The Beautiful Compassion Of The Record Store (A Post For Record Store Day 2016)

View More: http://jbltphotography.pass.us/alexandkateA trip to the record store these days is an act of compassion. 

Sure there are plenty of new releases out on vinyl. In fact vinyl records are the fastest growing sales segment in the music industry.

But most record stores fill the majority of their shelves with vintage LPs. These are the records that get traded in by people who have no use for them anymore.

Maybe they inherited a collection from their parents or grandparents and they’re just not that into music. Or maybe they’ve played the records a million times and just aren’t into the bands anymore. Or maybe they thought vinyl died out 30 years ago.

For whatever reason they don’t see any use for the old Cat Stevens or Doobie Brothers albums. They look at vinyl records as an outdated format just taking up space in their attic.

Yet when I and other collectors come in to a record store we see the value in the classic pieces of wax. Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 22 – Steve Swanson of WAFJ

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Welcome to the POP GOD POPcast – an exploration into the lives of people seeking God in the present tense.

This week’s guest is Steve Swanson. Steve is the Station Manager and Program Director of WAFJ 88.3 FM in Augusta, GA. WAFJ is celebrating their 20th anniversary serving the CSRA with Family Friendly Music. But as Steve shares, WAFJ is about more than music. The station has truly been a ministry, building a family and community across the country. Steve shares his story and what led him to radio at a young age, as well as the story and the impact of WAFJ. We talk about the incredible power of music to connect people, some of his favorite guests to come in the station’s doors, the beauty of a Vinyl record, and much more. Enjoy this deeper look inside the life of someone truly seeking God in the present tense.

Listen to the podcast here:

Or Download on iTunes Or Listen on Podbean

Check out the WAFJ website to listen live, download the app and support the station

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, rate it, leave a comment, listen to all the other episodes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

I love sharing stories of people seeking God in the present tense. Let me hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the next episode of the POPcast.

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Monday Morning Music: Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

If you’re anything like me, you look at Mondays the same way as Walt Grace – you’re done with them.

Walt Grace is the title character from John Mayer’s song “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” from his Born and Raised album. It’s kind of a goofy title. And it’s kind of a silly song.

But I just love it. “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test” is the perfect type of Monday Morning Music. Continue reading

How To Change Someone’s Life 35 Years From Now

Here’s the weirdest headline you’ll see today:

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Yep. That’s international recording star Lorde and baseball Hall of Famer George Brett. Of all the people in the world to meet yesterday, they did too.

Here’s where it gets really weird. Apparently Lorde was inspired to write her smash hit song “Royals” because she saw a picture of George Brett in his Kansas City Royals uniform signing autographs to kids. So she wrote her song about fame and success and culled the idea of Royals from Brett’s jersey.

I’m not kidding. Apparently this is all true. 

There is no possible way George Brett could have known back in 1979 the just by doing his day job of playing baseball that he would one day inspire a 17-year-old from New Zealand to write the hit song that would make her famous. But it happened.

Here’s the lesson: Continue reading

Monday Morning Music: The Broken Beautiful

It’s hard to feel beautiful on a Monday.

You wake up late, still hungover from a weekend of fun, forced to go back into the work and grind. You don’t have time to pick out a great outfit or fix your hair the way you like it. You still feel guilty over the mistakes you’ve made – the same ones you made last weekend.

You may not see something beautiful staring back at you in the mirror. You may not see a beautiful day ahead outside your window. You may not be able to see through the fog of shame you carry with you.

Maybe you could use a little Monday Morning Music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jxZRDB_DU8 Continue reading

Monday Morning Music: Roll Away Your Stone

Whether you’re a rock star, a pro wrestler, or just an everyday joe, the way you make your entrance is of the utmost importance.

You can tell a lot from someone’s entrance. Are they loud? Quiet? Strong? Weak? Confident? Defeated?

Every Monday morning, you decide how you will make your entrance into the week. Maybe you need a little entrance music to motivate you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O-BwV0DDUY

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

A new week can overcome you before it even begins. Your mind may weigh heavy with the consequences of all your past failures from the previous week. Your body may still be reeling from losing an hour of sleep this weekend.

The great thing about Monday is you have the choice to see things in a new way. Today can be a fresh start. You can leave the old you behind on Monday and start seeing things differently. Continue reading

You Should Expect More

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I’ve never had the chance to be disappointed by a Bruce Springsteen album.

As a relatively new Springsteen obsessive – I’ve only been on board this train for about 5 years – I still feel privileged for any new E Street release in my lifetime.

After all, the wrecking ball will find it’s mark at one point or another on every life. Even Bruce Springsteen will succumb to time. So I’m usually giddy with any news of new Springsteen music.

So, as Bruce’s latest album High Hopes is released worldwide today, why am I so underwhelmed? Continue reading

Monday Morning Music: Start Again

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

It’s the first Monday of 2014.

Your week may be starting off full of the promise and resolve of a brand new year.

Or you may have already screwed everything up in the past 5 days.

Wherever you are, know this: It’s ok. Today is a new day. Today is your second chance. Today you can start again.

Here’s the perfect song to remind you today is a great day for a do-over. It’s called “Start Again” by Counting Crows (the original version of the song is by Teenage Fanclub).

“Start Again” is a simple song that repeats the same refrain multiple times. It’s the story of one person telling another, “Even though it’s complicated, we’ve got time to start again.”

I love how the song loops around over and over again. It’s like with every verse the main character is waking up on a new day reminding himself to put the past behind him and start over.

No matter where you were last night or what you’re facing today, if you’re alive and breathing than you’ve still got time to work it out.

Starting again can be daunting and overwhelming. Starting all over can make you just want to give up.

Remember starting again doesn’t have to mean you’re starting from the bottom. It can be more like starting over in a video game.

When you fail in a video game, you don’t always have to start a level all over again. Most games let you start a new life right where you left off.

God’s grace does the same thing for us. He picks us up where we fell down and let’s us start again on life.

He doesn’t hold grudges. He doesn’t make us earn our way back into His good graces.

He just gives us a night of rest, sets us back on path, and tells us to “Start again.”

I’d love to know: where you are starting again this Monday? 

The 40 Year Old Vision

40 years ago this week, Bruce Springsteen dropped his second album, The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, a personal favorite of mine.

The record would go on to become one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and help establish the career of a first ballot Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

But nobody knew that 40 years ago. Continue reading

Monday Morning Music – Silent Sunlight

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

Mondays are daunting.

The drive back to the office is dreadful.

The work we’ve been avoiding all weekend has piled up.

Sometimes you need the Monday Morning Music to get you going.

Last week I stumbled across a record for 20 cents at Salvation Army – “Catch Bull At Four” by Cat Stevens. On it was the perfect Monday Morning Music – a song called “Silent Sunlight”.

Today is my first day away from my full-time job in almost five years. Yet this song reminded me the work has only just begun.

You may be out of a job as well this morning. Or you may be stepping into a job you’re not in love with. Or you may be stepping into a project you’ve been putting off.

Whatever Monday you’re stepping into, simply sing a song of love and truth into everything you do. Be strong. Be courageous. Do the work. Rest your eyes. Wake up. Do it again.

Keep pushing through, having faith in what the Lord is bringing you into with each new sunlight.

photo-6I’d love to know – what are you facing down this Monday? How can we support each other as we do the work of a new week?