told you i’ve got plenty more. same rules, shuffle is on. here we go.
common denominator – justin bieber yeah, i’m a belieber. you wanna make something of it? long before the police had to shut down mall appearances for the huge crowds’ safety, before the sold out world tours (in 30 seconds this time around), before the fragrance lines, and long before his $100 million net worth and glam girlfiend, i knew justin drew bieber was going to be a star. called it nearly 3 years ago. check him out from back-in-the-day at this little indie music venue in decatur, georgia, called eddie’s attic.
plenty of child stars have crashed in later years. the biebs just turned 18 and is pretty adamant that he’s a big boy now. i continue to pray he’ll remember his born again mama’s hopes for him and keep his nose clean. his new album “believe” contains a track called “maria,” which some have called his “billie jean.” er, uh, no. you, sir, are no michael jackson. but for a 17-year-old to weather a paternity accusation from a 20-year-old woman he claims he’s never met? outside of jerry springer, that doesn’t seem terribly commonplace.
so hang in there, kid. work hard and remember your roots. don’t let the machine take your soul. let’s just slow down those 90-mph chases in your chrome-plated batmobile. and please don’t punch photographers, or anyone else.
second chance – rend collective experiment these guys (and gals) rock. we saw them a couple years ago when they opened for chris tomlin. an amazing group of artists who really draw you in to the singing with fresh, thoughtful lyrics and unsurpassed craftsmanship. oh, and they’re irish. that automatically makes them way cooler than anyone in america.
this is the lead single from their second studio project, homemade worship by handmade people. wow. just the title makes me reflect. the lyrics are eminently singable but far from trite. “oh Your cross, it changes everything | there my world begins again with You | oh Your cross, it’s where my hope restarts | a second chance is heaven’s heart.”
what beautiful imagery. though our sins and foibles be as the grains of sand, like the seemingly endless waves, God’s grace gives us endless second chances. i’ll take every one i can get. now, about giving grace like i’ve received….
hopelessly devoted to you – olivia newton-john ah, grease. what a bizarre mashup of genres and eras (quintessential 50s movie, made in the 70s, about early rock and roll, starring disco royalty). after the music man, into which i was duly indoctrinated by my ivory-tickling grandpa, grease has to be the first musical/movie i all but memorized. (btw, never play “greased lightning” at youth group. trust me, you’ve never actually listened to all of the lyrics.) they just don’t make them like that anymore.
they never did.
that’s the crazy thing about nostalgia. time and life experience make the past seem so much rosier than it ever was. nobody was ever that carefree, you weren’t exactly where you think you were when you first heard about _________ (jfk, challenger, columbine, 9/11, etc.), and the world today isn’t going to hell in a hand basket.
but neither should we reject the past and all its lessons. a constant quest for brand-new experiences has left many a burnt-out adrenaline junkie in the dust. “there is nothing new under the sun,” and “his mercies are new every morning.” somewhere between abject realism at the past and bright hope for the future, we live in wonder as the story unfolds.
puppy love – damian mcginty by the time the irish kid with the clear blue eyes won the glee project and landed a character arc on glee’s season 3 as exchange student rory, thousands of us had long since cheered for this young talent. for fans of celtic thunder, we had literally watched him grow up before our eyes, yet he lost none of his exuberance even as his voice dropped deeper and deeper.
sadly, when we saw celtic thunder at the midland last october, damian had already parted ways with the group, at least for the season. they had a 13-year-old boy soprano named daniel furlong that did an impish rendition of “you’ve got a friend in me” (the official dvd version was being filmed at that very performance – daniel comes in at 1:05), but it just wasn’t the same without damian.
time to tip my hand again. i worked at worlds of fun this summer. as a ride operator for timber wolf, detonator, thunder hawk, cyclone sam’s, and scrambler, i saw people from all walks of life. all ages, all income levels, all cultural backgrounds, all orientations. and i saw plenty of that delightfully adolescent goofiness we call puppy love. one time, i clearly remember saying (after checking the microphone was turned off), “kid, you’re two years from facial hair. you do not need a girlfriend.” but if you had asked most of these couples about the sincerity of their affection, they’d have blushed as pink as bubble gum.
the thing is, when kids feel something, they feel it deeply and often dramatically. many times it’s because they haven’t learned to recognize, name, and marshal the more nuanced emotional energies we adults have so masterfully figured out. (clears throat.) so when a kid tells you he’s in love, he is. and when the 14-year-old in your house, classroom, or youth room tells you she hates her parents, listen to her. don’t judge, don’t correct, and don’t poo-poo. God knows every tear that falls.
that’s it for today. brace yourself, and maybe open a window for some fresh air. there’s a lot of hair product being used for tomorrow’s batch.