Between Wyomings by Ken Mansfield

In his book Between Wyomings author Ken Mansfield shares how he learned to value complete trust in God.  The rise, fall and resurgence of his music industry career throughout the 1960s to the 2000s schooled Mansfield.

He went from promoting the Beatles for Capitol Records to near homelessness in Nashville over a period of twenty years.  Then Mansfield fought his way back into the industry.  Mansfield narrates these stories as he and his wife road trip across the United States visiting places he lived.

As someone currently involved in the music industry I appreciate Mansfield’s recollections.  He talks openly of the politics that take place in the higher echelons of the music industry’s corporate ladder.  Mansfield highlights how he dealt with troublesome circumstances and people in the industry and survived.

For those of us who want to learn from the mistakes of others rather than the hard way Mansfield opens up his 40 years of rich experience for the taking.  His disclosure of hurts and hopes remind me that I am not alone in an industry known for alienating people.

Read The Manual ... A lot

Eight years ago a friend told me about an interesting Bible study method. Essentially it involves reading one book of the Bible 30 times repeatedly. After about 30 readings of any given book the meaning resonates more clearly.

That recommendation seemed extreme to me at the time. I had barely achieved the goal of reading the Bible daily.  But the concept never left my mind and now after trying it out I recommend it. Reading a Bible's book 30 times in a row is a great way to implant the Bible into our minds.

Repetition brings remembrance. When you read a book 30 times in a row you are going to remember it.  Period. I chose to read James repeatedly.  In my conversations with friends I can not help but relate what I'm learning about.  The repetition impressed James' thoughts deep into my mind.

Reading a book repeatedly also helps emphasize verses the reader may neglect in one reading .  In James 3 it took a couple reads to understand how destructive selfish ambition and jealousy are. I had focused so much attention on the first part of that chapter, on taming the tongue, and rushed passed those later verses.

Different translations also enhance the study.  Absorbing different interpretations of the same passage sheds light on the author's thoughts.  Reading with a variety of translations allows a broader understanding of the book.

Studying the Bible is a great way to improve our quality of life.  Like reading an instruction manual we are more apt to maximize the use of our bodies after familiarizing ourselves with the Creator's recommendations.  Studying the Bible in depth by reading it's books 30 times in a row brings a greater understanding of life's instruction manual.


Many southern Californians, like myself, overlook the treasure surrounding us.  Perhaps we spend so much time in traffic we forget what it is like to spend a day in the wilderness.  Maybe the smog induces lethargy.  Whatever the reason now is a great time to visit the treasure trove of local landmarks in our backyard.

I recently struck gold scouring through a friend’s yard sale when I found a book called “Where Can We Go This Weekend?”.  The book lists travel adventures in Southern California.  Chocked full of destinations the book invigorated my desire to visit landmarks like the La Brea Tar Pits, the Huntington Library and more.

Here’s a list of the trips I want to make:
 - Hike Mt. Whitney
Visit Planes of Fame museum in Chino
Visit London Bridge near Havasu
Explore ghost towns of Bodie & Bridgeport
See Devil’s Post Pile and Mono Lake
Visit the La Brea Tar Pits
Raft Piru Creek
Cruise down Muhullond Drive
Visit the Huntington Library
Visit the Griffith Observatory

The “stay-cation” makes a lot of sense these days so check out some great options near you.  Now is a great time to visit the destinations around us.

International Friendship

    One of the more exciting things that happened to me recently was a new friend I made named Sun Lee.  He posted on Craigslist that he played bass and was looking for a ride to church from Rancho Cucamonga.  He was an exchange student from Korea learning English.
    I started giving him a ride to LIFE about a month ago.  Then I found out that he needed a place to stay.  I offered him a room at my parent’s house during the weekends.  Then we went on a vacation to Las Vegas together.  He wanted to see the town and was going to go by himself.  I went with him so he didn’t have to face that town alone and I'm constantly looking for people to go on vacation with.
    My mom was hesitant about letting him stay continually at our home.  I asked her to consider it while we were away and when we returned she welcomed his stay.  He was going to stay for another month.  Sadly we found out that Sun’s plane ticket was not exchangeable and that he had to return to Korea this past Saturday.
    It was fun to be able to hang with Sun and show him life here in Southern California.  It brought back the feeling of having a brother at home to spend time with.  We played Wii sports late at night and had some conversations about life.  I hope I get to spend more time with him during the years to come.  He wants me to come to Korea and I’m thinking about it.
    He even recommended teaching English in Seoul as a great career idea.  He said English teachers get paid well and the work doesn’t seem difficult.  That would be an interesting career move and one I’d be more interested in if I didn’t enjoy working at LIFE and recording here in LA on the side.

Call Me Crazy

In his book “Crazy Love” Francis Chan argues that craziness is a virtue.  God shows His love for us in crazy ways.  (The creator of the universe bottles our tears, sent His son to die for us, etc.)  Now why not love God back in a crazy way?

He defines crazy people as obsessed.  (Preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.)  Chan then lists the characteristics of someone obsessed with loving God:

Lovers - Obsessed people give freely and openly.  They love their enemies and those who can never love back.

Risk takers - Obsessed people care more for God’s kingdom than their own safety and comfort.

Friends of All - Obsessed people connect with the poor in some way.

Crazy Ones - Obsessed people care more for obeying God than fulfilling the status quo.

Humble - Obsessed people seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known.

Servers - Obsessed people enjoy serving people.

Givers - Obsessed people are known as givers, not takers.

Sojourners - Obsessed people think about heaven frequently.  They are concerned with eternity more than the present.

Engrossed - Obsessed people love God above everything else.

Unguarded - Obsessed people are raw with God.  They mask nothing with Him; He is their safe place.

Rooted - Obsessed people read the Bible throughout each day to strengthen their relationship with God.

Dedicated - Obsessed people care more about their character than comfort.

Sacrificers - Obsessed people want to be faithful to their Savior out of thankfulness.  They aren’t trying to earn forgiveness.

My obsession to honor God is growing.  I aspire to live out these attitudes.  That’s why I’m blogging them.  Though I may pass the book on to others this list remains posted here.

The world will likely believe us crazy if we live this way, but who cares?  Call me crazy.

A Better Fit Routine

The Wii Fit already rocks.  It introduced me to full workouts based on stretches and machine-less exercise.  It counts push-ups, crunches and monitors BMI over time.  Even physical therapists recommend Wii Fit time for recuperating patients. enhances the Wii Fit even more. provides workout routines for the Fit.  Their workouts focus on endurance, strength, weight loss or yoga for durations of 15 - 60 minutes.  You can select routines with difficulty ranging from easy to hard.

The website also generates personal workouts for different muscle groups including abs, arms, back, chest and legs.

I started with a 30 minute hard strength routine tonight and felt the burn in my abs. is a great way to raise the bar even higher with the Wii Fit.

Ode To Dave

Clear common sense thrills me.  Dave Ramsey thrills me.  The guy deserves that title “financial guru”.

What does Dave teach?  Ditch credit card dependence.  (Go green and use cash.)

His motto “live like no one else... so later you can live no one else” brings a smile to my face.

Here are Dave’s seven financial steps to financial peace:

  1. Build emergency fund to $1000
  2. Pay off debt (minus mortgage) smallest to biggest
  3. Build emergency fund to 6 months worth of income
  4. Invest 15% of income into Roth IRAs
  5. College funding for children
  6. Pay off home early
  7. Build wealth and give

More great advice at

I’m working on step four now and dig his plan.  His books are worth checking in to.

Your Light Shines

Here’s some new lyrics to a song I wrote recently:

Your Light Shines

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin
then the light of your glory shined
like the sunshine in all its strength at noon time
sill the light of Your glory shines around us

Your light shines, it overtakes the dark
and consumes the night
I was lost, was blind but now I see
Jesus is the light

Now there’s no darkness when I hold on to You
I once was blind but now I see
On to the path of life we walk together
Your word’s the lamp unto my feet and our path

© 2009 More Left Music

Favorite Phrases

Who doesn’t love a good quote?  Like Johnnie Cochran and his “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit” I enjoy spouting off memorable idioms.

Here’s a list of my favorite lines.  These platitudes deserve their own blog posts (and one already has one).  I hope some day to further explain my fondness for these statements.

“it’s not about blame”
“obligation is a poor motivation”
“self control should be our goal”
“make good choices”
“thank you, I just got it stuffed”
“play it like you wrote it”
“play it for the babies”
“hit ‘em hard”
“debate is healthy”
“not today, wave”
“keep Al Gore happy”
“I tah too” (use after someone says Utah)
“secrets don’t make friends”

Favorite Ingredients

Like many of us I am fond of music.  I enjoy explaining my appreciation for certain songs.

Then I found a website called Pandora that, after entering your favorite artists, finds common threads that roughly define your personal music preferences.

My music preferences include:

  • subtle vocal harmonies
  • mild rhythmic syncopation
  • electric rock instrumentation
  • vocal-centric aesthetic
  • electric rhythm guitars
  • subtle use of acoustic piano
  • acoustic sonority
  • acoustic rhythm guitars
  • upbeat lyrics
  • mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
  • punk influences
  • acoustic rhythm piano
  • major key tonality
  • funk roots
  • disco influences
  • flat out funky grooves
  • groove based composition
  • repetitive melodic phrasing
  • basic rock song structures
  • minor key tonality
  • prominent organ
  • extensive vamping
  • electric guitar riffs
  • classic soul qualities
  • demanding vocal performances
  • demanding instrumental part writing
  • folk influences

That’s a lot of ingredients in the cookbook.  If I had to nail it down to a few I’d prioritize:  electric rock instrumentation, upbeat lyrics, and funky grooves.

2008's Top Albums

 1.  Jon Foreman “Spring - EP”
Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman branched out to release solo EPs based on the seasons.  From the first listen “Spring” placed a smile on my face.  The inspirational song “Baptize My Mind” sounds like......well....springtime.  Foreman’s melodic paraphrase of The Lord’s Prayer (“Your Love is Strong”) struck me powerfully.  (I played the song 53 times during 2008.)

2.  Brooke Fraser “Albertine”
Brooke caught my attention when I heard “Hosanna” from a couple worship CDs.  She peaked my interest after I read of her rapid success in her native New Zealand.  “Albertine” impressed me with it’s fresh sound.  The undeniable conviction in her lyrics leaves me wanting more.  I even sponsored a child through World Vision after reading her story.

3.  Coldplay “Viva La Vida”
I had lost my excitement for Coldplay.  I joined their bandwagon early when I heard “Yellow” and “Shiver” on KROQ years ago.  But by the “X&Y” album I grew tired of their routine formula.  Then came legendary producer Brian Eno.  Together they created something visionary.  The depth of sonic layers in this album will envelop me for years to come.  The thick ear-candy and haunting “post-songs” infuse new life in the pop/rock genre.

4.  Copeland “You Are My Sunshine”
These guys have my loyalty.  Their bold melody lines linger in my mind days after a listen.  “You Are My Sunshine” ensures their maturation with well produced adventures and satisfying minimalist tunes like “The Suitcase Song”.  Thick vocoder use and a Billie-Holiday-esque background vocalist top off the albums gratification.

5.  Lovedrug “The Suckerpunch Show”
Lovedrug’s new CD takes Christian music places I did not think possible.  The no-holds-barred song “Everyone Needs a Halo” ruffles feathers in new ways.  And “Blood Like” exhibits delightful authenticity.  If you want something to talk about just pick this CD up.

Pass The Burrito

Living in Southern California has perks. The beach, mountains and desert are all a short drive away (provided it is not rush hour). The regions large population provides many opportunities for entertainment, employment and life in general.

Great mexican food restaurants demonstrate a more unsung virtue of Southern California life. And the city in which I work, Chino, contains three of California's best Mexican restaurants.

First there's Que Pasa (or Que Heck Yeah as I call it) located by Harkins Theater. This restaurant has the ideal blend of authentic Mexican flavor with American tastes. Their fresh tortillas out-taste all others and their meat marinades define delicious. Top that with $4.99 lunch deals and how can you go wrong? I even split the hearty portions up into two meals.  It's no wonder the employees know me.

If you want a Mexican restaurant with a more authentic taste give El Rey's, near Riverside Dr. and Ramona a shot. It might not look like much from the outside but that adds to the realism. El Rey's is authentic Mexican food meets California health standards.  They had me when I saw their meat spindle just like the taco stands in TJ.  The cheese reminds me of meals south of the border.

Lastly if you prefer a nice sit-down atmosphere with great taste then Los Portales has you covered. With great service and $7.25 lunch deals this place ensures a good time.  The carne asada quesadilla with a cherry coke hits the spot too.

Chino California deserves notoriety for more than it's cow population.  Chino also hosts extremely tasteful Mexican restaurants.  Quite possibly the best burrito of your life may be eaten in Chino California.