March 2013


business&leadership&Overflow28 Mar 2013 05:00 pm

Fair warning: It may take a while to cross this river and get through Joshua 3, which is where we are starting this week.

JOSHUA 3:1-4 – TWO THOUSAND CUBITS

The spies came back with a good report: the Promised Land is ripe for the taking. Now there’s just this matter of getting all these people across the river and waging a war or two. Or three.

Joshua and his officers delivered the instructions to the people as they waited for the right moment to move. They had a good system of communication here, a kind of trickle-down phone chain approach that reached the entire community efficiently and effectively, but that’s not what I’m focusing on here. What interests me more at the moment is the instructions.

Now, it’s not the last time they’ll get instructions that don’t make complete sense and it’s not even the first time – this tactic has become something of a pattern for their journey – but each time, it does make you pause after reading it and wonder what is going on. This time, it’s leading with the Ark of the Covenant and leaving “about two thousand cubits” of space between it and the people.

Two thousand cubits, though debated, is apparently about a half mile. It’s about 6 1/2 times the length of Noah’s Ark. It’s a significant distance and it’s curious enough to wonder why. [continue reading this post…]

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television28 Mar 2013 10:51 am

Today will be a little different. Due to a technical glitch, I’m watching last night’s performances on the AmericanIdol.com video player and I’m not sure what is and isn’t included. Certainly, I’m missing all the opening introductions and banter, but maybe that’s for the best. I may not even get all the performances in the right order, who knows.

It looks like it’s Motown night, which means a return of Smokey Robinson and songs that always warm my heart and, in this case, makes me sadder that Curtis Finch, Jr. is gone. I did get last week right, though. This week, according to my initial order of elimination, will be Lazaro’s week to leave. We shall see. Leading off the night was Candice, so… off we go.

Candice sings Heard It through the Grapevine, which apparently Smokie Robinson was supposed to release as a single before Marvin Gaye. She’s slowing it down and lounging it up, which is pretty smart because it gives her more room to riff and no one will accuse her of singing karaoke. We get the full range of her vocal and it’s all good. Keith agrees that she’s raised the bar and it showed great control. Nicki says she stayed in it and didn’t over-do it. Randy says it was effortless and crazy good. Mariah says in a lot of ways she epitomizes the competition because of that thing she does that she knows how to do but she won’t get into it right now…
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general27 Mar 2013 02:22 pm

No. It’s not a word. (Or, did I mean “aword”?)

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&television21 Mar 2013 03:29 pm

Didn’t see that one coming. Curtis Finch, Jr., who is probably the only singer that can make me enjoy the song I Believe I Can Fly, has left the building. To be fair, it wasn’t a great performance last week, it was a Fantasia song (blah), and he was in the first spot – all bad things – and it happened. Now we move on. Top Nine, and it looks like it’s the songs of the Beatles. This is where I confess yet again, that I don’t get particularly giddy when I hear a Beatles song. I appreciate the influence they had on music and their ability, but it all occurred before my time and I’m comfortable enough to admit that they’re not my bag for the most part. There, I said it. I won’t praise them just to join the cool kids table. On with the show.

All the judges made it on time this week, so that’s good. A new Coca-Cola thing-a-ma-jig. Yay. Oh, and the showdown between Charlie and Aubrey for a tour spot. Winner is: Aubrey. So that’s good at least. Ridiculous that it was even a question, but good. Okay.. off we go.

Kree loves her family. Oh. Well that’s sad. She’s singing With a Little Help from My Friends. Jimmy is excited. It’s tough to balance karaoke and blasphemy in the eyes of the judges, when you sing the Beatles. I think this is a great arrangement and she’s carrying it really well. Let’s hope she’s not forgotten at the end of the night like Curtis. Keith says “firstly.” He’s glad she’s Kree and she should be safe. Nicki says she makes great musical choices. Randy says it was the bomb. Mariah says it was fan-freakin-tastic.
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business&leadership&Overflow21 Mar 2013 12:55 pm

Note: I just realized this was the seventh installment of this series (double 0, 7). It wasn’t intentional, but rather serendipitous, right?

I love a good spy story. Whether in TV shows like Burn Notice and 24 or movies like the Bond and Bourne series, spies are fascinating. Mysterious, intriguing, and full of danger. And cool. Being a spy requires (or inspires a certain level of coolness. They’re so charming, you almost forget to fear them. But you do fear them.

Now, I know these on-screen depictions of spy life aren’t truly indicative of real life. And as we revisit our Jericho spies, cowering under drying leaves on the roof of a seedy establishment, reality sets in a little bit. They’ve they’ve kinda lost the upper hand, by putting themselves at the mercy of Rahab. And this is what happens.

JOSHUA 2:8-24 LET’S MAKE A DEAL

Rahab comes up to see the two spies huddled in hiding on the roof. The two spies the king’s army is looking for. The two spies Rahab lied to protect. And she’s got a proposition.

First, she confesses the fear and awe of the city in regards to the Israelites. She tells them that the entire land has been watching them and tracking their progress since leaving Egypt. And everyone is terrified, “melting in fear” because of them. They are in a position of power because they have God’s power behind them and His favor on them and there’s no denying it. She mentions the Red Sea and the defeat of two Amorite kings. I’m guessing there were some Paul Bunyan tales going around as well. [continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews15 Mar 2013 04:32 pm

Moving from recording artist hopefuls to recorded artists by the shelf-full. Well, a small shelf. It’s time for Music of the Day and, after a week off without too many releases to talk about, we’ve got five worth mentioning. A few blasts from the past, an up and coming artist, and whatever is in between. Here’s how it plays out. I take each of these five albums and leave you with my thoughts (in 25 words or less), two key tracks, two other, similar artists, and a wacky, random comparison (this week, it’s classic toys). Without further adieu, off we go.

Audio Adrenaline – Kings & Queens
http://amzn.to/YgkEsh (CD) | http://amzn.to/ZbBkUj (mp3)

I won’t call it a comeback, but it’s definitely some “Get Back Up” rock and I’ll wax nostalgic of simpler times and happiness. LEGO bricks.

DON’T MISS: Kings & Queens, Change My Name
SEE ALSO: Newsboys, TobyMac
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television15 Mar 2013 12:10 pm

So, I was expecting a Tuesday night show and it was Wednesday. And I’m not getting around to watching it until today. Rest assured, even though the results were last night, I spent the night avoiding Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses and tuned into season two of 24, courtesy of Netflix. As such, the thoughts I’m sharing below are in real-watch-time and my predictions are as honest as if I had watched it live. Off we go.

In true self aggrandizing fashion, today’s theme is “songs by former American Idol winners.” Or something like that. Only three judges come out with the announcement. That’s weird. I’m sure Ryan will explain the empty seat. Maybe Nicki is performing? Stuck in traffic, seriously? Why couldn’t Mariah get stuck in traffic?

Curtis Finch, Jr. starts it off, which is typically the forgettable slot. He’s singing Fantasia’s winning song, I Believe, which still kind of keeps with his theme of flying. I don’t know this song at all. I love his “yeah, yeah, yeah’s” but overall it was just average, which is really bad for him. Keith said he sang above where the song was, but he knows himself and it was great. Randy says try something that’s not inspirational and the same. Mariah liked the choir feeling.

Janelle Arthur is really laying the accent on thick, more than ever before. She’s singing Gone, which was performed by Scotty. I think it’s supposed to be a real barn burner, but I didn’t really get much of the energy. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t too memorable. Keith liked it and compared her to Lee Ann Womack. Nicki shows up and wasn’t wow’ed and would like to see better song choices. I’d like Nicki to get rid of the gum. Randy says it was good, but it didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t love the song. Mariah says she had a star aura, but there are better songs.
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business&leadership&Overflow14 Mar 2013 04:25 pm

We’ve finally reached the passage that was going to start this series. I was going to try and keep up with a different study I was in, but thought better of jumping in anywhere but the beginning. Anyway, today we look at a pretty famous part of the Joshua story. And Joshua isn’t even in it. Remember those two spies Joshua sent to Jericho? I mentioned that they weren’t the most clandestine duo last time. They were spotted as soon as they entered the city. So this is the situation in which we find this account of Rahab.

JOSHUA 2:3-7 SPIES, LIES, AND A COVER UP

The spies went into Rahab’s house. Rahab was one of the early adopters of the work-from-home business model and she was prominent in the city, such that her house was in the city wall, close to the gates. The king’s men knew where the spies were and they quickly made their way to Rahab’s house to capture and interrogate them. But Rahab hid the men and lied to the soldiers, sending them on a wild goose chase.

It’s easy to villainize Rahab here for lying and, given her occupation, generally being a “bad person.” The truth is, though (see what I did there?), we would all be tempted to do the same and we probably have in different circumstances. And if your own personal convictions aren’t enough, how about the some of the founding fathers of the Christian faith?

Abraham lied.
Isaac lied.
Jacob lied.
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television12 Mar 2013 02:19 pm

Getting ready for tonight’s American Idol competition, here are the thoughts I had during Thursday’s reveal show.

TOP FIVE GUYS

Paul Jolley sings Alone and forgot the lyrics. SERIOUSLY? I got this one wrong, but he did sound better on the playback there. Keith said he sounded better here than the night before. Burnell Taylor sings Ready for Love. No surprise here. Great tone to his voice. Mariah is excited. Curtis Finch, Jr. sings So High by John Legend. Apparently flying will be a theme with him. Again, no surprise. He’s the Joshua Ledet of this year. Randy is so happy and offers so big props. Devin Velez sings The Power of One by Israel Houghton. No joke? I picked him, so I’m not too shocked. Nicki wants to see more Spanish/English songs. Lazaro Arbos rounds out the top five guys and sings Bridge over Troubled Waters after some last minute instructions to the band. Mariah thinks the audience relates to him on several levels.

So, the only one I missed was Vincent and I was hesitant to pick him because that arrangement was a mess last night. It’s too bad, because he has a fantastic voice, but can’t complain too much about these five.
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television07 Mar 2013 10:14 pm

I fully expected to be irritated by Nicki Minaj well before this point in the competition, but honestly, it’s been Mariah that has annoyed me the most about this season. Nicki’s influence on some of the contestants making it through is a bit obnoxious, but that’s not really new. Anyway, on to the top ten guys.

Elijah is singing a slow song that you expect to explode with energy at any point. If I had to guess, I’d say Bruno Mars? (Oh, Rihanna) And it never has that burst of energy. Too bad. It was a decent vocal, though. Keith comments on his shoes, which can’t be good. Nicki says she’d be willing to stay. Randy liked it more than he did last week, but it never got out of first gear. Mariah thought it was one of his better performances.

Cortezwill be singing Bruno Mars for me. Making the background singers say “whoop whoop” is definitely a plus. I like the energy, but his voice still isn’t the strongest. Plenty of work to do as a performance, but it was not bad. Keith wasn’t keen on the song choice. Nicki says long johns aren’t sexy. Randy says he strains vocally and he’s not quite there yet. Mariah says a lot.

Charlie, who tries his best to be ironic and cool, is singing Genesis. Well, he’s doing something anyway. There’s no reason for him to be here. Keith says they’ve offered diversity tonight, but Charlie is disingenuous and disconnected. Nicki lost her obsession and instead is upset. Randy said it started out terrible and then it ended with a scream. Mariah says she enjoys him a lot as a person. Ryan plays the role of psychologist as Charlie all but threatens suicide on stage.
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