seamless life of Christian discipleship and imaginative living. The Art House in Nashville, a one-hundred-year-old, renovated country church became their family home and the setting for their work of hospitality, teaching, vocational counsel and running award-winning music/film production and publishing companies. For over two decades, the Ashworths hosted artists and writers, theologians, speakers and organizations, including Bono, Andy Crouch, David Dark, Mel Gibson, Amy Grant, Patricia Heaton, Steve Turner, Blood-Water Mission, International Justice Mission, The Gathering and the ONE Campaign.
Today, Charlie and Andi function as co-founders/directors emeritus for the three Art House locations: Dallas, St. Paul and Nashville, while Nathan and Cassie Tasker now direct the work of Art House Nashville. Each location retains the Ashworths’ original vision and practice while providing events and weekly programming in support of the unique communities. The Ashworths have been married for over four decades and have two grown, married children and four grandchildren.
The Son I Wish I’d Been
The life trajectory of a son or daughter is no natural arc. More like a maze. Even so, the ideal model of child and parent relationship is traditionally plotted as linear. Education begins at birth. Parents teach us the basics. How to communicate. How to walk upright. From our parents, we learn hot and cold, right and wrong, yes and no. It’s not all binary and didactic though. A large portion of what we learn is at the tacit level. Year after year, this tacit knowledge takes root in that deep space within us where the words to describe what we know often evade us.
The Long Creation
Summer is breathing its last here in Nashville, and I’m ready for the energy of a crisp fall day. Right now it’s only a hope as temperatures continue to soar. But there are signs in my garden that change is coming. A pair of goldfinches arrived last month just as the purple and white coneflowers turned to seed. They come like clockwork every year to announce that summer is nearing an end.
Rock ‘n’ Roll is Born Again
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? And what does it mean to be a disciple and an artist? I’ve been asking these questions since April 1982.
I need to give some definition to the words disciple and Jesus. When I write disciple, I’m thinking a student and something like an artistic, Jesus-centric apprenticeship. When I write Jesus, I’m thinking of the person of history as described and quoted in the library of sixty-six books known as the Bible and acknowledged by non-Christian sources too. Such as first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his 20-volume history of the Jewish people, Jewish Antiquities.
The Bonds That Carry Us
On Friday evening, the week before school was out in May, we all collected at our house for dinner. I’d been craving the company of our grown children and grandchildren, everyone at the same time, just the ten of us. I didn’t have time to cook that day, so I ordered pizza from the new place around the corner and made a big salad. It was just right. No fuss. Easy is not my usual style when it comes to family dinners, but I’m learning to appreciate the option.
The Land of Belief
March 4th through the 17th of 1982, I was playing piano at Lake Tahoe in Harrah’s Stateline Cabaret. Some friends and I had taken a one-off gig as a country group fronted by beef jerky mogul Ajay Avery – creator of a chewy product called Montana Bananas. Superstar John Denver was the headliner in the South Shore Room, the big room, with Jay Leno as the opening act. In 1980 if you’d asked me to take a country gig with a moderately talented Jerky mogul, unequivocally, I would’ve offered you profanity’s most succinct reply. I was a star in the making, not a jester dancing for dollars. Circumstances change.
For the Love of Books
I am a book lover, pure and simple. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t smitten by the pleasures of reading or comforted by the presence of books. When I walk around our house, I see the history of our interests in the titles that line the shelves. I can’t imagine how empty life would be without the company of those books, and I’m continually grateful for how rich it’s been because of them. We have valued books, Chuck and I, and after 44 years of marriage, they surround us. We trimmed the fat when we moved here four years ago, carting boxes of books to Goodwill. But then we kept on living and being curious, wanting to read the next thing. Chuck reads a lot on Kindle, so that helps the storage issue. I tried, but I couldn’t keep it up. I read everything with a pen in my hand, fiction or non-fiction, underlining sentences and marking whole paragraphs. When I need to find those words again, I’m glad for the ease of locating the physical book and flipping through its pages. But also, I just like having them around. Life feels infinitely more interesting with books in the room.
I love these autobiographical sketches. Why did you guys stop?? Please come back and keep telling your stories!
Love, A lifelong fan