posted earlier today by Bethany House on Twitter.
This is our Facebook cover image, sized to fit FB (851px X 315px; click to show full size or request via email). It’s not perfect, as the source images were varying in size, but you’re free to use it for whatever.
I haven’t been posting much here as my mother passed away on Thanksgiving Monday and then we had her funeral the following Monday. I’ll try to increase the frequency as we head toward Christmas.
This is the first one-third of a longer article by Chris Marchand that appeared today at his blog Post Consumer Reports and sent to me by a friend. I encourage you to consider what Chris is saying here, and also click through to read the whole piece.
This past weekend I had a most amazing concert-going experience in Champaign, Illinois.
I was there seeing two little known aging rock artists. I say little known because the crowd was mostly in their 40’s or above, with a few sprinklings of people in their 20’s and 30’s, as well as a few kids. I also say little known because only around 200-300 people were there, and though the venue was mostly full the two artists who performed have both had sustainable music careers for over 40 years. So…you’d think more than 200-300 people would be there…
And I should also say both of these artists are rock legends who continue to put out music showing they are still at the top of their craft. Well, what was the problem? Why weren’t there more people there? The answer is easy: they both are “Christian” artists who put out “Christian” music within the realm of the Christian music industry. The concert I went to featured a doubling billing of Glenn Kaiser playing solo blues and Phil Keaggy playing a rare show with a full band. Most anyone who knows anything about these artists would easily call them “rock legends”, most especially Keaggy but I think Kaiser deserves to be up there too. It was the best concert experience I have had in years and it made me a little bit sad.
“Christian”music, you see, has a legacy problem and it manifests itself in two main ways:
1.) there is basically no infrastructure for artists to go on tour.
2.) there is basically no infrastructure for artists’ music to stay in print or reach a new audience.
Let’s break it down a little further. I am deeply concerned about the future legacy of what was once known as “Christian Music” or CCM because: The Christian music industry does not know how to take care of their artists in the latter half of their careers, nor do they have a system in place to ensure their music lives on into future generations. The other side of this coin is there really is not much of a demand for our legacy artists. There were not as many fans to begin with (due to the “ghetto” nature of CCM), and fans of CCM artists do not tend to remain as ardently faithful as fans of “secular” music. Basically, it is up to diehard fans to keep their memory alive in the public consciousness. So, while Kaiser and Keaggy’s “Christian” label and the Christian oriented music they make is not a problem for me, in many ways I do not think it has done their careers any favors towards getting them mass appeal.
Please do not hear me wrong: I know they are both artists living for the glory of God and are not seeking the praises of men or to bring glory to themselves. I am not concerned that their music makes them insanely rich either. Instead, my only goal is to get their music heard by as many people as possible and to get them remembered. Why? Because it is world class music. Because it is just that good and could bring joy to people for years to come. Like I said, both these artists are at the top of their field. They make music within the confines and structures of certain genres (rock/blues/gospel/folk and sometimes jazz), but they are both as skilled as anybody out there. Think of the most renowned rock and blues guitarists of the last 50 years. If you know anything about Keaggy and Kaiser’s music, tell me why they should not be included among the great artists of our era. And if you do not know their music but you know something about the above genres, go acquaint yourself with their music and come up with an opinion on where they stand in the echelon of world class musicians. …
I really don’t know how this book came into our home. I was looking for something else and suddenly there it was, published by Zondervan in the year MCMXLVI.*
The book is part of Christian Education resource genre referred to as “Object Lessons,” and these may have been more prevalent in early days than they are presently. (Though a quick search at CBD for the phrase netted 85 results.)
The book naturally fell open to the following page:
At the list of necessary chemicals at the bottom I realized that this book would never be published today.
First of all, local church insurers would probably be all over quashing the idea of someone showing up for church with turpentine, ammonia and kerosene. I know that when I show up for church with those things, the greeter at the door always takes me aside.
Second, Zondervan’s lawyers would have the same concerns and not want to be in a position of liability encouraging people to do this little trick. A page later, we’re warned, “Care should be taken not to spill any of the ingredients or the completed solution.” I guess so. I would be uncomfortable with the idea of doing this with adults, let alone teens or children. Things are simply too litigious these days than to risk presenting this in a church basement.
*70 years ago in 1946
We’re looking for a buyer for 200 Marriage, Parenting, Women’s and Men’s units most of which are from 2008 to 2014. These are already ticketed between 25% and 45% (with most landing in the middle) and you get 64% off the lowest marked price. There are no more than two copies per title with the vast majority being single copies. Shipping is extra, or we can use your Purolator account. This is a carefully curated collection which touches on vital issues facing families. Some titles are still in publishers current catalogues. More than 90% are paperback. No hurts, though some with non-bleached paper show age; all titles are new; approx. half show remainder marking. Canadian retailers only. Also available, 120 units at 56% off lowest marked retail. Remember the pricing is based on the lowest marked retail, not the MSRP. Contact Paul at Searchlight in Cobourg, Ontario.
U.S. retail chain Books-a-Million interviewed Francine Rivers about Earth Psalms: Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature, a 224-page hardcover devotional now available from Tyndale at $16.99 US. Here’s a sample:
- Explain the title. How did you come up with the idea of Earth Psalms?
A psalm is a song, and the earth and everything on it, in it, above it, and beyond it is God’s creation. Everything God created sings praise to Him, and I believe also teaches us many lessons about our Creator as well. It’s exciting to look at things we might have taken for granted and see what they teach us about the Lord. We are never to worship any created thing or even creation itself. We are to worship the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Word that created it all.
- What will readers find inside the pages of Earth Psalms?
Readers will find an earth psalm (essay) about something God has created and a lesson God has taught me through it. There are questions for readers to ponder or use for journaling: Reflect, Apply, Connect with God. There are also some additional facts, Scripture, and hymns, as well as beautiful pictures. The earth psalm essay was my part. The enriching questions and details are Karin’s, and the beautiful artwork was put together by Jennifer Ghionzoli at Tyndale.
- What was it like working with a collaborator for the first time?
Working with Karin Stock Buursma was a pleasure. We talked about any editing that needed to be done, the questions and elements of the devotional. I hope to work with her again.
There are 14 more questions and answers. Click here to read at their blog, which is called Chapters.
Carolyn Arends posted this on Twitter. That counts as Canadian content, doesn’t it?