17.06.2015

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I dona€™t know about you, but Ia€™ve missed a few memos that, apparently, everyone else got.
The next thing I missed was the memo on the little bumps on the f and j home keys of typewriters and computer keyboards.
I was a grown man in my fifties when I discovered another fact of which I alone seemed not to be aware: roadmap distances are measured from post office to post office, not edge of town to edge of town.
Of course, being a high school teacher means I ran into a number of cases of kids missing out on information shared by everyone else. Probably the most embarrassing missing of a memo was when a fellow teacher couldna€™t understand why the balloons she had filled with air, not helium, didna€™t rise as they were released at a school function of which she was in charge. Speaking of teachers, how many times have I had to explain to first year teachers upon receiving their first payroll checks that the check seems a little smaller than promised because of income tax and and TRS retirement withholding.
On another occasion my brother called me to ask how much I had to pay for health insurance.
Twice each year, our military services change from winter to summer and from summer to winter uniforms.
During President Obamaa€™s campaign for the Presidency, he stated that he had visited 57 states. Wea€™ve all been present when someone mispronounces a word which everyone else got the standard pronunciation of in a memo which went out to all. While wea€™re on the subject, Ia€™d like to point out to a great number of folks that you missed the pronunciation memo of a whole bunch of words.
And while Ia€™m on a rant about missing the memos on pronunciations, I cana€™t leave out news people who while broadcasting live on television from a location in the field, mispronounce the name of the piece of ground he or she is standing on. I guess in a world that is rapidly changing, missing memos are more common today than ever before. Hosted by assigned participant players, the Acoustic Live Friday afternoon booth showcases slogged through a constant downpour. I followed them part way, staying inside, next to Jim, the harp player, and Sarah, the fiddler, soaking in their swooping melody lines that helped the song fly.
This was my first close-up taste of this phenomenon; an organically formed band whose disparate pieces meshed as if grown together out of the same soil.
The story, however, begins with husband and wife Mark Miller and Beth Jamie Kaufman, who form the main stem from which the banda€™s other tendrils sprouted. After graduation, Mark went back to Boston, where his degree did not prove to be a job magnet.
In spite of an obvious talent in the digital realm, Mark decided to move to San Francisco to become a chiropractor. At that point, as he said, a€?deep in the purgatory of the transition from the mature and peaceful art of analog tape editing to the nuclear fallout caused by the insertion of the first generation of PCs into the recording studio, I got a random phone call asking if I could write music for a video game.
Mark spent the next 10 years building the largest independent studio for video game music and produced soundtracks for more than 100 titles. Early in this period, Mark and Beth played together in a a€?dismal blues band.a€? She said, a€?It was us and a bunch of musician guys that all worked with Mark in the video game scene out in San Francisco.
A job offer from Harmonix brought Mark and Beth back to the East Coast and Mark worked for them leading a€?up to but not including the development and launch of Guitar Hero.a€? Needing out of the game business, he went back for his MBA at Northeastern University. Beth, being very resourceful, managed to find out what the instrument was (a bouzouki a€” leave it to David Lindley), and got Mark one for his next birthday.
In conversation with three of the other band members during our dinner together, I got to see firsthand why these intelligent, articulate, funny people have so much fun making music together and enjoy each othera€™s company off stage as well.
Tom Socol is a good guitarist who had played in a lot of bands but hadna€™t played out for a long time. A good friend of theirs, Steve, a professional bassist, a much more serious musician, joined the group for gigs.
One of the places that the band began to play on a steady basis was the Hastings Farmera€™s Market. Another piece fell into place when, similar to what happened with Tom and Ellen, Lou Gesera€™s wife mentioned to Mark that Lou, needing an outlet, played drums. John Neidhart, the bassist, had started off in folk and blues and had gone through a long rock a€™na€™ roll period. When Tom couldna€™t attend all of the 2010 NERFA Conference, John suggested that Rik fill in at the remaining showcases and jams.
John Neidhart, theA  bassist, had started off in folk and blues and had gone through a longA  rock a€™na€™ roll period. Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me. Each autumn, salmon return to the rivers of their birth a€“ there to spawn and once again trigger a renewal of the eternal passion play.
Salmon that do eventually arrive at their destinations must once again compete a€“ this time for mates and to fight for access to the precious and very limited gravels. The profligate expenditure of life and extravagant wealth of biology is there everywhere to behold, as Death dances lightly among the gathering throngs of fish, picking and choosing from among them; who from their number shall successfully spawn and who shall just be food for the gathering predators and scavengers.
Spend a day in silence, walking among the spawning salmon, as they dig spawning redds, jockey for position and slash at competitors with those gaping, snaggletoothed, hooked jaws. Jan Bohuslav Sobota has died, while half a world away; I was preparing these etchings of Spawned Salmon and dedicating them to Jan, the lover of fish. The book you hold in your hands has evolved from my simply giving these etchings a second life in book form, to my using them as a vehicle for honoring a friendship of three decades. In 1985, Jan and I had been corresponding for some months without ever meeting a€“ all quite distant and correct. A short bit of background on Jan Sobota to begin, but fear not; Ia€™ll soon be spinning anecdotes and thoughts on books as art a€“ celebrating Jana€™s life of course, telling a few stories out of school, but also straying into the personal and speculative in search of the meaning to be derived from the life and death of a friend. Jana€™s father was a serious bibliophile and collector of fine books, who nurtured that same love of books in his son a€“ an appreciation that steadily grew, until he was apprenticed to master bookbinder Karel A ilinger in PlzeA?. The pivotal event in Jana€™s early life as a book artist was the posthumous retrospective exhibition of fellow Pilsener, Josef VA?chal in 1969. Jan supported a family, sponsored workshops, exhibited widely, did conservation work on rare historic books, ran a gallery a€“ and on it went.
What Jan did for contemporary bookbinding, was to act as a bridge between the traditionally trained masters of the past and innovators of the present. America was a great place to be a book artist in the early 1980a€™s precisely because it was an active zone of hybridization and hotbed of creativity. An instructive contrast to the anything-goes US scene was the icy reception I got when I showed a wooden box containing loose sheets of poetry and etchings to a Prague publisher. Neither Jan nor I had much interest in the book-like objects that often sneak into the museums as book arts a€“ the carved and glued together things that sorta, kinda have a bookish aspect to them a€“ rough-looking a€“ perhaps chain-sawed Oaken boards or granite slabs, slathered in tar and lashed together with jute; but lacking text. When Jana€™s books went beyond function, conservation or decoration, they were subtle statements about binding and the place of books, knowledge and art, as well as statements about the dignity inhering in the handcrafted - with a good dose humor. There are others who know their conservation and those, whose scientific contributions are far greater, but few of them are also artists at heart. It can sound so pedestrian, these eternal compromises between art and craft, yet what Jan represented was not at all common.
There is an inflection point at which exceptional craft begins to make the transition to art and it is closely associated with surmounting the limitations inhering to the discipline. Visiting with Jan in his workshop you quickly realized, that he did what a professional must, but ultimately, he just loved messing about with books. A curiously protean hybrid of artist and craftsman, ancient and modern, one cannot think of Jan without seeing an unabashed Czech patriot in a foreign land. Early on in their stay in Cleveland, the Sobotas experienced the quintessential American disaster. Even after their medical debts were retired, money was still an issue for a family of immigrants with three kids a€“ two with special needs. Later on, when they were living in Texas, the massacre at Waco opened Jana€™s eyes to yet another difficult side of his adopted home. In 1979, I apprenticed with Jindra Schmidt, an engraver of stamps and currency, living in Prague. Schmidt had engraved stamps for Bulgaria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Albania, Guinea, Vietnam and Libya. In 1992, Jindra Schmidt was honored for his contributions and depicted on the last stamp of a united Czechoslovakia, before it split into Czech and Slovak republics a€“ a fitting tribute. Unlike most children of immigrants, my destiny remained connected to that of my parentsa€™ homeland. My vocation as artist clarified itself in Prague while learning the increasingly obsolete skills of steel engraving. My first book was indeed, modeled after VA?chal, even to the extent of its diabolical subject matter.
Jan showed me a great deal in the following years about the tradition of books as the meeting place of art, craft and ideas a€“ where printmaking intergrades seamlessly with the worlds of language, typography and illustration. One can like these things just fine and admire them from an uncomprehending distance, or you can become engaged.
The book you hold was to have been a simple reprint of the Spawned Salmon a€“ something fun for Jan to work his magic upon. Nice sentimental reminiscences, but there is still the matter of getting the work accomplished and out before the public, organizing exhibitions, printing catalogs and paying for transatlantic flights.
The Prague show was reconfigured and curated by Jana€?s longtime friend, Ilja A edo, for exhibition at the West Bohemian Museum in PlzeA?. Quite predictably, I like seeing the kind of work I do honored a€“ the wood engravings and etchings made to shine in the context of crisply printed type and an excellent binding. Ia€™ve heard printmakers lament that the surest way to devalue prints is to add excellent poetry, sensitive typography and a bang-up binding a€“ and then live to see the whole thing sell for half the price of just the unbound prints. Therea€™s nothing quite like seventeenth century Bohemia, the dead center of Europe, for particularly thorough violence a€“ with the Bubonic Plague stepping in afterwards as mop-up crew.
The chapel at Sedlec was rebuilt after the major blood-letting of the thirty-years war as a memento mori a€“ reminder of death. What can you say about the mounds of dead, the ruined lives, destroyed nations and misery multiplied by millions that isna€™t trite or self-evident?
But then I pan over to other fields a€“ not the kind where the grass is composting my fellow man, but to fields of endeavor where the ferment is of ideas recombining into ever more refined ways of thinking. I once lived at the Golem house in Prague a€“ at Meislova ulice, number 8, in the old Jewish ghetto. Horoscopes might seem a curious basis on which to select ministers and diplomats, but it is also more common than youa€™d think. Picture the scene before you: Ita€™s a late night in Prague, before the Marlboro man dominated every street corner, even before the neon of casinos and the vulgarity of Golden Arches assaulted the nightwalkersa€™ eyes at all hours a€“ back when darkness, oh yes, that beautiful comforting velvety, all-enveloping and blessed dark, broken only by the moon, stars and late night taxis, still ruled the streets after the sun went down. The Golem was a mythic being of Jewish folklore, created from clay and quickened by the Shem, a magical stone engraved with an ancient Hebraic inscription, inserted into Golema€™s forehead.
The maternal tongues of these small nations have miraculously survived all the invasions, floods, plagues and foreign occupiers to this day a€“ a gift preserved and delivered to them across the generations.
Minority languages, on the other hand, carry an emotional load that can scarcely be exaggerated.
Ishi and his sister were the last of the Yahi tribe to survive the genocidal colonization of California. Those whose language and culture are not threatened can never know the burden under which the carriers of small minority languages labor a€“ nor how those in exile bring up their children to preserve that which is beyond their capacities to save.
Jan was all about preserving traditions and the kind of ancestral knowledge that today is mostly enshrined in books. Today, the stories of our tribes are less and less passed on as oral tradition and most often read to us from the childrena€™s books wea€™ve learned to treasure a€“ illustrated by fine artists and produced with care for the highly discriminating purchasers of childrena€™s books a€“ for grandparents. A?epelA?k employed binders and typesetters to present complete suites of his work and in this too, he introduced me to a new world. Later in Prague I missed my flight back, due to the World Trade Center bombing and was delayed by a week. The difficult thing to bear in acknowledging my teachers, models, heroes, suppliers and inspirations, is that these masters of the crafts and industries surrounding and supporting the book arts are mostly deceased. The fruit we seek is not fast food, but laden with full-bodied flavors, attained by slow natural processes. All of us come from grandfathers who once were wheelwrights, cobblers or instrument makers; men with a profound love of wood and leather, who knew the working qualities of every kind of obscure tree growing in their countryside a€“ men who knew when to reach for elm or hickory a€“ as well as for goat, dog or even fish-skins. Jan spoke fondly of his grandmother, who baked bread every week of the year to feed an entire estate a€“ farm hands, livery people, gentry, trainers and hod-carriers alike. Working consciously is the ultimate goal a€“ and that is the legacy youa€™ll find evidently contained within and upon the boards of every book bound by Jan Bohuslav Sobota.
The etchings you see here first came to life as illustrations for the wedding anniversary announcements of MA­la and Jaroslav KynA?l. Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me.A  He was an exceptional bookbinder, teacher and promoter of the book arts, but also an exile who successfully returned home after years abroad.
The annual Friday afternoon Emerging Artists Showcase, always eagerly anticipated, ran into rough weather.
The author, having gotten drenched twice while dealing with canopy leaks, disgustedly waited it out inside his car, trying to dry off. Tom, the guitarist, and John, the bassist, remained behind me, helping to drive the song on its merry way.


Many months later, I would sit down to dinner with the group and learn how they formed and grew together. She also got involved in musical theater which led to studying and teaching theater, and later, a career in creative education. One exchange captures the disconnect between where he was and what the world was offering: a€?I got one call back from a high school teaching position in religion that did not require a mastera€™s.
Although he says it was a a€?horrible job,a€? it gave him access to the very first personal computer-based digital audio editing system. When he got there, he got hired by Digidesign, the developer of Protools, to support their sales team. Mark needed something steadier with benefits, so he worked in house first at Sega of America and then at Crystal Dynamics.
At a concert at The House of Blues, Mark and Beth saw David Lindley playing a€?lap slide reggae on somethinga€¦ it had eight strings.a€? It sounded amazing and they were both mesmerized.
When Mark got home from work and saw it, he thought, a€?God thata€™s wonderful!a€¦ Now I have to learn how to play this thing.a€? He picked up a copy of Rise Up Singing. One frequent visitor to the market was Jim Meigs, editor for Popular Mechanics and a blues harpist.
He was playing in a cover band and, as a change of pace, was looking for a country band to play with. That went well, and when the banda€™s second CD New Amsterdam was almost done (the first was an EP called In Spite of the Devil), and something was missing, John suggested that Rik come and add some lap steel. Beth sums up the banda€™s spirit in her own terms: a€?Filling our home with music and singing alongside my husband has been a beautiful gift, enriching our relationship tenfold. The annual Friday afternoon Emerging Artists Showcase, always eagerly anticipated, ran into rough weather.A  Torrential downpours almost completely washed the audience off the hill. Although he says it was a a€?horrible job,a€?A  it gave him access to the very first personal computer-based digital audio editing system. Mark had gotten burned out on music during his time in the digital game business and didna€™t go near it for a long time. There they encounter resident trout and bass a€“ even sunfish, chubs and dace, all keyed into the increasingly plentiful and highly nutritious bounty of salmon eggs.
Situated 90A km south-west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers, PlzeA? is first recorded in writings from the tenth century. That vision was about innovation and creativity within the context of an historical tradition. This is what youa€™ll see in a Sobota binding a€“ exceptional attention paid to context and relationships, using materials and technical means that do indeed function and last. He knew his work was valuable and documented it fastidiously a€“ confident that it would be last. There was, however, nothing about his nationalism that demeaned anybody elsea€™s traditions or origins. That smallish incident within the parade of American fringe politics elicited an insanely violent level of suppression. Masaryk a€“ and the cute little girl with a bouquet of flowers, is my mother Eva, at the age of three. Schmidta€™s income from the federal mint far exceeded anybody elsea€™s in the extended family and supported a network of cars, cottages and rent-controlled flats.
Schmidt, as he preferred to be called, was a man of conservative demeanor who preferred polite and reserved forms of speech and address. While visiting their unassuming engraver and extending my tourist visa 30 days at a time, I was quietly becoming qualified for life as a counterfeiter a€“ a vocation within which, one is set for life, however it may eventually turn out. Jan allowed several binders to have their way with it a€“ amo boxes for slipcases with shell casings for hinges and so forth. This next incarnation of our exhibit in PlzeA? was all just a bit more prosaic and provincial. Is it the binding we consider and exhibit a€“ or is the binding there to conserve a text, which is ultimately the point?
There are also binders to whom everything else is merely the text block, who care little if it is an offset trade edition or a book made by hand. The tales therein recorded reflected the accreted wisdom and wit of a people as they retold them across the highlands in modest log cottages after the harvest was in.
The way of working belongs to the Sobota vision I addressed earlier a€“ the honor and soul to be found in conscientiously made handcrafts. I dona€™t feel that accomplished or ready to assume their mantle and yet with every generation that is what must happen. Gravels, with just the right flow of fresh water running up through stones of the right size are but a tiny portion of the riverbed.A  The salmon must struggle past cities and sewer pipes, farms and irrigation systems, dams and turbines, fishermen and waterfalls a€“ just to reach the streams of their birth. Spuyten Duyvil, our first Acoustic Live showcase act of the day, had been one of those acts in Fridaya€™s Emerging Artists Showcase. As the last strains of the blues harp finished the song, Mark swung back into the canopy to change his instrument for the next song.
As soon as he saw Digidesigna€™s 24-track recording studio sitting empty all night, he quit his pre-med classes and ended up running their tech support department through the launch of Protools. He became chairman of the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group and helped in the development of standards for a whole lot of digital stuff that, described in a€?Markspeak,a€? is not easily translatable in this publication. For a while it was just the four of them, on the porch, playing traditional songs and Marka€™s originals. Mark had gotten to know Lou, and knew that he wouldna€™t join unless he could a€?cut it.a€? Loua€™s ability to soften the sound to fit the banda€™s concept added the perfect touch. Doing overdubs, without previous accompaniment on that instrument, Mark recalled, a€?he tore up this material.a€? Mark recalled saying, with a Cheshire cat grin, a€?This CD just got a whole lot better!a€? Along with Jima€™s Chicago blues harp, it helped to define what the band is about. Later that evening, the Friday night a€?Most Wanted Song Swapa€? was canceled due to wind-driven sheets of rain. As Beth explains it: a€?It wasna€™t until years laterA that we began to circle back to music again. This widely beloved stamp was re-issued in 2000 and mother continues to receive philatelic fan mail to this day.
He died the day I was composing a colophon for the Spawned Salmon with words of praise for his lifea€™s work. A band known for its boisterous spirit, theya€™d played before the remaining dozen or so diehards standing in the rain. Nevertheless, it was a joy making music with my soon-to-be husband.a€? While still living in California, Mark and Beth got married, with the ceremony taking place back in Brooklyn. However, the industry needed no translation and he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Audio Guild.
I learned how to play it and Beth and I did a lot of singing together.a€? Additionally, Mark found that playing the old traditional music in the book unlocked something in him and he started to write his own music. After Steve left for California, Mark wanted to find another bassist, happened to be perusing the site and saw Johna€™s information and extended an invitation. The engraving was masterfully done by Schmidta€™s long-dead colleague, Bohumil Heinz (1894-1940). The state security apparatus was surely aware of my presence, but if they kept tabs on me, I never knew. I was fearful that the clouds signaled a trend, but Spuyten Duyvil had some magic up its sleeve. Wea€™ve uploaded a video of the song to YouTube, that shows the band playing for Alternate Root TV. He studied ethno-musicology and comparative religions but spent most of his time in the electronic music studio recording songs with his band, music for films and music for modern dance. He recalled that, a€?I had written hundreds of pieces of incidental music and two or three lame attempts at pop music while I was in college. These guys are really good!a€? Then, a€?Hey, they could really use harp on that song!a€? Then, a€?Wow!
Everything is just so wonderful and everybody so creative, but suspending judgment long enough to actually look at some artwork and then giving it a chance isna€™t so bankrupt, is it? Human body parts are again flying and the Baron is at his best defeating Turks and evading friendly fire from buffoonish generals. Farmers would occasionally find their possessions and take them as souvenirs, unaware that the last Indians still lived in their midst.
Damn the cost; ita€™s who we are and the last material vestiges of soulful encounters with our elders a€“ onea€™s whose stories are slipping inexorably away, thinned by each passing year and generation.
Their kids were grown and they were by then slipping into that last, reflective phase of life a€“ done competing. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.a€? Ia€™m sure each got the memo, but they plainly didna€™t remember it.
Six of the seven players took shelter in the front end of the 20-foot space created by our two adjoining canopies. Some part of playing all that old-timey stuff flipped a switch and caused me to start writing stuff that had some meaning.a€? Beth was surprised because she was the one who had gotten into folk music at a young age and never expected Mark to get into the folky stuff.
Although both couples were great friends, Tom was apprehensive at first because hea€™d been through some really bad musical matchups and knew there was a potential for a vast difference in their musical tastes and styles.
They could really use harp on ALL their songs!a€? Mark remembered that a€?this guy would show up with his tweed case of harmonicas.a€? Jim would strike up conversations with Mark and casually drop hints about his musical involvement. Although both couples were great friends, Tom was apprehensive at first because hea€™d been through some really bad musical matchupsA  and knew there was a potential for a vast difference in their musical tastes and styles.
These scraps turned out to be a deck of medieval playing cards - the second oldest such cards known. A book is so much more than the sum of its parts a€“ and yet each of us tends to have our own bailiwick in which we shine and to which we look first. She saw a a€?sexy, tortured musician guy who was anything BUT boyfriend material,a€? but was drawn to him nevertheless.
As Beth described it, a€?The more inspired he became to play and write, the more inspired I became to sing again.a€? Mark drew upon the history of the area for the banda€™s name and for inspiration in his writing. However, when he heard gospel-tinged songs and saw no beer being consumed during rehearsal, he became afraid that the band was comprised of Bible-thumping fundamentalists.
These plates have been inked and wiped by hand, employing methods that woulda€™ve been familiar to Rembrandt.
Several bars into the song, a€?Halfway Free,a€? it became apparent that the skies were benign, under the spell of a benevolent spirit. It wasna€™t until the band lugged a big batch of a€?crafta€? microbrewed beer (a band staple) to a campsite at Falcon Ridge that he relaxed and told them of his misperception.
It wasna€™t until the band lugged a big batch ofA  a€?crafta€? microbrewed beer (a band staple) to a campsite at Falcon Ridge that he relaxed and told them of his misperception. They crashed with my wife Jana and me in Kalamazoo, while taking the a€?orientation coursea€?nearby. I can confidently report back to my English reader, that Jan would only grow in stature for you, if you could have fully understood the subtlety of his thoughts in his own maternal tongue. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. Beth remembers, a€?That one time was crazy but so fun!!a€? That would be the last time theya€™d play together for many years.
He also introduced them to the next member, Rik Mercaldi, who he thought would be a good fit with the band. Perhaps right for those who shouldna€™t have sharp objects, for fear of hurting themselves. That show was purchased whole by Special Collections at Western Michigan University and constitutes the largest collection of Sobota bindings and the most complete archive of my work. The bandleader, Mark, and the lead singer, Beth, cautiously walked out into the sunshine, joining their drummer, Lou, who tastefully played a marching band snare with brushes. That would be me [the pet].a€? He was joyfully surprised to discover that he enjoyed what Mark was playing. Few people would have cast a second glance at that glued-up mess of moldering old papers before pitching it, nor would they have recognized what they had in hand or known how to restore or sell it. 15: But you, O Lord, are a merciful and loving God, always patient, always kind and faithful. Mark played a small tenor guitar in a crisply strummed attack and sang and led the group through a sharp uptempo rhythm with tightly executed starts and stops.
These folks were a profound blessing to a family facing some truly rough sailing a€“ a Godsend. Schmidt had worked was signed with warm dedications to him and thus worth real money to collectors. He wanted to see the printmaker in me come to full fruition and I wanted to be worthy of his attentions.
The family has dwelled within sight of the seats of power, pushing copper plates through a press and outlived the Hapsburg Monarchy, First Republic, Nazis and Communists. The intact packages were still there on their shelves, all duly graded, labeled and priced, awaiting an owner who was never to return.
Beth did what she always does, belting out each stanza with the ferocity and abandon of a gospel rave-up. Back home, their Czech neighbors would have envied them and accused them of theft or worse, but people here seemed to be pleased as punch to see them prosper a€“ genuinely happy for them.


Those items too, kept trickling out the door, until there came a sad, sad day, when the golden eggs were all gone.
They bashfully admitted their foolishness and went back to making beautiful books a€“ and their American friends were so relieved to see them regain their sanity. You take time to grieve and then pick yourself up by your bootstraps (by God a€“ get a grip) and get on with it (Rome wasna€™t built in a day you know).
StrejA?ek was still working, but it was all coming to an inevitable end, as he grew shaky of hand and hard of seeing.
8: But God has shown us how much he loves us a€“ it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!Hebrews 13, vs. Enriched by my days of being nurtured by Prague, Matkou MA›st (Mother of Cities), I moved on to meet my destiny with art. I would come home from work and plop myself in the chair for A? hour or so, wash up, change my clothes and eat dinner.
I can count on my one hand the number of times I played ball with my boy or took my daughter shopping.
I feel sorry for my children for not being there for them and sorry for my wife because she raised the kids pretty much on her own and she did a great job of it. I am sorry for myself also because the moments that I missed with my children can never be recovered. I thought I was doing my best by beingA a goodA provider but in my older wisdom I know that being a Dad was the most important thing they needed. He created us, molded us, watches over our lives, provides for us, and when we die He brings us into His kingdom.
It was customary at that time for Rabbis (Jesus was onea€”it meant teacher) when they were among a crowd to say the first verse of a Psalm. What He most likely was doing was wanting the rest of the people, and us, to say the rest of the Psalm. Kendall===============================================================================Pastor Pop-Pop June 12, 2010.
Lost loves, friends, jobs, disagreements with others, death of relatives, and depression are just some of the reasons we lose pride and hope in one self.
We could go on with this forever so today I am just addressing those qualities in single people. With single people, it could just be the problem with finding the right a€?someonea€? to love. The delay or loss of a past love (among other things) could send someone spiraling downward into a loss of respect for themselves. Nationally, there are 85.6 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women and the birthrate is approximately 53% women over men.
They have the a€?TV-ADa€? looks, drugs, drinking, sex, and instant communication (cell and text). Some people give up on themselves and become self destructive with over eating and drinking or hibernation. From a mana€™s perspective, if a man is looking for a quick date, sex, or just a temporary girlfriend he will frequent a bar. If a man is looking for a long term loving relationship or wife, he will look around church, a library (or book store), coffee bars, or social groups.
Dona€™t settle on things that go against you conscience whether it is with yourself or a mate. People with multiple divorces fail in relationships, drinkers are good drinkers, abusers (physical or mentally) are just abusers and players, and cheaters are cheaters. People rarely change and never enter a relationship with the thought that you can later on change that person to your expectations. If a person you care for ever poses this statement ----- A a€? If you want me (or love me) you need to do a€?this or thata€™.a€? ----- then walk away and dona€™t look back. The following religions or faiths consider Jesus as an enlightened spiritual teacher: Jehovaha€™s Witnesses, Mormonism, Unification Church , Christian Science, A? of all Wicca, New Age, Nation of Islam, Bahaa€™i World Faith, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, some of Judaism, and Islam. It is funny that all these listed above recognize him as a great spiritual teacher but do not follow His teachings. The other half of Wicca, Transcendental Meditation, Scientology, and Buddhists either do not mention Him or He is not important to their way of thinking. Genesis Chapter #1 in part of verse 2 says, a€?and the Spirit of God was moving over the watera€?. He won trophies for the best in class in New York State for horseshoes and archery (before compound bows) for several years running. He hunted and fished and always, it seemed, brought back his limit no matter what game, fish, or bird was in season. He joined the Navy Sea Bees in WW2 and ended up getting drafted in the Marine Corps on an Island in the Pacific during the conflict.
The only way there is through His Son Jesus so I accept Him as my Lord and Savior and try my best to follow His ways.
A ====================================================== ==============================================Note: If you have not seen the movie "Left Behind" with Kirk Cameron, now would be the time.
Well to begin with; this promise from God is only for believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Paul was talking about believers and inserted the condition of a€?for those who love Goda€?. You see, when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness and confess to Him your sins --------- you are washed clean with the blood of Christ.
However, sometimes you carry the baggage of the memories of those sins in your mind and heart.
This verse in Romans assures you that your guilt is unjustified because God will make it turn out in the end for good.
Jesus did not promise that this life would be easy but that He would walk through those troubled times with you.
Although it was a good one, it caused me much stress and sometimes aspects of it violated my conscience. I do believe that God is making this bad thing turn out to be good and I think He has a better job for me in the near future.
If you believe in God and love Him and believe in His promise, these too will turn out for the better. And leta€™s not forget that even though what his brothers did was a€?wronga€?, God made it into good when Joseph forgave them and helped them. His promise does not make wrong right but makes it turn out into something good for his glory, for us believers. We know that Jesus will walk with us through the valley but God will get us to the mountain top when we get through it. I am sure there are many stories out there of how this verse helped many people weather their storms. Kendall============================================================Pastor Pop-Pop July 31, 2010.
Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth.
Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals.
I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.
It tells us His personality, words, likes, dislikes, rules, commands, pleasures, and all the things he has done. So any god or image of him that does not conform to or match the one described in the Bible (the word of God) is not the God of Israel that we are to worship. Let us be clear that making images of anything is not a violation of the commandment but actually worshiping it as a god.
Some churches within the body of Christ have pictures or statues of saints or even Jesusa€™ mother.
That is not a violation unless the statue (or the person) a€?itselfa€? is being worshiped as a god or the statue is believed to have some sort of power within itself. Wearing a Jewish star or a cross is also not a violation unless the emblem itself is worshiped. If they are decorations that is OK but if you actually place or believe some hope or faith of luck in them, it is a violation of the commandment. People now seem to create their own god to worship in a€?their own minda€? and not within the scope of the Word of God (the Bible). The one I hear the most is, a€?I am a good person so that is all that is needed to go to Heaven and be saved.a€? That is not what the Bible tells us.
Matthew 7:21 (ESV) says, a€?Not everyone who says to me a€?Lord Lord,a€™ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.a€? What is the will of the Father? People go around saying god is this or god is that or that is a€?not what I believe ina€™ but if their beliefs are not in line with the Bible, they are in violation of the first commandment. God is OK with working on a Sunday (or having your place of business open), God is OK with Homosexual and Gay behavior, I dona€™t have to go to church and worship Him, I dona€™t have to give, I dona€™t have to forgive everyone, it is OK to kill unborn babies, He is OK with pagan rituals, I can be rude to people, God did not make the earth a€“ and on and on and on. The pastor said that this church was saying the Holy Spirit told them this was OK but another church said that the Holy Spirit was against this and yet another one had a different view point from the Holy Spirit.
We all violate them in some way or another but that is why Jesus died on the cross to wash us clean in His blood and absolve us of our faults. He scribed it on stone tablets and gave them to Moses on the mountain top to give to His people. That is the translation that she likes to use.===============================================================Thou shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous Goda€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦. Leta€™s take one at a time and discuss:We discussed this command last sermon (review if you want to). Have you ever created another God in your mind or worshiped another god of a different religion or faith? Jesus said that if you even lust in your heart (or mind) for another that you violate this commandment. Covet is defined in the NIV dictionary as: To want for yourself something that belongs to another person. Whether you take it or not, take it and not return it, or just desire it ---- you have violated this commandment.
If you believe in Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you are forgiven of your sins and you are washed in His blood clean and white as snow. A Timothy McVey the mastermind on the Oklahoma bombing defied God and declared that he alone was the a€?master of his destinya€?. A ==============================================================================Pastor Pop-Pop August 24, 2010. Having a good relationship with your spouse, family, friends, or co-workers is usually based on a good two way conversational attitude. To render Him praise and glory through prayer, actions, good deeds, following His laws and commandments, and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He knows what we need before we ask but He likes to hear it from us also with some praise and worship attached. Your Mom knows you need food and gives you healthy meals but approaching her and asking for a snack also tells her you would like some cheese doodles too.
Prayers can be from a book, made up by you, from the Bible, or just general conversation between you and God. They can be on your knees by your bed, in Church, or just during every day activities or work.
I try to concentrate not on an earthly or worldly fixture or thing but temporarily close my eyes (not while driving) or look up when I talk to Him.
I find one (or a paragraph or verse) that I derive comfort from and say it as a special prayer to the Lord.
What can flesh do to me?Psalm 121(NLT): I look up to the mountains-does my help come from there? Go to a good book store and page through some and see which ones are comfortable for you personally. They are good Bibles but one is paraphrased and one is in a so called modern language that, for me, does not read real well. I highly recommend The New Living Translation (NLT), The New Century Version (NCV), or the New American Bible (NAB). The first two are used a lot with Contemporary Christian Churches and the third contains extra books as it was designed to meet the needs of Catholic Christians.
I also like the Good News Translation (GNT).A It is important that you like it and are comfortable with it.



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