Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Words - Birch Creek

Last week, Sara Rosalie Wahl died at age 88. She was the was the first woman in state history named to the Minnesota Supreme Court. She was a pioneer, a mother, a social justice activist, a jurist, a professor, and a poet. Here is a poem she wrote about her childhood home in Kansas.

Here I have lived.
Here let me die.
By yonder Birch Creek let me lie.
Birch leaves drifting on the sands
Where I built castles with my hands
In youth and listened to the call,
Meadowlarks on grass tall.
Black-oaked horizons, skies above,
Bound for me this land I love.
Birch Creek, within your heart I lie.
As long as you live, so shall I.

"Birch Creek" by Rosalie Wahl.

From Minnesota Historical Society:
Rosalie Wahl was born as Sara Rosalie Erwin on August 27, 1924 in Gordon, Kansas, the third daughter of four children born to Claude William and Gertrude (Patterson) Erwin. Growing up in the Depression era, Wahl experienced tremendous personal hardship. Her mother died when Wahl was three years old and she, with her sisters and brother, moved to live with her maternal grandparents on a farm near Birch Creek, Kansas. Four years later, Wahl's grandfather and brother were killed by a train after she opened a gate that led from the farm to the creek across a set of railroad tracks. She spent the remainder of her childhood on that same farm in Birch Creek and was raised by her grandmother with help from her mother's sister, Sara Patterson.

In 1942 Wahl entered the University of Kansas intending to pursue a journalism degree. The following summer she returned to Birch Creek to teach. Her fiancé, an air force serviceman, died the next winter in a training accident. Wahl describes herself at this time as torn between choosing a life of poetry and mysticism or following a path of social and political activism.1 Determined to pursue a field where she could help people, Wahl went back to the University where she edited the campus newspaper and became involved with the campus YWCA where she helped form a women's interracial residential cooperative. During this time Wahl became a Quaker. In 1946 she graduated with a degree in sociology and though she had planned to go to California to work with migrants she instead married Roswell Wahl, a family friend and mechanical engineer.

Wahl's first child was born in 1947 and, in 1949, the family moved to Circle Pines, Minnesota to participate in a newly-formed cooperative community. Three more children were born while the family lived in Circle Pines and then, in 1955, the family moved to a former dairy farm in Lake Elmo where Rosalie Wahl has lived since.

In 1962 at the age of 38 and "tired of sitting outside doors waiting for the men inside to make the decisions,"2 Wahl entered the William Mitchell School of Law. Her fifth and last child was born in 1964. In 1967 she graduated with her law degree and passed the state bar examination. Immediately thereafter she began working for the state as an assistant public defender. In 1972, the same year she and her husband divorced, Wahl taught criminal law at the University of Minnesota. The following year she accepted a professorship at William Mitchell where she directed the clinical legal education program. This was both an experimental and controversial program as students, under supervision and in cooperation with the state's public defender office, were representing indigent defendants in criminal court proceedings.

In 1977 Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Wahl to the Supreme Court to replace Harry H. MacLaughlin. Wahl's appointment was significant as she was the first woman jurist to sit on the state's highest court. While on the Supreme Court, Wahl served as its liaison to the Court's Study Commission on the Mentally Disabled and also chaired its task forces on gender fairness and racial bias. These committees gathered information through public hearings, questionnaires, and court statistical data that was used to evaluate the judicial system and its proceedings. The findings and recommendations made by these committees were used to implement changes within the judicial system through training sessions, procedural rulings, and legislation.

Wahl sustained her earlier interest in clinical training and professional development throughout her judicial career by participating in the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association. She chaired that section in 1987-1988 and proposed the formation of a study group headed by Robert MacCrate to examine the continuum between legal education and practice. Wahl's own role in this study group was to chair a subcommittee that drafted a statement on fundamental lawyering skills and professional values.

Elected to the court in 1978 and successively reelected in 1984 and 1990, Wahl retired at the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 1994. When she retired, women held four of the seven Supreme Court seats.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Tome - No Zeal for Zealot

The Jesus Blog, a blog from Anthony Le Donne and Chris Keith dedicated to historical Jesus research, has published an interesting guest post from Larry Berhendt. He blogs at Jewish-Christian Intersections and has been reading Reza Aslan's new book, Zealot. He's not too enthused about what he's read so far.

I just got a copy of the book last week and it's on the bottom of my stack of books to read. I'll admit that Berhendt's comments don't make me want to hurry to move it up to the the top. He writes:
I am predisposed to like Reza Aslan’s latest book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Aslan is a talented author, he’s not Christian and he’s writing about Jesus. What’s not to like? Another point in his favor: Aslan strives to understand Jesus in the context of Jewish first century Palestine.

But I ran into problems from the outset of Aslan’s book...
- - - 
This is not a promising start to a book about Jesus written by a “scholar of religions”.

Am I nitpicking? Maybe. But I feel like I can’t read more than a few pages of Aslan’s book without encountering something that makes me ask, “really?”
Read the Entire Post Here

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Music - Numbering My Days

Teach me to number my days
That I might present a heart of wisdom.
Teach me to number my days,
Everlasting Father, I pray–
Teach me to number my days.

A thousand years in your sight
Are like a day just gone by,
But I'm like grass at the break of day–
When the evening comes I will fade away–
I'll fly away.

So teach me to number my days
That I might present a heart of wisdom.
Teach me to number my days,
Everlasting Father, I pray–
Teach me to number my days.
Teach me to number my days.

'Teach Me To Number My Days" (Psalm 90)
from Songs for the Real World,
© Copyright 1992 by Dave Burkum.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Supplication - Clean Hearts

O Lord, we ask you to give us clean hearts. We ask you to protect and guide us as we strive to be a growing and devoted part of your Church in the world. May your goodness and grace shape us and direct us. Help us to honor you and to follow faithfully in the way of Christ Jesus.

You know our weaknesses, O God, and you understand our limitations.  Our sins and failures are no secret or surprise to you. And yet, Dear Father, you are faithful to forgive, you are ready to renew, you are able to lift us up, and you call us to press forward in Christ. In the same way, help us to forgive and to bless others. Make us gracious and merciful to others.

Thank you, O God, for Jesus, your Son who came to live among us, full of grace and truth. Help us to see him for all he is. Help us to grow in our relationships with him. Help us to follow him wherever he leads.

Through Christ, we pray. Amen.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Family - Östen Lowe

Happy Birthday to my grandson, Östen Lowe, who just turned 8 this week. What a sweet guy! Papa and Néné sure do love you, Osty!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Thinking - About Humility

Richard Beck shares some helpful thoughts about humility on his Experimental Theology blog. He cautions against misunderstanding humility as a diminishing of the self and, instead, suggests that the Christian concept of humility is more about care and honor for the other.

He explores the meaning and translation of the Greek word hyperechontas in a number of New Testament passages, and concludes with his own rendering of Philippians 2:3 – "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility lift others up above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

I encourage you to take the time to visit Beck's blog and read his short and very readable post, "In Humility Hold Others above Yourself." He begins with this:
When it comes to humility I think a lot of Christians tend to work with the wrong idea.

The idea that many seem to have is that humility involves thinking less about yourself, to have a negative or even morbid self-concept. Justification for this sort of thing comes from texts like Philippians 2.3:

Philippians 2.3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Humility, it seems, is considering others as "better" than yourself. And if others are better than you it stands to reason that you are "worse." Humility, in this view, is having that sort of morbid self-concept: Others are "better" than me.

But is that what Philippians 2.3 is saying?
Read the Entire Post

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Words - Tall Ships in Duluth

This weekend, July 25-29, tall ships will be taking over the Twin Ports. This year's festival is expected to be one of largest events in Duluth's history. Sure wish I could be there.
Complete Event Info Here
I must down to the seas again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song
and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face,
and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again,
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way
where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick's over.
"Sea-Fever" by John Masefield (1878-1967). 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Tomes - Recent Arrivals

by Reza Aslan

From Publisher's Description:
From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.

Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.

Imitating God in Christ: Recapturing a Biblical Pattern
by Jason B. Hood

From the Publisher's Description:
Should we imitate Jesus? Some Christians answer with a cheerful "Yes," seeing it as the sum of the Christian life. Others believe we should rely on the work of Christ alone, throwing off any hint of the moralism or "works righteousness" they associate with imitating Jesus.

Jason Hood takes us on a tour of what the Bible has to say about imitating Jesus. He draws our attention to what Paul told the Corinthians he taught "everywhere in every church." And after following the theme throughout the New Testament, he looks at it from a historical and contemporary perspective. The result is the recovery of a biblical pattern for life—one that challenges the assumptions of those who excessively fear moralism as much as it challenges the assumptions of those who embrace it. Here is a reliable theological foundation for imitating Jesus today, a crucial first step toward the renewal of biblical discipleship.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Music - The World at the Top of the Stairs

Here's a song I wrote a long time ago about Page and Jack and the bedroom they shared in our old house in NE Mpls.  When I wrote it, I imagined how they might look back on those days when they were older. Well, that future is here.

You take the top bunk, I'll take the one below —
So many years ago.
You be Luigi, let me be Mario —
Filling the floor with our Legos.

Goldfish, chameleons, and radio cars,
Bean-bag chairs;
Crickets sing under a ceiling of stars
In our world at the top of the stairs.

Turn on the Twins game; Let's play Monopoly —
Hours of you and me.
Paper and pencils, brotherly artistry —
Filling our walls and my memory.

Goldfish, chameleons, and radio cars,
Bean-bag chairs;
Crickets sing under a ceiling of stars
In our world at the top of the stairs.

The world where you chased Davy Crockett around
And I first saw a Hobbit's face—
And though it's been years, if I close my eyes,
I can climb the steps to that magical place of
Goldfish, chameleons, and radio cars,
Bean-bag chairs;
Crickets sing under a ceiling of stars
In our world at the top of the stairs.

“World at the Top of the Stairs” from If I Close my Eyes.
Words and Music by Dave Burkum, © Copyright 1994.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Supplication - Grace and Guidance

O God, we trust you and we ask for your protection. We are weak, and we need your strength. We struggle with sin, and we need you to make us holy. In your mercy, guide us and rule over us. Help us not lose sight of what is eternal and true.

In our weakness and selfishness, we often fail each other, fail ourselves, and fail you. We recognize our need for forgiveness and we give thanks for the hope and power we have in Christ.  Raise us and transform us by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Forgive us our sins, and make us ready and able and quick to forgive others, even as you forgive us.

We are sinners, O Lord. Have mercy us. You see our hidden faults and know our secret sins. Thank you for loving us where we are and for giving us the grace and guidance to rise above our weaknesses.

Help us to love you with heart, soul, mind, and strength. Grant us integrity that our lives might demonstrate our love and devotion to you.

Through Christ, we pray. Amen.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Family - Rosemount Music Festival

The Cactus Blossoms are playing at the Bluegrass Americana Festival in Rosemount, MN this Saturday night, July 20, 7:00pm. This is a FREE outdoor concert in Rosemount's Central Park.
Get more info here. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday Thinking - The Brain and the Mind

Last month, David Brooks wrote a piece titled "Beyond the Brain." If you missed it, it's worth reading. Neuroscience tells us a lot and amazing new discoveries are being made at an astounding rate, but Brooks warns about the temptation of thinking science can tell us everything.
It’s a pattern as old as time. Somebody makes an important scientific breakthrough, which explains a piece of the world. But then people get caught up in the excitement of this breakthrough and try to use it to explain everything.

This is what’s happening right now with neuroscience. The field is obviously incredibly important and exciting. From personal experience, I can tell you that you get captivated by it and sometimes go off to extremes, as if understanding the brain is the solution to understanding all thought and behavior.

Click Here to Keep Reading
David Brooks became a New York Times Op-Ed columnist in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and he is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Words - Summer Wind

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors: the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven–
Their bases on the mountains–their white tops
Shining in the far ether–fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer’s eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life! Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes;
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
The deep distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod gayly to each other; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

"Summer Wind" by William Cullen Bryant.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Tome - First Words

I am enjoying a collection of poems, First Words (2010), by Joyce Sutphen. She is currently the Minnesota Poet Laureate and I have posted about her poems before. With titles such as "Zuchinni Bread," "Polka Revival," and "Breakfast," this collection comes across as a very personal, midwestern, down-to-earth memoir in verse. Great stuff!

From Red Dragonfly Press:
Joyce Sutphen grew up on a working dairy farm, and her poems recover this lost world, with all its beauty and order. This collection traces a shift in the rural landscape from horses to tractors, from haystacks to hay bales---and watches as time ages and changes the people who make up the story. First Words is both elegy and celebration--ultimately its center is family, then and now. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Music - The River

I thought of this song last week when I was on Lake Pepin during vacation. I wrote it one night many years ago while driving along the Mississippi River on my way to and from Winona.

Rolling river-
Your arms around a loved one who lies sleeping.
Living water-
The sound of baby's laughter, and a promise you've been keeping.
Currents moving through your being;
Flooding you with reasons to be.

It's flowing down from the hand of my Father.
And its streams abound in all that's beautiful and true.
And it's time you found the pure and crystalline headwaters
Of the river that runs in you;
The river that runs in you.

Rolling river-
A selfless act of kindness toward your neighbor.
Living water-
The joy of loyal friendship, and the fruit of honest labor.
A silver ribbon in the moonlight;
A golden strand that shimmers through your days.

It's flowing down from the hand of my Father.
And its streams abound in all that's beautiful and true.
And it's time you found the pure and crystalline headwaters
Of the river that runs in you;
The river that runs in you.

Rolling river-
The tears you shed when someone else is aching.
Living water-
The time you take to listen, and a sacrifice you're making.
Through the depths of your fulfillment,
Dancing down the rapids of your dreams.

It's flowing down from the hand of my Father.
And its streams abound in all that's beautiful and true.
And it's time you found the pure and crystalline headwaters
Of the river that runs in you;
The river that runs in you.

"The River," words and music by Dave Burkum, from, So Far to Go.
© Copyright 1994 by Dave Burkum (

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Supplication - You Are the Source

O God, we believe you are the source of all truth and wisdom. We believe that you know our needs before we ask, and you know the needs we have but are unable to know. We look to you for compassion and provision and direction.

We confess our sins and weaknesses, Lord. We repent of the ways we have disobeyed and turned from you. Forgive us and help us to turn away from wrong.  Transform us and give us the faith to press toward life, healing, restoration, holiness, and good deeds.  You are so gracious to us, and we ask you to make us able and quick to be gracious toward others.

O God, give us hearts to look beyond our own needs and to see the needs of others. Dear Jesus, bless and multiply our meager resources so that we can bless and help others. When we feel too empty or weak to share, fill our hearts and hands with good things to give.

Through Christ, we pray. Amen.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Smile - Staycation

Today wraps up our staycation for July 2013. Cheri and I have had a wonderful couple of weeks. We've done a ton of projects around the house and the change of pace has done us good. Gardening, painting, powerwashing, sanding, staining, yardwork, and household repairs have kept me very occupied. We've had lot's of outdoor time and the weather has been fantastic!

We've also been able to do some fun things like: the Cactus Blossoms live recording concert; the Basilica Block Party followed by dinner at Buca; time in the fishing boat on Lake Johanna; fourth of July cook-out with family; dinner at Punch Pizza on Grand Avenue; a lovely day of boating with friends on Lake Pepin; a delicious dinner at Colossal Cafe followed by a walk in the the St. Anthony Park neighborhood; lunch with friends in Orono near Lake Minnetonka; worship with House of Mercy church in St. Paul; a beautiful evening in Stillwater with dinner at the Dock Cafe and an ice cream cone on the river walk; some condo exploration in the Crocus Hill neighborhood; Como Zoo with the grandkids followed by a picnic in Como Park.

We're grateful for the wonderful break. We really needed it. Today we're trying to change gears and getting ready for re-entry to our regular pastoral ministry and childcare routines. Thanks to all who made our staycation possible.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Family - Upcoming Summer Shows

The boys sure are keeping busy this summer!
Here are some upcoming shows in our area.

The Cactus Blossoms will be playing tonight at the  Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis. They'll go on at 6:00pm at the VITA.MN Stage.

Tyler's band, Leagues, will be playing at the Bastille Day Block Party on Sunday, July 14, at Barbette's in Uptown. I'm not sure what time they go on, but I assume it's in the evening.

The Cactus Blossoms will also be playing at the Bluegrass Americana Festival in Rosemount, MN on Saturday night, July 20, 7:00pm. This is a free outdoor concert in Rosemount's Central Park. Get more info here.

A couple days ago, Colleen Sheehy posted an INFORUM article about an upcoming July 18 concert in Fargo, ND featuring the Cactus Blossoms and the Avett Brothers. They will be performing for a street dance and picnic in front of the Plains Art Museum.

She writes:
I have unabashed enthusiasm for The Cactus Blossoms. When I first walked into the Turf Club in St. Paul, where they were in residence every Monday night, I immediately felt transported to a 1940s honky tonk in Texas. 

They cover classic country western such as Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Patsy Kline and more. And they also do their own original songs.

With a pedal steel and upright bass players, fiddler, and the brothers’ vintage guitars, they have a richly textured country sound. They are not nostalgic about this music. They don’t play to hark back to “the good old days.”

But they are revivalists, demonstrating that good country music can draw on sonic landscapes of the past that speak to us today. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday Words - Empty Chairs

You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed  
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one  
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs  
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.

"The Chairs That No One Sits In," by Billy Collins, from Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems, © 2011.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tuesday Tome - A Glass Half Full

A Glass Half Full
Felix Dennis

I first heard of Felix Dennis through a TED Talk where he read selections of his poetry. Dennis is an enigmatic character to say the least. His poetry is thoroughly 21st century in it's content, but is written with the meter and rhyme you would expect from a nineteenth century poet.

The poems range from profane to profound--from provocative to proverbial. I enjoyed more poems in the collection than not. The book comes with an audio CD of Dennis reading his poems.

All men know themselves a fraud,
Society or hoi polloi;
Strip the polish off a lord,
You will find a frightened boy.
from "The Mask" (p. 45)

And wise the man who will not lend,
But in the dead of night will send
A gift. And thus, will save a friend.
from "Neither a Lender..." (p. 153)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Monday Music - If We Confess

If we confess our sins
He is faithful and just
And will forgive us our sins
And purify us from all unrighteousness.

O Lord, I have sinned-
Touch my life, make me whole again.
I want to walk in the light,
Renew my spirit, make it right again,
Deliverer, Redeemer, and Friend.

"If We Confess," based on 1 John 1:9, Words and Music by Dave Burkum, from Songs for the Real World, © Copyright 1992 by Dave Burkum.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sunday Supplication - Your Ways and Ours

O Lord, we trust you to hear and answer the prayers of your people as we call upon you. Please help us to know and understand what things we ought to do. And give us the grace and power we need to actually do them.

Your mercy and forgiveness toward us is so great. O God, make each of us merciful and forgiving to those who have sinned against us.  By your Holy Spirit, help us to turn away from sin. 

Give us patience with each other, and give us honesty about our own weaknesses and needs. Renew us and strengthen us to walk in your ways.

O God, we want your ways to be our ways. We want our hearts and minds to be controlled and shaped by you and the truth. Guide us, give us wisdom, and transform us that we might delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your name.

Through Christ, we pray. Amen.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Friday Family - The Cactus Blossoms

For over a year and a half The Cactus Blossoms have called the Turf Club’s well-worn stage home for their weekly Monday residency. To commemorate the end of their warm stay they are inviting everyone to join them for a very special LIVE RECORDING SHOW on Friday, July 5th.

Brothers Jack Torrey (vocals/guitar) and Page Burkum (vocals/guitar) will be backed by some of Minneapolis’ finest with Randy Broughten (steel guitar), Josh Granowski (bass), Jed Germond (fiddle), and Patrick Harison (accordion) on the live album to be released on CD and vinyl later this summer.

Doors 8:00 PM | $10.00 | 21+
Come be apart of the crowd for what will be a legendary live album!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Thursday Thinking - Gettysburg

Tuesday of this week marked the 150th anniversary of the second day of Battle at Gettysburg. David Brooks wrote an opinion column on Monday's New York Times describing the psychological perspective of the soldiers who fought, as described in Allen Guelzo's new book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion. Brooks goes on to contrast the politics and sacrifice of that day with the special interest politics and cynicism of today.

I'm not sure Brooks is right. Does he make a valid point, or is he just romanticizing a naive nationalism of a bygone era? What do you think? Click Here to read Brooks' piece, "Why They Fought."

Excerpts from Brooks' column:
In our current era, as the saying goes, we take that which is lower to be more real. We generally believe that soldiers under the gritty harshness of war are not thinking about high ideals like gallantry. They are just trying to get through the day or protect their buddies. Since World War I, as Hemingway famously put it, abstract words like “honor” and “glory” and “courage” often seem obscene and pretentious. Studies of letters sent home by soldiers in World War II suggest that grand ideas were remote from their daily concerns.

But Civil War soldiers were different. In his 1997 book “For Cause and Comrades,” James M. McPherson looked at the private letters Civil War soldiers sent to their loved ones. As McPherson noted, they ring with “patriotism, ideology, concepts of duty, honor, manhood and community.”

- - -

These letter writers, and many of the men at Gettysburg, were not just different than most of us today because their language was more high flown and earnest. There was probably also a greater covenantal consciousness, a belief that they were born in a state of indebtedness to an ongoing project, and they would inevitably be called upon to pay these debts, to come square with the country, even at the cost of their lives. Makes today’s special interest politics look kind of pathetic.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Wednesday Words - The Vacation


Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.

“The Vacation” by Wendell Berry. Copyright ©2012 by Wendell Berry.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tuesday Tome - A New Book for Kids

I just heard about this book, The Day the Crayon's Quit, on the most recent Books and Culture Podcast - "Three Children's Books."  I've already ordered a copy. I'm sure my oldest grandson will have a great time reading it to his younger brothers. And I'll have a great time watching that happen!

Here's the book description from Amazon:
Crayons have feelings, too, in this funny back-to-school story illustrated by the creator of Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me

Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.
What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?
Kids will be imagining their own humorous conversations with crayons and coloring a blue streak after sharing laughs with Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers. This story is perfect as a back-to-school gift, for all budding artists, for fans of humorous books such as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith, and for fans of Oliver Jeffers' Stuck, The Incredibly Book Eating Boy, Lost and Found, and This Moose Belongs to Me.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Monday Music - Vacation

Cheri and I are taking a couple weeks of vacation, so I may be missing some days and republishing some older posts. So here's to some rest and relaxation! And here's a great tune to get the vacation rolling...