Saturday, February 12, 2011

Coffee Talk: 40

February 12, 2011
  "I waited patiently for the LORD; 
he turned to me and heard my cry. 
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 
out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock 
   and gave me a firm place to stand. 
He put a new song in my mouth, 
a hymn of praise to our God. 
Many will see and fear the LORD 
   and put their trust in him.

   Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD, 
who does not look to the proud, 
   to those who turn aside to false gods

Many, LORD my God, 
   are the wonders you have done, 
   the things you planned for us. 
None can compare with you; 
   were I to speak and tell of your deeds, 
   they would be too many to declare."
-Psalm 40:1-5-

As I write this blog entry, I find myself unable to manage my time well. Even setting aside a moment to write this took me over 3 days, and much self-forcing to accomplish. But alas, I find myself with a free moment, an open mind and an even more open heart to what God is trying to show me.
Psalm 40 vs. 1 has long been an inspiration to me as I pursue music, as I love life, as I fellowship with friends, as I glorify God. I was always struck by David's honesty. "I waited patiently for the Lord." How hard that is to do! In this hectic society we get distracted so easily from the Lord and forget to acknowledge HIS hand at work in our lives. I firmly believe that this Psalm is not necessarily a song for troubled times so much as it is a reminder of WHO God is and WHAT he has done.

The firm rock that David mentions is Christ. I am sure that you are familiar with these lyrics "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." That is the truth that we see understood by David, hundreds of years before the Messiah's arrival. David, like Abraham simply believed God's promises, and that was counted to them as righteousness. We so often try and speed up God's will for our lives by making human attempts at human goals, and fall flat on our faces.

My Spirit cries within me "Wait patiently for the Lord".
I struggle and I fight, because we are imperfect, impatient people.
I try to control my life.
"Be Still and know that I AM God" my Abba Father says.
I must be still and prostrate before the Lord, for He knows what I need most. Him.

It is so easy to get turned astray by our own pride, by our own will, by our own MIND but the truth is this...
"Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods." I am blessed by the Creator by the opportunity to hand over my life to Him. Who am I to assume I know anything about the way my life, much less the Universe, works?!
"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps." - Proverbs 16:9
"A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?" - Proverbs 20:24

"I wait patiently for the Lord, He TURNED TO ME AND HEARD ME CRY."
The nations say where is your God? He is on His throne and does whatever He pleases. BUT he is also Immanuel. God With Us. He is God in heaven AND God on earth. He is both creator of ALL THINGS and dwelling within me here. That truth is what I can hold fast to when the storms of life come my way.
"He is before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together." - Colossians 1:17

So why do we fear? Do we not know that He cares for us? Do we not realize that our Father only wants us to trust him? Instead of falling on our faces from stumbling, we should be falling on our faces in humility! "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
- 1 Peter 5:6

Therefore dear Brothers and Sisters, "Cast all your anxiety on HIM because he cares for you!" 
 - 1 Peter 5:7

If this encouraged you at all, please leave a comment! It would be encouraging to me to know that my time doing this is not being wasted and is in fact reaching people. Thanks.
Walking alongside you in life, The REAL Bowman

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Top 3: Super Bowl Halftime Shows

In light of last nights abysmal performance by the Black Eyed Peas, I was reminded of a day when the Super Bowl halftime show was a fusion of lights, visuals, screaming fans, and LEGITIMATELY GOOD MUSIC.
While very cool visually, the BEP failed to deliver vocally.

See what I mean about abysmal?
Ever since the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" of 2004 the committee in charge of halftime music seems to have been reduced to choosing old washed up bands who have already seen their prime. With the exception of Paul McCartney and possibly the Rolling Stones, these performances by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and The Who were lackluster, safe and a letdown.

Let's journey back in time to what are in my opinion the 3 best halftime shows to ever grace the tv screen.

3. Super Bowl XXXIV "Tapestry of Nations" feat. Christian Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Phil Collins
Produced by Disney, this halftime show is somewhat forgotten now amid the controversy and pop power of the following acts, but there is no denying the impressive quality of 2000's Super Bowl halftime show.
Hearkening to The Olympic ceremonies and Cirque du Soleil, the staging of this massive spectacle is impressive in itself. Featuring a live orchestra, choir and performers, this was a feast on the eyes as well as the ears. "Reflections of Earth" can be heard at Disney's EPCOT park in Orlando as part of the"Illuminations" show. The translation to stadium went well and the performances from Aguilera, Iglesias and Collins were all very well done. If you haven't seen this one, you will want to check it out!

2. Super Bowl XXVII "Heal the World" feat. Michael Jackson
Say what you will about the man, there is no denying that the King of Pop knew how to put on a show. Not only was his 1993 Super Bowl performance the first halftime show to ever feature only 1 artist, it also helped to boost the tv ratings of based solely on the halftime performance. Ever since then, the committee put an emphasis on getting A-list performers for this show.

1. Super Bowl XXXVI "Tribute to 9/11 Victims" feat. U2
U2 is the biggest rock band in the world. Was it really a suprise that they would give one of the most unbelievable Super Bowl halftime performances in history in 2002? From Bono's entrance to the touching tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, U2 didn't disappoint. Not only is their stage presence huge and their live sound as good if not better than their studio works, U2 has long been known for the massive qualities of their live sets. The huge catwalks and lights just enhanced what would have been an amazing show anyway.
The performance of "Where The Streets Have No Name" while the names of those lost in the attacks scrolls behind the stage is moving and one of the most beautiful moments in the performance. Check out the show in the links above...

I want to hear what YOU think?
What do you think the top 3 Super Bowl halftime performances are?
Signing out,
The REAL Bowman

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

R.I.P. White Stripes

February 2, 2011
In a surprise move by Jack White, The White Stripes officially announced today on their official website that the band has officially ended and will no longer perform or record new material. According to the website the Stripes' breakup is "not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way." Many of you may not care, but White Stripes has long been one of my favorite bands due to the raw emotion and passion in their music and the creativity and variety in sound for a two-man outfit.

On one hand I am saddened by the news, but on the other I am excited about the future possibilities that White and Co. have. The breakup almost seems to be a creative move into new musical territory as White posts"The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore.The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want." What does that mean? It means that the White Stripes will continue through our continued support and listening.

In light of the band's breakup here are a couple highlights from The White Stripes' awesome and mind-blowing career.

1. "Fell In Love With A Girl"
Sure the song is 2 minutes long, but the sheer rock power of this song manages to last long after the last note is played. Add to that an innovative LEGO music video from acclaimed director Michel Gondry, and you have gold.

2. Elephant
The Stripes' fourth album "Elephant" was released in 2003 and was their major record label debut. It was received with critical acclaim and is loved by fans everywhere. This happens to be MY favorite album of The White Stripes. It received a perfect rating from Rolling Stone and went on to win the 2004 Grammy Award form Alternative Album of the Year. "Seven Nation Army", the first single from the record, went on to win the Grammy for Best Rock Song. This record seriously doesn't have a single weak song on it. 
If you are new to the Stripes and want a sampling from them, this cd is it. 
Check out "The Hardest Button to Button" and "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself".

3. Icky Thump - The Tour
Icky Thump was the final recording of The White Stripes and is one of the most creative recordings that the duo released. It followed in the footsteps of the previous 2 recordings and won Alternative Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. To support the record, Meg and Jack decided to do a Canadian tour to support the album in which they would play in all 10 provinces. 

In the words of Jack White - "Having never done a tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog. We want to take this tour to the far reaches of the Canadian landscape. From the ocean to the permafrost. The best way for us to do that is ensure that we perform in every province and territory in the country, from the Yukon to Prince Edward Island."

Chronicled in The White Stripes live dvd/cd "Under Great White Northern Lights" The Icky Thump Tour was a smash hit, although having to be ended early due to anxiety attacks suffered by Meg. While on the tour the Stripes performed their 10th anniversary show as well as shows in various random venues such as town squares, public transportation and bowling alleys. Another highlight occurred on July 16th 2007 when they performed their infamous "One Note Show". This show holds the world record for the world's shortest concert, as the set list was comprised of an "F" chord. 

Thank you Jack and Meg for 13 wonderful years creating music and inspiring others to be innovative at their instruments! I hope that the future holds wonderful things musically. :-)

The REAL Bowman
P.S. Jack White is my musical inspiration at the violin. (Go Figure)