Take it to the limit

Had a crazy (good, but crazy) day at work. I found myself suddenly very understaffed. In addition I was also sick, and the price of the product we produce has gone over a cliff and down a very deep hole. I came home and spent the evening finishing up unfinished office work while sneezing like a banshee.

Then I heard that Glenn Frey has passed away. We’ve certainly lost a couple of classic rockers here in the past few days.

This song (footage below from a 1977 concert) was co-written by Frey, Don Henley (on the drums) and Randy Meisner (vocals and bass). Glenn is the guy on the keyboard with the excellent Fu-Manchu. The guys were all so young. And so, so good.

Take it to the limit may have been the first Eagles song I was aware of as a kid, and it’s always been my favorite. Such a sense of longing and searching in this one.

Rest in peace Glenn Frey.

And may God’s love be with you

I was never a huge David Bowie fan, but I liked some of his songs and can appreciate his artistry. I was saddened to hear this week that he had died of cancer at the age of sixty nine.

I’ve read some about Bowie this week and it’s clear that the man had a spiritual sense and hunger that led him to search out God in a variety of different religions and experiences. I don’t know enough about his personal faith, if any, at the time of his passing or the faith of his wife Iman, but I am always hopeful. I think this past year suffering through cancer and his impending death may have made a difference. I hope he is in Christ and with Christ now. Lord have mercy.

The last words Iman tweeted before his death: “The struggle is real, but so is God.”

Some favorite moments

Bowie saying the Lord’s Prayer at the Freddie Mercury memorial at Wembley stadium, 1992

Kristen Wiig singing A Space Oddity in the Sweet Life of Walter Mitty (this was my favorite scene from that excellent movie

I’m pretty sure I actually saw this one when it first aired when I was a kid. It was one of the most incongruous moments I’d ever seen, but it worked beautifully.

Bowie and Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth

A Presidential Proclamation

Because I can never resist quoting the great one, here is his Thanksgiving proclamation from 1863:

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

[H/T The Corner]

“Men must endure their going hence”

C.S. Lewis' GraveToday is the 47th anniversary of the death of the great C.S. Lewis.

How blessed we are to have had such a gifted man in our midst. His writings have been a great help to me, beyond what I can express. I was at his house earlier this year, and that was an experience I will always treasure.

I look forward to meeting the old Oxford Don someday (but he’ll be young again!) in the Kingdom of the One who delighted his imagination and illuminated his wisdom.

Happy anniversary, dear professor Lewis.

A difficult goodbye

A difficult goodbye

Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum was ordered to Iraq in July. His four-year-old daughter Paige had a hard time letting go, so much that she held onto his hand in formation. No one, including the commanding officer, had the heart to pull her away. The picture of the incident, taken by Paige’s mother, has gone viral and touched people all over the country.

(From Neatorama)

Go Down Death

A poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) that I saw in a literature book at Bethany’s open house tonight:

Go Down Death

(A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Heart-broken husband–weep no more;

Grief-stricken son–weep no more;

Left-lonesome daughter –weep no more;

She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,

God was looking down from his great, high heaven,

Looking down on all his children,

And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,

Tossing on her bed of pain.

And God’s big heart was touched with pity,

With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,

And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:

Call me Death!

And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice

That broke like a clap of thunder:

Call Death!–Call Death!

And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven

Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,

Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,

And he leaped on his fastest horse,

Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.

Up the golden street Death galloped,

And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,

But they didn’t make no sound.

Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,

And waited for God’s command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,

Go down to Savannah, Georgia,

Down in Yamacraw,

And find Sister Caroline.

She’s borne the burden and heat of the day,

She’s labored long in my vineyard,

And she’s tired–

She’s weary–

Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn’t say a word,

But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,

And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,

And out and down he rode,

Through heaven’s pearly gates,

Past suns and moons and stars;

on Death rode,

Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;

Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,

She turned her eyes and looked away,

She saw what we couldn’t see;

She saw Old Death. She saw Old Death

Coming like a falling star.

But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;

He looked to her like a welcome friend.

And she whispered to us: I’m going home,

And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,

And she lay in his icy arms,

But she didn’t feel no chill.

And death began to ride again–

Up beyond the evening star,

Into the glittering light of glory,

On to the Great White Throne.

And there he laid Sister Caroline

On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,

And he smoothed the furrows from her face,

And the angels sang a little song,

And Jesus rocked her in his arms,

And kept a-saying: Take your rest,

Take your rest.

Weep not–weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.


Pascal’s Memorial

Found in the lining of Pascal’s coat after his death.

The year of grace 1654,

Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement, pope and martyr, and others in the martyrology.

Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, martyr, and others.

From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight,


GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob

not of the philosophers and of the learned.

Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.

GOD of Jesus Christ.

My God and your God.

Your GOD will be my God.

Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.

He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.

Grandeur of the human soul.

Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.

Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.

I have departed from him:

They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.

My God, will you leave me?

Let me not be separated from him forever.

This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ.

I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.

Let me never be separated from him.

He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:

Renunciation, total and sweet.

Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.

Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on the earth.

May I not forget your words. Amen.

[H/T The Anchoress]