Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'd love to..

"...but my dog's about to attempt to speak English. Sorry!" 

I can't blame the mongrel for attempting to talk after chewing up all the 'homework'. Forget Einstein, someone should clench the Nobel Prize for "theoretical & creative discovery" in Blame-ology and Fine Arts of Excuses.  

In my attempt to conceal my 'blemish' - I've been charged, tried and condemned guilty on countless occasions for making up excuses. I gotta admit, some of em' were close to being bestsellers on the 'fiction' shelves. "..well if you screw up, take it like a man!" Hey! Whatever happened to anti-discrimination and gender equality? Guess what? Real men cry…Boo-hoo.

At times, I think I'd make a pretty good chef. A personal favourite of the ol' excuse menu would be - "not my thing": 

damsel-in-distress: Hey, could you help me out with this? 

super-dimwit(me): That's really not my 'thing' you know, I'd totally like...mess it up. Rather not. 

damsel-in-distress: *whatever. (*puts two "L" fingers together forming a "W")

Speaking of damsels, sometimes I envy em'. "I'm having cramps" has to be one of those gunshot one-liners that send the birds flying across the sky.  The lads are often left dumbfounded fearing the aftermath. Far from generalizing, it's merely super-poking those that capitalize on the 'periodical tsunami'. "I have the right to be evil?" Yeah, major irony in that sentence.

Beyonce Knowles poured her soul in "If I were a boy"...interesting perspective. Yet, it would be a shame to tag it as a PMS-theme song wouldn’t it?  PMS? Credit overdose.  

"Thank you. Honestly, I don't deserve this. After all, I couldn't have done it without YOU". Hilarious, but that's exactly how the speech would probably sound like if anyone would clench the Mother-of-All-Excuses award; If there was one part of ‘creation’ we'd beat the Creator at, this would be it.

Lame excuses. Reflecting on those moments where I could have 'saved' the day or at least made it better for someone else, I'm now bent on giving everything a shot. Worst case scenario? Folks giving me the affirming 'well-you-gave-it-a-shot-but-it-ain't-your-thing-for-sure' as they resort to dialing 911. 

Back to my English-speaking dog, she's honestly having cramps and from her howls, she’s not one that holds on to "if you've nothing good to say, don't say it." I'm off to walk her before she starts penning horror stories to Santa about me.  *Falalalala-lala-la-la!*

The author has no affiliations and neither is he afflicted with PMS, he’s merely finding an excuse to blog about it. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

living it

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

That day arrived, America voted and...Obama won, belting a song of hope "Yes We Can" creating history as the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. Intrigued I was (still am), with his campaign speeches:

"I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina."

"So understand this, South Carolina. The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old. And it is not about black versus white. This election is about the past versus the future."

"When I hear that we'll never overcome the racial divide in our politics, I think about that Republican woman who used to work for Strom Thurmond, who is now devoted to educating inner city children and who went out into the streets of South Carolina and knocked on doors for this campaign. Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can."

*"Yes, we can change. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future."

It's been close 50 years (45 years to be exact) and Mr. King's dream seems to be hiking it's way to its peak. In my attempt to squeeze to my feet into his shoes, I couldn't help but smile as a friend remarked, "Hey, you're where you always dreamt to be - the music scene. You dreamt of it while you were in high school, now you're living it."

Thanks dear friend, for reminding me of my high school ambitions. Honestly, I gotta admit - the dream was that of a selfish, young punk who had fame on his mind. Nothing wrong with that, it's just that I'm a li'l more wised up now. I'm willing to let it go as that of a stringed helium balloon. Fame? The li'l teaspoon I've had tasted pretty good yet I'd hate to choke myself with a bottle of pride. This dream's bigger than me, and the more I look up the more I's not about me.

Live the dream, don't just dream to live.

*the author finds "Malaysia Boleh" and "Yes We Can" uncannily identical. Who are the 'freakin' pirates' now aye?

Monday, October 20, 2008

"She'll be coming round the mountain.."

I reckon that it's a really big mountain called.. Marriage. I'm cringing at the thought of even putting it into words, but then again - everyone talks about it. Yeah, from the li'l girl who holds her younger brother's hand to the old man who rocks away in his favourite chair gloating endlessly about his late wife; I think the definition gets clearer with maturity.

Ideally, some of us would love for marriage to function like an instant noodles a microwave - putting our  'hunger' thoughts into action, and hitting the 2-minute dial. Instant noodles? Far from healthy. Speaking of food and as far as sugar levels are concerned, wedding cakes seem to be extra SWEET. *Hmm. Heck, maybe its just me.

If the "Marriage" checklist had only two checkboxes labeled "Husband" and "Wife", I think it might just be.. (in a highly dramatized tone) - a freakin' volcano! Keeping it together? I'm banking on whole load of other prerequisites - the vows made to each other at the altar & the the sacrifices the couple has to make as individuals, for better or worse indeed. 

Don't mind me, I've been hanging out with enough newlyweds to catch just a glimpse of marriage life from the 'outside'; giving me a thumbs up when 'sex' is mentioned and the occasional "Dude, I wish I could but I'm married", flashing me their li'l reminder of their commitment - the ring. "Wait till you get married, you'll understand then." Hey, I probably*  will.  

Moving past the wedding glitter into living as 'one', who's really "Lord of the rings" ? Gosh - though a common problem-solving trait, I'd hate to imagine 'Rock, Scissors and Paper' being the only solution to decisions. 

As for me? I'm the bachelor guy in between the li'l girl and the old man; taking down and comparing notes - yet living and obeying, loving and believing as I hum along "...when she comes" with my bench mates.   

* "Probably means there's a good chance" - Chris Gardner to his son in "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

die another day

Mr. Chewbacca's ready to hit the streets too. [appearance courtesy of  Joel Loi]
She'd cringe at the thought of stepping up to a weighing scale,  but let it not be said that she's just grown sideways but also upwards. Today, Malaysia sits for her tests - History and Civics; studying age old lessons and fighting for civil rights... moving from mere knowledge to action. 

In a matter of hours, radical changes are set to rock the the nation. As much as I enjoyed Cloverfield, I'd hate to be caught in the way of a rampaging creature, let alone documenting my last words on a video camera. Whoever came up with the term "lucky clover" certainly didn't have these folks in mind. 

Hope keeps us going from one chapter in life to another. If the world ended tomorrow, I'd probably be found with a spoonful of Jamoca Almond Fudge* in my mouth... I'm all for happy endings.

*The best Baskin Robbin's ice cream flavour hands-down. Tied down to a major project,  the writer is open and immediately accepts the notion of a SPONSORSHIP programme as he holds the "Will Write For Ice Cream" sign. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the mirror

Been staring at it alot lately. Beyond the hair-gelling and eye-brow flexing, I think vanity gets a run for its money the second I stop to ponder -"Who am I?". Reminiscing one of Toy Story's famed characters,  Mr. Potato, it's scary to think that I sorta relate to....potatoes. Gosh, the world is coming to an end.

Someone once said, "No two potatoes are identical". That got me head banging for a second. Much like Mr. Potato, many times I caught myself putting 'on' the ears, the eyes, the nose, and the smile. Occasionally, the signature mustache adds to the mysterious outlook. "Hey, I'm no ordinary potato" vibe tends to get the better of me sometimes. What on earth am I doing? I could be earning and soaring the skies now - Buzz Lightyear: to infinity & beyond!

Reading the recent cancer-hoax-controversy had sparked a great 'heart-check'. Beyond the face of 'good works' and talent, who am I really? Am I defined by the seen or the unseen? Are there any areas of blemish I need to deal with? Who do I have in MY closet?


Scary thoughts and insecurities call for the major make-up overdose. Not really a fan of clowns, I'd have to give them credit for the tricks they have up their sleeves, but it's never really enough; churning out new tricks to replace the old, keeping the 'hangar in the mouth' and juggling knives and chain-saws. 

Living a circus act daily? Forget it. Too much work. I'd opt for a visit to the ol' Haunted House of Mirrors for a CHANGE. 

Searching and  dealing with the plank  in his own eye, the writer respects Mike Guglielmucci for confronting the mirror. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

alive & kicking

Dreams often lead you to a junction: "Go for it" or "Let it go". Speaking of dreams, I've got this ability, but some experts call it 'lucid dreaming'. I'd stick to 'ability' . Heck, I should be a cast on "Heroes", I'm sure I'd make a great character.  But seriously, whenever I'm dreaming and it gets ugly, I can 'hop' onto another dream or wake up in falling asleep in my dream. Yup. As dumb as it sounds, it actually works for me! 

Growing up in my teen years, I had dreamt of playing soccer for the school team...never happened. But in my college years, I saw that coming to past - FUTSAL was my religion. You'd find me in the court right after classes, at midnight... I was determined to make it to the team, and i did, sorta. I was on the Team B - not too shabby! Seriously, with the international imports and their huge feet (size 12-14 on the average), I was honored to be amongst these giants. 

I gave it my all and was willing to pay the price to keep this dream alive. Then came...injuries. First, a heavy blow/contact to my left knee. Two weeks away from our inter-campus competition, I wasn't about to let it all go 'down the drain'. Next thing I knew, I was being carried out the court on game-day... knee busted. I was benched for the entire season, and that meant the following semester, I'd have to go for the 'try-outs' again if I intended to make it to the team. Hitting the fast forward button, I didn't make the cut...hung up those futsal shoes, and walked out with a whole load of 'battle' wounds.

So much for religion. Hah - literally adding salt to the wounds, in July '07 I had to undergo a knee surgery for a torn ligament (ACL) on my right knee. It cost a..leg. As if it couldn't get any worse... I found out that I have a complete tear on my left knee. Surprise? Ever had someone you strongly dislike pop by your house when least expected? Yeah, it felt like one of those moments. "Bad news, there's no 100% recovery rate even after surgery for a PCL tear." Just what I needed to hear; I was laughing in disbelief.  

Recalling the MRI scans, the epidural treatment - needle-in-spine; If God was trying to get my attention, He definitely got me. Bedridden, I had no where to look but...UP. S0meone once said, "When you look up, two things happen : God gets bigger, you get smaller." Suddenly the "dreams" I had didn't seem all that important anymore. It wasn't a near-death experience and I ain't racing for the 'Drama King' award, but rather a wake-up call to pursue the ultimate Dream Giver. 
It often takes a dying of personal dreams to create room for an eternal pursuit. 

"You can't seek His face and 'save' your face." - Tommy Tenney, The God Chasers 

The author is celebrating his 1st-year-post-surgery anniversary. He's dying to kick some due time. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

hitting the button

I suffered a mild trauma recently - I kinda reseted my entire phone; it was a 'hard reset' next thing i knew.."Contact List - empty". Uhh..shucks. Dumb move? Major. Almost immediately, I caught myself crossing my toes hoping for clues to numerous SMSes and calls. It kinda felt like I was roped into a game show *"Who's that?". Heck, I wasn't faring too well.

Technically, I lost about 300 friends in one day.

If there's ONE you can't leave home without.. it wouldn't be my mobile phone. I've gotten used to walking around with a dead battery. Some wise crack on YouTube once said "the most dramatic creations on earth are batteries - they just die." Well said.

Back to my 'island', I caught myself applauding the creators of Facebook and Friendster - they're foresaw this dreadful day taking place eons ahead through some prophecy jinx, and had ME in mind. I'm a survivor - Thanks folks, I'm truly touched and I owe you a testimonial, better yet... a Hatching Gift?

Making friends? All you need is some cream. In fact, it's really like OREO's : Two cookies + cream filling : two different people with a common ground in the center. Sweet, now all it needs is a good dunk into an engaging glass of milk and you've got yourself a keeper.

Honestly, I've been a real tough cookie. 'Keep in touch' never amounted anything more than a parting statement. I was a nomad - and when it was time to move, I moved, holding on to nothing more than experiences, memories and a backpack. Freaking tourist? Ouch. Nothing to be proud of, I discovered that I wasn't a feather after all (about time eh?).

It was time to 'settle down', to get rooted and to bear fruits rather than weeds. It was time I asked myself "What am I on earth for?" rather than procrastinate & choke on "What on earth am I here for!?" It was time to hold an account for relationships and friendships, for people I have come in contact with ... and to be accountable.

Going beyond the name and face, I was 'superpoked' into the reality curve; its not really about the ONE THING I'd wish to be remembered for but rather, zooming in on the message behind the whole hypothesis of leaving a legacy - how many lives have I impacted?

"I shouldn't be alive... unless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it's right." - Tony Stark
aka Iron Man

*"Who's That" is an imaginary game show that airs occasionally in the occurrence of familiar faces appearing without names at awkward hours. Joel almost never scores & pretty much walks away empty handed at the end of the day.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

dummies for freebies

"There's no such thing as a free meal". Introduced to this economical concept in my early college years, I found myself clapping ecstatically as I sat in the lecture hall, pondering on the rationale behind it. The "Big Bang Theory" didn't really sparkle for me, but here's where Economics and I had a moment of intimacy. Shucks! Brilliant dude - whoever came up with it.

An online buddy,Wikipedia quotes:
It demonstrates
opportunity cost. Greg Mankiw described the concept as: "To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another."

Something's gotta give. The lesser of two evils? Not really. Rather, the 'greater of two goods'. I guess Abraham aced Economics 101, making a choice between obeying God, and giving up his beloved son, Isaac. Tracing the roots, it looks like God inspired the fundamentals of this whole economical hypothesis. He created the world, and it was good. Then, when the apple went bad, he had to choose between the RESET button or hitting Ctrl-S(apple-S for Mac users); He chose the latter - saving the world and sacrificing His beloved.

"Yeah, this buffet lunch's a free meal to me." Great! But somewhere between the lines, the cost has been incurred. Someone paid the price.

'Paying the price' or 'footing the bill' is really about investment - into the present; with perspective, possibly the future. A tie-in with the whole clockwork issue, there's a "right time to plant and another to reap."

Keep sowing till the time is right, I shall. I'll only know when the time comes. On a farmer's note, I always envied Ol' Mc Donald - not a clue who he is, but everyone's raving about his farm.
A real marketing gimmick, I'd say.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

i'm a campaign manager too.

Politicians and their manifestos; He trumps every one of them. In fact, I caught a glimpse of Him in action, just flipping through the pages. Jesus, was just out-of-this-world (literally), and yet He could be found at street corners, the market place, and even in the homes of the common folk. Down-to-earth would be an understatement; His PR skills ... unmatchable.

He didn't just promise, He delivered.
  • Better healthcare - He healed the sick, gave sight to blind, even raised the dead!
  • Feeding the hungry - the remainder food were baskets full
  • Education system? - real & relevant, His parables and teachings hits understanding in the heart, not just the mind
  • Gender equality and youth empowerment - He ministered to the Samaritan woman at the well, and He chose young fishermen as disciples
  • A clean goverment - He wasted no time in toppling over the filty market tables in His Father's House
  • Safety - We're talking about the One who calms the storms and raging seas
  • Freedom - He had it written all over Him. He came to set us free
  • Better living standards - He's prepared heaven-of-a-place for all those who would believe and follow Him
* more promises listed in a really thick book called the Bible. Do check it out.

To amplify the magnitude of His convictions, He made no apologies for what He believed in and unlike J.Co Donuts, He valiantly served the truth plain as it was - sugar-free. He was no crowd pleaser. Condemning Him to death, the angry mob, Pharisees and
Sadducees evidently weren't lining up for an autograph session.

Yet, He walked the talk on earth, right to the utterance of 'It is Finished'. He took His Father's business to the next level. He bridged the gap between God and man, between heaven and earth. He paved the way for our future, for the welfare of mankind.

He believed in us. He chose us. He gave His life for us.

Vote Jesus. Make Him the Lord of your life - He's all you need. He'll bring about the greatest ch
ange in your life. You could cast your decision anytime, anywhere. All it takes is a simple "Jesus, I believe in You."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

security blankets

Chinese New Year - spelt "HOLIDAY" to me, I really thank God for the... CHINESE! Mandarin oranges, pork invasion and li'l red packets just bring out the white teeth [Off-white to be precise.] 'Twas all good.

Now - everything's kicking into gear. Busy's just another four-lettered word. Pardon me for spotting em', I just can't help it. Seriously. But yeah, busy-ness is often related to time - or the lack of it. Wow. What a revelation!

"I've got no time!" seemed to be the perfect lip sealer to potential burdens and invitations that trespass my comfort zone. I kinda wished that time was stretchable. Adding seconds to minutes, minutes to hours. Being stretched is really uncomfortable - you should try it if you haven't already. A friend of Charlie Brown, I played Linus with his favourite blanket.

Stretched - Doing something that isn't me, not 'my thing'. Uhh - uncomfortable. It almost feels like being asked to...walk on water. "That's you, dude - this is me we're talking about here. Hello?" TV ads and scripts - I like! Write songs - not too bad. Write congregational-friendly songs - kiddin' me, right? I write stuff that's personal, stuff that's meant more for listening than a sing-along. I don't write those kinda stuff. You know what I mean? It's just

"It's not about you." Ouch*

Walking on water? Yeah, I'd give it a try if i were a stone's throw from the shore; but not in the middle of the sea. That's just crazy. "Come."- Alright, I'll give it a try. Here goes...

First step. Second step. The sea's gonna swallow me - Uh, God - why did I even step out of the boat? Save me!

"Believe. It's not about you. Believe in the One who calms the raging seas. Believe in the One who walks on water. Believe in Me. "

Alright. Here I go.

I don't know what pregnancy and giving birth to a child feels like, but quoting a friend: "it's really painful, really uncomfortable... yet bearable." Wow, again. Personally, the last part appeals to me the most. And when li'l baby pops out - the smiles tell it all. It was worth every uncomfortable ounce a body could take. In fact, the infamous stretch marks serve as a great memoir of a miracle.

It's not about me.

Being stretched and walking out of my comfort zone...Here I come, Baby.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

let me tell you a...

Story. Here goes.

The band had played its first corporate event-gig at Ipoh. 10 songs in 2 hours. The Puri brothers rushed back to KL right after. Yeah, we didn't even get a group hug. The event ended around 11pm, and the four of us headed on towards grabbing a much-deserved midnight snack to compliment the pats on our backs. We were graced by the presence of four lovely young ladies who gladly joined us for a bite & a li'l chat. One thing led to another and we....went on our separate ways.


The journey back to Nic's place was about 30mins, gassed with an uncontrollable amount of laughter. Not a drop of alcohol, just sheer bliss. As we pulled up the front of Nic's house, his front gate wasn't functioning and he directed us towards the back entrance. As I steered into towards the back gate, an unidentified car pulled up right beside us.

Two men got down and one of them came up to my window. As I screened one quarter of the window down, he said "Police, show me your licence & ID." Caught off-guard, I took time to process the entire situation while reaching for my wallet. Philip, being extra cautious, asked the guy for his Police ID again, to which the guy hastily refuses and said, "Get out of the vehicle."

No way. A robbery? No one's gonna take our instruments and the fresh funds away from us. "They're not cops. Go,!" Philip cried, activating the ALARMS in all of our heads. I hit the reverse gear and steered backwards. Cars were parked on my left and right. "God, don't let us crash. Get us out!"

As I reversed, the guy tried to grab hold of the doors. Failed. He then went for the side-view mirror. It flipped around. Great, now I can't see the back! I reversed frantically down the windy road, swerving past stationed vehicles when suddenly, the other man stepped in front and reached towards his belt.

I froze.

Philip: "What are you doing? Go! Go!"
[I silently watched as he pulled it out of its holster]
Nic : "He's got a gun! He's got a GUN!"
Jason Gan : [Prays aloud hitting every possible key with his vocal chords]

I wasn't about to find out if he was going to pull the trigger. I hit the accelerator as hard as I could. The engine roared, the tires screeched but we weren't moving! "God! You gotta get us out of here!" The gear kicked in. We screeched our way out, catching a glimpse of the two men jumping into their vehicle, coming after us.

Jason was praying as loud as ever, Philip shouting, "They're coming, Go! Go!" , and Nic was navigating at the top of his lungs, "Left, right...left" as we headed out of the area, moving towards the freeway. We sped past red lights, leading towards the highway.

The now-identifiable Honda Civic emerged on our tail.

Philip: "They're still behind us. Go! Go!"
Jason: "Head back to KL! Go!"
Nic Chin: "Go to the Police Station."


Me : Where's the police station?
Nic: "U turn!"
Philip: "U turn! Here!"
Jason: [Praying fervently]
Me: "I can't turn here. We're going too fast, it's too near."

We headed on toward the next possible U-Turn, I hit the brakes, made a swift turn and jammed right on the accelerator. The Honda Civic was hot on our tail. I hit the accelerator harder.

Nic: "Police Station - left"
Phil: [Echoes 'Left']
Me: Here?
Nic: "No! Next Left"
Philip: "Go! Go! They're right behind us!"
Jason: "Shucks, Go!"

We whiz past the first left. It was a Catholic Church, not a police station! I took the next left turn and headed down the road. There it was .. the Police Station. This was it. "If they were really cops, they'd follow us in..if not, they'd just drive by."

I turned in and glanced at the rear view mirror - and in they came! I parked the car. As Phil, Nic and Jason rushed into the station, I had it in my head that...they were indeed cops. I beefed myself up for a punch. What's a few bruises compared to being robbed, I consoled myself.

The now-obvious-mr.policeman gets out of his vehicle and rushes toward me.

Cop: Why did you run? What were you doing?
Me: I thought you were robbers. I didn't see your ID clearly and you weren't in your uniform. You weren't in a police car either. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I didn't know. I really didn't
Cop: Get into the station now.

I walked with him into the station, joining the rest(Phil,Jason and Nic). From the receptionist's face, we had brought chaos to the li'l town. The radio transmission reporting that the "runaway vehicle and suspects have reported in" was enough to stir a "gulp" in our throats. Uh-oh.

We were directed to the Narcotics Department, a block away. The officers searched our vehicle thoroughly. They had our full cooperation. They found nothing, as expected. We were then told to go upstairs into the interrogation room for further questioning.

One look at the place...We didn't like it. It was pitch black, and we were directed upstairs by a torchlight.

"God save us."

In the room, we were questioned on our jobs, our business in Ipoh and why we had reacted the way we did. We then apologetically explained that we had suspected they were robbers, and being scared, we fled for our lives.

Convinced we were telling the truth, and it had all been a MAJOR misundertanding, they released us and decided not to press charges against them with the agreement that we would do the same. By golly, I wanted to give them a hug and snap pictures with them right there and then!

There you have it. A story with cops, guns, screeching tires, red lights, pumping adrenaline and chaos; and bad guys. To Big Daddy Upstairs, You're the Author and Finisher of our faith; all glory to You!

"Cause you always be da Man" - The Lord's Prayer in Ebonics

This post is also a tribute to Arun and Arvind - "We wished you had been there, but here's to greater stories!"

This is not a fictional piece. it's REAL - fourletterstory

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

only one

One of the best ways to keep resolutions I reckon is ... to tell EVERYONE about em'. Trust me, folks love reminding you of what you're NOT doing. Try it and you'll see how much they love you and want to see you succeed. (They really do.*ahem.)

I made a four lettered resolution: G-R-O-W. To grow and mature into a better son, brother, staff, colleague, leader, friend and citizen. In a span of 1 year? I'll try and you...keep laughing.

Quoting the famous words of Ps.Alex The Great : "that you may GROW one year wiser, one year more fruitful..etc."Amusing, ear tickling and cliché: growth speaks of life; more importantly living life to the full. Someone else once said, "LIFE.. live it to the full, not like a fool." I was talking to this friend of mine about music and bands, one of my passions in life, and the conversation led to.. "The way to GROW big in Malaysia in the music scene is to...sing Malay songs. Look at Pop Shuvit."

It's a tough call and a fine line between selling out and meeting the needs of your target audience. Pop Shuvit, they're a great band,no denying that. They're doing what works for them. It's an inevitable fact that  Malay tunes get the masses and probably gets you air play.  Yet, it all boils down to success - what is it really at the end of the day? If we're headed down that road and actually make it, whoa - fame, fortune and influence. It's all good. 

reality check: I'm on a different road. 

To's the songs. Have our songs impacted lives? Have we imparted hope? As a band, do we live these songs and spur others to live their potential? Do we point others towards the right direction? Stripped down and in plain text, it looks simple.

Simplicity is at the core. Success and fame seem to be the perfect acid test on the integrity of it all. With every success story, comes pride and glory. A football team rejoices as they score the winning goal. The crowd goes wild. The players 'hail' their hero. They head back into the showers. The fans go back home. Bravo. The team begins training for their next game.

The headlines read, "Gerrard saves the day!". Indeed. But, he couldn't have done it on his own. Even if he could dribble past the entire opposing squad, to be on the field, he needed to be in a TEAM. The presence of his fellow teammates made it possible. The coach pieced the team together. Liverpool FC footed the funds for the player and their coach...and it goes on. I love Liverpool. Interestingly enough, their tagline reads "You'll never walk alone." They just wouldn't allow Gerrard to take all the glory.

"Pride comes before a fall" - Success, fame and all that adds to the name often comes before pride. What do I have to sacrifice to get there? What's a no-compromise? Wow. That's really a whole load to think about. "If you want to dream, dream BIG."

I've always wanted to see the 'big picture' of my life. Where I'm supposed to be in the next 2 years. Who's the 'one' ? Something I caught recently, which serves as a great reminder that is... to Bring In God(B.I.G) into the picture. I'll focus on the GROWing, and He 'll bring the increase.