Thursday, August 30, 2012
1 Most of our struggles exist not because of the difficulty of the whole but because we fear the first step.
2. We all talk about how isolated we are in our culture but we never seem to change it. In two weeks I've butted into conversations with dosens of total strangers and to my great surprize everyone seems to have enjoyed it.
3. Some of the most profound conversations will happen with the people you least expect it from.
4. I can't drink coffee and walk at the same time.
5. I can however endure the inquisitive looks of those who notice a somewhat conspicuous coffee stain on my shirt.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
1. Learning a new language is tough, but not nearly so tough as I thought. I wish fear hadn't kept me from trying to learn the biblical languages earlier
2. I've been way too cynical in the past. I've seen that Christian community when truly attempted, truly works. It's not perfect, but by God's grace it is glorious.
3. Why didn't anyone in South Dakota tell me that cock roaches are that stupidly big in real life?
4. When surrounded by those with the same skills, I'm am remarkably unremarkable.
5. Being remarkable really has nothing to do with happiness.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, August 29, 2011
I thought it would be fun to take a break from my usual writing on theology and Christian living and take a few blog posts to talk about my other great passion music. Ever stumbled upon an album and wondered where this artist was your whole life? The fact of the matter is modern music promotion isn’t designed to promote the newest and hottest not the classics and greats; even less so albums that are hidden gems that don’t immediately sell well. Often great albums are overlooked by the masses because they are out of their time or just simply because they didn’t advertise well. Well no longer! Here they are (in no particular order) the top 20 albums you probably never thought to buy.
1. Unforgettable, with Love- Natalie Cole
Genre: Jazz, Big Band
Now arguably this album shouldn’t make this list at all. After all an album that has sold 7 million copies hardly qualifies as an “album you never thought to buy” however I never cease to be amazed by how many people under 30 have never even heard of it. Natalie Cole released the album to pay homage to her father, jazz legend Nat King Cole. As such the casual or new jazz listener may hear many songs they know, but didn’t know were Nat King Cole standards.
The Youtube age has given the title track “Unforgetable” a great deal of staying power, and the track is deeply touching as father and daughter do the duet they never had the chance to do in life. However, listeners who only explore this title track will miss some of the best this album has to offer. Natalie does wonderful covers of “Orange Colored Sky”, “Smile”, and oft overlooked classic “Avalon”. Natalie made her career in throaty R & B but she proves she has the pipes for Jazz, with a tender handling of “Mona Lisa”.
In addition the band arrangements are perfect big band. Never simple, but not too ornate to cover the singer, these arrangements give the listener the feel that “this is what big band should sound like”. Even more so, the players do the tunes great justice, showing particular mastery on “This can’t be love”.
This album offers some hidden benefit as well. If you’re new to Jazz and big band, this album is a great primer. It offers 22 big band vocal classics with great players and arrangements, for less than the price of a pizza. And to top it off it’s all new recordings so it will be easy listening for the casual listener who has a bit of trouble listening to older jazz albums due to their recording quality. All around an album that shouldn’t have been forgotten.
… next week R&Bappella?
(c) Jamin Eben 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I once heard a dear brother in the Lord express his ministry philosophy, in part, with this formula:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
We are out for me
I am out for me
I must listen to me
look out for me
Why not no one else will
though I do expect them to
I will look to me to make me happy
I will look to me to make me fullfiled
I will look to me to love me
and if I fail to fulfill any of these things,
I will certainly not blame me
I will not see me as selfish
At least not as selfish as he is
at least not as bad as she is
at least not as uptight as he is
Me is just good enough to deserve a good life
Maybe even heaven, tian, or nirvana
what ever I choose
because no one knows better than me
everyone better than me is amazing
everyone worse is a disappointment
I will love me
provide for me
and expect you to do so too
Why wouldn't you?
Don't you like me?
I can't see why not?
I like me
well most of the time I like me
and when I don't like me,
I will work to like me
I will spend time liking me
I let me tell me I forgive me and love me
I will let me lead me
After all the best truth is to follow my heart
so me is a perfectly good guide to me
Me is the lord of my domain
me is the captain of my soul
the sovereign of me is me
unless something bad happens to me
then it wasn't my fault.
I wonder why I have trouble finding people to love me
I wonder if they too are looking out for me
Luke 9:23-24 (NIV) Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it."
© Jamin Eben 2011