Welcome! I’m Yankee Gospel Girl (formerly Southern Gospel Yankee), but you can call me Esther O’Reilly. I’m an old soul with many interests, and I promote southern gospel music along with everything else good, true and beautiful.  If you’re a first-time visitor, thanks for reading! Check out my “About” page, follow me on Youtube, and browse around in the filing cabinet for my musings on all genres of music, movies, faith & culture, and old stuff. Whether you’re a fan of gospel music or just another old soul like me, I hope you like what you find! God bless.


Filed under Blog stuff

My Take on the Mizzou/Yale Protests

Here’s my latest article for Summit Ministries. I wlas asked to tackle the wave of protests sparked by student demonstrations at Missouri and Yale. So, considering my audience carefully, I decided to center the piece around Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but I used it to undercut how the black students in these schools are behaving. It was a challenge to report honestly on something so depressing while still fulfilling Summit’s request that I leave off on a hopeful note for pastors and churchgoers seeking how best to bridge the racial divide. In truth, I confessed that I have no grand solutions, and indeed, I believe there are none. But, hopefully I succeeded in achieving something of a balance while still refusing to bow to the beast of political correctness. Kudos to Summit for their willingness to run a piece on this topic with an edge to it.

Meanwhile, if any of you were waiting with bated breath on the philosophers vs. welders article, the attacks in Paris obviously pushed that down in the scheduling, but I’ve been told to keep it in my back pocket for another week. (My friend Hannah covered Paris for Summit, and you can read her article here.)

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Filed under Faith and Culture, Uncategorized

Follow My Faith and Culture Writing at Summit.org

As you all may have noticed, this semester has whacked me for a loop as far as time to blog and write, though I’ve tried to put something up weekly for you guys. Fortunately, an exciting opportunity has recently opened up for my faith and culture writing. This summer, I got to meet Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. When he discovered my blog, he invited me to do some freelance work for Summit’s newsletter and website. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the work of Summit, they are a worldview organization that trains and equips Christians in critical thinking, particularly young Christians. They have worked with thought leaders ranging from Josh McDowell to Scott Klusendorf to Warren Cole Smith of WORLD Magazine (all great guys in person, by the way). Their newsletter goes out to pastors and other people seeking to keep up with the issues of the day, reported from a Christian perspective. So, in the future, if I have some current commentary on faith and culture, I will likely be writing it as an article for Summit.org instead of publishing the pieces here. However, I will be sure to cross-post so that you can follow my work. Right now, I have two articles up over there: one on the Starbucks red cup controversy and one on the defeat of the HERO anti-discrimination bill in Houston. Next week, I’ll be discussing Marco Rubio’s comments in the latest Republican debate about young people, careers, and the liberal arts versus the trades.

But don’t worry, I still have plenty of writing in me that will be a better fit for this space than the Summit website, including music reviews, music commentary, and series like “Questions and Answers” and “Marriage In the Movies.” I also have a few other labors of love that are regrettably on the back burner for now, but hopefully will surface as I find time to focus on crafting them!

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Filed under Faith and Culture

Concert Review with video: Buddy Greene and Ron Block in Shipshewana, IN (10-18-15)


Well, hello there! To the both of you who are still checking this humble corner of the web with any regularity, thanks for your patience. I’m pleased to bring you a somewhat delayed review of a thoroughly enjoyable concert I attended last month with Buddy Greene and special guest Ron Block (banjoist of Alison Krauss and Union Station). The venue was the Blue Gate Dinner Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana. This was a different building from the one where I’ve attended every other Shipshewana concert, but I vastly preferred it and the casual, stripped-down nature of this show as a whole. This venue was smaller, there were no endless opening acts, and the emcee was actually funny. Buddy himself, of course, put on a wonderful performance, and the addition of Ron Block was a complete and awesome surprise. If you haven’t picked up his latest instrumental album Hogan’s House of Music, do yourself a favor and put it on the Christmas list. It’s one of the best records of the year, featuring lots of other bluegrass all-stars like Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan and Sierra Hull.

Buddy and Ron were very down-to-earth and self-deprecating throughout the night, frequently pausing to tune up their instruments. (This caused Buddy to joke that Ron shouldn’t tune up his banjo too well, or Buddy would sound bad. I especially liked it when Buddy declared after one session “That’s close enough for bluegrass.”) Buddy often paused to issue disclaimers that they were playing off the cuff, or only roughly rehearsed tunes. (Really, like anyone could tell?) The setlist was an eclectic mix of bluegrass classics, gospel songs, hymns, and Buddy’s folksy originals. Buddy tried valiantly to inject some soul into the proceedings on the bluesier numbers, informing the all-white audience that they did not have to hold back on singalongs, and asking could somebody please sing some flat 5ths or flat somethings to spice it up. (I obliged him.) Woven throughout were a number of stories I hadn’t heard before about various colorful characters Buddy had met in his career, as well as some of his personal testimony. Here’s the setlist with some comments. I also took a few decent hand-held videos and uploaded “Darlin’ Corey” and “Orange Blossom Special” to my channel (the latter played by our request!) If I had more time, I would have replaced the audio with cleaner audio from a different device I had, but this will do. They’re both embedded in the setlist below.


Headed For the Promised Land

Minstrel of the Lord

(banter about fiddle players and harmonica players)

Sally Good’n

“Well, I nearly passed out, but it was fun!”

More tuning. “Are we anywhere close to each other? Isn’t this fun?”

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Rock in a Weary Land

“Well now just wait a minute… when you do a song like this, you’re just kinda hoping a little church will break out. And I know there’s some folks out there kinda identifying with the sentiments of this song. And I just wanna tell you tonight that you do not have to hold back. You do not have to wait for an overhead to come down and show you the words. All you have to do is sing.”

A gentleman behind me was eventually moved to exclaim “HalleLUUUUUjah. Praise the Lord. PRAISE the Lord.”

Testimony and Keep Your Head in the Word

I never knew that Buddy was a back-slider in his younger days!

The Jolly Beggar Man (“We’ll do an Irish pub song, because that’s obviously what the people of Shipshewana need.”) Here Buddy told a story about playing an instrumental of this tune at an Irish festival in Savannah, Georgia, except back then they called the melody by the name “The Red-Haired Boy.” A very inebriated Irishman later came up and set them straight. This song marked the debut of Buddy’s shaker, which he sometimes shook with one hand while playing harmonica with the other. Ron threw in some especially sweet banjo licks.

Talk About Suffering Here Below A beautiful minor-key folk ballad I was unfamiliar with.

Revive Us Again

This is My Father’s World Instrumental by Ron


Rise From the Ruins (Mark Heard cover)

Jesus I Am Resting, Resting The poetry of the lyrics prompted Buddy to remark that people don’t use language like this to express their love for Jesus anymore. Poking fun: “Like I’m, uh, going whoa.” Ron chimed in: “Jesus is, like, wow,” then added he could do this since he grew up in California.

Guest appearance, Damon (?) Harvey “When the Saints” An old gentleman whose first name I didn’t quite catch joined Buddy on stage for a little harmonica duet. He whipped out a mini harmonica (which I didn’t know existed, until then), and solemnly informed the audience that this is what happens when you send your harmonica through the wash. Apparently, he’s a regular at Buddy’s concerts and had some charming stories of his own. I especially liked the impression he did of his dog Skeeter, who always tried to match whatever tune he was playing.

Darlin’ Corey Buddy sums this dark standard up perfectly: “It’s the perfect country song. It’s got bootlegging in it. It’s got illicit love.” (Ron chimes in to add “killin.'”)  “It’s got killin’. It’s got just about all the seedy elements that you can expect in a country song.” This was definitely a musical highlight and featured more awesome shaker shakin’. Buddy and Ron were very in tune with each other throughout the night, but they meshed with special tightness here. Video:

Bubba the Wandering Gypsy I learned that “Bubba” was actually a character Buddy used to know who worked flea markets. He scavenged a harmonica in a minor key for Buddy, so Buddy dedicated this fake gypsy tune to Bubba’s memory.

Orange Blossom Special: “If you really want to show off, you play this tune,” and that Buddy did, with some fantastic backing support from Ron.

I Don’t Belong: A little tune co-written with Gloria Gaither. Alas, not one of her better lyrics, but a very pretty little tune by Buddy.

Twelve Gates to the City: This is the one where Buddy solicited some flat notes from the audience.

Denomination Blues: Buddy credits this tune to an “obscure blues singer” named Washington Phillips, but I must say, after looking up the original, I prefer Buddy’s version. He improvised yet more lyrics that I didn’t recall hearing in other versions of his. He left off with “If you’re fishing with a Baptist, one thing is clear: If it’s just you and him he’s gonna drink all your beer.”

Mary, Did You Know?: I’m not sure I’d heard that Mark Lowry introduced the lyrics to Buddy late one night as he was heading back to the Gaither bus by handing him a note that said, “Dear Buddy. Below are some incredible words I penned some years ago. Please write some God-inspired music to match and make for us a very profitable hit.” Buddy said he didn’t even look at the lyrics until he got home, because he just assumed Mark was kidding and it was a goofy novelty idea. Of course, it wasn’t. It was also neat to get a window into Buddy’s musical inspiration as he played a few of the tunes that were bouncing in his head the day he wrote the melody for “Mary Did You Know,” including “What Wondrous Love is This.” Buddy mused that it’s rare for a song that shouts the gospel as loudly as this one to become a mainstream standard. He told the audience to lower expectations in case some of us had a favorite version, but I’ve always liked Buddy’s “folky little version,” and I overheard Ron also say, “I love this version!” so I’m not alone.

Uneducated Fool: Buddy concluded with this story about a preacher friend of his who was put off when he visited a Pentecostal service but was softened after repeatedly coming across biblical passages about uninhibited worship. So, one day, he closed his study door and did a little shuffle before the Lord. A very fun guitar/banjo collaboration.

To sum up, if you get a chance to see Buddy Greene in concert, do so. And you never know, Ron Block might tag along too.


Filed under Concert Reviews, Concerts

Fanny Crosby Meets Ricky Skaggs

I’ve been rotating Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns of Fanny Crosby in the car for a few days, hopefully preparing for a review (one of these days!) But, in case it takes me a little while to get around to that review, here’s the crown jewel of the project: Ricky Skaggs’s haunting folk waltz treatment of a lyric called “All is Well.” Note the subtle metaphor in verse one to Crosby’s blindness: “Though the clouds may veil the sky, my steps are led by your sweet light.” Also, the repeated references to HEARING God’s voice.

To be honest, the rest of the album is just okay by comparison with this, although I did like Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s “I Have Found a Priceless Treasure.” Part of my problem with some of the other tunes is that they’re very tied to a particular worship sound that’s not going to be current forever. But what Skaggs has done with “All is Well” is timeless. It won’t age. This right here is one of the best new (new/old?) songs of the year, if not the past decade. I’d like to think Fanny would appreciate it:


Filed under Hymns, Songs

God’s Not Dead, The Apostle, and Deathbed Conversion Scenes

It’s a classic trope of any story targeted to a Christian audience: the conversion scene. Most commonly, the film saves it for the climax, when the hardened atheist or the back-slidden Christian relents and turns his life over to Christ. Recently, the movie God’s Not Dead took this trope one further and made it a deathbed conversion scene. When the atheist villain is hit by a car, a conveniently on-hand pastor prays with him to accept Christ.  In my review of the film, this scene was one of the things I criticized about it. Sure, it could have been worse, but it still felt forced and rushed. This is a common problem with this type of scene (made worse in this particular case by bad editing).

However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Through the years, a handful of authors and screenwriters have found ways to craft conversion scenes that are technically well executed, unforced and authentically moving.

One example comes from The Apostle, actor Robert Duvall’s passion project. While Duvall is certainly no Christian saint, his film engages Christian culture in an insightful, respectful way and is a true artistic tour de force, made all the more impressive since he wrote and directed it himself. Duvall plays a Pentecostal preacher named Sonny, who has his share of besetting character flaws but appears sincere in his drive to serve God. Early in the film, he encounters a young couple in a rural car accident—the girl probably dead, the boy barely alive. Somehow, he manages to slip inside the perimeter unnoticed and deliver an impassioned prayer over them. If Sonny’s behavior elsewhere in the film justly raises some eyebrows, it’s still worth noting that he couldn’t have anything but pure motives in this scene. Think about it: What does this dying couple have to offer him? Absolutely nothing. A charlatan wouldn’t waste any time praying over them, because they would be of no use to him. (But I digress. I do highly recommend the film as a whole, which provides much food for thought to the discerning viewer.)

Both of these scenes are on Youtube, so I’d like to put them side by side here and make a few comments about why the scene from The Apostle works, and the scene from God’s Not Dead needs work. First, the God’s Not Dead scene:

First of all, notice the exaggerated slow-motion effect coupled with a bird’s-eye view at the moment the professor is hit. This sort of cheesy, attention-grabbing device takes the viewer out of the film, rather than drawing him in. Having it begin to rain at the instant before the professor starts to cross the street is another example of a dramatic crutch. If your scene is dramatic enough to stand on its own, it doesn’t need the help of the weather.

Another problem here is that the writing is very wordy. Both the pastor and the professor are talking too much. In particular, speaking is so painful for the professor that he should realistically be doing a lot less of it. The dialogue feels like an excuse to squeeze in as many sermon illustrations as possible.

Not shown in this clip is one of my main problems with the scene’s construction, and that’s the cringeworthy editing on its buildup and immediate aftermath. Both are very distractingly intercut with a Newsboys concert, which gives the audience whiplash and fails to establish or maintain the proper tone. And in a moment from that aftermath, the pastor’s African missionary friend smiles and even gives a hearty laugh when he receives his “God’s not dead” text. Yes, I get his explanation that the atheist’s conversion is a cause for rejoicing in heaven, but psychologically, it just rings false for someone to bounce back so quickly from the shock of witnessing such a grim scene.

Now, watch the scene from The Apostle:

I’d like to touch on just a few of the ways this scene sidesteps common “conversion scene” cliches. First of all, what do you notice about the music in the background? That’s right… there isn’t any! Well, except for the car radio at the very beginning, which is a very chilling and effective touch. Of course, the boy would have no strength to turn it off. Notice how this arises naturally from the moment and immediately puts the viewer in the scene, by contrast with God’s Not Dead‘s puzzling, heavy-handed inter-cutting of the Newsboys concert. Notice too that the weather is beautifully clear and still. This creates contrast, which is far more interesting than forcing the weather to match the mood.

Also, while you could argue that a college professor would have more to think and say than a highschool kid under these circumstances, the boy’s whispered, one-word responses certainly seem more like what I would expect from someone on the brink of death. This adds to the scene’s realism. And while Sonny is full of calm conviction, at no point does his attitude seem to trivialize the gravity of the moment, either here or as he is walking away from the scene.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the verse Sonny quotes at the very beginning as he raises his hands over the car. It’s a powerfully applicable verse, but it’s one you hardly ever hear, from the book of Ezekiel: “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” But Sonny knows his Bible forward and back. Obscure Old Testament verses leap to his mind like breathing in and breathing out. Think about how much less effective it would have been for him to quote John 3:16, as great as that verse is.

Of course, the elephant in the room here is Robert Duvall’s acting and Sonny’s lyrical, Pentecostal speaking style. For sheer dramatic power, the combination pretty much blows anything away by comparison. This, in fairness, I cannot fault God’s Not Dead for, since their pastor obviously comes from a very different preaching background and realistically can’t be expected to sound as impressive as Sonny. I also can’t blame actor David A. R. White for not being Robert Duvall, because nobody is Robert Duvall. (Like, duh.) However, I suppose one general takeaway is that evangelical film-makers seem stuck in a very particular cultural rut. It would bring color and variety to the genre if they expanded their horizons to different denominations of Christianity and the characters that can be found there. (The Kendrick brothers gave a taste of what this might look like with the character of Miss Clara in their latest film War Room.)

Those who’ve seen the film may wonder why I didn’t instead look at the conversion of The Apostle‘s big villain, also a well-done scene. Maybe somebody else could make that comparison in the comments. I think I chose this one because even though it involves a character who’s a nobody relative to the rest of the film, the setup and delivery are more directly parallel, making for an easier comparison. (Also, The Apostle‘s villain doesn’t convert from his deathbed.) If anything, I find it even more powerful to focus so much attention on a character who only shows up in one scene. It reminds you that sometimes God shows up unplanned, unexpected, and unserenaded by Newsboys music. (Oooh. That last bit was harsh, but I’m not sorry.)

I doubt anybody from Pure Flix will read this bit of analysis, but I hope that it’s given you, the Christian viewer, an idea of what to look for as you seek excellence in the art you engage with. On the one hand, I hope it’s shown how even something that aligns perfectly with our views can be fairly critiqued and improved. But on the other hand, I hope it’s shown you that the Christian message of a scene need not dilute the power of its art.


Filed under Movies

Browse New Fanny Crosby Lyrics Free

I mentioned the other month that various artists were setting some of Fanny Crosby’s unpublished hymns to music and releasing them in a compilation project. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound contributed one of the tracks, and the entire album is available from their site. Not only that, but even if you’re not sure you want to buy the album, you can still go here and read all the lyrics for free, which is the most interesting part for me. It looks like a few of them had little bridges or refrains added in by the recording artists. Looking them over, which are your favorites? Which do you think are possibly second-tier or less than Crosby’s best?

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An Interview With Rachel McCutcheon

Rachel McCutcheon is quickly becoming one of my favorite current songwriters. Discovered by writer/producer Wayne Haun, she has been contributing a plethora of well-penned fresh tunes to new releases by some of southern gospel’s best artists. Recently, she graciously agreed to answer some interview questions from me. I hope you enjoy this conversation!

When did you first begin to write songs? Were there any particular writers or musicians that you admired?

I first remember writing songs at six or seven years old, but I was twelve before I ever dared to let anyone hear them. :)

Growing up, I remember particularly liking songs with “out of the ordinary chords” in them.  Two writers that influenced my writing in this way are Jim E. Davis and Wayne Haun.  It has been a special treat to co-write with both of them these last few years.

What kind of music inspires you to write? What sparks creative inspiration generally?

I like a variety of musical styles.  Usually whichever style I am listening to at the moment tends to spark inspiration in that vein.
Pretty much anything can spark creativity for me…..a conversation, a song, a sermon, simply living life.  Inspiration is everywhere!  I just try to keep my ears open for that new hook line or idea.

How long did it take to get your first professional cut? You seem to have really burst on the scene in the past few years!

I got my first cut in May of 2010, so 9 months after meeting Wayne Haun.  The song was “Daddy’s Little Girl” on Ryan Seaton’s first solo project.

How did you connect with Wayne Haun and Stowtown Records?

I met Wayne in August of 2009, at an Ernie Haase and Signature Sound concert in Little Rock, AR.  A friend of mine approached Wayne at the product table, told him I was a songwriter, that I loved his productions and asked if he would give me a moment of his time.  He graciously agreed, so we met and chatted about songwriting and producing for a few minutes.  My friend insisted on showing him a lyric to one of my songs, “Whenever We Pray” and my sisters and I sang it for him A cappella.  He totally surprised me by giving me his personal contact information, along with an invitation to send him songs.  I started doing that, and in 2010 I signed as a staff songwriter for Sunset Gallery Music, a publishing company co-owned by Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey.  Wayne is also my connection to Stowtown Records, which was founded in 2011 by Wayne Haun and Ernie Haase.  So, Wayne is my publisher, and also the producer for the majority of the Stowtown recording artists.  I’ve been blessed to have a number of my tunes land on these Stowtown projects.

The Collingsworth Family is putting out a new project with eight of your songs on it. Which of them was your favorite, and can you talk a bit about the writing process?

I’m honestly not sure which is my favorite, but I am particularly fond of “Saints Love To Sing About Heaven”.  I love writing about Heaven . . . it intrigues me.  The Bible contains some amazing text painting about it, but as the song’s opening line says, “It’s hard to describe somewhere I’ve never been”.  So rather than focus on the incredible beauty there that I haven’t seen yet, I wrote about what heaven means for me personally.  “It thrills my heart to know there is a place, reserved just for me at the table of grace . . . The old will be young and the weak will be well”. . . What a place, this “sweet land of all the forgiven”!  I can hardly wait to experience it for myself!

Now, name an all-time personal favorite song that you did NOT write.

Champion Of Love by the Cathedrals on their Symphony of Praise project.

Of the artists who haven’t recorded your work yet (and their number is shrinking!) who would you be most thrilled to get a cut with?

The Gaither Vocal Band! They were one of my all-time favorite groups growing up and I still enjoy listening to them.

What is your most memorable co-writing experience?

This past July, I was writing with Tony Wood at Word in Nashville.  Tony said, “I have this idea that I love and I’ve tried three times to write, but I just can’t get it to fit in the pocket.”  He had a few scratches on this tiny blue sticky note stuck to his legal pad.  When he told me the hook, “Unexpected Places”, I couldn’t help but smile.  I had been working on a song with that same title a few months earlier and had taken some notes on it, but hadn’t finished.  We were maybe five minutes into working on it together and Tony said, “This is it. This is gonna fit in the pocket.”  The song came together very quickly and both of us absolutely love it.  It hasn’t been cut yet . . . but I plan to demo it this weekend so we can pitch it!

Any final words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

Songwriting is a process . . . enjoy it.  Learn all you can about the craft . . . but allow yourself to be creative.  Every songwriter’s story is different, so don’t compare your songwriting journey or success with anyone else’s.  Work hard, trust God and let Him take you on the journey of His choice.  He knows where you need to be, who you need to work with and He is able set it all up in His time.  Continue reading


Filed under Interviews, Songwriting

The Oregon Shootings and the Moment of Truth

It has come out in the wake of the mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College that the murderer specifically targeted Christians in his rampage. According to several different eyewitnesses, he began lining people up and asking them what their religion was. Avowed Christians were shot in the head, while non-Christians or people who didn’t answer were shot in the legs. (Of course, had he done the same thing for Muslims or homosexuals, there would be a national outrage even as we speak, while as it is, the media is collectively ignoring or shrugging off this small detail.)

On Facebook, I saw a woman who had an interesting response when one of her friends expressed admiration for the martyrs who answered “Yes” and wished for herself that she would be able to give the same answer. This woman said that although she was a Christian, she would have refused to answer because an arbitrary test by a gun-wielding lunatic is meaningless, and God knows what’s in her heart. She argued that it was far more important for her to stay alive for the sake of her children, one of whom has Down’s Syndrome.

It’s an interesting question: Is there only one right answer in this sort of situation, or did those martyrs die for nothing? If a test set by a madman would be meaningless for her, was it meaningless for them also? Her implication seemed to be that any one of those people could have refused to answer with a clear conscience.

To be fair, the situation isn’t strictly analogous to the persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, when the only options were pour out a libation or become kindling for Nero’s garden party. It seems as though this murderer was letting people off the hook if they wouldn’t answer definitely, which is technically not an act of idolatry. That’s where this woman saw her loophole—not proclaiming Christ before men, but not exactly denying him either. Her conscience is satisfied, the gunman passes her over, and her children still have their mother alive. Surely this would be the best choice, the wise choice?

Maybe… but maybe not.

I sense a defensiveness in this woman’s response, and in the fact that she gave it unsolicited. I think she feels, as all of us do, an unspoken challenge in the deaths of these Christians in Oregon, and it makes her uncomfortable. So she begins to rationalize. “I’m a wife and mother. It’s only an arbitrary test. God would know what’s in my heart anyway.” And so forth. I wonder if she would have tried to talk Saint Felicity out of going to the lions, because she had a newborn child. I wonder if she would even have told her “God knows you don’t really mean it when you pour out that libation, so just give them what they want and go back to breast-feeding your baby.”

I’m not saying I would condemn this woman for making her choice. But I wonder. I wonder if this is not a failure to recognize a moment of truth. When the hypothetical becomes reality, when the far-fetched scenario is no longer far-fetched, but a physical gun to your head and a question asked with everything at stake, what should our answer be? I wonder.

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.

— T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding


Filed under Theological Ramblings

NQC 2015 Open Thread

This year, I will regrettably not be live-blogging the webcast of the National Quartet Convention. Real life is finally getting in the way. But, I would love to hear thoughts from any southern gospel fans who are either going in person or watching the webcast. I know that several new groups will be making their debut, including Jim Brady’s new trio. So, consider this an open thread to discuss groups you’re looking forward to, thoughts or highlights of any of the sets, even disappointments (I won’t censor you for it!), and suggestions for improvement.

To make up for this (at least partly!) I do have an interview with one of my favorite new songwriters in gospel music coming soon, so stay tuned for that.


Filed under Southern Gospel News

Monday Morning Humor: I’m a Christian, But…

In case you saw the Buzzfeed video where a bunch of latte-sipping millennials in skinny jeans informed us that we’re doing Christianity wrong, here’s a brilliant parody of it by the Lutheran Satire guys. (It’s even funnier if you watch the original video first.)

“Actually, a lot of creationists are really well-educated, intelligent people…”

“Uhhhh, not according to Bill Nye, MORON. And he should know, because he has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and he used to pretend to be a scientist on television.”


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Filed under Fun, Monday Morning Humor