______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

“LOST” Meets “Velvet Elvis” September 30, 2011


Pastor Rob Bell and ‘Lost’ Exec Producer Carlton Cuse signed for ABC drama “Stronger.”

“Stronger” is a non-supernatural drama with spiritual overtones, humor, and a helping of autobiographical input from Mr. Bell.

“With his knack at understanding culture, his creative abilities, and his understanding of the message of Jesus, I think we can expect some profound things from [Rob Bell]. Rob doesn’t seek to copy culture, but he is involved in culture making.”
– J.R. Woodward

Boy oh boy, I have HIGH expectations for this.
I can hardly wait!

Check out more about it. CLICK HERE.


Three Dog Night July 15, 2011

One  //  Easy To Be Hard  //  Out In The Country  //  One Man Band  //
Mama Told Me Not To Come  //  Celebrate  //  Liar  //  Shambala  //
Old Fashioned Love Song  //  Never Been To Spain  //  Black & White  //
The Family of Man  //  Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here  //  Joy To The World  //
And Many More!

Wow.  Another great concert at the Foellinger Theatre.
These guys still sound fantastic!
Plus, the obligatory humor and anecdotes.  They even did an updated
rap/hip hop version of Mama Told Me Not To Come.  Good times.

From 1969-1974, nobody had more Top 10 hits, moved more records, or
sold more concert tickets than Three Dog Night.



Herman’s Hermits – 2011 June 26, 2011

♫ ♪ Something tells me we went to something good. ♪♪ ♫ ♪

What a great concert last night at the Foellinger Theatre in Fort Wayne.
Lots of good music. Not only Hermit’s songs, but covers (and imitations) of The Monkees, the Stones, Johnny Cash, and more!
Plus, Peter Noone was a funny, funny, (did I mention funny?) FUNNY guy. The night was a laugh riot.
At one point, someone in the audience handed him an early Herman’s Hermits LP, and he was singing and dancing with his face behind the face on the cover. Lots of jokes and crazy stories.  All in all, a top-notch Saturday night.  AND I got an autographed t-shirt! Good times.




Buffalo Richie June 2, 2011


When I heard the remaining members of Buffalo Springfield were at it again,
I had to break out Richie Furay’s “I’ve Got A Reason.”

Sonically,  this album still holds it’s own as one of the
best of all times.  Not to minimize Richie’s talents, but
my musical idol Michael Omartian’s influence is more
than noticeable.
These are great songs, masterfully produced, and just
plain fun to listen to, and sing along with.

Back in 1976, when this came out, I was part of a youth group that ran
what we thought passed for a bookstore.  We never sold much, but it
was a place to hang out and listen to music.  We had some some good times.
Wow. It’s like that was lifetime ago.

Anyway, “Jesus music” was starting to see some higher quality recordings at this time.
Certainly Norman’s “Upon This Rock,” and Petra’s debut record had good writing, talented musicians, and some great songs, but
the production money just wasn’t there.
Part of the backing for “…Reason”came via a partnership with Asylum records, to whom Richie
promised that, although the record would reflect his Christian faith, it would not
be “preachy.”  It was a positive LP, without being religious.  This gave the album a much greater marketability.

I think the only other Furay LPs I’ve owned
were “Dance A Little Light,” with a cover of one of my childhood
faves, Jay and the American’s “This Magic Moment,” and Richie’s last before his long
musical hiatus, “Seasons Of Change.”


Of “Dance A Little Light,” one reviewer said,
“Though recorded by what was technically a Christian rock group, [it] is
a far cry from the heavy-handed, musically inept evangelizing often associated with the genre.”
Frankly, that’s pretty high praise.

I think the next time I was aware of anything Furay was doing is when he teamed up with
the Elefante Brothers for “When Will the World See That We Need Jesus,” which
would later be covered by Petra. [Video below.]

I like music.  I have one on the widest variety of “likes,” if you will, of the people I know.
I can never imagine being stuck in one decade or genre of music.
BUT, if I had to pick a favorite period, it would be the late 60’s through the 70’s.

My wife and I have seen a lot of the “old” acts in the past few years:
The Monkees, Denis Deyoung, Alice Cooper, An ABBA tribute band, and The Grass Roots, to name just some.
We recently saw B.J. Thomas, and we have tickets for upcoming concerts to
Hermin’s Hermits and Three Dog Night.

So Richie, Stephen and Neil;
“For What It’s Worth,” I would be greatly pleased if you
would get yourselves to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I’d love to add Buffalo Springfield to the above list,
before the man come and take you away.

[Click on image to read the
Rolling Stone Article on Buffalo Springfield]

[Click on any of the Richie Furay album covers above for reviews and purchase options.]


A Spiritual Man May 22, 2011

We really enjoyed the recent B.J. Thomas concert here in Fort Wayne. Lots of great music by a fabulous vocalist, with a really good band.
Unlike many artists, he still has that great, versatile voice.
Hits like “Hooked On A Feeling,” Raindrops…,” “Theme from Growing Pains,'” “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Mighty Clouds of Joy,”
“Home Where I Belong,” and so many more.
He closed with a powerful version of “Suspicious Minds,” which he originally recorded around the same time Elvis did.
(The song was written by Mark James.)

Mr. Thomas gave lots of background stories, humorous insights, and bits of wisdom from his personal journey.
He even managed to work in a few comments about that night being “the end of the world.”

It didn’t take much to see that he had, long ago, started down a path similar to the one I have taken.
He gave testimony to the omnipotence of Father, the lordship of Christ, and the universal love of God, all while acknowledging himself as being a
spiritual man, while being decidedly NOT religious. He says, as so many have, that no one religion can contain God.

The whole audience seemed full of love for the entertainment and insights of this man. He just came off as being a really nice guy.
He had a great rapport with the crowd, interacting with verbal comments yelled from the seats, and allowing everyone to take
pictures during the concert. That’s very rare. People would walk right up to the edge of the stage, just inches from him, and take pictures.

Anyway, my wife a met some nice people, sang, danced, clapped, and had a great time with old memories while creating new ones.

Thank you, B.J. Thomas. It was a night to remember!

(Here’s a bit from a previous interview that I just found)

“There’s lots of ways to find your faith and your spirituality. Yeah, that was what turned us around in those days. That was kind of a spiritual awakening to us, that we found through Christianity. I don’t think I ever was a religious person, but there was a spiritual awakening that happened. When you go back and make a lot of specific references to certain things, certain things change, and evolve over the years. I might have been presented as a very religious entity in those days, but I’m not a religious person as we speak. And, I’m not sure that any one religion can serve all humanity. So, I think you have to have your life experiences and you have to dig your faith out of your own heart and your own spirit. There’s an evolution and a progress that goes on in a lifetime.” – B.J. Thomas


Faith Unashamed September 28, 2010

Shawn Thomas: “Faith Unashamed”


Sing Along With David September 24, 2010


I’ve been listening to the Psalms again. Back in the 70’s, scripture set to music was very popular. That’s pretty much all we sang in our meetings. Plus, then contemporary groups like “New Creation Singers” had whole albums of scripture songs.

Recently, a friend of mine loaned me a CD of a current group called “sons of korah,” who have, afresh, set the Psalms to music. They’re really good. I hope he loans me more of their CDs. (hint hint. [Ok, more an outright request than a hint.]).

The Psalms are beautiful: Songs of praise, songs of worship, songs of victory, as well as songs of fear, and songs of doubt. This is very human stuff. Although I truly enjoy, and am encouraged by these new musical interpretations, something else unexpectedly struck me: The obvious and blatant fact that these songs were written under a different covenant.

We may certainly turn to the Psalms, as we may all true scripture, for guidance and encouragement. But our view of God, ourselves, and our lives will be greatly distorted if we do not realize we are in a different kingdom than the one in which the Psalms were written.

It seems to me many Christians (at least, most evangelicals I know) still try to live under both the old and new covenants. Yes, I know “The God of the old testament is the same one as the God of the New testament!” but His method of operation is Very different. As the scripture teaches, if the old would have worked, there would be no need for the new (Mk. 2:22, Heb. 8:7,13).
Jesus repeatedly said “You have heard,” and then quoted the old covenant, followed by “But I tell you,” explaining a new way of doing things, often directly contradicting the old way (e.g. Mat. 5:43).

There are parts of the Psalms that really expose some of the differences between covenant theology (or philosophy). One such example is Psalm 56:7 “Because they are bent on violence, do not let them escape! In your anger bring down the nations, O God!

I can just see a large number of people using this to justify hatred, violence, war, etc. I often have heard Christians praying “against” other people. This brings to mind the passage in Luke where James and John said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” After all, that was the way “the God of the old covenant” would have done things. Jesus, of course, corrected their wayward thinking, reminding them that we are not of that spirit.

Jesus addressed the old versus the new when He said about retaliation:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well. And if someone wants to sue you and to take your tunic, give him your coat also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you.”

and about love for your enemies:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they?”

As I said, the Psalms are beautiful. But, as someone else pointed out, “we must turn to God to understand the scriptures, not turn to the scriptures to understand God.” We have a dreadfully ugly history of what happens when those get out of order! We can walk away with a very ungodly worldview if we do not recognize our “new creature” status; all the while justifying that worldview as “biblical.”

We can still sing songs about the destruction of our enemies. We just need to know that our enemies are not people. They are not nations. They are not flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12). Our enemies are spiritual. One of my biggest personal enemies is selfishness. We must fight enemies like hate, poverty, homophobia, jealousy, and greed. We must fight an unwillingness to reach out in love, for fear of thinking that that is equal to condoning actions we may disagree with.

When I recognize, under the new covenant of Jesus, who and what my true enemies are, I will whole-heartedly join with David in singing “In your anger, God, bring them down!”

— David Foreman
(PS Thanks again, bro, for the CD)

Scripture quoted from the New Engligh Translation


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