a prayer for the #dayofpeace

How is it they live for eons in such harmony – the billions of stars –

when most men can barely go a minute

without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.
There are wars where no one marches with a flag,

though that does not keep casualties from mounting.

Our hearts irrigate this earth.

We are fields before each other.

How can we live in harmony?

First we need to know

we are all madly in love with the same God.

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written by St. Thomas Aquinas, 13th century theologian

(translated by Daniel Ladinsky in Love Poems from God (New York: Penguin, 2002))

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I hear the Prairies Calling Your Name

“Richard Wayne “Rich” Mullins (October 21, 1955 – September 19, 1997) was a contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter born in Richmond, Indiana. He had two sisters and two brothers.

Mullins was best known for his worship songs “Awesome God” and “Sometimes by Step”, both of which have been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. Some of his albums were also considered among Christian music’s best, including Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth (1988), The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume One (1991) and A Liturgy, A Legacy, & A Ragamuffin Band (1993).

His songs have been performed by numerous artists, including Caedmon’s Call, Five Iron Frenzy, Amy Grant, Carolyn Arends, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, John Tesh, Chris Rice, Rebecca St. James, Hillsong United and Third Day.

Rich Mullins is also remembered for his devotion to his faith. He was heavily influenced by St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226). In 1997, he composed a musical called Canticle of the Plains, a retelling of the life of St. Francis set in the Old West.”

**** bio from Wikipedia

Rich had a burgeoning career as director of Worship Ministries at West Evangelical Free Church in Wichita Kansas. By the late 80’s his international tours were taking off. He packed out churches and stadiums across the US, into Canada and Europe.

He quickly became one of Nashville’s leading artists and worship leaders under the CCM banner.

After wrestling with the leading of the Holy Spirit for several years, Rich felt a strong call to embrace his First Nations heritage & culture. With life-long friend Mitch McVicker, he felt called to move to a Navajo reservation in Tse Bonito, New Mexico to teach music to First Nation children. They lived in a hogan at the reservation until his death.

Although Our God is an Awesome God is easily his most famous song, Calling Out Your Name is considered by many his best work.

The imagery in the lyrics of this song is deeply influenced by First Nation cultural concepts and artistry. It is powerful to realize that one of the greatest worshippers of our age was only able to write his best work once he immersed himself in his First Nations’s heritage and culture.

Evangelicals often downplay the strength culture can add to ones faith. Rich found that a depth artistry and musicianship were nurtured once he fully embraced the cultural legacy that the Creater had chosen him to be born into.

After his passing, Mullins’ family founded The Legacy Of A Kid Brother Of St. Frank to continue his mission to develop programs of art, drama and music camps for Native American youth and provide a traveling music school serving remote areas of the reservations. Today it is administered by Tammy Pruitt.

Calling Out Your Name.

Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob’s stairs
Yeah, they danced on Jacob’s stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant’s wings
And there’s fury in a pheasant’s wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith
That can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I’ve seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever ’til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song
Not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

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Rich Mullen’s faith can be understood by a quote he gave at a concert shortly before his death. He stated that:

Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor.

This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house… where you have no sinners anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken….

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