Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Powell Gardens Flowers

Over Labor Day, I went to Powell Gardens which is about 45 minutes east of Kansas City. They have lots of nice flower gardens as well as some agriculture exhibits.

Monday, September 21, 2009

H1N1 Rap

With this blog post, The Wisdom of Dre celebrates it's 300th post.

The video speaks for itself. Fun stuff.

Remember, wash your hands.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Everyone wants power in some measure, whether a lot or a little, for selfish or selfless reasons, for good or evil. Seek to use that which is given, wisely.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bag of Money

A bag of money picked up on a recent trip to the Kansas City Federal Reserve. They have a really nice exhibit set up telling all about the history of money in the U.S. as well as present operations and you even get to see some of the workers in the money sorting/counting/shredding room. They've recently implemented some robots as well that help with moving money from place to place. Their names are Huey, Duey, and Louie.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Make Love, Make War

Make Love Make War by Brian Doerksen

In this book, Brian Doerkson, a worship leader and song writer, walks the reader through the process of writing songs and the stories behind some of his songs.

At times, there can be a tendency for church gatherings to want to sing happy clappy songs but Doerksen shares about the importance of also singing about the sad and difficult times in life. He shares some of the rough spots in his own life such as having two special needs children as well as professional disappointment and some of the songs that came out of those times.

There can be a false sense of infallibility that audience members sometimes associate with pastors and worship leaders. The reality is that they are real people with some of the same issues that those "in the pew" deal with. It is nice to read an account of a leader who is willing to open up some of the tough scenarios he's dealt with in his own life.

As a song writer myself, I was encouraged in the creative aspects of writing and actually wrote several songs while reading the book. One tip Doerksen offers is to keep a journal or some place to store ideas whether or not you're able to complete an entire song at the moment. He gives examples of ideas that he's come back to later to include in a song. Another idea he offers is to co-write with others to help give a different perspective or break through a spot you're stuck at in writing.
He challenges the reader to be willing to take musical risks and not always feel that he or she needs to follow a set pattern. Another crucial element is to ground a song in scripture and to even include scripture within the song. He also provides encouragement to write from a genuine place and to not try to necessarily write songs for the masses. Some of the great songs we sing today started with the writers by themselves pouring out their hearts before God.

This book would be good for songwriters, those interested in learning more about the song writing process, or those simply interested in learning more about what it's like to be a worship leader on a day to day basis.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Watkins Mill

A recent field trip consisted of a visit to Watkins Mill the last standing woolen mill from the 19th century. In it's heyday the mill produced tons of fabric and employed around 40 to 50 people at a time. It was all run by steam engine which was wood fired. An elaborate system of pulleys, belts, and rods throughout the mill powered a bunch of different equipment designed to transform wool from just off the sheep to something that could be used for fabric.

The mill was 4 stories tall and employed men, women, and boys. During that day, depending on the role, a person could make a very good wage as compared with traditional agriculture jobs. The pay rate was anywhere from 50 cents to $3 per day depending on the role with the exception being those involved in weaving who were paid 3 to 9 cents per yard. The skill level also corresponded to some degree with social class as a direct result of higher pay.

It looked to have been a very dangerous place to work and would be an OSHA nightmare today. People regularly lost fingers or were otherwise injured by the equipment. You could allegedly hear the mill from 2 miles away. On the day that I went it was around 80 degrees and I was sweating inside while not doing any strenuous activity so I imagine it would have been very hot, noisy, a tough work back in the day.



Wood powered engine
Checkers in the store

Barn nearby

Going home after a hard day's work
Watkins Mill
Some of the local workers

Friday, September 04, 2009

How He Loves Us

I really like this version of "How He Loves Us." It's an extremely powerful song.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Trap Shooting

This weekend, me and some fellas went trap shooting close to Smithville Lake at the trap range. I recently purchased a shotgun so this was my first opportunity to try it out. It will take a few more times to become a more accurate shot but was a fun first usage of the gun. A few clay pigeons lost their lives in the process. Shed a tear if you must but it is for the greater good. ;)

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