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Peace Is Just A Word

19 May

Recently a friend shared with me a difficult time she and her family endured and how they were given the following words of encouragement by a long-time friend of theirs:

Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times, He lets the storm rage and calms the child.

Tonight as I put my sons to bed, after prayers and nighttime songs, we lay there on the bed in silence. The sounds of the gloaming hour serenaded us. The low purr of air-conditioners. Love songs sung by a choir of cicadas. Sweet lullabies sung by jays and cardinals to their young. The moment was so peaceful I could even hear the beautiful rhythm of my son’s breathing as he drifted off to sleep. There was no storm. All was calm. Still.

Half way around the world I imagined what another father and his sons might be hearing during their bedtime ritual. The shriek of air raid sirens. Hurried footsteps of neighbors and friends scrambling to reach the shelter in time. The roar of fighter jets and shrill whistles of missiles. The deafening thunder of impact. The storm raging all around them.

How blessed am I – are we – to live in one of the few places on Earth where we can hear the laughter of children playing in the cul de sac. Crickets calling to each other from across the front lawn. The bliss of the night breeze caressing and cooling all that was baked and blistered in the harsh summer sun. How blessed are we to have been spared the horror of battle. The heartbreak of indiscriminate casualty. Clearly it is not by our own will or might.

For some unknown reason, God calms the storm for us. He grants us peace. For our brothers and sisters a world away He allows the storm to rage. For them there is no peace.

Eurythmics are always represented in my iPod playlist. Lately, though, I have had their song “Peace Is Just A Word” on repeat. The lyrics are the reflection of one who has given up hope for peace on Earth and the surrender that comes from that loss of hope:

Stop the world

Turn out the sun
I’m so tired of it turning round
Stop the world
Call it a day
Leave it all behind
Leave it that way
Peace
Is just a word
Is just a word
Stop the world
Just let it bleed
Well we’ve taken more
Than everything we need
Stop the world
Just shut it down
There’s no point in it
Spinning round
Peace
Is just a word
Is just a word
Stop the world
Take it anywhere
It’s just that
Living here is more
Than I can bear
Stop the world
Just pack it in
Well we’ve reached the point
Where no one ever wins
No one ever wins!
Peace
Is just a word
Is just a word

 
My fear is that peace IS just a word. Of course I hope I’m wrong, and I pray that the storm will be calmed for those caught in its fury. But if God will not calm the storm, I pray that God will calm His children. That He will give them a sense of inner peace and strength that will enable them to carry on in a broken and bleeding world. I pray that they will be able to see God in the ashes and the rubble. That they will still hear His voice calling to them and comforting them in the eye of the storm. And that they will call to Him in reply.

But mostly I just pray for peace.

Top Ten Tuesday

18 May

Thanks to Amanda and some new friends, I realized I have WAY more than ten things to list about my experiences in the music industry.  So for this week, here’s the next chapter:

Top Ten Times I Asked Myself The Question, “What Am I Doing With My Life?” While Working In Christian Music (Vol. II)

10.  The time I went shopping for food for the bus on a promo tour and one of our VPs gave me his/her “rider” for his/her bus food requirements:  1) Creamy Skippy peanut butter (with his/her own spoon), 2) Bananas without brown spots and 3) Bottled water (Dasani preferred).

 9.  The time I was with a band in Dallas and we got stuck on the wrong side of the Christmas parade in the downtown area.  I could NOT find a way around or through the parade route and the band decided to nickname me Powder.

Powder

 

 8.  The time I showed up to the bus for another promo tour and the bus driver only had one leg.

 7.  The time I hired a road manager for yet another promo tour and he/she disappeared once it was time to load the artist’s gear from the hotel to the bus.  Once my co-worker and I schlepped the artist’s crap to the bus we found the road manager – on the bus – relaxing and having a nice cool beverage while watching a movie.

 6.  The time I lived through this.

 5.  The time I was at my very first sales conference and walked by the soundboard only to kick the power cords out of the wall, causing the video and audio presentations to come to a screeching halt.  100 people in the conference room sitting in silence, wondering what happened, when the sound tech yelled, “Just a moment ladies and gentlemen.  SOMEBODY kicked the power cord out of the wall.”  I was the only one standing up in the entire room, let alone near the soundboard.

 4.  The time I fell down the stairs at my very first Gospel Music Week.  Brick stairs.  And when I say I fell, I mean I fell to my knees at the top of the stairs and proceeded to slide down the brick stairs.  On my shins.  With the artist I was escorting for the day right behind me.  Yes, the skin on my shins has grown back quite nicely.  Thanks for asking.

 3.  The time I searched all over God’s Green Earth (otherwise known as Manhattan’s Midtown) for a McDonalds for an artist’s breakfast because they were on the Atkins Diet and wanted the egg & sausage breakfast.  Once I returned with said fat and lard I was chastised for not having McDonalds remove the biscuits prior to me delivering the meals.

 2.  The time the FBI called my office investigating the moving truck I rented to carry stuff to a trade convention.  It was parked in the lot between my building and the next building over.  The next building over just happened to be a secret FBI office and they were afraid the moving truck may have had explosives in it.  Not Christian music.  Explosives.

 1.  The time I was peed on while working an instore.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Peed.  On.  And not by a child.  It’s a long story.

P.S.  I actually drank blue Gatorade last Saturday at my kids’ ball games.  It tastes like berry-flavored metal.  Ick.

Paparazzi Prodigy?

13 May

Greyson Chance is 12 years old and is UH. MAZE. ING. Ellen even had him on her show today. Check him out!

Pomplamoose’s “Telephone” Cover

12 May

It’s a great song anyway, but this cover is pretty amazing!

Top Ten Tuesday

10 May

My newish friend Amanda inspired me to create a Top Ten Tuesday list.  It is entitled:

Top Ten Times I Asked Myself The Question, “What Am I Doing With My Life?” While Working In Christian Music

10.  The time I received a call from a customer complaining that this album cover was pornographic so the music catalog where it was printed had been burned so the customer’s sons wouldn’t be exposed to said pornography:

9.  The time I almost witnessed an actual conception of a child in an elevator in Philly where a hemotology convention was in full swing.

8.  The time I was asked why I hadn’t purchased billboards all over Nashville for a new release.

7.  The time I had to cut out little Valentine hearts for a radio promo.  LOTS.  OF.  VALENTINE.  HEARTS.

6.  The time one of my artists was asked never to return to a well-known organization’s chapel service because she wore open-toed shoes there, to which I nearly said, “focus on your OWN damn toes,” but didn’t.

5.  The time I received a call from a customer that this album cover was pornographic so the music catalog where it was printed had been burned so the customer’s sons wouldn’t be exposed to said pornography:

4.  The time Andy Griffith left me a mean voicemail after I did exactly what he asked me to do.

3.  The time took an artist to get a mani/pedi just before a video shoot.  Which is why I can relate to this:

2.  The time I was asked to purchase BLUE Gatorade for an artist and when I could only find RED Gatorade I was chastised accordingly by the artist’s road manager.

1.  The time I was asked to find hot tea for the same artist, only to find out it was really only for the artist’s road manager with the thing for BLUE Gatorade.

Little Paris Jackson Made Me Do It

7 Jul

So Paris Jackson’s eulogy at her father’s memorial today got to me.  I got a little nostalgic and when my friend Laura asked for our top Michael Jackson memories on her blog, I couldn’t resist.  Here goes:

Where to begin?

1. The time in 8th grade my best friend Dan and I saw Michael and his posse at Disneyland. Yup – right there by the Autopia ride.

2. My beloved penny loafers – with white socks of course.

3. Seeing Thriller for the first time at the pizza parlor with my friends.

4. Wanting a yellow cardigan like Michael’s in that one poster from the Thriller era.

5. Wanting a tiger cub.

6. Being in NYC when the Victory Tour was at Madison Square Garden and having to go see Cats instead (that one still stings a little).

7. Trying to learn how to do the moonwalk but just causing a lot of static electricity in my body and shocking myself and my dog.

8. Having our junior high youth pastor play “Human Nature” one Sunday while dissecting the lyrics and telling us how naughty Michael was. I sang along through the whole service, thinking about what a great song it was.

9. Pushing up the sleeves of my polished cotton Members Only jacket (with snaps on the cuffs!) so I’d look like Michael. Totally cut off the circulation in my lower arms but hey, fashion over function, right?

10. Seeing the Bad Tour in Los Angeles with my friends Lisa and Jen. His moves were so smooth I’m pretty sure he never quite touched the ground the entire time. Out of this world.

Good times.  Thanks, Michael.

My Soundtrack for March

14 Mar

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Foy Vance