Thursday, March 30, 2017

Disease and Faith

If you take a look at the timeline of blog posts as it's reported here at Preaching to the Choir, you will notice that there is nothing there for the year 2016.  That doesn't mean that I didn't write anything that whole year; it's just that I was writing for a different audience.  As I'm doing my housekeeping here and getting everything back up to date, a failure to link to Disease and Faith would be completely remiss.

Disease and Faith is autobiographical in part, relating my battles with Crohn's Disease and Parkinson's Disease.  But the point of sharing my stories there was simply to establish my credibility to speak to the trials of others, and point them away from disease and toward faith.

You can purchase the paperback version at and elsewhere; there is also a digital version for Kindle and the like.  Or, better yet, drop me a line and I'll send you a paperback copy for free.

The Basement Tapes: Her Eyes Dance

This song is also one of my own favorites.  Though I did not know it at the time, it was written for my bride-to-be, Susan, who requested that it be played as she walked down the wedding aisle to me.  The first time my mom heard this song, she cried.  I don't know that you can ask much more than that out of a bit of music.

Her Eyes Dance

Click above to view on YouTube, or click below if you're not ready to leave this page.

The Basement Tapes: Prisoner of War

This song is both one of my greatest triumphs and one of my greatest embarrassments.  I never could have written it today; instead of commanding the devil to be bound, I am much more prone to think along with the Apostle Paul, "We do not know what we ought to pray for" (Romans 8:26b NIV).  Still, as a piece of music, it is one of my all-time favorites (from my own catalog, of course), and out of the few songs that have survived the ravages of the years, it is probably my very favorite one.

I am sorry to say that I don't remember the name of the recording engineer for this piece; he also played the guitar, which added a whole new element of depth to the music.  I worked hard on the drum machine for this one, and played the bass and the keyboards as well.  Backup singers were Ivan and Tina Wheeler, Mark and Jayme Wilson, and Christie Tompkins.  Thanks also to Dave Roff, who rescued and digitized my old cassette tape.

Listen on YouTube here: Prisoner of War, or else click on the arrow below if you don't want to leave this page.

The Basement Tapes: See Them Like You Do

Two years have somehow passed by, seemingly in an instant, since I unveiled "When He Comes for You."  I recently decided to finish up this music video, which I had started and then abandoned sometime back.  It's not that I didn't want to finish it, it's just that I thought that no one would actually care whether I did it or not.

Enter Jean Strothman, who had listened to the first two songs I had posted to YouTube, and liked them well enough that she asked me to do more.  That was the only impetus that I needed, and I finished this one up in a couple of days.  Thank you, Jean.

Click here to view on YouTube: See Them Like You Do, or tap on the arrow below to watch it here.

I believe the guitarist on this song was the incomparable Todd Stratton, though my memory is hazy on the subject.  Dave Roff also contributed to the production of the song, and the rest was on me.

I remember sitting on a dike next to a river in Elkland, Pennsylvania, basking in the sunshine as I worked out the lyrics of the song.  I confess, to my shame, that I was actually more interested in the subject of the second verse than I was in the pursuit of holiness.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bible Cards!

Anyone who knows me well is aware of my absolute obsession with baseball cards, especially  those featuring the New York Mets.  In order to redeem my collection (at least in my own imagination), I decided to make a special site for what I have called "Bible Cards," though they are actually more properly called "Sunday School Lesson Cards," I'd think.  But "Bible Cards" sounds more like "baseball cards," and that carried the day for me.

In or around 1889 the first of these collectible lesson cards began appearing, and various publishers continued to produce them for more than fifty years.  I gathered a few of them from each decade, and created a website to display them.  I don't necessarily agree with the theology presented on the backs of the cards, but I decided to put my biases on the shelf in this case, and just let the cards speak for themselves.  Every card in my collection is displayed, front and back, on the Bible Cards website.

Please visit the site and take a look around.  Even though it seems to be an awful lot of pictures of guys in sandals and robes, you may find something there to stir your faith.  At the very least, it's a glimpse into the world of our grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors further back in history.

Click here to visit the Bible Cards online site.