By Jason Micheli
I’ve been listening to Jack White’s new album, Lazaretto, incessantly over the last two weeks.
Running, reading, driving.
In case you’re one of those cretans who only listen to pop music or, worse, are still listening to the same 11 Steve Miller Band songs you did in high school, Jack White is the auteur garage rocker behind the White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather.
In the early aughts Jack White took a plastic guitar and a 2-man garage band and made blues relevant again. As White truthfully said in Rolling Stone last month (and got crap for it), without him there would be no audience for popular bands like the Black Keys.
As the world gets more pop, an article recently described him, ‘the more rock Jack White strives to be.’ White’s music consistently goes against the grain of what we’re told people want in today’s culture, but as with any good gift- or should we say grace- White’s music points out wants we didn’t know we had prior to the gift.
To read the rest of this blog, click HERE.
I’m not a super disciplined person.
But recently I’ve taken up a new spiritual discipline, and I’m quite excited about it. At night, when the rest of the family is in bed, I have been regularly and routinely seeking time alone to contemplate and commune with the Divine. You know, like one of the Desert Fathers or a medieval monk cloistered in the prayer closet.
Except my prayer closet is that weird Ikea reclining chair in the living room.
And my spiritual practice is watching The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Read the rest of this great piece from Zach Hoag.
I was delighted to hear about a hula mass to honor the feast day of Queen Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch in Hawaii. Writer Dianne Smith tells a very interesting story about Hawaii’s last reigning monarch.
“Queen Lili`uokalani had great respect for the legacy of her great-grandaunt Queen Kapiolani, one of the first converts to the novel faith in the Lord Jesus Christ espoused by the haole ministers. Up till that time, the islanders lived in abject fear of a ferocious goddess of their imaginations named Pele, who supposedly lived inside Mt. Kilauea on the Big Island.
“When the volcano erupted with lava, the superstitious Hawaiians believed Pele was angry and needed to be appeased. Around 1820, Queen Kapi’olani put her faith in Christ and then did something very bold and courageous for her time. To show the people that Pele was not a god at all, she went to the “forbidden place” on Hawaii, now Volcano National Park, and lived to tell about it.
“At the rim of the caldera, she ate Pele’s sacred ‘ohelo berries and threw stones into the molten lava, in essence “spitting in Pele’s face.” Amazingly, nothing happened to Kapi’olani. She survived the encounter, proving Mt. Kilauea was merely a geologic wonder instead of a demoness. Pele was a fake, and the door opened for her descendants and the common people to trust Christianity.”
To read the rest of the story, click HERE.
Tremendous interview from NPR’s David Greene with Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist — the husband and wife duo behind Over the Rhine. This conversation took place last year shortly after the band released Meet Me at the Edge of the World. This is one of my favorite questions and responses.
GREENE: Do you kind of draw a line anywhere to not get too religious because you don’t want to alienate some people? How do you deal with that?
BERGQUIST: Well, you don’t choose your audience — they choose you. And the more diverse our audience is, the better. Many different people have found our music, and I think part of that is because they are sort of landing where we are. I can summarize it best by the Rainer Maria Rilke quote that he wrote in Letters to a Young Poet where he says, “Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” And I love that quote; I embraced it in my 20s. It really does explain where I live and, I think, where a lot of our listeners live, as well.
Please listen to their music and read the rest of the interview HERE.
The Bible is often referred to as the word of God. In reality, it’s significantly longer: around 775,000 words spread across 66 different books, when all is said and done. How do you distill the word of God down into a single cover, then? If you’re Joseph Novak, you don’t: you create a minimalist cover interpreting each and every one of the Bible’s many books.
A Presbyterian pastor who moonlights as a graphic designer, Novak describes his Minimum Bible as a “visual diving board” into the text of the Old and New Testament. Composed of 66 minimalist posters, the project is Novak’s attempt to distill each book of the Bible into a single symbolic design.
For full story, click HERE.
From Wall Street Journal
CHICAGO— Gaby Driessen stopped by St. Peter’s Church here and a priest put a thick smudge of ash on her forehead—a traditional way Catholics and other Christians physically show their commitment to the faith on Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.
Then she did what many 24-year-olds would. She took a self-portrait, or selfie, with a friend and they posted it on Instagram.
“My family—we’re all apart. Every year on Ash Wednesday, we send selfies,” she said.
The Ash Wednesday selfie—a modern mixing of Christian piety with social media self-involvement—is becoming a tradition for a growing number of Catholics.
Someone is going to get a nice Christmas gift. Sotheby’s will be auctioning off three of Norman Rockwell’s most popular visions of small-town Americana. “Saying Grace,” “The Gossips” and “Walking to Church” all appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
“Of Rockwell’s 322 covers for The Post, the three images were particularly popular. ‘Saying Grace’ — a crowded restaurant with a boy and an old woman bowing their heads in prayer — was considered Rockwell’s masterpiece, topping a readers’ poll in 1955,” reported The New York Times. “’The Gossips’ was a finger-wagging montage of friends, neighbors and even the artist himself. ‘Walking to Church’ was another timeless favorite.”
“Sotheby’s estimates that ‘Saying Grace,’ on the cover of the Nov. 24, 1951, issue, could bring at least $15 million to $20 million,” reported the Times. “The painting hung in Kenneth J. Stuart’s office at The Saturday Evening Post and later in his family’s living room in Wilton, Conn. ‘Walking to Church,’ thought to bring between $3 million to $5 million, was in the bedroom of his wife, Katharine.”
To read the rest of the story, click HERE