80 Wonderful ‘Goofy’ Years!

May 25 is an auspicious date because way back in 1932, a little cartoon appeared in America’s movie theaters called “Mickey’s Revue.” It starred the already well-known and beloved Mickey Mouse, but there was an unfamiliar face in the audience watching Mickey. That face had long droopy ears, a protruding tooth, and looked, frankly … goofy. Although he was originally known as Dippy Dawg, he came to be called Goofy and has been delighting audiences ever since. Whether we need a handy tutorial on how (not!) to ski or dance, or just a quick laugh, Goofy’s our guy.

Happy Birthday Goofy!!

Playing it Safe!

It all began in 1980…

I had been asked to lead the ‘music’ at the Baptist church in my home town where my family were members.  I had no idea what I was doing and only ‘mimicked’ what I was used to seeing every weekend from those leading music from the platform.  What else did I have to draw from?  I was a freshman in college and was trying my best to help my church because they had a need I could fill.

Now fast forward to 1985…

I graduated in 1984 from college and landed a ministry position in Las Vegas at a Baptist church that was wanting me to lead their youth ministry.  I had also picked up leading youth from my previous church…that old dual position role of Music and Youth! Then in 1985, I was given the opportunity to do both ministries again…which I embraced and led while the church was growing.  What was beginning to happen was the term ‘music ministry’ was evolving into more of a ‘praise and worship’ package.  Other instruments were being added to the piano and organ on stage (not a platform).  And the choir was not enough, more vocals were being added to those on stage.  Lighting was getting more sophisticated and we began using…overhead projectors to put the words on a movie screen.  High Tech!! The crazy thing about all this ‘change’ was some were embracing it, while others were hating it.

Moving into the 1990’s and beyond…

The church was getting too large and the ministries too complex to have one person overseeing them both.  So in 1990, I moved into the role of Worship Pastor.  I have not led a student ministry since then!  But had student choirs that toured and performed musical productions on the west coast.  I led worship until 2002 and then walked away to get my life back on track.  I was leading 5 services a weekend (1 on Saturday; 3 Sunday morning and 1 Sunday evening…yup that’s 5 services a weekend).  Monday was spent relaxing my voice so I could get ready to do it all over again the following weekend.  Then after moving to San Diego in 2003, I was hired by a church to lead their worship…1 service a weekend…it was delightful.  I did this for 3 years until moving to Texas in the summer of 2009.

I say all this, to make this point.  I have planned/lead more worship services over the years than most.  I know what it takes to make it happen!!!  I have colleagues that do it really, really good, this worship leading thing.  I have worked with top-notch musicians that could play anything I threw in front of them the first run through.

Today I was listening to a worship song that made me think…are we just ‘playing it safe’ when it comes to worship and the music we throw out there every weekend?  Do we allow the Holy Spirit to led us in bringing people to the throne of God?  We really do play it safe…because we can only take people in worship to a depth where we have only been.  I don’t want to be entertained in church during the worship set.  I want to meet God and hear a word from Him through the singing.  And about singing…the worship leader cannot worship for you…it’s an individual response to the God that loves you and wants YOUR worship and no one elses!

So, let’s not play it safe this coming weekend…God deserves our best…don’t be afraid to allow the person of the Holy Spirit to lead the service…God is waiting!

Ol’ Goober!

George Lindsey, who spent nearly 30 years as the grinning Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” has died. He was 83.

A press release from Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home in Nashville said Lindsay died early Sunday morning after a brief illness.

Lindsey was the beanie-wearing Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, “Mayberry RFD,” from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character – a service station attendant – on “Hee Haw” from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993.

“America has grown up with me,” Lindsey said in an Associated Press interview in 1985. “Goober is every man; everyone finds something to like about ol’ Goober.”

He joined “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1964 when Jim Nabors, portraying Gomer Pyle, left the program. Goober Pyle, who had been mentioned on the show as Gomer’s cousin, thus replaced him.

“At that time, we were the best acting ensemble on TV. The scripts were terrific. Andy is the best script constructionist I’ve ever been involved with. And you have to lift your acting level up to his; he’s awfully good.”

We will miss Ol’ Goober!

COUNTERFEIT

Have you ever had anything that you owned that was ‘counterfeit?’  When you discover you possess something that is not the original or that it’s not authentic, there is a feeling you have been ripped off!  Why?  Because our expectations of the value we place into something leaves us feeling empty when it’s not an ‘original.’

Life can give us several different types of ‘counterfeits’ at every turn.  We see it in relationships, friendships, work relationships, neighbors, relatives, etc.  Just about anyone we come into contact with can be counterfeit.  Now there is one who is authentic and can be counted on as trustworthy…His name is Jesus!
The apostle John taught that authentic Christians will really love one another because the love of Christ abides in them. We can display this mark of authentic Christianity by really loving one another as Christ has loved us.  Take a moment to ready 1 John 3 and see what it means to really love one another!

I’ll continue this theme in my next blog post…

Lost In Translation

It seemed like a great idea at the time, and Braniff Airways officials still insist to this day that it was.  They wanted to run a series of ads promoting the leather seats in may of their planes, and they wanted especially to reach the Spanish-speaking community in Miami, Florida.  Accordingly, they launched a campaign in the Spanish media urging passengers, “Sentado en Cuero,” or “sit in leather.”  Technically, the language is perfect, but the execs failed to reckon with the pitfalls of slang.
“Cuero,” apparently, does mean leather, but it also means skin, as in bare skin, and…well…Braniff’s ads request that passengers “sit naked” on their flights!
Incidents like this are not really so very rare.  When Chevrolet came out with a new line of cars called the Nova, Hispanics, snidely noted that the name combines two Spanish words, “no” and “va,” which mean “it doesn’t go.”  And who can forget the time President Jimmy Carter’s interpreter told a group of Polish citizens that the Chief Executive had, not a deep love, but an erotic desire for Poles!

When moving from language to language, or even speaking in our mother tongue, we need to be careful, as Dr. Seuss’ famous elephant, Horton, once put it, to mean what we say and say what we mean.
Nowhere os this more true than in sharing the Gospel.  Too many times, ew fall into “churchspeak,” assuming that the person to whom we are witnessing knows that “vicarious atonement” means “Jesus dies for you.” or that “delivered from eternal condemnation” means “saved from Hell.”  1 Corinthians 14:8 reminds us that if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, no one will prepare himself for the battle.  We need to blow reveille in sharp, clear blasts like “sin,” “cross,” and “saved.”  Remember, it’s not enough that you understand what you say; the lost man must understand what he hears!

From The Fountain by Doug Jackson

Speech Therapy

Been to the doctor lately?  I went yesterday to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) to see why my ears felt like they were constantly feeling plugged up.  I just love the part of the exam where the doctor say’s “Open wide,” and then crams an ironing board down your throat to a point just past your vocal chords!  It’s enough to make me wish I was a blue whale.

Perhaps I’d better explain.  The blue whale is the largest animal on the earth, and therefore has, not surprisingly, the largest tongue on the earth.  Of course, I’ve never checked the matter out personally, but they tell me that the tongue of a blue whale weighs as much as a full-grown elephant!  I’d hate to be the doctor who told one of those creatures to say “ah.”

Our tongues are smaller, a few ounces at the most, but much more dangerous in their own way.  They don’t weigh as much as an elephant, but they can tell lies twice the size.  They cannot physically crush someone, but can destroy him just as certainly by malicious gossip.  In the Bible, the book of James says the tongue is a fire, and that the source of heat is Hell itself (James 3:6).

The only thing that rivals the tongue’s capacity for evil is its potential for good.  It can speak an encouraging word to the downhearted, comfort the grieving, and tell a lost man how to find Jesus.  It cannot match the blue whale for sure size, but it can be a whale of a comfort to men in sin.

The fascinating thing is that the same tongue is capable of both of these things.  It all depends on the operator.  Give your tongue to the devil, and you can destroy lives; give it to Christ, and you can see them come to know Jesus.  The choice is entirely yours.

Resolve to use your tongue for Jesus today.  Speak a kind word to a stranger.  Communicate the Gospel to a lost friend.  Sing the praises of God.  Remember, you may not be a blue whale, but you can talk a blue streak, and all for the glory of our Heavenly Father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VAROOM!!!

The Ford Mustang, a two-seat, mid-engine sports car, is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, on April 17, 1964. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Named for a World War II fighter plane, the Mustang was the first of a type of vehicle that came to be known as a “pony car.” Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations.