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Showing posts from 2012

Reaction 121412 and Refuge

Refuge and relief from evil does not come from logic, laws, nor music, nor art or poetry.
Evil and darkness do not recognize reason.

We cannot save ourselves but we need to only ask and we are saved.
In a moment...

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the way the truth the life...
Our hope...

He is our refuge and our strength in the face of evil. He lights the way and walks by our side. In him every valley shall be exalted...the crooked straight, and the rough places made plain.

Look to the heavens friends. Seek ye first the kingdom and his righteousness.

And then, all these things will be added unto you.

Thankful

I am thankful for:
1. a relationship with Jesus Christ that sustains me even as I fail.
2. a fantastic wife and life partner in Tracee whom I adore... even if I suck at telling her that enough.
3. Alyssa... such a brilliant, powerful young woman.. full of vigor and passion. and love
4. Emma... my precious,  her intensity and loyalty is without compare, her smile lights up the room
5. Joshua... my son, you are already a better man than I,  with your empathy, discipline, and love of life
6. Clara... my munchkin,  you amaze me with your insight, your dedication, and your spirit.
7. my friends. too many to count here. but each special in their own right.
8.  my enemies... you are out there as well.. you have taught me more than you know.
9. my music... from choirs, to opera to country, to rock and roll.. you are like a balm of gilead many days... a true gift from God and part of my very essence
10. my home... so much more that I ever could have dreamed.
11. my truck...  my first. a great …

Principle, Stepping stone, Anchor

Ahh, those funny principles of honor, discipline, excellence.. . not lying, actually doing what you say and striving for more than you can possibly achieve..  You get in the way of "business and progress".

If you give on a principle, it wasn't a principle... our guiding principles are not ladders to be disregarded for popularity and results.  they are the very core and foundation of who we are as human beings.

We cannot simply discard and step over a foundational principle in our life.  By the same token,  if we have founded our lives on principles which are wrong.. what are we to do?  Well now, that is the question isn't it.  What is right, what is wrong?  

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

The answer lies in the Bible.. in a living faith relationship with Jesus Christ.. and a reliance on his as our anchor.. not the president, or our boss, or even our community of friends.  Religion is not a bad word, it is an anchor which goes up and down ac…

Obstructing government

Fiscal conservatism and "tea party" politics won the massive congressional swing in 2010 and held for state races, governors and the House in 2012.. Even majority of the Dem Senators elected ran on "no new taxes" platforms... the often maligned "obstructionism" worked then.. and would have been the approach if Dems had lost... Why then exactly should the House Republicans cave now?

The issues on the national table are not social..or even really foreign policy...(aside from Obama's coverups and spin games) nor have they ever been.. outside of the campaign spin room... I'm just saying... I think I can support the House Republicans continuing to play hard ball at every opportunity. The fiscal situation is that dire. perhaps brinksmanship is the only path... when backed into a corner and repeatedly ridiculed... but never convinced of another path.. Obstructionism.. equals the government doing basically nothing, while the "economy" and busin…

Fall 2012 short bio

Lyric Tenor, Jeff Prillaman is the co-founder of the Da Capo Institute in Richmond, VA,  a community non profit organization dedicated to elite choral experiences and inclusionary musical excellence.  As a tenor, his versatile repertoire and experience has provided performance venues from Dvořák Hall in Prague, to opera and concert stages in Italy, France, and Germany, and Lincoln Center in New York City.  While completing his Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School, he was a winner of the New York Vocal Artist Competition and enjoyed a celebrated Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York. He has recorded with both Elysium and Chesky records and has a passion for community arts: advocacy, ministry, and leadership.

Redefining the art of crossover between arts, business, and technology,  Mr Prillaman supports his family of six as a managing solutions architect for Cisco Systems and is also an accomplished choral conductor. He holds an Executive Certificate in Mana…

Day after... a sad state of affairs.

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This post is more a journal entry than an article.. so read at your own discretion.  I spent the morning pondering what happened as the USA reelected Barack Obama to four more years as President last night.   On base this makes me sick.. but perhaps it is exactly what is required to move us forward.  Several options and thoughts confront me...

1.  We, the conservatives, are completely wrong and the future of our country does indeed lie in big govt, the careful regulation of personal freedoms, and the disintegration of the traditional family model.

2.  We have set forth on a path that will so divide the country that there will be no refuge from the deluge.  Gov't interventionism will fail millions and millions of people and the world around us may fall into war and further chaos without visionary, strong, and bold leadership.  The people will eventually see this failure and reject the long line of grievances perpetuated upon them by the rulers.


In that end, perhaps, the GOP and th…

Winner..US if...

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We all know something is wrong.. 

Big Change starts in our hearts and our families.. loving our neighbors and focusing on our relationship with Jesus Christ... 

Elections matter... but only a bit.. Vote.. But remember that you are the agent of the change in the world.. not a politician.. Reject earthly monarchs and choose to stand up and be counted for the principles which matter.. Faith, Hope, and Love... 

May God Bless America and may America Bless God..

Politics is a misnomer...

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Don't allow yourself to go down this road. "I don't talk about politics with friends."

In the past decades, we the people have allowed ourselves to be duped into a pathetic state.  The traditional mantra.. never discuss Religion and Politics among friends has generated a crisis of epic proportion.

We the people no longer talk about the things in our lives which should be the most important and our world is worse for it.

The current definition of Politics is not correct. We MUST discuss the issues and decision points in our lives. We MUST stand up for what we think and believe and make a difference in the world around us.  

Politics... is simply the how... in my book.  The core of our civil discussion should be about what we believe and why and the reality is that we must strive to understand far more than we do.  We tend to spend too much time talking and so little listening.

If your friends and family "get ugly" with their tone... call them on it, But …

Tenor for election 2012: Romney/Ryan

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I was asked today why I've been so activist in my politics in the last few years... It was a good question.  Simple answer. I am very very worried about two things:  National Debt and the erosion of personal freedoms.  I began the season and remain an active Ron Paul supporter, but I am now a Romney/Ryan activist.  Ron's message is not lost and I plan to ensure that it remains front and center as we go forward under new leadership.  We need integrity and faster progress at the helm of our great country.

Obama's hope and change cult of personality leadership model has proven to be a colossal failure. Of that there is no real doubt.  Jobs, foreign policy, gridlock...  He has delivered: not enough jobs.. a flailingly incompetent foreign policy and political gridlock during a time where we need exactly the opposite on all three fronts.  His token support for socially activist ideas around gay marriage has delivered no real change.. other than serious pocket change for his ree…

One man...

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What can one man do?

"What can one person do? William Brewster reasoned from the Bible to every institution in life. He helped to craft the structure of the world’s first constitutional republic. He helped create the first free enterprise society. He and his friends were able to accomplish it all without war."

World History Institute Journal May 2012

Apology tour 2012 by President Barack Obama

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Giving it all to a moment - CARPE DIEM!

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“Artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime... Every day, artists face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. 

With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why?

 Because artists are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Artists are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that cry…

Widmung - Dedication

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Today is my 20th wedding anniversary and I am literally awestruck at how far my lovely bride and I have traveled together... moments, memories... so many milestones.

20 years ago, we selected Schumann's Widmung as the central musical worship focus for our wedding. We asked a friend, and dynamic young soprano, Nicole Maikish and a wonderful pianist/organist Sue Bos to perform it and the rest as they say... is history.

In my ears and memory, it sounds like the spectacular performance linked here by Jessye Norman.

To my beloved Tracee..


You my soul, you my heart,
you my bliss, o you my pain,
you the world in which I live;
you my heaven, in which I float,
o you my grave, into which
I eternally cast my grief.
You are rest, you are peace,
you are bestowed upon me from heaven.
That you love me makes me worthy of you;
your gaze transfigures me;
you raise me lovingly above myself,
my good spirit, my better self!  
Widmung (in translation)- Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866)

Atlas Shrugged: the beer/bar version

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Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh would pay $7
The eighth would pay $12
The ninth would pay $18
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59
So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

The bar owner suggested that it …

More than a pretty face.. Carpe Diem!

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Online profiles in the professional space can be so boring...  How can we differentiate ourselves? I say Carpe Diem.  Sieze the day! 
Linked in for October 2012..  I'll see how this "polls" 
Principles matter. Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence form my foundation for success.  Fundamentals matter. Motivating and inspiring people, communications discipline, risk management, agility in process evolution, user and consumer experience, and diversity of perspective are at the core.
Results matter. My record shows that merging relentless customer focus and outcome based planning models has provided repeated, compounding success stories spanning verticals including technology, financial services and pharmaceutical. Process Matters. I translate strategy into operational efficiency and positive growth results using a repeatable, and measurable process. Technology and process are not enough to carry the day. People matter. People make the difference in delivery excellence …

Fat Factors

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When I was a younger lad, I remember reading that Pavarotti loved soccer and sports and thinking.. really?  How is that possible?

20+ years later, I'm over 40, fat, and struggling with my own images and stereotypes.  I've struggled with my weight for my entire life... is a refrain that we all hear and I constantly say to myself. It is not so much an excuse as it is a reminder.  I did this to myself.  My choices put me here and keep me here.  I do love football and outdoor activities and I adore coaching my son's basketball team and working on my property to build things, and do things.. most days.  In recent years, I've not done so much of that as my size is now a limiting factor.  both in my own ability as well as in the perspectives of those around me friend & foe..

Awareness is the beginning of recovery.  For months, I've struggled with how to address this topic publicly with friends, my kids, etc.. Something snapped in the past few days.  A post by a frien…

Facebook friends' maturity

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Social media is no longer the new thing.  With tools like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and the whole new crop of meme/picture based sharing tools.. times are not just changing. They have changed.  Denial of this reality is naive and stupid, but so is blindly charging into a complex toolset of communications without carefully considering the impact on your day to day life and adjusting accordingly. 
Facebook has redefined the definition of friends rather significantly.  As the world seeks connections in numbers of FBfriends, too many are actually damaging and distancing themselves from their true friends.  The digital world augments our life, it does not replace or even diminish the need for regular face to face contact with "TRUE" friends.  

On FB, I am connected to people from elementary school, high school, college, as well as the many facets of my life from churches, to vocations, to neighbors.  On FB, they are my friends, but in reality most are little more than acquaintance…

Competition and Christianity

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We each have the right, even the obligation to define success on our own terms.  This reality is a central part of what our Christianity provides... choice and consequence.. but ultimately grace and salvation... we are to live in the world, but not of it... 
Competition is part of living in the world.. how we use its victories and failures is up to us.. We cannot blame a culture of competition for our actions or inaction.  Our culture is up to us.. we aren't here to judge.. 
we are here to love and influence through actions.. Indeed.. we must find "victories in every day". Celebrating others success and striving to do better, be better.. live better.. and love better.
Human motivation and freedom is a tricky thing but no different from other wins really.. financial, etc.. Success must be taken and used for a purpose... the win must be invested in others... showcasing God's blessings... never selfishly turned inwards. 
Recognition is a fine thing.. and being proud of…

Fireside Chat Flyers Fly!

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INVITE: Friday Fireside Chats for Fall 2012

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For my birthday, my family bought me a new firepit and I've decided to begin using it regularly.. Big shocker there.. ;-)

For the next few months... I've decided to reinstate our Friday Forums... renamed and rebranded...

Friday Fireside chats..

plan will be to sit around a fire... and talk about religion and politics... issues of the days, weeks,  and life...connecting FB friends.. church, work.. and neighbors in real life, face to face contact...

TOPICS... I think there are plenty but we'll start with debts and relationships... 

As I teach on Sunday mornings... "Behind the Open Door" at Huguenot Road Baptist Church... I'll use those lessons and my preparation to inform our discussions... but as class members know... that will just make it even more fun... never a guarantee on where we might go and what we might discuss....

DETAILS:
Ideally we should eat together... but that is your call... if you choose to sup with us...
Food... will begin around 6pm... bring …

9/11 2012 Passport

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11 years ago, I was a music minister in a church and a "younger" IT manager at Capital One. My family and I were plodding along in a mission to use music to make a difference using my earnings from the corporate world largely to finance that dream.  We were on our first ever family vacation at Virginia Beach and were perhaps not so engaged in politics, power and even a world perspective.

The planes struck and suddenly we were at war.. all of us.  I stood on the balcony of my hotel and watched the Roosevelt battle group of the US Navy go to sea with full knowledge that many more would die soon in retribution for this horrific action against my country. I was sad and proud simultaneously.

I am not a soldier. As a musician and a leader, I resolved even more deeply to make my music and my leadership more meaningful and to strive to teach others. Singing has a mysterious impact. It unifies, it inspires.. it inflames passions.  Leadership forces me to make practical decisions, …

Special

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“The natural desire of the human mind is to become special - to become special in the ways of the world, to have many degrees, to have much political power, to have money, wealth - to be special.


The mind is always ready to go on some ego trip. And if you are fed up with the world, then again the ego starts finding new ways and new means to enhance itself - it becomes spiritual. You become a great mahatma, a great sage, a great scholar, a man of knowledge, a man of renunciation; again you are special.


Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.” ~ Osho


Fit

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Where does the overwhelming desire to fit in come from?  I don't know but I marvel at its power.  As I watch the RNC convention this week,  I find myself rationalizing, equivocating... even evading realities right in front of me.  These people are here to influence me.. get me to do something.. not to include me.  The Republicans speak under the guise of freedom while excluding, discriminating, and taking what THEY deem is important.  The mantra of the ideological outcome is intoxicating.  Freedom, security,  and a world where all are valued and willing to step up and contribute.
The Democrats are no better. They want the same positive outcomes.. I think.. they simply go about their process by taking to give. The collective will somehow take care of all in their ideological dream world.
Neither dream is anywhere near reality.  The two position are so close that we the people get lost and must be manipulated to fit into one or the other.  I saw an article last week which highligh…

Challenger rules, conflict constant.

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RNC national convention kicked off yesterday and I heard some great speeches from Ann Romney and Chris Christie. I was even excited by John Kasich, Nikki Haley, and Artur Davis.  These folks represented a challenge to the current establishment... They are standing up to the media elite, to President Obama's gigantic spin machine and presenting an alternate view.  Their plans are unproven, but they represent hope and change. as ironic as that is.

I haven't really changed my position. I'm a "RonPaul" supporter who now must vote for Romney/Ryan because they are the best of two choices. I'd prefer a third.. but that is not currently in the national script. Perhaps we can change that for the future. Even among the Rs there was dissent. The drama yesterday regarding voting rules and inclusion vs exclusion is not pleasant but it is a reality.  I've seen it in the workplace and most often in churches.  Those in power seek to keep it and extend it. The challenger…

Great Divides, Battles & Maturity

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Rich and Poor
Religious and Atheist
Christian and Muslim
Fundamentalist and Everyone else
Black and White
Urban and Rural
Gay and Straight
Insane and Brilliant
Free and Slave

How do we choose to focus our conversations and thinking these days?  More importantly how do we act when "bridging" these divisions?

There has been quite a bit of commentary painting President Obama as a great divider.  I do not agree with this characterization.  He is not a divider, but that isn' the problem.  Our problem is that OUR President is NOT a uniter and he allows the natural politics of division and competition to grow and fester with little action to the contrary.  Our problem is that Gov. Romney may or may not do the same.

Some of these divides are perceived and can be overcome quickly. Some cannot.  Generations of oppression have created deep "holes" in lives, communities, families... We must begin to climb rather than dig... is a favorite saying of mine.  How? well that i…

Beating the drums for the war on women.

I've watched in horror over the past week as many elected officials began beating the drums of war. The problem is that the only people beating those drums are the Democrats.  Republicans are not in any way  at war with women.  Hello,  in the last presidential election, the VP candidate was a women...  I'm not a card carrying R but even I'm appalled at the lack of integrity demonstrated by Representatives like Boxer and Pelosi when it comes to these "womens" issues.

ProLife does not equal a war on women. Adherance to religious doctrine does not equal war on women. Businesses should be able to choose whether or not to provide free contraception.. Plenty will do so.. so that choice is available. The repudiated mistake of one US senate "candidate" does not equal an RNC war on women.  Move on Mr President..  your blatant attempt to again demagogue your opponents for political gain is fooling noone.  
This isn't even a real issue.

Hunger Games opportunity for RNC speaker.

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A request for a speaker at the Republican National Convention..  Select one or two themes from The Hunger Games and build a speech around it. It would take courage, but it would resonate, showcase the connection, and completely disarm the Hollywood elite... ;-)

 Focus on the dangers of out of control central government planning, abuse of freedoms, and the pervasive and powerful influence of freedom.   The movie is about the power of one, to make a difference... how that happens.. the sacrifice and consequences or choices.. and most of all.. Why freedoms must be protected at all costs.  Once they are given or taken away, there is catastrophic cost to restore them.

The American people are addicted to Hunger Games.. all ages.. all parties..  This could be a great opportunity for a great speaker to engage and demonstrate relevance.

Mediocrity

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What follows is a reblog from a FB post of Patrick Marques.. a friend and fellow WCC alum/tenor.  It is an excellent thought model and demonstrates the excellence, bringing honor to Patrick, our shared heritage and tenors everywhere.

"...in my humble opinion it seems a search for mediocrity has transpired! Who is good enough but not too good!? Could that person be a problem when they have conviction?? I can only speak from my own experience: what has taken place, what I see, and what I foresee based upon calculated, realistic, however forever optimistic knowledge and what I consider inherent wisdom from God. I see a world so afraid that it welcomes and appreciates mediocrity!!! I am sorry but, from this, I do not know what can be produced! 

What is grown from mediocrity?? Do we take the opinionated one with ideas and courage that produces?, or the one that is silent but plays all the right notes, with no musicality!, has the conviction of a rock, and never gives an honest point …

Negotiating and the Open: Paul Ryan's Budget Plan

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What if, for the sake of argument... we grant Paul Ryan some sincerity and assume that he expected his budget to actually be discussed, with Congress eventually reaching a compromise... In that scenario, the most important thing for him to do was to "open high" to maximize his likelihood of positive outcome.  Every negotiator on the planet knows this.. it is Bargaining and Negotiating 101. The open is the single most important factor in determining the eventual ZOPA and outcome.

I don't like everything in the Ryan Budget, but it seems pretty appropriate if you consider that we are actually in trouble.  I agree with Romney and the Republicans, that we are indeed in fiscal trouble. I'm not sure that we can get to the cuts he proposed, but I respect and appreciate the effort.

By the way, what is President Obama's vision for the future?  he seems to be stuck in the anti- part of his campaign. Where is the vaunted Hope and Change?  Choice seems pretty clear to me.. …

Education, Honor: Innocent until proven guilty.

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Honor codes should be in use in every public school... by students and teachers.

A teacher should be held to the same standard as a prosecutor when there is a question regarding a student's integrity.  The process of accusing a student and managing a "question of integrity" must include more than circumstance.  Teachers must be held to a higher standard because they are both the prosecutor and the judge.  There must be some research and some evidence assembled before an accusation can even be uttered publicly.

This process must keep in mind that as Americans we believe that students are innocent until they are proven guilty. The burden is on the prosecution. The student should not have to prove their innocence.


Notes 2 note from WCC alumni weekend 2012

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Returning to reality.. with a musical missional mindset.. Hard, but that it okay.. because to whom much is given, much is expected. 

Life's songs and legacies, Alumni week 2012

What did you hear?
Who did you hear?
Will you live?

When in YOUR music, God is glorified. God works his purpose through me
Gifts from God are meant to be given to God. Through great music, excellence. Striving, yearning, exploring, teaching, performing. To withhold them is blasphemy.

The charge is a blessing, not a burden.. It is part of the identity of WCC alums in particular.
Catch a glimpse of God through your saints. If only briefly. Dwell on them, our legacies, but live into the future filled with the unknowns and yet certain.

Let the music speak. Sometimes the most expressive thing is to not be expressive at all. Composers intention must be paramount.

Listen. Verticalization vs horizontal realization must be in the moment. Real visceral exploratory.

Once you have tasted the blood of music you can do nothing else…

Translating profile

the tweaking never ends..  4/17 but it is important to keep every version. This I know for certain.


Translating strategy to operational improvement, market position, and positive growth results does not just happen. You must embrace visionary leadership coupled with disciplined, excellence in execution. I can and will succeed in making it happen from the board room to the classroom, to the opera/concert stage.

I am an experienced leader in technology innovation based business growth, large project execution, and service delivery management. My blended (people, process, perspective, technology) approaches, along with efficient execution of large scale workplace and workforce transformations have been globally recognized in industry publications and prestigious associational forums. Merging relentless customer focus and outcome based planning models has provided repeated, compounding successes spanning verticals including technology, financial services and pharmaceutical.

My diverse exper…

Heart of an artist

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The exceptional Annie Moses Band came to Richmond Va yesterday in a feature "day" of worship and concerts at Huguenot Road Baptist Church.  I had heard of these Juilliard trained musicians, and was excited for their formal concert, but astounded by what I observed after the concert.  At HRBC, we are hosting CARITAS this week and the Annie Moses Band unplugged, came over to the the gym after an unbelievably long day and shared another mini concert and testimony with some ladies who are struggling.

Annie, the centerpiece of this band has many, many musical talents to be sure, but watching her interact with the small audience of homeless women and a few supporting HRBC families in the poorly lit, horrible acoustic of the HRBC gym was a wonder.
Just as she had in the big concert, she opened her very heart and soul and shared musical moments with everything that she had.. It was inspirational, powerful.. and for me it represented the fulfillment of a dream for music ministry.  She…

Snow frees

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Snow falls, night falls, trees freeze, bamboo bends, children wonder, sun shines, breeze blows, snow falls, frees trees this fine morning as children explore a temporary wonderland. #splendor #elegant #icyembrace #RVA

A Discussion on Defining Gay Marriage.. among Christians & Friends

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There is lots to read in this post... a "civil" loving discussion on gay marriage and the role of law in defining marriage as it relates to a passionate faith.. rooted in Jesus Christ.   It occurred on Facebook on Jan 20, 21+ 2012 between Jeff, Steve, Bob, Melanie primarily... but others as well... and I'm saving it here to study... influence.. and remind us all... that WE MUST THINK ABOUT WHAT WE THINK! even when it is difficult.. or maybe especially when it is difficult.


 Just because man disrespects marriage does not change what marriage is. Same sex civil unions, ok. Marriage is man and woman.

That is not how the fundamentalists frame their argument. Hence the photo. And "civil unions" dont represent equal protection under the law.

Sure they do.

Simply isn't true Melanie. Same benefits, no. Huge burdens to even come close... For sure. But works out well for lawyers due to legal fees. More cost/burden for impaired benefits. Not equal.

I agree with Melani…