Childhood Memories

Painted Horse

He rode into my childhood, I can’t recall when,
Sometime before seven, definitely not after ten.
He changed colors through the years, a painted horse for sure;
Still lingers in my memory, his legacy endures.
We would ride and ride forever, facing all our fears,
I don’t quite know for certain, there were probably some tears.
The wind at our backs, the sunshine on our face,
We’d ride and ride for hours, yet not go anyplace.
© 2017 G. David Steele, All Rights Reserved

Poetry 101

Here is another offering I think is apropos for this time of year.

The Turning

They come, they call, seems like overnight

Monochromatic is the hue, yet beautiful in the sun.

A tapestry is woven as a respite to some,

Sweaty faces are dried by the wind as it hums.

 

They blow, they bend, through the sometimes raucous days and nights,

If they could speak you would hear their pain.

While some are lost, most remain, for another day’s sweet refrain.

We mourn the ones who no longer remain.

 

They turn on us! As if some magic wand was waved for change!

This transformation seems all too soon,

Could it be the beginning of their doom?

The turning is at their leisure,

For though they long gave pleasure,

this is all for good measure.

 

They come, they call, and then they fall, turning, turning, turning…

 

© 2017 G. David Steele,, All Rights Reserved

New Adventures, New Focus

So, once again it has been OVER a year since I’ve tended this blog, sigh.  Life presents those times when you have to put things on hold for various reasons and for various lengths of time.  For me, it has been going back to school after 30+ years and dealing with the challenges of fitting that into an already busy schedule!

My biggest challenge at this stage of life has been to remain focused on a task  for any productive length of time.  Going back to school has helped me face the fact I have a tendency to abandon ship too early and not see a project through to its completion.  Call it a much belated New Years resolution, but I have determined to break the bondage of my ADD-ness, and try to STAY focused on just a few things at a time.

One of those pursuits is poetry.  Poetry? I’ve always had an attraction to this literary form on some scale, but recently I’ve purposed to read more and more of it.  I think it comes naturally, since I am a creative-type in regards to music and lyric.  It could also be as I get older, I like to contemplate things longer and deeper than ever before.  That is a good thing, right?

So, I’ve also started experimenting with writing some poetic verse and will share it here, and only here.  I’m avoiding the standard social media outlets, for good reason.

I hope you will take time to read it and PLEASE leave any constructive criticism, if you feel led to to so.

Here it goes, my first poem world!

Good Morning Joe!

Often it comes in two’s or three’s,

rarely ever more than these;

If it should require four or more,

to move this sack of flesh out the door,

I should hardly disagree;

We are very good friends,

caffeine and me.

Dedicated to My Life-long Friend, William Parr

© 2017 G. David Steele, All Rights Reserved

We Play Like We Think

This is going to be a musicians post.  It actually will apply primarily to musicians who play in a church, or religious setting.  It doesn’t mean if you’re not an instrumental musician, instrumentalist if you will, or maybe just a musical person, you can’t read it.  But be forewarned, you might not ‘connect’ to it if you’ve never been in the heat of a performance playing a musical instrument.  
 The reason this applies primarily to instrumentalists and not vocalists (singers) is that, well, just read the article, I think you’ll figure it out!

musicnotes

Our worship pastor shared in a seminar recently about the importance of ‘watching our words’ during worship.  The premise was thinking through the lyrics we sing and making song choices that center on God, His characteristics, attributes and His glory.  I started thinking about this verse, Psalm 19:14, in light of hearing him speak, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer”, and how what he was pointing to, and what this verse says, might apply to instrumentalists during worship, or any setting for that   matter.

So I started talking about this last week in rehearsal and challenged our instrumentalists to think about what they think about while they are playing.  Are they meditating on the lyrics?  Are they focusing on the God as they play? Are they thinking about the next note(s)?  What is on their mind and in their heart as they play.

Personally, I find myself almost ‘day-dreaming’ at times when I play during worship.  I’m a little ADD so that doesn’t help! It’s easy for me to be singing, or playing and my mind is a thousand thoughts away from ‘the moment.”  Sure, I get it, we can almost be mechanical or rote if we’ve played a tune many  times before.  It’s also easy, as musicians, to get caught up in the chord structures (or lack of at times), or the harmonic progression, or groove, or what the guitar playing is doing.  Of course we all wonder what the guitar player is doing at times!

But you see, it’s easy to be distracted by anything and everything during worship.  This is especially true as instrumentalists.  I remember a friend of mine saying he used to have his players write the lyrics in their music to help them focus on the message.  Great idea!  Whatever it takes to get the ‘meditation of our heart’ moving in the right direction is worth the time!  During the ‘heat of the moment’ in a service it’s easy to forget Who we should be focusing on, I believe this is especially true for instrumentalists given all of the technical things that can, and often do distract us.

einstein_thinking

I know I’m challenging myself with this and also our players and hope it sinks in more and more.  Verse 14 in Psalm 19 follows beautiful descriptions of the heavens proclaiming God’s glory even though we never hear it audibly, at least not with human ears, and how they also reveal God’s glory.  The Psalmist also recognizes the absolute sovereignty and purpose of God’s Word, and His eternal and never-changing truths.  All followed up by a prayer-like response of repentance and humility.  Do these go hand in hand?  Absolutely!  When we direct our mind’s focus and our heart’s desire solely on God’s glory and worship of Him, we will desire to live according to His Word and be humbled by His great power and glory!  We will be changed!  Even while playing an instrument!

So it should be during worship.  If our focus, as we play, is on anything else but God and His greatness, what we give to Him will not be acceptable in His sight.  The challenge for us, and our players, is to keep that thought at the forefront of what we ‘present’ to Him in worship each week.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be during a worship service!

My prayer, the Psalmist’s prayer, is that everything I say and do and think about during Sunday worship, and my daily worship, will be acceptable and pleasing in His sight.  Nobody else matters, including, most of all, myself.

New Christmas CD

It has definitely been another very busy Christmas season, and it is NOT over yet!  The Lord has allowed health once again this year to accomplish all that He has allowed and I am grateful.

Part of that has been the creation and delivery of a brand new Christmas CD project entitled, Christmas Kaleidoscope – The Beautiful Incarnation.

I am pleased to announce that it is now available for digital distribution through CDBaby.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidsgaines

Thank you for interest in this project and may your Christmas be filled with the hope and glory of Jesus Christ!

Christmas-Kaleidoscope-Cover-Social-Media

Judging Bieber

Okay, so the other night my youngest daughter sat down to watch her newly purchased copy of the Justin Bieber movie, “Never Say Never.”  I have to confess, I had already poked fun at her earlier for even wanting to purchase the movie, yet as it rolled along I found myself slowly being drawn into the “Bieber Vortex.”  I’m always fascinated by behind-the-scenes clips of just about any movie or concert, and that’s probably the part that drew me in the most.  However, as I intently watched the last half of the movie, to my amazement, I found myself actually liking this kid and what he stands for.

Yes, I have been among the fray of folks who have discounted this kid as a “bubblegum culture” artist and passed him off as a joke at times.  But I believe there is more to this artist than just 9 year-old girls screaming and crying, and going into some kind of prepubescent frenzy.

Okay, don’t cast stones yet, let me explain my thoughts.

Justin Bieber has passion and commitment, both of which a lot of our current culture of 16 year-old students don’t have.  Here’s a kid that has given up a shot at a “normal” life to pursue his God-given talent and make a difference with his life and music.  He seems truly humbled by all the fame that has come his way and for the most part, at least to this point, has stayed away from the “dark-side” of the kind of lifestyle he is experiencing.  It looks like, at least for now, he has surrounded himself with people who are giving him wise counsel, after all, his mother travels with him!

He has made it a point to make it all about community.  I love the fact that he has involved so many people in his road show, including other teen artists and isn’t afraid of “sharing the fame.”  He has come to the realization early on in his career, that making music is more about relationships than the music, and that’s something most adults haven’t even begun to comprehend, including me.

I do feel like, to a point, that 16 years of age is still TOO young to be thrust into this kind of public fame because of the burnout, and the eventual nosedive most artists this young take (e.g. Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, etc.).  However, the age of the audience Justin Bieber is reaching could probably not be reached by an artist in their 20’s or 30’s.  With that said, I’m thankful that the message in the songs this artist is presenting is wholesome, and I would rather see the preteen crowd listening to a Bieber song than some of the other choices out there.
One of the things that struck me most was the fact that before EVERY show the entire cast huddled up and prayed together!  Now, I know some other artists do this, and that’s great, but you could tell by the sincerity of the prayers being offered that this was the real deal.  What a testimony to the crew this must be, and it’s great to see an entertainer know from Whose hand all of the blessings he is enjoying comes from!

And one final act that made an impact was the that before EVERY show, someone on his staff would leave the venue with a hand full of front row seat tickets, go out on the street, and find several people who either didn’t have a ticket, or maybe had bad seats, etc. and GIVE THEM AWAY!  This may seem small, but it showed me just how much they truly care for and loved people.  That is a refreshing change!

I Timothy 4:12 says,  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

I believe there a lot of people who look down on Justin Bieber just because he is young.  But I believe a lot of people are looking down on him because he is taking a stand and conducting himself properly, and living a life of purity.

The world can’t handle that, so they just judge him.