"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood, and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White's Chapel UMC - Celebrate the Light

White's Chapel UMC, just a few miles down the road in Southlake, TX, put on a great Christmas light display using the outside of the front of their sanctuary.

Here is the YouTube display . . . awesome.

Rick ><>

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas . . .

Merry Christmas! My hope and prayer are that you and your family may have peace this day.

And if you are reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 today . . . consider that the manger is mentioned 3 times!

Manger - a feed trough. The manger in Jesus day was probably rectangular in shape, chiseled out of the soft rock in the area. From a distance, it might have looked to us like a bread pan.

Bethlehem - "House of Bread."

Jesus - the "Bread of Life!"

Think about it!

Merry Christmas!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Power of Song

I finally had a rare free hour to sit on the couch in my office and watch the 2007 documentary about Pete Seeger, "The Power of Song."

Interesting how a line from another artist came up in my head over and over as I watched. Harry Chapin wrote, "if a man tried to take his life on earth, and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth . . . I wonder what would happen to this world?"

As Joan Baez put it, in referring to herself and many other singer/musicians, "all of us owe everything to Pete Seeger."

What I hope here is that we can agree to look beyond politics. I dont necessarily agree with some of the stuff and groups Pete sang for over the years. A lot of what he supports I wish I had the balls and heart to speak more openly about.

One thing I especially admire about Pete's life, was the power he felt music had for good in the world. He always said how he often longed to get people or groups in disagreement with one another, and get them in the same room, and then get them singing together . . . that what would happen next would be people becoming friends instead of enemies. People would listen better, and if not come to agreement, they would at least leave the room with respect for one another.

I believe this is true. I've seen in it happen several times in my life. The is power in song!

In fact, I've seen music and song . . .

-calm an anxious, worried or crying child
-bring a smile to a sick child
-help tears come to parents who have lost a child
-brought a smile to people who are walking into something difficult
-heal someone in their heart and spirit
-help two enemies shake hands and hug
-lead someone to ask another for forgiveness
-stop a fight
-become the rallying cry for a noble cause
-help people to be brave
-help people to say, "enough."
-help people to say, 'I need to do something about this."
-cause people to get up and do something positive.
-change the emotion in a room from negative to positive
-calm anger
-heal a broken heart
-help someone get through grief
-give someone strength to do something they need to do, that won't be easy
-help someone have hope
-be a "shot in the arm" that someone needed

And so, so, so, so much more . . .

This Christmas season is especially marked by music and song! How glad I am that this is part of our Christmas celebration.

On Christmas Eve, I have the honor, along with my trusty Guild 12-string guitar, to lead the Christmas Carols at our 5 PM Christmas Eve Family-Friendly service in our main sanctuary. It will be one of the highlights of my Advent experience. How powerful are the songs of Christmas. The experience would not be the same without them, at least for me.

How powerful is song in your own life?

For me, music and singing have given me the courage at age 54 to finally start down a theraputic music performance path that I wanted to start down many, many years ago, but was afraid to for many reasons, most of which I have forgotten . That's the power of song, because looking to change your daily focus at age 54 is just a bit scary.

There is power in song!

Gods grace, and the power of song, still amazes me . . . ><>
-

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rick singing at the "Be Our Guest" Meal, Tuesday 12/20/11 ...

I will be doing a Christmas carol song set at the "Be Our Guest" meal at the First United Methodist Church in Grapevine. The meal starts at 6 PM.

This meal began several years ago, out of the desire of FUMC-Grapevine members who wanted to reach out to the neighbors around the church. We called the area the "ministry mile". Now that mile has grown to include several communities and 3 villages, including one in Costa Rica and in Kenya.

The meal is a full sit down dinner on a table with tablecloth, real plates and cutlery, cloth napkins . . . the works. We have up to 60 volunteers who come to serve as table hosts, servers, etc.

The food . . . oh, boy. Top notch holiday fair for the November and December meals, and other greats menus through out the year.

The etertainment . . . not half bad either, if I do say so myself. I usually get to sing twice a year.
The "Be Our Guest" meal happens the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 24th "Family Friendly" service at 5 PM - Preaching on Christmas Day

This Saturday, Christmas Eve, at the 5 PM "Family Friendly" service in the main sanctuary, I will be playing guitar and leading the singing! All Christmas hymns, favorites of one and all.

I'm getting the Guild 12-string all ready!

We have services at 5 PM, 7 P and 9 PM at the Downtown Campus, and a service at 6 PM at the Heritage Campus.

I will also be bringing the message on Christmas morning. We will only have worship at 11:15 AM on December 25 at the Downtown Campus. A blessing of the presents will also take place.

Check out www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org for more info on the themes of each service.

See you Saturday and Sunday!

God's graces still amazes me . . . ><>

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grapevine Guitar Works update ...

January 5 is the date for the new Grapevine Guitars Works showroom to open up. I painted part of the new showroom today. It's going to be nice, comfortable, with a unique local flair.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New home for Grapevine Guitar Works . . .

It looks like the Grapevine Guitar Works showroom will be moving across the parking lot from where it is now, right next to excellent street access with plenty of parking. It will be very visible from the Northwest Highway. The new location should be open and going by the end of January.

Check out the GGW wegpage for upcoming announcements.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

End of the year reflections ...

A good year.

Certification in therapeutic music entertainment has opened several previously closed doors to me. And at this time in my life, I picked up a guitar and walked through the door. Actually wasn't as hard as I thought. Perhaps it ist true, that I am the age where I know what I am about, what I have deep passions for.

As a result of some new doors opening to me, I am not that far from the time I will be singing and playing guitar about half the time each week.

That sounds pretty good to me.

A lesson learned here is that I wish I had pursued music earlier in my life. It is what I've been called to do all my life. I am pretty happy when I sing . . . and I think it shows when and where ever I perform.

A good year.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>