Archive for the 'Family' Category

Christmas 08

Friday, December 26th, 2008

From our family to all of our friends, wherever you are around the world, we wish you a joyous Christmas and blessed new year.

Bewildered in Europe

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Bodies of Water is the indie-rock band that David, our son, and his wife, Meredith (above) lead.  This month, they are on tour in Europe.

We just received the following email update:

“Hey mom …we’re in London playing at The Forum tonight.  We just drove here from Cologne, Germany, today. Things have been going well, but it’s pretty rough;  long trips in between each city.Paris was a really good show, but Cologne was strange.  We opened for a bigger band that is more normal than us, so there were a thousand middle-aged Germans looking at us with bewilderment while we played.”

Anyone in Europe who wants to catch a show, the schedule is on the the Bodies of Water web site.

We just received another email from friends who saw them perform in East London.  Deanna Hayes wrote:

“We had a FANTASTIC evening in Shoreditch hearing the amazing talents of Bodies of Water.  WOW! David is one talented guy!  I couldn’t help remembering him as a young boy and then seeing him on stage as a musician with people asking him for his autograph.  It was a bit surreal.  It was an amazing performance.  John has played their CD’s non-stop since we returned home.  We are both very impressed with their music.”

Weddings and the Imago Dei

Friday, April 11th, 2008


There is something in our makeup, reflecting the image of God, which needs and even craves celebratory experience.

I have increasingly grown to appreciate such ceremonies and the surrounding celebrations as part of the innate rhythms of communal life that give meaning, shape and form to what it means to be fully human. Every culture has such anthropological realities.

And we see God not only honoring such events but also instituting them throughout time and history. I can’t help but believe they are reflective of the Imago Dei and tell us much more about the nature of the triune God than we realize on the surface.

“… a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.” John 2

Confessions of a FOTB

Thursday, April 10th, 2008


My only daughter, Christine, is getting married this Saturday and I’m the “father of the bride.” So how does this once-in-a-lifetime experience feel thus far?

• It is really different than when a son gets married. More responsibility, more details and more expense.
• It hit me a couple weeks ago…her name is changing! No longer Metcalf, which I have used for 25 years.
• Like most dads, I’ve always been protective of my daughter from predatory males, and now I’ve giving her over to one. It’s an emotional switch.
• Home is no longer our house, but wherever she is with him.
• There is deep satisfaction knowing the man she is marrying is a wonderful match for her. We have grown to love him dearly
• Seeing one’s child make a wise and godly choice in choosing a mate has got to be one of life’s most fulfilling gratifications.
• Her room will no longer be just “hers.” She’ll have a guy in there with her whenever she’s here.
• This event is another one of those milestones, which highlights my mortality, and the fact I’m getting older.
• The gambit of emotion, so far, runs from deep joy, anticipation of the celebration, moments of frenetic activity to make sure details are worked out, and occasional sadness because relationships will never be the same again.
• I have a growing admiration and sense of bonding with Steve Martin.
• It is great to have another man in the family from the next generation who can eventually change my Depends and will probably someday help lay me to rest.

Bodies of Water and Relevant

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

My kids think I matured in a cave and missed all the pop culture of the 60s and 70s. Probably so.

But hey, they’re making up for it. David (our son) and his wife, Meredith, and their band, Bodies of Water, were reviewed and interviewed today in Relevant magazine to coincide with the release of their latest album. They were also recently featured on Rolling Stone’s blog for new music.

I thought the interview in Relevant was fascinating and would that I could be as articulate as David. His commentary on food, music, God, their latest tour, etc., are all enlightening. I particularly liked his answer about fashion since there are lots of folks out there who wish I would take such advice from my son. But hey, the last time I did that, he told me rather clearly, “Dad, that’s a pathetic attempt to be trendy.” So I have to act my age.

Their CD just hit the stores. Buy it! It will help put my grandkids through college, that is if David an Meredith get around to having them in between music tours.

Bodies of Water CD

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

This is an unabashed commercial for the new CD that just came out by Bodies of Water, the indie rock group that includes David, our son and his wife Meredith. One industry review said:

“Orchestral indie pop group Arcade Fire is on top o’ the pops lately, and fans of such music would be well-advised to check out the shimmering gospel hymns of Californians Bodies of Waters. The group’s full-length debut, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, self-released through the band’s own Thousand Tongues label. Like a less mockable version of The Polyphonic Spree, Bodies of Water has concocted an hour long sermon of peace, love, and pop music with the epic Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink. – wonkavision

The review in paperthinwalls put it this way:
“A different husband and wife team put out a Neon Bible this year, but it’s Bodies Of Water’s David and Meredith Metcalf who really nail the concept of a spiritual album with music so good it glows. Both uplifting and humorous, the Metcalfs take turns helming vocals instead of just a Sufjan or Daniel Smith fronting the choir/band. For every serious moment aimed at higher power, there’ll be another capturing something mundane: “When you bend over into the fridge and try to grab some Tupperware, I’ll surprise you and pour the half and half, onto your newly sunburnt neck.” Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is also startling in its ability to conjure bits of Pink Floyd, R.E.M. or the New Pornographers for the band’s gospel purposes without soiling any linens.

“Doves Circled The Sky” was inspired by a story of the Holy Spirit coming down from the heavens the form of a dove (John 1:32-24). To reach an appropriate level of grandeur, Bodies Of Water open it with an epic western feel, á la the The Good, The Bad And The Ugly theme, replete with strings and twang. When the vocals kick in, the clouds part over the arrangement, and it burns hot without feeling hymn-y. “Chords rang out warm and clear, sweet major chords, and they were ones and fours and fives,” the choir sings, narrating their own proceedings. Pleasure swells as the males and females bat lines back and forth, leading up to the final stanza: “Now, rehearsal is done, open the gates, let heaven’s floodgates open wide.” At this point, the album is only at the halfway, but it’s already shaking the temple enough to tear it down. Naturally, with plans to rebuild it three days later.”

The record is available now at or at insound It is also available on their myspace page and is soon to available on iTunes. An interesting array of other reviews and interviews can be found at

32 Years

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

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Thirty-two years ago this evening, Patty and I tied the the knot at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL.

It’s been a great ride! Never in my wildest imagination did I ever presume God would give me a life-time companion of such grace, inner beauty and elegance. It has been an enormous privilege to enjoy 32 years of her presence.

In recent years, she’s weathered severe illness and limitations that neither of us would have anticipated. While it has not been the script we would have written or chosen, it’s obviously been the script divinely and uniquely designed for us. We would wish these events on no one but regret none of them in what they have taught us about ourselves, each other, and the all-sufficiency of God.

Through it all, Patty has grown deep in a relationship with Jesus that is marked by a contemplative even mystical life of prayer and a ministry of inner/emotional healing for those wounded in soul and spirit. God flows through her with gifts of mercy and compassion that are uniquely coupled with strong leadership skills and a heart for loving and mentoring younger women.

Because of what we’ve been through, we consider each day a gift. With more of life behind us than lies ahead, we are committed to making the most of the future and most excitedly, doing it together, much more in love than when we said “I do” 32 years ago.

From a Hospital in Denver

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Patty At Torrey Pines

We have been in Denver for Patty’s regular check-up and evaluation at the National Jewish Medical Center.

Four years ago, Patty was diagnosed with a lung disease called MAI (Mycobacteium Avian Intercellulare) and we go to National Jewish because it’s the leading respiratory hospital in the nation with doctors who specialize in this type of infectious disease. This bacteria is a cousin to TB and especially difficult to treat. Three years ago, Patty had a lobe of her left lung surgically removed and she’s been through several years of grueling regimes of multiple, potent antibiotics.

This visit was encouraging. Her lungs appear stable and no further indication of damage was seen on the CAT scan nor indication of the MAI in cultures. While no doc will ever use the world “cure” for this disease in women, this visit was probably the best check-up we’ve had.

TIME magazine ran an article several years ago on this bug. One of the physicians referred to in the article—Gwen Huitt—is Patty’s doc. We are immensely grateful for the professionalism and the quality of care we’ve received at National Jewish.

Compared to where she was three years ago, this is a remarkable recovery for Patty. While it has been slow and arduous, she’s about 80% back and functional. We are both grateful. In many respects we believe that God has graciously given us our lives back to a degree that we had not anticipated possible three years ago.

This experience has also given us a whole new perspective on people with disabilities and physical suffering. And the implications for our understanding of God, his presence and purposes in our lives have been profound. While we wouldn’t wish this affliction on anyone, we wouldn’t trade the lessons learned.

Logo Link to TIME magazine article on MAI

My Genes!

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Spotlighting the Best of Local Music: Bodies of Water

by Evan George
(Review appeared in the Los Angeles Alternative, June 2, 2006)

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The best time to get into a band is, generally, not when you’re famished on a street corner waiting for a man named José to finish baking the extra large pizza that a dozen stoned college kids have sent you out to fetch for a birthday party. Which may be the reason that the first time I heard Bodies of Water diligently bashing out some earnest four-part harmonies from their garage—which happened to be not a hundred feet away from the pizza parlor that I was sitting in front of—I muttered the kind of things under my breath that only a man intent on eating deep fried eggplant would mutter.

Since that day nearly two years ago, the L.A. transplants that make up this gospel-pop four piece have honed their vocal chops, their hand-wringing melodies and their spunky instrumental acrobatics, but more importantly, I am no longer waiting for José’s pizza. I am ready to receive their message of “Love All.”

According to the band itself, three of the four members had no experience on their chosen instruments at all and all four were acquaintances through various degrees of luck and happenstance. David (guitar/vocals) and Meredith (keyboard/vocals) had been writing songs in the comfort of their own home for a while when they decided they’d like to perform them for an audience bigger than a street corner pizza joint crowd. Meredith knew Kyle (bass) from high school where he played the violin quite competently. And their recent friend Jessie said she’d love to try playing drums… for the first time ever.

Their simple beginnings as a band stay with them today. Bodies of Water prides itself on being as natural in its aesthetic and sound as its name portrays. Songs of joy, songs of pain, but mostly just good old fashioned testimonial songwriting. And if there’s a religiosity to the band’s songs it seems to be more than just the trappings of a bunch of indie rock kids trying to play gospel. When they say that a divine hand moves us in ways we can’t understand, it ain’t ironic. And when they squeal together in upward spiraling melody mountains, it sounds like truth seeking, not posturing.

The Highland Park foursome have released an E.P. to little fanfare but are in the process of recording a full-length that will be released later this year. In the meantime they’re playing more than a few shows that—even if not technically—will land them on a street corner near you.

In Praise of Cool Docs …Who Make House Calls!

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Dr. Tim And Christine
Tim Schmidt, came to see my daughter today as she is recuperating from a week in the hospital.

He is a very cool doc and deserving of praise. And not just because he came to see Christine.

Tim has served on the CRM Board for over a decade and has done a couple of terms as chair. He’s also affectionately known as “Compudoc” to hundreds of CRM staff serving throughout the world. An excellent physician, he is always available to them on email and accessible 24-7 if there’s an emergency. He’s been a virtual godsend for everything from life-thretening illnesses to pre-natal exams and spider bites.

He’s also very much in the know about things missional and astute as they come in understanding the type of ministry to which God has called CRM. Couple that with a deep, abiding and mature walk with Jesus and we’ve got a package for whom all of us are grateful.

Home from the Hospital

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

We brought Christine home form the hospital today.

We got a call this evening with the definitive diagnosis …an acute attack of Epstein Baar virus (infectious mononucleosis) aggravated by a bacterial infection. Quite a cocktail. We are relieved that it is nothing more serious in the long haul and are glad to have her under our roof as she begins what will be a gradual recovery.

We’re appreciative for the many who prayed. We began the week with considerable anxiety. But as I wrote to CRM folks in an email on Tuesday: “It seems obvious that folks have been praying. There is a settledness that has rested on us, and even in the hospital room, that was not there yesterday. We’re grateful.”


Wednesday, May 31st, 2006


As I write, I am in a hospital room in Pasadena, California where our daughter, Christine has been admitted for a severe infection, the source of which is puzzling the docs. There is apparently something going on with her that has them stumped, according to the CAT scan and other tests, and we are awaiting an array of consultations today with specialists.

Of course, anytime a parent hears the team “oncologist” or “surgeon,” your knees get a little weak and the inevitable knot begins to form in your stomach. That’s what yesterday felt like.

But when I had a chance to walk and pray, God brought to mind again a decision we made when Christy was less than a year old. It was when we had her “dedicated to the Lord.” In some traditions, it carries similar meaning to the baptism of a infant (as it was with our oldest, David). From God she came. And to God, we entrust her.

She is 23 now. But when she was 2, we almost lost her to a severe allergic reaction. And back then, when words failed, God brought the same event of consecration to mind and reminded me “I thought you gave her to me. My care for her exceeds yours.”

We wait today for more information from tests and the doctors’ evaluations.