Archive for February, 2009

The Early Bird Get’s Second Hand Information

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 by Rick

good-morning

Yesterday I mentioned my fast from purchasing new music as I observe the season of Lent. I was immediately tested by friends who sent me links to the U2 album stream thn I show up at the office where a couple coworkers and a friend were preparing to sample the album at the conference table. I politely and reluctantly declined and made it to my personal office without compromise. While listening to the album doesn’t technically play into my abstention from purchasing new music, the heart of the fast was that I forgo the pleasures of seeking the latest, freshest thing and being one of, if not the first I know to partake in the new ear candy.

The second piece of my Lent observance is a lot more difficult. I am a night person. I come alive in the PM. My church job demands that I be alert and ready on Sunday morning but the rest of the week I am a zombie before 10 am.  I get up normally between 7:30 and 8am and there are days when I push it until 9:30 or 10am but even after I wake up I have little social energy, my voice is groggy and I may as well still be asleep. That’s due in part to the late hours I keep after my wife and the kids are asleep. I catch up on indie films, listen to whole albums music, read sports blogs, watch west coast basketball games, study the bible, research trivial things on the net and other mundane activities.

So for Lent I have decided to lay all of that down for 40 days and wake up at 5:30am EACH morning. This is a big deal for me. I worship at Bedside Baptist and am a devout member. Plus, I always feel like I’m missing something when I go to bed before 10pm. Some breaking news, a breakout performance from an NBA player, a legendary comeback on Monday Night Football, a celebrity meltdown on Letterman, you never know. And God forbid I have to wake up and hear the news from someone else. I seriously have my priorities twisted sometimes. So I am laying that all down for Lent and getting out of the bed at 5:30am which means going to bed at reasonable semi-geriatric hours. My wife appreciates it because she likes for me to be in the bed with her even though she is one of those people that can lay down and be completely asleep in 60 seconds or less. I am the idiot that lays there for 30-90 minutes trying to doze off.  Now everytime I get sleepy in the day or start to whine about getting up early I will pause and pray for the city of Memphis, praising God for the good in this city and asking Him to change the bad things about it. In my next post I’ll tell you how I will invest those new found daylight hours and my final fast for the lent season.

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Lent Observance 2009

Posted in Faith & Religion, Life, people, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by Rick

My pastor, my boss and my brother-in-law (all the same guy) has asked that our church staff observe Lent together this year. We will do it in preparation for Passion Week and the recognition of Jesus’ death burial and triumphant resurrection. We will also do it to take a page out of Jesus’ personal preparation manual. Jesus fasted forty days to prepare for His Earthly ministry. We at Fellowship have a new ministry to lead as we look to open a new, second church site in downtown Memphis. So, starting today, each of us on the Fellowship Memphis staff will implement fasts and particular abstinences for forty days leading up to Resurrection Sunday.

There are hundreds of ways to do this. The most common is a meat fast or skipping meals during daylight hours. I’ve been dieting since January so I felt the food fasts would not have the same impact on me spiritually because starving myself is old hat now. So I have decided to abstain from a few other things that will surely cause me to feel a since of longing and sacrifice and ultimately cause me to lean more heavily on God.

I have started by steering clear of purchasing new music. That may seem inconsequential to the average audiophile but I gravitate to new music like moths to a bug zapper. Sometimes I get zapped! It’s rarely enough for me to get the new albums, I have to be one of the first to review them. I almost hate to have a CD recommended to me. I feel like I’m out of touch in some childish way. I am not bragging as much as I’m confessing. I have hundreds of discs and downloads some of which I’ve only listen to once or twice, formulated an opinion on and moved on to the next record. Sometimes I’m content to say boastfully “I have that!” regarding an album that only has one palatable tune. So I will miss the much anticipated release of albums from U2, Gavin Degraw, Busta Rhymes, Mandisa, Ciara, Lionel Richie, New Found Glory, Static X and Chris Cornell. This will spare me from having to endure the sounds of former American Idol Taylor Hicks’ new album, sure to be blaring over Memphis record store speakers.

I hope my music lust looks like this in April

I hope my music lust looks like this in April

There are two other fasts I’m observing that I will post another day. To God be the Glory!

Etta James: Settling for the Gold

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Music, people, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2009 by Rick

Proverbs 16:16 “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!”

It’s amazing how age wears on people in different ways. My father seems to get wiser and more methodical as his years accumulate. I love to sit and listen to my friend Derrick’s dad because he drops nuggets of wisdom like F-bombs in a Tarantino flick. Even the most trivial subject can elicit a Job-like “one-to-grow-on” from that guy. I feel great about getting older because of the wisdom that diverse trials, disappointments, failures and triumphs can afford me……and then there’s Etta. You know! Etta James? The golden-haired, satin-voiced crooner whose timeless song “At Last” has dazzled love longing listeners for four decades and counting. Etta’s now 71 and still performs the classic her classic for audiences worldwide. However, one performance passed her by and she expressed, in no ambiguous terms, her disdain for the snub, thereby exposing her shortage of winter season wisdom or, at least, her reluctance to use it. 71 year old Etta, grow up!

*disclaimer* these comments are in response to Etta James’ recent rant against the current President and Beyonce. Her behavior in this situation could very well be an anomaly.

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Los Angeles vs. New York – Kobe’s 61 – February 02, 2009 – ESPN

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2009 by Rick

Hate him? Love him? Whatever, you’ve got to respect him. Sports superstars are a lot like great musical acts. They work hard to be the best. Whether on a big stage or a small one, great performers give you their all every night. But there are those historic stages that inspire historic performances. Madison Square Garden is one such place, which is usually bad news for the New York Knicks.Last year it was LeBron James effortlessly etching his way into sports history at the Garden. Last night it was Kobe’s turn to join MJ and LBJ on the short list of NBA legends who’ve made MSG chant MVP. With 19out of 31 field goals and 20 out of 20 free throws, Kobe’s 61 is now the highest single player total in that building. He ain’t the greatest, but he’s something like it!

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