Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 22nd benefit concert! You Can Help Save The Holidays For An Angel And Her Son!

Holidays For An Angel:

Benefit Concert for Carolina McSharey & Son


Aaron Gayden Band w/ Festivalive

& Celebration Cares Choir

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 $10 Adults 381 Nevada Street

6:30 pm 12 & under FREE Auburn, CA 95603

See Festivalive AND the Aaron Gayden Band both live in one night!!!!!

You can help a wonderful person from our community as she has had to travel halfway across the country to help her son who was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a diving accident. 
Ticket sales and donations will help Carolina and Abe be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and have presents to share with each other and other family members! 
(As well as the necessities.)

Please help us save the Holidays for our angel, Carolina!

***Please message Aaron Gayden Band | Auburn, CA or Guitarman Celia Ayala if you are interested in being a corporate or individual sponsor for this event.***

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Do Conservatives REALLY Hate?

A friend of mine, who resides firmly across the political aisle from me, has brought something to my remembrance. Now I am not a fan of politicians on either side. I think both major parties have people that go in with the best of motives and get drunk on their new found power or caught in the gears of the machine. This is about the belief that conservatives intensely hate government handouts. This is not true.

My friend is a Democrat and a hard worker. I am a Republican and a hard worker. I have no doubt that there are times that people need help. I KNOW this is true.  But THIS is what conservatives hate. This is one of the two worst stories I have ever heard. This woman calls the Dennis Prager Show and tells her experience. She was pregnant with her fourth or fifth child and her husband had just left her. She goes on welfare for about a year and gets back on her feet. So she goes to the welfare office to opt out of the system. The worker says that she can stay in the program if she has another child. She says that she is not married. The person says that's ok. She can just go get pregnant and get more money. THAT is what conservatives hate. The system is a proponent of bad decision making and abuse of itself.

I am NOT a rich man. I play in 6 bands, work at my church, teach music at three schools and do other  musical and basic techie work to make ends meet. I barter what work I can. I support my church. I sponsor a child through Compassion International. Much of the work I do with my own band is for charity. I think it s very, very important to give something back.  God has been very good to me. People have been very gracious and generous to me. 

Ok, I will add a connected topic since we are talking about what conservatives really hate. I believe it is my responsibility to help whenever  I can. But there is validity to the adage "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever." To that I add, "Give a man a fish he'll eat for a day. But make it almost impossible to get a fishing license and people will feel like it makes a lot more sense to just take the fish the government is handing out..." The fact that the government makes it so expensive to run a business is something conservatives hate. I was listening the Hugh Hewitt Show recently and the host asked his guest if the government helps his business. He laughed and said "Yes, and if you believe that I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I would to sell you!" He was then asked if he had ever tallied up what he pays in taxes. At this point he said  he hadn't because it would make it delibilitated with sickness for two weeks if he knew exactly how much the government takes. THAT is what conservatives hate. And by the way, this was not some rich white fat cat. This was an immigrant with a thick accent that still believes in what American is. A place to work hard and earn money and if you so desire, voluntarily give something back.

Thank you, my friend, for a chance to let you know what we REALLY HATE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Can You Possibly Watch Your Own Mouth?

Whatever you believe I think you can see the validity of these verse as played in out in your everyday life...

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.  
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:2,5,7-8.

A gentle answer turns away wrath,  but a harsh word stirs up anger.  
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,  but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.     A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,  but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.  
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,  but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.  
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—  and how good is a timely word!     Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,  but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
Proverbs 15:1,4-5,18,23,32

I KNOW I am not perfect, But I try to be aware of my tongue and I am trying not set things on fire or poison anyone. I ask for your forgiveness in advance for when I will stumble. And none of this means you need to go around trying to tell everybody what they want to hear...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Speak the truth with the above definition of love and things will generally work better. (Even difficult truths. Proverbs 27:6 (NIV) Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.)

Again whatever you believe I think you can find the applicable truth here. It is an unruly she bear robbed of her cubs but trying to tame the tongue will be worth it. Even if you have to deliver the hard message it would likely do you well to follow the immortal words of the Reverend Otis Redding and try a little tenderness...
Love you all!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Multitasking, ADD and The Gender Gap...

What is multitasking? The short answer is:

"Human multitasking is the apparent performance by an individual of handling more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is taking phone calls while typing an email. Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention."See Wikipedia Human Multitasking for the long answer.

My wife and I were talking about it briefly because I often hear how bad men are supposed to be at it versus women. So maybe I am just more in touch with my feminine side. The Wiki answer above goes into some detail about it. But i was wondering what YOU think.

Personally, I don't know what is the chicken and what is the egg in my case, but I do know that virtually every moment of my life is spent multitasking.

As an MD (Musical Director, not medical doctor): I generally find myself doing at least three things every moment I am on stage. At my church, I am playing auxiliary keyboards (strings, organ etc) running loops or sequences, making sure we are in sync with said loop or sequence, singing lead and or back up vocals, listening for the other singers to make sure we're singing unison or harmony or not at all at a given moment, watching our leader to determine what is going to happen next, trying to determine how in the world I can get to the next sound I need to play, trying to subtly ask for more or less of something from our sound engineers, trying to see what my son is doing in the congregation (if he's not on stage), marveling at our Pastor's bass playing and oh yes worshiping God (and NOT letting all the other things I am doing show on my face so I don't distract others from worshipping God.)

As a band leader (and sometimes member): I am singing lead or backup, usually playing bass (thank God, just one note to mess up at a time and 5000 less sound choices to make), trying to gauge the crowd and determine whether or not to change the setlist on the fly and segue into another song that has just occurred to me, decide whether enough of the band will know that song that I want to go to, whether they will stick to the progression we're in or try to go to the real progression of the new song, (This is actually a blast and I work with incredible musicians who tend to find me so quickly that only a trained musician on the outside of the band could tell we haven't been doing that medley for years, interact with the rest of the band (and by interact I mean insert other songs that can be medleyed to at a later date or just make them laugh, (music is supposed to be fun and that is often my Prime Directive, to make sure the band and the crowd are having fun), dancing, interacting with the crowd, try to see the setlist around my microphone because they often don't work and play well together.

 Aaron Gayden Band

Steven Randal Band

Eric Goetze and AG at Karma Cafe
No Taboo w/ Papa J of Sly and The Family Stone



At work in the studio: juggle the schedules of the 6 bands (I occasionally drop in on even more...) I'm in with my MD work, contact venues, band members, make charts, sequences, keyboard patches, record parts, learn music, sync music to ipad and droid phone, scan charts send to ipad, rip CD's, try to put them back where they came from, try to reassemble studio from last gig where I needed to take PA, make enough room to rehearse in studio, figure out why imac crashes while running a very light session in Pro Tools... search internet for more work, create press material and on and on... In the midst of this my only breaks are for physical necessities and checking on Bleacher Report for what is up with the Lakers and to a lesson extent the Trojans and Facebook which is half work and half break (more multitasking) Often in the background is talk radio so I know what is going on in the world since we don't have TV. *Streaming talk radio is considerably less data intensive than stream video or audio.

The at work list must be stopped here because...I need to actually do some of said work.

do wii sports while listening to the bible and running

At home:
Posting about how geeky we are while geeking out to (in this case) THE JJ: Star Trek Into Darkness. Other than that type of thing I TRY to force myself not to multitask during fam time.

All this to say. If  I couldn't multitask I don't think I would ever get anything done because much of my work is NEVER EVER done and there are only so many hours in a day and they are all spoken for. Do I multitask because I am ADD anyway or does my ADD help me to function as my job requires...

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?!?!?! I want to know what kind of multitasking you do! Men and women..

My wife said men and women multitask in different ways. I wanted to ask her what she meant by that but we had to go our separate ways to continue multitasking...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good evening! and this is how you have one! AGB Duo Style!

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Aaron Gayden/Krista White/Dinner and Jazz 

6-8PM THIS EVENING @ The Cafe Formerly Known As Frontside Cafe
660 Auburn/Folsom Rd Ste. 105 in Auburn

You have to eat anyway! 
So you might as well really enjoy yourself and have an early evening on the town! 
Great food + Great music=Great time! 

Come see Krista and me, eat lots of food and there you go! 
You didn't even have to think "What am I going to do for fun and food tonight?" 

Who could ask for anything more?

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Actually, YOU COULD! 
Let's pack The Cafe and so that we can bring 
Briana Lee, Steven Randal, Grant Reeves and Alvin Henry along next time! See you at 6!

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Blessings and thanks!!

Aaron Gayden

(530) 718-2421 cell

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I HAD a dream...

A plea to my fellow black Americans: (I've been a black man since I've been a man and I am perfectly comfortable with the term. It's just much shorter to say.)

Please I beg you. Take these words to heart. Let's please make race the non issue it should be. Terrible things happen to everybody and good things happen to everybody. And not everything is because of race. Yes, some things are this is absolutely true! And EVERYBODY KNOWS IT! But this country has come a LONG, LONG WAY! It is up to every individual to not be part of the problem. Take responsibility for yourself and be the black man or black woman that anyone of any race can say "He or she is a good man or woman". Get an education, hold a job, be respectful of people so that you will deserve respect. Respect has to be earned personally. Race can eventually be taken out of the equation...

Here is a very important quote:

Race is unimportant. The color of people's skin is as trivial as the color of their hair. Be guided by the idea of Viktor Frankl, the Jewish psychiatrist who suffered the horrors of a Nazi death camp and whose family was gassed. After the Holocaust, he was asked, "Do you hate the Germans?" "No, I don't," he replied, "because there are only two races, the decent and the indecent." Remember that truism, and you can never be racist.
Dennis Prager

I am black. My wife is white. We have never had any open issue with being mistreated by white people. Including in the South and Idaho. (The dirty looks I got in Idaho ceased as soon as I took of my LA Lakers can and that is the absolute truth). We honeymooned at Walt Disney World and no one looked at us cross-eyed. We come back to San Diego and go to breakfast 3 miles from home and the black waitress will not acknowledge my wife and the black female patrons sitting behind me are talking about us with the waitress at every opportunity. I am not saying there are no white racists. That would be stupid in the extreme to say. And I KNOW that it is not true. But this has been my personal experience. Most of the racism I have personally observed has been blacks being racist towards whites (or bi-racial couples). RACISM BY BLACKS HAS TO STOP! I know there is a long way to go in race relations but this is not the way to go about it. Reverend King would be absolutely disgusted and disheartened by where we are today. Because his people, my people, will often not only deny the progress that has been made, be we DESIRE segregation. We want to be isolated because of our color. We want to be seen as black first. THAT WAS NEVER THE DREAM. This WAS.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Can that become the dream again? Please can it? And MAYBE, if we can actually discuss these issues assuming the best about the other individual rather than the worst we can get the rest of the way there...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disagreement Doesn't Have To Be "Hate" Or Hateful

I would just like to state for the record that to have a moral disagreement with or about something is not by definition "hate". If you know me or have read my posts in the past you know that most of the hatred in my life has been directed towards Hughesnet, which is no longer my internet service non-provider (to the glory of God) and Matt, the brutal Wii boxer at around level 1600 skill points (who I have now been able to conquer).

That said, I have a moral code and values based on the bible which I believe to be the Word of God and His plan for human life. IF you know me personally you know I am not a hater. I choose to believe that God created life in a certain way and know best how that life should be lived. I believe God wants the best FOR EVERY human that has ever lived or ever will live. I believe that we as people are His children and that as such we want to have our own way. And I believe that as a "parent", God knows better than we do about what is best for us. That is where I am coming from. I understand, if this is not your value system. I am just letting you know mine. It has also for most of our country's existence been the prevailing value system. I acknowledge that these values have never been adhered to perfectly. I am responsible for MY words and actions alone and ask to be judged by MY words and actions alone.

To the best of my ability, I don't treat anyone poorly. I don't care your race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation or (in the last few years) even your affiliation with the Boston Celtics. If you treat me with respect (even if you don't) I will treat you with respect. That doesn't mean I will agree with everything you say, do or believe.

Regarding the hot topic of the week. I don't believe marriage should be broadened beyond the scope of one man and one woman. (Polygamy when found in the bible proves to be nothing but trouble and is included because that is what people were doing.) I think the one man married to one woman family unit is the way God expressed His intent in the bible. I believe this in the same way that I believe that men in general should not follow our natural inclination to try to get with every woman we find attractive. But I DO NOT BELIEVE that people that are not inclined to live this way deserve abusive treatment or any ill will at all. But I also do not believe that the DEFINITION of marriage should be changed to accommodate other forms of family units. I know there are gay households and families that are healthier and happier than some hetero homes. I just don't believe that justifies officially changing the very fabric of society. I think a civil union that gives the same legal rights to a gay partner should be enough. It is simply not necessary to say that marriage between two men or two women is exactly the same as the marriage between a man and a woman. Men and woman TEND to bring different things to the table of life and those differences ideally create a balance in a home that are unlikely to be created otherwise. It's emotional, it's chemical, it's physiological, it's honest. Men and women are different. And it is neither a put down to or a glorification of either. All this is to say I DO believe that there is an ideal family unit and that it includes one man married to one woman and goes on from there with or without children. This is NOT to say that I wish other families destroyed, abolished, persecuted or whatever. It is only to say is that this should be the recognized ideal. I think when you say someone is a husband or father you should be able to to assume it is a man you are speaking about. And if you are speaking of a wife or mother you are speaking about a woman. I believe it is the most healthy and sustainable family unit for society. And I truly don't believe it makes me a bigoted, homophobic monster to think this way.

I have other beliefs based strictly on what I would consider to be common sense.

For instance: I don't believe that GENERALLY speaking pound for pound women are equally as physically strong as men. Of course, there are exceptions. Hence the word GENERALLY. When it comes to say, emergency services or the military, doesn't it make sense to have a set standard based on can you physically accomplish the task set before you, as opposed to what do you have under your uniform? The standards set for combat or for carrying people out of burning builders should be based on CAN YOU HANDLE THE GEAR? CAN YOU PHYSICALLY DO THIS JOB? That, again is not hatred.  That is a legitimate question. If you are in a combat unit can you carry your own gear and do your job? If you are a firefighter or paramedic, can you carry that person out of that building? I am strictly dealing with the physicality issues here for the moment. I am not saying a woman shouldn't be a combat soldier or a firefighter. I am saying it makes infinitely more sense to me to insist that a woman be held to the same physical standards, because that IS the job. 

PLEASE, if you don't know me, don't get nasty and call me a hater. Let's engage on a higher plane than that. If you know me, you KNOW I am not a hater. Can we agree in advance to disagree agreeably? There IS room for discourse. There HAS to be. THAT IS America. I think I have expressed my views without spewing bile on anybody. And if I have been unsuccessful in my attempt to be respectful please be kind in your rebuke and show me the err of my ways. I WILL LISTEN... All I ask is that you express your challenges to my view with equal respectfulness. 

I love you all! (Even Hughesnet, now that we've broken up.) God bless you all! ESPECIALLY those of you who don't believe in Him!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So Advanced It's Simple: The Butterfly Effect, Alias and God

I was listening to II Samuel and I Kings this morning and come upon this passage in Samuel that has always been messy...especially in light of the corresponding passage in I Chronicles. I will lead with the significant verse in Chronicles.

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. (1 Chronicles 21:1 NIV)

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” 

What, wait!? No, we must press on.

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel. After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand. David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ ” So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.” (2 Samuel 24:1-4, 8-17 NIV)

The first verses of these to passages seem like a whole of messed up trouble. Did God or Satan incite David to this action? Either way it's a hot mess! If God did, that is messed up because I thought God never tempts us. If Satan why doesn't it say so in both places, right?!? This is where Alias and The Butterfly Effect come in. Here's the dealio. The Butterfly Effect is basically this (as well as a movie). Very small events can have immense far reaching consequences. 

Context is everything, so here's some context. The key issue is that the Lord was angry with Israel again. It doesn't even allude to why other than saying "again". What does it mean when God is angry with Israel? Usually it means that they have been cheating on Him in one way or another.
To get that context I will look at two possible ways. One suggestion from a Bible commentary is that it was because Israel had sided against David (and ultimately against God, who chose him) when his son, Absolom had attempted a hostile take over. 

Another possibility is revealed in Kings. 

Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the Lord. Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. (1 Kings 3:1-3 NIV)

Sacrifices were supposed to be offered at a certain place in a certain way. This did not include the high places. Not to go real far down an immense rabbit trail, high places appear a lot and it only seems to be a good thing in God's eyes when they're destroyed.

The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors. (2 Chronicles 20:33 NIV)

So it would seem they had been doing this during David's time as well and God was not pleased. Whatever the reason, they had angered God to the point of saying "I have had enough!" 

Here's the progression: God gives us plenty of rope to allow us to be pulled up to Him. Unfortunately, we tend to instead hang ourselves with the lifeline. God has rules. We break the rules. Satan exploits our nature. God knows this and allows him to do so. Ultimately, God is in charge so it can be said that God incited David. 

The Butterfly Effect: Pride in the heart of one man, albeit a head of state, brings catastrophe on a nation directly. Although ULTIMATELY they brought it about by their own actions of polictical and spiritual rebellion. 

Alias: Even though good will eventually win the battle itself will be VERY MESSY and innocents will suffer at times. 

And through it all ONLY GOD knows how it all fits together in His plan. 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8, 9, 11 NIV) 

He knows what is right and He IS RIGHT whether we can comprhend it or not. Lifes a puzzle rcwhich only He has ALL the pieces and the ability to the finished picture. See, it's so advanced it's simple.

Next up: King Solomon vs Del Spooner

Friday, June 7, 2013

And You Thought It Was Tough Taming That Shrew...

It's been said that nothing that is worth doing is easy. Or something to that effect. And it's beyond true that some of the hardest things to do in life are extremely important and beneficial. And very possibly the hardest is taming the tongue. Who hasn't said something and even before it had come completely out of their mouth wished they could take it back?

For those of you that don't believe in God there is a lot of bible scripture in this blog. 
But PLEASE READ ON. I believe you will find that nothing here will be contrary to what you find to be true in your own life experience regardless of what lens, paradigm or belief system you view life through.

James 3:2-10
2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 

4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 
6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Whenever you have something negative to say, first ask yourself,  "Will saying this HELP me, anyone else or this situation?" If it doesn't (or can't) maybe it's best flushed from existence, so as to not pollute the atmosphere or anyone's soul including your own. I love you all! Please think safety first and protect that most dangerous of spaces... the space between our ears. And I am not saying we should go all Pollyanna and pretend the world is a perfect place. But please check yourself before you wreck yourself or someone else. We've got to feed and specifically not maim our own or each other's souls.

Words ARE incredibly powerful:

Proverbs 25:15
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Proverbs 12:18
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Job 34:3
 3 For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food

Proverbs 18:21 21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit. 
(The power of either life AND death. Serious consequences. Doubt it? Have you ever just heard someone say something and you just feel horrible? Ever walk into a room and feel the tension in the air when someone has been arguing? Not fighting physically but arguing. And you can physically feel it.)
Don't get me wrong. I know that sometimes hard words have to be said.

Proverbs 28:23
 23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

In the words of the Reverend Adrian Monk, "You'll thank me later." (Perhaps MUCH later...)

BUT it's NOT just what you say it's also HOW you say it. And WHEN you say it... I believe it was the Emperor Tai Ming who said "Tai Ming is EVERYTHING!"

Proverbs 15:1
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 11:12 
 12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

This is what I want it to be like  when I speak. 
(And PLEASE forgive me when I fail & I will do the same for you.)

Song Of Solomon 4:11a
 11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue...

We always have a choice of what to say (or not) and how we say it.

Deuteronomy 30:19
19 ... I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life...

Psalm 39:1a
 1 I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth... "


and when we blow it by spewing venom on ourselves and others or situations try to remember this: 

James 3:2
2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect

and NONE OF US IS PERFECT but in the words of the Reverend Lyle Lovett 

"Look I understand too little too late. I realize there are things you say and do you can never take back. But what would you be if you didn't even try? You have to try"

Another hard thing. Walking that fine line between crucifying yourself and letting yourself go scot free... ah the tightrope. And you thought it was tough taming that shrew...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." 
These immortal words of the Reverend Dread Pirate Roberts are words to live by. Why am I saying this at 6:55 AM? It's because I'm black... Let me 'splain. I am a Christian Vampire, by choice. (No blood sucking or anything like that I don't sleep so good AND I LIKE IT. I could use Isagenix Sleep Support & Renewal to combat this, but like I said, I like it. I can get things done for hours on end without aquiring more things to get done.) All that to say, my wife doesn't like waking up in the middle of the night to find her heater missing. So I have taken to instead of leaving her to freeze I keep my digital arsenal under pillow. So this morning around 5:15 I wake up, go the bathroom and realize I am not going back to sleep anytime soon. I start to check email and catch up on a little e-business in bed. I catch up on my ailing, floundering Lakers and then I stumble upon this.Students taught its unfair to be white.

And now it's on! I spent about 30 minutes pecking on an ipod under the covers. I will try to recreate what I said. Because at a little before 6:30 the screen goes blank and I lost what I was attempting to state while sharing this article on Facebook. Of course, the ipod did this because I'm black. But I digress. Here's roughly what I said. 

Horrible things have been done to "people of color" in this country. NOBODY (sane or honest) DEBATES THIS. The same can be said for Jewish people, Chinese people, Irish people and other ethnic groups. But these other ethnicities do not teach their children to be victims. They teach their children that they don't need to whine they need to work. They are taught to PROVE that they are at least as good if not better than anyone else by working their tails off. 

So, for the love of all that is holy, please do not insult me by telling me I can't make it "on my own" because I am black. Do not tell my wife or daughters they can't achieve on their own because they are women. Do not tell my mulatto son that he needs special help because of his handicap of having a black father and a white mother and the his skin is slightly darker than what is acceptable. We want to achieve. We want to work hard. We want to prove ourselves as capable, inteligent and able to pull our weight. And again, no one is saying there isn't predjudice and racism. But we would all be better served to make a point to not be predjudiced ourselves and WORK OUR TAILS OFF! I mean, sometimes, in our lives we ALL have pain. We ALL have sorrow... wait. But seriously, our President who just started his SECOND TERM, is a MULATTO. I think it is safe and honest to say that we have, at least in many ways and to a certain discernable degree, overcome. 

So "people of color", stop glorifying bad grammar, stop baby daddy-ism, stop glorifying and modeling thug life, stop saying people are "trying to be white" when they try to get an education and stop all the other self-defeating and TRULY self loathing things we do. Say this to yourself constantly (and omit the first part if you can). "There is racism. BUT I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BE A VICTIM OF IT." Because sure, there ARE people who will follow you around in a store. Or won't hire you. Or whatever.  Your best "revenge" is to succeed in spite of them. And the best thing you can do is to prove to them. We are not all "LIKE THAT". It's ok to be yourself but choose to be the best version of yourself not the worst. 

Origin website for this tirade: Being white is unfair.

"Our Perspective

Our community is proud, resilient, strong and filled with disparities. Duluth School District data for 2010 shows that 80% of white students graduate in four years compared to 34% of Native American students and 25% of African American students. 2010 census data for Duluth shows that 18% of whites live in poverty compared to 67% of Blacks and 56% of Native Americans. Recent data from St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services shows that a person living in one specific area of Duluth can expect to live 11 years longer than a person living in another specific area of Duluth. These statistics should be of concern to every one of us. How is our community going to prosper and grow if such disparities exist? How can we accept such inequality?

What is prejudice? The prejudging of a person or situation without sufficient knowledge or facts. Personal and individual beliefs about race that are influenced by the dominant group’s values, practices and beliefs. Anyone can be prejudiced.

What is racism? Racism is more than individual prejudice based on race. Racism is the power of a dominant group, through its systems and institutions, to enforce the dominant culture’s history, values, practices and beliefs. It advantages those in the dominant group and disadvantages those who are not. It results in disparities."

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." This is true but it is not the only true thing. Regardless of your belief system I think these principles found in the bible would serve us well if we followed them.

Deal with what is painful. 
(Romans 12:15 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.)

Embrace and dwell on the positive.
(Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things) 

Work hard. 
(I Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.) 

Be part of the solution not part of the problem. 
(Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.)

I would challenge some of the conclusions at the website above directly. And I won't even get started on the other racism reports and articles that have come out since I started writing this because I have to go work my tail off.... 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rock, rifle, words:

The gun control battle of our time is actually a moot point. Jim Crow was brought down by a campaign of non- violence. AND THAT WAS AWESOME! Slavery in America was brought down by the Civil War and that was an awesome end brought forth at a tremendous and horrible cost! But we could destroy every gun in America today and some criminal would find some way to enforce her will. I said "her" will in order to not be sexist. (Anyone male or female has the same opportunity to be make choices against society.) At that point, law abiding members of society would need to find a way to protect itself and either dissuade or over power her. Eventually, we would be having the exact same argument over whatever her and society utilized as a means of enforcement.

Here is the bottom line. MORALITY. As long as there is anyone who is willing to say "My needs, wants, desires etc. come first and I will do as I please." society either be at the mercy of such a person, or will protect itself from that person. The Bible is my guide to morality and fortunately I am sane. So you don't have to worry about me imposing my will on you. You barely have to even deal with my point of view at all. But that is a another topic altogether. I ultimately answer to God and that keeps me from imposing my will on you. Others may have their own beliefs that keep them from imposing their will and that is all well and good. But there are many people who have no code of ethics, no belief system, no moral compass, no sense of reason, no guilt, no sympathy or empathy, no love of others,no compassion, no fear of death and so on. When such a person is making a point to wreak havoc on the rest of us, I will be praying that someone nearby has the means,whether it be a rock, a rifle or words, to stop them QUICKLY and COMPLETELY. (Not necessarily their life but their actions.)

Until everyone is self-governed to the point where doing harm to another or taking something forcibly from another there will be a need for some form of external force to hinder some people. And unfortunately, it WILL be imperfect because even the "good" are imperfect.