Friday, April 21, 2006


For me, nostalgia has always been a beast. A big beast of sadness and depression. When I think back on something, nostalgically, I’m usually sad. And, the most interesting part is, I also look back on it through rose colored glasses. There’s a part of me that knows the truth, but my heart seems to remember everything about my past as having been the best time of my life.

And when it comes to nostalgia, there’s nothing that gets me more nostalgic than music. My wife is the same way. In fact, there’s certain music that she won’t allow me to put on her mp3 player because it will remind her too much of home. Amy Grant happens to be one of those artists. And she happens to be the artist that I was listening to today. Furthermore, I was listening to a song of hers called 1974, a song about she and her friends at a time when they were young and on fire for God. The song tells of an ambiguous event that took place in their lives that changed them forever. And, of course, I got to thinking back on those times in my own life, and the people who shared them with me.

When you move around as much as I’ve moved around, you make and leave a lot of friends along the way. As a ten year old, I moved 1200 miles from West Virginia (no jokes please) to Oklahoma. From the age of 18 to 27, I served in five different churches around the State of Oklahoma (don’t do the math, it will just depress you). Then, at the age of 27, my wife and I moved 1200 miles to Pittsburgh to work with The Salvation Army. And then, two and a half years ago, we moved to London to work with the Army here. And I’ve made some amazing friends along the way.

From my classmates in the Christian high school I attended, to the tiny youth group I was a part of, my teen years were surrounded by people who could easily be described by 1974. People who spurred me on, who sharpened me, who challenged me to set my spiritual standards higher. Those people meant the world to me. And still do.

Then came my twenties as I moved from church to church, trying to find a pastor and a group of deacons that I could get along with. I never really did find one (shocker), but I met and befriended people along the way who changed me. People who I admired so much that I took bits and pieces from their character and tried desperately (and am still trying) to emulate them in my own life. You people know who you are, AND YOU SHOULD BE WRITING YOUR OWN BLOGS (rick)!

During this time, two guys came into my life whom I still consider to be my brothers in the ministry. To this day, when people ask me, “if you could assemble any staff to start a church, who would they be?” I always answer with their names. These guys are WAY out of my league and, as I travelled with them, leading camps, retreats, etc. I knew that I was blessed to be teamed up with them. They are men of God and I admire and adore them both. They also happen to be true examples of guys who married way out of their league, but that’s another post. I love you both and I should be reading YOUR blogs, not the other way around.

Then came a group of young people who restored my faith in youth ministry. They made me believe again that, first of all, I still had something to offer and that, second of all, there were young people out there who were interested in more than just themselves. These young people are all at University now and I watch wide eyed at how God is moving in them. (this is a perfect example of looking at something through rose colored glasses because, though most of that paragraph is true, I also came close to committing group murder on many a hot July night…WE CAN ONLY HEAR ONE PERSON AT A TIME!!!) You guys are fearfully and wonderfully made. And God loves you just the way you are. : )

Each of these people, and places, and events, and groups have a song or artist associated with them. But I’m wondering, what yours are? What song takes you back to a specific place, or time or person? Please share as specifically as you’d like.

And in the meantime, I miss all you guys and leave you with the closing words of 1974 as a prayer…

Stay with me.
Make it ever new,
So time will not undo,
As the years go by,
How I need to see
That’s still me.

Comments on "1974"


Blogger surrendered said ... (3:11 AM) : 

all i have to say is I don't care how good of a song, "Take On Me" is... I can't believe a-ha is higher up on your list than Rich Mullins. disgraceful. :)

I actually would like to leave a comment having to do with the post, but I gotta hit the zzzs.


Blogger Bill said ... (4:11 AM) : 

Thanks for the post Tim, made me think of the friends that I have left and the friends that I have made.!!


Blogger surrendered said ... (2:35 PM) : 

It's funny. The song that always brings me back to my high school days is Smashing Pumpkins' "1979". And the song is still good.

Another friend of mine posted recently about some similar things and how music relates to our soul. And then I was reading an article by Russ Rook over at that touched on similar themes.

Music is definitely a powerful force. It has been used by God and it has been used by the enemy as well. It can make us selfish or it can cause us to see our selfishness. The beauty of music is that it can be a drug that induces us to listen and receive. Both Led Zeppelin and Rich Mullins (and Kanye West and I suppose even Ghostface) all have this in common. Its what message they send with the music that matters.

I have to be really careful when listening to some of the music I used to like. It can very quickly cause me to slip into my old self.


Blogger Tim said ... (3:49 PM) : 

Funny that you mention 1979, I also LOVE that song. In fact, I nearly mentioned in this article, as a side note, that I seem to like any song with a year in the title, 1974, 1979, and of course, Summer of 69. But I couldn't think of any more. ???


Blogger shaun said ... (5:11 PM) : 

Any time I think about "number" songs I am reminded that during one of our many "best..." conversations you tried to argue that "Summer of 69" was one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever. I still don't know what to think about that... Another song that always brings back memories is "True Colors" but I think that is mostly due to when a friend of ours decided that it would be a good song to play during an altar call...good times... On a slightly more serious note, "Sullivan Street" from Counting Crow's "August and Everything After" always sends me back to road trips my wife and I use to take through the mountains or any other nondescript country road. Those images are totally bound up in that song...which is waaaay better than any Bryan Adams...


Blogger Tim said ... (6:06 PM) : 

You think that More Than a Feeling is THE greatest rock song of all time! How can you not contend that Summer of 69 is ONE OF the greatest rock songs of all time??? It's got girls in it. Rock bands in it. And talks about his teen years and the time when he bought his first guitar! Have you ever listened to anything other than Boston and Al Denson in your entire life???


Blogger shaun said ... (9:01 PM) : 

I'll have you know that from time to time I crank up DeGarmo and Key all the way to 11...Actually my musical sensibilities have changed quite a bit since 1993 and I'm willing to see the error in my ways and acknowledge that "More than a Feeling" is simply a decent rock and roll song that has been overplayed, but to continue to hold on to "Summer of 69" as GREAT is just plain sad...sad I say...I mean Barry Manilow's "Copa Cabana" has girls, angst, unrequited love and violence (all rock and roll themes as well) but it isn't exactly one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time...I'll give "Summer of 69" a "good and a half" but that's as far as I'm going.


Blogger tarisayl said ... (9:27 PM) : 

Shaun, I'm going to have to go with Tim on "Summer of 69". It's one of my fav Bryan Adams songs. Tim, as far as number songs go, have you heard "1985" by Bowling for Soup? It's kinda fun.

I understand the Amy Grant thing. One of my favorite parts of living in England was decorating the house (I really loved that house) at Christmas time. I had a huge window in the living room and I'd turn out all the lights except for those on the tree and the outside Christmas lights, put in my Amy Grant Christmas CD's and watch the snow outside the window. It did make me a little home sick, but you can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you're listening to Amy Grant's Christmas songs. I miss England.


Blogger Bret said ... (5:39 AM) : 

I heard "Master of Puppets" on the radio today. . .definately brought back memories. . .made me think of all the friends I had to leave to follow Christ . . . I prayed for them. . . don't know if their saved or not. . .

One of 'em, James Ford, same age as me, died of cancer last year. . .

Amazing. . . all that from an old song.


Blogger anniebuck2 said ... (4:23 PM) : 

"More than a Feeling" by Bosten and "Let it Ride" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive remind me of riding in the car with my father when he was still alive. "The Mummers Dance" by Loreena McKennitt and "My Girls" by Christina Aguilera remind me of my friend Rachel and memories of car trips with her. The theme song from the movie Mission Impossible reminds me of Camp Allegheny.


Blogger Cari said ... (10:17 PM) : 

I was born in the Summer of '69. Hmm. Labor day, to be precise. But I still look 20.

I went thru this sick Michael Jackson phase and Prince and Duran Duran...but play Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night and I get kinda silly. What a moronic song. But then I had a mullet. How hard was I to impress?

Skynyrd rocks. Queen rocks. Still. How can you put a blog on music? I'm stopping now because my entry would be endless.

I went to the Amy Grant Strait Ahead concert. Were you with me? I know I was standing by Keith Vance, and I can't help but think it was you on the other side.

You totally make me nostalgic. Remember trying to take your dog to the OKC 89ers game, and when I told you Wayman Tisdale's parents were at the mall and you chased them down and asked for an autograph? A hoot, you are.


Blogger Tim said ... (11:54 PM) : 

Yeah that was me! I was your number one groupie, remember? : ) Incidently, this girl (older than me) also took us to see Colors. A film that I was MUCH too young to see! : )


Blogger Larry said ... (2:22 PM) : 


I think you must be feeling your age. When you start looking back and feeling nostalgic, it shows a longing for things that we cannot recapture.

I have been looking back recently as well. As I see my two sons, I flashback to when they were little. They are both adults now. I keep asking myself if I had done enough in their spiritual developmennt along the way.
Time and eternity will tell.

We miss both you and Jamie. By the way, you married way out of your league too!!!!!!


Blogger Sarah said ... (9:05 AM) : 

We didn't start the fire - billy joel. Me - probably 9 or 10
Activity - dancing and trying to do gymnastics in my living room while trying to sing along with the crazy fast lyrics.


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