Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shout to the Lord: American Idol 10 April 2008 [HD]

As a follow-up to the previous post, on the next night the Idol contestants sang Shout to the Lord again – this time with the right words (you can watch it here).

All cynicism aside, I have to confess it gave me chills.

They released this same version on iTunes, and it was the number one downloaded tune last week.

So, how did this song come to be sung on the perennial number-one-rated show on television?

According to Christian Music Today.com, we have Sheila E. to thank. The 80’s singer/percussionist (who is also a Christian) introduced Idol producer Nigel Lithgoe to the song last summer when she was a celebrity judge on The Next Great American Band (put on by Idol producers and ultimately won by Christian trio The Clark Brothers). Lithgoe loved the song and waited for the right moment to use it.

Idol Gives Back was that moment.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Idol did what???

Idol Gives Back is the name of American Idol’s 2-hour-long charity extravaganza. Started last year, the show raises a lot of money for several different charities ministering to starving children and hurting people around the world as well as in America. Calling it a star-studded event is a major understatement.

This year they ended the show by having the remaining contestants – all dressed in white – sing the worship standard Shout to the Lord. Yep, the same one we sing on Sunday mornings – but with one notable exception.

Instead of singing the song’s original opening line, “My Jesus, my savior . . . ” they changed it to, “My Shepherd, my savior . . .”

Interesting. What do you think? Respond to the poll over on the left.

Somebody apply the rod . . .quick!

I’ve got a part-time gig driving a school bus for Roanoke County. I love it. No stress, easy hours, and I get to hold up traffic.

Today during the afternoon run, I had to take seven elementary kids back to the school for disciplinary reasons. These students are constantly causing trouble – not listening, standing up while the bus is moving, screaming out the windows at what they call “the old people”. I’d had enough so I carted them back to Mountain View Elementary to get a talkin’ to by the principal.

Their reaction was interesting. Six of them were terrified; they knew they were in big trouble, because the driver was TAKING THEM BACK TO SCHOOL! They started trading stories of what their parents were going to do to them when they found out.

“My parents are going to kill me!” Hyperbole, I assumed.

One kid said, “My parents are going to ground me for a month!”

The seventh kid wasn’t fazed by any of this. He danced a little jig in the middle of the aisle, and sang all the way back to the school. He said, “My parents won’t ground me. They don’t care what I do.”

Watch out for that kid . . .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Judging books

Every now and then, I’ll wage this little war with the teens here at Cornerstone Church. All I have to do is say that, in most cases, I can tell what students are like, and what they think of themselves, by the way they’re dressed.

Then I’ll hear a barrage of protests. “You can’t judge a book by its cover!” they’ll say.

And I’ll respond by saying, “Oh, yes you can. We do it all the time.”

It’s worth noting that in the publishing world, companies spend a lot of time and money designing a compelling cover for a soon-to-be-released book. Why? Because people will judge that book by its cover. Fair? Maybe not, but that’s the reality.

1 Samuel 16:7 acknowledges this fact. While establishing that God examines man’s heart, the verse recognizes that man looks at outward appearances. My point to the teens listening is that it behooves them (I don’t really use the word behooves – they’d mock me) to pay attention to their style of clothes, hair, makeup, and general demeanor because, like it or not – fair or not – it will affect how people view and treat them.

Agree? Disagree?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

WE presents - High School Confidential

Here's the promo for the WE series mentioned below.

Young, precious, and in danger

Tammy and I have been watching a captivating series on WE TV called High School Confidential (see the promo above). The show is a series of documentaries that follows 14 girls through high school in Kansas, and I have to say it’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions as you watch these girls face everything from academic pressures to the struggles to fit in.

One thing stands out in the first few episodes that we’ve watched: strong family ties are crucial in helping kids keep it together during these turbulent times.

And these high-school years are turbulent, in case you’ve forgotten. I had. But my eyes have readjusted a little since I’ve been driving a school bus part-time. Whoa! Let me tell you what, it’s an entirely different world out there in the adolescent jungle!

I was talking with one Jr. High girl as we were approaching her stop. She’s a pretty, blonde 14-year old, and she was telling me that she was going to be home by herself until about 9 o’clock that night. She said that this was normal because of her parents’ work/school schedule. Her story made me think of that radio PSA where Denzel Washington promotes the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He starts off by saying:

“What is the most important time in a child’s life?. . . the answer…between 3 and 6 p.m. when they are out of school. This is the time when youths are less supervised, more likely to get in trouble, or are faced with negative influences or dangerous situations.”

Make the sacrifices to be with your kids; take the steps to open up the lines of communication.

Your thoughts?