As you can tell, this was a pretty quiet week on the southern gospel front (with the Chris Jenkins hire being the main news item). Here are some assorted items of interest:
*Chris Allman has started a new blog called Like I Wish I’d Lived. It contains reflections on Christian living and general thoughts from his heart. Be sure to drop by and leave a comment! He would love to hear from you.
*There was one notable southern gospel-related occurrence that’s more political than musical. Brian Free set off a bit of a political firestorm on the BFA facebook page over North Carolina’s recent gay “marriage” ban when he posted “Way to go N.C. For standing up for the word of God in your vote,” then apparently had to delete a lot of angry responses. In a follow-up post, he said, “Christians stand firm and strong on what the word of God says. DO NOT be afraid of confrontation when lies are being spread. Have “Holy Boldness” before man. I do NOT apologize for my stand! Read your Bible, ALL of it.” Amen to that!
*Brian also posted a negative comment about Obama’s recent official endorsement of gay marriage (with the blasphemous premise that it’s what Jesus would want because of the Golden Rule). As if we needed more evidence, this is more evidence that Obama is an empty shell of a man who does not fear God and is only concerned with increasing his own power so he can destroy everything good about this country. Bill Clinton had no morals, but he wasn’t the ideologue Obama is, so a reasonable case could be made that as far as the good of America is concerned, Obama is the worst president we’ve ever had.
*I may not be a fan of some of N. T. Wright’s theology, but these videos are neat. Who knew he could sing and play guitar? His cover of Bob Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In” has been floating around the ‘net. He also covers a great folk song I’d never before called “Friday Morning” here. Sort of a John Michael Talbot/Michael Card sound. He has the look for it too (bald with glasses).
*A shout-out to the moms of the world, including my own. Kevin DeYoung puts it so well: “…If there is any vocation that mitigates against gentleness it is taking care of depraved children. So take time this weekend to thank your mom, or your kids’ mom, for all the times she was affectionately desirous of you and eagerly gave of her own life because you were so dear to her.”
*If you’re into that sort of thing, both Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol are approaching their conclusions. Next week I’ll talk about some of my favorites in this year’s edition of BGT. I’ve always been much more of a “got talent” fan than an Idol fan, because the whole premise and atmosphere of Idol sort of turns me off. Not only do I enjoy the variety of the “got talent” kind of show, I love watching people succeed who aren’t necessarily young, skinny and good-looking. That’s probably the reason why other people enjoy them too. Having said that, I’ve enjoyed a few (emphasis on “few”) of the singers who’ve come out of the “Idol machine” over the years. This season, a hot favorite to win is a 19-year-old black soul singer named Josh Ledet. Because he seems to scream through pretty much all of his songs (tell me how your vocal cords are doing in 10 years Josh), I really don’t like his voice, even though I want to like him personally (seems like a nice church boy). However, I did enjoy his gospel spin on “You Raise Me Up” this week. Still too growly at the end, but for the most part he just sang the song. What do you think?
And yes, yes, for those of you also watching The Voice, I did like Chris Mann’s version better, but I decided not to embed it because the staging was DREADFUL (read: DREADFUL). From the super-annoying lady doing sign language in the front, to the choir members doing up-twinkles (or whatever they were doing with their fingers) at the end… seriously, I snort-snickered out loud. Could also have done without the cuts to Christina Aguilera crying. Rather look at Chris, even if he does look like a bit of a lizard with that 5 o’clock shadow. (Note to handsome guys—you look MUCH MORE HANDSOME if you shave. Just sayin’.)
The thread is yours. N. T. Wright’s glasses, Chris Mann’s 5 o’clock shadow and anything else you want to talk about are all fair game.