10 Songs

I like spotify. I only use it sporadically, but when I do, I go to town. I especially like creating playlists. I recently created a playlist entitled 40% Stonehill. Of the 25 songs I have on the playlist so far 10 have them are from Randy Stonehill. If you do the math that means 40% of the songs on the playlist are stonehill songs.

The other night I listened to 10 of the songs and am going to write a little bit about each one.

Photo by Anton Hooijdonk on Pexels.com

Song 1: In Jesus Name – Randy Stonehill from The Lazarus Heart (1994)

Thoughts: I love everything about the bridge in this song.

The Lyrics: Mercy is the miracle by which we stand. Mercy that comes pouring down from nail scarred hands. Mercy pouring out from nail scarred hands.

The Guest Artist: Stonehill employs Michael W Smith to sing the bridge and MWS nails it.

The Signature Move: The bridge hits it’s powerful climax with the requisite yeah yeahs that Smitty is known for.

Song 2. If I Stand – Rich Mullins from Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth (1988)

Thoughts:

This album contains the song Awesome God that propelled Mullins to the top of contemporary Christian music at the time. However, it is the lyrics from If I Stand where the album derives it’s title. Also this song is imbued with much more lyrical depth and sheer poetry than Awesome God. If I Stand is one of many fine songs on Winds O Stuff O (my nickname for the album) that along with Awesome God displays the passionate genius of Mullins.

Song 3: It’s Now – Randy Stonehill from Can’t Buy A Miracle (1988)

Thoughts: It had been quite a while since I had heard this song. Of all the Stonehill songs mentioned on these 10 songs it may be my least favorite. However, I do like this rocking anthem and was struck by how timely the lyrics are 1/3 of a century after it’s original release.

Think about 2020 and consider these lyrics:

The world is spinning faster,
It’s out of control, it’s out of control,
In the air is the smell of disaster,
No running away, it’s time to say who we’re gonna choose to make our master.

Song 4: I’m A Punk – Alan Sherman

Thoughts: I’m a Punk is a song from the 1971 cartoon adaptation of the Cat in The Hat. Even though my family grew up listening to the music of Alan Sherman, I didn’t realize until recently that Sherman had provided the voice for T Geisel’s titular cat, This song reminds me of a first person version of you’re a mean one Mr. Grinch,

Song 5:We Were All so Young – Randy Stonehill from Edge of the World 2002

This song about the beginning of the Jesus Music era features many of the pioneers of the Jesus Music era, which I guess is the point.

The Guest Artists: Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, Annie Herring, Noel Paul Stookey Barry McGuire and Love Song.

Song 6 Deep Calling Deep – Margaret Becker from Grace 1995

I’m a big fan of Maggie B. Deep Calling Deep which opens her 1995 album Grace (The follow up to Soul and the end of her 1 word album phase) goes along way to explaining why. Soulful. wistful, haunting and rocking all in the same package. an

Song7: American Fast Food. Randy Stonehill Equator 1982

Have you ever had a moment that started as a dream come true and ended up a nightmare? Thia aong reminds me of one such time. A few years ago my family drove to Indinapolis to visit friends and watch Randy Stonehill in concert. It was an intimate gathering and Stonehill asked for a volunteer to belch during this song which is the high point of the song. I volunteered and totally biffed the belch. It took me a long time before I could appreciate this song again. Sorry Sir Stonehill. I’ll tty not to bring it up again(belching humor).

Song 8: The Pirates Who Don’t do Anything – Veggie Tales

I’m a big fan of Phil Vischer and all things Veggietales. I especially love silly songs with Larry. The song the Pirates who don’t do anything really has had a life of it’s own. I think it’s the only song to have recurring parts in veggiedom. They came back to host the silly song countdown and were featured prominently in both veggie tales movies. Usually my favorite silly song is whatever I’m listening to at the time, but, this is the one I listen to the most. I still haven’t been to Boston in the Fall.

Song 9: Finish Well – Randy Stonehill from Spirit Walk (2011)

The last Stonehill song of the 10 finishes well. Besides having a very similar melody as Randy’s Stop the World it is a good song, My favorite line is chase the fickle butterfly of cool.

Song 10 Wind and Wave Jacob’s Trouble from Door Into Summer (1989)

Jacob’s Trouble is my favorite band to play ping pong to and Wind and Wave is one of my favorite songs of theirs. Instead of talking about them I’ll just show a video of them performing it back in ’91.

I hope you enjoyed this special glimpse into my musical tastes. It is something I hope to do again.

Everybody’s Little Book of Everyday Prayers – A Review

A few weeks ago I received a copy of Everybody’s Little Book of Everyday Prayers by Cynthia MacGregor.  I won the book on Library Thing as part of their Early Reviewers program.  The caveat of receiving the book for free is to review it.

The book is made up of several sections: an introduction,  general prayers,  prayers for specific occasions, and prayers of supplication and thanks. In the introduction, MacGregor shares her ambitious goal of the book …

“This book is for you – whatever your religious affiliation- even if you have no religious affiliation at all. This book is for you, whether you’re a Protestant, Jew or Catholic,   a member of one of the many religions of the world or an unaffiliated believer … This book is for you.

Like I said,  very ambitious.  The problem is the book was not for me.  Nor would I feel good about anyone using it as a guide to praying to God.  I feel bad writing this and wish I felt the book had any utility.  MacGregor is very clear in her introduction that any and all of her prayers could be fashioned to fit someone’s specific belief.  This unfortunately is not true for me.

A prayer from the general prayers section offers a good example of what I mean…

O God you know what is best for me.  You know what is in my heart and what are the things I want in this life for me, for those I love and for this very world itself.  If it is your will, I pray that my wishes and prayers will be granted, but if it is not Your will, then help me to accept my lot in life and Your plan for me, those I hold dear and for all the others whom I pray.

So what’s wrong with that, you might ask? Nothing,  that part is fine. It continues for a few more lines that I mostly agree with and then  …

and may I never rely too heavily on You, but that remember that it is up to me to do whatever I can toward gaining my goals.

What?!!!?!!!?

Didn’t you just say the God knows what is best and knows what is in my heart? To me that means that God is all good and all knowing.  How can we EVER rely too heavily on an all good and all knowing God?

In another prayer in the same section she says   …

“It is said that God created man in His image, yet how dare we assume that we are in any way God-Like?”

The thing is the person who said God was created in His image is actually God, the person this prayer is intended for.

This brings up one of the main issues I have against this book.   In order to appeal to everyone it loses sight of the main reason we pray.  We need God’s help.  The main reason we need God’s help is because we are sinners.  There is no mention of sin in this book, sure it talks about temptation and faults but not sin.  There is no mention of Jesus or a Messiah in this book the Catholics and Christians this book was intended for believe in Jesus and the Jews this book was intended for are still waiting for a Messiah.  When Holidays are mentioned Easter and Passover are not mentioned,  Christmas is only mentioned in prayers for taking down and putting up the Christmas Tree. I understand the author’s desire to be inclusive and not exclusive.  But there is a prayer in the book for paying off your mortgage wasn’t she afraid of offending apartment dwellers?

I hate that I hate this book.  I hoped this book would be written to bring everyone closer to God, but after a careful reading of it, it seems like the author thinks that everyone is okay where they were.  If that was true we would not need to pray.

Summer Reading: Persuasion

I am not the voracious reader that my wife is.  I like books and I have lots of them.  Most of which, I accumulated we got married.  I just don’t usually spend as much time reading as she does.  Each  summer, I try to read more than I usually do and as I’ve tried here before, I will try to review each book I finish this Summer.

Today’s Review

Persuasion by Jane Austen


My experience when it comes to reading a book adaption of a movie I have seen or seeing a movie version of a book I have read is generally the same.  I tend to like the version which  I have read or seen first better than the one I’ve experienced second.  This is not necessarily the Case with Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

I really enjoy the film Persuasion and have just recently finished the novel.  I am a big  fan of Austen’s works generally through the medium of film.  I found that the reading of Persuasion really enhanced my appreciation of the film.  Much of the dialogue in the movie is pulled verbatim from the book.  The only difference being that it was adapted into dialogue from exposition in the original source.  This task is done artfully by the filmmakers and removes any need of a voiceover narration which would have hampered the cinematic presentation.

On the other hand,  a reading of Persuasion gave me new insights and understanding of her characters some that I had grown to love and others I had learned to disdain in my multiple viewings.  Mary, for example, is a much worse sister to Anne on paper than celluloid.  If you have seen the film, you know that is quite an achievement.  There is also more to like about Captain Wentworth, Mrs. Smith and even Lady Russell.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially those fond of any Austen work in print or pixel.

Next Time: Post of the Week

You can find this post at both Home School Dad and Your Basic Dave where I am posting concurrently over the summer.