Friday, February 12, 2010

Winston's Last Name

Winston Churchill once said, “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” This quote makes almost as much sense as the reason I chose to put it at the beginning of this post. It has nothing to do with anything…besides the fact that I went and saw a band last night that shares its name with this really dead Prime Minister. Churchill is a folk-rock band that hails from Denver, Colorado. The two founders of the band, Mike Morter and Tim Bruns, got their inspiration from me at Baptist Bible College as the spent many sleepless nights recording anthems of their college experiences in my dorm room. I taught them everything they know just like I taught Tiger Woods everything he knows about golf and Chuck Norris everything he knows about being awesome. Mike and Tim chased their dreams of super stardom to Colorado where they began to form something that comes around far too infrequently…a band that writes and performs good music.

Last night Churchill made its first stop on their current tour in Grand Rapids, MI at Cornerstone University. When Jessica and I arrived for the concert we realized this wasn’t just a concert. It was a Shelner family reunion/BBC alumni reunion/Churchill concert/Morter Family reunion/Crawford Family reunion/Zuiderveen family reunion/and the public reinstatement of mullets, leg warmers, and polyester vests as acceptable fashions. The opening act was two local girls with their guitars who were a mix of Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, and Jane Fonda when she did exercise videos with leg warmers on. They were definitely talented but theirs songs about singing like dirt and dancing like summer made me want to fall asleep, plant a tree, wear a beret, and snap my fingers a lot.

Churchill hit the stage at about 8:30 and despite the short comings of some sound guys and their ancient equipment put on an awesome show. Their unique sound is hard to nail down but I’ll try anyway. It was like Jon Foreman’s voice (lead singer for Switchfoot) and Chris Thile’s mandolin playing (from Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers) had a baby with a delightful sounding acoustic guitar. Then the family adopted an old African Spiritual (like ‘swing low sweet chariot’) and threw in some second hand clothes and a cellist (that plays so well she makes you cry on the inside and cheer for more on the outside) to create a melody that pleases the ears, livens the soul, and kicks up the feet.

If that didn’t make any sense at all don’t worry about it. All I’m trying to say is that they are awesome and deserve a listen on their myspace page (the link is available in the bottom of my blog page).

They ended the concert with a song that incorporated some guest musicians. One of them played a cow bell that rivaled Will Ferrell on SNL playing “Fear the Reaper” with the Blue Oyster Cult. Churchill is a band that will make it big not because they want the money but because they love making music and do it well.

By the end of the night I had learned two things. First, when his barber accidently gave my father-in-law a mullet she accidently put him in style. Second, God uses people of all types to accomplish his purposes. Last night he used a band from Colorado to show a room full of people that Christianity isn’t about being boring, prohibiting dancing and music with a beat, and avoiding movie theaters but instead about loving God and serving Him not matter what you do in life. Third, Winston Churchill also said, “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” And that guy helped lead a whole country…Thanks for Reading!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Days and Old Pizza

We got 30 feet of snow yesterday in Elkhart (In my mind 30ft is the equivalent of 10 inches) and 30 feet of snow makes kids do some weird things. It makes them stop doing their homework. It makes them forget about Algebra tests. It makes them excited…and then it makes them board. Snow day. Everyone sensed it. The kids love them and the parents hate them because someone decided a long time ago that adults don’t get snow days anymore. This is the world I woke up to today. When I was sleeping, I secretly thought that I to would have a snow day. The problem with thinking in your sleep is that it almost makes you late for work and it makes you miss breakfast. So after sleeping in too long and taking a quick shower that barely took the edge of my sleep stink I managed to make myself lunch (a can of soup) and get to work on time.

When I got to work I had a headache. The type of headache that only comes when you miss breakfast and everyone else has a snow day. I tried to ignore my headache as a drank two cups of coffee and listened to my boss tell me how he dropped his phone in the toilet last night and how he once ironed his toilet seat to make it warm enough to sit on. As I stared at my computer reading emails I decided that the only cure for my headache was the left over pizza in the church kitchen. As I ate three pieces of slightly rubbery pizza for breakfast it made me think of college when I would have pizza for every meal of the day and I started to wonder, “Who decides what a breakfast food is and what a regular food is?”

No other species on earth does that. Lions eat antelope for all meals of the day and no one ever looks at them like they aren’t lions or like they are just immature lion cubs. Sometimes, at lunch, they will even eat off the same left over antelope they had for breakfast. (I think this is the equivalent of pulling a drum stick out of the trash and finishing off the meat you missed earlier.) So today I decide that when I am hungry I am going to eat whatever sounds good even if it might be a piece of steak at 8 in the morning or waffles at 10 at night. I think IHOP got it right. You can order pancakes and grease covered French fries for the same meal.

When my headache was gone and my stomach was filled with floppy pizza I finished checking my email which always involves ignoring 800 invitations to be a fan of Mob Wars on Facebook. As I worsened the carpal tunnel in my wrist by clicking the ignore button repeatedly I noticed something. Although kids love snow days, they can’t find anything better to do than send me one word messages and taunt me online. Find Something else to do! I never got bored when I had snow days. So here are a few suggestions of what you could do…

-Make a snow angel

-Make a snow ball

-Throw the snow ball at the snow angel

-Eat some snow

-Spit out the yellow snow you just ate

-Write a book

-Read a book

-Eat a book

-Yell things at your neighbor

-make Eric brownies so he doesn’t have to eat left over Pizza for breakfast anymore

-build a lawn mower

-wait till spring to use your lawn mower

-step away from the computer and realize that before computers existed kids had to use their imaginations to come up with something to do

-play with your baby sister

-change a diaper

-wash your hands after changing a diaper


This list goes on and on.

Don’t think kids these days are the only ones guilty of not using their imagination. We adults develop the belief somewhere along the line that life is about going to work, paying the bills, eating, and sleeping. Our lives are just as boring and lack just as much imagination as the kid who is sitting at his computer all day when today God has blessed him with a snowy play ground just outside his door.

People only become adults when they turn 18. But people start getting old when all the responsibilities of life make them forget what it is like to enjoy the simple pleasures in life(like 30 feet of snow). All this rambling has made me come to the conclusion that snow days are snow days even if you have to go to work. Enjoy the beauty of God’s frigid creation and make an extra snow angel for me. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kick Off

Well I'm happier than a Middle School boy playing Xbox, eating Pizza Rolls, drinking Mountain Dew, rolling in money, and throwing mud at Middle School Girls all at the same time. This is my first experience blogging and I've got to say that I feel a great deal of space freeing up between my ears as my thoughts start to develop on this page. I have to warn those of you who might read this that it might be the biggest waste of time you have ever experienced. If you don’t like random thoughts, weird analogies, and the occasional useless fact then I would stop reading and go do something else to fill your time.

My purpose behind this blog is to inform those who want to know about my life and to challenge people to take themselves a little less seriously. It will probably include posts about books that I have read, people that I have met, movies I have seen, pictures I have taken, music I have listened to, things I have learned and events that take place on a day to day basis. I hope you will read and laugh along with me as I share the things that make my life enjoyable. Thanks for reading!