Never enough music

Filed under: — joe @ 4:28 pm

With a lot of new cd purchases lately (and now no money to eat), I figured I’d throw out a little update as to what I’m listening too. So here you go, in no particular order…

1. Wilco’s A ghost is born– Wilco’s latest album and a very cool one at that. I have been very much addicted to Wilco over the last few months, and this just doesn’t help. It may be a notch below Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but it’s still awesome.

2. Chris Mason’s Crowded Spaces– My producer Andrew Osenga also produced this record and it sounds fantastic. Just an all around cool cd with some great songwriting. Check it out.

3. Radiohead’s The Bendsand Kid A– I haven’t listened to these two for a while but I’ve been in the mood for Radiohead lately… these are such great records it’s almost mindblowing. Near perfection.

4. Bob Dylan’s The Remastered SACD boxed set– I’ve been going through this set over the last month or so and can’t get enough. Between Highway 61, Another side of Bob Dylan, Oh mercy, Blood on the tracks… man, so many great records and the clarity on this set is amazing. Well worth the investment (although, I’ve heard that you can’t transfer SACD’s to an Ipod… so beware).

5. Bruce Springsteen’s Born to run– I’m revisiting this record after a long break from it… a great record for the summer.

6. Patty Griffin’s Impossible Dream– Still in my cd rotation and will be for a while longer… we’re going to see her, Emmylou Harris, Buddy and Julie Miller and Gillian Welch on Tuesday.

7. Mutual Admiration Society- This is the project that Glen Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Nickel Creek recorded 3 years ago (!) but it was just released. I really haven’t decided what to think about this record yet… there’s some great stuff, but I’m a little underwelmed. I wanna give it a shot though because I love me some Glen.

8. Jeremy Casella’s Innocence Fires– This is a record that won’t be released by the label (because labels suck) but you might be able to find it here and there online. A great cd with some great guest artists (The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jill Phillips, Cason Cooley). Jeremy will be touring with Caedmon’s Call this fall and recording a new EP… so keep an eye out for that.

9. Ryan Adams’ Rock and Roll– Another record I’m getting back into… a very cool rock record (although not my favorite Ryan Adams cd). Great for listening to in the car with the windows down and sunroof open.

10. Fountains of Wayne’s Interstate Road Managers– A great cd by a band that hits the cd player every summer. Good stuff.

10 1/2. Barenaked Ladies’ All their greatest hits– Always a fun band for the summer and a pretty decent collection.

That’s about it for now, if you haven’t listened to any of these… check em out now!

Grace and Peace


The Invisible Hand

Filed under: — joe @ 1:53 pm

I’ve been waist deep in reading lately, trying to catch up on everything that’s been sitting around for far too long. Right now I’m reading The Invisible Hand by R.C. Sproul… so far it’s turning out to be a great book about God’s providence. With all that has happened over the last few years, it seems that it is easy to forget about God’s hand of providence. When you’re in the midst of suffering, you usually can’t see the forest for the trees… or in this case, I can’t see God’s sovereign plan through my own faithlessness. It’s there though, just like it was for Joseph (not that I’m the head of Egypt or anything… maybe the head of my TiVo) in his day. It’s a humbling thing to see God working in your life… I don’t deserve it but it still pleases Him to work all things for good. To quote my friend Derek, “I am thankful that I’m incapable of doing any good on my own”.

I tend not to talk about politics too much, but I do know that with the election coming up (no matter what side you fall on), I’ll find solace in that fact that God is in complete control. I’m going out and voting, but I’m trusting in God’s providence for this country. If I could only trust in God the way that Joseph did… so that in the end, I could honestly look back and say “God meant it for good”.

I’ll leave you with this song I wrote a while back about the life of Joseph.

For good to be done

My dad brought us here to live in the hills of Hebron and that’s where my family made a home
One day he gave to me a coat of many colors when I was just seventeen years old
But then God sent me a dream, my brothers, they were afraid
So they tore my coat from me and then they sent me away
But I know the Lord is with me like I know I’m Jacob’s son
And though evil’s meant against me, God means for good to be done

I was taken down to Egypt where I was to be sold and still the Lord was with me everyday
In my master’s house I found favor in his sight, but that’s not where I was meant to stay
Because I heard sin whisper to me so I just up and fled
And I was thrown in prison for the lies that she said
But I know the Lord is with me like I know I’m Jacob’s son
And though evil’s meant against me, God means for good to be done

Well I found myself in prison for something I didn‘t do, still the Lord showed mercy toward me
It was there that I prospered inside those prison walls but soon the Lord would set me free
Because God sent down a dream and Pharaoh sent for my help
So I told him everything that the dream had to tell
Because I know the Lord is with me like I know I’m Jacob’s son
And though evil’s meant against me, God means for good to be done

The seven years of plenty ended just like in the dream, seven years of famine had begun
My family came to Egypt where grain was being sold, where God prepared for all that was to come
I said do not be afraid for I’m where God wants me to be
It was not you who sent me here but it was God who sent me
And I know the Lord’s been with me like I know I’m Jacob’s son
And though you meant evil against me, God meant for good to be done

Copyright Joe Bassett 2004

Grace and Peace,


For the beauty of the earth

Filed under: — joe @ 2:22 pm

Sometimes (although not nearly enough) I am in complete and utter awe of God’s creation. Last week I got my annual dose of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. I’m always amazed at the beauty and power of sharks. How something can be so graceful and yet so destructive. Watching how this creature can affect an eco system is absolutely incredible. One special showed the lesser known sharks… one of which is able to adapt to it’s surroundings and blend in with corral. Another could crawl on it’s fins across the bottom in shallow waters against the current. Another special showed the Bull Shark and it’s ability to swim into fresh waters (all the way up to Illinois!!). All of these sharks are amazing animals and all of them proof of a wonderfully creative God. It seems all of creation is like a quilt and every part is woven to be important to the balance for God’s own purpose. It’s a beautiful thing to step back and take a good look at from time to time.

I also spent a day up near Philadelphia to visit some of Rhonda’s family… while there we saw that a creek had overflowed and flooded over cars and buildings. Everyone just looked around and watched as the water ran through this town and there was nothing we could do BUT watch. I couldn’t help but think how the people of Noah’s time must have felt as they watched the waters rise up. Was their first thought simply fear or was it the realization that they did not trust in the God of all creation? Did they see Noah and his family up in the ark watching as God’s wrath poured out over creation? Watching that flood near Philly made me step back and think about where I put my trust in times of crisis and times of peace. These days you can’t help but think about it… I think of Job and how he dropped to his knees and worshipped the Lord in the midst of losing everything, including his health. Can I honestly say that’s what I’ve done? Is that what I will do? I have no idea but I pray that I’m able to. I pray that in all the trials and tragedies that my family and friends face now… that I’ll remember who is sovereign over all things, including our trials. All things work for the good of the Lord and I need to be reminded of that daily. In the face of tragedy, where will I fall? I pray it’s into the arms of a loving and forgiving Savior because He is all I can rely on… and all that I need.

I’ll leave you with this hymn that I always sing in my head while driving cross country and looking out the window. I think the most beautiful thing about creation is what it cost to redeem it… may we always be mindful of it and thankful for it.

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering upon every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
To our race so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Grace and Peace


"Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world."
-Francis Schaeffer