Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All Things New Again

It is always encouraging to see or hear about God "moving" in a situation or life.  We need more of this kind of news and less of how the devil is moving in the world. . . .

I have held off doing anything too ambitious musically for years, waiting until I knew God was "all in"--or, rather . . . until I was "all in" with God. . . .

And He is all over, in, under, above, through . . . this new venture of mine, I dare say.  Praise God!  It is so easy to feel inspired and start a project, IMAGINING that it is a Godly thing . . . when it is just the same old, old self, self-seeking/self-lifting . . . cloaked in a Godly facade.  Having been fooled in that process many times before, I have been very wary for a while of repeating that same misfire.  Then again, BC (before Christ) I never really had a chance . . . but now, well, it's a different story.  Discernment and an eagle eye are still critical, but now the Eye of the Spirit is here to shine the proper Light on things.

As I've mentioned before, this project has a positive energy and focus which is proving delightfully infectious.  So far, everyone--well nearly everyone (family and friends AND even new acquaintances) have found themselves recharged, reignited, re-enthused when approached and getting involved with contributing to this.  I've seen how most people are in a general kind of malaise and plodding depression, likely because of all the chaos and ominous developments going on in our society and world at large.  Times are tight.  Every day is a struggle and every one seems on the verge of falling apart or losing it temperamentally at the slightest complication.  Not much to look forward to but a big, ugly mess . . . is what it's looking like on the temporal scene.  But this is creating a different track, despite all that, which has its own rules and encouragements. . . .

For the most part, I am enlisting folks of more advanced age--creative people who had kind of lost their passion and joy in creating because the day-to-day stresses and relentless burdens have finally tallied up to bog them down.  But this project seems to reawaken their enthusiasm and hope and bring new, uplifting energy that has got them suddenly excited and hopeful again.

THAT ALONE is a blessing that is being spread, so far as it goes.  And there are two examples specifically I wanted to mention, where it looks like God is blessing those involved.

One is particularly (pleasantly) shocking related to our deaf son Skylar.  He has always, for the most part hated music and not understood why people love it so much. Obviously, because he is deaf, this is understandable.  He CAN "hear" with his cochlear implant, but the sound is all translated into digital signals, so that what he "hears" as music . . . mostly sounds like loud, jangly, obnoxious noise.

Being such a musical family otherwise, this has been a melancholy thing (for us--not him so much as he doesn't know or care what he is missing). 

The thing is, Sky, we have long recognized, has musical ability.  Oddly, he can dance and has a great sense of rhythm.  But the subtleties of melody, tone, lyrics have been utterly lost on him.

BUT . . . just the other day, he was "prompted" to try a different setting on his cochlear and he put on headphones and started listening to symphonic music while he played his latest favorite online computer game ("Black Desert" I think it is).  Suddenly, he could "hear" the music in a new way.  And he was hooked!  He finally started hearing it in a way that the emotion and mood of the music could affect him.  He was so excited telling me about this and I promptly gave him a list of artists that I thought he could get into besides the classical and techno music he likes.  Brian Eno's ambient "discreet" music . . . Philip Glass . . . Vangelis . . . Moebius. . . . And he loves it!

Now, as this all consuming musical venture I am trying to launch gets going and is so fun and exciting, Sky need not be left out of the experience!  I KNOW God is in this!  What a surprising, out-of-the-blue blessing!  He is even saying he thinks he can MAKE music.  We have little doubt that, using a click track in his headpiece . . . he could someday be a real, good drummer!

The other example is my old music friend Gene Eskelson.  I've written of him before--a wizardly-looking older friend who I played in a band with (The Planets) way back in the 80s and a couple of times since.  Gene is an eccentric, highly creative, gifted fellow, but has never really gotten a break in life.  I'd lost touch with him the past couple of years and just now found out that he ended up virtually homeless, his menagerie of collectible art pieces and music equipment in storage along with his beloved cat boarded somewhere.  He says he barely made it.  He's got diabetes, is going blind and now losing his teeth!  But I just again found his phone number and called him and found he has since at least found a little place to live in and got his cat back, plus most of his guitars and amps. 

Besides being a talented guitarist along the lines of a Jimmy Page . . . he is an excellent graphic designer.  So I am enlisting him to work on some logo ideas and plan to use him for making cool posters and t-shirt designs for the band.  Everything is shoe-string budget, of course, but even what little I can give him in compensation will go a long way in his meager situation . . . and he was so, so excited when I talked to him about this venture--something new, something creative and full of energy to be involved with, even at this age and stage of life!  I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack, so thrilled was he, when we finally chatted last night!

I have always gone for the underdog.  In grade school, when we use to pick teams for basketball or football--I was kinda a leader type, from a well-to-do family, popular, athletic, and so was usually a "captain" . . . and would deliberately choose the unpopular, oft-teased, usually poorest kids to be on my team; getting a thrill out of surprising them and loving the challenge of proving that they/we could beat the popular, mean, snobby kids.  Even if we didn't win (though we often did, as my picks would play their hearts out!) it was altogether way more fun and fulfilling to do it that way.

I kind of have that same sense now.  All of us guys in the band are "past our prime" . . . have had the big dreams which never panned out . . . yet are still kicking.  And I am loving giving us all a chance to scoff at cruel "time" and be newly energized to create and do something new, fresh and creatively challenging . . . all over again, when we just as easily could have accepted that those kind of days and experiences were long gone!

Above all--and, to be sensitive to the situations I am not going to go yet into any hard details--I am seeing several prime candidates for the sharing of the Gospel.  I will say that Gene--who I have influenced before spiritually in a big way (sadly the wrong way)--is I believe finally ready to hear, probably for the first time, the simple, profound truth of the Gospel and the unmatched teachings from the very Word of God.  There are others in the band as well I can see as potential harvest material!  God willing. . . .

Superficial, worldly eyes may look at this thing and see something else--but the Spiritual potential, in discreet, subtle AND not so subtle ways, I can already see . . . can be powerful and profound; God willing again, of course.

I am totally prepared that the world may be in such a mess that the whole music/band part of it may not get a chance to go too far.  But the personal results, which are most important anyhow, are already taking place and, I hope and trust and pray, will carry on far beyond regardless.

Thank you again those of you who helped me in this initial phase of starting to get it all together. I pray the energy and blessings that are happening happen there as well!  There is a ton yet to do, but I am trusting God all the way and am confident that this unmistakable energy and urgency is here for good, blessed purpose!


Brother Thomas ©2015

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