Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Narnia and Treasure

Two things today, Narnia and a verse I’ve heard a million times.

First off, I finally went to see Narnia the other night with my wife, my sisters and my brother-in-law. I came close to having tears a couple of times because of strong the metaphors were. It was very well done! Georgie Henly who played little Lucy was easily my favourite character in the movie. She was cute and believable. The bickering between the siblings was overdone and got tiring for me. That could have been because the other three siblings weren’t great actors or because the script called for too much of it. But the thing that I liked the least was the big battle scene. I could see it coming a mile away and I just hoped they were going to find a creative way around it. I am bored to death of the big bloody war scenes that we’ve had to watch so much of since Braveheart. When Braveheart came out, that part of the movie was incredible. Maybe it was Lord Of The Rings that overdid it for me. Both sides line up, they run at each other, swords go into stomachs, arrows land in necks, sometimes even a limb or head gets chopped off, blah blah blah, yawn, seen it before, boring. Can Hollywood please find a new trick?

All that said, go watch it. It is great and worth seeing in the theatre.

And another verse from the Message got me today. If you are interested The Message is available in its entirety at www.biblegateway.com. Here's the verse from Matthew 6:

21"It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."

I have heard this so many times in other translations but this version made it make more sense, or stand out more or something. I think it’s the line “is the place where you will most want to be” that sort of changes it for me. It’s not just that we should “store up riches in heaven,” but if we take our focus off of our belongings and reaching the next status level and change it to things that God loves like selflessness, love, and helping those in need, it will cause us to most want to be in heaven instead of most wanting to be in a big home with lots of gadgets and beautiful property. I’m guilty of that.

A great reminder any time!



Friday, January 27, 2006

Light Reading

A little heavier than my last blog but here it goes.

"The Islamic Resistance Movement strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine... Therefore our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious...The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, killing the Jews. When the Jews hide behind stones and trees, they will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...’ Resisting and quelling the enemy is the individual duty of every Muslim, male or female. A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband's permission, and so does the slave: without his master's permission...”
"Thus, there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Ji’had. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with..."
"The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion... It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, the Rotary, and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions..."
"Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. May the cowards never sleep."


This sounds like it’s from a movie. Sadly it’s not. These are a few excerpts taken from the Charter of Hamas who won the Palestinian parliamentary election earlier this week. (Thanks Dr. Grant for the excerpt)

This is just a sobering reminder that although life is pretty rosy and easy here in North America, the stuff we see in movies IS actually still going on. I’m not sure how being part of a political party which has murder in it’s charter seems like a good idea to any human being.

If you are a praying person, please pray for the people who make the decisions about how to deal with these situations. I’m sure presidents and prime ministers and other leaders of our free world are already discussing what to do next. Without the wisdom only received from God this could get ugly. Also pray for the people in Hamas.

How’s that for some light Friday reading?



Sunday, January 22, 2006

New Gear

If you don't know me or know anything about me, knowing that I play bass guitar for a living is important to understanding this blog. I love playing the bass but I've never really been much of a gear guy. You know the kind of person who knows every brand and model of every guitar ever out there. It's not that I don't want to be; it's just that my brain isn't wired that way. Lately I've been thinking I should at least try to learn a little more about my instrument and its history. The electric bass guitar is one of the youngest instruments around so you don't have to go too far back to learn about it. Anyway, that's another blog. This blog is about my new amp!

For the last almost 5 years I've been playing through my Euphonic Audio, iAmp 600. I have a 2x10 Euphonic Audio speaker cabinet that I used to play through too. Three years ago I picked up an Ampeg 8x10 speaker cabinet (this just means really big speaker) to boost my volume and make me feel more like a man. It worked!

Over the past 5 years since I've been playing bass full time, I've had the privilege of playing many different amps and speaker cabinets. It seems the sound I really like to hear in an amp has changed in that time. My iAmp 600 could be considered a “boutique” amp, a real high fidelity amp that only amplifies the sound and doesn’t change the sound of your instrument at all. This is the sound I really liked a few years ago. I guess my tastes have changed now though. What I’m really digging now are tube amps. The tube amps that I’ve played have such a great warm sound, plus you have the ability to overdrive the tubes to get the perfect crunch.

So, all that said – the iAmp and cabinet are being retired and sold (money for a new Jazz bass). The new amp I decided to go with was the Fender Bassman 300. Forgive me for talking bass amp shop for a minute, the Bassman is a 300 watt all tube amp very much like the classic Ampeg SVT. The difference is, it has two channels (one for clean, one for crunch) and lots of tone/compression controls. Plus, it’s less expensive!!

So anyway, I haven’t had a chance to play it at a gig yet but it is definitely LOUD and it sounds great. For the bass players who read this, I can’t wait till you have a chance to hear this thing and maybe even try it if we have the opportunity.


Thursday, January 19, 2006


Do you often feel like discontent with life? I do. I feel like that way more than I should.

If you know me or have been reading some of my family members blogs you will know that there have been a few changes for us this year. The one that has had the most impact is that my wife Sherri has started working at home looking after our adorable nephew Miles. So she has her hands full with our 19-month-old son Jonah and 13-month-old Miles. Sherri did a five year course in child studies in University so this is right up her alley and she will do great.

For some reason, this change has made me feel much more content with where we are right now in life. I can’t explain it at all. Maybe I feel better now that Sherri has more purpose to her days. Maybe I feel better now that we’ll have a little extra income. Maybe I just feel better because we finally removed the flimsy fold-up door that separates our room from Jonah’s room, with a real door. Or maybe I feel better because we converted the dinette into a playroom. I don’t know. But I guess I can’t ignore some of the scripture I had been memorizing from Matthew 5. Check this out.

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.”

Isn’t that a cool translation! I started working on this a while ago but I guess I got lazy and stopped. Maybe it’s time to get back to it! Repeating powerful words that Jesus spoke over and over in your head is always a good thing.

So all of that to say, if you are feeling discontent with where you are in your life, remember,
“You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.”



Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Christmas ipod & CD's vs downloads

Christmas has passed and I finally own the new toy I’ve been wanting for so long, the ipod. Not just any ipod either, I had to get the biggest one possible, the 60 gig ipod. You see, I have a CD collection of somewhere around 600 CD’s that I will now be able to take with me everywhere I go. And to me, that is exciting!

After going through the whole process of importing my CD’s and finding album artwork then receiving some itunes money (thanks Mom and Dad and Mark!) I started to wonder which method of getting music was the best.

Since the first CD I ever owned (Led Zeppelin II and/or Steve Miller Band) I have loved tearing off the plastic, then delicately removing the CD from the tray and listening to it while pouring over the liner notes and artwork. The smell of the newly printed paper, the perfect-ness of the CD and jewel case, the anticipation about whether or not this album will become a new best friend or not are all great things about buying a new CD. I just love it! New music is always very exciting to me. This is why I own as much as is reasonably possible for my musician’s income.

Then along came the mp3 revolution. I jumped in there right away checking out Napster and finding some great songs. It always seemed like a great way to find new music but I never felt like it was quite right to be able to get all of that music for free. So when itunes came along and made it accessible and legal, I felt like that was what I needed to support. I may not be able to download any song I want for free, but a 30 second clip is usually enough for me to be able to tell if I like it or not. And at 99 cents a song, it sure seems like a deal to me.

So now I have the ability to listen to clips of just about any song I want as well as check out what other people think of that song and what other songs they like. This is great for a guy like me who loves to find new artists. Plus, there is a lot of content available online that can’t be bought in stores. Album artwork and sometimes videos are often included when you buy new albums too.

With all of this in mind I think I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to buying ‘albums’ the CD is still preferred. When it comes to buying singles or checking out new bands or finding content that can’t be found anywhere else then online is the way to go. For instance, I just bought a Jack Johnson album of 22 songs that are all in video format for $10. I think that’s a great deal that I wouldn’t have been able to find in any store!

So I’m not sure what your preference is. Just keep supporting the artists you love by buying their music one way or another. That way there’s a chance you’ll hear more!




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