Archive for July, 2008

No, this is not some obscene post advertising blow-jobs. I’m talking about the evidently most lucrative business in the world, of blowing things like houses, towns and people to bits. “Want more business? Do War-Business!”

Disappointed? Thought so.

I don’t know who originally came up with the slogan, “Make love, not war!” (probably some hippie in the 60s), but the Devil’s slogan must definitely be the exact opposite: “Make war, not love!” – It’s so much more lucrative!

Strangely enough, some of his staunchest disciples are professing to be Christians.

You wouldn’t believe how many of the big, well-known corporations tie into the war-business. I wouldn’t have believed it, if I hadn’t read this article, & apparently there’s more bad news where that came from.

The more I find out about politics, and especially about the politics of one nation boasting to be the most powerful on earth (for how much longer?) in particular, the more I find confirmation therein of things I have believed to be true for decades. Not because I was smart enough to come up with them by myself, but because I was told, or rather, I read them, in small, A5 pamphlets called “MO-Letters,” written by the deceased founder of the movement I subscribe to since I found Jesus there at the age of 13.

Everything he ever said about the country he was from seemed an exaggeration back then. It doesn’t anymore now. Everything he said about the church system he had come out of in disgust is something that slowly other Christians around the world are waking up to.

One such Christian in particular, my wife recently had the pleasure to meet, since God saw to it to send him into our remote corners of the utmost boonies and backwoods of Southern Germany.

I’m currently reading his book “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore,“ which could be described as a gentler drug rehabilitation therapy for church junkies than anything I have so far slapped in the world’s face, since it’s administered by someone who’s an ex-junkie himself.

Since I personally had any possibly existing illusions about where church is at devastated by the age of ten, Wayne Jacobsen is certainly the man to bring it home in a gentler way, encouraging believers around the world who are seeking refuge outside of the “box” of the church system, that God loves them anyway, and more than they can ever fathom.

I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but so far, at chapter six, it has driven home the point that what God does matters infinitely more than whatever efforts we can come up with ourselves better than any other book I know of that you can download for free on the Internet.

In fact, even what God does in allowing our illusions about the world we live in to be shattered, He is doing more for us than we could ever begin to see right now, while we’re still in the middle of it.

It seems as if God is waking up people around the world. He’s using a gentler method with some than with others, but let’s just hope and pray that it won’t be too late for most of us to pull the plug on our passive participation, or at least on our silent approval of “blow-business!”

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There was a time I used to play anything that sounded nice, just to impress myself and tickle people’s ears.

I think my final break with any ideas and aspirations of possible future stardom set in after I saw one of my favorite bands I used to cover a lot, Del Amitri from Scotland, live in a little town in Switzerland called Herisau. It turned out that a substantial part of the audience had shown up for the opening act, some Swiss TV sopa opera star who now tried to become a pop star, too. As soon as Justin Currie (front man of Del Amitir and one of my heroes at that time) got on stage with his band and their antequated gear (the Swiss opening act had all the latest hi-tech gimmicks), some of the teenies in the first row actually turned around, away from the stage. They gave the band their backs. They couldn’t handle any real music.

I was thankful that a little while later a halfway sufficient amount of decent music started coming out from the Christian Alternative and Independent scene to quench my appetite for new music, like Shane Barnard, Jeremy Camp, Caedmon’s Call, etc., and I sold my entire CD collection on eBay.

I’ve reached a point where I don’t see why I should be wasting my time listening to music that may sound very appealing to my personal taste but renders virtually zero nourishing value for my soul. I’ve come to appreciate my time as something too valuable for that. And the amazing thing is, there seems to be a certain percentage of the general public getting on the same wavelength.

While the vast majority may still be mainly interested in the art of busting brain cells in record time, a surprising amount want more out of live-music these days than mere entertainment. They’re finding out that there is such a thing as quality music that feeds your soul, and they’re thankful when there’s an occasional musician or act around and available who can deliver that.

A certain brand of people are simply becoming tired of listening to nice music that has got virtually nothing to say, or advocates witchcraft or utters permanent laments about not-so-hot relationships. People are becoming aware that there’s something fishy about this world and its current System, after all, like Jesus said, and they don’t want to be caught with their pants down when the curtain hits the ground. And I believe that that’s one reason why we’re still in the business while other live artists in our region have disappeared and vanished.

With fuel prices that make you wonder whether you should take the bike to the mall, instead of the car, not everybody’s in the mood for hiring a live act for their event, and if they do, they simply prefer to offer their guests something decent, instead of the usual humdrum.

Anyway, that’s the news from the circuit, as I can see it. If you’re dreaming about becoming a rock-star, I’m afraid you’ve picked the wrong time to be born, because I personally would be very surprised if things will keep going the way they are, substantially longer. And if you do decide to try and make a living off playing music, earnestly pursue to give people more than just hollow entertainment. In tough times, a little ray of hope and a comforting voice are much appreciated. Who knows, eventually the rest of those who don’t have a clue what’s going on might even wake up, too, and come and listen to you as well.

The world doesn’t need another star, or – as I wrote in a recent song, “another pair of feet of clay,” but they might slowly be getting ready for a new “furious voice for the truth“…

Oh, and if you have any choice between merely tickling people’s ears with nice music and popular songs, and actually giving them something to feed their soul, then I’d highly recommend avoid that tempting path of the least resistance. It may be a tougher road to really deliver something you have to say, especially when it comes to the truth about society at large, but as folks are finding out (and even I did), what really defines who you are and brings out the best in you is a little bit of struggle and some swimming against the current. Show the world who you really are, and don’t just settle for being another ear tickler. Take it from someone who found out the hard way.

For actual news about our concerts, recordings and other things we’re up to, check our gig schedule or our News page.

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Most people – and I’m talking about those who call themselves Christians – don’t seem to agree with Paul of Tarsus, the great evangelist without whom Christianity may never have seen the light of day, when he wrote, “I know that in me – that is, in my flesh – dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).

Most people nowadays seem to think that whatever comes out of their flesh automatically has to be good.

Be it because they’re Christians, Americans, or just their wonderful selves.

They automatically figure that whatever is “theirs,” their country, their religion, their family, age group, etc., has to be best for the simply reason that it’s “theirs.”

Totally oblivious to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth had quite a different attitude. When He was surrounded by a large crowd of people and His mother and brothers couldn’t get through to see Him, He didn’t say, “Excuse Me, folks, but I’ve got to go and say ‘Hi’ to My family.” He asked, “Who is My family? Who are My brothers and My mother?” (Matthew 12:48).

If people would care to read up on the recorded Words and opinions of the Man they claim to “follow,” they’d find out that He didn’t have a lot of positive things to say about His own nation’s leaders – religious or political – either.

In contrast to that, most Christians nowadays would blindly follow “their” President into WWIII and to the annihilation of every living thing, just because he happens to be the leader of the country they happen to have been born in, even if he were the Devil himself, as long as he keeps claiming, “Yeah, I’m a Christian.”

Only faintly, like an echo from a different world, rings Jesus’ admonition in most believers’ ears, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” All the “fruit” and evidence necessary to convince most folks these days is that their candidate holds a passport of their same nationality and that they have the right flag waving behind them. “Everyone else is guilty,” as far as they’re concerned and is thus deprived of even the most basic human rights.

I’m not writing this because I want to be nitpicking or a pain in anyone’s butt. But I believe the time will come when those that are sowing the wind right now will reap a whildwind of proportions that will make Katrina look cute by comparison, and I’m sure there will be a lot of folks then who’ll have the nerve to ask, “But why? What did we do to deserve this?”

Well, for one thing, you didn’t care very much about the truth.

That’s why you swallowed innumerable lies from your leaders & still said, “Yeah, that’s okay, after all, he’s ours.”

Even when those leaders sent your sons off to unjust wars to violate every commandment God ever gave you.

Just going to church was supposed to make up for it all. But I’m sorry, I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. In fact, the only thing I find on that subject is that God doesn’t live in any type of temple, church or building, at all, not even if it’s “your” church (Acts 7:48,49)!

When it all comes down to it and you’ll have to stand before Him, what will count won’t be whether you were a Southern Baptist from Ohio or a Catholic from Naples, but only how you treated the “least of His brothers” (Matthew 25:40). Let’s all hope that we had what it took to discern who it is that He considers “His brothers” and that we then had the heart to be nice to the least and the lowest of them… Even if they weren’t a member of “our” club.

Some folks might argue, But it’s natural to stick to one’s own kind.” Sure, animals do it, too. But perhaps in this case Jesus gave us a sample of how to do things in a super-natural way, one different from the “norm“ or “natural.” (Didn’t Paul also say, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God”? – 1Cor.2:14)

Jesus was a Jew in His mid-thirties when He gave us a living example of extraordinary acceptance of non-Jews and other age-groups than His own. He healed and ministered to Romans and Samaritans, both generally rejected by Jews of His day, and He reprimanded His disciples for refusing children to come to Him, and He showed equal favour to the elderly. If we claim to be His disciples, why don’t we start walking in His footsteps for once?

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