Monday, May 15, 2006

My First American Idol

I watched my very first episode of American Idol last week. I'm probably one of the only people in the country that's never seen it, so I was asking questions along the way about how this whole thing works. My friends graciously guided me along.

It was "Elvis" week on Idol. So, all of the contestants sang old Elvis songs. Here's my take on the 4 contestants I heard.

Taylor Hicks (unfortunate name, I think) did a nice job with "Jailhouse Rock". He had a bluesy, New Orleans quality to his voice. I bet he'd sound good doing anything by Michael McDonald.

Katherine McPhee did a peppy, fun version of "Hound Dog" with "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". She reminded me of that chick in "Walk the Line" - lots of bubble, okay voice. Someone mentioned she can't dance, and forgot the words.

Chris Daughtry sang something I can't remember and looked into the camera like he was trying to pick me up. Felt creepy. And what's the deal with carrying around the microphone stand? Dude... get a guitar or somethin'! His voice was pretty good though.

Elliot Yamin sang something (again, I don't remember what) looking for all the world like Mr. Tumnis in the Chronicles of Narnia, only with really bad teeth (ugh!) Worst of all, he has this machine-gun vibrato that really grates on me. I mean, it's toltally out of control! I'll take the Cowardly Lion from "The Wizard of Oz" over this guy.

And in the end, I learn that I have to wait till the next night to find out how the voiting went. Well, the next night floored me! America likes Machine-gun Tumnis and votes the guy who can sing off!? We live in a weird world.

Moral of the story? Don't carry your mic-stand around. People don't like it.

Accidental Busynessman

Okay, I know… it’s been a while. Too long. But I've been really busy. It’s funny to me that my last post was about the “big hill” of Easter. I didn’t know it then, but right after that – the really steep switchbacks would start. I think (knock on wood) that the terrain is now going to level out for a bit.

The week after Easter I had a little “procedure” to correct an umbilical hernia (who ever heard of that? – crazy!) It was a day-surgery, so I thought I’d be back in the groove in a day, right? Wrong. Took about a week to feel that my bowels weren’t going to fall out of my belly. (sorry, that’s sick – I know)

The week after that, I traveled to Atlanta for a conference on how to have a Multi-Ethnic church. Very good stuff. I think I was most moved by a message by Mark DeYmaz of Mosaic Church in Littlerock. He gave a great message on the Biblical mandate for Multi-Ethnic church. So much more than Rodney King’s “why can’t we just get along.” I was really honored to be there with an Indian, a Korean, an El Salvadorian, and a Chinese… all from our leadership team at our church. We’ve got a long way to go, but at least we’re going the right direction.

The next week I was in Klemtu, BC. Klemtu is on a small island (10 miles by 15 miles) off the BC coast. There is a First Nations fishing village there that we’ve been working with for about 5 years. I was up there to do a seminar on building better relationships. Klemtu is a very isolated, hard place. There are about 350 people who live there. Every time I go, I leave with a heavy feeling. It’s not a hopeless feeling (I’m confident of our hope in Jesus) but it is a pretty helpless feeling. Pray for them if you’re given to that sort of thing.

I returned from Klemtu, slept one night in my own bed, and then headed out to the Oregon coast for a planning retreat with the pastors of our church. It was a good time, and we got a lot of good work done.

In that past couple days, many people have asked “how are ya?” My response started sounding too familiar… “busy… too busy” I would say. Something felt funny to me as I said that. Then, sitting in the worship service listening to the sermon, the words left the pulpit and headed out over the congregation like a freshly launched missile looking for it’s target… beep, beep, beep, target found! I didn’t even see it coming. Out of nowhere (the sermon wasn’t even about being busy) I heard “Jesus was always intentional, and He was never in a hurry.” Wham! Got me.

I hear a lot of people say they're really busy. I’m sure they are too. Most of us are. And here in America, it’s a badge we wear proudly. It gives us status. The more busy we are, the more important we must be. Or maybe people will think we’re really earning our keep. Or maybe they’ll feel sorry for us. Probably not. More likely, they’ll feel guilty and create more busy-ness for themselves.

I know that there are seasons of life that require more from us, like this past month for me. But that statement really got me thinking. In my busy-ness, am I just in a hurry? Do I like the busy-ness because it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job? Or am I being intentional with my time. Making the most of every opportunity, as the Apostle Paul says.

I think I’m going to try something. I think I’m going to try not telling people I’m busy. Maybe I can do something to break that crazy cycle in my circle of influence.

That's all for now... gotta run (just kidding)