I’m Brian Casey. I was raised in a fairly normal home with good parents and two reasonable younger sisters (as sisters go). My dad often worked a second job, and my mom was primarily a mom and homemaker. I played organized baseball and some basketball and tennis, traveled a lot in cars, and had what I needed. I was a decent kid who made very good grades, but I had some very rough years when I was 13-15.
As an adult, I’ve lived in 8 states from Delaware to Kansas to Colorado to New York. I’m divorced and remarried (and not proud of that fact, though glad to be married to Karly). We have a young son, Jedd Garrett, born May 18, 2009, and he’s verbal, sweet, and personable.
Personally, I’m 48.6% obsessive, very verbal, and somewhat high-maintenance. I’m not a natural listener (I work at it because it’s so relationally crucial), but I am naturally somewhat empathic. My words and thoughts are too quick on the draw sometimes. I wish I were more wise. I’m a Briggs-Meyers INFJ/P, and in some situations more a left-brain thinker than a right-brain one. I’m cynical about society, the entertainment and sports “industries,” laws, over-confident scientific studies, big business, and most other institutions. I am by conscience not involved in human government and could never have served in the military because of conflicting spiritual and philosophical convictions. I love the beauty and grandeur of nature and have climbed two of the tallest mountains (14′ers!) in the country despite having bad foot joints and arthritis before my time.
Vocationally, I’m a musician. More specifically, a conductor. But I was more of a generalist until the last 10 years or so: I have experience with choirs but have a mediocre voice; I play horn in bands, orchestras, and chamber groups; and I arrange and compose. I’ve written more than 100 Christian hymns and songs and have arranged nearly 300 more; my present focus of brass and mixed instrumental works make up most of the rest of my portfolio. I think only about 2% of the pop music “artists” out there are genuinely artistic, and I think the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Britney, Eminem, and Elvis are all overrated. Linda Ronstadt, Kansas, Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Michael Card, and Michael W. Smith, however, had/have talent. (Elton John and Michael Jackson and maybe Madonna might had/have talent, but their personas or personal habits were so repulsive that I could never watch or listen long enough to find out.)
I once worked in banking and computer technology but was overjoyed to be extracted from those lines when the third big merger presented me with the opportunity to take the severance package and run. Now, I work more than I need to and am something of a power Windows user who abhors all things Mac. I nest “if” statements, and I text (80% by voice dictation, compulsively capitalizing and punctuating) and Skype and YouTube and OCR and PDF and MIDI with my Sibelius (no Finale, thank you very much) and collaborate electronically. And I blog a lot. And every time I have to make a technology purchase, I have difficulty communicating with the teeny-boppers who have been alive for a shorter period of time than I’ve been computing, and who think every device or app is a toy. (I actually have a sense of the derivation of the word “app,” and did a little script programming and high-end database design once myself.)
I prefer plain potato chips but love salsa and cinnamon and horseradish; I like veggies and all fruits and berries I meet, and I do eat cow (and crow, sometimes) and am annoyed by the false-valued vegetarian camp. (Again with the studies: if they would get a less biased, more complete picture of things, they would realize that good meat is a good thing!) I ride on two wheels (both the motorized and non-motorized kinds), and I like baseball and frisbee and racquetball, but not football, and definitely not soccer. I should exercise more, because it’s now officially difficult to shed a few pounds. It’s difficult to exercise in an area where the gym is inaccessible and there are more gray, rainy days than sunny ones.
Spiritually, I’m a restorationist, a reformer and challenger-of-the-status-quo — essentially a neo-protestant who protests the Protestants. I’m
- affiliated with the “American Restoration” Church of Christ, to be more specific
- a good deal more Arminian than Calvinist
- rationally resistant to the influence of the Roman Catholic institution
- a non-charismatic who is trying, in the face of a lot of charlatans and marketing muck, to believe that God still can
- a worshipper who doesn’t worship as much or as well as he used to and who isn’t all that turned on by hipster styles or by geeks who shouldn’t be trying hip styles
- oddly proud of a chameleonic “waxing academic” among the less educated on the one hand, and reminding the high-church liturgists that that language doesn’t reach everyone, on the other
- an organic/simple/house church advocate who can’t let go of his traditional church roots
I sense that my personal faith has weakened considerably in my current phase of life, and I’m anxious about that. I am deeply inspired by Jesus-centered, well-grounded-in-scriptural-reality faith. Serious investigation into biblical texts is energizing for me, and I’ve recently done much work in, and have gained significant understandings of, the texts of Mark, Philemon, and Colossians. I resist the influence of the KJV in our age, preferring the NASB, the NIV, comparisons of various versions, and the Message sometimes — but have never found a translation I fully trust or use consistently. (They’re all flawed!) I have seriously studied Koiné Greek, because I continue to find riches in the New Testament Greek text.
One of my greatest and truest callings is to guide hearts in worship of my God, both in the assembly and out. My wheels are always turning about such things, and we benefit from a weekly Christian gathering in our home with dear friends who love serious study and worship and spiritually based relationships as we do.
I don’t believe in “big religion” any more than I believe in careless, obese government, but the former is eternally significant, and the latter is not. Churchianity, overblown liturgies, and blind, denominational loyalties consistently abrade my spiritual skin … but the people in the pews in all the church buildings are still God’s creatures, and I care about their destinies. I try not to stress too much over the politics of this globe and am not aligned with any political party.
The rants and rutabagas referred to in the blog title? My sometimes-offbeat or groan-inducing humor may be obscured by a recurring, stressed feeling of time constraint … which in turn may lead to expressed annoyance with helmet and no-cell phone laws and over-taxation and misplaced apostrophes and the overabundance of handicap parking spaces. I do hope that whatever thoughts appear here will shed light and ultimately help me, you, and/or the everlasting Reign of God in human hearts.
 I’ve had a lovers’ quarrel (read: conflicted feelings of affection and frustration) going with the people of my basic religious heritage for most of my adult life. I persist in valuing the CofC and in cherishing many of her historically held ideals (if not all of her de facto practices), but my practical direction is often somewhat different. Some of this difference is my choice, and some of it seems to be choosing me.