Protest Ain’t Pretty, But It Works. Just Ask the U.S.

President Trump recently lambasted the NFL owners for agreeing to not require players to stand for the national anthem. I think a different outcome would’ve been full of legal challenges, but despite that, the owners made it clear they sided with those ballers who felt it their right and privilege to exercise that form of protest. I’m sure by now you know the background of this story so I won’t rehearse it again except to say that the original intent of the “kneeling” protest was about injustice. That the values, rights, and privileges symbolized by the flag are not experienced equally among all community groups. But somehow kneeling during the national anthem became framed as disrespectful to the men and women whose commitment to this country is often paid for in blood. In fact, those choosing to protest in this manner were called “Sons of Bitches” by none other than the President of the United States.

Some weeks earlier, a group of white nationalists marched into Charlottesville Virginia to protest the removal of Confederate statues. They deem those statues as historical artifacts, that they represent an aspect of this country that’s worth preserving. That protest was met with counter-protestors during which time a young white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors killing a woman and injuring others. President Trump, however, refused to initially condemn that protest and rather said both groups shared equal responsibility. He would go on to say “there were very fine people” in the white nationalists’ march. I won’t argue the obvious moral contrasts here except to call attention to the response of the President when faced with a challenge to a constitutional right versus a personal point of view.

Most protests stir up feelings of anger and disdain especially when it interrupts routine activities or contrasts with the moment. Many wish protestors would just disappear and never come back. Trump wanted the players to be fired immediately and told to get off the field before the start of the game. The Mayor of Charlottesville told the Nationalist protestors, “they were not welcome”.

Protests are inconvenient, usually, about an uncomfortable subject, can cause resentment and can become violent and/or destructive. In short, protests are anything but pretty. This country was founded on the heels of a protest that erupted into what became known as the Boston Tea Party. And that protest was a spark that would ultimately lead to the Declaration of Independence.


Bad Health Despite Health Coverage

Since President Obama took office during his first term, we’ve heard a lot of acrimonious talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) most call “Obamacare”. The issue of healthcare for all or some promises to drive a wedge between Americans trying to decide where they stand on the issue. I won’t argue the merits either for or against but, an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, expresses the view that healthcare doesn’t of itself add up to better health, in fact on some levels there is a decline of health as he cited the experience of his uncle who became less active, consequently less healthy, after getting on Medicare.

Such news may not be headline-grabbing but, the view supported by this article is that good health rather, is the product of a lifestyle of behaviors, diets and habits that together create the framework that produces “good health”. Something that cannot be “mandated”. Dr. Gupta’s assessment of what he calls “baseline benefits” indicate its better to be insured versus having no insurance at all. Never-the-less, the focus of our attention on whether having access to universal healthcare as a panacea overlooks the greater problem which usually is a lack of personal interest in something as simple as exercise, proper hygiene, well balanced diets and adequate rest.

In 1969, during the Vietnam War, a battle was fought over a heavily fortified mound of dirt called “Hamburger Hill”. This particular skirmish caused a national outcry because it had no strategic value. After ten days of fighting, more than 1000 soldiers died, tons of ordinance had been expended, and excessive mission resources had been committed to a losing effort. Eventually the plan to take Hamburger Hill was abandoned and a different war strategy ensued. This is not to suggest that ACA is a modern day Hamburger Hill that ultimately will be deserted. However, “health” without a proper strategy will definitely not have “good” in front of it.


Frustration Abounds



Ever talk to a frustrated sound technician, Pastor, church member about the audio problem? I have, and its usually not very pretty. Over the years, I’ve witnessed many moments where the contention and disagreement would quietly (or loudly) divide members with some leaving disgruntled, searching for better sounding pastures.

Bad sounding audio is usually a mixture of equipment malfunction, operator error, speaker placement or electrical issues, all of which can have a devistating affect on an otherwise pleasant worship experience. Not to worry, there is help. Don’t let your frustrations continue unaddressed. Support you media department by:

1. Send them to relevant conferences, seminars and workshops. If budgets are an issue ( and they usually are) consider purchasing books, CDs, or DVDs that offer solutions to some of the audio issues your church may have.

2. Figure out creative ways to upgrade or purchase necessary equipment the absence of which would negatively impact the service.

Remember, your problems aren’t unique, it has been addressed by somebody somewhere.

You can contact me if you need assistance…

Music Business, Uncategorized

West Coast Music & Worship Conference – 7 times

Just got back from the 7th annual West Coast Music & Worship Conference hosted by Diedre Hodnett and company. It was well planned, superbly executed without a hitch. It’s growing numbers are a testament to the relevant programming and quality presenters that bring an obvious spirituality backed by talent and skill.

This conference left the participants feeling full, excited and inspired. The finale concert was a highlight and put an exclamation point on the reason we come together and praise the Lord. Can’t Wait till next year to do it all over again…


The Verdict Is In!!!

6 people just returned a verdict of “Not Guilty” for George Zimmerman in a much watched case about his shooting of unarmed 17 year old “Trayvon Martin”. Regardless of the verdict and the heightened emotions around the case, many questions linger about the sense of justice when the facts “as presented” didn’t satisfactorily implicate wrongdoing. Consequently, one man walks free, having killed another man because of a lack of clear evidence showing malicious intent (at least for 6 people).

One thing’s certain though, life is fragile and often, “justice standeth afar off”. At any given moment we may be called to give up life under a variety of circumstances that we can not control. Make certain your “calling and election are sure”, that the words “Well done, good and faithful servant” will be yours to hear. Trayvon Martin is only one of thousands that experience untimely and unnecessary death. A tragedy for sure yet, when that day comes for you and I, The Verdict Is In!!! Will you have everlasting forgiveness or condemnation? Give your life to Christ while the jury is still out!!!


Time to Reflect

Much is happening in the world that speaks to the faith and hope of those looking for the soon coming of Jesus Christ. Many of today’s conversations are politically motivated and some Christians are drawn into often confusing debates about things the bible is clear on. This is a time when we should consider if we are maturing into the full stature of Christlike man/woman. The  issues of the day may be important within the spectrum of the broad social interaction and there is a time and a season to speak and act. However those of us looking for the soon return of our Savior know that His appearing is nearer than when we first believed. Its time to reflect on where you may be standing when that day comes.


Upcoming GMWA

The upcoming GMWA in Cincinnati Ohio promises to be another event of dynamic proportions. For all reading this blog I invite you to attend at least one or all of the upcoming sessions I will be hosting on the topic “Legal Issues involving the Music Industry”. This is a class formerly taught by Attorney Garrett Johnson.

Over the years Mr. Johnson has provided expertise and wisdom for all that have found his class a source of knowledge and a wellspring of experience. I’m sure he will pop in from time to time and indeed will be welcome.

Each class discussion will be available in PDF format for those that want to download the outline and access any additional information relevant to the discussion. Additionally I encourage you to participate in the online *World Cafe discussion as we talk about the business and legal issues of the gospel music industry and how they impact you.

I invite your comments and look forward to hearing of your success. For further help in the areas of strategy, analysis and consultation don’t hesitate to email.

*World Café Community Foundation