The Gift of Music

The troubadour had stopped singing but his songs are still being played and listened to by the generation who caught his music. His craft was not abandoned but continuously flow as a gift to the succeeding generations of troubadours and music lovers.

It’s just sad that many past troubadours were left into oblivion. Like a fully utilized dispensable battery cell, fit for disposal into the waste bin, permanently deleted from our file folders. Why many of them leave our folds? What happened to those gifts they shared to us then? Did we fail to appreciate their gifts that inspired many of us back then? They walked away from the limelight without our knowing, yet their tribes were not diminished. The gift of music they shared to us is freely passed on to the succeeding young troubadours we have all observed.

What happens when gifts are converted into commodities? When gifts are exchanged for money, it ceases to be gifts, rather it emerge into commodities, wrapped into new packages, branded and displayed on the shelves of our malls, marketplaces and other buying stations. Many thought that if they have these gifts they can just utilize it for making money by converting it into commodities to be bought and sold, which is the dictated tempo of this known world. Gifts were now reduced into common goods waiting for consumers.

The troubadour’s gift is priceless. Attempts are being made by many talent agents to put price tag on these gifts. In the same manner that the Giver of the gifts gave His precious Gift to mankind, real gifts are always priceless.

And so many troubadours will still emerge in our midst coming from nowhere. Strangely enough, the tribes of our music makers never diminished, others went out but many are still coming in, new breeds of troubadours trying to perpetuate the cycle of passing and sharing the gift of music.

Gifts Are Not Personal Properties

Gifts are to be given and must be expressed unhampered. Those who were tasked to express the gifts must understand that gifts are to be shared freely, not to be peddled like goods in exchanged for money. Gifts were given primarily not for self promotion or for profit making. It was the Giver’s intent that the gifts he bestowed must be shared freely to others. True gifts are like floodwater, it cannot be contained in one place permanently, and it will always find a way for expression no matter what blockaded it. Like the floodwater, always seeking lower channels to fill in, gifts constantly look for conduits to carry on the inspiration it creates on people.

It’s a sad reality that many who were endowed with gifts have prematurely wrecked their lives by mishandled fortunes and fame brought by their gifts. After the settling of mud in turbulent water, these gifted ones realized that their gifts lost its power, its soul and the inspirations that their gifts had done to nameless others.

How many professional music artists both local and international whose careers were destroyed by alcoholism, drugs and marital failures? They were troubadours whose songs had inspired countless admirers and aficionados. Although they have inspired many, unknown to their audiences is the kind of loneliness that these artists went through. Failure to handle the gift entrusted to them by the lone Giver, will surely cost their lives, their own happiness as well. The melodies created by those troubadours are still played on air even though those who crafted them are nowhere to be found.

Sabbath Cannot Supress the Natural Expression of Gift

When the Man of the Gospel walked over the face of the earth 2000 years ago, his gift of healing was sought and received by both Jews and Gentiles during his days. There was nothing that held back the expression of his gift, not even the prevailing custom of Judaism, their unquestionable observance of the institution of Sabbath , it could not hinder the expression of Jesus’ gift of healing to many. He is our prototype man. He was here on earth, expressing without restraint the gift which the lone Giver bestowed on him during his earthly days. The same principle still applies with the different gifts that all men received these days from the lone Giver. And the receiving of these gifts has no respect of any class distinctions, no religions, no social affiliations, not even educational attainments could suppress the expression of the gifts.

It can be difficult for some people to accept the universality of God. He is no respecter of any religious persuasions because God is all and is in all. Do we have any right to dismiss the wisdom given to men who were responsible on the awesome architectural designs of many landmark edifices known around the world?

In the same way that the gift received from the Giver will find expression, it will overcome all kinds of obstacles- religious, economics, cultures and even boundaries created by conservative institution of education. No wonder, many TV networks are competing for audience share by coming up with programs in discovering and searching for raw and unpolished talents. And the world is surprised to see those gifts brewing in the lives of ordinary folks, even those unlettered ones whose gifts undiscovered, and now viewed by the gasping world.

There are established boundaries created by numerous institutions. These institutions have the power to distinguish the conformists over the mavericks. They considered themselves as the gatekeepers, responsible in putting into box, viciously trying to contain the free expression of gifts, controlling its expression  in the futile hope of keeping the existing mode of operation undisrupted, the buy and sell context which our world has gotten into.

The free expression of the gifts will astound these so called gatekeepers, whose interests are jeopardized by the raw manifestation of the gifts around them. These gatekeepers have kept their monopoly since time immemorial on the containing of the gifts, controlling its expression in order to make profit out of it.

Literary Gifts: Some Retain Its Power, Others Lost It

Take for example the poetry works of Emily Dickinson which she left after her death. She bequeathed to the literary world a priceless treasure which forever has made many scholars enigmatic and puzzled. Her poems have power unknown in literary works crafted by others. Its effects are never diminished even to us in these modern times. Her poems are pure gift, never tarnished by the ill effects of buying and selling. It could have been different if the poet published her works before her death. She could have gained fame and fortunes from her poems crafted under her private world. She could have enriched herself materially which other succeeding writers have savored brought about by their literary gifts turned into commodities and bought and consumed by the world then. Comparing the works of Dickinson with gifts turned commodities of two equally famous American writers like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fritzgerald, writers that had made good fortunes by the enormous billing of their published novels, read by many aristocrats and opulent patrons around the world in the 1930s. Hemingways and Fritzgeralds works were reduced to commodities and perpetually buried in the catacombs of history, albeit only a few remembers their works. What’s the difference? Gifts turned to commodities lost its power, destroyed its soul. Gifts freely given, unhindered on its flow, continually emit inspiration and continue to transform many, because these are what gifts are made for, by its lone Giver, it should be given freely.

Buying and Selling: Antithetical to Gift Giving

It must have repulsed the Man of the Gospel to see the unabated dysfunction  of  buying and selling of gifts turned commodities in the temple area in Jerusalem. His anger over the rampant conversion of those gifts into commodities had drove him to overturn the tables of moneychangers, freeing flocks of caged doves, casting them all out from the temple where the Giver’s divine order of gift-giving should have prevailed instead of the usual buying and selling of which our present world has gotten into.

No amount of suppression can withstand against the free expression of the gifts. Any form of counterforce against the free expression of the gifts, given by the Giver will not succeed. That gift of freedom which many Negro slaves had received at the turn of the Eighteenth Century never lies dormant. It found its ultimate expression in a Civil War that almost broke the young nation of the New World.

New Dimension of Unhampered Free Expression of Gift

The gift will always find a way of expression because the lone Giver designed it that way. It will continue to inspire, it will not lie dormant in the hands of ordinary people. It will emerge continuously even though some quarters will try to suppress it. The profiteer whose sole ambition is to buy gifts and turn them into commodities is still around. The profiteer is anyone who kept the gift intended to be shared freely to others but instead do the opposite, converting their gift into a commodity, selling it just like any common goods. There is always a day of reckoning, those given much, much will be ask and those given little, little will be required.

For expanded understanding on the issue of gifts, I recommend the book entitled Signs of Emergence by British Author Kester Brewin. Also for more insight, you can download this article by James Fowler entitled Christian Giving.


Marlboro Man

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
tough men

tough men

Fatherhood is a call which requires a genuine spirit of servanthood. And a successful fatherhood is always a result of a fruitful partnership with the mother of children. This shared responsibility now becomes a missing link among many families. It was observed that one of the ways to cure the inherent narcissistic propensity of every male adult is by becoming a father to a child in the family context.

According to Geek mythology, Narcissus was a very handsome man, perfect in appearance. One day while bending to drink water from a crystal clear pool, he saw himself reflected on the water. He fell in love with the image reflected on the water, off course it was his own image. He became engrossed with that handsome reflection of himself and he refused to eat and died tragically. Fatherhood could emasculates all those malevolent inclination that plagued all men, not just the selected few, but all men. Does it mean, men should abdicate their manhood in order to be liberated from this narcissistic propensity?

There is a spectrum of subjective definitions concerning manhood. Others thought the term as synonymous with masculinity, virility and the stereotype tough guy. For some, manhood connotes the image of dependability, for others that chauvinist macho image, the apathetic, nonchalant, tolerant, free willing, and anything- goes attitude kind of species.

What about the oversexed macho man, siring as many children as possible with different women without having sense of responsibility?  Men are trying to keep that façade of omnipotence, conforming to this culture script carved out by the mass media on its appealing model of manhood. The Marlboro man is the most popular icon being peddled by our stereotype culture. He has the image of dependability, unfazed by any danger of being overrun by hundreds of unruly cattle, running in the prairie. And after having successfully contained the dust- clouding skirmishes of herds, the Marlboro man, and calm as he was, lit up a cigar, confident as ever that nothing can cause a jolt on his solid image of manhood. Am I beginning to believe this massive promotion about manhood as exemplified by the Marlboro man?

I know of a man who showed his ordinariness. He had caused disequilibrium among the façade of patrician nobility plainly exhibited by those existing elites during his days. He wept for compassion over his people. His reputation was maligned to the point of being falsely accused of unimaginable crimes. He bore the pain and shame when he was hanged on that cross between two condemned criminals. His manhood was tested. If toughness was his idea of manhood, he could have use the readily available multitude of angelic forces on their fighting mode. Why this man had abandoned their Mosaic tradition, their lex taliones stance against any form of oppression? Why can’t he emulate the fearless warrior King David who had slaughtered many? Why he did not fight the system by the use of force?

It was a dark day of his soul when he audibly proclaimed before the sneering crowd, his own race and those Gentile centurions: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” He did not retaliate, nor showed any signs of vindictiveness when he prayed: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”He was completely vulnerable then, a true victim of untold injustice. No wonder many have emulated the courage of this man.

Amazingly, this man had entered his glory not by the use of force. He never repudiated his humanness and his frailty. He was almost tempted to revert to the old ways of massive annihilation of the human race using the flood and the disintegration of the city of Babel. It could be as easy as typing “ESC” so that all will start anew, but this man was committed to complete the job, so that everything could be “save as”. This man never hesitated in giving himself, his life, as a password to unlock the dormant and obsolete running program then. That outdated Wordstar program has long been forgotten by this generation including that tedious memorization of its commands. This man introduced newness, and newness that keeps on evolving and expanding. This man alone can be our perfect prototype and now in his glory, through the Spirit keeps on inviting everyone: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”

This thesis is still subject for debate depending on what opinion others are keeping. There are women groups that vigorously enforced their bias on this issue of manhood. This two great secondhand books worth reading on the subject of manhood and fatherhood, could be worth sharing:  Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem by David Blankenhorn, first HarperPerennial edition published 1996; The Secrets Men Keep authored by Stephen Arterburn and published by Thomas Nelson in 2006.

Other notes worth reading or a bit of tinkering.

Link  —  Posted: January 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello world!

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

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