Tag Archives: music

Whacky Wednesday. Groovy Girls of Faith: OTHER Stuff Christians Like

Hi. Welcome.
If you’re here to get your Wednesday funny fix, because Jon Acuff is serious on Wednesdays, thank you for stopping by. Everybody else, I think you’re pretty great too.

hint. I’m now plugging shame-free for this entire paragraph. If you click the Alluring Button (on the top left) you won’t miss anything funny on Wednesday–when you need it most. No funny from Jon on Wednesdays threw me into early onset seasonal depression this year. You too? I feel your pain. So, these Wednesday posts are really just my way to survive. Enjoy.

EXHIBIT A: The Faith Tones.
Bad girls of 1960s Christian Music. Y or N? You decide.

Singing hairdressers for Jesus?

10 Things I LOVE about this album cover:

1. Big 60s hair. The higher the groovier, baby!

2. Healthy (I guess) round faces, like the Campbell’s Soup Kids.

3. Prophetic sense of bowling shirt fashion (as seen below with Lavern and Shirley). (Also could be hairdressing attire. Your guess?).

Lavern and Shirley, behind the times in fashion, compared with the Faith Tones

4. Subtle use of colorful, patterned or floral fashion, 60s hip blouses (under the matching uniform shirt) that says to the cool kids, “We know how to have fun…the way Jesus wants us to.”

5. Good vintage example of how you could be a Christian singer and still have crooked or subpar teeth. (Seriously. I defy you to spot a Christian album cover with an unattractive or crooked-toothed girl on it now, or for the last 20 years.)

6. Almost daring use of the album title, “Jesus Use Me,” and maybe just a hint of double entendré to spice it up for the Christian male audience. The 1960s were a time of sexual experimentation. Not so much in the Christian sphere, but a “clever” or edgy title couldn’t hurt sales. (Remember Stryper, “To Hell with the Devil”?) What do you think, was it purposeful, or just piety shinning through?

7. Girls use high tech (for the time) Stereo enhancement for our listening pleasure. Rock it, out, ladies.

8. The middle girl looks like she knows how to party. Whoot.

9. A vintage reminder that Aqua Net (not flower children) is what held the 1960s together.

BEEHIVE IT, BABY!

10. This shows us that 50 years ago, much like today, music ministry tries too hard, but–sometimes–in a lovable sort of way.

Do you dig this photo?
ANYBODY have audio sample of the faith tones? Please, please, hook me up!
I’d like to hear them.
Golly, I sense some boss three-part harmony a-comin’!

Guest Writer: Shane Tucker ‘Aesthetic Spirituality’

I invited Shane to post here, chiefly because I feel a kinship to Shane. The artist and the spiritual formation learner I am jives so nicely with Shane’s outlook, and what he does as his life’s work. Writers, artist, thinkers, creatives, musicians, and so forth bring vital perspective to Christian Spirituality, and walking with God. Shane tends to this group, which is not an easy task.

Shane Tucker

 

Who is SHANE TUCKER?
Shane lived in Ireland for eleven years with his wife, two daughters and son. Now, he serves as Creative Director for ‘Dreamers of the Day‘ [www.dreamtoday.org] – a network utilizing the arts, spiritual disciplines, evocative messengers, and symposiums to engage people in their journey with Christ. He is passionate about seeing people live into their purpose in life, and he finds applications for that as a ‘soul friend’ (spiritual director) via Soul Friend (www.ArtistSoulFriend.com). He can be reached via either website or at shane dot tucker at gmail dot com.

Please enjoy Shane’s post, and feel free to offer your insights, comments, or questions.

Aesthetic Spirituality
by Shane Tucker

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
-ThomasMerton

We have an innate quality to notice beauty at every turn. To know that something is ugly or unattractive we must, of course, know that true beauty exists . . and in some way, to have experienced it. We resonate most strongly with that which seems to offer wholeness or a sense of completeness to our lives. That resonance may also be experienced as a deep hunger. Seldom do we know ourselves well enough to be able to express those yearnings in a coherent fashion. Itʼs in those times we need a bridge – something enabling us to connect, to integrate disparate elements into a whole. . . into a sense of being whole.

Art – any method or medium of creativity – can often serve as this necessary bridge, this connection, between what we know and what we long or yearn to know. Art gives us the tools, the words, the motion to live into what we sense is already there, but as of yet remains unseen. In this sense, art itself is a means by which we find ourselves by moving beyond ourselves. Through art (the highest sort) we are transported into places and spaces where we can lose ourselves. Itʼs a gift to be fully present to, and fully absorbed into, a situation or individual where weʼve forgotten to be concerned with our own desires or even aware of our image before others. Iʼve had a few experiences like this directly and by extension.

One of those experiences occurred three summers ago while I was attending a festival of creativity in middle England. I sought out a band I wanted to become acquainted with and unexpectedly, during their set I was in continual awe. Through their skillful use of music and visual elements, I was caught up in the moment and I forgot myself. Classic. Iʼve had similar experiences standing on green, broad, bald hilltops around Ireland as I drank in the arresting landscape around me. Another example are Christmas mornings since my three children arrived on the scene. Experiencing the uninhibited enthusiasm and joy demonstrated by these little people as they open gifts and share their excitement with the family – these are moments of pure bliss.

In times such as these we are given the gift of losing ourselves . . more specifically, concern for ourselves. The end, however, is not the experience of forgetting oneself in beauty, wonder, and awe; or even that of knowing a deep resonance which affords us the equivalent of tonal tonic through lifeʼs journey. Itʼs knowing Him. I hear, see, touch, taste and feel the Creator in this God-saturated existence called life. Heʼs made Himself ever- present in the created order and ever-accessible. He has, in fact, painted Himself into the portrait, written Himself into the narrative and sung Himself into our lives – even into existence, in Jesus Christ. When we recognize His overtures of love, our moment is to respond whole-heartedly, in trust, recklessly abandoned. In His hands, we then become the artwork by which He invites others to lose and find themselves in Love.

“Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me will find them.” – Jesus, Matthew 16:25

by Shane Tucker / Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) / www.ArtistSoulFriend.com

Thank you, Shane.

Living in a Postcard

I live in Cressona, a dinky little town known for tractor trailers getting stuck under the 11′ 8″ train overpass.

Courtesy of Cressona Fire Dept No. 1 (click for more)

But, just a few roads away are some of the most spectacular landscapes you can imagine.

Each season has its own beauty, and spring and fall are the most colorful. Here are a few photos from my latest bike ride.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This chapter comes to mind:

Psalm 150 (NIV)

1 Praise the LORD. [a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

15 jokes about Lady’s Gaga’s meat dress.

Now, I realize joking about a meat dress is fairly easy. But, essentially she drew first blood, so I think she completely expects the wisecracks, even if they get a little raw.

Lady Gaga as fresh meat at the VMA's

So, I’m going to up the ante. 15  jokes, right off the top of my head, (I’ll update with better ones, should I think them up.) Tell me which you like the best, or submit one of your own.

1. If she fails down, she’ll be nothing but hamburger.

2. Obviously the VMA’s don’t lack protein now, and that’s a relief.

3. Strangely she looked less like meat in her beef dress than she did in her trashy Bad Romance video.

4. Just like Cinderella, it’ll all go bad by midnight.

5. Maybe Gaga made this dress solely to torture dogs.

6. Never tell Gaga to bring an entrée to your BBQ.

7. If I wore something like this, I’d get grilled.

8. You think this dress is bad, wait until she comes out with eyewear.

9. Gaga’s outfit normally sells for $13.98…. a pound.

10. If she wears this to India, she’ll be dressed in someone’s relative–then, you guess it, a public relations nightmare.

11. Why on earth didn’t her steak hat have a garnish? What a Philistine!

12. For Hannibal Lector, that dress would be the appetizer, and she’d be the main course. I’m not sure about dessert, probably ice cream.

13. Thank God she didn’t marinate.

14. Gaga is officially rare.

15. People screamed, “Gaga, well done!” But she didn’t realize they were actually petitioning her.

Bonus:

Gaga can easily feed a party of 6.

Dog walkers, this is a fashion don’t.

Thanks, Gaga! You just decided what 1.2 million ppl will wear for Halloween.

God Bless America (The song and full story)

Click the link at the bottom to hear the classic 1938 version, sung by Kate Smith.

The song “God Bless America” was written as a (sung) prayer. Enjoy the July 4th holiday, and let this song help us to be a little more grateful for all the privileges of living in a free country!

Author:
Irving Berlin, 1918; revised 1938
Spoken Introduction:
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

The unofficial national anthem of the United States was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for the USA when he was only five years old. The original version of “God Bless America” was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island, for his Ziegfeld-style revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. “Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America…” ran the original lyrics. However, Irving decided that the solemn tone of “God Bless America” was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show, so the song was laid aside.

In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, he decided to write a “peace” song. He recalled his lyrics of “God Bless America” from twenty years earlier, then made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised “God Bless America” during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation; the sheet music was in great demand.

Berlin’s file of manuscripts & lyric sheets for this quintessentially American song includes manuscripts in the hand of his longtime musical secretary, Helmy Kresa (he himself did not read and write music), as well as lyric sheets, and corrected proof copies for the sheet music.

These materials document not only the speed with which this song was revised, but also its author’s attention to detail. The first proof copy is dated October 31, 1938; the earliest “final” version of the song is a manuscript dated November 2; and Kate Smith’s historic broadcast took place on November 11. So, documents show the song’s step-by-step evolution from the original version of 1918 to the tune we now know.

The manuscripts mentioned above are part of the Irving Berlin Collection, a remarkable collection that includes his personal papers as well as the records of the Irving Berlin Music Corp. It was presented to the Library of Congress in 1992, by his three daughters, Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Louise Emmet, and Elizabeth Irving Peters.

What an amazing song! Isn’t it wonderful that we have been so lucky to be connected with people who are able to put to words our deepest thoughts and emotions? Irving Berlin was truly inspired. Close your eyes and listen to his message. Does it not touch your soul? Can’t you just see crashing waves- the majesty of the mountains? All of the beautiful people working every day, alive and free because of the dream of our beloved Founding Fathers?

As this song is being broadcasted through out the world on various occasions, there is this incredible overwhelming desire to jump up and sing with all the energy of the soul!

(story sourced here: http://www.god-bless-america-lyrics.com/)

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

God Bless America (1938, Kate Smith)

Powerful dramatic performance by amazing youth

My church’s youth drama club did this performance on Sunday. What a special youth group we have.  . .Such a blessing. I watched it with a big lump in my throat. The journey may be hard, but Jesus and his love prevail.

Please post your reactions or responses.