Hardly Strictly Doc Watson

Last weekend was the 10th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the free, three-day extravaganza in Golden Gate Park (www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com).

For a couple of years now, Robin has held a Sunday morning meeting for worship on the grounds of the festival. However, as clerk of the meeting, I felt called to stay and clerk worship at the meetinghouse. (It was an especially small meeting last week, as many women from our meeting were participating in a retreat at the Sierra Friends Center, but that's another story.)

I think we've been going to the bluegrass festival since the 3rd year, but I'm not sure. We didn't go to the festival on Saturday this year, the first time in a while. This year's festival felt like it should have been called "Hardly Bluegrass," as so many of the acts were rock musicians, most of them perfectly fine musicians with stellar name recognition, but hardly folk let alone bluegrass.

We stayed at the "Banjo Stage" and heard the old-timers and classic players, like Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, and Doc Watson, and caught the Anderson Family Bluegrass Band at another stage on the way out. (They were good, with players ranging from 9 and up!)

Here's (most of) what 87-year-old Doc Watson and David Holt played:
- Downtown
- (instrumental fiddle tune)
- Little Sadie
- Nine Pound Hammer (Roll On Buddy)
- Freight Train
- Black Mountain Rag
- Wabash Cannonball
- Deep River Blues
- Little Log Cabin in the Lane
- The Train That Carried My Girl from Town
- T for Texas
- I Am a Pilgrim and a Stranger
- Working Man Blues
- Keep on the Sunny Side

He ended with a blues tune that included the lines, "I've got the blues, and I can't waste any time." A search of those lyrics doesn't turn up any obviously relevant titles, so I'm not sure what that song was.

Anyway, it will be quite something if Doc can make it back next year at age 88!


It is from self-absorption we must be saved

A couple of years ago I read If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland. I wrote out a passage I liked at that time, and it's been sitting on my dresser since then. So it's time to put it out there.

This is from page 151; copyright 2003 (I think) by the authors; emphasis added:
Salvation comes with believing God loves you unconditionally. It is abandoning the misconception that you are rejected because of your bad behavior or accepted because of your goodnewss. Only when we repent of this self-absorption and focus on God’s love can this love alter us. Then and only then can God transform hearts darkened by sin and soften hearts hardened by self-righteousness.

It is from this self-absorption that we must be saved. Often, when I speak of my belief in the salvation of every person, someone will object that without the threat of hell, people would sin wantonly. They consider the possibility of eternal punishment as the only deterrent to human selfishness. Unfortunately, if this is true, even serving God and loving our neighbor become acts of selfishness. Self-absorbed choices, by their very nature, separate us from God and from others.

I learned this from Jesus.
I read Gulley's most recent book, If the Church Were Christian, a few months ago, and noted several sections for me to come back to later, so maybe you can look forward to my thoughts on that in about three or four years. :)


Phone call with an 11 year old

(This is a more or less verbatim transcript of a phone call I had about eight months ago. H. was then 11 years old.)


H: What happened?

C: You need to say hello first.

H: Oh. Hello. This is H.

C: Hi H., it's Daddy. I just need you to ask Mommy about whether or not I need to put a cover on the apple crisp in the oven.

H: Ok, I'll ask her. Bye.

C: No! Don't hang up! I need you to tell me her answer.

H: Oh, ok. [asks Robin about the cover]

H: No, you don't.

C: Ok, thanks.

H: Bye!

C: Bye.