It is true that I am stubborn, opinionated, driven, direct, and sometimes volatile(even operatic).
All that said, I am loyal to a fault, and I will sacrifice for you. I will find a way to succeed and achieve THE goal. (The one we discussed, agreed to and clarified)
I ask for and require respect and deference for my experience and track record. I will carry my load and be there. How close you are to my inner circles is largely up to you.
You might think I’m talking about a marriage here, but I’m not. This prose is about relationships with friends and family. Circles of trust require results to move close into the inner sanctum.
Marriage is different.
Marriage is a COVENANT between a man and woman made before GOD with GOD at its center. It is not some sort of legal contract. It breathes evolves and lives in relationship for better or worse. It IS the inner sanctum.
Back to the circles. I don’t know how many there are in my mind. I do know that there are lines and I’d prefer to have fewer. More than 2-3 groups is more than I can maintain.
Friendships come and go and when they go, they are often gone for good. Understanding my needs, behaviors, and choices sets the boundaries clearly.
I treasure and revere authenticity and loyalty. You can trust me. It is rare that I find others who I trust so much as to promote them, allow them into my heart and mind.
Living together is a hard thing.
Spending decades trying to impress and belong within the pretentious self righteous erudites,
I built a life, prepared, sacrificed, saved, and provided.
All the while I ignored the simple fact that I don’t really know how to love living.
Were those plans were garbage? Every day is an opportunity. Tomorrow is built on? Only God knows.
When someone shows what they are willing (or not willing) to do, this invariably informs what they can (or cannot) do. Believe them.
This is who they are in the moment, in the reality of now.
Near and far may change slightly, but in my experience that is rare and hard for them. It becomes harder if I ignore the practical reality of NOW.
#managers #family #teammates #peers #employees
This common sense is not all that common. Too often I take it for granted. Do you? That is the big question. Attitude is almost everything. That is practical reality.
This is the eternal game isn’t it. Each one of us has a view and perspective of what we should do and what others “should” do. The reality is that normal is not a real thing. Just as common sense is NOT common, defining normal is dependent on hundreds of shifting variables and social environmental conditions.
Local local local… location location location. The only way to reconcile a particular view of normal is to narrow the conditions of conformity to specific local connections and communicate communicate communicate.
I understand now that I am not normal. I don’t think any of us is normal. I can’t even define what is normal for my own family anymore and neither can anyone else.
And yet… the reconciliation effort goes on and on. Every day is an opportunity to break the cycle and just accept myself and others as they are without comparison to some ridiculous standard of collective judgement.
Google or Search for: Jeff Prillaman or Vatenor or Virginia Tenor
(Most Recent.. Best quality, long form concerts too) https://vimeo.com/showcase/6960266
(older with lots of reference and fun recordings) https://www.youtube.com/user/VaTenor
Is progress happening for you, with your help or in spite of you? Deciding the balance/split for enabling versus blocking is a key metric to evaluate “mission readiness” for a team.
The deadlines, rate of task completion, and volume of work expectation comes from leadership. The success or failure comes from the work itself and the team’s effectiveness in achieving defined success criteria.
Scope schedule and budget can and do change but it the individual contribution and mindset for the “work” that tells the true tale. In the results we see whether the story is mostly fiction or non-fiction.
Team members MUST be accountable.
Leadership MUST be flexible.
How we get to the end of the story is a series of waterfall obstacles, rapids/burns, and a lot of rowing and steering.
Just keep swimming was good part of Finding Nemo.
“Culture eats strategy for lunch” is how the one liner reads. It’s true but neither of these is really a thing.
Culture is simply a collection of behaviors and choices made by individuals and groups.
Strategy is simply a collection of tactics and choices made by individuals and groups.
The whole game here is observing results and perspectives and calling out balls and strikes. Each of us makes choices. It is only by measuring and evolving those choices that our constantly changing culture can inform and support a winning strategy.
The bottom line is: choices and behaviors make the winners and the losers. Yes, culture eats strategy for lunch, but I choose my tactics and results follow. The good the bad and the ugly are opportunities for different behaviors. That might just be a cultural strategy.
I have attended church and worked/led in churches for over 30 years now. In March of 2021 that all changed. I have not attended anywhere regularly since then, for over a year… shocking to consider but true.
Typical church leadership drama played out at my most recent position but that wasn’t the issue. My recognition of reality is what hit me.
The churches that I see are fully committed to their building, their programs and their existing group of attendees. They expect the rest of world, community to fit into their way. This is fundamentally and perhaps irreparably broken.
Covid exposed the reality viscerally. Most of them are already dead and just waiting for the current member to physically pass on. In Covid, Churches retreated from fellowship and faith into consumerism watch on TV telechurch. They embraced the concept that watching a sermon and writing a check was enough. Sunday schools in most shut down. Fellowship Meals disappeared. Choirs stopped rehearsing. Funerals and wedding were not allowed because government said so. Catastrophic does not even begin to cover it.
Reality check. This model was already entrenched in minds of nearly all. Covid devotion must accelerated and exposed the death curve. Bold leaders and faith communities were judged and cancelled. It happened and it is done. It is finished.
So now what?
A church at its core must exist as a fellowship of believers choosing to serve together. Sermons, education, choirs, and the myriad of programs are important but secondary to the people. A church can exist and worship without almost all of those. Think : where 2-3 are gathered… The programs are derived FROM the fellowship, not to the fellowship.
I’m actively looking for a community like this. Alive and committed to one another above all. But that commitment must balance to some unbalanced number in service to be true to great commission. Maybe 70/30 external/internal. Maybe even 90/10. Every fellowship community must decide for themselves what their devotional notion is.
When the balance tips to managing and maintain the internal above the capability to serve outwardly, the church is officially dying.
That 2 or 3 number is conceptually more of a maximum for me rather than a minimum. Smaller numbers of believers gathering and loving and serving are the foundation.
I don’t honestly know if God will provide me this fellowship regularly as I’ve conceived of it in the past. I long for a place to devote my musical skills to encouragement and service. We shall see.
If you read this, Contact me. Is your church dead or dying. I’d like to put them on my prayer list and you as well. I’m sure God has answers and I don’t. The obstacle we face are our way forward. #1 obstacle I see is authentically LOVING one another. We don’t love a place or a class. We love one another and we then must put that love into practice with bold passion and resolute discipline. Love ya. Jeff
Finding the line in 2022 is a challenge. How much involvement with a friend is enough? FaceTime, face to face, texting, email, social media, tik tok. All of these are channels for connecting and communication and yet our society seems more disconnected than ever.
I honestly don’t know how much time to give or expect anymore. Assumicide runs rampant ate every level and the consequences of mistakes are visceral. Was I supposed to know that? Was I supposed to ask about that? Do I call too much? How do you know?
Shared lives are connected by social lines. Those lines connect and divide, often based on assumptions, context, culture, and history. To answer who my friends are forces me to prioritize. Friends DO have expectations of one another. That is how the world works.
Applying this logic to family get much more intense. Stakes are higher. In theory the grace should be more abundant and forgiveness easier. This is rarely true when the assumicide weapons of digital communication are deployed.
the 2022 social lines are drawn. The courage to cross them and love and expect and be accountable for consequences of choices is rare. I aspire to be so much better at all of this. Cest la vie.
Palm Sunday is excellent. We the people celebrate the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem. We wave palms and sing and celebrate. Jesus had a different view. He was fulfilling prophecy. The very first thing he did when he arrived was to go to the temple and throw the falseness out. He turned over the tables. He diminished the building in his teaching and explained how it would be destroyed.
The leaders of that “church” led the charge to crucify him. The people with their fickle and weak understanding followed suit and Christ was tormented and crucified.
It is important to remember the story.
It is important to removed our part in the story.
It is important to remember the lessons of the Holy Week.
Most of all it is critical to remember that in spite of us God rose up and showed us that the grave is nothing to Him.
His love for us was that great. We sing Hosanna and wave our palms and we are blessed in spite of what we are about to do. The price and consequence is paid in full.
Palm Sunday is excellent!! Indeed. Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. It is right to give Him thanks and praise.
I lost connection to to many friends and families during the Covid panic. The prevailing logic was to just use social media to stay “aware” but this proved to be false and even worse than no connection at all. In reality, the incessant whining and searching for relevance and popularity empowered the FBs to control my life and actually divided and disconnected us all even further. The Rules of appropriate and respectful caring connection communication are non existent or at a minimum severely perverted in the digital realm.
The only solution is live face to face contact. To talk, to sing, to eat, and to celebrate together we MUST be together. Even calling and messaging cannot and will not substitute for physical time. This reality is subject to the overly committed personal calendars which each of us freely build. It seems that our “social” society, at least mine, has decided that other priorities are more important. This is lunacy.
My solution is to set aside time and let my crew choose. I model a spirit and practice of hospitality. I seek to build in the expectation that they are welcome, as a regular ritual. We work together, we talk, we eat and sing and try hard to avoid any and all judgement. The time makes this real.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At the core all I can control is my own behavior and choices and I respect others’ above all. My friends and family must choose to be social, real and present. This exposes us to emotions and failures for sure, but it opens us to celebrations and life together.
What is the alternative to this time committed and connected? Disconnected delusions of connection where the illusion of caring substitute for authenticity is a recipe for full scale cultural chaos. It cannot be mandated. It cannot be dictated.
How does the priority work out for this time thing?. It goes like this.
The sabbath is and was set aside to remind each of us to stay connected. We used to do this by going to church. In the world today, we have come to understand that we ARE the church. The social Sunday sabbath provides the very essence and foundation for success in every facet of life, if priorities are in order.
Start somewhere. Will you, can you, do you choose to make time together a priority. Choose wisely. Your future and your family’s future depends on it.
“So let’s do it— full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
We are the church.
We choose to connect.
We choose relationship.
We choose what worshiping means and how it is done.
The framework and timing is in the book.
The choice remains. What will you choose? Who will you choose? How will you choose?
It is possible that I am not a nice person. Perhaps I just “play one on TV”. As a performer, I certainly learned to play my role, and wear the mask as Pagliacci brutally illustrates.
I prefer to think that I am actually a passionate person, with high emotions, and ability…. Who under adverse conditions can to be too aggressive. The more personal and higher the stakes, the farther I will push the limit. Is this nature or nurture. I don’t know. It just is. This is viewed and consumed as “Not nice”, in overly simplistic terms.
If I were willing to play the victim card, I could blame society, my family, my mother/father, even my community and church for oppressing me. I am not willing to play the victim. I own my choices and actions. My results and achievements, both good and bad, are on full display.
That is another aspect of being a performer at heart. I’m not all that subtle and smooth, even when I think I am. I can only control what I do and say, not how it is perceived. I am accountable for both the intention AND the result of those words and actions/choices.
Perhaps, I am not nice. It is possible.
This is how I think the Ukrainian war will end. I hope that Russia is held to the East. I think Putin is a war criminal who wants to expand westward to the Carpathian Mountains both for resources and glory. I hope that the military aid and sanctions have an effect and allow the Proud Ukrainians to prevail.
I wrote this on 3/5 with information from many sources.
NATO’s weakness encouraged this aggression. Ukrainians are dying because of it. It is deplorable and a tragedy.
This conflict is the first to have a real social media component.
analysis from a guy who watches a lot of news, reads a lot of books, and is a globally aware technology “guru”
Assigning a moral value to public health policy is a particular insidious development of the last 2 years. It is now common place and must be countered.
I will always be here for you. Until I’m not. That day and time is not known to either of us and it is not to be feared.
Your life is yours. Your success is yours. Your failure is yours just as my failures are mine. I’ve failed a lot. I got up and kept on going down my path. I want you to do the same but not have to get up as much as I did.
Seeing you fall/fail hurts me. I have to walk the line allowing for your free will but I never want you to fail and I want you to succeed period. For you. Not for me.
My path is mine. I walk it and you are bound to it as my child and as commanded in scripture. I chose you as your parent. As an adult. You must choose me as an adult. Freely. This is not trivial.
Your path is yours. I want to be nearby and walk with you often but choosing the direction is for you. I am bound to it as your father and as commanded in scripture. If and when I can help you, I will.
I am still walking my path. I figure this stuff out one step at a time and I often make it up as I go along. You are doing and will do the same.
I do not want to control you. I yearn to be able to protect and guide you whether you need it or not.
God willing, I’m not going anywhere any time soon.
I will always be here for you. Until I’m not. That day and time is not know to either of us and it is not to be feared. I know this because God loves you and me both.
We are specific beloved firstborn children of God above all. Both of us.
We all agree that medicine and public health have become far too political and partisan. The fix is available.
1. Government (Biden) must publicly communicate that the only goal is for people to live healthy and happy lives in their own terms.
2. He must say that vaccine mandates are bad but he believes that they are saving lives. That train has already left the station.
3. He must accept that natural immunity is a thing, vaccines don’t last, vaccines can’t beat Covid, and treatment of the disease both proactively and retroactively is the way forward. People ARE going to get sick. The messaging should be : we have the knowledge and technology to help you stay alive and it is getting better every day. Restoring trust in local doctors is the best and ONLY real path forward. The political leadership and bureaucrats must empower doctors and get out of the press. Period.
4. He must remove the masking mandates. They are too invasive and divisive and are distracting from the goal to save lives and make lives better. Pulling the explosives from this ongoing feud is critical. Leadership must focus on results. Masking doesn’t meet the standard of proof. It isn’t sustainable and consistent.
Restoring any level of trust in government messaging will take years. It needs to start now.
FWIW. I don’t think that he will do any of this because it requires honesty and integrity and it isn’t politically popular. He doesn’t care about results in my opinion, he and the political ruling and academic elite only care about power and control.
Unmet expectations cause injury. Period. Met expectations have a short lifespan in memory. All too often they are taken for granted. The focus always turns to the mistakes and misses. This is human reality and requires constant intention to remediate. The consequences of assuming are bad.
Expectations that have not been communicated, clarified, AND agreed upon will not be met. This is a foundation for progress.
Who decides what they are and how to check the box? To make progress and count success there has to be a reference and reality based view of the gaps.
Tasks are not milestones. Days are not milestones. That said, each of these can be a milestone marker when combined with other factors.
After I succeed, the world decides that it was so simple. Everyone could have done that they whisper and shout. Reality is that this is not true. I saw it. I set out to do it. I asked for help and gave help and had good days and bad. It is the sum of the total effort that allows me to track success.
My milestones for 2021 were not as fixed as I like. Fluid days, fluid, even volatile moods and methods generated action and results. The milestone is checked. 2021 DBD… Deciding success or failure is TBD.
Advent simplicity that we don’t know.
The advent season reminds, restarts, and renews. As we remember and celebrate the arrival of Jesus Christ, the light of the world, everything literally stops and holds. The focus is on the star, the child, the light.
All of our worldly “lights” dim in comparison in respect and deference to the source. Don’t get me wrong, I love the candles, and the bells, with choirs and songs and stunning experiences envisioned and executed by men old and new but the simplicity of the child is unparalleled in its message and personal connection to my heart mind and soul.
For too long, I’ve focused on the buildings, the smells, sounds, and the singing. What matters is the smiles and the eyes of the hearts as they open and understand. The advent of the true king is a spectacle beyond the imagination of men. The best we can do is focus on a child and fall on our knees. We humble ourselves at the manger with its ugly, loud, decidedly unchurchy vision. The ox and the ass bow along with the sheep. The angels and the shepherds give honor and praise.
The king is here in this moment. He was, is, and will always be. Emmanuel, God with us, reminds us of HIS amazing love. He reminds us that OUR work is only just beginning. Advent is indeed the end of the beginning. The story we find ourselves in is not written nor is it complete even as it is fully known. It just isn’t known by you and me and that is alright.
This is why you MUST test daily weekly and anytime your overseers dictate.
If the powers that be can focus the population on tests then they can control you via administrative policy. Enforcement will of course be executed by non MD administrative functions. This is lunacy as it disintermediates medical professionals.
Public health policy politicians that essentially ignore the impacts to mental health, cancer screenings, trust in medical establishment/system, access and hospital hesitancy, in favor of do what I say demigod delusions are a scourge upon the world. They prioritize the many over the few and they fail.
The arbitrary and often wrong POLICY perpetrated by pseudo professionals is pathetic and the people must reject it. We need courageous doctors who care ultimately about their local patients first and foremost. Their individual patients always come first. Our MDs must stand against this idiocy.
The reporting is a big rub as well. Testing is only helpful en masse if it includes reporting. The public should not be reporting directly to the govt on private health information. This only feeds the disease which is the fear and foolish control policies ignoring the real total impact to the public’s health.
NIH, CDC and Government Public Health guidance is best consumed and managed by doctors, NOT the general public via media and social media.
Public health politicians are drunk and addicted to power and money given to them by a panicked fearful population. The Solution? Ignore them and strengthen your relationship with your doctor. Local local. Local.
Top 5 reasons to DUMP social media
I’ve had more than a few insightful moments since I flew the coop and left social media behind. It is really interesting to consider how blinded I was up until the last month.
It is the very simplest idea of living that fuels the grandest, most transformational system. It is in the day to day step by step that I see why.
To create or to consume. The balance is the razors edge.
The cut is epic in its ability to change. Nothing is so simple as the choice to cut or not to cut, to separate or combine. The consequences of the choice are not simple and so the systems are born.
I have tried to limit and even pause social media’s influence on my time and life at least three separate times in the past 5 years. I knew my time and attention was unproductive . My emotional state after spending time “there” was unhealthy and yet each time I went back because I didn’t want to lose touch with friends around the world. That was a fallacy.
I am not really connected to these people that I care about when I use FB or any of the “others”. The posting actually distances me from them in most of not all cases. I write and share and the medium censors me, colors my comments, infects them with unsaid insinuations, and even hijacks my messaging altogether. All the while, the social experiment company is monetizing my addiction to being connected. This is NOT okay.
I write and speak quite often about examples and personal liberty to speak and act with agency and authority and all of its associated responsibility. I am hitting the reset button.
I actually shut my social media service down. Connections are certainly still available and highly valued but I have left Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram… their toxic brew of emotional judgment and half truth condemnations is gone from my life. I have left some of you. I may have disappeared. If you care enough to prioritize, you will seek me out via this site. My writing, concerts, videos, and the ability to find me is pretty simple. Use Vatenor@me.com if you don’t know my normal personal contact info.
I do want to stay connected with many of you from my past, both physical and digital. The digital landscape has evolved. I’m a 1x1 or 1 to few kind of a guy these days. This is the way. I have spoken.
I remember the first time I sang the Messiah solos of Comfort ye and Every Valley. It was in the chapel at Princeton Seminary for a wedding. I wonder how good I was as a 19 year old. Today, I heard my son sing his first pass at the Messiah solos at Ardmore Baptist in Winston Salem. He was so much better than I was at his age. Style, composure, artistic message, command, and fine, elegant singing. Tenors are a funny stressed bunch of souls. Singing comfort ye is not comforting normally. Today, I was calm and comforted for lots of reasons.
The artistry of the the PrillaKids is well known to most but today it feels like the first time I’m comfortable that the coming valleys will indeed be straight. I’ve sung that line hundreds of times, but clearly I need to listen more than talk more often. They have got this.
First time I’m comfortable saying that I’ve turned the page. Every day is a chance to step back and see that all we like sheep have gone astray and yet Hallelujah and amens still happen in spite of us. Our masks are ripped off and the face is there for all to see.
Intersection of principles and practices...