Tag Archives: music

The View From Here

This is the view from my kitchen window, which is significant because I seem to spend a lot of time here lately.  That sentence smacks of ‘housewifey-ness’, but be assured that’s not the case.

Well, I did whip up a delicious Chicken Tikka Masala last night, but that’s another story.

On these drizzly days when Western Oregon seems mired in the bog of winter, I use my indoor hours to wash eggs in the kitchen.  And boy, are we ever getting a lot of eggs these days!  For everyone who asks, “How are your chickens doing?”; here’s your answer!  About 60% of our hens are laying now, and we collect about 15 dozen eggs a day.

Washing eggs by hand is a time-consuming process, but it also means I am able to hand-inspect each egg for quality.  (There’s all that QA training coming in handy!)  This laborious process is also painfully dull.   Because boredom and I are not such good friends, I have become adept at finding ways to occupy my mind while simultaneously washing and packing eggs.

So what do I do while packing your carton of XL Brown Eggs?

  • Watch movies on the computer via Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” feature.  I’ve seen some terrific classics and some really awful romantic comedies this way.
  • Listen to music on Pandora, in stations ranging from Beyonce to Wilco to Toby Keith, depending on my current mood.
  • Pray for this farm and for all you folks enjoying its first fruits in your own homes or at some of the classiest restaurants in Portland.
  • Catch up on my favorite TV shows (since I rarely watch the actual television) on Hulu.
  • Listen to Dr. Laura’s radio show until I can’t handle any more stupid callers.
  • Dream up grand ideas for the future of the farm and for my life.  Some of my best ideas show up during this time, but they are often contradictory. For example: I would like to buy 500 acres of prime farmland and building a farmhouse in which to raise my 84  children.  And also I think it might be fun to move to France and buy a bicycle and pedal around the countryside without a care in the world. This dream also includes lots of wine and French bakeries.  I need some guidance on my dreaming, I think.
  • Catch the latest podcasts from the Brian Loritts and the other gifted pastors at Fellowship Memphis.   It’s a good thing this church has podcasts for the at-home-listener, because I would seriously consider moving to Tennessee just to be a part of this congregation.  (See above for Random Dreams and Ideas).  Part of the draw is that my mommy lives in Memphis and is a member of Fellowship.  She’s got some church-picking talent, that woman!

So, as you can see, your eggs are packed with care.  And lots of prayers, big dreams, and quite a few dumb movies.

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Filed under Project Start a Farm

This is the Song I Sing

I was sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee in hand, and I was going to tell you about my Thanksgiving weekend and my chocolate party and my inside-and-out-beautiful girlfriends.

That’s all still relevant and I will definitely share it soon.  But God walked into my life just now in a way that made me catch my breath, and I have to tell you about it.

For the last couple years, I have been so sick of Christian music.  What it boils down to is this:  I want reality.  I want a relationship with God that is based on reality and truth, not sentimentality and formulaic phrasing.  For most of my teen years I lived and breathed K-Love and its “positive, encouraging music”, but these days I can’t even scan past that radio station without gagging.   Perhaps it’s indicative to me of American Christianity, which seems to exist in a big Christian bubble where the scientific method has joined Rock and Roll in the devil’s camp.  Where one’s relationship with God is measured by how far removed they are from the lives of wordly neighbors.  Where broken hearts are patched with arbitrary Psalms and cares should be “turned into prayers”.  Where followers of Christ are more proud of being known for what they stand against than what they stand for.   And I hate that I can’t stand Christian music because, more than anything else, I love to worship my God.  I cannot wait for the day I finally see Him face-to-face and can lift my hands and raise my voice in adoration.   But Contemporary Christian Music just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s cheesy, over-produced, ruins most genres it attempts to emulate, and rarely speaks to my personal relationship with the Lord.

The great thing about God is that He knows what I need even before I’ve actually consciously acknowledged it myself.  And this morning, I stumbled across this video which gives me so much joy because, here, finally is an uncompromising artist who is an incredible lyricist as well as musician and to top it all off:  a Christian with a real love for his Savior.

John Mark McMillan makes dang good music.  Here’s what music critic David Kern has to say, “The Medicine has an epic sound – a grand, impressive, emotional, heart-on-sleeves, rock sound. The kind with aggressive guitars and aggressive vocals. But it’s also air-tight, precise, measured rock n’ roll, with just the right amount of whiskey soaked folk; McMillan is confident in his vocals and his songs are consistent with his vision. Think Springsteen, Tweedy, or Yorn singing about the troubles and rewards of faith.”  YES!  THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!  CHRISTIAN MUSIC YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO LISTEN TO!

Go to John Mark McMillan’s website and listen to some more of this music.  You will be moved.  And maybe you’ll feel His love for you in a way you never expected.   Because today, I have.

Edited to Add: John Mark McMillan has never heard of A Daring Adventure, Provenance Farm, or Rachel Prickett. All aforementioned entities could disintegrate tomorrow and he would not even blink. Or care. Or give a rip. Or bring a pot roast to the funeral.

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Filed under Anecdotes