Sunday, January 31, 2010

back in the grind

back in the grind
got a call that i was needed at work last night
i didn't want to go
i was still worn out from my crazy 24 hours of  bizarre travel
but my boss turned on the guilt trip
instead of listening to it,
i said i would come in..
all of this is within the never ending dying to self
our never ending fight with pride and responsibility
she simply wanted a shift covered
i simply wanted to rest one more day
she won
and really, as i sucked it up and went in with a smile on my face,
thankful for my job,
i realized it was not about who won
it's about something else
it's about the response to stuff we don't like
the reality of living our days before our Lord,
in everything,
which isn't easy
"everything is grace" said Therese of Liseux

Oxford Ms

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lay People

someone in San Francisco asked me,
"who books you to go play around the country?"
"Lay people", i replied
people like Jim and Rayna King
who saw me on the Journey Home program on EWTN,
and Jim decided he wanted to help
He put my entire trip together for the two weeks in California!
it's amazing how all of this stuff happens
Jaby Denton is a cotton farmer here in Mississippi
we became good friends not long after we moved to Oxford
he is a dreamer and loves Jesus dearly, he put up the funds for "Soul",
he believed it was worth hearing
nothing i am doing now would be possible without Jaby's vision
then came Christina Fleury,
who met Dana, the Irish singer, in a bathroom a year before i met Christina on line
i met her the week "Soul" came out
Because of Christina and her fiery determination,
because of her kindness and desire to serve our Beloved,
i ended up on EWTN twice whcih led to Jim King and California,
and now I am told i may be on "Life on the Rock" this spring,
she also got me shows with the "Catholic Underground" in New York and PA
Christina insisted Renee and I go to Stuebenville OH the summer of 2008
i played one song at the"Defending the Faith" weekend at Franciscan University after Jeff Cavins spoke,
Jeff was so kind to ask me,
after i played the song "Is It Me",
Renee and i met a young woman named Jean Tillery
she and her husband's desire for the youth and adults of their parish in Virginia got me to Virginia,
i had written the album "Beloved" and was scheduled to go to Vancouver to record it,
(thanks to the kindness and vision of a man in Vancouver i still have never met,
but also because of an old friend and producer, Roy Salmond,, this is making my head spin)
but Jean Tillery is the reason "Beloved" is being heard and available to the public
her kindness, contibution, and vision are an inspiration
as are Blake Hill's, my dear friend and artist who does my website and art work
as is Greg Michaud in Michigan,
he was a seminarian at Mundelien in Chicago,
he put together a show there where i met Fr. Robert Barron who spoke at the show
Greg felt led to buy "Soul" cd's so he could give them away ,
his friendhsip is balm to my soul, he is now a priest, hallelujah!
and SARGE!, the man i met on the Pilgrimage to Turkey and Greece with Jeff Cavins
Dick Meisenbacher ( Sarge) and his wife Anne brought me to New Jersey a few weeks ago,
what an incredible time, what an amazing guy is Sarge!
Lay People who want to spread the good news of Jesus
so far, these are my booking agents, my producers, my managers,
normal folk who want to spread the news of God's crazy love,
i am truly and deeply grateful for their help and encouragement,
and for those yet to come
we are all in this together for our Beloved,
to have me come to your area, shoot me an email


Friday, January 29, 2010

the cherrry on top

it is so good to be back home
even though it is sleeting
freezing cold
the warmth of hearth and home,
defeats the chill outside
my flight was canceled yesterday afternoon
they gave me a new flight out of LAX
instead of leaving at 4:30 in the afternoon
I left this morning at 1:40
but thankfully it was a non stop
as i was driving home from the Memphis airport,
i felt a deep gratitude for the past two weeks
i appreciate all of your emails and prayers
they really helped
the last show yesterday was for a women's group at St. Timothy's in Culver City
it was a great way to end
they were so full of joy and kindness
even if they did have a hard time with my southern accent
they responded with sincerity and laughed at al the right places when i tell my stories
they were the cherry on top of a two week adventure
my dog is watching me type this,
i don't think Jack has stopped wagging his tale since i got home.
thanks be to our Beloved
Oxford MS!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

makes me wanna shout..

i fly home today!!
back to Oxford
and was just told by my wife,
back to snow and sleet
the last three days out here have been sunshine
but Lord knows i am ready to touch down in Mississippi
the past two weeks have been incredible
i have met so many wonderful people
made many new friends
eaten some fine cuisine
walked Venice beach
walked through the John P. Getty Museum
walked Ventura Blvd
walked in the Mohave desert
walked with 40,000 in San Francisco for life
i have played for a bunch of folk,
in home, churches, TV studios, festivals,
and i have one more show today before i leave
all of this walking and playing is a gift i do not take for granted
i only hope it encourages folks as much as it has encouraged me
people are thirsting for a deeper bond with our Beloved
the struggle is a beautiful thing
our Beloved thirsts for our whole hearts, minds, and souls
His desire is for our undivided attention, affection, and reflection
The Holy Spirit is the Hound of Heaven
and thank God He does not rest in His pursuit of our wandering lives,
no matter where we walk..
makes me wanna shout.

Bel Air, CA

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tim Tebow is using his popularity for something other than making money
whether you like Tebow or not
whether you agree with him or not
his decision to air a commercial during the superbowl,
a pro life message,
is a beautiful thing
our culture of death is all for beer commercials
all for selling dot coms
all for promoting whatever keeps people numb and spending money
but here is a guy who wants to do something else
he wants to do some good in the world
shake things up for life
he will be criticized
he will be ridiculed
but you know,
i don't think he minds..

Hollywood CA

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a lot of foo foo stuff

sunshine all day yesterday
i walked for an hour
back in Bel Air now
San Francisco was an amazing experience
one i will never forget
the sun felt good on my face as i walked
i thought about Renee and Wes
my dog Jack
i asked their angels to protect them
had nothing on the schedule
so i drove down into Sherman Oaks
the mall there is pretty lame
nothing but fancy stores
no real-people stores
a lot of foo foo stuff
but i saw some homeless folks
they were loving the sunshine
pushing their grocery carts down the sidewalk of Ventura Blvd
one lady smiled and tipped her hat to a man in a suit
she stopped her cart to let him pass
we live in a crazy world

Sherman Oaks, CA

In Jesus,

To have Keith come to your area, contact him for details at

Monday, January 25, 2010

crazy deal

when we decide to follow Jesus,
things will get very confusing
His ways are not our ways
and it gets pretty scary sometimes
all we need is "the faith the size of a mustard seed",
according to Jesus,
the One we follow,
but in the face of seemingly bad odds,
even mustering up that much faith is daunting
i don't like the whole, " God has called me etc.." thinking,
as if one person called is more special than the other guy
we are ALL called to take up our cross, to deny ourselves,
and follow
whatever gifts we have or don't have,
these are the tools of our calling
and the boasting is always in the Giver,
not the gift
when the shadows of doubt come,
they often blot out our sun of confidence,
when the way before us seems unsure and foggy,
when we are anxious, afraid, angry, frustrated with the progress,
the cross really gets heavy
especially when it involves others we care about
when it causes them frustration and worry,
and Father, Abba, knows all of this
it's a crazy deal

Bel AIr, CA

Sunday, January 24, 2010

in the beautiful array of humanity ( corrected)

I realized this morning that the end of my thought was cut off yesterday..
i had many emails asking me what Fr. Joe said,
"Don't look to the right or left,
just keep walking."
when i wrote this yesterday i had no idea how appropriate it was,
at the Walk for Life West we walked for 2 hours
half in a steady rain
half in the cool sunshine
there were 40,000 of us
peacefully walking for babies
for the culture of life
i didn't hear one person complain about the rain
in fact,
it seemed to bring more smiles and laughter
as i walked in the beautiful array of humanity,
i heard one teenager say,
"i bet this is what heaven will look like"
African Americans, Caucasians, Asians, Native Americans, Irish, French, Italian, Latin Americans,
Polish, Russian, etc..  Catholics, Protestants, men, women, teenagers, college students,
highs schools, little kids, dogs...(didn't see any cats)
all along the route i heard the rosary prayed in numerous languages
very moving
then i heard this from the protesters chanting and screaming wild eyed on the sidewalks,
"Keep your rosaries off our ovaries!!!"
i am from Mississippi,
and this is just plain rude and a little bit disgusting
i stared deeply into the eyes of as many of these folks as i could,
with compassion and sadness,
every single one averted his or her gaze, as if they were embarrassed,
i prayed my rosary for mercy to fall upon them
for grace to fall upon them
(to fall upon all of us)
so that we might all long more for our Beloved.
but honestly,
another part of me wanted to scream back,
"These dear rosaries want to free your ovaries from Planned Parenthood you bunch of  brainwashed slaves to hate and death!"
but i didn't.
i just kept walking Fr. Joe...
San Francisco CA

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Just Keep Walking"

*i am tired*
*but it is a good tired*
*yesterday was long and rewarding*
*went to Mass at the Cathedral in Sacramento*
*it was packed with over 1000 people at lunch on a Friday,*
*on the sad anniversary of Roe V Wade*
*pilgrims there to pray for our country*
*for the babies*
*for the women*
*i then did the in-store event at Easters Bookstore*
*one thing our Beloved is showing me is that there are so many,*
*all over this big old world, *
*that love Him with deep hearts of love*
*the folks at the bookstore are now family*
*i shared a bunch of songs*
*told a bunch of stories*
*and made a bunch of new friends*
*i get to walk in the "Walk for Life West" with over 40,000 folks,*
*walking for the babies and the women,*
*i will be interviewed by EWTN during the walk,*
* i get to play a few songs for those same 40,000 folks*
*i a simply humbled by this oppurtunity,*
*and ready to bang out a few tunes*
*i am really thankful for this, all of this, *
*as my priest Fr. Joe says,*

Friday, January 22, 2010

3 in the morning

it is 3 in the morning
we have to leave for an in-store event in Sacramento
the rain and wind has caused havoc to many of the highways
the road one normally take is closed due to snow and ice
so we are heading up the 101 this morning
having to add a few more hours to an already fairly long drive..
i actually look forward to it
this is one of the most scenic highways in the world
ocean to the left,
vineyards and mountains to the right
maybe i will write an album called Hwy 101..
maybe not
it has been an adventure out here so far
and i am sure today will hold some surprises
we should be far up the road before you read this,
but say a prayer now, please
and thanks for hanging with me as by His grace and mercy alone,
i try to keep at it
all love to our Beloved


Beverly Hills

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He chooses Who He would.

it's funny that i am out here in California
during the worst rainfall and winter storms
in the past 70 years
the news is saying there may be winds up to 70 mph today
possible tornadoes
it's like Mississippi weather in California
yesterday we went to Mass in Hollywood
a beautiful church building,
an in spite of the monsoon rains,
many people there, hungry for our Lord
the priest revealed the readings with wisdom and beauty
"God does not always choose Who He should,
but He chooses Who He would"
i noticed a young woman after the Mass kneeling before the mother of our lord,
she seemed troubled and intense in her prayers
i knelt close by with my rosary
after a few minutes she looked up,
and with joy on her face,
she made the sign of the cross and stood
we are all wayfarers on this good earth
all pilgrims in this journey....

Hollywood CA

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


we all walk in deserts from time to time
some call it being "dry" spiritually
when God seems far away
when our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling
the Saints often write about these times as the best of times
the times we mature
when we live by faith and not by sight
when we feel as if we are "going through the motions"
it's a rough time
doubts assail us
anxiety rises to crazy levels
we feel like shouting,
"My God my God, why have you abandoned me!?"
isn't it the greatest act of Mercy to know without debate
that our God knows intimately what we go through down here?
our great High Priest knows
in this we can rest and find strength to keep moving,
even when we don't feel like it..

Bel Air, CA

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In California

a cold rain fell most of th day yesterday
in California
i wasn't expecting storms here
it reminded me of home
i miss Mississippi
my lovely Renee
my son Wes
my dog Jack....
i drove down into the Valley to visit a bookstore
i had to cross the street while it was pouring down
this rain came in from the ocean two days ago
i was walking in the desert when it began
i had just finished playing a show at the retreat center
one of the nuns of the Carmelite order told me to walk out into the desert and listen to the silence
it could easily become my new Querencia
the rain began as a light drizzle in the Mohave
but a day later back in the Valley it was a monsoon
there were whitewater rapids on Ventura Blvd
i think i could have kayaked it
this guy was standing next to me on the curb
we kind of grimaced to one another when the light gave us permission to cross
we stepped into the torrent at the same time
freezing ice cold water filled my right boot
in California

Sherman Oaks, in the Valley

Monday, January 18, 2010

In The Mohave Desert

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

the grato whispered to me
"this is your mission"
so i stopped to pray with Veronica on the way

a black raven called out
as he cut the sky in two
gliding on a brooding storm cloud spitting rain

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

i bowed my head
took off my hat
knelt down on the blowing sand

i thought about Jesus
and His 40 days all alone
about the desert fathers and St. Jerome

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

then the setting sun broke through the thinning clouds
the light played upon the beauty of this land

Mother, pray for me in this lonely desolate place
of quiet, wind, tumbleweed and sand
of quiet, wind, tumbleweed and sand

Mt. Carmel in the Desert
Palmdale CA

California Desert (quiet, wind, tumbleweed and sand)

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

the grato whispered to me
"this is your mission"
so i stopped to pray with Veronica on the way

a black raven called out
as he cut the sky in two
gliding on a brooding storm cloud spitting rain

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

i bowed my head
took off my hat
knelt down on the blowing sand

i thought about Jesus
and His 40 days all alone
about the desert fathers and St. Jerome

I walked out into the California desert
high desert called me to the quiet just before the dark
i saw 14 crosses casting shadows against the cold canyon walls
Mohave winds were blowing cold, hard, and tall

then the setting sun broke through the thinning clouds
the light played upon the beauty of this land

Mother, pray for me in this lonely desolate place
of quiet, wind, tumbleweed and sand
of quiet, wind, tumbleweed and sand

Mt. Carmel in the Desert
Palmdale CA

Sunday, January 17, 2010

God's incredible Plan

last night was a special time
some friends of the family i am staying with came over
one from the Ukraine
one from Jamaica
one from Chicago,
one an x bull rider
a few home grown Californians
there was a 19 year old
and a 90 year old
i played for a while
sharing songs,
telling stories,
i even played songs i had never played for anyone before
new songs about mercy, loss, and God's incredible plan
i wish you could have been there too

Bel Air, CA

Saturday, January 16, 2010


a friend of mine used to live in Haiti
he often speaks of the kind people there
we should pray throughout our days for them
i caught some of the coverage yesterday on one of the big news channels,
the reporters seemed bent on blaming someone for something
i don't understand this pathos
this need for a story on top of the already devastating occurrence
it is sickening to know this has to do with ratings
with selling product
maybe it's just me,
but i find it almost uncomfortable to watch the reporters sometimes
then again,
i am thankful for what i saw on another channel
the entire half hour show was praying the rosary for the victims and survivors
no commentary except to say at the end how one might help with giving,
giving time, money, supplies, etc..
i pray mercy on those folks and on the ones down there helping

Los Angeles CA

Friday, January 15, 2010

can't do a thing..

San Bernadino
the San Gabriel Mountains
Mulholland Drive
Ventura Highway
the Rose Bowl
i was interviewed yesterday by Fr. Michael Manning
it will air the end of March beginning of April
there was grace there while i was sharing my story
we all have a story
it's who we are in many ways
and without the tension of working out our salvation with fear and trembling,
our stories are boringly just about us and our pitiful dreams
our "big ideas"
i think the sun shines brighter here in Cali..
at least it seems so
the ocean winds blow hard and constant in these sun drenched valleys
in all of this
i feel a great need for our Beloved
i know a great desire for His nearness
without Him,
i can't do a thing..

Bel Air CA

Thursday, January 14, 2010

imago Dei

the coolest thing about traveling
is the people you meet
there is a kindness in people
a dignity
"Made in the image of God"
imago Dei
the fallen nature is not all there is
but this is where we must start
knowing there is something wrong
something needs mending
"repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand"
Jesus said it and this is what they heard,

You gotta change your way of seeing things,
of knowing things, going beyond your own mind..

I walked for a long time this morning
i watched the sun rise over a canyon
i can see why folks love it here
and even here,
the Hound of Heaven is hot on my heels!

Culver City CA
for Fr. Barron

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Goin out West..."

"I'm goin out west where the wind blows tall.." Tom Waits

please keep me in your prayers over the next two weeks
i am leaving the house for the airport to fly to California
two weeks of playing and sharing some good news,,
God is mad for our little lives!
His love interrupts everything..
dig dig dig dig dig dig
my plan is to write a daily journal
maybe a few pics here and there
we shall see..
thanks for praying..


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

dangerous fruit

here is a thought for you and me
 to say this prayer every day for the next 90 days,,
"Lord, here i am. Would You give me a greater desire for You?"
i was talking with a co-worker last night
and it led to the saying of this very dangerous prayer
why dangerous?
i bet God grins when we say this prayer
turning to our Angels waiting with joy to do His will...
and He always answers this in our lives with regards to where we are in our journey
and the seeds of desiring Him more can grow some wild looking,
wild smelling, wild thinking, beautiful, dangerous, challenging, artistic, troubling,
colorful, sincere, and restless fruit in our lives..
but the three things that always bloom on this tree?
faith, hope, and love


Monday, January 11, 2010


wouldn't it be terrible if we,
you and me,
couldn't wake up every single day,
every single day,
to new mercy?
sometimes i just have to remind myself,
i have to say it out loud,
"Lord, You are mad for my soul!"
and each morning this demands a response.
a new response
a new decision
salvation and sanctification are ongoing processes,
according to St. Paul who never felt like he had made it,
even he felt like he had not yet reached the "goal for the prize for which he was called.."
so like Paul,
let's press on today,
"forgetting what lies behind, pressing forward to what lies ahead"
but just accepting He loves us, and embracing this,
 is always the beginning
and our response is where we participate and join in the great journey,
"working out our salvation with fear and trembling"...
embracing His love for us,
embracing His finished work on the cross.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Radio Interview Reminder

Hey folks, the interview airs here this afternoon at 4:30 eastern, 3:30 central, 1:30 pacific...on Ave Maria radio. The show is called "Notes from Above". Click on the link then click on the "Listen Live" in the top middle of the page.    

peace, and please keep me in your prayers,


Baptize me John...

Jesus didn't always walk on water
on that day
He walked down into the water
John was surprised
"Baptize me John.:
Jesus still surprises people
water into wine
spitting in the dirt
making mud for blind eyes
"Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven.."
He didn't have to make mud with His spit to heal the man
He didn't have to be baptized for the repentance of sins
He didn't have to do what Mary asked Him to do and make wine
He didn't have to give the apostles the ability to forgive sins
but He did
and then,
He said,
"This is My Body, DO THIS..."
We follow a God of sacraments..
He insists on using things of earth to impart grace on our journey
i don't know why,
other than maybe He wants us to stay humble and childlike
isn't it amazing how he uses the simple things to confound the wise?
it takes the gift of faith to eat His Body and drink His Blood,
to partake...
"Baptize me John."


Saturday, January 9, 2010

every morning

however the wind blows
not one of us knows
or from where it comes
or to where it goes
so is the work of One we know
in every heart and soul
it is for His good pleasure
how and when we grow
so press in all the more
dig deeper in the dirt
the soil of soul and secrets
adjusting crosses when they hurt
laugh at the mirror often
as we follow His sacred heart
from the womb to the coffin
every morning a new start


Friday, January 8, 2010

God's crazy love for us.

i was fortunate to be on a radio show yesterday
Ave Maria radio, "Notes from Above"
they played six of my tunes from Beloved
then interviewed me about the tunes
it will air this Sunday night
i was amazed how Tom, the host really got what my tunes are about
it's amazing when someone really listens and hears,
and one of the two host is a nun, Sister Sarah,
when i told them i love to play in bars,
she became very excited
said she wants me to come to Michigan and play in some bars
she wants people who would never hear about God's crazy love for us,
to hear about God's crazy love for us
His love that reaches in with nailed scarred hands
massaging cold, lonely, and hardened hearts
i felt in her voice a deep desire for those often forgotten by our world
our world of "Christian this" or Christian that"
i was challenged and reminded by her response,,,
once we are His by baptism,
we are no longer only about our families, jobs, hobbies, parishes, dreams and desires,
He owns those now,
and like His "....Beloved, with whom I am well pleased"
we have to be about the things of the Father,
going to the places and people the Beloved hung with,
Jesus, the Beloved, God's crazy love in the flesh..
and as the road for His dearest Son lead to Calvary,
so too will we carry our cross,
crucified to the world,
before we burst from an empty tomb,
let's bring as many with us as we can..
hallelujah..mercy Lord!


Thursday, January 7, 2010


snow in Mississippi
cold in Mississippi
dang cold!
we don't see much snow down here
it's beautiful
the limbs of trees are blanketed in white
the naked branches of winter
we live on a hill
surrounded by oaks and maples
as i write this
 wisps of snow are dancing through the top of an old oak
the pristine white of new fallen snow
of course it reminds us of our sins,
as Isaiah's dictates for God,
"Come now let us reason together,
though your sins are like scarlet
I will make them as white as snow?
once again,
God uses nature to remind us of His crazy love..


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a beautiful thing

none of us really know anything
we're not suppose to down here on this good earth
St. Paul said we don't live by sight
sight has to do with "knowing"
i.e...."i'll believe it when i see it"
"knowing" is what is coming on down the line...
"we shall know as we have been known"
"knowing" is not what moves us anyway
not really
"knowing" often fills us with a strange pride
our peacock feathers bloom
our self confidence soars
our noses point skyward
we have to look down to see others..
stop it!
what moves us?
what really makes fire in our bellies?
what makes us willing to dig beyond our petty complacency, status quo.
our lukewarm lunacy?
"faith is the assurance of things HOPED for"
the foundation of hope is humility
hope births kindness
hope is childlike
hope is trusting
hope is mysterious
hope is art
hope allows our eyes to focus on the One we can trust
the One who gives us hope
it's a beautiful thing


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interview to air this Sunday 4:30 Eastern, and "Go West "Young" Man!"

Hello folks, i have some great news. I will be the guest this Sunday at 4:30 (Eastern Time) on Ave Maria Radio. The show is called "Notes from Above" hosted by Tom Loewe and Sr. Sarah Burdick. They are going to play music from Soul and Beloved , asking me about the tunes and what else is going on. Please tune in and let me know you did....and say a prayer for me if you think about it..

Sunday, 4:30 p.m., and then again on the following Wednesday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. (all times Eastern). "Notes From Above" can be heard around the world during those days and times on (just punch the "listen live" button).


Go West Young Man! I am heading for California for a two week tour! Jim King, who lives out in California, saw me on The Journey Home back in August and decided he wanted me to come out to his neck of the woods and play some songs. Thank God for Jim King! He has worked his tale off setting this up, and i will be very busy from January 13-28.  Here is the schedule so far, (more dates will be added soon I am told.) Thankfully, I have sold a good many CD's all over California, so if you live near any of these places please come out.. i would love to meet you.




FRIDAY 1/22/10

San Francisco, CA


I will update more shows when I know, and, all of this info is now on my website home page....

Peace, and please keep me in your prayers,


yesterday a banjo player came over,
i am thinking about using him on the next album,
(Lord willing i get to do one..)
i am not sure what the initials JT stand for..
possibly nothing
i have written a bunch of new songs, 20 so far,
it is going to be a very candid collection of songs
dealing with real stuff going on all around and within us everyday
in one song i recall when my mother left home,
i was 12
and the orange stool my grandmother was sitting on when she told me
will forever stay vivid in my minds eye
one song is about a married couple in a circus troup,
"she the beauty and he the brawn"
a folk album about folk
disappointments, anxieties, lost love, hope, God's mercy, true love, the mystery of death
doubt, faith, and how love changes it all..
JT started playing along on one called Wayfarer's Heart,
a song inspired by St. Augustin,
and i realized the banjo could be pretty cool.
it is not a song you would typically hear banjo..
A  priest friend asked me why i was inspired to write an album like this
i told him i think it has to do with what the Lord keeps in front of my eyes lately,
couples we know divorcing, people losing their jobs,
friends with illness, the miracle of true love,
stories of loss, and enduring faith from people all over the country,
the ironies of living..
hope in the shadows
i think the banjo may really be cool on some of this stuff..
please pray for me if you think about it..


Monday, January 4, 2010


apart from Him we can do nothing
but we try
we wake up without Him
we go to work without Him
we try to be a good spouse or parent or child without Him
we even try to be religious or "spiritual" without Him
this is what it looks like,
we become bored with our existence
we look for something else to give us strength to go on,
we look for something else to give us a high
be it work, education, sports, food, legal drugs, illegal drugs,
beer, wine, whiskey, not drinking at all, being righteous, sex, etc..
i am not talking about people who don't claim Jesus,
i am talking about those of us who do
protestant and catholic
we are all capable of a doing a lot of things in the name of meaning and purpose,
but without God,
nothing will sustain our "fighting the good fight"
believing isn't enough according to scripture,
"even devils believe, and they shudder" says St. James.
faith alone isn't enough,
you and i can have "the faith to move mountains" St. Paul says,
without love he says, "I have nothing."
so, here we are back to the daily grind of a new year..
we have our faith, our hope,
but apart from God, Who is Love,
we have nothing
may this be the year we dig deeper into the untold treasure of He Himslef..
into the endless reaches of His giving Heart,
His reaching out for our undivided attention,
His desire to do through us,
to be in us,
to be the very Food that feeds our weary souls..
filling us with His crazy love,
so that our faith and hope will matter
for apart from Him we can do nothing..


Sunday, January 3, 2010

John Wesley

The Blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as when she brought him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.--John Wesley, reformer and founder of the Methodist Denomination

nineteen years ago,
we named our newborn son Wesley
after reading this quote today,
i am even happier we did so.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

late night at work..

i gave a friend of mine a rosary last night
we work together and we have talked occasionally about faith
he said he learned the rosary when he was a young boy
i asked him the last time he prayed it
he said when he was a young boy
we sat there on a very slow night
i reminded him how to pray it
we went over the prayers
but most important,
i told him what the point of the rosary really is,
to meditate on the life of Jesus
to pray for help
to pray for others
all in the context of the gospel lived and taught by Jesus
he seemed surprised by this
as if he had never known this
he told me he would keep it close to him


Friday, January 1, 2010

Mary, Mother of God

i truly feel great sorrow for Christians who do not understand the beautiful role of Mary,
our spiritual mother
according to the early Church fathers
a wrong view of Mary is to have a wrong view of Jesus.
St. Paul told the Galatians "God sent his Son, born of a woman,
then he says,
"God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out 'Abba, Father!'
the early Church knew how important understanding Mary's role was to
 understanding who Jesus really is,
 fully God, fully man..
today is not special because it is the beginning of the new year
if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior,
today is special because it is the celebration of Mary, the Mother of God
which is to celebrate the great mystery of God becoming a man..
the Incarnation
it is all about Jesus!
for some reason, this proclamation by the Church Jesus started offends some Christians
when it should fill all people who love Jesus with great hope and joy!!
the term "Mother of God" appears in the 3rd century Church to describe Mary
because some were saying Jesus was not fully man
and some were saying He was not fully God
The doctrine of the Incarnation was under attack
Understanding Mary's role became vital to right belief in the Trinity
if she is not the Mother of God,
then Jesus is not God
Calling her Mother of God gives glory to Jesus,
Who St. John calls,
"The Word Who was from the beginning".
this is the One Mary carried in her womb of flesh
God gets His flesh from Mary
in this is our hope
we who live in this skin, this humus
She was the first disciple
the first one saved by God through the work of Jesus
the first one to obey Him perfectly,
and especially this should give us hope,
the first one filled with grace..
I ask her daily to pray for me and my family
that we too may be filled with grace
and when i fail,
she lovingly encourages me to keep going
to keep reaching for her Son,
having her as our spiritual mother is an incredible gift of grace
a gift that helps me know and love Jesus more than I could without her..
it's all about Jesus....