"We really didn't know what this was going to be when we started recording it, but it's kind of turned into this story that we didn't anticipate telling--the story of our lives for the past three years."That's Caleb Chapman describing his band's newest EP, To the Ends of the World. I met Caleb on tour last fall and immediately enjoyed his company. He was 22 years old and had already been married for a few years. I enjoy the look of surprise on folks' faces when I tell them that I got married when I was 20, but there I sat, registering the same look when Caleb told me he had one-upped me by a year. I must watch this young grasshopper closely, I thought as I stroked my beard. I knew he had a band, and that Brent Milligan (whom I've known for several years via his excellent production of a few Eric Peters records) had produced their latest album. I also knew Caleb's dad (this guy named Steven). What I didn't know was that their music would make me ugly-cry while jogging. Several times, in fact. As soon as To the Ends of the World released I bought it, and as soon as I listened to it I loved it. It sounded like a combination of Coldplay, The Killers, and Switchfoot. It sounded fresh and full of energy and joy. But what caught my ear from the beginning wasn't just the sound. It was the story.
Sometimes when I sit back and look over the records that have been put out by this community, I'm utterly and completely amazed by the talent and craftsmanship I'm surrounded by. In the last couple of months we've had incredible works by Eric Peters and Andrew Osenga and just wait until you get to hear The Proprietor's forthcoming Light for the Lost Boy. But perhaps the album I'm most often in awe of is Ben Shive's The Cymbal Crashing Clouds. I can think of no reason why this record ought not be numbered among all time favorites in ten years, twenty, and beyond. This song is one of the reasons why. A Last Time For Everything by Ben Shive [audio:ALastTime.mp3] Song of the Day special: The first twenty people to use the following coupon code get $5.00 off their order of The Cymbal Crashing Clouds. Coupon code: TheLastTime
Alan Paton (1903–1988) is a South African writer who saw himself as a poet who wrote novels. He is best known for Cry, The Beloved Country (1948). It is the story of a Zulu pastor's search for his missing son, in a land where racial injustice had become the norm. As the principal of Diepkloof Reformatory for young black offenders, from 1935 to 1949, Alan Paton was able to introduce significant reforms--enabling inmates, who had proven themselves responsible, freedom to work and often live away from the reformatory. He was so opposed to his country's apartheid policy, that in 1953 he founded the Liberal Party of South Africa. The international success of Cry, The Beloved Country, kept him financially independent and protected him from government prosecution, although his passport was confiscated in 1960 for about ten years. The following poems are from his collected poems, Songs of Africa.
Another film based on a toy. Another blockbuster hit? The One Minute Review has seen Battleship and we can tell you if your will win or get your ship sunk.
I just stumbled upon this post from 2007 and was shocked by what I read. Shocked, because five years ago I seemed a few degrees wiser than I feel today. Jamie and I are in the middle of some pretty huge, life-altering decisions right now (good things, don't worry)--decisions so big that I cried myself to sleep last night, my spirit assaulted with worry and fear. The thing about worry is that it exposes how little faith we really have. It's something I'm discovering over and over lately, though I hate to admit it. God help my unbelief. --AP I recently had a good, long phone conversation with a singer-songwriter about that grand old subject, Getting Started in the Music Business. He's recorded an album but hasn't yet taken the leap into full-time music and was asking me for some advice on the matter. The problem is, I don't know what kind of practical career advice to give, because what worked in my case might not (and probably won't) work for you. I loved a pretty girl in college. I also loved to make music. I was deeply frightened that I had to choose between her and the songs, and late one night my old friend Adam said, "If God wants you to play music, dummy, you'll play music whether you're married or not." So I married the girl. On the other hand, I gave similar advice to some guy many years ago and a few months back, after one of my shows, his heartbroken ex-wife told me through tears that he had left her because he thought she was holding back his music career. It's a good thing I don't know where he lives, or I'd have a mind to throttle him. "If you marry the girl, dummy, God wants you to stay married, music career be damned," I'd say.
My husband and I recently returned from an extended stay on one of the barrier islands of Georgia. I’ve been visiting this beloved part of the world my entire life but this one island in particular for the past two decades, without a lost year among them. I honestly could not believe it when I realized that fact (and how keen we are to the signs and markers of our own existence!), but twenty years just seems like such a milestone to me. Such a tender vantage-point from which to consider not only who I’ve become over all that span of time, but also what this island has consistently meant to me--I love it like no other spot on earth.
Tim Filston asked a great question regarding Flannery O’Connor, and I hated to let it languish in the comments (at Jonathan-Rogers.com), so I’ll address it in a post. He wrote:
I’m looking forward to your insights about her. Her willingness to face off with the dark, ugly side of human nature seems courageous to me, and not just in a thrill-seeking way. When a writer depicts the human heart as only a bruised thing, then the reader can only expect “there-there” assurance that everything will be alright. But, O’Connor calls the reader down into corruption (it seems to me) so that we might have a shot at being called up–higher up than we started. What do you think–am I in the ballpark with this, or is this a stretch?
This has been floating around the internet for a long time but Joe Thacker recently reposted it on the Hutchmoot page (on Facebook) and we were reminded of what great advice it is--very like the 10,000 hour rule as described by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have joined up again, this time for Dark Shadows. Fr. Thomas McKenzie has visited the shadows for you, and he has returned with this One Minute Review. You might want to watch it before deciding to spend the time and money on the movie. And in case your $14 have not joined the other billion that the movie has already made, check out the One Minute Review of The Avengers: www.oneminutereview.com/2012/05/avengers.html
Part I: The Right Stories Part II: The Story of God Part III: The Story of the Scriptures Part IV: The Biblical Drama There's a lot of N. T. Wright talk around here right now, so it seems an appropriate time to continue the series on Christian Storytelling. In the past couple of installments we began looking at Wright's view of the Bible as an "unfinished drama." We continue now with an understanding of ourselves as actors in the fifth act. The Christian story gives new meaning to the old Shakespearian line, "All the world’s a stage." The world is the stage upon which the drama of redemption takes place. And you and I are players. But we are not merely players. We are the faithful improvisors of the tragic and glorious fifth act of history, trying with all our might to remain faithful to the first four acts, as well as the few scenes of the fifth act, that preceded us.