Add a Splash of Sobriety to Your Christmas Playlist with These Six Songs

One of the songs that rocked my world, changed my thinking and opened my heart is Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus." But the first thing it did was upset me. Decades ago, driving in the dark with the radio on, I was drawn in by the tune's driving rhythm and lilting violin. I delighted in … Continue reading Add a Splash of Sobriety to Your Christmas Playlist with These Six Songs

They Made Me Take the Mother Down: John Stewart, Mother Teresa and the Power of Song in the Field Where the Angels Dance

He died ten years ago at the age of 68.  He didn't achieve fame at the level of some who admired him, among them James Taylor, Carole King, Lindsey Buckingham, Nanci Griffith and Roseanne Cash. Nevertheless, he remains a highly-acclaimed hero of Americana music, one of the original singer/songwriters to blend folk music with rock.  … Continue reading They Made Me Take the Mother Down: John Stewart, Mother Teresa and the Power of Song in the Field Where the Angels Dance

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

There's more than enough anxiety to go around these days and plenty of places to place the blame.  Plenty of sin, plenty of harm, plenty of reasons to disengage.  Or just give up. A little thing just about tipped me this morning because it arrived after a series of sadnesses and frustrations big and small.  … Continue reading Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: How Music Helps Us Rise when All We Want to Do Is Quit

Children Pay Price over Border Policy

After 20 years experience working with children impacted by our policies regarding the US/Mexico border, I responded to the most recent border crisis (family separation) with a reflection carried by Colorado's oldest newspaper, The Pueblo Chieftain.  (See Peggy Haslar:  Children pay price over border policy.) It's about children, red/blue division and our national inability to … Continue reading Children Pay Price over Border Policy

Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

Woke up this morning The whole world was yelling I wish I was dreaming Of all that we've been through. These are the opening lines of "Clean Heart," the first song on the album I can't stop listening to:  Matt Maher's new release, Echoes. If there's anything good coming out of our current climate of division … Continue reading Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

Rich Mullins’ Musical Legacy May Include Drawing Catholics and Protestants a Little Closer

"There's more that rises on the prairie than the wind." These words still rise in my heart when the majesty of the natural world lifts it. They're from "If I Stand," a 1988 release by Rich Mullins and Steve Cudworth. Jars of Clay covered "If I Stand" a decade later on a tribute album released a … Continue reading Rich Mullins’ Musical Legacy May Include Drawing Catholics and Protestants a Little Closer

Grant Me the Grace to Hurt Like Rich Mullins

I once heard a song on the radio that moved me so much I called the station to find out who the artist was.  The song, it turned out,  was "Boy Like Me/Man Like You."  The heartbreakingly vulnerable voice that had moved me belonged to Rich Mullins. "Boy Like Me/Man Like You" is the second … Continue reading Grant Me the Grace to Hurt Like Rich Mullins

“Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday’s New Commandment

This evening marks a beautiful night:  the night Christ gave us a new commandment: that we love one another. The night he stripped off his outer garment, knelt and washed his friends' feet, telling them they must do likewise, serving one another.  The night he took bread and wine and said, "This is my body, … Continue reading “Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday’s New Commandment

Matt Redman: Let My Words Be Few

When Jesus Christ was transfigured before Peter, James and John, they saw the glorious divinity of the God-Man. Peter (so lovably like us!) stammered a suggestion:  "Lord, it's good that we are here.  Let's build three tabernacles!  One for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!" Then a "bright cloud" overcame them and they … Continue reading Matt Redman: Let My Words Be Few