A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: June 2005 (page 1 of 3)

OK, That Does It!

I’m through, finished. It’s over. The rotund female has sung. I don’t think I’ll post any more.

Why? you ask. (The two of you who’ll read this will ask anyway.)

Because Randy Bohlender (he of new blog name and fresh new template!) has written the blog post I wish I could write. It finishes with this excerpt…

There must be room in our thinking for an artistic theology. Call it creative if you like � or heretical if you must. All I know is that the hard and fast answers I�ve been forced to calculate often leave me wondering more than knowing. Go ahead and exegete your passages, decipher your Greek, parse your participles and preach your sermons. I�m going to turn around in the pew and color.

Tap me when it�s time to sing.

The Music of Your Youth…

I’ve had three conversations this week that included the statement that the only music that really moves you is the music of your youth. Whether your youth was the 1940s big bands and crooners, the 1950s nascent rock and roll, the 1960s psychedelic stuff or any other period really doesn’t matter. It’s the music of our youth that sticks with us and passes the test of time. It’s that music to which we always go back, given the choice. It’s that music that we consider the best. It’s that music that is the measuring stick for all other music in our lives.

I was born in late 1960 – too late to be a real Boomer; too early to be a real Buster – a part of that “in-between” bunch with some Buster sensibilities trapped in a Boomer body. I consider my “youth” (teens and early 20s) to be somewhere around 1972 through 1982 or so.

The first album I remember buying with my own money was a Marshall Tucker Band cassette. I bought the very first Kool & The Gang album in the same purchase (think “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging”). But I loved – and still love music of all kinds.

I was destined for a career as the next great high school band director, so I began to get into “serious” music as a teenager. Looking back on it now, I was quite the musical snob. And there – finally! – is the point of this post.

If I had to identify the “real” music of my youth, it would be classical and jazz. Stuff like Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mahler, Wagner, and Beethoven. Stuff like Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Chuck Mangione, and Chick Corea. In college, I discovered Copland (shook his hand!), Bruckner, and Bernstein (Leonard and Elmer!) I discovered Miles, Coltrane, Ella, Mel Torm�, and Ol’ Blue Eyes.

I loved music so much that at one point I hated it. Does that make sense? When I realized that music was getting to be work, I started to despise it. But when I realized my path was going in a different direction, music became pure enjoyment once again.

Since then, I’ve found goodies in almost every genre of music. The Tams, The Embers, The Catalinas, The Fantastic Shakers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Luther Vandross, and others recorded the soundtrack of my college years. I took – and still take – long trips up Windham Hill. I boot-scooted with my friends in low places. I’ve praised and worshiped. I’ve gone with the Orinoco Flow. I’ve been 2 Legit 2 Quit. Lately I’ve learned how to dismantle an atomic bomb.

If it’s been recorded, I’ve probably listened to something like it.

OK, OK, back to the point of this rambling post…

Today, I remembered the music of my youth. I re-discovered the lush vocal jazz sounds of the Singers Unlimited. I’m listening to them right now, and I’ve rushed back to those days when I didn’t really have a care in the world. I’m loving it all over again. I wish I hadn’t been such a musical snob back then. I probably would have enjoyed it even more.

The One Rule of Writing…

Mike Shea has a great post comparing five journals for writing. His recommendations? The Moleskine Pocket, of course, and the Renaissance Large Art journal. He closes his assessment with these great words…

Above all, remember the one rule of writing, the one instruction that is more important than any lesson any writer can ever learn:


The only way to be a better writer is to write. No journal is worth more than the words they store.

This is great advice for any writer, aspiring or otherwise.

A Bridge, Not a Wall…

One of my favorite people I’ve discovered on the Web has been Randy Bohlender. (I’ve blogged about Rev. Burning Man before! His mug has even graced this space before!)

Once upon a time, we almost met face to face. But alas, it was not meant to be. So I’ve just kept up virtually with Randy and his incredible family through a lot of adventures via the Web.

You want to know why he’s one of my favorite finds? Because along with all the cool trips, the powerful standing in the gap in some of the most strategic places in the world, and the slightly(?) off-kilter sense of humor, Randy writes stuff like this

Despite the fact that I suspect I disagree with them on most issues of major importance in my life, I find Larry, Marian, Andie (and prior BM whizGirl, Jess the Nurse) to be more than interesting. They are wonderful. My religious beliefs serve as a bridge, not a wall. As I told Marian today “My faith enables me to see you as who you are – a child of God…a God who is intensely interested in you. My faith compells me to love you.”

Somewhere along the way, we lost what it means to be witnesses to the people we come in contact with. We became salesmen at best, and incredibly judgmental Pharisees at worst. We get on people’s cases because they don’t include enough law and sinfulness and judgment when they “present the gospel” and we sneer at their attempts to live out the ways and methods of Jesus as apprentices.

Randy gets it. And may I get it, too!

Oh, Ye of the Flip-Flop Tribe…

I’ve read a couple of recent blog posts from some of my buds who are card-carrying members of the First Church of the Flip-Flop.

You’ve got Rev. Burning Man.

You’ve got Mr. Missionary in Macon.

And you’ve got the High Priest of the Church of the Flip-Flop himself. (I guess that makes him the flip-floppiest of all!)

Well, now in the interest of Flip-Flop Evangelism, I’ve got just the thing for each and every one of these esteemed Wearers of the Flop…

The Shoes of the Fisherman!

‘Cause John Kruk Said So…

John Kruk was one of those real “characters” in professional sports. (Remember when he faced Randy Johnson in the All-Star Game?)

Anyway, Kruk is now an analyst – a “color man,” if you will – for ESPN. He lists five reasons not to count the Atlanta Braves out of the pennant race just yet…

  1. Starting pitching. When all their starting pitching gets healthy, they’re as good as anybody.

  2. Leadoff hitter. Rafael Furcal will turn his season around and ignite the offense.

  3. The rookies. They’re getting a lot of experience and that can only help coming down the stretch.

  4. The Jones factor. Chipper and Andruw will not let this team lose. How do I know? They don’t know losing.

  5. Bobby Cox. The best manager going. Enough said.

Better hurry up, I say!

The Voices We Hear…

Chad Canipe posted this quote from Vincent van Gogh…

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

What are the voices in your head/heart/spirit saying to you?

  • “You can’t plant that church!”
  • “You can’t turn that church around!”
  • “You can’t build that website!”
  • “You can’t write that book!”
  • “You can’t finish that degree!”
  • “You can’t make a difference in your community!”
  • “You can’t get organized!”

Can’t, can’t, can’t…

One of my dad’s “Howardisms” is…

‘Can’t’ never could do anything!

When the voices in us and around us start telling us what we can’t do, maybe that’s the time we need to get busy doing it.

More SBC Bloggers…

Along with “THE Steve McCoy,” there are some other guys blogging at the SBC this week. I could point you to all their blogs, and I guess that would be the “blogging” thing to do. But since “THE Steve McCoy” has conveniently posted links to all of them in one place, I’ll just point you over there. That way Steve’ll get some more hits, and so will Marty, Joe, the double Davids, Scott, and Tony, and any others they may have linked to!

OK, so I did it both ways!

God at Work at the SBC…

Our tribe is having its annual meeting this week in Nashville. Amid all the usual stuff – old-timey preaching, pompous resolutions, and the like – this year there’s something going on that’s a tad different than years past. There is a real movement afoot among “younger leaders” in the SBC. They’re blogging this year’s meeting.

Steve McCoy is chronicling the convention from this perspective. Check out his reports. This line got my attention…

…life is too short to sit back and get a paycheck for preaching. We need to be people incarnated in our culture and our local communities.

Check out the rest of this great post.

Seems God may be at work at the Convention after all.