Monday, April 23, 2007

Drowning With Land in Sight

I just got back from class (it's 11:00pm) but I had to get this post in. Today, I received my used copy of the out of print Drowning With Land In Sight Album by The 77's.

This album is one of the last great rock albums to come out of the Christian market (it was released in 1994). By last great, I mean they don't make music like this anymore (at least not in the Jesus music camp). This is pure rock, with heavy blues influence. It's hard, creative and honest.

I love the lyrics to Dave's Blues:

I've got a feelin'
I'll be headin' down for good
Got that feelin'
I'm never gonna do the things I should
I'm caught in this world
Heaven sent but hell possessed

Feeling grey since my black went white
Yes means no and no means yes

I do believeI finally need a Saviour at last
I never saw the need before, but now
That time has passed

No ifs ands or buts
This ol' world has
kicked my ass

I alternate
Between fantasy
And the cold
hard truth

I oscillate
Between the cool and the uncouth
But I
To the piercing eyes of God
I saw in my youth
Where did He go?
What is He thinking about me now?

Am I a delight to Him or
Little more than a holy cow?

Moo moo baby
Feel I been milked down
Brown how now

Best track on the album has got to be the cover of Blind Willie Johnson's Nobody's Fault But Mine; better than Zepellin's cover (no, seriously; it's that good).

Moo moo, baby.


I was reading through the book of Isaiah today. Starting in Chapter 1, couldn't help but think of Cuba.

In this chapter, God admonishes Israel. I've taken the liberty of extracting some of the verses I feel are relevant to the current political and spiritual situation in Cuba.

4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people loaded with guilt,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the LORD;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.

5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.

Castro interrogating a far
mer, who was later executed without trial

6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with oil.

Cuban children

7 Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.

"Ruin" in Havana

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.

Santeria Priestess in Cuba

Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

A Cuban man receiving last rites from a priest prior to
being executed, without trail

18 "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity. He who seeks it elsewhere will not find it for, having drunk from all the glasses of life, he will find satisfaction only in those. - Jose Marti

Man is not an image engraved on a silver dollar, with covetous eyes, licking lips and a diamond pin on a silver dickey. Man is a living duty, a depository of powers that he must not leave in a brute state. Man is a wing. - Jose Marti

Photos on this page are taken from The Real Cuba website. I encourage you to visit it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Hearts of Men...

As we ponder what just happened and the nuttiness that is and will continue to follow, G.K. Chesterton sheds some light on the subject:

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice." - Chesterton, ILN 9/11/09

"America has a genius for the encouragement of fame." - Chesterton, The Father Brown Omnibus

Friday, April 13, 2007


My friend Frank reminded me today of a horrible time in my childhood. The day
"The Great Space-Coaster" went on the air.

More on that later.

The conversation brought to my memory some of the great kids show I grew up watching in the 70's. Some of these shows were great! Some of them sucked... badly. But, they all merit being on my list, if only for the memories they bring:

Zoom - 1972 - 1978

A weird show I don't really remember. Every time I turned it on there was a "rainbow" of greasy-haired kids (sorry... an engrained image in my brain of 1970's youth) running around, some times in and out of big cut-out letters spelling ZOOM. I never really liked the show, but only because I didn't know what was going on. (What's up with that girl in front... the one with the greasy hair?)

3-2-1 Contact - 1980 - 1992

I only remember the early years of this show, and had no idea it ran as long as it did. I remember I loved listening to the theme song, then I'd change the channel.

The Electric Company - 1971-1977

It was like a variety show for kids. Some of the regulars on the show were Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno (my first love), Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers and Gene Wilder. And Spider-Man even showed up from time to time! It was awesome. I also remember seeing George of the Jungle, and the "your driving me up the wall" cartoon. (You gotta love the 'fro on Freeman)

The New Zoo Revue - 1972

This was my "Barney". I remember really liking this show, but I don't remember why. I remember a tree-house, where an owl lived. And of course, Henrietta Hippo (not my first love). I also remember reaching into my stocking one Christmas and finding small rubber New Zoo Revue toy characters. (notice how the frogs mouth is askew. They never fixed that during the entire run of the show.)

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

I liked Eddy Murphy's Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood better. With Mr. Rogers, I was ready for nap time.

The Great Space Coaster

This abomination of a kids "educational" show came on the air in 1981 (I was 11 years old).

If you never heard of this show, Wikipedia describes it as follows:

"The show is about three young singers (Francine, Danny, and Roy) who are brought to a habitable asteroid in space by a puppet clown character named Baxter who pilots the "space coaster", a rollercoaster-like spaceship. The asteroid is populated by strange-looking, wise-cracking puppet characters like Goriddle Gorilla, Knock-Knock the bird, Edison the Elephant and Gary Gnu, who hosts the "Gnus of the Week"."


The Great Space Coaster initiated what I like to call, The Dark Ages of Children's Programming. This dark period in human history began with the final season of The Electric Company in 1977, and ended around the time Barney came along, and we grew tired of the colorful yet deceitful feminization of our culture. At that time, children's television entered a type of renaissance, which... oh, whatever... I just wanted to bring back some memories.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Abba's Child

I finally picked up Abba's Child by Brennan Manning. My pastor has been telling me for years that I need to read this. He was right. It's a great read.

In the book, Manning asks the question "Is an imposter robbing you of God's love?". As you read the book, you find the "imposter" in question is not a little red devil with a pitchfork. The imposter is the mask we all create to cover who we really are; the person we want nobody to see for fear of being exposed. Who is that person? The REAL you, beaten up by life's many twist and turns. The person who decided at some point could not be good enough for anyone; let alone a loving God. Manning challenges the reader to remove the mask; to destroy the imposter. Until we do, we cannot experience God's love to the fullest.

This book is a great read, and I highly recommend it. Too many books today are "self-help" books, prescribing steps or methods to live a better life. This book goes right to the heart of the problem; the battered heart, and the masks of our own design we use to cover it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Beautiful Scandalous Night

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you were delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And Your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior's side


Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

-Hindalong/ Daugherty-