Date: 07 July 1999
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 242]: Phoenix, AZ 05/18 review

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Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 15:54:14
Subject: Phoenix Review: 5/18 Ragamuffin Concert
From: Celia LaPaglia

Hi Danl

Here is a review of the 5/18 Phoenix Ragamuffin concert
written by Todd Dufek. If possible please add to your
archives. Thanks so much!  

Peace in Christ,

"Jesus - write me into Your story - whisper it to me
And let me know I'm Yours"  Rich Mullins


"Uplifting. Haunting. Encouraging and filled with wisdom; a passion for
Christ that lives beyond the life of Rich Mullins, now gone."

These simple words and phrases describe the indelible impressions left
with me following the Ragamuffin Band's performance on May 18th at St.
Jerome's Catholic Church in Phoenix.

No, this will not be an ordinary review of the concert. Those have
already been done with great competence and flair. And if you've read
them you know who opened for the Ragamuffins and what songs Rich's band
performed for an audience in love with his music.

Rewind about three years. My wife put on a cassette tape that contained
music that resonated through the house. It spoke with a simplicity and
elegance that told of God's creation ("The Color Green") and peeked into
the early years of our Savior's life in a way I had never fathomed ("Boy
Like Me").

When I asked who the artist was and my wife told me I said, "Rich who?"
I had never heard his music.

Anyone on the spiritual road to know Christ better, to walk in humanity
as He did, knows the struggle, the turmoil of hard times fraught with
tests. And how distant God can seem when we need Him most. But the songs
I heard from the cassette deck ("Nothing is Beyond You," "Hard to Get,"
"Hold Me Jesus") comforted and encouraged me. And they did the same that
balmy night in May.

And when God has given my wife and I blessings, including our daily
bread and luxuries we never asked for, Rich's music ("Awesome God,"
"Sing Praise to the Lord") has deepened our gratitude. In another
song - "Creed" - he gives us the reminder that, "I did not make it, no 
it is making me. It is the very truth of God, not the invention of any 
man." The reminder? That we are not making ourselves like Christ, but 
His work in our hearts regenerates us so that we can be more like Him.

My two favorite songs on The Jesus Record are "My Deliverer is Coming"
and "A Man of No Reputation." Songs I reveled in as I heard them
performed by the Ragamuffin Band. The first is a promise of Christ's
return in the light of our doubts, whereas "A Man of No Reputation" is a
reminder of the power that Christ had at his disposal. Yet he made the
choice to heal and love those poor in spirit.

The concert closed with the Doxology and an empty stage. The audience
was left to ponder the songs they'd heard. And the man God used to bring
them to a small church beside a heavily traveled road in a major city.
Finally, and most importantly, there was a mixture of loss and God
glorified that I believe deeply touched everyone in attendance.

Written by Todd Dufek

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