Monday Is Only A Day…..

I know that you are likely going to spend all weekend in anticipation of Monday’s monumental FREE show at the Fine Line. I am here to ask you, please, don’t do that to yourself. Monday will come soon enough. Enjoy today for what it is. Call your mom (Mom – I’m gonna call you, I know it’s been too long. I’m sorry). Say something nice to that guy or girl you can’t stand. Write a song in your head, and sing it to everyone you come across. (Hopefully it’s a happy song). Read a book. Get some exercise. Take a nap.

Before you know it, the day will be over, and that only leaves three whole days you have to squander as you dream of my soulful singing, bringing joyous, harmonious – ummm – noise to your ears. As I’m sure you won’t accomplish all you wanted to in the remaining hours of this day, you could certainly do that which you didn’t today, tomorrow.

My point is – Monday will come soon enough. No sense in wasting your weekend thinking of me.

But certainly don’t forget about me! I’m important. You’ll want to write this down:

Monday, January 30th
7:00 PM
Fine Line Music Café
318 First Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
FREE!!!!

I play at 7, for something like an hour. You’ll be home before bed time (Most of you), if that’s your desire. I have a friend or two who will join me as well! Come on out and find out what the ruckus is all about.

See you Monday….

T.

Advertisements

God Created Man In His Own Image…..

So God created man in his own image,    in the image of God he created him;    male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).

God created us perfect.  Every aspect of our bodies, from our internal organs, to our muscles, to our minds, to our very form.  In his image.  It makes me wonder, how literal is that???  “In his image”….

But either way – he designed us perfectly.

Then why are we so distorted?  I look at my soft belly.  My lack of muscle tone, from soft living.  I’m tired.  I’m lethargic.  I don’t feel perfect……

But I am HIS perfection.  First, his perfect creation, even if I have distorted it.  Second – he’s begun and will complete a perfect work in me.  I have so much to be thankful for…..

Phyliss and I started a gym membership again, almost two months ago.  Since then, I’m still soft in the belly.  But I have some muscle tone again.  And I’m not as tired – I have so much more energy!  I certainly have a long way to go.

This time around, for me, is much different than in the past when I was on a “diet/excercie/hot up” kick.  In the past, it was always to try and “hot up”, to “get chicks”.  Even when I was preveiously married – it was to try and look good, to impress others, and who knows….  Thankfully, that never really worked.  I’m not proud of this, but I think I may have taken advantage of that, if the opportunity to have an affair came about.  I know that makes me sound bad.  I think it should – they certainly weren’t my proudest moments….  But the point is, it was always about my vanity.

So why, when I no longer was thinking so highly of myself, did I stop thinking about myself altogether?  And by that I mean neglecting my health.  My temple.  In essence, wasting that which God gave me.  Why?

God has pressed me in this area for a loooong time.  I can be stubborn, which really only makes things hard on me.  🙂  Ah, but God is so patient.  And persistent…..

So we finally got our gym memberships.  We did our homework, and tried to find the best deal.  Pretty much our membership is free, when you take into the account the money our insurance company kicks back if you actually USE the membership.  Which is a blessing.  We didn’t want to be sunk with some huge monthly gym bill.

So this time around, it’s not about me and my vanity.  I’m not on the hunt for women, or accolades.  This time, I am turning yet another area of my life over to Jesus.  I’m doing this to become healtier, and maintain that health.  Diet has naturally come into play here as well.  I’m not sure why, but it’s been easier to avoid the bag of chips, or the container of ice cream, since we started this endeavor.  That’s awesome!  God is so good!

I must confess, I’ve not been perfect.  I’ve “fallen”, with regards to the ocassional snack.  We decided we weren’t going to go on a “diet”, but instead try and avoid complete garbage as much as possible.  So this means we CAN have a treat every now and then.  However, there have been times when I’ve taken advantage of that, or found an occasion to “celebrate”.  Thankfully, it didn’t send me off the deep end, where I might go back to eating ice cream like it were breathing air, or worse – where I might quit going to the gym….

There have also been times when I haven’t wanted to continue going to the gym.  Thankfully, my wife encourages me, and I her when she struggles with this.  God certainly has given me a suitable helper!  And it’s fun to work out with her too!

So – we’ll see how this goes.  I have set some goals.  I have not set hard timelines on those goals, or expectations around them.  My biggest goal is to make sure I don’t wreck my physical body, so that I can be used however God may see fit.  From there – it’s all up to him.

But I wanted to leave you with this – I think it’s funny.  🙂

Life….

39 years after Roe v. Wade, this topic I am going to write about what is still a hotbed for controversy.  I think that is appropriate – it’s not a simple, black and white, topic…..  I, like many, do not talk about this, at least in electronic conversations, often (If ever).  It just opens up the can of worms, where someone is offended, someone offends in return, etc.

But my fears should not stop me from speaking out here.  Not because I am some champion for this “cause”.  Not because you are wrong, and I am right.  Because we are talking about life here……  A living human being…….  Well – two, really.  The mother and the child inside her.  The debate comes down to which life is more important.  More valuable.  And how can I decide that???

While I myself struggle to reconcile that, I think we need to consider a couple things here.  First, there is one important question that anyone who wants to talk about this, or even really have an opinion about, must consider and honestly answer.  When is a life, a life?  Is it at conception?  Later in the stages of pregnancy?  At birth?  Or even later than that?  This question is paramount to any discussion on this topic.  What do you think?

Personally, I believe it’s at the point of conception.  God created us to “be fruitful and multiply”, and he gave us this capacity in an amazing way.  His word describes us as being one He “knew before we were knit in our mother’s womb”.  If you think about this from a natural point of view, even for the layman like me, there is no denying the sperm penetrates the egg, and creates an embrio – a life.  Much like all of nature – we reproduce.  A fetus has a heartbeat at something like 20 days?  Less than a month in.  Parts of their body begin to develop sooner than that, and then all through the gestation period – even post birth.  Because of this information, I believe life begins at conception.

Given that, I find a child in the womb to be no different than a child born to this world.  It’s a life.  It’s as important, as valuable as I am.  I personally do not think I could take a life for any reason, outside of maybe defending the safety and lives of my family.  So, I have two questions.  It’s my prayer you answer them HONESTLY to yourself, before we move on.

1.  When do YOU think a life is a life?  At what stage in pregnancy, or at birth, or whatever?
2.  Could YOU take a life, for any reason?

I know that I’m opening a can of worms here.  I know that some will be offended, and think I’m being judgemental.  I know that some may have taken a life, in some way.  I am not here to judge, and I certainly do not mean to shame or condemn anyone.  Instead, I want you to consider these questions.  Please don’t evade them, or avoid them.  Please don’t justify an answer.  Please, just answer these questions honestly, in your heart.  If you think life does not begin at conception, then the second question would not necessarily apply I may not necessarily have any sort of point to make.  But if you do think life begins at conception, then the second question is potentially a difficult one to answer…..

Again – please know, I do not mean to shame anyone.  Or to prove you wrong.  I want people to consider this.  I want this to be more than a topic to vote on, regardless of which way you lean.  Of course I want you to see things my way – don’t most who have any sort of opinion they are trying to express?  And when we are talking about life and death here – if I consider a life a life at conception – what kind of person am I who is just sitting idle, not voicing my concerns over what we have marginalized as “a woman’s right”???  That’s not hate speech people.  That’s not condemnation.  That is love.

What if the mother’s life is at risk???  I get that sometimes we must consider the life of the mother.  Sometimes the mother’s life is at risk, which would then put the mother and/or father in a predicament where they might have to decide between the life of the child or potentially the mother.  I get that.  I’ve never been there, so I don’t know how I would respond to that ultimatum.  I’d love to tell you I’d “leave it in God’s hands” – but I’m being honest in saying I’ve failed at that in many other areas of my life (I’m a work in progress).  So I won’t make some overarching statement that even in cases where the mother is at risk abortion should not a choice you’d make.  However, from what I’ve read, the numbers are something like 1-2% of all abortions performed, depending on where you get your source.  Let’s push that up to 5% for sake of argument – that is still a very small portion of abortions performed for this reason.  So how can I justify the other 95% – the other millions of children killed?

What if the child is a result of rape???  Again – never been there.  I couldn’t even imagine the horror one goes through, even long after this horrible act.  I imagine that regardless if a person chooses to terminate the baby’s life that is inside them, they are going to suffer much…..  I’m not sure which would be worse on them – adding the fact that they killed the child that is half theirs to this pain, or the physical reminder of this horrible atrocity growing inside them…..  I can never know.  I know that God does – but I also know today that isn’t enough for some.  This is such a tough thing, and most of us have not had to endure such a horrible experience.  However, if you believe that life begins at conception, then this issue is absolutely an area where my second question applies.  Difficult as it may be – it is definitely something we should all consider….

With all that, from what I’ve read, approximately 1% of all abortions are performed on rape victims.  Again, if we were to bump that up to 5%, between these two reasons, that would still leave 90% of the millions of lives extinguished as some sort of choice.  So we get into the debates on the rights of a person, vs the right to life.  That I simply cannot reconcile.  If I answer my first question with “life beings at conception”, then I cannot justify taking the life of my unborn child any more than I could justify taking the life of one of my teenagers……

I do have a lot of thoughts about this topic as a whole, that I’ll just share quickly.  I don’t pretend to have it all figured out.  But I want to get them off my chest, if anyone is still reading:

1.  I hate that this seems to be a topic that is relegated to the voting booth.  I think it dehumanizes it – and this is definitely a human issue.  This is definitely an emotional issue – how can it not be?  But I see so many of us, with strong opinions about this, VOTING on this, instead of TALKING about it.  I see two problems here:
– Someone is wrong here.  There can’t be a “what works for you…” sort of thing.  Either I’m off my rocker, or abortion is murder.  But both can’t be right.
–  I really believe this is an election issue, so that many can win our vote.  I may not like this guy – but he’s pro-life, or pro-choice, so he’s got my vote.  Or – I really like him, but he’s pro-life, or pro-choice, so I can’t vote for him.  It’s probably a small number of votes – but my point is, I think this is more about getting your vote than making a change, or even maintaining what is current.  I am probably being cynical – but then why is this a major topic in all presidential debates?
2.  It’s NOT hate speech, when one speaks out against this.  It’s NOT anti-women’s rights.  Don’t buy in to the crap you are fed on a daily basis. At some point, someone or someones threw that lie out to try and silence those who think the life of a child is more important than my comfort.  And it’s worked, for a very long time.  Don’t buy that.  Don’t HATE, and don’t condemn someone who has had an abortion, or is pro-choice.  But don’t buy into the lie that this is hate speech.  You know better.  Throw that thought out, with all the other garbage that is being fed us in this age.
3.  I don’t have all the answers here.  I don’t know who will adopt all these babies.  But that is another lie we are buying in to – that “if you are against abortion, you better be willing to take on that responsibility”.  Why?  Wait – before I go there, there are many who are willing to do just that,  And are doing just that.  either with donations, or even adopting – often more than one child too. Now back to the why.  There are many who can take on that responsibility themselves.  When we have more than 90% of abortions being performed as a form of birth control, we need to revisit my question on whether a life is a life at conception.  If you answered “Yes”, how can you reconcile taking a life as a form of birth control?
4.  I personally don’t want to even talk about whether or not this should be legal.  Not that I don’t have an opinion on the matter.  More-so, I know I can’t, or shouldn’t be able to, legislate my morality, force it upon you.  If this had never been legalized, maybe I’d think differently?  And maybe I am thinking wrong here.  But I think at the core, I find it more important that you consider this murder, and never consider it an option you would consider for your child.  Even if you have in the past – either yourself, or even endorsed it.  I’d rather change hearts than change laws.  Laws are so often broken.  Hearts can be saved….
5.  As with so many other things – I pray for grace in this area.  Not for me.  For those I love, those I ever encounter.  If ever the day came when one of my children, or one of my loved ones, were to reveal to me that they were involved in any way with an abortion – I pray that I would not judge them, instead love them, and show them the grace and forgiveness that comes from the Father and through Jesus Christ.  I don’t say that to sound “Christian” – I mean it.  It would be easy to forgive those I don’t know, or don’t know well, I think – but I don’t konw that I would act that way to those closest to me.  I can only get there through the grace of Jesus Christ….

I realize that some may read this (there aren’t many who read my blog, but some do), and will get pissed off.  I realize this may make me enemies with some.  I realize some may have already tuned out, writing this post, and potentially me, off as another judgemental “typical American Christian”.  I don’t intend for that to be the case – but that’s how we react so often these days – we immediately discount those who challenge our worldview.  But I’ll ask you something – if I truly believe that unborn child is a life just as much as I am, how else can I think?  If I truly believe that, and I sit silent on this, how selfish, fearful, or even hateful, is that?  And I’ll ask you again – what do you believe?  If even one person changes their mind, if even one person decides against taking the life of their unborn child, it’s worth losing the respect of everyone I know, and so much more…..

A Rant About Depression…….

Nothing saddens me more than hearing someone took their own life…….  How tragic…….  I am heavy in heart today, as I heard of a friend, who lost his son this past weekend to suicide.  I don’t really know the guy.  I’m more of a “fan” of his than a friend.  He’s a great Minneapolis songwriter and musician, having penned a song that my wife and I love to dance to, and quote lyrics from in our little love letters.  But I digress – that’s not what this is about.

He no doubt hurting beyond anything I could ever comprehend.  His world is likely upside down, and I’ll bet to him there is no end in sight to this suffering.  We’ve all likely lost someone in our lives.  Many of us have probably been involved in someone’s life who is suffering, or has suffered from depression, and maybe even attempted suicide.  But not many of us have had to endure something like this.  We who haven’t simply can’t know…….

And – we can’t give words to comfort……  We just don’t know……

Why does something like this break my heart, even more than someone who died naturally?  Or – even more than someone who had their life taken suddenly?  There are parts of my story that I simply can’t tell – it’s not my part of the story.  Some of you know, and you would understand.  But some of you don’t, and I must be respectful.  But suffice it to say, this saddens me beyond explanation.

As does the thought that so many LIVE with the crippling effects of severe depression on a daily basis……  This is NOT what God had intended for us.  Those words likely fall on deaf ears at best, and flat out offend at worst, if you are one suffering today.  That is never my intent, to offend or offer “empty promises”.  It’s more of a heartfelt cry.  I cry this out to God, sometimes it seems like too often.  I see so many friends, loved ones, family members suffering, bound, captive, to mind-numbing, crippling, depression……

And – it angers me.  I’m not mad at them.  We all can fall victim to our own thoughts, whether they be pride, lust, depression, or other.  And Satan wants nothing more than to kill, steal, destroy.  And he does a damn good job of it…..  I’m restraining myself from spewing hateful, foul language right now, as I type.   I wonder sometimes if he loves how much he pisses me off.  He’s getting my goat, if you will.  Riling me up.  And in this case – I would love nothing more than to see him cast into the lake of fire.  I want to see him burn, to see him suffer, endlessly, for all this pile of shit has caused to so me and to so many that I love.

And I realize a few things…….

1.  I take my eyes of Jesus, when I do that.  I do hate the enemy, and all that he represents, with all my heart.  I do long for the day when so many that I love, children of God, are at last free from his slimy grip.  I hate what he’s done in my life, what he’s doing in my loved ones’ lives, and what he’s doing to this beautiful creation.  But I must focus on what Jesus has done, which wipes all that out.

I say “done”, not “doing”, for a reason.  Yes, he is doing.  But what he’s DONE is just that – DONE.  Remembering that can be difficult at times – but true freedom comes from the truth of Jesus Christ.  I’m thankful he never lets me forget that, even when I allow myself to be distracted…..

2.  I know that so many loved ones have been also victim to me and my “mr. fix it” tendencies.  I apologize for that.  Sometimes, maybe you just needed someone to hear you.  To be with you.  I want to do that – and honestly, in my own messed up way, that is what I was trying to do.  But I get that hearing how you “need to do this” doesn’t sound like help to you.  It sounds like I think I’m better than you…..

I don’t….  And I’m truly sorry for that…..

And I don’t say this lightly.  Please – anything you need that I can do for you, let me know.  Yes, I’m praying for you.  God does amazing work in putting on our hearts the needs of those in our lives, does he not?  You’ve been on my heart.  He won’t let me forget.  He doesn’t need me, or my prayers – but he won’t let me forget.

And he often won’t let me stop with just prayers.  So – let me know what it is I can do – even just shut up and be with you….  And cry with you…..

3.  You likely have no idea how valued you are.  To me.  To others.  To God.  He wants so badly for you to see that.  it’s so beautiful when we do.  Identity in Christ far surpasses identity in career, cash, physical appearance, status, what-have-you.  I wish you could see that.

But I know that my indifference has not shown you that in any “real, tangible” way.  In a way you could understand.  My lack of involvement is as good as saying you don’t matter, at least not to me.  That couldn’t be further from the truth!  But it doesn’t matter as your perception is your reality.  For that I’m deeply sorry……..

Who is it in your life that you can think of, that is hurting.  I’m sure we can all think of someone.  Do you pray for them?  Do you call them?  Do you invite them over?  Do you involve them in your lives?  Are you willing to get your “hands dirty”, and get involved in peoples lives?  To love them?  You can’t love them if you don’t get to know them.  You can’t get to know them if you don’t step out of your little world, and step into theirs……

I’m sad for my friend.  I can’t tell him anything that someone else hasn’t said, and there is nothing anyone can say that will bring his son back.  I pray he finds comfort, even in the middle of his sorrow.  Jesus, we need you….  We need you now……

Fine Line Show!!! And More!!!

Hey all, hope you had the grandest holiday break!  Spring break maybe?  Either way – some exciting things I wanted to share with you, regarding my music.

First – I’m playing a solo acoustic gig at the Fine Line in Minneapolis.  You want to go.  This is a cool little venue, and I will be playing new and old songs, originals and covers.  Either way – it would be great to see you.

Monday, January 30th, 7:30 PM (that’s the time I start, so get there a bit before and say hello!)
I play about 45 minutes to an hour
Address is 318 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN  55401.  Your GPS should take you right there.  Parking is right next door, or ramps are a block or two away.
And the best part?  It’s FREE!!!!  Yep – no having to pay to endure an hour of my stuff.

There will be some other really cool folk acts, after I’m done.  So come on out and enjoy yourself.  Note – this is a 21+ show, so sorry if you are not 21+.  I’ll try and get a 21- show sometime in the near future.  But all your 21+ people, I’ll see you there!

Another cool item I wanted to share with you – I recently recorded some cool covers, as I’m putting together a sort of “lost songs” collection.  As part of it, I recorded a few covers of songs I’ve loved for a long time.  One of them is the Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me”, and another is Pete Droge’s “Lord Is Busy”.  Neither are praise or worship songs, but both, particularly the Who song, have spoken to me as a music lover.  And if you listen to the lyrics, it’s almost as if Pete Townsend (guitar maniac from the Who, and author of this gem) was crying out for something more.  Jesus, maybe?

Either way – here are the songs, for your listening pleasure:

http://tedhtunes.bandcamp.com/album/love-reign-oer-me

I’ll be playing these songs on the 30th, so you can come knowing you’ll know a couple of them up front, if you download them early.  And – THESE ARE FREE TOO!!!!  How cool is that???  I am all about free, and if you are two, then this blog just made your day.  You’re so welcome!

So – to sum up – download my songs, and come see me play.  I’ll certainly harass you again before the show, as I always do.  God bless!

T.