Month: January 2013

New Year…New Mind?

It never seems to amaze me that every year after the gluttony has pursued. The Waste Management plant is overflowing with Santa-stamped wrapping paper and you’re trying to figure out when to return Grandma’s ugly sweater. That we find ourselves creating another list, one that is very reminiscent of the one that’d fallen into the night stand waste basket last year. Yes, once again. Here we are, swearing by our double chins that we will eat things we love in moderation, that we’ll visit the family more, volunteer at the local shelter or church, maybe even give a pint of blood. But why won’t we just be more realistic with ourselves about what it is we can achieve.
We as humans are such flawed specimen and every year the suicide rates, depression meds, and therapy appointments never cease to exist. But did you ever think that maybe if we were to tackle our lives in a more realistic, and simplistic format that maybe we wouldn’t endure such hardships. If we just vowed something as attainable as learning five new neighbors in our community, being genuine when asking someone “how they are doing?”, asking your spouse or kids “how can I become a better father, mother, husband, wife, lover or friend?” Not just being a Christian at church or with church members but also at work and in everyday life. Something I’ve struggled with is being a Christian of convenience. You know what I’m talking about. I have so many opportunities to shine bright for God and many times I fail. Only because before a previous conversation took place where I’m given the opportunity to speak of my faith. I was just ragging on how lazy my boss is, or how I’m tired or how I’m in much need of R&R. All in a tone that never spoke to my faith in Jesus. And then, all of a sudden the conversation takes a turn and I’m back to, how good God is and I’m recommending local churches and podcasts to listen to.
I no longer want to be that person. My New Year’s objective is to simply Love God at all times. Not just when I’m in need. But in my happy moments as well as my moments of desperation. I want to love people as a whole. I want to be less judgemental and have a genuine interest in the lives around me. This year I want to Love people in a way I haven’t before due to my sinful nature. I want to make God famous through my optimistic attitude and seek him through prayer when I feel myself going astray. I want to become less, so He can become more.

Sunday Tunes: Natalie Grant

I grew up in a black Southern Baptist environment that gave me very little insight to the world of CCM. I knew of Michael W. Smith & Stephen Curtis Chapman to name a few, but Natalie Grant, I was totally in the dark. That was until I met my wife. And now I’m pretty sure that I’m a bigger fan than she is. She’s got such a power house voice that demands your attention.The thing I love the most about Grant’s music is the sincerity and authenticity behind the lyrics. There’s a handful of artists who can evoke emotion within me while listening to their music and Natalie is one of them. I can relate one of her songs to a moment in my life where I felt that way or I’ve thought that thought. I remember my wife putting in her Awaken album and I heard make me over, and the rest is history. All of her albums are what I call ‘listen through’ quality. That means you might have some favorites, but you can put the album in and just let it play because it’s that good. Here are some of my favorites! And if you enjoy these selections also check out some of my other favorite female CCM artists, Rachael Lampa, Nichole Nordeman & JJ Heller. Enjoy!

I will not be moved
Your Great Name: Song Story
Human
Our Hope Endures
Our Hope Endures: My Wife’s Cover
The Greatness of Our God
So Long

Inked Thoughts

It was a rainy day in June 2009. I remember riding home on my way from work and I was listening to a bjork album, but had begun to tune it out. You know what I mean if you’ve ever heard bjork. But I vaguely remember being overwhelmed with the want to cry. It came from nowhere. I wasn’t thinking of anything painful nor was I having a bad day. But I remember pulling into a gas station to write this down.

desert arrhythmias

she appeared out of the blue
concocted from the winds cold hands
and the warmth of the sand
there she lay barren to the suns harsh heat
and the stares of souls past
she was fragile and as frail as a starved child of many wars
awaiting a vessel of hope to be offered
from a warm hand
overwhelmed with the cracks of times
hurt      anger      pain       love
the pearls of perspiration waltzed across her mountainous brow
where the agony of the heat pierced her shallow flesh
and the sun contrived hills and valleys from the pain in her soul