Monday, February 25, 2008

Roll Away His Stone

A tip of the toque to my Good Friend the Reverend Doctor:

Larry Norman, 'The Father Of Christian Rock' Passes Away

Monday, February 25, 2008
Source: CMSpin

Larry Norman 4/8/47 - 2/24/08

Larry's amazing amount of dedication and work throughout his life is a
testiment to his love for his Maker. He will be missed but a celebration
of his life can live on through the vast collection of his music. For
those new to Christian music, you owe it to yourself to discover what is the
Larry Norman legacy.Here is a letter posted on http://www.larrynorman.com/ by his brother
Charles detailing the events:

Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday
morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with
him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing,
singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new
song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art. Several of
his friends got to come and visit with him in the last couple of weeks and were
a great source of help and friendship to Larry. Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson,
Mike Makinster, Tim and Christine Gilman, Matt and Becky Simmons, Kerry Hopkins,
Allen Fleming and a few more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very
much. And he greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that
came from all of you Solid Rock friends on a daily basis. Thank you for being
part of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he knew
he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message
to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry's
computer:

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching
down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are
getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.My brother
Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My
heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have
generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need
financial help.My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers
inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement,
transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc.
However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you. I'd like to
push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted
here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the
date when I will die.
Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.

Larry

Thank you to all of you who were so nice to my brother over the years.
Kristin and I will post funeral information in the next day or two. Right now
we're not able to function very well, but the whole family is here... our mother
Margaret, our sisters Nancy and Kristy, Mike Norman and his new wife Tiffany,
and Silver.We miss him beyond words. Thank you for everything.

Peace to you all in Christ,

Charles Norman


Resquiat Im Pacem, brother. Thanks to you, the Devil DIDN'T have all the good music.


UPDATE:

Friend (at least that's what I consider him), reader, and commenter Joel eulogizes him better than I could, and there's a great observation by WordGirl in his comments.

The thing about Larry was that he didn't start out to be a "Christian Rocker" -- he was a rock star who found Jesus. His music wasn't "CCM", it was Jesus Rock -- a guy who had found the Lord using the medium he knew best to express his newfound faith. There were a lot of musicians like that in the early days, it wasn't until my generation (the kids wedged between the Boomers and the X'ers) -- raised in the church but still wanting our rock and pop -- came along that we started seeing it go the other way and see church kids make modern music. Unfortunately, something got lost along the way. But if you want to hear some music -- albeit dated, but still good -- that really changed the modern Church, I'd recommend listening to some of the artists from that earlier wave. And the four I would most recommend, with our now passed brother leading the list, would be Larry Norman, Keith Green, Randy Stonehill, and Phil Keaggy.

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