Tag-Archive for » Jimmy Buffett «

Apology Accepted

Apology Accepted

Apology accepted.  I received an apology on Saturday that I gladly accepted. We (the Parrot Island Band, a Jimmy Buffett tribute/cover band from Atlanta, Georgia) were playing for a community event in Roswell, Georgia. It was a pretty easy event, as gigs go; we were set up between a few vendors and played as people passed by.

There were a couple of musicians playing after us and one of them was listening carefully during a couple of our ukulele songs. When we were putting up our equipment, this musician said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I owe you an apology….” I was wondering what he had to apologize for since I didn’t know him…. He continued, “I have always thought of the ukulele as a toy and after listening to you guys play, I realize that I was wrong!” We spent several minutes talking about the ukulele and where he might pick one up. (Of course, I recommended Uke Republic…a great group over there to help you figure out which ukulele you need.)

This is serious fun

What a great compliment. As the Eddy Finn “Ukulele Ambassador” (endorsing musician), I love telling people about Eddy Finn Ukes… and I also have fun playing a really neat instrument.

When people think of the ukulele, many remember Arthur Godfrey from the 1950’s or Tiny Tim from the 1960’s and think of the ukulele as either an instrument used long ago or as a prop for a novelty act. The truth is that the ukulele is an instrument that many musicians play today and it is currently riding a wave of popularity.

Some who play the ukulele today are Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder (rock) and Michael McDonald If you ever want to hear an incredible ukulele player, just check out Jake Shimabukuro. Of course, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that Jimmy Buffett also plays ukulele from time to time in his shows.

Parrot Island Ukulele Eddy Finn

Although it was a pretty quiet day in Roswell, I felt like I had changed someone’s perspective about the ukulele and that is a great feeling. If you live in the Atlanta area (we do travel some with enough notice), maybe you would like to relax and enjoy some Parrot Island Band music. With steel pan, ukulele/guitar and congas, you can count on us taking you to a “happy place”… AND we are affordable (we don’t call ourselves “Jimmy Buffett on a budget” for nothing).  :)  

Beaches and blessings,

Bry

Old Man and the Sea

 

Old Man and the Sea

Old Man and the Sea. They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so I’ll keep this post short.:) This picture was taken a few weeks ago while we (the Parrot Island Band, a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia) were in St. Augustine, Florida. We played as part of the A1A Beaches Parrot Head Club’s Beach Bash event.

Bry Harris play Eddy Finn Ukele to relax

As you can tell by the smile on my face, I love sitting on the beach… I also love playing my Eddy Finn Ukulele (or uke for short).  What better than to combine the two and sit by the ocean, reflect on the beauty and play a few songs… I did… as Jimmy Buffett sings, “I want to go back”… “Someday, I will”…

Beaches and blessings

Honey I Shrunk My Guitar!

Honey, I Shrunk My Guitar!

If you have been following the Parrot Island Band lately you will see me (Bry) with a lot of pictures holding a ukulele (sometimes called uke). At some point during our gigs, I will usually say something to the affect that my favorite guitar was left out in the rain and Linda tossed it in the dryer… causing it to shrink. :)

Bry Harris loves his Eddy Finn Uke a Trop Rock Favorite

My very first guitar was an Epiphone Nylon String/Classical guitar. At the age of twelve, I was given my guitar and a few group lessons at the local YMCA. We also had a “bluegrass club” at high school where students taught each other songs by groups such as the Eagles, James Taylor and yes, Jimmy Buffett (to name a few).  [Yeah, I know these aren’t bluegrass musicians, but that’s the only way we could get together and play the songs we liked.] Beyond the YMCA and friends at school, I have found many excellent musicians over the years who were willing to share their talent and musical knowledge…thanks!

While I have had numerous guitars over the years, I have always enjoyed the sound and feel of the nylon string guitar. About a year ago, I picked up a ukulele while in a local music store and enjoyed the similar sound that the ukulele makes to that found in the nylon string guitar (a little more mellow and strings that are a little easier on the fingers).

I have found the ukulele to be a very relaxing instrument. It has been said that you can’t play a sad song on the ukulele. I am not sure if that is true but I know that playing the ukulele usually puts me in a good mood.

Parrot Island Band plays Eddy Finn Ukulele

The ukulele is easy to take with you when you are traveling and a great instrument to have in the office. I keep one at home and one at work, often pausing for a few minutes to relax and play a song or two before getting back to whatever project is in front of me. The ukulele is also a great instrument to have with you when sitting at the beach. :) While at St. Augustine Beach last week, I had a great time sitting beside the ocean and playing some relaxing uke music.

Jimmy Buffett Tribute band Trop UKES

While I would have said a few months ago that I was a guitar player who dabbled in ukuleles, I now feel more like a ukulele player who plays a little guitar. I still have a lot to learn about playing the ukulele and it will take continued playing until it feels as natural as playing the guitar. That being said, I am glad to have added to the ukulele to my life.

As an added bonus to having picked up the ukulele, I have also become an official “endorsing artist/musician” for the Eddy Finn Ukulele Company. The Eddy Finn Ukes are not only great sounding instruments but they are reasonably priced for the average person. Add a “fin” to the sound hole and market it as a ukulele for those who love islands and beaches… and you have a perfect match between the Eddy Finn Ukulele and the Parrot Island Band (a Trop Rock -Jimmy Buffett tribute trio from Atlanta, Georgia).

Looking for a new instrument to learn? Why not consider the ukulele (and an Eddy Finn Ukulele at that)? Affordable. Highly portable. The ladies love them (OK, I can’t speak for ALL ladies, but my wife, Linda, and this really cute three year old at our last gig think they are cool). Easy to learn to play. Relaxing and…FUN! What are you waiting for? Put on your flip flops and go get a ukulele!!

Beaches and blessings

Uncle Jim Rocks Alabama Elementary School

Uncle Jim Rocks Alabama Elementary School

Uncle Jim (bass player for Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band) rocks Alabama elementary school with help from a Parrot Island Band lead singer and a Parrothead councilman.

(Today's post is by Derek Raulerson, friend of the Parrot Island Band – a Trop Rock Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia.  Derek and Bry met a couple of years ago when the Parrot Island Band played an event for the summer reading program in Jacksonville, Alabama.  Since then Derek and Bry have become good friends and occasional golfing buddies… both share a love of all things Jimmy Buffett).

Jim Mayer hanging out with Bry Harris of the Parrot Island Band

It’s hump day on the mainland and a lot has been going on!  Jim Mayer, known to kids as “Uncle Jim” and to adults as the bass player for Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band brought his anti-bullying message (www.unclejimrocks.com) and IM4U program to 818 elementary students with the help of Parrot Island Band Head Parrot Bry Harris.  Bringing Mayer to Kitty Stone Elementary was the result of a few coincidences and the legwork of Councilman & Parrothead  Derek Raulerson, who had dealt with a friend's child’s encounter with a bully at school. The issue was already on his mind when none other than Bry Harris recommended Mayer’s campaign to bring awareness to anti-bullying across the nation. After checking out the program, Raulerson took the idea to Kitty Stone Elementary Principal Christy Hamilton and district administration, ultimately securing $1,500 from the city to pay for the show, which Raulerson said covered Mayer’s expenses.

Derek and Jim looking for Bry and the Parrot Island Band?

Fourth-grader Deandre Sigler said that message was the most interesting part of the program, learning what kids can do to help, “like telling people and reporting it if something’s wrong.” “You need to tell somebody,” Mayer told them. “This is really important because kids all over the country are getting hurt because nobody’s speaking up.” Deandre had never heard of cyber-bullying until Friday, but now he knows to be cautious before “you go online or text someone, and you hurt somebody’s feelings.” Mayer told students that once they hit send, they can’t take it back. A chorus of “Whoa!” met Mayer’s explanation of how something goes viral, of how quickly one message to a friend can turn into 125 quickly.

Conga Line to Parrot Island

A sea of children danced around a man with a guitar and broccoli hat last Friday morning at Kitty Stone Elementary School in Jacksonville, AL, probably not realizing who stood before them.  Those impressionable minds are comparable to sponges soaking up life’s lessons from an entertainer who travels the world bringing us a form of escapism.  Some would say “I don’t know and I don’t care” (Jimmy Buffett/Jim Mayer) but with the help of the coconut telegraph and Bry Harris, Buffett’s bass player was brought to a small town in Northeast Alabama. Isn’t it amazing how our love for tropical climates, cheeseburgers in paradise and Jimmy Buffett can bring us together and make things transpire?  Hope to see you in Atlanta next month for the largest Parrothead gathering in the southeast, we will be the ones under a mango tree!

Jim Mayer can play with Parrot Island Band any time

What are YOU good at?

What are YOU good at?

I was talking with some elementary school children this week and I asked them what they were good at. One said “dancing”, another “playing” and after a few more answers, one little girl said confidently, “singing!”

I asked the little girl how she knew she was good at singing. She said she knew she was a good singer because she had fun doing it… what a great answer!

What are YOU good at?

Think of how many adults have quit singing, dancing, painting, etc. because someone told them when they were younger that they weren’t good at it. What if we redefined what success is, as it relates to our hobbies, talents or passions?

Now I’m not suggesting that everyone who enjoys singing should be on American Idol, but we shouldn’t be afraid to pursue activities we enjoy, simply for the joy these activities bring.

Don't Quit listening to Parrot Island Band

I was recently at a conference called the Quitter Conference by Jon Acuff. Jon not only encourages people to follow their dreams but also to leverage their “day jobs” in order to pursue those things we love to do. In some ways, this was a Non-Quitter Conference, as Jon often says, “don’t quit your day job, at least not yet”.

There is a lot to be said for following passions because they are fun, even though they may never pay the bills.  I also wrote in my notebook while at the conference, “approval is terrible fuel for a dream”. Sometimes we give up on our dreams because we aren’t very good at the activities we love… but maybe we could be if we gave these dreams time to develop and our talents time to improve.

After a 25 year break from music, I started playing the guitar again. Before I knew it, I had formed the Parrot Island Band, a Trop Rock/Jimmy Buffett Tribute band near Atlanta, Georgia. We started playing backyard events and if being “really good” was the mark of whether or not we continued (versus the fun we had), we probably would have quit right then.

Bry Harris of the Parrot Island Band

Since those early “gigs”, we have now played at events in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, North and South Carolina and Virginia. We have played at Cheeseburger in Paradise, for several Jimmy Buffett concert/tailgate events, a National Movie Theatre Manager’s Convention (Carmike Cinemas) and even a minor league baseball game (the Augusta Green Jackets).While we haven't met Jimmy Buffett, we have met most of the Coral Reefer Band and I (Bry) have played a song with Doyle Grisham (Jimmy's Pedal Steel guitar player)

Even with all of this, there is a temptation to compare our band to bigger, better, more successful bands… but I won’t. How do I know that we are really, really good? I know we are really good because we have a LOT of fun (going back to the little girl’s explanation)…

What dreams have you given up on that you would really have fun pursuing? Another quote from the Quitter Conference that spoke to me is, “our dreams may not pay the bills but they may feed our souls”. Wow! Do it (whatever IT is) because you love it and have fun… what a great way to know if you are “good at something”.

Did I Tell You I Went To Key West?

Did I Tell You I Went to Key West?

Wow! I can’t believe it has been over a month since I went to Key West.  It was on my Beach Bucket List and I haven’t even written about it!  Linda and I made our (Parrot Island Band) Key West debut at Green World Gallery and I found several other places to play (6 in all).

Parrot Island Band goes to Key West

The weather was beautiful.  Listening to the music of so many great Trop Rock musicians was a blast. I also enjoyed meeting some of the musicians that I had made contact with over the Internet in the last couple of years (and also meeting several Facebook friends in person for the first time).  I was able to be a part of a wedding on a catamaran…congratulations to Jim and Leslie Mills!

We were able to attend the Trop Rock Music Awards event and even though we didn’t win, it was a great feeling to be nominated for Trop Rock Duo/Trio of the Year for the third year in a row.  While we market ourselves as a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, we also play a number of original songs and it was nice to be recognized as a Trop Rock songwriter.

A special thanks to Terry Riecken for making our trip to Key West possible. Thanks also to Koz for fitting us into the Green World Gallery lineup and DJ Jeff (and the Beachfront Radio family) making room for us at Sloppy Joe’s.

Parrot Island Bry, Linda,  Koz and Pam at Green World Gallery

There is much more that I could write about our trip.  Random thoughts include… “What’s with all the chickens running around?”, “Wow! Look at the beautiful view of the water (driving across the bridges to Key West)”, “Hey, someone knows who I am (when someone recognized me while walking along)”, “Oh well… (When someone I’ve met three times still has no clue who I am)”, “Where in the world do you park in Key West ??” (Thanks to my parking angels who let us park in their unused spot.)

The only thing missing in Key West was our conga player, Kevin Garrelts and his wife, Wendy.  I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “I sure wish Kevin and Wendy were here to see this”.  Hopefully we can make it back to Key West with the Garrelts… keep your congas warmed up, Kevin.

Well, that’s all for now. I was really on a roll with my blogging but couldn’t keep up the pace. Maybe a few shorter posts to get me back into the groove… until next time… beaches and blessings…. (Oh yeah, some guy named Jimmy Buffett showed up and caused a ruckus… the things people will do for attention 😉

A Heroes Welcome

 

A Heroes Welcome

A View from the Parrot Island Band mic

A view from the mic. This week the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band) received a Heroes welcome at Heroes Grille in Anniston, Alabama, for its 1st Annual Parrothead Gathering. The event was planned by Derek Raulerson (and friends) and it was a terrific evening.

Parrot Island Band visits Jacksonville, Alabama

Marc Spaulding, owner of Heroes was a gracious host for the event. The venue itself is spacious, well run and provides a great stage to play on. The food looked/smelled delicious, unfortunately we didn’t get there in time to eat… but if we are back in the area, I will certainly stop by and check it out.

Parrot Ialand Band and owner of Hroes Grill

In reflecting on our events, I also like to look for highlights. I will remember this event for the friendly people (loved the Hawaiian shirts and “Parrothead stuff” :-)), the large turnout and the festive atmosphere.

One group at the event were “first responders” (they respond in the event of various types of disasters and events like 9/11) who were training in the area. The folks were from various parts of the country and looked like they were having a great time (it was fun seeing them out for the evening). Among some of the places these guys came from included Arizona, Florida, Maine and Wyoming.

Group from First Responder training visit Parrot Island Band

Another couple of Parrotheads drove over from the Birmingham area and stayed for most of the evening. I always enjoy seeing couples out for an evening of fun and music, and there were several couples who looked like they were enjoying a relaxing evening together.

It was nice to play for a group of people who really enjoy Buffett music. There were several requests for A Pirate Looks at 40, Son of a Sailor and Come Monday. When we played Fins, the crowd joined in and when we played Margaritaville, a good portion of the group came down, danced and sang along. Lots of fun but no one out of control… making it a very enjoyable evening.

All in all, this was a great night and I trust that the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia) made some new friends. While I don’t think there is a Parrothead Club in the Anniston/Jacksonville, Alabama, area, it seems like these folks have the right ingredients to start one.

Parrot Island Band a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band

Thanks again to Derek, Mark and everyone for making this a great event. I hope we see you all again soon. Until then… I hope that your remaining days of summer are filled with beaches and blessings…

Another View From the Mic

 

Another View From the Mic

Another view from the mic.   Last night, we (the Parrot Island Band: available for events throughout the Southeast) played for the summer concert series in Cartersville, Georgia. While it was extremely hot, there was a great turnout and it looked like everyone was having a fun evening.  A good number of folks were up dancing and the kids were up and having a good time with their parents (our music tends to get the children moving… one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening).

A great view from Parrot Island band gig in Cartersville

A special thanks to Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director, Liz Hood. She and her staff did a wonderful job in planning and making sure the event ran smoothly. The tropical theme was evident throughout the venue and helped set the mood for the evening.

Look a flock of pink flamingos

 

A special shout out to Bones and Gristles BBQ. I now have another great place to visit the next time I head up to Cartersville. I had their pulled pork sandwich… mmmmmm.

Feeding the head Parrot Bry

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Parrot Island Band is a Jimmy Buffett tribute band. We play 40-50 Jimmy Buffett songs, all with a Tropical flavor (steel pan, acoustic guitar and congas). We have also added a few Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney songs (all of which went over well last night :)).  In the mix of all these fun song, we also play several Parrot Island Band originals.  The Parrot Island Band has been nominated the last two years as duo/trio of the year in the Trop Rock awards that are held in Key West each year.

While we have a blast at events like last night, we are also right at home… at your home! We play a lot of neighborhood and backyard events, pool parties, boat docks, and corporate events. You can reach us on our website or call Bry directly at 770-855-3404 to plan your next event.

 

Everybody’s on the Phone

 

Everybody's on the Phone

I was listening to Jimmy Buffett sing Everybody’s on the Phone (ironically while on my iPhone) and it struck me how dependent I am on my gadgets. This is not a totally new revelation, as my wife, Linda, (the lovely Linda Harris of the Parrot Island Band) tells me on a regular basis, “No toys at the table!”:).

Buffett trying to reach the Parrot Island Band

Will Kimbrough and Jimmy Buffett put it nicely in the chorus:

Everybody's on the phone
So connected and all alone
From the pizza boy to the socialite
We all salute the satellites
Let me text you with your master plan
You're loud and clear but I don't understand
I'm a digital explorer in analog roam
And everybody's on the phone

While it is easier to send information to someone because of phone, text or e-mail, it seems like we really haven’t gotten better at “connecting”.  We “hear” but often fail to “listen.  Communication is not just a skill but also an art and no mountain of technology can help us to really connect if we don’t work at it.

I’m not ready to toss my phone… I really do enjoy the easy access to others (had a wonderful conversation with my dad today). I also must confess that I enjoy a few games (yes, I do play an occasional game of Angry Birds) and all of the “apps” (there is even a Bible app that I can use to look up some of my favorite inspirational verses).

Trying to connect with Parrot Island Band

Other features I enjoy on my phone are the camera and video. I use these to take pictures at gigs (Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band in Atlanta, Georgia) and to occasionally capture a new song I am working on.

So where does this leave me? I spend too much time on the phone, but there are some legitimate (and fun) uses for it. As Jimmy sings in his song Barometer Soup, “moderation seems to be the key”. Some time on the phone is OK. We also need time face to face, really listening, time for exercise, enjoying nature and for me… time to pray and reflect. Of course, I also enjoy time with the phone off and guitar in hand… I think Jimmy is playing somewhere tonight, think I’ll turn on the radio and listen in for awhile. As always, beaches and blessings to you all.

Is The Tide Going To Reach Your Chair?

 

Is The Tide Going To Reach Your Chair?

One of my favorite songs at the moment is Knee Deep by Zac Brown (and featuring Jimmy Buffett). The song begins:

Gonna put the world away for a minute
Pretend I don't live in it
Sunshine gonna wash my blues away

Parrot Island Band has room for these guys

In this crazy world of deadlines and stress, it is important to know when (and how) to relax. For me, images of blues skies, seagulls and sandy beaches quickly do the trick.  There are a couple of verses in the Bible that also help me find a peaceful place: “Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG) Thinking about a beautiful sunset, or listening to breaking waves… I find myself in a prayerful mindset (sometimes knee deep in prayer) without even having to “work at it”.  It is in this peaceful place that I can often release the worries around me and enjoy the life God has given me.

Zac Brown continues to sing his own kind of wisdom with these words:

Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

Parrot Island Band state of mind

While many people think of paradise as a place where there are streets of gold or maybe expensive high rises are abundant, there are many others like myself who are content to sit at the ocean’s edge and watch the beauty of God’s creation. I am thankful for those moments when, like Zac Brown, I only find myself worrying about the rising tide in relation to my chair in the sand :).

Towards the end of the song, there is an invitation to join in:

Come on in the water it's nice
Find yourself a little slice
Grab a backpack…
You never know until you try
When you lose yourself
You find the key to paradise

Zac Brown shares another nugget of wisdom when he reminds us that we actually find paradise when we are willing to lose ourselves. As much of Jesus’ life was spent by the water, I wonder if He was reflecting on the beauty of the water before He taught His followers that if they were willing to lose their lives (in service, love and giving to others), they would actually find real meaning in life (Matthew 10:39).

While some have to wait to take their trips to the beach to find the kind of peacefulness described in the song Knee Deep, as a musician I find it easy to escape through the words and music of a song. As part of the Parrot Island Band, if things are too stressful during the week, I can call a band practice or hopefully have a gig waiting where we can sing/play our way to a relaxing state of mind.

Whenever we play (the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia), there are usually several people who tell us how relaxing the steel pan, congas and acoustic guitar music is. The great part of playing, for me, is that the music we play for others (maybe another link back to losing ourselves?), also brings us a great sense of joy and relaxation. 

Here’s hoping you find a comfortable chair by the ocean side. I also hope you find some relaxing (maybe Parrot Island Band) music to help wash away the stress and blues of your day. Until next time, wishing you beaches and blessings…

 

 

Jesus and Jimmy Buffett

 

Jesus and Jimmy Buffett

(Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by religious discussions, please stop here… I’ll go get some chips and be right back… OK, if you are still with me please know that I am not putting Jimmy on the same level as Jesus, just sharing some personal thoughts, feel free to disagree).

What do Jesus and Jimmy Buffett have in common for me? We’ll… they have both spent a lot of time on the water and down by the sea. They also have a message that is appealing to the regular guy/gal (although we as Christians have often made it less accessible by adding man-made rules, formality and sadly… at times, a judgmental attitude. Remember, I gave some of you a chance to leave earlier 😉 ).

One of Jesus many facesThere was a book written a few years ago called Jesus in Blue Jeans, that looked at Jesus heart and message for the ordinary man/woman. What a great book and concept. I have found that there are many outside of the church environment who are followers of Jesus, but not great fans of “organized religion”. Many of these people are hanging out incognito in Hawaiian shirts and wearing flip flops (and are really neat/fun people)

 

Bry and the Coral Reefers share a laughAs I have shared in other places, I met Jesus and Jimmy Buffett within the same year. When I shared this at Tropstock (the Parrot Island Band opened the very first day of the very first Tropstock), a couple of the Coral Reefers present had a good laugh. While Jesus changed my life as a teenager, Jimmy’s music also got me through some very difficult years.

 

It was very moving for me at Tropstock (Trop Rock music festival) when one of the attendees came up after we played (during Tropstock Worship) and asked if he could talk for a minute. He share a renewed sense of hope and appreciation of God’s love for Him. At the end of our conversation, we shared a prayer and a sense that we had shared a special moment together (something that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t combined our love for God and Trop Rock music together).

Much more to share about Jesus and Jimmy, but enough for today. One more connection between Jesus and Jimmy, they both celebrate the same birthday… December 25th (and bring joy to many, although in different ways!). No offense intended… I realize there are many more important discussions we need to have, but it is also OK to look at the lighter side of things from time to time (and trust me, I do…) Have a great day… time for another snack.

Charlie Sheen Hysteria

 

What's Up With Charlie Sheen?

Pray for Charlie Sheen?

I have been changing the channel all week trying to get away from Charlie Sheen. Every station. Nearly every program. All showing Charlie Sheen ranting and wild eyed, looking like he is about to implode. Just when I was ready to close the book on Charlie Sheen, someone asks that we add him to our prayer list at church. I'm torn. What about all the others who are struggling and aren't famous? Shouldn't we spend time praying for those who are really trying to get their act together? And as to all the publicity…surely there must be more important news on TV? The unrest in the Middle East maybe? Or the rapidly rising gas prices?

Just when I find myself ready to dismiss the request to pray for Charlie, I find myself speaking on the kind of people Jesus reached out to. Those far from God. Those even farther from the church. Those who feel rejected by people of faith. In other words, Charlie Sheen. Someone's son. Someone's brother. Someone's father. I'm not sure that Charlie is too worried about what God thinks about him (or cares if I pray for him), but I am pretty sure that God loves him and would indeed want us to pray for him (and the countless others like him who are on the edge of disaster).

Not all that glitters is ... a diamondIn the song Diamond as Big as the Ritz, Jimmy Buffett sings of a man who has everything money can buy, and yet becomes a prisoner of his own success (or in Charlie's case, fame and money).

 

 

As Jimmy puts it:

It's the prophecy of the unattainable dream

if you take one look behind the shine

it doesn't always gleam

All of Charlie's posessions, his giant house, his money, his cars, his godesses… can't buy Charlie what he really needs… peace of mind, peace with others… OK, I'm in… "God, bless Charlie and help him to know Your love… and forgive me when I am too judgemental". I'm still changing the channel, but I'm (and I'll get the Parrot Island Band here in Atlanta to do the same ;-)) pulling for you Charlie.

Until next time, it's Jesus and Jimmy.

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9: 12-13)

Pastor and a Parrothead

 

Pastor and a Parrothead

Walking a Thin Line

Walking that lin lineIn his song Fruitcakes, Jimmy Buffett states that there is a "thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning". As a fan of  Jimmy Buffett and a follower of Jesus, there are many opportunities to walk that thin line.  My relationship with Jesus and my love for Jimmy's music both began about the same time while I was in High School and at the time I didn't see any tension between the two. As the years passed, I came to realize that Jimmy has had his own struggles with "religion" (which is quite different than faith, but that is a blog for another day) and that many Christians feel that you can't be a parrothead and a believer.

What I have discovered over the years is that parrotheads and christians both come in all shapes and sizes. I have also learned that people from both sides have many misconceptions about each other. What has been a pleasant discovery is that there are many followers of Jesus who also call themselves parrotheads. Unfortunatley, most of those who are parrotheads and christians feel that they have to keep it a secret. My hope is that through these blogs, I can encourage those who are also walking this thin line to openly enjoy the laid back music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett (and yes, the Parrot Island Band), while also living out personal convictions of faith.

Yes, I am a pastor. More importantly, I am a follower of Jesus and His teachings of love and grace. I am also a parrothead AND I lead the Parrot Island Band: a Trop Rock, Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band. Here is a "Trop Rock" treasure to think about today; Jesus said, "I have come that they (you and I) might have life and have it abundantly". For me, (and many) that includes tropical tunes, beaches and plam trees.

Until next time, it's Jesus and Jimmy.

Parrothead