Thursday, August 29, 2013

this glimpse

Last week I saw dad.  I didn't recognize him immediately.  It wasn't because I hadn't seen him in a while, but because he had changed.  His face was leaner and had been darkened by the sun.  He was younger but still had his salt and peppered hair, white temples.  He could've been a movie star from Hollywood's golden era.  Who was this handsome and rugged fellow?  Why did he approach me?  He knew me from the start.  It wasn't until he smiled.  There was no doubt about him when he smiled.

It didn't seem to me that I was looking at a glorified body ~ I don't know what a glorified body looks like.  I now imagine a glorified body is the body that we would have had if it hadn't been for the fall of man.  Dad looked to me to be a man freed from all physical limits and boundaries of his old flesh and of the fallen world he left behind.

He was standing there looking straight at me.  His countenance was surprising, his soul was familiar but he was a different man.  He was strong, he was fit and eternal.
His good looking and slightly leathered face told of a man who lived outside beneath the sun, who constantly travels ~ an explorer.  Since he left us, he has been exploring the heavens without end. It made sense to me after thinking about it.  I guess if I had spent all my days on Earth on crutches and in a wheelchair, I would be a traveling man too.  I had always wanted to walk with dad, side by side.  I knew that the next time I'd see him, I would be able to.  We will walk together one of these days.  I am now not sure I would be able to keep up with him.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doug's visit

We've been trying to hook up more as of late.  Doug Moore and had been meeting in Rome, GA ~ a half way point for the two of us.  My eye has been messed up the past few weeks so Doug made the trip down to Gadsden to visit me.  We had some graphic design work for marketing material to discuss, but we made plenty of time to just hang.

Later in the afternoon, Doug followed me home so we could play guitar.  It has been over 25 years since we last played together.  We swapped a few songs and reminisced when we first met on the Gadsden State Junior College campus in '78.  Doug started coming to Christian Brothers Coffeehouse after our initial meeting and we soon became buddies.  We knew back then that we'd be friends for life.  Unfortunately, like many old friendships, we haven't taken the time like friends should to get together.  We have been starting to rectify that lately.  We are getting older and crustier, but our friendship hasn't changed a bit down through the decades.

While my old friend was checking out one of my guitars I asked him to play his version of Grace Darling (Strawbs).  I have always loved how he performs it ~ he really made it his own.  I actually prefer hearing Doug sing it over the original version.  He sounds good.  I wanted him to just keep singing but he had to get back home.

Maybe I can get him to come down and play at Vineyard on a First Friday sometime in the near future.  That would be fun.  Anyway, he's on his way back to his home in Georgia as I write this.  It is always good seeing him, so good hearing him sing those old songs.

Thirty years ago young Doug asked a young me to tour Europe with him.  He said we'd take our guitars and travel the roads like minstrels from town to town ~ sing for our supper.  I never took him up on his offer and oh how I wish that I had.  It's the one great regret of mine.

Friday, August 23, 2013

why sin is sin

as a child
 i thought as a child
as a child
i was told what to do
what to believe
a young mind
just told
to be good
a good son
to do good
to do what is right
not what is wrong
but yet i as a child
didn't fully understand
what made sin sin
sin is sin
there in in every classroom
upon every desk top
upon every wooden ruler
engraved the golden rule
but why
at home
in sunday school
i learned the commandments
but didn't understand completely
why sin is sin

what i finally came to see
as i grew
from day to day
that sin is sin
that wrong is wrong
because sin is what harms us
harms another
sin is death to us
sin is sin
because our Heavenly Father
isn't just trying to make us do good
for goodness's sake
sin deadens the soul
separates us from each other
separates us from who we were made to be and become
separates us from God
he can not tolerate sin
because it is sin that contaminates

sin like cancer
poisons the souls
of the ones he loves
he wants no harm
to come to us

through his son
love grace forgiveness
shared righteousness
the way truth life
the way to become
good sons
good daughters
to aspire
to achieve
to become
to be
like our big brother
but sin is still sin
the chains from which we are free
chains broken
that we do not have to daily wear
we are unshackled
no longer confined
to the law of death
no longer confined
to flesh
now of the Spirit

now new creatures
i see
i see now
i clearly see
the definitive reason and why

because he loves us

desires for us to love ourselves
our neighbors as ourselves
our Father abhors sin
that which limits us
that which kills
cuts off from his love
separates us from him

God is Love

sin separates our fully knowing him
keeps us experiencing life fully

sin is sin
yet we are free
we are free
sin is sin
yet we are free

as a child
i could not see
not as far
as a man
i see a little further
a little further
ever walking in grace
ever walking in faith
ever learning
ever further

reaching beyond flesh
beyond sin
for him

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation - but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry "Abba. Father."  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his glory."
Romans 8:12-17

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Guise Ride Again!

Brook had been wanting to get The Guise back together again.  The last time was at Moon Song Songwriter's Cafe in 2009.  I had invited Ron Greer to join us on bass that evening. He fit right in.   We all had a great time together.  We always look forward to the next opportunity to play together with great anticipation.

I think it was Brook that came up with the name.  When we started, our idea was to revisit and revive songs of artist friends of ours who were no longer playing.  There was a band from Centre that used to play throughout the 1970's called Psalm.  They were all great guys and played great songs.  Barry Goss and Arnie Sanford were the primary song-smiths of the group.  The group had disbanded by the eighties and no one was singing there incredible songs.  We did our own versions of some of their numbers.  

We rarely perform without playing Arnie Sanford's 'With Your Help'.   We once got to perform that song for Arnie at Skylight.   His M.S. had taken away his ability to play or sing by that time and he was very pleased that we were carrying on with his songs. We miss our dear friend and his music will always be included on The Guise's song list.

Barry Goss is one of the most prolific song writers in the area of that era.  No one can sing "Jesus Knows All About It" like he did.  Our version is different than the way Psalm did it, but we're pleased with The Guise treatment of it.  
Another one of our favorite songs we do was written by my songwriter/poet brother in-law Dan Noojin.  Our version of his 'Insane Man' has an unusual feel and dynamic.  Good stuff!

The three of us are individually songwriters, so we play plenty of our original works.  We played Brook's 'How Could You Be So Good', Michael's 'Taking The Time' and my "You Remembered Me'.  We have our old standards, but we'll also be bringing new songs to share.

What to expect?  We're old friends who go back a long way.  We share a lot of the same past, love for the same kind of music.  We love being together, playing together and enjoy the comradery on and off stage.  Our voices harmonize well together and so do our lives.  There has always been a chemistry there.

So Friday evening Ron is back with us.  Every time I'd see him over the past few years he'd ask me when The Guise were going to play again.  Tim Rolfe is another dear friend who'll be on percussion.   We are each anticipating tomorrow evening.  None of us know what's going to happen.

Come join us.