Mike’s ecclectic jukebox

Billy Joel is near the top of the list for me and “New York State of Mind” is just about my favorite, so . . .

This is several years old but it remains a favorite. Especially dig the look of joy on the kid’s face when he starts playing. You can almost hear the voice in his head, “I’m playing piano for Billy Joel . . .”

Sorry about the video quality.


I saw my wife in a whole new way today and I think that is a good thing.

Her brother came to town for the weekend and we met him for lunch today. It was a good visit, good to catch up on him and his family. He has a child beginning to narrow down choices for college and it doesn’t seem possible that those many years have flown in that young life. Our son and daughter-in-law joined in and it was, altogether, an enjoyable time.

Afterward, on the sidewalk, the visit was winding down and I watched my wife and her brother talk the way siblings do, with understanding passed between them that went beyond the spoken words, and I was glad for her. She has few childhood memories that she can easily call upon. She has even wondered at times if there was some dramatic experience that keeps her from remembering.

But then there are days like today when, prompted by someone close to her who was also there, the memories, the connections all line up in their proper places.

Today I saw her as a sister who loves, and is loved by, her brother. Because of distance, both physical and relational, she rarely is a part of that. But today she was and it was fun to watch.

via Daily Prompt: Aware

Mad all day

I was mad all day.

I started to say that this was not an easy thing to do but, sadly, I realized it wasn’t that difficult at all. Early in the day, at work, somebody said something that may, or may not, have been a critique. I assumed it was and I took it personally. Quickly, all the faults and shortcomings of the speaker came to mind. “That’s just fine, coming from him!” I thought. Why didn’t he see the wisdom of what I had done, instead of suggesting that it was not a solution at all, but more like a problem?

After a couple of attempts to explain myself (attempts that were cut off), I walked away in a huff and I huffed and puffed all day. Again, it was pretty easy to do.

Why? Because I am selfish and I have anger inside me. So when my kingdom is threatened, when my thin skin is breached, it is no problem at all for selfishness and anger to come gushing out.

I like to think that I am some kind of mature Christian at this stage of the game. But it is amazing how easily that notion is shown to be self-deception. I am stunned by my childishness. And though, for many hours today, I felt I was wronged and was justified in my behavior, by the end of the day I saw my tantrum for what it was.

It is possible the guy was jabbing me, but, what? Mr. Maturity can’t take it? No, I can’t. I need a Savior. I am not really capable of living this life as a Christian without the Christ of Christianity. And I think many Christians do themselves, and their Lord, a disservice here and I have done it myself. Sometimes we think we just need more patience or kindness or courtesy or manners or humility or some other behavior on our part in order to get along with those around us. That is, we think we are good enough, or can be with enough effort, to live as a Christian by our own efforts.

But we aren’t. And when I said disservice a moment ago, I short-changed it. It’s idolatry and deception to think, somehow, I can flesh out Christianity on my own.

Only Jesus could do that.


(daily post)