Monday, December 19, 2011

Jesus was a socialist? Oh really...

I've been seeing this a lot lately...

"Jesus was a socialist"

Excuse my ancient education in Public schools (When they still taught history from a pro western, pro Christian and Democratic viewpoint) But, Socialism is based on a Godless, anti Democratic, man made philosophy that is not compatible with Christianity. Those who espouse it as a Christian form of Government and wrongly say that Jesus was a socialist first of all misunderstand the scriptures they quote.
Some of my well intentioned Socialist Christian friends favorite Bible passages are "Give to Caesar what is Caesars, and give to God what is Gods" Matt 22:21 and "All the believers were of one heart and mind,no one claimed any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they own." Acts 4:32

Socialist Christians recently are trying to force feed these (and other) scriptures in the Twittersphere to fit their wealth redistribution philosophies and agendas.
These scriptures are referring to the CHURCH firstly and not a socialist/redistribution form of government. Jesus' statement that we are to give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Gods is telling us to pay our taxes to the government and give to the Church, the house of God, so that the needy do not suffer in the body of Christ, and so that we are good representatives of Christ to the government and society. Acts 4:32 is telling the CHURCH to take care of it's own so that the poor and needy do not have to go outside of the CHURCH for charity, but instead rely on the body of believers to do that.

The Socialist Gospel twists and misuses these verses into an unrecognizable notion that we are to give (by coercion) taxes on an ever increasing basis to support brilliant works of art like "Piss Christ" (who can forget that), or pay the salaries of oh so hip teachers like Former C.U. Professor Ward Churchill who said the Victims of 9/11 are "Little Eichmanns", and more recently and my personal billions of dollars of bailout TARP money to Banks that now are foreclosing on taxpayers homes that gave them the bailout tax money in the first place!

These unfortunate socialist ideas support thousands of other nonsense programs that end up hurting the poor and needy rather than helping them. How? Heres a fine about Rent control for one. The two major U.S. cities with the strongest government rent controls are New York, and San Francisco. Rent controls are supposed to help lower income renters right? But the jokes on the renters because guess where the highest rent prices are by far in the Country? that's right, New York, and San Francisco!
Socialist Christians claim to be more noble and charitable than Christians who believe that free market principles are better for everyone including the poor by misusing and twisting bible passages like the ones above to force feed a godless philosophy on men and women with free minds and free ideas.

You cannot begin with a godless man made philosophy like socialism and even begin to think that what you will end up with is an equitable and fair system. It doesn't work that way.
Jesus never intended his words to be associated with a social philosophy that always in the end oppresses the poor, strips the middle class of their freedom and prosperity, and forcibly makes people pay more and more taxes to a form of government more known for producing mass murderers in the mold of Mao Ze Dong,Joseph Stalin, Kim Jong Il, and Fidel Castro.

I'm the Sax Player...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For 20 Years I didn't drink, not a drop of alcohol.Then my marriage fell apart...

The Title is correct,

I didn't drink any alcohol from 1989 to 2009, except for 2 beers about 10 years ago when a gig fell through and I was the only musician that showed up to play.
Other than that, I was dry, completely dry, for 20 years until 2009 when I realized my marriage was falling apart.
There were several reasons for my abstinence...I drank heavily from the time I was 13 years old through high school weekend parties and on into College where I would finish classes on Thursday afternoon at Colo. St. University, then my musician friend and I would go buy a couple six packs and start the weekend early.

The drinking continued after college when I began playing in local bands playing 6 nights a week (when such gigs were available.) I would start the nights gig with a beer and by the end of the night I would have put away probably 6 beers and 2-3 shots. Afterwards the musicians and I would go to an after hours club or someones house and have a few more beers and shots.
I thought I had to have a drink in my hand to "fit in" and be one of the crew and also to hide a social nervousness around people even though I was on stage.
This went on for years and I was burning out quickly.

I 1982 I joined a Christian Rock Band called Steve Taylor and Some Band and we were signed to a national label touring the country at first in a Dodge van, then in tour buses and airplanes.
I continued drinking even on the road in this band but the Leader (Steve) put strict rules on us musicians that drank alcohol in the band that we could not drink in public at our hotels, in the Hotel bars, or Hotel lobby but had to drink in our rooms or go away from the hotel we were staying at to bars or clubs. ( I want to point out here that Steve Taylor did not drink alcohol at all.)
These were strange people (I thought) these Conservative Christians that didn't join us in imbibing after shows.
In fact at one point one of our crew threw all the beer out of our tour bus some of us had procured.

I Laugh at stuff like that now, but, in looking back, it probably saved my life at the time being in a Christian Rock band and being a non conservative/non Christian in that group amongst these very different band mates that didn't drink at all...
When I actually became a Christian and started following the Lord Jesus Christ I began getting convicted in my heart about drinking too much. I was on stage in front of a lot of mostly young people and still drinking alcohol quite a lot and so, after I was married I just stopped... quit drinking completely. I believe God gave me the strength to just quit cold turkey like that.

I was playing in bars still in California (where I had moved to and was married), and playing the occassional national tour but was completely alcohol free, just drinking coffee or cokes on gigs and raising my new family with the recent addition of my first wonderful little boy.
I didn't want my new boy, who I knew was a gift from God, growing up in a house where he saw his dad drinking...

I think the musician/artist/actor psychology lends itself to addictions quite easily. We like to think outside of the box, artists tend to see things differently than a lot of people and we become very emotional and engaged over the senselessness and heartbreak of the world. We anguish over the inequity we see, the hypocrisy of the powerful that many times use the poor and working class to their advantage, and also the hypocrisy of politicians, and those around us in positions of power. It's part of our psychological make up, and it's also why we do what we do...
But having said that, I think musicians/artists/actors also use this as an excuse to drink too much and use illicit drugs as well. It's a nice cop out.

As the Title marriage of 20 years started falling apart and came completely apart after I returned home from a playing trip to Beijing, China in 2009. My wife left, took my children with her and filed legal seperation.
I won't go into details but I had been suffering from clinical depression and insomnia for two years which was turning me into a vegetable of a human being. I remember being able to relate to Michael Jackson's stories of insomnia. Not being able to sleep for days weeks or months is horrible. Depression is treatable and I finally found the right doctor (Christian Nurse actually) that prescribed the depression drug Cymbalta and another, Seraquel which is a non narcotic depression/Insomnia medication after two long years of no answers. I have to say that Depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain is completely treatable with the right medications and I have found the one's that work well for me.

Unfortunately, a massive amount of damage had already been done to my marriage. I won't say it was all my fault nor all my ex wife's fault, it was both our faults that the marriage fell apart. We also had a tremendous amount of pressure trying to raise two boys with very different special needs.

I started enjoying my new found "Freedom" sitting in with bands, and hitting the liquor store for a six pack or two. I was looking for a way to numb the incredible pain of a lost family...
For three months I was drinking heavily and thought I was "Free" to do so until I rolled my car on a lonely road after going to a bar to sit in with a band and got in an argument with a complete stranger who was just looking for a fight. I thank God I was out on a country road miles from traffic and another car was not involved.

The next thing I remember was being able to grab my cell phone somehow within arms reach, dialing 911, and being pulled out of the car window by paramedics.
Needless to say I lost my license for a year with a reduced sentence of DWAI, had to complete many hours of Community service, a week of work release (which was sort of like being in a college dormitory) and a M.A.D.D. class, group class, as well as paid several thousand dollars in fines and lost work.
I almost lost my life in that wreck and I still suffer from the eight cracked ribs...and I think it was God's intervention that it happened.

So...after seeing the effects drinking was having on my two boys and the incredible mess I had created... I promised my older son I wouldn't drink again, and I've been able to do that (With God's help) for almost 2 years now. I don't even crave the stuff at all.... I've held to my promise to my older son.

Things have been turning around although slowly, I've written a small part of a new book out called "Reflect, 52 stories from worshipers" by my friend Stan Endicott (Beacon Hill Press), and I have more music work coming in all the time. My oldest son is attending Colo. Christian University on three scholarships (thanks to the Lord and his good grades.) And I see God working around me all the time...even in the really difficult, hard times.
He is alive and well and still sitting on the throne, looking for those that He can use for His glory, even the very broken one's like myself.

And I want to be in that Number, When the Saints Go Marching In. How 'bout you?

Don't Shoot me, I'm just the Sax Player...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anders Breivik and the dance of the sugar plum fairies

It was, of course, very predictable,

Anders Breivik, the insane Norwegian that tragically and horrifically murdered at least 70 young bright people on an Island retreat...
Gets favorably compared and associated with "Fundamentalist right wing Christians" by the New York Times.
That was, of course, before the New York Times read Breivik's manifesto in which he states, "It is enough that you are a Christian Agnostic, or a Christian Atheist."

Maybe it's just me, but saying you can be a Christian Atheist is akin to saying the Dalai Lama is a Communist because he likes Chinese food.

I was in the Beautiful Country of Norway on a couple occasions in the mid eighties with a Christian Rock band that was known for sarcastic songs, and I can assure you that none of us in the band thought, or believed, anything resembling this whack jobs notion of what a Christian is.
And so the automatic associations of the NYT and many of it's readers that all Conservative Christians are just like Anders Breivik, the six foot tall, blue eyed, crazed killer, are a figment of George Soros' imagination.

Why, of course, if you believe in Jesus you must be exactly like Anders Breivik!
Or if you prefer his anglicized name Andrew Berwick, which is how he signed his genius manifesto that completely destroys any nonsensical notion that he was a Christian of any kind whatsoever.

Harry Potter is more of a Christian than Breivik because at least HP uses his Warlock spells against the bad guys rather than innocent 15 year olds. This analogy is quite a stretch for me, but since we're stretching...

Alas, convincing the NYT and it's loyal readers that a freak of nature that insists Christian atheists are the same as Christian Christians is lunacy can be hard work indeed.

It makes me wonder whats next? if the "Grey Lady" can associate conservative Christians with an insane mass murderer that quotes the "Grey Lady" regularly, can it be far off when the headline reads..."Mass killer reads Mein Kampf, the Communist manifesto, and the Bible...Conservative Christians to blame?"
Are these people for real?

Don't shoot me...I'm just the Sax Player...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When you're 18 you think you're invincible...

When your 18 you think you're invincible even though several very stupid things you've done in the last week should tell you otherwise.

When you're 25 you begin to realize that you're not quite so invincible because you can't stay out with your friends and party all night and then get up and go to work like you used to.

At 32 you now know you're not invincible because your 7 year old son wants you to ride bikes with him when you get home from work and you tell him to go ride with that sweet little girl next door. but life is now your oyster even though you don't eat them but instead take the fam. to Applebees on weekends.

At 42 you definitely know you're not invincible because 7 body parts are telling you that you aren't including your eyes which now watch your son ride around in a car with the sweet little girl next door that now looks like a pop tart from the cover of US Magazine.

At 52 you know that you're not invincible but you act like it anyway because you're wife left and took the kids when she got sick and tired of you reacting really badly to her wild post menopausal mood swings.

At 64 you know you're not invincible because you can't remember any of the lyrics to "When I'm 64" from the Beatles, and you wander the parking lot at Wal-Mart because you've forgotten where you parked your car.

At 70 you wonder where it all went and invincibility begins to enter your mind but this time it's in the form of the afterlife so you start going back to church and asking God to give you everlasting life because you know that this one's in the can.

At 81 Invincibility is a moot point because just getting from your apartment to the dining hall is a major accomplishment, and you don't care if those whippersnapper 68 year old's to turn the volume all the way up on that ridiculous Jerry Springer because you can't hear it anyway.

Just remember...I am the Sax Player...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Really Ugly Tenor Sax...

I've received a few comments over the years from well meaning people that try to inform me about the look of my treasured Tenor Sax...

Usually, it's something like..."Uh, you might do a little better or get more gigs if you had a Tenor Sax that looked really nice, you know, like those really shiny colored ones that all the hip sax players play."

As soon as I hear a comment like that from someone in the music "Biz" I know right away that though well meaning, folks that offer a comment like that don't know a lick about Saxophones and are really, just showing their ignorance when it comes to musical instruments.

You see, my Tenor Sax is a vintage King Super 20 with a silver plated neck that probably dates to the late 1950s.
The King Super 20s, particularly the ones with silver plated necks and bells as well as certain mother of pearl pearl keys are highly sought after by collectors and players and command thousands on the vintage sax market.

My "Super 20" as they are affectionately known by horn collectors and players is rather used looking. In fact, most of the lacquer is rubbed off and the glossy plating is 90% gone.
It's one rather ugly looking Tenor Sax.

But here's what people that make uninformed comments to me about the look of my Tenor Sax don't know is that not only are the King Super 20 Sax's from the 1940's and 50's sought after for their known value, they are still some of the best SOUNDING Saxophones ever made.
The 1940s and 50s King Saxophones were played by the greatest saxophone players ever known like Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Wilton Felder just to name a few.
In fact, many Modern Sax manufacturers are currently producing new horns with no lacquer on them at all in an attempt to imitate the look and sound of these classic horns.

Several sax manufacturers are putting out horns that look and feel somewhat akin to the vintage saxophones by King, Selmer (Mk IV) and a few others, but the metal work on vintage horns is rather difficult to duplicate. is the sound of these instruments hard to duplicate.

When I listen to comments from folks that don't know anything about saxophones criticize my Tenor I know right away that those comments come from well meaning individuals that are more enamored with the way a horn "looks" rather than the way a sax "sounds".

We live in an age of constant "Image". Since the early 1980s Image, or how things "appear" has replaced real substance or how things really "are". Televisions throw fast paced and beautiful images that are edited and directed to sell a product or someone's agenda with flashy and attractive scenes and beautiful models.
Movies with one hundred million dollar budgets throw up scenes of beautiful actors and actresses at us with ever louder soundtracks and super sharp 3D images meant to thrill us with the spectacle.
Computers and gaming consoles now compete with the big screen and in fact are overtaking sales numbers of movies with incredibly life like video games, some that are so incredibly violent that studies show these games can numb the senses and feelings of people that play them if not moderated.
Pornographic Images proliferate the world wide web with altered images of the human body that are digitally enhanced and modified to make them as attractive as possible to those addicted to pornography, ruining marriages and lives along the way.
While I am a very big movie fan and no prude, I've become increasingly concerned about how many people cannot seem to discern the difference between the "Image" that's projected on T.V., Movie, and computer screens and what's really real.

My Tenor Sax is called the King Super 20 and is one of the ugliest looking Tenors saxes you may come across. It's aged and sort of beat up just like it's player, but when you hear it either live or on a recording you will immediately know that what it looks like has nothing in common with the gorgeous, nuanced, colorful, huge sound it produces. And also how highly prized it is by those educated and discerning enough to know it's real worth.

I'll take real substance over glittery looks every time...and yes, I am the sax player.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Facing Headwinds...

When I was a teenager I used to ride my burgundy Schwinn Continental 10 speed just about every day in the summers after school let out.
I was very proud of that beautiful wine colored bike and would polish it up and maintain it meticulously, taking it apart, lubricating the chain and gears, making sure the tires and tubes were in great shape.
Riding in Colorado is a wonderful experience almost anywhere along the front range as many professional bike racers have found out, and so they come to this area just to train.

In the summers before I went off to College I would ride 10 miles out to the Adams county fairgrounds and then back again in the intense, dry, Colorado summer heat just about every day.

After I began recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident in 2010, I needed to get back in shape so out came the 15 speed pseudo mountain bike (It's a Huffy, don't laugh) and pedal power became once again, my favorite form of exercise.
At first it was grueling pedaling, huffing and puffing my way only about 2-3 miles, but after about three weeks or so I was beginning to get my "riding legs" back to the point where 6-8 miles or so isn't that difficult.

Today was a different story however. The winds were blowing hard from the north as they do in the Great Plains just east of the Rockies. Weather fronts push down from the northwest into Colorado just as they were today, and I found myself riding into stiff headwinds heading towards home.

As my 50 something legs began protesting at the pushing I was asking them to do and a brutal headwind was blowing me around with cars flying by, I offered up a little prayer..."Lord, if you can lessen these headwinds a little I would really appreciate it."
Now, those who may not believe that God hears such small, seemingly trivial prayers like this one might be tempted to ask the question... "What makes you think a mighty God, that you say created the entire universe would answer such a measly, off the cuff prayer from one individual?"

I've asked that very question myself in the past, and I think it's a good one.

As I was pedaling...quickly running out of steam and doing my personal version of "The little engine that could" I put my head down, shifting gears several times battling the stiff headwind and lo and behold, sooner than I thought, I came to the juncture in the road where I had to turn east. Approaching the turn I began thinking to myself..."O.K., I wonder what the wind will be like heading east? if It's coming from the north, east might not be any better and I've got a ways to go."

As I made the turn eastward, to my great surprise, the wind seemed to be at my back, which was strange because riding out earlier, the wind was at my back as I was heading west!
Now that's just weird...the wind was at my back going the opposite direction before, and now it's pushing me eastward?
It was just a seemingly small, meager, but heartfelt prayer...

If you're confronting stiff headwinds...facing things you did not expect at this point in your life.
Perhaps it's a divorce, loss of a parent or child, a serious illness you yourself are dealing with, or someone that you care deeply about, maybe you're experiencing loss of a job. First of all, know that you are not alone, many have faced the "stiff headwinds" life throws at us. Including the person writing this blog.

And also know that God does indeed listen to our simple, meager, but heartfelt prayers said in faith. He hears them and answers those prayers not only of the smallest, seemingly trivial requests, but the big kind as well.

"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you" Matt. 7:7

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Scene before Christ returns...

(This blog has been updated 10/29/14)

Harold Camping is an easy target,

Yes, we've all seen the Facebook posts for the atheists "Rapture Party" happening may 21st. It's easy to mock Harold Camping's False prophecy. Heck, I've even done it on several Facebook posts with pictures of the "End of the World" Billboards that I took here in the Mile High City.
Anyone that's read even a small amount of the Bible will know that Camping is a candidate for a "Silence of the Lambs" suit and a padded room all to himself.
. While Camping insists that he knows the exact day and hour of Christ's second coming, the scriptures are extremely, vividly clear about the subject.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount spoke several paragraphs on his return to earth the second time and how no man on earth can know the day or hour of his second coming.

No man knows the day or the hour, not the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father. Matt 24:36

Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name saying, "I am the Christ" and will deceive many. Matt 24:5

For it is not for you to know times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. Acts 1:7

So you see, even a casual reader of the bible can very clearly discern that those who claim to know dates, days, and times of Christ's return are clearly reading a version of the bible 99 percent of us don't recognize. It amazes me that people still follow these false prophets. Camping has already missed at least one date back in the 90s.

However, and on a very serious note...Jesus also spoke very plainly about some very specific signs that we can look for that would precede his second coming. Here's a few examples from the Bible...

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Matt 24:7

You will hear of wars and rumors of war but see to it that you are not alarmed, such things must happen... Matt 24:5

Jesus is telling us that war and talk of war will be wide spread before his return.

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of the birth pains. Matt 24:7

There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands. Luke21:11

As any pregnant woman knows, the birth pains Jesus talks about come with increasing frequency as the birth gets closer and closer. He also stated clearly famines will be happening in various places around the world. Jesus spoke clearly of famines and plagues or pestilences (depending on which version you read) we now have a new virus Ebola, that there is NO vaccine for as of this writing. Unlike the flu, Ebola kills 50-70% of the people that get it. AIDS was the first such disease or pestilence (if you will) that I had heard of in my lifetime. I even had a relative who had AIDS that I and my family had numerous holiday dinners with before he died.
But this new pestilence, Ebola, there IS NO CURE OR VACCINE as of yet. I'm not a conspiracy theorist or alarmist, but as far as I'm concerned this writer and musician has never seen a plague or disease like this that cannot be cured or stopped once it gains traction in a society. If it came to our shores unchecked (which it already has in a small number of people), there is a possibility that it could spread rapidly just as it's doing in Africa right now killing at least 50% of those who contratct it. I'm not saying that will happen, but it surely is a possibility. The bible says in Revelation that just such plagues and wars, and famine will kill one third of mankind in the last days. As a bible believing Christian I have to look at these current events and take stock of the times I live in.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by ALL NATIONS because of me. (Emphasis mine) Matt 24: 9

Jesus very clearly states that Christian persecution will increase to the point that anyone who names the name of Christ will be persecuted in some way, and many will be put in prison and killed. We see this already in places like China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, North Korea, and many Islamic States. I was in China in 2009 during the 60th anniversary of the Communist takeover and I can tell folks that many pastors of what are called "House Churches" were being arrested and are still to this day being rounded up just "disappearing". Recently, in the middle east, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other nations, Christians are being beheaded in front of cameras by ISIS, or other extremely violent Islamic groups.
In 2013-2014 entire villages, towns, and even cities, Christians have had to flee rapidly against the march of the extremely violent ISIS, and those who stay behind face a certain death by beheading, or raped, tortured and sold as slaves.

Here in the U.S. and Europe we have remained relatively free to be outspoken Christians for two centuries, but even here in the west, people that are obvious, publicly speaking Christians that put their faith out in the marketplace of ideas are ridiculed, made fun of and mocked by secularists, mainstream media talking heads, those with a radical agenda (GLAAD/NAMBLA), late night talk show hosts and comedians and many of those that will not follow God's authority, but rather their own.
My own son's Christian University had to fight off it's own (U.S.) government which was trying to force the health and human services abortion pill mandate down their throats, making them comply to supply those abortion inducing drugs against their will and Christian beliefs.
It's becoming increasingly uncomfortable to be an honest, open, and forthright traditional bible believing Christian here in the west as well, which should be a warning and wakeup call to us believers to strengthen and harden our faith now and speak up, before we cannot speak out for our faith at all without being persecuted in a real way.

And many false prophets will arise and deceive many people. Matt 24:11

we're seeing today a vast array of false prophets, even a good number that claim to be Christians and have large (or small) churches, the bible makes it clear through Jesus Christ's own words that there will come a "falling away" first, before other signs happen. Some translations name this an apostasy. What is that, an apostatsy?
well, it's the church itself beginning to veer away from true traditional Christian teaching and doctrine.
Christ said that things will get so bad before He returns that even church goers will defect from traditional Christian teaching.  Matthew  7:15,  2 Peter 2:19,  2 Peter 2:1. Just take a look around in the book aisles at Walmart or book stores, and there's a preponderance of "preachers" talking self help, be positive and prosper, speak health and wealth and you will have it, and more recently there's a good size number of "Christian Teachers" that are boldly and arrogantly starting to try to pass off behaviors like Homosexual Marriage, saying that it's perfectly acceptable within the framework of the Christian theology and church! Recently I read an article on a well known "Worship Leader", "Christian singer" and self  styled "Theologian" that has come out gay, and is professing openly that God is ok with that, and that she does not need to confess this perverse sexual immorality as sin, and stop doing it, and more importantly  this so called "Theologian" is TEACHING THIS AS CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.
That type of  deception and what Paul called a "different Gospel" 2 Corinthians 2:11, is being fed into minds of young people in churches and quite a few Pastors are just fine and dandy with that.
That false gospel heretically flies in the face of the previous 1,900 years of traditional Christian teaching. In my humble opinion we are seeing great apostasy, and perverse doctrines of demons now being taught as Christian theology. If that's not a falling away I don't know what is.

At that time, many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other. Matt 24:10

Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Matt 24:12

How's your Love holding up today Christian? and I say this to myself as well...
Jesus very plainly states that non believers and even believers will lose their love for one another as the time approaches of His second coming because society will become so coarse, so numb to sin, so crazed with self adulation and greed, so prideful (and I'm saying this to those of us in the church as well) so enamored with ourselves that we want God and those who speak for God out of our lives. Societies will become so in love with sin that anyone that speaks up against that fact will be labeled crazy, extremist, and relegated to the fringe even though it's not true.
I believe Christ also meant that people's ability to care for, and show compassion to one another will be greatly diminished because sin will be so present in our culture before he returns.
How's your love holding up? How's mine holding up? Questions we need to ask ourselves.

For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. Matt 24: 24-25

Great deception will be widespread and put out by many "Gurus", television false christs, self help leaders, movie personalities, rock stars, captains of Industry and politicians and all of those that deny Jesus Christ but hold themselves up as "teachers of enlightenment", and even many who claim to know Christ but by their actions you can clearly see that they do not.
IMHO Christians will need to be in daily prayer for discernment asking God for clear heads, wisdom, and the ability to know the true from the false.

So while I'm typing this on May 21st 2011 (Updated 10/14) and atheists are throwing "Rapture" parties posting Facebook jokes and having a good laugh at Harold Campings expense. We can chuckle at his foolishness... However, we have to seriously know that Jesus gave us some very clear signposts of his return, and remember His words that "He who stands firm to the end will be saved" should also be front and center on our minds...

Don't shoot me...I'm just the Sax Player

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Waiting on God (or not)

Today as I was walking the Dogs (No I wasn't listening to Rufus Thomas, but I wish I were) I started thinking a lot about waiting on God.
Some people might think that's kind of strange to wait on God, but in the Christian world which I've been a part of now for some 24 years, you hear quite a lot about waiting on God.
Some of my friends might say something like "Why wait on God? You just move."
While I agree that sometimes sounds good, but as I've "matured" (geez I hate that word) I've been seeing more and more the wisdom of waiting on God. (Wisdom is a word Boomers use as a way of staying hip and relevant.)

I've been pretty impulsive at many times in my life, moving quickly, making decisions too impulsively without just waiting to see how the Lord may work things out, so instead I've taken things into my own hands usually with results that look like a blender that's lost it's lid and the chocolate smoothie splatters like a bad horror movie's fake blood.

Now, this isn't to say that sometimes God doesen't move quickly, and many times He's moved on by me like a Bullet train on a Japanese express route.
There are examples in history where I think God was waiting for a generation of believers to see his will and they just ignored it so He moved with or without them.

Typically though, it seems like God moves more slowly waiting for us to get in line with his will knowing that it takes a sledge hammer to get our attention.
I've heard from a number of more "Mature" (There it is again) Christian brothers and sisters over the years talk about waiting on the Lord and for good reason I think.
I'm coming around more and more to the viewpoint that not waiting on God and moving impetuously causes a lot of the strife in modern relationships. Marriages break up because of it, friends lose friends because of the friction caused by one person trying to wait on the Lord's direction and the other wants to just "move" quickly.

There are examples of this in the Bible most famously told in the story of Sarah and Abraham. You see, lying to Pharoah about Sarah being his sister rather than Abrahams wife I'm sure caused complications with the Egyptians and amongst themselves because God won't honor even a small sin like a lie (not that this was small).

Again we see it later when Sarah convinces Abraham to have relations with another woman (Hagar) in order to have a child which they do. Haha, can you imagine that conversation? "Honey I want you to sleep with another younger woman so we can have a baby. Nah, I don't think so... O.K. when do I start this gig?"). Imagine the arguments in that household! Oy Vey!. Luckily for Abraham, Sarah, and their later child Isaac, God worked the whole mess out.
I guess what I'm conveying here is that most strife in marriages or relationships are probably caused by one partner or the other taking things into their own hands, and not waiting on the Lord to do HIS will rather than our own. How do I know this? are you kidding me? experience pal, lot's of experience.

Remember, I'm Just the Sax Player...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boomer generation running into a transportation "no win"

I was channel surfing the other night and landed on a PBS show that caught my interest.
The show was talking about how the Boomers were growing older by the day and since most of them (myself included) live in suburbs we're running into a problem.
Suburbs are not known for their mass transit because since the 50's the mode of transportation has always been the car.
As the Boomers have aged our modes of mass transportation have not kept up with a massive generation of people that have always placed the family car as the only form of transportation.

Be it lack of foresight by local and state governments, or just an unwillingness to get on a bus or light rail, Boomers approaching 65 or 70 are finding that living in the suburbs can become an increasingly inconvenient and difficult problem with no convenient mass transit.

I've been complaining for 25 years about the lack of a decent light rail or subway in my home city of Denver, which is similar to most U.S. cities in the west in the fact that local governments spent millions on study after study examining trains and light rail in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere and then never progressing beyond studies to actually build a light rail or some form of good public transit.
Now we have an aging generation, the largest in American history, with no decent way for them to get around and since everything in the burbs is not within walking distance older people are forced to drive or depend on their children.

This is a serious situation as gas prices are predicted to rise through 2011-2012 possibly to as much as $4 a gallon. While many seem to think high gas prices are "good" for America causing us to drive electric cars, biking to work, or riding mass transit, in the western U.S. this is just not realistic. Particularly as the Boomer generation ages.

Older workers and those just retiring will be faced with massive gasoline costs monthly and in the weakest economy in 50 years calling this situation "good" for America is heartless and hypocritical.
Mass transit must be improved in the suburbs of most American cities and governments AND the private sector must find a way to do it or we're going to have in 20-30 years a lot of house bound retirees and older workers with no way to get around and living in sub standard conditions.

Remember, I'm Just the Sax Player

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Tron Legacy" as a Christian Metaphor

A couple of years ago I rummaged through a collectors toy store and found an old VHS copy of the original 'Tron" Disney film from 1982 not expecting that either of my boys would like it, but surprisingly, my then 11 year old watched it transfixed and then watched it several times over the next week or so. My younger son has been anxiously awaiting the new "Tron Legacy" Film so we headed to the multiplex today for his 13th birthday.
The original "Tron" was not a fav. of mine I have to admit, mostly because watching bad acting with guys in white knit suits and hats that resembled olympic hockey helmets with lights on them was too nerdy for me even in '82.
The Idea however of "Tron" did have a fascination for me and quite a few of my musician, electronics geek pals. Where I parted company with them was because of the incredibly bad special effects that were available in that decade.
As my son and I got our 3-d glasses on (for an extra $4 I might add) I knew this film was going to be much different. What I didn't expect was a lesson in using high tech film as an analogy for Christian theology and allegorical biblical storytelling.
The original Tron held a cult fascination for geekdom because a human, in this case Jeff Bridges gets zapped into his Computer by a laser and he navigates a digital, microchip world populated with "Programs" that look like humans that can be evil or good. (They also get to ride the coolest digital motorcycles seen on film).
"Tron Legacy" takes the concept quite a bit further when the son of Jeff Bridges enters his fathers computer grid world once again looking for his dad and also his own identity, which has escaped him since his fathers disappearance.
The Christian analogies hit me about half way through when the "son" comes back into the digital world to save it from the evil clone created by Jeff Bridges. The father obviously loves his son and is willing to sacrifice to save both worlds. Another metaphor is satan disguised as Jeff Bridges clone program (eerily made to look like Jeff Bridges of 25 years ago with incredible CGI) created to make the digital world more perfect, but then maliciously takes over with the ultimate goal of "perfecting" not only the digital world but the real world as well.
I think Disney's writers are also trying to make a statement about those that attempt to create a perfect world through force even if it cannot be done to the detriment of society. The analogy to totalitarian regimes of the past and present is very obvious to this moviegoers eyes.
To this believer, the allegory was inescapable. Whether Disney's screenwriters had this in mind or not is hard to say, and that could be a topic for a whole different blog.
Jeff Bridges (the father) sums up well what we can take away from "Tron Legacy" in his statement "I'm sorry, I was trying to create perfection... But it was right in front of me the whole time".

Remember, I'm just the Sax Player. :)