Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Time, The Livin Is Easy (standard, Gershwin)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is June 12, 2017 in my corner of blog land. Temperatures are most definitely going to be quite warm and into the 30s Celsius or 90s Fahrenheit. A cool spell is to occur by this time tomorrow and Wednesday!

Generally, my mood has been beamish, and I have been keeping busy with a number of things highlighted below:
- The Anthology, Waiting For Messiah is now in editing phase. Our first potential readers may be from Texas, North Carolina and the country of New Zealand. Publication on Smashwords is planned for September 2017 in eBook form!
- I am reading a second book by novelist, David Baldacci. The first was titled, The Camel Club. The second is titled, The Collectors. Both are set in Washington, DC, and deal with the corruption of power among some high-end federal officials. Their sins are quite elaborate!
- My wife and I attended a local play over the weekend, and plan to attend a school assembly later this week to honor our granddaughter who was selected as school citizen of the week. In our area, public schools close for summer vacation on Friday until the first week of September.
- Father's Day in America is on Sunday June 18, 2017. I will be playing piano for a local restaurant brunch; then, plan to relax and have a quiet day with my wife. Our young adult children have plans of their own.

- Finally, in keeping with our study of faith heritage, for those who have a faith practice, I would suggest you inform yourself about the history of what that practice believes. How did it come about? I have found the clergy, "gate-keepers" do a thoroughly pristine job of upholding their duty to honor the loyalty they have sworn to their denomination whilst praying for G-d to reform the church, (better known as liturgical "collywobble." In a broader spanse, this is suggested by the folk at the Biblical Archaeology Society:
Why Study the Prehistory of the Land of Israel? Gaining better insight into the Biblical period
Excavations at prehistoric sites all over Israel have uncovered, among other things, stone tools, butchered animals bones and evidence for the control of fire. Daniel Nadel explains in BAR how studying the prehistory of Israel can give us a better perspective on Israel in the Biblical period. The long cultural history of this region can demonstrate how innovations that developed over millennia set the stage for the emergence of complex cities and mighty kingdoms in the Biblical period.
My comment, Then, you will be in a better position to determine if your clergy-person is giving you the "rest of the story" or the condensed church version.

You, of course can use sites like this or Ancient Hebrew Research Center, or the Holy Language Institute. Nevertheless, be informed! A clergy person after all will likely receive a pension when he or she retire, so they are going to protect their ass so it remains warm in winter, cool in summer, and comfortable in between because, they too, are human and enjoy creature comforts like the rest of us!

Until next time, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence surround you!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Everday Is A Winding Road (contemporary Song, Sheryl Crow)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Wednesday, May 24, in my corner of blog land. We are one week away from the Feast of Pentecost or Shavuot. This week also begins the reading of the fourth book in the Torah, (first five books of the Bible, or Moses, known in English as Numbers. In Hebrew it is B'Midbar. This book is highlighted by "numbers" or census taken throughout. The Torah is given in the wilderness. There is an interesting article featured at the Website, My Jewish Learning that discusses reasons for the Torah being given in the wilderness and not in Egypt or in the Promised Land. The wilderness also contained desert, fire, and water. These elements are gifts of G-d in our world. Arguably, water is less available to some. The point being, Torah is a gift of G-d to any who will receive it. Torah means instruction. Instruction comes to us to change us or change something we are perhaps doing that could be improved or perhaps banished. Maybe for example, we could benefit from improving our vocabulary by learning one new word a week. Or, we could improve our health by walking 15 minutes a day. Or, our faith could be enhanced by reading a chapter from the Bible daily or weekly. I think you understand the idea. We are on a journey, in fact, our blog recognizes that. We celebrate being given God's instruction on this journey at Shavuot. It is not just a birthday party for the Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Pentecostal church in the western world, or the independent fellowships that exist. So, may I wish you, Happy Shavuot!

Editing begins on the anthology, Waiting For Messiah! This is exciting! Eight authors have created stories based on select Bible characters who have imagined their encounter with Yeshua the Messiah and how that enriched their personal life. This is planned to be published in eBook form on Smashwords by September 2017. You will be among the first to know!

Are you doing summer reading this year?

I have a couple books by Nora Roberts and Devin Baldacci that will be occupying my reading list this summer. Currently, about two-thirds of the way through "Chasing Fire" by Nora Roberts and enjoying it immensely. I'm giving the 350 page novels a chance, though I prefer the novella of about 200 Pages or so to be honest. That puts me in a reading minority according to the stats.

Meantime, glad we had this visit. I know they have become a bit more sporadic, but hopefully the quality is still here. Please drop me a line at
and say hello. Or, if we're Facebook friends, please do the same there.

Kevod Yeheveh, his presence be with you in your wilderness and on your plateau.

David Russell

Mellow Rock

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tribute: New York State of Mind, Billy Joel, American Entertainer

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Tuesday, May 09 in my corner of blog land. Our weather continues to be Fall-like with light frost overnight, and daytime temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees C, which generally means between 50 and 65 degrees F. Mostly sunny, but we have had our share of rain and some flooding too.

Today our look back is right here in the good old USA. It is based on a reference from The Writer's Almanac about one of our entertainers who has had quite the illustrious career. See below.

It's the birthday of Billy Joel, born in the Bronx (1949). Soon after he was born, his family moved to Long Island's Levittown, the first suburb in America. His dad was a classical pianist, and his mom made sure that young Billy learned the piano too. He started playing when he was four years old, and showed a natural talent. His father left when Billy was eight, and his mother moved with the two kids to Hicksville. She worked hard to support the family, but money was very tight. Billy fell in with a rough crowd, and took up boxing in his teen years.
He was not quite 15 when he saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and decided then and there that he would make music his career. He joined a succession of bands. He sneaked into a Jimi Hendrix concert by carrying around a bunch of electrical cables and pretending to be a roadie. He eventually dropped out of school to work on his first album, Cold Spring Harbor (1971), which was not a success. He moved to Los Angeles and took a job playing piano in a lounge on Wilshire Boulevard, using the stage name "Bill Martin." That job ended up inspiring his first big hit, "Piano Man." He stepped away from the pop music business for a while, beginning in the 1990s, in favor of composing classical music, which he released on the album Fantasies and Delusions (2001).
"I never wanted to be an oldies act, but I suppose I am," he said in a recent interview. "I never wanted to be a nostalgia act, but I suppose I am. But I listen to Beethoven, and that's really old stuff. Is that nostalgia? To me, that music is as alive as it ever was."

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with you and may He give us a new song of praise to sing!

Mellow Rock
David Russell