Let’s Celebrate Some Birthdays

Happy Birthday Rebel, John Mellencamp

  • Debby with musician John Mellencamp.
  • Debby standing in front of a John Mellencamp "Small Town" mural in Seymour, IN.
  • Debby standing by a life-size image of John Mellencamp on his motorcycle.

Today, John Mellencamp turns 72. I can’t mention this musician and artist without mentioning Farm Aid, which he helped spearhead in 1985. His “Rain on the Scarecrow” resonates with me since I grew up in Midwest farming country. But so many more songs speak to me as well: “Small Town,” “Hurts So Good,” “Paper in Fire,” and “Dance Naked,” to name just a few.

I admire Mellencamp for his no bullshit self (maybe I’m envious), even if he is a bit tired and cranky and drops too many f-bombs these days. He was like this in Jacksonville when I saw him in concert in February. A friend said the same thing after seeing him over the summer. And the LA Times wonders when he’ll be cheering up.

But…in the spirit of this month’s word, forgiveness, I extend grace to the amazingly talented John Mellencamp whose music has accompanied me through so many of my peaks and valleys. I have my theory why he might be a little tired at 72, but it doesn’t matter. I prefer to focus on the fact that he shot to fame without really wanting to, held tight to himself, and never lost his soul.

Happy Birthday John Mellencamp!

Happy Birthday Peacemaker, Desmond Tutu

The late Desmond Tutu, Arch Bishop, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and one of the authors of this month’s book, The Book of Forgiving, celebrates a birthday today too. I’m just getting to know this divine man. But I look forward to getting better acquainted this week in my book study. Here’s a tiny preview:

“As chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I (Desmond Tutu) have often been asked how the people of South Africa were able to forgive the atrocities and injustices they suffered under apartheid…We chose forgiveness. At the time, we knew that telling the truth and healing our history was the only way to save our country from certain destruction. We did not know where this choice would lead us. The process we embarked on through the TRC was, as all real growth proves to be, astoundingly painful and profoundly beautiful.” p. 2, The Book of Forgiving

Happy Birthday Desmond Tutu!

If you haven’t yet registered for October’s book discussion, it’s not too late. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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