Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Don't despise the sufferings..."

So says my blogging colleague David Wayne in this video prepared for viewing by some of his Presbyterian pastor collagues.

A few months ago, David was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. Cancer was also found in other portions of his body.

In the video below, David talks about what he has learned, especially about the "theology of the cross," the belief that because God took on our humanity, including suffering on the cross, we meet God in our own cross experiences, which God can use to make us more Christlike, more fitted for a full life here and in eternity. As you will see, David's faith has deepened way beyond "head knowledge" in these past months. He has come to know God in a more intimate, profound, and trusting way. Thank you, David, for this!

This is a remarkable video. Please take the time to watch it...and please keep David and his family in your prayers.

David Wayne - My Battle with Cancer from David Wayne on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson's Strange Life and Death

Michael Jackson has died at age 50. Like many, I've watched him degenerate from an articulate, confident child star to a strange, reclusive adult. Four years ago, I wrote this piece inspired by Jackson on the effects of fame on the famous.

If Michael Jackson had not been introduced to the addictive power of fame, might he have lived an obscure and happy life? We'll never know.

This video is of Jackson's performance at the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary bash for Motown Records back in 1982 or 1983. It was the first time most of us had seen the Moonwalk.

The evening was mostly given over to performances of past Motown hits. Two of the label's biggest stars, Jackson and Diana Ross, were no longer with the company. Each came back for performances that night. But Jackson insisted that in addition to performing Jackson Five hits with his brothers, the price for his participation would be allowing him to perform a tune from his newest LP, Thriller, which was on the Epic label.

This performance, probably more than anything else, was responsible for sending Jackson's already-successful career into the stratosphere.

Jackson may have been an evil man. Whatever the truth about his relationships with children, he was undeniably a mess. And, like Judy Garland, the tragic arc of whose life resembles his, he seems to have almost been destined for early death. But he was also a person of immense, jaw-dropping talent. It's too bad that success is so often accompanied by fame and the license to excess that entails.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009