Sunday, March 08, 2015

Gentle On My Mind

I read something very sad online tonight. The wife and children of legendary singer are battling in court over his care. I can relate to the care part. Like our mother did, Glen Campbell suffers from the dreaded Alzheimer's. He was influential to me as a little boy and the post from September 18, 2011, explains why.
I was about to start  my devotional a minute ago about a completely different subject. But, I clicked on PBS and it's a fund raising drive. Suddenly, Glen Campbell came on stage and began singing Wichita Lineman and instantly I was transported back to 809 East Avenue in York, Nebraska. (Now, he's on stage singing Galveston.) You see, our folks loved Glen Campbell. Maybe it was because he was from Delight, Arkansas, only miles from my mother's little hometown. Or maybe, they just liked his music and wholesome image. Whatever the reason, they always had his albums playing on the stereo and we always watched his Sunday night variety show after worship. (My favorite song of Glen's was Gentle On My Mind but Dad thought it had a much too casual view of love.) And as I sit here on a Sunday, I miss my folks and watching Glen's show and I miss my childhood and I miss Nebraska and it only took one line of a song from when I was a kid to start the flash flood of memories.

On numerous occasions, I've mentioned that I give a bonus question on every quiz/memory verse/test we take in all of my classes. Last Thursday, our bonus quesion was actually a statement. I told the students I would give them the equivalent of one correct answer if they wrote down the nicest/kindest thing anyone had ever said to them or about them and who it was that said it. The youngsters did an incredible job. Some responses were only a sentence while some were a solid paragraph which put the quotation into context. You konw what was amazing? None of the compliments came from famous athletes or entertainers or politicians or difference makers in our culture. You know who they came from: moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, coaches, preachers, neighbors. What we hear in our daily lives at an early age makes such a profound impact on how we turn out. I don't associate Glen Campbell  with religion although he did sing I Knew Jesus Before He Was A Superstar. But when I hear his voice, I hear the voice of Mom and Dad telling me they love me and that they are proud of me. Jesus taught we have to be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. When I was a little child, I was innocent and loved and protected and I heard the music of Glen Campbell on a daily basis. And even though I don't know you, Glen, I owe you. At 33 RPM's played for hours at a stretch, you helped shape the memories of a midwestern boy.... and they are great memories which will never fade.

To hear Glen sing Wichita Lineman, copy and paste below!

Applicable quote of the day:
“I was in Studio 3 cutting a song with, I think, the Irish Rovers, and I saw a record on the wall in the hall by Johnny Rivers. It had this song 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix.' And that made me curious. I wondered if it was about the city or the bird. So I listened to it, and I cried because it made me homesick. And if you can cry to Johnny Rivers, you know that's a good song. I recorded it the next day. And lo and behold it was one of the biggest records I ever had.”
Glen Campbell

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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