Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dung nab it.

So I was reading Social Media comments from "old" friends today while taking a break from the pre-launch of  And it struck me. I really do like all these people with so many angry and vile retorts to each other about opinions.

It's amazing that it's not enough to love people and things today. You somehow have to hate everybody else's opinions to be considered loyal to some large  or small affiliation.  And in this election cycle we all best realize no one is gonna change anyone's mind,  so remember who you agree with and take a deep breath to not respond to every moronic statement and cartoon posted 24 on social media.
Just take mental notes of the source ;)
If you listen to Limbaugh or Mahr or Savage. HEY, you're getting your fix already. Why blow it all up on social media and destroy lifetime friendships (if they really were...)

 And if you're not sure who you believe in, (generally under 40 something)  and (generally not a bad idea)  think to yourself: " do I want more or less government involved in all things".  HEY it's ok to want more, everyone down deep wants more. I want more. More of everything:)! That would be the pile of Donkey dung .

If you want less govt., more of your money, less entitlements, less "help" for everyone hurting, less regulation, less less,  and you're on your own pal.. well i'm 39 years self employed, I love alot of that as well ... that would be the pile of Elephant dung. If you want legalized "just about everything" imaginable and just stay out of my way, welll...  I like a part of that as well,...  then you want the independent  libertarian dung. p.s.  they are not a party mind you, just independent folks who want to be left alone to take care of themselves, birth themselves or shoot themselves with drugs or bullets or sex.  Just  Don't  Hurt  Your  Neighbor.

There ya go three piles of dung. When fresh from the source it will stick to your sole. When dried, you can bbq with it.  Either way the outcome's green. Me, I play golf and I swear the party symbols should be geese... They never stop destroying the fair-way or green..

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Re-Form (ation)

Today I post a lyric that came out of my devotions and preparations for another week of production on's radio programs. Funny, I started my readings on my deck with an espresso and a few devotionals and quote books with my bible. No intentions of writing a song this morning.
But, God  "is" forever in the creation business, and He loves to do it, and refine it, in broken vessels..


   This ole hunk of clay's been rolling for sometime
and by they way i'm feeling, 
it's been picken up chunks of dirt along the way.
Well I've been doing what I know, and knowing what I do.
And what I'm feeling is a loss of me to You.

  So take me in your hands, and break me at your feet
Soak me in the waters of Your mercy,  and the tears that soften me.
Throw me on the wheel and mould me in Your hands
and spin me into something only You could understand
So, what do you make of me, what do you see in me,
 what do You think, I AM

   I have painted this ole canvas way to many times
and by the way it's looking, I have brushed off
all the black and whites to grey
But I've been painting what I know, and painting what I see
and all I've done is nothing  without You in me.

   So take me in Your hands, and roll me at Your feet
 Strip away the layers of the darkness here that made this mess of me.
 Cover me in white as pure as driven snow
 and draw me into something that will keep me close to You
 So what do You make of me, What do You see in me,
 What to You think.. IAM

  Re-form this broken vessle,  Con-form this work of art
and turn whats left of me into what You wanted from the Start.
So what do You make of me, What do You see in me, 
What to You think.. IAM

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ashes into Beauty

I was hearing a Kathryn Scott lyric this morning in my head. I heard it in the voice of a young friend I call Amy - "the dork".  and the line from the song I heard was  "Turn these Ashes into Beauty".

Hmmm I pondered, what's beautiful about ashes?  Not much. Pretty tasteless n drab.  In the natural, they usually destroy beauty on this planet more than whats ugly. Here is a sculpture  of a bird on  a toaster, created from the ashes of a loved one after cremation.  Yea, strange but to the artist it was a beautiful way to remember someone they loved who loved birds.  Finding beauty in ashes... Hmmmm. I think they did remarkably.

 I remember driving through Yellowstone Nat. Park the year after the incredible fires that destroyed so much of the park. Mile after mile of just black and grey that used to be just about the most beautiful place on earth. I left feeling such sadness. Without knowing the future it looked hopeless.

And there it is. 
When things burn down by choice or not, there IS sadness.  Everyone deals with it differently... and everyone should.   It's lasts differently for each person as they go through that period of new growth.  And if you don't get natural medicine: sunlight, water, nutrition and rest, you will not come out of things quickly, and sometimes that's what friends are for. To ask us if we are doing these things.  (asking not telling)

And Yellowstone?.. Well, the next year my fishing partner Bruce and I drove back roads through the black and white and grey.  And where there were those combinations of water, and sun there was new life beginning. A bit of color, (or hope) amidst the death. This was one of the pic's from that road.
"Look up, from where will come your help".. 

Helping each other..

It's so clinical to give a quick answer to someone in that moment.
You feel so empowered by sharing "wisdom"... yet..

What is it that everyone needs when they've crashed, burned, lost or broke it?
What do I need,what do YOU need.?

I bet you need instructions.. that's it. The wise counsel of " sorry, here's how to get back on track". This photo reminds me that the broken wall next to this boy here looks like the shadow of someone speaking to him from the bricks if you squint and look at it blurry. Well, be wide eyed not blurry my friend.
There are "those" that "live" in the world of instructions.  They would tell you that's exactly what they need. They are logical processor - I would surmise left brains. They would most likely tell you that this was a critical error of whatever judgement they lost and they now have a 10 point plan to get it back, rebuild the Forrest and not let it happen again.  There have been a few days I've pondered being created like that.  Not....
Now mind you, I have many friends who are wired this way, and I love them, and am so happy they survive in the 10 point plan. My house was not wired with 110.  220 baby with a break out box for the  RB'ers. (not you arby)

Hey right brainers,  Dear Jesus take the wheel. It's Reckless Abandon with a smile and a risk.  (there is not a 10 point plan for right brain reckless abandon). If you've lived in RBRA,.. you know it.  You don't question things long enough to change your mind. You create inventions and art and love and poetry and businesses and free climb mountains and... well.... just watch Xtream Sports on cable.... (can you say poster children). if you are RBRA probably scared the hell out of your parents more times than they every told you. {and of course "scared the hell out"= "they prayed a lot, therefore hell was further away"}And that's a reformed definition at best, for those who just cringed at the word "hell" being used outside of and eternal destination. You experiment with "life" not to cop out but because it's an adventure and you will get hurt.  They don't teach this stuff in school...

Anyway, in an ADD moment right now, in this morning breeze, the sun just broke through the oaks and pines for the first time across my arms and face. And in that instant warm heat covered me for a brief moment , and it was in the words of Jodi Foster from "Contact"..  ( beautiful... it's beautiful ). 

ok im back. sorta, I'll try to not see anymore Squirrels.

Wait. No really. you won't believe this. I just wrote that,  and my giant schnoodle dog "Sophia"  just screamed by me with a squirrel in her mouth chirping away. Her first squirrel. You go Girl!!!  She dropped it in the yard and is now trying to figure out what to do with it.  Folks this is a play by play moment. Will my next sentence say the "head is off" or they're sharing nuts.   Well Lord knows she'd never kill it to kill it. After all, I just finished feeding her domesticated pellets, bladder control pills and a vitamin with filtered water. 
  What the heck would she want to eat fur for?  

Ok Ok, I called her off because I found the yr old squirrel had a lame back leg and couldn't run. That's not a fair fight. So I'm back now,  I picked it up and laid it at the edge of an old oak over my fence line. 

Do you naturalists feel better now:)   Now a real predator (cat) will tear it apart piece by piece tonight while I feel like some great rescuer of squirrels by day.  Confessional time...  I've probably shot most of this ones relatives in the last 20 years here, but fair is fair. If you're lame, that's not a fair fight. Let me now repeat "I'll try not to see anymore Squirrels". 

Ashes.. yes that was my point.  No value, just black and white. Carbon i believe.
No one likes looking at it across their land or life scape,  or experiencing it often if ever. But we do. And   we somehow think we won't.
From cradle to grave we do and they are all wrapped up in our choices. Some of us walk through life with a bucket of water to prepare for fires and others carry around the gas can.

And there's God in it all. Who put whatever He put in place, to allow each of us to have that unique combination of whatever we have to be "ME".    And we try to figure Him out with the brains He created in the bodies he created. Think about that one all you Mensa's. Ya. Newsflash (God is Not "figuroutable". my new word today, and I'm guessing that is a word in most languages except English.

"Ashes" however, is probably in every language. I wish with a smile and joy we could honestly teach children before they are adults, that they will encounter BIG fires and ash heaps in their lives.  Failures and Accidents, Premeditation and No-explanation. The "whatdahellwasthatallabouts" are a part of life.

The proverbial  Didn't you see that coming followed by "WE ALL DID" isn't love, nor is saying "do it again" in our lack of passive aggressive "not saying".   Our generations seemed to use whatever we can to mask the fire and ashes. Whatever drug or flesh candy or hobby or addiction or prescription we can run to, we ran to, or at least we entertained the thought.  And if we don't or didn't, and we're spiritually beyond that capacity of normal mortality, .. well... then I guess you'd be the ones with all the 10 point plans and logical solutions I need to read more often. Oh yea, I'd rather read the Word and then be quiet when it comes to self help.. And that's not a knock to mental health counseling. I think everyone should get analyzed by a stranger. It helps you learn to be honest with your self.

So today is a good day.. how bout you.   Breathing, sun shining, able to feel all your emotions. Yup it's good.  Not much to repent over yet today. I've only faced a lame squirrel and  telemarketers. Hmmm they are kinda the same.. Ok there's one sin.

In time, the ashes of your life will again be turned into something beautiful.   And you'll know why the fires had been set someday. Someday, yes that word is like a rock in your shoe.  Hey, you can take it out.  And today?  Just know that He love you, in the midst of it ALL,  He really does.  Close your eyes and Breathe... it's a gift.

Hey I wonder if Adam was really created from Ashes... 

 PS. this is not... beauty from ashes

And if your heart is spoken to by these blogs and stories going back some 6 years, Please take time to post a comment and more importantly click on the social media links and forward them to people you think might be need them or get some kind of understanding from them if not just a laugh at times.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hidden Treasures

So, for my friends who know what's going on, I'm launching on July 2nd at 7AM.  Till the website is launched you can find info at

It's a one hour "live" recorded worship program Mon.-Fri. with prayer, devotions, praise and worship, communion and an interview with someone in the worship ministry every day. My live band is so talented and they have given months of work, sowing into this dream. I only hope everyones efforts can bless people around the world.
I should write a book about what it actually take to think up, develop, record, write and produce and then attempt to market a new type of live show.  I've done alot of stuff in my almost 40 years of this business and ministry, but this, with the advent of what the internet brings, is about the most complicated of endeavors, with the most twists and angles to get something actually done.

Yesterday, i met with one of my singers at one of my favorite little cool coffee shops.  A young mom with 4 kids (twins pictured here)  and a husband who works really hard to "provide" the dream.
 I tell this story because if you hear her interview on the radio from this day at "coffee", it's not really enough to help understand the gems that are out there in the world, hidden, by choice and choices, from delivering what God has given them. 

So "Roast Beef" as I call Rebecca; (her initials are RB.. like Arbys' ).. hense how I came up with Roast Beef, is a young mom who sang in one of my choirs.  She never did an audition for me, because as worship pastors and leaders find out, you inherit a lot  of people when you move from 4 walls church to 4 walls church on assignments to help and heal and rebuild church worship systems.

Well, I was having auditions a few years ago, and this girl happened to be at church that day for some reason. I asked her if she'd ever done an audition and Arby said. " ahhh, I dont' do audtions, or solos or anything where I have to be exposed and sing alone to people.... I can't do it " and her hands began to shake.

You can imagine my thoughts, so I said, come in right now and sing for me at the grand.
And after some prodding I could see the nervousness but somehow she trusted I wasn't gonna kill her.

I brought her to the Grand and opened it up and set her in the nave of it and asked her to sing a standard worship tune like "how great is our God".  I played an intro and she opened her mouth and I began to cry as I played. yup, tears streaming down my face.  I'm glad at that moment that her eyes were closed cause I didn't want her to see me getting emotional. I don't "get" a lot of singers voices, but this voice wrecked me. Not for it's perfection or power but for it's simple pure beauty.

Here I was, two years into rebuilding a broken worship dept. This girl had sung in the mass choir of all my worship events and I'd never heard her voice..... and... it was Allison Krause and Kari Jobi wrapped up in one voice.  No vibrato and really good pitch and I was "wrecked" as I wiped away tears thinking I had missed this for two years.  And I wondered "God how many of these gems have I missed"..

So began the journey of development and confidence building. (that's a chapter she'd rather I not discuss) Ha!.

And now a few years later she is one of my featured singers on the show and live events and I've decided to fund an EP of the tunes she's done and hense the reason for this post today.

Songwriting is an interesting process. Trying to write songs for people is different for everyone who does it. So I asked RB to begin to write down her thoughts and "'thoughts" and just give them to me to begin the process of seeing what I could develop from her thoughts and things she likes to read.
Gosh I wish I could say we writers could just go to a room and 'write' good songs, but it rarely happens without "triggers". So at coffee with the kids she gave me some thoughts in a precious book and I took it all to prayer to see if I could write somethings that might "fit" her personality.

This morning I finished what I wrote yesterday and made a demo this morning of the first tune that I've decided is as much about me as her and probably most my intimate circle of friends. 
Caught Up In A Miracle is the title and you can hear the demo here right now and sometime "hopefully' down the road you'll hear it on her EP and on Drivetime worship.

This is my first post like this about someone in my life I'm working with and i felt it was important to let people know how important it is to mentor and raise up new "voices". i hope in all of this that you see the value in hidden treasures and begin to look for them in your lives my dear friends.

The song is a link here on the right of the blog page and you can click it and listen.

Oh yea.. RB is also a hidden "cake" freak and should own her own Cake shop.

Here is a pic of a cake I had her make for my sons Jamisons 22nd birthday. ... ps.. You hear Jamison also on drivetime worship singing, but his passion is currently electronica music and dub step, so I had Arby make a cake designed after one of Jamisons Midi Controllers the AKAI APC40.  

Here's a pic of the cake on his birthday and no one believed it was a cake.... 

Hidden Treasures... Look for them.. You won't bless them... they will bless you.  Just sayin..