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.
“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.”
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.
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
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.
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?
He Loved Me With The Cross:
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.
Last week the temperatures in the portion of Southern California where I live breached the 100 degree mark. I understand that this type of heat attack during the middle of spring was unusual even for Southern Cali. I loved it. But I also experienced the major downfall of this type of climate behavior when I realized that I could no longer cover myself with my fluffy down comforter at night without waking up the next morning in a sweaty mess. As I was pondering a solution to this “dire perplexity”, I considered blasting on the AC at night (despite the additional expense) so that I might once again have cause to reunite with my fluffy warm down comforter. Although I ultimately decided to “sweat it out” for the next couple of nights until the temperature dropped again and just open up my window in the mean time, I shared a chuckle with myself as I realized that despite the reality of living amidst a withering global economy many us will not be giving up our front row seats in the lap of luxury anytime soon.
However do not now brace your self for guilt trip. My purpose here is not at all to knock the pleasantries that accompany postmodern Western hemisphere living that many of us now enjoy. Nevertheless, shouldn’t we fortunate westerners as common members of the human race (and most particularly those of us that consider ourselves followers of Jesus) be ever seeking to relieve the suffering endured by the unfortunate members of our race who have feelings just like us and yet spend much of their existence battling disease while gasping for the basic necessities of survival?
If you’ve paid the slightest bit of attention to the news concerning the boiling economic crisis taking place in our country, you’ve heard and read how our government has felt compelled — even amidst a tight budget (i.e. billions of dollars in debt) — to bail out with billions of tax dollars banks, lenders, investors, and even automobile businesses. Many of the executives who managed these bailout beneficiaries are among the wealthiest in our wealthy nation. They are now in need of government intervention to stay afloat because many of them ran their company and their trade under a policy of greed and excess. It just makes laugh to watch how desperately greedy these cats are, who after having their greed and mismanagement exposed are yet not embarrassed to scramble for undeserving multi-million dollar bonuses despite being under the most intense public scrutiny. Who can say this global economic evil is not rooted in the love of money?
Notwithstanding, I think we (the grassroots citizens) could glean some principles for action from our government’s bailout response to this economic crisis by casting our vote for a new generation of “bailout bills”. While being on a tight “recession budget” we could yet allocate some of our funds to necessary bailout endeavors, but these bailouts will not serve the squandering opulent, but rather the desperately needy population, the majority of whom were dealt a bad hand in life to begin with and live from day to day seeing no way out. This new kind of “legislation” will be in line with the plan that our Divinely elected heavenly Commander-in-Cheif has outlined for lasting change 2,000 years ago. The foundational tenants of His plan reads “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
The video below is the latest proposal I have come across of such a “bill”. I first saw this presentation and met some of the medical students behind this idea a week ago while participation in a small conference on the campus of Loma Linda University. I was moved to say the least. Have a look:
Now more than ever is the admonition of the apostle relevant to us today. “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). While we witness a weakening dollar, cash strapped banks, and the values of so many investments plummeting let us invest in endeavors which will pay off both in this present age and in the age to come. I hope in the future to continue to bring to our attention other fruitful and worthy projects that could use our help, so stay on the look out.
Click here to visit the LLU Haiti Mission Project website to learn more.
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…)
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.