it’s not rocket science

31 12 2008

when i lived in dallas in 2007, i had a personal trainer and he was great.  i will never forget the simple wisdom that he continually reiterated to me regarding getting in shape and developing a healthier lifestyle…   “calories in vs. calories out.”

you can do all the low carb, low fat, high protein, no sugar, no this and all that diets all day… but when you get tired of depriving your body of things it really does need and the yo-yo results along the way, it all comes down to a balancing act between the calories you consume and the calories you burn.  there is no pill you can take, no surgery you can have and no special program you can join to change this irrefutable natural law that governs how our bodies respond to calories and our efforts to lose weight and change our body composition.

sounds revolutionary doesn’t it?  i have to wonder why that is.  “surely there is something more i should be able to do” is the thinking that sends us down the road of all sorts of extra efforts that steal our time, resources and focus.  why are we inclined to think that it surely takes more than what it really does?  surely the harder we try, the more it will work, right?

seems like it would be easier to just accept the simple truth and let that dictate our actions, delivering the results we want.  but more times than not we complicate it by all our extra efforts and end up frustrated in the process.  there is a huge spiritual parallel to be had here.  i’ll save that for a later blog, but if you’re sharp you’re already tracking with me.

in the meantime, as many of us set our sights on new goals in ’09, whether it be physical, financial, spiritual, etc… don’t over think it.  eat less, move more… spend less, save more… try less, receive more… simple truth yields real and lasting impact.





what it was really all about a/k/a perception a/k/a less like scars

29 12 2008

2008 is winding down… lots of thoughts today.

what did 2008 bring to you? more importantly, how do you perceive what 2008 brought to you and how has your perception shaped your response?

“God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time.  but the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.”  –  mark batterson from in a pit with a lion on a snowy day (a book which i will be referring to a lot in the coming months)

sure, it’s cliche to say ‘perception is reality’, but it’s quite often true.  but the fact that your perception can often shape your reality can be dangerous, especially if your perception is skewed in any way.  if your perception is tainted, your reality will be twisted.

i love this song by sara groves called ‘less like scars’.  the essence of the song is that “time” is the great equalizer, and the perspective that it brings will often shine a light on what you thought “it” was, and reveal what “it” really was.

“less like tearing, more like building / less like captive, more like willing
less like breakdown, more like surrender / less like haunting, more like remember

and i feel You here, and You’re picking up the pieces, forever faithful
it seemed out of my hands, a bad situation, but You are able
and in Your hands the pain and hurt look less like scars
and more like character

less like a prison, more like my room / it’s less like a casket, more like a womb
less like dying, more like transcending / less like fear, less like an ending”

sara groves – “less like scars”

there is a lot of wisdom there, and that doesn’t happen overnight.  it takes time and a lot of spiritual maturity to get to the point where you can look back on the road that brought you to the place where you now stand and not only see it as purposeful, but truly believe that every moment was divinely deliberate, even though you couldn’t see it.  as ’08 comes to a close, can you look at what you thought afflicted you and see it as something that empowered you… can you see what looked like a scar and see it as character… intentionally and specifically designed to equip you for what you couldn’t see yet?

i believe 2009 is going to be an amazing and important year.  i strongly believe that if you look through the eyes of faith in ’09, you will see what ’08 was really about.





born

29 12 2008

baby

“i was born to laugh, i learned to laugh through my tears / i was born to love, i’m gonna learn to love without fear…”

this is my story, this is my song…





merry christmas from wing!

25 12 2008

merry christmas to you all, from wing, who last year released an album of timeless christmas favorites.

wing

“everyone sings carols with wing” is sprinkled quite gingerly with popular standards such as “it came upon a midnight clear” and “santa claus is coming to town”, an assortment of traditional chinese numbers, as well as a few additional random selections that have nothing to do with chistmas at all.  my favorite would have to be wing’s version of mariah carey’s career song, “vision of love”, or as wing says, “wishion of wove”… and yes, she goes for it!  i’m not sure how this became associated with christmas or is considered a “carol” by any stretch of the imagination, but hey, it’s wing’s world and we’re just livin in it!

so to celebrate the birth of Jesus today, my gift to you is a few selections from “everyone sings carols with wing“.

as you sip your eggnog, exchange gifts and celebrate the birth of our Lord, gather your loved ones around the warmth of the glowing computer screen and let wing add her special brand of christmas joy to your celebration as only she can.

wing – joy to the world

wing – jingle bells

wing – vision of love

merry christmas and you’re welcome!  🙂





public service announcement

23 12 2008

during this holiday season, when folks are hustling and bustling from store to store trying to find the perfect gifts and best bargains, i want to take this occasion to make this public service announcement…

for the record, there is no such thing as going to “wal-marts”, “targets”, “best buys”, etc. unless you are indeed going to more than one location of a particular establishment.  this also includes “krogers”, “sonics” or any other proper noun whose name does not already either end with an “s” or another letter making a “s” sound (see “publix”) .

establishments such as “wendys”, “papa johns” or “kohls” are, in fact, exempt from this rule by default due to the correct spelling and use of their name.

additionally, use of “wal-marts”, “targets”, “best buys”, etc. will only be acceptable when preceded by the corresponding number of locations of said establishment which you either did or intend to visit.  for example, “i’m going to wal-marts to get some kettle corn” would be incorrect, while “i went to 5 targets and they were all sold out of wii nunchucks” would be correct.

remember: friends don’t let friends be country.

thank you and amen.





sounds of the season

23 12 2008

someone asked me today what my all time favorite christmas albums were.  i had to think about that for a minute, and i’m not sure i can say what my all time faves would be, but i can tell you what some of my current faves are.  here, in no particular order, are a few my favorite christmas albums.  all are worth your $10 or or so if you’re looking for good christmas music.

inbtimeless

at the top of my list is israel & new breed‘s “timeless christmas” album.  released in ’06, this is probably my all-time favorite christmas album.   it is a musical tour-de-force and a masterpiece that can be (and should be) experienced all year long, not just during the holidays. “hark!” features 2nd chapter of acts alum matthew ward and well.. whoa!  turn it up!

israel & new breed “hark!” (featuring matthew west)

mindysmith1

i blogged about her already last week, but i can’t do a favorite christmas music post without talking about mindy smith.  she is amazing and her “my holiday” album is stunning.  “away in a manger” features harmony bgvs by the one and only alison krauss, which is another reason to love this album.

mindy smith “away in a manger” (featuring alison krauss)

forestry

future of forestry are an alt-rock band out of southern california who weave emo-esque textures throughout rich musical arrangements with a unique sigur ros-ish feel, resulting in music whose beauty is its simplicity, but its depth is complex.  it should be experienced with candles and at high decibels.  their “advent christmas ep” was released last week and is the best $5 you could spend.

future of forestry “o holy night”

b2m

boyz ii men‘s “christmas interpretations” is one of my all time faves as well.  this christmas album captured the sound of early to mid 90’s r&b like no other.

boyz ii men “silent night”

briansetzer

the brian setzer orchestra‘s “christmas rocks” is a collection compiling material from a couple of their christmas releases.  it’s a rollicking, big band, swinging good time and makes me feel all good and christmas-y.

the brian setzer orchestra “let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!”

sarah

sarah mclachlan‘s voice is absolutely mesmerizing and her “wintersong” album is a work of art.  “christmastime is here” also features diana krall, another favorite of mine.

sarah mclachlan “christmastime is here” (featuring diana krall)

overtherhine

i was introduced to ohio-based husband and wife duo over the rhine a few years ago by my good friend matt, and i have been a fan ever since.  their “snow angels” album is a bit off the beaten path and has quickly become one of my favorites.

over the rhine “little town”

those are just a few of my christmas music favorites.  what are some of yours?





please. stop. immediately.

16 12 2008

i’m not going to lie.. beyonce’s little “single ladies” joint is a hot number, and the video is bangin.

h o w e v e r

all this knock-off/parody/interpretation business has got to stop immediately!

yes, the snl skit with justin timberlake was very funny.

and though somewhat disturbing, i could even deal with shane mercado’s take, which has earned him more than his allotted 15 minutes of fame.

but this… this is too much.  ladies and gentlemen, a line has been crossed.

before you watch it again to see if you saw what you think you saw, let me spare you… the answer is yes… you saw exactly what you think you saw.

from this moment forward, i am officially declaring a moratorium on all further parodies/interpretations of beyonce’s video, across the world and throughout the universe with all perpetuity.

please.  stop.  immediately.

cease and disest!