The Problem Of Spiritual Earworms

One of my favorite comic strips is the usually funny and occasionally disturbing Pearls Before Swine. Yesterday the resident bad guy (aptly named Rat) is singing the John Denver song “Country Roads”. When asked what he is doing Rat answers that he is planting “earworms”. An earworm is a term for a portion of a song that becomes “stuck” in your head and you cannot get it out of your mind. Soon you are literally out of your mind. A survey of several hundred students came up with a list of the most insidious earworms.

Tired Of The Masquerade

The group Casting Crowns is a consistent favorite of mine. One of my favorites from the group is a song is called “Stained Glass Masquerade”. The title says it all. This song speaks powerfully to the all too human desire to be phony at church so that the others (who are also acting phony) will not think less of us. To have an impact in this culture we have to be genuine, real, authentic. Young men and women have a phony detector that is tuned to pick up the smallest deceit. I am tired of the phoniness. I am tired of the masks we wear. Just reading the lyrics will not give you the total power of this song but it will give you a taste. 

Everybody Want To Go To Heaven?

The morning walk with dog friend Hannah and my trusty iPod generated some thoughts. A tune by Kenny Chesney is chock full of catchy rhythms and bad theology. The song is called Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven but the underlying theme is that nobody wants to go there right now. I think that is true for most of us. As long as God allows I want to live and serve here while I enjoy family and friends.

A Song For The Ages? Not so much.

A buddy sent me a link to an interesting site. You enter your birthdate and you find out what the number one song was on the day you were born. While my top rated tune was not exactly a song for the ages I do think it might have had some influence in my life. The number one song on April 6 in 1953 was….drumroll please….

“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” by Patti Page.

Hmmmmm.

The lyrics are an amazing study in banality.

A Plea For A Ceasefire For The Good Of America

I am dismayed and disgusted with Democrats, Republicans, campaign spokespersons and spinpersons, the media and countless others in the current political race. I suspect I am not alone. The tone makes it nearly impossible to stay engaged. I wish I could hire Dr.Evil (played by Mike Myers) from the Austin Power movies. Whenever he was tired of the conversation he would employ this technique.

Scott Evil: It’s no hassle…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: But…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: I’m…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: All I’m say…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: There gonna get a…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: I’m…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: I’m just…
Dr. Evil: Sh!
Scott Evil: Would…
Dr. Evil: Sh!… Knock-knock.
Scott Evil: Who’s there?
Dr. Evil: Sh!

A Plea For Accuracy In An Emotional Debate

The current state of discourse in this nation makes me want to put on the Bose headsets and resurface in mid-November. The internet can be a wonderful tool but too many writers have chosen to use the tool only as a chainsaw or hammer. I wrote a piece pleading for grace in the debate. After grace my next biggest gripe is the lack of accuracy in the debate.

This quote from George Eliot is not in the Beatitudes but Jesus might have thought about including it.

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”

Are Hurricanes A Sign Of God’s Judgment?

A fitness challenged film producer said that Hurricane Gustav disrupting the Republican Convention was “proof that God has a sense of humor”. At that point we did not know how devastating the storm might become. I thought the remark was tasteless given the timing but I didn’t get too exorcised over the comment.

Both sides of the aisle seem to try to enlist God’s judgment when it is appropriate to support their positions. But the question that always comes up when disaster strikes is a tough one.

Is God judging America?

I have a definite and authoritative biblical position on this issue.