Perhaps my favorite hymn sung by one of my all time favorite singers. It was performed at my grandfather's memorial last year and I know it was a favorite to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well. This hymn and the text on which it is based - Matthew 10:26-30 - sustains me in this hour as I lift up my mother, Judy Bright, and our family in prayer. Let health be restored and hope never abandoned.
Well, it might not be as exciting as all that but as a Beatles fan it is a happy morning. I've never converted my albums to CDs (except for "Let It Be" - which I promptly lost - and Sgt. Pepper's) and so the chance to get the Beatles on my hard drive and iPhone (not to mention iPad) makes for a great Tuesday morning. My turn table hasn't be connected since we moved back to Portland in 2005 after returning from seminary in St. Louis. So there is a whole new world of music to introduce my daughters to. They're already dancing around the house.
How many would have put money on a resurgence of "socially conscious" pop after Barack Obama's election less than two years ago? Swept up in optimism following the election of a black commander-in-chief, many musicians reacted the same way Obama's 13 million email recipients did: They returned to normalcy and checked out of politics. The Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, who motivated so many young people with his remix of Obama's signature phrase, went from "Yes We Can" to "Boom Boom Pow."
John Legend performed "Yes We Can" with will.i.am at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, but unlike his friend and frequent producer, he didn't stop once the ballots were counted. During the past 18 months, Legend spent his spare time collaborating with ?uestlove and The Roots on covers of politically motivated soul music from the 1960s and '70s. What started as a potential single turned into Wake Up!, 11 vintage songs which are at turns optimistic and frustrated about the times that birthed them.
Younger fans of Legend's bedroom shtick are about to get a serious history lesson. (Roots fans, not so much.) Most of these songs didn't become timeless hits that slid easily into contemporary playlists, the lone exception being Eugene McDaniel's protest song "Compared to What," recorded in 1969 by Roberta Flack and appropriated in 2003 by Coca-Cola for a commercial starring Common (who, ironically, appears on Wake Up!'s title track).
1-3God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Daniel was a music lover and played himself and it is this song from Tracy Chapman that has stuck with me throughout this evening. So I post it here for Daniel and for all his family and friends grieving today.
It is a song of hope that perhaps will bring some comfort to those hurting: Say Hallelujah!
Updated: A message from Christa Medders from her Facebook page:
Daniel's viewing will be Monday & Tuesday, July 5 & 6, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm. at Donelson Fir Lawn Memorial Center, 1070 West Main Street, Hillsboro, OR. Phone 503-640-2277. There will be markers there to write and draw on Daniel's casket. We are planning a celebration of Life for sometime in August. Please share the word.
This obituary was printed in The Hillsboro Argus:
Daniel Scott Medders was born Sept. 8,1981 in Portland,OR to Christa and Michael
Medders. He joined his older brother and sister in a family who loved and
cherished him from the moment he arrived. He spent his early years growing up in
a small town where it was normal for him to be seen with his brother or sister at
high school events with their dates while still a young boy. Daniel was
loved by all who knew him. He was a gentle, sweet, caring, loyal person
who worried a lot about his fellow man and the earth and tried to do things to help
both. Daniel loved figuring out how things worked and to create things with this
hands. Drawing was a first and lifelong love of his and then along came guitar
playing as well as listening to any style or form of music. Daniel was interested
in music for it's meaning, what it was, where it came from and how and why it was
made. He spent many hours with his buddies perfecting his skate boarding moves
and tricks and this was another activity he enjoyed to its fullest. His dog
Hooch was truly a piece of his heart. Hooch was his buddy, wingman and confidant
for many years and Daniel loved him with all his heart. Known as Uncle Dan
to his nieces and nephews, he was considered by them to be fun, playful, loving,
easy to talk to, and someone they all looked up to. Some of his favorite moments
were spent enjoying good times with his many cousins, whom he loved more than they
could ever know. Daniel was funny and had an excellent, wry sense of humor.
His laugh was contagious, boisterous and full. He loved being happy.
In his late teens and until his passing, Daniel enjoyed his other passion,
cooking. All styles of cooking interested him and he was very proud to learn how
to prepare and serve sushi at a fine Japanese restaurant as one of his many cooking
accomplishments. He loved to explore and learn different cuisines and learned
to prepare and serve many delicious plates of food that were enjoyed by hundreds,
including family & friends. Daniel loved being social and made many friends
who he cared for deeply. He was also close and loving with his mom and
dad, brother and sister and their entire families. Daniel passed away peacefully
July 1, 2010. His surviving family members include his mom and dad; Rick,
Heather, Dylan & Devin Medders; Michelle, Jim, Michaela, Hayden, Zachary &
Jami Leeper; and Jake, Katie, Steve and Cindy Hauser, as well as numerous aunts,
uncles and cousins. He leaves friends too many to mention but they know who
they are and how much Daniel loved each and every one of them. Daniel left us
all many good memories.
In lieu of flowers we know Daniel would appreciate donations made in his name to
his favorite charity, Dead Dog Walking Pit Bull Rescue, http://www.deaddogwalkingpitbullrescue.org/, or by mail at 5630 Wahtonka Rd, The Dalles, OR 97058. This is a
501(c)3 registered non-profit charity.
A Celebration of Daniel's Life will be held in August 2010 with more details to
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