I wrote a song this week, a song inspired by a passage from the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Come and see …
Happy New Year, Merry Mystics!
Here’s a little Christmas card from me and my wife and daughter to you.
Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll be back to my usual cynical self next week!
This is a not-quite-secular carol for Advent—a song about the fun of getting ready for Christmas. It’s meant to be sung with plenty of frosting on top.
The sheet music for “We Prepare” is available in our Free Stuff area, in three different forms: one with full piano accompaniment, one with the vocal part only, and one with the vocal refrain only. (That last is how I used it in my church: with me singing the verses and the congregation singing the refrain.)
Here’s a song from my second CD. The song tells an old, old story. You probably already know the story, though perhaps you haven’t heard it told from this point of view before…
Now, friends, thanks for watching and listening. If you got something good out of this song and video, please post a comment here to let me know. It doesn’t have to be anything very witty: “Nice song!” or “I get it!” would do just fine. And please share with your friends. Thanks.
I’ve been wishing for an enticing premium to offer people—something that would persuade more folks to give me their email addresses for The Merry Mystic. How to lose ten pounds overnight? How to attract money? How to avoid an eternity of torment in hell? (That one used to persuade a lot of people to join churches, and even tithe to them, so I considered it seriously.)
But then it hit me: I have something lots of people want. I have the secret of flight. Ready for this?
It’s fall here in Michigan. I’ve harvested a few acorn squash, and we have a few pumpkins coming on, but our garden is my wife’s project, and she plants mostly for the birds and insects. The birds and bees and butterflies—and squirrels, and deer!—have been busy harvesting. It reminds me of how gardening can be a ministry, and a form of prayer. I wrote a hymn about it: “Dear God, In Your Garden.”
Best blessings on your gardening, cooking, woodworking, knitting—and all your other ministries.
Last week’s episode of The Merry Mystic—my rant—was the most popular ever. Still, it didn’t exactly take the internet by storm. So here, as promised, is my cat video.
Thanks for all the great responses and shares last week. It helps me more than you know. Best blessings!
The woods were my first church. The first time I remember being aware of the great Song of God, I was in the woods. The first time I remember feeling my part in the connectedness of all living things, I was sitting in a tree. (These days, I hear that Song and feel that connectedness in other places too—sometimes even in a church of stone!)
I wrote this song, “Treesong,” for my last album, As a Deer Longs. The instruments and male vocals are mine; the female vocals are Kelly Autrey-Webber, my true love; the images are from a walk in the woods of New Hampshire.
(I’m sorry the images aren’t sharper — they’re just stills culled from handheld video, shot as I walked. But I think they’re beautiful, even as they are.)
I wrote this song for a man I met back in my seminary days. He told me he was Vietnam veteran. I told him I was a seminary student. He told me he didn’t believe in God—and he told me why. I wrote this song to honor his story.
I think about him often, and when I think about him, all I have are questions. I never saw him again; what became of him? I don’t know that I was any help to him in our conversation; what might I have done differently? Why is there destructive suffering in this world—not the kind that strengthens people, like a refining fire, but the kind that grinds people down beyond their ability to resist? How can we help build a more peaceful world, a world where military men and women are not asked to do things that make them feel that “all the lights are dimmer since the war?” And what better theology could we teach our children—what understanding of God that won’t buckle under the heavy burdens life may require them to carry?
As always, I value your thoughts on these matters.
Do you know where you will spend eternity? I don’t! But I do have a conjecture…
I think that one of the reasons why Christianity is speaking to fewer people these days is because skeptics are the growth demographic. Claiming to know exactly what happens to us when we die just makes us look superstitious and gullible. But that’s what I think — leave a comment below, and tell me what you think.