Thursday, November 30, 2006

Random Picture Time: Amber & Seth in Central Park

Wanted to post these pics back when we made our little trip to the Big Apple but I couldn't get around to it. Me, Lindsey and her Hubby Alex. Two kick-but-powerhouse-opera singers.Central Park is one of my favorite places. I often wonder what would happen to the sanity of that city if it didn't have this park.

Another one of the marvels of NYC, the NY hot dog. Awesome.

I wish every city had subways. I only thought I hated Houston traffic, now I know.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bono and Liszt, God’s inside-out men.

Some of you may be asking, ‘Who the heck is Liszt?’ Well dear friends, if you lived a few hundred years back and you asked that question, you might have been smacked or ignored.

The year was 1847; the instrument, the piano. The god who conquered the world with the piano was a man named Franz Liszt. Until Liszt stormed the world the piano had only been played solo along with other solo instruments on any given concert. Until Liszt everyone used and read their music in concerts. Even Mozart and Beethoven had used sketches to remind themselves of what and where to play. Until Liszt the violin ruled the world as the mighty thunderbolt of virtuosity. Liszt played the piano like a gladiator would ride a chariot. When Liszt came to town an entourage of adoring followers accompanied him. He was probably the world’s first fabulously rich musician. He traveled into town with several carriages dedicated to carrying his wardrobes, piano, roadies, stylists, and … well, ladies. Liszt was the first Rock Star.

When Liszt played the piano, ladies flung their jewels on the stage instead of bouquets. They shrieked in ecstasy and sometimes fainted. Those who remained mobile made a mad rush to the stage to gaze upon the features of the divine man. They fought over the green gloves he had purposely left on the piano. One lady fished out the stub of a cigar that Liszt had smoked. She carried it in her bosom to the day she died. Gross.

Liszt changed music forever. Every time you see a rock star, know that they are great, great, great grandchildren of the mighty Franz Liszt. One could compare his popularity to that of Bono. A more accurate comparison would be to compare Liszt to both Bono and the Pope. He was that famous and revered. The imagination of the average person in the 19th century was a more fertile soil for legend and myth to grow. So by the time Liszt made it to your town, the legend and fervor that preceded him was colossal.

There were other similarities that Bono and Liszt shared. Along with a huge sex appeal, they shared a devotion to Christ. Bono, like Liszt before him, shares a devotion to Catholicism. Liszt wore a Priest’s cassock the later half of his life and was never seen in public without it. After his run-in with fame, he spent a good ten years in a monastery. Liszt was instrumental in sharing the gospel with Wagner. It is even rumored and speculated that Wagner converted near the end. Of course this could be because Wagner wanted more of Liszt’s money, not just his daughter. Even if Wagner did not convert, who else could have shared the truth to him?

Sometimes I think we assume that because Artists are not working in the Church, singing ‘Christian Music’ or they are not using their artistic gifts in direct relation to the Church then they are not Christians. I am tired of these assumptions. I made one recently about Ben Folds. Shaun Groves pointed out that he was brought up in Church so all we really know is that we don’t know either way. He could be either. Of course Ben knows, but he doesn’t go around telling everyone that he is like he is the perfume lady at Dillard’s spraying perfume in everyone’s face whether they really want to smell it or not.

The fact that well known artists do not wear their Evangelism on their sleeve, makes some Christians mad. Most Christians didn’t know that Bono was a believer until this last year when an atheist journalist delved into Bono’s spirituality and asked him point blank. To which Bono replied, and I paraphrase and condense, “Not just yes, but hell yes.” He described why he is a Christian with more meaning and power, over the phone to this journalist, than I have ever heard in any venue or setting. Probably the only person that could have made sense of the Gospel to that man at that moment in that man's life and he didn't see it coming.

I think that sometimes people shouldn’t see us coming.

Last Christmas I stood huddled with my Baptist compadres in a homeless shelter to help the workers at Loaves and Fishes feed the poor. What I didn’t know was there was a priest, in plain clothes, sitting with the homeless guys at their table talking to them and eating. I didn’t see him there and I bet they didn’t know who he was at first either. They just thought he was one of them.

Sometimes God turns up in the most unlikely people- Liszt, Bono, and maybe even Ben Folds.

Sometimes Evangelism is an inside-out job

Just ask Niebuhr.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Five Things That Will Always Be Funny

1. My Dad when annoyed. "Son, don't you think its time that you go RAKE your room." or "Son, you know if you get bored you could just roll off your bed and make trash-angels in the floor."

2. My friend Joey Mcfarland trying to run or play basketball

3. Seinfeld, "Bro episode"

4. My wife and my sister's uncanny ability to distort common phrases.

Wife:"This is such a busy airport. I think it is a major hubub."

Sister:"I really want to go see that movie with Nichole Kidman that is a musical, Baton Rouge"

And finally, something that will always and forever be funny regardless of age, culture or race-

5. Accidental farting in Church.

Lets hear yours.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


So what do you think? Fair? Unfair?

(See comments for lyrics. Courtesy of Euphrony.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ben Folds vs. the Music Snob

I saw Ben Folds with the Houston Symphony a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to write about it until now.

It was awesome and aggravating. Ben Folds is hands-down one of the most talented AND entertaining artists out there right now. There are times when I listen to some of his songs that I feel more Joyful and just downright worshipful than just about any great Smitty moment that I have ever had. And Ben isn't even a Christian. If you find that strange just know that every time you sing "All Creatures of our God and King" know that Ralph Vaughan Williams, a professing Atheist, wrote the melody to that.

Back to the Point.

The guy had the entire crowd singing harmony as an integral part of the songs. Not just harmony but counterpoint. Plus, if I am not mistaken I think he arranged all the orchestral parts himself. Now, I really wish I could have gotten my hands on some of those scores because I think that some of them just sounded muddy and with a little help from some good-ole-fashioned orchestration 101 it could have rocked a little harder in a few parts. Of course that might have been the duller-than-dudu-on-a-stick conductor's fault. I'm SURE he gave it his all in the rehearsals. Besides a little muddiness in the timbres, it was downright impressive. Ben Folds played sang like a free man and the people there were filled to the brim with light by the end.

It was the collision of the two worlds that built a home for my frustration. Well, not a home, more like a fort. You know the ones you used to make in your living room with blankets and...

Anywho, the Orchestra was just stuck up. It really pissed me off. I can't STAND that attitude. The concert-mistress (first violinist, closest to the piano and conductor) was unfortunately juxtaposed to the animated and crazy Ben Folds most of the night on the screen. Her expression resembled a constipated grandmaw who's dog fluffy had just been taken from her because she was so constipated that she couldn't get off the pot to feed the dog anymore. Yeah, something like that.

I just wanted to jump down there and say,

"Excuse me, do you love music? THEN ACT LIKE IT. Just because you are not knee deep in the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Lenny Bernstein winking approvingly at you from the podium as you throw your whole body into glorious scales and arpeggios, ooo-ing and awwww-ing all the rich old farts the Houston Symphony Guild can keep out of the grave, doesn't mean that you can't enjoy yourself while playing with a friggin talented musician in a different genre, ESPECIALLY one who packs out YOUR symphony house which in turn fills YOUR paycheck with extra zeros. So, if you don't want to be here and you can't get the cobb out of your stuck-up arse then get the flippidy-flap of my flippidy-flap stage."

They were thankless. Granted, at one point he did throw his bench at the 120,000-dollar piano, but hey, it was just the cushiony part of the bench and it just bounced off the keys. If it was really a throw, then it was a careful and calculated throw. I've seen WAAAY more damage done in a Bartok piano concerto performance.

He topped it all off by telling his adoring, rowdy fans that they should all make a habit of seeing the symphony play and if they don't it might go away and leave a HUGE void in our society. Pretty cool.

The only other thing that aggravated me more that night was that I missed the first few songs, one of which was "We're Sill Fighting" a song about him and his son. We missed it because the elevator going to the third floor took, no lie, 4 1/2 minutes to get to the top. I could have crawled, backwards, drunk, blind, and paralyzed from the dormant booger in my left nostril down, to the third floor faster. I told the elevator attendant that she could really get some good naptime in between floors if she got sleepy. She didn't find that funny. She was old, and sitting down. I think she had had her fill of smart-mouth whippersnappers for the night.

All in all it was an awesome night, and THE greatest b-day present. I needed that concert.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Nothing like a plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies, a big fat glass of Milk, and a heated game of Spades to top off the Thanksgiving Holiday.

We drove another 7 hours today from Springfield to Dallas. I love to drive. There is no better time to contemplate the state of your whole being than when you are flying over the plains. I also got caught up on some easy-listening. I usually try to listen to something new everyday. I made that a habit about 8 years ago. I didn't today. I listened to only some of my favorite things:

Radiohead -OK Computer, Elliot Smith, Handel's Messiah, (John Elliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir if anyone is interested in the BEST recording of that EVER.) Bach's Magnificat, Bach's Goldberg Variations played by Glen Gould, Sufjan Stevens, Cash, and Bjork. Although I wouldn't qualify Bjork as a favorite, I just get in the mood sometimes.

Starting next week I will be once again immersing myself in my LEAST favorite musical era, Medieval and Renaissance. They all start to jumble together and give me a headache after a while. There are really two composers from that period that I really like, Josquin and Monteverdi. Palestrina even kinda bores me.

Nerd-alert. Nerd-alert.

Off to watch a movie and chow on more things that are horrible for my already growing, Grimace-esque figure.

Favorite Holiday movie- Go.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Few Reflections this side of the Carnage

Full. Full as a tick on a June bug on Tuesday. (?) That's how I feel right now and that feeling is good.

Change is hard. Holidays should be brimming with cheer and mirth but most of the time there is this constant feeling of melancholy that accompanies the turkey and then later at Christmas, the presents. The difference in the young-ones is marked from the last time you saw them. The kids get older, so you realize that you are getting older, and then you see that mom and dad are getting older and you are faced eventually with the eminence of death. "You are going to die... we are all going to die..." (Quick quick, what movie?)

Fortunately, this was NOT one of those Thanksgivings. It has been so darn pleasant that I am almost a bit giddy. The only thing this Thanksgiving was missing was a good movie and my little sister. I did see the new James Bond movie at Thanksgiving number 1 in Dallas and I loved it. But not that kind of movie. I mean one of those "Oh my gosh, I have always hoped that someday they would make that into a movie someday" movies. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars Prequels, Chronicles of Narnia, ... Death to Smoochy.

Alas, even without a grandiose dream-movie I still had the best Thanksgiving, all two of them, with my family, both the in-laws in Dallas, and the Outlaws in Springfield, in a looongo timo.

So for the first time in many years I actually feel thankful instead of just knowing that I should feel thankful but really I am sad because I don't know why that I don't feel thankful. But again, that is not me this year. Hip Hip Hurray.

In the spirit of Charles Dickens and our beloved president W,

May God bless us, every one, and if you fool me once shame on you and if you fool me twice shame on .... you.

Oh yeah and happy national get fat week too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy "National Get Fat Week"

There. That should take care of all those pesky "Christian" exhortations tacked on to a perfectly good all-religions-welcome-and-can-celebrate-in-there-own-way holidays. I mean, who do those Jesus dogooeders think they are? All the time trying to claim all the good holidays selfishly for themselves. "Thanks" giving. Ha! I see the plan here. I see them sitting in their smoky conference rooms with their billboards trying to devise a plan to MAKE everyone realize that "Thanks" is really code for "Jesus." Well it's not gonna work this time people. "Thanks" just means thanks and that's all there is to that. So don't try and tell me that the Turkey is really symbolic for a ... Manger, or one of the animals present at the birth. Don't bother telling me that the "dressing" stands for how Jesus "dressed up" like mankind or anything. And please, whatever you do, quit with the "Yams" being Latin for "Hypostatic Union." I mean, come on. That is seriously stretchin'' it just a smidge.

In summary, I'M NOT BUYING IT.

So here's the deal. When I walk into your department store this Thursday night to fist-fight some middle-aged overweight four-eyed bachelor or a crazed soccer mom over the new X-box I better hear you say "Happy National Get Fat Week" or I am taking my business elsewhere.


Friday, November 17, 2006

A Time to Change

I woke up November 1st, the day after my 32cond birthday and prayed this prayer:

"Lord, I dedicate this year to you. I dedicate this year to bearing fruit with the gifts and talents you have given to me."

It wasn't one of those New Year resolution statements. The prayer burned inside of me like a warm meal. I was energized. I got up from the bed and felt free.

I spend so much time doing things that are creative but never get finished or shared with others. This blog has been good for me in that way. I am not claiming to be some tremendous writer but I do recognize it as a talent. I hope you can recognize your talents as well. To not recognize something that you have that brings joy to others as a gift is false humility. I am not talking about boasting here, there is always someone better. Good Lord. I am talking about delighting in a gift or a talent. It took me years to learn how to say "thank you" to a compliment and not constantly feel like I needed to beat myself down in order to "feel" humble. There are two words that go hand in hand. Humble, and Thankful. You need both or you are neither.

So this year I want desperately to be the best steward of any talent that God has given me and have something to show for it at the end of the day. Because over the past 5 years I have started some 5 films and have not finished but one of them. I have half-finished: pictures, poems, songs, quartets, short stories, a novel, plays, musicals, operas and piano pieces. I don't even eat the last bite of my food. Ever. Even if I am stinking hungry. I just can't do it. I have finished some things but each finished product seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. My wife has been the greatest contributor to me finishing anything whatsoever.

So this year will be different and because the Lord has put this fire under me, it has already been different.

If you don't see me for a bit around the blogosphere, it is because I am trying to be productive and finish something.

Mainly, my degree.

I recognized that there is nothing better than to be glad and to do well during life.
For every man, moreover, to eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of all his labor is a gift of God.
I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered.
And I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to rejoice in his work; for this is his lot. Who will let him see what is to come after him?

Like this great book says, "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." I feel like this is a time for me to build. Please pray that I can walk humbly, always seeking Him first above all things and remember that when I delight in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Hump?

Have you ever had one of these moments? I have. Several times. I have put my foot in my mouth so many times that I can, blindfolded, tell you when shoe was made and what it has stepped in, just by smelling it.

" Hmmm. 1984, Converse, 3-day old Coke, Bazooka Gum and faint Weiner Dog poo. Good year, Good year. Comfie. I recommend it. Yessss."

[a small crowd of onlookers gasp in amazement]

“Wow mommy that man really must chew a lot of yucky shoes.” A young girl with curly hair observes.

“Yes dear, lets run along now before he insults us…”

My personal favorite "What Hump" moment was when I asked my amazing-Jazz-musician-friend if it ever made him angry that people associate instrumental Jazz with K-mart, Musak, or music on the overhead at the Western Sizzler. He just looked at me with a furrowed brow...

"What…what do you mean..."

A brief moment of silence followed.

Speechless, with nowhere to turn except into a deep, dark tunnel of awkwardness, I simply cocked my head slightly to the right and said...

"Is that a helicopter flying over us?... Must be a wreck or something... Hey, I'm hungry."

This tactic only worked because this person that I had begun to insult was plagued with A.D.D.

Being an A.D.D. man myself I knew that a few tasty distractions could serve as an adequate smokescreen for my conversational getaway.

It worked and the subject was not to be breeched again. The mystery is still unsolved.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An Artist's Creed

As I have said before, I think that all men and women are creative, therefore they are artists. It is one of the most unique God-like qualities that He has given us. However, we do not create as God creates; some-thing from no-thing, we create using the materials He has generously given us. We must believe that those materials are good and meant for our good and His glory. Each person is unique in what they have to offer. I have started to jot some of these down to remind myself of this.

All of these are listed keeping in mind that we must first and always keep a pure and clean heart. Always remember what our Lord teaches us, that it is the pure in heart that shall see God. And when there is this purity, we can be confident and joyful in the knowledge that what we do, we do unto the Lord and that the passions that we have are truly the Desires of our heart, planted there by God Himself.

I will:

1. Never compromise or sacrifice the passions that God has put in me to prove to God that I love him, for obedience is greater than sacrifice. This will eventually cause the God of Creation, who is making me, to appear less Glorious than really is He is to me. Who am I to tell God what He can and cannot create?

2. Never let money be my primary motive in creation for this will cause me to fear or hide the creative spirit that dwells within me as a gift of God. Worst of all it changes my motives for creation which should be to delight in God and share our gifts with others.

3. Not adhere to a formula or man-made standard as if God has made every man to look, sing, write, or create exactly alike.

4. Believe that God is a God of beauty and order, and I can experience Joy in recognizing that beauty and express my admiration of His order in many new fresh ways.

5. Always encourage other Artists because after I have believed the first 4 tenants of this creed I am free to love, encourage, and inspire other artists to create an be themselves for I would believe that we are all unique Artists and children of the Living, Eternal God.

Care to add? Amend?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pardon the Vent

I am tired. I am tired of this stuff. I am not tired of the media and their exploitation of one mans sin over another's, we should expect this out of a capitalistic media. No, I am tired because the Church, well, we ask for this bullcrap. And that is just what it is. We set ourselves up on this big stupid pedestal like we are something great. Well I've got news. We aren't. In fact that should be the first thing everyone should know. It is the reason we go to church in the first place. We neeeed it. Desperately. We need each other. There is something mystical about the body of Christ, the Kingdom of our Lord that gives us the sustenance to live and walk in the light. We don't go to pat each other on the back, kiss each others butt and tell each other "HEEYYY great to see you fellow perfect non-sinning-non-cussing-non-drinking-saint! So what did you do that was so wonderful and pious this week that made your poop smell like pumpkin pie??"

It is just not true. We are crappy. Crappy right to the bone. There was some shred of a desire for God left after the fall, and that alone has inspired the only good that has ever come this world but right now, you and me, we all jack it up. We have lustful thoughts, we say mean and cruel things, we are jealous, we have cheated, we have lied and we have our own private addictions. We need God as bad as the Prostitute down the road. If you ever get to the place where you think differently, well then get ready for some media frenzy when you can't deliver the good(s).

It is amazing that we are so surprised by these things while we read the bible and it is written half the time by convicted murderers and idolators. Solomon had 500+ wives and even started worshiping and offering sacrifices to OTHER PAGAN gods later in life. David Killed a Uriah so he could get it on with his wife that he saw bathing on a roof. So that makes him a peeping Tom to boot. Even the disciples betrayed their best friend when the feces hit the fan.

I wake up every morning and know that I need a Savior so bad that if I don't pray and depend on him, I could very well end up in the same situation. Even on my best days, I still might.

Lets come out of the self-righteous closet people. We suck too. If we know something that they don't it is that despite our suckiness, God loves us and can help us if we ask him. I am not trying to lay a guilt trip or be a kill Joy, I just think that pretending that we are perfect people is one of the worst things we can do. I just read Brant's blog on some Pastors thinking outside the box on this and was encouraged.

The biggest lie that Satan has fed us from the fall is that God doesn't love us and that we need to earn it.

I am not offering excuses. I am calling out for us to get real. We don't want to get real though. It is too painful. We prefer our perfect language peppered with only the most pious phrases and our perfect homes and our perfect cars and our perfect Jobs and our perfect Churches. Crap. Crap crap crap and more crap. It IS A LIE. A facade. A masquerade sponsored by the Devil to fooling us into believing the we are better than our pagan neighbor and the at the end of the day, ... well...God? Nah. We doin' just fine without all that confession and repentance business. Mostly because we don't need it. "Hey, I got my ticket when I was seven. I'm in baby. Heaven here I come!!!"

That is why we work out our salvation with fear and trembling not pride and pats on the back.

Most of the men who read this very blog and who blog themselves have struggled or lets face it, are still struggling with addiction of some sorts. It is all in us. It is why Paul says "What a wretched man I am! Who will save me?" Come on. Do you think he was talking about a addiction to checkers? Pin the tail on the Donkey? Dates? Figs? Sandal Collections?

So in all of that there is Hope, Love, Grace, forgiveness and Peace. That is what we as the Church can offer. It offers sanity in a world where insanity is the natural pull. Not an example of a plastic perfect people that the world should want to immitate.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Der Dentist Suchen Sie Gewholelottgeschnizzel!!!"

German for "Going to the Dentist sucks a whole lot!!!"

I know I know, I have once said that my Dentist is the Yoda of Dentists but...

I think that going to the Dentist is the perfect parable for the problem of pain. We have all asked these questions but somehow it feels good to ask them again. So I will. Why do things that are good for you have to hurt? Why are things that are bad for you taste and feel sooo good? Why do veggies taste like empty crappy water/air (unless smothered with cheese, butter or salt and pepper, preferably a nice medley of all four) while a chocolate covered Krispy Kreme donut taste like a wheel o' taste-bud-bliss made in heaven? Why does going to the Dentist suck so bad while getting the cavities was pretty darn fun? Why Lord... WHY!!!!!

The Other Half, ...2/3... well 9/10ths of My life.

Most of you know, because of my belly-aching, that I am desperately trying to finish my 394 years of college. Hopefully that will be happening this March... if the Lord decides to cut me a break. Much of what I am doing now is writing a big fat Orchestra piece that will be played in the spring by the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Orchestra. That may not mean anything to many of you but it is the equivalent of having the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform your music. Or if you have written a rock song it is the equivalent of having Nirvana Jam out on it. They are a phenomenal group of players. The whole Shepherd School is just teaming with the next generation of Major Philharmonic players. As far as Performance and Symphony Orchestras go, there are only about 4 other Colleges in the States that Can Hang with the Shepherd Chamber Orchestra. So, that being said, I have been blessed to be a part of this School for the past 3 years. I have also been blessed to NOT have to pay for it and to actually GET PAID to go there as long as I teach some theory. What the heck Baylor????

The fact that I am teaching theory and ear training still baffles me a bit. In undergrad I was the WORST theory student a teacher could be cursed with. I constantly questioned my professor(s) about the necessity of theory and accused them of sucking all the Joy out of various works that we were to analyze. I made peace with one professor one semester when he allowed me to turn in an "emotional" analysis along with the mathematical analysis of the music. So, by being arrogant and bull-headed I doubled my load of work for that class. I skated out of my music theory classes with mostly C's and a few mercy B's. Not in my wildest fantasies would I have ever imagined that I would be teaching music at on of the best music schools in the U.S. Not EVER. But here I am, doing it and I have to tell you that I have LOOOVED it. Every blessed moment. These students are great and their attitude and work ethic is WAAAAAY beyond mine. They set a great example for me and I am honored to be teaching them.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Short Break

(posted last night but the new song on Myspace wasn't working...arrh.) I am taking a 5 minute break from the dissertation. What a pain in the butt. It is now 12:00 a.m. and I have written and re-written the first 50 bars of this gargantuan orchestra thing about 30 times now.

It has been a busy, busy week folks. I am gettin' sleepy. Lesson tomorrow. Not good. Big scary Jewish prof as teacher. He no likey excuses.

Yesterday was the ole' b-day. Halloween. Or as evil old people call it, "razor apple day." Yup 32 years ago I came into the world covered in blood and slime. I squalled my first at 5:00 in the a.m. and they washed my dirty little body off and gave me to my mother. I was 8 pounds 6 ounces.

My mom has always said that of all the 4 kids, I was the biggest pain in the ass.

I guess some things never change.

In honor of my love for Halloween and scary movies...

This is an excerpt to a piano piece I wrote a few years back. I played it on a grad. Recital at Baylor and about freaked everyone into thinking I was some sort of Satanist. It is a movement for a Suite for piano that I wrote around phobias I had as a child. This one is called "birds" I saw that Hitchcock movie when I was a wee lad and was scared to death of anything flying for a good solid week or two. Then I got my bee bee gun for my 11 birthday and became the one bringing fear to those sneaky little flying ferocities. (sparrows and blackbirds only)

It is up on my Myspace if you want to take a listen.

Incedentally that particular Hitchcock movie didn't have a film score. One of the only Major Motion Pictures to NOT have a Score.

Unfortunately writing this Dissertation is kind of like trying to get a big stone to sing Great Balls of Fire at this point. No-thing is a' happening. Stravinsky reincarnate, I am not tonight.

Studly "Worship"

So when did leading worship become studly? I overheard these two highschool kids the other day discussing the various studly merits of their favorite studly worship studs.

Cool Highschool Kid no. 1: "Tod"

Cool Highschool Kid no. 2: "Chad"

Tod: "Yeah, I saw #### doing worship the other day he was pretty awesome"

Chad: "Yeah he was pretty bad-assed. I totally think he is better than -----"

Tod: "Oh totally. But -----'s gotee is tight and the set was pretty stinkin tight."

Chad: "Right on. Plus he's like 9 feet tall and lanky. He just looks like a cool worship guy. Well the set was better but the band for ##### was amazing. I hear hear -----s got a book out er somethin'..."

Tod: "Yeah ... "

[A second or two of silence came as the two began to venture into the possibilities that the man who wrote that book might be a little deeper than the one who had the "better" band.]

Tod: So I hear your doin' worship tonight...

Chad: "Yeah, I'm thinking about goin to this worship leading school next year... teaches you how to like... lead worship and stuff."

Tod: "Dude, you already are awesome at leading worship..."

Chad: "Yeah but not as cool as ----- or #####. I hear this place can really polish up your skills."

Around the corner, out of site, I wanted to shed tears of vomit.

From now on, as penance for causing young people to think that worship is about hair-gel, gotees, cool sets and killer guitar riffs, we should only allow little children to lead people in singing. Goofy nose-picking and parent waving to boot.

OR... Maybe the bulletin could look like this one Sunday out of the month.