A DOGS LIFE

When I was younger I thought God should have made it to where the older our pets got, the less attached to them we were. The pain of losing a longtime pet is incredibly difficult. They are family, plain and simple. But God had bigger plans for us as He usually does and he knows we grow and get closer to Him and all that’s real, when we are uncomfortable. When we hurt. When we simply have no answers. That, and as hard as it is for us Western thinking folk, pain can be used for good and growth if we let it. Maybe it would remind us of the journey with everything including our life with animals.

I’m often jealous of our Dogs lives. Other than being told what to do alot of the time, they have it pretty darn good. As I was looking through our I Photo the other day I noticed how many pictures of our dogs were right there along side the kids and friends. That’s just how it should be.

My son Dylan and his dog, Dakota

Our dog, Josey goes to work with me everyday and I think as many customers come to see him as to look at the store. He is the best ice breaker in the world.

They should be honored for what they are. A wonderful part of creation and a wonderful part of our lives.

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Shine A Light: Lyle Lovett

Take a minute and forget all of the jokes about Lyle Lovett, which I personally find really tasteless and poor spirited. The is one of the most talented artisits around. Native Texan, just north of Houston in Klien, Lyle grew up with music and ranching. Nothing too unusual for many in Texas.

He was a journalism major in college until he finally realized that many of the questions he was asking, was just none of his business! How funny is that. I mean wouldn’t it be great if our “newsmen” would follow that course?

Instead he turned his pen and paper to songwriting and we are all the better for it. Lyle’s lyric are intelligent, and crafted really well. The music tracks especially in the first few records had beautiful cello on them. Great arrangements. If you ever get a chance to see “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band”, do so, it is a really good show.

Recently Lyle has been touring with Guy Clark, Joe Ely, and Robert Earl Keen.

In Nashville Lyle is also known as a consummate gentleman.

Lyles music will bring a touch of calm and realness to a world always running, always looking for the next big thing. You can pick and choose a few from I Tunes. Enjoy !

Vote, Veto or Vomit

Politics. When I was younger I suppose nothing was further from my mind or my friends minds. Now maybe I was running with a low intellect level crowd or maybe we were just young and out there mixing it up in this ole world. My big worries were if there was a chance of surf on the Gulf Coast, and could I spread my meager earnings out enough to cover most bills and still hit the clubs. Maybe this is why some say that youth is wasted on the young.

It was still us and them. Them being grown ups and furthermore politicians. They just weren’t to be trusted. That was a good rationale, a way to perpetuate the life I was living. Well somewhere along the line something happened, and I got interested. I was and am always in search of truth, and how our world was being delivered to us became of interest. Now looking for truth in the pockets of the folks that run this country and world can very well be a tricky piece of business. Not that they are bad folks lying every time they open their mouths, for many I think they really try to make a difference.

What is truth? From who’s side do we view this truth to be able to make that call? When we make a choice to benefit one group doesn’t it adversely affect another? Do we then vote only how something affect us? Or do we try to have a larger view.

Do we vote for someone on looks and personality? Did we vote for Obama because of charisma and not for Bush because he didn’t?Do we vote based on what they say they’d like to get done? Do most of us even know what can and cannot get done? Do most think their vote is a penny tossed down the deepest and darkest of wells?

But in the end what are we left with? Not voting? That doesn’t feel right. It’s enough to turn our stomachs trying to feel good about the choices we make. Maybe the key is to make the best choice we can with what we know and then go out and live our lives with the best spirit possible.

Here in Nashville there are bumper stickers on cars that say IGBOK ! It stands for “It’s gonna be OK”. I like that. I guess I believe that everything’s gonna be alright. It will all turn out the way it’s supposed to be and the thought of us being in control is a little bit of an illusion anyway. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to be involved as much as we can, to try and understand when we either vote for someone, veto them or just wanna vomit over the whole thing.  It’s gonna be ok ! I kind of like Willie Nelson’s view that our troubles will never be solved politically but spiritually.

Shine A Light: Rusty Golden

I remember riding in a car at the Frank Brown International Songwriters Fest in Gulf Shores around 1993 or so. We were trying to get thru some kind of security and I told Rusty just to tell the guy you were a songwriter with the Festival. Rusty’s comment was as odd tome now as it was then. He said “Shoot I’m no songwriter, I’m a musician”. This coming from a dude that has been writing songs almost since he could talk. I think having his first major cut by the Oak Ridge Boys when he was about 19 years old. I think what he was feeling was that he was in the company of many of the great heavy weight writers at the Festival, and in honor of them, he didn’t feel he was worth of such a lofty term.

Well, he was and he is….a songwriter, and with a wonderful new direction in his life, has turned his pen towards gospel songs. That has resulted in 4 #1’s. There were lean years when some folks would have perhaps thrown in the towel, but luckily Rusty didn’t choose that path. There were incarnations of bands featuring him and brother Chris, that never quite made it to the level they should have. There were years of playing for other artists and writing songs for an ever changing market. In the end Rusty is right where he should be, right where I believe, God loves him being.

Remember it all starts with a song, and Rusty has penned many many good ones.

Here is a video of Rusty and his brother Chris’ band, The Goldens with a song called “Little Piece of Land.

Earth Day

What does Earth Day or its intentions mean to you? Does it sound hokey?, kind of Euell Gibbons-ish? Do you picture earthy kind of folks drenched in patchouli, wearing Birkenstocks? Maybe you kind of chuckle at the “Mother Earth” kind of stuff or think the earth has been giving for centuries and it probably will for many more to come.

Or maybe, just maybe, you think of future generations. Maybe you try to live a life of using only what you need, and making sure what you throw away goes to the right place. Maybe you believe that this earth is a gift from the Creator and you wish to honor that gift by caring for it and teaching your children to do the same thing.

I know folks on both sides of this idea. But it is time. It is time to honor this gift that sustains us and our children and our children’s children ! Maybe the shift in thinking is just that because we are human and have “dominion”, doesn’t mean we are separate from the whole. We are a part of everything, of the source. Only fools bite the hand of the source. I hope you find a way to honor this sustainer of life on Earth Day. Even more, I hope there is a stronger shift in my mind, towards living as a part of the whole.

Shine A Light: The Boss

A stand up guy. An artist. Gifted writer. Concerned American. Rock icon. Hall of Famer. Elder Statesman of Rock and Roll. Father, husband, son, fellow citizen. Those are just small slivers of Bruce Sprinsteen. Is any of his music part of your life soundtrack. If you were a teenager in the mid 70’s, then he probably is. What if you were a teen in say the 80’s or 90’s, then sure, he was there too. That’s the level of output.

Remember?, lets wander just for a second down the memory lane of Sprinsteen’s tunes. “Born To Run, The River and Badlands…..How about “The entire “Born In The USA” album !! “The Streets of Philadelphia, “Tunnel of Love”,”Human Touch”…man they just go on and on…and he’s still doing it, with the big song in Mickey Rourke’s comeback film, The Wrestler and a great post 9-11 work, The Rising. Maybe you’re a pre-USA fan or a post-USA fan, but hopefully somehwere Bruce has touched you.

Easter

How do we define Easter these days? Egg hunts, new clothes for church? Is it about the cross, or that Jesus got off of the cross? Is it just another day? Churches are crowded. What’s the old saying, “They go to the church of C&E, Christmas and Easter”. Is that better than nothing? At least it’s a seed.

My thoughts have been all of the above through the years. I must admit even this year I haven’t contemplated Easter heavily. It’s been a busy time, and maybe in the back of my mind, I put all the pressure on our pastor to deliver something great and enlightening. At least that way I can walk out of church feeling like I was part of the global Easter event. I don’t particularly like that thought about myself.

I have mixed thoughts about all the sin stuff. I grew up in a culture that reminded us all too often how unworthy we were, and how our sin would find us out. I talked to someone the other day who had grown up in the same environment and said after years of being away from God, they had come back to a kinder more loving God. I suppose I have done the same. I see it as a part of a plan, but if I am a child of God, then there is a worth in me for Him to love me. Maybe it’s all just slight angles or the way something is said.

In the end I just believe God wants a relationship with me and not being in one is still having one, kind of. So I am experiencing God all the time, but He wants me to know it and interact with it. Wow, don’t know if that makes any sense at all.

So what does Easter mean to you? What does this journey of faith mean to you? Are you interacting with it? Do you believe God is in every breath? Every flower? Sunrise, Sunset? Handshake?

I hope you all have a wonderful, engaged Easter !