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43 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    My contribution to the music posts….because I can.

  2. Reuben says:

    That’s a pretty big endorsement.

  3. Pineapple Head says:

    I’m weary of people trying to tell me the “Beareans” of Acts were fect-checking doctrinal watchdogs. They didn’t search the scriptures to find fault, they searched them in hope that the OT writings would support the Jesus story. They were hopeful, not defensive.

  4. Pineapple Head says:


  5. Lynne says:

    Hello. Jesus is. That’s all.

  6. Pineapple Head says:

    I watched Knott’s funeral online.

  7. Steven says:

    Let’s go Rangers! 🙃

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    Knott was my age. I believe we were at Chapman College at the same time.

  9. Josh says:

    Mandisa also died today.

  10. JD says:

    He let my band use The Edifiers practice studio back in the late ‘80s.

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    I’m not a fan of Mandisa’s music, but always thought of her as a lovely Christian person. 47 years old? My goodness.

  12. DavidP says:

    Mike Knott was in a class by himself, and honestly the best compliment I can give to his music is that it didn’t sound like CCM. I don’t know if he knew how to — KLOVE ain’t exactly playing songs about showing up to church hungover.

    I’m really sorry to hear about Mandisa, in part because we played her when I was in Christian Radio. She seemed to be quite kind. Beth Moore has a beautiful tribute on Twitter worth reading.

  13. Reuben says:

    Things I Think

    1. My two favorite TV shows ever are British, which calls into question my “patriotism”. Doctor Who and Top Gear.

    2. Tubi invented a 24/7 Doctor Who channel dedicated to the first 7 Doctors, aka the originals. I watch that channel every night till I fall asleep.

    3. Tom Baker started to play the roll in 1974, the year I was born. I remember watching him as a kid on the local PBS channel. Those were the days. Since Baker was my first Doctor, he will always be my favorite.

    4. Colorado is still being a schizophrenic state. It’s snowing this morning, and tomorrow it will be in the 60s. I am not on the snow removal crew yet, but if I were, I would be frustrated that I had to put in all the work to shovel walks for a snowfall that will have left no trace of it’s existence in 24 hours.

    5. I was texting with my son yesterday, and asked him what games he is playing these days. He is a Rainbow Six addict right now. When I was much younger, that franchise started with horrible graphics compared to what they have now. The games these days almost make it real. I don’t fear progress of that sort, especially for entertainment purposes, but dang, I feel old having to explain to my son that the first game hit the stores with horrendous graphics before he was born.

    6. Speaking of video games, I was always into racing games. Gran Turismo was my favorite.

    7. All this talk of CCM, I am only enough to remember when Christian metal was practically invented. Some might remember a band named Deliverance. I had them on tape. Wore those tapes out. Then there were bands like Stryper… Ugh. But I had Yellow and Black Attack on vinyl. I used to stare at that album cover while the record spun.

    8. Speaking of Christian metal, Living Sacrifice rivaled and secular band. In fact, a number of secular metal artists of today hail Living Sacrifice as one of the greatest.

    9. CCM never seemed to reach a quality that rivaled the secular similar. That was always my beef with CCM. They were so interested in being just like secular names that they just failed at it. There was very little originality to it.

    10. When I was a teenager, I had a crush on Amy Grant. She actually did make it, to a small degree, in the secular scene. But the Christian world damn near Crucified her for it. I wonder what those wonks that strung her up think today…

    11. I wouldn’t be able to do 5 seconds of Amy Grant now haha!

    12. I miss building and modifying remote control cars. I keep thinking of things I would like to do when I am back on my feet, and that is one of them.

    13. Things from the past make me go “yuck” these days. Like the afore mentioned Promise Keepers on the other thread. Just yuck. Where did the “Men’s Conference” concept even come from?

    14. Which makes me think of the youth conferences back in those days. Talk about yuck… Those things were psychological manipulation to the max, getting kids all hyped to tell their parents that they needed thousands of dollars to go on a mission trip because God told them. Acquire The Fire being the worst.

  14. Reuben says:

    15. I want to keep reading other people’s Thinks. Please do so!

  15. Reuben says:

    What is the best phone game?

    For me, it is Angry Birds Friends. LOVE that game.

    What is the best CCM ever?

    For me, it would have to be Living Sacrifice.

  16. Dan from Georgia says:


    In light of your thought #7 above….I remember fondly those days of the rise of Christian Metal…Deliverance, Vengeance (Rising), Sacred Warrior…those were my favorites…saw both Vengeance and Sacred Warrior and Christian night club called the New Union in Minneapolis. I was also into Barren Cross, Whitecross, Stryper, etc. I’ll have to check out Living Sacrifice.

    Also your number 13, I swore off any future attendance for any “Christians Men’s ___________” after I had a (mostly) bad experience at a men’s retreat. And yes, I am throwing out the baby with the bathwater in my vow.

  17. Reuben says:

    Dan, yeah, you won’t ever catch me at one of those Men’s things again. Just yuck. Yuck.

    I remember Vengeance Rising well! Good times! Thanks for that blast from the past. I saw WhiteCross live in a Denver park a long time ago, it was mesmerizing. It was a free concert for a 10K walk protesting Abortion or something, maybe raising money for Crisis Pregnancy centers. I was a kid.

  18. Shawn says:

    I just posted this on “Things I Think” because I am very late to the party. I will repost it here as well. So please forgive the double post.

    1- “What’s really wrong with the world today? So many people have so much to say.”
    Those are the opening words to a song that I wrote almost 30 years ago. Hmm, now I think about it I am sure it might be over 30 years ago. It was somewhere around 1992 or 1994. Little did I know we were on the cusp of so many technological revolutions. Yet, nothing changed. People still have so much to say. I have spent most of my life as an observer of people and the conversations they have. I have learned most people, if they get to say what they feel they need to say, are happy that they are able to “get things off their chest” even if afterwards they stand amid a greatly gory carnage. Words are important to me, and I strive to use every word judiciously, but sarcasm and teasing get the better of me on occasion. A humble reminder that I still have not arrived. Far from it actually.

    2- I personally think that the Evangelical Church’s inability to respond to the environmental cares of our young people is probably the greatest missed opportunity in the last 100 years. It is not hard to see, no it is painstakingly clear, that part of being Biblical is the stewardship of God’s created order. I will never understand why some people get excited to watch it all burn based on one or two isolated passages. Just in case you are wondering there are more passages that describe our care and awe over the created order than its destruction. I for one am all for postponing the “fervent heat” bit as long as possible.

    3- If number 2 is not the greatest missed opportunity in the last 100 years, then it must be the Church’s preponderance with hoping political allegiances will bring about the righteousness of God. This form of syncretism is odious and an abomination. I almost fear their vision of a holy nation more than absolute tyrannical communism or unbridled progressivism.

    4- I don’t know, it appears that the real missed opportunity over the last 2,000 years is the Church’s inability to love one another. I remember while studying Church History being amazed that instead of forming a united front in Christian love the Reformers were often at each other’s throats. I am still puzzled that some of them were willing to take up arms against each other over trivial theological matters. I secretly fear that we are coming full circle.

    5- I love how some of the Biblical authors reappropriate words and place them into contexts they were never meant to be placed in. In other words they turn a word on its head, so to speak. For example, when Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Or when Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ.” As far as I can tell in all my reading on crucifixion, the act of and views about in the classical literature, no one should have ever concluded that crucifixion should be positively appropriated. Yet here we are. The only problem is we do not seem to be doing too well at it. Let me be clear that last sentence is a nice way of saying we are failing miserably.

    6- I must admit that it is a struggle to be thankful when you are rubbing two dimes together only to make a penny. Everything in our business is based upon what was accomplished thirty, sixty, ninety, and a hundred eighty days ago. Amazingly, we get more sales than we list every day which has been coined “Reseller Nirvana.” However, with the economy the way it is we are selling books for much less than before. I understand that when you must choose between necessities and a collectible that necessity wins. Sadly, I sometimes get angry when people send low ball offers as if selling items at a loss is a viable business model for us. But then I remember that most people are struggling to get by too. I often begrudgingly accept or counter with offers at 50-75% off the regular price only to repent and thank God that we are blessed to even sell anything.

    7- Shipping rates are out of control and there is no end in sight. Since we started selling online in 2007 the cost to ship a one-pound book has doubled. When a $10 book costs the buyer almost $20 after tax and shipping the choice to buy it or necessities is painstakingly obvious. I wish I could offer free shipping but with all the selling costs involved it is just not a viable option for a small family-run business. The crazy thing is with all this seeming complaining I am doing we are somehow in the top 1%, maybe even 0.5%, of all eBay booksellers. At this point I thought I would have fat stacks of cash in my slacks. Lol.

    8- One more struggle to mention. This is a serious one for me. I am thinking of applying for a job. Everything within me hates this idea. I like my freedom but appears if I am going to keep it, I first must make a steady income to do some much-needed repairs to the house, purchase much needed fencing to exclude the deer from the orchards and gardens, and build up a little extra capital for new inventory purchases. Then there is the part about my health that has me wondering if I could even hold down a job. Talk about a catch 22.

    9- There was a day when I thought I almost had most of it all figured out. However, I have always had one habit that always seems to undermine it. I have always reserved the right to adjust my thoughts, beliefs, and whatever word would make this a perfect triad (positions, theology, I am not sure which word I want to use) based upon newly available data. I typically have no problem admitting I am wrong. I used to have a nice and tidy theology of suffering and sickness. It was not your standard textbook stuff though it did contain some elements of it. I have always fancied myself to be somewhat of a free thinker. I love to question everything, even things that probably should not be questioned. However, let me say this much: it is all just guesswork until you are the one suffering and sick. Experience has a way of shaping theology or deeply held beliefs. I now feel sorry for those poor souls I offered “spiritual advice” all those years ago. I sincerely thought I was helping. I am not sure I did. I hope I did…

    10- I know as Christians we are generally a well-meaning lot but sometimes we just offer poor advice. How many of us when we first came to faith were told to cut ourselves off from those who aided in our unregenerate state? I fully understand the sentiment behind it. I actually lived it to its fullest expression. I feel that most advice on this topic is done with good intentions. Yet now I think it is partially misguided. I think a better approach would have been to control the setting until a new believer is more rooted in their faith. I could tell a heartbreaking story about the dangers, not to mention poor witness, the cut-off method can cause. Plus, I missed out on walking with them in the dark valleys, the sun strewn mountaintops, and being a part of children’s lives. I would have made a great Tio Chan Cheen Chan Chon Chon Ponson (Loosely translated: Uncle Shawn the fat guy. Lol.).

    11- Below is my expanded translation of 1 Corinthians 13:1. It is obvious brevity is not my gift. It should be considered food for thought if nothing else:
    “If I speak in any known language, whether human or angelic, and I am completely devoid of love, I have devolved to being like someone whose words have digressed from what they ought to be, similar to the frenzied sound of copper being desperately forged into a weapon or armor for the battle, over and over again, seeming to go on without ever ending, or I have become like the tumultuous clamor of battle cries as opposing armies rush towards each other, resulting in carnage, each and every time I speak without love…
    This translation should be considered a very loose paraphrase due to the great amount of license taken. In a sense, the idea is to capture the thought or the ethos of the passage. It should be noted that it is rooted in the Classical Greek word use of chalkos, echon, and alalazon. Maybe I hit the nail on the head. Most likely I did not! Do with it what you may. This is how I like to spend my spare time: making easy to understand passages of Scripture more complex and confusing. Lol.

  19. Reuben says:

    Shawn, good things! I try to be open minded. My mind has 180ed on so many things over the years. Problem is when I change on a topic, I go immediately strident. Until my mind gets changed again.

  20. Linn says:

    CCM-I don’t recognize half the people, but I love Michael Card. Good singer and theologian.
    (never big on heavy metal, but I’m glad you like it!)
    And hymns….I could write an essay, but I won’t bore you.

  21. Reuben says:

    Oh come on! Bore us! 😀

  22. Dan from Georgia says:


    I still have an affinity for heavy guitars and growling “singers”…it’s my life outside of my other more well-received music tastes!

    Back then it seem like every Christian metal band had to do an alter call, almost like they were doing it to satisfy the fundys and make them look legitimate.

  23. Pineapple Head says:

    Michael Knott was an enigmatic character, both saint and scoundrel. An artist and prophet at heart, he turned plenty of people off with both his lyrics and performances. My belief is that his alcoholism stunted his emotional development, causing him to be a bit unpredictable. But he was said to always be quick to share the gospel with others. It was in his later years that he moved into Catholicism. My favorite album of his is “Rocket and a Bomb.” “Shaded Pain” (with Lifesavers Underground) is his most honest work, and it rattled plenty of evangelical cages.

  24. Shawn says:

    Real quick note about music: I listened to both Kings X and Michael Knott. While Kings X are obviously very talented musicians they did not really do anything for me. Of what I listened to Dogman was the best. They are just not my cup of tea. Now Michael Knott I have enjoyed everything I listened to thus far. Some of it reminds me of Poor Old Lu. I will now excuse myself to go on a Michael Knott rabbit trail. Thank you very much!

  25. Reuben says:


    Kings X style is not for everyone, that’s for sure. Thanks for giving it a listen!

  26. Reuben says:

    I can get into Michael Knott sorta kinda. Haha! Not really my genre, but tasty stuff. I can see why he pissed a few folks off. I always have empathy for alcoholics.

  27. Reuben says:

    Dan, I remember all the alter calls. It did kinda seem like a wink and nod type gesture. Like music can’t simply be enjoyed.

  28. Alan says:

    Another weekend, another small church, another opportunity to herald the mysteries of Christ. That is all I know, except how desperately I need him. Meanwhile I come across videos of those who like one I heard say, “I used to do most of my work in the Jesus tradition” while giving his latest iteration of enlightened escape from that phase.

    But for me ‘if Christ is not risen then we are of all people the most miserable for we have believed a lie.’ Again I imagine the believers of Athanasius’ day. They lived in the conflict of whether or not Christ had a beginning and yet they had no fear of death at all. As he wrote they “trample it under foot.”

    “That death has been dissolved, and the cross has become victory over it, and it is no longer strong but is itself truly dead, no mean proof but an evident surety is that it is despised by all Christ’s disciples, and everyone tramples on it, and no longer fears it, but with the sign of the cross and faith in Christ tread it under foot as something dead.”

    Christ is all in all.

  29. Josh says:

    Missed the CCM talk and wanted to jump in.

    I think of CCM as stuff you would hear on K-love. Some of it is OK, but all a little cheesy and behind the times. In the mid 90’s, we had an upswing in the alt. Christian music scene that produced some really great bands. Never played on K-love or anything, but were fantastic nonetheless. They varied in how evangelistic they were in their fervor, but were mostly sold in Christian bookstores and played gigs related to church in some ways.

    Stavesacre was one of those bands. In terms of genre, I think they fall under “post-hardcore”, but they are still one of my favorite bands ever. The three albums on Tooth and Nail are all masterpieces. They had a few others after that run, but none lived up.

    Sixpence None the Richer was amazing college rock before they had a mainstream breakout with the song “Kiss Me”. The album This Beautiful Mess talks about faith and depression and slef hatred…just perfectly spoke to my life at the time. An amazing piece of art.

    John Mark McMillan was a little later, and well-known for a couple worship songs that everybody covered, but his 2014 album Borderland is next level expression of real-life navigating faith / losing faith, love, family, disillusionment. Its top two or three albums ever for me.

  30. Josh says:

    Where I am TODAY on Christ being “all in all”.

    I believe the whole Jesus story. Believe He is the one who is guiding my life right now. All that.

    I’m not really bothered right now if someone believes something else. Particularly if it is helping them or bringing them peace. Whatever gets you though the night.

  31. Michael says:


    I have no particular fear of death…I kind of had to resolve all of that before my heart surgery.

    I increasingly fear living more…

  32. John in AZ says:

    Okay, my turn …

    Things I think:

    1. Anybody who doesn’t like John Denver has something wrong with them.

    2. I don’t understand Christians who are intolerant or even hateful towards Muslims. If you think about it, in many ways Islam is closer to the truth than any other religion that doesn’t have the whole truth (faith in Jesus as only Lord and Savior).

    Saying that Allah is a false god is pure nonsense. Allah is just the Arabic word for God. I read once that in one Muslim-majority country (I forget which one), a group of Christians sued in court for the legal right to use the name Allah after they tried to pass a law that only Moslems could use it. There are many wonderful and deeply spiritual Muslim people, and it grieves me that our witness to them is often ruined by demonizing them so.

    3. I have come to believe that “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” is one of the most logical statements in existence. If someone wrongs you in some way, big or small, what is an appropriate punishment for them, if there needs to be any at all?

    It is ridiculous to assume that the individual who was wronged is in any way qualified to answer that question fairly and rationally. How can they decide rationally and fairly what should be an appropriate consequence? If they did something to you, and did the same exact thing to someone else, was it a worse offense when they did it to you? Of course not, yet people almost always act like it was a worse offense because they did it to them.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could outsource the decisions regarding punishment for someone who wronged you to someone with the wisdom, knowledge and impartiality to truly make the most fair and appropriate decision? And God offers to perform this service freely. Why not let an expert decide. And there is only one Expert who is truly qualified to make these assessments.

    And I don’t understand why the legal system should have any room for things such as “victim impact statements” and so forth. Should an offender whose victim is a bitter and vengeful person be punished any worse than someone in a case where the victim isn’t clamoring for revenge?

    4. To be honest, I think the second amendment is kind of dumb. Think of the historical context in which it was born. If we no longer have to worry about Indians or British soldiers or French or Spanish coming out of the woods to attack us, why does everybody need to have guns? I don’t really understand people who seem to equate the right to have guns with Christianity, and tell us we have to fight because “they” are trying to take our guns and bibles.

    5. If anybody is familiar with string theory, I have a conjecture to share. The basic idea, as I understand it, is that there are actually ten physical dimensions, but only three of them expanded when our universe was formed. Which makes me wonder if heaven is seven dimensional. Why would heaven be three dimensional? Maybe I’m getting a bit weird, but the idea fascinates me.

    I wonder if that’s why Paul called his vision a visit to “the seventh heaven.”

  33. Michael says:

    John in AZ,

    I confess that I’d rather listen to a cat fight than John Denver…

    God has decreed that the state is able to set laws and enforce them…part of good and godly law is understanding the impact a crime had on the victims. They deserve to be heard.

    I would concur that equating guns with the faith is ridiculous…knowing that so many are armed doesn’t make me feel safer…it makes me less likely to go anywhere….

  34. Josh says:

    John – 2,3 & 4 I’m giving a thumbs up.

  35. Captain Kevin says:

    “ I confess that I’d rather listen to a cat fight than John Denver…”

    Sorry Michael, I’ve got to go with John on this one.

  36. Michael says:


    He was very popular.

    I never could understand that, but I don’t like most folk type music.
    I’m happy for those who do…as long as they’re out of earshot….

  37. Reuben says:

    I don’t care for John Denver, but I already know I am screwed in the head

  38. pstrmike says:

    ” I confess that I’d rather listen to a cat fight than John Denver…”

    well now. That tells me something……..

    JD was selling a state of mind, quite successfully I might add. Really not much else. Back in the day, we couldn’t even get high if somehow we were listening to him on the radio. Cue up Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Robin Trower and of course, Led Zeppelin………

  39. Michael says:

    Music is intensely personal.
    I’ve been listening to the same few people all my life and enjoy them as much now as I did the first few thousand times.

    No one else in my peer group liked what I did…but it never meant much to me whether they did or not.

  40. Reuben says:

    “Music is intensely personal.”

    Yep. Fact.

    People look at me funny when I am blaring Mississippi Mass Choir. I don’t care. Same with gangster rap.

  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’m afraid I had to get this written down in light of the recent stunts. Somebody’s double standards about his tears vs the tears of other men in ministry had to be documented for the sake of public record

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