Friday, May 25, 2007

Life is Good

I saw a car with both a “Life is Good” decal and “Darwin” emblem. I agree that life is good. I believe we need to protect life, cherish life, and live life in all its forms to the fullest extinct. But the “Life is Good” idea and the Darwin emblem are a big contradiction.

Life is good because a creator god created us and every living thing. He gave us each a place, a time, and a purpose. It is pleasing to God, and to ourselves as well, when we seek that purpose.

Darwinist believe that we are here as a result of some great accident of time and space. Therefore our only purpose is what we create for ourselves. It certainly takes a lot of brain work and self-searching to find a good life in that.

One of the characteristics of this post-modern generation is that they are comfortable with contradictions. They can readily accept opposite beliefs at the same time. Others of us have a hard time believing that there are such things as: jumbo shrimp, liquid gas, original copies, constructive criticism, military intelligence, and a just war.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thin and Rich

“You can be both rich and thin if you have self-control.” I think of that when I walk by the cookie case at Homer’s. The cookies seem to call louder than my desire to stay fit. Sometimes the cookies win, sometimes I win, but it is always a struggle. My favorite drink is still a milk shake. That wasn’t too bad back when I was six feet tall and 150 pounds. I am still six foot, but it has been a while since I saw 150, so I must limit the number of milk shakes I drink.

As for finances, the basic principle is spend less than you make. If we do that over time we will accumulate wealth. If we spend more than we make, we accumulate debt.

One of the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5 is self-control. Self-control in our spending and self-control in our eating have clear long-term affects. The opposite of self-control is gluttony. Gluttony is a sin that has as much to do with over-consumption as it does with over-eating. We can over-consume in all kinds of areas from our houses and cars to the clothes we wear. Over-consumption is rampant in American society. Self-control is out-of-style.

I want to be thin and fit, have money in my pocket, and be a person known for self-control. They all go together.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


A few weeks ago The Washington Post ran an article about an experiment they ran. They asked world famous classical violinist, Joshua Bell, to play in the subway. He played a 45-minute concert of some of the world’s most beautiful music on a $3.5 million Stradivarius violin.

Only one person recognized him, and one other stopped to acknowledge that this was a superb music performance. The vast majority didn’t notice.

This does not surprise me at all. Every Friday and Saturday, during our concert times, people come into Homer’s Coffee House where I work, order their drinks and leave – having never even glanced at the stage.

Just about every week, somebody will comment to me about a magic moment on stage, a debut performance of a great song or a career best solo by a jazz artist, that had gone mostly unnoticed by the audience.

I don’t know what this means. It may indicate a lack of arts education in the schools, but it probably just means that we are too busy or too wrapped-up in our own affairs to pay attention to what is going on around us.

I describe myself as a musician, a photographer, and writer. What that really means is that I am an observer of life. I try to look for things of beauty around me. I might try to capture them with a camera, write about them, or show it to the world somehow through music. As a photographer it seems that my job is to look for beauty in God’s creation, and then force people to look at it by putting it in a box and hanging it on the wall.

I hope that if I heard great music in a subway station I would stop to listen – I have in the past. But I have probably missed a lot to.

God gave us beauty for our enjoyment. I believe we please Him when we take the time to do so.