My Story, My Song

Just over a year ago, I was filmed for an episode of “My Story, My Song” a TV show that comes on the Hope Channel. The episode was aired several times over this past year (2010).  It included a 30 minute two-part interview segment followed by a 30 minute segment just featuring music. For the music portions I was joined by my homeboy Evert Nugent who accompanied my singing on the piano.

Below is video of one of the songs from the music segment (“He Looked Beyond My Faults” – Dottie Rambo). Followed by the entire interview portions. Each of the interview portions also conclude with a song. The first one concludes with the original song – “Grateful for You” and the second also ends with an original song entitled “Inseverable Love”. To learn more about my music visit http://adonaimusic.net.

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Inseverable Love

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“Inseverable” is defined in Stevo’s World Dictionary as “something that can’t be severed” (a game of Scrabble anyone?). “Inseverable Love” is a song I wrote with my buddy Ean in high school, it later became a favorite among the original song repertoire of my high school male vocal group (learn about that here - The Last Chapter Files).  Last year I met up with Ean and he hastily recorded to my computer via the “line in” the piano parts to a couple of the songs we wrote in high school, the first one I posted here - An Original Rendition (…alas), “Inseverable Love” is the second and in the track above you’ll hear Ean’s playing along with the vocal parts that I just finished recording. This version of the song is much more to the point than when we originally sang it in a group setting, so it clocks in at just under 3 minutes long.

Like the other songs on this blog that I recorded in my room, expect to hear all the marks of a recording put together by someone who doesn’t have a clue what he is doing – sound distortion, background noise, pops, uneven levels, and a few out of pitch notes (which I guess I really can’t blame on my technical recording naiveté … oh well). Yet my hope is that you’ll get the idea and hopefully be blessed by the message of the song. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

“If God be for us, who can be against us?
Tell me what might can separate us —
Not height, not depth, nor life or death
can sever the love of Jesus from His people.”

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Consolation for a New Year

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A little over a year ago when I first downloaded this song I had it on repeat for a couple of days because of how comforting it was to me for whatever reason at that time in my life. I was pleased to find the original accompaniment track also available for purchase, so I snagged it immediately and began learning it myself. The track above is a live recording of my singing at a memorial service of a young man who died this year in his early 40s of an illness. I never knew this man personally, but I do stand at the threshold of a new year with some sorrow because the new year offers no further promise of the comradely I once enjoyed with my good friend Joshua Hodges, a young man in his 20s that also passed away this year.

Joshua Hodges - Rest In Peace

Other than the loss of Joshua, many other special friends of mine have suffered the loss this year of very important people in their lives. It is my hope that the message of this song can bring comfort in the new year to those who are entering it with some some sorrow or discouragement. Perhaps one of the most significant (and most observable) benefits of faith in God is the comfort He brings to us during our times of sadness and trouble. “Blessed be… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we are ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abounds in us so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:3-5)

The original artist who sings this song, David Phelps, has a voice and vocal abilities that perhaps is one of the closest examples we’ll have to angelic singing on this side of eternity.

You can download the original song from iTunes here – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-voice/id290073485

I would also highly recommend you check out his rendition of “No More Night” by watching it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vX3HHtytDo

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Christians Please Stop Bullying Folks – Its Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Here is a refreshingly frank message from Pastor Shawn Boonstra addressing the rather increasingly violent and intolerant behavior of some Christians toward others who don’t see things the exact same way they do. You can catch more Pastor Boonstra action on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday, or by visiting itiswritten.com.

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A Joyful Ode to Joy!

Quality music that all can appreciate.

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A Novel Noel

Recession Christmas

I figured the Christmas season might be the perfect time to put an end to my long blog posting drought this year. For my resurrection post I’ve decided to share a novel idea for Christmas that a coworker shared with me a couple of years ago and would perhaps be particularly handy during a holiday season mired in a tough global recession. This idea is from the folks at Adventist Conspiracy, and what they’re suggesting is this: instead of participating in another round of the bankrupt/break-your-bank-account consumerism X-mas tradition, why not start celebrating CHRISTmas by participating in the tradition that Christ has left for us, i.e. giving to those in need?

Then Jesus said to His host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ ” (Luke 14:12-14)

Although this passage is referring to “banquets” I’m sure you, like I, can see how easily the principle Jesus is teaching here translates into the modern day Christmas gift giving ritual. Here are 3 videos from Advent Conspiracy, the first one is the video I saw for the first time 2 years ago, the second is the 2009 update, and the third provides a snapshot of how rewarding the practice of this idea can be. I’d also consider it a shame for me not to tip my hat to the clever typographic animation and design used in the promo videos; so yah here…

So why not be proactive this Christmas in participating in a cause worthy of our money, especially during a time when we don’t have a lot of it to waste?

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Singing in LA

My Tribute:

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He Loved Me With The Cross:
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The month of May this year was quite an eventful one for me. I paid my first visit to Jamaica to celebrate the union of two college friends (one of the two I’ve known since grade school. I mentioned a bit about them here: http://yostevo.com/blog/?p=54 ). After returning from my exciting caribbean excursion with old friends, I again repacked my bags a week later and made a trip north to my former place of abode in Washington State, where I again participated in the marriage ceremony of two other good friends of mine. Before the month was done I also manage to hit the quarter century milestone in years of life (I now have one year to figure out how I can prevent the aging processes from continuing and thus effectively freeze age at 25 for the rest of my life. I’ll certainly accept any ideas/help I can get to accomplish this).

The month of May also happened to be a busy time at work as well. Beyond having to meet a couple project deadlines, as I could while I was around I participated in a prophecy seminar effort that the non-profit ministry I work for was hosting in downtown Los Angeles during the entire the month of May. The series was well attended and well received throughout, and it turned out to be quite an exiting and successful endeavor overall. Beside featuring logically sequenced and riveting Bible prophecy presentations, each night of the meetings also featured musical selections from various musicians and vocalists, and I found it pretty awesome when I was asked for a few nights to be among those vocalists that provided a number to open up the lecture. I ended up providing five songs on four different nights in this way during the course of the campaign. On a few nights they managed digitally capture a recording of some of my performances. My boss (our executive creative director) was nice enough to rummage through the clips and fix up the audio files that contained my performances. I’ve posted above a couple of the tracks he gave me. They’re entitled “My Tribute” and He Loved Me With The Cross” respectively.

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An Original Rendition (…alas)

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Once again my blog has seen another drought, this time the reason being that since my last post till this one I have relocated from Spokane, Washington to Simi Valley, California (a 1,200 mile trek), and I am now settled in and starting to make my self at home in my new habitat. Thus once again to make up for my blogging neglect I have sought to share something new in this latest post.

If you’ve visited before you’ve probably noticed one of a continuing series of posts containing great songs that I have sung and have been obtained by way of a “5 finger discount” from another popular artist. I’ve entitled them the “Bootleg Renditions” which is now three parts in. You can learn more about them here – Part 1, Part 2, Part3. While my bootlegging ways have by no means come to an end, I think its about time I shared another one of the 15 songs I have both co-authored and performed during my high school and college years (I wrote about this briefly in my “About” page and in my post “The Last Chapter Files”). The song I’m sharing with you this time is entitled “Grateful For You” and actually has a bit of history behind it. (more…)

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Bootleg Renditions: Prt 3 – A Christmas Carol

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Song Title: O Holy Night

Original Artist: Mariah Carey

For the third episode in my “Bootleg Renditions” saga I’ve recorded an adaptation of a very popular – and my favorite – Christmas carol.  This particular arrangement was made popular by Mariah Carey. Since I’ve sung this selection quite a few times I was able to record it through in just one take. Hope you enjoy it.  Merry Christmas!

You can purchase the original song from Mariah Carey’s Christmas album off of Amazon.com by clicking this link – http://tinyurl.com/7grk9h.

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Sexual Healing

Part one of three:

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Part two of three:
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Part three of three:
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This past weekend I made my second trip to the Seattle area with a few friends. While my friends and I were traveling back home, we listen to this powerful and insightful series on sex and sexuality by John Nixon. When we had made an end of listening, the cerebral and deeply spiritual words of the minister conjured up in my home-ward bound vehicle several noticeable minutes of silent reflection before we discussed at length for most of the remaining drive how blessed we were by the series. Therefore upon arriving home it became a priority for me to share this blessing with the next few folk who’d holler “Yo Stevo” via the web to learn what’s been poppin’ in my neck of the woods recently.

Pastor Nixon being one of my favorite religious speakers, as I have afore mentioned, certainly exceeded my expectation with this series. For I usually find that when the topic of sex is discussed in religious venues that most of the time is devoted to talking up the hard-line moral commandments on the issue or perhaps mulling over to the ubiquity and dauntingness of the sexual struggle in the young Christian demographic, but while the youth lick their wounds the pervasive problems concerning sex and infidelity in married and older couples only receive a brief after-thought. What I liked about Nixon’s Spirit-led approach was that he sought to provide his listeners with a well rounded and deeper understanding of God’s design and intent for our sexuality while highlighting the practicality and statistical findings that make a case for doing things God’s way when it comes to sex. At the end of the series it is easy to conclude that it makes sense for singles to wait, for married couples to remain faithful while enjoying freely in the gift of sex as a holy sacrament blessed by God, and for all to devote their thoughts and the entirety of their character to be in keeping with the benevolent guidelines which God has given. Nixon emphasizes throughout the need on of divine help, and the message is saturated with hope for those who have floundered in this area and are seeking healing and reform.

Perhaps, though, I could have spared myself some typing, and you the rambling, if I reasoned that it would suffice to just say that I found these sermons to be a very meaningful, and I think they will be to you too if this topic is relevant in your life.

You can find more of Pastor Nixon’s stuff here: http://www.collegedalechurch.com/?id=121

*Update – You can access the podcast from iTunes that includes this series by clicking this link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=211678825

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