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Grasshopper

One time I froze a grasshopper with liquid nitrogen. Then I tried to shock it back to life with an electric toy train set. I even said “clear” really loud.

…It didn’t work.

The earthworm and housefly yielded similar results.

…And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him,  “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. 

What would you ask Jesus for if he was standing right in front of you?

 Please comment as much as you are willing to share. I’m really struggling with an answer for this question.  I’m actually paralyzed by the thought of it.

Quotes from Haiti

The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is enough. These people don’t have enough, but I have also seen many people in the United States who don’t have enough. ~Dr. Dave

After 6 months in Ecuador, witnessing the all the poverty there, I knew there was something I had to tell people when I got back home. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was I was supposed to tell them, but I was pretty sure they didn’t want to hear it. ~Dr. W

Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape. ~Dr Roger.

Don’t worry about the monkey’s throwing coconuts, when the elephants are stampeding. ~Dr Roger

Soon…and very soon. ~ Haitan Pastor 

(Standard answer everytime a question was posed with the word “when” in it)

I do love music! I love all kinds.  I consider myself an appreciator  of a decent caliber. However I have no ability, or rather more accurately, I have an absolute lack of development. I was never offered more than a passing invitation to explore the medium, other than what public school waved under my nose.  The shame is, the travesty is,  a twelve year old made this decision for me. Could barely open a can of tuna, but life decisions were put in my control in early adolescence. 

Do you want a Regents diploma or a local diploma? The guidance counselor asked.  Local?!? Well, I knew that was out.  “Local” where I grew up was really depressing. So so i x’d the box labeled “Regents”. Next question, music or art? Wait…what the…pick just one? what if I change my mind? You can’t….You can’t! whuaaagh aggh agghhhh….You need 9 credits of one or the other and you only have 10 semesters to do it in….Whuaggh agghh agghhhhh (Guidance counselor didn’t actually laugh maniacally).   But in truth this seventh grade numbskull was given a cold cruel choice of music or art. Just place your x in the box and forever doom yourself to a lifetime of complete incompetence in the unmarked box’s medium.  And since I tended towards low esteem at 12, I felt it more wise to fail quietly in front of ourart teacher Mrs Titus.  She smiled alot and seemed to be ok . (other than the weird clothes and really really really big jewelry) The alternative was to fail very spectacularly and very publicly in front if friends, family and peers at the spring concert. I choose art with some uncertainty and it seemed dignity was intact for now. But for now the “language of the soul” was put on mute.  

So here I am in full recognition that I have no one to blame but myself, (albeit my 12 year old self). Yet, I will not be deterred. I pick up a guitar and a “Guitar for Dummies” book, having assurance that “With God all things are possible”. He made us to develop new abilities. We can do this.  Where to start. Well Wikipedia and Google…duh. I know some stuff from friends and elementary school music. I’ll look up those terms that I know and start digesting.

Whoa. Way over my head. Alot of people have been doing this for a long time and they have a lot of convention in place. E sharp is F? B sharp is C? Who came up with that? An while I do tend to agree that every good boy does in fact deserve confections of the fudge variety, I’m not sure why that’s the order of  the little jingle. Shouldn’t it go a little more abcdefg…. like the alphabet song. And frankly if a G-clef fell from the sky landed on my face and started to vibrato I’d have no idea it was happening. It’s all too big.  Confusion sets in. New approach is needed.

 I try to take to the scientific method. Logically break the concepts into physics principles. Frequency, amplitude wavelength resonance etc… Well I quickly remember why I hate physics. These seemingly simple concepts of chords, notes and tempo are incredibly complex. I mean, really complex.

What it takes to send and receive sound waves, and all the possible variables make DNA, immunology and biochem start to look easy. I’m surprised a bit to find that sound, let alone music, is so complex it brings to mind things like cosmology and metaphysics.  The order of magnitude of wave forms that can be produced, overlapped and combined in new ways pushes infinite. And to top it all off only certain combinations “sound good”. As for the rules of what “sound good” it seems have some patterns, but then bam curve ball. (See E sharp) Clearly the principles of sound and music dance the line between what can be scientifically described and something more akin to a slice of pure spirituality. And I think a a Christian this should not be that surprising since music is the primary vehicle to carry worship.

But wait there’s more! Let us not forget rhythm. It’s hard to even define what it really is. Let alone obtain it, and manipulate it. Many times I’ve been told I don’t have it, but I’m pretty sure I want it. Zero ideas on where to get it. Yikes a medium that is limited by the receivers , pushing infinite, and has a set of conventions firmly placed by people much smarter than my mental T-ball league. 

I will not be deterred.  I confess that I am the dummy aforementioned in the title of my new manual, but I repeat, I will not be shaken.  My sore and callousing fingers are a stinging sense of accomplishment and I smile as I’m typing.  Taking on music in my third decade of life is a worthy pursuit. 

I notice some thing else though. A familiar feeling wells up as I scratch the surface of music and start to think about it all. I make no exaggeration and I make no jest when I say this,  it is a lonely feeling. The same exact emotion I’ve experienced being thrust into a land where I don’t speak the language. It is a frustrating feeling, mingled with the excitement of the new. Woven into this analogy I’m about to make, is the very concept of which I try to describe. But in a foreign land, especially a market place, one is surrounded by sounds and rhythms and that make an unintentional music. It is a small agitated pond of mostly noisy people.  Most of them shouting their exchanges rapidly. Some of them making directed addresses to me. But it all is above me. It is a rich environment for the all senses for sure. Piles of grains, hot foods and colorful art items all permeated by a denominator of odd smells. The sounds of the voices though, that is what really stands out.  In a crowd of people like this, a lack of language skills makes one utterly alone. Unable to convey what’s in me, or obtain anything that I want, regardless of how much currency I hold. The life of it all is passing by without pause. I can make gestures and rudimentary communications, but it’s not constructive.  There is nothing I can intelligibly contribute. I can frustrate myself and probably annoy people that are skilled, but nothing else. This is the way it is with music. Essentially I am a mute, in the largest most universal language there is.

Thus… Ergh!  

So what? Well, I suppose my summation of this rambling can be summed up fairly simply: Make your kid go to piano lessons. If he refuses, spank him, with a guitar, and then make him carry it to choir practice. His 31 year old self will be thankful to you.

Cheers

What I need…

He’s Got it. I need it. He knows it. I’m going to get it. He gets the credit. I get Him. He gets me. Not neccessarily in that order…

Trinity

Growing up in a church that did not believe in the trinity has caused me alot of grief, and confusion. I mean, if Jesus is God, then why did he say things like “Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” Luke 18:19. Why did he not know the date of his own return ? or say that the father was greater than he? This topic has been one of my greatest personal tests of faith. I have dug before and found God’s answers from scripture that calmed me, and then more verses worded in such a way as to cause me pause. In a dig, I stumbled across an old testament verse shedding light and confirmation of the trinity as a truth.  Isaiah 48:16.

Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as other off-shoot sects of christianity deny the triune nature of God often claim the christian bible is mistranslated. So Just to eliminate any potential christian bias, I went to the Tanak, an english translation of the Old testament written by the Jewish Historical Society. They obviously have no pro-Jesus bias in their translating. Included are few verses before and few verses after for context. It is a powerful passage of scripture.

11 For Mine own sake, for Mine own sake, will I do it; for how should it be profaned? And My glory will I not give to another.12 Hearken unto Me, O Jacob, and Israel My called: I am He; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Yea, My hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spread out the heavens; when I call unto them, they stand up together.14 Assemble yourselves, all ye, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? He whom HaShem loveth shall perform His pleasure on Babylon, and show His arm on the Chaldeans.15 I, even I, have spoken, yea, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.16 Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the L-rd GOD hath sent me, and His spirit. 17 Thus saith HaShem, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am HaShem thy G-d, who teacheth thee for thy profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18 Oh that thou wouldest hearken to My commandments! then would thy peace be as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

[Brief tangent…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism Hashem is the polite and reverent way in jewish faith to refer to Adonai. The word Hashem is simply translated “The Name.” They do this in keeping with the commandment to not use the Lord’s name in vain. The Jews “build a hedge” around the law as to not even come close to crossing that line.]

 there am I; and now the L-rd GOD hath sent me, and His spirit.Thus saith HaShem…

Amazing: Hashem says that the Lord God sent him. “His spirit” also sent him. a clear description of triunity. A most appreciated touch stone to validate that the doctrine of the church, and faith I feel i have been called to. It is very difficult to unlearn doctrines that are so deeply engrained, qand my human mind cannot wrap around some parts of the trinity.

Your prayers are always appreciated.

Basic

 Elementary is another word for basic. Elementary school is very basic. …Basic mental anguish infliction 101 for educators. That’s what they should call it anyway. Two daily 3.5 hour blocks in the same chair. Might as well start Chinese water torture…it has the same effect. I give. I’ll talk! I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll!! i was young i acted alone. I’ll confess to anything.  Please don’t make make me sit in this chair for another month Mrs Bleiler… Puleeease! I love May. Don’t make me sit here every day for the whole month of May! You wouldn’t do that to me. What? You will?  AND you’re taking my GI joe and putting it in your drawer? till June? I can’t have it back until then?

The rows of math problems are all identical. The problems presented may increase in decimal places and intensity over the course of a year, but really they are all the same. And you know what they look a lot like the ones we did last year! Oh and penmanship. Just give all the girls A’s so we can go out to play. I’ll never be able to draw a better cursive ‘z’ it’s not gonna happen Lady. I’ve been to the future and i have direct knowlege of the fact that i will have no need of cursive anyway.

Why?! Why must it be this way. It doesn’t matter the season, the windows into the living world mock me. Each of them says Joey look and see what your 7 year old self cannot partake of. The sun is beaming on the promised land of swings and rings and happy play things! Oh and when it snows! Mounds of glistening joy! Come Joey slide about on my hills. Mold me and shape me. Throw me for utter joy…at your friends heads preferably. Erect from my clean arctic goodness a tri-spherical statue of freedom and triumph. Don’t forget the carrot nose!   

 

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