Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crabs in a bucket...and more.

I experienced two of the saddest things I've ever heard in my life on the Dennis Prager show several years ago. I don't know if they shocked me or just confirmed my worst fears. But I still to this day remember where I was when I heard these two calls. (And if you know me, you know that I don't remember anything!)

Thing 1: It was shortly after I got married. I was in the studio getting my gear setup and this girl calls into the show. She was a black high school student in the L.A. School District. (It's ok. I can say that...I'm black.) She proceeds to say that she doesn't raise her hand in class, she doesn't bring her books to class. She doesn't openly participate because her friends would accuse her of trying to be white! She feared being talked about at best and even beat up if she would be seen to take school seriously. It broke my heart. Talk about crabs in a bucket! The number 1 "Yahoo Answers" response to what does the term 'crabs in a bucket mean" is as follows. "The expression is derived from the observation of the behavior of multiple crabs in a bucket. If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, they will keep pulling each other down. As soon as one crab climbs up closer to freedom another crab will grab on to it and pull it back to the bottom. This is actually true. The saying is used as a comparison of how society class structure works. It is typically used in regard to poverty/poor groups of society. When someone attempts to better themselves or their social class, other individuals will try to pull them back down to their level. People don't like someone thinking they are better than the rest of the group so if one person tries to better their situation (better job, more education) the other members of the group will attempt to keep them from progressing. In the end nobody wins. Just like the crabs in the bucket." So very sad! So very insane!

Thing 2. I was driving to Simi Valley to work on the Visiting Terra EP. I was on the 405/118 interchange and the other disturbing call came on. (I noted at the time that she sounded to be white and in at least her mid-thirties or older) The caller told Dennis that she had 4 kids and a 5th on the way and her husband had left her. (I could be wrong about the number of children, but you get the gist.) She had gone on welfare for a period of time. She eventually got herself situated with child care and a job sufficient to allow her to get out of the system. She goes into the welfare office and tells the person at the counter she is ready to opt out. This person tells her that she doesn't need to get out of the system. If she has another kid she can get more money. The woman says "But I'm not married!" The worker says that's ok. She should go and get pregnant and then she won't have to work! How terrifying is that. That is what the government sends as a message to us all! Don't get on your feet we'll take care of you.

And here is what reminded me, this morning, of those sad, scary revelations from so long ago.
"Isn't It Ironic? The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to "please not feed the animals" because the animals may grow dependent and not learn (My insert: learn not?) to take care of themselves." (Thanks Ken Stewart , Brad Beals and David Theriault)

I would NEVER, EVER say that people don't need help just to get by at times. Where would I be but for family, church and friends who have stepped in at times. And in turn we, as a family, do everything we can to help others however and whenever we can. But there is a systematic machinery in place in our present society built to make us utterly dependent on government and it is scary and wrong! Let's not be crabs in buckets waiting on Uncle Sam to take care of us!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cooking + eating=GOOD!

One thing I found out when my wife, Carol, had to leave town  for a family emergency was this It is possible to cook food (beyond just eggs) indoors. (Meaning without a grill.) This reminded me of something. Cooking is good because it leads to EATING...

So guys, let's man up and make a cookbook for Man Food! Man Food is not necessarily pretty but it tastes good. Man Food should only be consumed in reasonable quantities because the caloric WILL be extremely high. (Just kidding Carol! I actually AM trying to watch out for that. But I don't have it quite down yet...)

1st item of business: Safflower oil from SEPAY
SePay Groves

(Great olive oils, balsamic vinegars and more. They are healthy, very reasonably priced and just a bit DELICIOUS! If you ever find yourself in or near Fairfield, Ca. STOP IN! You will not be sorry!) Use healthier oil and you get Man points 'cause it still tastes great and get Hubby points 'cause it's not as bad for you. Don't use so much that you have left over oil and you will live long enough to enjoy the Hubby points you gain.

2nd order of Business: Montreal Steak Seasoning. It's not just for steak. Multi-spice flavor quick and easy.
Inline image 3

3rd and MOST IMPORTANT: Mae Plot Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
Inline image 2
It's not volcanic but it give you a nice little kick and UNBELIEVABLE  FLAVOR! ) I suspected and had it confirmed that they use it at TEX WASABI's) And, yes, you DO need to go there!  Mmmmmmm!)  It works on just about everything that need a little sweet heat.(Chicken, fish, pork. One of my faves is as just a little addition to ranch dressing on salad.)

4th: Flour:
Just a little bit of flour gives you just a little bit of coating on your chicken or other foods with or without faces. *(Vegan and vegetarian food can be VERY GOOD. I just never think of going out of the way to cook it. I am diabetic and I gots to have the protein and extra work looking for non meat protein is...extra work. (Sorry, Alyssa, but I WILL always try any veggie dish you recommend.) BTW, I just figured out that I am part Greek, because if you say you don't eat meat I may very well offer you lamb. Sorry it's just too ingrained...)

5th: Garlic It just works! Fresh, powdered, whatever. It's Saul Goode.)

So guys (and domestically challenged gals) if you are intimidated by the kitchen just remember this. If the amazing chef in your life ever has to leave town you may need some skills. Now you have some tools. And if you HAVE to GET to eat!

Don't forget to turn in your MAN FOOD RECIPES. I sent mine in last week.... More to come!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tastes Like Chicken: To make great barbeque... start with a good smoothie

Chicken smoothies anyone? Whuck?!?!? Two of my best chicken dishes started very smoothie like. My epic Jerk Chicken prepared by Rob Pennington, was born like this... I was marinading it and asked my wife, Carol what was wrong with it. She took a whiff and said. "It smells like a smoothie." So I added some Batch 37, let it marinade a couple more hours and let Rob do the rest. He grilled it and reduced the leftover marinade to use as sauce and a star was born!

Even over my magical original recipe Mae Ploy Chicken and Eric Leary Yardbird Master piece, it was the belle of the ball! I hope I can recreate it someday.... It goes a little something like this. There approximately 30 ingredients so I hope I can remember...

Aaron's Epic Slow Burn Jerk Chicken
I will use the Man Measuring System:

Smoothie style:
Some coconut milk (Nancy, I WILL find an alternate. Any suggestions?)
Small can of mandarin orange slices
All spice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves
Molasses, apricot nectar, 2 bananas
This concludes the smoothie portion of our program.

Blend the above with:
Some olive oil or safflower oil etc
Some Montreal Steak Seasoning
garlic, onion, (minced or fresh), Jalepenos (does anybody know how to place a tilde over an "n". Yes, I knew it was called a "tilde". No, I can't figure out how to make one work.)
                                           *Note to parents: Have filters on when you search for "tilde"...
                                             But I digress.

1 flat of chicken. thighs, drumsticks, breasts, wings whatever.
But boneless always cooks quickest...

Place in some kind of dish, lasagna pan, cake pan? I don't know...
Pour smoothie into pan over the chicken cover and refridgerate over night

At noon of next day  ask your wife to smell it....
Find out that it does indeed smell like a smoothie.

Add Batch 37 hot sauce. (Hey, only 15 ingredients...) And why the adding of the Batch 37 the next day? Does it create the slow burn? I don't know, I'm NOT Alton Brown. I'm just a black man that like to grill! BTW, I WILL come to your house and grill and in virtually any weather.) Buzz and Shirley's Party Palace can vouch for that.

Wait for a few more hours and grill, baby, grill!
Reduce the leftover marinade.
Bring it to a roiling boil for.... (insert Man Time Measurement)
a while...
(Some suggest making a side batch of the marinade just for sauce...but I just can't waste ingredients without my soul hurting! So thanks, Rob, for turning me on to reducing the run off! Enjoy the slow burn.

As for my other smoothie chicken and Mae Ploy Chicken recipes...just keep coming back.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kobe stinks and other inaccurate hatisms

I grew up playing high school basketball in LA County during the SHOWTIME ERA! The Golden Age of Basketball! So as you can imagine I bleed Purple and Gold. It's recently come to my attention that Kobe Bryant is not a good basketball player. In fact, Kobe stinks! I saw it on the internet so it must be true...

Below are a couple snapshots of his basketball stinkery.
Career highlights and awards
NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009,2010)
NBA Finals MVP (20092010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
14× NBA All-Star (1998, 20002012)
NBA scoring champion (20062007)
All-NBA First Team (20022004,20062011)
All-NBA Second Team (20002001)
All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
All-Defensive First Team (2000, 20032004,20062011)
All-Defensive Second Team (20012002)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009,2011)
NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)

Career history


Los Angeles Lakers

Career highlights and awards

NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009,2010)
NBA Finals MVP (20092010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
14× NBA All-Star (1998, 20002012)
NBA scoring champion (20062007)
All-NBA First Team (20022004,20062011)
All-NBA Second Team (20002001)
All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
All-Defensive First Team (2000, 20032004,20062011)
All-Defensive Second Team (20012002)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009,2011)
NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)

 Accomplishments and records

Main article: List of career achievements by Kobe Bryant
Bryant led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.[1] In 2006, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history,[78][206]behind only Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point performance. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in the 2007–08 season and led his team to the 2008 NBA Finals as the first seed in the Western Conference.[207] In the 2008 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team, occasionally referred to as "The Redeem Team".[208] He led the Lakers to two more championships in 2009 and 2010, winning the Finals MVP award on both occasions.

Bryant has been selected to 13 All-NBA Team (nine times to the All-NBA First Team) and 11 All-Defensive Team (nine times to the All-Defensive First Team). He was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game on 14 occasions, winning All-Star MVP Awards in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011 (he shared the 2009 award with Shaquille O'Neal). He also won theNBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1997.[209] As of May 2011, he has had 5 sixty-point games, 24 fifty-point games, and 107 forty-point games.

This doesn't even bring the current season into play. And he has done "D. All the above" with one team, which particularly in this day and age, is an accomplishment in itself. I am not speaking of Kobe the husband and father. We know he lacks in the husband category. We can infer that that is a serious detriment to his ranking for Father of the Year. So let's talk about Kobe the basketball player.

Kobe is not MJ and nor is he Magic. (my personal all time fave) But regardless of what you think of his shot selection, it's really inaccurate to say that he stinks. Does he need to pass more? Yes, I can buy that. But you don't get 9 First Team All Defensive selections by stinking. You don't become the Lakers leader in points scored or the NBA's 5th highest scorer by stinking. You don't contribute to 5 NBA championships by stinking. We get it. KOBE DOES NOT PLAY A PERFECTLY BALANCED GAME. His trust in his teammates may stink. His distribution may stink. He is not even my favorite active player (Steve Nash, and yes I know he plays no defense), or even second (Pau Gasol). But to say he stinks ... Well, I'll just say I wish my resume looked more like his.

All that said, let's talk about the larger issue. It's an election year. And we will, of course, be seeing an outpouring of hatism the likes of which the world has...gotten used to seeing. Hatism is just lazy. If you just spew hate it accomplishes nothing. Actually that's not true. It does accomplish something. It takes us all down. It corrodes the very fabric of our souls and our discourse. Besides that, when you are obviously a hater, you lose credibility.

As we go through the primaries and the conventions and the Presidential election (and the NBA season) I will do my best to keep my commentary civil and based on facts and reasonable inferences. I may well fail to be completely genteel at all times. But I promise not to shower the world with bile. What would happen if we all gave people the respect they are due, acknowledged their accomplishments and accurately and civilly discussed the flaws in their game or their character or their politics or whatever? Could we just please dispense a bit less venom in general. Even if we are speaking of a certain Black Mamba...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

If you give good advise...please, listen to yourself! (Old school but still true)

(Forgive the time capsule but I just  found this in the archival ruins of a dead blog. But it still holds true ) Life can be tough, but you don't have to let it get you down. And if you find yourself sinking here's a thought...

I was helping Spencer, my 7(11 now) yr old son with his school work. I gave him a suggestion and he didn’t take it and he was frustrated. I said why didn’t you believe me and he said he didn’t know. We both know I wouldn’t lie to him so I was angry that he wouldn’t trust me. I walked away angrily and God said. " Why don’t you believe Me? We both know I don’t lie to you!"

But I’m thinking that’s different... God, just let’s me think about it for a bit...

Then Spencer asks for help with something else and is frustrated because it’s hard. I tell him not to concentrate on the fact that it’s hard but to concentrate on the fact that he CAN do it! I say that kind of thing to OTHER PEOPLE alot! But it really sucks when I have to tell myself! If you know about our last few years you know they’ve been hard. Crayl and I are both working multiple part-time jobs and trying to find more work so the ends can actually meet! I’m desperately praying that the way this happens is from music because that’s what I’m actually good at and at 39 (43), I REALLY don’t feel that starting as square one is that great a career maneuver. But at the other things I do, I do my best!  Personally, I think my best sucks in these other areas but I do give it my best and try to raise the level of my best to somewhere above...suck! (Still doing multiple things to put bread on the table  it's still tough. But I am a full-time musician in THIS economy and  I am very grateful. I am still trying to not suck)

Any, I hope that you can keep in mind the GOOD advise you give to others and use it on yourself... It will most likely be PAINFUL!! But it’s the right thing to do! And in the meantime I leave you with the words of the Reverend Fred Hammond.
"No matter what the day may bring to you, KEEP PRAISING GOD!!!"

(Another song that just came to mind here in the present, Don't Give Up by the Reverend...Peter Gabriel)

That’s my advise from Fred (and Peter) to me to you to ME to-day (again)!

Monday, February 6, 2012

God loves murderers?! WHUCK?!?!?

Does God love murderers? Yes he does! There is anyone He doesn't love. God often doesn't make sense because He's God and we're not! Does He condone murder absolutely not. But He doesn't want anyone to perish without Him. But murderers?! Personally, I am generally a very compassionate guy. (Somebody please vouch for me.) But murder?! I am pretty eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth about that. I believe that there is nothing someone has that can pay for murder except their own life. Self defense is one thing. Causing death accidentally is another. But taking life in a premeditated fashion there is no amount of freedom that you can have taken from you that can make up for that.

But look at the bible. There are a few of murderers that are power people in the bible.

Moses: a revolutionary, the deliverer of a nation AND a cold blooded killer. (Maybe more of a hot blooded killer.) He saw injustice in action and he took the law in his own hands and hid the body.  Yet he got to talk to God up close and deliver the 10 Commandments and lead an entire nation to independence.

King David: a man after God's own heart, chosen to replace a failed ruler, ancestor of Christ Himself, mighty warrior for God and Israel AND polygamist, adulterer and murderer. Forgets to do the king/general leader of men thing and finds himself on the palace roof being a voyeur... (Whether or not Bathsheba was trying to get upwardly mobile is another blog for another day... But I think ... I'm going to wait another day like I said...) David sends for Bathsheba, takes her to bed, finds out she's pregnant with his child and decides to abort... Bathsheba's husband Uriah. David calls Uriah's CO, grants Uriah leave to come home in order try to cover up his affair with Bathsheba. David then finds out that Uriah is too dedicated a soldier to sleep with his own wife while his comrades in arms are still out in the trenches. (Did they have trenches back then?) Plan B: Send Uriah to the most vulnerable spot on the battlefield and have the rest of the troops withdraw from him. NICE GUY! Talk about a hostile work environment. As if soldier is not a dangerous enough job! (And I DO salute and thank those who decide we are worth fighting for.)

Saul/Paul: devout religious man, hard worker, writer of most the New Testament and basically a role model for the Gestapo. Persecuted Christians in his early career, witnessed (orchestrated, condoned, collaborated towards) the execution of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. After which he began going through Jerusalem and destroying the church. That would seem to imply a lot more blood on his hands. Yet God gave him a new name and turned him into the aforementioned evangelist/author that became most  responsible (or if you are against Christianity, to blame) for people coming to know Christ that anyone other than Jesus Himself.

I think God has done this to prove that He can and will use anyone He deems fit for His purposes. And He can and will redeem anyone, any life, any willing heart if they will believe in and receive HIM.  He can forgive anything. And while that is really hard to stomach sometimes, His will be done! He doesn't want ANYONE to perish. We (certainly I) can't or won't forgive everything. (Though Christians are called to do so.) But we also can't change the heart of a cold blooded killer into that of a statesman.  And while I believe that every criminal and certainly every murderer, child molester, rapist etc especially should be made to pay their debt to society, their eternity is between them and God. We are supposed to uphold the law and mete out punishment as a society. (Even better rehabilitation for those who are willing to change..) But that is on earth.

Luke 12:3-5 says

4 "I tell you , my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

He is God and we are NOT. (Every time I just try to remember everyone I told I would pray for them I THANK GOD that I am not in His eternal shoes. WAY TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY!!!!)

God loves us all! Even those most of us could never relate to on any level, sympathize with, understand or forgive. God wants to forgive us all and that is His prerogative. Every once in a while, God plays what I lovingly/painfully call... THE GOD CARD. Even for the worst of us. Even murderers. And grudgingly, I am ultimately glad that He does.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Actors: Masters of Deception

My 11 year son, Spencer, is not really 11. He's probably about 47. (Or 48. I think that's how old his sister, Jenelle, said the other day) We were talking about how often actors/actresses seem to cheat on their spouses and significant others. Thank you tabloids for bring this to said son's attention. (By the way, especially if you are in the public eye, live your life as though your children will end up in the checkout line at the grocery store at some point in their lives... but I digress.) (Kinda)

He said, "I know why actors cheat on each other so much. It's because an actors job is to be a Master of Deception. Which is to line and become someone that you're not." The kid is quick to the point, to the point no fakin'. It just made me go hmmm. It does kind of set you up to be in the habit of lying, living out untruth (and for the few getting paid rather well for it).  It just all made me go hmmm....

...Should I be worried that Spence wants to be a actor/director/writer.... Nah..... should I?...

By the way, I am showered shaved and dressed. Got up at seven! And I still haven't made it to work and it's 11:30. What's up with that?!?!? (Lost? Read yesterday's blog.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012


We all get 24 hours a day. But where does it go? The later part of last year I went from finishing Katoikeo, my instrumental album that I had to re-track in it's entirety. literally straight into trying to complete a new album in less than a month to release before the Celebration Christmas Have A Heart Concert. You may have noticed no new album came out in December... Too much too soon? So it would seem.

Now we are on Little Bit Day. Some call it Groundhog Day but it's my blog and I haven't said Happy Birthday to my sister yet so I figure publicly outing her childhood nickname is the next best thing. (No, I am NOT right in the head. And if you don't know now you know.) As I was saying, now we are on Little Bit Day and I haven't been able to really get on track since I decided it was ok not to run the gauntlet and get new music out before Christmas. So I mix, and learn new tricks in Pro Tools and slowly but surely it's getting done. But the feeling of time slipping away is quite maddening. Even on prayer day when I meet some guys from my church at 6AM I still find myself at the computer in my PJ's  way to long.

Now I work from home except when I don't. I am a musician which means when I am working for myself I am working really hard and hoping that I will get paid someday. And when I am working for others I am usually working at night. So days are a somewhat nebulous adventure. I get up and start Isagenixing, blind Wii box and check my email, Reverbnation and Facebook. Here's where it gets dicey. The computer is where I work so (looking for work, theoretically maintain a web presence) if I am at the computer it IS work. But it also becomes THE VORTEX. I get sucked in and then it's 11 or noon. I read my bible, feeling rushed. I shower and head to work. 25 feet away from my backdoor.  Then I check my email again and have to check on my Lakers 'cause my blood is Purple and Gold. Then it's time for dinner. What? Naw, just kidding it just feels like the days get away like that. (And that's the days when the unexpected DOESN'T HAPPEN!)

Now I have a motto " If I'm awake I'm at work." And it's true I start thinking about the various things that must, should and want to be done. But sometimes it feels like the wheels are lifted off the road and are just spinning. But some days it all comes together and something tangible gets done. Two or three mixes. A chart, an arrangement, insight on production...

And in all this what am I doing at 1:30 in the afternoon? I'm sitting here talking to you! Vortexing! But I'm listening to the new Fred Hammond thinking clean rhythm guitar panned to the right dirty lead on the left, are those claps real or a sample or both, man I wish I sounded like Fred and thinking about the things that have to get done and ... CANCER, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW OF WITH CANCER! and oh shoot I have to figure out what to do with that big dead chair that can't stay behind the garage! What will it cost to dump it? and it's 1:28 so I gotta rap this up if I am going to post by 1:30 like it says earlier... Ok, I'm out so I don't make a liar of myself. All that to say, The Vortex often good things will come out of the swirling madness IF you don't give up! And if they don't check in with me and I will do my best to find something positive for you in your VORTEX! 1:30 gotta g

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hypocrisy and moral failure in Christianity (specifically Gospel music):
I just came across a critique of a Gospel singer's song and in due course found out about a serious moral failure the singer had. Reading commentary on how and why this occurred led me to respond to reply from a minister in this way. As a Christian musician I really appreciate your post. The question of musical style and lifestyle are very important. I believe that the Church and Christian artists need to be very careful about how we live and who we associate with. I also KNOW that everything the Lord means for good Satan makes every attempt to defile and we as flawed humans often take the bait. Many colleagues and friends and others I know or know of came to the Lord because they were hired by churches. They may never have come to the Lord otherwise.

And of course, Satan also sends infiltrators and people make bad judgement calls. Our world is fallen and it's always going to be messy, sadly! Right now I believe Gospel music in particular is the most creative and innovative right now. The rich harmonic and rhythmic palette of Gospel is very related to jazz and R&B. And again Satan will always try to exploit the sensual feelings that a certain grooves and harmonies can evoke. It's up to us as believers to let God empower us to not cross the lines in every arena of life. Knowing that the enemy will always be roaming like a lion to destroy. We must do our best not to put ourselves in position to fall. AND We must have grace and mercy towards ourselves and each other when we fall. AND we must not settle for being second rate musically to avoid seconding worldly. My motto is everything is balance. It is the most difficult and most important thing to achieve. I pray I have it in my life. And I often fail. But I will try to make the absolute most of whatever talent God has put in me. And that will always include trying to be creative and trying to sound at least as good and current as secular music.

Again I think Gospel right now is the most musically diverse and interesting genre right now because of it's embrace of most styles of music and incorporating them with the message of Jesus Christ. (Mind you if you know me you know I love to rock too! The perfect song to would be montuno-funk-rock with Fred Hammond, Israel and Take 6 style vocals. But that's just me.)

But to sum up the issue of the title Hypocrisy and Moral Failure. You can't have a moral failure if you don't have morals. You can't be considered a hypocrite if you don't have an ideal. Moral failure is not necessarily hypocrisy. It's absolutely wrong but it's not NECESSARILY HYPOCRISY. If King David would have said to the prophet Nathan that the rich man who took the the poor man's lamb should be punished and then said he himself should not be when Nathan revealed that the rich man represent King David, THAT would have been hypocrisy. (To go on top of his adultery and arranging the husbands murder on the battlefield.) But he admitted that he had been utterly sinful and he repented. HYPOCRISY would have been to say "That doesn't apply to me."

What he he did was horrible but it was not hypocrisy. It was the failure to live up to the ideal. God bless (even and especially those who don't believe in Him or know whether or not He exists) and may we all live up to our ideals. Believer and non-believers. And when we fail as we all will. Let us deal with each other with honesty about our failings and with grace and mercy without judgement yet somehow without excusing it and saying that wrong is right. Balance is HARD, HARD WORK! I love you all! Talk amongst yourselves but please, I beg you, keep it civil. :-)