Tag archives: music

What to Sing During Advent

Reaching people during Advent. How (especially during Advent) does the church reflect and embody Jesus’ mission to the lost?

Churches that refuse to sing Christmas carols until December 24 are in danger of being the only venue where such music is not sung during December. The church, therefore, becomes a place people may avoid, since the experience of hearing and singing this music is offered abundantly elsewhere.

This is a truly horrifying crime, and not just because I work in a church.

An elementary school music teacher shot his ex-wife while she played the organ during church service and, after leaving briefly, returned and shot her again to ensure she was dead, police said.

Congregants eventually overpowered Gregory Eldred, ending the shooting Sunday at the First United Presbyterian Church of Coudersport, about 140 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Reminder: Some People Are Jerks

The other day, I watched this video on YouTube. It’s amazing. I can’t imagine how much effort went into filming it. The song itself is fine, but, frankly, I heard it enough a couple of decades ago to last me. I’m not sure what it has to do with Grand Rapids, but, whatever. (According to Wikipedia, when he was asked what the song’s lyrics meant, Don McLean replied, “It means I never have to work again.”)

Anyway, I went to crowd-source my opinion and noticed the ratings. About a million people had seen it by then, and of them almost 15K had “liked” it (the long green bar under the photo). But 320 had “not liked” it (the short red bar). Why?

Screen Capture: American Pie Video on YouTube

I know it’s a cliché to ask “what’s not to like?” (#67 on this list) but, well, what’s not to like? With the video, I mean. You might not like Grand Rapids, but why down-rate the video for that? Or maybe you hate the people who shot the video. But do you judge a movie just because you don’t like the director? If so, where do you stop? Suppose you like the cast and the director, but not the key grip or the best boy. Do you rate the movie a dud for that?

Some people just don’t like anything. In the church, we call them E.G.R. or “Extra Grace Required.” It’s a shame they are so damaged and bitter that they need to spread their bile all around them. But I challenge them to read about Barnabas:

For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.—Acts 4:36

Obviously, the people around them much prefer the Barnabas types to the E.G.R.s. But I suspect the Barnabas types enjoy themselves a lot more than the E.G.R.’s do.

Anyway, a final observation: The ratio of people who liked the video to those who disliked it was about 46:1. So when you bump into someone who seems positively determined to suck the joy out of your life, remember there are probably 46 normal people who aren’t. Try to spend more time with them, and less with the jerks.

Seventy Times Seven

I stumbled on this video (unofficial/fan) for the David Meese song “Seventy Times Seven.” I haven’t heard the song in 10 years, but the message is evergreen.

Hearing the song started me thinking: I believe I have a David Meese album. So I checked, and, yes, I do: three, in fact — but I never ripped them into iTunes. Well, that would explain why I don’t ever hear this song any more.