I’m simply going to start writing this blog, something I’ve meant to do for a long time now. I’ll introduce it more later, but for now, I want to get on to the writing and not have to slow down to do the “why I decided to write and what I intend to write”.

So, some thoughts:

1. A song that mattered to me in the month or two leading up to my acceptance of Christ and my decision to become a Christian: "Jordan", by Emmylou Harris featuring Johnny Cash. Beautiful stuff, with a chorus that resonates with me:

“You’d better take Jesus with you, he’s a true companion, for I’m sure without Him, that you never will make it o’er…”

I got into Emmylou Harris after reading an article about her in the Tower Records free magazine around 8 years ago, and was hooked by the description of her recording of "May This Be Love", aka "Waterfall" which is her cover of a Jimi Hendrix song. The production on that record is by Daniel Lanois, who is by now one of my favorite producers ever (he’s done a bunch of work for U2, among others). "May This Be Love" is a gorgeous tune, wonderful in its restraint and rawness.

Anyway, I got into Emmylou via that song, which was on "Wrecking Ball", and subsequently tracked down more of her back catalog. "Jordan" is on "Roses In The Snow", which is a real bluegrass/country record – if you only know that genre from "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" (and I won’t front, that soundtrack is what got me into American roots music), you’ll probably really like "Roses In The Snow". There’s a great cover of Paul Simon’s "The Boxer" on there, too.

2. I’m going to try fasting for the first time on Monday. I was meditating on it this evening and mulling it over. I’m nervous about it for a bunch of reasons (what will I say when people ask me to lunch? will I have the willpower to resist the free bagels that our office provides on Monday morning? etc), but in the end I’m going to try it for a couple reasons. One, I think it’s a sharp, clear way of using your body to bring into clear focus the fact that all good things flow from God, and that you/me/everyone ultimately depends on God for all things. Two, I think it will truly help me to empathize more with those for whom hunger is a daily occurance, not a choice. Three, I’ve never tried it before, and there’s a certain element of needing to take risks with my faith. Four, it’s Lent, and though the church I go to (Bethesda Bible Church) doesn’t really do anything with Lent, I was raised in a Presbyterian/Episcopalian tradition that does recognize it to varying degrees, and fasting is a very Lenten thing to do.

My thoughts about this were definitely influenced by this article, in a blog I just started reading called "Correction" (thanks to the Real Live Preacher blog for the pointer to Correction).

3. This is a great interview with a producer whose name I’d seen before, but never knew anything about: moodswing9 (of anticon fame). He makes a couple of book recommendations that I’m going to track down…

OK, enough for now – off to bed, and to church in the morning.