G – GOD | O – OUR | S – SINS | P – PAYING | E — EVERYONE | L – LIFE

Propaganda rocked it at our church a few weeks ago and I’m glad I was able to find this video. “Refreshingly awesome” is what was running through my mind as he shared this with us.

Designing a Family Heirloom: The Celtic Cross

My faith is very important to me – it’s a cornerstone of who I am as a person. And, if my son or future children choose to follow in that faith, I wanted to have something to give them at the end of my life that was a physical reminder of the path that I followed. I wanted to create something unique, and something that would last for generations. Titanium seemed like the best choice for that – it’s an extremely durable material that should last for a very long time. I did a lot of research, spending hours looking at different online jewellery sites, and I decided to use Titanium Workshop, settling on their Celtic Cross design (I’m of Scottish decent). They had some nice enamelling options, so I selected red and opted for the satin brushed texture. I also had them do some custom engraving on the back. Below is the end result:

The custom engraving on the back was an extra charge, but I think it adds a lot to the piece – it makes it unique, which is what I wanted. The staff at Titanium Workshop were great about answering questions I had, providing me with a render showing the red enamel, and allowing me to submit an incredibly poorly hand-drawn sketch and understanding exactly what I wanted.

When the cross first arrived, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the enamel and custom text; it looked great! There were two small issues though: the first was that there was some sort of material in the upper right-hand corner on the front. I had no idea what it was, but I didn’t want to start picking away at it. The other issue was that the front of the cross had the stain (brushed) texture, which looked amazing. The back though had a mirror-like finish, which I wasn’t expecting. I contacted Titanium Workshop and their excellent customer service people offered to fix both issues if I sent it back. I did, and within a few days of them receiving it, I had the cross back in my hands. I’m extremely happy with how well it turned out, and have my eye on ordering another product from them – just as soon as I can confirm 100% which Scottish clan I’m descended from…which is proving to be more difficult than I thought. But that’s a story for another day…

Favourite Songs: “When You Call My Name” by Paul Brandt

Paul Brandt (Wikipedia) is a country artist, and for many, many years I really disliked country. I probably even said that I hated country music when I was in my 20’s. Sometime in my early 30’s, I started to enjoy some country music. One of the key artists to re-shape my feelings about country music was Paul Brandt. I really liked his music because it wasn’t the twangy “My dog got run over by a truck” stuff I thought of as being typically country. The first album I bought by Paul Brandt was This Time Around, his 2004 release. I liked it, and picked up a few more of his albums – and I discovered a song that blew me away, completely and totally: When You Call My Name.

To quote from this song, “the way that it moves me, it’s simply amazing”. Just like “World’s Apart” by Jars of Clay, this song impacted me in a big way when I first heard it, and it still does today. First, it’s live – the whole album it’s from, Small Town and Big Dreams, is live. Live music has a…realness that studio music can often lack. It’s raw, it’s pure, and it’s real (assuming there aren’t a rack of pitch-correctors back-stage). Paul Brandt’s voice is powerful, pure, and very real. I’ve heard him sing live (sadly, not this song), and his voice really does sound that good. Next, layer on some great playing/singing by the band, especially the background vocalists – one of which I think is his wife, Elizabeth. There’s also a male background vocalist that adds some great texture to the song. There are wonderful harmonies layered everywhere in this song – it’s amazing to sing along with – and some phenomenal mandolin and bass playing.

For me, the real power though is in the words. Music is poetry put to melody, and like all poetry, the interpretation is often left up to the reader or listener. When I close my eyes and listen to this song, I hear the cry of the created to the Creator. I hear the ache of a spirit, once broken, made whole.  I hear the gasp of amazement from a soul who hears his name spoken from the lips of Eternity. I hear the tears of joy falling on a face of someone who’s been forgiven, head tilted upward toward Pure Love. When You call my name.

paul-brandt-small-towns-and-big-dreams-2002
[you can listen to the entire song here]

“When You Call My Name”, Paul Brandt

Give me a moment
To try and explain it
And how it has changed
The man that I am
Life has a way
When you try to arrange it
Of makin’ a fool
Of the best laid plans

Guess what I’m tryin’ to say
Is you took me by surprise
One word is all that it takes
And forever’s on my mind
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

The way that it moves me
It’s simply amazing
Yeah somehow it seems
Much bigger than words
When you call my name
Angels start singing
The most beautiful sound
That I’ve ever heard

And it starts all over again
This feeling deep inside
A blessed chain of events
A heaven sent desire
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

When you call my name
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
When you call my name
Ooooooooohhhh
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
(call my name)
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name