Tuesday, December 4, 2017

An Advent Thought: To Prepare is to Take Action

As I said my morning prayers, I had a random thought - or not so random, "Is it right for the world to stand by and watch people starve or to die of thirst just because their rulers are too corrupt to help them?"

 I know Jesus told us that the poor would always be with us. But, He also commanded us to reach out, to share our resources, and to help the thirsty, hungry, sick, imprisoned. He also told Pontius Pylate that he owed his job to God, the Father. St Paul encouraged us to pray for our rulers rather than to invoke violence against them.

The US cannot do it all but isn't that why the UN was created, i.e., to enable world leaders to share ideas, to pressure those who need to make serious changes, and to help prevent war?

Isn't it time we stopped criticizing the corruption in Haiti, for instance, and started pressuring their corrupt regime to put our donations into the hands of their people? Of course, we could add Nigeria, Somalia, probably Yemen, and many of the countries of Central America, and Venezuela to the list.

Maybe we Americans should stop contemplating our navels and move our focus to issues like people dying for lack of our action.

Maybe we should gather in prayer daily to help motivate lazy governments to do something.

Maybe we should stop waiting on self-centered goverments and serve a mission group that does get food and water into the mouths of the very less fortunate around us.

Really. I am just asking the question. I do not know how to solve the problem. But, in the meantime, another village is being hacked to pieces in Africa somewhere and thousands of people are going to die around the world today for lack of clean water and enough food.

Just an Advent thought....

 

 

Sunday, Dec 3, 2017

The First Sunday of Advent

Hi. After reading through today's readings, I sat down with my guitar and began strumming this song - a song which I wrote about 40 years ago and from my 1st CD, Working In His Vineyards.

At the time I don't think I had any idea that it was such a good Advent song. But, I send it out today in hopes that you will listen to it and steel yourselves for the celebration of the coming of our Savior.

It is time! Prepare for the Lord!

(This will play for you for free)

 

22 Nov 2017

Because each of you is such a powerful example of Service and the Love of Christ, I want to share this contemplative service song I wrote last week for a Men's ACTS Retreat: "Let Me Be Your Servant"

If you want to download the song, I have asked for a minimum charge of $0.50 per download. I hope you understand.

YBIC,

Lou

 

21 Nov 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

We do have so much to be thankful for. I hope all of us will take a moment to push aside our many burdens so that  we can see the myriad blessings God has sent our way. 2016 and 2017 were tough years - physically with floods, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, sickness and death, and the geo-political messes we find ourselves drawn into. But, they were blessed years - births, marriages, wonderfully moving ACTS Retreats and Cursillo Retreats, Kolbe Retreats and other Prison Ministry, chance meetings, reunions, reconciliations, healings and good health.

Stop and Turn Around (sorry, I just had to plug one of my favorite songs off my "Praises from Within" album on CDBaby), look back on all of God's blessings and give Him thanks.

In Him,

Lou

 

6 November, 2017

Lafayette, Louisiana

Repent. Embrace the Gospel. Live the Gospel. Love. Humbly recognize our own sinfulness.  Admonish those who are sinning. Help them return to God. Love.

I hope you will take my example and begin encouraging friends and workmates, even spouses and children to return to God.

The mass shooting near San Antonio yesterday, during church services at a small, country Baptist Church was dreadful - but, it is understandable.

I was praying for insight this morning and here is what I concluded. Satan will use any human weakness to wreak havoc against Christians and Christianity.  Satan's only goal is to turn souls away from God.

Satan does not have to use logic and trying to understand his effects on us is a waste of time. Humans nurse plenty of hurts, resentments, and grievances any of which can be turned to irrational, evil  action.

The problem is that we who call ourselves good people and even Christians have strayed far from God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Look at our media. They feed us violence, immorality, adultery, and addiction constantly - to every age group. And, we must gobble it up since uplifting, positive, happy, heroic publications are so few and far between. This is sinful on their part and equally so on our part.

We justify sex outside-of-marriage for virtually any reason.

We justify retaliation and revenge killing as though we had a right to take the life of another.

We spew hatred as though it was virtuous - of course, it is for Satan and his legions.

Please. Please, stop. Take stock of who you are, where you are, and the example you give by your life.

Repent. Embrace the Gospel. Live the Gospel. Love. Humbly recognize our own sinfulness.  Admonish those who are sinning. Help them return to God. Love.

Blessings to you all and prayers for all those affected by violence in our world this past week,

Lou

14 October 2017

Novato, California

Just a quick note to request your prayers for all the folks impcted by the wild fires in Northern California. The fires are out of control and burning homes and businesses in the Santa Rosa and Sonoma areas. We are here at a Courtyard hotel with evacuees form the areas north of us. Earlier in the week we luckily found a boutique hotel in San Anselmo where we met our first evacuees. Really distressing. Please pray for them all.

 

8 September 2017

Good morning from Bogota Colombia!

 Two things:

1. The Pope's visit really electirifed the city and the greater country. People here are so happy to have a leader who understands the people, the language, the struggles. He spoke as no civil leader could speak expressing great hope, appreciation, and encouragment for the recently signed peace accord here in country. He blessed the people, the guerrillas and military and civil leadership all of whom have compromised so much in the name of peace.

It is wonderful to see the Heir to the See of Peter stand before all other leaders and provide them moral and emotional and practical support.

2.  Donations through digital sales what little I earn through digital sales is being donated to the H. Harvey victim relief efforts. please consider making a download or a CD purchase. Their announcement:

CD Baby donating proceeds of all digital sales from our music store – tell your fans! 

Between Monday, September 11th (12:00am PST), and Friday, September 15th (11:59pm PST), CD Baby will donate the net proceeds from all digital sales on our CD Baby music store to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, the recent storm that has devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana. The money collected will be given to the Red Cross who are actively working on the ground with Harvey victims.

 Blessings,

Lou

 

 

 

September 1, 2017

3 BR House Available : Dry, 40 minutes North on US 59, Rent Donated

Brothers and Sisters in Southeast Texas, I have made arrangements with a business partner of mine to provide you and your family a place to live on a month-to-month basis if you need to a place while you recover from Harvey.

The home is on Taylor Lake in Polk County up near Cleveland, TX (get to Cleveland via US 59/I-69 corridor) about 45 minutes north of Houston.

Here is a link to show you the vicinity: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Taylor+Lake/@30.5168694,-95.4155112,9z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8638972637df5d61:0x1e0081ad9eacff04!8m2!3d30.5168711!4d-94.8552083

This property did not flood during Hurricane Harvey.

 The place is only paritally furnished but is dry and accessible and reasonably-priced at no cost to you.

Let's talk if you want to take a look. Call me at my cell 214-592-3279.

God bless all of you,

Lou

 

August 22, 2017

What a blessed way to end a short vacation!

We were in Houston last weekend visiting our son, Louis, and Christina and the grandchildren and on Sunday we attended 10 o'clock Mass at St Justin Martyr. So many of my ACTS brothers and sisters were there! It was so good to see and to talk with them all.

Blessings!

 

Aug 8, 2017

NEW SONG: In the Shadow of Your Wings (arr. 2)

What a day! Just finished a proposed theme song for the St Justin Martyr 2017 Women's ACTS Retreat: "In the Shadow of Your Wings (arr. 2)". It is based on Psalm 63 and it came out great! Thank you, Lord! I hope the ladies like it and can use it.  BTW, it is arrangement 2 because yesterday I tried to record a youtube version using an iPad and I did not like it. I awoke last night at about 2 am and went upstairs and re-arranged it to what it is now. I will post it here soon in a compilation of my ACTS Theme songs.

 

Thank You in the UK for the Download!

Also, I would like to thank the person in the UK who downloaded "Stop and Turn Around" a couple of weeks ago. That is one of my favorites.

The song is written from the perspective of the Father of the Prodigal Son and speaks of his heartbreak and the heart ache of the Mother. I wrote it at the request of Sister Kay Gates, my cheerleader. I call her my cheerleader because had she not asked me to record my music (Working In His Vineyards) back before the trun of the century, I may never have begun recording. Thank you, sister Kay!

 

Thank You, my ACTS Brother for taking advantage of my Buy 1 Get 1 offer!

One of our brothers took advantage of my offer and purchased "By His Wounds" and I sent him a free download card for "Praises from Within". By his feedback and that of his lovely wife, I know they have enjoyed "By His Wounds". I hope they will find our Prison Ministry songs as much fun.

God bless you all,

Lou

 

Aug 1, 2017

Good morning!

What a powerful Mens ACTS REtreat this weekend! The Holy Spirit was as active as ever. Praised be our God! Thank you for your prayers!

A while ago I sent out an email with an offer for everyone. I will repeat the offer here.

Special Offer: 2 Albums for the Price of 1

Since my music streams more often in The Netherlands than it does here in the States, and, since the most popular songs that stream are from my "By His Wounds" CD, I thought I would offer each of you who purchases a copy of "By His Wounds" via CDBABY.com a free download of my "Praises from Within" album. That way you get two albums for the price of one and get to enjoy both the prayer and songs from "By His Wounds" and the songs from "Praises from Within".

When you purchase from CDBABY, I will get an email from them. At that point I will send you a link or a free download card.

You might really enjoy "Tree Did You Know?" on the Praises from Within album. Lots of people do.

God bless you and thank you for your prayers for the wonderful success of our ACTS Retreat! If you eveer want to attend an ACTS Retreat in Lafayette, LA or in Houston, let me know, I will do what I can to get you in touch with the people who can sign you up.  

An ACTS Retreat one of the best gifts you can give to yourself or to your spouse.

Lou

 

July 27, 2017

Many thanks to all of you who ordered a copy of the By His Wounds CD! It still amazes me that this is my most popular stream and download, especially in the Netherlands! I hope you will enjoy it.

God is good!

Just a note to ask for your prayers for the men who will attend and who will serve at this weekend's Mens ACTS Retreat at St John Vianney Church in Houston. I am headed there now to get prepared for a powerful weekend with the Holy Spirit!

And, we have an ACTS brother, Dan Besse, who is going into surgery today. The family asks for privacy. So, that is all I will say. But, please pray for him and his lovely wife and for Danny's rapid and complete recovery!

In Him, Lou

 

June 19, 2017

What a God-arranged blessing I received yesterday! Denise and Iand two grand-daughters are here in San Antonio "baby-sitting" for two other grandchildren.  Denise took the three oldest to Mass on Saturday. I chose to go to Mass on Sunday morning. I picked St Francis of Assisi on De Zavala just because it was closest.

As I was saying my prayers before Mass began, I heard a voice that sounded familiar! I looked up and there was Deacon Gene Festa - an ACTS brother whom I met at st Justin Martyr in Houston!

What a blessing! Deacon Gene and I embraced after Mass and nearly cried together. He is such an inspiration and such a loving brother.

Needless to say, I gave him the best wishes and hugs from all his ACTS brothers at St Justin's.

Guys, he sends his love and embrace back to you all and to Fr. Paul.

Lou

 

June 7, 2017

What a moving ACTS retreat for the St Justin Martyr men!

The Holy Spirit touched all of us, and I think we can look forward to some fire and action from among both retreatants and the retreat team as we move forward as brothers.

I am beholden to God and to my new brothers for their embrace of the theme song I wrote for them, "Lord, Renew Us". They really sounded good when they sang as a group at Offertory at Mass on Sunday!

Thank you, guys!

These retreats are always a great refresher for me and I thank God that I was able to attend, participate, and contribute.

If you have not made your Mens or Womens ACTS Retreat, let me encourage you to ask in your parish or check out your diocesan website and sign up. It will be an indispensable gift to yourself, your spouse, your family, friends, and even to those around you at work. If I can help you ocate a retreat near you, please email me through the signup link right here =>   =>   =>   =>   =>   =>   =>   =>   =>   =>  =>  =>  =>  =>  =>  =>  =>  =>

Lou

 

April 24, 2017

Hello and welcome back!
I am just now getting into YouTube. It really is kind of intimidating but I try to remember that there are a bunch of folks like you out there who really do like the songs I have written for you. So, I just try to keep putting them out there and I have just scratched the surface! The hard part is not flubbing a chord or a few words. For instance, it took me all morning to get a decent recording of "Lord, I Love Your Commands". Whew! You know me, guys, if I can't garble the words nobody can! :)

More songs coming, though, and I do appreciate your appreciation!

God Bless!
YBIC,
Lou


What a beautiful weekend! The St Joseph RCIA Retreat was just exceptional.

The weather was perfect  Friday and Saturday and the rain clouds broke up and passed around Moss Bluff on Sunday as we wrapped up and as we packed our cars to leave. Gatherings around the fire pit at the foot of these beautiful crosses (above) in the evenings were so much fun.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift and the power of your Holy Spirit!

At Sunday Mass we were joined by another group of young women from around the Diocese of Lake Charles. Together we nearly filled the St Charles Retreat Center Chapel. They certainly added beautiful voices to ours as we sang the hymns for Mass and as we closed with our retreat theme, "You Have Promised, Lord". And, because they asked, I have added the mp3 of the theme song to my Music page for you to enjoy!

God bless you all!

April 3, 2017

Hello! Do you realize that it is the end of the 1st Quarter already?

Do you realize, too, that in this first quater of 2017, streaming of my songs via Spotify have increased 4x over last year! Over all of 2016!

Thank you if you are one of my listeners!

Of course, streaming via Spotify is a very low return proposition and I need your help to start making a living!

Please, click on the green SPOTIFY Follow button. See it just there on the right? If 250 fans will follow your lead, Spotify will upgrade my visibility and my streaming will increase! So, please CLICK and then tell your friends to CLICK, as well! THANKS!

By the way, outside of the US, The Netherlands listens to my songs more than any other country. What a trip! The Netherlands!

God belss you all and thanks for visiting my site and FOLLOWING on SPOTIFY!

Lou

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Previous events

Nov11

Quinceanera for Kassandra Helms

Houston

I was blessed to be asked to compose a song for this special young lady, "Kassandra con "K" no con "C".

Jul27

2017 SJV Mens ACTS Retreat

Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, 430 Bunker Hill, Houston, TX 77024

"Lord, I Love Your Commands!" Best ACTS REtreat ever! What a wonderful Mens ACTS Retreat for St John Vianney Parish! Hearts were moved and changed by the Holy Spirit! Once again, as we often say, "An ACTS Retreat is the best present you can give to yourself, to your spouse, to someone you love." Thank you brothers for letting me help with the music.

Mar31

St Joseph RCIA Retreat

 —  —

St Charles Retreat Center, Moss Bluff, LA

Short burst concerts and talks featuring a newly-composed theme song, "You Have Promised, Lord", "Good MOrning, Lord", "Remove The Sandals", "Break Down the Walls" and other originals to help the Candidates and Catechumens on their journey toward entry into full Christian Life.

Circle not square
This song says it all! Thanks, Steven, "I'm Diving In"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GZkwIGWQAY


My favorite song of commitment! Thanks to Steven Curtis Chapman - musician and composer and performer and lover of God extraordinaire and deepest thanks to Cheryl Engelhardt, http://inthekeyofsuccess.com.

Cheryl and the other co-participants in her Jan 2017 MX4 Seminar has really given me a confidence boost! Just to show you how much, I created this little graphic, above, for you to make the point that my composing talents are not limited to Christian Praise and Worship but cover a wide range of interests. Cheryl's coaching and cheerleading have helped me step out of my comfort zone and dive deep into my love of music. I hope you will check out my website to get a flavor of what I have done for others and what I could do for you!
 

Welcome to my website!

LATEST: I JUST UPLOADED 3 NEW TUNES ON MY MUSIC PAGE!

From here you will be able to view, hear, and purchase all of my published original Praise and Worship songs and lead sheets. I hope you will take your time browsing around and will come back often.

Since I am working on new material for retreats and concerts all the time, please enter your email address on the right so I can let you know as soon as a new piece is uploaded!

And, if I can compose a special piece for you or your group, drop me a line and let me know what you are looking for

"CUZ THAT'S WHAT I DO!


 

Gettin' the Work Done -Composing, Branding, and Social Media 

Wow! 2017 is gonna be a great year!

The Men's ACTS Retreat Directors for the 2017 Retreat at St Justin Martyr parish in Houston have asked me to try my hand at a theme song for their upcoming retreat in the 2nd Quarter!

The RCIA Leaders at St Joseph Catholic Church of Rayne have given me the opportunity to compose a theme song for their upcoming Candidates' and Catechumen's  Retreat March 31 - April 2.

And, after composing a love song for a friend to give to his wife on their anniversary, I have been working on a tune for my dearest of 46 years.

For any of you aspiring or experienced singer/songwriter/musicians, check out Cheryl Engelhardt's MX4 Seminar. I'll tell you, this old horse is learning about branding and promotion as fast as he can. Sort of like drinking out of a fire hydrant. Cheryl supports herself by her music, so she knows what she is talking about!

More tidbits about the music pros in the MX4 semnar over the next few posts - needless to say, they are great!

Just thought I would throw in a shot of me and my Spear NSG - thank you, Claude!

Have a blessed day!

ACTS Retreat at St John Vianney 

We just completed another Mens ACTS Retreat for St John Vianney Parish in Houston, Texas. The Holy Spirit was rampant! Men's hearts were opened! Attitudes were changed or reinforced! Good men came back to the throne of their Creator and surrendered to Him. We on the Retreat Team were blessed beyond expectation although we went into the retreat knowing that God would work His wonders in our hearts and in the hearts of the retreatants if we would just surrender to Him.

Wow! Even through Yandex 

Good morning! This morning CDBABY reported sales of a few of my songs from the Paid in Full album through the Russian search engine Yandex. Praise God! One of my goals has been to spread the Word of God through song and the Internet throughout the whole world to His praise and glory! And, it seems to be happening. thank you to any and all who have streamed, downloaded, or purchased a hard copy of my work. May God bless you!

A Mountain Top Experience 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been asked to compose new songs for a men's ACTS Retreat and for our Parish RCIA Retreat. What a blessing! It turns out that the theme of the ACTS Retreat is "Remove the sandals from your feet" from Exodus 3:5 when God spoke to Moses at the Burning Bush. Coincidentally, the RCIA Retreat theme is "Lord, it is good that we should be here" after Luke 9:33 when Peter, James and John ascended the mountain and Jesus was transfigured before them. Two mountain top experiences!
My normal approach is to read the Scriptural reference for the theme and to offer it in prayer to God looking for guidance. I do not fret over a passage, regardless of how difficult to put it to music that it may appear. I have learned over the years that the Holy Spirit will inspire me in His time.
I did and He did!
You can find an mp3 of the songs and a lead sheet for each here.
Enjoy!