Today is the 12th anniversary of the day that O.J. Simpson whacked his ex-wife (yeah, sure, like he was REALLY innocent...right!) It is also the 12th anniversary of the day that I met Teresa. On the day we first met, we went to church in the morning, then I took her out to lunch at Pizza Inn. I took her to Pizza Inn again today. It is kinda corny, but hey, she is still my bride.
This evening, I took her to get some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in Smithfield. They always have excellent but expensive ice cream. Hey, it is a special occasion. After that, we went a few doors down to The CD Warehouse and unexpectedly picked up some CDs. I found one CD compilation of the songs of 1986. The 80's did have some fun pop songs. I also picked up three CDs of Big Band music. There were a lot of great songs from that period of time, even tough the nation was going through some hard times with the tail end of the depression and WWII, then the Korean War.
One CD that I am glad that I found was a Rich Mullins compilation CD. Rich Mullins was probably the most prolific Christian songwriter and musician of the 1980's and most notably, the 1990's. I know that a lot of people loved Keith Green, as did I. He died long before I came to know Jesus, so I can only enjoy his music post mortem. I now do that with Rich Mullins. His music just fit my taste more so than most other Christian artists...OK, him and the later music from Petra, such as with "Wake Up Call". When I am in the mood for spiritual music and in the hard rock/heavy metal mood at the same time, I usually whip out either Petra or DC Talk.
Anyway, I do miss Rich Mullins' music. One of the things with Rich was that he took great pains in his lyrics. Not many people can write what becomes a "praise anthem" in church services that everyone knows, such as he did with "Awesome God". I don't love every last song he wrote. Some are better than others, as with any artist. What I found on the CD I purchased today is in essence a "greatest hits" compilation. I absolutely love most of the songs on his CD entitled simply, "Songs".
Whenever I find Mullins' tapes or CDs in thrift stores or used music stores, I snatch some up. I rarely pay full price, such as I find in Christian "candy" stores. They rarely are book stores any more, with a great selection. There are a few good ones still around, such as Christian Soldier in Goldsboro. However, Christian stores are way over priced, usually have a bad selection of the real deep subject matter, and often have "fluffy" and "pop culture" books and CDs.
One thing that I loved about Mullins was (and I will just copy and paste from Wikipedia here) "unlike most artists in Contemporary Christian music, Mullins did not consider his music as his primary ministry, but rather as a means to pay his bills. Instead, his ministry was the way he treated his neighbors, family and enemies." I am still working on that "enemies" part. I don't try to make any, but there seems to be a never ending supply. One thing that I do know is that when you raise your head above the crowd, you are going to get some tomatoes thrown at you.
One quote of his that I love is "It's so funny being a Christian musician. It always scares me when people think so highly of Christian music, Contemporary Christian music especially. Because I kinda go, I know a lot of us, and we don't know jack about anything. Not that I don't want you to buy our records and come to our concerts. I sure do. But you should come for entertainment." He was very unpopular with other Christian artists who looked at their career as a "ministry". He drew heat in the 90's for saying that he didn't want to be preached at when he was at a concert. If he wanted to be preached to, he would "go to church, thank you very much". I still remember that and love it.
I personally wish that Rich Mullins could have been around more and written more. In many ways, he led a life of example. Just read his bio, which I have linked you to. He is one individual that set an example for me to follow in many ways. My path is much different than his, but I still can glean from his life. Rich Mullins died in an auto wreck in 1997. He had a great impact on the lives of other musicians and fellow brethren. Thank you, God, for Rich's music.