Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

“Because children have abounding vitality,

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
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because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

GK Chesterton

To trust is gain and growth, not mere sown seed!

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
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Faith heaves the world round to the heavenly dawn,
In whose great light the soul doth spell and read
Itself high-born, its being derived and drawn
From the eternal self-existent fire;
Then, mazed with joy of its own heavenly breed,
Exultant-humble falls before its awful sire.

GM

The worst power of an evil mood is this–

Thursday, February 4th, 2016
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It makes the bastard self seem in the right,
Self, self the end, the goal of human bliss.
But if the Christ-self in us be the might
Of saving God, why should I spend my force
With a dark thing to reason of the light–
Not push it rough aside, and hold obedient course?

GM

new song > everything burns

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
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sooo – that was 2015 eh? Was it me or did this year whistle right on by? This next song, “everything burns” came about a while back as I had a huge bonfire in my back yard. I did some footage with my iphone in slo-motion and was suitably interested in the dancing very orange flames. The lyric and melody came at once – partially inspired by some graffiti I saw some time back. I did not know “everything burns” was in a Batman movie. Anyway, as I thought about the term I wrote the song with the idea playing off of some of the various burnings and fires in scripture (Hebrews 12:29, about our God being a consuming fire…Revelations 20:14 with death and hell being cast into a lake of fire…Acts 2:3 the tongues of fire at Pentecost…1 Corinthians 3:13 with our works being tested by fire…2 Peter 3:7 the heaven and earth being reserved for fire in judgement), after trying a few ideas – it became too much, almost forced… it is not meant to be at all “dark” – but my wife said it sounds depressing, oh well…. I like the repetitive melody and lyrics – and what basically is my only vocal take on the song (originally just a guide)… maybe this is one of those graffiti-esque musical jottings… I ended up not using my slo-motion flame shots because one got “corrupted” with a text title when I was trying to flip the perspective using an app on my phone…. so I opted for some video-blocks I have from a trial subscription – and I have my logo “fired” for fun. Right. 2015 revealed the benchmark of 100 published songs on my website. I feel pretty good about that. Don’t know if you have ever written, performed, produced and mixed a song, but the number 100 feels important to me. It is also a part of the larger “M initiative” …It is funny to think about how far I have come musically from the first songs, and subsequent doubts (which I still have), only to get accepted by several international agencies and end up on major broadcast cable tv with some decent money to boot. I still feel very much like a beginner in music. Some people complain about writers block – I feel like I have writers “burst”… I really have so many ideas musically (and artistically in general), and recently have been starting way too many and not finishing near enough. It is such a joy to make music and create in general, God is so good. There looks to be a lot coming in 2016, so strap yourself in, and, get ready, the best is yet to come!

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the Fathers weakness >

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
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What weakness! Our Lord lived 30 years in Nazareth with His brethren who did not believe on Him (John 7:5). He lived 3 years of scandal, popularity and hatred, fascinated a dozen illiterate men, who at the end of 3 years all forsook Him and fled (Mark 14:50); and finally He was taken by the powers that be and crucified outside the city wall. Judged from every standpoint except the standpoint of the Spirit of God, His life was a most manifest expression of weakness and the idea would be strong to those in the pagan world who thought anything about Him, that surely now He and His crazy tale were stamped out.

O.C.

THOU art of this world, Christ. Thou know’st it all;

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
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Thou know’st our evens, our morns, our red and gray;
How moons, and hearts, and seasons rise and fall;
How we grow weary plodding on the way;
Of future joy how present pain bereaves,
Rounding us with a dark of mere decay,
Tossed with a drift Of summer-fallen leaves.

GM

on the outside looking in >

Saturday, September 12th, 2015
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I recently watched the movie Standing In The Shadow Of Motown. The entire movie was good, though I was a little less into the guest spot cameos of people covering the hits (Bootsy on bass > oh yeah – singing classic Motown? not so much). There was a lot of talk in the movie how unknown the Funk Brothers were and are, since back in the day album credits rarely listed session musicians. Drummer Steve Jordan said at one point; the band was so happening that you could put any singer in front of them and they’d have a hit. Often times studio musicians recognize this and just accept that as part of the gig, but the sheer number of hits and almost complete anonymity of these Funk Brothers is truly eye-popping. One of the most brutal examples of this came during a section featuring guitarist Robert White (who wrote the well known intro to My Girl). The guitarist was at a restaurant and My Girl came on the radio. Someone in the restaurant came up to the booth White was dining at and was gushing at that intro “do you hear that? It’s amazing!” and Robert White, who wrote it, looked up and said “yeah I…” then stopped, looked down, and said “I’ll order the BBQ chicken”. His friend asked him later – “why didn’t you tell him that was you?” And Robert responded “nah – he’d never believe some old washed up guy like me”…the friend stated Robert was always on the outside looking in. I was struck by that. Here was a guy who was on many, many number one hits, playing with an amazing roster of talent, living what many would consider “the dream” and he was on the outside looking in. But he isn’t alone.

Shut Up and Play the Hits features the last show of LCD Soundsystems (the show is very good) interspersed with the quiet, somewhat desperate and doubting day to day unwinding life of James Murphy as he calls it quits with LCD Soundsystems. If you want another example of someone on the outside looking in, watch this. The contrast of high energy concert with an almost bleak depressed “everyday life” as Murphy goes about his business makes the whole thing even heavier. A part of me wondered if Murphy was shooting for some melodrama, in being emotionally neutral, or even flat – but the interview brings out the gnawing doubts he lives 24/7. Outside looking in. And this got me thinking..why? (more…)

thoughts on what it means to bless

Saturday, August 15th, 2015
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not too long ago I heard a sermon by a man that got me thinking about the concept of being blessed, or more specifically – what the meaning of “bless” actually is. Why? I dunno actually – I think a statement was made at some point in the sermon about making room for blessings as if a blessing would take up a certain amount of space opposite a curse or evil… I know – I know – the sermon was actually good – but the real core meaning of bless is quite different from what we have come to think about it. So, let’s dive in shall we?

If you were to ask 10 people what the word bless means, most of them, if not all of them, would say something to the effect of prosper, enrich or succeed. Some might also mention praise or adore, but most folks that I know think of blessing as being akin to getting what you want. In the west unfortunately this has almost become a kind of materialistic mantra as in “I am so blessed I have this house / job / car / health / misc. stuff.” Now don’t get me wrong, having stuff is fine, succeeding is fine, having health and good things are reasons to be thankful, however they do not convey the essence of the word bless. Further, having stuff or being successful or prosperous most certainly does not mean we are approved by God.

Essentially to bless is to kneel. (more…)

JRR Tolkien on sermons >

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
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But as for sermons! They are bad, aren’t they! Most of them from any point of view. The answer to the mystery is prob. not simple; but part of it is that ‘rhetoric’ (of which preaching is a dept.) is an art, which requires (a) some native talent and (b) learning and practice. The instrument used is v. much more complex than a piano, yet most performers are in the position of a man who sits down to a piano and expects to move his audience without any knowledge of the notes at all.
The art can be learned (granted some modicum of aptitude) and can then be effective, in a way, when wholly unconnected with sincerity, sanctity etc. But preaching is complicated by the fact that we expect in it not only a performance, but truth and sincerity, and also at least no word, tone, or note that suggests the possession of vices (such as hypocrisy, vanity) or defects (such as folly, ignorance) in the preacher. Good sermons require some art, some virtue, some knowledge. Real sermons require some special grace which does not transcend art but arrives at it by instinct or ‘inspiration’; indeed the Holy Spirit seems sometimes to speak through a human mouth providing art, virtue and insight he does not himself possess: but the occasions are rare. In other times I don’t think an educated person is required to suppress the critical faculty, but it should be kept in order by a constant endeavor to apply the truth (if any), even in cliche form, to oneself exclusively! A difficult exercise. ….

on being an artist >

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
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when I take a look at the etymology of the word “artist” I get something like this:
artist (n.)
1580s, “one who cultivates one of the fine arts,” from Middle French artiste (14c.), from Italian artista, from Medieval Latin artista, from Latin ars (see art (n.)).

Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for “one skilled in any art or craft” (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of “one who practices the arts of design or visual arts” (a sense first attested 1747).

Part of what got me thinking about this was a quote by John Lennon “I’m an artist, and if you give me a tuba, I’ll bring you something out of it.” The context for this quote was he was kind of knocking his own guitar playing (compared to someone like B.B. King), and kind of saying his strength is in getting his instrument to speak, or songwriting. I found it intriguing, as John obviously was not too keen on his guitar playing “chops” but he said in no uncertain terms : “I’m really very embarrassed about my guitar playing, in one way, because it’s very poor, I can never move, but I can make a guitar speak. I think there’s a guy called Richie Valens, no, Richie Havens, does he play very strange guitar? He’s a black guy that was on a concert and sang “Strawberry Fields” or something. He plays like one chord all the time. He plays a pretty funky guitar. But he doesn’t seem to be able to play in the real terms at all. I’m like that.” (more…)