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Friday, September 19, 2008

A Sticky Situation

I was mercilessly attacked tonight by soft drinks. It began innocently enough. My family was eating pizza for supper in my classroom. Because apparently we live there now. Abby bumped the pizza box which bumped my just poured glass of Dr. Pepper, which dumped upside down all over me, my chair, and the floor. So now I am sticky and wet. Baby wipes helped slightly with the sticky, but I was still wet and we were soon departing to go to the football game. I had the bright idea that I would run down to the restroom and blow dry my jeans - I couldn't go to the game looking like I had peed all over myself - seriously!

So imagine with me if you will, I am on my way to dry myself, when the school librarian enters the scene. She spots the full extent of the damage, and laughs hysterically and offers to go get her camera to make photos of the damage. I declined, and pursued my efforts of drying off my sticky self. It was as I was standing precariously on one foot with my other leg shoved up into the hand dryer mounted on the wall, that I realized she might be serious since she has disappeared from the hall. I immediately abandoned my quest for dryness and simply waddled back to class, determined to endure the stickiness for the remainder of the evening.

So, in case you wondered, after Dr. Pepper dries, it is no longer terribly sticky. Therefore, I was still able to attend and enjoy the football game. Until the third quarter. That was when I borrowed Katie's red gatorade. I went to take a small sip, completely missed and poured most of the bottle on and down my shirt. Now being red, wet, and sticky it was time to depart. (Did I mention that Katie also was soaked at the game by an exploding Dr. Pepper and had to purchase a new shirt?)

Oh, but no.....It's still not over. On the way home, I was very thirsty. Seeing as how most of my attempts at drinking this afternoon did not work out well for me. I grabbed a Dr. Pepper, twisted the cap, and - you guessed it - the darn (edited at shawn's request) thing exploded all over me in the car! What are the chances! Shawn at this point is about to burst from his efforts to restrain his laughter. Torn between his desire to laugh at an impossibly funny situation and to stay out of the doghouse for laughing at me being in a really sticky situation. I really thought for a moment that he might pass out from holding his breath trying not to laugh. It finally got the better of him, and we both laughed.

So now I am going to bed, still thirsty. This could be a cheesy horror flick ....revenge of the soft drinks.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bloody Sabbath

New issue of Paste! Yeah! This is a highlight of my month!

This one's focus is on violence in music and media. One of the first articles that I've had time to read is "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath." This article certainly took a genre of music - gospel - that I am very familiar with and looked at it through new eyes. It is really interesting to look at religion through the eyes of others. This author proposed that gospel music is arguably one of the most violent forms of music, if the lyrics are contemplated at length and by an unchurched, literal audience. For example:

"Are you washed in the blood." "There's power in the blood." "Nothing but the blood" "Alas, and did my Savior bleed." etc.

Now as believers, we understand the symbolic implications involved. I had never honestly, deeply considered how an unchurched audience could interpret our "blood songs." How's this for an answer, "Obviously, it's symbolism, but there's something kinda creepy about hundreds of people singing about blood and suffering." Or how about, "it's a trip to see these words."

This article spends time comparing gospel music to heavy metal's violent words and tries to draw some parallels between the two as far as the symbolism involved. I'm not sure that I can agree that heavy metal bands with really violent lyrics are trying to symbolically move people to a better place in their lives in quite the same way that gospel music does.

One heavy metal band, when interviewed, said they were considering turning to the Bible for inspiration for more violent songs. I somehow don't think that God's intention of including violence in the Bible, especially in some of those Old Testament stories that are so gory, was so that violence would be glorified. I think the difference in the bloody lyrics of gospel music and the bloody lyrics of other music is in the purpose of the music. Who is being glorified?

However, it was very interesting to read this perspective on gospel music. It is certainly food for thought as we consider what songs to use to reach an unchurched population. I don't know that we should give up all the "bloody" songs, but maybe we should think about how they can be interpreted and make sure that our audience understands the symbolism.

Very interesting lyrical comparisons in this article as well.... In some instances trying to distinguish between gospel and metal was impossible for me until I saw the name of the band.

Food for thought.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

pursue life

Matthew 8:22, "First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life." This is in an account of Jesus addressing people who expressed an interest in following him half-heartedly or when it would be convenient. But here's what I noticed.

Pursue life...... Follow me....... I would say that I try to pursue life passionately. Actually, sometimes I find myself in over my head in my pursuit. But there is a qualifier to the passionate pursuit - following Christ. So my thoughts today have been thinking through what I am passionately pursuing that does not involve following Christ. I came up with some ideas, but they are mostly things that need doing and doing well. There is some sin that I tend to passionately pursue as well that I could definitely stand to give up. But, I can't figure out the solution to all the stuff that has to get done in life.

Overwhelmed - that's the number one descriptive word among women that I know. Overwhelmed by the tyranny of the urgent that crowds out the ability to passionately pursue the life God created them to live. So where's the solution? I'm pretty sure that overwhelmed is not a spiritual gift and that God did not create us to live a life characterized by being overwhelmed.

So, I don't have any answers today....just more questions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sin and Poop

God makes the weirdest connections in my head. Lately we have been occasionally trying to potty train Abby, the two year old. She will not poop in the potty, denies having gone in her diaper, runs and hides. Because she is our fourth child, we know that this is a normal phase of potty training and find it very amusing. So tonight I smelled the tell-tale odor of a used diaper. I asked, "Abby did you poop?" Her reply was an emphatic, loud, "NO!" as she took off running in the opposite direction.

So as I was in hot pursuit of the fastest toddler on two feet, God made an interesting connection for me. "No matter how hard you try to hide your sin, no matter where you run to, or how much you deny the action, it will reek. Sin is a stench to God that cannot be hid or denied or run away from. It can only be confessed, removed, and cleansed." Much like poop in a toddler's diaper.