Things I Think…

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51 Responses

  1. Ruth says:

    #3 yeesh. Didn’t realize this was happening but this prompted me to check… but what can be done?

  2. Michael says:


    We have to completely vet every story and every source…and when someone is perpetrating fraud on the advocates, they need to be clearly called out and marked.

    The person I’m thinking of has been caught in huge lies…and still is recognized as a “victim”.

  3. Reuben says:


    This is a place I am seeking hard. It’s working in small moves.

    Recently I discovered a radio station for Northern Colorado through an absolute goofball of a weather guy (however he is spot on in every prediction), and he visits the radio station a few times a day to give the low down on the skies. Starting at 6:00 am is the goofiest talk show ever. Today’s question of the day was “Pancakes, waffles, or French toast?” Of course it caused a northern Colorado hell fire storm haha! These guys just goof off for a few hours, and keep everyone entertained driving to work. I wake up gripped with anxiety over all the unknown things that could or could not happen. Then I wait for the show to start, and suddenly, my day becomes pretty relaxed. I chuckled on a roof today, after sending in my vote for sourdough French toast, and the guys read my answer and said, “YES! that’s as American and Jesus and the NFL!”

    I don’t know why I can’t be that happy about anything anymore. But they give me hope. The somewhat soft handled topic has been mental health lately on the show. The frontman radio show host very carefully explained that he has struggled with depression his entire life. I never saw such an outpouring of compassion from the 100,000+ listeners saying they know where he is at. I said my piece as well in a lengthy text, he got on the air the next hour and simply said, “Thanks Reuben, you get me.” I’m glad he didn’t read any of my text on the air. I am so jazzed about these guys that I want to see them broadcast live at the Greeley Stampede, and maybe get to meet them. It is so wonderful hearing people just marvel in the simple things of life.

  4. Michael says:


    Like you…I have a lot on my plate.

    Too much and if the whole world was Eden it would still be too much.

    The only way I make it is to find small joys like you described…and to enjoy them and give thanks for them.

    It’s all I can do, but it’s enough right now…

  5. Reuben says:

    Michael, a small joy for me right now is watching YouTube videos of all my old favorite guitar players. Some of them are still going strong. I did this all day yesterday, never saw my son once. He was buried in his room angry that we would not let him go with his friends to Florida, like the most confederate part of Florida. It was a sad day, but that little happiness of watching Zakk Wylde and Nuno Bentencourt (gods of guitar in my day) play Hendrix songs side by side was just wonderful. It made me wonder if I should dig out my amps and guitars and try my hand again at a passion I gave up when I left the faith. It’s little things…

  6. Ruth says:


    But who can do the calling out? If we’re thinking of the same person, they *have* been called out – it does no good. Pastors can literally be criminally convicted and just hop a state or county over and start right up again. Christians aren’t picky.

  7. Michael says:


    It really is…and we really have to chase them down hard…

  8. Michael says:


    In regard to corrupt pastors…the only thing you can do is mark them…them mark the congregations that continue to support them.

    As for as fake victims…they should be called out by name and marked as well…

  9. Linn says:

    #3 it’s easy to try in the media and forget that there is a court system. I know it doesn’t work as well as we would like (Bill Cosby comes to mind), but it does help the innocent.

    #8 A year and you seem to be doing really well!

  10. pstrmike says:

    ” It made me wonder if I should dig out my amps and guitars and try my hand again at a passion I gave up when I left the faith. ”

    Go for it!

  11. Michael says:


    I’m ok…better than before for sure!

  12. sarahmorgan says:

    Reuben — do take out your amps & guitars & play them again.

    I was a worship leader for years, played electric guitar, loved punk & rock & a surprising amount of metal (both Christian and secular)…I’ll just lightly add, “for a girl”, LOL. After moving to a new location, going through the wringer of the screwed-up, toxic churches in my small town, and finally leaving them all to escape the spiritual abuse, I put all of my gear away. Because all of it was so saturated with the memories of the painful church experiences, I seriously contemplated selling it all (and I had a LOT of gear — could outfit a whole band, PA system included) while I went back to school to study music theory and history instead. Now, after so many years, surprising opportunities are appearing that are encouraging me slowly drag the guitars/amps/effects out and try it all again, and I am rediscovering the utter joy of playing and enjoying the face-to-face interactions with other musicians. I’m currently, albeit slowly, going through all of the non-Christian music that I love and learning to play the ones I never allocated time to work on, while every now and then revisiting a well-loved old CCM rockin’ tune whose memory is not tainted by the toxic church memories. I find that in doing so, the small joys are growing into bigger ones. It is my hope that the same would occur for you.

  13. Reuben says:

    Sarah, I feel all that. Very similar reasons. I was “volunteered” into playing worship for over a decade. Every time I tried to stop, it was made clear that playing was my job, so I had better get on with my job. It left me with a really bad taste.

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    #8 – And myself and others are more than grateful also Michael!

    #5 – my worst days emotionally and attitude-wise are the days I spend too much time worrying what some idiot on line thinks about such-and-such. I feel more free when I don’t pay attention to those crazies.

    And on a more fun note:

    #4 – I don’t like the sport of golf and cannot play it, but I find it odd that I always want the booth at Taco Mac (local sports bar chain) here in town that I can see the Golf Channel on, because I like to view the nice weather and lush green grass that so often accompanies golf tournaments.

    Heck, I might even start following golf!

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    Reuben…what other guitar players do you or did you follow back in the day? Here are my favs:

    Tony Macalpine
    Neal Schon
    John Sykes
    Eric Johnson
    Brian May

    My latest YouTube craze is watching live streams of various places around the world, like several webcams of watering holes in Namibia…think wild animals looking for a drink. Or live webcams from Destin, FL and Lake Superior.

  16. Reuben says:

    Hey Dan,

    Michael Hedges
    William Ackerman
    Kevin Eubanks
    John Scholfield
    Ottmar Liebert
    Phil Collin
    CC DeVille
    Kaki King
    Justin King
    Andy McKee
    Antoine Dufour
    Eddie Van Halen
    Yingwi Malmstein
    Zakk Wylde
    Ty Tabor
    Lars Burkthrun (sp?)
    Alex DiGrassi
    Hendrix of course
    John Mayer (especially with dead and company)
    David Gilmour
    Stephen Stills
    The list goes forever…

  17. Reuben says:

    Of all those guitar players, Kevin Eubanks is by far the most underrated, having been pretty much only associated with Jay Leno for all those years. His jazz records are simply unparalleled. I know his sound in one bar.

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    Great list there Reuben. A few unfamiliar names there that I’ll have to check out. I forgot my faves from other genres. I love William Ackerman Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie, and also am enthralled by Pat Metheny. For me also have some rhythm and blues faves in John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson.

  19. pstrmike says:

    For the most part, I’m into 90’s alternative music. Although I’ve always liked David Gilmour, Stephen Stills, and of course his on again off again bandmate, Neil Young. And Mark Knopfler gets a mention as well. Kurt Cobain, Slash, and Mike McCready are guitarists I like listening to . I’ve been messing around with some of their covers on acoustic. That dude who plays for Hillsong’s ( don’t know his name and don’t care) is an accomplished guitarist as some of the guys who play at Bethel…… Phil Keaggy is incredible with a guitar.

    My experience in leading worship in churches had some similarities but also some differences than some of yours. I loved leading worship, considered it an honor and blessing to do so. I did a number of years as a backup vocalist and guitarist, then started getting more opportunities to lead either solo or as the leader of a team.

    I was in a church where the threat of being fired was regularly held over my head. It was so controlling. I dared to question the pastor’s decision once and he fired me from the worship team. It was difficult at first, then liberating. I no longer had to live under that threat. It also set me free from his leadership as we moved on to a different church. Leading worship was my open door to pastoral ministry as I eventually was hired to be an assistant pastor and worship leader. It has made things easier here as I have no one else to lead worship in our church, although I’d be happy for someone to take it over.

  20. Reuben says:

    Dan, I gotta say my favorite Blues guitar player is Tab Benoit.

    Mike, Alice In Chains altered my reality. Junk head is one of my favorite songs ever.

  21. Reuben says:

    Dan, also check out Eric Gales for downright wonderful Blues.

  22. JD says:

    Some pastors see worship leaders as the personification of satan.

  23. Glen says:

    Glen Campbell
    Roy Clark
    Tommy Emmanuel
    Dan Tyminski
    Ron Block
    Marty Stuart
    Kenny Vaughan
    Justin Moses

  24. Michael says:

    Glen…it’s so good to see you here.

  25. Glen says:

    A few more pickers:
    Molly Tuttle
    Tony Rice
    Doc Watson
    Billy Strings
    Ben Clark
    Katy Lou Clark
    Penny Lea Clark
    Many are multi instrumentalists!

  26. Reuben says:

    Glen, I recently saw Molly play with the infallible Jerry Douglass. Mind blowing.

  27. pstrmike says:

    Heard that one more than a few times as well……

  28. pstrmike says:

    How could I forget Jerry Cantrell? Haven’t listened to them in awhile, queuing up their unplugged project now.

  29. Glen says:

    Reuben, Molly is totally amazing on the guitar. Justin Moses can play anything with strings and is married to Sierra Hull who is about the best on mandolin. Jerry Douglass is about the best there is on dobro, but Emmett Franz who plays with the Petersens is right up there with Jerry. You can tell I lean towards Bluegrass/Americana/old time.😊
    Hi Michael…….

  30. Dan from Georgia says:

    Reuben, I’ll check out Eric Gales. Thanks!

    pstrmike, Glen, and Reuben…most of my faves lean towards Rock, but I have some jazz (real and smooth), and blues faves as well. Haven’t spent any time perusing country or bluegrass, but am open to new players.

    A few more faves…
    Michael Schenker
    Russ Freeman
    Rik Emmett
    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Tom Scholz

    On a more serious note, Michael your thought #3 and the thread “The Story That Won’t Go Away”…I’m gradually seeing this in action myself. The more I allow people to tell me “their story”, the more I wonder how much I am being lied to. Seems like when one person comes along, I hear someone else chime in with a whole different side/take. Had to warn my wife recently that a friend who told us one thing may not be telling us the whole story.

  31. Glen says:

    Reuben, Dan, and pstrmike, I’m taking these lists as a homework assignment and looking them up on YouTube. I started with Eric Gales and will be busy today. 😊 I may not be crazy about some of their music, but have to admire the level of skill they have. Eric Gales, wow, and left handed, too. I just remembered the name Frank Vignola…….jazz and he sometimes plays with Wynton Marsalis and his quintet. All so good in their respective genres.

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    Looks like I got some homework too!

  33. Dread says:

    Looks like a thread elevated into art. Nice. I’ll not touch the holy thing.

  34. The Flash says:

    8). Me too

  35. Reuben says:

    Dread, you have to have music you love!

    I go on these kicks where I absorb all of a player I can for weeks, get my fill, and find a new one. Right now I am losing my mind over Kevin Eubanks, hands down the best jazz on the planet. When he goes improve, he is entirely Kevin, but otherworldly. I know why Leno liked him so much.

    Let’s see if this passes the moderation block…

    Playing tribute to one of your hymns and doing an absolute stellar job

  36. Reuben says:

    Or this, who is the single greatest musician alive! I saw him once at COGIC, and I was floored. I own everything he has ever recorded. I will church with Cory all day every day

  37. Reuben says:


    If you can get this guy on Blue Note, you won’t be disappointed

    No further proof this is the jazz musician of the century

  38. Glen says:

    I just watched all three of those videos and am amazed! The first on acoustic was beautiful! Cory on that old Hammond organ with drawbars – I’m speechless. What a musician and it helps to have a great instrument, too.
    The last one with Kevin leaves me shaking my head and asking how can he do that (the first video as well)?! Thanks for sharing them.

  39. Officerhoppy says:

    Love to talk music stuff. I come from a different genre of music. I am very into Pat Matheny. I went into morning when his genius keyboard player, Lyle Mays died. I get bored with guitar players who play lightning fast licks that add nothing to a tune but show off their licks. I really appreciate a well crafted tune. The thing I like about Eric Clapton is while he could, he doesn’t over play. He plays the right note at the right time. I feel like Eric Johnson is inventive with his sound. I really like his acoustic stuff. A great player in the Christian world was Roby Duke. He was the groove-miester. Any way my $.02.

  40. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Reuben. I’ll check that video out. I came across Eric Gales name on Amazon…almost purchases a CD then realized that there is something out there called streaming…LOL…

    Officerhoppy! Totally agree with you about these guitar players who are very fast…most of them cannot play slow and with feeling. In my opinion the only “shredder” who actually can play slow and with feeling and makes good songs is Tony Macalpine. He’s also a classically trained pianist, so he knows a thing or two about songwriting. I read an interview a while back how his mother encouraged him to write songs that she can hum to. And Pat Metheny of course! Jaw dropping musicianship there!

  41. Muff Potter says:

    I think that one of the most underrated guitarists of rock is Pete Townshend.

  42. Reuben says:

    Meh, there are shredders that have enormous soul. I guess if you don’t like shredding, because of the genre it’s associated with, it’s understandable. For decades I listened to tons of speed metal, there are distinct differences with some players. Of course there are shredders who just rip scales out 100mph, but some of them have developed very unique styles that make them hyper unique. My latest kick has been Zakk Wylde of Ozzy fame, and Black Label Society. Completely unique. When I was much younger, some of the best metal bands were actually Christian. Living Sacrifice is legendary of even the most secular metal bands. LS is literally unlike any other band. Becoming The Archetype is also unparalleled in musicianship. I get it, it’s a genre thing. I also LOVE gangster rap, so there’s that… haha

  43. Dan from Georgia says:

    Back from our break in guitar talk…I do agree that some shredders can slow it down and sound good at the same time. I haven’t heard them all, but spent time in the late 80s listening to Tony Macalpine, Vinnie Moore, David Chastain, Cacaphony (Jason Becker and Marty Friedman), Racer X with Paul Gilbert and Bruce Bouillet, etc (how’s that for name dropping?). I do have a brief history with some Christian groups like Vengeance (Rising) and Deliverance, but I have not listened to Living Sacrifice. Have you ever heard of Crimson Thorn? Thrash band from Minnesota…put out a few recordings that some consider on par with the secular death metal stuff. I have met their bass player once…real solid guy and believer. I’ll have to check out Living Sacrifice. I do occasionally drift to the heavy fast stuff (Megadeth my primary venue of rage HA!), but I usually settle in with classic rock. Saw both Vengeance and Deliverance at a night club in Minneapolis back in the day.

  44. Reuben says:

    I remember Vengeance and Deliverance! Those were OG in the Christian scene for sure!

    Living Sacrifice cut their own trail when all the Christians were flipping out about Christian metal. I can’t tell you how many secular bands, including self professed Satan worshipers have been interviewed over the years to say, “an unknown Christian band named Living Sacrifice…” They just did something right, and always did it right. Their drummer is phenomenal as well.

  45. Reuben says:

    Speaking of Christian no name bands that are absolutely stellar, Kings X (which I don’t believe is Christian anymore) was always regarded among musicians as a musicians band. Best guitar, best bass, best drums, simply phenomenal. I loved them since the first album, and have seen them live more than any other band. Gathered signatures numerous times. It’s rare I find anyone who knows who they are.

  46. Reuben says:

    Kings X in the best form

  47. Dan from Georgia says:

    Hi Reuben,

    Count me as one who HAS heard of them! Way way back in Heaven’s Metal mag Doug Van Pelt (editor) was always raving about them. Doug/Dug Pinnik on bass?

  48. Dan from Georgia says:

    backstory…when I became a believer in 1988 I immersed myself in the then-flourishing area of Christian metal and rap. So much of what you speak of I am familiar with, even though I didn’t listen to all of it. Also in rap was interested in P.I.D and Apocalypse (similar to Public Enemy).

  49. Reuben says:

    Dan, we are kindred spirits on a ton of this stuff! Dig is the guy! I am a massive Wu Tang fan, as well as Public Enemy.

  50. Everstudy says:

    P.I.D. I thought I was the only one that listened to them…

  51. Dan from Georgia says:

    Reuben and Everstudy..Kindred spirits indeed! Sounds like we have walked some of the same paths in life in regards to our musical choices/tastes! I was and in a way, to this day, still into D-Boy Rodriguez, Dynamic Twins, Freedom of Soul…with those three being more of the fun rap style. I also was into the Gospel Gangstaz.

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