Archive for July, 2009


The Economic Crisis and 10 Reasons to Count Your Blessings

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks.”

We’re a few years into what most call our “economic crisis” and it seems that wherever we turn, or watch, someone or somebody is talking about how hard it’s been (for businesses, those with money, those without, etc.). Most interesting to me are those I interact with who really haven’t been hit by the crisis all that bad, yet actually feel as thought they have. In this season I certainly have been tested on several fronts where I stand with my faith level to trust in the Lord completely for provision vs. worrying about tomorrow. Therefore I submit the following points to ponder and suggest that we all have more blessings to count than we realize:

1. Has your income remained steady through this time?

If your income has remained steady, or even increased during this time, you are not in economic crisis…period. If you have other financial woes (such as investment issues) it could have happened in and out of this season. Count your blessings!

2. If you got laid off, were you able to collect unemployment compensation?

Many people who lose their jobs cannot collect if their employer does not pay or is exempt from paying unemployment insurance (non-profits included). This means that they not only lose their income, but there is nothing to replace even part of it. If you collected or are currently collecting unemployment compensation – count your blessings!

3. If you are purchasing a home, do you still live in it?

Many people have lost their homes in this season. I you still live in your home, count your blessings!

4. Are your credit cards/lines maxed out?

Without a job, income, or other financial support many people have to run up credit or taken all the equity out of their homes just to survive month to month. These people not only have regular expenses to cover, but they now need to dig out of additional debt to get back on their feet.

5. Did you apply for food assistance?

Better yet, were you turned down for State or Federal assistance when you applied? If so you should be rejoicing. You must not be that bad off if you can’t qualify for food assistance! To put it in perspective, do you have a roof over your head, food on the table at night, gas in the car, and a family who loves you? Count your blessings!

6. Do you have health insurance?

The self-employed, unemployed, and underemployed often do not have health insurance. They go many months and even years praying for supernatural health for their family and cannot get care for the smaller events that occur like strep throat or a rash. The emergency room is their only option. So count your blessings if you have health insurance!

7. If you have any type of retirement account like an IRA, Roth IRA, or 401k or other type of investment such as CD’s, do you still have money there?

Many people have been singing a sad song about the state of their retirement accounts. Yet there are those who have not only taken money from their retirement accounts, they have had to completely cash them out just to make ends meet in the short term (and to add insult to injury, they will pay a penalty to the IRS for removing it). If you still have an active account, it means you didn’t need that money just to sustain your lifestyle. That must mean you have cash on hand other than your retirement. Count your blessings!

8. Do you have cable, take the newspaper, have high speed Internet, use a cell phone, ever go out to eat, buy coffee at Starbucks or did you go on a vacation this year?

Many people do not have these optional things. They have had to cancel all plans for time away or vacationing, up to and including missing important family events that would force them to travel like weddings, funerals, graduations, etc. They also have chosen to abandon creature comforts since they simply cannot afford them up to and including things like soda and ice cream at the grocery store or renting movies.

9. Can you pay your bills?

Regardless of how you have been touched by this economic downturn, are you able to pay your bills month over month? If so, count your blessings no matter how you had to work to get that money (career change, minimum wage, multiple jobs, etc.). Many are working 2 and 3 jobs and still cannot make enough money each month to replace their former income and therefore are falling behind regularly. It is not uncommon to meet a former professional who is several weeks in arrears on their bills with no foreseeable upswing.

10. Did you experience a true crisis more important than money?

If not, you should count your blessings. You do not have a loved one with cancer, you did not lose your marriage, you did not lose a friend or family member to premature death, you are not dealing with abuse or betrayal, mental illness, etc. And I am only listing the things that I have personally seen people through over the last 6 months. People have had houses burn to the ground, husbands die in a fiery crashes, embezzlement, death of a child, disease, etc. If your life has pretty much stayed a steady course without a catastrophic crisis, you should count your blessings!

God has blessed us with many things not the least of which is a promise of eternal life and salvation through his son Jesus Christ. If you are struggling with fears or are in a personal crisis of your own, go to here and read some of the life-giving articles. Crisis is real, focus on what really matters, and let’s not allow the media and naysayers dictate where we find our joy!

James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


Julian in the Studio – Part 3: Victory Salute

More video from the Destinysong studio courtesy of my iPhone 3Gs. Watch it over and over and over again! You must!


Julian in the Studio – Part 2: We Roll Tonight To The Guitar Bite

Julian and I hit a milestone in that we are now complete with all the electric guitars on the forthcoming album.  We explored a lot of different sounds and textures.  The most successful arrangement for us is seen in this video.  We ran several sounds on this CD for electric including some mono stuff, and the ol’ mic the amp mic the room technique.  But we were most satisfied with true stereo.  With Marshall and Fender amps; Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch guitars to choose from, our sonic palette was quite diverse.

Enjoy more video taken from my iPhone including a little 4th of July bonus.


Julian in the Studio

We’ve been working on the inaugural project in the Destinysong studio for the last 6 weeks or so. This is an exciting process where we are testing out every aspect of the recording studio. The project is a full-length CD for my son Julian.  He wrote every tune and is playing and singing everything on the album (the one exception thus far being my guest appearance playing a little mandolin).  He’s been recording drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keys, and singing.  The project is shaping up to be a balanced rock effort.  For example there are a few heavy riff-based tunes, but also a few delicate acoustic ballads.  I believe it showcases where Julian is at in his musical development.  For me, it is very interesting to hear how this melting pot of experience and influence manifests in an 18-year old.  It’s been a ton of fun.

Here is a short video I took on my iPhone of Julian cutting parts:

We’re creating a full-length album, well…because we can.  Julian has something like 50 songs under his belt so we could draw on a variety of material, plus with the studio at the house, we’re not under time or budget constraints. Here’s a possible running order for the CD.

  1. Perfect Day
  2. These Idols
  3. Here With Me
  4. Between Us
  5. How Long
  6. Where are You?
  7. One Thousand Words
  8. Lost it All
  9. So Long My Friend
  10. Time to Move On

I think that for anyone who knows Julian there will be a few surprises in there.  For example, some may not know how heavy he can get (These Idols and Lost it All).  Others may not realize what a knack he has for pop songwriting (Between Us or Perfect Day).  A few have been surprised at the depth of some of the tunes (Time to Move On or Here With Me).  And finally, it may be a little bit surprising that the CD will not include any straightforward corporate worship tunes even though it is almost entirely made up of faith-based themes rooted in a Christian, Spirit-led worldview (with his dad  producer on this project, it would be hard to get content in that didn’t pass muster on this account – that said, there hasn’t been anything that needed editing as far as I can recall!).

On that note, as we progressed through the material, it made more sense to keep this CD cohesive in content and not divert it into a corporate worship CD when that’s not what was shaping up.  Julian most certainly could cut an album of corporate worship songs, but that is not the focus for this project.  This is a journey birthed out of his life experiences from the past few years, and particularly the last season of our lives.  On this project you’ll hear a response to the world, and all that goes with it, of hope and faith and love.  And that should be in all our lives in one way or another right?

We’re exactly halfway through as best I can estimate so we have a lot of work to do.  But soon we should be entering into the latter stages of recording and earnestly mixing the album.  We’re shooting for a mid-August or early September release and we’re praying about what to do with the songs in terms of promotion, etc.  But that’s for another day.  For now, we’re experiencing the joy of exercising our God-given talents in musical creativity.  More to come!


July 2009

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