Saturday, April 28, 2007
Most of you are already aware of this, but I'm a worship leader and songwriter and LOVE the process of recording music. While it's true that I've been called to a very public ministry, I secretly long for the day when writing and recording is ALL I do.
Anyway, my latest project was released a few months ago, titled "Hope." If you're a fan of traditional hymns put into an acoustic guitar-driven/contemporary setting, then you should check it out.
The CD is available on Amazon.com (just search "Ryan Brasington"), or you can copy/paste this link (http://www.xfide.com/), then click on the "Emerging and Reforming" banner, and then the CD should be on page 2. Feel free to ask if you have any trouble finding it.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Since the dawn of the PDA phone (when micro-sized phones went "out" and too-big-to-carry-in-my-pocket-but-it's-okay-because-now-I'm-a-stud-
to-the-nearest-Star-Trek-convention became "in"), I've observed that it's trendy among middle-aged, upper class businessmen to carry their larger-than-life phones in a nifty hip holster (just in case a situation should arise when they must challenge the small-minded middle class to a quick draw). But, as strong as the trend may be, and as much as the belt clip serves a function of utility, I just can't help feeling like I'm not important enough to walk around with a phone attached to my hip. I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment.
In the meantime, I'm reduced to carrying my phone everywhere because it's too big to fit in my pocket, and using a belt clip is, well, the reason for my rant. If any of you have any guidance for my quandry, please feel free to post your comments.
Monday, April 23, 2007
With that said, there are two books that have so radically changed my perspective that they are actually a pleasure to read over and over again. The first is Hinds' Feet on High Places (Hannah Hurnard), and the second is Saint Augustine's Confessions. While I have a lot to say about both, the book that's currently on my heart is Confessions.
St. Augustine wrote the book (actually, they were 13 books compiled into one) as a sort of autobiography in 397, but to me it reads more like a prayer journal or the book of Psalms. In the book, Augustine writes a prayerful reflection on his life, the sin that ensnared him along the way, and the innumerable mercies of God. He weeps over the darkness in his heart and confesses how he loved his sin and by it built habits "like a chain" that became heavy and burdensome. With each remembrance comes a greater appreciation for the dimensions of God's unfailing love.
Further summary can't do it justice, so I just want to encourage you all (all two of you) to copy/paste the following link, shell out the $7.95, order the book, and make it number one on your summer reading list. I truly believe it will bless you, as it did me:
Friday, April 20, 2007
Today is the anniversary of the infamous Columbine shooting (April 20, 1999). And somehow the massive tragedy of that first major school shooting, that should have been a catalyst for repentance in our nation (or at the very least an eye-opening litmus test), has instead become the horrifying reality of today. Murder has become the new “rock and roll” of our generation. In our parents’ day, students rebelled “against the system” by chewing gum in class, talking out of turn, and not saying “yes sir” and “yes ma’am.” I’m only 25, but I remember a day when the worst cases of rebellion consisted of rock and roll, substance abuse at under-age parties, and a little bit of sex on the side. As horrible as that is, I don’t know that before 1999 “mass murder” was in the catalogue of options for the average high school student. Today, I dare say it’s becoming the norm.
Case in point: I turned on the news this morning and four of the major headlines were about other school shooting threats that the “VT Massacre” have inspired this week. And it’s my understanding that this guy behind the VT shooting (I’ve purposely decided not to remember his name, for a reason I’ll explain in a minute) had some sick admiration for the two students behind the Columbine tragedy (again, choosing to forget names). Let me rephrase that: the troubled, outcast students who went on a rampage of violence 8 years ago today are not only remembered by our youth, they’re admired as a sort of celebrity? And now in the space of five days, at least four more school shooting attempts have been made in the likeness and admiration of the VT massacre. It is overwhelmingly troubling to me, the rate of decline in our nation’s moral compass.
But the thing that angers me the most is not the confused, underdeveloped teenagers who somehow think it’s as “cool as rock and roll” to shoot their classmates and teachers; the thing that angers me the most is that the OVER-developed (that is, calloused and unaffected) adults in charge of our media decided that it was appropriate for people young and old, near and far, across the country and around the world, to see and hear this sick and deranged kid’s confession on the evening news, in full color. And now the images of an angry young man holding a gun to his head are forever burned into MY mind- and I wasn’t even looking for it. Imagine what responsibility we've placed on the troubled young people of America who now have to unpack that broadcast of the killer’s confession! We blame hollywood for fictional movies and then make a real-life killer into a celebrity by giving him a platform for his cause.
Today’s students are growing up with “mass murder” in their catalogue of options simply because of the horrifying acts themselves. But then the adults who should know better are feeding them verbatim- facial expressions and all- the reason and inspiration behind it all.
God, help our restless nation to find its rest in You.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Alright guys, I need your input...
I was up at 5:45am this morning so I could study before my 8:30am class.
After picking up a Grande Cafe Mocha from Starbucks (and pounding it like it was my last breath of air), I made my way out to Knox. On my way I put in Foo Fighters because, let's face it, coffee or no coffee, nothing can wake you up quite like a good dose of rock n' roll. Thus the name "Audio Coffee" (patent pending).
Now, sometimes you need a sharp jolt awake (i.e. "Stacked Actors" by Foo Fighters), but other days, a gradual awakening is the better approach (i.e. "Politik" by Coldplay). Still, there may be others who choose NOT to wake up, but coast through the morning ride to work in a wistful, dream-like state (i.e. "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" by John Mayer).
These categories, as you've already caught on, are represented by the strength of your coffee taste: Decaf (John Mayer), 1 Cream/2 Sugars (Coldplay), and Black/Double-Shot Espresso (Foo Fighters).
Where you come in: I need a broad catalogue of songs (possibly outside of my personal preferences) to choose from. I've already made some lists of my own, but I'm curious to see what songs you would include in such categories.
So, please pour yourself a cup of joe, pull up a chair, and give me as many or as few suggestions as you have time and/or desire to write.
Thanks for your input. I'll remember you when I market this idea and make my first million. =)