Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

It is hard to believe it is Saturday.  Life has slowed down tremendously since we hopped on that plane Tues. morning.  The big rush to de-clutter the house was done.  We were packed and gone.

Since then I’ve been doing some reading.  That has been hard for me lately.  I’ve had trouble concentrating.  There were far too many things going on, and I deperately needed a change of scenery- and weather.  I got both.  So my concentration has returned.  As you may have noticed, I read Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian.  Dr. Nicole taught me to read those I don’t agree with (or other ivew points) so I can see their own arguments first hand lest someone mischaracterize them.  Glad I read it, and I still disagree with him.

In addition to starting to read Job, I’m reading Sinclair Ferguson’s book on Ruth, Faithful God.  It is really good.  As someone who is going through a difficult time, I need that reminder that God’s plan is not always evident until it has completely unfolded.  And that might be long after you’re gone.

It’s not all serious- I’m reading a Dean Koontz novel I picked off the bookshelf here.

I’ve been helping my brother-in-law get the website ready for his business.  I’ll also be helping to get their financial system integrated on the software.  My sister-in-law has too much going on the learn the system and get it all integrated herself.  Since the guys at Riedinger & Sons are heading off to Mississippi for a missions trip today, I’ll be able to work on this with no new invoices etc. 

The weather has been quite varied.  Plenty of sun, and plenty of rain too.  The tempuratures are mostly in the 60’s-70’s.  A very nice  change of pace allowing me to sit outside and read.  Sadly, no cigars to enjoy outside.  But my sister-in-law provided me with some Smithwick’s Irish Ale as a treat.  Quite nice.

I helped my other brother-in-law work on his new house today.  I was priming the dry wall in a few closets.  And tonight I’m cooking some Cajun Back Ribs.

I know some of you are more concerned about the kids.  They are having a blast.  CavGirl loves coming here and playing with her cousins.  It is the first time CavBoy has come to the Farm.  He might be feeling a bit left behind as she goes on adventures with her cousins.  But he’s getting more adventurous.  Both are playing long and hard, so naps and night time have been met with quickly nodding off to sleep.  Parenting has required less time and energy.

I got some great pictures of the humming birds.  At one point there were 5 vying for the feeder.  I couldn’t get the beautiful finch.  He was too skittish when I came near with the camera.  That and the territorial battle he was engaged in with another bird.  I don’t have the right software here, so posting any of them will have to wait.

I was disappointed to discover that my capo and picks were not in the guitar case where I thought I left them.  This greatly reduces what I can do with old vacation guitar while I’m up here.

Well, a beautiful sunny afternoon is calling my name.

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U2 Album in the Can

@U2 reports that producer Daniel Lanois told Le Journal de Montreal that U2 has finished recording their newest album.

“It’s going to be different in several ways, but I think it’s similar from one point of view, namely that it’s going to push the known limits in the sound arena, the way Achtung Baby did in the past.”

This is what U2 does to keep it fresh, reinventing themselves.  It sounds like the Edge has been playing with some new toys.  Great guitar is always a plus for me.  I will probably be plunking down my cash shortly after this one is released.

If you haven’t been over there, here are some of the songs mentioned, though the ones near the end of the list are less likely to appear on this album.

  • The Cedars of Lebanon – Daniel Lanois revealed this track in an interview with the Montreal magazine, Voir. He said the song was inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
  • Moment of Surrender – Brian Eno reportedly told fans about this song outside Hanover Quay studios in early June, 2008. Eno called it “the best thing” he’s recorded with U2.
  • For Your Love – a song title seen on the band’s white board, as described in this article from the Fez recording sessions
  • One Bird – a song title seen on the band’s white board, as described in this article from the Fez recording sessions
  • No Line On The Horizon – Bono and Edge played this song for a USA Today writer during an in-the-car interview at the Sundance Film Festival. On hearing it, writer Anthony Breznican says “heavy distortion fills the car,” and later adds: “The song is rough, weaving between brutal guitar blasts underscoring the mellow title refrain.” Edge explains that the song “It came out of a new distortion box that my guitar tech got.”
  • Unknown Title – in the same interview with Anthony Breznican, Bono and Edge played a second song whose opening lyric is, “It’s six o’clock…”. Bono tells Breznican that numbers are significant in each of the new songs.
  • If I Could Live My Life Again – Bono says this song is “inspired by the great Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges.” Bono said he had just begun the song while speaking with author Michka Assayas in December, 2005. Their interview appears as the extra material in the paperback version of Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas.
  • Love Is All We Have Left – a song Bono named during his May, 2006, trip to Africa as one that he had recently written. “It’s like an old Broadway tune. I thought it was a Frank Sinatra song,” Bono said.
  • North Star,” a song from the How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb sessions which included a guest organ appearance from Michael W. Smith. In this CCM article, Smith describes the song as a tribute to Johnny Cash.
  • Mercy“, one of the last songs to get cut from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, described in Blender magazine as “a six-and-a-half-minute outpouring of U2 at its most uninhibitedly U2-ish”
  • Lead Me In The Way I Should Go” — a contender for Atomic Bomb first mentioned in this February, 2003, interview with Bono in Grammy Magazine
  • You Can’t Give Away Your Heart” – a contender for Atomic Bomb first mentioned in SPIN magazine

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I have not played much guitar since the adoption.  Foolishly, I have kept it at home since I sometimes play at our Family Small Group.  But there just doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to play.  Can’t play when the kids are awake, and if they are asleep….

Well, last night I needed to play.  I needed some truth in my head, and that is a great time for me to ponder lyrics and try to draw near to God.  It’s been a long week, and I needed some of that time.  So I played after the kids went to bed, but before they usually drift off to sleep.  And I played this morning after they all went to Bible Study Fellowship.  Ah, if only my callouses weren’t so thin.  Then I would have played longer.  Here’s part of my “song list”:

Blessed Be Your Name, I Need Thee Every Hour (Jars of Clay version), O Worship the King (Passion verison), Here is Love, Beautiful, Scandalous Night, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) [still learning this one], A Shield About Me, Guide Me, O Great Jehovah, Be Thou My Vision, From Depths of Woe I Raise to Thee.

Good for the soul.

In the quiet home this morning I read some more of In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson.  Actually, I read some last night too.  I try to read 2 chapters a day and am moderately successful.  I finally finished Part V- A Life of Wisdom.  Great stuff in there about discernment and character.  The material I read this morning intersected with my sermon.  We focus on circumstances, but God focuses on character.  My choices flow out of my character so my choices have to be focused on how God transform my character (truth and trial).  The chapter in question was on contentment.  Character traits like this must be learned through experience, as we bring truth to bear on them.

“Christians must discover contentment the old-fashioned way: we must learn it. … It is commanded of us, but, paradoxically, it is created in us, not done by us.  It is not the product of a series of actions, but of a renewed and transformed character. … This seems a difficult principle  for Christians today to grasp.  Clear directives for Christian living are essential for us.  But, sadly, much of the heavily programmatic teaching in evangelicalism places such a premium on external doing and acheiving that character development is set at a discount.  We live in the most pragmatic society on earth (if anyone can ‘do it,’ we can).  It is painful to pride to discover that the Christian life is not rooted in what we can do, but in what we need done to us.” 


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My daughter pulled my copy of the 77’s Sticks and Stones out this morning and asked to listen to it.  My heart skipped a beat in joy.  But I’m not sure she really understands the greatness that is this album.

I had listened to Ping Pong Over the Abyss as a new Christian back in ’86 or ’87.  I didn’t like it.  I wrote them off.  Then, on my initial visit to RTS Orlando, a guy named Andy Graham gave me a tape of Sticks and Stones.  I was converted.  It was alternative enough to be ‘cool’ and ‘pop’ enough to be accessible.  Sticks and Stones is a compilation of sorts featuring 14 hits, cast offs and unreleased takes.  There is plenty of great music here.

The album starts off with 3 alt-pop-rock numbers featuring some good guitar work.  Make that very good.  The focus of MT, Nowhere Else and This is the Way Love Is seems to be a relationship with Christ. 

The sound and subject matter shift with Perfect Blues.  It is a more blues oriented number about how none of us meets the standards of others in relationships.  It is about the struggle of relationships and expectations.  Once again Mike Roe provides some nice guitar work.

I had this album for years before I realized what Don’t, This Way was about.  I had thought it was about a failed relationship.  I was cranking the album in my apartment when the truth hit me like a ton of bricks.  It is, as the liner notes say, the saddest song ever.  It is about a lover looking over the dead body of their beloved.  It is a return to a more alt-pop-rock sound, but the music matches the lyrics to create a nearly perfect song.  There is plenty of mournful guitar to set the mood.  It nearly brings me to tears when I listen.  Some might find the length of song (7:22) excessive, but I don’t.  I love some of the extended jams on this disc.


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Our family worship is a “work in progress”.  We are seeking to raise our kids in “the fear and admonition of the Lord.” 

We’ve been praying with our daughter at meals and bedtime for quite some time.  That time has also included some songs she knows from Bible Study Fellowship, as well as a few simple songs from church like the Doxology.  Now our son joins us for those times.

The kids like it when I play my guitar, but since I can’t sing I don’t lead us in songs.

It has only been in the last couple of months that she has wanted us to read from her Bible before going to bed.  Sometimes she wants me to read from it other times during the day.  We really like the Jesus Storybook Bible.  All the stories connect to Jesus in some way, shape or form.  I’m not too keen on teaching her morality, but encouraging her to love and serve King Jesus our Great High Priest.  We’ve begun to give it as a gift to some of her friends.  You can see some sample pages.  CavSon has begun to sit still for those stories as well, which is progress.

I feel like slacker dad, but we have finally begun to catechize her.  She actually brings the booklet to me sometimes, asking me to read the questions to her.  Here’s what she knows so far.

Who made you?  God.

Of what were you made?  Dust.

What does that teach you?  To be humble (and mindful of death, but we haven’t really stressed that part).

Why were you made?  To serve God (I add to enjoy/love Him)  She often answers “because he made me” but we are getting there.

Next is- Why should you serve God?  Because He made us, saved us, and keeps us.

I will probably pick up a different children’s catechism.  I’m not wild about how this one is set up.  The number begins again with each section.


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The editor has been acting up, so my whole post got lost.  I’ll try to reconstruct….

I didn’t see much of the family on Saturday.  We enjoyed our normal Saturday breakfast together.  MMMMM… bacon and chocolate chip pancakes.  Then I was off to a premarital counseling session.  It has been awhile since I did a formal counseling session, so I was a bit rusty.  And we ran late, so I left for Orlando later than expected.

I had hoped to grab lunch in Orlando with an old friend before we went to a funeral.  A former roommate’s father had passed away after an incredibly long illness.  This guy had moved back in with his parents to help out.  He faces a rough road after having put much of life on hold for years.  But it was like old home week as I was able to talk to a bunch of old friends from Orangewood PCA.  Most of the time we spent together before I moved to Winter Haven we were all single.  Some of us are married now, so our topics of conversation are decidedly different.

My friend Robert edits a boating magazine.  His wife gave me a copy of a recent magazine.  Every once in a while his family benefits by travelling with him on assignment.  This copy had his family snorkling for scallops while reviewing a boat.  So CavDaughter liked seeing pictures of my friends and their kids.  Unfortunately she now wants me to buy a fancy boat.

As I drove home, quite hungry, I listened to the Red Sox – Yankees game on the radio.  That is until the rain delay started.  I arrived home around 6:30 to wolf down some pizza and spend time with the kids before beginning their bedtime routine.  After putting them to sleep I was able to enjoy watching Papelbon put the finishing touches on the Yankees.  Since Beckett is on my fantasy baseball team, I really wanted him to get the win.

I woke up to discover that my fantasy team was ahead going into the final day but my 13-3 lead was now 9-7.  Not looking good as my power & RBI guys slump, particularly Big Papi.  Soon I was distracted from my misery by my kids’ delight in a sand hill crane.  They are common this time of year, but who can understand the heart of a child.  If the photo editor was working right, you’d see a picture of the crane, and notice his pretty red head.

Off to church where I am still not comfortable sitting and listening.  I’m sure the people in front of my did not enjoy my singing.  Neither CavWife or I were particularly wild about the sermon.  He really didn’t seem to stick to the text.  It was more of a topical sermon on the exaltation of Jesus (a much needed topic, to be sure).  There were some typos in the outline.  “Jesus Christ as me Savior and me Lord”.  The seminary student next to us quipped that it must be the pirate confession.  My cynical side came out as I considered application of the text had been reduced to checking a box on the outline.  Worse, conversion is no longer even walking the aisle but merely checking the box.  I know that is probably not s.o.p. for the pastor, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

After the kids’ nap time, it was off to Family Study.  I tried to lead the singing on my guitar, but I’m not a worship leader.  It would help if I could actually sing.  You think?  I then taught on 1 Peter 2:11-12.  We focused on the 2 sides of sanctification: mortification and vivefication.  In Peter’s terminology this is abstaining from sinful desires and living such good lives … I mentioned a Thomas Chalmers’ quote via Sinclair Ferguson about the “expulsive power of a greater delight.”  When we delight in Christ most of all, the deceitful desires of the flesh have less of a hold on us.

So here I sit, the kids are asleep and I’m hoping the Sox can take the rubber game against the Yankees, and that Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis can help me hold on to my lead.  The way this game is going, I’ll be in bed by 12:30.  I don’t think I’ll be rested for this very long week.

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