WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

With all the division brought on by the current political environment, it seems like a good time to share some music of Peace and Love. OK, sing along!

SERENDIPITY

Peace and Love Songs, by Rich Paschall


With all the hate, violence and anger in the world it seems like a good time to reach for some peace and love.  There was a time when music spoke to the social conscience of society.  In the late 1960s and the 1970’s in particular, the force of music moved our hearts and our society away from war and civil disruption and toward a calmer more loving society, at least on the surface anyway.  The rallies, the marches and the songs all spoke, or should I say sang out, to the need we had then to stop the violence.

No H8 No H8

It’s a much different society today and I am not sure the rallies for peace and songs about love will move us in the right direction.  It doesn’t hurt to try, however, so I bring you some moments of peace.  You will be…

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Blessing

I was recently thinking of those who seek their parents blessing, only to be turned away.  On St. Valentine’s Day you offer your heart to those you love in hopes that you will be accepted and blessed in return.  The article below originally appeared on this space two years ago.  I thought it was a good time to repost. 

As I was making my way around Word Press yesterday looking for interesting blogs where I could leave comments, part of the Zero to Hero 30 Days to a Better Blog exercise, I came across The Open Closet, so I went in to take a look.  The first post I encountered was titled Blessing.  It is about the role a particular song played in the author’s coming out process.

“I know this song,” I thought immediately.  I was certain that it was one that my cousin posted last year on facebook when she surprised some of us by speaking of coming out.  It has a powerful lyric and speaks strongly to the emotions felt by the author.  The video was of low quality picture but had good sound.  It featured the composer at the piano and “The Broadway Boys” took over after the first verse and brought the message home.  This particular video has not exactly gone viral, but is worth a look nonetheless.

When someone falls in love and wants to spend the rest of their life with someone, they frequently look toward home not just for support, but for blessing.  It can not be understated how adult children still want and crave the blessings of their parents for the love in their lives.  In a certain way, it validates what the “child” is thinking and feeling.  He or she wants to know it is OK.  That he is supported.  That he (or she) and his or her love is also loved by the parents.

In a powerful scene in Fiddler on the Roof Tevye, the father, is told by the daughter that she is not asking his permission to be married, but rather his blessing.  This is a cultural shock for the time period but demonstrates what children have always wanted from their parents, their blessing.  Why should it be different for a gay man or lesbian?  They still want the love and the blessing of the parents.  If they can not bless the union, then they risk hurting the child and missing an important moment in life.

Rather than leave the Scott Alan version for you, I thought I would choose the one I saw on You Tube last year.  You can find the link to the Scott Alan version above or drop into The Open Closet.  This cover version of the song is beautifully captured in this video.  Listen to the words as well as the beautiful voices.  I think you will be moved.

IN SEARCH OF PEACE ON EARTH

It does not look like a New Year will bring Peace on Earth, but we can hope.

SERENDIPITY

The Same Auld Lang Syne, by Rich Paschall

Another year has begun and we can see it is indeed the same as days gone by.  The old days are not forgotten as old conflicts rage on and new ones have arisen.  If old acquaintances happen to be forgotten as one year passes into another, old hatred, old disputes, old border wars, old and new religious battles carry on as if they will forever be remembered.  Are these disagreements worth the killing of men, women and children standing on the other side?

In our neighborhood, just as in many around the world we conclude our year wishing “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”  It is on our greeting cards and in our songs.  It appears in Christmas stories and is heard from pulpits and lecterns around the world. The invocations I read to those assembled at noon mass at our church on Christmas Day included a…

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Super Sweet Blogging Award

Quite a while back I received the subject award and meant to follow through with rewards of my own. That went over the cliff along with the other best laid plans.  Now I am passing out some goodies before we sing Auld Lang SyneSerendipity blog by Teepee12 visited me with my first award.  Serendipity can go off in any direction and that is one of the things I appreciate about it.  I may have been a bit more political than I intended, but I have gone off where ever my pen leads me as well.  If you want to taste various sweets, you will want to visit the various topics offered to you by Teepee12.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

A big delay in writing this article was in the choosing of award winners.  I could never seem to find the time to review the many blogs I choose to follow but actually found little time to read.  If I sat down in front of WordPress, it was either to moderate a comment or work on the next blog entry before Sunday night actually came around.  Sometimes Sundays were already booked, so I had to find time to write during the week.  The Sunday night deadline turned into a Sunday afternoon target as it seemed a better time to capture the few regular readers who stopped by.  Some You Tube editing also stole some of my time.  Every now and then, I throw in a shameless plug for my latest video because…well, because I can!

Picking the first two award winners was easy.  Serendipity has served up so many tasty morsels this year it would be impossible not to hand the blog one more award.  In addition to the great articles and random thoughts are a variety of great pictures.  I take pictures frequently but never seem to get such good results.  That blog is proof of how a great picture can enhance any story or article you are writing.  Although I have used a few of my own pictures, I tend to go with the standard license stuff you can easily insert while you write.

In recent months while writing a few gay themed stories based on things I came across in the news or at You Tube or at the No H8 campaign (see current profile pic), I found several good blogs to read and to leave a comment.  One in particular stood out as it chronicles the personal stories of the author as well as some other related themes.  It’s Gay Everyday, Helping and Encouraging Gay (Christian) Men.  Many find conflict between Christian Faith and gay orientation, and the struggle with that can be seen in these personal stories.  As we are handing out a sweet award, however, I could point to the entertainment themed articles.  Glee, of course, is mentioned, but it is this Blessing that really captured my emotion.  If it does not move you, then I think you are unmovable.  Watch the video.  I trust the author of the blog, Josh, and I have become friends in recent months.  I sometime move a discussion over to personal email so that it does not seem like I am following his column with a personal debate.  It is a joy to make friends on a personal level here.  I really did not come to blogging with any such expectation.

Now with great power comes great responsibility!  OK, that’s something that Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Spiderman, but I will stretch it a little and use it here.  With the awards now received go these Guidelines:

1. Give credit to the person who chooses to nominate you.  Serendipity, a true inspiration

2. Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.

3. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen”

“Super Sweet” Questions:

1. Cookies or Cake?  Cake for sure!  I can not point to a particular favorite.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.  As a kid it was chocolate, but all things pass.

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?   I am a sucker for cheesecake, but bread pudding is also high on the list. 

4. When do you crave sweet things the most?  LOL, anytime.

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Puddin’ head?  It’s really up to someone else to give you a nick name.

Now for the awards.  These articles moved me in some way.  From the serious and emotional to the humorous and whimsical, the following are my 2012 favorite blog treats, in no particular order:

Award winners may now copy the award above and post it on their sites.

Note:  While going back through my list of blogs that I followed this past year, I noticed that a few writers seem to have given up their blogs.  This is too bad since they all had a great style and something worth saying.  I understand it, however, as I  sometimes wonder myself how long I will continue to write this.