the rose

19 06 2009

this is so powerful.





changes

25 04 2009

season changes

my life changes

memory changes

my love changes

system changes

my world changes

Jesus, Jesus… never changes

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got religion?

8 03 2009

i know these are a couple years old, but i just stumbled across them this afternoon.  funny, but interesting takes on being religious from a series of videos about “connecting with God without being religious”.  in my life, i’ve seen more division, strife and pride produced in the name of “religion” than anything.  ick.  i have yet to see where religion of any kind produces grace, and probably never will.  i dig these and can relate to them all.  you?  holla.





friday throwback

27 02 2009

i used to be a pretty big janet jackson fan.  i’ve been on board since 1986’s monster control album and still count her 1993 janet. record as one of my favorite albums ever, with “that’s the way love goes” easily being in my personal all time top 10 favorite songs.

i still dig pretty much everything pre-2003 or so, though I don’t think she’s made a solid record since 2001’s all for you.  it is my firm belief that once jermaine dupri’s influence entered into the picture, it all started to go down hill and has continued to get progressively worse over her past 3 album releases.  there was a chemistry between janet and long-time friends and musical collaborators jimmy jam and terry lewis that dupri was never able to come close to… ever.

so, i was quite happy at recent news that after 2 consecutive big time album flops and as many subsequent much-publicized major-label departures accompanied by much finger-pointing, janet is reuniting with jam & lewis for a new album, though who knows when and where it will be released.  it was so interesting to me that after both 20 y.o. and discipline flopped, janet and dupri were quick to blame the labels (virgin and island def jam, respectively) for “disappointing performance” and “lack of promotion”.  really?  i mean, seriously?  lack of promotion for a janet record?  from 2 different labels?  what are the odds?  how about a lack of creativity and good songs?  by historical janet jackson standards, both of those albums were wack and aside from her rabid, core fans, folks weren’t having it.  discipline would have been an ok ciara record, but janet?  trust me, having worked in the industry and at a label, i don’t care how much money you throw at promotion, if it’s wack, it won’t move.  or, as i’ve often heard, ‘you can’t polish a turd’… hahaha.  my hope remains.  🙂

but i digress…  today’s friday throwback is from happier times when the jackson/jam/lewis hit machine was in full effect and janet was riding high on the success of 1989’s “janet jackson’s rhythm nation 1814”, which i will admit to being quite obsessed over at the time. that album became the only album in history to contain seven top five hit singles (6 of which were certified gold, one platinum) and the only album to ever achieve number one hit singles in three separate calendar years (1989-1991), two records that still stand to this day.  in a time when artists are putting out 2 and sometimes 3 singles before their album even releases, that stat is extremely impressive.

picture-144

anyhoo… “i hope we can find the time this weekend to relax and unwind… come on baby, let’s get away/let’s save our troubles for another day”…  this video is from 1990… almost 20 years ago… w o w!  i love this song.  happy friday. 🙂





are you dangerous?

6 01 2009

“all men dream but not equally.  those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.” – t.e. lawrence





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.