The Real Rich Mullins, Shameless Namedropping and the Cult of Personality 108

The only saint in our family, plus Jess, Wayne, and I

The only saint in our family, plus Jess, Wayne, and I

 

This morning I got up, got all the critters fed, and sat down to check my e-mail. Oddly, there were new comments on a post I wrote about my brother Rich Mullins a while back. When I checked the stats on my blog, that post had gotten over 200 views today. Now, that particular post has always been by far the most popular post I’ve ever written, which frankly is a little frustrating because I feel like I’ve written some pretty good posts that had absolutely nothing to do with him (of course, I could be wrong. It happens).

At one point, I had even considered just putting his name in the title of every post, just to try to get people to read my blog, but decided that would be taking shameless cynicism too far, even for me. I would also like to point out, at this point, that there is a point to this post that does actually have something to do with him (also, are there bonus points for getting the word “points” into one sentence multiple times, and if so, do parenthetical “points” count?), so don’t panic. This is merely the Shameless Namedropping bit. I like to ease into these things.

At any rate, I’ve gotta say thanks to all those who commented, both here and on the Facebook. They were all very nice. A couple of people even accused me of profundity, something that would make pretty much everyone who knows me laugh (I know it made me laugh). I am known for a lot of things, mostly involving bad temper and disgusting bodily functions, so it was nice to be considered profound for a change, no matter how far off-base it may be.

Even though the remarks were all nice and complimentary, I still found them disturbing to a certain extent. One of them invited me to join a Rich Mullins group on the Facebook (of which there are at least eight). This seems weird to me. Of course, it is also extremely gratifying, to know that he had, and continues to have, such an impact on people’s lives. However, I’ve got to ask, at what point does all this fan-girling (sorry, but it seems a lot like Tiger Beat for Christians) become kind of Idol Worshippy?

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with fan pages, or sharing your admiration/fanship of somebody with like-minded people. Far from it. However, I do think it’s something that we all need to be careful about. This has been bothering me for a while, but one of the commenters kind of brought it all home for me. This person wrote that in all the videos of Rich, he was “always clean and usually upbeat”, but the movie “Ragamuffin” portrayed him as “looking pretty bad, and usually in a kind of downer mood, or like there was a cloud over him.  Any problems Rich had, aren’t talked about out there.  So I feel like someone is being deceptive.”

I think the simplest way to address this is to tackle the four different points separately:

First:

The way he seems in the videos: He was the way he seems in the videos; smart, caring, sensitive, intellectual, spiritual, funny, and clean. But you also have to understand that in those videos, he was onstage. He was at work. How many of us are the same at work and at home? A large part of a job is image, whether you’re a rock star, or a Walmart greeter. You’re expected to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to talk a certain way. There are things you are supposed to do, and things you’re not allowed to do. I’m no authority on Rich Mullins, I pretty much only knew Wayne, but I know he struggled with that “Image” thing a lot. I remember him complaining that the record company was always trying to get him to lose weight, dress a certain way, wear his hair a certain way, etc., and he found it very disingenuous. Rich Mullins’ “job”, to him, was pointing people toward God. His job, according to the record company was to sell records and make money. Sadly, it seems like, to way too many people, his job is to be a kind of substitute Messiah, a kind of, “Well, I know he’s not Jesus, but he’ll do until the real one comes back,” kind of thing. Again, I’m not accusing you, or anybody, but I’m pretty sure you know somebody like this. Think about it.

Second:

The way he seems in the movie: He was the way he seems in the movie. First, of course, you have to realize that IT WAS A MOVIE! It was an attempt to tell forty-some years of one man’s life in two hours. I don’t want to say that parts of it were made up, but PARTS OF IT WERE MADE UP! That in itself does not make it untruthful. The bits that were “made up” were representative of actual events compressed into a form that made narrative sense, just like some of the characters were composites of multiple people. Think of it like this: Take a drop of water. Try looking at it atom by atom. It doesn’t look anything like a drop of water. If, however, you step back and look at all those atoms collectively, it’s a drop of water. The job of the movie was to show you the drop of water, not it’s atomic composition. I hope that makes sense.

As far as the difference between Rich in the movie and Rich in the videos, that was a decision arrived at early on, by both our family and David Leo Schultz, the director. None of us were interested in making a movie that glorified Rich Mullins. Now a movie that did that would probably have made a whole lot more money (and frankly, in my weaker moments, when I’m worrying about the car payment or the property taxes, I wish it’s the movie Schultz had made), but it would have been antithetical to his whole life. As stated earlier, I really believe that he believed his job was in pointing people toward heaven, and he tried to do just that. We all wanted the movie to try to do the same. Schultz could have painted him as some kind of saint, kind of a Christian Yoda who’s got it all figured out, but that movie would have only glorified Rich, and Rich would have hated that (of course, he probably would have loved it too). Schultz took a braver approach: to show the other side, the private side. The side that only a few ever saw. I almost said were privileged to see, but frankly, there were a lot of times when it was no privilege, I’m sure. The movie Schultz made shows him as we all are; flawed, fallible, and frequently a complete asshole, but a complete asshole who never stopped loving God, who never stopped trying to please God. His struggle was not with God, but with himself, just like the rest of us. If you want the squeaky-clean, family-friendly Rich Mullins, watch the videos. If you want a man who accomplished remarkable things through the grace of God, in spite of his own shortcomings, who struggled daily, just like you and I, then watch the movie. If you really want to get to know him, watch them both.

I guess the best way to put it came from Rich himself. He once said something along the lines of, and I’m paraphrasing from memory here (I’m sure many of you are more familiar with it than I am), “People talk about how open I am, how I say just what I think. If they knew what I’m really thinking they’d say ‘Oh man, we gotta burn this guy’.” Feel free to correct this version.

Third:

Rich’s problems aren’t talked about: No kidding. Nobody wants to take potshots at RICH MULLINS! He’s our hero! In fact, I know that Dave Schultz has gotten some pretty incendiary hate mail for even attempting to show him as flawed. Listen, you want to know what problems Rich Mullins had? Look in the mirror. He had all the same problems you and I have. It wasn’t his problems that were extraordinary, it was his life. His problems and flaws, for the most part, were pretty mundane. He was poor, he was lonely, he had weaknesses and flaws, just like everyone who ever walked the face of the earth, except One.

Fourth:

Somebody’s being deceptive: Simply put, no one is being deceptive. First of all, deception requires intent and there is normally something to be gained through the deception. The videos are amateur videos of a man at work. They don’t purport to represent every facet of the man. If you think they do, then the mistake is yours. Nobody gains anything from posting them. The movie was professionally made and expensive. The approach was intentional. Schultz is not a stupid man. If he wanted to be deceptive, then he would have made a movie that would make money. Instead, he made a movie that glorified God rather than Rich Mullins, a movie that, instead of making people say, “OOOOH, that Rich Mullins! What a great Christian!” tried to make you say, “Okay, I’m not the only one who’s screwed up. God loved him, I’ll bet he loves me too.” Plus, I’m not even sure they’ve broken even yet.

The Difference:

The difference between the popular perception of RICH MULLINS! and the reality of Rich Mullins can best be seen, I think, by looking at one of his most popular songs, “Awesome God”.

Here is the song’s lyrics as he wrote and performed them:

When He rolls up His sleeves
He ain’t just putting on the ritz
(Our God is an awesome God)
There’s thunder in His footsteps
And lightning in His fists
(Our God is an awesome God)
And the Lord wasn’t joking when
He kicked ’em out of Eden
It wasn’t for no reason that He
she’d His blood
His return is very close and so
you better be believing that
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

And when the sky was starless
In the void of the night
(Our God is an awesome God)
He spoke into the darkness
And created the light
(Our God is an awesome God)
The judgement and wrath He
poured out on Sodom
The mercy and grace He gave
us at the cross
I hope that we have not too
quickly forgotten that
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God (God)
He reigns (He reigns…) from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God (Our God is an awesome God)
He reigns from heaven above (He reigns from heaven above)
With wisdom, power, and love (With wisdom, power, and love)
Our God is an awesome God
Our God is an awesome God
Our God is an awesome God

Read more: Rich Mullins – Awesome God Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Now here is the version we sing in church:

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

See the difference? The version we sing is like the perception of RICH MULLINS!; Powerful, true, and above all, simple. The version he wrote is more like Rich Mullins; still powerful and true, but also awkward, kind of weird, thought- and question-provoking, and, I think, fairly deep, juxtaposing God’s vengeance with his Grace.

In contrast, the church version is just a mantra; essentially repetitive and hypnotic, requiring no thought at all, all too often just a mindless parroting of a slogan. Sure it sounds great, but there’s nothing there that isn’t said in a thousand other hymns.

I’m not saying that one is better than the other (for my part, I cringe at the thought of either version), but if I have to choose, I choose the one that makes me think.

Finally:

This brings me back around to my original point: the Cult of Personality. It seems like people may be taking RICH MULLINS! way too seriously. The fact that he was deeply flawed should not detract from our opinion of him, or what he had to say. Our opinion of him is a matter of complete inconsequence. If we say we are Christians, then the only person we should be fan-girling over is Jesus Christ.

OOPS!

Well now . . . that got a little preachy, didn’t it? Sorry. Sometimes I get a little carried away. I trust you’ll all have the good sense not to take anything I had to say too personally, or too seriously. To any of you who managed to slog all the way through this: Thank You! And now you know why I have no reputation for profundity.

108 thoughts on “The Real Rich Mullins, Shameless Namedropping and the Cult of Personality

  1. Reply sushi123 Jan 8,2016 12:05 am

    Thank you, Lloyd. Love Rich for being flawed like me. Love you for being flawed like me.

  2. Reply Sue Bowles Jan 8,2016 12:43 am

    Lloyd…thank you for sharing what needed to be said and having the courage to say it. I can only imagine how crazy it is for your family dealing with this stuff. I am not one to be starstruck. .I mean I COULD just totally flip out because I’m posting on the blog of Rich Mullins’ brother….or I can just be thankful that Lloyd shared a piece of his heart that encouraged me. I choose the latter. Thank you for being bold.

  3. Reply micus928 Jan 8,2016 1:48 am

    Thanks for posting this.
    Sort of inclined to disagree with the idea that glorifying him would’ve made more money. There are enough Christian movies like that, and they’re usually crap. Big appeal for me is Schultz’s honesty.
    Also, as a single guy who worked with Native American kids and who feels like I’m never getting anything in life right, it was nice to know a flawed guy who struggled with depression could make a positive and lasting impact.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 8,2016 3:21 am

      I agree with you that they’re crap, but I believe they’re crap that makes money. I’m also with you on preferring Schultz’s way. I also work with Native kids (and adults), and know how hard it is. Thanks for your work and thanks for reading!

  4. Reply Dot Thornburg Jan 8,2016 2:13 am

    The Rich I remember is the one who stood in our living room and taught Steve to play one of his songs, and always showed us kindness and encouragement when he would hear us play our dulcimers, however bad we were. Dear to our hearts, as his brother and Jess are, not for who he was, but, for WHO he was.

  5. Reply Wayne Mansfield Jan 8,2016 3:00 am

    Rich’s songs brought me closer to Jesus. Seen him in concert twice 92 and 96 I was in the nose bleed section. I first heard of him when we sang Awesome God in the youth choir on Youth Sunday at church. The book “An Arrow Pointing to Heaven” was a good book that should read along with “Ragamuffin Gospel”.

  6. Reply Dave Carder Jan 8,2016 3:30 am

    Good stuff Moon! Your brother’s lyrics were impactful precisely because they were at once profound and simple; clean and gritty. Your writing is at least in that respect, similar. Thanks for putting it out there for the world, brother.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Mar 16,2016 5:42 pm

      Thanks man! I appreciate it. Sorry it took me so long to reply, I normally try to be a little more timely. Anyway, hope you and yours are doing well. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  7. Reply Dave Scott Jan 8,2016 3:40 am

    Lloyd, I appreciate reading your ramblings from time to time. I went to CBC with your brother and I think that I would enjoy visiting with you as well. Thanks for being forthright.

  8. Reply Aurora Myers Jan 8,2016 3:54 am

    Thanks, Lloyd for posting this. Love the movie!! Love that it pointed to the grace of God !!

  9. Reply Kevin Eddy Jan 8,2016 4:07 am

    Thanks for saying all this, and I completely agree with you.
    I always did believe what you’re saying here, even years ago. Shortly before he died I actually got introduced to Rich backstage at Cornerstone, and despite all this belief I think I became a blithering start struck idiot anyway when I was face to face with him.
    The influence his songs had (and still have) was hard to reconcile with the idea of a regular human being in that moment. Thankfully for me the lasting influence of Rich was far more about pointing to heaven and far less about the successful performer.
    We’re all flawed for sure, I know I am, and I can relate to the quote about “what I’m really thinking” as it resonates so much more closely with me than almost anything I am likely to hear in most Christian Music.
    Go on speaking the truth my brother, it doesn’t always have to be clean or profound or financially gainful, or about anybody famous. Go on speaking the truth about Jesus, that’s what we all need.

  10. Reply David Leo Schultz Jan 8,2016 4:28 am

    I love you Lloyd

  11. Reply Joe Jan 8,2016 5:30 am

    A good read and very well said

  12. Reply Paul Simmons Jan 8,2016 5:37 am

    Hey, Lloyd! First of all, it sounds dumb to say “thanks for speaking the truth”…all the same, thanks for speaking the TRUTH.

    Second, I’m glad I got to tell your brother a couple things when he was around…like how Awesome God was to me – not the song, GOD! I struggled with addiction for over 10 years, and finally got sober about 18 months before “Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth” came out. I was just starting to see that the guy looking back at me in the mirror wasn’t always lovable, was far from perfect, but – in the eyes of God – was always redeemable! Depending on the song, Rich’s music still makes me smile…or cry…or just praise God all the more for the richness of his Grace.

    Finally, consider yourself hugged – virtually, anyway – by a grateful brother in the Lord.

  13. Reply Michelle Jan 8,2016 5:38 am

    Thanks for this. I never met Rich, but discovered his music back in 1995. In 1999, God used his musical, Canticle of the Plains to call me out to the Navajo where I now live and work. I loved the movie because it didnt show him perfect, as I have heard stories from both sides of those who did know him out here. None of us are prefect in our walk, and it is so nice to start seeing this portrayed honestly.

    Oh, and I never knew some church sang the short version of Awesome God, I still know the full mime to it, and am soon to start teaching it to the youth group my Husband and I lead.

    God bless!

  14. Reply windmillstudio7 Jan 8,2016 5:47 am

    Well put – Thanks for posting this

  15. Reply cherylc Jan 8,2016 6:00 am

    Well said…I agree with someone above with Schultz showing Rich’s life as real is what made the movie better than just another Christian movie. I kind knew bit of the real him knowing several people who knew him at CBC… I had a collection of the same instructors at ACC as well as CIY. Admittingly, i had a fangurl moment in OT history with Dr Hooks when he was visiting. But in the end the message was “Be Gods!” The depth of lyrics is what drew me in… Awesome God is good but the ones that have spoken most are Growing Young and Or the Color Green… perhaps the more folk style but mainly The Jesus Record. Thanks for sharing. Love the movie Schultz looking forward to Brennans story.

  16. Reply Sam P Jan 8,2016 6:10 am

    I had a hard time watching the movie….loved him before and still love him now…..saved by grace like the rest of us.

  17. Reply jasynjonz Jan 8,2016 6:12 am

    Good stuff here. I’m not gonna lie, I have been fan-girl for Rich a lot, back in the day. Discovering his music led me to Brennan Manning and a much more honest understanding of God and grace. Rich did all of that and has a huge stake in my ministry today. i cried like a baby when he went home; sat at my piano for hours playing and remembering. Truth is though, if we wasn’t an honest jerk, and it’s there in his own words, if he hadn’t been amazingly ragamuffin, I wouldn’t have heard. Thank you for the reminder of a real person who served God with his whole heart to the best of his flawed, human ability.

  18. Reply Craig Daliessio Jan 8,2016 6:15 am

    Lloyd,
    Great post! I can’t claim to have known your brother. I had met him once, but that doesn’t count. I have a dear friend who was in the Ragamuffins and who knew and loved Rich. Your article says what he had said all song. I miss Rich because I miss his craft. I miss Christian music that talked about people with flaws. …and in that, pointed people to Jesus. Thanks for writing this.

  19. Reply Jody Elliott Wentzel Jan 8,2016 6:19 am

    I have always been a huge fan of your brother’s. In fact, I still remember exactly where I was when I found out he’d passed.
    And while parts of the movie were shocking to me, I thought it was awesome. It simply pointed us to Jesus, showing all that God can accomplish through someone who truly loves Him, in spite of our brokenness.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  20. Reply Robin Pryor Jan 8,2016 6:59 am

    Great post! This post like the movie and Rich’s music are so genuine and authentic. That, to me so rare in anything labeled “Christian”. Thanks for writing, I’m going to check out your posts that don’t have Rich Mullins in the title!

  21. Reply Rachael Jan 8,2016 7:14 am

    I was quite surprised to attend a bible study my first year at Friends University to find out Rich was leading it. It was quickly evident that he was the real deal when it came to his heart after God. He was down-to-earth and warm. He pointed you to Christ immediately. That was 20 years ago. It made an impact that I remember today.

  22. Reply Dan Montoya Jan 8,2016 11:26 am

    It’s funny how the record companies 95th to paint an individual into one sided saint good to sell a record. I saw Rich in concert (with Christafari) at the university of New Mexcio in the late 90’s not long before he passed. He was a minister to me as he stood on stage pointing to Jesus. But even then he had a way of communicating how he was flawed but he was a work in progress because of Christ in his life. I was and am glad I got to see him perform live, and share Jesus with so many. Myself being one of them. He did impact my life for the glory of God. But I’m also glad he was flawed like you and i, He was just a man. He’s a saint now, though. Thanks for the blog.

  23. Reply clynpnt Jan 8,2016 11:30 am

    Love this write up on Rich and also the movie was very inspiring, and I am glad it was filmed showing Rich the true way of his life. That made it so much better He was a very humble person and I will watch the movie again

  24. Reply Jennifer Jan 8,2016 12:02 pm

    I loved his music and followed every record release as well as attended his concerts. And I get how you would think it to be “Idol worship” but if you saw it from the perspective of a flawed and frightened kid who just found someone who wrote and sang songs about being scared and rebellious and having trouble surrendering to God, and all of a sudden someone out there was a Christian and didn’t call me to be perfect, just called me to try it would make more sense. It seemed I had a kinship with him because he touched on the not so perfect parts of a walk with God. Don’t be so hard on those of us who grew up listening to him and miss him so dearly, that’s a man who can never be recreated. Flaws and all, I have never respected a writer so much. And thank you so much for bringing the movie to fruition. It was inspiring just the way it was❤️

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 8,2016 3:58 pm

      Hey Jennifer, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to come off as accusatory or mean, but I can see how it could be taken that way, so, again, I’m sorry. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be a fan of his, or anything like that, and I’m glad he did his job, and pointed you toward Christ. Honestly, I’m kind of a fan of his too, not so much of his music, but of his writing, and his thought. It challenges me and inspires me every time I sit down to write. What I’m talking about is all the hero-worship that surrounds him. I mean, people actually drive cross-country to leave things at his grave. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. I think there are a lot of people out there who are going to be disappointed if Jesus isn’t a lot like RICH MULLINS! when he comes back. I find that kind of stuff disturbing.

  25. Reply Jenny Nelson Jan 8,2016 12:14 pm

    Some great thoughts. Thanks. Was surprised by the movie actually. I figured Rich Mullins was “human” like the rest of us, but didn’t even come close to realizing how many and how strong his struggles were. Broke my heart. (And shame on the record companies for trying to create the perfect image instead of letting Rich Mullins be himself. Shouldn’t do that to anyone. There’s no good to come from it.) But I’ve got to say, the more accurate portrayal of Rich in the movie has been a rather large bit of assistance to me, particularly at this point in my life when I just can’t deny that even if I live to a ripe old age, I’ve already lived well more than half my life and eternity’s coming up around the bend. Its gotten me wondering sometimes if I’m “knocking on heaven’s door” or if my own struggles and doubts, arguing with myself, will have me burning for eternity. But God is real. Rich was real. And I’m glad that we had Rich Mullins, the good and the bad, to help open our eyes and to help guide us in the right direction. I think the movie was a positive thing and will do far more good than the image created by a for profit record company.

  26. Reply Lane Buckner Jan 8,2016 12:31 pm

    I’m a im a latecomer to Rich Mullins’ music. I heard one of his songs and had to find out who this man is. Turned out the verb tense should have been “was”.

    I really don’t listen to a lot of music, but I do listen to his music because it challenges me and draws me closer to God.

    I appreciate the honesty in Ragamuffin. I was so afraid it was going to whitewash his life, and Rich would have hated that. He was very open about his flaws and the fact that his stage persona was not the real Rich. At one point I had to leave the movie and go outside and cry. I can relate to his pain.

  27. Reply Stanley Doyle Yoder Sr. Jan 8,2016 12:40 pm

    I do not think that Rich (Wayne) wanted the concerts to be about Rich, but about the redemption story brought to us in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

  28. Reply kmrosenow Jan 8,2016 12:59 pm

    As parents to 22 children — most of whom have significant special needs and traumatic beginnings in life and ask the hard questions that will knock off any rose-colored glasses — my husband and I have a motto: “Never trust a pastor without a limp.” Rich’s obvious awareness of his fallenness (but redeemed-ness) is what gives his honest lyrics the heart and soul that reaches the deep places inside us. This post was very good. Sometimes we aren’t able to take our crew to church due to their medical challenges and will hold family services in our living room. Rich’s songs often find their way into those services and touch places inside our very broken children who are slowly making their way toward a God who loves them and sacrificed all to save them. For almost as long as I’ve known my husband, he has said that he wants, “I Stand,” sung at his funeral when the time comes. “…And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You.” God worked (and continues to work) through a man who was oh so human to open the eyes and hearts of a watching world.

  29. Reply V Hamilton Jan 8,2016 1:13 pm

    I “slogged” all the way through and appreciate your honesty and completely agree. Rich Mullins helped me be honest in my walk with Christ, and we need more like him who are transparent in their love, pain and pursuit of holiness. I feel many people I know “fan-girl” Jesus’ image too and I wish more would be honest in their faith … when they’re feeling weak or strong.

  30. Reply Gary black Jan 8,2016 1:25 pm

    On the best day of our lives, we all deserve to go to hell. Ah , but for Grace.

  31. Reply Sheila Jan 8,2016 1:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! Rich and his music had such an impact on my life and many others. He was real.

  32. Reply candi Jan 8,2016 1:42 pm

    Rich’s music always spoke to me… “Hold me Jesus” … I remember when Rich would lead worship in our youth group… I remember wondering who was this man who wore a white t shirt holey jeans no shoes and smoked behind the building… as a youth his music and realness… down to earth personality was so refreshing… I hung on his every word… because he spoke about God and Jesus in ways I hadn’t heard before… I don’t worship Rich… he was a man… I’m grateful God gave him wisdom to speak …. I loved the movie…it explained a lot of my wondering about his struggles… thank you for making a movie that needed to be shared no matter how difficult… excited to see the Brennan manning movie…

  33. Reply Lynn Breaux Jan 8,2016 1:44 pm

    Thanks, buddy. God bless you.

  34. Reply Steve Sexton Jan 8,2016 2:28 pm

    Thank you for keeping Rich Mullins real, I can remember with such clarity the morning I was driving to work and the DJ made the announcement of the accident that took Rich Mullins.
    I don’t want to sound like a groupie but I had seen the videos and read the stories about him, the stories that I had to kind of search for and then read between the lines, I felt like I lost a close friend, I never met him but through his music I could see that for someone to write a chorus that said ” Hold me Jesus” with verses that ( if I can paraphrase said) I am so messed up let me see that he knows my life, my battles and was letting me know I was not alone in this world.
    I cried on the way to work, it might have been a little bit of a selfish cry, but to me I had lost someone that was just who he was, thanks for just writing the way you do It’s got to be hard to do what you do.
    A few years back I was in a Goodwill looking through some old cd’s .50cent a piece and there was a Rich Mullins cd that I did not have, this was cool ! I got in my car and started to listen and the first words I heard was a song that was new to me, I cried( so I’m a little emotional) it wasn’t because I had found this cd or was ready for some Rich worship! it was because of the of the first 3 words I heard “Hello old friend”, is that cool or what.
    Thanks again. Pastor Steve Sexton

  35. Reply Fr. Alexis Baldwin Jan 8,2016 2:50 pm

    Moon Mullins,

    I’ve read a number of articles that say Rich Mullins was going to convert to the Roman Catholic Church and had set up a agreement with a Catholic priest to be received into that Church. He died the week before this happened. Is that True?

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 8,2016 3:45 pm

      I don’t know. I don’t really think it matters. I know he admired a lot of things about the Catholic church, but that there were also a lot of things he couldn’t reconcile with his own beliefs. I would personally be a little surprised, just because our entire family has serious problems with authority, but what do I know? I was stationed in Las Vegas at that time, and spending 1/2 of every year in Kuwait. I guess that priest, whoever he is, would be the guy to ask.

      • Reply Fr. Alexis Baldwin Jan 9,2016 2:53 am

        Thanks for the response! I’m not a Roman Catholic, but an Eastern Orthodox Christian Priest. I have always loved his music. I watched the recent movie too. The question for me, is just from my own interest than anything.

  36. Reply wordfromthestreet Jan 8,2016 3:05 pm

    I watched my own life played out as I watched the Ragamuffin movie. I feel saddened by the fact that since Rich’s untimely death, so many in the Church have become star-struck fans of Christian musicians, and that so many Christian musicians have become entertainers driven by their fan base rather than ministers driven by their desire to grow God’s kingdom. Oh, how I miss people like Rich Mullins and Keith Green!

    • Reply Brian Baldowski Jan 9,2016 7:36 am

      Unfortunately, many “Christian” artists have been driven by their desire for fame more so then showing people God. The artists that have impacted me the most are the artists that have put out songs that reflect themselves, their struggles, and the grace God has shown them through their struggles because that is who I am too. I do not listen to or have a desire to listen to artists that only show an image of perfection. They are the ones that fall the hardest and also the ones that usually cause people to cry “Hypocrite!!!” toward all Christians. I like Rich’s music because he was honest in his music. I sometimes feel he pulled “Hold Me Jesus” straight from my head because that is me. For me, he did accomplish his goal of pointing toward Heaven because that is what I think about when I listen to his music.

  37. Reply Jennifer McLarty Jan 8,2016 3:13 pm

    Thanks for this post and the reminder not to make someone better than he was (idolize him). A trap all us fans can easily fall into, I’m sure. I did not enjoy the movie as much as I thought I would and maybe it’s because it kind of worked on changing my perception of who Rich Mullins was. But while I appreciate the effort to use it to point people to God, a great goal, I felt it didn’t. I got to the end of the movie and felt rather empty, rather like it was a Greek tragedy where no one, not even God, was the hero! If I had to say what my biggest issue with the movie was, it wasn’t that Rich was shown to be real, flawed, weak, and sometimes an asshole (as you said in this post and I will admit I said a number of times to my husband while watching the movie), it was that even God didn’t seem to come out the hero. I will continue to love the lyrics of his songs and realize more fully that, perhaps one reason why his lyrics are so powerful is because he was weak and flawed and all that and still experienced God’s love – same as you and I and everyone else can. And perhaps I will watch the movie again, accepting of the fact that he was just a normal human being, and maybe this time I will see God as the hero. 🙂

  38. Reply livingstonesacademy Jan 8,2016 3:18 pm

    I’m a little late to the comment party apparently. 🙂 You hit the nail on the head in every way. I saw that comment, and wondered how you’d respond. Very well, it turns out. And I’m sure you know but I’d heard (and read) your brother say he always got a little tired of “Awesome God” (but, he added, at the concert I attended, “I never get tired of God”, so that sums it up right there, doesn’t it?). I’m actually on one of those Facebook groups, not gonna lie. Yet I too get a little bothered sometimes by the posts. I kind of wonder, meanly,if anyone has a life. Much as I love and adore Rich’s music, life, words, all those videos, articles, your posts . . .usually it’s God’s word getting me through a tough time or part of the day. That or belting out angry Matchbox 20 songs in the car if I happen to be with out the kids. 🙂
    I’ll always appreciate him. I have his albums, I listen to them, I read his old Release articles (and they make me tear up a lot), all of it. God definitely used him. I believe you when you say he felt his job was pointing people to God. Which is probably what made his struggles so hard for him. As an everyday Christian, not one on the stage, I find it hard to think I can point even my children to God when I’m so flawed. So if he ever doubted if he was doing his job, I hope he knows it now. That in itself encourages me–if someone that messed up could point the way to heaven, maybe I can do it too.
    But right now I appreciate you and his other friends that can share his legacy while at the same time steering people’s eyes where they need to be. You do great. Thanks for being willing to share.
    (And I do think you got that quote right. 😀 )

  39. Reply Randy Buist Jan 8,2016 3:22 pm

    First, you write well. I try to write too… honestly, I appreciated your word smithing. You now have one more subscriber (& not just because you were his brother).

    I was a fan. I’m from conservative West Michigan where Christian concerts were a big deal as Rich came on the scene. I saw him open for Amy Grant’s Unguarded tour, and I was sold. He was the kind of guy who was not entirely clean, and somehow I saw parts of the broken Rich from day one. It was in his music if only you listened for it.

    I recall being pulled over by a police officer for going too fast a few months before Rich came back into town, and when I reached into the glove box, the tickets for his next show fell into my hands. The officer asked what they were, but he was not amused. I got a the ticket; the officer must not have been a fan.

    My kids have grown up with his music. They watched the movie with my wife and I a year ago, and they were entirely turned onto Rich. They were sung to sleep with his songs from the day they came home from the hospital, and now the more broken Rich Mullins resonated with them at ages 15, 12, and 9. It made my wife and I smile. This is the gospel we know and want our children to know.

    The cult of personality thing: I hear you, and I am sure there are plenty who you feel are crazy. My only, sorta, push-back is this… we all want to find people who we can follow. I so deeply want to say to people, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” In all of Rich’s broken crap in his life, in his being an asshole as you say, he never gave up on following his Creator. He always wanted to point us to a better way of living and to a deep hope that is within us.

    For me and my wife, Rich spoke and sang prophetic words about how the church was not engaging in social justice issues. He believed, or as I heard him at least, that social justice always went hand in hand with the good news of Jesus. Having studied the prophets of the Old Testament recently, your brother was spot-on.

    Thanks for your article. Your brother left a good legacy because it was a messy legacy. His life needed God’s grace for certain. I’m sorry that some people don’t want to hear about the real Rich Mullins, but you are certainly an authority of sorts. Grace & peace to you my brother.

    Now get back to the keyboard.
    Shalom.

  40. Reply Trish Johnson Jan 8,2016 4:04 pm

    Thank you Lloyd for the well written post on Wayne and I agree, your mom was a saint! 🙂

  41. Reply Gwen Jan 8,2016 4:25 pm

    That was perfectly written and I loved how he was depicted in the movie, I was in tears and saying to myself, hey, that’s me. It was honestly a breath of fresh air to see the imperfections. Thank You so much for writing this. I was just listening to your brother today on Pandora, yes I made a Rich Mullins Station. It’s either Celtic music or Rich Mullins, so very appropriate that I listened to Rich today and came across your article. 🙂

  42. Reply Debbi Jan 8,2016 4:58 pm

    I was a late comer to Rich’s music… and found I was too late to hear anything new from him, though I have been blessed from interviews, the movie, his songs, etc… that I have come across. I am appalled at the fan page type of “worship” of him though… From what I’ve come across about him, he would have HATED that as he wanted God to get the glory for whatever he was able to give. But I do appreciate God using your brother even now… There are many who needed to hear this gifted and flawed soul. Me included. He is still a missionary to those who accidentally come across his works… For that I am thankful to our Father. Nothing is waisted. Be blessed.

  43. Reply john Jan 8,2016 5:23 pm

    A few years after his death, I was discussing him with a few friends. Someone mentioned Rich was a smoker. At the time it hit me hard, but I am thankful for that now. It made me stop fan-boying valuing his relationship with God even more than his music or fame.
    Real Saints don’t have it easier. They just make it look easy.
    Thank you!

  44. Reply Lisa Holt Jan 8,2016 5:55 pm

    Coming from out of the darkness into the light. We let our light shine the brightest when we are broken. The pieces cry out to a loving God who will use each of us. Rich was my youth pastor and friend I see him in no other way. I do see him however as one of the stones that form the foundation of my faith. That would be a blessing to Rich and at the same time crack him up. Still listen to his music but have not seen the movie maybe someday.

  45. Reply Abby Jan 8,2016 6:02 pm

    As a longtime Rich Mullins fan I was surprised at first when watching Ragamuffin that he could be so deeply lonely and depressed, but my surprise only lasted for a few moments. When reflecting about the honest poetry in his music and hearing him speak in concert, of course that was a part of who he was. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that music labels have an image to project. Why would anyone think that a music video would show the ‘real’ part of a person? It’s entertainment. His lyrics and lifestyle did show a window into an honest, amazing personal desire to follow the Lord. That’s what attracted most of us ‘fans’. It was extremely refreshing to have a voice like that in a plastic world. He was a rare soul and is sorely missed. I miss his ‘voice’ still. LOVED the message of Ragamuffin – it was beautiful.

  46. Reply Mark Jan 8,2016 6:05 pm

    Part of why I loved your brother and his music is that he was flawed. And he still had hope. Bless you.

  47. Reply Pamela Allen Jan 8,2016 6:05 pm

    When my husband and I said yes to Jesus (1991), it was at the same time that Christian music was being played more and we listened to a lot of your brother’s songs. We didn’t know anything about anything as both of us were raised by parents who were not religious. His music has been a part of our lives ever since we first started walking with Jesus.

    We loved the movie. I don’t believe people can understand the true weakness that comes from our flesh, nor do a lot of them care too. It is the classic story of “OUR works” or “Here, God, what can you do with this?” God’s glory shined through your brother’s life. We were very grateful for how your brother’s music enriched our walk with Jesus.

  48. Reply Mark Jan 8,2016 6:06 pm

    (and I hate when churches only sing the chorus of that amazing song. . . .kind of like what they do with Keith Green’s Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful”. . .

  49. Reply Tim Jan 8,2016 6:08 pm

    Buddy, I have to disagree. The movie was made by a first time movie maker, and the music videos, many were shot by Steve Taylor, very professional! The point I saw in the movie that bummed me, who kinda knew him, and fans that just loved him, was a completely depressed man that seemed to have no joy, the kind that’s only found in the Holy Spirit. I only got to interview Rich a few times, and those who have interviewed him would say it’s some of their worst interviews they’ve ever had. Rich was horrible at drivel, which to me was great! We had a wonderful interview because I asked him really important questions, and I learned form him. I think he like d being a teacher, but too many of us don’t like to be students. If you’re only going to show one side of Rich, you’re wrong, show both sides, but understand people want to see the gift more than the sin.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 8,2016 6:29 pm

      Cool, it’s nice to hear from somebody who disagrees with me. I didn’t know about the Steve Taylor thing. Believe it or not, I don’t really spend much time watching them. Anyway, yeah, I also see your point that the movie could have been a little more balanced. It’s certainly a flawed film, but I’m glad they went the route they did. Like I said, if you want to get a good glimpse of what he was really like, you have to watch both. Anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks for your feedback. I really do appreciate it.

    • Reply livingstonesacademy Jan 8,2016 6:47 pm

      When people are talking about the Rich they saw in videos, they may be referring to “Pursuit of a Legacy”, which was done by Steve Taylor. But more than likely, especially from the way the comments are worded, they are talking about the concert and interview videos, which were largely amateur.

  50. Reply Robin Maynard Jan 8,2016 7:45 pm

    When I saw the movie I cried because I am a Christian who struggles with depression. Sometimes that makes me feel like such an outcast. But God loves the outcast and gives us grace to pull through. That is why the realness of the movie reached my heart. Thank you for being real.

  51. Reply paulyhart Jan 8,2016 8:52 pm

    good stuff man. he and beaker hung out at youth group when i was in high school at central christian. i had never heard of him before but he banged on the piano pretty well and he was silly and awkward and questioned everything and that really had me interested in him as a young man. when i look at all the “hoopla” about him, i am always drawn back to those days, as this guys who wrote the song “never picture perfect” and told me that he was ok with it and i should be too. i appreciate you lloyd. thanks for sharing your heart about that one guy that i knew who had no shoes, ripped up jeans, and a hammered dulcimer who once told me that loving Jesus had nothing to do with pretension.

  52. Reply Kandee Jan 8,2016 10:09 pm

    Thank you for saying what I made the mistake of saying on one of his fan pages and got myself chewed out. I found Richs music in the early 80’s. First I was taken in by his love of the natural world.( It buzzs, it beeps ,it shinny, it shines, it rattles, it patterns, it purrs) those where the things that I loved.Thats where I found God.Than I started to believe we were maybe kindred spirits. I was molested when I was very young. I believe because of that I wasn’t good at putting my feelings in to word, but those words I found in Richs music. I recognized his brokenness. That brokeness later brought me to Brennan. When he died I was maybe the only person in the world who had not heard. While others were listening to the radio I was listening to his CD’s. I over heard one of my friends say something about it. I liken to being hit with a hammer. Many years later he is still in my CD player and he is still helping me put my feelings in words.

  53. Reply Jennie Katterheinrich Dimmick Jan 9,2016 1:23 am

    I haven’t driven cross country to leave things at his grave, but I have been to visit. We live just a few miles away, and I sometimes take friends from out of town when they are here. It’s not a fandom sort of thing, but it is emotional in a “Here’s a real person who truly knew he belonged to Jesus and wanted other people to know that, too” way. (If AW Tozer had lived near me, you can bet that I’d be out at his grave, too).

  54. Reply Scotty Rogers Jan 9,2016 5:50 am

    I recently posted a comment on a thread pertaining to how the movie portrayed Rich, and I think it sums it up for the vast majority:

    “The two greatest singer-songwriters in Christendom were Rich Mullins and Keith Green.
    The difference between the two is that after their deaths, the family of Keith Green worked very hard to protect his image, whereas the family of Rich Mullins worked very hard to magnify his. Rather than investing your time to research more in-depth about the personal life of Rich Mullins, your time would be better spend searching after The One to whom Rich pointed. ”

    If anything, the movie deepened my respect for Rich in that it showed me just how much like me Rich really was. He wasn’t one to be placed on a pedestal and worshiped; he was one who struggled with very similar demons that I dance with.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 9,2016 10:56 pm

      Hey Scotty! I’m a little confused by the quote. Are you saying my family has done wrong, or right? I’m not pissed or worried or anything, just want to understand. Please let me know. Thanks for reading!

  55. Reply Lisa Riley Jan 9,2016 7:09 am

    First, I want to say how much I loved the movie Ragamuffin for portraying Rich in an honest way. The only thing that was really tough to watch was how sad and tormented the movie portrayed him. I wish when he lived on earth he knew how much he touched people through his music and concerts. I hope God showed Rich that when he entered heaven! I sure do miss him and his music!

  56. Reply Laurie Jan 9,2016 8:06 am

    Another great post! Rich used his talent to bring others to Christ and did it well. Thank you for sharing your brother with us. I have no doubt he is still doing God’s work through his music. Who knows, he may even be your guardian angel! Keep writing, you have talent too!

  57. Reply Michael Eubank Jan 9,2016 3:26 pm

    Thanks, Lloyd. I don’t have a problem idolizing Rich, but I do like Kieth Green a lot. You should write a post about Kieth. 🙂

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 9,2016 10:52 pm

      I don’t know anything about Keith Green. You’ll have to wait until the neurotics in his family start talking, I guess!

  58. Reply Robert Mahaffey Jan 9,2016 4:37 pm

    Ragamuffin connected me with some things from my past that confirmed that I needed to make some things right with a family member that I was distant from after seeing Rich’s dad die never telling him he loved him, never hearing, even though he knew he did. I made things right with this family member, whether they wanted me to or not.
    I got to meet Rich at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas in 93. While waiting for him to sign my CD I bought, he kept making eye contact with me. He had this transparent look in his eyes like he could see right through me. When I got up to the table he asked me if I was okay. I told him I was and asked him why he asked. He told me he recognized my brokenness from across the room because he had it too. I briefly told him of my recent experiences in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and some other things that happened, and that I suffered from PTSD and depression. He prayed with me.
    I’ve been drawn in by his musical gift and lyrical genius ever since. Talk about a “Verge of a Miracle” story. He told me that my life paralleled that song and that he would be praying for me in the months ahead as I recover from my depression. I miss him.
    Sincerely,
    Robert Mahaffey
    (No relation to Clarke)

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Jan 9,2016 10:51 pm

      Hey man, I hope you’re doing all right now. I served in the Air Force for 20 years, from ’84-’04,so I have some small idea of what you’ve gone through.Thanks for everything you’ve done for us all, and thanks for your comment. Thanks for reading!

    • Reply Robert Mahaffey Sep 2,2016 3:12 pm

      Mr. Galt, I don’t need your validation for what I, nor my unit went through, nor what happened to me on our own soil after that conflict. This is not one of those troll threads, this is a blog honoring a musician and a servant of God that obviously left no inspiration on your life whatsoever. Keep trolling. I certainly hope Mr. Mullins finds as much lack of humor in your comment as he does decency and warns you about future posts, or bans you all together! Good day sir!

      • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Sep 2,2016 4:22 pm

        Robert. I spent some time trying to formulate a particularly stinging response to Mr. Galt, but realized that his comment was beneath contempt, and unworthy of a response. Instead, I simply deleted his comment. I won’t stand for that kind of trolling here. I apologize for providing a numbskull like that a forum. Hope you’re doing okay. Have a good day.

  59. Reply Sarah Jan 9,2016 7:46 pm

    Lloyd, thanks for your posts and for being real.

  60. Reply caseysean Jan 9,2016 8:33 pm

    Rich’s music at that time and even still after almost 20 years his departure, is the most genuine from any one person. I discovered Rich’s music in April of 1997 after coming to the faith. Having been raised in the Church as a child though I was familiar with some songs. I listened to his radio interviews and bought all his CD’s.
    It wasn’t until he picked me up in July of 1997 though that I really met his personality. You’re right though. Too find him you have to look between the movie and music but he was more than that. I was walking along the highway here and twenty years old at the time. I was talking with God and it was around 21:30 as I progressed to a city 30 min drive from where I lived to get my truck.
    I didn’t recognize that it was Rich at the time as he pulled up about 100 yrds ahead. He was talking about hymns and played them. He was very open about as struggling with sin and I found a genuine Christian brother. I kept thinking how familiar he looked and his voice sounded.
    He had a humorous personality, he was inquisitive about me and joked about how seriously we took ourselves. He loved Jesus though. He would talk about wrestling with sins and how he hated that. I felt open to talk about anything with Jesus. It was after he dropped me off that I realized it was Rich Mullins.
    I know what you mean by, “The real Jesus isn’t here but he’ll do for the time being” because it is my personal belief that when a person is so raptured in the love of Christ that they emulate Jesus’ love that at the thought of the person you think of Jesus and not the person, then possibly that person has been molded in the image of Christ to the point it’s time for them to go home.
    When I think of Rich, I think of Jesus…not Rich. Paul was not without sin, nor Peter or any other apostle. I think Rich would be happy to know that people remember Jesus when they remember him.

  61. Reply Rosalie Elliott Jan 10,2016 9:14 am

    What a wonderful legacy Rich left …. I pray that God will continue to use my life to bless others as your brother did and will continue to do for many years to come through his music. God blesses each of us with gifts to help us bring light to this world for Him and even though Wayne was flawed, like the rest of us, he shined bright!
    Years ago a friend gave me some of Rich’s music to listen to and I’ve listened to it often; however, I never knew anything about him until I came upon the Ragamuffin movie earlier tonight online and it sounded familiar and worth watching. WOW – I loved the movie and it got me searching the internet for info and I came across your blog Lloyd, thank you for more insight. I’m definitely not fan-girling 🙂 I love seeing the works God has going on in the world through His children. I’m definitely going to recommend the movie to others as the message is VERY good and I know many will find it encouraging.
    May the lives of those around us continue to be better because of the kindness, generosity, compassion and abundant love we all share with them!

  62. Reply Tim Jan 11,2016 9:01 pm

    That was one of the things that bummed me most about the movie, Rich was a goofball at times, none of that in the film, just dark & brooding. Let’s make it again!

  63. Reply Cindy Feb 1,2016 9:01 pm

    Thanks for this. The same friend who introduced me to Rich’s music my freshman year of college sent me this link. I’m sure it’s trippy and surreal to see the reaction to your brother’s life get almost culty in some ways. I listened to and loved his music, saw him in concert many times, was very sad when I heard he’d died. And it’s weird to think that I’m now older than he was when he died. And I still listen to his music — I had it playing in the car yesterday.

    I did see one of those “oops! tattoos” slideshows a while ago where someone had “Our God is A Awesome God” tattooed across her neck. (Note to self: Always proofread tattoos before committing.) It was such a great visual of what you wrote about here… that need to incorporate the Myth of Rich.

    And you’re a good writer, David. Even without “Rich Mullins” in the header.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Feb 1,2016 10:18 pm

      Thanks, glad you liked it. One note however, I’m Lloyd, not David. No harm done. Thanks for reading!

  64. Reply Robert Mahaffey Feb 2,2016 7:53 am

    Lloyd, I was thinking about starting a Rich Mullins Tribute Band called “Ragamuffin Revival”. How would I go about the legalities of starting it or would it even be possible? I want to bring his lesser popular music back to churches. They all still sing Awesome God and Sometimes By Step, but his music was lightyears deeper than just those two songs. Would I be out of line by trying to get permission to attempt this?

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Feb 29,2016 12:38 am

      Dude, I don’t have the first idea how to go about doing that. Sorry. You might try getting hold of my brother, David. He’s more familiar with all that stuff.

      • Reply Robert Mahaffey Feb 29,2016 2:34 am

        Ok, how do I go about doing that?

        • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Feb 29,2016 1:02 pm

          Best thing I can tell you is go to kidbrothers.org. There’s a David Mullins tab with a contact Dave thing. Give that a try. It may take him a while to get back to you, he’s pretty busy. Hope this helps.

  65. Reply Tom Mar 16,2016 5:12 pm

    Wonderful post. Someone upthread said that Rich didn’t call them to be perfect, but to try it. If I could suggest another version (that I hope they’d agree with), I’d say he didn’t call me to be perfect, he called me to worship. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of the impression his music has made on my life, of the tremendous comfort and wonder it has imparted.

    We are at a pretty pass when popular Christianity has us trapped in such a performance trap as I see reflected in so many of these posts here. Yet it’s hard growing up – you perform at school, and get rewarded or punished accordingly, and much the same at home; indoctrination precedes understanding, I guess. And just like we pull away from God’s love, we imagine that our parents don’t love us (well, sometimes they don’t – I speak generally). We don’t realize the depth of our sin, of our coming so far, far short of the glory of God, juxtaposed with a love so unfathomable, so passionate, yes, so furious that He would do anything, right up thorough death, to make it right between us.

    I don’t have any problems with Rich being a smidgen less than perfect(!); my mirror shows me a man worthy of death,and yet deeply loved by God.

    Thanks again.

    On the business end, & along the lines of a revival band, I’d spend a pretty good chunk of money for the actual accompaniment tracks to his music. I mostly sing in the car, but it’d still be worth it if they could be recovered. There’s a few out there, but they aren’t original. Rich would probably be appalled, but I’m not “fangirling”. I just like what I like from singing along with the CD’s for all these years.

    • Reply Robert Mahaffey Mar 16,2016 5:26 pm

      I have a few of his “generic” accompaniment tracks too. I agree, he would be appalled because some “musicians” don’t know how to treat the music right. I would rather learn the songs and blend them with a few of the songs I have written to praise God with. Still waiting to hear from David about this. I know he is a busy man. Patiently waiting.

      • Reply Tom Mar 16,2016 5:31 pm

        Well, it’s really in the hands of the record companies, and they have to have enough return on investment to make it worthwhile. Crowdfunding, perhaps?

  66. Reply Fred Mar 18,2016 6:13 am

    Wow, thanks. It’s been a long trail between those days with Rich at college and now. I really had quit reading or watching anything that had to do with Rich. I was tired of seeing all the cleaned up version of him when I know that’s not how he wanted to be seen. His struggles were just as important as his victories and they were part of his pointing people to Jesus. Guess I need to go see that movie now. Sounds like an attempt to show the authentic Rich was made. Your blog was refreshing. Thanks again.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Mar 18,2016 2:06 pm

      Thanks, I appreciate it. I thought the movie was good. It’s flawed, certainly, but what isn’t? Anyway, glad you liked the post. Thanks for reading!

  67. Reply Robert Mahaffey Mar 18,2016 2:30 pm

    Flawed? Yeah, but just like Rich, and just like all of us, it was “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

  68. Reply Terri Thayer May 25,2016 1:19 am

    Hi Lloyd..
    I hope you keep writing. It’s obvious that talent and transparency run in your family. Thanks for sharing!
    I still miss your brother and wonder how many songs he took with him. But I’m sure he’s singing them in Heaven.
    Grace and peace.
    Terri Thayer

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com May 27,2016 2:33 pm

      Terri, Glad you liked it. Of course, before you get too hopeful about me continuing to write, you should probably read some of my other stuff. Hahaha. Anyway, thanks for reading!

      • Reply Terri Thayer May 28,2016 3:19 am

        Hi Lloyd,
        Thanks for responding. I look forward to reading your future thoughts. I think you sell yourself short. Please keep sharing!
        Grace and Peace,
        Terri Thayer

        • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com May 28,2016 10:16 pm

          I don’t think I’m selling myself short so much as keeping myself from getting too cocky! Have a good day. Later.

          • Reply Terri Thayer May 28,2016 10:33 pm

            How about you just keep writing, and we’ll pray for The Lord to keep you humble! And hey, your readers can help The Lord out! Deal?☺
            Grace and Peace.

  69. Reply Laurie Batura Jul 4,2016 7:18 pm

    I’ve seen the movie at least 3 times and loved it ! There is such an anointing on Rich’s music that makes it stand out from the rest. I accepted Christ almost 30 yrs ago and I can relate to the struggles portrayed in the movie. I wish I would have met him in person. I guess I just have to wait a while and will meet him in Heaven.

  70. Reply IrmMa Jul 17,2016 9:00 pm

    Wow! Really – thank you. I needed to read this. It had to be Rich Mullin’s brother to help me understand …thank you.

  71. Reply Brian Carter Sep 5,2016 5:09 pm

    Nice read sir. Thank you.

  72. Reply radbassman Sep 19,2016 7:27 pm

    The first time I looked at Rich Mullins’ lyric sheet from “Songs”, I was overcome with emotion. I looked at my wife and said, “These are the thoughts I have, but could never put into words.” I have never pictured Rich as anything other than genuine – which I believe is as good as anyone can hope for.

  73. Reply Kim Mar 15,2017 2:38 pm

    I am a fan… I seen Rich many times in concert from small gatherings where he was right in front of us to huge stadiums. I didn’t like the movie. This sounds mean but it was just almost that you were trying to hard to show joy in his life. maybe it was the actor . I just wish it showed more real. I felt it was just trying to show the hard times. I bought the dvd. My son watch it with me as well. Because he listens to Rich music all the time since he was little. He was even like wow, how sad. I wish it was more balance.

  74. Reply Jen Sep 19,2017 8:07 pm

    That picture is from our vacation to Lake Powell, when Mitch’s car broke down and we had to wait at the Holiday Inn at Canyon de Chelly and rode horses. 🙂 Hi! This is Jen, Rich’s friend from Window Rock. Don’t ask me how I stumbled across your blog. Just looking at pictures today, of course, and I went – I know that one! Those of us who were his friends on the Rez are quite separate from all the fandom crap. Sorry, is that too negative? Ha. We simply knew him as one of our community and miss him as such.
    I still tell people about Flossieland when I teach people how to play up and down the river, which I learned on this trip.
    That was a super week. Blessings to you all from a connection from many years ago. Jen

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Oct 27,2017 11:35 pm

      Hey Jen, sorry it took me so long to respond. I’ve stayed as far away from all the fandom crap as I can, as well. I think he’d prefer it that way, that we kept loving him for himself and who he was to us, and completely separate from the fame and stuff. You take care, and thanks for reading!

  75. Reply Kim E Perry Sep 24,2017 4:35 pm

    Thank you for this insightful post. It helps me to understand Rich Mullins the person, as well as his art, better. Because of Rich I have taken up the hammered dulcimer a few years back and occasionally play it in a small church band I’m in. I’ve always wondered, what happened to his hammered dulcimer, after he died. I hope it is being cherished, somewhere. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Reply moonandjess@frontier.com Oct 27,2017 11:32 pm

      Thanks for reading it. I’m not really sure what happened to all of his instruments, but I’ve got one of his hammered dulcimers and one of his guitars. Just wish I could play ’em.

      • Reply Kim Perry Oct 29,2017 1:45 am

        I’m so glad to know that the whereabouts of these two instruments are known. Learning to tune the hammered dulcimer takes a ilttle doing but once you know the notes and the basics of how to do it, it’s just a litte time consuming but not difficult. There are quite a few excellent resources for learning to play, on YouTube. One can begin playing simple things pretty quickly! Thank you again.

  76. Reply Greg Holm Nov 3,2017 2:13 am

    Hi Lloyd, I’m glad to see that this blog post is still fairly active, I have enjoyed strolling through the responses and was pleased to learn you are a fellow AF veteran/retiree. Thanks for your service!

    Anyway, I tripped over the post looking for an answer to my wife’s question, whether Wayne (I hope it is OK as a non family member to use his family name) AND Keith Green were contemporaries. Turns out they were so contemporary that they shared a birthday, two years apart but still!! Still looking to see if they ever worked together…

    I first got a clue of his realness when he spoke about Amsterdam and wanting to go out and be tempted (but, alas, Beaker didn’t “cooperate.”) I need Jesus to hold me, too. And I love Jesus even more because He still uses this “donkey,” too, in spite of my sin. It came to me a while back that the LORD has to work through weak, leaky vessels because there is no one else. It shows His Glory even more.

    If you are so inclined, take a peak at the home page of an outfit that I hang out with, flies way under the horizon and just wants to see military folks following Jesus, Christian Military Fellowship. http://www.cmfhq.org

    (The fill in the URL line below didn’t think that was in the right format so I put it there)

    Keep writing.

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