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Blood Pumping Drum Beat

August 31, 2012

I’ll be the first to admit, I have no rhythm, in fact most of the time I feel more like Steve Martin’s character in the movie “The Jerk”. When I told my friend Michael this, he simply grabbed my hand and laid it across my own chest and replied , “if you have a heartbeat, you have a rhythm”. Now this was coming from a man who skillfully pounds out complex beats with his bare paws (pun intended, the man has meat cleavers) against a leather topped drum, but his words stirred an interest within me…… where is he going with this?

Michael shared a vision, a vision of unity in our fractured community…… built around a drum beat. As we circled up with our various drums and even some buckets with sticks, different genders, races, and almost every age group, I thought to myself, “this is going to be interesting!”. Michael starts by explaining the effects that drumming has on the human psyche, calming and clarifying. I was told that when we drum the left and right hemispheres of the brain come into balance…….a core balance shall we say. When we are in the womb, the first sounds or rhythm we hear is our mother’s heartbeat, our little hearts follow our mother’s lead.

Michael started us off with a simple beat, and as the circle began to relax and listen to each other….. I noticed that we fell into rhythm, we found our timing and let it flow. I was quite surprised that we actually sounded pretty good. The theory behind this is that when we find our point of balance, we are more open to hear the person beside us, to come together in a common beat. Michael shared that  this is his vision, that our community could come together through drumming, to allow the rhythms that we create to lower our walls of difference. I admire his thoughts and efforts. I believe that this  city needs the “GOOD LIFE DRUM CIRCLE”.

I do believe that there is a natural rhythm that exists within every created being, its part of the image of our Creator. I have felt it firsthand that when we drum, we are more open to hear each other’s rhythms. So my hope and prayer is this…. May we all become aware of the natural rhythm that comes from the primal drum beats of our hearts. That the ears of our soul become inclined to hear the heartbeat of our fellow man…….. and we learn to live life together keeping time with the Created Rhythms that are in each and ever one of us.

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How do you care?

August 28, 2012

I love to watch my local community come together, to just spend an afternoon sharing life together. In this time of troubled economy and growing unemployment rate, we see the numbers of those suffering from homelessness, hunger, and poverty growing. There is no doubt that resources are in need to serve the needs of those suffering…. and yes, it takes money. I know as well as the next guy that there is a person or organization on every corner with a hand extended in need of your hard earned cash….but is that going to change anything, really?

I believe that we could throw buckets of cash at some of our community’s problems and never make a single difference…. because it’s not always a problem of not being enough money, but rather not being enough love and compassion. This past weekend, I had the blessing of seeing love and compassion at work. As my local community gathered together to meet the needs of those who lacking…. my heart could have exploded with joy. You see.. it wasn’t money and goods that were available, but rather primal needs were met, the most basic of all needs…… to be seen, heard, touched and accepted. I witnessed a group of people, from varies walks of life, coming together to rehumanize the over looked. As Mission:Change provided shower so that those without running water could bath, as local barbers and beauticians cut hair and shaved faces, and nails were cleaned and cared for, there was food provided for all. As amazing as the skills and equipment being shared was, it couldn’t shine a light on the conversations, hugs, handshakes, smiles, and even heart felt poetry being shared.

So as I watched people parting and returning to there normal beaten paths… i can’t help but wonder if next time the chance arises to meet the needs of our fellow man….. we see it as helping a friend rather than just someone wanting money.

Blessed to be part…….

“Changing the World from your back yard”

Kill Then Question

May 6, 2012

I truly enjoy talking to people…..even like to listen sometimes, try to anyway!! Seriously, I admire and honor the thoughts of others. Ran into some friends at the pool store this morning , a cute couple that I haven’t spoken with for at least a year. We began to talk about church and theology , I mean what else would you talk about in the pool store on a beautiful Saturday morning? In the midst of our deep, age old conversation, covering everything from Calvinism to Emerging Movements, the topic of practicing non-violence as Christ followers came up, I do try to practice peacemaking in all situation (carefully use the words “practice” and “try”, a man’s own thoughts can contain violence at times). So as the conversation progressed my friend, lovely gentle speaking blonde in her late 40s, with a very serious tone stated that she would kill to protect her family from harm, and continued to back her stance with random scripture choices. She continued own to state that she would peacefully die for HIS sake, but that was different than if she needed to protect her family.

OK, here’s the thing, I understand what she is saying, the emotion, the parental stir that is primal. I am a husband, father, son, friend……..I know how it feels to love. Personally, I don’t agree with her theologically, I feel that everything I do should be in the thought and manner of the Kingdom of GOD, but I do think about “what if” someone tried to hurt my child. As I rode home I said a prayer, asking for clarity of my own heart’s desire in the matter……let me to this:

I can’t go into any situation with my mind made up to kill. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do whatever it takes to protect my family, but protecting doesn’t always mean killing. What if, because I chose to value another’s life regardless of their intent or feelings, I could make a difference in their life. Maybe because I chose mercy above emotion, this person might get a glimpse of GOD’s amazing grace. So I chose to stand firm in not standing firm on what I would do……because I don’t know, but i do know that every interaction I have with another, regardless the situation, Is a chance for that person to know the same reconciling grace that I need every day. So may we represent Jesus before killing, instead of questioning it all afterwards.

Just my thoughts……but I could be wrong.