Music :- Shakka & Wretch 32

Background

If I am going to have to work weekends, I might as well look for new music.

It is most likely not new for you, but here is a new voice for me.

Music

  1. Shakka
    • Shakka – Take Our Time
      Published On :- 2011-Dec 22nd
      Link
  2. Wretch 32
    • Wretch 32 – ‘6 Words’ (Official Video) (Out Now)
      Published On :- 2014-Oct-14th
      Link
    • Wretch 32 ft Shakka – ‘Blackout’ (Official Video)
      Published On :- 2103-May-28th
      Link
    • Wretch 32 ft Ed Sheeran – ‘Hush Little Baby’
      Published On :- 2012-April-26th
      Link

NFL Players Trip to Israel

Background

Over the weekend I became aware of a story that tracked a planned visit of NFL players to Israel.

Story

Here is a good take of the story penned by Allison Kaplan Sommer:

Haaretz – Israel News
Link

What was supposed to be a high-profile image-buffing visit by a delegation of 13 NFL players to Israel ended up failing to draw enough players to field a team.
In the end, only five of the players originally slated on the seven-day trip designed to make them “ambassadors of good will” for Israel ended up arriving to tour the Holy Land and seeing the sights, after a public relations fumble caused the majority to pull out.

The players who made the trip were Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

The decision of the other participants not to come on the trip took place after the visit was publicized by Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan on February 5, with a press release describing the trip as being part of an “intensive fight against the delegitimization and BDS campaigns against Israel, and part of this struggle includes hosting influencers and opinion-formers of international standing in different fields.” The football players would get “a balanced picture of Israel, the opposite from the false incitement campaign that is being waged against Israel around the world,” he said.

Move follows ‘open letter’ from Walker, Belafonte, Glover

The move was followed by the publishing of an “open letter” urging the players not to go, sponsored by pro-Palestinian activist groups and signed by high-profile activists and celebrities like Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover. At the very beginning of the letter, Erdan’s words are cited as evidence that Israel was “aiming to use your fame to advance their own agenda: an agenda that comes at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

The decision by the other eight players not to travel to Israel was led by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who signaled he was pulling out of the trip by tweeting a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. and a statement expressing resentment at what he saw as a manipulation by Israel’s government and declaring he wouldn’t “be used in such a manner.”
Since Bennett’s post, the ministry that had unveiled the trip with great fanfare went silent. After promising various updates on the delegation, Revital Yakin-Karkovsky, executive director for communications and strategy in the ministry, told the Associated Press that it would not comment on the visit.

The Tourism Ministry and the nonprofit America’s Voices in Israel organization, which were also involved in the planning, have also distanced themselves.

According to ESPN, the players who canceled their participation include Bennett’s brother Martellus, a tight end for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, along with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills, San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde and Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett, along with retired NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison.

The five players’ government-sponsored trip began Tuesday in the north of the country with a visit to Rambam Hospital, where the five players were given a tour and shown a presentation of a device developed by one of Rambam’s researchers that detects concussions in real time. Later, the players were set to include Yad Vashem and the Hebrew Israelite community in the southern city of Dimona.

Two of the visiting players, Jordan and Kendricks, have kept their fans updated on their travels by posting their adventures on social media.

My Take

Personally, my take is that all of us should do good to the extent that we can.

Carry One Another’s Burdens
…Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.
( Galatians 6:9-10)

Other Do Gooders

  1. Obama
    • Governor Bill Richardson
      • Gov. Richardson endorses Obama
        March 21st, 2008
        Link
        He drew laughs with a story about how Obama had bailed him out when a moderator called on him unexpectedly during a Democratic debate.

        “I was about to ask the moderator to repeat the question when Barack whispered to me ‘Katrina, Katrina.’ And I gave my Katrina answer. He could have thrown me under the bus, but he stood behind me.”
        Obama had earlier praised Richardson.
        “Whether it’s fighting to end the Iraq war or stop the genocide in Darfur or prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, Gov. Richardson has been a powerful voice on issues of global security, peace and justice,” Obama said in a statement released before the endorsement.
    • John McCain
      • McCain: Obama not an Arab, crowd boos
        By JONATHAN MARTIN and AMIE PARNES
        Dated :- 2008-Oct-10th
        Link
        McCain passed his wireless microphone to one woman who said, “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him and he’s not, he’s not uh — he’s an Arab. He’s not — ” before McCain retook the microphone and replied:“No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”
  2. Brad Paisley
    • Flashback: Brad Paisley Salutes President Obama
      Singer visits the White House in 2009 to perform “Welcome to the Future” for Barack and Michelle Obama
      By Stephen L. Betts
      Date :-  2016-Nov-8th
      Link
      Paisley was a supporter of Obama’s candidacy, not an easy road for a performer in the predominantly conservative landscape of country music. But, as he told CNN in 2009, “On November 4th, I felt an emotion like I haven’t felt in my entire life. I think whoever you voted for, you had to be moved.”

      “Welcome to the Future,” penned with Chris DuBois, acknowledged the troubling history that made Obama’s victory even more significant, with Paisley recalling true events such as a classmate having a cross burned on his lawn because he had asked out the homecoming queen and referencing the brave actions of protester Rosa Parks and civil-rights leader Martin Luther King.Paisley, who had broken down in tears while running through the song during soundcheck earlier that afternoon, recalled doing “everything I could do not to lose it. I had to close my eyes, or I would completely break down.” After the performance, he tipped his hat to the president, thanked him and left the stage. Paisley recalled that once he was offstage he “just started bawling,” taking in the enormity of the moment. Paisley would again perform for the President and First Lady Michelle Obama on July 4th, 2012, and in January 2013 at the inauguration concert celebrating his second term.
    • Exclusive: Brad Paisley shares his night at the White House
      Link
      But this time, the phone call was essentially, “We would like to know if Brad would be interested in performing at the White House in the East Room.”
      It was as simple as that. It’s like, “Yes! More than yes. I’m floored. Why?!”
      And I could never get the answer why. They just wanted me to play.

      Ironically, I read this story just last week on CNN about Michelle Obama’s great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, who was a slave in South Carolina. It’s insane to think about that.

      How the world has changed.On November 4th, I felt an emotion like I haven’t felt in my entire life. I think whoever you voted for, you had to be moved.My grandfather was in the Philippines fighting against the Japanese during World War II — and now I record for Sony and played Japan twice on tour, and loved every minute.If you’d go back in time and tell my grandfather during air raid sirens, “Hang on there. Your grandson — they’re gonna love him,” he never would have believed it.

Conclusion

Times are tough.

We all need help.

Sometimes it comes through friendship and actually working together.

At other times it comes through gracious and symbolic acts.

I am finding out that people sometimes view us different than we view ourselves.

In their lenses, we could have done more than we are doing.

We could have clarified something.

And, when they give us time to do so, and we choose not to do so, they will often move on.

But, that does not mean they forget or worse forgive.

I wish upon each of us “continuance in choosing good leadership“.

A while ago, we had a production problem and I needed help with instructions on how to get the system back operational.

One of seniors in the group explained to me how we got here and I was just staring and wondering if he thought an history is what I needed most of all.

I needed encouragement, access and privilege to the system, and an easy to understand guide.

A good friend shared with me a few years ago something to the effect that “sometimes people think or assume there needs are different than others“.

Closing Scripture

Paul Before the Areopagus ( Council or Court of Justice )
Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.

From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands.
God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.…
( Acts 17:25-27 )

Daniel Davis – Bruce Jenner’s Transformation Is A Lose-Lose For Liberal Ideology

 

Background

Admittedly I have listened in on Juanita Bynum’s take on Eddie Long’s untimely transition a few times.

And, I summarized her comforting words here.

A short, less than 10 minutes, segment that talks of the Work of the Holy Spirit is here.

She mentioned a name Daniel Lamont, I think it was.

As I am not familiar with that name, googled it, but did not find correlative matches.

 

Daniel Davis

But, found an interesting article by my Tocayo, Daniel Davis.

I think listening into his thinking will help yours.

 

Link

Bruce Jenner’s Vanity Fair coming-out party reaffirms traditional gender norms, even as he attempts to flee from them.

DanielDavis

By Daniel Davis

JUNE 3, 2015

Judging from the new cover of Vanity Fair, it appears that Bruce Jenner’s highly publicized transformation to purported womanhood has finally reached its climax. The title reads, “Call me Caitlyn.” The actual meaning? “Call me woman.”

As we’ve seen in recent months, the transgender movement sees itself as the next civil-rights frontier. It clearly hopes to copy the LGBT movement in winning public approval by securing more and more media exposure. But as the movement makes its public appeal, some internal contradictions in liberal sexual ideology are quickly emerging. One major contradiction looms large for the transgender movement, and it deserves attention.

For years, a major aim of the sexual revolution has been to deconstruct gender differences as being “social constructs,” mere cultural projections of what maleness and femaleness are and mean. This critique evacuated gender of any physical meaning and reduced it to an existential feeling—a feeling of being male or female, regardless of one’s sexual biology.

The effect of this critique has been to relativize gender, and thus to abolish it as a meaningful category. Because you can no longer tie “femaleness” to a normative set of traits or acts (for example, wearing dresses or marrying men), the category itself cannot help but lose its meaning. To call any particular act a “male” or “female” act would be to revert back to antiquated, repressive, patriarchal norms—norms that only serve to foster social inequality.

This is the ideology that governs liberal sexual philosophy, and it collides head-on with major aspects of the transgender movement. Transgenderism is unavoidably based on a kind of gender essentialism. It recognizes gender identities as being associated with certain socially accepted norms. What does it mean, for example, that Jenner’s “gender” is female? It means that he gets a sex change. It means that he poses in traditionally female attire for the cover of Vanity Fair. It means that he reaffirms traditional gender norms, even as he attempts to flee from them.

So Now Femininity Has Meaning?

In fact, he cannot help but reaffirm them, for they are the only tangible way of expressing gender. Inner feelings must inevitably take on flesh, and gender—understood as a mere feeling—must inevitably express itself in material form.

This is a problem for the broader liberal sexual movement. It wants to celebrate transgenderism, but it cannot do so without referring to—and thus, at least tacitly affirming—gender norms. To celebrate Jenner’s femininity is actually to commit a liberal heresy: to revert back to a form of gender essentialism.

There’s a flip side to this coin. As we noted, liberal sexual philosophy strips the term “gender” of all normative meaning. It reduces gender to a cultural phenomenon. In doing this, it robs transgenderism of its key claims to gender authenticity, and therefore of its right to moral affirmation. Consider it this way: If gender has no real connection to biology and certain social traits, then someone’s claim to a gender identity is virtually meaningless. And if it is meaningless, how can we be morally obliged to recognize it—let alone even understand it?

Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post caught on to at least part of this problem on Twitter recently. After making clear that he supports for Jenner’s new gender identity, he wrote:

 

Between the Vanity Fair spread and “she’s so pretty” convos, we’ve smuggled in the same old cis/Eurocentric narratives about womanhood.

MarcLamontHill-20150601-0450PM

If we only celebrate and welcome Caitlyn Jenner bc she conforms to tradition cis/and European standards of beauty, we are making a mistake.

MarcLamontHill-20150601-0451PM

Hill understands that affirming someone’s gender identity involves affirming some cultural instantiation of that gender identity. As a post-colonial liberal, he wants to tear down those standards because, in his view, they perpetuate social injustice and gender inequality. Hill wants to affirm people’s gender identity in the abstract, but refrain from affirming the particular instantiation of that identity.

Unfortunately for Hill, the transgender community is seeking an embodied affirmation, one that sees gender identities as rightly fitting with a certain biology, a certain set of clothes—a lived femininity. Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t want to be affirmed in the abstract. He wants America to affirm his gender identity in terms of a lived femininity, and that means affirming his sex change and clothes as feminine. Those cultural norms are exactly the kind of “repressive” gender norms that Hill and other progressives want to abolish.

Hence, the liberal contradiction. If you truly celebrate Jenner’s transition, you have to do it by recognizing some cultural narrative about womanhood, thereby perpetuating gender “inequality.” But if you’re committed to the abolition of gender norms, there’s no way you can affirm Jenner’s femininity, except in the meaningless abstract. It’s a lose-lose.

What Is Gender, Anyway?

The root problem that led to this contradiction was the divorcing of gender from sexual biology and social traits. Having critiqued gender norms as being social constructs (and oppressive ones at that), gender has now become a free-floating abstraction that is wholly disconnected from material norms.

For gender to actually mean anything, it must instantiated in particular ways of being—a particular biology, particular clothes, and a particular way of relating to the opposite sex.

Even if these ways of being were all socially constructed, they would be essential to any meaningful understanding of gender. When gender is unhinged from biological sex and from generic social traits, it is an empty term, devoid of content and meaning.

The transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner only proves this reality. For Bruce to actualize his “true gender”—his femininity—he had to get a sex change and dress up as a woman. His “gender” had obvious implications for how he would live.

There’s no getting around this connection between gender and sex, between gender and social traits. It testifies to the eternal fact that human beings are fundamentally soul and body. However much we might try to be gender Gnostics and suppress this objective connection between the body and the soul, we cannot achieve the separation. Just as the soul depends on the body, gender depends on biology. If we wish to speak of gender, we must speak of the body—and that’s not going to change.

Daniel Davis is editor at Ecclesiam.org, a Christian journal dedicated to contemporary cultural issues.

Quotes

  1. Oswald Chambers
    • The Privilege of Conviction
      Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God.
      Link
  2. Leonard Ravenhill
    • Holiness
      • The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world, and make that man holy and put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it.
        Link
    • Church
      • The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.
      • The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.
    • How we live
      • One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. 
      • Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living
  3. Mary Peckham
    • Lewis 1949 Revival Testimony by Mary Peckham
      • Conviction of sin in a season of revival is too terrible for words
      • The Spirit of God witnessed with my Spirit and I knew I was saved

 

ecclesiam.org

Other good write-ups from ecclesiam.org

  1. Josh Holler
    Josh Holler is a graduate of Wheaton College with a B.A. in International Relations and a current student at Covenant Theological Seminary

    • Children as Vessels of Sanctification
      Link
  2. Matthew Arildsen
    Matthew Arildsen is pursuing an MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary and is the associate editor for Ecclesiam

    • Voting Advice for Christians
      Link

Lauryn Hill, Xavier Rudd

Prologue

In an undated interview Lauryn Hill touches on many things.

Inclusive are:

  • Growing up with a loving family, and taken for granted that everyone else does
  • Having a strong, hardworking man, and present man as a father
  • Having siblings who first sense & encourage each other gifts

 

Discussions

  1. Lauryn Hill | Interview | Full
    Link

 

Noted

I am happy here is one soul that did not fall into the trap we set…

abigailadams

 

carriechapmancatt

 

The Beautiful ones…

  1. Xavier Rudd
    • Follow the Sun
      Link
    • Creating Dream
      Link
  2. Run River North

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen – “Born To Run” ( The Book )

Forward

After worship, went to Walmart and as I waited for the Oil Change walked over to the Book Aisle.

Thankfully the first book that took me in is the Boss’s “Born To Run“.

I think it is a good read.

Pasted below is a jagged excerpt.

Excerpt

Book One – Growin’ Up

My Street

The house I live i with my grandparents is owned by my grandmother “Nana” McNicholas, my grandmother’s mother, alive and kicking just up the street.  I’ve been told our town’s first child service and first funeral were held in our living room.  We live here beneath the lingering eyes of my father’s oldest sister, my Aunt Virginia, dead at five, killed by a truck while riding her tricycle past the corner gas station.  Her portrait hovers, breathing a ghostly air into the room and shining her ill-fated destiny over our family gatherings.

Her seemingly benign gaze, in the light of events, now communicates, “Watch out! This world is a dangerous and unforgiving place that will knock your ass off your tricycle and into the dead black unknown and only these poor, misguided and unfortunate souls will miss you.”  Her mother, my grandma, heard that message loud and clear.  She spent two years in bed after her daughter’s death and sent my father, neglected, with rickets, off to the outskirts of town to live with other relatives while she recovered.

Time passed; my father quit school school at sixteen, working as a floor boy in the Karagheusian Rug Mill.  At eighteen, he went to war, sailing on the Queen Mary out of New York City.  He served as a truck driver at the Battle of Bulge, saw what little of the world he was going to see and returned home.  He met and fell in love with my mother, promising that if she’d marry, he would get a job (red flag!).  He worked with his cousin, David “Dim” Cashion, on the line at the Ford Motor plant in Edison and I came along.

For my grandmother, I was the firstborn child of her only son and the first baby in the house since the death of her daughter. My birth returned to her a life of purpose. She seized on me with a vengeance. Her mission became my ultimate protection from the world within and without. Sadly, her blind single-minded devotion would lead to hard feelings with my father and enormous family confusion. It would drag all of us down.

 

The Church

This was the world where I found the beginning of my song.  In Catholicism, there existed the poetry, danger, and darkness that reflected my imagination and my inner self.  I found a land of great and harsh beauty, of fantastic stories, of unimaginative punishment and infinite reward.  It was a glorious and pathetic place I was either shaped for or fit right into.

It has walked alongside me as a waking dream my whole life.  So as young adult I tried to make sense of it. I tried to meet its challenge for the very reasons that there are souls to lose and a kingdom of love to be gained.  I laid what I’d absorbed across the hardscrabble lives of my family, friends, and neighbors.  I turned it into something I could grapple with, understand, something I could even find faith in.  As funny as it sounds, I have a “personal” relationship with Jesus.

He remains one of my fathers, though as with my own father, I no longer believe in his godly power.  I deeply believe in his love, his ability to save…

 

The Italians

My great-grandfather was called “the Dutchman” and I suppose descended from some Netherlanders who wandered down from New Amsterdam not knowing what they were getting themselves into.  Thus, we wear the name Springsteen, of Dutch origin, but prominently, here’s where Irish and Italian blood meet.  Why?  Previous to the Mexicans and African-Americans who harvested Monmouth  County crops,  the Italians were in the fields with the Irishmen and working the horse farms alongside them.

Recently, I asked my mother how they all ended up with the Irish.  She said, “The Italian men were too bossy. We’d had enough of that.  We didn’t want men bossing us all around.”

 

The Irish

I was not my father’s favorite citizen.  As a boy I figured it was just the way men were, distant, uncommunicative, busy within the currents of the grown-up world.  As a child you don’t question your parents choices.   You accept them.  They are justified by the godlike status of parenthood.

If you’re aren’t spoken to, you ‘re worth the time.  If you are not greeted with love and affection, you haven’t earned it.  If you are ignored, you don’t exist.  Control over your behavior is the only card you have to play in the hope of modifying others.

Maybe you have to be tougher, stronger, more athletic, smarter, in some way better … who knows?  One evening my father was giving me a few boxing lesson in the living room.  I was flattered, excited by his attention, and eager to learn.  Things were gong well.  And, then he threw a few open-palmed punches to my face that landed a just too hard.  It stung.  I wasn’t hurt, but a line had been crossed. I knew something was being communicated.  We had slipped into the dark nether land beyond father and son.

I sensed what was being said:  I was an intruder, a stranger,  a competitor in our home and a fearful disappointment.   My heart broke and I crumpled.  He walked away in disgust.


Unfortunately, my dad’s desire to engage with me almost came after the nightly religious ritual of the “sacred sick pack.”  One beer after another in the pitch dark of our kitchen.  It was always then that he wanted to see me and it was always the same.

A few moments of feigned parental concern for my well being followed by the real deal:  the hostility and raw anger towards sin, the only other man in the house.

It was a shame.  He loved me, but couldn’t stand me.  He felt we competed for my mother’s affections.  We did.  He also see in me too much of his real self.  My father was built like a bull, always in work clothes; he was strong and physically formidable.

Toward the end of his life, he fought back from death many times. Inside, however, beyond his rage, he harbored a gentleness, timidity, shyness, and a dreamy insecurity.

There were all the things I wore on the outside and the reflection of these qualities in his boy repelled him.  It made him angry.  It was “soft“.  And, he hated “Soft”.   Of course, he had been brought up “soft“.  A mama’s boy just like me.

One evening at the kitchen table, late in life, when he was not well, he told me a story of being pulled out of a fight he was having in the school yard.

My grandmother had walked away from our house and dragged him home.  He recounted his humiliation and said eyes welling… ” I was willing…I was willing.”

He still didn’t understand he could not be risked.  He was the one remaining, living child.  My grandmother, confused, could not realize her untempered love was destroying the men she was raising.

I told him I understood, that we had been raised by the same woman in some of the formative years of our lives and suffered many of the same humiliations.

However, back in the days when our relationship was at its most tempestuous, these things remained mysteries and created a legacy of pain and misunderstanding.

 

Videos & Conversations

Videos

  1. Long Walk Home
    Link
  2. Bruce Springsteen – This Depression (Live 2013)
    Link

 

Conversations

  1. Sunday Morning 2016 Bruce Springsteen Talks Autobiography Book ‘Born To Run’
    Published On: Sept 22nd, 2016
    Legendary singer Bruce Springsteen talks about his new book
    an autobiography ‘Born To Run’. His youth, visits the old neighbourhood, battling depression and about losing his dear friend Clarence Clemons.
    Link

 

Listening

Listening to…

  1. Damon Thompson
    • Damon Thompson – Authority of Intimacy – Call to the Altar
      Link