Saturday, March 29, 2008


It's common knowledge that I like most secular music more than I like so-called worship music.  I've had the debate before about how God can "speak to you" through non-religious songs.  In fact, one such post was titled "Talking Ass" and I suggest you read it if you missed it.
Well, I think I even surprised myself.  I was out pulling weeds and I was listening to the radio, local station KLOS.  The Who came on and I walked over and cranked it up.  As I was listening to this classic called "Bargain," a song I've heard a thousand times and I love, something happened. Thing is, I swear I heard God talking to me via The Who!
Now, I know, not all the lyrics are spot-on, but I totally imagined Jesus himself singing these words to me.  I heard God saying, "Doah, I love you this much!"  Trust me, this was a new take on the song for me too, but it actually works.  I honestly had a very Holy Spirit type moment out there in my yard. It was wild.  It was lovely.  Thing is, I actually believe Jesus Christ did all this, feels all this for me.
But, that's what I felt the other day. Today I'm reading this and singing it to Jesus from me.  I'm saying, "Jesus, I want you that badly." Yep, I know I'm worth nothing without Him.
Read the lyrics yourself changing up the point of view and see what you think:
I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I had
To find you I'd suffer anything and be glad

I'd pay any price just to get you
I'd work all my life and I will
To win you I'd stand naked, stoned and stabbed

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had

I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I got
To catch you I'm gonna run and never stop

I'd pay any price just to win you
Surrender my good life for bad
To find you I'm gonna drown an unsung man
I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had

I sit looking 'round
I look at my face inm the mirror
I know I'm worth nothing without you
And like one and one don't make two
One and one make one
And I'm looking for that free ride to me
I'm looking for you

I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I got
To catch you I'm gonna run and never stop

I'd pay any price just to win you
Surrender my good life for bad
To find you I'm gonna drown an unsung man

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Only Words

We threw insults around
Creative F-yous laced in sarcasm
Like pennies tossed to the ground
Little by little we created a chasm

Years later we stood across from each other
Staring into the viper's den
Lying there in the pit I recognized mother
It was then we knew we were men

Her bones being cleaned by the birds
We had killed her
Murdered with words
Victorious for sure

Sticks and stones may break your bones,
but only words can kill you.

--Shenandoah Lynd


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Standing Condemned

On any given day
I don't truly live
In the freedom of
The risen Christ's grace
At any moment I
Willingly dismiss the
Resurrection news
What would a true grasp
Of the truth even look like
Grace, I am told, is the
Courage to accept acceptance
Yet, how can I accept myself
When I am busy judging others
Taking your inventory
It turns out
Is my own personal Golgotha

--Shenandoah Lynd


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Five Sentence Tribute: Paul Scofield

The amazing Paul Scofield won an Oscar for his performance in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS in 1966. However, if Scofield had only played poet Mark Van Doren in Robert Redford's 1994 masterpiece, QUIZ SHOW, if he had only acted in that one film, it would be enough for me.  It is beyond me how he didn't win the Supporting Actor Academy Award for QUIZ SHOW (he was nominated). The above picture of him sharing a piece of chocolate cake with his son, played by Ralph Fiennes, is absolutely one of the best scenes I've ever seen.  If you've not ever seen QUIZ SHOW, go rent it now in honor of this great actor we've lost.
Previous Five Sentence Tributes:

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Paul Saturday

Tony and I on a pedistrian bridge that spans the mighty Mississippi River

I'm blogging this time from my friends, The Cloyds' living room in Minnesota. Yesterday I spent a terrific day with my buddy, Tony, in the St. Paul area. What a fantastic day we had. Outside the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota

We went to the University of Minnesota and visited the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. I liked the museum. It was small enough to see everything. My favorite small exhibit was the "Who is a Citizen? What is Citizenship?" spread. It included paintings, photos, and prints. It explored the immigrant experience. In another section the pieces were all "ink jet on canvas" and I found the art very interesting. Tony and I, downtown St. Paul, about to eat a delicious lunch at Cossetta's
After the art museum we went and had an amazing late lunch at a very popular resturant in St. Paul called Cossetta's. The place actually defies description. It's a market and resturant and it was booming with people. The entire downtown area was a buzz with St. Patrick's Day festivities and I loved the vibe. I had a wonderful sausage dish. It's a place that want to eat at again and again and again!
About to eat my Italian Sausage and pasta

With full bellys, we went to the Minnesota History Center. The place was full of interesting history. Right now they have a multimeda presenation called MN150. It showcases the 150 most important things that shaped Minnesota's history. Outside the lovely Minnesota History Center
We wrapped up our day with a performance of A Prairie Home Companion. It was Garrison Keillor's 1,173 performance of APHC. It took place at The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. We were lucky enough to be there for the APHC "People in Their Twenties" tallent show. I say lucky because nothing could have prepared me for how good the tallent was. I feel compelled to list the names of the performers because they were so good.
There were six acts competing in the show: 1. Pinky Lee; 2. Ashley Monroe; 3. Mattie Speece & Patrick Villiness; 4. Andrew Ryan; 5. Alyson Gilbert; 6. The Honey Dewdrops. The audience got to vote for the best performance and there was on-line voting. Here is a list of The Twenty Something Finalists. I voted for The Honey Dewdrops, a guy and a girl who did traditional folk music. They actually won. They sang "The Minor's Prayer," "Long Black Veil" and an original song, "Without Tears." Their vocals and guitar playing were so good. I actually had chills from the harmonies. Lyrically however, the best song of the night was from a young lady, Ashley Monroe. The song was called "Used" and it was deeply moving. The lyrics were wise beyond the singer's years and honestly the song was profound.
Right outside the historic Fitzgerald Theater

The entire A Prairie Home Companion experience exceeded all my expectations. The comedy was wonderful, old-fashioned humor. Of course, Keillor did his famous "News From Lake Wobegon." One bit in particular brought joy into my heart. It was called "The Adventures of Guy Noir" and it poked fun at Minnesotans. At the end of the bit Garrison Keillor had the audience sing along to "Oh What A Beautiful Morning." It was like a little slice of heaven. Inside the theater, at the stage, with the set in the background
At the end of the night Tony and I met Garrison Keillor. He signed a book for Tony and my program and then took a picture with us. The guy is a true talent and a kind human being. Seeing APHC made me realize what a great medium radio is. This night was truly as good a night at the theater I have ever had in my life. It made me feel like all is well in the world. Garrison Keillor with Tony and I
After that, Tony and I hung out in the lobby of the St. Paul Hotel and had a coffee and talked by the fire, hoping that some of The E Street Band would walk by. We saw tour buses outside and verified (by a small sign in a window) that the buses belonged to the Bruce Springsteen clan. What a day I had in Minnesota. I'll never forget it.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chocolate Bruce

My family says I am a bit obsessed with Bruce, but I couldn't top this. A guy named Albert from Berga (Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain) made this chocolate Bruce Springsteen for Easter. He says it took him 2 months to make.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

three options

I'm reading this book, THE JOURNEY OF DESIRE: SEARCHING FOR THE LIFE WE'VE ONLY DREAMED OF, by John Eldredge.  As the title would give away, he likens the Christian life to a journey of desire.  I just read this passage in chapter eleven that I think is really thought provoking.  Here it is:

"The fact is, at this point in our journey, we have only three options:  (1) to be alive and thirsty, (2) to be dead, or (3) to be addicted.  There are no other choices.  Most of the world lives in addiction; most of the church has chosen deadness.  The Christian is called to the life of holy longing." (page 182 from "Letting Go")
Several questions:
1.  Do you agree with the bold "there are no other choices" statement?
2.  Do you believe that, "most of the world lives in addiction" as Eldredge asserts?
3.  Do you think "most of the church has chosen deadness" is true?
Go ahead and read the passage again.  It's loaded.
I personally lived much of my life in addiction.  I understand where the author is coming from.  I want to point out that we cannot limit the word addiction to just chemical addictions.  If you use a broad definition then I think it is probably true. For example, perfectionism, control, anger, television, or work could be addictions. Don't you think?
Honestly, there are still things I must battle so that they do not become an addiction. I don't know, ChapStick, coffee, concerts, or sex, all of these things have the potential to overtake my holy longing at any moment, but are they addictions? Right now, I believe that I am living in balance and that even my most latent addictions are in check.
Sadly, I know where Eldredge is coming from when he says the church has chosen deadness. God did not call us to a life of safety; he certainly didn't call us to a life of passionless duty.  He called us to a full life of adventure and joy. Christ said he came to give us an abundant life which brings us to choice number one: alive and thirsty.
I think of Paul writing in Ephesians 3:19, "Then you will be filled with the fullness of life" or Jesus in John 10:10 saying, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." Think of that.  My savior didn't say his purpose was to cramp my style, keep me safe, or even get me into Heaven. "My purpose is to give life." He's talking about the here and now and he wants me to be fully alive. I love the translation of the famous John 3:16 from THE MESSAGE because it reads "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." You see, it's not just about "eternal life" because what good is the promise of eternity if, in this life, you are addicted or merely technically alive, but dead to desires?
So what about me? Alive? Check. Thirsty? Check. Thirsty for the way things are supposed to be.  Thirsty for wholeness.
I believe that's me right now.  I'm alive and thirsty. I feel really alive and I'm thirsty for the abundant life that Jesus promised.
How about you?

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Bosscast March

Alex at The Soul Shack has posted his second Bosscast, a 14-song music podcast with a focus on Bruce Springsteen. Man, I really love this dude's tastes.  Give it a listen!

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