Larry Norman Message Board

Thanks to all the thousands of visitors we've had in the past 30 days.
The response has been overwhelming, and has meant a lot to
Larry's family and friends around the world.

Again, thanks for all the support and great memories...
Post Info TOPIC: my remembrances
kosh in Hungary

my remembrances

       Before leaving for Vienna to teach for the weekend I received an e-mail from a friend, a missionary who serves in India and the Far East. It was about the passing of a friend. I wanted to stop and write down thoughts of this friend but had to rush off to Austria. Upon my return I found another e-mail waiting for me about this friend. Larry Norman had passed away in Oregon.   


       For many people, Larry who? is most likely the response. For others the rushes of fond memories of times and places remembered as important revelations. For others still disdain for what they couldnt or wouldnt understand. For me it was sad that I never got to spend time with him again, never got to tell him how much I appreciated his faith in Jesus, his willingness to stand for Christ and not some pop idea of Him.


       Larry wore long hair, dressed like a hippie (sic), wrote songs of deep longings, social relevancy and fun questioning Why should the devil have all the Good Music?, an anthem that spoke to many people about the freedom we have in Jesus as bespoke in the gospel of John (8:36). Larry didnt look like a preacher; he was more than that, like a teacher who asked us to see Jesus in each other, to be Jesus for each other. A pretty radical idea for most of us me included as I examine myself.


       He felt the sting from those inside and outside the church that chose the side they wished to criticize. He was part of the Jesus movement in the sixties and seventies and seen as part of the fluff by those that could not see, i.e., the press, Life magazine, et al what God was doing in a generation. Later he was part of the rejection of these same masses whether the editorial deities or those in the movement who could not see this freedom. Sad but packaging has always been the problem with Christianity. He walked away from the pop culture it became.       
       I knew Larry for but three days. He graciously came for free to preach/sing/preach at the 1st Pearl in the Park in San Francisco in 2001 the year he officially retired. I remember vividly many walking away as he stopped singing to preach the gospel. I got his phone number from a friend who gave her life to the Lord after talking with him. He answered my call, Ill come if were going to share the gospel. Before, during and after the concert we talked about many things but mostly about the Lord. He asked me to come along to do some concerts over the next two days as we continued our talks. He had a passion for the truth. He had a passion for the Lord, for telling people about the Lord and His church. He was passionate about authenticity and integrity.



       Donald Miller wrote in Blue Like Jazz, Passion is a tricky thingit can point to nothing as easily as it points to something. What people believe is importantmore important than how they look, what their skills are, or their degree of passion. Passion about nothing is like pouring gasoline into a car without wheels. It isnt going to lead anybody anywhere.  Larry could have written that. We are in danger of losing what we are passionate about. Again Miller, If the supposed new church believes in trendy music and cool web pages, then it is not relevant to culture either. It is just another tool of Satan to get people to be passionate about nothing.



       Two years later I picked up Randy Stonehill from SFO and drove with him for the next two hours to an outreach in the central valley. When I told him about Larry doing our concert his eyes lit up and he regaled me with story after story about Larry the highlight of which was being saved in Larrys kitchen in Long Beach. They had grown apart. Satan had spoken lies passionately. He had come between them. Randy told me then and there that he would like to do a reunion concert with Larry and maybe for us in The City. That didnt happen but Randy told me that soon after they got together again. I felt part of it after hearing the news.



I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesnt resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didnt resolve. But that was before any of this happened.


       All the press and all the churches could never have shown me the authenticity and integrity of Larry Norman as much as my time with him, as much as a friend remembering himit backed up everything I thought about Larry. Larrys heart finally gave out in the end; his passion never did."For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. Rom 10:2              just a thought                     

Page 1 of 1  sorted by