That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

“Yesterday”, Today, FOREVER!

I hope this is not a long post…

I just got through watching a Toni Braxton video, and one line of her song, “Yesterday” stuck with me: “I just don’t love you no more…”

It’s as simple as that nowadays. I just ain’t feelin’ you, so, I’m out! Just like that. You come home from work, and she”just don’t love you no more,” so get your stuff, put it in a bag, and go sleep on your boy’s couch while we divvy up all the assets.

I believe she and her husband are seperated, but that is not the main point of this post. The point is, if the only thing a marriage has holding it together is whether one spouse STILL LOVES  the other, it is doomed! I can’t sanely live as a married man from day to day, year to year, if I am depending solely on that girl in the other room back there to continue loving me with her own resources.

There has to be another driving force. I, likewise, cannot say with confidence that I will not leave her or cheat on her if I am relying on my own feelings to be the glue. Kathy knows, and I know that while — yes — we do have enourmous affection and tremendous passion, and all the other touchy-feely stuff for each other, it is the unwavering unmoving, unchanging hand of God that gives us the assurance of “till death…”

Feelings change. That’s why when I see shows like “Entertainment Tonight” talk about how much “in lovvvve” a particular couple seem, I get the stirrings of rage that make me want to take all of them by the collective collar and counsel them on the real aspects of true love. People who base marriage on how they feeeel today should put the lawyers on speed dial. Don’t marry someone because you have passion alone for them. Marry because you will be committed to loving them more than you love yourself until you die! “Love” being an act and not a feeling.

If you don’t think you can do that — don’t.

If you believe that God will sustain you when your feelings wane, jump in with both feet! It is not an absence of lust that will keep you — or her — from cheating.Muscle maintenance  will not keep her chasing you around the room. (an EX-girlfriend saw my arms in short sleeves once, and said threateningly, “don’t loooose it…” *She gone!*)

I could say a lot more, but it’s 2:25 AM, I’m tired, and the baby is crying. And I love him. GET it?

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January 28, 2010 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Jesus, Love, Toni Braxton | 5 Comments

Steven Horace Williams. And the Tempest on which He Came

Now, thanks be to God, I have three children! TWO of them sons!

Steve — named for my lost cousin, and my father — came into this world Tuesday morning amidst a whirlwind of activity.

Usually, when I play gigs, all I have to do is show up and blow. However some church members recently asked the church band to play their wedding reception. And they asked if I would play the wedding, too. I wound up being the point man for the function, which meant I would have to meet with the couple, get their requests for material, negotiate the price, get the music out to the guys, and hire the sound man and players. (Most of the church guys had other gigs.) A lot of extra work.

Now, when I took the job, I didn’t put it together with the fact that it was happening FOUR DAYS AFTER MY BABY’S BIRTH, and that Kathy would be having her third c-section! I just looked at the fact that it was January, and as I had been jobbed out of my New Year’s Eve gig, the money would be cool.

We have experienced record cold temperatures the last two weeks or so. Weekends are tough for me. I usually don’t get to sleep Saturday nights until 5 AM, and I have to be at church at 7:30. We have two services, and I’m usually done at 12:30 or so. I then go home, help Kathy get the kids fed, and we usually go to my parents’ house for dinner. I try to get a nap in there somewhere, and we’re home by 8 to feed the kids again. But I don’t get to sleep until about 4 or 5.

Mondays used to be my recovery day, with the only work I had to do was raise the kids. But the club switched our night from TUESDAY and Thursday to MONDAY and Thursday.

So, with all that, I went to work Monday night, and got to bed after 5 since I was too nervous to sleep. We had to get to the hospital at 7:30 for the birth. I was dead tired, and it was 15 degrees outside! By 10 AM, Steven Horace was here! Another nine-pounder!

After a long day of visitors and everything that comes with having a child, late that night, I decided to brave the sub-twenty degree weather to go get something to eat.

There was no one on the road. The car was driving funny, and I thought it was because the engine was still cold… I pulled into the turning lane to get out and see if a nudging fear I had was legitimate, and I found a blown-out tire! I rode verrry slowly down the turn lane looking for a place with enough light to get my thoughts together, and found a church parking lot. Kneeling on the ground to get to work, the cold crept up into my bones and took residence!

I was done and back on the road in about twenty minutes. But now, the thought in my mind was that tires for this car cost almost $300! And we just had a third baby in three-and-a-half years! I was juggling figures in my mind. And a snowstorm was in the forecast, so I couldn’t be driving around with a donut on the front of a front wheel drive car.

I had a rehearsal the next night at 11:30 PM, so I would have to take the car home, turn the faucets on to keep the pipes from freezing, say hello to my kids (who were being kept by Kathy’s mother Tuesday and Wednesday), get my truck, and go to the rehearsal. As I arrived at the club, the “CHECK ENGINE” light popped on!! What next?!? This could be big, or it could be small. But with single-digit temperatures and possible snow, 2 AM wasn’t the time to gamble!

After — prayer– and practice, I headed home. I had to spend the night at home because Kathy’s mom had to work and couldn’t keep Max and Diana, so I had to get them up early, dressed, and fed, and take them to my folks’ house to stay until Saturday afternoon. Soooo tired. After I did all that, I went back to the hospital for a couple of hours with Kathy and Steve before I had to leave for my Thursday gig.

I drove the truck, so after work, I went back home to check on the house, turn on the faucets, and switch back to the car since I needed it to take Kathy and the baby home in the car seat.

Now, all during the week, I’m corresponding with the groom, the sound man (who thinks he might have pneumonia!!) and the guys in the band. I had to make CD’s with the tunes on them, and e-mail others out to guys with whom I couldn’t contact. I had put together a GREAT collection of players!

Friday was even busier than the other days… After getting Kathy and the baby home, I left right out to get a tire for the car. The wedding gig was far out, and I couldn’t trust the truck to make it. After I got the tire, I came home, got the directions to the venue and headed straight back out to the wedding rehearsal! I wasn’t even home ten minutes!

And it was about 8 degrees outside. On the way home from the rehearsal, I treated Kathy and myself with Papa John’s!

So, we’re sitting at home, chillin’, after a long week, eating pizza, and I get up to go wash my hands, and the doggone water won’t come on!!! The pipes are frozen!! It’s Friday, and my troubles are just starting. Kathy: “Oh, yeah… Mama told me something about the water wasn’t running…”  Would’ve been cool to know that a whole lot earlier in the day. (in fairness to Kathy, she turned the bathroom sink on, and when it worked, she thought everything was cool. But THAT sink never froze.)

I turn up heat, turn on blow-dryers, space heaters, and the ENTIRE STOVE to try to get the water running again. My friend, Tim, came over to help, and I wound up going to Wal-Mart to buy a replacement line for the kitchen sink — which, being next to an outer wall, was the biggest trouble spot.

More running around and less rest for me. And the next day, Saturday, was the busiest day. And the bride and groom and all their visiting family didn’t care about my problems! The show must go on.

I got up very early to go and pick my kids up from my parents’ house, and would head right out to a noon set-up and soundcheck. The wedding was at 6, and the reception was right after at 7. I wouldn’t be coming back home until about 11 PM when it was all over.

Kathy called me at about 2. I thought she was calling to tell me that the faucet was running again. She was at home with three children, 3 years old and under, four days after having a baby cut from her womb, and I had booked a gig at the wrong time!

“You need to come home! You need to come home RIGHT NOW!! There is water coming down through the cabinets and all over the kitchen!! Water is gushing all outside!!!” I could hear my kids laughing and oblivious in the background.

It took me twenty minutes to get home (at 100 miles an hour!), and I couldn’t get the water turned off at the street because the valve was faulty. By the time a plumber got there, another thirty minutes had passed!

When would it end?

The plumber gave me an INCREDIBLY low price and said he would NOT have to cut through the walls! Kathy stopped crying when I told her that.

Turns out, he had to tear the cabinets out and cut through the walls. Still incredible price though!

My wonderful parents came and got Kathy and all three kids, and I went back to the gig.

The drummer got pulled over for speeding and we had to stretch two tunes for twenty-five minutes until he got there.

The gig was cool. Everybody was happy, the band got cash, and the sound man didn’t fall out. And I had to turn around and get up for church with one hour of sleep, work Monday… I still haven’t rested. And Kathy is just as tired, plus major surgery.

The thing is, though, that with all the drama and running around, I had to do… I never got frustrated. I usually would crack a LITTLE bit, but not this time. It was like God opened the valve — pun intended — a little at a time so that by the time the BIG disaster happened, I had built up enough confidence in His work to know that He would come through.

So, my second son, Steve, rode in on a tidal wave of action and turmoil and amid it all, he is the epitome of peace. I can learn a lot from him.

January 14, 2010 Posted by | Action, Birth, Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Drama, Family, Gigging, God, Music, Stories, Work | 8 Comments

A 700 (lb.) Club in the Hands of a Pagan

Pat Robertson.

I don’t know if you read blogs. Or even the Bible, really, at this point. But if you DO read blogs — please shut up! You are once again, a stick in the eye of the body of Christ, and a stick in the hand of those who wish to beat Christianity into silent submission! At this very moment, those who may be on the fence about my Faith are, by you and your cold and uncaring ilk, shoved to the side of unbelievers. Shut up. Please.

The people of Haiti need aid. Resources. And Christian love. What they don’t need is dubious if not outright false pontification as to the origin of their current plight. You say that the Haitians made a deal with the Devil. That that is why the earthquake ravaged them.You wanna talk deals with the Devil?!? I don’t think you do.

There is no middle ground — as I’m sure you know — when it comes to which God to serve. Nations and empire are BUILT on such deals!! The fact that  black people populate Haiti is the bastard child, if you will, of such a deal. So is my country.

I always say that God blessed us not because of how we grew, but in spite of it. Perhaps Haiti is not a Christian nation as you and so many of your fundamentalist cohorts claim America to be. But, then, neither were the tax collectors, prostitutes, Roman soldiers, and various other miscreants and malcontents with whom Jesus spent His time. They, too, made deals with the Devil at one time. But He didn’t belittle them and pour salt on their scars. He healed them THEN said, “go and sin no more.” He preached to them after He met their physical needs.

The same type remarks were made about Jakarta. Jesus said, however, that calamities don’t necessarily befall a people simply because they are less holy.

And you, Robertson, have seen fit to interpret world events for the Lord a several times. see: Ariel Sharon, Dover, Pennsylvania… And don’t get me started on his eschatology.

Non-Christians use you, Mr. Robertson, to bash the genuine article at times like this. They will do that anyway, but why give them a false statement as a bat?

I’m a Christian. Not ashamed to say that. And hopefully my behavior doesn’t hide that fact. And my Christian views are pretty conservative. But when guys like Pat Robertson get rolling, I’m ashamed of HIM. Not for simply making controversial statements. Jesus did that. I’m ashamed for the cold, heartless — often inaccurate — things that spew forth right when calamities befall humanity. We are all human, if not all Christian, and the Christians among us should be above reproach when it comes to showing real compassion.

There is a time and a place for fire and brimstone. It is not when the gas is still flowing!

January 13, 2010 Posted by | Christ, Christianity, Earthquake, Haiti, Pat Robertson | 4 Comments