Blogroll Me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

number 27




Life was filled with guns and war and everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we'd all been ready
Children died, the days grew cold- a piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we'd all been ready
There's no time to change your mind- the Son has come and you've been left behind.

A man and wife asleep in bed, she hears a noise and turns her head- he's gone
I wish we'd all be ready
Two men walking up a hill- one disappears and one's left standing still
I wish we'd all been ready
There's no time to change your mind- the Son has come and you've been left behind.

Life was filled with guns and war and everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we'd all been ready
Children died, the days grew cold- a piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we'd all been ready
There's no time to change your mind- how could you have been so blind?
The Father spoke, the demons dined, the Son has come and you've been left behind.

***
Sadly, there were no cameras running during Larry Norman's epic 1979 tour. It was my first rock concert ever, and my first road trip with no 'adults' present. My life was never the same after that.
After playing the hits with an all-star band consisting of other Solid Rock Records feature artists -Tom Howard was on keys and Alex MacDougall of Daniel Amos was on drums- 'the Hairy Mormon' (as my friends and I had jokingly dubbed him) launched into an ultra heavy version of 'number 27' from our youth group's worship music duo-tang: I Wish We'd All Been Ready. At the end of the song, while the band riffed and rumbled underneath, the singer assaulted the audience by shouting the big question of the song over the din: WHY?
Scared the hell out of me.
The clip below is fairly tame by comparison, but affords us a glimpse of the kind of singing/preaching that established Larry Norman as a founding father of the fledgling genre that would become Jesus Music and would give a whole new generation of musical believers hope of moving beyond the old-time gospel expressions that were the only legitimate musical forms prior to the early 1970's.


Guys like Larry, Randy Stonehill, Barry McGuire, Randy Matthews, Phil Keaggy and others were all on that cutting edge that separated what had already been done from what could be done. They were responding to Jesus' words by writing songs and playing them wherever they could with an urgency that was infectious. Lives were changed, not because these musicians were perfect or because their message was, as I shared in my talk, a terrifying endtimes message of Christ's immanent return. Lives were changed because the Holy Spirit was using these guys and their music to get people's attention in ways that were relevant to the day, effectively challenging the indifference of man to the things of God with a holy dissonance that demanded decision-making. Christian Kids shared these records with their 'non-Christian' friends and talked about the lyrics, discussing what they might mean and, more importantly, what their message might imply.
I know of at least one other kid who was drawn slowly, but purposefully towards that gospel light simply through sitting around listening to records and talking. Eventually, when a moment of decision presented itself at a concert, my friend was ready to move into it. Even though years have passed and we don't see each other anymore, there is this great satisfaction in my heart that somehow, just by sharing my love for Jesus and my love for music with a friend simultaneously, God was able to move. On that day of days, whenever and however it comes to pass, I will look over to see a man with whom I grew up, with whom I walked up many a hill, standing in paradise wearing, perhaps, the same look of bewilderment that is upon my own face.
We are who we are for God's glory, to be used of him to bring the world to an understanding of his love and of the possibilities that lie within reach of realization for those who accept it, having pushed past the indifference that is too often the human condition. In what ways are we, today, walking on the cutting edge that separates that which has already been done from that which could be?

Blogroll Me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

nothing to kill or die for




i had the opportunity to do some community service

as part of a remembrance day observance in a local school, i got to accompany a choir of charming 11 year olds as they sang of the utopia that they will hopefully build for themselves (as it doesn't look like they're going to inherit it from those of us who have come before them.)

imagine there's no heaven
it's easy if you try
no hell below us
above us only sky
imagine all the people living for today

imagine there's no countries
it isn't hard to do
nothing to kill or die for
and no religion too
imagine all the people living life in peace

you may say i'm a dreamer
but i'm not the only one
i hope one day you'll join us
and the world will be as one

imagine all possessions
i wonder if you can
no need for greed or hunger
a brotherhood of man
imagine all the people sharing all the world

you may say i'm a dreamer
but i'm not the only one
i hope one day you'll join us
and the world will live as one
(lennon)

interesting how some things get diluted as they are shared from person to person; generation to generation. it's a huge game of 'telephone'.

a friend was recently telling me of how her husband and son attended a paul mccartney show, and bought a t-shirt. the son wore the shirt to school and began to receive flak from another kid in the class over it... this other kid was wearing a lennon shirt.

it kinda figures that the lennon kid would give the mccartney kid a hard time. the conflict was legendary and whereas mccartney was probably more controlling, lennon was definitely more confrontational. for a guy whose most memorable statements were about peace, he sure did have a way of getting in people's faces about it. the fact that many of his disciples would get it all wrong seems about right.

kinda like Jesus

Christ was a confrontational contrarian whose way is carved out fairly clearly in his manifesto as a pushback against all that was wrong with organized religion circa 30 a.d... but as often happens, his message and his methods became confused over time, moving from a spiritually transformative underground justice movement that served as such a threat to the empire that involvement in it was seen as treason and punishable by death, to the state-sanctioned religion of the empire in less than 300 years... and an empire of its own in less than 500 years more.

a progressive or regressive legacy?

What if the religion generally associated with Jesus neither expects nor trains its adherents to actually live in the way of Jesus?
(brian d mclaren)

to live that manifesto- there's the challenge.

Blogroll Me!

Monday, November 01, 2010

either/or


clear or clever?
pick one

in most cases communication can't be both