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Showing posts from October, 2016

ARC State of the Region: The Journey Continues

This morning the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) held its 2016 State of the Region Breakfast. It was a way to celebrate and recognize the achievements, people, and projects shaping Metro Atlanta's past, present, and future.

ARC is metro Atlanta's regional planning agency. From a sole planning standpoint it oversees coordination and administration of state and federal programming in the 10-county metro region. From a water conservation standpoint, ARC's footprint swells to over 20 metro counties.

ARC works within the metro area to ensure sound and quality growth in the areas of transportation, natural resources, aging and health, livability, workforce development, leadership development, and economic development.

Attending the State of the Region this morning was a unique experience held at the Georgia World Congress Center between the Georgia Dome and the under-construction Mercedes Benz Stadium. The room was filled with much Atlanta history, development leaders, elected…

Dr. Forman's Retirement

Dr. Maury Forman, my favorite author on economic development, announced his retirement earlier this year.

A veteran of the field, he served for 26 years in the State of Washington's Department of Commerce.

His body of work has had an invaluable impact on my understanding of the profession and the process of economic development.

I was first introduced to Dr. Forman's literature as an intern at the Metro Atlanta Chamber in 2012 when my boss at the time, Larry Williams, gave me a stack of around six or seven big, educational-looking books. The books typically had an author or two, but the one name they all had in common: Maury Forman.

As it turns out, Larry and Dr. Forman worked together at the State of Washington Department of Commerce. Larry's unselfish gifts to me opened the door to the simplistic yet information-intensive works of Dr. Maury Forman. As a result, I gained an understanding of economic development that I don't think I could have ever learned in a classro…

2 Corinthians 9:8 Carved Up

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able- There is nothing too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27, Luke 18:27). You have to believe make ALL grace- Not some, but all grace. That is all of God's unmerited favor and goodness (Ephesians 2:8-9) that He is making...abound toward you- Insert your name at "you."always having- Righteousness, peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, peace, salvation, healing, are wherever God is. So when He is with us so are all of His attributes. They are inseparable. all sufficiency- God's provision guarantees an abundance of what you need and what you are going to need (2 Corinthians 12:9). Whether that's during the school day, the work day, the test, the trying times, in obstacle and in opportunity, God- the Manufacturer of our Hearts- knows what we need and supplies it, sufficiently.…

Kingdom Man Round 2

I'm reading Kingdom Man by Tony Evans for the second time this year. This is nothing I typically do, but the book has already had a profound impact on my life and walk with the Lord that I chose to give it a rare Round 2 for the year.

Kingdom Man is not an average read, it is a call to action.

Looking to God's Word, Kingdom Man ignites a response to be more responsible, more courageous, more accountable, more loving, more watchful, and wholeheartedly dedicated to Christ.

The book builds on Scriptures to show what a Kingdom Man looks like, how he conducts himself, what God says about men, and why biblical manhood is in dire necessity today.

Evans consistently writes about rightful alignment in God's Word throughout the book. This passage struck a chord in me and I hope it does the same for you, especially for the fellas:

"Men, we serve in a kingdom. God is our King. Christ is our head, our leader. And He has asked us to stand fast. He has asked us to give our undivided …


I found this excerpt highlighted in Jazz Piano: A History by Billy Taylor. I must've highlighted it several months ago. Taylor gives a very solid understanding of improvisation.

"In jazz improvisation the melody is usually, but not always, stated. Then the pianist begins to play around the melody, often spontaneously creating a new melody from the basic harmonics or embroidering the original melody until its shape is changed. "

"Melodic invention, therefore, is one of the most important aspects of the jazz pianists craft. Every jazz pianist must learn to spontaneously create melodies which are original or representative of his or her musical ideas."

The deeper you study music, the piano in particular, you realize improvisation extracts from the chorus or melody in a song and amends it using a number of tools and techniques.

One of my personal all-time favorite improvisational pianists is Teddy Wilson. Listen to his original and effective improv solo on the classic …

I'm Learning

"I'm Learning through Your loving, how I become more trusting
I'm Learning through your sharing, how I can be a little more caring
I'm Learning Lord by Your guiding, the essence of life is really giving
Oh the closer I get to You, You reveal to me more and more"
- The Chorus of "I'm Learning" by Commissioned The more we get to know Christ, the more His love changes us. Growing in Christ is a non-stop learning process. Our thoughts and behaviors change as we start to understand His sacrificial and unconditional love for us. It is a journey of ups and downs, but no matter where we are, Christ stands fortified and lovingly teaches us His way. Perhaps no song better describes this constant growth like "I'm Learning" by Commissioned.

The Farewell Rooftop Reception

Last Thursday evening I attended the Metro Atlanta Chamber's (MAC) Farewell Rooftop Reception. 

It was a gathering of former and current employees and friends to celebrate one last time on the ever-so-cherished J.B. Fuqua Rooftop, where views of the Atlanta skyline and an overlook of Centennial Olympic Park provide a breath-taking setting. The room was filled with lots of history, laughter, and people who helped shape Atlanta and the metro area into the international destination it is today.

The Farewell Reception was spawned by last year's decision for MAC to sell its building to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to expand Centennial Olympic Park. The building will be demolished to provide more greenspace in the area. MAC will move to a new location on Peachtree.

I am saddened to see the building go. MAC- the organization, the people, and the building welcomed me into its family as an intern in 2012. It's been family ever since and the building itself will alway…

Thoughts on Praise

This is to my fellow praise & worship leaders, ministers of music, choir directors, musicians, and those who use their musical gifts to glorify God.

Listen to your overseer. They are shepherds and watchmen of God's people. They are also the ones giving the preached word. If they request a song, sing it. Their request should take precedent over what you've prepared.If you're teaching a song, know the material-- thoroughly. How you introduce a song sets the tone for how the song will be delivered. If you want the vocalists to project confidence, teach with confidence. If you want negligence and sloppiness, teach it that way. Give every rehearsal, every service, every occasion 100%. Nothing less.Appreciate those you do ministry with. Anytime you praise you make spiritual war. Praise is a weapon. Appreciate the sacrifices and gifts of those you fight with.Don't allow the tiniest of problems to diminish your music.When the Spirit flows, forget the program. Salvation, hea…

Setting the Tone

As I finish preparing to play piano and minister in music at church tomorrow, I find myself always being very intentional about creating an environment around me that inspires originality, creativity, and worship. This atmosphere is most easily set with, naturally, music.

What and who I listen to varies, but the one goal is the music must be unique, true, and liberating. Any musician will tell you that creativity is not limited to one specific genre. Neither is great music restricted to "sacred" or "secular." If the heart is in the right place, those good intentions will manifest.

At the same time, because I am preparing to play in the LORD's house, I am sensitive to what I put in my ears. What goes in, eventually comes out. I want a pure flow from God to musically communicate to His people.

I typically don't share what gets me going on Saturdays, but, I believe these artists and their music is worth sharing.

Feel free to click the links and explore the art…