Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

I had a rather interesting 2.5 hour conversation with a man on the flight back from LA last weekend. We couldn’t have been coming from more polar opposite perspectives. He’s gay. I’m straight. He’s a Democrat. I vote Republican. He’s pro-Obama. I think Obama’s policies are fiscally, morally, and nationally irresponsible. He’s living with his male partner. I live with a wife and kids. And yet, God was in the middle of that conversation. Throughout, I wanted him to know that while I have a very different set of moral values, I respected him as someone made in the image of God.

We talked about everything from taxes and fiscal policies to the debate over the definition of marriage. Perhaps the most important part of the conversation was when we talked about his being excommunicated at age 19 from the Church of God for his same-sex attraction. When I asked him how that impacted his view of God, he said, “I’m not sure how God could call my love for the man that I’ve been living with for 28 years ‘sin’ when everything about our relationship feels so right.”

How did he reconcile that? “I just don’t call it sin.”

At that point I told him that the whole point of Christianity isn’t “sin management” but falling in love with Jesus. Besides, we don’t get to make the call as to whether or not something is sinful; that’s God’s call. I shared something that my pastor Jack Miller back in Philly used to often say: “Cheer up—you’re worse off than you know . . . and you’re loved more than you can comprehend.” What’s more, that my sin was no different than his sin—and in both of our cases Jesus loves us unconditionally.

As we were leaving, he said how much he appreciated the conversation and the respect he felt throughout. He mentioned that feeling several times which impressed upon me how important honoring and respecting and loving those with whom we disagree is so important for any meaningful communication to take place. Meanwhile, I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will be pleased to work in his life, first and foremost, to know how much he is loved by Jesus.

I realize we’re in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just didn’t expect for a woman to bare her breasts 6” from my face on an airplane. This isn’t an April Fools gag; it’s October after all. I’m telling you the naked truth. The encounter happened on DELTA Flight #16 last Saturday.

One minute this thirty-something blonde was fully clothed. The next moment she stripped off her top revealing what Solomon poetically describes as “two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle” (7:3 NIV). These “fawns” were au naturel, as in “naked as a jaybird.”

A wardrobe malfunction? Nope. This was a deliberate full frontal exposure.

Not to quibble with the wisest man who ever lived, but Solomon was mistaken when he quipped, “There is nothing new under the sun.” After all, I’ve traveled more than 511,000 miles on DELTA and that has never happened to me before. (more…)

My first encounter with “Space Invaders” was at a pizza shop in 1978. Although lame by today’s HI DEF standards, that B&W video game had me dreaming of zapping aliens in my sleep. Who would have imagined Space Invaders would go on to spark an international craze of video games, with US sales pegged at $17 billion in 2011.

In a prophetic sort-of way, back in 1982 when I wrote the satirical tune “Video Veggie,” I envisioned a nation of “vidiots” glued to their screens. Turns out I was right on the money. But I digress.

Just for fun, I recorded “Video Veggie” at Morning Star Studios in Spring House, PA and pressed a thousand 45s. I mailed a copy to Dr. Demento who, demonstrating his good taste, placed it into his rotation. Within weeks it hit the coveted Dr. Demento Funny Five at #5, just behind Weird Al’s “My Bologna.”

The B-side of “Video Veggie” was another satirical tune I’d written back in college during the disco craze called, “Disco Twinky.” I mailed a copy of that novelty song to KZ106/Chattanooga who was participating in the Big America Music Contest. Low and behold, “Disco Twinky” made the album.

And while I still have a small box of 45s with these two classic underground hits somewhere in my garage gathering dust, precious few have or even know what a turntable is. As an act of grand benevolence on my part, I plan on posting “Video Veggie” for the world to enjoy in perpetuity—just as soon as I figure out how to add audio to this blog. [;o)

Meanwhile, you can hear the song in YouTube Land by clicking here . . . and don’t forget to let me know what you think.

Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know about TV.Video Veggie

While we American vidiots were glued to our big screens and immersed in our surround sound, the first television set didn’t arrive in the Fiji Islands until 1995. Prior to the arrival of TV in that otherwise unspoiled tropical paradise, the Fijians had a rather curious cultural belief; they believed that to be fat was fabulous.

The bigger the body, the better. Large was in charge.

Natives living in Fiji considered it a compliment to say, “Looks like you’ve put on some weight—you look great!” Ever-hungry for the robust bod, the Fijians created various herbal potions which stimulated their hunger in order to supersize their bods—sort of like Viagra for the appetite. Unlike our infomercial-based obsession with getting the ultimate “abs of steel,” they sought “flabs of steel.”

But that all changed. (more…)