(Spectrumbot) #1

I was 16. It was a bright afternoon and I was riding with my parents home from Bend Oregon to Madras Oregon. The radio was on the local Christian station. Off to the right, Smith Rock towered over the high desert. I’ve always liked the area around Smith Rock. It’s called Terrebonne, and there is little wonder that it means good land. Despite the brown hills around, in this small stretch of highway 97 green grass encircles dark juniper trees. The place reminded me of a song called “The Color Green:” a Celtic sounding reel that expressed the how the very land sings God’s song of life. I was lost in the midst of some insignificant thought as we turned from the green land toward the Crooked River gorge. I remember every detail of that moment. A voice came on the radio, broken - raspy. “Rich Mullins was killed last evening when his Jeep rolled over, and he was hit by a semi truck which was following behind.” Rich Mullins was as close to a picture of Jesus as I knew of at the time, and I was just beginning to really fall in love with his music, so to hear that he was killed shook me. Mullins had written “The Color Green” and to have someone with such an idea of life surrounding him die was a fresh and terrible perspective to me at that age. While Mullins’ journey ended, my journey with his works, thoughts, and life continued. To this day, I find myself challenged by his perspectives that are both raw, and unyieldingly faithful and humble at the same time.

Last week we explored the idea of doubt’s integral role in faith. While many would consider it self-evident that, like all states of mind, worship is to a great deal transcendental thanks to the recognition of qualia, Thomas J Zwemer, in his comments on the service, made a powerful balancing point, stating that worship “has a divine person who is the object of our adoration and praise.” It is this adoration in Rich Mullins’ expression through which I was and still am brought to the posture of worship - that acknowledgement of someone who changes me. This week we visit another picture of faith: faith in the garb of resilience and dependence. How does one acknowledge doubt and still adhere to such bold belief while still persistently being humble? To what degree are we all participants in this journey of paradox?

Introit: The Mission / How Great Thou Art - ThePianoGuys

I Need Thee O I Need Thee - Acapella Arrangement - Sam Robson

Call to Prayer: How Deep the Fathers Love - Liberty Campus Band

Opening Prayer: The Gift by Li Young Lee - Langston Ward

Rich Mullins - Sharing

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Before now I’d never heard of Rich Mullins. Strong love and deep respect for Christ and His sufferings. Simple, witty, with a dash of humor, and straight to the point. I like that.

Thanks Spectrum for sharing these videos with us.

So let me see if I understand his message, a part of it anyway. The next time I have to get up and speak at the pulpit and am nervous, I’ll just say to myself:

Tony, if the Lord was able to speak through the mouth of a donkey, then surely He can use you too :smirk:

(le vieux) #3

That thought is part of what allows me to continue to preach sermons and lead the lesson study discussion. As I keep reminding people; I’m just a simple layman, or donkey, if you wish. :slight_smile:

(Heidi) #4

Steve, I just want to say how much your blog speaks to me. Thank you for taking the time to put together such beautiful and purposeful worship. I’m so glad I discovered this blog! Happy Sabbath!

(This is Heidi from WWU days, carpooling to student teaching together! I’m glad to see you still have the same heart)

(Cherilyn Clough) #5

My husband introduced me to Rich Mullins when we were dating and while we were at Andrews he bought tickets as a Valentine’s gift to spend “the weekend with Rich Mullins and Beaker” at a studio in South Bend, Indiana. It was the best gift and a highlight in our young lives! So much of the weekend was discussing our relationship with God. Growing up Adventist, I was taught to follow rules, Rich Mullins taught me to seek God on a personal level.

Being a Westerner, The Color Green was a favorite song through the long Michigan winter. When we heard about Rich dying, we had to pull off the road and cry. It might seem blasphemous to compare him to the Bible, but Rich did so much to show us Jesus, it was like having Peter or Paul die.

I love your church services, Steve! And being Oregonians, we too love Smith Rock and Terrebonne and a fav song driving out there has always been “The Color Green!” I imagine heaven will be full of these remembrances where we all say with C. S. Lewis and Rich Mullins, “Me too!”


Thank you Steve for the music! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to a church service that had all these diverse musical elements? It would need to be a two-hour service.

(Andreas Bochmann) #7

Rich Mullins is a completely new discovery for me as well. Thank you! It did something for my resilience.


Watch the movie—“Ragamuffin”—which is about Rich Mullins’ journey. Watched with my teen aged daughter and found it moving.

(jeremy) #9

LOVE sam robson…he uses so many unusual, yet intuitive, harmonies, not to mention oodles of creativity with diction and articulation…i think my favorite device is his unresolved 9ths and 11ths, and what sound like chromatic appoggiaturas…everything is completely heartfelt - plus i love that hair…here he is in another effort, this time with no hair:


Thanks Carmen, I just watched the trailer, and am looking forward to watching the film now. For those who are interested, heres the trailer,

(jeremy) #11

i think the piano guys are also awesome, especially cellist steven sharp nelson…in general, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to superimpose “how great though art” onto ennio morricone’s “gabriel’s oboe”…i have my orchestra perform “gabriel’s oboe” every now and then, and of course the string quartet i own does my own arrangement of this in practically every wedding we do in banff, lake louise, emerald lake, and various golf clubs and restaurants in calgary…i think there is general thematic similarity, although musically, these are two very different pieces of music…but it’s effectively combined in this video, and the background scenery is wonderful…

here’s the piano guys in a rousing performance of “batman evolution”:

i used to watch batman a lot as a kid…now, when i go to a batman movie, i tend to see batman as a metaphor for christ…

(Cherilyn Clough) #12

Loved the movie! If anyone wants to hear more songs and talks by Rich Mullins just do a search on youtube. It has blessed us many a friday night!

(Cherilyn Clough) #13

Many people do not realize this but Rich Mullins wrote songs for Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith before getting famous himself. He wrote Praise to the Lord and Doubly Good to You–the latter for his own wedding which he was stood up for.

Rich became very wealthy but gave all his money to a board of elders to disperse it with the stipulation to not tell him how much he made and to pay him the average salary of a working man. He did not live a celebrity’s life even though he could have.


Yeah its pretty awesome hey. Could you imagine the amount of work that would be required to create something like that. It reminds me of the One Man Les Miserables by, Nick Pitera. Little long, 13 mins, starts slow, but wow when it gets to the 5-6 min mark its pretty awesome. He even does female voices too.