Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Green Album!

Track listing:
1. Muppet Show Theme Song, OK Go
2. Rainbow Connection, Weezer and Hayley Williams
3. Mahna Mahna, The Fray
4. Movin’ Right Along, Alkaline Trio
5. Our World, My Morning Jacket
6. Halfway Down the Stairs, Amy Lee
7. Mr. Bassman, Sondre Lerche
8. Wishing Song, The Airborne Toxic Event
9. Night Life, Brandon Saller of Atreyu and Billy Martin
10. Bein’ Green, Andrew Bird I
11. Hope That Something Better Comes Along, Matt Nathanson
12. I’m Going To Go Back There Someday, Rachael Yamagata

Coming to a Starbucks near you-August 23 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It is coming...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Josh Garrels

This picture was taken from the one at the Rabbit Room

I recently was turned onto the music of Mr. Josh Garrels thanks to a post by Pete Peterson in The Rabbit Room

Love & War & The Sea In Between is 18 tracks of pure joy. The entire album is a process. I highly recommend you check him out. Oh yea, did I mention you can get the entire album free! Check it out--> Josh Garrels

Not sure yet? Here is a video to saturate your senses.

White Owl-Josh Garrels

Cool huh? Download now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A prophecy in tongues?

In the year 2005 I found myself in India for a year. Throughout that year I saw, experienced, and learned many things that helped nourish my faith in Christ, but at the same time helped me question what I actually believed.

One of the adventures that I went on was a month long journey with a group of students from the college I worked at. This was a time for the students to put into action what they had been learning for the past few months, we called it Practical Training. Basically a hands on experiment to see if the students could put into motion what they had been learning over the past few months.

We stayed on a church compound that was right next to a temple. Many strange things happened while on the property of the church. One of these things was a visit from some foreigners all the way from New Zealand. They were quite eccentric and even for me a little over the top. The church however was packed with villagers from all over the area, many were gathered outside peering in open windows. During this, I was somehow offered a short opportunity to share my "story" and sing a song I had recently written on guitar.

The guitar was new for me. I picked one up in India and began plunking out tunes. And soon was writing my own. I played the first song I ever wrote with a guitar that night. Later in the session, one of the New Zealand folk gave a main sermon and then the pastor of the compound also shared a few opinions he had on the topic as well. Towards the end of the evening, there was to be a time of "prayer" and healing. The healing wasn't what I was worried about. I had seen a good portion of this already happening in my travels. It was the "prayer" part that was a little iffy to me.

You see, it was more like praying over people in tongues. I was a little insecure and unsure about the whole speaking and praying in tongues situation. So, I lowered my head and began praying for my own peace and God would be glorified that evening. I prayed for everyone in the room. I prayed for spiritual healing. I prayed for my students that they would be used somehow that evening. And then I felt this hand on my shoulder, a woman's hand, a New Zealand hand.

The two of us began talking about the situation. We talked about speaking in tongues. then she asked if I had ever been prayed for in tongues? I said, "No...not that I am aware of."

"Would you like to be prayed for?" nudged the woman.

Some small voice inside of me said, "Just go with it Ben." I really didn't want to offend her and really did not see any harm in her gentle gesture.

"Sure?" I offered. And then she began to pray in a "language" that I didn't understand. (this being funny as I was in a country where I didn't understand the language and needed a translator already. She may have been speaking Greek for all I know.) However, every few moments she would say a random phrase or a few words as if in translation. For the most part, she was hitting home on some of the things she was saying. Then out of the blue she says something about China and me involved someway with it. I immediately brushed it off and thought I don't have a desire for that...ever. I don't want to go to China. I shrugged off the situation and actually called my father a few hours later. Dad and I talked through the situation and I had some peace after our conversation ended.

I had forgotten about this experience and and the specific things said until just recently. I was sitting in church when a connection was made that goes back to that New Zealand woman with the thick accent and I believe "good" intentions. You see, in the end of September of 2010 I took a job working with Chinese Youth here in Oregon. I was slow to believe that the woman praying over me was telling the truth, today I think she was partially right. Although I do not live in China, and have never been, I am currently working with the Chinese people group, especially the youth.

For me it is a constant reminder that God is always laying the ground work of our current stories and our future ones. I didn't understand it back then, but today, I realize how God is constantly (even though it feels so slow sometimes) working in our lives. All in His time of course. Funny how HE reveals himself to us and we don't understand it until later. I love that about this adventure we are on!

The Word

"But herein is the Bible itself greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. the Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save as leading to Him." -George MacDonald

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Oh Love that will not let me go-

Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go :
George Matheson

The chorus was written by Robbie Seay Band

Oh, love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give you back this life I owe
and in your ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be

Oh, light that follows all my way
I yield my flickering torch to thee
and my heart restores its borrowed ray
that in your sunshine's blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be

And rejoice, my heart! rejoice, my soul!
my Savior, God, has come to thee
Rejoice, my heart! you've been made whole
by a love that will not let me go

Oh, joy, that seeks me through the pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be

Sing, rejoice, my heart! rejoice, my soul!
my Savior, God, has come to thee
Rejoice, my heart! you've been made whole
by a love that will not let me go
it's a love that will not let me go

Oh, cross that lifts and holds my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust life's glory dead
that from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be

Rejoice, my heart! rejoice, my soul!
my Savior, God, has come to thee
And rejoice, my heart! you've been made whole
by a love that will not let me go

Oh, rejoice, my heart! rejoice, my soul!
my Savior, God, has come to thee
And rejoice, my heart! you've been made whole
by a love that will not let me go

it's a love that will not let me go
oh, love that will not let me go
[ Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My first song about a car

When the sun shines just right, upon the morning dew
And it reflects the light across the yard to you
I begin to see with a pair of new eyes
and I recall all that we've been through

I begin the trek across the fresh cut lawn
And my mind is set on those days that are long gone
No I can't forget and I won't give up just yet
That's why I've kept you waiting here so long

Now I'm in my little daze, remembering better days
Of me and you and roads that wouldn't end
The handles in my grasp, there is no turning back
We're gonna cruise around this town again my friend

The door is open wide, I duck to get inside
A pristine window gives the clearest of views
My hands are on the wheel, I remember how this feels
To leave you for this long, I was oh so cruel

With a little squeeze, I turn these old keys
Waiting for the churn that proves you are alive
The radio is tuned set to the perfect mood
It plays the soundtrack to another awesome drive

So come on lets go, to where I do not know
We're gonna race the scenery til dawn
Just like the old times, just you and I
If we leave now they won't know were gone 2x

But wait what's this? My friend you do resist
No whir, no hum, no sudden surge
Was it in my mind that you could run just fine
I thought that I heard that old familiar purr 2x

Oh my favorite Chevrolet, we can't make our escape
I forgot a tragedy that happened years ago
If you don't change the oil, the engine will spoil
That's when you stop, roaming the roads 2x

So it is there where you'll sit, and you soon I'll forget
because your kind of engine, is hard to find
And the memories, of you and me
They will remain, until the end of time

I look across the yard, towards my favorite car
I know in my heart that our days are done
So put up a sign, for a young man to find
"For sale by owner:For a special someone" 2x

One week was her fate, that's all she had to wait
For a sixteen year old kid and his dad to stop by
I gave em the keys along with her needs
Just the other day I saw him with his prize

And it took me back to when she was mine
But I'm just fine with her extended lifetime
And she will ride these roads with another soul
Slowly each day I'm letting her go 3x

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bunny That Said, "WOOF!"

Today after work (Starbucks), I was getting my usual Lemonade when a young girl of about two or three walked into the store with her family. I have never seen them in my life. They looked like a nice little family. The little girl held in her hand a stuffed bunny rabbit. (I can only assume a recent gift from the ever generous Easter Bunny) The little girl was holding the bunny before her and saying out loud "Woof, woof!" as if the stuffed bunny were a dog.

I smiled at her and said "Well that has got to be the first bunny I've ever seen that sounds like a dog."

The little girl looked at the bunny and then looked at me. She quickly walked the few paces of space between us and proceeded to hand me the bunny. I politely accepted the bunny and then began moving his arms and legs. Then I did the unthinkable. I made the bunny woof at the little girl.

"Woof, woof!" said the voice of the rabbit I had chosen to use. The little girls eyes widened. She stared at me and then the rabbit. There was no fear to be found on her face. Complete innocence was seen suspended on her pink cheeks and her eyes twinkled at the sound of her very own bunny rabbit "woofing" back at her.

The bunny rabbit being voiced by me asked her how her day was going. It was at this point that I realized maybe all the little girl knew was how to "Woof". So I had the bunny rabbit wave and then gently handed the stuffed "woofing" rabbit back to its owner. She accepted him with open arms.

I told her to hug him and never let him go. A huge smile splashed across her face and she hugged her dear rabbit very close. I told my new friend goodbye and began to leave.

The little girls father, who had been watching the entire time, looked at me, smiled and said, "thank you so much for that moment."

I smiled back and told him "make sure she takes care of the "woofing" rabbit" and walked out the store.

While I was driving home, I was thinking on the episode that had just written itself before me. One of the things that struck me about the scene was the fact that the little girl had enough trust to hand over her prized stuffed "woofing" rabbit over to me. In a matter of seconds she had made up her mind that this strange man standing before her was okay to share her beloved rabbit with.

Now I have always been a big proprietor of children having more faith in people than actual adults do. I believe that children and youth see this world differently than you or I. The trust they have in their parents is mesmerizing. Their ability to start conversations with anyone and everyone is a gift from God above. Children may be the biggest boundary crusher in the world today. You may be able to speak eloquent words and may have the wisdom of Solomon, but the smallest smile or shortest giggle of a child can melt almost anyone.

A few thoughts began to form in my mind after the few moments with the little girl. Can children see straight into the heart of adults? Can they sum up in a matter of seconds whether the person before them means them good or harm? Can they see deeper than those of us who have been scarred by the troubling things of this world that cause us to isolate ourselves and trust no-one?

One theory that I have on this, though flawed it may be, is that perhaps it is because these children have just come from the heart of God. In their innocence they understand who we are supposed to be and who we are. They have faith that people are good. Or they can actually see that someone is not good. (on many occasions I have seen this go either way with children around adults)

Maybe I am not making this read right. As children are just coming into their lives on this planet perhaps a bit of Heaven comes with them, and as we grow older, we seem to forget what that Heaven was. And those on the other end of the spectrum may understand this as well, they may have this gleam in their eye of a bit of understanding as they are on their way out of this world. Perhaps these "older" folk can see the life well lived. I have met many a grandfatherly figure in my life who can sum me up in a few moments time. Almost always these moments are awesome. It comes from wisdom and living and learning and falling and believing and Faith.

There have been a many times where I have seen grandparents and their grandchildren experiencing this thing we call life together. Watch it sometime. There is sort of magical dance that happens there. And those of us in-between and watching from a distance feel like we missed the joke or the moment. We just don't get it.

The truth is I am grateful for children and for those who have come before me and are a little further down the road. They teach me things I have forgotten and yet someday soon I hope to re-capture.

Today was a blessing. I don't think I will quickly forget the "Little Girl and The Bunny That Said, 'Woof!'"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Vinyl Treasure Of The Week

As some of you know my wife and I recently purchased a turntable. (Doug Hanks album was the first to be spun)

In the past few weeks I have assembled a pretty good collection of Vinyl. And since I frequent the record shop every so often now, spending a little bit of my tip money, I have decided to put up a feature here on a semi-random basis called: The Vinyl Treasure Of The Week.

This weeks treasure is none other than David Bazan's cover of Leonard Cohen's-Hallelujah. I have to say I have been looking for this a while now and on Saturday afternoon at my local record shop, during the national record day sale, I was given this little gem for FREE. Yup, all I had to do was purchase a few things and I was handed a grip of cool singles. Imagine my surprise when flipping through the free vinyl and finding David Bazan staring back up at me. This sight literally made my day.

For those of you who don't know me well, Mr. Bazan and his other band Pedro The Lion were one of my favorite bands in high school. Bazan has always been one to push the limits and make me question a ton of things in my daily living. His "Whole" Ep rocked my world over and over. Over time I have snatched up every little piece of his work I could find. (Recently this has come to include vinyl additions as well, by the way "Curse Your Branches" is a wonderful thought provoking album)And now here in front of me sat this exciting new piece of joy to add to my little collection of Bazan. I was stoked.

Bazan has made a few turns on the table the past few days and I must say I am loving every single minute of it. Here's to many more Vinyl Treasure's of the week. CHEERS!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Books Came...

I am already half of the way through Saint Patrick (Jonathan Rodgers) and can not wait to start the others. Still have a few others to read first though. Cool tidbit, four of these books are actually signed by their authors=freaking cool!

Books in the picture:
1. Andrew Peterson-North! Or Be Eaten & On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (2 total)
2. A. S. Peterson-The Fiddler’s Gun & The Fiddler's Gun Letters
3. Annie Dillard-Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
4. Jonathan Rogers-Saint Patrick
5. Madeline L'Engle-Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation

What are you reading???