new tune > she

June 30th, 2015
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a kind of off the cuff jammish thingy…have been working on a couple of songs which should show up here soon, been travelling a lot lately – I hope you are having a great summer!

she

a joyful noise

May 23rd, 2015
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hola amigos! I do hope you all are having a great Spring! Myself – I have been busy on several fronts and thought it a good idea to say hey…or hola…or whazhappenin. First up> I have been working my way through Psalms and have been so utterly inspired in so many ways it is difficult to summarize in a single post, but I will say this; reading Psalms makes me want to make a joyful noise! Psalm 98 is where I currently reside and the poem resonates with sacred energy…some interesting points include the fact that it was written about 1,000 years before Christ, but stretches all the way past his birth to the judgement of the earth (that’s some staying power in relevance), David instructs us to sing a NEW song, and includes such details as “make a loud noise / rejoice / sing praise / let the sea roar / let the floods clap their hands” one interesting thing of note is the “noise” element. As a drummer I’m going to say many a joke is had at our expense…our implied lack of musicality if you will…in the sense that drums are rarely “in tune” to the song…even when a pitch is found – it’s sharp on attack, and we cannot tune specifically to every song. Anyway – a joyful noise is more of a victory shout (and less of a sung note)… furthermore – have you ever been by the roar of an ocean wave? Lemme tell you it’s big my friend. Overwhelming even. In your face loud and noisy. I’m thinking the idea here is to go big or go home. Wall o’ Spirit infused sound! The Hebrew lexicon lists various meanings for noise in this psalm including “to break out / break forth / shout / raise a sound / cry out / give a blast / shout a war cry / shout in triumph.” And yes, the triumph piece becomes important as we look to the end of the psalm we see the Lord coming to judge the people of the world with righteousness and equity. Holy good from our Lord Christ will triumph over skulking defeated evil… I’m thinking a day of some joyful noise sounds quite pleasant thanks.

On other news fronts Read the rest of this entry »

Ever above my coldness and my doubt

May 23rd, 2015
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Rises up something, reaching forth a hand:
This thing I know, but cannot understand.
Is it the God in me that rises out
Beyond my self, trailing it up with him,
Towards the spirit-home, the freedom-land,
Beyond my conscious ken, my near horizon’s brim?

GM

workers for God >

April 23rd, 2015
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Christian service is not our work; loyalty to Jesus is our work.

Whenever success is made the motive of service, infidelity to our Lord is the inevitable result. (Luke 10:20)

The curse of much modern Christian work is its determination to preserve itself.

Beware of the temptation to compromise with the world, to put their interests, their needs, first – “they have kindly become interested in our Christian work, given so much time to it, now let us winsomely draw them in” they will winsomely draw you away from God.

If my life as a worker is right with God I am not concerned about my public pose – using discreet terms that will impress people; my one concern in public and private is to worship God.

Never interfere with God’s providential dealings with other souls. Be true to God yourself and watch.

Beware of Christian activities instead of Christian being. The reason workers come to stupendous collapses is that their work is the evidence of a heart that evades facing the truth of God for itself – “I have no time for prayer, for Bible study, I must always be at it”.

We constantly ask “am I of any use?”. If you think you are it is questionable whether you are being used by the Holy Spirit at all. It is the things that you pay no attention to that the Holy Spirit uses.

Your dead set determination to be of use never means half so much as the times you have not been thinking of being used, a casual conversation, an ordinary word, while your life was “hid with Christ in God”.

Nothing hoodwinks us more quickly than the idea we are serving God.

How do I deal with a sinful soul? Do I remember who I am, or do I deal with him as if I was God?

OC

thinking >

April 17th, 2015
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Don’t shut up any avenue of your nature, let God come into every avenue, every relationship, and you will find the nightmare curse of “secular and sacred” will go.

With regard to other men’s minds, take all you can get, whether those minds are in flesh-and-blood editions or in books, but remember, the best you get from another mind is not the mind’s verdict, but its standpoint. Note the writers that provoke you to do the best mentally.

We have no business to limit God’s revelations to the bias of the human mind.

Truth is discerned by moral obedience. There are points in our thinking which remain obscure until a crisis arises in personal life where we ought to obey, immediately we obey the intellectual difficulty alters. Whenever we have to obey it is always in something immensely practical.

The first thing to go when you begin to think is your theology. If you stick too long to a theological point of view you become stagnant, without vitality.

Doubt is not always a sign that a man is wrong, it may be a sign he is thinking.

A logical position is satisfying to the intellect, but it can never be true to life. Logic is simply the method man’s intellect follows in making things definable to himself, but you can’t define what is greater than yourself.

Don’t run away with the idea that everything that runs contrary to your complacent scheme of things is of the devil.

Obedience is the basis of Christian thinking. Never be surprised if there are whole areas of thinking that are not clear, they never will be until you obey.

It takes a long time to get rid of atheism in thinking.

OC

thoughts on study >

April 10th, 2015
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Study to begin with can never be easy; the determination to form systematic mental habits is the only secret. Don’t begin anything with reluctance.

Beware of any cleverness that keeps you from working. No one is born a worker; men are born poets and artists, but we have to make ourselves “laborers”.

The discipline of our mind is the one domain God has put in our keeping. It is impossible to be of any use to God if we are lazy. God won’t cure laziness, we have to cure it.

More danger arises from physical laziness than almost any other thing.

Inspiration won’t come irrespective of study, but only because of it. Don’t trust to inspiration, use your own “axe” (Psalm 74:5). Work! Think! Don’t luxuriate on the mount!

The demand for inspiration is the measure of our laziness. Do the things that don’t come by inspiration.

It is difficult to get yourself under control to do work you are not used to, the time spent seems wasted at first, but get at it again. The thing that hinders control is impulse.

Your mind can never be under your control unless you bring it there; there is no gift for control. You may pray till Doomsday but your brain will never concentrate if you don’t make it concentrate.

In the most superficial matters put yourself under control, your own control. Be as scrupulously punctual in your private habits as you would be in Government office.

Don’t insult God by telling Him He forgot to give you any brains when you were born. We all have brains, what we need is work.

OC

Jan Van Eyck Crucifixion and Last Judgement

April 3rd, 2015
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The two panels may have been the wings of a triptych, but there is no certainty about that. In the 19th century the paintings were transferred from panel to canvas.

Three parts can be distinguished in the Crucifixion. The foreground shows weeping women. Under the crosses Van Eyck created a vivid scene with soldiers and others. In the top part the three crucified men are shown, with Jesus Christ in the center.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of the Crucifixion is the astonishing depth of the landscape behind the crosses. Van Eyck applied a splendid spatial perspective.

A vertical axis is the key to the composition of the Last Judgment: Christ as judge at the top, and archangel Michael controlling the underworld.

Next to Jesus are the virgin Mary and John the Baptist. They seem to float above the chosen, the dead that were allowed into Heaven.

No daylight enters the underworld where the doomed dwell for ever. It looks as if the dead enter Hell through the skeleton of Death. (copyright Art & Bible)

note: As we celebrate Christs triumph over death, I find the underworld reminder a somber reality often overlooked, but edifying nonetheless. Please click on the image to enlarge
Jan_van_Eyck_-_Diptych_left_panelJan_van_Eyck_right_panel

new song > better way

March 31st, 2015
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yikes – March 31… times flies when you’re chasing spies…I have been comfortably decoupled from many a distraction in the last month, and would have probably let this post slide into April if I didn’t have a bigger problem with letting the month of March go by without an update. I find the occasional break from web stuff quite cathartic. It was only in passing I noticed the date and had to reach into my vast store of songs under construction to find something I could tweak and publish with minimal effort. Today’s plate features a west bounce cross-stick drum groove. The kick is mixed quite loud – do you know why? Well, yes… correct, because I like the sound of it. Bass has a certain rubber band quality to it… let’s see, melodically fairly straight pad / choral chords. Lyrics are a one off, I mean after all, there is almost always a “better way” wouldn’t you say? Finally, and this might sound weird, but I opted for a hi-hat solo as quasi – bridge. Yes, as in cymbals. It just felt right. There are some issues with the song…but alas – it is March 31st…

better way

new song > island life

February 14th, 2015
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my wife and I went on a cruise in the Caribbean not long ago, we stopped at Belize, Cozumel, Cayman Islands and Roatan – it was quite nice (especially the price: $550.00 each including flight and food), not long after that our son Jesse spent his J term in Belize. Somewhere in there, between reading his blog posts from Belize and my being back in MN winter, I got the seed idea for, and a deep appreciation into island life. Truth be told I really did write this for my wife as part of my Valentines gift for her. I basically took aspects of conversations, complaints, joys, longings and inside jokes and set them to music. There are some notable firsts… a lot of this song was sketched out on an ipad… I used several apps; ChordMapMidi, Thumbjam and Garageband among others. The basic song idea is around a sequenced acoustic guitar, and a retro bass synth… back in my home studio set up; on drums I wanted to use brushes, but alas, I could not find them when I was recording the drums so I used a harder sounding hot rod stick and never bothered to re-record…there is or course island percussion getting slinky – and even a steel drum (few instruments say island like a steel drum eh?). The vocals were basically a one off with some minor tweaks…the lyrics took a little longer on this one, primarily because I was trying to tell a proper story, and really wanted to include things I knew were meaningful to my wife, so there was that. So yeah, island life… enjoy.

island life

hey Tamara did you hear them say
winter storm is on its way
10 below and a foot of snow
weather men say its a polar flow

check with spirit and spirit say fly
out of the cold into the open sky
over the mountains to the deep blue sea
out on the islands wanna come with me

island life
island life
ocean breeze
sweet palm trees (2x)

had my fill of this snow rage
think its time to finally turn the page
north winds bitin into my bones
the frozen pines are just a creakin and a moanin

lets get busy lets get haulin
hot and sunny life is callin
i can almost feel my toes in the sand
cmon girl and take my hand

island life
island life
ocean breeze
sweet palm trees (2x)

live and love and laugh and sing
eat and drink and praise our king

pluck an avacado from an avacado tree
add some lime and spices and we got our guacamole
grab a blanket and head for the beach
laughin all the way cause we’re out of reach

from all the misery and ice cold weather
we’re just soakin sun holdin hands together
people been askin about our return date
well i was thinkin that maybe we should stay

island life
island life
ocean breeze
sweet palm trees

thoughts on psalm 23

February 8th, 2015
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[A Psalm of David.]

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

“Millions of people have memorized this psalm, even those who have learned few other Scripture portions. Ministers have used it to comfort people who are going through severe personal trials, suffering illness, or dying. For some, the words of this psalm have been the last they have ever uttered in life.” (Boice) Read the rest of this entry »