Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let the river run

Carly Simon recently released a new album, Never Been Gone, in which she covers and reinterprets some of her greatest songs. Within the collection is, "Let the River Run." The compelling melody delivers a lyric charged with imagery.
Let the river run
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation
Come, the new Jerusalem.

Some might enjoy the song without understanding the allusion. In fact, Ms. Simon seems to appropriate the allusion to convey her own Utopian vision. Nevertheless, the song alludes to Scripture, and the literary minded will want to understand the origins. For the faithful, the words "Let the river run" and "Come, the new Jerusalem" elicit hope more intensely than Carly Simon might imagine. The allusion derives from the Book of Revelation.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Revelation 21:1-7 (NIV)
The river to which the song alludes is found after the chapter break,
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Revelation 22:1-5 (NIV)
After listening to "Let the River Run," again last night I was reminded how lyricists in the '60's would often allude to Scripture even when their message was not particularly Christian. The imagery from the Bible was part of the common vocabulary. My perception is that the culture is now different. Scripture no longer provides the foundation for literature that it once did.

When I listen to "Let the River Run" I do not feel nostalgic for the time when Scripture laid a foundation for literature. Scripture stands alone. I do long for the day when the river will flow from the throne of God. I long for the New Jerusalem where "the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain."

Let the river run . . . Come, the new Jerusalem.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Waiting for mud to dry

This week has been a vacation from my job, but it has not been a reprieve from work. There was a "soft spot" on the tile in our master bathroom for a couple months. A couple weeks ago that soft spot became a hole and the hole became a project. Like all fun projects, the scope increased geometrically.

The logic goes something like this.
  1. You cannot salvage all the tiles, no matter how careful you try to be.
    1. You can find coordinating tile, or . . .
    2. You can re-tile the entire shower.
  2. You cannot successfully remove tile from sheetrock.
    1. You can "surgically" cut away the bad, or . . .
    2. You can re-rock every wall holding tile with new mildew and moisture resistant sheet rock.
  3. All walls have some tile. If you intend to re-rock all walls then . . .
    1. This provides a one-time opportunity to replace the bathroom linoleum floor with ceramic tile.
    2. It also provides an opportunity to tear out the acoustic tile panels on the ceiling that the former homeowner used to cover up a disintegrating "cottage cheese" ceiling.
  4. If you have the sheet rock off the walls then this provides an opportunity to . . .
    1. Raise the shower head 12 inches (this requires an additional 10 square feet of tile).
    2. Insulate a wall behind the tub that was stripped of insulation during a room addition by the previous owner (no wonder that wall felt so drafty).
    3. And to add a larger electrical box and an extra outlook next to the vanity.
  5. Since new sheet rock must be painted, this provides an opportunity to choose a coordinating color scheme for the rest of the master bedroom.
  6. Items out of scope:
    1. Bedroom carpet
    2. Doors and trim
    3. Lighting fixtures
    4. Tub and related fixtures
    5. Toilet (although the toilet has to be removed to accommodate tiling and painting)
    6. Sink and vanity . . . for the time being.
With family coming into town today and others coming next week for Thanksgiving, I feel a little time pressure waiting for mud to dry on the sheetrock. As I wait for mud to dry, I am thankful for a vacation and the opportunity to work with my hands. I am thankful for having previous experience on various projects many years ago. I am thankful that Claire and Gabby have been willing helpers. I am thankful that Lisa (always a frugal shopper) has run many errands and has displayed incredible patience with me.

I am thankful for our home. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for the many blessings that have brought me where I am today.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mt Pleasant Sunday

This morning we drove up to Mt Pleasant in time for church. I recorded Dad with my MXL USB.008. Somehow it acts differently on Windows 7 than it did with XP. It shouldn't on the same laptop, but somehow I couldn't keep it from clipping even with the gain switched to -20db. That I forgot my shock mount probably didn't help, but the audio is clean enough (Lisa is still coughing from her recent bout with cold or flu).

After church we went to "the farm" for a dinner of smoked turkey, hash brown casserole, home baked bread with butter and Gabby's crabapple jelly.

Pat, Jo, Lee, and Barbie joined us for an afternoon of food and fellowship. Nine people crowded around Dad's table for pre-Thanksgiving feast.

I didn't record dinner, but here is Dad's sermon . . .

Joy and Justice