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Showing posts from October, 2012

Brownfields Redevelopment

Every time a manufacturing plant or a gas station closes, contaminants from the usage of the chemicals needed to run the place remain in the soil, water, and sometimes even the air. These pollutants can be hazardous not only to the health of people who live nearby, but also to the community/city/region as a whole. Plus run-down gas stations are a total eyesore.
Economic developers, city/region planners, community activists, and government agencies often take on the tasks of redeveloping these contaminated “brownfields.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), specifically, has taken a lead role in its activity to redevelop and revitalize these sites. Especially since many of them are located near residences and valuable pieces of infrastructure.
The EPA defines a brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Better than just left alone loo…

God In Control

Who else could cause the seasons to change? Who else divides night from day? Who created nature? What force dictates the trees, grass, and leaves to grow and not to grow? Who tells the stars to shine, the sun to shine, the moon to shine? Who gave you the brilliance and personality to shine?

Who gives mankind intellect, intuition, and insights? If mankind, culture, institutions, and phones are so smart, why is there still no remedy to cease winds, storms, and hurricanes? Why have they, being so rational and educated, yet to know all that exists on land, underwater, or in the depths of outer space?

Ever notice how infants need no instructions on how to breathe, cry, eat, sleep, nor poop? If mankind is so smart then why have we yet to find a way to go days/months/years without relying on sleep or any sort of rest. Some humans can't even go three hours without a nap.

There is no known power in human control that can stop cause and effect- action and consequence- first this, then that…

Bad Days

Christ took the nails. He took the beating. He took the filthy saliva of arrogant, immoral, lesser men. He took the cuss words. He took the mockery. He took punches, kicks, stabs, jabs, and any ohter move of defense mankind is capable of. He took a dirty wooden cross and caught a number of untold splinters.

He bled nonstop and died a horrible death. He received no medical attention. He stayed dead for three days.

But, through all of this... He rose. He got up. From a bloody mess to a beautiful success. Jesus Christ of Nazareth rose. He fought the enemy, won and took all power forever. He did this for yours and my salvation. He also did this to show us that no matter how bad a day we have, we too can rise. From death to blessed. We will rise.

In the chaos of a bad day when matters aren't going our way, we will remember the epic and historic victory at Calvary. Just as He rose, so can we.





All The Things You Are

This is a clip of my piano teacher, Jason L. Smith, showing how quickly and smoothly jazz shifts keys. Today marks day two of my dissecting its various changes. The II-V-I is prevalent throughout the piece.

Jehovah-Jireh

Notes and observations taken from David Worshipped a Living God by Judson Cornwall...

Instead of dreading and fearing problems, see them as altars of worship. All it takes to make idolaters of any of us is to make something as a means become an end. It's such a subtle shift to embrace the means instead of the end.

Like Abraham, we should take "our only son" to the altar and get back to the exclusive worship of God. Whatever becomes the focus of our affections becomes our god and no matter what the lips say, the object of our affections will receive the worship.

"Jireh" (in reference to Genesis 22:14) means more than "to provide." It means to see or to forsee. Provide comes from two Latin words: pro which means beforehand and vide which means to see, as in "video." Jehovah-Jireh stood at the beginning of history and saw it as though it were present and saw to everything He saw. There wasn't anything He saw that He didn't see to, so t…

Business Lessons, Observations, and Mishaps

In gratitude for my professional experiences and the wonderful and selfless people I have been privileged to meet so far, I have archived some valuable lessons learned as a young businessman. I know I have a long way to go, but as long as you benefit from this list, it makes the sharing worth it. Enjoy!

Successful people are simply problem solvers.Never ever toot your own horn.Information breeds confidence.Relationships are everything. Relationships are everything. Relationships are everything.When asking a question, don't attempt to answer it yourself.People can sense flakiness. Be yourself.A handwritten "Thank You" note/card is always necessary to those who have had great impact on you personally and professionally.Dress how you want to be addressed.Keep your word.Immediate follow-up is invaluable.To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late.Napkins belong in the lap, not on the table.Give: do not hold back on lending your resources (time, wisdom, a key con…

Where Is The Jazz?

Here lately I've been listening to all sorts of gospel music in search of jazzy touch, feeling, or vibe-- something reminiscent of jazz in gospel...The results are dismal.

That's not a bad thing. However, from the views of an aspiring jazz pianist, I wonder now more than ever why the harmonies, intervals, and voicings of jazz are so rare in gospel. I love both genres of music and I have to constantly remind myself: jazz is all about the music, gospel is all about the message.
My only concern is will my church/gospel music colleagues ever dig deep and explore the possibilities of how jazz can enhance the sound, the feeling, and mood of a song? Or will they grow content in their comfort zones citing previous James Hall and Hezekiah Walker songs as the closest to jazz they'll ever get?
The music of Take 6, Darryl Coley, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, Commissioned, Yolanda Adams, Ramsey Lewis, Melvin Crispell, John Peters, PJ Morgan, Cory Henry, The Powell Family are some of th…

Case Study: Humility

In Tokyo, Japan, on the night of February 11, 1990, the young king of boxing fell to his unforgettable demise in one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

"Iron" Mike Tyson, was the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history. At 23 years old he was the youngest to capture the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, and International Boxing Federation titles. His unmarveled combination of power and quickness, his physical specimen, and 37-0 record were feared around the world.

In June 1988, Tyson reduced Olympic gold medalist Michael Spinks to a heap of shame. A year later in July 1989, Tyson blasted Carl "The Truth" Williams who, before Tyson, was the youngest to be crowned champion. Both were easy first round knockouts for Tyson.

Buster Douglas was by no means an elite boxer. The Tyson-Douglas bout was to be merely practice for Tyson. However, throughout the months before the fight, Tyson was going through an ugly divorce from an impulsive marr…

Duplicity of the Declaration

These thoughts stem from American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis. So far, a great book.

In  May of 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a five person committee consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to draft a resolution expressing the North American colonies' freedom from the British crown and declaring their own independence.

As the unofficial overseer of the committee, Adams first asked Franklin. Franklin declined citing among his reasons, a dislike for writing anything that would be edited by a committee. From there, Adams asked Jefferson who performed the the duty promptly. Once the committee made minor revisions, the committee presented Jefferson's draft to the full congress on June 28.

The congress spent two days making changes to the document and among them: removing any reference to the slave trade or slavery itself, even though Jefferson blamed it all on King George III. The congress focused on the…

Mo' Fruit

The more I read and mature in the Word of God, the more I grow to love it. Throughout the summer months at Bible study we began an in-depth study on the book of Ephesians. The richness of the truth, literature, and promises of God's salvation is mind blowing!

This analysis of Ephesians has prompted me to do a gut check of myself, inside and out. Matters concerning how I treat people, how I manage my time, set priorities, and grow to ensuring my life is pleasing to the Lord.

This desire is undoubtedly the inner workings of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:7- one of the meanings of 'redemption' is the residency of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22) and He dwells in those that have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. He gives the wisdom to make the right choices to please God the Father. Decisions that please the Father can only yield positive fruit.

Today's message in church came from Ephesians 4:1-3. Lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, love, and temperance are not natu…

Meanness or Me-Ness?

It should be my constant prayer to ask the Lord to help me to stop looking through the lenses of shortcomings, expiration dates, and judgment, but to accept people and things for who and what they are and enjoy them. To laugh. To learn. To appreciate. This gives an entirely new meaning to the expression "living in the moment."

The way I view time, unwanted conversation, "boring" people, and the daily hustle aren't with the eyes of joy and gratitude like they should be nor does this please God the Father who Himself is joy (1 John 4:8).
The root cause of my meanness, better yet my "me-ness," is selfishness. Selfishness and joy are not related. In fact, they're opposites. Selfishness is pseudo-joy. Selfishness does not consider the thoughts, attitudes, or well-being of others while joy does consider the thoughts, attitudes, and well-being of others. When joy takes root in the heart, a wellspring of love, gratitude, and laughter become evident fruit.T…

Growthville, USA

I spent my Friday night in intense, concentrated thinking. Although it is not the most entertaining ways to spend my week's signature festive night, I felt I needed to.

In my exploration and deep thought, I found two US city rankings that both have Atlanta listed in the top 25. I read both articles in depth and asked myself "What makes a city good for business?" To answer that question in entirety would take more than a blog posting, but I did find a few factors that each city shared and wanted to point those out.

The rankings come from Bloomberg's America's Best Cities and Global Trade Magazine's Top 50 Cities for Global Trade. Both polls are legitimate and both are directly related to (creating and getting) jobs and investment.

Bloomberg's rankings of the top cities shared quite a few similarities: education, weather, safety, restaurants, entertainment (night life), air, crime, shopping and retail options, household income, and public parks. All of these r…