Monday, August 27, 2007

CNN's "God's Warriors".....

Though I know I'm a little late in discussing this topic, I have just a few thoughts on the three-night documentary.


1) What was covered on all three fronts was covered very well. I especially was impressed with night one, "Jewish Warriors", for the scope and breadth of the analysis of facets of present-day Judaism, complemented by comments and views from those quite orthodox.

2) Amanpour. No one is perfect or completely unbiased, but she's about as close as they come, and having her do this made perfect sense. No one else in news comes close when it comes to credentials. Not even Anderson Cooper (insert tongue in cheek here).

3) Greg Boyd. God bless Greg Boyd!!! The point of the feature with him I absolutely cannot agree with more! STOP the marriage between evangelical Christianity and conservative American politics! I think I said this in a post a LONG time back, but if we had taken all the money spent on political causes, et al from Christians and spent it instead on feeding the poor, caring for the sick, and loving people no matter Red State or Blue State, we'd see alot more people lovin' Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit change hearts!! We focus on Jesus. Deal? Deal!


1) The first two nights, "Jewish", and "Muslim" Warriors. I learned much and appreciated the opportunity to do so, rather than seeing another night of Larry King bumbling through an interview on the latest with Paris Hilton/Lindsey Lohan/insert name of irrelevant person here.

2) Overall span of interview subjects; wide ranging that I could see, at least on the first two nights.

3) Rehan Seyam. Not deterred by the majority of Americans who would look at her in traditional Muslim wear (with headscarf) thinking she was a homicide bomber, she lives her faith, all the way. Her frank comments about never wanting anyone to see her body in a revealing way other than her husband was, frankly, a welcome breath of fresh air to hear a Muslim woman in America make that statement. Granted, I know, I know, if she were in an Arab nation, her story would not exist, for she wouldn't be able to be outspoken in the first place.


1) Night three: "Christian" Warriors. While doing a good job in discussing present day evangelical Christianity in America, it actually overdid it. How many "Religious Right White Guy" stories did we really need? Other than John Hagee's "Christian Zionist" drive, the others (Falwell, Johnson, et al) were repetitive.

2) Ron Luce and Teen Mania--much, too much emphasis on Luce looking like a Taliban leader raising the next generation of homicidal warriors....and catching them in San Fran was a nice backdrop to it all. One of the few cheap shots in the entire series.


Did anyone else notice what few commercials were in the first night's two hours regarding the Jews, and very little additional commercial time on night two? Then, the night of the Christian Warriors...EVERY time you turn around...commercials! But first, five promos on Soledad O'Brien, Spike Lee, and the fourth airing of a Diana retrospective.

Guess which night they thought they'd get the most viewers?

VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING: Instead of talking to multiple white guy leaders of the Religious Right, why not investigating the post-modern church movement beginning a groundswell in Europe, Christian persecution around the world, and what's it like to be a Christian in a country like China? Having the whole two hours on Christianity in America actually distorted the real worldview and current world experience of the Christian Church.

On the whole, 4 out of 5 stars. It was a huge undertaking, and I applaud CNN for that. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I have some catching up to do......

....I have much to say regarding several things; but have been either in bed, at work, and/or in limbo the past several days.

--The CNN Documentary Series, "God's Warriors" gives me the chance to offer lots of comments on not only the TV event, but the state of religion.

--Been studying online recently on our good friends in the crazy camp of Christianity, Prosperity Theology, with special guest stars, holy laughter, and getting caught using earpieces.

--The upcoming football season, of course!

--Current events (Utah, Greece, Floods, Drought, some TV news changes, Supertramp in a commercial, the Orioles' pitching staff, the LLWS walk-off HR, and more...) commentary on Michael Vick.

I'll be around; promise. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watch this report, and remember those who sacrificed...

....I saw this on the CBS Evening News tonight.

I urge you to watch this and then go get more information. I'm going to.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Storm, The Sequel, Its Powerful Cousin, and the long-lasting crazy uncle filled with lightning and thunder.......

I was so engrossed in work and other stuff yesterday that I totally forgot there might be a chance of thunderstorms in the evening..... did hit 100 degrees, so the cauldron had been stirred apparently. When I turned on the TV at work to listen to the evening news, I'm greeted by radar pictures showing a fierce thunderstorm cell over Louisa County (seems like Mama's gotten little rest this summer with tons of storms rolling right over the cemetery up there....)

Oh, that's right, I thought. There's a chance for storms. A chance. Yeah, right.

As the next 30 minutes pass and I see that storm continue to rock, roll, blossom, and blow through the radar screen, I realize it's headed our way, it's a force to be reckoned family's at home and I'm not, and a good friend is a sitting duck on a football field watching youth football practice.

About four phone calls and a report of 92 mph winds 10 minutes from my friend and 25 from my house, I know the family is in and safe, and I'm happy to hear my friend and her boy are headed home!

So, this is storm one coming through; once it hit the station, HEAVY rain, TONS of lightning and thunder, and six close-calls where power was lost, but popped right back on. This is 730 or 8p.

By 9p or so, here comes another round; didn't know that was coming; but it wasn't as severe and rain was the star. I call home at 10p announcing my exit from work, only to get into a conversation with someone, and not leaving until 1030pm.....

....and as I left the building, totally and completely unbeknownst to me.....

....I walked into round three. It was about as vicious as round one. Tremendous wind, torrential rain, and a lightning show that left you breathless. From awe, and, while driving, from fear.

My prevalent thought going home was "watch the trees". And I had never had that thought driving in a storm before. Wind and ponding rain, but not the trees. So, I kept that at the forefront, as well as looking for the sudden "road ponds", and slowly, slowly headed for home, the van being rocked one way and another.

When I get to Wawa, I find them the last vestige of electricity. So, with some angst, I head down Old Staples Mill Road, which has been known to pond, and now with Target being built right beside it, who knows how the waterflow will be....or not

Had some ponds, made it through. Until just before I get to Hungary Road. A police car just on the scene.

A tree. Yes, a tree. Road blocked. I turn around in a minivan, whose transmission is quite suspect at this time, now needs to turn around on a two lane road, while NOT coming close to either ditch, not knowing their depth, or their current, well, water current.

Thanks to God, a success. So, back to Wawa, down Staples Mill more, a longer way home, and then in the house. About 1050pm. Rachel clings to me; I'm tired and still surprised.

Finally, after 1am, as I go to fall asleep, I see a new event outside my window...

....storm number four.

Strong lightning for an hour, or two, or so, isn't incredibly unusual....

We were at 5 1/2 hours when I drifted off to night-night after 1am.

So, while the crazy uncle outside told more "light stories" in the sky, my body, mind, and psyche called it a day.


I Love Jesus, so I follow Karl Rove....repeat....I Love Jesus, so I follow Karl Rove.....

I don't need to commentate on this one, fans.

Apparently, Bill Moyers decided Karl Rove replaced the Holy Spirit in the Trinity for the past several years. Funny, I don't remember thinking about Karl Rove when deciding my 2000 and 2004 Presidental voting.

I remember comparing George W. Bush to Al Gore and John Kerry.

Oh, well. I love Jesus, so I follow Karl, for more GOP Kool-Aid....

Monday, August 13, 2007

My philosophy of days I don't blog.... in agreement with John Lodge's comments on when the Moody Blues decide when to record music, and when not to.

"I think the No. 1 secret is being truthful to who you are. When we've had nothing to say, as a group, we haven't recorded. And when we have had something to say, we've recorded. To be honest, I haven't had something to say, which is partly why we haven't had a new record in years."

So when I'm not here, I'm either in bed (yeah, I wish...), working too much, or I'd only type drivel.

I don't wanna do that. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007


Happy Birthday to Blog, Happy Birthday to Blog.......

.....sorry, I know, a little carried away I am. :)

I cannot believe today begins year four in the blogosphere; it's been so much fun.

I'm not Drudge or Arianna or my lady Blonde Sagacity, but I am proud of my finite slice of the world of blogging.

Why do I do it? It's a place to talk when I have something to say, a place for releasing what my brain thinks is creative writing and discussion (all depends upon your definition of "creative", of course!), a place to share the events of this, the Witham Nation, the events in my heart, a struggle with OCD and depression, even reviews of the high school football games I get to call on the radio (my alma mater, too!)

So, to those of you who actually invest a few moments here, a big thank you! For the people I run into in the blogosphere thanks to tags and keywords, thanks to God! I enjoy meeting lots of people from all walks of life. After all, that's what My Boss did. :)

Off to year four. What's coming? One can only hope for a resurgence of NC State basketball, another Moody Blues concert, and lots of hot se.......oh. Wifey may read. She wouldn't like that comment released to the world. Wouldn't be prudent to post that at this juncture. Thanks Bush 41 for those words of wisdom!

Here's a taste of what you missed at Wolf Trap....

....from a 2004 appearance on German TV; marvel at the music, as well Norda Mullen's wonderful flute performance.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Thanks for all the responses to last night's Moody Blues concert post.

So glad to be able to connect with many who share the same appreciation of the Moodies.

NOW---go to my links list on the right (it's in alphabetical order) and CLICK ON the newest addition, the "Moody Blues Message Board"!! They were nice enough to post my review from the Wolf Trap performance!!

To Gloria and Summerfields----thanks for the props!!

The Moody Blues, Filene Center at Wolf Trap, Vienna, Va: Sunday August 5, 2007

I'm having a very, very hard time believing it will ever get better than this.

Tonight was simply phenomenal; above and beyond any and all my expectations.

Chronologically speaking: First, before and after the show.....

Leaving home this afternoon, my first thought was "test of patience". It began with a slow train passing on my way to get gas. Then, there was the bear called Interstate 95.

There's just been too much migration to places like Caroline and Spotsylvania Counties. From Ladysmith, past Fredericksburg, to Stafford, traffic was continually stop and go, with the emphasis on STOP.

The funny thing....the easiest part of I-95 North was the part CLOSEST to D.C.!! You know, where it's supposed to get really congested. :)

So, leaving early was good; for a time I thought maybe I hadn't left early enough. The trick was this:

--manage some roads I'd never driven
--get to free parking, while it lasted (according to their website)
--and make sure you're there by 730p when the indoor/covered part of the Filene Center opens.

Happy to report we made it through the roads, got there at 7pm (it took almost 3 hours to get there), found a parking spot and got in by 710. One pit stop at the men's room later, I'm standing in the light rain waiting for 730pm.

Yes, I said rain. Other parts of the DC Metro got bad storms this evening; I'm thankful that didn't occur in Vienna. You may recall my 2004 Moody Blues evening here in Richmond ended up being "Mudfest", plus a delay due to lightning. I still had the time of my life. :)

Witham plus Moody Blues equals rain of a certain extent.

GREAT SEAT!!!! Second row, front of balcony, left hand side. Great view. Made EVEN BETTER when the people seated in front of me left at intermission (What?!?! Are they nuts???), so I had a clear view for the rest of the show.

Leaving? In the van at 10:22, pulled into the driveway at 1250am. That includes dealing with leaving the parking lot and stopping for a Wendy's burger. Now I'm home and you KNEW I had to blog before bed, especially since I took Monday off from work. Deft move, Dad. Very deft. :)


The three members of the group, plus a drummer, keyboardist, one lady providing backup vocals and flute, another on vocals and keyboard. Seven in all.

Set One: (Yes, I wrote it all down!)

--Lovely To See You (of course, they're opening number!!)
--Tuesday Afternoon

...then the official "warm welcome from the Moody Blues" from John Lodge which made things officially official.

--Lean On Me Tonight
--Never Comes A Day
--Time Zone
--The Voice (the first tears appear!)
--One More Time To Live
--I Know You're Out There Somewhere
--The Story In Your Eyes (with a wonderfully extended jam to end the first part)

Set Two:

--Your Wildest Dreams (what a song...)
--Isn't Life Strange (performed very powerfully)
--The Other Side of Life (I couldn't help thinking of playing that song on cart at WUPE in Pittsfield, Massachusetts when it came out in 1986)
--December Snow (from the "December" CD of 2003---beautiful song)
--Higher and Higher (the Graeme Edge show, narrative, tamborine and dancing!)
--Are You Sitting Comfortably (harmony; I love harmony)

....then the triple crown of a Moody Blues concert:

1) I'm Just A Singer In A Rock 'n Roll Band----Oh, my gosh. What a song, what crowd participation, the band was VERY energetic and the jam, well, I wished they were still playing it.

2) Then, as only they can do, the Moody Blues are able to take us from that to the haunting yet liberating, unmistakable sound of "Nights In White Satin". Graeme did the narrative first (bit of a twist), then the song, and that is when I lost it. By the time the song ended, I was giving them another standing ovation, wiping now intertwined tears and sweat beads from my face.

I'm sorry, but the words "I love you" have never and WILL NEVER be as powerfully sung in a rock song as they are by Justin Hayward in "Nights In White Satin".

COMPLETE ERUPTION from the crowd, loving every bit of it.

3) Then, to marry the two distinct emotional "screenplays" as it were, of the previous two songs, the third is "Question". Tremendous energy with the two calm, reflective verses, each time going to the heart of what everyone is looking for, worldwide....

"I'm looking for someone to change my life; I'm looking for a miracle in my life..."

Yes, even me, a 32 year believer in my Savior, Jesus Christ, could identify emotionally with the message, thinking of those things past, those yet to come (or maybe aren't supposed to come to pass); and feeling a flood of emotion in a sea of pure musical energy. The song begs for a "jam" version at the end, which we willingly receive. At this point I think they could have started singing from the latest New England Journal of Medicine and as long as the flute played, the guitars rocked and the harmony soared, we all would have been happy to stand in that pavilion for hours on end.

Now, I'd cheated on my blog (thanks to Witham News Headlines), and knew the encore was coming and so when they left, I was ready for that "one more song"....

"Ride My See-Saw"----great ending song! Plenty of rock, energy, pure happiness and, hey, here's a concept, GIVING TO OTHERS!!

"...ride my see-saw; take this place on this trip just for me. Ride, take a free ride; take my place, have my seat; it's for free."

By this point, my concerns about "...if I stay standing can the people behind me see?" were replaced by "...what if I never get to see them again? Screw it, I'm standin'!"

Great ending; great show; incredible performance, AND, my favorite was ALL about the music.

Yes, John likes yukking it up with the guitar and basking in some applause; Justin is pretty level-headed, and Graeme is talented, hilarious, and energetic (and throws drumsticks across the top level of the stage to his fellow drummer rather well....)

Norda Mullen is, in my mind, a very key element to the success of the concert performance, between her incredible flute playing, her vocals and her contagious energy. And Julie Ragins, at the keyboard with great vocals and high energy and knows how to swing with the beat!

Julie and Norda make the live performance go from great to even better. Thank you, ladies! I have to laugh; once during the show I wondered if they were born around the time of "Long Distance Voyager" (1981). God, I'm old. :):)

The bottom, bottom line, is nothing onstage ever attempted to "upstage" the music. The music is the story, the focal point, the "sun" of which everything else orbited.

What a night.
What a night.
What a show.

Unless they come back around here one more time and do it again for us, I think I just hit rock music's mountaintop tonight. At least, the top of my mountain.

It's almost 3:30am and I'm still jazzed; trying to go to sleep should be a hoot.

A wish as I lay down---come back to more time!!

I yield the balance of my time to this young lady who was at Wolf Trap tonight, too....

The biggest difference between her and I is I took Monday off from work. :)

Click here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The day is here!!

Leaving later this afternoon for the Filene Center at Wolf Trap.

I have an appointment with the Moody Blues.

It will be "Lovely To See You" again, my friends.....

(Complete details come Monday) :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007