Thursday, November 18, 2004

Being called

I wanted to post this yesterday, but got busy during lunch. My wife and I had a minor row (not even that really, just a discusion where she was obviously disappointed in me). She was disappointed that I immediately jumped on taking the job to create a new music group at church. She wanted to talk about it first and look at what other commitments would be impacted. She realizes it probably wouldn't have made a difference but wanted the opportunity anyway. My bad for not doing so. However, I am completely willing to drop all activities not related directly to her and the kids to do this.

The reason is quite simple. I'm convinced I'm called to do this. I know this because of the way it all happened. I've mentioned before my decision to give my music over to the Lord. This means playing at church and recently giving up on creating a CD with my band and concentrating on Christian music. Then this comes up. Now yesterday I'm looking at the daily readings and it is from Luke. The story about the man that goes off to receive a kingship and gives money to his servants. Two make more money but one sits on it and squanders the opportunity. I've always beleived that my talent comes from the Lord and I need to give back with it. Then I check out one of the other blogs I tend to reveiw. It mentions the exact same passage. Coincidence? I think not. Yesterday the Lord was reminding me that He wants me to use my music and talent to reach out. I don't know what the result is but it's something I need to do. I did mention this to the little lady. Not sure she beleives me but I think she understands. She has been very supportive, for which I am grateful. She's not into this style of music for church as much as me but that's ok. I still want to go to Mass as a family. We'll all go to the Mass we currently attend and I can do the 6 pm Mass on my own. In a way, it would be nice to sit in the pews for a Mass. I can concentrate on the Mass itself and the message instead of focusing on getting the music thing right. I do get more out of Mass sitting in the crowd instead of being "on stage" so to speak.

Anyway, as a totally shameless plug that probably won't result in brownie points but deserves to be done anyway:

Hey lady, have I told you lately how crazy I am about you? I love you more that I can express and am lucky we're together. I know I make you crazy sometimes but you put with me anyway. Thanks for being such a good wife and mom and for all the things you do. Don't feel guilty if you don't get it all done. Life's too short to stress over laundry and housework. Let's concentrate on the important things instead. Love you lots.

Got to rant

OK, I just need to rant for a few minutes and scream at something, even if it's through my fingers to the screen. What is the deal with adults acting like children? I've got two people I have to deal with that are fighting with each other. Without naming names or anything, we're all volunteers. We make decisions at a meeting but then some things get changed on the fly afterwards. Person 1 is now accusing person 2 of going behind the groups back and going to people individually when Person 2 does not like the decision of the group. Both work hard and are trying to get the work done but now all of a sudden it's some sort of power struggle. I've spoken to one but not the other. Truthfully, I'm tired of it. I've got enough to do and worry about to have to deal with this. I only took the position I did so the organization wouldn't fold. Laudable in itself but probably not the right reason. I didn't really want to do it. As time goes on, I hate the job more and more. Luckily I'm giving it up at the end of the year to start the music group at church but it can't happen soon enough. I don't see the big deal with most of the issues they're arguing about. I'm stressing about it and it shouldn't be this big of a hassle. Anyway, that's about all I'll say about it for now. Tonight should be interesting. We have one of our monthly meetings. I've decided Person 2 is right about something and will make a last minute change to the agenda. Now I have to smooth it with Person 1. What a pain in the ass.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Cat's out of the Bag

Since this will be public knowledge on Sunday I'll talk about it now.

Our parish (that is a few key members of our parish) are organizing a new Mass to be held at 6:00 on Sunday evenings. I'm going to be coordinating the music. We'll be doing contemporary Christians tunes with electric guitar, drums, keys, horns, whatever. I'm extremely exited to do this as it's been in the back of my mind for a while now. I always thought it would be cool to play rock and roll for the youth of our church.

I haven't had much opportunity to play my babies (my electrics that is) in the last couple of years. The band thing didn't really work out for me. The cover band that played out was fun, but by the end wasn't playing any of the songs I wanted to do and playing till 2 in the morning got old. Playing with the Real Emetics and trying to record a CD has been like pulling teeth. I can't seem to get the three of us in the studio at the same time.

Over the summer, I was blading around the neighborhood (something I would like to do more of if I had time) when I had this revelation. Maybe the Lord doesn't want me to record an Emetics CD. I had been considering doing a CD of Christian songs "after" I finished the Emetics project. I made a few more tries at recording with the Emetics (you know how we usually resist God when he's trying to talk to you). The last time was an absolute mess. 4 hours resulted in bass and guitar tracks for 2 songs that needed the bass tracks redone.

Once I made the decision to concentrate on Christian music, everything started working out. I've always had trouble writing songs (lyrically at least). However, I wrote 10 songs for this project in a couple of month. That totals my complete song output for the 10 previous years (even perhaps exceeds it). I got all the rythem guitar tracks recorded for these songs in about 5-6 hours of studio time. I've been inspired and even when I don't know what to do next with the song, the first or second thing I try comes out great!

Then, not 2 weeks ago, I get an email out of the blue asking to meet on a project for church best not discussed via email. I was intrigued of course. I even thought in the back of my mind "wouldn't it be cool if they want to put together a youth program and want me to do music". And look at what it was! That very thing. This is not cooincidence my friends.

There have been many examples in my life up to now where letting go and trusting in God has resulted in me either getting what I want or what I need (amusing side note, my younger son, 6, loves singing the Stones tune by that name. He sounds pretty good and we harmonize together). It goes to show if you have faith in the Lord, He'll come through for you in ways you don't expect. The last two really good things to happen to me (this and my current job) have literally fallen into my lap without me having to go look for them. This is not a random act of fate.

There is much work ahead. We need to recruit musicians, pick our repetoire, and rehearse the songs. We want to start up in March/April. I'm confident God will bless our endeavor and make it successful. It's His idea, after all. I'll keep everyone posted on how it's going.

I am reminded of a Proper: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Farenheit 9/11

I saw the movie this weekend. My short reveiw is that I'm glad I didn't pay money to see this movie. We borrowed the DVD from someone my wife works with. Let me begin by saying that as a fairly liberal Democrat, I love the idea of making Bush look foolish. However, this movie didn't really do that. On to specifics:

The first part of the movie seems to be this vague conspiracy theory that Bush stole the election and that the whole Iraq war was some sort of plot with the Saudis to steal Iraqi oil. While I agree with Moore that Bush had wanted to invade Iraq and topple Saddam long before he did it, I don't think oil is the reason. What the real reason is, I don't know, but I don't think it was oil. There were some interesting things with the election, especially the part about that no one in the Senate signed a statement for greivances when the election was formalized. However, Moore only showed minorities in the House objecting then stated that it was another example of blacks getting screwed. If the election was some conspiracy to disenfranchise blacks/hispanics, then why didn't any minority members of the Senate say anything? The whole Saudi thing was funny to a certain extent. Michael Moore seems suprised that rich Republicans with powerful friends in government help each other out to get more rich. It's not like this hasn't been going on for over 150 years. I'm sure rich Democrats do the same thing.

He also made a big deal out of the administration letting members of the Bin Laden family leave the US and not be questioned by the FBI/CIA. However, he doesn't get the other side of the story. For example, did any of them have any sort of diplomatic status? If this was the case, they don't have to be questioned and can't be arrested. It exemplifies my real problem with the film. I would have liked a balanced account with some attempt to get all the facts, not just the convenient or embarrasing ones. But that isn't Michael Moore's style. There's a big piece in the middle where he gets quotes from soldiers overseas that are critical of the administration. What about those over there that support the administration? Of course, that wouldn't really have gone with the theme of the film, would it?

Anyway, it was interesting to watch, but I can see why it didn't really influence the election at all. It's obviously a diatribe based on one person's opinion.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

One Day and Counting

To follow up on yesterday's post, I managed to get through a bedtime routine and a morning routine with the boys without any stress! Everything went nice and smooth. I guess I have to treat it like an addict, one day on the wagon. Now go for two!

Tonight begins a bit of a music marathon. Practice for confirmation mass tonight, the mass tomorrow, then music again at church on Sunday! Rock on Baby!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Anger sucks

I wrote a completely different posts but then there was an error posting it so it got wiped. So I decided to write this instead. My wife sent me a link to a site that says writing a journal reduces stress. That's one reason I started this blog though I also just needed something to do during lunch and this seemed like a good idea.

Anyway, on with the subject. I never seemed to have "anger issues" until I had kids. Many of you with children can probably relate. However, my boys have ideosynchracies that can get downright annoying. My older son has a tendancy to make noises first thing in the morning (banging on things and making annoying sounds) and my younger son has "potty issues". Now, granted, the older one has ADHD and my younger son is diagnosed with PDD (autism disorder) so a lot if it is due to that, but it doesn't make it any easier. I'm the kind of guy that likes to be left alone in the morning. I prefer to get up, have breakfast, get ready for work, etc in some peace and quiet. Even though I appear to be functioning, I'm not really awake and ready to deal with people until about 8 am. Since I get the boys ready for day care in the morning, that's shot. I don't really have the patience to deal with all this stuff first thing in the morning and sometimes it shows.

Also, by the time it gets near bedtime, I've about had my fill and patience is again wearing thin. I try to keep the kids focused on the bedtime routine but of course they want to do anything but get ready for bed. It doesn't help that the wife then gets annoyed and I have to deal with her too. I love her to death but she can get on my nerves sometimes. For example, last night I started preparing lunches for today for everyone. Since it was time to get ready for the boys to go to bed, I didn't finish cleaning up. I figured I'd get the boys ready for bed, and once they were both settled in, I could finish up. However, my wife makes a smart ass comment to me instead before I have a chance to do anything. Mind you, she's the one that complains to me that I don't focus enough on the boys. In other words, I can't win. If the lady would be patient a little, everything would get done. Her approach is to run around the house like a crazy woman trying to get everything done. I try to pace myself a little more and don't stress out about little things. She also has a habit of not telling me if she needs anything done. I get the "you should know what needs to be done" line. As if I can read her mind. In her defense, she's gotten better about this. However, I'm willing to do whatever she needs as long as she tells me what it is.

Anyway, I'm trying to work on this anger thing but some days are tough. Unlike my wife, I can't turn it on and then turn it off quick. Once I get really pissed, it takes quite a while to calm down again, sometimes into the next day. My wife can be angry about something and then be all normal again 20 minutes later. Not me. So, I've been trying to work on not yelling or being an asshole or anything and I think I've gotten better. Now I need to work on my "tone". I'm not sure what that means. I've been told that I need to rephrase the way I say things. I'm not sure what's wrong with the way I talk to the kids except that it's a different style from my wife's. Oh well. I guess I'm just a guy and can't do anything right.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Hang in there

I had an interesting conversation this weekend. Not to be too secretive but I can't divulge the details yet as everything is in the planning stage. However, it is the results of the conversation that I wish to write about. I now have the opportunity to do something that I've been mulling over for a while. To give a little background without being specific, I've noticed that some things I had been doing personally were not working for me. It came to me in a flash that perhaps the Lord was telling me something, that since every time I tried to work on this project I was trying to complete, something got in the way and it fell apart. So I finally let it go and started working on something that I planned to do "after I complete this project". The new project is going smoothly. And suddenly, out of the blue, I get a call with a request to do something that's been in the back of my mind for about a year. I didn't think about it much since I didn't know where I would start but it was one of those "wouldn't it be nice" kind of things.

The moral of this story is that if you let your personal ambitions go and instead turn your talent over to the Lord, you will be rewarded with what you really desire. It seems every time I try to do something on my own, it's either difficult or just doesn't work. When I let go and trust in God, the opportunities come to me. It was the same with my current position at work. I had been looking for a new job as I could see things were going to take a turn for the worse at my old job. I wasn't looking very hard but instead put my faith in God that He would provide for me. I get a totally unexpected call from a recruiter from whom I hadn't heard in years asking me if I was interested in interviewing for a Help Desk Supervisor position. The rest, as they say, was history. I got the interviews, the job, and now am in a better position professionally and personally. Literally, the day of my final interview my old boss announced that one for the help desk supervisors at my former employer would be laid off by the end of the summer. The next day I got the job offer. Call it coincidence if you like, but this sort of thing has happened to me too many times in my life for me not to believe that God is looking after me.

Anyway, if anyone reading this is having a tough time, then just put your faith in God, and it will all work out. It might not be at the time you expect or in the way you expect, but it will.