Thursday, December 11, 2008


When I write of late, it's only been in introduction to a blog written by another. The main reason for this is simple: It's easiest to hide my own feelings, my own disappointments, my own doubts, if I simply 'get in and get out' with the fewest words possible. I know the relationship I have with God and if I ever start to tell the truth of what's really going on in my heart, I will tell it all and lately, I just haven't wanted to open up that much, especially to 'strangers' who might not have a point of reference with me. However, it's late in the morning, I don't have a soul I can call that I wouldn't be disturbing on some level and even if I got someone on the phone, I don't really know what it is I wish to say.., except I can't get Sting's FRAGILE out of my head.


Even the word feels like it's definition when you say it. See how your voice sorta falls at the end of the it, even when you try your best to say it with authority.., it still sounds 'fragile'. This isn't an homage to Sting. His lyrics are mostly about the fragility of war and how carelessly we can take another's life...

"If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are"

But, it's the chorus of that song that has me thinking about my own life and some of the recent decisions I've made..., the good, the bad and the indifferent.

"On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are"

See, I've lived long enough to KNOW that we are but 'vapor' on this planet. Before you think I'm brilliant for that illustration, let me stop you now and let you know that I'm just quoting from the book of JAMES in the Holy Bible:

"4:13. Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
14. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
15. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
16. But as it is, you boast in your arrogance ; all such boasting is evil.
17. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

You would think that if we 'know' that we are vapor, we would live life with more of an open hand.., and certainly with more of an open heart. But, we're arrogant people, at least I have come to realize, I AM. And, as painful an admittance as this is, it's simply the truth and I must tell it, to someone, TONIGHT, if I'm ever going to get pass my dark heart. If I were Catholic, I might save it for 'confession' in the morning, but I'm not. Protestants believe that we can come 'boldly' to the throne of grace and simply 'be forgiven' because 'Jesus' paid it all and 'when God sees me, he can't see my sin 'cause it's covered by The Blood'. While that is certainly true in theory..., we hide a multitude of unconfessed sins in that comfort blanket and move along in our ignorance believing we've gotten away with something 'till God orchestrates a series of events that truly rocks our world and literally shakes us out of our veiled complacency. I know it, 'cause this week, I'm right dab in the midst of it and I'm here at this early hour to confess it all, so I can have a peaceful rest and prayerfully, a good morning.., whenever that comes.

Here's the deal:

Someone stole my car stereo.

In the middle of the night, about 30 feet from my front door, while I slumbered.

Now before you think it's trivial, let me share with you a little back story...

If you look around my pages, you'll see a photo section called EDEN's LATEST BLESSINGS and in there is a little pictorial essay about my recent car, a 1989 Toyota Corolla, which my church gave me around the time of my 51st birthday in July. The first thing I did when I got that car was replace the stereo. It had a 'cassette' player.. and in this modern age, how could a serious musician drive a car with a cassette deck??!?, so, I spent a little over $200 and put a new system in this 'gift'. In hindsight, I can see the beginning of 'pride' at work in my heart, even while I smiled so beautifully for the camera. That simple defiant act to 'improve' upon the blessing which nearly cost 'half' of what the car had been purchased for would probably have been performed by many and in that assurance I felt comfortable improving upon the 'gift' that had been given me. This vanity was further demonstrated as I spent countless hours downloading and recording music that I would play in this new toy while I rode my three minutes to work every day, to and from home! Oh how I loved my car stereo, especially on those rare occasions I got to listen to five songs on my way to church!! Yes, what a necessary expense and tool this was and I cherished every penny spent to elevate my mood while I dealt with the unpleasantness of driving my 'vintage' car!

Then, someone stole my car stereo.

When I discovered the door handle pried open like the lid on a jar and the errant wires hanging from the dash, I had a moment of gratitude that they hadn't broken the windows and was thankful for their meticulous removal of my system. As the day progressed, my heart grew dark and angry and a whole host of thoughts washed over me and opened up the depth of my despair (read, disgust) in a wave that truly frightened me. I wanted to curse the day that I was given the car.., that would be vandalized and take away my peace, my carefully constructed peace that was already unraveling with the lost of the job that I had come to trust and rely upon (through no fault of my own, I would tell myself, but that's a whole 'nother blog!!) and now THIS!! What have I done to deserve this treatment, God??!! Why wouldn't you protect me and all believers from this kind of injustice??!! How dare they 'touch' one of your anointed!! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN???!!! ....TO ME!!!!

But, why not me?

At the end of the day, no matter how 'righteous' I live, or attempt to live, I continue to discover there's still 'miles I have to travel' before I can sleep in the calm assurance that I've truly done all I can for the kingdom of Heaven, which, by the way, is the point of our existence on this planet. Our fragile state is a blessing, especially when we realize that we are truly only here for a brief moment in time and in light of that brevity, I really don't want to waste another minute stressing a stolen car stereo.., or for that matter, a stolen car, if or when that fateful day comes, too.


And, I don't need a soundtrack playing in the background to be hospitable, kind, generous, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, graceful, gentle....

We have come to value our 'things' over and above our humanity and I tell you my truth.., I'm embarrassed by my behavior and I publicly lay these details before you now, in prayerful hope and expectation that like Jonah, as God has allowed the worm to destroy my 'shade tree' that HE so lovingly caused to grow, I won't curse the lost of the shade, another minute longer.., but go back to 'One' and begin anew with the simple, yet profound, truth JAMES teaches me:

"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

It's right for me to say in closing, I'm grateful that

'someone stole my car stereo'

especially if it reveals my own fears, insecurities, indignation, anger, doubt, mistrust, frustration, vanity, pride...


...But 'vapor, folks. We truly are only here for the briefest of time. What are you equally holding onto that you need to confess and let go? What 'injustice' has been done to you that you can't forgive? What are you using like a weapon to defend your own shortcomings? What are you secretly angry about?

Don't take that dark heart into another new year.

Confession is good for the soul.

Good Morning.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

inthe SPOTLight: Brother EDEN Douglas

No Fanfare. No Fireworks. No Fuss.

October 16, 2008, 3:20p...
I officially became, BROTHER EDEN DOUGLAS.

Time to integrate all my aliases into one seriously determined man.

RIP Douglas Edward Powell.

Monday, September 01, 2008


I would like to spotlight JONO McCleery and the release of his CD, DARKEST LIGHT. I'm one of the blessed few that's gotten a full listen and I know that he'll be honored for you to do the same. He recently had a listening party in a stately church outside of London and from all reports, it was a magical evening, as witnessed in the video above. It was recorded for a later DVD release and I look forward to getting to review that in a future post. DARKEST LIGHT is a tour de force of creative writing and performance that has left me breathless. JONO has found his voice and has come into his own with his intricate guitar work and powerful vocal delivery. I am humbled at the magnitude of the gift in someone so young. He is jazz, soul, folk and spirit in a blend uniquely his own. This, in my humble opinion, is the must listen to CD of 2008. Please follow the link above the video for purchasing information.

Albuquerque, NM - USA

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

inthe SPOTLight: Matt Morris

inthe SPOTLight


The first release from the forthcoming, "The Un-American LP" on Tennman Records,
co-produced by Matt Morris, Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sexton.

I have made no bones that my 'reviews', this time around, are really celebrations. I don't feel I'm particularly qualified to judge another's hard work or efforts, especially in these delicate areas of songwriting and performance. My only requirement of my brothers is that they truly TRY their very best, never phoning in an opportunity to be exceptional when mediocre would still get them the same paycheck.

I'm so proud to be aware of Matt Morris and his contributions to so many artists that you've not only listened to, but have sung along with. This isn't going to be one of those name-dropping articles 'cause those names could over shadow the simple fact that they're just 'his friends' and in most cases, he's grown up with them. What I find all the more fascinating is that with powerful friends like that, he's remained in the shadows as a songwriter and producer when he's sooo talented as a vocalist and instrumentalist as well. Time has sweeten his gift, like berries on a vine and what we're about to hear in this major label release is nothing short of genius.

I first became aware of Matt, as I stumbled upon his indie-release, UnSpoken and instantly became a friend of his gut-wrenching lyrics and soaring vocals. He sang of Faith and Love with equal grace in a way that few could or ever had. I loved that release so much, I became obsessed to know more about him. As I discovered his musical pedigree, I still didn't get the answers for what I knew he was doing musically. He truly was authoring songs from another source beyond his life experience. I have waited patiently with his other fans and friends for this follow-up to that prophetic release with a special anticipation as we've been given a rare, up-close, behind the scenes listen and preview through his many web services, like Twitter and his official site, . What's coming, soon, is going to truly establish this brother to his rightful place in rock-folk-soul history. The Un-American LP will be 'the release' others will undoubtedly ask you time and again, if you've heard it. So, get ready to truly become a MATT MORRIS fan, like the rest of us. You'll know fully then that I haven't written with a single hyperbole. He's just that special.

DON'T YOU DARE miss out on being one of the first to let him know how much you love his music. Click through the artwork and visit his page and get to know the man behind the music.


Monday, August 11, 2008

DESERTATIONS: Reflecting GOD's Glory

Yesterday, I responded to a query about life with the simple phrase, 'we were designed to glorify GOD'. At 51, I've observed that ALL our problems as an individual, people, nation and world, are a direct result and are in direct proportion to how much we understand that relationship. If our first and only response is 'how does my actions Glorify GOD?', we might find ourselves NOT doing most of what we do, that ultimately brings us pain and Him, shame.

Here's a challenge.., for 24 hours, ask yourself this question before you respond to your everyday choices and temptations.


In the end, make the decision you want.., but don't go blaming GOD for the collateral results if your intentions never were to bring him Glory or Honor.

Peace, In.

Reflecting God's Glory
by Os Hillman

"They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, so that all men may know of Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom."
Psalm 145:11-12

How do you measure your effectiveness in God, or should you even be thinking like this?

The early Church turned the world upside down in that first century. What made them so effective? Was it their theology? Was it great preaching? Was it due to one man's influence apart from Jesus?The Scriptures are clear as to what made the early Church effective. It is at the core of God's heart, and it is quite simple. God desires to reflect His nature and power through every individual. When this happens, the world is automatically changed because those who reflect His glory affect the world.We serve a jealous God. He is a God who will not share His glory with anyone. God sets up situations in order to demonstrate His power through them. He has done this since the day He created man. His desire is to reflect His glory through you and me, so that all men may know of His mighty acts and the glorious splendor of His Kingdom. The apostle Paul understood this principle:

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." (1 Cor. 2:4-5)

If you do not see His glory being reflected through your life, then you need to ask why. He has promised to do so if we will walk in obedience to His commands.

Friday, August 01, 2008


I've been thinking all day that I've needed to say something, but didn't quite know what was brewing beneath the surface. I think I have words now, thanks to Lalah Hathaway, the talented daughter of the late, great, Donny Hathaway.

I've been listening to Lalah's latest release, Self-Portrait and the more I listen to the musicality (and the lyrics), I'm beginning to believe again, in R&B music. I must admit that after the untimely death of Donny H. and Phyllis Hyman, I haven't truly cared about any of the artists on the horizon for all seem derivatives of those two greats. What they brought to a lyric had NEVER been heard (or felt) before and for my money, since.., 'till now. I think Rahsaan Paterson is a genius, but this article is not about him, as much as I love what he's done, he's never moved me like this. It's not lost on me that this gem of a release is genetically linked to one of those incredible sources of inspiration. I can't begin to describe to you what this CD might mean to the future of R&B but I can bet you it's going to be a wake up call to many who consider themselves artists in this genre.

Here's what I suggest.., if you've ever listened to either of the artists I mentioned as the ultimate inspirations, you owe it to yourself to get onto iTunes, or to the nearest CD store..., and get this CD and listen through it, with your favorite drink, or on your favorite drive.., or with your best friend.., and be prepared to go back in time, when the music mattered so much, we would take off work to get the album, shut the door, take the phone off the hook and listen with our full souls engaged for the moments that were sure to come when we knew that our favorite artist had not only written about us and our troubles.., but had written to us, specifically. It was a cosmic experience, then and Lalah has done it for this writer, again.

THANK YOU for making a believer out of me and for healing my soul of the loves lost and distant and gone too soon. Remember these sentiments when you get to ON YOUR OWN.

Peace, Dear Friends.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WISDOM from `EDEN @ 51

"Father, I thank you for teaching me even more about myself @ 50 and for never, ever leaving me alone. Amen."

It's only fair that I begin this blog speaking directly to the one that's been with me, everyday, since I turned 50.

So much has changed in this past year.

This time last year, I had a job that I thought I would be working for at least two to three years.
It ended on July 27th.

This time last year, I was afraid that New Mexico wouldn't produce any sincere, honest and focused friends.
Today I know for sure I have one.

This time last year, I wasn't in fellowship at a church, nor had I been in years, and I lived only for myself.
Today, I'm a member of a congregation and accountable to someone other than myself for the first time in as many years.

This time last year, I thought I knew what exactly my career path should be and what my best gifts were.
Today, I don't care what I do, anymore, as long as I'm at peace doing it.

This time last year, I was excited to be in a new place and took a series of photos that showed how good I looked at 50 and that celebrated my new home in New Mexico.
This year even 'tho I look the same, no photos can show my real progress.

This year, I've decided to showcase what those photos didn't and couldn't show:
the state of my heart and mental well-being.

What I've learned in this pivotal year is that life is really simple.., if you live it simply.

Most don't, and they singularly are the reason for all their confusion, disappointment and drama.

Following are some truths that I wish to share that have become truly real to me in this first half of a century.

  • When you're dishonest with yourself, all your friends are destined to betray you. You've taught them how to treat you.
  • When you think you're in control of yourself, you're trusting the one person that doesn't have a clue as to what's going on.
  • When you doubt, what you're really revealing is a lack of faith, or worse, no faith.
  • When you live life without faith, your world becomes increasingly small and untrustworthy.
  • When you're tired, you make bad decisions and those decisions reveal you as selfish and untrustworthy.
  • When you think that everyone is against you, you've revealed how you feel about everyone else.
  • When you have no reason to live, you cannot create sustainable life/art and all that you create is certain to die, by your own belief system.
I don't think for one minute any of what I've shared is revelatory. The problem with living life simply, is that so many instinctly complicate it to prove that it can't be lived simply. Of all that I have written in these seven truths, know I've violated every one of them at one time or the other and now as I look back over each of those incidents, I discover that with all the wisdom in the world, I still could not have avoided making the decisions I did.


Because all the wisdom of the world.., is foolishness before God.

On CHRIST the solid rock I stand.., all other ground is sinking sand.

This you might not believe, nor wish to believe, nor think you need to believe... but here it is, the only wisdom that I have to share.

I can do nothing lasting, of value, that ultimately matters without GOD directing the pursuit, the accomplishment and the distribution of whatever I call my own. Every other pursuit in life, even those things achieved through excellence of living, mental dexterity and incredible material gain cannot fill the emptiness that accompanies every one of those accomplishments, the day after.

Only GOD, who created the vessel you call your life, can filled that vessel with content that matters.

How do I spell contentment? Jesus taught us, by example:
Living to please THE ONE who alone is worthy.

I don't get it right most of the time, but when I do, there's nothing else that matters.

Believe it or not.., that's all I have to share.

Happy Birthday to me.

`EDEN @ 51

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The GOSPEL According to JESUS

I've been asked by a few to name my favorite Biblical Book or Chapter. Impossible!!, but this one has as much in one sitting as I could ever pray for. Read on and feel free to post your comments, thoughts or ideas. I would love to hear from you, whether I know you or not?! Those highlighted sections are links for those who wish to delve deeper into the chapter. ENJOY !!

Albuquerque, NM

The NAS Strong's Version
John 6
After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias ).
A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.
Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples.
Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.
Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat ?"
This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.
Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, *said to Him,
"There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people ?"
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.
When they were filled , He *said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing * will be lost."
So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum . It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
Then, when they had rowed about three * or four miles, they *saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.
But He *said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.
There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.
When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here ?"
Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."
Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God ?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform ?
"Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.' "
Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.
"For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."
Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never * thirst.
"But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly * not cast out.
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."
They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know ? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven '?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves.
"No one can come to Me unless * the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
"It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
"I am the bread of life.
"Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
"This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat ?"
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless * you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
"For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
"As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
"This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum .
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"
But Jesus, conscious* * that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble ?
"What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before ?
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
"But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless * it has been granted him from the Father."
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew * and were not walking with Him anymore.
So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"
Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go ? You have words of eternal life.
"We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."
Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil ?"
Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.