Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Television Series’ Category

Do You Have The God-Factor?

As a musician and teacher – I like to keep my thumb on the pulse of today’s music.  My favorite programs, not to be missed (thus I LOVE my DVR) are:

The Voice

The Sing-Off

American Idol

America’s Got Talent

and last but NOT least:

X-Factor

 

Because the X-Factor is entirely based on talent, judging from recording artists and producers – it is more realistic in nature – and does not go on “popular vote”.  The sole purpose is to find the next popular recording artist.

 

I have enjoyed seeing the talented singers – and the choices in music that the judges/mentors choose for them.

Two things that have been interesting to me:

1 – I love how people with extraordinary talent can be “discovered” on this show.  Those that come from extreme poverty or just hopelessly lost in a middle class system that does not allow for other areas of talent to be explored.

2 – So many hopes and dreams are associated with these programs.  Almost every one of them says, “This means EVERYTHING to me – it’s ALL I want”  or “I don’t know what I’ll do if they send me home – I have NOTHING else”.

So although I love the idea of a program that finds those that are deserving of a “break” – there are also some flaws in it as well.

It can be exploitive and extreme.

Many have said that everything in their  life is pinned on the hopes of winning a 5 million dollar prize.  No kidding.  Everything.  Yes – that’s BIG money – but really?  Nothing else to look forward to – nothing else at all?  Seems a little extreme.  How about a happy fulfilled life with family and friends, children and grandchildren, hobbies and work that gives a purpose.  A reason for being here – faith in God and His purpose for your life?

I realize that life is empty without a spiritual reason to exist – and that people will literally throw themselves into a passion – and often abandon EVERYTHING else in their life.  But I do think that often times when a  sacrifice is made – it is often a lonely one – and in the end leave those feeling lost and broken – even if they gained “the whole world” with their talent.

I would like to think that all of us already have the X-Factor.  Some of us just don’t know it.  But made in God’s image – we are all special and unique – made with special gifts and abilities and purpose.  We are designed to reflect God’s nature and His light in our lives gives us that special little extra something.

Whether or not you can sing, dance, play an instrument, or speak eloquently in front of a HUGE crowd – you have something special and God made you just the way you are.

I encourage you to find that special something that makes you unique in God’s eyes – special and loved, carefully crafted and shaped – to have that wonderful God-Factor.

The God-Factor is God’s unique and special gift to each of us – His stamp of love of each of our lives – made to be a reflection and a testimony of His purpose and plan for a lost and dying world.

And when you have the God-Factor – you already have what others search their whole lives to find.  And you don’t even have to win any talent contest.

When was the last time you felt special?

Do you like to watch music programs like me?

Which is your favorite?

X-Factor

Image via Wikipedia

 

God Bless

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If I Were A Boy

If I Were a Boy...

Image by Zoe Favole via Flickr

I’m totally blown away from this little girl’s performance of the song that Beyonce made famous, “If I were a boy“.

Her name is Rachel Crow and I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.  I love how she made one of the judges cry.  It was a very moving performance.

See if you agree.

God Bless

My Truth

A father and his daughter, 1923

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been watching the reality show about Ryan and Tatum O’Neil on the OWN station – the tumultuous father and daughter relationship resulting in a separation and silence for the past 25 years.  They both agreed it was time to put the past behind them and try to begin again to rebuild their lost relationship – through this series on cable.

It has been very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time.  To get a glimpse into someone’s pain is never easy – to feel hope for them as they talk and uncover much of their difficulties – and why things went so bad for them.  Through counseling, alone and together, they are getting to the deep issues which caused their separation in the first place.

But what I’ve noticed is this:  We all have our own truth.  It is ours.  

Truth cannot be negotiated or argued.  It is different for everyone.  It is something that we believe about ourselves, others and our situation.

In having my truth – I am not saying that you do not have yours as well – but my truth – is my truth.  It is my version of the story – it is what I believe in my heart of hearts.

We do damage to ourselves and others when we try to rewrite their truth for them.

When two people have different “truths” – and will not validate the other for having their own unique truth – there can be no settling of accounts – no matter how much counseling they have.  And at the end of the day – their personal truth will be all they have.

I really believe with all my heart – that all people just want to be recognized and validated for having their own truth.  No matter how weird it may sound.  Even if you think you know better and think they are ALL MESSED UP.  We want someone to say to us, “I understand.  I get how you could feel that way.  I see you”  So often we never get that response that we are seeking.

All Ryan needs from his daughter, Tatum is this:  “I see you Dad – I’m just as much to blame as you are”  And Tatum needs to hear Ryan say, “I take ownership in my part of our separation.  I made many mistakes and I’m sorry you felt abandoned”  Isn’t it too bad – they will probably never be able to really say those things to each other – too much history – too much blame – too much sadness.

I am glad to know this:   The only solid place for me to go when regarding the “truth” is Jesus. The Bible tells me that He IS the Truth and the Life.  And with so many personal “truths” out there – varying with every person on the planet – He is the only constant who never changes.  I can run to Him – feel that acknowledgment and validation from the source – the creator – who holds My past with all of its regret – the present with all of its unanswered questions – and the future with all of its secrets, not yet revealed to us.  When others shun, devalue and withhold from us – He is there holding out loving arms of truth to me.

Do you allow others to have their personal truth?  Do you feel validated from others?  Have you acknowledged Jesus to be the only real truth in your life?

God Bless

A Lesson From Jean-Luc Picard

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Image via Wikipedia

I am a Trekkie.  I admit it.  I’ve been a fan since the 60’s when Kirk, Spock and McCoy were first roaming around the galaxy.  I remember watching the show on a black and white TV – and then moving to a color set sometime later.  This show was in reruns on cable for years after and when I heard that they were going to start “The Next Generation” series in the late 80’s – I was not interested in watching it – being loyal to Kirk, Spock and McCoy – but after it came to an end – some seven seasons later – we started seeing it in reruns and got caught up into it.  Now I am a fan – and own all seven seasons on DVD – as well as ALL the Star Trek movies 🙂

One story in particular from “Next Generation” has always been interesting to me.  It is an episode in which Captain Picard receives an opportunity to go back into his past and change things.

Time travel has always been an intriguing notion for me.  I love the “Back to the Future” trilogy with Michael J. Fox and pretty much any movie that deals with that subject.  And I mean, who doesn’t want to see what life was really like for your parents or grandparents?  I’m sure it wasn’t all “pie in the sky” as they sometimes try to tell us.  People are people with the same inclinations and temptations – in any decade or century since the beginning of time.

In the episode where Captain Picard goes back in time – it is to change a circumstance in which he got into a bar fight as a young cadet – and in that fight had a sword put through his heart – and would have died if there had not been an artificial heart (only in the 23rd century people).  And though he was grateful to be alive with that heart – it was not without its problems as with any technology.  So “Q” takes him back to “fix” the mess that got him into that fight to begin with.

Ultimately he learns a lesson about himself. It was his feisty and competitive nature that got him into that fight – but also propelled him into opportunity for his future.  He was a risk taker and someone who lived on the edge.  He was not afraid to go after things with gusto and dare to excel in places that most would not.  When armed with the knowledge of the future events about his artificial heart – he goes back to the past – determined to avoid the fight and keep his heart in tact.  But because of his new cautiousness – everything in his life changes in the future. He jumps to the “present” after carefully avoiding the bar fight – and now in an “alternate future” – with his own heart – he finds himself on-board the enterprise once again – only this time he is NOT the Captain – but a lowly ensign. He overhears his “superiors” doing a review of him – and they say that he is a nice man – but one who has always been careful – and afraid to take a risk. It was too bad, they said – he had a lot of promise.

This is the worse thing that you could ever say about Jean-Luc – and he repents of wanting to go back and “fix” his past – just so he could have his real heart. He gladly accepts his fate as part of his journey for being himself and following his heart – so to speak 🙂

How many of us face a similar crisis of faith?  Faith that things happen in life and along our journey because it is the way it needs to be? There is a rhythm to our lives and only God knows the back story and our future story and all the reasons for things in between.  When we try to “fix” things – we are never successful.  It is like gambling about our future and not having the right cards.  Never a good idea.

All of us were given character traits and gifts.  If we are using them as God intended – we are going to have things that happen to us along the way.  Things that are uncomfortable – and things that we would sometimes like to change.  But because we don’t see the “big picture” of all of our events, like God does – changing things in our past would only be harmful and leave us feeling empty and be a life squandered. There is a reason things happen as they do.  It’s taken me many years to be comfortable with that knowledge – and just when I think I really do understand it – I slip back into the “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME??” thing again.

God knows all about our lives.  Things come to us to shape us and make us who we are. Those hard and painful things – are more than just inconveniences and things to avoid – I believe in every one of them – there is a lesson. And I am grateful for all of them – for the friends I’ve had to say goodbye to – for the situations that I had to go through, but them ultimately walk away from – for the uncomfortable process of learning more about myself and others – and for separation from things and people who I really thought I couldn’t live without.  Through all of these things – there has been a reason.

And in all of this I say, “Thank you Lord – for your blessings – through the storms of my life.  For the things that have made me who I am today.  For the additions and the subtractions of my life – for the pain and regret – the friendships and loss – for all of it  – Thank you”

I want to live my life with the unswerving conviction – that all things happen for a reason – and not live with regret – but press forward – using everything that God has given me – unafraid to take those risks and try new things – those things that make me uniquely – me.

God Bless

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