Audio Books AND How Metro Is Your Worship Leader

I’ve stumbled upon a GREAT book.  But I have to ask, if you’re listening to a book as an audio book, can you say you’re reading it?  I mean, do you say, “I’m reading ‘Stuff Christians Like.'”?  Or do you have to dress it up a little bit so people don’t think you’re a moron for doing an audio book?  Is it better to say, “I’ve stumbled upon a GREAT book.” so that you don’t have to admit you’re having someone read it to you?  This way, people can make their own assumptions.  In light of this, I wanted to give you some cool things you can say that allow you to share what you’re “reading” without sharing that you’re not really reading it.

1)  “I’ve stumbled upon a great book.”  This is my fave, and allows you to use “stumbled,” too, giving a sense of sophistication to the term.  Now, not only are you an avid reader, but you are above the people, too!

2)  “I’m in the middle of this book, and…”  Yeah, that’s right.  Not only do you read, but you’ve read more than half.

3)  “I just finished “(insert title here)” and it really challenged me.”  Even better than number 2 above because you now let them know that you’ve finished the book, even though you didn’t really read a word of it.

4)  “A friend turned me onto this book.”  This gives the listener a chance to know that you read, AND that you discuss what you’re reading with friends.  Surely tagging this with other readers lumps you into the category of “reader” and not just someone who listens to a story like a child at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday afternoons.

5)  “You should read “(insert title here)”.  It was amazing!”  This is the “trump card” of all your declarations!  Not only have you let the person know that you’ve finished the contents of said book, but now the pressure is on them to either admit that they don’t read (letting you off the hook for listening), or to quickly agree and move on so they don’t have to admit that they don’t read books.  Either way, with the attention shift, you’re gravy!

Now, for the book that I’ve stumbled upon, “Stuff Christians Like.”  It has two things going for it:

1)  It’s sarcasm scratches me where I itch!  If you know me, you know my default mode of operation is sarcasm.  So much so, I often end up in trouble with someone for something that was really intended to be funny, but…  So, needless to say, this book is making me laugh with every essay.  I try to have a couple books going all the time.  However, it’s been a long time since I really enjoyed a book for entertainment.  Jonathan Acuff has managed to take some things about Christianity that we all notice, and paint them in a light that shows how ridiculous we can be.  But he does it in such a way that instead of feeling stupid or bashed, you laugh!

2)  It has been great for discussion.  There are some essays that I’ve been listening to (or “reading,” if that helps you feel better about me!) that I want to play for my students, friends, and family, JUST to start discussion.  Acuff manages to take a page from “Monty Python” as he addresses topics that would normally be taboo.  From topics like “Honeymoon Sex” to “Lifting Your Hands In Worship,” Acuff tackles some pretty touchy stuff in an engagingly humorous way.

Needless to say, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND “Stuff Christians Like.”  And, to whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt:

From “Stuff Christians Like.”  ( post#269)

“There are really only two reasons I wanted to write this post:

1. The first post was just an appetizer.
I wrote about this subject a few months ago when 12 people were reading the site but I just barely touched on it. I didn’t do it justice and people have reminded me that there is more to be said on this pivotal subject. So this is like the Timbaland Remix.

2. No one has quantified this phenomenon
There are some things in life that are concrete and true. For instance, it is a fact that “You’re all I want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC are fantastic songs. No argument there. But when you tell someone about your church, there’s not a standard system to describe the degree of metrosexuality your worship leader possesses. Wouldn’t it be awesome to say, “You’ll love my church and the music. Our worship leader scored a 78 on the SCL Metro Test.”

Don’t answer that last question. It was rhetorical. As a service to churches around the world, here is an easy rating system by which to analyze to what degree your worship leader is a metrosexual.

1. Has a faux hawk hair style = +1

2. Has more product in his hair than your wife = +1

3. Has Rob Bell, black rimmed glasses = +1

4. They are not prescription, but just for effect = +2

5. Attends the Catalyst Conference = +3

6. Performs at the Catalyst Conference = +10

7. Owns Puma, Vans or Diesel sneakers = +2 per each pair

8. Wears jeans on stage = +1

9. Wears designer jeans on stage = +2

10. Wears Wrangler or Rustler jeans on stage = -3

11. Has a goatee = +2

12. Wears one of those Castro revolution looking hats = +2

13. Drinks coffee on stage = +1

14. Drinks some kind of coffee you did not know existed = +2

15. Brings a French Press on stage and makes his own coffee during service = +5

16. Has a handlebar mustache = -3

17. Good at Frisbee but hates getting all “sweaty” = +1

18. Has a haircut that covers one of his eyes while singing = +1

19. Owns a white belt = +2

20. Owns suspenders = -3

21. Wears a scarf with a t-shirt = +1

22. Wears a winter knit hat even in the summer = +2

23. You think he covered a My Chemical Romance song last week = +3

24. Drives an Audi or VW, silver of course = +2

25. Uses the words, “postmodern, relevant” or “emergent” nonstop = +2

26. Cringes a little when people say the “H word.” (Hymnal) = +3

27. Has ever said some form of the phrase, “That song is so 1990s” = +1

28. Owns a Grizzly Adams red and black flannel shirt = -2

29. Named his kid after a color or a number = +2

30. References Norwegian punk bands you’ve never heard of = +2

31. Wears a tie = -1

32. Wears a tie as a belt = +2

33. Looks as if he might exfoliate = +2

34. Has a man bag or European Carry All = +2

35. Brings said bag on stage with him = +2

36. Has a tattoo = +2

37. Has a visible tattoo = +4

38. Wife accompanies him on stage and plays tambourine = -4

39. Was formerly in a punk new wave band = +2

40. Knows the names of all the people on the scripted MTV show, “the Hills” = +3

41. Refuses to drink anything but Vitamin Water = +2

42. Your wife ever says, “he needs a barrette for his hair.” = +2

43. Has a nickname with “the” in it, as in “the edge,” = +2

44. Owns every Nooma video = +2

45. Has a soul patch = +3

46. Won’t play barefoot on stage until he gets a pedicure = +2

47. Refers to California as “the left coast” = +2

48. Currently subscribes to Dwell or Details magazine = +2

49. Owns a pair of lady jeans = +2

50. Twitters you from his iPhone = +2

51. His toddler dresses cooler than you = +2

52. He wears graphic t-shirts over button down, long sleeve shirts = +2

53. Ever says “we got a hot mic here” = -4

54. Shops at the Gap = 0

55. Shops at Urban Outfitters = +2

I scored one of the worship leaders at North Point and he did pretty well. At some point I will do a lady version, but for right now, I feel like a 55 item list of analyzing worship leaders is enough to earn me a new batch of “you are weird” emails, and at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.

What does your worship leader score?”

Mixed Metaphors

I was listening to the radio the other day when this guy says, “You gotta realize it’s a 4-way street!” Really? What exactly is a 4-way street? The guy had mixed up a couple metaphors (4-way stop and 2-way street). That reminded me of a Mike Tyson quote I heard live in 2002 when Tyson said to Lewis, “I take my hand off to you.” So, for the last several weeks, I’ve been listening for and researching some commonly mixed-up metaphors. Here’s just a few:
“A car comes up behind you, flashing his horn.” – Aaron Colwick
“A heart as big as gold” – Kathy Scott
“A leopard can’t change his stripes.” – Al Gore
“A rolling stone is worth two in the bush.” – David Beck
“As we consider the road that unfolds before us.” – Barack Obama Jr.
“One has to tidy up the loose ends.” – Agatha Christie
“Button your seat belts.” – Rush Limbaugh
“Dirty laundry is coming home to roost.” – Ray Romano
“I was the mother hen to all these little ducks.” – Sandy on “Survivor”
“If you let that sort of thing go on, your bread and butter will be cut right out from under your feet.” – British foreign minister Ernet Bevin
“Just then, the fickle finger of fate reared its ugly head.” – Selby Anderson
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice for all.” – Johnny Cochran
“Now, Senator McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I’m green behind the ears.” – Barack Obama Jr.
“They counted the votes until the cows had literally gone to sleep.” -Dan Rather

So, what metaphors do you commonly mix or have you heard mixed?

Funny Quotes

WOW! Really? May 28th was my last post here? What can I say? It’s been a busy summer.

Let’s start the conversation back up with something light-hearted, like this!
1. Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: “I wan’ all dem kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I wan’ all the kids to copulate me..”

2. New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: “I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”

3. And, upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the Skin’s say:”I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl,”Matt Millen of the Raiders said: “To win,I’d run over Joe’s Mom, too.”

4. Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins “He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.”

5. Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann: “Nobody in football should be called a genius like Norman Einstein.”

6. Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh : “I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.” (Now that is beautiful)

7. Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: “You guys line up alphabetically by height.” And, “You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle.”

8. Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison: “Why would
anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton .”

9. Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: ” That’s so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes.”

10. Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: “He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning, regardless of what time it is.”

11. Chuck Nevitt , North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: “My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be and aunt or an uncle (I wonder if his IQ ever hit room temperature in January)

12. Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: “I told him, ‘Son,what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘Coach, don’t know and I don’t care.'”

13. Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F’s and one D: “Son, looks to me like you’re spending too much time on one subject.”

14. In the words of NC State great Charles Shackelford, I can go to my left or right, I am amphibious.

15. Amarillo High School and Oiler coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: “Because she is too d*** ugly to kiss good-bye.