via TimeTravel™ scroll y2k5: June
In order to concentrate on other areas, I don't know when I will update this journal.
There are many links to other areas so I encourage you to hang out awhile and look around.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Early Sunday morning, Macdonald Wreh called me for 'Father's Day.' So, we met him at the Galt United Methodist Church and heard Pastor Craig Dale preach an important passage from Isaiah 61. I was reminded of meeting Macdonald in Liberia and gave thanks to God for having been included in His plans for Liberia. This song was built upon that passage.
lyrics for The Year of Our Lord
From there we went to the Epicenter to hear Doug Shepherd preach a wonderfully short message: Tips for Dads (as you can see below, that topic interests me)
Sunday, June 19, 2005
As many of you know
God has given me the
privilege to have four
children call me Dad™.
Joseph is now 19.
Jeremiah will be 18 soon.
Daniel is 16.
Mary will be 14 soon.
(Mary and Jerry have the same birthday.)
I'm not the first person to use the name Dad as my trademark but for those four
kids--that's me: Dad.
After Cathy and I got married we started 'trusting the Lord' for babies immediately. As we did our best to serve the Lord, we received each child as a gift from Him. In the midst of our ministry experience, it somehow made sense that God was entrusting us with a very special assignment. I soon awakened to the thought that with each year of being a Daddy, I was growing in my knowledge of God's Love for all of us.
Years ago, Henry Blackaby spoke to a group of California pastors and told us (with humble confidence) that 'God was active in our grandfathers' lives.' That statement has resonated in my heart and mind during the years since.
At the last men's prayer meeting, I heard a brother praying about his growing compassion for what his own father (and what he could imagine of his own struggles in life). 'Hearing' the heart of this precious man talk to the Lord about his Dad blessed me to pray specifically for all of us as Dads (and sons). I suppose I'm being especially tender-hearted about it because of this Sabbatical time..
My church has given me a gift of 120 days to set apart for rest, reflection, and study. The time will be coming to a close soon and I have much to process still. Although my mother died over 40 years ago, my Dad is still very active at nearly 76 years of age.
His father, Robert White Patterson
(a WWI veteran) died when my Dad was only 8. One night after our Mother died, Dad revealed for the first time that he had also lost a parent as a child.
Somehow it helped us to know that he understood our loss. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed watching Dad be himself. His peculiar personality was surely shaped by having to face life without his own Dad.
His Uncle Tom and grandfather,
Frank Peterson, must have been the role models that he was able to observe.
Dad's only living sister, Sally, was 4 when their father died. They have modeled a special loving relationship for all of us our entire lives. It was only a few years ago that Dad told Sally he had been given the privilege of 'naming' her ('Sally' was the name of his friend's dog).
I think that it troubled Sally to be named after a dog.
Although, Grandma probably asked him for his
childlike input, I don't think that she would have chosen to name her next baby girl after a playmate's dog. After all, her first daughter Bonna Lura (who died in infancy) had been named after an ancestor.
Did Grandma name her after Sally Jagger? (mentioned in the letter written my Joseph Patterson in 1855) click here
As a young man my Dad met Freida and brought her home to meet Sally. Aunt Sally recently told me that she was surprised when her brother showed up with such a great girlfriend. She asked herself, "Where did he find her?"
Dick and Freida had five children. I was their 4th kid.
This picture was taken rather early in their marriage of 13 years.
Sally and her husband had six kids.
Not long ago, Aunt Sally's husband, Bob, died rather unexpectedly. They had been married for 50 years.
I'm happy that Dad and Sis still have each other after all these years. I'm glad that I still have both of them around too.
Dad doesn't like to talk about these things; it saddens him. So, I won't share this entry with him. Instead, I'll call Dad and tell him that I love him. I'll say, "Happy Father's Day" and he'll probably end our brief conversation with this admonition: "Keep swinging!" (even though we never played ball even once as father and son). awat
Postlude: Well, I called Dad. He wasn't gonna say, 'Keep swinging." So, I said it to him....he replied, "You bet." (or something close to that...I love my Dad).
Saturday, June 18, y2k5 sd79
fbcgalt flowchart: CLICK HERE
(how long will it take?)
June 18: At this morning's prayer meeting, I was looking at this diagram (still hanging on the wall from the day I shared it with some of our church members).
Less than 100 days later, I could see that God has moved our little church back and forth on most of the paths represented.
Although I timed it at 1:46 to load when I first published it, I noticed that a click on our hi-speed channel allowed it to pop up in less than 2 seconds.
fbcgalt flowchart: CLICK HERE
(...up to 1:46 to load)
Last night Joe, Cathy, Mary, Daniel, and I drove to Sacramento to visit Visual and Performance Art Center (VAPAC). In addition to college preparatory classes and several performance arts electives, they offer a Digital Editing component. We think this environment will help or son, Daniel, enhance his skills while broadening his knowledge of Fine Arts.
Gifted Epicenter vocalist, Katie
Santillan also plans to enter 7th grade at the
same charter school. VAPAC had acquired and remodeled
several buildings (formerly an Army Reserves
training center). Our guided tour of the facilities
was completed with an informative, personal
interview which motivated us to proceed with the
We were happy to have the opportunity to meet the Video/Film teacher, Ms. Sosa. She has two masters' degrees from U.C.L.A. (in theatre and film). It should be quite interesting to share this educational experience alongside these two serious students.
Today, there's a yard sale for three teenagers going on International Missions trips at 653 A Street, Galt, California.
Joe and I worked all day and night yesterday on tweaking some aspects of this website. He has started a website scavenger hunt and had
19 hits on its first day.
Yesterday was another good day for visitors: 363 with 1,953 page views. Looking at these statistics are interesting for us as we brainstorm about what next to do.
Something else that happened yesterday was a surprise. 106 hits on the Liberia page bringing it into the Top Ten thus in June.
This morning I was checking links on
a Greatest Hits list I had made for this site when I
discovered a spyware virus had popped up on one of
I was looking at Micah Tomlinson's response to "Silent No More" and noticed a couple hyperlinks that neither he nor I had uploaded. *it was done 'inside' my computer--not on the website--still it kinda shocked me...
So, I'm being proactive here and writing about it (and include a consideration of the issue in the theoretical sections of my prospectus). Be aware that a highjack virus could put 'fake' hyperlinks on some of your viewing material.
Highjack programs also try to replace your homepage or take you to sites other than where you had intended to go. Sounds like the Enemy to me! Bait and Switch.
Hopefully, it doesn't happen to you on your computer but if/when it does, remember this letter from Joe:
It is ironic when you are trying to share truth about the Gay (homosexual) Agenda and your word GAY is used as a link to a homosexual promotion site.
Ironic adj. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.
...this is pastorob broadcasting
from the water tower
at the Epicenter . . .
Don't forget to remember.
Wake-up was at 3:50 for me this morning. So I came down to the newly remodeling thinking/writing and broadcast space at Studio 163 and did some statistical work for my doctorate.
My good friend, Tom Lane has been so busy with his business that he has not taken time out for a VisionWalk™ with yours truly. Yes, I know...somebody's gotta work around here. Still...I miss our walks. Jebby and I are still walking on Fridays (but you know...Jebby... well, he's kinda out there...)
Since Tom admits that he enjoys facts and figures, I am hoping to stir up good works from the left-side of his far-right brain today. Therefore, I dedicate the following hyperlinks to him:
During the first 165 days of Y2K5
pastorob.com had 37,045 unique visitors.
UNIQUE VISITOR STATS for 2005
We also had 96,095 page views.
fbcgreatest hits: CLICK HERE to see for yourself
I was up until 1:00 a.m. trying to get the wireless connection running throughout my house (and at Fry's until closing time).
As one of the 21st Century pilgrims walking down this path (connecting your home to a wireless network), I warn all others who are might be following me, "Watch out for the prickers!" On difficult paths I have always warn about prickers...its the Golden Rule.
Cathy worked very hard while I was in Michigan to get our household in order so that I would have an easy time of transitioning into writing once I got back.
I appreciate all her effort; some aspects of our day-to-day life is so much easier. I have a hope that I will be able to bless many people by publishing the results of this 120 Day investment. I hope also to learn from what others at fbcgalt have learned in my absence.
I've known all along that the Internet is comparable to the Roman Road system which was the communications network in the days of Paul, Silas, Priscilla, Aquila, and other 1st Century voices.
The transition period between dial-up speed limitations and high-speed (for audio/video applications) will continue to impact this site's effectiveness. Until last night, I could not simply Click here and watch the video made in a local park last Sunday. It reminded me of the excitement of adding more than CBS and NBC to the black and white television of my youth.
Some of us wake up slowly while our peers travel across time at much greater speeds.
Even those in boats aren't all in the same boat: Jonah bought a ticket to Tarshish.
Paul, in a different time and context, was traveling in the opposite direction.
Whether our life's message is going high-speed, dial-up, or door-to-door, our motives are being weighed by the Lord.
During these days of rest and reflection, I have been compiling and archiving developmental materials (there is still much more). I have had some feedback from listeners that gives me the confidence that I should continue. Theological reflection should be helpful as I pull together the fragments of my life history toward integrated wholeness.
This is a good place to share some colorful thoughts that are packed with potential. I hope that you're able to connect with a few of them and sing along with me.
In the year ahead, I wanna be ready to consider God's tender mercies, to trust in the Lord, to sing a new song, and to give thanks that I'm saved.
I'm know that I'm blessed as a Child of God, and that loved ones have gone before me and are standing right behind me. I'm no longer being used or using others, because I am crucified with Christ.
Today, I'll turn
my worries into prayer
to keep me
I just gotta get down to it, and serve others, as I walk through whatever door the Lord has opened before me.
Tuesday Evening Update:
This sentence is being broadcast around the world from the Galt Water Tower....and I feel like Alexander Graham Bell right now.
Don't ask me why but it seems like history is being made right, right now. Man, if I could just think of something awesome to say...
"One small tower on C Street,
one big world to reach, sweet."
So, if we could only get the wireless connection to work around the house, I wouldn't have to drive back to Fry's tonight.
45 days left on my Sabbatical. Today, I'm spending the morning with Veda's son. I met with him last Friday to discuss carrying on certain aspects of Veda's visitation ministry. More on that soon.
Later today, I should be able to try broadcasting this journal entry from the Galt Water Tower. Doesn't that sound strange? Also, we will be uploading other sermons from the Sabbatical days (Don Fugate, Tim Gentry, and more of Cliff Hoff).
Currently Joe is digitizing the analog cassette tape from Al Warren's sermon: Rebuild the Walls. Pastor Al had preached that milestone sermon on April 10, y2k5. While the sermon was being preached, Jerry and I were traveling across TimeZones eastward toward my Sabbatical Days in Michigan.
In his message, (audio to be uploaded yet today) Al Warren mentions that the year (1995-96) he served as Interim Pastor at the Epicenter, our town was in the news. First was a story about the water tower in Old Town Galt. The second story was that Galt was the last town of its size to get its very first stoplight. When I drove in to town on a late night (July, 1996), I had to stop at that very light (corner of C Street and Lincoln).
While working on image-ideas for our newsletter, I thought of combining our slogan (From Galt to the Ends of the Earth) with an image of concentric circles emanating from the water tower. This surrealistic, irrational idea should come to pass tomorrow. Lord willing, this journal will be broadcast on the InformationSuperHighway™ from the GaltTower™ through the antennae which have been installed upon it.
Yesterday, Cathy and I shared the Lord's
Supper, Music, and a Sermon with another local
Family Life Community Church. This
body of believers meet in a middle school
During the coffee break, a teenager approached me; she had written me an email earlier in the week and then wrote me another letter today. I have included her questions and answers in this entry: Click Here.
Pastor Frank Mack delivered a message entitled "How God Uses the Ordinary for the Extra-Ordinary."
He challenged us to throw out our pride (wastebaskets with 'pride' placards) were at all entrances and exits. Frank also spoke of a pattern he had developed in life (attributed to his reaction to his parents' divorce). He had become a people-pleaser.
Pastor Frank's message had 4 sub-points on his 3rd point which were nicely alliterated:
Remember the Pit
Frank reminded me to never forget where I came from. He listed several past-life 'pit' options (all of which had been written on my heart of stone).
Refuse the Praise
Frank shared the story of Billy running up to him after his first sermon to compliment him. He had to work through what to do with the praise of men. His father-in-law took him aside for some 'Jethro-type' wisdom.
Recognize the Potter
Looking at yourself in the mirror needs to get past complaining against the Potter's creative decision-making. The Preacher made me think about those first drafts of songs I recently uploaded in my RockSoapOpera.. They are all about looking in the mirror (as a growing Christian) wondering what is the appropriate response to seeing 'flesh' in one's reflection.
Rely on God's Power
Again, the Preacher rehearses the basic truths that have kept me on a continual path toward the Celestial City during my sojourn. "When faced with temptation, there is always a way out." Frank used the New Living Translation which renders 1 Corinthians 10:13 in this way:
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are not different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
Other themes cited by Pastor Frank Mack:
"Don't give up! Don't give up!"
"We're living in bodies that are falling apart....but one day..."
"We don't 'have to' go to church (pray, read the Bible, be baptized) . . . we get to...!"
"The world is looking for Heroes; God is looking for the Humble."
"The Message is always bigger than the messenger."
"Next time Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future."
Pastor Rick Keiser was as joyful, spontaneous, and winsome as ever. The music was sweet (set in those female-friendly keys) and Cathy said, "the drums could have been louder" (something we've noticed at every church we've visited) --that's a joke in deference to the Epicenter's own Rodger Parker.
Upon conclusion of that
service, Cathy and I drove up to Sacramento in
time for the 11:00 a.m. service at
First Baptist Church of Sacramento.
Doug Muraki, Interim Pastor preached a message entitled The Church as a Biblically Grounded Community as part of his current series: Is it Time for an Extreme Makeover?
Before he preached, Jebby led the worship team--much to my delight. He also led the band in a tasteful rendition of his classic title cut: Paper Boy (just prior to the sermon).
Pastor Doug came to the pulpit at the final strain of that song saying, "...and all God's people said..."
The congregation responded: "....Amen."
But Doug quickly interjected that he was looking for this word: "...sweet."
So, I guess pop-culture has infected the historic pulpit at FBC Sacramento too. Pastor Muraki preached a powerful message to this church which is currently searching for her next senior pastor. I thoroughly enjoyed his message and took many notes. He has been in the public ministry for twenty years (but is also a businessman). He invited me to call him for lunch sometime soon (when he saw the extent of my notes).
After church, a friend
came to me and shared an interest in my writings
about the GLBT agenda. I affirmed her sense that
this agenda is being thrust upon us daily--and
that someone ought to say something, in love.
Anybody who watches television and movies, reads magazines, papers, or books, and/or sends their children to public school needs to get used to this acronym: GLBT Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender. I told my friend that I would compile my writings about this topic and send them to her. I told readers of The Advocate that I would not choose that issue for myself; there are children in Liberia who need my attention--but the GLBT's agenda is not healthy for our nation. I don't feel that I can ignore their plans for a Brave New World.
As Eva would say . . . "Ugh."
Sunday, June 12, y2k5 sd73Cathy and I went to Galt's Family Life Church for the early service (Frank Mack, Pastor).
Saturday, June 11, y2k5 sd72My former step-sister, Angela, has 2 sons and a daughter. The middle son, Michael (22) recently graduated with an Advertising degree from WMU in Kalamazoo. He is now living in Colorado. Michael and a college buddy, Katie, drove to California and stopped by the Epicenter last night.
Tomorrow afternoon, the local community (of Galt, California) are invited to join our Councilwoman, Barbara Payne, at Meadowview Park for another exciting event: I LOVE MY PARK (2:00-5:00 p.m.) Epicenter reporters will be on-location shooting mpeg video for international, near-instantaneous coverage of this historic event.
Friday, June 10, y2k5 sd71I'm excited about two letters that were delivered to the mailroom yesterday.
Second, a letter from one of the Epicenter's greatest minds (name withheld to avoid jealousy from lesser-minds). Her (oops) letter opens some more discussion about myspace.com. The writer is a highly-respected woman, a concerned grandmother, a mother, a step-mother, a member of my local church...and...well, you don't need to know any more.
I will respond to both letters later today...but I have to run to Rotary and then for a NorthEastSide® VisionWalk™ with Jebby.
an email response to An Open Letter to GREG BRAYTON (circa. June 8, y2k5)
Hey buddy, this is a
virtual ton o stuff!
---------END-------- St. Gregory Lee to pastorob ---------END--------
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 8:49 PM
My sister--in-law was sending this to her daughter as their church has run into problems with this for their youth. Do you have the link at the end of this? If not you may want to see what it says about myspace.
My sister--in-law was sending this to her daughter as their church has run into problems with this for their youth. Do you have the link at the end of this? If not you may want to see what it says about myspace.
Please view this link of a
Yesterday one of my agents was in our office and we were talking about youth and the computer. This parent told me his kid was a great kid who stays out of trouble. This parent said they monitored their computer -- they keep it downstairs in the family room so they can monitor it. We pulled his son up on the website myspace.com and were horrified and shocked to see that his son has porno sites right on his personal website. This parent is a Christian who has high standards and had no clue His son had this site. In fact MSNBC just quoted 95% of parents have no clue their kids are on this site. This site has 13 million subscribers, World Wide! 52% under the age of 17! This site among children, is more popular than MTV was for us, when we were kids. It is like MTV x 10 on Steroids! It makes MTV look like a Sunday school class! This link below talks about predators that have been using this site to locate children.
Let me know what you think.
Name withheld (not from me...from you..)
pastorob here: Actually, as of 8:25 am PacificTime, myspace.com has 18,252,446 subscribers.
Two of them are me.
Again, I will print a reply later today.
Right now you can scroll down to June 4th to read the last article I published about myspace.com
(Influenced by Welsey, Whitefield, Blessitt, and
Moody), I maintain a site at
Much of my reasoning for being represented there will be written more succinctly in my doctoral thesis (es). More comments or thoughtful research (even historical) will be helpful to me (as a writer, leader, pastor, preacher, artist, and most important to me--21st Century American Husband/Parent).
Thursday, June 9, y2k5 sd70
Last Sunday Dan
Patterson pulled out mom’s camera and made an
mpeg of his brother Jerry on drums with his
friend, Ryan playing guitar.
That Video Clip (click here) shot at Studio 163™ has quickly jumped up our charts. The current version wasn’t uploaded until Tuesday but it is already in 4th place (behind our homepage, my journal, and the youth page).
Another joy for me is the feature of Rodger
Parker’s song for Rebecca. It was heard sixteen
times yesterday. Please cut-and-paste the
bittersweet story of Becky (Lapp) Parker and
post it in emails and journals around the world.
I think that it was kind of Rodger to ask for Mellisa’s blessing upon the release of this song. Rebecca’s Song has transcended the Becky/Rodger story in my own listening experience (see yesterday's entry).
Now for some more songs from my previously unreleased RockSoapOpera™: Joe is currently going through some old cassette tape copies so this autobiographical section of my journal is subject to revision as better versions of various songs are located and uploaded.
My fragmented life
before Cathy: a
inside cover: Young people, beware of your feelings . . . learn from pastorob's late night mistakes.
There's nothing new under the sun.
During these months I was kinda 'out there'...the hours and days of my job had taken me away from the strict schedule I had kept at House of Prayer: Church of God in Christ (Monday and Friday fasts, Tuesday Night Bible Band, Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Choir, Friday Night Testimonies, Singing and Preaching, Sunday Morning Sunday School and Church, and finally, Sunday Night Young People's Willing Workers followed by Testimonies, Singing, and Preaching).
Having been offered the volunteer position as singer/guitarist with Reflections, I learned that it was no substitute for regular, local church fellowship and accountability. However, I was exposed to other Christians (specifically white people) this way. While helping out with a group called FCCM (Fellowship of Contemporary Christian Ministries), I called upon Valley Media Services (a new recording studio in town) to see if they would be presenters at one of our meetings.
At Valley Media, I met Tammy (the receptionist). We became friends--almost platonic--not quite; however, I did help her draw closer to the Lord. She had gone to Warren Wiersbe's camps when she had been younger. She certainly wasn't living for Christ but she was 'hungry' for someone to talk to her about Him. She revealed that she had gone through an abortion the previous year.
I witnessed to Tammy about 'abstinence' as something I was trying to live out. I influenced Tammy to make that decision. A few days later, she called me to tell that regardless of her decision, she had just learned she was pregnant. Well, that little baby is Michael Glass. Click here to read how he was spared from the abortionist's early solution to a teenager's problem.
For the first time I experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit within me--specifically when I was witnessing to Tammy. Although, I knew I wasn't 'in love' with Tammy, when I met Cherie I started to think that I was in love. Tammy and I talked about stuff like this before she moved to Florida to give birth to Michael. It was ironic to face such a struggle with relational entanglements so shortly after preaching/witnessing to Tammy. Living victoriously in matters of infatuation will continue to be a challenge for young men in the years to come. I offer this slice of my story as a reminder of my own lack of sound judgment.
In the archives I found letters written to several people. I told Cathy upon my Sabbatical Trip back to California that it troubled me to read through those letters again. The letters reveal the tender, volatile stage of Ignorance that an inexperienced lonely Christian must pass through. The 18 months of discipline at House of Prayer was not enough to deliver me (spotlessly) through the months ahead. Both of my Grandmothers offered 'safe' care and concern during these days of wandering in the wilderness of dis-Integration. Grandma Green (Peterson, Patterson) specifically counseled me; I spent blocks of time with her during those days. She also wrote letters to me. Some of those letters will probably be hyperlinked to this paragraph at some point in the future.
MUSICAL NOTE: none of
these songs were ever recorded professionally or
published. I publish them today only as a means
of organizing my archives. If you don't like
them, don't bother listening to them, OK? There
are many 'finished' works on my main page.
Something Different is Happening to Me
I Don't Know
I Haven't Been in Love with Anybody in a Long Time
Written right before meeting Cherie. I was infatuated a couple times a day. There's a much better recording and more developed idea somewhere--but this will do for now. To be revised later.
Wake Up Slowly I wrote this before meeting Cherie but asked her to sing harmony on it with me.
It Goes As It Comes This is probably the first song we recorded together. I never had written songs 'with' anybody before. I liked it although its kinda dark.
Lyrics for It Goes As It Comes
It Goes As It Comes 2 guitar and piano a late night at Valley Media.
Vanity of Vanities I wrote this song but asked Cherie to help me by singing harmony on it. Several years later, I would write other verses and record it with Greg Brayton. Click here for the recording with Greg.
Deception Smiles I think Cherie wrote most of
these words. I came up with the chord
progression. She played the recorder. We just
let the tape run over and over again. There's
probably better versions...not much better
I Feel, I'm Feeling in Love...Again Tongue-in-cheek because I knew better--I was foolishly 'falling-in-love" several times a week during that month. I never finished this song because I offered to let Cherie help me
with the bridge...and I didn't care much for her interpretation of what was happening with us.
Love Suffers Long Cherie wrote the words to this. We were probably already 'broken up' by then--still writing together. Although the 'chorus' seems to be toward God, I think that these words were directed toward me. Maybe they weren't--but it sure sounds to me like Lennon letting McCartney have it between-the-lines.
Love suffers long.
How long must I suffer?
So, Love is kind...
Well, I kind of wonder.
Who broke up the Beatles? Remember Paul said "I quit" in the papers....the others were upset because they had tried to quit...and (I think) he kept trying to get them to stay together.
Anyway, I broke it off with Cherie at least I think I did...because here's the song where I'm second-guessing my decision. Oh, there's a better version around--with harmony vocals, more guitar licks, and refined lyrics...but its not much better. It too would have been recorded on the same small cassette recorder. I'm sure that I never let Cherie hear this song:
Only a Fool (would have said "No" to you)
I hesitated uploading this because I really
didn't agree. The Foolish youth would have
continued on....but the song shows the struggle
I faced in letting go of her. Musically, I
would guess that its a subconscious sampling of
an early Beatles progression. Most of the music
I 'like' by others are liked because of a
Beatle-song connection. 'I am Beautiful' by
Christina Aguilera comes to mind...(or was it
because it sounded like "Serve" to me?).
Here’s an excerpt of the song I wrote just prior to meeting Cathy. This short clip was stuck on the end of a ‘mix’ of Todd Rundgren songs I was dubbing for my sister (back in 1984) or maybe it was for Tammy. Somehow, I wound up with it again. I play all the instruments and sing all the parts. The full-length original is on a 7.5 inch reel of tape—somewhere in the archives:
Short and Bittersweet
you told me you didn’t want me here
Waiting for you to make up your mind
Once again I could feel that dark, cold fear
Waiting for the chance to take up my time
I’m not going to let that happen
It’s not going to happen tonight
Guess I was putting you first
or I was putting me first
Wanting to have you
Short and Bittersweet,
Short and Bittersweet,
Short and Bittersweet, I'm not bitter;
Guess I was putting you first (or I was putting me first--wanting to have you).
Short and Bittersweet I wrote this song about my too-fast romance with Cherie. She had just lost her brother to cancer in his lymph nodes. She was probably allowing me to fill in some of the empty space left by the recent death of her brother. Me: I was a lonely Christian going through my self-centered daily struggle with loneliness. We wrote many songs together--too bad I hadn't listened to her--warning me to not get that close. My 'safer' female friend, Tammy, was far away in Florida serving the Lord by sacrificing nine months to provide refuge for Michael--the baby who the Enemy had earlier appointed for Abortion.
Hours After Midnight Golly, I just listened to this and realized that its just a short clip of the first verse. I started this song way back in the late seventies. Somewhere I have a tape of my brother, Richard, singing back-up harmony. This is really a poor example of the song...but I guess I'll leave it up until I find something better to represent the piece.
I started writing it after spending a 'reunion' evening with my buddy, Doug. We were walking down the streets of Coldwater--hours after midnight. I was reminded of a morning, years before, when we (as young teens) were walking down the streets of town (with a couple girls) around 5:00 a.m. Why?....why I thought the cops would leave us alone (since curfew lifted at 5:00), I can't quite figure out. A faulty presupposition, I suppose in retrospect.
Wednesday, June 8, y2k5 sd69
Joe pulled an all-nighter...while Dad slept. lol I woke up at 5:30 and had some joyous ideas of what to do next regarding 'The Curse of the Unfinished Prospectus'.
The Smile project haunted Brian Wilson for 30-plus years (awat) and some of the unfinished fragments of my life story has, likewise, troubled me. Going home again (awat) only caused more boxes of archival materials to surface. I had creative motivation restored with an idea to publish An Open Letter to Greg (the first of a series of 'open letters'). This open letter would give Greg (and others) a link to a specific 'unfinished song' and my accompanying request to carry the burden along with me.
Christians are called to carry one another's
burdens...and share one another's joy.
The preacher tells us to Turn Your Worries into Prayer; likewise, let us persevere until our burdens have been transformed into joy. Yeah, like Brian's SMILE, it may take 30-plus years to see certain stories come to a conclusion.
When I walked into the new office at Studio 163 to read the morning's emails, I discovered that Joe was already up. Excited to see that he was already up, I started to share the idea that was gonna require his technical help.
He smiled, handed the headphones over to me, and I read between-the-lines of his young face. The kid had pulled an all-nighter. He informed me that he only pulled one all-nighter during his entire first year of University. I'm pleased that he is motivated to be a fellow treasure-hunter.
So, stay tuned for free, moment-by-moment audio downloads from the early eighties (an audio journal of a 25 year old baby christian).
Its all 'connected'
Cathy might say, "Hey, it beats seeing him
laying on the couch, all depressed, asking if
there's any chocolate in the house..."
The next few songs were recorded one night at a rehearsal for the band called Reflections.
CLICK HERE: I didn't write this song but I sing on it. It's a rehearsal of a song called Annie. Before I met Cathy, I had left the bar band, and answered an ad for a Christian band to play small gigs at youth retreats, churches, etc. On Annie, I sang the lead. Singing this song publicly did impact the development of my theological rationale for being involved in the lives of unchurched (and 'churched') teenagers.
finally, this cover of
We are Gathered Here
NOW, following are some of the songs for my Open Letter to Greg Brayton:
HELP!!! I can't seem to rest-at-ease (or work on my doctorate) while Cathy is in a 'let's clean up, organize, and throw away stuff' mood. Therefore, here is a sampling of audio fragments that I haven't ever thrown away. I simply don't have 'time' to invest completing any of the ideas...because I take too long trying for 'the perfect lyrics.'
Your wife, Sally, has said that Greg Brayton is
a musical genius. I can't quote her exactly but
it's always been something like this:
"Greg can take anybody's song idea, run it through his own creative processing,
and quickly turn out the finished product--as God intended."
If that be true,
get to work, buddy. Listen to some of this
stuff; give the warbling off-pitch vocals the
grace required to be called grace notes:
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 1: CLICK HERE
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 2: CLICK HERE
TDK grey tape
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 4: CLICK HERE
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 5: CLICK HERE
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 6: CLICK HERE
early pastorob: Fragment Collection TDK grey tape part 7: CLICK HERE
early pastorob: There is a Reason--Instrumental (I have words just not on this recording)
(from a band rehearsal of 2 Cor 4 -- the band that never performed publicly; Joe was still in the womb)
Here are some Alpha and
Omega 'fragments' (from that ugly,
A and Ω fragments tape1 (this is before Tender Mercies was finished)
A and Ω fragments tape2 (messing around with Speak, Lord; Cathy picks up her flute)
Speak, Lord (this never has been finished)
Tuesday, June 7, y2k5 sd68
Writing for my doctoral prospectus seems to have been challenged in peculiar ways during these 68 days. A number of people have been asking about the process. There has to be an end to this chapter...so, today I will journal points-of-interest from my SundayPop-Ups™ at three other Epicenter churches. My hope is that friends, everywhere, will understand the unseen hope of reconciling past, present, and future passion with vision in the midst of holy frustration.
Sunday 5 June 05
at Horizon 8:00 am:
Pastor Tim Stevenson was leading worship from the guitar with a pleasant full-band sound. A harmonica with jebbyesque fills. Cathy and I worshiped...oh, it was pleasant, peaceful, and I was filled up. The sermon outline focused on Hebrews 4:1-10. Verse 9 reads:
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his."
Pastor Tim introduced a new staff member,
Brian Crossen. Brian will be leading their high school and college age ministry. He has been married to Alicia for 8.5 years. Brian and Alicia have 2 children (Kaylee, 6; and Tiger, 3). Brian was raised in a Christian family and considered himself somewhat of 'the black sheep' until he went to Master's College. This young man--just past a major faith-decision--challenged me to meditate upon this prayer that he attributed to missionary-martyr,
"Lord, prepare me
for what You're preparing for me."
Pastor Tim weaved
this message through song and sermon:
"Yesterday's Gone, Tomorrow's not here yet;
Today is what we've got."
THEN, I went to River of Life at 10:00 am:
Pastor Larry Brand
introduced the anointing of
Brad and Mandy
for a new level of leadership on the staff. As a
visiting pastor I was acknowledged and asked to
share in the anointing. Brad and Mandy will be
working more deeply with
Pastor Larry spoke about Personal Consecration and weaved the importance of 'brokenness' throughout the morning's message. A memorable illustration was one from his own experience in 'breaking a horse' of its wildness.
God wants to bless, break, and give YOU
to others (like bread to the multitudes).
Larry reminds us about Gideon and God: "Gideon, come here...you have too much!" Finally, his resources were pared down to about 450 to 1--and no weapons (only a trumpet, a torch, and a clay pot to hide the light). Until the pot of your life is 'broken', the Light won't shine out.
Then, we shared Communion--breaking bread together.
THEN, I went to
New Hope Assembly of God at
Pastor Dave Ross II was the guest preacher. I didn't realize it was Dave (back in Galt with his wife, Brooke, and child) visiting the folks. He was just finishing his message which compared and contrasted a Hired Hand with an Heir.
gets the keys to
the janitorial closet while
the Heir has
unlimited access to
the family treasures.
Of course, with 'privilege' comes sacrifice for the
true member of the family. According to Dave, there
are kids out there who don't wanna be adopted.
I stayed around and paced and prayed...the A/G way.
These three messages were continuing to feed me throughout the day. We had our Open House, then I met with Ron Shindy at the Epicenter Parking Lot, then I had an important conversation with Tom and Jennifer.
I know that I know: God is at
work with all who are seeking Him. I must remember
Final point: I noticed from our Stats that this site has been visited 16 times by someone in South Africa. Perhaps, our visitor was Michael the Radio Producer from Y-FM who befriended me while I was there (reference February entries). He shared with me his secret of production brilliance:
"If we regularly produce above-average work, then brilliance will just happen." more on Michael
Monday, June 6, y2k5 sd67
The InformationSuperHighway™ still needs some work (at least here at the Epicenter). I dropped in to the terminal at Command Central thinking that I'd have more success at uploading a 65Mb MPEG video from our DSL hardware system (than from my laptop through the Coffee House wireless.
However, the Epicenter's on-ramps to the ISH™ are simply not allowing my little file to easily get online. Can't wait any longer...
I have lots to say about 'yesterday.' I went to Horizon at 8 am, to River of Life at 10 am, then over to New Hope Assembly.
afternoon was devoted to visionary listening (at our
During that time, Dan Patterson pulled out the camera and made an mpeg of his brother Jerry on drums and friend, Ryan playing guitar.
Here is the video clip featuring this spontaneous musical moment.
click here for a spontaneous collaboration that took place at Studio 163™
What a day....of not writing for my doctoral prospectus!
Well, I did write an apologetic around 5:00 AM to Tim Gentry (Guest Speaker at the Epicenter this Sunday)...and I did bcc. that same email to many friends and concerned acquaintances....and
I also participated in pivotal, CompassioNet-ConfrontRelational© dialogue with two different local church friends™ .....so my interpretation of Sunday's four messages must wait until tomorrow.
Tomorrow, friends™ ....
Sunday, June 5, y2k5 sd66
I'm sitting at the very spot where thousands of words were posted to this journal before my Sabbatical began. Its good to be back at the Epicenter but I've been asked to make myself scarce until the end of July.
its like dropping your child off at the nursery.
Its good to get out of the way and let the
nursery workers do their job. Parents who won't
leave sometime just stir up unnecessary crying.
Now, I'm not calling anybody a baby--I just feel
like a parent.
So, in a couple hours, Dr. Cliff Hoff will preach the first of two sermons here entitled You Can Be Sure. I hope you will come to the Epicenter and hear this life-changing message. I've looked at the bulletin and see that the music chosen for today will be wonderful as well.
8:30 or 11:00 a.m. here's a map to fbcgalt
Cathy and I are
planning to attend the first service at another
local church this morning. We'll be at Horizon
Community Church--listening to the message God
has for us there.
If you're available this afternoon, stop by and visit with my family at 163 W. C Street in Galt, California. Between 2:00 and 5:00 PM.
We're hosting an open house in honor of Jerry's
high school graduation. (NO gifts
necessary--just drop by).
learned that our latest
to Mom from Iraq)
has been copied and posted on other internet
sites. One example is Greg's letter about the
power of prayer. As of yesterday, it was read
1128 times at one of the sites.
CLICK BELOW to see it:
Saturday, June 4, y2k5 sd65
Did you see yesterday's news about myspace.com?
I met with author,
journalist, and senior specialist,
Al Warren on Thursday evening. We spoke about myspace.com and other Internet hotspots. On Friday, Al called in to tell me about something that happened in nearby Folsom, California.
So.....I'm copying the story from local station KCRA below:
FOLSOM, Calif. - A Rancho
Cordova man was arrested this week for allegedly
having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl
he met online on a popular teen Web site.
The Web site -- myspace.com -- is a place where users can meet large networks of people.
It's was on that site that the parents of a 12-year-old Folsom girl said they found suspicious messages, which led to the arrest of Richard Alan Butenhof.
"They found some sexually explicit messages on their daughter's Web site, placed on myspace.com," Folsom Police Department spokesman Kurt Knudsen said.
Investigators said Butenhof, 35, represented himself as a 20-year-old on the site. He's now charged with sexual assault.
"There are seven separate incidents -- all felonies," Knudsen said.
Myspace.com gets about 14 million visitors per month, but KCRA 3 found that many adults have never heard of it.
Teens use the site to catch up with old friends and meet new ones by making a request to be friends.
"A co-worker of mine told me about it -- said it was a good way to meet people. So I went on, and that's how I found (the girl next to me)," myspace.com user Renee Adams said.
Authorities said problems arise when predators talk young people into meeting them in person.
"I think that's a big concern. You get a little too familiar with people that you don't know," parent Cara Flesher said.
"We've had three incidents involving myspace.com," Knudsen said.
Myspace makes it very clear
on the site that you cannot be a member if you are
******* END ********
Me again-- Of course, all
one has to do is look around myspace friends, and
friends of friends.....and friends of friends...of
friends.....and you'll see some stuff that you might
find 'questionable' (even for a 16 year old).
myspace needed to be addressed by this loving parent.....and, as part of my doctoral studies, I have been rounding the learning curve.
Parenting in the 21st Century has unique challenges. I was the 'parent-over-shoulder' years ago. When myspace.com was becoming popular I started asking questions and doing some investigation. I chose to reserve judgment until I could acquire some culturally-sensitive depth and breadth regarding this particular community.
whatever you wanna call it:
I appreciate what Tom has created here. His rules (no nudity, no offensive material, and no one under 16) are also very much appreciated (as difficult as they would be to interpret and/or enforce).
I know of several (young teens under 16) who have pages on myspace. In fact, my daughter is under 16 and she has her space there somewhere. I won't name her. However, someone has already 'deleted' her space once. She was back, online, with another space there in just a couple days. Like I said....Conscientious Parenting can be challenging.
My own kids trust that I won't 'snoop' around their space...I could...but I don't...(well, not much anyway)....
In light of the news story above, I'm glad that I'm already there keeping a watchful eye on that particular playground. Come to think of it....I hope that Tom is 'really' Tom and not some other weirdo...ya know?
(editor's note: 'myspace Tom' is the founder).
Maybe this entry is worthy of some thoughtful comments. Huh? I'd be interested in some feedback.
write me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, June 3, y2k5 sd64
UPDATE: I'm sitting here at the Coffee House with Jebby. Without much editing, I'm gonna ask Jebby to dictate a short note so we can upload a fresh entry to bring encouragement to your day:
Jebby here: I'd like to say 'Happy Summer' to everybody out there in cyberspace. Lately I've been revisiting some old Second Mile recordings and preparing an anthology of that work (circa. '96-97).
I have been reminiscing about all the personnel changes (much talent) in that particular band. For those who don't know, Second Mile was my rock band that showcased original songs for Christian and secular venues. It seems particularly timely to revisit this material because my longtime pal (and Bass player), Michael Harris-Jones (Fulp), is moving back to Georgia (again).
Rob here: Uhh, Jebby, we've done our bit to encourage our listeners, readers, viewers, and critics....so let us continue our VisionWalk.™
First posting: I'm sitting in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express. I just checked on a couple who have come to the Epicenter from Salinas (for Dale's funeral). I'm in between appointments; I hung out with my Rotary cronies from 7:00-8:00 and am making my way to Jebby's house for a VisionWalk™ at 8:30. I'm hoping to walk with him to the Coffee House and do a first-ever, LIVE REMOTE VisionWalk on their wireless.
Oh yeah, Holiday Inn's wireless has a security lock so no upload available from this parking lot. Anyway, I'll be back with Jebby in 30 minutes or so. Here's a fun song--a duet with Greg Brayton--taking us to the Book of James.
wants me to invite all of you over to our humble
abode this Sunday afternoon (between 2:00 and
5:00 p.m.) for an open house. We're celebrating
Jerry's graduation and unveiling Waterfall
y2k5.1 and the newly stabilized facilities of
Check back later.
June 2, y2k5 sd63
dreams, no early morning meditations. I simply
worked on the waterfall last night and this morning
and I suppose that is enough right brain activity to
suffice for the time being. The waterfall...yes, the
one that Jebby helped me start all those years
ago...the plan was for a low-maintenance backyard.
I think that I would like someone to talk about my waterfall at my upcoming funeral. In the northwest corner of our backyard, it was among the first of my doctoral-season alternative projects. The cement remnants of a previous civilization were procured from the backway to Lodi. Several trips back and forth with stone that only an ENFP would value. I remember that the original stones were placed during the rainy season in 2001 (02 or 03)? I can't quite remember now.
ENFP... In a previous entry, I quite emphatically stated that I choose to not be labeled. However, in my files I came across yet another Myers-Briggs test that I took way back in the eighties...and it was still ENFP....and I'm choosing this label. Perhaps, I was 'born' this way. Read all about it in my post-doctoral publication.
I'm sitting at the Galt's 'It's a Grind Coffee House.' I don't like the coffee as well as Cafe Latte' but they have free High-Speed Wireless here. An attorney friend of mine just stopped for a tableside conversation. He and his wife once attended our church but opted to plant themselves at one of the larger seeker churches on the outskirts of the Epicenter (a place called Elk Grove). What a wonderful interchange I had with this old friend. I won't name him here---uh...he is an attorney, after all, and I'm not exactly sure how good of friends we are.
Anyway, he confessed that he had, in fact, read
some of our website recently. I started to share
the history of Liberia, when his sweet wife came
in looking for him. Apparently, he had been
right behind her on the way out of the Coffee
Well, their son is now almost 4, daughter is 1, and Denine (oops) is carrying a little girl in the womb. They've already named her. I won't reveal her name...however, I told Matt (oops) that her name means 'wisdom' in Greek. That etymology was accompanied by routine #743 wherein I talk about the meaning of the academic label: sophomore (wise fool). Joe will be a sophomore at the University next year (if he so chooses the label for himself). Matt asked me if Joe decided whether or not to study Law. I again told my dear friend, Matt (the attorney), that I think three out of my four kids would do well as an attorney. They enjoy engaging in argument (and they like to think that they are always right). I won't name names there either....you know, they might just become attorneys and decide to 'sue' Mom and Pop. Remember, anybody can sue anybody over anything these days.
Well, I sat and spoke with Robin McCall yesterday as we sat in front of the waterfall. We talked about the great faith we have in
Pastor Wesley since we both have lived among his family in Liberia.
I was there in February of 2004; Robin and her husband, Mike, were there for one month earlier this year.
A generous family in Colorado entrusted Robin with some funds to send to the Greater Love Children's Home. Pastor Wesley purchased some bunk beds for the children with a portion of that gift. As of yesterday, mattresses were still needed for five of the eight beds pictured below. Mattresses cost about $25 each.
picture is worth many, many words. If you look
close you might be able to imagine the
excitement these children were experiencing on
the day this photo was taken. If anybody wants
to travel to Liberia to meet some needs
personally, please contact me.
June 1, y2k5 sd62
I awoke at 4:30 am and meditated upon the response we sometimes have to a surprising moment in an otherwise ordinary day.
Years ago, I
recorded this song at Greg's studio. The original
mix had the song ending with an alarm clock. It just
didn't work for me. Later, someone helped me record
the squealing of tires (I'm thinking that maybe Mike
Bowling was the stunt driver).
I (Click here) Wanna Be Ready
Instead of an alarm clock ending, we finished the song with the crescendo-squeal and the gasp.
gasp usually involves grabbing for air in haste as
an immediate response to unexpected circumstances.
In the song, it is a gasp for air but also for understanding.
This gasp includes the instantaneous understanding that this is it--the end of the song. Notice that there's no accompanying 'crash' to conclude the squealing tires.
I wrote that
song so early in my Christian walk. Horns were
honking as I had my face fixed on the words in my
childhood, red-letter King James Bible.
However little I knew back then, I had grasped the deeper truth of that gasp.
The singer questions his lifestyle, his words, his actions, and the Lordship of Christ in his life. Still, the gasp is not that of an existential life fearing the End. Perfect love casts out fear. We struggle with guilt and condemnation. Again, perfect love casts out fear.
Are you able to take a moment with me to pause? Take in one long, deep, deep breath and hold onto it. Not a gasp.
This moment's long breath is a meditation. Someone once told me that a life of prayer (and regular extended times of prayer) are there for you to carry you through times when you just don't have time to pray.
I Wanna Be
I used to think that I would die young but I have already outlived many people I have known. If the days of this Sabbatical Pause is a mid-life junction, then my numbered days could be 96 years (only 48 years to go...).
Lord, teach us to number our days aright.
Tuesday and Monday, May 31 and 30, y2k5 sd 61-60
Sunday, Cathy, Joe, and I
visited River of Life Celebration Center for
church. Jason was preaching.
Monday, I met with Roy Kelley about his hope of going to Brazil on his first-ever mission trip.
Tuesday, I learned of Dale Lambson's death and agreed to speak at a funeral service for him on Friday.
This is a
genealogical note in a bottle. If any long-lost
relatives are out there, I have a fortune to share
And...cousin Mick, you're always welcome...but you'll have to follow the house rules.
Joseph Patterson was my great, great grandfather. He had come to America from Ireland
and met his wife Katrina Jagger (who was born here).
They made their home in Orange County, New York (and later moved to Michigan).
They had eight children. Their fifth child was named Robert C. Patterson.
For additional studies go to: www.myspace.com/pastorob
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