Devin McGlamery To Record Solo Record

I haven’t found an official press release yet, but on Devin McGlamery’s twitter, he has been discussing the recording process for a solo record to be released on Stowtown:

Just recorded the first track for my solo record with Stowtown! A Wayne Haun original!! I’m so excited I could cry!!!!!!! Wahooo

Devin has a natural solo voice, and this makes sense in the wake of Doug Anderson’s award-winning album. I look forward to hearing it!


Concert Review and Photo Gallery: The Booth Brothers in Hillsdale, Michigan

The Booth Brothers came to the Gospel Barn in Hillsdale, Michigan earlier this month, and I got to go and enjoy them. It was a great experience and a great concert with a mix of old favorites and material from their new Gaither project. Here are some of the highlights off the top of my head, in no particular order: Continue reading “Concert Review and Photo Gallery: The Booth Brothers in Hillsdale, Michigan”

Saturday Musing: I Don’t Have Time!

As I seek to manage my time better, I’ve been reminded over and over of something I’ve always known but have been reluctant to admit at times. Have you discovered this for yourselves? Here’s the secret I’ve learned: You always have more time to do worthwhile things than you think. How many times do we say, to ourselves or others, “Man I just don’t have time for x or y,” when really it wouldn’t take as much time as we think to do x or y?

For example, do you know how many chapters of the Bible you can read in half an hour? Okay, maybe Leviticus doesn’t count, but take a normal book like Proverbs or something. Maybe you tell yourself your schedule just doesn’t allow you time to be in the Word. But you could probably get through ten chapters in just fifteen minutes. Or if meditation is your goal, think what you could get out of a single chapter in fifteen minutes of undivided focus and attention.

Maybe the thought of cleaning your house daunts you. But if you pick just one small room, you could probably do what needs to be done to get it clean in less than an hour. If you don’t have even an hour to spare during the week, set it aside for a weekend. Again, you’re probably assuming it’s going to take longer than it actually does.

On the flip side, we often underestimate the time it takes to waste time. “I need a break—I’ll just watch this 45-minute episode of my favorite show. WOAH, what an awesome twist! I gotta finish the finale to see what happens… oh gosh, I guess I just spent an hour and a half there didn’t I? Well, hehe, time sure flies when you’re having fun.” Or how about this: “I’m just booping around the net to see what’s interesting in the world… Hey, I never knew that blah-blah-blah! I should find out more about that. Oooooh, this new artist sounds cool, let’s go see what else they’ve done.” And… there goes your one free afternoon of the week.

I admit this isn’t as much of a problem for people who have a serious, full-time job and maybe a family as well. You’ve got plenty of serious things to keep you busy. I guess this is geared more towards younger people like me, who are busy enough that time is valuable, but not so busy that you don’t have any time to kill. Did I hit close to home for anyone? Any other pearls of wisdom you’d like to share?

On Dinesh D’Souza, Christian Celebrities and Low Expectations

Dinesh D'Souza
Public domain

Well, a number of you may have heard the news about Dinesh D’Souza, an ostensibly Christian conservative author/speaker with a very high profile in the political realm. He’s engaged to another woman who isn’t his wife… while still married to his first wife. Upon the outrage that ensued on the breaking of this news, he insouciantly wrote an open letter expressing his astonishment that it was frowned upon in evangelical circles for him to be engaged to another woman before completing divorce proceedings with his first wife.

First of all, Mr. D’Souza shouldn’t need to be told that divorce in general is frowned upon in evangelical circles. But yes, the fact that he, in the stinging words of a liberal media report, “didn’t quite get divorced fast enough” before announcing to the whole world that he had a new cutie—yes, that does rather add another layer of grime to the whole thing.

It got me thinking about how we view Christian celebrities. It seems that more and more, the attitude seems to be “Don’t expect anything from them when they’re not failing, and make excuses for them when they fail.” Continue reading “On Dinesh D’Souza, Christian Celebrities and Low Expectations”

Ian Owens Joins Soul’d Out Quartet

Did you see this coming?

Because I didn’t. Make that the SECOND singer with a “big” group who’s “stepped down” to Soul’d Out (the first being of course Bryan Hutson). Ian had this to say about the shift:

After spending a weekend on the road with Soul’d Out Quartet, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that joining their team is God’s will for my life. I am very excited to have the opportunity to spread the Word of God with such strong men of faith and integrity! Matt, Bryan, Dusty, and Michael all have such a sincere and earnest desire to see souls won and lives changed. I absolutely can not wait to be “pounding the pavement” with these awesome men! However…..I’m scared I may not be much of a bass singer for them if I’m always hoarse from laughing at them! They’re funny!!

Ian’s closing time with Signature Sound was warm, with many mutual “Love yous” and best wishes, even a socialcam video with Doug Anderson on the bus. However, I suspect Soul’d Out’s schedule may be a better fit than some of these more high-profile groups for the singers who leave to join them.

In any case, this is tremendous news for Soul’d Out, and it’s interesting to see the little switcheroo with Matt Fouch just having joined Legacy Five, since EHSS and L5 often get compared. Now they’re both linked through Soul’d Out. This will give them a different sound for sure. I hope Ian continues to be happy with them.

How Beautiful

Attention: I’m about to FALL ALL OVER a CCM song, so in the future, whenever someone lambastes me for being a “CCM hater,” I’ll just keep linking back to this post. Enjoy.

[Update: Just remembered I had planned to embed this amazing live performance. It’s preceded by some great words from Twila.]

The song is one that many of you probably know well, but I didn’t hear it until a few years back. I was already a Twila Paris fan, so I was like “How have I possibly not heard THIS one yet?” But that’s kind of how I’ve always listened to music—just song-hopping/album-hopping, and I hadn’t happened to “hop” over to that one yet. And not having grown up in an evangelical church community, I’d never heard it done as special music or anything. Anyway, I can vividly remember the first time I listened to it, I was sitting in a coffee shop browsing on imeem (RIP) with headphones on. When this came on, it was all I could do not to break down right there in my little corner of the coffee shop like a blubbering idiot. Since then it’s become a favorite that bears many, many listenings without ever getting old.

For one thing, the structure is brilliant. Not only is the move from Christ’s actual body to the church body at the half-way point a simple stroke of genius, but if you listen carefully she actually makes the two halves mirror each other in terms of which body part is being described (hands, feet, eyes, etc.) The first verse begins with Christ’s hands: “How beautiful the hands that served the wine, and the bread, and the sons of the earth.” Then it moves to his feet, then in the second verse to his heart and eyes respectively. After that comes the bridge, then we’re into the Church section. And what do we begin with? The “radiant bride, who waits for her groom with his light in her…” what? Eyes! We’re picking right up where we left off, except now we’re going backwards, because this is the next line:

How beautiful when humble hearts give

The fruit of pure lives so that others may live

See the pattern? And then after the key change, we have the feet of those who bring “the sound of good news and the love of the King,” and finally, of course, “the hands that serve the wine, and the bread, and the sons of the earth,” which is exactly the same as the first line except with the alteration from “served” to “serve.”

It’s so simple, yet so clean and perfect it could easily have been a “Poetry in Song” entry. But I wanted to talk a little more about what the lyrics meant personally to me. I think that the line about humble hearts giving the fruit of pure lives so that others may live has always been the one that really gets me. I’m sure we could all think of people we know or know of who match that description very well. It can refer to a myriad of things. But in my mind, I’ve always thought it connected especially well with adoption. It makes sense. God purifies and prepares the right hearts and the right families to give back the fruit of their lives in a choice they don’t have to make. Why? So that others may live, those “others” being the children they welcome into their hearts and homes.

A lot of us would probably think of Steven Curtis Chapman in connection with this, and I know I immediately thought of his family’s choice when I first heard this song, especially after his adopted daughter’s tragic death. There are others as well. Recently, I found a beautiful clip of Jim Caviezel talking about two children with brain tumors whom he and his wife adopted from China. He’s known for being shy and soft-spoken, but he’s also known for his rare sincerity and purity of spirit, something which always left his Hollywood peers equal parts baffled and awed. That definitely comes through very strongly here. Perhaps  self-consciously echoing Mother Theresa, Caviezel says, “The world tells me ‘Hey you know what, those children, they’re unwanted.’ And I say, ‘Well, I want them.'”

The best part is when he says his children make him beautiful. You can kind of tell that he briefly wonders whether it came off sounding wrong, but it has such a sweet, lovely innocence to it. And of course, it fits perfectly with this post.

For those who may be wondering, both Bo and Lele survived their cancer, and I found this March 2011 report on Bo’s reception of a gymnastics award. Three years after this interview was filmed, they welcomed little brother Patrick David, also adopted from China.

[Note: To any readers who might feel compelled to say that Caviezel is Catholic, therefore he’s not part of the church, therefore etc. etc… we’re not going to go there. Thank you.]

Questions and Answers: “Take Me Home,” featuring Phil Collins & Michael W. Smith

Intense stuff today. This just might be the heaviest song pair I showcase in this series. I’ve listened to these two songs back-to-back many times now, and the impact never fails to blow me away. I hope you will join me as I discuss them.

Continue reading “Questions and Answers: “Take Me Home,” featuring Phil Collins & Michael W. Smith”