Tis the Season….for Jesus Junk

Oriental Trading and your neighborhood Christian Book store provide a good service.  We have used both for VBS and our children’s ministries throughout the year. But………….

Flipping through a magazine or walking through a store can send me into fits of alternating laughter/ridicule and repulsion/nausea.

Is it my personality?  My cynical generation?  Or is there just too much mass produced “Jesus Junk” in America and it means something? Does it represent something negative or ugly about American Christianity or am I thinking too much?

I don’t think you are bad for liking this stuff, but it just ain’t my cup of Christian herbal tea served in a mug with a scripture on it.

I wonder what Jesus would do if he walked through a Christian book store…..

Anyway, here are some things you might buy (if you don’t puke):

  • p. 25-“Joy to the World” Paddleball Game–(because nothing celebrates the birth of the Messiah like hand/eye coordination)
  • p. 46-“Plush Long Arm Religious Gorillas”–(religious because they have a cross on their chest, that sounds about right in America c. 2013)
  • p. 47-“Mini Cross-Shaped Suckers” –(this kind of stuff really annoys me.  I am not opposed to cross jewelry or tattoos, but find it ironic that most are soft, shiny, and pretty or in this case, lickable sugar!!)
  • p. 48-“Religious Cross Kick Balls” –( really?! For a hackey-sack ministry, maybe?  Do I get a youth minister discount?)
  • p. 49-“NEW! Inspirational Relaxables” -(“stress-relieving” squeezable ball thing with “faith” “believer” “hope” printed on them;  I guess meditating on Scripture isn’t getting the job done)

“Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh”

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The Parable of the Band-Aid

So, my son was upset and scared about his band-aid that was half off.  He scraped his knee at camp a few days ago and the band-aid was falling off, the wound was looking good.  It was time to come off.  I offered to help, but he screamed and fled in tears while flailing.

(Side note: with his sister, I told her that Nutella would get her band-aid off easily.  She fell for it.  I put Nutella on a cotton ball, which allowed me to get close enough to her band-aid to rip it quickly.  She had the funniest stunned look on her face-knowing that she had been duped.  But no tears.  No pain.  It was over and she was fine.)

But the boy was freaking out.  Did I mention this was in public?  At the community pool?  Yeah, I had the eyes of Westfield’s moms watching and listening to everything.  Probably wondering what I was doing to my boy that upset him and caused him to say, “I don’t want toooo!” as tears fell. As he pushed away from me and sobbed.

I told him to get out of the pool until he pulled it off.  I had a knot in my stomach.  Sure, some was selfishly from embarrassment.  But some was also out of feeling bad for my boy.  He was SO scared of the pain he expected and I knew that it would be over in an instant.  I tried to reason with him.  I told him he had the power to end the suffering (maybe I didn’t use those words).

“You can do it!”

“The pain will be gone in a few seconds.”

“You are wasting precious pool time.”

It didn’t help.  He wanted to go home.  I didn’t want to punish his sister by leaving early so we waiting awhile before leaving.

Sigh.  Parenting is hard.  I could have easily used force or trickery to get it off, but felt it was important for him to do it.

I have things in my life that I should do, but keep putting off.  I procrastinate.

I expect the worst.  I don’t want to deal with the brief and minor pain.  I get worked up.

I avoid confrontation.

I know God looks down at us often and thinks, “If he would only make that decision now, things would get better.”

“If she would just do it and get it over with, the tears and drama could end.”

I can’t fathom how frustrating it must be for God.

What are you putting off?

You probably need to bite the bullet and just do something.

Maybe it’s asking for forgiveness and apologizing.

Maybe it’s asking for help.

Maybe it’s confessing sin.

DO IT!

GET IT OVER WITH!  It won’t be as bad as you think, and even if it is, doing the right thing is often hard.

“Don’t Call it a Comeback!”

I could see it taking place over a few hours or days when veteran rapper LL Cool J sat down with his Hip-Hop thesaurus, Gangster Rhyming dictionary, and an awesome hook in his head.

I can’t quite decide though, whether he was very angry the entire time, or cracking himself up as he composed a classic:

“Mama said knock you out”

My proposal: Never in the history of music has so much condensed (possibly faux) anger and badassery been combined with so much hilarity.

I also wonder if he still performs this.

Let’s go back to 1990 and consider some examples:

Don’t call it a comeback               
(wikipedia says this song was a response to critics of ballads on his previous albums)
I been here for years

Rockin’ my peers
Puttin’ suckers in fear 
(obligatory reference to “suckers”, see also, “suckas”)

lyrics that’ll make you call the cops
(I would never call the cops on you, LL)

Why do you rip with me, the maniac psycho
and when I pull out my jammy, get ready cuz it might go BLOW!
(I just love the maniac psycho part, redundant? nah)
How ya like me now?
(Oh, I like you, Cool J)

Oh, English filled my mind and I came up with this funky rhyme
(funky indeed, poet)

Shotgun blasts are heard
When I rip and kill at will
The man of the hour, tower of power
I’ll devour
I’m gonna tie you up and let you understand
That I’m not your average man
(
you bad, Mr Smith, you bad)

Destruction, terror and mayhem
Pass me a sissy soul sucker …. I’ll slay him
(admittedly unsure of these lyrics, but good ones nonetheless)

And the coup de grace is marvelous as the song ends with:

I think I’m gonna bomb a town
(really, can you imagine this lyric in the post 9/11 world? yeah, prob)

Don’t you never, ever Pull my lever
(OKAY!  I won’t!)

‘Cause I’ll explode
(oh, so that’s why)

And my nine is easy to load
(I don’t own a .9 millimeter but I think you just shove the clip into the handle)

I gotta thank God
‘Cause he gave me the strength to rock……Hard

(HALLELUJAH!!)

“Gangsta boogie” (500x)  
(INDEED!)

There you have it:  cops, guns, anger, slaying suckas, destruction, terror and mayhem.  What else could you ask for?