It is difficult if not impossible to find oxygen to breathe elegance, beauty, integrity, excellence and love in a room filled with the fires of hatred, discord, disgust, and demagoguery. As artists, we have a role to play. We must use emotions to influence but not inflame. Fire burns and consumes. It destroys its creator and becomes a living but dead thing. We must extinguish the flames, and then we can begin the process to build. We can make our world great. Will we?
Virtue flows from a focus on higher things. We must stand and be counted but we must stand on a foundation that is solid rather than molten. We as a society have elevated virtue signaling above virtue, and as a result, everything is burning. That is a real challenge that burns in my mind over and over. #Inspiredbyfriend
Listen. -- needs to be clarified.
Listen... to the voice which tells you what you can be, what you can do. Listen to the voice which explains how and when and why. Listen most of all to the voice which shows you the way in action, sacrifices, and accomplishments.
Do not listen to the voice which highlights your failures. Do not listen to the voice which applauds itself for its greatness. Do not listen to the voice which speaks the same tired semantics in the same scenarios, oblivious to its own demise.
Listening is harder when talking. Consider to whom you listen carefully. Consider the impact of your actions and inactions even more carefully.
Distrust leads to disregard.
Disregard leads to disgust.
Disgust leads to demagoguery.
Demagoguery drives division.
Division codifies distrust.
Diversity complicates but it is the life blood of humanity and progress. Unity does not require uniformity.
Men, all men have many dreams and many failings.
Some rise and some fall. Many settle and stop seeking the highest places and examples because of their failures, real and perceived. Honor and authority flow to those who stand in the gap between rage and lunacy. The men of men lead and seek to avoid the weak place of cowards and fools.
Men of men no longer seek renown. Instead, men of men seek repose and respect.
Men have regrets. Men of men have many regrets. Repose and respect flow from regrets.
How we make decisions is in crisis. My version of the US culture has become dependent on the national media and its anecdotal, limited context, ratings driven sensationalism. We hear about isolated instances of tragedies and emotional, gut wrenching stories and we the people begin to extrapolate and apply those outliers to the entire population, to our local world. This WRONG.
One size does not fit all. It never has. It never will. The divisions and natural biases of our world views is bubbling up and exploding. The guidance and governance for large populations is radically different from families and households and neighborhoods in a free country. We as Americans are allied to do things differently, succeeding and failing, even moving from region to region when necessary to find better decisions makers and conditions for living. We are connected but separate.
Reopening America is a state by state, locality by locality decision at this point. We will see good stories, and we will see tragic examples of outliers. When we gravitate towards the Covid19 anecdotal deaths and hot spot stories, and the appropriate grief we are missing that overall, the risk and mortality rates are low.
When we ignore the inconvenient truths that millions are in devastating home situations now because of our collective shutdown choices. Jobs gone. Lives in chaos. Families struggling with depression, hunger, and the basics of life.
When we ignore the overwhelming evidence that our medical system is safe and instead looks to politicians and bureaucrats and MEDIA for medical and health guidance we FAIL . Our doctors and nurses are amazing, and our system is built on individual, local responsibility, and day to day decisions. Doctors get their expertise from their expert organizations. They are trained to discern between anecdotal data and true guiding medical science.
When we ignore the experts in front of us for the personas and stories on the TV and internet we fail. Good decisions are hard. One size does not fit all. Americans must stand and be counted. We must succeed and fail. We can help one another by connecting to those around us. Doctors. Pastors. Teachers. Farmers. Neighbors. Our individual experience is not automatically relevant to the world. It IS relevant to US. Here. And Now.
We all wear masks these days. Online and in person we mumble, and shout and hide our fear with outrage. We condemn and judge one another to show how right we are. The mask does virtually nothing to protect others. It is for us. It makes us feel safe in our hiding and in our isolation.
Removing the mask is liberating. We freely admit that we are not in control of the world as we breathe deeply, showing our smiles, frustrations and fears to all.
God sees through the mask and loves us regardless. We must live in the world that He makes, without the mask.
I’m convinced that Pastors often preach to themselves and the rest of us just listen. On that, do they listen to their own sermons? I wonder as I wander... from service to service, denomination to denomination... day to day.
We all hear what we choose regardless.
Listening is the key. Talking less helps. It isn’t a coincidence that Silent Night and Holy Night are so impactful. Holiness is most often associated with stillness and listening to God and for God in the still small voices. Do you hear what I hear? ... and bells.
I love bells and candles. The fire and the piercing nature sing into the silence.
I’m looking for Christian musician(s) in MHC to work with me, teach me, and learn with me as we design/build transformative music performances for worship.
Heart of artist is critical... skills for arranging and exploring excellence in ALL styles... must be willing to blend classical liturgical traditions with contemporary/pop/jazz/rap —- to create a dynamic “flow”... guitar, bass, percussion, piano, organ, brass, winds.... all play parts... and Singing is the key. #JustSing
We will rehearse and plan and work at Rolling Ridges and around... schedule TBD
Bonus: familiar with concepts and expectations outlined in this important text by Rory Noland.
Intersection of principles and practices...