As for me and my blog, we will serve the Lord!

April 16, 2006

The 6-year-old mind

My Christian friends MIGHT, although probably not, be surprised to see my music collection. In amongst the Casting Crowns, Third Day and PFR, there's a few holdovers from my youth: Judas Priest, Pink Floyd, UFO, Frank Zappa. For those less 70-80's musically inclined, these would be bands categorized by some as secular for sure, sacreligious perhaps, some might even say evil (I would argue at's only evil if you allow it to effect your heart. I just like the heavy music and when I'm in the mood, the dark lyrics, and then I move on). I've also been known to blissfully close my eyes for the entire 10 minutes of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" and to bop around the living room to Asleep At The Wheel's "Miles and Miles of Texas". So there.

Speaking of Frank Zappa...I recently introduced Andrew to Frank's unique genre of music. Yes, Frank gets his own genre. As far as descriptions go, I would agree to juvenile, strange, even stupid where lyrics are concerned. But I would also include genius, virtuoso, original, inventive, clever.

Sure his lyrics are often straight from the mind of a 6-year-old (ex: "Watch out where the huskies go/And don't you eat that yellow snow") which is how I knew Andrew would appreciate Frank. But his musicianship is so clever, his wit is razor-sharp, his sense of timing exquisite, and his guitar-playing virtuosic.

One of Frank's wittier (and near and dear to my heart) songs is called "I'm The Slime". As relevant today as it was in the 70's, it basically speaks to the evils of television. Andrew quizzed me a bit on the lyrics and I explained that the "slime" was a metaphor for the vacuous nature of television. Of course I had to explain metaphor, which he seemed to grasp quite well. As the next Frank track came on, "Stink Foot", Andrew asked, "Papa, what is this a metaphor for?" To which I had to reveal the truth: some of Frank's songs are as vacuous as televison sitcoms.

For those really interested, here are the lyrics for Slime:

I am gross and perverted/I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years/But very little has changed
I'm the tool of the Government/And industry too
For I am destined to rule/And regulate you
I may be vile and pernicious/But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious/With the stuff that I say
I'm the best you can get/Have you guessed me yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out From your TV set
You will obey me while I lead you/And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you/
Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled/It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told/Until the rights to you are sold
That's right, folks . . .Don't touch that dial (background announcer)
Well, I am the slime from your video/Oozin' along on your livin' room floor
I am the slime from your video/Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go
I am the slime from your video/Oozin' along on your livin' room floor
I am the slime from your video/Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go

April 12, 2006

MOA Observations

The Mall Of America is a near-perfect metaphor for the flesh world. Temptations abound. Materialism at its finest. Amusement to be had in many forms: marine life, movies, roller coasters, and Hooters waitresses. There is food and "sweeties" of every taste, nutritional value and national origin. I have no doubt that, with the right connections, you can even buy various illicit products. It would surprise me if you can’t arrange a meeting with a lady of the evening. If not, Victoria’s Secret will allow a young woman to dress as one. And there are many who take them up on their offer.

The range of mall visitors is a great cross-section of the world’s population. The many ethnic groups that visit suggests a change in name to the Mall Of The World. The economic strata represented include Old Money, New Money, the Average Joe and the Less than Comfortable. And the Teens.

The Teens cut across all ethnic categories, but generally speak in a homogenized language that anyone over 40 probably can’t decipher (I know, Mom, history repeats itself). The Teens, based on their clothes, also cut across the economic levels. But I doubt it’s their money they are spending (which brings up the unsavory question of why so many 14-year-old girls dress like the mannequins at Victoria’s Secrets and parade around MOA, sometimes with parents in tow).

One group of mall visitors we can’t forget is the "Thugs". You know them by their "armor": the crotch to the knee droopy pants bunched up at the top of the technologically-advanced basketball shoes with fractal-based engineered lacing pattern, the T-shirt that hangs to just above the knee, disguising the fact that the upper 2/3rds of their boxers are showing above their beltline, and of course the Aunt Jemima bandana worn beneath the creatively cock-eyed baseball cap.
The interesting aspect of this group of mall denizens is that they tend to travel in groups of 3-5, with all members of the pack loudly and often profanely conversing on their individual cell phones to persons unknown. That’s what I call gang camaraderie.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. The worst part of these opinions and observations by me is, quite frankly these opinions and observations by me. I like to say a prayer in the truck before I head into the mall for my shift at the Wild Bird Store. Forgiven, loved and wrapped in God’s warm embrace, I march stoically through the parking ramp, ready to face whatever comes. And what comes are these hateful, condemning judgements of God’s children as I pass them.

This is my confession: I find it terribly difficult to say anything nice about the people I see at the MOA. They are all quickly and carelessly categorized in my mind. I’m sad to confess I don’t know if there is a reserved category for "happy, loving, appealing person".

Father God, I ask again for your forgiveness. I repent from judging your children and ask for your strength to start seeing them as whom they are: beloved children of God.

April 04, 2006

So This Is How It Works

"So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

"God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God."
—G.D.Watson (1845-1924)

I'm all yours, Father God!! I "stumbled" across this moments after a whispered prayer out of the side of my mouth when I asked God to stop me from the sin I was about to commit. I don't even remember the sin I was so intent on now. "It's so hard to be loved by God", Scott whined.