And no, I don’t mean stuck between a rock and a hard place… I mean torn. I am literally torn between two great loves. But, I am not really sure how to express myself. So, I guess I will do it here in blog form since, according to others, I am apparently somewhat decent at writing.

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As adults we have all come to the conclusion at some point or another most holidays are actually pagan in origin. Things like Christmas, Easter, and yes… Valentine’s Day are all in some way or another based on something other than what we as Americans celebrate it for. And, we tend to not really care. Let alone think twice of it. We just enjoy the day and move on with our lives.

Thing is, when we do a search on any given holiday we will find that it has countless things that are associated with it. Christmas is the winter solstice. And Easter, the spring equinox or the celebration of the goddess Ishtar. So on and so on it goes for every single holiday.

Valentine’s Day is no different obviously. There are all kinds of things tied to it.

Many consider Valentine’s Day to be Christian holiday. After all, it is named after a Christian “Catholic” saint. But when we consider the matter more closely, the pagan connections to the date appear much stronger than the Christian ones.

For example, Juno Fructifier… or Juno Februata, and the Feast of Lupercalia which came way before Catholics decided to commandeer the holiday. Every bit of it has to do with fertility. But, this blog post isn’t about all of the back story of the holiday with the intent of having an “I told you so” moment.

We are all already aware that these various holidays are steeped in something pagan somewhere down the line. The question that I am wrestling with is this; why can’t I just be like the countless other Christians that overlook this fact and just enjoy the holiday for what it is… just good old wholesome family time? I love my wife. I should just zip it and do like everyone else today.

Clearly, I’m just an over thinker.

Making decisions can be difficult

Go read 2 Kings 21 in total.

Basically, we have a new king getting set up named Manasseh. His father before him drove out all of the idols in the land. And here we see this new, young, king bringing them back. The people worshiped the host of heaven and served them. He even built altars in the house of the Lord.

There are countless stories besides this one in the Old Testament where idols are either erected or taken down. But, in this story the idols are in the house of the Lord specifically. Today, I have to ask… where is the house of the Lord? In the Old Testament the house of the Lord is where the law was kept. And we know that God will write His law on the hearts of His people. And in the New Testament we find that we, as people, are the temple. With that, we are the house of the Lord. Are there any idols in His house today?

The issue is that we allow ourselves to practice the little things and don’t consider them to be worship. For example, I can celebrate Valentine’s Day by expressing love, wearing an excessive amount of red, while following the traditions of the world by purchasing candy and flowers for a loved one. I can get offended when that special someone doesn’t reciprocate the same tradition based expression.

It may just be cards and sweet words expressed through following the traditions of the world. But, at what point are we in denial by refusing to admit that it can still be considered a form of worship while refusing to admit the roots of some of these traditions. The traditions themselves may have changed over time (cracking a whip while wearing a dead goat skin or blushing while we give each other followers). The latter of the two seems so harmless.

And yet, it is an act of the heart that is forcing itself to be affiliated with a particular festivity. I have a problem with that.

If I am the house of the Lord, what am I willing to allow into His house. The story for Manasseh in 2 Kings 21 didn’t end that well.

And when I see the bulk of North America rushing to the grocery store for flowers and a card to show their love on this special Holiday, I don’t see true love. I see the pagan past being tolerated by the masses because we’ve disguised it in innocence and an obligation to fit in with the traditions of our peers.

The pagan past is alive. And the idols have made their way into the groves of our daily lives. They are the same old pagans from Manasseh’s day. We’ve just dressed them up a little differently. And rather than putting them in a literal grove or a literal house, we are acting them out in the spirit and letting them take root in our being.

The word Holiday is a Catholic word meaning Holy Day. And the last time I checked there is only one day that God commands us to make sanctified and holy. And that day is the Sabbath… a day of remembrance.

I am torn between a rock and a hard place because I love both my God and my wife. In either case I’m going to be letting one of them down. So, regardless of what happens with regard to any “holiday“, I am destined to fail and fall short either way despite my love for them both.

And today, every year… the one I fail always ends up feeling like I don’t love her. It breaks my heart.

I don’t even want to know how many man hours I have put into updating this website layout now that I have a new band member and an upcoming full length album to pitch to labels soon. I spent the last three or four nights staying up “waaaayyyy” past my normal bed time getting this thing laid out to completion.

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But, it is finally done. And now, with that phase of the new release completed, I can get back to doing the final edits and mix-down for the upcoming release. Since today is Sunday, August the 4th… I think I will be ready to pitch to labels by Sunday the 18th at the latest.

Fingers crossed of course.

Thought I would drop in real quick with an update since I’ve got nothing better to do right now. I came down with a little bug and I took the day off from work. Since I am laid up in bed in my PJ’s with a fever and runny nose, I might as well post a quick little something.

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Russell and I have been working really hard to get this project done. We only have one more vocal session left before we are done tracking. Because of this, I have started working on final edits on some of the songs that are done. By the time we sit down and do the final set of vocal takes, I will likely have a final mix down figured out for the album.

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If we get the final session completed next week, I am hoping we will be ready to start pitching to record labels by the end of August. This means that we have a lot to do before that time. We will need to finalize album artwork, get some promo photos done, etc.

We have already locked down one album cover that we really like. And, we have picked out a few places around town to take some pictures.

Lots to do.

I am excited about this album and working with Russell.

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So far Russell and I have knocked out two tracks with eight more to go.

We have set up a schedule that we hope to keep. If we managed to do so, we should have the record ready for final post edits and mastering by the end of August. I am really happy with how the first two songs have turned out. With the vocals done on those two tracks, the songs are finally coming to life.

We are both learning a lot about the recording process, and works best for the both of us. And, we are already talking out ideas for future projects.

With that said, and the likelihood of a release in the very near future, we have both also been discussing album artwork for the upcoming release. I have designed about half a dozen cover mock-ups so far. But, we haven’t settled on any particular one just yet. Once we are done with recording and have reached the mastering stage, we will likely start to crack down on which album artwork we intend to go with. Chances are, we will have quite a few more album cover concepts to pick from by then.

Other than all of that, things have been going pretty smooth. Russell and I have also gotten a chance to get to know each other outside of just sitting in the studio laying down tracks. He is a pretty cool dude. I definitely see myself partnering with him on future projects.

I am excited to knock this project out!