Uncovered Nuts from 16th December 2006

on Friday, June 01, 2007

Friends, the early days of my blogging was a very lonely affair with few visitors and precious few comments. Some of my early posts mean a lot to me so I have decided to uncover some of these buried nuts from time to time. I hope this offering from December 2006 has survived winter well.

The Soul of a Man

Altar of the Church of the Good Shepard, Tekapo, NZ.

As Christmas approaches, I am reminded that the Christ child came into this world to bring light to the world's darkness and to lead us back to a relationship with God. The Word became flesh and His light lit up our darkness.

This song was originally written by gospel/blues singer Blind Willie Johnson in the 1930s but the lyrics below is from the cover version done by Bruce Cockburn in 1991 in his album, "Nothing but a burning light". Bruce, himself, has travelled a long road of discovery during which he dabbled into the occult and studied Buddhism before becoming a Christian. When he announced that he became a Christian, he lost a number of his humanist fans.

The Soul of a Man
I'm going to ask the question
Please answer if you can
Is there anybody's children can tell me
What is the soul of a man?
Won't somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won't somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?
I've travelled different countries
Travelled to the furthest lands
Couldn't find nobody could tell me
What is the soul of a man
Won't somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won't somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?
I saw a crowd stand talking
I just came up in time
Was teaching the lawyers and the doctors
That a man ain't nothing but his mind
Won't somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won't somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?
I read the Bible often
I try to read it right
As far as I can understand
It's nothing but a burning light
Won't somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won't somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?
When Christ taught in the temple
The people all stood amazed
Was teaching the lawyers and the doctors
How to raise a man from the grave
Won't somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won't somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

Now Watch the Video

Bruce Cockburn speaks about his faith (Excerpts from interviews)

My faith has undergone drastic transformations and reformations. I was brought up as an agnostic, even though we were surrounded by the symbolism, and when I first became a Christian in the Seventies I didn't really know what it was I'd adopted. I've always been aware of the spiritual side to life, and that awareness has sometimes been very tangible and vivid. But it's one thing to have this direct experience of contact with something that appears to be central to existence, but then there's all the uniforms people wear and the customs they adopt. For me, part of the journey has been deciding where I fit in. In the end, I've decided that I don't fit in at all. The proper place for me is outside all the groups.

I still think of myself as a Christian. The only definition of a Christian - I got this from C.S. Lewis - is somebody who accepts the reality of Christ. What is that reality? Well, there we get into fights, don't we? I know my own experience tells me there is somebody - and it's not a thing - at the centre of Christianity. I assume it to be Christ, and assume that's my point of contact with God, whom none of us have a very good definition for. I like to talk about Love rather than God. What we think of as love is his expression of involvement in the universe, and that is the glue that holds everything together, from the subatomic particles up. It is also the hand that breaks us apart, but that has to do with our failure to relate to it properly.

"If I try to understand what it means to be a Christian, I look at the two instructions that were given in the Bible that are paramount, . . . and those are to love God with all your heart and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That's it."


Squirrel said...

Very good post and I liked that video!

I believe that to be a Christian is to believe that Christ Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice to wash away our sins. To always try and love our enemies as ourselves and to ask God to forgive our sins daily.

Gledwood said...

Hey what a small world. If you look at my today's post you'll see I've gone hopping tonight through some Aussie blogs via a lady known as Merle. You can click her name, go to her Aussie blogs list ... I found a picture of a white dog from Vancouver that stood out (so cute!) ... and who do I find in the comments but YOU!

Small world out there


All the best


Janice Thomson said...

I have similar thoughts to yours Lgs in the fact that I don't belong to any one group. I dislike labels; if someone asks what religion I am I tell them I am a student of philosophy for indeed there is wonderful wisdom in each and every great religion.

nancycle said...

I do my very best to avoid conversations about faith...Simply because I'm afraid of the contraversy potential! lol ... Such a personal topic.

I wore my white bracelet today, it has a cool white cross on it. It's a good reminder to myself that I don't walk alone.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I first knew Bruce Cockburn as a humanist, environmentalist and activist. He wrote songs for GreenPeace and also some very un-Christian-like songs like "If I had a Rocket Launcher" in which he said he would not hesitate to kill the right wing generals who were behund the death squads in Guatamala and other parts of South & central America. He then became a Christian; his passion for the suffering people and for justice still burns brightly but I also now sense in his songs a new joy and appreciation of mercy and grace.

Your own testimony must be very powerful. Will you share it one day?

hi there gledwood,
Quite a coincidence cause, that was my first set of comments at that site. I guess we are trawling the same waters. i read all your posts even if I don't always comment.

I am a Christian in that I believe in Christ as the Saviour of the world from sin and death and that as God he is the rightful Lord of my life. Christ himself declared that all the commandments come down to 1) Love God and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Every other label or name or group are just man-made divisions.

I believe the one thing that all of us must do is to seek the truth. If we seek it, we will find it. Unfortunately, there are so many glittering baubles in the world that would draw us away from that quest.

I understand what you mean by controversy. However, I believe that all who genuinely seek the truth must always have an open mind to listen and to discuss and hence are always respectful of others who are also seeking. Those who take offence to honest discussion are those who are unsure of their beliefs and are threatened by discussion.

In the end though, I realise that we all need to have a personal encounter with God and that will transcend all discussion and intellectul debate. FOr me being a Christian is having a relationship with God because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. And you are absolutely right, we do not walk alone. God bless.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I love your willingness to seek answers for yourself and ask interesting questions.

I believe in a personal relationship with our creator who I do not presume the arrogance to know or understand what he/she/it is. And love is paramount. The rest is politics to me.

Blessings to you for asking, thinking and being willing.

patterns of ink said...

Great post! Dig up all the good ones. I did the same with the poem of my current post (from 04). Few readers have the time to search archives (from our months when no one was reading) so this is actually a treat for us. Powerful question about the soul and an equally powerful answer on your part.

HeiressChild said...

hi LGS, God is love, so to me when we talk about love (agape), we're still talking about God. Christians are also disciples of Christ, so while we don't pounce on people, beat them over the head (ouch!), and make them receive Christ as their Savior and Lord, we do share our faith thru our actions (love) and sometimes words. i look forward to reading more of your nuts as you uncover them.

meggie said...

I cannot share your beliefs - but I love to read your previous posts.
You are a very caring human being.

Odat said...

I go with the concept of "love" and treating people with love.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thank you for your openess too. God is not an adolescent male that makes his pets jump through hoops for his entertainment. He is our creator and he wants a relationship with hi creation. The bible says "seek and you will find." What I am trying to say is I have found him not to be a distant uncaring God but one who is waiting for us to turn back to him and his love.

Thanks for the encouragement. look forward to reading some of your old gems too.

Amen to all you said. we must walk the talk. Talk about love? Then, live a life of love with Christ as our example and the Spirit as our guide, changing us daily and removing our old selfish self. God bless.

well, thank you for being open enough to read what I shared. Oooo and for that very nice *blushing* compliment.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hi, odat,
you slipped in as I was posting. What the world needs now, is love sweet love..... it's so simple and yet it is so difficult.

mjd said...

Hello, I am blog hopping. I am like your picture, song, and post. The message, "those are to love God with all your heart and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself." certainly is an important part of the message of Jesus. Hopefully, everyone worldwide ,regardless of religious belief, can follow the last part of the message.

Anonymous said...

I know the topic is "Soul of a Man", but I just can't believe you've already been barefoot in the park 5,748 time already this summer! I know they have shoes over there, even if they are just flip-flops. Ha,ha,ha:)


Josie said...

LGS, what a fabulous post. You know, I have always thought of God the way you describe Him as the glue that holds everything together, from the subatomic particles up. And I have always believed in the teachings of Christ just the way you describe here as well. He had so many wonderful lessons to teach us, but people sometimes forget to follow the lessons, and they get caught up in the "rituals" of Christianity instead.

(I love Bruce Cockburn. That was a great video).

EA Monroe said...

Thanks for sharing this "nut" you dug up with us, LGS!

Lorraine said...

Hey Lone G...thought I'd drop in. You're an excellent writer and your photos, wow, I like. A lot.

Now let's see some of your poetry ;)

Mike M said...

Great blog! I will be back for more!


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

thanks for hopping in and leaving a comment. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could follow those simple commandments? So simple and yet so hard.

you actually read my side panel?!?! Amazing. Yeah, you caught me. I wanted to write"No. of ice cream cones consumed" but that made me sound like a glutton. Barefoot in the park is an image I'd like to project. Do you have a better suggestion?

Too true. Unfortunately many Christians are to caught up in the observance of man-made rules and rituals that they have no time to practice these important fundamental commands. Let's get back to the heart of the Good News (Gospel) of Christ. "He came into the world, not to condemn the world but that through him the world might be saved.".

your welcome. Thanks for enjoying this buried nut.

Is this your first visit? Thanks for the kind words. Be careful what you ask for...... you might get it. ;)

thanks for the comment. look forward to the next time.

Anonymous said...

Cool song, great lyrics and video.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin