Thursday, March 15, 2018

Personal Log 3.15.2018

This is Thursday morning & I'm still thinking about my pastor's sermon on Sunday; it was basically about contentment in the Lord & it really resonated w/ a lot of people that I talked to afterwards. It was a very timely message & something that I've been dwelling on the past couple of years or so = 'just being content in the Lord & my station in life.

I'm in my 50's & still single. I'm not ashamed of that, that's just the way it is. For years & years I prayed for help, I prayed around 30 years for a wife & nothing happened. Year after year I watched my friends, classmates & brothers get married, raise kids, enjoy their grandkids & it always seemed like I was left behind, left out, forgotten, the odd wheel, etc. It was awkward all those years at my family reunions & get togethers, “are you married yet?” was the perennial question asked & it got to the point where I dreaded going & eventually quit showing up for a few years & boy that taught them! 

But like I said, in the last couple of years I've learned to be content: really, truly, spiritually, Biblically content in the Lord & in life. Yes, it would be nice to have a female friend I could go to church picnics w/ or to a cafe or party every once in a while, it would be nice to have someone I could talk to but right now, it's okay that I don't. I'm content in my singleness & to be honest, I just can't see myself being married now; I just can't…

 I Timothy 6:6
“but godliness with contentment is great gain.”

godliness = eusebeia:
  • reverence, respect
  • piety, holiness

contentment = autarkeia:
  • a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed
  • sufficiency of the necessities of life
  • a mind contented with its lot, contentment

gain = porismos:
  • acquisition
  • source of gain

I love breaking verses down in the Greek & Hebrew...


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Personal Log 3.8.2018

One day a week, a random day… I don't ask God for anything, I call it my “fasting from asking” day. I spend the entire time, from around 4 – 4:30 am 'til bedtime in thanksgiving & praise. There's nothing like 5 am when the day is fresh & quiet & it's just you, God & your cup of coffee. The solitude is amazing & on these days, as I go about my day the “times of refreshing” become very real & tangible in a chaotic world.

I like to think that God looks forward to those days like a parent who loves it when one of their kids just drops in, not asking for money or help but simply because they want to spend time w/ them.

God knows what I have need of & in Christ Jesus, He's already supplied those needs so I thank Him that He's always taking care of me. I meditate on the Lord, meditate on Scripture, pray in tongues, grab my guitar & just praise, I thank Him throughout day but I refrain from asking for anything. There's six other days of the week for supplications & requests but on this particular day, it's all about thanking, it's all about praising, it's all about resetting, it's all about Him... 

He's already blessed me, He's already anointed me, He's already supplied my needs, I'm complete in Him & sometimes, on these random days, the only thing that comes out of my mouth is, “Father, I love You” & that's enough.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Personal Log 3.6.2018

It's a been a rough & interesting week...

The Lord gave my mom a vision for a ministry & at 75 that means there's still much for her to do; ever since then she's been attacked in the area of her health & though she's been speaking healing verses over herself, taking authority & trusting God in all this, she does at times get a bit discouraged. Every 48 hours the enemy attacks her: Wednesday morning... Friday evening... Sunday morning as I'm heading to service I get a call...  

I've been in her doctor's office more times in the last week than I care to be.

It's wearing down both her & myself a bit but we're not losing faith & the Lord is our strength. There are certain health issues that naturally come as a person gets older but when the Lord shows you something & gives you an assignment, the enemy takes notice. I've been serious about getting some tracks laid down & some projects finished & there's seems to be resistance & distractions all along the way, which to me means I'm on the right track (no pun intended) & 'just need to press forward.

I'm reminded of these Scriptures:

Luke 9:51
“Jesus steadfastly set His face toward Jerusalem”

The word for “steadfastly set” is stērizō
  • to make stable, place firmly, to strengthen
  • to render constant, [confirm] one's mind 

Acts 13:36
“For David, after he had served his own generation...”

The phrase "after he had served" is the Greek word hypēreteō
  • to minister, render services

"generation" is from the word genea
  • a group of men very much like each other in endowments, pursuits, character 
  • the whole multitude of men living at the same time
  • an age, a space of 30-33 years

My mom has a heart for both women her own age & for the next generation, I have a heart for men & musicians; we're both resolute in our purposes & yes we'll be attacked but we're going to be faithful to the call, set our faces & minister.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Personal Log 3.4.2018

There's a difference between “can't” & “won't” 
& sometimes success or failure 
hinges on knowing that difference.

I've worked for a few different employers in my lifetime & some bosses were good, others not so much; some were very open to new ideas & new ways of doing things, those were the bosses I loved to work for. Some pastors/leaders I know were the same way, they loved feedback, they thrived on new ideas. On the other hand, we all know some bosses & some pastors/leaders who are the complete opposite… they hold a very tight grip on their business plan or ministry model & as a result, are squeezing the respective life out of each.

When I was younger I used to say, “This is my ministry & I know what I want & I know what I'm doing!” I have since repented of that; as I've grown & matured I've come to be much more flexible in regards to both business & ministry. I constantly seek the Lord in regards to new methods, to new ideas & simultaneously I feel people out on what they're thinking & feeling, on what they like or would like to see. It's humbling when you realize you don't know it all & but it's also quite liberating when there's a sharing of ideas because those that work w/ you & those that you minister to/with feel like they're a part of the process & that their opinion is valued. Those things are very conducive to a sense of unity in any business or fellowship.

Even in the last couple of weeks as I'm trying to lay down some tracks for a worship CD I'm looking at my songs & saying, “can I do anything different w/ arrangement or sounds?”. Sometimes I just get tired of the same old formula of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus: it's boring, predictable, safe. If I'm bored w/ the songs, will the listeners also be bored? 

In worship ministry, I have my core sound but if that's all I use in my arsenal then it gets a little stale, so occasionally I have to add a leslie, a wah or a pitch shifter to have some variety. I personally know four worship leaders who lead from a keyboard & they only use one patch & they play all the time. So here they plead for a $2000 keyboard w/ all kinds of patches, sounds, midi, sequencers, etc & they only use the piano or piano w/ strings patch. It's not that they can't use anything else it's that they won't.

I talked w/ this worship leader once about a stripped-down, intimate, candlelight, acoustic Sunday morning worship service, just a piano & one acoustic guitar, give the worship team a break & keep it simple. She loved the idea & started getting songs together, well as the week wore on she kept adding people & when service came around, it was the full compliment, the full team; the only difference was she was on the piano & not the keyboard! I had to laugh... it's not that she couldn't do anything different it's that she wouldn't do anything different (at least too far from the “norm”).

I've had alot more success w/ business owners/leaders in regards to change & even then, it was still a small percentage who were actually open to new ways of doing things; I chalk it up to human nature...

In talking w/ pastors all over the country I feel them out & I'll half-jokingly ask: "why don't you take up the offering at the beginning of service?" responded quickly w/ "oh we can't do that!" when in reality they just won't do that... or "why don't you preach first then have worship" again responded w/ "oh we can't do that!" when again it's not that they can't they just won't. 

I'm not slamming anyone, these are just my observations & experiences. Doing something different is hard, I realize that, there's a learning curve involved whether that format, structure, patches, effects, business, sales, marketing, ministry, etc & sometimes things sink & other times they soar but we'll never know if we can walk on water unless we get out the boat.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Personal Log 3.3.2018

This was a rough week for me… 

I was looking forward on Wednesday to getting some recording done but my mom had an attack of some kind & we rushed her to medical care where we now think it was a micro stroke; any interruption of blood flow is just not good & at her age it's really not good. Her blood pressure was elevated for a good 48 hours afterward & after another visit to the doctor on Friday it finally lowered; as of now she's doing better but to be honest, it was a bit scary. 

I'm grateful for my parents & thankful I still have them. I have many friends & family members who lost their parents years ago & were, in essence, robbed of the opportunity to see them grow old. There comes a shift in a person's life when the ones who took care of you are now in your care... 

I pray for my family every day: my parents, my brothers & their kids, my cousins… I pray for my friends & for my pastors, who are probably attacked more often than I am. 

Everyone has a purpose on this earth, 
as Christians even more so & 
as long as there's breath, there's a mission. 

There's still more for my parents to do, more people to reach, more wisdom to impart to their kids & grandkids. Though I have my own challenges & attacks there's more for me to do & I'm going to do it until there's no breath left.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Hobbies & Interests

I've been incredibly busy w/ various projects (recording & otherwise) so since I have a backlog of blogs I thought I'd share one about my favorite hobbies & interests. I'll be honest, I'm not that great an athlete. Growing up, my interests were always more on the academic/artistic side & my hobbies involved as little physical effort as possible: chess, cards, billiards, music… but in high school I did manage to participate in track: mainly the 50 yard dash & pole vaulting; that was then, this is now. 

Note: all images may be subject to their respective copyright owners

Trac Ball

Whamo's best product! The poor man's lacrosse... 'played it as a kid & still play it now: at the park, at the beach, anywhere & everywhere! This game is so fun & usually draws a pretty good crowd; it takes about 3 – 4 minutes to get the hang of catching & throwing but after that, pure enjoyment.


As a kid, I always considered this a sissy girls game but as I grew older I really started to enjoy it & now I play it quite often w/ my folks or nieces/nephews. It's also a great church activity: a friendly game of Men's Group vs the Women's Group is always fun to watch & brings everyone together.


I'm not a fan of high-cardio sports; I tried raquetball once & almost went into cardiac arrest but tennis is different, especially when playing doubles, it's what I call cardio-leisure. It can get intense but the way I play it's a casual pastime... 


I've only recently (in the last couple of years) started playing this 2,000 year old game but I really like it as it's very challenging & can be played on grass, in sand, on clay, etc. Bocce courts & clubs are springing up all over the US in both large & small communities & I can see why.  


This is a game my entire family likes, even my 79 year old dad (who's not too active) comes alive when I set this up for him & my mom 'cause he's really good at it! No family reunion is complete w/o a round or two of Croquet. 


I know some people hate it but there's something about golf: it's fun, relaxing & therapeutic. I never take score & never take myself seriously. Nine holes is more than enough for me, I get tired around the 6th or 7th hole... 


This is the only cardio workout I like on a consistent basis. I have two 10-speed bikes: a road bike & an off-road bike & every Spring/Summer I'm on a pre-dawn/dawn ride at least three days a week; it's a great time to take in the scenery, pray, etc.


I've canoed before but never kayaked, despite that I'm saving up to buy a kayak; one of the most relaxing things to me has always been hopping into a canoe & taking a leisurely 20 mile jaunt on the river or coastline...

Skin Diving/Snorkeling

If there's a deserted part of a beach you'll probably find me there w/ some fins & a snorkel. The thing about snorkeling is you swim along the surface for miles or dive a little deeper & explore; the solitude is indescribable….

Rock Climbing

Whether it's a canyon wall or a rock face, I love rock climbing, it's a great challenge; especially the way I do it: freestyle = no ropes for me, just a pair of gloves & a good pair of shoes & I'm off!  If I fall & die then I guess I'll see most of you in Heaven :)

Muay Thai/Kickboxing

My childhood was filled w/ Bruce Lee movies so I always wanted to learn a martial art (minus the eastern philosophies of course). I took a little Karate when I was young… then switched to Aikido... then switched to Muay Thai & Kickboxing. I'm always learning but I can take care of myself if I have to.


I've always been drawn to the weapon arts & once a week (or so) I'll pull out my training weapons: bokken, kali sticks, nunchakus, bo staff & stretch, keep myself limber, etc...  The shinai is the bamboo sword of kendo & I love pulling it out & giving myself a fairly intense workout.


I really love chess but after several years of playing & studying it, I became seriously bored.  My uncles were avid players & they came up w/ their own version which intrigued me so I invented three versions myself which I now play exclusively. 


I never did “get” this game until I finally tried it online, man is it fun! When I have a few extra minutes I'll hop online & play a game or two. Somewhere I read where this game is around 5,000 years old...

Billiards/Bumper Pool

Billiards has always been a great pastime for me: Straight Pool, 9-Ball, 7-Ball… however I do also love Bumper Pool, it's a fun game, very strategic & incredibly relaxing. 

Michigan Rummy

Many a Saturday night in my youth was spent playing this game w/ my brothers & now that their kids are grown they can't seem to live without all of us getting together & playing it at least once a month.

7 Card Stud

7 Card Stud was THE card game for years & years & it's still my favorite though it's hard to find other people who play it or have even heard of it! 

Air Shooting

When I was a kid, shooting air rifles was a part of boys growing up. Now, I've shot .22 rifles & .22 pistols & I can handle a gun but there's something about air shooting & w/ technology now there are air guns for every occasion: varmints, plinking, marksman, Olympic shooting, etc.  

So, those are my hobbies & interests! 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Personal Log 2.8.2018

So I was reading the blog of a lady in my Christian Bloggers Circle on Google+; she's from Finland where she lives w/ her husband/family & as always, I'm curious to know how other Christians view things, not only here in America but around the world. Her most recent post was titled “Seek God and His Presence” & in this blog she quoted 1 Chronicles 16:11 AMP

“Seek the Lord and His strength; 
Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence]”

It caught my interest because I had recently blogged on entering & exiting God's presence: how there's verses for entering but none for exiting therefore it's implied we're to enter (per se) & remain in God's presence, taking it w/ us & being aware of it everywhere we go…

I'm a grace person, I like to think & operate from a new covenant standpoint rather than an old covenant standpoint so my mind is constantly being renewed to new covenant position, thinking, prayers, lifestyle, etc… the more I meditated on her blog & on this verse in particular the more I wanted to respond but the Lord checked me on it & I felt impressed to research it, so here's the verse broken down in Hebrew (emphasis in bold are mine):

Seek | h1875 | darash
the Lord | 3068 | Yehovah
and His strength | h5797 | oz
seek | h1245 | baqash
His face | h6440 | paniym
continually | h8548 | tamiyd 

Darash = 
  • to resort to, seek, seek w/ care, enquire, require
  • to frequent (a place), (tread a place)
  • to consult, enquire of, seek = of God
  • to seek deity in prayer & worship
  • to investigate
  • to practice, study, follow, seek w/ application
  • to be sought [out]

Yehovah =
  • “the existing One”

Oz = 
  • might, strength (also translated boldness)
  • material or physical
  • personal or social or political

Baqash =
  • to seek, require, exact, request, ask
  • to seek to find
  • to seek to secure
  • to seek the face
  • to desire, demand
  • to be sought

Paniym =
  • face
  • presence
  • in the presence of
  • from the presence of

Tamiyd =
  • continuity
  • perpetuity
  • to stretch
  • continually, continuously

I'm always intrigued when I break down a Scripture & find two different Hebrew or Greek words for the same English word (in this case "seek"), so breaking down the entire verse the gist of it is this (brackets are mine for flow of thought):

Frequent the existing One
 for strength & boldness [in/for] personal, social & political [situations/influence], 
desire His face, [operate] in & from His presence continuously.


I had wanted to respond to this blogger to impart my knowledge of this in relation to grace but I'm actually really glad the Lord checked me on my motive because instead of trying to teach her something I learned something instead.

I'm not going to add anything more, 'just going to let you dwell on this verse & let God reveal some things to you...