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They’re Playing My Song (via Bruce Pollock at Song Facts)

An interesting slice of life series of articles at the Songfacts webpage focuses on the changes to their lives that writers of famous songs have experienced.
In most cases these are not the people who sang the songs that became hits.
Some of the names are familiar, lots aren’t.
But each story demonstrates that one world-wide hit makes a difference in a song-writer’s life.

One example is Julie Gold, who wrote the song From A Distance while struggling to make ends meet in a job as a secretary.
When Bette Midler recorded it, Gold never had to work as a secretary again.

They’re Playing My Song at Songfacts.

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An Ode To Middle Age via James Parker at The Atlantic

Many Christians around the world have given thought to the truth, “Dust you are, and to dust you will return.”
Of course, our return to dust is grounded in the expectation that our dust will one day see our Redeemer through resurrected eyes.

James Parker ruminates on middle age and expresses some wonderful phrases as he does.
You know you’re not at the beginning, observation of the life spans of others suggests you’re not at the end.
But it’s a season where understanding of your capacities and the extent of your capacities are in some sort of balance.
Except when they’re not.

From Parker:

Strange new acts of grooming are suddenly necessary. Maybe you’ve survived a bout of something serious; you probably have a couple of fussy little private afflictions. You need ointment. It feels like a character flaw. Maybe it is a character flaw.

You’re not an apprentice adult anymore.

You know yourself, quite well by now. Life has introduced you to your shadow; you’ve met your dark double, and with a bit of luck the two of you have made your accommodations. You know your friends. You love your friends, and you tell them.

Limits, limits, thank God for limits. Thank God for the things you cannot do, and that you know you cannot do. Thank God for the final limit: Death, who now gazes at you levelly from the foot of your bed, and with an ironical twinkle, because you still don’t completely believe in him.

Middle age is when you can throw your back out watching Netflix.

read the whole article at The Atlantic.

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Fields Of Gold by Drew and Ellie Holcomb

So, earlier today I posted a new song for children by Ellie Holcomb.
Earlier than that today I was organising a funeral at which the deceased had asked for the song Fields Of Gold by Sting to be played.
Then I saw that Ellie Holcomb and her husband Drew have just released a cover of Fields Of Gold.
That makes this sort of preparation and sort of serendipity.

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Don’t Forget To Remember by Ellie Holcomb

Don’t Forget To Remember is the title track of Ellie Holcomb’s second EP of songs for children that adults can enjoy hearing on high rotation.
It’s named called Sing: Remembering Songs.
Really. Her voice, lyrics and melodies are so engaging, memorable, singable, and truthful.

Here’s the lyric video.

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Middle Of The Woods by Sierra Hull

Middle Of The Woods is the third pre-release track from Sierra Hull’s soon to be released 25 Trips.
Her virtuoso mandolin skills really seem to shine on this one.
Only a few days to go.

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Domestic Violence Doesn’t Make Sense, Because It Is Not Love (via Sarah Balogh at Gospel Coalition Australia)

Sarah Balogh reflects on the evil that befell Hannah Clarke and her children in Brisbane last week from a personal and professional standpoint.
When the question revolves around variations of what went wrong for someone to perpetrate such an act we find ourselves trying to make sense of of something that cannot be made sense of.
Whenever we think of such acts as love gone wrong we neglect the reality that love was never present, however the relationship looked, or whatever the perpetrator expressed about their victims.
Perhaps we recognise some warped expression of love for self, because that’s all the relationship was ever meant to serve. But even then it is a desire that is ultimately self-destructive.
It is the opposite of the love that is at the heart of the Christian Gospel, and makes all the more wretched any compulsion exercised by Christians for victims of domestic violence to continue to expose themselves to perpetrators.

An excerpt:

As a psychologist, I am familiar with stories of domestic violence. I know how victims (especially women) struggle against the manipulation of their abusers. I’ve heard them try and make themselves responsible for the abuse of others: “It was my fault … If only I hadn’t said … But he said sorry.” The stories are so familiar. And yet … always so painful.
Sometimes it stirs a fury in me and I want justice.
Sometimes after they leave the counselling room, I cry.
Often, I pray “come Lord Jesus.”

Domestic violence doesn’t make sense to us.
It doesn’t make sense when someone says they love you, but seeks to control you or your family or your friends. It doesn’t make sense when someone who promised to care for you tries to put you down or call you names—or, worse, tries to pit your children against you. It makes no sense when that someone hits you, and then says sorry … and does the same thing again next week, or next month, or next year.
We can’t make sense of it because it doesn’t and shouldn’t make any sense at all.
Domestic violence doesn’t make sense, because it is not love.

A loving husband treats his wife like a queen, not like a slave. A loving husband lays down his life for his wife—the same way Jesus laid down his life for his church.


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I’ve had a longish-term project to get a reading chair for my study.

It has come to fruition, with the price finally becoming right. On with reading.