So Long For Now Rick Elias

Most of you have probably never heard of Rick Elias. If you were into Contemporary Christian Music in the 1990’s then you probably did, otherwise probably not.

Back then I was volunteering as a DJ on our local Christian station playing Christian Rock, Rap and Metal music on Friday nights. Along with my friend Keith we had lots of fun and were blessed to interview many of the artists by phone.

We also went to a Margaret Becker concert in Phoenix and that’s where we heard Rick’s wife Linda sing and go to very briefly chat with Rick afterwards.  I was a big fan of his music, especially his first album “Confession of Love.” It was amazing and I still love listening to it today.

I listened to several songs right before I taught Bible Study tonight because I saw online that Rick had died of cancer. It made me sad, and I’m still bummed to know that his voice has been stilled. But I’m grateful he can make all the music he wants now in the presence of his Lord.

I’m embedding a couple of his songs below for those of you who haven’t heard them. Take a few minutes and give a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

So Long For Now Rick Elias

The Song Behind the Speech

Yesterday I saw the by now iconic video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech which contains the line, “Free at last, free at last.” I’ve heard that a thousand times and remember it from when I was a kid. It made a powerful and immediate impact on our country.

But what’s often over looked is that Dr. King was referring to an old spiritual, sung by slaves years before. I got to thinking about that because the people showing that video had edited (censored?) Dr. King by cutting out the word “Negro.” King said “the old Negro spiritual,” but these people dropped out Negro since it’s no longer considered a proper way to refer to Black people.

Of course back in the 1960’s it was what you were supposed to say. I was taught to use that word till in the late 60’s the term Black superseded it. I have no argument with any group choosing the way they are referred too. I do however reject editing the past in a vain attempt to make it conform to our PC standards today.

So having been fired up I decided I’d actually look up what that old Negro Spiritual actually said. Here’s what I found:

from ” American Negro Songs ” by J. W. Work

Free at last, free at last
I thank God I’m free at last
Free at last, free at last
I thank God I’m free at last

Way down yonder in the graveyard walk
I thank God I’m free at last
Me and my Jesus going to meet and talk
I thank God I’m free at last

On my knees when the light pass’d by
I thank God I’m free at last
Tho’t my soul would rise and fly
I thank God I’m free at last

Some of these mornings, bright and fair
I thank God I’m free at last
Goin’ meet King Jesus in the air
I thank God I’m free at last

As you can see Dr. King expanded the meaning of the song, yet I believe stayed true to its essential meaning. Just wanted to shed some light on the source material he used in his most famous speech.

The Song Behind the Speech

What Is the Camino?

As some of you know I’m leaving in less than a week to finish my camino. Two years ago I hiked the first 200 miles of the Camino de Santiago, ending my trip in Burgos. This year I’ll fly into Madrid, take a bus to Burgos, and hit the trail from there.

The Camino is an ancient pilgrimage route across northern Spain. See the map below:


As you can see there are many different caminos. But the main one is listed as number one on the map. It is called the Way of St. James and begins in St. Jean in France and ends in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This is the route most people are referring too when they talk about the Camino. Here’s a close up:

Camino Close up

I’ll be starting in Burgos and walking across what is called the Meseta which is largely flat and sparsely populated, into the mountains of Galacia and then on to Santiago and the official end of the Camino at the Cathedral there. Then I’ll go on to Finisterre, which you can see on the map. Finisterre means end of the world, and I want to walk all the way to the end of the world and dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can download my schedule here and be part of my Prayer Pilgrimage by sending me your prayer concerns.

Here’s a few links for you to check out if you’d like too:

Here’s a short video I did of my 2016 Camino:

There’s a ton of information online about the Camino, hope this helps gets you familiar with where I’m going and what I’ll be doing.

What Is the Camino?

First Impressions – Altair Timps

I’ve been hearing about Altair trail runners for a few years now. They tend to be either hated or loved by those who use them. I’ve been wanting to try a pair for a long time now, but didn’t want to take a shot of buying over the internet since I have a track record of getting the wrong sizes!

Monday I went to REI and checked things out. They  didn’t have any Lone Peaks in my size but I had been wanted to check out the Timp and they did have those, so I checked them out.

I learned that for me at least they fit to size. I’ve read a lot about having to buy a size larger in Altairs, but not so here at any rate.

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was how light they are. It’s amazing. They have to be the lightest trail shoes I’ve ever used. Here’s a shot of the pair I bought, for $110, which isn’t bad at all really.

Altra Timps

So this morning my old pay jet lag woke me up early, I decided to take advantage and make jet lag work for me! So I suited up, put on my Timps and headed out the door at around 4:15 or so. It was about 94 degrees and fairly humid. I ended up doing almost 5.5 miles and my feet felt great.

If you know about Altairs you know they have two outstanding features which I’ll comment about below.

Zero Drop

Most shoes are made with the heel being slightly higher than the toes. But Altair have a naturalistic philosophy so they decided to make their shoes like you feet, with no, or zero, drop from heel to toe.

When you put them on and stand up you feel this immediately. It stretches out your calf and Achilles tendon a lot more than traditional shoes. It doesn’t feel bad to me, just different. As I hiked I could feel the stretch for sure, especially at first going steeply downhill. But there was not pain at all.

I did notice that without that extra weight in the heel I walked a bit differently. I tend to plant my heel hard, which has caused me some injuries in the past. I stepped a bit lighter this morning which is probably a good thing.

Expanded Toe Box

If you look at the picture above you might notice the front of the shoe (the toe box) is wider than what’s normal on most shoes. That’s is another naturalistic feature of Altairs. They don’t squish your toes together but give them room to breath.

I have to say it felt good as soon as I put them on. The more I walked the better I felt. By the time I got home I was loving the feeling in my toes. I’ve had a lot of trouble in the Salomon’s I’ve been using, but not here.

Now granted I only did five and a half miles, but still my feet felt much better then usual at the end. I did notice some slight rubbing on one toe on my left foot. So time will tell on this and I’ll keep a close eye on it.

First Impression

My first impression of the Altair Timp is very positive. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do on longer hikes and am planning on taking them to Spain for the last 300 miles of the Camino. That will be the real test!

As things develop I hope to keep you updated with other posts.

Till then don’t stop walking!

First Impressions – Altair Timps