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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 - 12:09 PM

"Hawaii Rainbows: Big Mistake!"

Wizard of Oz

Here I was, innocently investigating the strangeness of my recent fascination with The Wizard of Oz, and I am taken captive by something completely different. For the last couple weeks I've had Wizard of Oz on my brain. It started with the last snowfall earlier this month. For no apparent reason I started whistling "If I Only Had a Brain" along with the snow pelting my eyes. The theme continued later until I talked to someone at church, giving them the nickname "Mega Oz", bringing a flood of Oz-type thoughts back to my brain (like big green heads shrouded in smoke, charming little old guy behind the curtain pulling levers, and hot air balloons). The topic of discussion came up again briefly last night at the Smith community group.

Finally, for several days I've had the song "Over the Rainbow" stuck in my head. I don't even know where it came from. I wasn't even thinking about Ozness for a couple days. This is weird. I'm thinking I need to watch the movie. I own it, so it wouldn't take much effort to throw in the disc and press play. However, what a shame that would be. Maybe we need to make a movie night out of it, so the experience isn't "wasted".

Israel Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole

OK, I was reminded again of the rainbow song and decided to look it up on Youtube so I could listen to it. BIG MISTAKE! The first search result that popped up was a version sung by a man, Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know who this singer was prior to having discovered this video. I listened to it once, and now I'm listening to it over and over again. Ah... good. Some of the videos on Youtube show Iz and his people in their natural Hawaiian element. By the way, now that the song is already stuck in your head, you may as well look it up on Youtube and get the full experience!

Oh man it makes me wish I had darker skin and was born elsewhere - where the palm trees grow. To experience simpler, finer, more relaxing and important things. To be free from the concrete jungle and never-ending drudgery. To be part of something so unique and great. Now I'm wishing I could go to Hawaii! Aaargh! I have felt the same about Brasil... I've been there four times now, and I feel the culture and people are a part of me (well, in reality, this is true). There's something unique and beautiful about these types of cultures, especially around the coastal cities. It's pure magic. Lately I've been thinking specifically about Fortaleza. I wish I could go there again. SOOOO many good memories in that city! (perhaps my cousin Mila can relate to some of these inner yearnings?)

Ummm... the sun's shining, it's Friday, and I'm listening to a big Hawaiian man with an addictive persona singing a great song. I'll have a hard time getting back to work after lunch :) Thanks, Iz. I wish I could have met you in this world. You seem like an interesting person. I'm sorry you had to leave your family behind. I pray for those - all those - who are close to death (we are all a breath away). May they find peace with the God who made them. The God who declared the rainbow as a sign of peace between Him and mankind. This peace ultimately comes through Jesus Christ. Know Him. He's waiting for you with open arms if you will listen to what the Father says of Him and believe what is said.

Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

Rainbow

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 - 11:14 AM

"Still Desperately Listening"

Papa Smurf is blue, and my soul is painted with midnight pain. The first modern Batman movie was released in 1989, and my heart is as broken and confused as his. Spoons are containers while forks are not, and my eyes are weary and unable to contain the well of tears no longer locked within. I've been listening to You Are a Holy God again today. I can't get enough of it. I want to be in the presence of my God. I am weary of this world. No kidding young men grow weary and faint. Teach me how to wait upon You, Lord. I'm a dreadful temple, a weak pot, a lump of clay and dust.

Several links (in case one of them breaks, since Youtube content is unreliable):
You Are a Holy God (beautiful voice and person!)
You Are a Holy God (the "original" singers - love it!)
You Are a Holy God (originals again)

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Monday, November 17th, 2008 - 5:47 PM

"Right Time Song Deliverance"

As I was leaving work on my bike today a burdensome thought slipped into my mind - one I didn't want to be there. It troubled me, and so I asked Jesus to give me a song to cover it. As if by magic, the "right" song came immediately, and I sang it all the way home. I couldn't help but smile because it was so appropriate.

You Are My Hiding Place

Michael Ledner

You are my hiding place,
You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
I will trust in You.
Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of my Lord.

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Friday, November 14th, 2008 - 10:49 AM

"A New Hallelujah"

Michael W. Smith - A New Hallelujah

I noticed Michael W. Smith recently came out with a new CD, "A New Hallelujah". I haven't bought a CD for a really long time. I pretty much don't buy CDs, aside from Worship albums. Well, this is a worship album. I have just about every Smitty album there is anyway - been a fan since the beginning (don't care if that dates me or puts me into some stereotypical contemporary group). Nowadays, I've been more into the idea of buying individual songs that minister to me. Worship albums are the exception because the more songs to sing in worship to God, the better. Edification and glorification of God surpreme!

Yeah, so far I like "A New Hallelujah" quite a bit. Maybe my favorite thing so far, oddly enough is the mega drum sequence that starts off at the beginning. Perhaps my favorite song in recent history - or among the top 3 - is Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone). I like Chris Tomlin's original version WAY better, but anyway. The chorus is perhaps the most powerful thing I've ever heard, and it describes my condition so perfectly - what God has been doing in my life. Oh man, I get chills listening to it. The last verse about the fading earth strikes me to the core, for it is the age I feel we are in. All things are fading, yet who cares... because our God has not only called us out of darkness, but He has made us one. We will see Him soon.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Chris Tomlin

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

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