"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Here Comes The Son

Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

This past Sunday I had the great pleasure to view "The Beatles Salute" on CBS.

It was nice to just simply listen to music. There were no over the top performances that were more about the artist than the actual music, no half dressed women or obscene gestures, just great music that has proven to be timeless. I'm not a prude, but I do appreciate a show centered around music the entire family can come together and watch.

The same can not be said about the Grammys. 

John Mayer & Keith Urban 

It was amazing to watch truly talented artists pay homage to great music. All of the artists showed why they're stars in their own right.

Even Kati Perry was good, and she looked amazing.

Katy Perry

In the end, a whole new generation was introduced to something that was special and culturally relevant 50 years ago. It was a culture movement that will never be repeated or successfully imitated.

The Ed Sullivan Show: Feb. 9, 1964

The show was so good not even Yoko Ono could ruin it, though she unconsciously tried.

One of the most significant highlights for me personally was when Pharrell and Brad Paisley began to sing "Here Comes The Sun".

Pharrell Williams & Brad Paisley

The song was featured on the "Abby Road" album In 1969.

George Harrison wrote the song, which would later be considered one his best contributions to the Beatles, in the spring of 1969 while enduring a personal and professional crisis.

It was during this time Harrison was arrested for marijuana possession, his tonsils were removed, and he had quit the band temporarily. I think its safe to say things weren’t going great for Ole George, but in the midst of the storm Harrison produced something wonderful and lasting.

The message here is that in the midst of tremendous peril we all have the ability to create something worthy of applause, something great.

                              They Did....                         

The good news is that God has been doing the same for countless souls over the past 2000 years.

The Beatles song, a personal favorite of mine and among many Beatles fans across the globe, is a reminder to me that the “Son” will always appear in the midst of a storm and create something wonderful. Webster defines storm as a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction, often accompanied by rain, snow, hail, thunder, and lightning, or flying sand or dust.

As we've seen this winter storms can be brutal and long lasting.

The truth of the matter is that all of us will experience storms during our lifetime. That is a fact. Everyone is either in a storm, just got out of one, or one is on the horizon. The good news is we all have the opportunity and ability to produce something beautiful in the midst of our personal storm, crisis.

As a believer, I acknowledge that for "the" beauty to be fully realized one must put their trust and faith in God and let him navigate the stormy waters, guiding us to a land that will produce spiritual growth and increased faith.

The challenge is to trust him; not ourselves.

When dealing with the storms of life one must understand that we cannot control the length or the severity of the storm, nor can we control the time or rational behind it. Psalm 55:22 whispers these words of wisdom; “Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you." Psalm 62:8 shares these words with the reader: “O my people; trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him. For God is our refuge.” Those are great words of reassurance and promise that reminds us that we don’t have to go it alone in our time of need.

Paul & Ringo

In closing, “Here Comes the Sun” ends with these words:

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
It’s all right

As a believer don’t forget, the “Son” will always come. In our time of need Jesus Christ will shine brightly for all of us who choose to see his blinding power manifested in our trial; our storm.

Remember, everything will be alright. Everything will “always” be alright.

God has a plan for us that includes dark clouds and storms, but it also includes blue skies and the sun. That is a truth that will shine brightly today, tomorrow, and forever.

Can you see him? Here He comes.

Here comes the Son.

sbb 11.2.14

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Gift: Revisiting Christmas

Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

The Gift 
(written on 11.1.13)
James 4:3 (Read the Chapter)

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

 Central Thought:

The source of all good things is God. {And}, in knowing this fact we come to realize that God loves us too much to give us everything.

Christmas is approaching. Quickly. In 55 days families from all around the world will be huddled around their Christmas tree quietly wondering and not so secretly hoping that they will be receiving the "perfect gift." Most of those who will be waiting for that perfect gift will be children. The other part of the equation will be those "not so little ones" who are hoping that they're giving that "perfect" gift. The holidays can create high levels of anxiety. They can cause consternation and high levels of stress for many people because they fight unrealistic expectations and limited funds, like people who fight crowds on "Black Friday." It can often be a season of torture for many.  

So what constitutes a good gift? 

Before we can answer that question I think it's important to understand its true definition. Webster defines the word "gift" in these terms: "Something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present." 

When it comes down to it a gift is a sign of favor. {And} who doesn't like favor? 

Unfortunately many people often open the sad gift of disappointment every day because their wants exceed reality and they hold within them improper motives. My mother's words from my childhood days still ring profoundly in my head; "You don't get everything you want." 

That is a true statement for good reason. 

In the end, any good parent realizes that it's not a good thing to give their child everything they want. We know this because our heavenly father operates in the same manner with his earthly children. James 4:3 shares with the reader that "when you ask, you don't receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." God does this to protect us from ourselves and our evil nature.

Left to many of our own vices and desires we often fail to display virtuous living that is pleasing to God. 

As Christmas approaches be mindful of the perfect gift that God gives to each and everyone of us if we are willing to accept it - the gift of eternal life through salvation. Take notice of God's perfect gift which is threefold. Direction. Correction. Protection.

God blesses all those who are willing to follow Him with proper direction that He has gifted us through His Word and the Holy Spirit. He provides correction like any good parent would do to teach us and to train us up in the way we should go.

Lastly, his correction is about protection. 

God protects us from ourselves and the devil's schemes that are intended solely to devastate and destroy our lives. His protection is wrapped up in His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love. 

This holiday season as we are shopping for that perfect gift for our loved ones remember that the best gift we can give is one of appropriate and wise direction, fair and reasonable correction shared in love, and behaviors that protect the innocence and fragility of the many vital relationships we are involved in. Remembering all the while that the only source for which all is good is God, and the most precious and perfect gift that has been offered to all of us is His son, Jesus Christ.

sbb 1.11.13