Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. ~1 Thess. 5:16-18
Let me start off by saying I’m a Bob Marley fan. Do with that what you will. No, I’m not Rastafarian. No, I’m not a white guy trying to be cool. No, I don’t sit around and smoke a lot of herb. I like music and I like Bob. I like his message and I like what he stood for. I like that he tried to fulfill the greatest commandment to “love God with your whole heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s tough to find any celebrity that strives for that, especially after fame and fortune hits them.
I’m a musician, and as such, I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. There have always been certain artists however that hold a more prominent place in my listening catalog and to whom I have listened more profusely than others. Among those would certainly be Bill Mallonee, Rich Mullins, Phil Keaggy, and of course, Bob Marley. Strange mix? Perhaps, but these are artists who have always impressed me, either lyrically, instrumentally, or both, and have said something to me with their music. Music is interesting in that nearly every culture and every type of people on earth understand it. It’s the universal language. I think that most likely, while I aspire to be able to speak several different languages, I put all my effort instead into writing and playing music. A good artist, like those above, can paint a picture and give you a glimpse into something that words alone can be hard pressed to define, but with music, those words come alive. Music can set moods, change tones, and can transport you to another place and time. It can send a message, reflect on an issue or a person, or calm a weary soul. Bob’s music has always been like that to me. His songs are often simple, with no more than a few chords and easy riffs, but along with the words, they are deep. Simple words and simple tunes are what stick with me the most, and I suspect with most people. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear a G-C-D, or E-A-B chord progression, if played in a certain rhythm with the right lyrics, it’s always catching, and it’s easy to remember.
Songs and simple writing have not come easily these past few years. Not sure if it was writer’s block or just a lack of ability to set them free. I commented to my wife several times that I could feel the songs and pages in the book somewhere in there, but was having difficulty putting them to paper, like a stopper was in place. At any rate, it would seem that it’s been removed and they’re starting to flow. Grief does that I suppose – it leaves you with few options, most of which are not beneficial or compatible with staying out of jail, and besides, it must be faced, again and again – love leaves no other option. Anything less is fear driven self-centeredness and profits nothing, as my friend G. would say. So writing again is good, and liberating, and it’s cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking sorrows away, and safer than drugs, so…bonus! Grace often comes not by immediate answers to my temper tantrums at God, but rather in the little things He whispers when I’m still and listening. I don’t sleep well as a rule, and so I often sneak out of bed after the wifey is asleep. (She once commented, “I imagine you have this whole other life after I’m asleep…” I do.) Continue reading
That’s right! I’m the opening act for Steve Bell tomorrow night in Indianapolis. If anyone is close, please come out and support Steve and I. The cost is only $10 at the door, and you get 2 hours of top notch Americana and Canadian acoustic delights. I can’t put into words how stoked I am about this! Thanks be to God for this honor, and for the opportunity to talk with Steve again. He is truly a delightful and Godly man; a joy to be around. For anyone wondering, the gig is at the 7th Day Adventist church building on South Bluff Rd. in Indianapolis. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!
Well, I’m breaking context here, and I’m posting more than one in a week. Autumn is getting to be in full swing here in Southern Indiana, and I’m in paradise! Yeah, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than here in the woods in the middle of October. Thanks be to God for the dear Nuns who have given us this opportunity, and above all, Glory to God for all things!
Ok, after being thankful for the splendor of the trees exploding into color, I’m also thankful for the flood of songs that I feel being pulled out of this soulful wreckage of a man. In being thankful, I’d like to share a prayer here that is also a song; one that I’m proud of and thankful for. It’s rare that I write something that I’m really proud of, and this is one of the very few. It’s also a deep prayer to God for forgiveness, strength, faith, hope, and love. As with all things of God, He never disappoints and always answers prayers made in humility, and belive me, this one was and is. The prayer and song is based on my own struggles to believe, but also the story of “Eustace and the Dragon” in the 3rd Book of the series “The Chronicles of Narnia” which is titled, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (Sorry, but I have to put this…) Music & Lyrics by Luke Seraphim Beecham, Copyright 2003 for Six Winged Soul Music.
Lord, I long to know You
Lord, I long to see your Face
Lord, I long for you to hold me
In your sweet embrace
Bruised and blistered Iâ€™ve become, longing just to see the sun of your love
Shining on my face
Blood in every step I take from carrying these chains I make to hold me
Away from You
And with the talon of your love, you slay the dragon Iâ€™ve become
And reveal the creature that Youâ€™ve made
Now as the winter of my sin settles deep into my skin, I ache, I ache
And I feel the frost of grief thatâ€™s frozen all of my belief
And my heart breaks
And in my rags of poverty I kneel with all thatâ€™s left in me
And You wash me with your Grace
But the mountains would not seem so high without the valley low
And without the blast of sins since past how would we ever know
Of a Love that we only imagine in our wildest dreams
And the grace that winds the Autumn road of all our selfish schemes
Still, Sister Moon shines on me just the same
Though Iâ€™m filled with doubt, regret, fear and shame
And if I turn back to her soft glow
Iâ€™ll radiate and start to show
The same hollowed surface that makes us both reflect