Category: Songs

20 songs for 2020

I’ve posted a little request/challenge of some of my friends that’s turned out to be a really lovely and inspiring exercise in listening. Here are the few directives I’ve given: Make a playlist on any service(s) you choose, any 20 songs that have played a part in your year, any theme you like (funny, motivating, ironic, favorites, whatever), share your playlist link and maybe add #20songs42020. That’s it!

Have a playlist to share? Let me know. Here’s mine…

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Fire of Pentecost – a playlist for summer 2020

In July and early August of 2020 I had the new experience of preaching for five Sundays in a row for the first time in my life. Fire of Pentecost is a playlist of songs that accompanied me in this journey preaching the texts from the Gospel of Matthew. The voice and music of Mavis Staples is prominent in this playlist. Her voice is one of the ways I’m getting through this summer; she is a prophet for this time; her words a balm… more healing than soothing, both heat and light. If you are unfamiliar with her story check out this video.

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Patience Is Not Inaction

As I’ve been wrestling with this text a thought occurred to me. What if Jesus’ explanation is sarcastic in tone? What if when the disciples come to him demanding an explanation Jesus is just so frustrated that his own students aren’t getting it that he throws up his hands in disgust and gives them the answer they want to hear in which they are the wheat and those other people are the weeds, and the best thing to do is nothing until God comes to burn out the ones rightly judged as worthless by the gods the in-crowd have fashioned in the shape of our own judgements. …Is the idea that Jesus explanation isn’t what it seems starting to get under your skin? I hope so, because it seems to me that this is Jesus’ point: he wants to get under our skin. The Spirit in her wisdom is a knife and Jesus is the storytelling surgeon who knows we need something more than easy answers if we are ever going to grow beyond our self imposed malignancies of us and them. 

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I’m with Jesus… and also with you

…this word that we translate as “yoke” in our English bibles is also utilized to reference the balancing bar of a scale. The Spirit of Christ is speaking to both her hearers then and to us as her readers now that a balanced yoke is part of this promised rest. Jesus’ yoke is easy because it is balanced. In Christ, balance in the here and now and the here-after are being addressed…

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I’m with Jesus

The lyrics and music for this little tune were written in 2012. A good portion of the recording took place in 2016, but it didn’t finally get completed until July of 2020 when I set up my recording studio at Glory of God Lutheran Church. So why did it take so long? hmmm… well… #seminary. In one way this song is a bit of a time capsule that’s capturing the feelings of a very different time for me. It’s an aspirational song. Click on the photo below of me standing next to Jesus-Supergirl to give it a listening. From 2012 through 2016 this tune was performed at many Tangled Blue gigs including a lot of Christian youth gatherings. At the end of this post are a few photos from those performances…

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Ascension Day 2020

Songs from OK Go, Uncle Tupelo, Jonathan Rundman, Nickel Creek, Willie Nelson, Ranky Tanky, Angelique Kidjo, Johnny Cash / Randy Travis, Peter Mayer / Troubadours of Divine Bliss, Grateful Dead, and the Vigilantes of Love…

Songs for the Ascension of Jesus on May 21st (the day Harold Camping predicted Christ’s return in 2011) and catchy tunes for your pandemic journey. Now someone please tell me why Spotify doesn’t have Johnny Cash’s version of Unclouded Day!

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Advent 4A – December 22, 2019 Playlist

Songs of commitment and love in the midst of loss to accompany Advent 4A from Brandi Carlile, David Gray, John Lennon, Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, Sara Bareilles, Benjamin Gibbard, Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, Michael Gungor, Lost Dogs, Ben Harper, Over the Rhine, and Tangled Blue

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Advent 3A – December 15, 2019 Playlist and Sermon

Songs for a moment of doubt, change, and finding a new path. Songs from Fiction Family, Bruce Cockburn, Over the Rhine, The Heavy, U2, Ingrid Michaelson, Dan Wilson, Brandi Carlile, Heatherlyn, Jonathan Rundman, David Wilcox, Pink Floyd, and Tangled Blue

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