Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night!

One of my very favorite carols of all. This song is so majestic, it feels like angels are all around again like that night long ago when the shepherds were tending their flocks.

"The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893)."*

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!

O night, O holy night, O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

* carols.org.uk

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas


by Dennis Bratcher

The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). In some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th but the following day is considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th).

The origin of the Twelve Days is complicated, and is related to differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures (see Christmas). In the Western church, Epiphany is usually celebrated as the time the Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). Traditionally there were three Magi, probably from the fact of three gifts, even though the biblical narrative never says how many Magi came. In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings (Span: la Fiesta de Reyes, el Dia de los Tres Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos; Dutch: Driekoningendag). Even though December 25th is celebrated as Christmas in these cultures, January 6th is often the day for giving gifts. In some places it is traditional to give Christmas gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Eastern Orthodox traditions use a different religious calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th.

By the 16th century, some European and Scandinavian cultures had combined the Twelve Days of Christmas with (sometimes pagan) festivals celebrating the changing of the year. These were usually associated with driving away evil spirits for the start of the new year.

The Twelfth Night is January 5th, the last day of the Christmas Season before Epiphany (January 6th). In some church traditions, January 5th is considered the eleventh Day of Christmas, while the evening of January 5th is still counted as the Twelfth Night, the beginning of the Twelfth day of Christmas the following day. Twelfth Night often included feasting along with the removal of Christmas decorations. French and English celebrations of Twelfth Night included a King's Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi, and ale or wine (a King's Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA). In some cultures, the King's Cake was part of the celebration of the day of Epiphany.

The popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

However, many have questioned the historical accuracy of this origin of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. It seems that some have made an issue out of trying to debunk this as an "urban myth," some in the name of historical accuracy and some out of personal agendas. There is little "hard" evidence available either way. Some church historians affirm this account as basically accurate, while others point out apparent historical discrepancies. However, the "evidence" on both sides is mostly in logical deduction and probabilities. One internet site devoted to debunking hoaxes and legends says that, "there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' was created or used as a secret means of preserving tenets of the Catholic faith, or that this claim is anything but a fanciful modern day speculation. . .." What is omitted is that there is no "substantive evidence" that will disprove it either.

It is certainly possible that this view of the song is legendary or anecdotal. Without corroboration and in the absence of "substantive evidence," we probably should not take rigid positions on either side and turn the song into a crusade for personal opinions. That would do more to violate the spirit of Christmas than the song is worth. So, for the sake of historical accuracy, we need to acknowledge this uncertainty.

However, on another level, this uncertainty should not prevent us from using the song in celebration of Christmas. Many of the symbols of Christianity were not originally religious, including even the present date of Christmas, but were appropriated from contemporary culture by the Christian Faith as vehicles of worship and proclamation. Perhaps, when all is said and done, historical accuracy is not really the point. Perhaps more important is that Christians can celebrate their rich heritage, and God's grace, through one more avenue this Christmas. Now, when they hear what they once thought was a secular "nonsense song," they will be reminded in one more way of the grace of God working in transforming ways in their lives and in our world. After all, is that not the meaning of Christmas anyway?


On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Two Turtle Doves

The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Three French Hens

The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling Birds

The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Five Gold Rings

The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Six Geese A-laying

The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Swans A-swimming

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eight Maids A-milking

The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Nine Ladies Dancing

The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness, 6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Ten Lords A-leaping

The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eleven Pipers Piping

The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers Drumming

The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome Christmas!

What a great song that the Who's (not to be confused with The Who) sing in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I've always loved this song, ever since I was a little kid. Who can forget the Grinch's reaction when he hears the Who's singing Welcome Christmas?

 Here's a YouTube video:


Welcome Christmas - Dr. Seuss
Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas,
Come this way!

Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas,
Christmas Day.

Welcome, Welcome
Fah who rah-moose
Welcome, Welcome
Dah who dah-moose
Christmas day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp

Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas
Bring your cheer
Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome all Who's
Far and near

Welcome Christmas, fah who rah-moose
Welcome Christmas, dah who dah-moose
Christmas day will always be
Just so long as we have we
Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Christmas
Bring your light

Welcome Christmas
Fah who rah-moose!
Welcome Christmas
Dah who dah-moose!
Welcome Christmas
While we stand
Heart to heart
And hand in hand

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome welcome
Christmas
Christmas Day

Good King Wenceslas

Ok, what's up with this song? Who's Good King Wenceslas, and what's the Feast of Stephen? Why do we sing this at Christmas time??

John Mason Neale wrote this carol and it was published in 1853. King Wenceslas was Václav, Duke of Bohemia from 921-935 AD. He was apparently a good Christian and is the Saint of the Czech Republic. The carol is based on a legend surrounding Wenceslas that his footsteps generated heat and helped his page to keep going on the journey to help the peasant.

The Feast of Stephen (St. Stephen's Day) is celebrated in honor of Saint Stephen on December 26. It's close proximity to Christmas day has made it a common song at Christmastime.

Good King Wenceslas - Words by John Mason Neale

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."

Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."

"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Christmas Songs

This week I'll be posting the lyrics and history behind various Christmas songs. I love Christmas music! It is so majestic and joyful! I'll listen to Christmas music periodically throughout the year, just cause it's so awesome.

If you have a song you'd like ot know more about, let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movies!

Check out this website that a friend of mine runs. He has blogs and podcasts discussing movies from a Christian perspective. Good stuff. It's called More Than One Lesson.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's called Christmas!

The song says it all. Merry Christmas!

Read this one too: http://memo2self.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-because-of-christmas.html

Christmas with a Capital "C" - Go Fish
Well I went to the coffee shop to get myself a Mocha,
The lady at the counter said "Happy holidays";
I said, "Thanks lady, I am pretty happy,
But there’s only one holiday that makes me feel that way."

It’s called Christmas, what more can I say?
It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away.
You can call it something else,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Christmas with a capital "C."

God's got a law and we pretty much destroyed it.
We’re gonna get judged, there’s no way to avoid it.
But Jesus came down to take the punishment for me.
He did it for you too, so maybe you can see . . .

Why It’s called Christmas, what more can I say?
It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away.
You can call it something else,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Christmas with a capital "C."

It’s called Christmas!
(oh, yes we want to say happy holidays because we don’t want to leave anybody out, really, how come there’s a bunch of holidays in February but no one says happy holidays then, they say what it is, “happy valentines day- OOH do you believe in love?”)

It’s called Christmas!

(but no body wants to say christmas,everything but Christmas, why I know why, you do too, it’s because it’s got Christ in it and after thousands of years he’s still intimidating people, you see when a religious figure says “I am the way” people don’t wanna hear it.)

It’s called Christmas!

( I say you gotta say merry Christmas cuz it is! and if you don’t believe in it fine, but i got a flash for you, Christianity happens to be the religious heritage of my country whether you like it or not.)

It’s called Christmas!

(so if you’re not Christian or you don’t like it, and you don’t want Christmas to be celebrated, well then God Bless You, but if you’re think you’re gonna stop me from sayin it because it offends you, i gotta flash for you, Put a helmet on, cuz it’s my country too.)

It’s called Christmas, what more can I say?
It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away.
You can call it something else,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Christmas with a capital "C”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DRUMS!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

U2.com Live on YouTube. This Sunday.

I can't believe the news today: U2 Live on YouTube. This Sunday.

U2 have confirmed via video blog that their sold-out concert at the Pasadena
Rose Bowl in California, this Sunday, 25th October, will be streamed free, in
full and live on YouTube. It's the first time a show of this size will be
streamed live.

The Rose Bowl show is the penultimate U2 show this year -
with more to come in 2010 - and already is set to host the venue's biggest ever
audience of over 96,000 fans. The 360° Tour, which has been critically acclaimed
and 're-invents rock'n'roll' (Rolling Stone Magazine), will now boast unique
access for fans worldwide - as fans in territories yet to be visited by the
tour, or not at all, will be able to enjoy the whole show online.



Can you guess what I'll be doing on Sunday?


Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away.
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
'Cos tonight
We can be as one, tonight.

Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead-end street.
But I won't heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall.

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Oh, let's go.

And the battle's just begun
There's many lost, but tell me who has won?
The trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart.

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
'Cos tonight
We can be as one, tonight.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away.
I'll wipe your tears away.
I'll wipe your tears away.
I'll wipe your bloodshot eyes.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

And it's true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality.
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.

The real battle just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On...

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday..

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9-9-9

Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

If you're not a Beatles fan, then you have no idea what I'm talking about, and you won't care about this either:


The Beatles: Remastered
We are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.
If you are a Beatles fan, then this is exciting news.

The Beatles. So much can be said about their musical genius. Their influence. Their....weirdness.

Come on. If you have ever heard any of their albums and really paid attention to the lyrics to many of their songs, you've had to wonder what they heck they are talking about.

"We all live in a yellow submarine!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

That's All The Lumber You Sent...

Said a friend to a friend one day:

Was a man who passed away

St. Peter met him at the gate

Pete said: "Walk with me if you will

I'll take you to the house you built"

Man said: "I can't wait!" Passed a mansion made of stone

But with each new house he's shown

They get smaller by degrees

Stopped in front of a two-room shack

Pete said: "Hope you're happy with that"

Man said: "How can this be?"

- Pete say: "That's all the lumber- that's all the lumber

That's all the lumber you sent

Looks like the builder- man, he's got your number

That's all the lumber you sent"

Man didn't know what to say

Poor guy was blown away

Said: "You mean this is what I deserve?"

Pete said: "I'm afraid it's so

't's too late but now you know

Shoulda done better work

"Said: "You mean not lie and cheatAnd helpin' old ladies 'cross the street?"

Pete says: "Well, that's a start

Remember that man back in that great big house?

He found out early what it's all about

Built that place with his heart- as for you

"That's all the lumber- that's all the lumber

That's all the lumber you sent

Looks like the builder- man, he's got your number

That's all the lumber you sent

What if that man was me

And I failed that miserably

You're showin' me things I don't wanna see!

St. Peter if you can

Send me back to earth again

's'that somethin' you can do?

Pete said: "It ain't up to me

If it was I'd like to see

How you plan to improve"

Said "I'd love God and fellow man

Take a wife and make a stand

Be the givin'est guy I can be

And when I get back to this neighborhood

There'd be a gigantic pile o' wood!

And I'd say: 'What's this I see?'

- and you tell me

That's all the lumber

- all that's your lumber

That's all the lumber you sent

Big boss'll help you- hammer it all together

That's all the lumber you sent"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rediscovered Church Of Rhythm!

I was browsing on eMusic last night and stumbled across a band that I loved back in the mid-90's, Church of Rhythm (COR). I really liked them back then and bought their 2 albums on cassete tape. I used to listen to them quite often, but as CDs and then digital music became more popular, I packed away my records and cassetes, and haven't heard some of that music in a long time. I still have them all, but they are in a box under the stairs.

Both of their albums are good, however the 2nd one, Not Perfect, is really the best. It has a lot of songs dealing with trouble in this life and trusting God and having faith. The music is very upbeat hip-hop-electro-rock with singing and some rap mixed together in a very professional way. These guys were extremely talented and I was bummed when they broke up after the second album. However....

I just found out that founding member Max Hsu later created the band Superchick. I'm sure I've heard some of their music, but I never really paid much attention to them. I think I'll be checking them out very soon and I'll let you know what I think.

While many of their songs are noteworthy, I think that I Believe In God is especially good. I think maybe because I've been both people in the song.

I Believe In God - Church Of Rhythm

A man walked up to me the other day
He was very educated and he had a lot of things to say
He was oh, so forward thinking and so very up to date
And he wanted to teach me about faith

He said how can you believe in a thing you've never seen?
He said how can you believe with all the evil that we have seen?
He said don't you know that no one believes in your simple old fashioned faith?

I said I believe in God
I said I believe in the impossible
I said I believe in God
Though none go with me I will follow

He said man I've been to a church
I was lied to, judged and hurt
All I saw was guilt and hypocrisy, why believe?

I said friend, you didn't meet my God that day
I said friend, sit down let me tell you about grace
Well, I've been where you are some yesterday,
but today, I believe

I said I believe in God
I said I believe in the impossible
I said I believe in God
Though none go with me I will follow

I said I've been saved by faith
I said Jesus loves me this I know
I said I believe in grace
And where He leads me I will follow

So don't turn away,
Please don't close your eyes
If I did not believe with all that I am
I would not waste your time

I said I believe in God
I said I believe in the impossible
I said I believe in God
Though none go with me I will follow

I said I've been saved by faith
I said Jesus loves me this I know
I said I believe in grace
And where He leads me I will follow

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sugarland Concert

As you may have noticed from past posts, I'm not a real big country fan. My wife 'forced' me to go to this show with her, and I don't regret it. It was amazing. (Pics from my crappy camera phone).

The show started off with Billy Currington, whom I don't really know much about. The only song of his that he sang that I recognized was "Good Directions". He played a cover of Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" (thanks @MusicGeekChic) and another one that I haven't figured out what it is yet. He was good, but not being real familiar with his work, I'm not going to comment further.

Then Sugarland came on. I'm more familiar with their work because my wife likes them and they apparently get more radio airplay than Billy does.

Before this concert, I would have said that I liked a couple of their songs. Last night, though, I became a fan. There is only one word to describe their show. WOW!

They started the set with "Love" and DANG, DID THEY ROCK IT!! It was incredible! The rest of their set was fabulous, but that song was definitely the signature moment. The song is really catchy and the lyrics are thought provoking.


The video and special effects were absolutely top-notch. This easily ranked as the #3 best concert that I've ever seen (and I've seen a LOT of concerts). Number 1 being 1992 U2 Zoo TV/Outside Broadcast, and Number 2 being Michael W. Smith's I'll Lead You Home tour in 1995ish.


This was by far one of the best technical productions I've yet seen. They had this cool screen behind them that they had both live or pre-shot video and graphics. It was extremely well implemented and fit the songs very well.

Another cool thing they did is they have some special stuff custom for each venue, like a poster with the location, date and time on it that they signed, and they had some video of some sights around town that they showed during some songs.

They also did a medly of 80's songs that included a nice tribute to Michael Jackson, who passed away earlier in the day, with a little bit of "I wanna rock with you" in it.
It was an excellent concert and I encourage you to see it if the tour comes to your town!

Love - Sugarland

Is it the face of a child
Is it the thrill of danger
Is it the kindness we see in the eyes of a stranger

Is it more than faith
Is it more than hope
Is it waiting for us at the end of our rope

I say, it's love
I say, it's love

Is it the one you call home
Is it the Holy Land
Is is standing right here holding your hand

Is it just like the movies
Is it rice and white lace
Is it the feeling I get when I wake to your face
I say, it's love
I say, it's love

Is it the first summer storm
Is it the colors of fall
Is it having so little
And yet having it all
Is it one in a million
Is it a chance to belong
Is it standing right here singing this song
I say, it's love
I say, it's love

Is it a veil or a cross
Is it the poet's gift
Is it the face that has launched over thousands of ships

Is it making you laugh
Is it letting you cry
Is it where we believe that we go when we die
Is it how you were made
Is it your mother's ghost
Is it the wish that I'm wishing for your life, for your life, for your life the most

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King Of Pop....


I've just heard the sad news that Michael Jackson has died.

Despite his legal and financial troubles and alleged inappropriate activities with children, there is no denying that he truly was the King Of Pop.

I can't deny that I loved some of his music. C'mon, who didn't love Thriller, Beat it, Get On The Floor, Billie Jean, Bad, Smooth Criminal, and ABC?? Who hasn't tried to moonwalk? I sucked at it. Michael was truly a musical legend.

'Do You Remember The Time', when you first saw the Thriller video? Ok, it's cheesy now, but back in 1984 it was cool. Very cool.

Thriller won 8 Grammys and remains the top selling album of all time. I can't begin to name the artists that were influenced by Michael. Pretty much everyone that has done anything musically since 1975 would probably mention him.

I haven't told many people this story, but I guess I have to now. Back in 1984 the Jackson's did their Victory Tour. It just so happens that the same night they were at Mile High Stadium in Denver, I was at a Sandi Patty concert at McNichol's Arena, which used to be across the street from Mile High. (No, I don't really care for Sandi's music, but a group of friends asked me to go, and since it was free, I did.) Anyway, after the concert my friends and I were in the parking lot listening to the Jackson's across the street. Well, at the time, Michael was 'famous' for wearing that single white glove. (I can't believe I'm actually admitting this on the internet) I found a single black glove laying in the parking lot, so I put it on and was dancing and moonwalking to the music. (*thoroughly embarrassed now*) It was a fune time.

RIP, Michael, you will be missed. I hope you found the Lord.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Charlie

Well, I got into a Charlie Peacock mood yesterday, so I've been listening to his stuff on-my-ipod since. The third song that came on today was Personal Revolution. I think this song really speaks to where I've been for a long time. I'm workin' on it. But it's hard.

Personal Revolution - Charlie Peacock
Freedom from the past didn't last through time,
Things don't change, because I pretend they're fine,
Do I flip a switch to give myself a happy life; to be a happy man, in a happy home with a happy wife?

Jesus, if you came to give life abundantly, then how do you respond to all the pretense that you see?
Do I break your heart by all the faking that I do?
There are so many places I haven't let you into.

I'm so tired of all these easy solutions,
I can't stand it; they're nothing but denial,
I think I need a personal revolution,
How can I expect the heart to sing when I don't let the soul ever feel anything?

Some have known the cruel touch from a trusted man,
It's like pain and pleasure walking hand in hand, like a clown in makeup laughing,
You might never read their face, but buried in their soul is a dark and painful place.

The mind must know what the soul can endure, so it locks up tight in the face of what's impure,
The wounded heart must be gently understood if it's ever to reveal the incidents of childhood.

I'm so tired of all these easy solutions,
I can't stand it; they're nothing but denial,
I think I need a personal revolution,
How can I expect the heart to sing when I don't let the soul ever feel anything?

Whatever the pain, today it's just as real,
We don't talk about it, we don't trust, and we don't feel,
Are we so afraid, if our soul was ever known, nobody would love us, we'd be rejected and all alone?

If we continue to pretend, the pain will never end,
To pretend that we are fine is a trick of the mind,
Do I turn my back on God when I speak honestly?
Though I'm quick admit the problem is me - that's right.

I'm so tired of all these easy solutions,
I can't stand it; they're nothing but denial,
I think I need a personal revolution,
How can I expect the heart to sing when I don't let the soul ever feel anything?
When I push the pain down and I hide it away, I'm storing up trouble for another day.

Personal...personal revolution,
I don't want to...do we want to?...don't want to live this way anymore.
Personal...personal revolution,
There's a change... there's a change a-coming... a-coming down the road,
Personal...personal revolution

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coldplay LIVE!

Thanks to a good friend, I was able to go to the Coldplay concert tonight for free. :) Many thanks to that person, you know who you are!!
Can't get much better than this:
  • Free admission
  • Parking spot right at the gate
  • Moved up to 4th row seats in the second tier
  • Coldplay did an intimate set right in front of me-4 rows away (about 20 feet or so)
  • Left just a bit early and had NO traffic getting out of Verizon Ampitheatre.

Made for a great evening!! Pics from my lame camera phone at http://twitgoo.com/u/Michaeldx Got some videos too. If any are worth posting, I'll put them on YouTube or something.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why can't I just get up?

Will you count me in?
We're gonna play you a song, a little bit of rock-n-roll
I went to the doctor, all nervous and crazy
Lookin' for to save my, save my soul

It's a brand new day and the sun is shining bright
Calling, calling the sun is burning black
They came from miles and miles around just to hear you
City lights are flashing, they call you to the streets

Sometimes we make it harder than it is
You talk about your circumstances
Innocent, and in a sense I am
Like the flowers love the sun that shines

Theres a tenderness that I feel
In time, when I see your face
I saw the holy city
I know a girl

I waited for the Lord on high
I used to rule the world
Getting tired from all this circling
We have a chance to turn the pages over

Instructions:
Put your iPod on shuffle, and then write down the first line of each of the first twenty songs. Post the "poem" that results. The first line of the twenty-first song is the title.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cool New Tune

Mat Kearney has a great new song out called Closer To Love. Check out the video(sorry for the add):


Closer To Love - Mat Kearney
She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me
I guess we're all one phone call
from our knees
We're gonna get there soon

If every building falls
And all the stars fade
We'll still be singing this song
The one they can't take away
I'm gonna get there soon
She's gonna be there too
Cryin' in her room
Prayin' Lord come through
We're gonna get there soon

Oh it's your light
Oh it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to show me the way
Cryin out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Meet me once again
Down off Lake Michigan
Where we could feel the storm blowin
Down with the wind
And don't apologize
For all the tears you've cried
You've been way too strong now for all your life

I'm gonna get there soon
You're gonna be there too
Cryin' in your room
Prayin' Lord come through
We're gonna get there soon

Oh it's your light
Oh it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to show me the way
Cryin out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Cause you are all that I've waited for
All of my life
(We're gonna get there)
You are all that I've waited for
All of my life

You pull me closer to love
Closer to love
Pull me closer to love
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love oh no
Closer to love
Closer to love

Pull me closer to love

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Oracle

Ok, so The Matrix Reloaded isn't specifically music (although there is a lot of cool music in it), but the movie is on my iPod, so talking about it counts in this blog.

There's an interesting scene where Neo is talking to the Oracle in the park. They bring up an interesting spiritual concept. The Oracle offers Neo a piece of candy, and the following ensues:

Oracle: "Candy?"
Neo: "Do you already know if I'm going to take it?"
Oracle: "Wouldn't be much of an Oracle if I didn't."
Neo: "But if you already know, how can I make a choice?"
Oracle: "Because you didn't come here to make the choice. You've already made it. You're here to try to understand why you made it.... I thought you'd have figured that out by now."


This same discussion can be heard when people talk about God. If God already knows what's going to happen, then how is it we have free will and choice? Isn't everything already pre-destined?

The problem with this discussion is that people argue it from a human standpoint, totally mis-understanding God. I'm not saying I totally understand God, but I think I kind of get this weird space-time continuum thing.

You see, God is not constrained by space and time, like we are. He is outside of space, time and the laws of physics. One way it was explained to me that helped me to understand it is, imagine that history is drawn on a timeline, from the beginning to the end on a whiteboard. Sorta like this image, imagine the line in the middle represents all of history, from beginning to end: Now, imagine that instead of the borders that you see around that line, there are no borders, and the surface the line is drawn on goes for eternity in all directions. Since you are not bound by the line or the surface it is on, you are able to look at that entire line at once. You can even look only at specific sections of that line if you want. If this was a 3-dimentional example, you could even rotate the line and look at it from other angles and see the back side.

That, in simple terms, is how God is compared to what we call space and time. He is outside of it, therefore He can see all of it at once. He knows what's going to happen. His foreknowledge of events does not eliminate the fact that we still make choices. He simply is able to see the whole thing at the same time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Line On The Horizon, No CD At Wal-Mart


Well, today's the big day.

Wal-Mart sucks.

I stopped by there on my way in to work this morning to get the new U2 CD, No Line On The Horizon. They didn't have it out yet. :(

I'll be going to Best Buy at lunch. Maybe they'll have it.

Once I've listened to it a bit, I will post something here!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Headphones....

Since I've been at my new job, I've had to use headphones to listen to music.

I hate wearing headphones.

However, I have noticed that when using headphones, I hear things I haven't heard before. Usually it's some small sound or background accent, but it's amazing how that little sound adds so much to a song.

That or you notice more sound separation... what I mean by that is sounds on either the left or right side or moving back and forth. Some songs that are great examples of this:
  • Here's Comes The Sun - The Beatles
  • Whole Lotta Love - Led Zepplin
  • Walking Blind - Foolish Things

I wish I had a GOOD pair of headphones.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Life is hell, but it's beautiful..."

I was watching a video on Mat Kearney's site, and during it he says, "Life is hell, but it's beautiful...".

I couldn't agree more. Life really is hell sometimes. Pain, sickness, war, death, divorce, bills, democrats. They all suck.

A former co-worker of mine is dying of cancer. She's only about 35 or so. I was told just before Christmas that she only had a few days at most to live, and her goal was to live past Christmas and have one last Christmas with her husband and 2 young kids before she dies. She may be dead by now, I don't know yet.

Cancer really sucks. It took my best friend and his death caused his wife to fall hard. She seemed fine for about a year after he died, but then her cousin got her involved in drugs and other things and she basically abandoned her son and is pretty much just a mess.

Another friend of mine died just a couple of weeks ago. Though he and his wife were separated, she still took it really hard. On top of that, I'm concerned about her daughter and the choices she seems to be making.

The stock market has been topsy-turvy for a long time and many people are losing their jobs (I lost mine in October, but was blessed in that I got another one quickly).

We're about to get a new president. I've been concerned about the direction our country has been going for a while, and now I fear it will only get worse.

In this unreliable world, there's only One who you can rely on.

Undeniable - Mat Kearney
It’s undeniable how brilliant You are
in an unreliable world You Shine like a star
it’s unforgettable now that we've come this far
it’s unmistakable that You’re undeniable

February 5th, friday morning, purple dawn,
broke a yawn, as I stepped through the fog, like I stepped to a song
a moment like a poem, you wish you could hold it
I shut my eyes like it’s frozen, it’s gone when I open
it slipped passed the clouds right there where it lingered
like your band and a girl could slip through your fingers
my feet hit the ground like a beat for the lonely
on a path beaten down by the crowds in the morning
if only I could touch past the phony
if only they where there now to hold me
as the questions keep droning

You’re the only one who stuck it out last night
the only other one who caught the other line
You’re the only one when this world collides
the One that I can’t deny

It’s undeniable how brilliant You are
in an unreliable world You Shine like a star
it’s unforgettable now that we've come this far
it’s unmistakable that You’re undeniable

it’s my last year here
my first class moved to portable ‘a’
under construction since summer
and it’s cold today
I can see my breath, and what’s left of the west parking lot
and all the spaces that we fought
and it all seems forgotten, left in the bottom
in the past piles of rubble, in puddles of rain water
that hurt last night when I left like that
when I won’t come back
speaking my peace to the past
I can’t help but wonder, who's this wind at my back
a whisper to walk on, come on from all that

You’re the only one who stuck it out last night
the only other one who caught the other line
You’re the only one when this world collides
the One that I can’t deny

It’s undeniable how brilliant You are
in an unreliable world You Shine like a star
it’s unforgettable now that we've come this far
it’s unmistakable that You’re undeniable

how am I gonna take it away in this winter wind
You found me on a summer breeze
how am I gonna run away when the autumn breaks
now that You found me in the spring
come on and sing it out

It’s undeniable how brilliant You are
in an unreliable world You Shine like a star
it’s unforgettable now that we've come this far
it’s unmistakable that You’re undeniable