Oswald and Me

I am posting a link to a devotional that (at times) I have found very helpful and edifying: My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917). His words  also drive me up the wall and cause me to berate the author out loud on some occasions.

I love the clarity and legibility of this U.K.  website and I hope you do too.

Apparently, the two devotionals I like best, Streams in the Desert and My Utmost… [both in the menu bar at R. under TEXTS] are perennial best-sellers. The author’s paths actually crossed when they ministered together in Japan. This is taken from James Reimann’s introduction to the new edition of  Streams in the Desert.

I also found an esthetically lovely Chinese site [Wells of Grace] with both devotionals there.

I like Streams… a bit more and it does not cause me to get mad at the author as often.  But that does not mean Oswald’s words have any less weight – perhaps they carry more – since they provoke a strong carnal reaction.  I recommend the original edition of Streams… – not the updated version. The fancy caps on every page are beautiful. The literary high-blown English is also very rewarding to read. They simplified and dumbed-down the newer edition.

I have learned that both devotionals grow in profundity and relevance as one’s suffering intensifies.  They are easy to laugh off as pre-WWI maudlin claptrap when things are peachy.

George W. Bush has mentioned reading My Utmost… of course Barry and Michelle prefer Streams in the Desert.

But BarryTown is a whole   ‘nother topic…and so I dedicate this song to our current President:

Barrytown by Steely Dan
I’m not one to look behind,  I know that times must change
But over there in Barrytown they do things very strange
And though you’re not my enemy
I like things like they used to be
And though you’d like some company
I’m standing by myself
Go play with someone else
I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown
Don’t believe I’m taken in by stories I have heard
I just read the Daily News and swear by every word
And don’t think that I’m out of line
For speaking out for what is mine
I’d like to see you do just fine
But look at what you wear
And the way you cut your hair
I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown
In the beginning we recall that the word was hurled
Barrytown people got to be from another world
Leave me or I’ll be just like the others you will meet
They won’t act as kindly if they see you on the street
And don’t you scream or make a shout
It’s nothing you can do about
It was there where you came out
It’s a special lack of grace
I can see it in your face
I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown


2 comments on “Oswald and Me

  1. CJK says:

    I am, or was, a huge Steely Dan fan so when I saw your post on “Barrytown” I was somewhat hoping for an eternal theme but as suspected, can’t make heads or tails of it. Maybe I’m just not deep enough or perhaps indeed, the emperor has no clothes. Anyway, I’m not a gambler and therefore not likely to be so risky or presumptious to expect light out of darkness or themes of heaven in the city of man. That is unless our Sovereign God chooses to do so and granted he is often so gracious to do so. As a new believer and also a huge Jackson Brown fan I even heard the gospel in “Doctor my eyes.” But now personally I feel the need to be more intentional under the rhelm of “redeeming the time” so I’ll stick to Mathew Smith. Check
    him out!


    • drew says:

      That’s what I love about Steely Dan – you think you have a vague idea of what they are singing about – but upon closer analysis you can’t make heads or tails of it. All of their music is like that. And the instrumentalists were masterful. Perhaps you were trying to find substance in the song that is not there. For me, the tune is a perfect jab at Chairman O. But more likely Steely Dan had Barry Goldwater in mind….(?) Thanks for your excellent comments. Keep it coming.


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