From the Vaults: Down in the Valley

I heard Doc Watson’s version of this old spiritual in the late 80s and recorded an accapella version of it for fun.

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Down in the Valley

Posted in Music at January 12th, 2011. 1 Comment.

A New Year, A New Beginning

I haven’t been on here for a while. I took a break because I felt I needed to do so after some personal upheaval in my life. I was pretty sure that eventually I would take it back up when I was ready. I think I am ready now. But I realize that before I get back into this I should share with you why the break became necessary. Read More…

Posted in Uncategorized at January 5th, 2011. 2 Comments.

The Misconception of a Christian Nation

I have already written about the separation of church and state and why it is important for Christians. Rather than repeat it here I would ask that you read my other blog posts on the subject (see the “Kingdom of Man” category). Instead of repeating the points I made in those pieces, I would rather address some things about David Barton’s organization—WallBuilders—and the argument they attempt to make that seem strange to me.

It is strange that some (perhaps many) Christians work so hard to promote America as being a Christian nation when we are already citizens of a Christian nation. Now, granted, the nation we already belong to has no government, no physical property on earth and no boundaries. But once we accepted Christ we became part of the kingdom of God. God is our founding father, Jesus is our sovereign and the Bible is our history, our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Christ’s death was our revolution. When we accepted the gift of grace offered to us, God annexed the only property He is interested in—our hearts.

And yet, there are believers for whom this apparently isn’t enough. They believe that America is meant to be some kind of earthly kingdom of God. Groups like WallBuilders are built on a great fallacy: that America is a Christian nation. And not just a Christian nation, but THE Christian nation. That America is the new Promised Land and that Americans are a chosen people. And that democracy is a gift of God.

But Jesus tells us His kingdom is NOT of this earth (John 18:36). He says that if you want to enter it you MUST be born again (John 3:3, 5). And that we don’t enter it, it enters us (Luke 17:21). Read More…

Posted in Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Man at August 31st, 2010. 1 Comment.

Music Thursday: I Found a Friend, O Such a Friend

Here is a demo version of a great old hymn. The arrangement is kind of Celtic and features my mandolin playing, such as it is.

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I Found a Friend, O Such a Friend

Posted in Music at July 8th, 2010. No Comments.

Summer Rerun: Liberty and Justice for All

I have been busy recently (with moving and starting a new job), so I thought I would indulge in a rerun of a piece that I put up originally in February. Since yesterday was the 4th of July, I thought it might be good to get it out there again.
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“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation, under God, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all”—The Pledge of Allegiance

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 8:32

Liberty and justice. That’s what we’re all looking for, right? Isn’t that supposedly the great promise of the United States of America—liberty and justice for all? I think most people would answer yes. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, to defining what it means to be free and what it means to receive justice, well, that is when the discussion, debates, and arguments begin. Read More…

Posted in Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Man at July 5th, 2010. No Comments.

Music Thursday: One Day More

Here is an orchestral piece I wrote a few years back. Recently I have worked up a solo guitar version of it as well, just for fun. Maybe I’ll put that up sometime.

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One Day More

Posted in Music at July 1st, 2010. No Comments.

Be Where You Are

“Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.”—Ecclesiastes 5:18

This is an idea I am trying to come to grips with at the moment. My personal life is in quite a bit of upheaval at the moment and I don’t see any relief from that for the foreseeable future. Through it all I find myself mentally rethinking, reliving and reevaluating past decisions and actions, perhaps believing that had I only done something differently or made a different decision the scenario I find myself in could have been avoided.

I also find myself thinking about the future and how the decisions I am making in the midst of this upheaval might play themselves out. Or thinking about future outcomes I would like to see and about what decisions or actions I need to make today to achieve those outcomes.

But then I read a passage like this one and others like it throughout the book of Ecclesiastes (which I am currently studying) and I am reminded that the present is the most important time I will ever live in. Read More…

Posted in Bible Study at June 28th, 2010. 2 Comments.

Music Thursday: World Keeps Turning

In an act of blatant self-promotion I am posting the title song from my new CD. It should be available for sale from CD Baby, eMusic and even iTunes in the near future. This is not a new song, but was originally recorded for a CD by a former band, The Steves. However, since that CD only sold about 12 copies, I decided to re-record it.

If anyone is in the vicinity of Ephrata, PA on Friday night (June 25) I will be playing at the Ten Thousand Villages Cafe at 6:30 pm.

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World Keeps Turning

Posted in Music at June 24th, 2010. No Comments.

From the Vaults: Still I Dream About It

Back in the late 80s I was working as a salesman in a mattress store. Since I was the only person there the owner said I could work on anything I wanted as long as I could stop when a customer came in. So I set up a recording studio around my desk using a 4-track cassette recorder and recorded a bunch of demos there.

This is another song written with my old friend Mark Babikow, and features him on lead guitar. I play everything else, including a drum track created by hitting a faux-leather chair with drum sticks.

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Still I Dream About It

Posted in Music at June 17th, 2010. 1 Comment.

No Law Against Good Fruit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22, 23

The part of these verses that I’ve been thinking about is not the “fruit of the spirit” part that everyone knows, but the last part. I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard a sermon about the last six words of this passage. This is kind of amazing to me, because as important as the first sentence is, the second sentence is just as important. At least to me.

“Against such things there is no law.” What a freeing thought that is! There is no law that exists that prevents me from exhibiting the fruit of the spirit. That prevents me from living out my faith in the way that Jesus tells us (and show us) is the most important. It may as well say that against such things there can be no law. I mean, how could there be a law against love, against joy, against peace, against patience, etc. Read More…

Posted in Bible Study, Kingdom of God at June 14th, 2010. No Comments.