Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lies about Loyal, Patriotic Americans...

In the shadow of the recent Paris attacks that killed 129 people, some trapped in a concert hall of mostly young enthusiastic music lovers going to see a heavy metal American band named "Eagles of Death Metal" the outpouring of support and prayers for the French people has been heartening to say the least.

Once again we see on our screens both small and large how Islamic terrorists have created hellish carnage on people that have never done a damn thing to them...

Reactions were quick not only in France, but Germany and other European nations as well as here in the U.S.

Conservatives like myself were saying that our Nation needs to buckle down and figure out how to
keep mindless animals with no conscience from entering through our leaky borders (As France and other European countries did). We who call ourselves loyal and Patriotic towards America think that our leaders need to be more concerned about
protecting the United States, and not so concerned about what to do about Syrian refugees.

The President in typical divisive fashion stated an off hand remark about "Orphans and Widows"  in a reference to scripture (James 1:27) derisively mocking mostly Republicans or conservatives who believe his job number one is supposed to be protecting American citizens. The left wing in this country are very quick and good at quoting bible passages they think help their agendas, but are very slow to or ignore completely those bible verses that go against their agendas as it comes to allowing a few million illegal immigrants in through the borders like Romans 2:13 "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but those who OBEY the law who will be declared righteous."

This divisive side remark came after Republicans and conservatives running for President stated that after the gruesome Paris attacks we need to keep Syrian refugees out of our borders until we can vett them and weed out those who easily could be ISIS or Al Queida terrorists posing as refugees, which in many Americans minds is not unreasonable, not at all unreasonable.

The Presidents remark was an attempt at using a Bible verse to shame those of us who believe we should take our national sovereignty and leaky borders seriously, as if somehow in his mind "You people call yourselves Christians but don't adhere to the Bible you listen to and read because you don't want to bring in fifty or a hundred thousand Syrian refugees here fleeing ISIS."

Ok, so that's fair game using the Bible to ridicule people of the Bible...but, and here's where the President and the millions of people who follow and believe his every word are making a critical error...
They make the assumption that those of us who are patriotic towards the United States, who want to
protect our national sovereignty and the people here first and foremost are somehow not compassionate, not caring, not taking care of "Orpans and Widows" and are heartless and cruel because we want to make sure our country is safe first. In the Presidents left wing mind we are not acting like Christians as do all of his ardent followers.

Quite frankly...that's bullcrap,
and here's why...

I'm going to speak a bit about what I do personally (not to brag about my charity work or giving but to undercut the lies people tell about us) and a few other I know personally that on a very regular basis , (and I mean giving donations every single paycheck on a weekly or even two or three times a week) to charities that not only take care of "Widows and Orphans" but also
help refugees and those being persecuted by ISIS or other Islamic radicals and minorities like Christians in middle eastern countries that are being beheaded and slaughtered every day and or do volunteer type charity work and have done those things not for a couple years or so, but DECADES.
Like the  Apostle Paul I'm going to boast a bit more (not to elevate myself) but to undercut what our left wing comrades assume about conservative Christians like myself.
Some of you know my work for Christian bands over the years or what some of us call "Musicianary" bands in places like Communist Poland playing for persecuted Christians there, or playing for Christians (and non Christians) in Santiago Chile, or six years ago in Beijing playing for persecuted Christians there, some of who's churches are now being torn down by the Communist Govt. today.

Take Franklin Graham for instance who is a patriotic American, that believes like most conservatives we should be
protecting our borders and weeding out possible Islamic terrorists before letting them in but who also feeds, clothes, brings medicines and doctors to literally thousands of people every single day of the year in countries around the entire world. There's a Patriotic American who puts his money where his mouth is...

I'm feeling a bit like theApostle Paul here who stated "Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this) I am more, I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely..."
The Apostle's point in doing an entire chapter of boasting about what he's done was that there were those claiming to be influential people of the Church that were influencing Christians in the wrong way and wanted the same status as Paul...he stated it this way in 2 Corinthians 11:12, "But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are fasle apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ."

And so, I must be out of my mind also, like the apostle, because I see people quoting scripture and the Bible using it as a tool to sway people's minds towards their way of thinking.
When I see powerful political leaders like the President or Nancy Pelosi just to name a few, using the Bible to justify everything from the slaughter of abortion (where is that in scripture?), to pushing Homosexual marriage, to global warming or climate change, to bringing in thousands of Syrian refugees without making sure they are not terrorists intent on killing Americans, or The Affordable care act which is not at all affordable (as millions of people are now finding out including my own family members) but who also manhandle
and attack Christian charity groups like Little sisters of the poor that do nothing but serve elderly and poor people their entire lives, or accuse small Christian business owners and use government force to make them serve Homosexual so called "Marriages" by mandating they bake their wedding cakes and being "reeducated", or Christians who think (Like me) that the Presidents compassion is severely misguided if we let thousands of refugees in (mostly Islamic) that we don't know for sure if they are terrorists or not.
BTW in another show of misguidance, the refugees the President is bringing here do not represent an accurate crossection of actual numbers of Muslims and Christians as well as other minorities from those Countries. The Muslim percentage of refugees now coming into this country is 96 percent vs. 3 percent Christian...once again, the Obama policies appear to be hurting christians. But he alludes to the Bible so well and craftily doesn't he?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

We Weep again...

I've been connected to two mass shootings,
Not directly connected but connected enough that they affected me more than if I had not
known anyone at the shootings.
When the two shooters entered Columbine H.S. in Littleton I was playing music every week
at a large church in Highlands Ranch, Co. just 15 minutes or so from Columbine H.S.
After the shootings I asked the music director if some of those kids went to the church and he said yes, there were some of the H.S. Students at Columbine that went to that church I was playing music at at the time.
I didm't know the students personally because the church was very large, but I felt that connection to
the shootings more than the average person I think.

The night that James Holmes took it upon himself to walk into Century 16 Theaters in Aurora
I was watching the television at home and for some reason thought my oldest son might have been at that theater. It turned out not to be true, but I was up all night, I didn't sleep at all until I spoke with my son at 8 o'clock the next morning.
A former band student of mine was in the Century 16 theater that godawful night, fortunately not
in theater 10 but adjacent to it. I was told she was alright, at least physically.

The media tells us that your chances of being killed in one of these mass shootings is extremely rare.
We're much more likely to be killed by a car accident or falling off a ladder and breaking our neck
than being murdered in one of these shootings, but I can't help but think that these kinds of mass
murders are a more recent pheonomena.
I've done some research and there were mass school murders even back 90-100 years ago, but the deadliest was carried out by bombing the school, not using a gun or guns.

I don't recall when I attended H.S. in the mid 1970's reading about mass shootings
of the Century 16 type. Maybe I'm wrong and just have a reminiscent fondness for the age of my youth, but I don't think so.
Things were more innocent when I and my classmates grew up, sure there was the occasional Charles Manson psychopathic killer let loose, but not of the number and frequency we're seeing today.
From what I read there appears to be one of these mass school, or theater, or mall mass shootings
at least 2-3 times a year.
Some experts say it's the media that makes it appear that there's more mass shootings today and the hype is
a lot higher when these things happen, maybe, but to my eyes the frequency of mass killings seems to be increasing since the 1990's.

Those on the left say that there's too many guns in America today, they say anyone can get a gun from a gun show or any dealer, and some of those people shouldn't have guns, those with a record of mental instability or a record of violent behavior should not be able to buy a gun.
Leftists say that gun controls are the answer similar to the gun laws passed in England and Australia which prohibit ANYONE from buying a gun.
Unfortunately for the left the constitution does not allow American's guns to be confisacted and banned.
While those with a history of mental illnes should not be able to buy a gun I agree somewhat with that premise, however the leftists in this country would like to ultimately see a gun ban like Australia has. I have no doubt about that.
The President came out and pretty much said this after the Umpquah College shootings the very day
of the mass murders.
The President wasted no time making the tragedy a political pulpit for gun control, and some of the families in Oregon who's relatives were shot very much resent this obvious political move by the President.
One of the fathers of a young student shot has even told the President don't come here and make
us listen to to your political opportunist speech about gun control on the tragedy we've suffered.
They don't want him there at all...

Those on the right say it's a mental health issue, they believe that there's too many people walking around with serious mental health issues that want to take their anger dissapointment and rage out
on a lot of innocent people.
Presidential candidate Ben Carson said we need to start thinking about putting armed security guards
in schools and the reason is because conservatives believe that "Gun Free Zones" kill people.
I happen to be one of those conservatives.
When I look at Columbine, Century 16, Newtown, Virginia Tech, and several other mass shootings they all have one thing in common.
They were gun free zones, no one could bring a concealed carry weapon in those places.
I believe (as do most conservatives) that gun free zones are picked by insane mass killers
because they know for sure they have a target rich area where there will be absolutely no
resistance. I consider gun free zones a designated area for killers to pick off innocents like sitting ducks in a shooting gallery.
These killers know for certain there will be no one to fire back at them for several minutes if not longer and they can do their demonic damage for quite awhile before police will arrive.

 As a Christian I believe there is something causing these mass shootings that has nothing to do with whether guns are available or not, or whether the killers needed mental health help and didn't get it.
I believe as a Christian that there is a lack of respect for human life that our nation has accepted
and even condones now.
 Samuel L. Jackson said this in a Los Angeles Times article a few years ago...

"I don't think it's about more gun control...I grew up in the south with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone, it's about a lack of respect for human life."

I think Samuel L. Jackson is absolutely dead on correct in that statement.
We now throw away life in this country, life is cheap, and in fact sometimes the lives of tiny humans
can even make a huge corporation a lot of money by selling the baby parts, as the Planned Parenthood
videos we saw last summer make clear (yes, I've watched all of them)
I would encourage everyone to take a look at those videos where a Planned Parenthood head says "I need a new Lamborghini"

Former Governor Dick Lamm of my state of Colorado said famously years ago "The old have a duty to die" And so we see that even politicians are claiming that life is cheap, if you're old and can't work anymore you have a duty to off yourself, that's what Lamm is saying.
The problem I have with Dick Lamm's words is that he is now old, so, according to his own words
he should get rid of himself. But I doubt that will happen, because people like Lamm don't mean their words for themselves they mean them for everyone else BUT themselves.

But those like Dick Lamm have gained a lot of traction in America the last 40 years, life is cheap, and our leaders even come right out and say so.
So, the next time we see a mass shooting in a school, theater, or mall (which we will) just remember the words of Dick Lamm..."We have a duty to die"

I'm the Sax Player...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Working Musician's Prayer Blessing

Working Musician's Prayer Blessing

May you're hauling be light
and you're show ever tight

May you're gear be the best
You're shows never stressed

May you're groove be delicious
and agents not vicious

May you're stage hands be quick
And you're screw ups not stick

You're solos divine
and you're gig food sublime

May you're travel be easy
and stage jokes be pleasing

You're stage be so spacious
And band efficacious

May you're audiences be clear full
you're ballads be tearful

You're jobs stand to last
and you're pay ever fast

May you're front man be eloquent
And song list be relevant

You're bookings be many
and jar full of twenties

May you're work stand the test
You're families be blessed

And most of all...
May The Lord be your guide
and have nothing to hide


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Other People's Money!!

I was in downtown Denver a few weeks ago waiting to perform on a music job and as I so often do I stopped on he 16th Street Mall to get a coffee attempting to wind down after a long drive and relax a bit before running off to perform.

I sat down with my coffee outside the coffee shop on their patio beginning to enjoy
a moment of quiet when a homeless man came up to me and said "Now you look like a gentleman, a man of decency and kindness."

At this point I already knew he wanted something because I've been around the homeless enough to recognize their spiels or "come on's"

So he and I chatted for a few minutes as he buttered me up complimenting me and saying "You must be a good man" to which I said, No not really, I do good when I can where I can, but no." Trying to perhaps make him move down the street to another "Target" so I could relax before working.

He kept on though, and then he popped the question I knew was coming "I could use a meal." To which I replied "Yes I can do that."
At first I said "Here's a Starbucks and I can get you a sandwich or something"
But as I was speaking I remembered I had a lunch in my car with sandwiches, a drink, Cookies, and a Yogurt and candy bar and I was a bit low on cash...
So I told him "actually I just remembered I have a lunch in my car and I can give you that, it's got quite a bit of food in it"

The street person got angry and said "You're jive, your dishonest, you said you would buy me a meal."
And I said kindly "Yeah, I know but I'm running a bit low on cash, and I already have a large sack lunch in my car and you can have that." And I also told him that just two months ago I was playing music on the street for extra cash, and so I knew where he was coming from.

"NO" he said, at this point getting angry and started calling me names, saying I'm a liar, dishonest, etc...
So, I started packing up my computer and camera and began trying to move away from this guy as I could see the situation was getting tense.

He continued on "Your a Jive Mother$#%#" and at this point I was also getting angry myself because I'm offering this street beggar a free sack lunch and he doesn't want it, but instead angrily wants me to buy him food and is calling me foul names.

I told him "So I guess beggars can be choosers eh?" (granted probably not the smartest thing I've said to a street person, but I was not happy at this point myself) suddenly he exploded and screamed at me "I DON'T USE MY OWN MONEY, I USE OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY."

I moved away and around this violent angry homeless man as gingerly as possible just trying to get to my car while he continued screaming at me, "YOUR JIVE, I USE OTHER PEOPLES MONEY", and began threatening me with violence...

After getting away from this demented man (and also praying for him) and driving away to my music job, I began thinking about what he said, "I don't use my money, I use OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY" and it hit me that there are literally millions of people in this country right now who think a lot like this street beggar.
From the bottom of our society to the very top of the food chain, there are those in our society who scam others to get what they want and use OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY to accomplish this.

I pondered what the angry street beggar said for a long time, and it struck me...I realized that there are many govt. officials, politicians, street con artists, those pretending to do charity work who use very little of the money meant to help the poor but instead are enriching themselves through craftily moving the substantial monies using smart but questionable financial maneuverings all the while using OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY to do it.

We see this type of thinking through a lot of our society today, small business owners facing increasingly more taxes and heavy regulations imposed by politicians who haven't worked a real job in decades, those who have been on food stamps for 20-25 years, or on welfare for decades, (and don't get me wrong, I believe strongly that people who have come on hard times should get a helping hand, because I've been in that situation myself and I try to do so myself for the less fortunate), but that sort of con artist mentality seems to be common place from the street man I met to the highest government officials. What can I get for free?, how can I use someone else's money to benefit myself?, if I can get someone else to pay my meal ticket why should I pay for it myself?

Over the last twenty five years or so I've usually been quick to give a homeless person a buck or two, or hand them a sandwich I had in the car, or even buy them a meal if I had the money to do so, but, I have to say I learned something when the violent angry street man screamed at me...My naivete was shattered so to speak, and unfortunately a bit of my innocence as well, and I've realized that there are some truly devious people in this world, who think nothing of using and conning hard working people, decent people, trusting people out of their hard earned wages. Con artists from street people to politicians at the highest echelons of Govt. who think nothing of using OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY to reach their end goals and they do so with no conscience whatsoever...Sad but true.

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

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Non Believing mind vs. the Believing mind

I've pondered this for a long time, since becoming a Christian in 1986...

The differences between the believing mind and the non believing mind.

Throughout the Bible, which the believer in God trusts as God's revealed truth to the people He created, we see that time and time again the believer relies on the fact that God is omniscient and all knowing, and that God is vastly superior in not only knowledge, but is also wiser than the mind of any human being. And how the non believing mind discounts God's wisdom, thinking himself superior to what in his mind is foolishness, and yet is shown to be thwarted and frustrated by God's own hand...
The non believer already discounts God's wisdom as foolishness, and so we see written verses like these.

"Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." Isaiah 29:14

And again in the New Testament...

 "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 1 Corinthians 1:19

Numerous examples display very clearly how the wisdom of men who think themselves wise in their own eyes are frustrated by God Himself as the example of Kind Saul hunting down the innocent and righteous David in the desert shows.

"He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said  to you, "I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish. Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe." 1st Samuel 24:2

David and his men were being hunted down like Dogs by the jealous and wicked King Saul, yet God himself handed the King right into David and his men's hands, as it states in that verse above.
This happened twice where David had yet another opportunity to kill Saul, who had become wicked and jealous of David, as it says here...

"So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”
So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. 1 Samuel 26:7-8

According to these scriptures King Saul prayed to the same God that David did, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible, Our God that we believers now believe and follow today through His Son Jesus Christ...and yet the text reveals clearly that God was listening to David's prayers, while ignoring King Saul's prayers.Why is that? We might ask, why did God listen to David's prayers, but not Saul's? They were praying to the same God, so, what's the problem?

King Saul although appointed by God himself to be king of Israel had become arrogant, self serving and jealous of David's accomplishments. The people loved David, He destroyed Goliath, a nine foot giant of a man with just a slingshot and five stones as a teenager, and in so doing saved the entire nation of Israel.
Saul, although recognizing David's accomplishments which were great, became so enraged with jealousy because the people of Israel loved David and followed him, seeing that he walked with God and was not afraid to show it or talk about it, instead of thanking and recognizing that David had indeed saved King Saul's own Kingdom, he was jealous and vindictive, to the point of wanting to hunt down and kill David.

 Again the bible says this...

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble…1 Cor, 1:25

And again

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-30

Over the years I've witnessed very intelligent highly educated people that refuse to believe in God or His Son Jesus Christ, that while having an appearance of wisdom, seem to lack what a lot of us call common sense, or can't seem to see the bigger picture. There's usually a huge blind spot these types have. To these folks, a believer like me or many millions of other Christians (who possibly have more College education than the non believer, or has accomplished a lot more in their careers) we are simple minded, ignorant, lacking in wisdom, not knowledgeable, and naive...And yet experience tells me that in time, the non believer begins to show a lack of real intelligence or common sense and displays a large amount of self centered arrogance, lacking in humility, while believing themselves very important, having not accomplished that much over the years. I've also witnessed and worked personally with on tours like Promise Keepers in the 90's for three straight years, and a few Christian Missionary type tours (for example in the Philippines or other poor areas with Orphans) with believers of a very high stature In the music Industry which I've been a member of for the last 40 years, who were very humble people. Some of these names are Abraham Laboriel, John Ferraro (Larry Carlton's drummer and others), Cactus Moser (Wynona Judd's Drummer and Husband), Steve Taylor (Widely known Christian Rocker and Film Maker), Nathan East, Bob Wilson (Seawind) to name a few. these Christian musicians and artists I know and have worked with personally that have accomplished things on a national, and international level, not just local or regional level, and are WORLD renown for their musical playing, producing, Film making, or songwriting, are pretty humble people...I'll end with this verse, which I've found to be very truthful and sound wisdom...

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise."

I'm just the Sax Player...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Views on race in America (from a mixed breed Heinz 57 American)

I need to start off this blog with a disclcaimer, I don't see race, or ethnicity...why?
Because my Dad is white, His ancestors came from England and Scotland, and my Mom is half Chinese (her grandfather came from China), and is also half Hispanic, (her mom's maiden name was Martinez)

And so...I'm a mixed breed Heinz 57 American, which is true of a lot of Americans btw.

I've also met quite a few racists in my 56 years on this rock called earth,
When I was touring around the Country hitting almost all 48 lower states in a Christian rock band,
I met white racists in the south...but, I also met Hispanic racists once at a Christian conference (Spanish Speaking) at the Los Angeles Convention center. The extreme racist the trumpet player and I ran into was a Pastor (Imagine that) who angrily confronted us horn players, and said what are you doing here? You don't belong here!!.

Now, I know that not all Hispanic Pastors are racist (and my guess is that most of them are not), and I know not all people from the southern U.S. are white supremacists, that would be a generalization, that would be ludicrous to think that...

I remember the early 1970's as a teen, where the nation had just come through some extremely tense
times, the turbulent 60's had just ended, and the euphoric and materialistic 80's had not hit yet.
I was a Sax playing kid performing in H.S. and college Jazz ensembles, where we were playing
music from Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, and Quincy Jones.

Musicians I was around at that time were much less likely to be racists or have prejudicial
tendencies...why?, because we learned the history of Jazz, Funk, Rhythm and Blues as kids
(at least I did)

We already knew that much of the music we were playing in Jazz ensemble was written by American Blacks, or by composers who were likely inspired by Black Musicians like Louis Armstrong, or Herbie Hancock, or Count Basie, or any number of Black American composers.

I knew from a pictorial History of Jazz huge book we had in my parents house, and that I cut out pictures from for a school report in fifth or sixth grade, that most American music derived from the Black Spirituals, the gospel music of slaves, and those who were servants in mostly white farms and estates, and then was translated later to Bessie Smith, John Handy, Louis Armstrong, and many others, who then translated that to Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940's
Who then translated that to Little Richard, Fats Domino, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis in the 1950's, who then translated that to Elvis Presley, Dave Brubeck, James Brown, Roland Kirk, The Beatles and Rolling Stones, and Aretha Franklin in the 1960's, who then translated that music to Rick James, Earth Wind and Fire, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Lorber Fusion, and a teenage Sax player growing up in the suburbs of Denver during the 1970's yours truly...

And on and on to today skipping thousands (please forgive me) until we come to Snoop Dog, Jay Z, Lecrae, Dirty Loops, Korn, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Koz, and Gerald Albright...

I made a record for a large Gospel label in in Nashville back in 1995, and when I was recording that record, one of the tunes chosen was Andrae Crouch's "Jesus is the Answer"
The Executive Producer of that record walked into the studio and said "Dave, don't put this Andrae Crouch song on the record."
To which I said, "No, It stays, Jesus is the answer stays." and it did...
I had reasons for insisting that Andrae Crouch tune stay on my record and it had to do with race...which I knew in the 1990's was still an issue even in the church, where Sunday Morning to this day is still the most segregated hour of the week...

My point in all of this is that Musicians of whatever color, whether it's the black musicians touring with Duke Ellington and Count Basie in the 1940's who had to stay in the "Colored" parts of hotels because of segregation, to today's musicians and artists like Kirk Franklin or Trombone Shorty, or Maroon 5, or little old me that's just the Sax Player have been working in close quarters with every race, color, creed, ethnic origin, or belief system for decades...

We have order to make a living as a musician, you have to perform with, and get along with every race imaginable...

But having said all of that, I've held my conservative Christian beliefs and mores, and convictions through decades of performing with a LOT of people that don't see things the way I do, from my conservative Christian, and Christian rock band Compatriots in the 1980's, to touring with a multi racial Christmas tour (New Young Messiah) playing with and backing up BeBe and CeCe Winans, Israel Houghton, and Ron Kenoly, to show bands where I am currently the ONLY white (looking) person in the band...

My view on race is this...we're all created in God's image as the Bible says, the extremely tense times we seem to have gone back to, and in my opinion created purposefully to divide, reminiscent of 1970 (to me) is a sign that those of us who hold to the teachings of Jesus, have a lot more work to do...

I'm just the Sax Player...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Chocolate Cross

I was meandering around the grocery store today as I often do...

I like looking at stuff in grocery stores, mainly because when I was a kid in the 60's-70's grocery stores were pretty much just that, a store that sold groceries.

Now (of course) grocery stores resemble small shopping malls, they sell groceries, auto parts, computer memory, DVD'S, toys of all kinds including my favorite Hot Wheels, and recently I ventured through a newish grocery store that was selling mens and womens and kids clothing besides, well..groceries.

 Compared to my childhood remembrance of grocery stores, today they're like magical kingdoms with anything and everything our little hearts desire.

This afternoon wandering around the store between my day gig shifts I came across the aisle where the Holiday food and merchandise is shelved, and lo and behold it was two massive aisles of Easter candy and stuffed  toys.

Just a few days ago those aisles contained every kind of Valentines candy, cards, and hoopla imaginable, it's amazing how fast modern stores changeout their holiday merch.

While looking at the incredible display of Easter chocolates, Easter jelly beans, Easter baskets, Easter stuffed bunnies, Easter egg coloring kits, the thought struck me... "I don't see one item in this huge display that brings to mind the real reason for Easter, the reason we HAVE Easter, and that is the death and ressurection of our Lord and Savior Jesus."

Don't get me wrong I still love candy, particularly jelly beans...

But, with sharp focus I went up one side of the impressive display and down the other side looking for even one item that reminded me of why there is this gigantic candy display, and that is something that brought to mind Christ's amazing sacrifice for you, and for me. His gory, sad, and horrific, but glorious sacrifice on a cross, nailed there for your sins, and my sins.

I was about to give up and hurumph away disgusted with the complete merchandising of Easter, when I spied them, a humble but redeeming little chocolate cross, and next to it a chocolate fish with the word "Jesus" imprinted on it.

My faith was restored (that's a joke, a bad one but still), and so I took my little point and shoot out that I carry everywhere and quickly photographed the chocolate cross and the chocolate fish with "Jesus" on it.

 My thoughts begin to form thinking, I wonder if I'm more like the massive display of  Peter Cottontail chocolate bunnies,  marshmallow blue and yellow chicks,  plastic eggs,  fake grass, jelly beans...

Or... way up on the highest shelf almost out of reach and not too easy to find, am I more like the little chocolate cross and chocolate fish with "Jesus" stamped on it, standing out, clearly different from the thousands of other items...  that reminded me why there is all that candy and goodies in the first place...

Something to ponder during this Lenten season.

I'm just the Sax Player...