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Archive for January, 2012

"Wow! We never had music lak this back on the farm, huh honey???"



For
Melissa at Melissa Not Dusting” (the little sister I never had) who sure takes pretty pictures of bluebirds and stuff.

With Buffalo Springfield, who begat Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

And for the record, “Bluebird” is one of my all time rock faves from wayyyy back in the sixties when this music was fresh and original and cutting edge and influential for inventive rock bands coming of age even today . . .

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I meant to say “Cain,” of course, and promptly corrected it.

I apologize to Sen. John McCain for the slander of getting him confused with Herman Cain.

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SOME DAY, FROM THE HIGH VANTAGE POINT OF THE ROCKIE MOUNTAINS WHERE THIS PHOTO SHOWS YOURS TRULY, ONE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE THE NEON LIGHTS OF THE "MOONIES PIZZA" FRANCHISES


Headline of the day so far:

“Former rival Cain endorses Gingrich”

Headline any day now:

“Former rivals Cain, Gingrich announce business venture:
Unveil plans for “Moonies Pizza Inc.”

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You have scattered your awareness in all directions,
and your vanities are not worth a bit of cabbage.

The root of every thorn draws
the water of your attention toward itself.

How will the water of your attention reach the fruit?

Cut through the evil roots, cut them away.

Direct the Bounty of God to spirit and insight,
not to the knotted and broken world outside.

–—- Rumi

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If I had known I’d live this long I’d have taken better care of myself.”

— George Burns

Yes, it was a dark and stormy night on this day 162 years ago when Dr. Ketchum brought me into this world and said to my Momma, “It’s a boy, Goldie. And he’s got Deanie’s jitterbug feet. He’s gonna be a jitterbuggin’ jesse, just like his daddy.”

For my birthday I’m wishing for world peace, more of this excellent health I’m in that defies all odds considering how much I abused my body for 162 years and, finally–one night with Emmylou Harris .

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Donald Miller wrote the screenplay himself for the movie version of his much-acclaimed book Blue Like Jazz---which he wanted to name "Blue Like Polka": Fortunately, his publisher insisted on a jazzier title

If the much anticipated movie “Blue Like Jazz” is one half as hilarious, inspiring, deeply spiritual, theologically incisive and entertaining as the best-selling autobiography of the same name by Houston native Donald Miller . . . .

Well, we can only hope it will live up to the good buzz surrounding its pre-release this spring.

Dandy Donald is one offbeat, quirky, unconventional, quite subsersive and gently anti-establishment 30-something Christian man who is about the most engaging and non-threatening radical Christian imaginable, the kind of guy you’d definitely love to have a beer with at a neighborhood pub or a Nehi Orange soda out of a bottle at a family picnic. He’s a beer or Orange soda kinda guy, whatever your pleasure.

Miller landed in his spiritual journey in the most un-Christian city of Portland and won the hearts and minds and souls of some of the most anti-Christian students on one of the most librul and eccentric colleges around.

Other than that he’s just a regular guy, one who happens to be a rather exceptional writer and speaker struggling with the sacred and the profane in the hybrid mix that is this sacred and profane and broken world in his never-ending search to find union with God and humanity–a Christian mystic of a regular guy who would love for you to love him and love God as much as he does, but if you don’t he’ll probably go take a nap anyway and forget about you anyway.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why I like him so much, but this is about Donald Miller, whose book you ought to read before the movie comes out if you’ve not read it.

Here’s the trailer to the movie and an interview with Miller his own self, who–if he lives long enough–may lose his baby fat and have whiskers some day.

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“Community is first and foremost a gift of the Holy Spirit, not built upon mutual compatibility, shared affection or common interests, but upon having received the same divine breath, having been given a heart set aflame by the same divine fire and having been embraced by the same divine love.”
Henri Nouwen
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“Although the power of his personal witness was questionable, the fictional Jonah nevertheless was a medium of grace through which the Ninevites recognized their need for repentance and were saved. Jonah is represented as the epitome of Jewish bigotry and prejudice regarding foreigners. His mission proved successful not because of his own virtue, but by virtue of God’s universal mercy. Jonah’s story reminds contemporary believers in Jesus that, at times, the truth of the Gospel may be spoken through less-than-worthy preachers. It is the message rather than the medium that reaches out with grace and salvation.”
— Patricia Datchuck Sanchez in The National Catholic Reporter

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“It’s about time we recognized tht Christianity is a not a call to conservatism, but to change. Jesus came into the world not to conserve the system as it was, but to change the world into what it ought to be.”

— Tony Compolo, Evangelist & prolific author of Christian books

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John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer for Covenant Renewal

Lord,
I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.

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RANDY NEWMAN IN HIS "ANGRY YOUNG MAN" DAYS: HE WROTE BITTER SATIRICAL SONGS ABOUT THE SOUTH THAT ROCK STATIONS WOULDN'T--COULDN'T TOUCH--BUT ALSO SONGS SO BEAUTIFUL THAT THE STATIONS WOULDN'T TOUCH THOSE EITHER; BUT THE VARIETY OF HIS BODY OF WORK HAS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME

There’s something about the sad beauty of the musical genius Randy Newman’s (click here) “Louisiana” that gets to me every time.

Too bad this great writer and composer will always be known as the guy who did the novelty song “Short People (Got No reason to Live),” if not the bitter songs about the South like “Rednecks,” that almost got him run out of the country.

This great song sort of became a Louisiana anthem in the wake of “Katrina.”

And some early Randy for you . . . .

He who wrote the song that “Three Dog Night” made a huge hit of. . . . which he wrote for Eric Burdon and the Animals who didn’t make a huge hit of it, but Eric and The Animals did OK in the music biz anyway.

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(For Ames and Mo and Meggles, blood of my blood.)

THIS URBAN BIRD STRAYED ALL THE WAY FROM TEXAS TO COLORADO TO GET CLOSE TO NATURE AND APPEARS TO HAVE LOST A LEG ALONG THE WAY BUT REST ASSURED HE STILL HAS BOTH BIRD LEGS IN TACT

Your own back yard–or the park near you wherever you live–is full of God’s beautiful creatures going unnoticed, doing their thing–like this common cedar waxwing getting ready for a new day.

Check it out, and more cool stuff Via the Cornell Lab of Ornithology “Celebrate” Urban Birds” project.

But first, read on for further thoughts on nature from your favorite blawger. . . .

We’ve heard so much about “the environment,” and fought so much over it for lo these many decades, that we’ve lost touch with being close to “nature”–with knowledge and appreciation of the wonders of God’s creation in our own back yards.

The old folks back home were much more at peace with themselves and the world because they didn’t have all the distractions of TV 24-7, much less all the high-tech bells and whistles that keep us wired — and I mean wired in the literal and figurative sense of the word.

My mother loved to relax in her recliner in the den with the windows raised up, when weather permitted, of course. We had a huge pecan tree right behind the den that shaded a lot of the back yard and cooled the den.

My dad, who like my mother was tuned in and turned on by the nature in our small back yard, had bird baths and a brick “well” he built, and also a brick planter he built by the patio he so carefully designed along with the rest of the backside of our house. The “well” was covered with ivy and all that. He did all he could to make our little piece of Earth a bird sanctuary and nature preserve of sorts.

My mother was so tuned in to the chatter of birds out back that she could sit in the den with those windows up and focus on all the bird chatter outside and notice that a certain woodpecker was tapping at one of the trees in the back yard of our neighbor across the hedgerow that divided our yards.

Of course, she was tuned in to sounds from all over town as well–the trains approaching in the distance at certain hours like clockwork, the sound of the train rumbling through downtown a mile away from the house, the 5 o’clock church bells chiming at the Baptist Church.

Keeping close to nature–its sights, it sounds, its small wonders–connects us to our own yards, our neighbors, our town, our community, our small worlds and the whole world.

What a wonderful world if only we’ll open our eyes and ears and smell the roses while we’re at it.

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