Archive for the 'random' Category


The Low Anthem

This is not a new band, although they are new to me. The Low Anthem blends an indie folk hymn-like sound with beautiful harmonies. If I could sing falsetto this is what I’d want it to sound like. Through the lyrics of their song Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, it seems the group struggles with the “broken system” of our world and natural selection’s ultimate meaninglessness. My good friend Dave Swanson offers a thoughtful summary of the band in his review on Rednow.

Set the sails I feel the winds a’stirring
Toward the bright horizon set the way
Cast your reckless dreams upon our Mayflower
Haven from the world and her decay

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Fighting for a system built to fail
Spooning water from their broken vessels
As far as I can see there is no land

Oh my God, the water’s all around us
Oh my God, it’s all around

Who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Lords of war just profit from decay
And trade the children’s promise for the jingle
The way we trade our hard earned time for pay

Oh my God, the water’s cold and shapeless
Oh my God, it’s all around
Oh my God, life is cold and formless
Oh my God, it’s all around


Grace is…

“Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.”
― Robert Farrar Capon


Prayer by CS Lewis

“Master, they say that when I seem
To be in speech with you,
Since you make no replies, it’s all a dream
– One talker aping two.

They are half right, but not as they
Imagine; rather, I
Seek in myself the things I meant to say,
And lo! the wells are dry.

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The Listener’s role, and through
My dead lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew.

And thus you neither need reply
Nor can; thus, while we seem
Two talking, thou art One forever, and I
No dreamer, but thy dream.
– C.S. Lewis, 1964


made me smile

Here’s another short indy film that made me smile. It’s an award winner about Ben – a nice but shy sign-holder who loves his job but is working his his last day before his career moves to a new level. Great message about friends and encouragement.


Christmas Love and Logic

“The idea that God, if there is a force of logic and love in the universe, would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty…a child…I thought: Wow! Just the poetry … Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. God incarnate. There it was. I was sitting there… tears streaming down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of God picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this.” [Bono: in conversation, NY: Riverhead Bks, 2005].


How many lives can you live?

Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay tells how when she was little she wanted to be a princess ballerina astronaut but soon learned she would never be all three.  We have only one life to live — however through the power of story Sarah asserts we can experience many different lives.  I heard someone recently ask, “Where are the poets today?”  Well, here is one and I think she is quite good.


Quite a view

We recently stood on top of Mount Nebo and looked out over the plains of Moab, Dead Sea, Jordan river and the land of Israel.  It was the same view Moses had when he “climbed Mount Nebo from the plains Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land —Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” [Deut 34:1-4]

Mt Nebo 2011 Ray, Margie, Victoria and Sophia

re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
June 2018
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire