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09.20.17Half Off CDs, MP3s & DVDs Ends Soon
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09.14.17Clues for Our Upcoming Single
09.14.17Powerlifter Pumps Up ApX with Encouragement
09.01.17Encouraging Emails: Eight is Enough
08.29.17Is There a Missing Churchigo EP?
08.28.17New Single Here at Last
08.26.1725th Anniversary Lapel Pins Now Available
08.26.17Anniversary Shirts Available at Last
08.26.17New CD BOGO Sale Ends Sunday Night
08.26.17About This Weekend's Single
08.18.17So How Did Things Go at the Anniversary Show?
08.18.17ApologetiX in Green Bay in 2 Months
08.18.17ApX Keyboardist Todd Waites Has New Video
08.18.17Anniversary Shirts Available for Order Soon
08.05.17ApX: Safe Bet for Sunday School in Reno
08.05.17ApX Parodies Touch Deep in the Heart in Texas
08.05.1725th Anniversary Shirts Coming Next Week
08.05.17Big Show is One Week Away, 80% Full Already
08.02.17New Single Spoofs 2 Hard-Rockin' Classics
07.29.17Clues for Our Next Single
07.29.17ApX Played Nationally on 700 Stations in Australia
07.26.17ApologetiX Needs Help & Prayer Again
07.20.17Minnesota Couple Will Reunite at Anniversary Show
07.20.17The Story Behind Our New Song "Works"
07.17.17New Single (California 80's-Style)
07.14.17Clues for Our Upcoming Single
07.07.17Send Us Your Video for the 25th Anniversary Show
07.07.17Fans from 28 States Coming to 25th Anniversary Show
07.06.17New Single (All 80's), New CD Mailed to Fans
06.30.17Clues for This Weekend's Single
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06.23.17What Songs Are on Our New CD, Zebraic?
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06.23.17New Single Spoofs 'Til Tuesday & REM
06.19.17New Single is Here, New CD is Almost Here
06.17.17ApologetiX: That Christian Wedding Band?
06.17.17Clues for Sunday Night's Single
06.09.17New Single Spoofs Two American Bands
06.09.17Norway to Heaven: Fan Mail from Scandinavia
06.09.17An Edifying Email from a Delaware DJ
06.09.17The Title and Theme of Our Upcoming 48th CD
06.02.17Prayers for ApX at the Wailing Wall in Israel
06.02.17Ohio Man Says ApX Show Was a High Point in His Life
06.02.17Clues for Our Upcoming Single
05.30.17ApologetiX Needs Summer Help and Prayer
05.26.17Fan Mail from a Science Teacher in MI
05.23.17New Single is a Sequel: Poisonous Scorpions Vol. 2
05.20.17Keith Haynie Returns from Nashville, Rumors Abound
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05.20.17Clues for Our Next Single
05.18.17Custom ApX Lapel Pins Available
05.15.17Autographed CD Sale Ends Tuesday
05.12.17New Single is Our Most Creative Ever
05.12.177 Autographed CDs (Ends Tuesday)
05.12.1710 Little Opinions: Brief Notes from Fans All Over
05.12.17Happy Birthday, Moose!
05.08.17Get Multiple Downloads for Any Size Donation
05.05.17Clues for Our Next Single
05.05.17Some Scriptural Thoughts About Cinco de Mayo
05.05.17Clues for Our Next Single
04.28.17Bible Quizzers Celebrate with ApX Victory Song
04.28.17How About New Shirts and a New DVD?
04.28.17New Single Spoofs Van Halen & Loverboy
04.24.17New Single Spoofs 2 Bands That Epitomized the 80's
04.22.17New Zealand Fan Listens to ApX Several Hours a Day
04.22.17ApX as Big in Japan as in the United States
04.21.17Clues for This Weekend's Single
04.21.17New CD BOGO Deal Ends Sunday Night
04.18.17The Latest News from ApologetiX 4-18-17
04.14.17More ApologetiX Easter Videos on YouTube
04.14.17Prayer Request for Longtime Fan in Alabama
04.11.17New Single Spoofs 70s & 80s
04.05.17Happy Birthday, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner
04.05.17Clue for Replacement Song on Next Single
04.05.17ApX Plays Moon, Venus, and Mars
04.03.17Why Does ApologetiX Need Help Now?
03.30.17What Songs Are on the New CD, Very Vicarious?
03.30.17Air India: ApX Interviewed by Radio One India
03.30.17Come to Our 25th Anniversary Show in August
03.30.17Clues for Sunday Night's Single
03.27.17New CD in Stock, ApX 25th Anniversary Today
03.24.17Moose Music: Rieger Releases Solo Project
03.21.17New Single Spoofs 70s & 90s
03.21.17What Songs Are on the New CD, Very Vicarious?
03.17.17Australian Fan Encouraged by ApX Song
03.17.17Clues for This Weekend's Single
03.16.17ApX Fan Battles Pancreatic Cancer
03.16.17Apolo-Vet-iX: Dog's Doc Digs ApX
03.09.17"1000 Tracks for 100 Bucks" Ends Sunday
03.09.17The Title and Theme of Our Upcoming 47th CD
03.09.17Jewish Believer in Wyoming is a New ApX Fan
03.09.17ApX Supplies Soundtrack for Sunday Shift

Parodies Help Many Mentally Ill Australians
Thu., Jul. 24. 2014 12:03am EDT

In our preamble in this week's newsletter, we shared part of an email we got from a fan in Australia. Here's the rest of the incredible story:

Seeing your last email news had two comments from Australia, here is another from yet another state in Australia:

Just after the release of Biblical Graffiti (1999), I became involved in a Churches Disability Support Network. Name is a bit misleading as the largest group of people we became involved with are those with a mental illness. I also see an increasing number of people with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

One person I got to know was Alex, who had been knocked off his bike by a car. Not long after he experienced seizures for the first time in his life and was diagnosed with clinical depression. This later changed to paranoid schizophrenia, he was granted a Disability Pension, no longer able to work. Today his diagnosis is just bi-polar.

Alex had been a bright student, brilliant guitarist. However, after accident his memory was affected to the extent that when he tried to read even song sheets with chords on, his brain couldn't process information quick enough or he would just forget what the chords were. Nevertheless there were certain favourite songs he could instinctively still play and he had a really good voice.

He desperately wanted to be able to play and sing in church environments, but frustrated by his limitations. After praying about this, another guy I got to know Rowan told us he had heard "Amazing Grace" sung to "House of the Rising Sun." This became Alex's signature tune (one of the tunes he could play instinctively). Rowan has since gone to be with the Lord, his life taken early by a condition known as Huntingtons (same one that took life of Woody Guthrie).

I then started to search the Internet for other Christian songs to popular music and stumbled across your parody of "Proud Mary" (Alex's favourite song) and ApologetiX. Some of the songs he could play/sing instinctively were songs you parodied on Biblical Graffiti and earlier releases.

I, too, am a singer/guitarist and work within the Network with people on the music front. Singing/music is increasingly seen as important in recovery from mental illness. Today we have a pool of singers, musicians all with either a mental illness, ABI or disability that get all sorts of opportunities to perform. They perform under the name of Through The Roof. Who performs depends on who is available at the time, sometimes that means who is well on the day.

The early songs we sang were a lot of your early parodies. Initially for the likes of Alex and others with memory problems, but then parody songs sort of caught on. Initially I thought of them as outreach songs, creating the opportunity to share the Gospel. But as I listened to some of the people sing them with their whole heart, I realised that you if want people to worship the Lord with their whole heart, you need to let them sing to Him, about Him with the music that's in their heart (the same music you play).

Over time we have unearthed some songwriters, still mostly parody. We're not always as clever as J. with our lyrics, in more recent times have concentrated on simply putting Bible passages, Psalms to anything from 50's to current music. A pastor friend of mine who has spent some time in India tells of only 30 percent literacy in some rural areas. So how do people find out what's in God's word and revisit it ? Songs that they sing over and over, that stick in your mind. The literacy issue is significant too for a number of our people.

It's staggering to think of the number of people that have been touched by those involved in Through The Roof over the years. The people that have come to faith in Jesus, those that have recommitted their lives. Although we do sing at churches, predominantly we go and sing often where no other Christians go. Particularly at the accommodation facilities where a lot of the people live. On the street, a number of the people busk; hospital mental health wards; rehab facilities; church outreach initiatives without musicians; and refugee group churches without musicians.

One of our vocalists, Chen, a Vietnamese War refugee suffered a stroke at a young age when he first arrived in Australia. As a result his right hand was a permanent tight fist. When we first went to where he lived, we acted out the Good Samaritan and sang some songs round story. Somewhere in the middle of one of the songs his hand opened up. He turned to Jesus from a Buddhist background. Today he sings some verses and chorus from some of your songs in Chinese, Vietnamese.

Our Network doesn't have the transport resources to get everyone that wants to go to church on Sunday (and needs transport assistance) to church. So a local Salvos Church has a big day of a Tuesday when we can access additional transport resources. Tuesday is church for a lot of our people.

A Rotary Group from Dallas, Texas was visiting Melbourne and came one Tuesday to do a barbeque for the people. Some, groups, businesses come of a Tuesday to help out but are a bit surprised at what they find as they share/interact with the people. Especially after lunch when the music starts up.

If you can imagine our friends from Dallas after a bit of enthusiastic encouragement, suddenly finding themselves on stage with the band singing ApologetiX songs (that maybe they hadn't heard before although they lived in U.S.). God works in strange and wonderful ways.

Gary Cuthell
Parkdale, Victoria
Australia