Music worth saving heard right here


Denver: Oldies are big in Colorado. When we look at the formats for stations there are many but there are also two each for every genre. Last week on KOA 850 the talk show host Michael Brown had Barry Fey the founder of Feyline Concerts on last week. It was nostalgic but it also pointed out that while the music was important it is not the most important thing in any society. Fey bemoaned the fact that there are so many of the rockers he admired who died at young ages and Michael Brown agreed. It is sad that so many did burn out at young ages and while the rest are on the stage way too often a lot of the messages that were sung have lasted and are as self-destructive as the artists themselves. “they’ll never be another Tommy Bolin, Jimmie Hendrix, Janis Joplin,” Fey often says. The answer to his lament is that “they were all made in the image of God, and so are the artists that are unique in their own ways. Yes, I agree that the thrill is gone when I listen to music today. When we hear an oldie we are transported back in time and that can be good and bad for the listener.
Music Worth Saving
Ron Maxwell, who lives in Florida does a great morning show. In the same idea as Barry Fey he is going through his archives from Moody Radio and is compiling a set list of “music worth saving.” Seems a Moody station was going silent a few years back and Ron was beginning to throw LP’s in a dumpster and he asked himself “I wonder of any of these are worth saving?” He called corporate headquarters who told him he could do whatever he felt was the right thing to do and now a storage locker, an internet connection and a lot of listening hours later has given birth to an organization and a few online radio stations. When you go to the website there are a few stations according to genre and format. You can hear all of them by going to : http://www.communitynetradio.com/1.html

The Denver Connection

Why does this fit into a Denver media and arts column? The music that Ron has chosen sound a lot like the old KWBI from Morrison. If you could remember where you were when you were first saved and what songs you were listening in the eighties and the nineties this will serve you well. And the fact that “music worth saving” is on the web makes it accessible to Denverites who might remember the old KWBI which is now a KLOVE station.

Remix of The Edited Life


I have lived an edited life

when rewritten, it all turns out right

and the rain is gone

and the political response

comes back clean. (there must be a cover up)

I have lived an edited life

white out and cross outs with no wipe outs to see

so the truth never comes to light (someone cleaned up the scene)

and this train I’ve been riding on

never derails- it never fails

and I arrive well dressed at the station.

and the stain I am sitting on

from the campaign trail- is never written

but something is missing in the translation

I have lived an edited life

just ask my wife- the prose are rewritten

I have dreamed unseemly dreams, muffled screams

but I have never been bitten

and the strain of the flu is gone

no one responds- to the letter

and the sound is crystal clear

but there is fear

but it gets better, my image looks better!

I wash my hands.

He washes feet

He watches out for you-

I take a seat.

I watch from my window

He heals your wounds

I lock the door

safe in my room.

Living an edited life

when rewritten, it all turns out right

and the rain is gone

and the political response

comes back clean.

BT Springs

01.30.12

Prayer Language- The Heart of the Psalmist


In prayer life we seldom reach a mind and heart experience. We are so many times “art” challenged even when we are gifted in that area. Dr. Gary Chapman has made a cottage industry from identifying the “love languages.” One thing I think that we should take into account is our Prayer Language. In interviewing some great songwriters in my time I have found that prayer and fasting is key to a successful project. From Dolly Parton to Fernando Ortega poetics in their songs most often come from their talks with God. There is a new website that allows for this kind of poetics to go on between writer and including God. And while our technology and our communication theories may change the communication process of including god in our joys and concerns, in our heart and in our art have remained the same since the psalmist!

The art of praying

When you are looking up (the poet prays)

your friends might look towards the light (today)

but the shade on the south side obscures the street

Though He fills the cup

the dog barks and bites

the bark can give a warning – the bite is less discreet

I’m traveling- skylines and farms

I hear the groans of ranchers up in arms

these are protests and seasons that net nothing

I’m singing skylines and prairies

riding taxies and ferries- home to you

and I’ve come a long, long way- with nothing to say…

Prayer languages

The psalmist is one part journalist, one part poet and one part prophet and still one part artist. There is something concrete and abstract to the prayer without naming names or consequences. Every summer I lead a group to pray and worship in Denver. We pray in front of building that house alternative lifestyles but I ask that God would send somebody who can be a messenger of love in the establishment that we are praying for. While people might want God to destroy the place, tear it down I think God has an analogy that is as powerful as our prayer language. pray that there will be someone who get inside the walls and offer people a different possibility. A new love language and thought process breeds a better understanding of where the people inside have come from. Think Planned Parenthood, or think gay bars, think escort services and think the prisoners in chains.

and when you’re looking down

your friends framed in the frost

the dark at sundown on the street

Though the nature breeds frowns

you can count the cost

we are short by dollars and around three feet.

and though you fill me up

we are looking for a light

but the shade is obscuring the street

I’m traveling skylines and farms

actors- up in arms

protests and seasons net nothing

I’m singing skylines and prairies

taxis and ferries lead me home-

I’ve come a long, long way- with nothing to say

Bridge:

and yet nothing yields one word on the page

as we watch a lonely boy come of age

there was something that told us how to pray

and somehow his rage- dissipates. I thought we had nothing…

Conclusion:

Like journalism prayer is based on observations. We see wrong and we ask God. We can know what is right and thank God. prayer is an attitude. In many churches we ask people to be in an attitude of prayer. Pray for who, praying for what, where do we pray, when can we pray, why do we pray? You may have a totally different language to talk to God and it is as valid as mine. Just talk but address Him, thank him, voice your complaints and ask him for answers. He responds when we ask in His son’s name. So for me I pray all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ-Amen.

…and the people they are fed up

they fold their tents and vent their fear

we still breed contempt, or we ride the fence

but I’ve come a long, long way, with nothing to say.

How? Let me count the ways


Yesterday DEE covered the “5 W’s” as we get back to journalistic basics at examiner.com. My beat is evangelism in Denver, news on prayer and news on how to pray (prayerexaminer.com) Denver’s media and arts, and the Front Range of Colorado. So many times in the last few years the approach has been to name-names and to expose wrongs in our world, that I was getting tired of reading the complaints and the problems. When a dead horse has been identified there is only so much exposure you can give the problem without it starting to smell. The who, what, where, when and why is a great rule of thumb for journalism and evangelism but the “how” is the what, that is in it for you.

Answering letters
The radio ministry of Focus on the Family aired a program that explained love. You may have seen the ad on the NFL playoff game that did the same thing. There were children explaining what John 3:16 means. This is the “how,” we hope for as journalists. To show that “God loves people living in Denver so much that He sent His son to sacrificially die so that people who believe in him will gain eternal life.” My prayer yesterday was connection. You and I have heard the verse so many times, we have seen the little guy behind the goal posts on National TV with the sign that reads: John 3:16. But how can we use this in everyday life?

How to read a love letter
People who love us write letters to us that often explain their feelings that they often have trouble with articulating. They are letters that show care and concern for us and there is real love behind the words. There may be correction in the letter and it may have a challenge for us in that relationship. Sometimes that motive helps us to change our mind and heart. There is a reset, a change that comes over us when we have a correctable spirit. marriages have been saved by a letter, people have redirected through business, and families because they got a letter. Letters when written in love gives the reader an opportunity to change.

How to answer love letters
In the coming days leading to Valentine’s Day there will be a series called “Answering love letters.” There are resources like the book “The Love Dare” and then we will hear from the best letter writers in history. We will step by step answer their love letters which define love. God loves Denver, he loves our neighborhoods and he loves people no matter where they have been, and what they have been through. In Denver and worldwide that is what evangelism is all about.

“This is the message you have heard from the beginning, we should love one another,” John writes in his letter known as 1 John 3:11.” The “How” is to love one another. Today as you drive past the billboards on 6th and Alameda, on the Interstates, Colfax and Colorado, or wherever you have to go count the messages that are crying out for love. They may seem invisible but we guarantee that there are people who are waiting for someone to answer their love letter.

The unedited life

I have lived an edited life

when rewritten, it all turns out right

and the rain is gone

and the political response

comes back clean. (there must be a cover up)

I have lived an edited life

white out and cross outs with no wipe outs to see

so the truth never comes to light (someone cleaned up the scene)

and this train I’ve been riding on

never derails- it never fails

and I arrive well dressed at the station.

and the stain I am sitting on

from the campaign trail- is never written

but something is missing in the translation

I have lived and edited life

just ask my wife- the prose are rewritten

I have dreamed unseemly dreams, muffled screams

but never bitten

and the strain of flu is gone

no one responds to the letter

and the sound is crystal clear

but there is fear

but it gets better

I wash my hands.

BT Springs

01.30.12

 

 

 

 

Writer on the Range


First of all with so many making a dent in preventing Human Trafficking in Colorado we should be grateful. From pro-life groups to students at CU. There is a way and one of the things you can do is to check out the maps of suspected human trafficking areas within Colorado at http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/cusams/involved.html.

Poetry, arts and songs bring more awareness to the issue and along the front range our songs can be heard in the churches and coffee houses, the bookstores and the campuses along the way.

An older guy slowly walks up to the open mic at the open stage. He gets his ten minutes of fame. The guitar, the single light above the stage. He is the oldest guy there. He started last week in Fort Collins, made his way out to Northglenn, Lakewood and Denver. Tonight he is in Castle Rock, close to the closed down rest stop that was closed because it was a station for human trafficking. He says nothing but begins to play a riff and without emotion sings:

Fear of rejection
comes from perfection-ism
it’s the set up cost
for the lost

Hear the objections
in the judges direction
wind blown and tossed
like the lost

The voice is clear, unshaken. He looks like a Dad and maybe even a grandfather- the song sounds original, the words from the heart- he stares ahead.

Refrain-
end of myself
end of me
dreams on my shelf
friends of enemies (making friends of enemies)

Tears of reflection
in my collection
a well known crime boss
I was as lost (as him)

People are glued to the message, and wondering what the punchline or the bottom line is going to be. He is a throwback but timeless somehow, refreshing in ways and cutting through our denial. Was he crime boss? Is this a confession? Who is this guy John Gotti?

Refrain:
at the end of myself
what’s left of me
look upon my shelf
no more enemies

Bridge
and the prisoners of the wars
of this world- were used and chained for evil.
trafficking humans this side of the border- they’ll be free
(look at me-indeed)

The guy is getting louder and perhaps a little bolder- he goes into an instrumental riff – he’s a pro. Should we know him? Would I want to know him? I want to know this guy’s story- I wonder if he’ll talk after his set. I want the CD or the download and I want to get the message out beyond the Front Range.

(I’ll give ya)Natural selection
with intelligent direction,
(just look at) political elections
(there’s that) secret sauce…
(you won’t hear about it) join the cause

Refrain-
the end of self
end of us
up on shelf

The fear of us
in God we trust
slavery
enemies
come to us
Emanuel

“Emanuel” sustains and rings throughout the room. The lights dim and on the screen behind him are faces of children, of women who look foreign. Are they the victims of trafficking? I feel rage and I feel like we should do something- but the guy is gone. I walk out of the shop and I see tail lights. I ask the emcee who he is and he shows me the signup sheet- it just says Emanuel in script. I look at the emcee and he tells me that he has seen the guy- and that he use to open for some of the acts at the Rainbow Music Hall in the eighties.

There are a lot of things going on up and down the Front Range. There are thousands of people with Intellectual Disabilities who are living in group and host homes. There are plenty of antique shops, coffee houses, art galleries and churches. There are people who work in massage parlors and worse and there are only a few people who are bringing this to people’s attention. There are those students at CU. There are photographers and journalists. There’s an invisible world of evil and ugliness in the beauty of the Front Range. There are so many things to do but not enough things we can do. Emanuel is probably heading down to Colorado Springs- I think I’ll check where there might be an open stage. And then I’ll check in Pueblo.

Fear of…


Fear of rejection
comes from perfection-ism
it’s the set up cost
for the lost

Hear the objections
in the judges direction
wind blown and tossed
like the lost

Refrain-
end of myself
end of me
dreams on my shelf
friends of enemies (making friends of enemies)

Tears of reflection
in my collection
a well known crime boss
I was as lost (as him)

Refrain:
at the end of myself
what’s left of me
look upon my shelf
no more enemies

Bridge
and the prisoners of the wars
of this world- were used and chained for evil.
trafficking humans this side of the border- they’ll be free
(look at me-indeed)

(I’ll give ya)Natural selection
with intelligent direction,
(just look at) political elections
(there’s that) secret sauce…
(you won’t hear about it) join the cause

Refrain-
the end of self
end of us
up on shelf

The fear of us
in God we trust
slavery
enemies
come to us
Emanuel

BT Springs
Songs from the garage
01.30.12

How the who,what,when, why and where matter in your town


Denver: The five “W’s “and the one “H” for the journalist is the bread and butter to my peers and editors at examiner.com. Lately with an article rating system the back to basics approach has helped me to correct something that I feel reporters in ministry fail to do. Like a copy editor once told me, you need to “know th e rules, practice the rules, before you can break the rules.” For an evangelical and prayer examiner every story should reveal the 5 “W’s” and the one “H.”

The Who
Arguably the most timeless band in the history of rock, they were the cherry on top to the British invasion of the 1960’s. The who in this context is not “The Who” of “Pinball Wizard Fame,” or the anthem “We won’t be fooled again,” but the God-head three in one of the band “Trinity,” whose close knit harmonies created everything including “The Who” and “Earth, Wind and Fire” too. Everything that I write about is based on the Father God, the son Jesus Christ, and a little number called the Holy Spirit, which gives the believer power in his and her life.

The What
I will spare you the Abbott and Costello routine! The “what” is what we like to call “The Cause” which is central to our minds and hearts which in evangelical terms is “The Gospel.” This is spread through our mission, our media and our art. Every who and what that I write and pray about has a CAUSE CENTRAL to communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why I think that John 3:16 is so central to our approach in media. When the “what” is communicated in every field from medical to media, from legal to business then there is a bigger picture that we as a community are striving to get to and we can’t do it alone- we need a “cause central.”

The When
The “here and now,” and the timelines from your past and mine and where God was in the midst of our victories and defeats may give us a clue to “the when.” When I review a resource, when I report on a tragedy, or a triumph in our community the eyes are where God is in the situation. I can report when He shows up, but the good news is that He is always in the midst of both. Yes it is difficult to explain death, disaster, or terrorism and why God let something happened, my duty is to show that He is there and He cares when you are hurting and that His purpose is not always understandable. In John 3:16 we are reporting that the “what” is Gospel in the Denver Evangelical column and for the National Prayer column, the prayer is the thing. So as a reporter “how do I pray the issues of the day?” And how can we pray for you?

The Why
That takes us to the “Why.” Why God loves you and me so much that He would send His son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins is a mystery to all of us. The clues come from Genesis and if you are a parent you might understand the heroic measures we would go through so our children wouldn’t face death. For many of us, we would take their place. The why is not easily explainable but a husband who loves his wife and a mother and father who love their children understand the notion of loving their family so much that they would give their lives to save one of them. The “why” is not easily explainable but is is instantly understood. Through the years I have reported on the “why” by telling many stories of sacrificial love.

The Where
I will not say “everywhere” but theologically speaking that is where you can find God. Just last night I attended a hybrid type worship service at New Life Church in Colorado Springs- God showed up, but Tim Tebow didn’t. I was invited by the Worship Pastor at Mountain Springs who is wanting to add more Liturgical elements into worship. There it was my Roman Catholic Roots hanging out with my present state of upbeat and meaningful worship songs; a Homily on Psalm 2 which brought into light our “dual citizenship” and our allegiance to God and the Kingdom. I recommend the Sunday Night service to my readers and I also encourage other Evangelical church leaders to adapt a liturgy that surrounds the Lord’s Supper. The drive down to the Springs is worth it as long as you take something back that could be useful in your community.

While there are elements of the “How” to practice sound journalistic keys in your life and your town in this article, I want to concentrate on a series of examples on what to do to be a detailed minister, leader and communications professional at examiner.com or anywhere else you might write. My life mission is to communicate message, music and mission to the areas that I am called to through Biblical, Systematic and Evangelical Theology. I hope this explains some of the methods that you can use everyday.