Friday, December 25, 2009

Unto Us a Child is Born

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel", which is translated, "God with us."

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn."

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

On this day, around the world, we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who was miraculously born of a virgin in the little town of Bethlehem of Judea over two thousand years ago.

After living a sinless life, Jesus was crucified by the people he had come to save, becoming once and for all the perfect sacrifice for our sins, thereby reconciling us to God.

God has said in the Bible, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Because of what Jesus did for us, we can joyfully sing along with the angels:

"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless you with all good things in 2010 - especially with the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas At Our House

I am married to an unbelievably energetic and creative woman who makes our home a beautiful place to live. This week I thought you might like to take a look at some of the lovely things she does around our house at Christmas. Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Gargantuan Challenge

Do you ever wonder where the things we say come from? It's strange to think that the phrases we use actually started with one person somewhere, and gradually came to be used by everybody everywhere.

Most of these phrases were actually started by two guys living in a trailer in lower Alabama.

How many times a day do you hear someone say, "Have a good one" ? It started something like this...

One day two guys, Butch and Bubba, were sitting outside their trailer, drinking Buds and smokin' Marlboros. Bubba ran out of beer and smokes and had to go into town to get some more. As he was about to climb into his pickup, Butch called out, " Have a good one", and smiled at the way it sounded.

Now when Bubba, who wasn't too smart, heard this, he liked it, and started saying it to eveyone instead of goodbye. It caught on, worked its way through Georgia, up into the Carolinas, and all the way up the eastern seaboard. Truckers carried "Have a good one" out to the west coast.

"Have a good one" is now synonymous with goodbye all over the USA, and probably has been translated into other languages.

Imagine Butch's surprise when one day he heard somebody on TV say, "Have a good one". Knowing that HE had been the first person to ever say that must have been the high point of his life.

Now here's my challenge to you. I've come up with an alternative to "Have a good one". It's "HAVE A GARGANTUAN". It makes just as much sense, even more , because I'm the one who started it. And I don't even live in a trailer.

So I'm asking you, whenever anyone tells you to have a good one, to respond with "Have a gargantuan". It'll be lots of fun to see the strange looks people give you. And it will make me happy. And who knows, when "Have a gargantuan" goes around the globe and comes back to me, it may even be the high point of MY life.

This week's MP3 is the vocal version of The One I Waited For. I wrote wedding lyrics for the song, and there is even a version with ME singing it. But you don't know me well enough yet to hear THAT...

So, until next time, HAVE A GARGANTUAN!
Go thou and do likewise.

Wise men still seek him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Structure is My Enemy

Structure is my enemy. All structure. Even the structure of this blog has started to annoy me, so I'm changing it. From now on, I'll just tell you in some UNstructured way what I'm doing, or mention something that I find interesting, or maybe I'll just rant.

I mean, does anybody really care what book I'm reading? I haven't noticed Youngblood Hawke suddenly shooting to the top of Amazon's sales chart. Besides, this week I started The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, in 8 volumes. That should take a while. I will, though, try to find a picture of myself in a toga.

You can count on one thing: every Friday there will be a new MP3 for you to download. Other than that, I may blog more than once a week, but for sure every Friday there will be a new post and a new MP3.

This week's song, I Thought About You, (written by Jimmy van Heusen and Johnny Mercer) is a last minute replacement, because I actually ERASED this week's song, which I had recorded a few days ago. George Doerner, nationally known as one of the smoothest trumpet players around, recorded I Thought About You a couple of years ago in our studio, with moi at the piano. I listened to this recording a couple of weeks ago, and thought, "Man, that piano player is good." (I like me, who do you like?) George Doerner lives in Savannah, Georgia, which I think is THE most beautiful city in the United States.

See you next week. Feel free to leave a comment, with questions or requests. IS ANYBODY READING THIS?!

George Doerner cruising in Savannah

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Beach

This is a photo of my girls. Jan's mom, Jan, and my mom
taken with Jan's iPhone

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Jan and I, along with both of our moms, are celebrating Thanksgiving at Orange Beach on the Gulf coast this year. It is a good time to relax and think about all of the things we have to be grateful for. We thought that this year, especially, it would be good to get away for Thanksgiving week. It's our first holiday without Buddy. Monday would have been his 90th birthday.

The weather is beautiful here. Hard to believe it's almost December. Jan and I walked barefoot on the beach late this afternoon. The water looked almost turquoise, and the sky at sunset was myriad shades of pink. God really knew what He was doing.

Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving lunch, we headed over to the Wolf Bay Marina and ate at the Harbour Grill. No turkey and dressing here; instead we had tuna, shrimp, and eggs Sardou. Great food!

Whatever you had to eat today, I hope you were surrounded by good friends and family.

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful, positive response to the new website.

Hope you enjoy this week's MP3, Wind in Her Hair, which was inspired by watching Jan on the beach during a wonderful visit to North Captiva Island.

See you next week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Archie Dean (Buddy) Renfroe

Archie Dean (Buddy) Renfroe

My father-in-law, Buddy Renfroe, died peacefully at our home on September 29th. He suffered from a neuromuscular disease called Inclusion Body Myocitis. It is much like ALS; the body just wastes away. Buddy was one of those guys who could do absolutely anything - plumbing, electrical, automotive, carpentry - I mean ANYTHING. He was always busy doing something. After his diagnosis, he said that the only thing he didn't want to be was an invalid, but that is precisely what he became, for 18 terrible months. Yet during those 18 months, I never heard him utter a single cross word to anyone.

Buddy was, in all the ways that count, the greatest man I have ever known. He was a wonderful father, husband and friend. He served his country during World War II, seeing action in France, Belgium, and Germany. His engineering company built what was at that time the world's longest treadway pontoon bridge, putting it up across the Rhine River in nine hours while under fire. He never talked about it. Serving your country was just something that one DID in those days....

Jan and I found this epitaph on a grave in Philadelphia that perfectly describes him:

For courage with humanity,
Discipline without rigour,
Skill with good conduct,
Integrity above suspicion,
And honour without blemish
Beloved in rare degree
With friends of kindred worth and feeling
He died as he lived
Without fear and without reproach

Since Buddy's death, we have been sad for ourselves, but happy for him. He has been given a brand new body, and I am sure he is busy somewhere in Heaven right now. That is the wonderful assurance that we can have as Christians.

I followed Marjorie Morningstar by reading another Herman Wouk book in our library: Youngblood Hawke. This also was made into a movie, but I haven't seen it. Incredibly, the title role was played by James Franciscus! I can't think of anyone more wrong for the part. Suzanne Pleshette was also in the movie. I really loved this book. It occurs to me, after reading these two books by Herman Wouk, that his characters are drawn so much more richly than one finds in today's best sellers.

Clara Ponty, daughter of renowned jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, is a unique and fascinating artist. She studied classical music in the USA, but is now based in Paris. She has three outstanding albums to her credit. The first one, Clara Ponty, remains my favorite, but all three are great. Check her out at

I've had a lot of requests for a Timeless II album, and I'm working hard to finish it for a March release. So far, I have definitely chosen two pieces by Rachmaninoff, several by Chopin, one by Beethoven, one by Bach, and one by Mussorgsky. Do you have any favorites that you would like me to include on Timeless II ?

I also learned a cool piece by Bach this week. It's called Nun freut euch lieben Christen g'mein (Rejoice Beloved Christians). Here's a link to a performance of it by pianist Frederic Chiu. Good fingers!

Proverbs chapters 15 and 16. It is a blessing to know people we can look up to and emulate. My father-in-law's life provided a wonderful example for me. I hope that one day I can be half as good a man as he was. I always think of him when I read Proverbs 16:32 - "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

THIS WEEK's MP3: Clouds on the Ceiling This lullaby is dedicated to Chloe Wolfe, little sister of Emily ( of Teatime for Emily). I wrote and recorded it last weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome to Mike's News Page

Welcome to the new Michael Dulin website. My News Page is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each Friday I will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: One of my good friends happens to be an artist I really admire, Greg Maroney. We have performed in concert together several times and I think his compositions are some of the best of New Age composers. Greg and I will be performing together at a Harmony Grove House Concert in York, Pennsylvania in March, 2010. More details to come. Please visit his website at . Tell him Mike sent you.

WHAT I'M READING NOW: I just finished a great book by Herman Wouk, Marjorie Morningstar. I saw the movie of this many years ago with Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood. The book is much better. Isn't it always?

BIBLE STUDY: Numbers 13-14:9 It all depends on how you see it... All 12 of the spies sent out to the land of Canaan saw giants. Ten of them saw the giants from man's perspective, and saw certain defeat. Joshua and Caleb saw the giants from God's perspective and were confident of victory. How do you see the giants in your life?

SONG OF THE WEEK: " Smart and Sassy"

GLIMPSES OF MY PERSONAL LIFE: My seven year old chocolate Lab, Riley, comes to the studio with me every day. Riley is a musical genius. His favorite composers are Rachmaninoff, Chopin and... Dulin! He also keeps my temper in check. Whenever he thinks I am about to get angry, he crawls up into my lap (all 90 pounds) and licks my face.

Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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