Eulogy for A Song About Cartoons

26 Sep

Almost every day when I take my daughter to school the song “Cartoons” by Chris Rice is playing on KLOVE. This is a fun song and Sarah really likes it. For the longest time, we never knew who sang it. Finally, today I did a Google search to find out who sang the song. My search came up with Chris Rice and a link to his website. On his website, he published an article entitled “Eulogy For A Song About Cartoons”, about why he has decided to stop performing this song live. I have to admit, when I read the article, I was left saying “HUH?”.

It seems as if this song has been kind of controversial! A lot of people LOVE it. It has been (and probably still is) one of the most requested songs on Christian radio. Others rebuff his “cartoon praise” theology. He says in his article that it was written as a satire and that nobody got it. Everyone took it as legit!

I like the song. It is a fun song to sing. The point of the song is correct. It isn’t for cartoons to praise God, that is what we were made to do! I also take issue with those who say it is bad theology! If we were created to praise God, then anything we do should be to praise God! If you are a cartoon artist, then drawing a cartoon praising God could be your way of praising God. In the Bible, Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:23 that in EVERYTHING we do, we should do it as we are doing it for the Lord! That says to me that everything we do has a spiritual context.

Are you a part-time Christian or a full-time Christian? Think about it before you answer.

While you think, I’ll just sing “Yabba-dabba-do-lu-yah!”

One-Eyed Love

13 Sep

Have you ever done something soooo stupid that it makes you laugh everytime you think about it? Well, I had one of those moments Monday afternoon.

I was listening to KLOVE on the way home from work Monday night and I heard a familar song. The only problem was that I didn’t recognize the words. They were singing about “one-eyed love”. I thought it sounded a little strange to have a song about “one-eyed love” but maybe they were having a program on people with disabilities or something. Who knows. I knew the melody so I started singing along…

“Beautiful one-eyed love, beautiful one-eyed door…..”

Then it hit me. I busted out laughing right there in my car. If anyone was beside me, they would have thought that I was crazy. I can’t believe how stupid I was. I half expected someone to lean in and say “here’s your sign!”

I still chuckle at the stupidity even now when I am typing it.

I suppose there is a lesson in this. In Luke 8:18, Jesus says, “So be sure to pay attention to what you hear. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they think they have will be taken away from them.” Jesus said to pay attention to what you hear. If you don’t you could miss the “One I love”.

For those who haven’t figured out the actual words to the song, it goes something like:

“Beautiful one I love, beautiful one I adore, beautiful one my soul does sing!”

Does anyone have a Q-Tip?

Comfortably Numb

2 Sep

One of my all time favorite rock bands wrote a song called Comfortably Numb in 1979. Now most people think this all about drugs – but here’s the rest of the story.

When Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, was a little boy, he had a high fever. The feeling he got was kind of a detached reality. As an adult, he got hepatitis and didn’t know it. Pink Floyd had a show to do one night in Philadelphia and the doctor that looked at Roger gave him a sedative to help the pain, thinking it was a stomach disorder. At the show, Roger’s hands were numb “like two toy balloons”. He was unable to focus, but also realized that the fans didn’t care because they were so busy screaming. He called this comfortably numb. He stated once that most of the album “The Wall”, which the song was on, was about alienation between the audience and the band.

I am sitting in my living room watching the devastation that is New Orleans. It is almost surreal to watch. Looting, killing, raping, total destruction of entire cities. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Stories of dead bodies floating around, being pushed in a corner left to rot. It doesn’t seem like America. Rescue workers shot at, helicopters shot at, hospitals shot at. It is incredible. Is this really the United States I live in? I want to feel something. I watch the TV. Images flash by, over and over and over. I don’t feel anything. People crying out for food, transportation, water. I don’t feel anything. There has to be something wrong with me. Why don’t I feel anything? I’m watching it, I see it – but I don’t feel. I know I should feel something. I just sit there. Staring at the TV. Comfortably numb. Detached, alienated. Not feeling anything.

OK God. What is wrong with me? It is just so much to process that I can’t? Have I been so bombarded by myown trials that I’m just worn out and don’t have enough feelings left for strangers? Have I become so indifferent to suffering after watching all of the death and destruction in Iraq? There is one clue – deep in the back of my head. In the Marines, we were trained to put our own feelings aside and just do our jobs. It makes fighting a war easier. In the Gulf War, I was scared at times but I didn’t have the luxury to feel scared. I had a job to do and if I or my team were going to make it home, I had to do that job to the best of my ability. I had to detach. Focus on the mission. Maybe that is what is going on. It’s been almost 15 years – but yet it is still with me.

I pray…

Lord, develop in me a compassion for the suffering of others. Help me feel again. Enlarge my capacity to empathize with those who are suffering. Give me opportunities to engage those who are in need. Stretch me that I may serve you more.


Raize UP!

29 Aug

Lately I have been listening to a lot of independent christian artists. One of the songs that I really like is by Ason ( called Raize Up! There is an urgency in the lyrics that just hit me. It is what I feel. We need leaders to raise up and tell others about Jesus. We have a generation of young kids that need to hear the freedom message that Jesus brings. We can’t be complacent and let others define the culture our kids are going to grow up in. We need to give our kids more exposure to artists like Ason.

All My Youngins’ Raize Up
Young At Heart Raize Up
We gon’a send the praise up
Lift His name up.

Don’t save nothin’
Put it all up
Lift the man up
on the third day
[I]s when He came up.

Raize Up by Ason

“I’m calling out to young leaders,” says Ason, “It takes a leader to stand for God these days and we need the influence of anointed leadership to bring change to our troubled communities.”

Holla back preachers…


Starin’ At The Sky [Lesson 10.8]

17 Aug

Ok you win, you caught me day dreaming again
About our sudden evacuation
Ok I give in, I can’t help but wandering
But it seems I can’t get enough information

Curiosity has got a hold of me
Tell me how it’s gonna be – when
One day I’ll see you coming back for me
And all together we’ll fly away
One day I’ll hear that trumpet loud and clear
And all together we’ll fly away
O how I long for the day
When we fly away

Don’t ask me why I keep starin’ at the sky
It’s just I’m lost in anticipation
I know it will be in the twinkling of an eye
It’s just I get lost in my imagination

(lyrics to Fly Away by FFH | Windows Audio Clip )

I love the words to the song Fly Away by FFH.  I can relate!  Sometimes I get thinking about Jesus coming back and what it will be like, that I end up wasting time right now!  I need to be telling somebody about this!

So, where would I find the most detailed description of the Rapture of the Church?  Revelations?  Nope! 

Paul was in Thessalonica for only a few weeks before a few irate Jews drove him out of town.  While he was there, he taught the church that Christ would come and rapture Christians out of this world to be with Him.  After Paul left, some members had died and consequently the young Christians were perplexed about the status of their dead Christian members. So, the church wrote Paul a letter requesting an explanation.  First Thessalonians is Paul’s answer to them.  Note 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 carefully,

The Coming of the Lord

    13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.


There, I feel better. I can go back to day dreaming again!

Live Like You Were Dying [Lesson 10.3]

10 Aug
About a year ago, the country artist Tim McGraw released a song entitled “Live Like You Were Dying”.  The chorus of the song goes like this:
I can relate to this song.  You see, I don’t know how long I’m going to be around.  I have to think every day about how I live my life. I don’t want to waste a single moment.
I know I haven’t told most of you about this.  I’ve lived my whole adult life and haven’t told many people.  I sometimes get embarrassed talking about it.  I don’t want to waste people’s time.  I’m sure they are too busy to listen.  Maybe they won’t like me if I tell them. 
OK. So I’ll go ahead and tell you.  You might as well hear it.
I’m a Christian.  Jesus is coming back to this earth to take me, and everyone else who believes in him, with him.
You see, I am a sinner.  I don’t deserve to go to heaven with Jesus.  But, He came to this earth over 2,000 years ago and he was killed for our sins.  He was perfect but He said that He would die so we didn’t have to.  All we had to do was to put our faith in Him.  I did that a number of years ago and now, I know that when Jesus does come back, I’m going with him.  I don’t know when that will be but I am glad that I am ready.  I am sorry that I didn’t tell you sooner.  You too need to know Jesus. Please, accept His gift of salvation so you won’t be left when He comes.  Life on this earth will be extremely difficult after He comes.  In fact, you might not ever get another chance to accept HimDon’t wait!  Think about it and make a decision… but please don’t wait.
Now, where’s FuManChu.  I’m going for the whole 8 seconds!

I’m A Soul Man [Lesson 6.3]

13 Jul

Got what I got the hard way
And I’ll make it better each and every day
So honey don’t you fret
Cause you ain’t seen nothing yet

I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man
Play it Steve!
I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man

Many of you have heard the Blues Brothers song “Soul Man”. We know from our lesson this week that mankind is both Spirit and Soul. What is the difference between the spirit and the soul?

The word “spirit,” refers only to the immaterial facet of man. Mankind has a spirit, but we are not a spirit. However, in Scripture, only believers, those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, are said to be “spiritually alive” (1 Cor. 2:11; Heb. 4:12; James 2:26). Unbelievers are “spiritually dead” (Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:13). In Paul’s writing the “spirit” was pivotal to the spiritual life of the believer (1 Cor. 2:14; 3:1; 15:45; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; Col. 1:9; 3:16). The spirit is the element in man which gives him the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. Whenever the word “spirit” is used, it refers to the immaterial part of man including his spirit and soul.

The word “soul” refers not only to the immaterial part of man but the material part as well. Unlike man having a “spirit,” man is a soul. In its most basic sense the word “soul” means “life.” However, the Bible moves beyond “life” and into many areas. One of those areas is to man’s eagerness to sin (Luke 12:26). Man is naturally evil and his soul is tainted as a result. The life principle is removed at the time of physical death (Gen. 35:18; Jer. 15:2). The “soul” as with the “spirit,” is the center of many spiritual and emotional experiences (Job 30:25; Ps. 43:5; Jer. 13:17). Whenever the word “soul” is used, it can refer to the whole person, alive or after death.

The “soul” and the “spirit” are similar in the manner in which they are used in the spiritual life of the believer. They are different in their reference. The “soul” is man’s horizontal view with the world. The “spirit” is man’s vertical view with God. It is important to understand that both refer to the immaterial part of man, but only the “spirit” refers to the man’s walk with God. The “soul” refers to man’s walk in the world, both material and immaterial.

Sing it with me…

I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man

I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, I’m a soul man

Soul Man (live version) – Blues Brothers

Does this interest you? You might want to read “In His Image by Paul Brand and Philip Yancy

Where in the world is Didymus? [Lesson 3.2]

21 Jun

Toward the end of my high school junior year, there was a concert at Kansas City’s Arrowhead stadium called Summer Jam ’80. It was two days of non-stop-rock-n-roll. Bands like Ted Nugent, Kenny Loggins, Journey, Black Oak Arkansas, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers and more all did sets that weekend. It was the best concert experience any seventeen year old, future rock star, could imagine! The problem was, I didn’t get to go. My friends did.

The next Monday at school, my friends would tell stories about the concert. They would tell me about Ted Nugent playing so loud your ears hurt! (Rock on Ted!) They would tell me about Black Oak Arkansas coming on stage riding horses or my idol Peter Frampton playing “Do you feel like I do?” just like it sounds on “Frampton Comes Alive”, only better! I kicked myself for not trying harder to go with them. I regretted not trying to talk my parents into letting me go. I missed Frampton and Nugent in the same day!

I would not miss it the next year!

Like most stories that get told over and over in a rock-induced haze, I kind of doubted some of them. (A recent Google search did confirm that Black Oak did come out on horses for that concert!)

A couple thousand years ago, a man named Didymus missed one of the most significant events in history. He was scared. His best friend had just been killed and now they were out to kill him and the rest of his friends. He didn’t want to be seen with them. One day he shows up at the house where his friends are. It seems that his best friend, the one who was killed, is now alive and visited the house! Didymus couldn’t believe it. In fact, he actually doubted their stories. He wasn’t going to believe them until he saw his friend himself. (He didn’t have Google) A few days later, he was with his friends again and sure enough, his best friend did come and talk to him. He even told him to touch him to make sure! Finally Thomas (also called Didymus) saw the resurrected Jesus and believed!

Fortunately for Thomas, he got a second chance. Jesus came back to talk to him one more time. I wonder what Thomas would have thought if Jesus never came back a second time. Do you think his life would have been different?

There wasn’t a Summer Jam ’81.