'But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.' -Matthew 6:33
Born-Again in Movie Theater / US Air Force -1974
1974: Born again at 21 years old while serving in U.S. Air Force and stationed at Castle Air Force Base, Atwater, California. Saw Billy Graham Evangelistic Association film "Time to Run" in a local Merced (1) theater and was moved by the relevance of the movie and the Billy Graham message to make a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ.
Decision was catalyst after two years of critically reading "Reach Out -- The Living New Testament," "Good News for Modern Man," (specifically the four Gospels and Romans) Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Bible tracts, being witnessed to by evangelical Christians (and cults), having a personal conviction of sin.
There was the question of a Heaven and a Hell -- with more concern about the existence of an eternal Hell -- than an eternal Heaven. The reality of death couldn't be imagined away ...
In real time black and white TV witnessed the four dark days following the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a role model-hero to youth: PT 109 skipper, Pulitzer Prize-winning author ('Profiles in Courage'), school physcial fitness programs, inspiring speeches, witty press conferneces and two children running around the White House. Elegant First Lady who spoke several languages. Everyone seemed to have framed Kennedy presidential portraits on walls in homes including Baja California.
The cool, sun-glassed Catholic president inspired a generation with 'ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,' set a goal to put a man on the moon and stood up to Russia.
Suddenly and tragically, John-John is giving his father a final, lasting salute; the First Lady is dressed in black. We were cheated.
Closer to home, a beloved Native American baseball coach and his wife were killed in a car accident caused by a speeding drunk driver; five children were without their mom and dad. They, we -- were cheated.
Teenaged classmates or neighborhood kids in the Clairemont community of San Diego were killed from car accidents or suicide in the late 60s, early 70s. Family, friends were cheated.
The quiet, younger sister of a high school friend died of leukemia -- I keep a letter from her. More family and friends were cheated.
By 18, had attended at least five funerals.
Then there was the sudden deaths of Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison; the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis of April -- then Bobby Kennedy in Los Angeles in June.
There was the distant war in Vietnam -- but then there was the war here in the streets. The Kent State shooting deaths of four anti-war protestors in May 4, 1970.
'For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.'
Decision to follow the biblical Jesus Christ was a culmination of ten years (1965-1974) experience growing up in middle-class America in the 60s (San Diego, California), rebelling, searching and yet hearing 'God,' 'Lord' and 'Jesus' in the 60s music from 12 years old on with songs berginning with The Animals' 'House of the Rising Sun,' 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood,' The Byrd's 'Turn, Turn, Turn' and The Beach Boys 'God Only Knows.' (2)
ASB President Clairemont High School; Mason Williams Pala Indian Cultural Center Benefit Concert -1970
Was elected president of Clairemont High School (1970-1971). CHS student population was nearly 2500. With assistance from experienced student representatives and faculty -- and full support of ASB advisor Wallaze 'Wally' Eaton -- on-campus concerts were sponsored or organized for local nonprofits. Instead of 'give me's' -- we wanted to reach out to the community.
Among free clinics and burned out forestry benefit concerts, the 'Americans for Indian Future and Tradition' nonprofit organization sponsored a Mason Williams ('Classical Gas') benefit concert for the Pala Indian Cultural Center -- which CHS hosted and organized.
Two shows were held on December 18 -- one for students during the day, and an evening concert for the general public. Publicity included local FM radio KPRI spots and press coverage including 'The Door.'
The two campus shows raised enough funds ($1400) to build the block walls of the Cultural Center. Local news covered the CHS informal gifting of the donation check to four Pala Reservation grandmother-elder representatives.
CHS students also joined anti-war protests against the war in Vietnam.
Calumet 1971Yearbook inscriptions included a few Christians writing 'Peace thru Christ' or 'There is peace of mind in Jesus Christ' and 'Christ said: 'Come to me all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.'
Began to sense there was an inherent problem with the youth movement, and the so-called 'peace movement' against the war in Vietnam and the vibe we could change America and the world. Same sense in keeping up with Black Panther, American Indian Movement (AIM) news and books -- their struggle to kick against oppression.
Photo: Clairemont High School students participate in anti-Vietnam war demonstration, San Diego, 1971. -Photo by Keith Sloane
What was the problem? The Bible calls it sin -- an original sin nature inherited from Adam and Eve's fall. "My Generation" with all the answers -- was self-destructing. The "All You Need is Love" Beatle's were suing each other in a bitter band split, American war protesters throwing rocks, bottles and expletives at police to "Stop the War Now" in Vietnam wasn't good PR for a peace movement -- and Mick Jagger and the Stones were not exactly "fighting in the streets."
Mason Williams Pala Indian Benefit Concert
Above: Original contract for Mason Williams' Pala Benefit Concert at Clairemont High School, 1970.
On December 18, 1970, Mason Wiliams ('Classical Gas') performed a benefit concert for the Pala Indian Reservation Cultural Center. Organized and hosted by the Clairemont High School ASB and sponsored by 'Americans for Indian Future and Tradition,' with a little help from Ken Kragen & Friends (see contract, above), Williams performed two shows, one for students and an evening concert for the general public. The event raised enough funds to pay for the construction of the exterior block walls.
The 'Cupa Cultural Center' plays an important role in the life of the reservation today.
Above: Mason Williams Pala Cultural Center Benefit Concert promotionals published in 'The Door,' December, 1970.
Excerpt from Clairemont High School yearbook, 1971.
Rock stars weren't known for building universities or hospitals
Rock bands -- the pied piper troubadours of the 60s revolution -- like Jefferson Airplane ("Volunteers"), Rolling Stones ("Street Fighting Man"), Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ("Ohio," "Chicago") and others, sang protest songs in studios and rock venues, but weren't among protestors arrested in street demonstrations (as were folk singers), and weren't known at that time for using their riches to help the sick, poor, needy or build hospitals and universities.
Instead, rich rock stars were too often self-indulgent, self-righteous hypocrites buying mansions, Ferrari's, Lear jets, popularizing drug and alcohol abuse, pre-marital -- even teenage -- sex, yet pointing a defiant finger at "the Establishment" and calling them "pigs."
In their pursuit of happiness, capitalist (not a bad word) rock stars' accumulation of material things didn't pass the smell test with their song-sung philosophy proposing a new America -- or one world. But what the heck, forget the red flags, the music was good, right? We bought into it. Like a cult. It was not exactly "peace and love."
Honestly edited into the movie Celebration of Big Sur, a heckler interupts and confronts CSNY during their set over their royaltied wealth. The heckler is filmed being pushed, shoved and challenged face-to-face by a hot-headed Steve Stills. Stills settles back down, sits and apologizes to the audience moments later, saying in effect the band does question their success, wealth and 'nice guitars,' but we all need to 'just let it be.'
Rock bands were also known for infighting -- that's how super groups evolved -- and dissolved. Not exactly peace and love ... aka The Beatles.
The 60s generation experienced a watershed of music and musicians combining sound and lyrics to generate rock sermonites, but coupled with the loosening of morals, some genres of rock -- like the song of the Sirens -- encouraged the shipwreck of millions (teen pregnancies, abortions, drug addictions, drug arrests, suicides, overdoses, DUI's, homelessness, divorces, adultery, violent acts) who didn't plug their ears in time -- or hear "Jesus" in the music.
One example: the lyrics to The Doors' "The End" --- the last song of their first album released January 4, 1967. Rock icon Jim Morrison monologues about a son going room-to-room killing off his family:
"The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on ... and he came to a door ... and he looked inside ... father, yes son, I want to kill you, mother, I want to ... (several lines later) kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill -- this is the end, beautiful friend."
Morrison is said to have used the lyrics as a metaphor, of breaking free of repression. However, in the LSD-laced Summer of Love of the same year as the release of the album, a copycat murder was committed in Texas (see: 'Esteemed professor revealed teen killer murdered family').
Was murder, chaos and mayhem embedded in the minds and hearts of drugged, emotionally impressionable youth playing dark rock songs over and over like "The End?" Did the Manson cult? Columbine killers? Newtown ...?
The Bible says: "A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother" and "He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness." -Proverbs 15:20, 20:20
Seniors voted Bonnie A. (Senior Class President) and I as having
'Contributed Most to the Success of the Class of '71'.
Woodstock Generation PR
We were made to believe Woodstock was three days of peace and love in the 60s biggest PR movie. Three-hundred-to-500 thousand people drunk, stoned, hungry and short on toilets in the rain did not go without altercations -- eyewitness accounts verify that fact. The rock festival was declared a free concert, not from promoter generosity, but because over 50,000 rock fans climbing or tearing down fences and resisting gate security would have been a PR nightmare.
Aside from the film edited PR outtakes, the Woodstock festival itself, was however the highlight -- and it is masterfull documentary -- of the 60s philosophy the world could be changed through music, drugs and sexual freedom. Capturing that theme on film in its essence were bands like Santana, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Canned Heat, The Who, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills and Nash -- and Hendrix.
However, other events of 1969 were red flags the 60s dream was not all it seemed.
For example, on July 3, ex-Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. Ruled as an accidental drowning resulting from an asthma attack and intoxication, he had reportedly just quit the Stones on June 8 stating in Rolling Stone, "The music Mick and Keith have been writing has progressed at a tangent, as far as my own taste is concerned," (RS, June 12, 1969).
And then Jones was dead at 27 years old (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison would also join the "dead at 27" club). Wealth, women and fame were not enough to keep this once talented man, whose speech was reportedly reduced to a garble from years of drug and alcohol abuse, satisfied and alive. Why?
The Bible says: "Vanity of vanities [emptiness]," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." - Ecclesiastes 1:2
And the Bible also says: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing." - Ecclesiastes 1:8
And just weeks before Woodstock, the three-day rock fest "Newport '69" was held in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge at the old "Devonshire Downs" race track -- with Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jethro Tull, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Spirit and Johnny Winter among those who performed.
The festival promoters hired the Los Angeles-based "Street Racer" biker gang to stop would-be gate crashers. It erupted into a rock-and-bottle Sunday riot as police in riot gear and bullhorns from helicopters called the area outside the fence an unlawful assembly.
Hundreds -- if not thousands -- of rock fans risked personal injury and arrest over the three days to storm the concert fence -- and Street Racer biker security -- to skip ticket prices and get in free. Their motivation was partly philosophical, partly broke.
And then the 60's image was stained with murder. On August 8th and 9th, the hippie-looking Manson-gang druggers terrorized Hollywood Hills by murdering the rich and famous in their homes and making the murders appear like revenge killings from radicals in the black community to start a race war -- the clan's twisted interpretation of The Beatles song 'Helter Skelter.'
Manson's crazed-look on his arrest photo in October 1969 and the subsequent circus-trial transmitted on virtually every news outlet in America until his conviction in 1971 was a seismic shift in the perception of long-haired hippies. It was an exclamation point added to president Nixon's war on drugs.
For how could one hippie-type compel and convince other hippie-types to commit murder and mayhem unless they were brainwashed while under the influence of psychedelic drugs? And then act defiantly unrepentent in the courtroom ... like it was all street theater.
And perhaps the final nail in the "Age of Aquarius" coffin was December 1969 at Altamont Speedway just outside San Francisco. Hell's Angels hired as security by the Rolling Stones for a free concert roughed-up musicians, unruly fans and then stabbed to death a concert-goer brandishing a handgun near the stage during the Rolling Stones performance. The Stones' set included "Sympathy for the Devil."
Altamont was the flip side of Woodstock.
The "Yellow Submarine," the "Magic Bus," the "All You Need is Love" generation holding hands and singing "Kumbaya," forever in reality was a myth, a wishdream, entertainment industry propaganda ... a lie. The carnage was -- and is -- inescapable. In the attempt to be morally and sexually free from biblical norms, the 60s revolution was dismantling the traditional American family -- the heart of America. It was the catapult for empty marriage vows, acceptable teenage sex with birth control, mass divorce and single parenting. All this in the name of freedom, peace and love?
Captain America (the late Peter Fonda) spoke prophetically of the 60s generation and its rock stars missing the mark in the 1969 movie "Easy Rider" when he told his biker buddy Billy (the late Dennis Hopper) on their last night alive around a campfire: "We blew it."
'We blew it' because life was not about 'the freedom' experienced on the road, passing by, having a few laughs, good times and moving on. Real life was what that farmer portrayed a few scenes earlier was experiencing -- a good Samaritan who took them in, helped and fed them. He had a home, was settled-in and was providing for his family and neighbor -- that represented what was good and right about America.
'One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.'
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"Love is patient, love is kind ..."
The Bible says: "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous, love does not brag, and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails ..." 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8
And the Bible also says: "By this we know we love the children of God, when we love God and observe his commandments." 1 John 5:2
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'God, if You're for real, let me know' -1972
It took two years after 1969 to begin to turn off and tune out the anarchist 60s movement, and focus on what was truth -- a quieter, simplicity of life. Began to read about Gandhi, his life and teachings. Also began to look into the possible truth of astrology, and search out the faith of Buddhists, Hari Krishnas, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and evangelical Christians.
Since Jesus is the central figure of the human race (historical time line is based on his life (B.C., A.D.) and the Hindu nonviolent protest leader Mohandas K Gandhi highly regarded Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and even had a picture of Jesus among his few possessions), decided to find out first if Jesus Christ was for real.
Raised with a good foundation in the Catholic faith, as a nonpracticing Catholic, Jesus Christ needed to be proved personally. Was He "the only begotten son of God," even a real historical person, and if not, then move on.
The Bible says: "Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction." - Matthew 7:13
The turning point was in reading the New Testament and saying a quick prayer.
In 1972, I was 19, unemployed, collecting $25 a week unemployment with no career aim other than attending a local community college. I had seen a lot death and chaos in the 60s: the asssinations of president John Kennedy, Senator Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the senseless murders by the hippie-type Manson clan, sudden deaths of rock stars from overdoses, shooting of anti-war Kent State students; overdoses, suicides and car accident deaths of classmates and friends ...
'The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of ungodliness terrified me;
The cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.'
-Psalm 18:4-5 (New American Standard Bible)
As I said, I began to be concerned about the possibility of an eternal hell (having also read portions of Dante's 'Inferno'). I had begun to compare sin like glue -- a decade later the analogy was similar to the great Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes who used stickum glue to intercept footballs -- I was catching every pass to me, and the fear of a real hell was a driver to seek truth.
And so I read the King James Version of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. I thought if only people -- or at least I -- could live this way.
And I prayed a short, sincere prayer: "God, if You're for real, let me know."
'For I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law that is is gtood ... for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing ...
wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!'
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#1 in Vietnam Draft Lottery; from unemployed tenant to landlord in 3-years
About a month later, my girlfriend brought in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. On the front page was the headline: 'March 6th #1 Draft Lottery' My jaw dropped. My birthday is March 6. It was the last draft lottery for Vietnam.
Being drafted wasn't on my radar. I was looking into community college. But was more focused on the next weekend's party. I had tried to talk a friend out of enlisting -- berating him for blocks up to the enlistment center trying to change his mind. The last time I saw him was walking inside the draft board to enlist. But after considering a move to Canada or filing for conscientious objector ... I remembered that prayer from a month ago: 'God if you're for real ...' (3)
The Bible says: 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.' - Matthew 6:33
I began to think, actually it was God getting my attention, giving me ticket to a new life. A chance to break free -- the 60s mindset led to death, chaos and vanity -- and the vain philosophy was amplified in its music. I enlisted, in part, to protest the 60s -- which did not have the answer. I began to thing we were playing played for fools. For example:
'Rules and regulations, who needs them? Open up the door.! ... We can change the world. Re-arrange the world. It's dying ...'
-'Chicago' by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
'Rules and regulations, who needs them?' was one of the most idiotic lyrics written and sung on the radio. Music itself has rules and regulations: meter, rhythm, harmony. How much more society? People seem to have an innate sense to look for a conductor, a leader. It was obvious laws and policeman to enforce those laws were needed -- concerts had security to protect bands.
Another senseless lyric on the radio:
'... alligator lizards in the air, in the air ..'
'Ventura Highway' by America.
Enlisted in the US Air Force. Went from unemployment checks and TV dinners to full-time service as B-52 jet engine mechanic stationed at McCoy AFB in Orlando, Florida. Returned stateside from six months TDY in Guam under 'Operation Bullet Shot,' and transfered to March AFB in Atwater, California in the fall of 1973.
Within two years of moving to the new base, sought and obtained a loan in 1975 -- backed by GI Bill -- for a two-on-one property. It was residential property on a single street off the 91 Freeway next to farms and ranches and a miniture golf course.
Total purchase asking price for two-on-one lot was $19,500. Monthly mortgage payment was $175. Living in the one bedroom house, the adjacent two bedroom rented for $125 momth. Total out-of-pocket 30-year mortgage payment for two homes was $50.
I enlisted in the US Air Force for four years after my draft lottery number was #1. Following boot camp, received training as a B-2 jet engine mechanic in Rantoul, Illinois. I could afford to buy my first 35mm camera -- a Mamiya-Sekor. Christian brothers were convincing witnesses at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam (above) in 1973 -- so was the Book of Romans.
To recap, within three years of the 'God if your'e for real' prayer in 1972, said while unemployed paying $125 for one bedroom house rental, I was now collecting $125 a month as a landlord in 1975, plus had secure, full-time job serving our country working with the Strategic Air Command.
Situation never would have happened -- without God's redeeming intervention.
Active duty was not on my radar. But thank God it was on His. It wasn't easy. It was a 180-degree turn. But it was the medicine The Doctor ordered. He is the Redeemer! Thanks be to God for the open door -- #1 in the last draft lottery!
Thanks to brothers who passed out Bible tracts. I read them. And I kept an eye on their personal witness and witnessed the sincerity of Christ in them.
This is my testimony -- God provided the way of escape. Jesus Christ was -- and has -- proven to me to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.
'He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.'
-Psalm 18:16-19 (English Standard Version)
The then rental property was found through a tip from an evangelical utility worker who had shut off the utilities to the vacant one bedroom house. The owner of the property was also an evangelical Christian. That stayed with me -- that Christians could help each other out with insider information -- a grapevine.
"God, if You're for real, let me know" prayer was answered -- even before the property purchase. Witnessed healings, met and knew authentic evangelical Christians who were 'witnessing Christians.' Excited to do the work of the Lord. Worked with good people in the military. Was baptized in the back country of Yosemite National Park. (4) God provided. And God continues to prove the Bible is reliable.
The Bible says: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you shall will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." -- Matthew 7:7
'When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?
Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field.
The birds of the heavens, and the fish of sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!'
-Psalm 8 (excerpts)
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1970-1971: Clairemont High School (Cameron Crowe's 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' ground research school years after I graduated); edited and published 'For What It's Worth' a high school 'underground' 8 1/2 x 11 two-sided blue ink circulation.
1977-1978: Merced College, under GI Bill, staff reporter, photographer for campus student newspaper, "The Mercury." Served as correspondent reporting from "The Longest Walk," a native American protest walk in 1978 from Sacramento to Washington D.C.
Photograper, reporter, correspondent for
campus weekly newspaper
Publisher: Merced College
Floyd Westerman, Longest Walk '78 -Photo by Keith Sloane
1979-1980: Calvary Chapel San Diego @ North Park Theater; pastor Mike MacIntosh (renamed Horizon Christian Fellowship. Saw the importance to communicate and meet needs in the household of faith by receiving a vision in prayer while enrolled in "Guidance" School of Evangelism class taught by Neal Pirolo (Emmaus Road International). With the approval of then Assistant Pastor Bill Goodrich, founded, published, and edited "The Grapevine "job and housing needs sheet-bulletin, distributed semimonthly to over 30 Calvary Chapel San Diego home Bible studies based on Galatians 6:10, Acts 4:34 and Romans 12:13.
1981-1983: Peninsula Christian Fellowship/pastor Glen Gundert. Edited and distributed "The Grapevine" needs sheet / bulletin insert semimonthly to Ocean Beach congregation.
1984-1988: Pepperdine University, matriculated under special achievement award scholarship and GI Bill, journalism major/religion minor; graduated 1988. Staff reporter and photographer for weekly campus newspaper, "The Graphic," 1987 yearbook photo editor. California Intercollegiate Press Awards (CIPA) for Best Opinion Column (1st Place) and Best Fiction Article (2nd Place).
Reporter, photographer, page editor for
campus weekly newspaper
Publisher: Pepperdine University ↓
Internship, reporter and photographer for
'The Malibu Times'
(contributed a series on Malibu religious institutions)
Publisher: Arnold York ↓
Photographer and reporter for
'The Malibu Surfside News'
Publisher: Anne Soble ↓
The Grapevine - West L.A. Edition
1993-2001: Founded, published, and edited "The Grapevine - West L.A. Edition," (refer to 'About/Statement') a 3,000 circulation semimonthly micro-newspaper with job and housing classifieds distributed in church bulletins to 17 subscriber churches in West L.A., Santa Monica, Venice and Pacific Palisades areas. Distributed freely to up to 80 satellite distribution sites throughout Los Angeles.
Interview: Michael Been
Lead singer, songwriter and bassist of The Call.
-Photo by Keith Sloane
Interview: Russell Chandler
Religion writer with The Los Angeles Times.
-Photo by Keith Sloane
Letters of Reference
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The 17 West L.A. subscriber churches
The seventeen West L.A. paid-subscriber churches included: First Baptist Church WLA, University Bible Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Grace Lutheran, Palisades Lutheran, Metro Calvary Chapel, Sojourners (a Calvary Chapel), Chinese Bible Church, Santa Monica Church of the Nazarene, Culver City Lighthouse, House Upon the Rock, New Life Full Gospel, WLA Christian Center, The Shepherd's Gate, Venice Foursquare, Mt. Olive Lutheran and Westside Vineyard.
Monitored job and housing hot line, incorporated weekly fax supplement "Weekly Dispatch" listing current classifieds and news articles to subscriber churches and satellite sites. Advisors: The late Sherwood ("Woody") E. Wirt (author, Editor Emeritus of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association "Decision" magazine, founder of San Diego Christian Writers Guild), and the late John Whorrall, pastor of University Bible Church, illustrator.
Interviews include: Dan Anders (preaching minister, Pepperdine University Church of Christ), Michael Been and The Call* (Christian-based rock band, 'Modern Romans,' 'Let the Day Begin'), Brad and Kelly Cummings (Pepperdine alumni, Uganda missionaries), Os Guinness* (Christian apologist, author 'Doubt'), Thomas Howard* (professor, author, 'Christ the Tiger,' 'Evangelical Is Not Enough'), Patricia Ireland (then president of NOW, author, 'What Women Want,'), Scott O'Neal (pastor, Malibu Christian Fellowship), Charles Perry (Rolling Stone contributing editor, author, 'The Haight-Ashbury -- A History'), Jack Walsh* (former San Diego liberal politician).
September 20, 2013: Founded InterChurch News.
"Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength." -- Psalm 29:1
W. Keith Sloane
This site is dedicated to Chasya.
"When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." - Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5.
"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end -- it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." - Habakkuk 2:2-3
1. Merced (Spanish) means "favor, grace."
2. 1970 - 1974 book reads (The question is "What is truth?' John 18:38): 'The Story of My Experiments With Truth,' by Mahatma Gandhi, 1970; 'Johnny Got His Gun,' Dalton Trumbo, 1970; "The Movement Towards a New America -- A History,' by Mitchell Goodman, 1971; 'Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson,' George Jackson, 1971; ''Reach Out - The Living New Testament (Illustrated), 1972" 'The Passover Plot,' by Hugh J. Schonfield, 1972; 'Good News For Modern Man (Illustrated),' 1973; 'How to Talk Dirty and Influence People,' autobiography of Lenny Bruce, 1972; 'The Teaching of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge,' by Don Castaneda, 'A Separate Reality,' by Don Castaneda; 1972-73; 'Fountains of Faith,' by William A. Ward, 1973; Confucius (quotations), 1973; 'Interior Castle,' by St. Teresa of Avila, 1974.
'IF A MAN DOES NOT KEEP PACE WITH HIS COMPANIONS,
PERHAPS IT IS BECAUSE HE HEARS A DIFFERENT DRUMMER.
LET HIM STEP TO THE MUSIC WHICH HE HEARS,
HOWEVER MEASURED OR FAR AWAY.'
-HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1854)
HEARING 'JESUS' IN THE MUSIC (or 'The Gospel According to Rock') random samples 1964 - 1974:
- "House of the Rising Sun," The Animals, lyric: "There is a house in New Orleans, they call the rising sun, and it's been the ruin of many a poor boy, and God, I know I'm one," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," lyric: "I'm just a soul who's intentions are good O Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood;"
- "Turn, Turn, Turn," The Byrds version of Pete Seeger's song based on the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes, "A time to be born, a time to die ... a time for love, a time for hate, A TIME FOR PEACE, I SWEAR IT'S NOT TOO LATE;"
- "All Along the Watchtower," Bob Dylan / also Jimi Hendrix's version, lyric: "There are many here among us, who feel that life is but a joke, but you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate, so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late;"
- "Frankie Lee and Judas Priest," Bob Dylan ('John Wesley Harding'), lyric: "So when you see your neighbor carrying somethin', help him with his load, and don't go mistaking Paradise for that home across the road;"
- "When the Music's Over," The Doors (Strange Days), lyric: "SAVE US! JESUS! SAVE US!"
- "Presence of the Lord," Eric Clapton (Blind Faith), lyric: "I have finally found a way to live ... and I know that I don't have much to give ... everybody knows the secret, everybody knows the score;"
- "Get Together," The Youngbloods, lyric: "Some will come and some will go and we shall surely pass, when the one that left us here, returns for us at last;"
- "I'd Love to Change the World," Ten Years After, lyric: "Everywhere is freaks and hairies, dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity, tax the rich, feed the poor till there are no rich no more;"
- "Fire and Rain," James Taylor (Sweet Baby James), lyric: "Won't You look down upon me, Jesus, you've got to help me make a stand, you've just got to see me through another day ... I won't make it any other way;"
- "Spirit in the Sky," Norman Greenbaum;
- "American Pie," Don McLean, lyric: "And the three men I admire most, the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died;"
- "Isn't It A Pity," "My Sweet Lord," George Harrison; "I really want to know you Lord, but it takes so long."
- "On the Road To Find Out," Cat Stevens (Tea for the Tillerman), lyric: "Kick out the devils' sin, pick up, pick up the Good Book now," "Father and Son;" "Morning Has Broken.'
- "Stairway to Heaven," Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin IV), lyric: "Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on ... your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know, the piper's calling you to join him;"
- "Jesus Is Just Alright," Doobie Brothers;
- "Ramblin' Man," Allman Brothers (Brothers and Sisters), lyric: "Lord, I was born a ramblin' man, I'm just makin' a livin' and doing the best I can;"
- "Why Me?" Kris Kristofferson (Jesus Was A Capricorn), lyric: "Lord help me Jesus, I've wasted it so, help me Jesus, I know what I am ... help me Jesus, my soul's is in your hand;"
- "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," Bob Dylan, "Mama, bury my guns in the ground, I can't shoot them anymore.".
Concerts attended in San Diego, Costa Mesa and Los Angeles between 1967 - 1972 include: The Animals ('67, '68), The Doors ('67, '68), Blue Cheer ('68), The Byrds ('68), Chambers Brothers ('68), Glen Campbell ('68), Iron Butterfly ('68, '70), Grateful Dead ('68), Jefferson Airplane ('68, '69), Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys ('68), Quicksilver Messenger Service ('68), Canned Heat ('69), Chicago Transit Authority ('69), Country Joe and the Fish ('69), Creedence Clearwater Revival ('69), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young ('69), Fifth Dimension ('69), Jethro Tull ('69), Jimi Hendrix jam with Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon and Mother Earth ('69), Lee Michaels ('69), Rolling Stones ('69), Sons of Champlin ('69), Spirit ('69), Steppenwolf ('69), Ten Years After ('69), Mason Williams ('70), Johnny Winter w/Rick Derringer ('71), Poco ('71), Stephen Stills ('71), The Who ('71), Black Sabbath ('72), and Foghat -- with three ex-members of Savoy Brown -- ('72).
Rock festivals attended were California's Newport '68 and Newport '69. Highlight of '68 Festival was scrambing backstage after Jefferson Airplane performance with ensuing cream pie fight and talking to Grace Slick and other members of the band before the police began to clear out the concert. Highlight of '69 Festival was witnessing impromptu performance Sunday morning of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon and Buddy Miles. Before they started playing, Hendrix told the elated audience he wanted to 'make up' for Friday night's performance (he had bantered with the late evening stoned audience, said they were 'teeny boopers' who didn't have a clue to what was happening; he was booed believe it or not). The memory of his 'make up' Sunday jam (I somehow was standing about 15-20 feet in front of stage left) is that of the best guitar performance I ever witnessed.
3. "IT IS APPOINTED FOR MAN TO DIE ONCE, AND AFTER THAT COMES JUDGMENT" (Hebrews 9:27): ROCK STAR DEATHS: Brian Jones, 27, 1969 (Rolling Stones); Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson, 27, 1970 (Canned Heat); Jimi Hendrix, 27, 1970; Janis Joplin, 27, 1970; Jim Morrison, 27, 1971 (The Doors); Duanne Allman, 24, 1971 (Allman Brothers); Berry Oakley, 24, 1972 (Allman Brothers); DEATH OF CLASSMATES - FRIENDS: Bonnie Warner, 1970 (leukemia), Andy Olive, 1970 (police/suicide), Chris Garza, 1970 (single car accident, four teenage passengers in same car killed), Louis R. Franklin (LR), 1971 (suicide), Howard Pierce, 1972 (single car accident), and Kate Bolden (cancer, her last breath she looked upward and said she saw Jesus and said "I'm coming to you, Lord!').
4. "Baptized Into Wilderness: A Christian Perspective on John Muir," by Richard Cartwright, John Knox Press, 1987.
Suggested reading: "Mere Christianity," by C.S. Lewis; "Cost of Discipleship," "Life Together," by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and "Destructive Generation - Second Thoughts About the 60s," by Peter Collier and David Horowitz.
Suggested listening: Bob Dylan sermon, Toronto, 1980. Live performances: "What Can I Do For You?" (Toronto, 1980), "When He Returns" (San Francisco, 1979), "I Ain't Going to Go to Hell for Anybody", "I Believe In You" (1980). Dylan performed "Gotta Serve Somebody" at the 1980 Grammy Awards where he won the "Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male" award -- a music-industry miracle to 'Dylan-as-a-singer' critics.
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