Is the music dead?

Is the music dead

or simply quiet?

Has inspiration left

or is it just still?

 

Internal conflict

Or lack of interest?

Undigested pain

Or focus lost?

 

The creative soul

Enters dryness

But not darkness

A new frontier

 

 

The wasteland wanderer

Lost in the empty

Is seeking a

jungle of inspiration

 

To hope again

To dream again

To sing again

Maybe even, to write again

 

 

 

When one’s soul connects primarily through music

The silence inside can be deafening

Lack of emotion when listening is so troubling

Yet when you feel, even if only briefly

Hope is offered & the future, seems brighter

 

Cologne and Cigarettes

Cologne and cigarettes

Each one hiding the other

A masquerade of internal struggle

Conflict of the soul

The creative quandary

 

The philosopher poses life’s questions

The expressions of doubt and hopelessness

That spark songs

The faithful lover, hopes and

Writes of a future unknown

 

Singers of songs

Writer of poems

Giver of hope

Taker of doubt

Why must you smell of cologne and cigarettes?

 

Merry Christmas

He is Emanuel; God with us

He is with us when we crest the mountain peaks

And He is with us when we are in the valleys

At the peak His presence seems so obvious

In the depths it seems like He cannot be found

And yet He is there

The future will show you how He was there in the past just as He is there in the present

 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas

I hope all your dreams come true

 

If you are in a time where things are not great

If you are struggling to come to terms with life

The way the world works or the things that are going on

If everything you believe somehow seems to not make sense at the moment

Know that even when you doubt; He is faithful

When you question or stray

He is just as there for you then as He is when you are on top

When you are mad at Him, He is ok with that

 

Jesus loves you and He is with you and will always be

Merry Christmas whoever you are

Hay the reason for the season bring you hope

 

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Be The Change – yes you!!

So today is a big deal, I get it, we all get it. However today saddens me, from what I see online & talking to people it saddens almost everyone. Yes voting is important, however how we live our lives is significantly more important.

Somehow we as a society have arrived at a place where we are making a choice between two democratically (ish) nominated candidates that the vast majority seem to not want to have to choose between.

Is the answer to this problem to become more involved in the political world? To get in on the primaries & whatever comes before them?

No, that is not the answer. I don’t want to trivialize the political process (although it would be say for me to do so), the answer to our problems lies not in candidates or parties, policies or social media etiquette. The answer to our problem comes from changing the current state of society that we have all in one form or another played a role in creating.

In the information age we have some how moved past satirical humor to outright abuse. We have arrived at a place where we trivialize the denigration of ideas, of individuals. No longer it seems are we capable of compromise, openness and acting with respect towards dissenting ideas.

If someone has a different opinion to you or different values, that should be ok, that should be celebrated. There is obviously basic human decency and laws that need to be respected, but if the values of another are not that say for example, selling kids into slavery is ok, if they just hold a different view on taxation or healthcare or background checks for weapon ownership.

It is ok to discuss civilly & at the end of the conversation respectfully agree to disagree. You are not supposed to be an evangelist for your political ideology, you are suppose to help your fellow human beings have an open mind and come to their own conclusions, that is how decent society works.

Instead everyone seems angry, everyone wants a solution to a problem that they either cannot fully articulate or they cannot fully identify. This week & this year especially, everyone wants to lynch someone in Washington, whilst at the same time demanding they fix whatever it is we collectively feel is broken in our society. A society that celebrates focusing on anything negative whilst ignoring anything positive I might add.

In the times of Jesus, people missed the king of kings because they were looking for him to be a politician or a military general. They killed him for healing and teaching peaceful ways. You may not be a Christian, you may not even believe that Jesus walked the earth. Regardless, what is taught in his name in the bible is pretty much universally accepted as a good thing, that is – to love one another.

One of the saddest things about this election cycle, in fact in all of President Obama’s time in office, is the number of apparent Christians who are spreading a gospel of political hate instead of the gospel of Jesus.

John 13:35 says “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”

I promise I am not going to get too preachy or religious on you. However the one thing i know is that whatever happens in the election today, the answer to our country’s future lies with the people, not the politicians. In the words of my pastor last Sunday, On Wednesday November 9th the sun will still rise and we will still get to be the change, to love the poor and the marginalized.

Who am I voting for, am I even voting? It doesn’t matter! Not to minimize the importance, regardless of the fact that my one vote and one voice will make literally no discernible difference, it is still important. However people are treating this whole thing  like they do fantasy sports, so obsessed with the actions of others in an arena that they have zero influence. They then get mad at reality when their fantasy world does not go according to the script that only they know exists. We need to snap out of it, we need to be better.

Maybe instead of obsessing with the tv actions of a bunch of people we will never really know, with questionable intentions, we should go about being the change we want to see in the world ourselves. Maybe by making our local area better we could influence the wider area to be better.

Maybe, just maybe, today YOU can make the choice, not to complain, not to question someone else’s values, but to LOVE someone, anyone. Smile, be friendly, spread hope, because hope and love are infectious and beautiful. If you really want this country to be better than you feel it is today, that is exactly how you can do it.

Be blessed my friends. May you have peace, hope and love in your hearts.

Hope & the Youth of Today

This morning my 10 year old daughter had a bit of a melt down because she only got 88% for mathematics on her recent progress report, not a grade, but a progress report. It was strange, because when I was a kid my parents would probably have done a dance if I got an 88% at anything, but for my daughter this was unusually low.

While it may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it was a big deal to her, and thus it also is to me as her father. So we consoled her, we will help her and encourage her and do our best to enable her to reach her full potential, because my wife and I love her more than anything, that’s what parents (should) do.

This was right before I got in the car to head to Dallas where I would be leading worship this morning at The Lord’s Hand & Hearts ministries. It is a homeless outreach that feeds people’s bodies and souls, I have been leading worship there on occasion for a couple of years now. While I was in the car the thought came to me (you can decide how) that what I just experienced is exactly what God experiences with each of us.

When we fall or stumble, when we get trapped by our habitual failings, He doesn’t get mad at us, He loves us and He comforts us. He will be there for us to help us do better in the future. He feels our shame and tells us it will be ok. He has bigger and better things for us to come, if we will trust Him. 

At Solomon’s Porch today (the name for LHH’s Saturday Gathering) the message was delivered not by the pastor, but a group of young volunteers. 5 or 6 of them gave powerful testimonies, thought provoking, inspirational testimonies. Each of them had been through something and with the help of Jesus had come out of the other side and were moving in His kingdom to make a difference in the lives of the homeless this morning. It was truly beautiful, heart warming and soul filling.

I see a lot of “older” people (probably my age lol) complaining about millennials and the youth of today. From what I saw today I can assure you there the future is in good hands. Sure there are some less then stella people in that generation, just like every generation that has ever walked the planet. These children of God, just like my daughter this morning, have lessons to teach us all, directly or indirectly,

I’m not sure exactly where I was trying to go with this, I just felt the need to share a morning in the spirit. A light went back on inside me today, just like it did for several of the guests this morning.

Hope is a good thing my friends, hold on to it,

May hope, peace and love light your way today 🙂

Mistborn

I am not what you would call a reader, or at least not what I would call a reader. So much so, that there is an entire section of my blog that was dedicated to encouraging myself to read. For a while I was writing reviews for the books I had assigned myself to read.

Alas, much like the rest of my efforts here recently, that lapsed. In fact for much of last year I hardly read anything (excluding the internet). Then whilst playing Iron Banner last fall (a monthly PvP event in the video game Destiny), someone on one of the other teams had a name related to some book I had never heard of, but apparently half my fire team had. They talked briefly about what great books they were & then we moved on.

Fast forward to my vacation to Europe last thanksgiving & I thought it would be good to have a book to read. I remembered the name of the book, I think I had made a note of it. So I bought Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Actually I bought the whole trilogy, because why half do something right?

Other than a little Elmore Leonard, I have not read a great deal of fiction in my adult life, most of my getting into reading efforts centered around spiritual things or at least self help deals. I really didn’t know what to expect or if I would stick with it, but I thought it was worth a try. The last time I got into a fiction series was when my wife, before we were even engaged mentioned the Anne Rice vampire series. I started to read them just to have something to talk to her about & relate with. I remember enjoying them, but I also remember them dragging on at times.

So as I started Mistborn, I had no expectations, I had never read a fantasy type book and wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would even finish it.

I am not going to go through the plot of the books, the twists & turns, how the author manages to hook you in, only to break your heart & then somehow make it all alright, or even better than it was moments before. Or how he develops characters that despite being in a fantasy universe are still very believable, likable & relatable, as flawed as they are heroic.

What I will tell you is that not only did I finish the first book, I read the entire trilogy & then I read the 2nd trilogy. I love these books, in a way that I never expected to, in a way I cannot really explain; it’s like when you find that one guitarist that just stirs your soul with every solo, or that singer that breaks your heart with every note, the one that just fits you perfectly. I absolutely love the universe Sanderson has created, the magic system, the personalities, the whole thing, I totally love it.

Now I am in a very new & quite frankly rather annoying position, a position that actual readers I am sure can relate to. I have finished the books, all 6 of them. I know he is working on some more & apparently there is an e-book prequel that I need to hunt down, but I am finished, there are no more. This annoys me, because I truly love these books. My wife suggested I find some other books in the same genre to read, which while a valid suggestion, is simply not what I want. I want this universe, I want Vin & Elend, Wax & Wayne, I want allomancy & feruchemy (although maybe not hemalurgy, because that’s just gross). I want more dang it and there isn’t any, at least not yet.

So instead I am writing on my blog, because for the first time in my life I get to complain that I have caught up with a book series.

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