October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - Democrat style

I guess maybe it’s not just those racist TEA partiers who want to keep what they’ve earned. There is wisdom in youth.

Happy Reformation Day!

Martin Luther

n October 31, 1517, a young Catholic monk walked to the door of Wittenburg church and posted a message written in Latin. This monk, Martin Luther by name, was presenting his thoughts about the religious current events of his day for discussion and debate among theologians. But... he didn’t count on a civilian who could read Latin walking by, reading his 95 Theses, translating them into the common language (German) and using Gutenberg’s printing press to publish and distribute them to the masses.

And this simple, innocent act began a firestorm among the common folk, which led to anger among the religious leaders. And in the process Martin Luther became the focal point for a religious revolution—a revolution that returned the bible to its proper place as the source for everything the Christian needs to know for faith and practice.

Luther nails his 95 Theses
to the door of
Wittenberg Castle church

Before Luther left the church and started the first recognized Protestant denomination, he was called to stand before a tribunal of Roman Catholic religious leaders to answer for the things he had written... such things as: salvation by faith alone... man’s total inability to conform to the righteousness demanded of us... God’s effectual plan to save sinners through faith in Christ... allowing marriage for the clergy... rejection of any statements of mere men if they contradict the bible. When this tribunal demanded that he recant his beliefs and declare his loyalty to the teachings of the Popes, he said:

Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.

Luther’s teachings so greatly angered the religious leaders of the Roman Catholic church that they put out an international death warrant on Luther. He was snatched up and taken away into exile for his own protection by his friend Prince Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. While he lived in exile, Luther translated the entire bible into the common language so the common folk could read it. This was something that had been forbidden by the Catholic church, so anyone not trained in Latin could not read the scripture for themselves and was forced to accept whatever the religious leadership told them was contained in the bible.

Wittenberg Castle church

During this time, Luther also wrote my favorite hymn—perhaps my favorite song of all time, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” A careful reading of the words of this hymn coupled with an understanding that, as he penned these words Luther was under an international death edict, always brings me to tears as I listen to this incredible hymn.

May we have the courage to live for Christ as Martin Luther did. May we honor his sacrifices and his life by carrying on the faith taught in the bible.

Happy Reformation Day!

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevaling.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabbaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
through him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

October 30, 2012

Politics... sheesh!

he presidential election cycles have always been a great source of stress and frustration to me. Negative campaigns and intentional lies create an unpleasant atmosphere and pit Americans against Americans. It’s like fighting a civil war every four years.

But this year President Obama has taken us to a new low. His actions as our nation’s leader have often been immature and crass and not worthy of the respect due his office. Four years of this have apparently emboldened his supporters and encouraged them to find the lowest possible ground on which to spread their lies, distortions, and rude behavior.

This first video is an appalling production put together by the advertising group responsible for the Got Milk? ad campaign. There is not one single tiny bit of truth in this video and they used children to give voice to these lies. And then on top of all the lies, they had the children say that they blame their parents for all of these incredible and false fantasies. If these children truly were the children of the future, they would be thanking their parents who voted against Obama for protecting their liberties and for protecting them from a socialist dictatorship.

The next video was produced and published by the president’s campaign. This video should be a tremendous cause for embarrassment, and would have been under any prior administration, but the Obama administration has stood by this ad and has even sent a follow-up fund-raising/get-out-the-vote email drawing attention to this ad and reminding young people that “voting is like doing it.”

Here’s the repulsive ad:

Of course, those who oppose the current administration have access to video equipment as well. Here are two responses to Lena Dunham: Your First Time:

Doc 2


October 27, 2012

Halo – with a twist

y son loves Halo and he loves the Disney movie, “Brave.” So tonight he asked me to put halo armor on Merida for the album cover for his band “White Docks.” His original name for the album title was “Winter Breeze,” but, fortunately, I convinced him that such a gentle and sweet title did not fit the Halo theme. So now the album is titled “Death & Destruction.” Yeah, he got that new title from me—not his mom.

Here’s the fictitious album cover:

October 18, 2012

When you hit rock bottom

Tony Robbins
In life you need either inspiration or desperation.

Some people sabotage themselves with great frequency. I am one of those people. I suppose a therapist could help me figure out why I do this, and I’d love to know why. But more than why, I’d like to know how to stop doing that.

The quote at the top right is from Tony Robbins, whom I have a great deal of respect for. He also said, You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.

Today is a day for decisions. Who am I now? Who have I decided to become?

I certainly don’t want to repeat old patterns that have not worked.

Psalm 121

  1. I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
  2. My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
  3. He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
  4. Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
  5. The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
  6. The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
  7. The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
  8. The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

Lord... don’t let this be the end.

October 11, 2012


avane. The word pavane simply means song. I’m not sure then why so many classical pieces with the title of Pavane are so beautiful. If it’s just a song...

Here’s an example. This is Pavane pour un infante defunte or Song for a dead princess. Ravel wrote this song for the funeral of the princess at the request of the king. It is a hauntingly beautiful piece and I have loved it since I first heard it almost 30 years ago (thank you Dr. Ellsworth).

So I was pleased to see the most recent video by The Piano Guys, Titanium / Pavane, mixing David Guetto’s Titanium with Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane. First, listen to Fauré’s Pavane:

And, finally, the Piano Guys with Titanium / Pavane:

Where would we be without music?

October 09, 2012

hen I was in college—about a hundred years ago—a professor inadvertently introduced me to a fantastic musical group called the Sweet Comfort Band. I loved their music, and especially loved the lead vocals performed by Bryan Duncan. Bryan later went on to a solo career in the 90s, but has been doing his own radio show for the past couple of decades.

Until now...

Today I saw that he has a new album out... and you can listen to it here with this awesome embedded music player below! Cool, eh?

I hope you enjoy it. It’s good stuff!

October 06, 2012

Worship In the Park - 2012

It’s fall!
and time for New Hope Bible Church’s annual Worship In the Park. This is a special event for us. This will be our third Worship In the Park. The first one was our first week attending New Hope Bible Church. And we have come to love this church.

Instead of gathering together to worship God in our church building, on this day we gather in a community park just down the street from our house. After the church service we have a huge picnic and fellowship with each other for a few hours while the young kids play on the playground equipment. It’s a great time of fellowship, praise, and worship of our great God.

I had the privilege of playing with the worship team last year. There’s something very special about playing worship music in an outdoor setting. But because our church has three worship bands I would not be playing again for two more years. Until I got a call from our worship leader last night. This year’s band had already practiced and was preparing for the event when the bassist’s pregnant wife went into labor (Congratulations!). So Jesse called me to see if I’d be willing to play with the band tomorrow.

I have been greatly blessed by God to be able to play with the great musicians he has brought to this church. I was so pleased to be asked to play this year and am looking forward to tomorrow’s event. Here’s the worship set for tomorrow morning:

No One Like You

The Power of Your Love


Forever Reign

One Thing Remains

Wrap Me In Your Arms

With Everything