LEGACY

A famous song says, “time changes everything”. The older I get I’m realizing how true that is. It seems time affects every aspect of life. The older we get the more we recognize change. There are changes in society, changes in relationships, changes in government and changes in the weather. For better or worse our bodies change over time. We can do things to slow it down but we can’t stop it.

As I get older I particularly notice I’ve changed in the way I think. I’m thinking more on important matters than the frivolous things I spent so much time meditating on in my youth.

Youth can be very deceptive. When you’re young mortality is not a subject you study about very much. It’s all about being bullet proof and living forever. Life as a vapor fading quickly just doesn’t dawn on us when we’re young.

So now that I have more sunrises behind me than I do ahead of me, things are rapidly coming into perspective. From time to time there are seminal moments that occur to bring revelation and reality in focus. I just experienced one of those moments at our Reasoner Family Christmas Celebration 2017.

A family tradition we have is for me to read the Christmas story before we open gifts. This year right before I read the story our oldest grandchild Kylan Reasoner age 20, had a couple songs he wanted to do. Kylan is a great musician, singer songwriter. (Yep the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!) He wrote a very clever song about how our family celebrates Christmas and it produced many smiles and laughs from everyone. And then he dropped the bombshell.

He blew me away by starting to sing He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away, my signature song I wrote many years ago. He is 20 years old and though he is an incredible grandson I didn’t know if he even knew my music or cared about it. His musical taste and style is typical of his generation and frankly is not the style that trips my trigger. But what he did with my song was quite remarkable. He totally changed it to fit his style. He made modifications to the melody, the chord structure and tempo. He totally made it his own and I loved it!

As he performed the song it dawned on me the importance of what was happening. I was witnessing my own grandson respecting and honoring me by performing the song that was birthed out of my spirit. I realized at that moment that this indeed is my legacy. Something that was created through me has not only impacted the world but also impacted my own offspring. It was a seminal moment. It is a blessing to be sure and a moment I’ll never forget.

As a young boy I had a special relationship with my grandfathers. I looked up to them. They were my heroes. They were just my favorite people in the world. As I listened to Kylan sing my song I couldn’t help thinking maybe he has some of the same kinds of feelings for me I have about my grandfathers. It’s just so humbling to know that maybe I have indeed made a positive, meaningful impact on him and the rest of my grandchildren. Thats something money can’t buy. I thank God for that.

Legacy. It’s important. Whats your legacy?

Cogitate on this. Peace.

Turn up the volume!

WHAT CHRISTIAN COUNTRY NEEDS THE MOST…

There is plenty of debate about how to make our Christian Country Music Industry grow. Many hours of discussion have been rendered on this subject. To some degree, this debate has produced growth here and there but it never seems to be enough. 

Artists struggle to book dates that pay enough, struggle to get radio to play their music and have trouble budgeting for quality recordings. 

If there were only a formula or a magic wand to wave that would cause this on-going struggle to go away so we could concentrate on ministry! Who wouldn’t want that?

So what is the answer? What do we need the most?

There are obvious answers. Make sure we are in the perfect will of God. Keep Jesus first in our music and our industry. Walk in love. Be givers. 

I believe what our industry needs the most is UNITY.

Many have fallen into the trap of competition. When having a number one record, or the most listened to radio station, or winning awards becomes the driving force of what we do then I believe our priorities are out of order. 

REALITY CHECK! The Christian Country Industry is not that big of a deal! Christian Country Music is barely a tiny speck on the music horizon. We are tiny! Too many of us think we are a big deal. But we’re not! So what’s my point?

My point is this: GET OVER YOURSELF. If you think God can’t get the gospel out without this music you are wrong. Sorry to shock you but God can make it just fine without us. Especially when we can’t get along with each other.

We wonder sometimes why we don’t see more people come to Jesus when we sing and many times it’s because they don’t want to be like us. When they see jealousy, hear us bad mouthing each other and in general not getting along, they don’t want anything to do with that. Number one songs don’t mean anything if we can’t get along. Awards mean nothing if we don’t walk in love. Artists need to get along. Radio stations need to get along. Record labels need to get along. The love of God is the answer.

Frankly, I’m tired of the conflict among us. I’m ashamed of it and will not be part of it. Let this be a wake-up call!

What we need most in Christian Country Music is UNITY. We all work for the same Jesus. Let’s act like it. Let’s help each other. All of us are different but we work for one cause, the cause of Christ. We can do this….it’s the only way our industry will grow and have the intended effect on those that hear our music.

PEACE & UNITY to all.

Cogitate on this….

Gene Reasoner

 

 

BUT GOD….

I’m so tired of hearing people place the blame of losing someone to a terrible disease, or the premature death of a child, on God. They say God has a plan and we must trust him as he kills, steals and destroys our families. (Did I just quote scripture?)

Listen to me! That’s the God I grew up with. That’s the mean, unfair God the church taught me about, the God that’s mad at me every time I make a mistake.

This may shock you but I TOTALLY REJECT that God! My God is good! He has nothing but GOOD to give me. “O come and see that the Lord He is good!

And don’t tell me I haven’t experienced tragedy in my life. I buried a 34 year old daughter in 2013. I know that pain. I know the questions and weird thoughts that go through the mind when those things occur.

I hear the phrase “but God” all the time. So I’ll give you a “but God!” BUT GOD DID NOT TAKE MY DAUGHTER! His plan for her was long abundant life. That plan was not carried out because we have an enemy that’s on a mission to kill, steal and destroy and many times he succeeds. “But God” had nothing to do with it.

Thankfully the enemy can kill the body but not the Spirit.

Renew your mind to the goodness of God. He’s not a baby killer, a cancer dispenser, or an originator of any tragedy. He doesn’t use any of those things to teach you, discipline you or punish. No he uses his Word for teaching and admonishment. It’s up to us to get his Word in us.

Check your “believer” today. Make sure you’re serving the true God. The one that’s good.

Peace,

Cogitate on this…

THE BLAME GAME

I guess it’s just human nature. Christians look for someone to blame for their troubles and tribulations. Sickness, disease, poverty, and most other problems usually end up being blamed on God.

Well meaning God loving people are going through life sick, depressed and poverty stricken and they mistakenly believe God is sending these things and asking them to endure faithfully in order to learn important life lessons. Quite frankly, most “believers” are not believers at all. Most are doubters.

The predominant logic in the Church today is that since these bad things are happening to good people it must be Gods will. So He gets the blame. But wait! Do we have any responsibility in this? I believe we do.

Our responsibility is to believe Gods word. Gods word says we are healed so I believe that. If I believe that then I say that. I say that when I dont feel healed. I am saying what God says so I’m not lying because God doesn’t lie.

There is nothing bad in God so he can’t give us anything bad. The only thing in him is good. God is a good God. So when we say that God is using sickness, disease and poverty to teach us, we are charging God falsely. Its the blame game…we dont understand so we start saying stupid things like, “God has a plan” or “his ways are not our ways”…we blame God.

We pray and try to get God to change his mind. But God doesnt change. We must change. We must change the way we believe, the way we pray and the way we talk. We must begin to talk like God talks, in other words begin to say the same things that God says. God says I’m healed so I say I’m healed.

Ever notice that most folks who are sick and broke are always talking about how sick and broke they are! However folks who are well and prosperous are constantly talking about how blessed they are and how good God is.

We have spent a lifetime talking about our troubles and our lives have been full of trouble, consequently we have blamed God for those troubles believing that he has asked us to endure them and learn from them.

I heard someone say recently that they asked God to take away their sickness and they dont understand why he hasn’t. But my Bible says if you ask God for a fish he won’t give you a stone. No, if you ask him for healing he will give you what you ask for. As a matter of fact He already has! He paid that price at the whipping post before they hung him on the cross.

It’s often said that prayer is the most powerful thing but its not. Faith or praying in faith is the most powerful thing. We must pray in faith and believe we receive what we pray for. Mark 11:23-24.

Indeed some things in life are hard to understand but we must not blame God for things we cant explain. Most of the time our problems are caused by our unbelief or lack of knowledgs of his word.

The blame game is dangerous. Dont play that game! You will not win. God’s not your problem, you are.

Cogitate on this.

Peace.

 

Garth Brooks, Kansas City and a Fuddy Duddy…

So I decided a while back to see some of the really big stars I’ve never seen in concert. There are several, George Strait, Alan Jackson and more.

So I just saw Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in Kansas City at the Sprint Center. Already people are asking, “was it good?” My answer is not a simple answer.

People go to concerts for different reasons. I go for the music. I’m a musician and I want to hear the band, the songs and the singer. I want the sound fairly loud, the mix perfect, as close to the recording as possible. I’m a musician.

The average music fan has other reasons for going. They want to have fun, party and be rowdy. They want to drink beer and let their hair down. They are fans not musicians.

The previous paragraph describes the crowd of 20,000 rowdy fans in Kansas City. The music was loud but the crowd was much louder. I’m talking about ear piercing loud.

This is where the Fuddy Duddy part kicks in. I didn’t pay $85 for a ticket and drive 175 miles to listen to 20,000 people sing every lyric as loud as they could. I was there to hear Garth sing and hear the band play, not stand on my feet for an hour and a half sing-along.

i stayed until I heard Trisha Yearwood sing three songs. By the way, she’s still one of the best female vocalists ever.

On a positive note, Garth may be the best pure entertainer I’ve seen. The way he works a crowd is amazing.

But now this ole Fuddy Duddy is anxious to get back what little hearing I have. Thanks a lot Kansas City.

 

Love Like Fido

img_3206Received the sad news recently that close friends of ours lost their dog. The dog had been sick for months and they sadly watched him slowly deteriorate until he passed on.

Pets, especially dogs, become loved members of the family. It’s easy to understand why if you think about it.

Dogs are after all created by God. God is love so it’s obvious he created them with love. Dogs may not be created in Gods image but they definitely have some of His characteristics.

A dogs love is unconditional…so is Gods. Dogs don’t judge us…neither does God. Our judgement was all placed on Jesus. Dogs are loyal…so is God. Dogs aren’t racist…God isn’t either. Dogs love spending time with us…so does God. Dogs protect us and our property…God does too. Dogs are mans best friend…so is God. Dogs don’t see our faults…neither does God, our sins are covered by the blood.

As you can see there are many lessons we can learn from dogs. They are a blessing. They are indeed a lot like God. Love your dog, he loves you.

We should learn to love like Fido.

Condolences to Gene and Debra Dove.

RIP River “Dog” Dove, Dec 1, 2016

Cogitate on this.

LIVIN’ THE DREAM…

wrlebanon2016

November 4, 2016 White River played another reunion concert in Lebanon, Missouri for KTTK’s 30th birthday party. LtoR: Gene, Bob, Bruce, Benny. Not seen: J R on drums.

 

A few days have gone by and I’ve had time to reflect on our latest reunion concert. It’s always fun to get together again to play and sing but this event was just unusually special.

Those of you  who are White River fans know that since 2012 we have done reunions about once a year including four years in a row on cruise ships. We have made great memories on those reunions as well as renewing old friendships spending quality time with old friends and family. 

The 2012 reunion tour was the entire band of original members while 2013 thru January 2016 reunions were without the complete band. A couple of those years we did it with just Benny, Bruce and myself and sang with sound tracks. 

This time in Lebanon the whole band of original guys was there and it was very special. Our friend Danny Rhoades did sound, the venue was Lifepoint Church (formerly 1st Assembly of God) where we played many times back in the day. We celebrated radio station KTTK’s 30th birthday and what a party it was!

We were admittedly a little apprehensive because we only had one rehearsal but for the most part we remembered everything pretty well and were able to hit the high notes without singing ourselves hoarse.

While in the middle of one of the songs it struck me…this is still my dream! It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life. It’s still my passion to play in a country band singing original songs with strong Christian lyrics with men I love like brothers. Bruce Haynes, Benny Ray Wood, Bob Ashley and J R Bradford are the best!

What’s really cool is that 30 years after our professional career as a band ended we can still come together on occasion and our fans and friends still love the music and are still on their feet responding and applauding. What a blessing! We’re all still alive and able to do it after all we’ve been through in our lives. We all still love Jesus and each other and the fire still burns.

I’ve been proclaiming it all year….God is so good! He is so good to keep letting me live the dream! Isn’t that something? It seems I’m in the stage of life when I’m looking back more than I’m looking ahead and as I cherish the memories of days past, every once in a while I get to stand on stage with my White River brothers and keep the dream alive.

Thank you Father for letting me live my dream! You are so good!