Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

“When I grow up…”

Read the following article today and it got a few brain cells firing.

Disclosure:  I am a single, never-married female with no children, 38 years old and counting.  And hoo-boy, could I come at you with some stories of the grief I get for that.  I’ve had my own grandmother and mother make bold comments to my face.  Which I’ve had smart-aleck responses for, but hey.

So.  The article says “the church” should come up with an alternative definition of adulthood.  Well, each of us IS the church at the end of the day, yeah?  So I’ve got a proposition:


Adulthood is the stage of life where you are regularly putting others’ interests ahead of your own, where you realize that life doesn’t revolve around you, and act accordingly.


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But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].  –I Corinthians 9:27 (AMP)

I’ve got no business telling people to do things that I would not do myself.  As myself and my friends age, we’re all realizing that we are no longer teenagers, and the ol’ body is not working quite as well anymore.  So we’re encouraging each other in various fitness goals.  Of course, we have to tell each other to exercise more.  And if there’s one area where my discipline weakness shows itself most plainly, it’s in this.   People who say they love exercise absolutely flabbergast me.  I cannot relate.  Working out, that ain’t my jam.  I do not like it, Sam I Am.  *smirk*


I’m doing it anyway.  Because I want to support a friend and be accountable to him.  Because I am the temple of the Holy Spirit and He deserves better digs.  Because I want to walk my talk.

The weekday lunchtime walks don’t really tax me as I do a lot of walking anyway, it’s called life without a car.  But these bike rides…

Last week, 5 miles round trip.  This week–almost 10!!  Was intending to just add a mile to the trip, but curiosity got the better of me and I had to find the southern Lakefront Trail trailhead.  Once I found it, headed back home…and wasn’t totally burned out by the time I hit my “exit”, so kept going.  

Have successfully achieved jelly legs…and I suspect I will be paying for this “ambition” tomorrow…:-P


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Belated thoughts

Thought of this the other day but just now getting around to writing it.

Some reflection on God’s love for us:

Think about how many times each of us grieves or disappoints God every day.  Believers and nonbelievers alike.

Now multiply that by several billion people.

We all know how we feel when we have “those days”, where everyone seems to work your last nerve.  Imagine how God must feel taking on what we put Him through.

Yet He keeps loving us ANYWAY.


He sees believers as being righteous through His Son.  Every wrong we do is already covered and forgiven…the slate is clean when we confess the sin.

Those who haven’t yet professed belief in Christ, He holds out hope day after day that they’ll recognize their need for Him and come back home.


That much mercy and grace, day after day…the thought just boggles my mind.

How great is that?  How great is He?

I guess maybe this post should have been done today after all, considering we opened worship with “How Great Is Our God”…

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All In Your Head

The Peter Furler track by the above title has been particularly relevant to me lately.  Combine some thoughts generated by our current ministry series at church (series deets here and blog here ), and the post I just wrote remembering a friend who got the most out of life…and the message of the song takes on even more urgency.

I’ve had the feeling for a little while now that I’m really not doing what I SHOULD be doing. That I gave up on my dreams some time ago, and that it’s time to recapture them and move toward them. Well, that feeling was confirmed very solidly by an exercise I did as part of the “homework” for our ministry message series. It was a pretty straightforward exercise–list and describe my accomplishments in various stages of my life, to figure out a common theme and “discover the direction of your heart”. Two points hammered home in the instructions: these had to be things I DID WELL and ENJOYED DOING.

List of things I’ve done well? I could write you a tome. But things I did well and ENJOYED doing? I struggled mightily to come up with some.

My main motivation for most of the things I’ve done wasn’t the enjoyment of the task, but one of two things: 1) to appease someone else’s stated or implied desires, 2) out of a sense of “I have to whether I want to or not”, like following some unwritten law. In both cases, complete external motivation.

One’s heart is internal motivation. So there’s a major disconnect here. The results: feelings of regret regarding how I’ve spent a good deal of my life, looking back at all I’ve “accomplished” and seeing emptiness in each thing, recognizing “heart atrophy” and understanding why I’ve had a hard time completely rekindling the fire. My passions never did die completely…they’re still there. God put them there. He built me for a specific purpose. But I’ve spent way too long fulfilling the world’s purposes for me, and not His. So it only makes sense that I’m coming up feeling like I’ve not made the most of my time here.

Well, no better time than right now, to get back on His track.

You wait
For the moment, like a watershed
When all you’ve heard and all you’ve read
Will push you toward your call

And you wait
The years ahead seem infinite
There’s plenty of time to figure it out
And then you’ll give your all

But you stall
And you stall

Get up, get off your seat, move your feet, just do what He said
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head
Forgetting what’s behind, now’s the time to go where you’re led
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head

You wait
You nod your head and take some notes
And cash your checks and cast your votes
And follow protocol

And you wait
Another verse, another song
A sinking sense you’ve got it wrong
You stumble and you stall

And you stall
Until that’s all

Get up, get off your seat, move your feet, just do what He said
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head
Forgetting what’s behind, now’s the time to go where you’re led
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head

And you wait
You save your best for last
And you wait
And then the moment’s passed

Whatcha waiting for? God’s holding the door for you
Where ya hiding out? There’s so much more for you
If you need a prompt He’s draining the swamp for you
Ready with a push, with a shove, with a kick of love

Get up, get off your seat, move your feet, just do what He said
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head
Get up, get off your seat, move your feet, just do what He said
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head
Forgetting what’s behind, now’s the time to go where you’re led
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head
Press on, press on for the prize, it lies up ahead
It lies up ahead
It lies up ahead
Forgetting what’s behind, now’s the time to go where you’re led
It’s all in your head
It’s all in your head

Many thanks, Mr. Furler, for the inspiration in these lyrics…on a number of levels. 🙂

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It’s Rocktober 16th, y’all.

A day to celebrate the birth and life of a man who brought a lot of joy to a lot of people.

Never one to miss a good time, Christopher James Allen left us in April of this year to go where the REAL party’s at.

But before he left, he taught those of us who knew him how to live.  He made a point to make newcomers feel welcome.  He always had an encouraging word when people were down.  He always had a dumb joke or hilarious story to bust up the tension when some of us were taking life too seriously.  He was a great listener and didn’t go spreading people’s business.  He enjoyed good conversation with good friends over good food and drinks–he was always a blast to hang out with.  He spent a lot of time sowing positivity and life into the young people in his life and in his neighborhood, helping them realize their potential.

Was he a saint? Far from it.  But who of us is??  At the end of the day, he was a guy comfortable in his own skin and did a lot to help others feel the same.  He made lives better in his time here on Earth.  Period.  I celebrate his life today and consider it a huge blessing and honor to have had his life cross mine.  I know I’m a better person for having known him.  I thank God for bringing him into this world 42 years ago today.

Devoted dad, empowering coach, poet, artist, singer, comedian, dreamer, life of the party, compassionate human being and wonderful friend,

Chris Allen.

Chris Allen Superstar

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Ridiculous abundance

OK.  This is a heads-up to my regular readers.  You have full authority to slap me, HARD, upside the head, if you catch me buying any other Christian books/material or bass instructional material for at least the next year.  Here is the pile I currently have to go through.


The Christian stuff.  Various books on discipleship in different areas, and several Bible translations to read through.  Note!  This pile does NOT include 2 Joyce Meyer Action Plans, the book that goes with one of them, 3 more Bibles, and 2 more discipleship books.  Those are in progress and hanging out elsewhere in the house.  At my current non-disciplined pace, all this material should last me 2 years minimum.  😦  Hoping to move this along.  Time spent reading these things is time not being wasted on less fruitful pursuits.  Heck, it might even improve me as a person.  LOL.

The bass stuff.  Within that pile is 28 Bass Player back issues with an average of 3 instructional articles per issue (technique, theory, transcriptions, rhythm studies, etc).  Also included are various instructional books that cover the same type of topics.  Lack of discipline has kept this stuff in mothballs.  It’s time to dig it out and dig in.  I don’t even want to know how long this stash will last me, given that my practice time includes a great deal of Worship Team rehearsal and scale work.  But I will make a point to incorporate more of this material.  It’s sitting here.  I need to use it.  YouTube, schmoo-tube.  Got plenty of videos bookmarked too, but will save those for when I’ve torched some of this.

I have been abundantly blessed.  I need to act like it and use what I have.  My Christian walk and my music are the two areas that need the most of my time.  I have plenty of ways to utilize that time.    Here’s the proof.  If I’m not acting like a more civil human, or spanking plank with more gusto and flair by the end of the year, I need a severe chastising.

Any volunteers?  *laughs*

On that note, off to go disturb the neighbors.  I do appreciate the bark my lil’ baby Ampeg combo puts out.  😀


Something NOT overheard in your local meadow.

“Yo, Shepherd dude, where we goin'”? 

Nope.  Sheep don’t ask where they’re going.  They just go.  Where their shepherd says, and when, as they are prodded.

But of course, I’m no ordinary sheep.  I don’t act very sheep-ly.

I wanna know where I’m going and how I’m getting there and when.

But that’s not how life works with God at the helm.  He leads;  we follow, no questions asked.

I know I’m being prodded toward certain things right now.  But I’m not comfortable with the lack of clear vision of the end result. 

I sense in my innermost that this time next year, I don’t know where I’ll be living or where I’ll be earning my provision or what I’ll be doing music-wise (with financial constraints being a concern).  I know I’m being pointed away from where I am now.  So I’m trying to make some sort of plan in each area…and it keeps getting derailed…

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)

…OK, so I need to be more flexible with my goals and so on…but I’d still like a little more clarity on things…

“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow.  What is the nature of your life?  You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].” James 4:14 (AMP)

…so I’m getting a little too preoccupied with the things of this life…but I can’t just disregard them…I am still here, He’s not called me home yet…

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

…need to trust Him a day at a time, a step at a time…

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”  Romans 8:38 (NLT)

…no matter what happens, He loves me and He’ll do what’s best for me.  He’s loving me despite my constant questions.  He’s waiting for me to rely on Him for the answers and just go where He’s leading.  I am seeing the end result off in the fog, but only He knows the best way to get there.  He sees bumps in the road that aren’t even occurring to me, and knows the way around them.  I have to trust Him, and follow. 

Just follow.  No questions asked.


(time will tell how effective this lesson in humility and faith will be…dependent of course on my obedience level)




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Holy Soup

with Thom Schultz


An Autistic Christian Techie


Bring it on

Grace for the road

Seeing God's goodness in the unexpected path.

Hartin Soul

Spiritual reflections, random musings, and commentary on life.