Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Idol has a true Rocker!!

American idol has a true rocker.... David Cook!!

Since the very beginning of Idol the judges have always said... "take risks" or "make the song your own" even things like "be different from the original". David Cook has consistantly taken risks... personalized songs, and deviated just enough from the original that it makes him THE idol to beat. Each week he has shown himself to be the consistant performer... and his song interpretationa and innovation shows his true musicianship. Most performers are simply singers... and occasionally you will get those who are musicians (guitar, piano), but David stikes me as the first innovative arranger and producer of music. For me... Day Tipper, elenor rigby, Hello by Lionele Ritchie, So happy together, and now Billie Jean... will not be the same for me... they have a whole new musical twist. And its a good one!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Emptying Churches Filling Needs

I cannot stand another church FAD. There have been numerous fads and trends that have over promised and under-delivered. The church Growth-movement that started in the 70's... gained momentum in the 80's... and peaked out in the 90's... has residue left over on Christendom in our post-modern culture. We have been duped into believing that "filling the church" is the answer. I will admit that a growing church has some vital signs that display some level of health... however, if a growing church, or a full church is the measure of vitality, we are gravely mistaken.

Filling churches is no longer the goal... emptying churches into the streets is!! I cannot over emphasize the paradigm shift from "church growth" to "church mission". The mission of the church starts with a HUGE goal in mind... that is, to empty the seats and to engage our people in the wilds of popular culture. To live Christ in our schools and workplaces, to re:engage Christ in out conversations at coffee houses, pubs, and resturants. To host BBQ's and bon fires in our community and neighborhoods... to re:imagine the expression of Christ in our artisitic venues of music, theater, and comedy. To be foolish enough to think that we could collaborate with other entities in popular culture... like businesses, organizations, and government... to actually serve those in need around us.

The Church must do this! This is not a fad... its a model, given to us by Jesus years and years ago. We just some how messed it up.

The church has entered a new day in Christendom... and we need to look to Christ for our model and our mission.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Confessions of an Idol Addict

I confess... I watch it... I love it!! Idol is something that I actually crave come Tues/Wed/Thursday. While many bash Idol for its sensationalism, harsh criticism, or scandal... I admit that I love the struggle of young artists (or for many wanna-be-artist) who desire to "make it".

I also find it intesting to hear the critique of Simon as harsh and cold-hearted as he may come off, yet... he has become the most anticipated critique of those who love him AND those who loath him. What I find is that Simon actually tells the truth to a generation of people who unfortunately have believed everything that thier parents have told them, that is "you can be anything you want to be!" Which, in fact... American Idol has proven that theory wrong. As Paula softens the blow for sappy singers who actually think they have a chance with comments ranging from "you look like you had fun out there" to " I love your outfit"... Simon brings the over-confident generation of kids who actually believed Barney when he said "everyone's a winner" back to the harsh reality that Not every one is a winner... There are losers!

I love what TV critic James Poniewozik writes when he says that Cowell "has led a rebellion against the tyranny of self-esteem that is promoted on talk shows and in self-help books - the notion that everyone deserves to win."

In Idol... as in life... there are losers. That's what makes winning so great. I love Comedian Brad Stein line in a routine he does about self-Esteem... after the race all the kids asked Barney who's the winner... and Barney replied "we are all winners!"... at which the one of the kids said, "what about the the fat kid who hasn't left the starting line and is eating a Ding Dong?!!"

If American Idol is considered Reality TV... the dose of "Reality" is this.... in order to win, there must be losers... Thank you Simon!