Ganns Deen, “Bitter Ocampo”

Before we move to Australia, I wanted to tick a few items off my personal bucket list. One of them was to release a song to Spotify.

Sometime in 2016, I began making parody videos on YouTube on TKGTV (short for Tito Kuya Ganns TV). During that creative period, I decided to also write a few humorous originals, and Bitter Ocampo was one of them.

A song about a man who’s clearly hung up on his ex-girlfriend who is about to get married, Bitter Ocampo is a light, ukelele-driven song that hopefully offers some redemption by the end of the track. Until he gets there, though, he throws up all kinds of hurtful wishes at his ex.

So I chose Bitter Ocampo to be THAT song to release to Spotify. Produced by the brilliant Charles Bautista, Bitter Ocampo is now available on Spotify here, and I’ve now ticked an item off my bucket list. YAY.

This is the lyric video to my original track, “Bitter Ocampo,” now streaming at bit.ly/BitterOcampo.

BITTER OCAMPO Lyrics
Ganns Deen

Watching you walk down the aisle
Seeing you smile
It makes me want to cry

Beautiful all dressed in white
I know tonight will start a brand-new life

Flower petals on the floor
Watching you walk through those open church doors
Don’t think you’ve looked so beautiful before
Where do I start?
So from my heart…

Chorus 1:
Madapa ka sana
Fall flat on your face
You ruined my life and left me
Gone without a trace
Matapilok ka sana
Mabilaukan sa cake
I hope you know how much you hurt me
And made my heart break
So enjoy your life
I’m Bitter Ocampo tonight

I knew that things were getting dim
When you changed SIMs
And I could no longer call
I even signed up for the gym
So I could get slim
But that didn’t work at all

Baby, why’d you do me wrong
I can’t move on
That’s why I wrote this song
I hope getting over you won’t take too long
But if I’m wrong
I hope the typhoon’s strong

Chorus 2:
At mabasa ka sana
Get wet in the rain
I hope you catch a cold
So you experience my pain
May bubuyog sana inside your bouquet
And I hope it stings the way
You broke my heart that day
So enjoy your life
I’m Bitter Ocampo tonight

Mas guwapo siya, I get it
Mas mayaman siya, I get it
May killer abs, I get it
Your new husband is so hot
May awesome car, I get it
He can take you far, I get it
You’re gonna be a star, I get it
I hope you’re happy because I’m not

Chorus 3:
Baby, happy ka sana
This time, it’s the truth
I wish you the best and
I am blessed for loving you
Please forgive me sana
For what I said in this song
And I know it’s over now
So it’s time to move along
So enjoy your life
I won’t be Bitter Ocampo tonight

Michael W. Smith, “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)”

Contemporary Christian legend Michael W. Smith has released his new album, “Surrounded,” which is bannered by the title track and lead single, which is a cover of the original by Upper Room. Written by Elyssa Smith, Surrounded (Fight My Battles) began as a moment of free worship that has since become a truly phenomenal, powerful song on its own right.

With this cover, Smith adds a complexity and wisdom to the song, and in doing so, makes his version of “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” one of my favorite ones to date.

Continue reading “Michael W. Smith, “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)””

Israel Houghton, “Reckless Love”

Cory Asbury’s Reckless Love is shaping up to be the worship anthem of 2018, what with the many covers we’re seeing, both on YouTube and released officially to Spotify. Now, the track, written by Asbury with Caleb Culver and Ran Jackson, has been given a gospel treatment, courtesy of Israel Houghton.

Israel’s version of Reckless Love debuts this week on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart at No. 35. While this doesn’t seem particularly high–the highest debut of the week comes in at No.2 for MercyMe’s I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Session), we can still take into consideration that that Houghton hadn’t received airplay for a while since his divorce. Will Reckless Love be the song that gets Houghton back into Christian AC’s good graces? Only time will tell.

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Honey Butter Almonds

Two weeks ago, I got hold of these incredible wasabi almonds from Tom’s Farm. They were delicious, absolutely rocked my world.

“So,” I told myself, “you’ve gotta make these bad boys!”

So I went out and bought almonds from Santi’s. The wasabi almonds I had from Tom’s Farm had a nice faint dose of sweetness, which tells me  and was ready to go.

I just had one problem.

Ready-to-eat wasabi powder is impossible to come by without ordering online. The wasabi powder that’s available in the grocery stores is a powder designed to become wasabi paste, ideal for dipping sauces. The wasabi powder I wanted, like Tom’s Farm, should be spicy from the get-go, rather like wasabi French fry seasoning.

So I shifted to another option: honey butter almonds!

I took a cup and a half of roasted almonds and cooked them for about five minutes in a skillet over low to medium heat with three tablespoons of butter, three tablespoons of honey, and three tablespoons of white sugar. I also put in a half teaspoon of cinnamon.

After I had cooked the almonds in the butter mixture, I removed the almonds and laid them on wax paper to cool. After about 30 minutes, I transferred them to a zip-lock bag where I cracked them loose from each other.

The final step was to put some powdered sugar into the bag, then shake it to distribute the sugar. I stored the almonds in a Lock N’ Lock Twist container.

They were delicious and not too sweet, contrary to what we’d think with all the ingredients we’d just cooked them in. LOL

Steffany Gretzinger, “Save Me”

Contemporary Christian singer and praise and worship leader Steffany Gretzinger has released her new single, Save Me. Co-written by Gretzinger with Bethel Music collaborators Amanda Cook and John David Gravitt, Save Me is a raw and passionate song that highlights the glorious dichotomy of Gretzinger’s voice.

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Carrollton, “Shelter”

Contemporary Christian pop/rock band Carrollton has released its new Shelter. Written by Jordan Bailey, Michael Loy, Joel Rousseau, and Justin Mosteller, Shelter is a declaration of how God is, in fact, a shelter from the storm. With driving piano lines, a bass line that won’t quit, and, of course, that faith-building message, the track is evocative reminds me of the kind of great Christian pop music I’ve heard from bands like Citizen Way, Unspoken, and Tenth Avenue North,   I see no reason why Shelter can’t be that song that finally breaks Carrollton into the mainstream Contemporary Christian scene.

SHELTER Lyrics
Carrollton

In the valley of the shadow
Where my plans turn to dust
When I’m walking through the unknown
In the waiting, I will trust
When the sky falls, when the flood comes
Let the rushing waters rise
When my soul is worn and weary
And I’ve got no place to hide

I know, You won’t let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You’re my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter

On the mountain, You surround me
My comfort and my song
Your promise is my refuge
‘Cause I know Your love is strong
You have raised me from the ashes
Set my feet on solid ground

I know, You won’t let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You’re my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter

You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside of my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up
You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside of my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up

I know, You won’t let me go
You are my shelter
Oh I know, You won’t let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You’re my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter
You’re my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter
You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside of my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up

Six Characteristics of Godly Men in the Workplace (from Timothy 2:3-7)

Last week, I identified six characteristics of godly men from 2 Timothy 2:1-2. This week, we go through the next four verses, which I notice seem to be related to our calling as “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” So I took a look at these verses, and identified six characteristics of godly men in the workplace. But first, let’s take a look at the verses.

3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

  1. Godly men are empathetic towards their colleagues. Verse 3 reads, share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. The difference between sympathy and empathy is the former involves feeling pity, and the latter involves putting oneself in the shoes of another. No man is an island, and we go through life with brothers in the faith. If someone is suffering, we can’t simply let them be; we understand their situation, share their pain, and help them overcome it, so that by their testimony, others may come to know Christ.
  2. Godly men are focused. Verse 4 reads, No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. Whatever it is we were called to do as a career, we are called to do it with excellence, as if we were working for God (refer to Col. 3:23). So when it’s time for work, we would do best to focus on the work, and give our employers our full attention.  This verse uses a military example: soldiers getting distracted by non-military things can spell the difference between life and death; because God put us where we are, it is our responsibility to focus on that job, and therefore please God who gave it to us, as well as those on earth who were chosen by God to lead us.
  3. Godly men play by the rules. Verse 5 reads, an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. We cannot expect to receive recognition if we cheat our way to the top. Godly men are called to follow the rules and set good examples for others.
  4. Godly men are industrious. Verse 6 reads, it is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. The hard-working farmer deserves his share of the harvest because he invested quality time and effort into preparing it. We, likewise, would do best to also work conscientiously and with passion in our places of work, and expect by grace to receive what is justly due us.
  5. Godly men are just. In the same breath, Paul writes in verse 6 that  the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. I  understand this to also imply that godly men will also stand up to ensure those who deserve what they should be getting, in fact, get it.
  6. Godly men are thoughtful. Paul, in the last verse from this week’s selection, suggests we think about what we’ve just learned. He writes,  Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. We can trust that God will reveal to us what He is trying to say in His Word if we don’t understand it right away.

These are six characteristics I’ve observed from four verses; I hope this was helpful to you. Did you see anything I may have missed? Want to share any positive experiences that have helped you grow in your walk as a Christian man in the workplace? Please share them in the Comments!

Natalie Grant, “More Than Anything”

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Natalie Grant has released More Than Anything off her latest album, Be One. This spare and lovely ballad is touching for the honest earnestness of the song, which reminds me of Mandisa’s Prove Me Wrong; in the midst of all the questioning, there is an element of faith that declares that we choose to see and trust God for everything that we know He is, not the circumstances that threaten to steal our joy. Beautiful.

MORE THAN ANYTHING Lyrics
Natalie Grant

I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand
Spare me this heartache, and change Your plan
And I know any second You could take my pain away
But even if You don’t, I pray

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Saviour
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything

You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak
And You know I’d give anything for a remedy
And I’ll ask a thousand more times to set me free today
Oh but even if You don’t, I pray

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Saviour
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything

When I’m desperate and my heart’s overcome
All that I need, You’ve already done
When I’m desperate and my heart’s overcome
All that I need, You’ve already done
Oh Jesus
Help me want You more, than anything

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Saviour
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything
Help me want You Jesus
More than anything