Date: 14 August 1997
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 151]: Naperville, IL 08/09 review

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From: Gina Blanchette
Organization: Olivet Nazarene University
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 13:23:47
Subject: Prayer request for Rich

Danl - God's blessings to you!  I know you always ask us to pray for 
Rich's ministry, and quite rightly!  I saw Rich & Mitch & This Train 
last Saturday, Aug. 9 in Naperville, IL.  

Several songs into the set Rich said he wanted to do new songs for us 
since we can always listen to the old ones on CD.  After he and the 
band had done several more old numbers he stopped, laughed, and told 
us he knew he just told us he was going to do new songs, but in all 
honesty they were all exhausted.  Rich cautioned us that he might 
start weeping during the show because the more tired he gets the more 
prone he becomes to weeping.  Then he said he was sick, too.  His 
stomach lining is coming out.  He said he's "cannibalizing himself" 
and has pain off and on from stomach cramps.

After that the concert went well all things considered.  They didn't 
do any new songs.  Rich played the keyboard, guitar, dulcimers, and 
xylophone all very well.  He forgot more lyrics than usual.   Mitch 
was even quieter than his usual quiet self.   This Train was great.  
Mark Robertson said they were euphoric because they had been home the 
day before and that was the first time they were home since April.

The band cracked up during While the Nations Rage and Rich had them 
all start over because the cello player messed up somewhere during 
the intro.  The cello player pretended to be offended and left.  The 
percussionist went to fill in.  The cello player came back, Rich put 
down the guitar, went back to the keyboard, the band re-finished the 
song before that, If I Stand, then Rich went back to the guitar, 
slammed Republicans this time because he slammed the Democrats the 
first time they started the number and he's an equal opportunity 
offender, and then started the song over.  It was a riot.  They 
weren't about to make excuses for themselves even if they were 
exhausted.  At the end of the concert the DJ led us in prayer for 
Rich's health and for strength for the rest of the band.

I know the members of the mailing list will want to pray as well.  I 
talked to Rich briefly both before and after the concert and he was 
congenial.  He didn't look sick as much as tired and I don't mean to 
alarm anyone about his stomach or start rumors.  I'm just passing 
along what he said during the concert.  He also asked if we knew that 
he suffers from depression and asked for a show of hands of others 
that suffer from it.  Several people in the front row raised their 
hands and Rich laughed and remarked that proves depressed people 
tend to draw other depressed people to themselves.   He 
said he listens to Irish music instead of taking medication.  So, we 
might as well pray about that, too.

Rich was in a preaching mood that night, more so than usual even, so 
I'll pass along some of the things he talked about.  He said we are 
here because God in his infinite goodness and abounding  love 
created each of us to know his love and share love.  He said that 
Jesus quite literally loves the hell out of us.  He also said that 
people are sometimes more lonely than they need to be because they 
don't look beyond their own hurt and disappointment and see that 
others have these experiences as well.  Extending ourselves to feel 
for others is loving.  We don't fulfill our calling as part of 
Christ's body if we don't obey his command to love others as He loves 

Rich also talked about the aloneness that we experience no matter how 
well we are known by another.  He said this is because of our fallen 
state.  He used the illustration that he and Beaker are close friends 
from way back and have pondered all things, "sharing toilets, combs, 
and toothbrushes."  But even with years of friendship between them 
Beaker was angry one day that it still didn't entirely 
bridge his aloneness.

Rich thought the most tragic thing in life would be to be the only 
person on earth.  The great thing about being here is being able to 
have other people to show the neat stuff to.  Without anyone else to 
share with, all the wonders of the world would not make up for the 
tragedy of being alone.

Finally, Rich hoped that each of us would love someone.  He said he 
meant that we should love someone besides Jesus.  Of course we should 
love Jesus -- he's above us, inside of us, and in his willingness to 
humble himself and die for us, he is even beneath us.  But we are 
first and foremost to obey Jesus who commanded us to love others.  If 
we don't love we miss the purpose for which God created us.

Well, that was some of the things on Rich's mind.  It was a good 
concert and I enjoyed meeting him.  Keep praying for him.

Gina Blanchette
Division of Communication
Olivet Nazarene University

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