Friday, September 18, 2009

Birthday Photos

8 x 2

The twins are eight today. Hard to believe! I love you both so much, Emily & Zachary. I'm so grateful to God for giving you to me, and I pray for you to know the fullness of God's love and power in your lives. May this year be one of great joy and growth for you as you follow Jesus.

Happy 2nd Birthday to Cousin Ellie, too!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Lifetime of Live Music

I was saddened to hear the news of Mary Travers's death today. She was a legend. Imagine the 60s without her clarion call of a voice... "How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?"... "It's a hammer of justice, it's a bell of freedom, it's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land"... "I'm leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go."

I am grateful that Luanne and I got to see Peter, Paul & Mary at the Hollywood Bowl several years ago. It was a rare chance to see legendary artists live, and I loved every minute of it.

I was thinking today about concerts I've been privileged to experience. My parents were awesome and took me to concerts a lot when I was a kid... I lived in northern Indiana, and tons of CCM artists came through there, performing in churches and, occasionally, the Morris Civic Auditorium or the Notre Dame Joyce Center. I'm trying to carry on the same tradition with my kids. Josh and Jake and I went to the Christian Music night at Great America in CA a few years back and saw Jars of Clay, tobyMac, Building 429, Falling Up and some others that I can't remember. And next month it's U2 and Black Eyes Peas in Oklahoma City. They are going to LOVE it.

Just for fun, I tried to remember all the artists I've seen over the years... I'm sure I've forgotten some, but this list is pretty exhaustive. I've included some notes about some favorites...

Have you seen any of these artists? What were your favorite concert experiences? Who would you like to see? Who are you planning on seeing?

2nd Chapter of Acts - I saw them on their last tour ever. What a privilege.

Amy Grant/Bob Bennett - unguarded Tour. Really? Poor Bob Bennett... Lone folkie with guitar playing in front of the curtain to a restless audience who just came to see Amy in her leopard skin jacket blaze through "Love Will Find a Way" and "Everywhere I Go." What were the label folks thinking? I love Bob, but talk about an awkward pairing. Would love to know what HE thought of that tour.

Amy Grant/Michael W. Smith

Anointed (twice)

Bash-N-the Code - Actually, I saw Found Free, which later became Bash. I was blown away. I think I was 13. I was with the youth group, not my parents. I fell in love with Rebecca Sparks as she sang that band's masterpiece, "Diamond." (Isn't that song ripe for a great cover?)

Bill Gaither Trio

Billy Sprague

Buddy & Julie Miller – Calvin College... What a great school. But it was a little weird. I saw it with an online friend from a listserv. I didn't know him well. We had fast food and sat together. It was a little like a blind date. Very weird.

Buddy & Julie Miller/Steve Forbert – Saw them in San Francisco on my birthday with Buck Ellis and Jon Simpson. Amazing show. Emmylou Harris popped in for a song or two.

Buddy Miller/Emmylou Harris/Shawn Colvin/Patty Griffin - The "Three Girls and Their Buddy" Tour at the Greek Theater in LA. I blogged about it here.

Charlie Peacock/Derek Webb/Sandra McCracken/Brandon Heath/Sara Groves - The "Art*Music*Justice" Tour. I blogged about it here.

Clay Crosse

dc Talk

Dianne Reeves - At a Hollywood Bowl event celebrating the 80th birthday of Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy was there too. He walked out, looking all frail, but he didn't talk or play.

Dove Awards 1995 - Lots of people there. It was fun. We just decided to drive to Nashville. It was pretty easy to buy tix and get in! Actually walked by Dino, the "Christian Liberace," on our way in... and then got to rub shoulders (literally) with Out of the Grey, Phil Keaggy, Kim Hill, Susan Ashton, etc.

Emmylou Harris/Richie Furay - Humphrey's By the Bay, San Diego, 1997ish... She had Spyboy with her and was doing a lot of "Wrecking Ball" material. It was magnificent. Julie Miller was along with Buddy and got up on stage to do a few songs. I ran into Julie at the merch table during Richie Furay's set and talked for a while. It was a nearly perfect evening. Emmy at the top of her game.

Farrell & Farrell/Geoff Moore

First Call

Gaither Vocal Band

Imperials/Michele Pillar - First "big" concert ever. LOVED IT. I think I was 12.

Indigo Girls/Girlyman - The Indigo Girls are some of my very favorites. Luanne and I saw them (no band - just the two of them) at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, CA, with Mike and Nicole Hoefer.

Jason Mraz - Caught him and his band at the Montalvo Winery in Saratoga, CA. Another show Luanne and I saw with Mike and Nicole Hoefer! We later discovered the show was recorded for this recording.

Jonatha Brooke - In Lancaster, CA. On the "10 Cent Wings" tour. So beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful. When she and Ingrid sang "Always" it took my breath away.

Julie Miller – Back at Grace College in the early 90s. Buddy on guitar.

Kathy Troccoli/Mark Lowry - Now THAT is a strange combination.

Kenny Marks - At Brethren National Youth Conference in 1988.

Kim Hill - I saw her twice. The second time, I waited backstage for her and then stopped her, asked he how to break into music, and sang at her. I did one of her songs, a duet with Wes King. I sang the Wes King part. On the part where she was supposed to sing, she just stood there and looked at me. Awkward. I was young. Like 17. I've often wondered if she remembers me.

Lost Dogs - Hosted them at Peninsula Covenant Church a few years back. The Matt Nightingale Band opened.

Lucinda Williams/Buick 6 - Warehouse Live in Houston, 2009. Blogged about it here. Went with blogger friend and Houstonian David Kennedy. Read his blog! It's great...

Lucy Kaplansky - A house concert in South Bend, Indiana. Awesome. Just her voice and her acoustic.

Mandy Patinkin - On his "Dress Casual" tour with Paul Ford on the piano. My buddy Curt Hendley and I went together. (Yes, it counts, Curt!) Oh yeah, we were very cool freshmen guys in college. I ended up kissing Mandy's feet. Well, his shoes. While they were on his feet. It's a long story.

Manhattan Transfer - In Redwood City a few years back. A gift from my choir. What fun! Legends.

Michael W. Smith/dc Talk

Mike Roe – Hosted him at Access last year. Blogged about it here.

Mike Roe – Saw him on the "It's For You" tour in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with my buddy Dave "Big D" Stoll. This was before he produced my record and we became bffs. :)

New Young Messiah - One of those "big event" kind of nights. Drove to Indianapolis for this one with Luanne in our early married years... Saw Twila Paris, Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, Michael English, First Call, Steve Green, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Carman and more... Oh yeah, Ralph Carmichael too!

Over the Rhine - I've seen my favorite band twice. Once in San Francisco, right after "Drunkard's Prayer" came out. Kim Taylor opened. And then I got to see them at North Park in Chicago the day after Obama was elected President! It was a great show, and I blogged about it here.

Patti LuPone and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra - Loved this one. She's a Broadway diva ("Evita," "Les Miserables," "Sunset Boulevard," "Anything Goes," "Sweeney Todd.") But this night was all Irving Berlin music, I think.

Peter Paul and Mary


PFR/Jars of Clay - This was before Jars got big. They were just the opening act. I don't even think "Flood" had hit the airwaves, although they were playing it live. Dan Haseltine had this crazy long hair that he would swing around.

Randy Stonehill - Had him at PCC. It was fun. I still have his cell phone # in my cell. I can't bring myself to delete it.


Renee Garcia

REZ - This was before I knew Glen Kaiser as my fellow Evangelical Covenant Church pastor... Back then, he was a rock god... They played Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. Outdoors. It was loud. The police came.

Rich Mullins - A privilege to see this gifted man before he died. I saw him once in a concert setting and once in a performance of his musical, "Canticle of the Plains" starring Mitch McVicker as St. Francis.

Ryan Adams - The "Gold" tour. Amazing show at the Great American Music Hall in SF. I won tickets from KFOG and took my good friend Jon Simpson.

Sam Phillips/Tremolo - I saw Sam first with a full band after "A Boot and a Shoe" was released. This was a thrill for me... I've been a Sam fan since before she was Sam. And Justin Dillon was/is the leader of Tremolo. He's gone on to direct the great film, "Call and Response."

Sam Phillips - I saw Sam again just last summer (2008) in a Border's bookstore near Seattle.

Sandi Patti/First Call

Scott Wesley Brown/Michele Pillar

Silverwind - Yeah, except it was the "new" Silverwind. ALL replacements. How could they even call it Silverwind?

Staci Frenes - Great singer/songwriter from the SF Bay area. We had her at PCC once, and I opened a show for her at the Koinonia Koffeehouse once.

Steven Curtis Chapman/Carolyn Arends

Suzanne Vega/Teddy Thompson - This was another big deal for me. To finally see an artist I've loved for so long was right up there with U2 and Indigo Girls. I blogged about it here. I went by myself. Afterwards, I stalked Rob Bell. But that's another story for another time.

The Choir - This was at the height of my college experimentation with so-called "alternative" music. The Choir was huge to me. I loved "Wide-Eyed Wonder" and "Circle Slide." I dressed all up with my friends in hippy-ish clothes and we went to THE CAFETERIA to see The Choir. I got busted for jumping up and down. I'm not kidding. Bruce Barlow, the Dean of Students at the time, actually put his hand on my shoulder and told me to come see him the next day. I did. He didn't want to see a Christian leader like me dancing.

The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers

tobyMac/Falling Up/Building 429/Jars of Clay

U2/Kings of Leon - Incredible show. The "Elevation" tour in San Jose, CA. Eric Barnikel took me. It rocked. Maybe the best concert I've ever been to. Certainly the biggest spectacle.

Victoria Williams/Chris Stills - Park West, Chicago, 1998. Chris Stills (son of Stephen) opened. Here's an article about the show from No Depression.

Victoria Williams/Mark Olson - Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, 2000 - This was my moment of glory. I shouted out "My Ally" as a request. She had me come up and sing Dave Pirner's part! And to top it all off, someone recorded it, and I have it on CD - and it's actually floating around out there on the web on bootlegging sites. What a cool memory.

White Cross/DeGarmo & Key

White Heart - I saw them once with Found Free back in youth group days. Then Luanne and I saw them on one of our first dates at Grace. 1991?

And then there are the Broadway shows I've seen on tour or in major cities... Showboat, Stomp!, Wicked, Into the Woods, Rent, Cats, Starlight Express, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera... But that's another post in and of itself. Until next time...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

With Hope

This has been a tragic week for the Redeemer family. One of our families lost their 8-year-old son, Zach, in a car accident on Monday. It's been a week of tears and questions, anger and frustration. Deep grief and sorrow. I was at the funeral home tonight, looking at the precious photos and baby books... and then there's the coffin at the other end of the room. I was choking back tears - I can't imagine what Shaun and Christina are experiencing right now.

The memorial service is tomorrow at Redeemer. I pray that somehow the family will experience the powerful presence of Jesus with them in their grief and questions. That they will know and experience His tremendous love and compassion for them. I love what's on the back of tomorrow's bulletin:

Thank you for joining us to celebrate the life of Zachary. Although this is a tragic day, we sincerely believe that our God is faithful and loving, and that He can bring goodness and hope out of even the bleakest circumstances. It is our earnest prayer that Zachary’s passing will not have been in vain, that your being here will have brought you one step closer to the love of God that is expressed in Jesus Christ. Jesus truly is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6), and it is only through Him that our lives have any meaning at all.

Steven Curtis Chapman's song "With Hope" will be sung tomorrow. Listen to the song and check out these powerful words. (You can buy the CD here and download the track from iTunes here.)

With Hope
Steven Curtis Chapman
from the album "Speechless"

1 Thess. 4:13-14 / Heb. 6:9, 10:23

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

A memorial blog has been created for Zach. Check it out here and please join me in praying for this precious family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy 60th, Dad

My dad turned 60 today, 09/09/09. He and my mom are on a great Canadian/New England adventure to celebrate. This morning we called him in Bar Harbor, Maine. Tonight they're on Prince Edward Island.

2009 is a big year for my folks. First, on July 5, they celebrated 40 years of marriage. Now Dad is 60, and on October 16, my mom will turn 60 as well.

Mom sent some photos from the road. This is my favorite. I love you two!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day from OK!

Can't hardly believe I'm writing from my own house! This is a dream Luanne and I have had for a long time, but living in California, it just didn't seem like a real possibility.

It's funny... I have only been here for 16 days, but I feel so grounded already. I love the area. (It's funny, because I was 100% against coming to Oklahoma just 18 months ago!) I feel very content. And I wonder how much that has to do with buying a house.

God is always good. But today I am especially thankful. Happy Labor Day from the Nightingales' new home in Jenks, Oklahoma!

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