I continue to think about Greene’s masterpiece, The Power and the Glory almost everyday.
The great problem with Christian music today is it does not sound like reality. It’s the musical equivalent of a Thomas Kinkade painting. Technically fine but profuse with sentimentality that ignores the dark night of the soul and the grey times of life’s many dawns.
Even before I saw Mike Trout play in his first season, his numbers made me think of Joe DiMaggio. I wasn’t the only one, either. Even now the comparison is being made. Some want to compare Trout to Teddy Ballgame, but that’s ridiculous. Trout has speed and mad defensive skills, whereas The Kid had neither. Plus Ted’s first two seasons of hitting are much better. DiMaggio only struck out 369 times in his whole MLB career. Mike Trout has already struck out 307 times in just over two seasons.
Our children’s bedtime is 8ish. It’s like the start of a vacation every night.
The United Cerebral Palsy is down the street from where I work and they bring in participants regularly to cash paltry checks. Everything is topsy turvy with these people. The amount of the checks are small and they smile with every dollar. The rich impatiently waiting behind them in line have few smiles in their worries. The older ones are prone to laugh like children and the young shuffle their feet like the aged who have seen too much of this world and are ready for the one beyond.
On Monday I was at a bookstore and one of my blog readers introduced herself to me. It was a highlight of my seven plus years of blogging.
Most of the talk about Christians in the workplace is flat. Most of what is said is by those who work as pastors and professors and those working in non-profit ministries. They mean well and they say a lot of true things. But they do not have the same scars. Their talk lacks the contours. It’s the difference between hearing a historian talk about being in the trenches in war and one who has the very dirt under his nails.
I think Paul was very serious about eating whatever is served to you. He was worried Christians would offend in their desire to eat clean foods and not eat food that was deemed unclean. We are willing to offend because of ingredients.
I talk to a lot of new married couples and they almost always tell me how many people warn them of the difficulties of marriage and rarely the joys. Christians seem to be the worst about it. One couple, both of them believers, said I was the first (outside of premarital counseling) to tell them that marriage can be wonderful and still get better. Maybe we should stop filming proposals and stop with the creativity in announcements and such. We’re celebrating engagement and trudging through marriage.
“There is no frigate like a book.”
Unless you’re prepared for a pastor to enter your workplace and critique your job, be slow to critique his.
I always enjoy your posts but your thoughts on Christians in the workplace, the possibility of joy in marriage, and critiquing your pastor particularly struck me today. Well done, Matt. Keep doing what you’re doing.
I like to read your work. I pray for the day when you can be doing happier work. I appreciate that you frequently praise your wife.
I agree about how we as a culture are making such a big deal of “The Proposal” and the announcements, and not enough of the marriage. I don’t see any of this silliness being promoted in God’s Word. Maybe i’m too black and white. But I see my friends helping their kids to stage the proposal so they can take pictures and everybody involved can put it on Facebook, and it seems so weird and such a waste of time, and such a competition sometimes. Now even asking your date to prom in high school, I was recently informed, involves having to do something very creative and expensive. What? This world is going crazy.
I think you’re seeing things as they are.
And…I totally agree about Christian music! What a great way to put it—-comparing it to a Thomas Kincade painting. It’s so light and fluffy and nauseating most of the time. I love the old hymns that have depth and substance and fortitude. Amen.
So glad we got to talk!
Sorry to leave one more comment, but I really enjoy reading your Random Thoughts, and look eagerly forward to them. Keep thinking!
Agree with your comments about the state of Chrisitan music. The Thomas Kincade comparison is spot on! I pretty much have given up on the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) scence as being an art, or relevant, or influential in any way some time ago. Very few female singers out there, and the ones who are out there pretty much sing to Jesus like he is their boyfriend, and the male singers all sound breathy and whiney. There are almost no distinctive and dynamic singers in CCM today.
My music consumption diet these days pretty much consists of secular music (yeah, I know, I am going to hell for not listening to Casting Crowns or Jamie Grace all the time), and praise and worship music (which I consider a totally different entity from CCM) – which I guess saves me from going to hell.
Ok, let’s put it this way, CCM is pretty much put out there to appease the Stay at home moms who are on their way to Target or their kid’s soccer practice.
One other thing, thanks for mentioning the Christians who work amongst the general population (the trenches as you say!)!
I appreciate so much when I hear a Christian song on the radio that actually goes to the dark side. The Christian walk is full of ups and downs. Too often, artists skip over the humanity of it all and focus on worshiping God with the music. That’s all well and good, but admitting you’re a sinner, you’re faulty, you need Jesus, that’s more powerful to me than pretending we’re perfect. Nice random thoughts!
I agree Jessi. So much of the Psalms were rather dark and not “safe for the whole family” – the mantra you hear on mosy Christian radio stations. One of my all-time favorite songs is “I’m Not Alright” by Sanctus Real. Not only a powerful song musically (I like the hard stuff), but an honest song too!!
instrumental music can be under-rated. A lot of people want to hear a human voice and I get that but as saccharine lyrics go I haven’t seen that pop songs or CCM are necessarily worse than texts seen in settings by Dowland or Gesualdo. Emo was only unique for being a codified style of when which pedals get switched on while you strum your guitar, not for the melodramatic navel-gazing texts. 🙂