Wednesday, April 21, 2010

People Get Ready & Crystal Bowersox

Tuesday was inspiration night on American Idol. Each contestant was tasked with singing a song that would inspire. It’s down to seven contestants and another goes home Wednesday night.

I thought it was interesting to see what songs these twenty-somethings would choose, deeming them to be inspirational. From the first time I heard Crystal Bowersox during the auditions she became a favorite to me. Love her voice and love her authenticity even more.

Crystal chose a song by the Impressions called “People Get Ready”. She delivered the far and away best performance of the night. The song was delivered with heart and passion and Crystal broke down and cried as she delivered the last line. Yes, it brought a tear to my eye as well.

The judges raved and the main stream media and blogosphere is abuzz about the performance.

However, I am most fascinated that the message of the song was apparently lost on everyone. As a speaker who delivers messages weekly and has studied communication for over three decades I have often marveled at those times when a message is missed or lost because of the powerful delivery of the messenger.

Granted, Crystal is in a singing competition and the focus is upon performance. Still, as I reflected upon the message of the song I wonder if anyone had a heart string tugged by God.

“People get ready, there’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

People get ready for the train to Jordan
It’s pickin’ up passengers from coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board ‘em
There’s hope for all among those loved the most…”

Now that you, my reading friend, are reflecting with me upon the message, the question that God is stirring is, “Are you ready?” Some day Jesus will return to this world (a train is comin’) and He will be taking to heaven (train to Jordan) those who by faith have followed Him with a whole heart (faith is the key, open the doors and board).

You don’t need no ticket but you do need faith. And biblical faith is not an intellectual nod in the direction of Jesus. Biblical faith is a trust in the saving work of Jesus upon the cross, to the extent that you no longer live for yourself but, die to self and live for Jesus.

People get ready, there’s a train a comin’.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Temporary Home

Temporary Home lyrics

A 6 year old boy is moved to one more foster home situation.
A single mom tries to find her way out of “half-way house” living.
An old man, full of faith is dying in a hospital.

Three story lines tied together with a reflective chorus sung by Carrie Underwood—

This is my temporary home
It’s not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I’m passin’ through
This is just a stop, on the way to where I’m going
I’m not afraid because I know this is my
Temporary Home

Though I had heard the song play while driving I’d never really heard the lyrics until today.

What’s going on with your day?
Promising or problematic
Blessed or burdensome
Clear or confused…

Reflect and be reminded that we’re passin’ through. This is just a stop, on the way to where we’re going. This world is our temporary home.

Through the centuries men and women of God have “died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13 ESV)

(Those using a reader may have to click through to the blog site for the video)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Undercover Boss: when CEOs find out what is going on

I just this week discovered the relatively new show, “Undercover Boss”. The premise is that a company CEO goes undercover and gets involved in his own company at a lower or entry level position. Today I spoke with someone who has seen every episode and as he described the prior shows I quickly saw a pattern.

The boss will discover how much he doesn’t know, he’ll discover that he’s got some employees with a lot of heart, he’ll discover someone who is inspiring because he has overcome a significant problem or addiction, and he will make some on the job mistake and probably hear someone say in jest, “Heck, you may be my boss someday.”

Near the end of the show the boss calls in the employees and wearing his business suit and sitting at his CEO desk he reveals his true identity. Video clips are played back for the employee where he is reminded how his encounter with the boss transpired.

I actually found the one episode I saw entertaining and touching.

I’ve also just finished a special week of experiences and reflections about Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The juxtaposition of God and Fortune 100 CEOs is leaping out at me.

I listened curiously as the CEO of Roto Rooter saw a system that he designed at work on the ground level for the first time. He wondered out loud if the system he created for a department he’s never visited, much less worked in, would operate as envisioned. In the moment I was incredulous that someone would design an operational system for a department with which he’d never had significant experience. (I’m sure many of you will tell me that you’ve had to implement such systems.)

In the end the boss has a newfound empathy, appreciation and plan for making everything better for his employees and the company.

Do I even need to say that all of this is a light year away from the personal engagement of the CEO of the universe? God knows my name. God knows the minutia of every challenge in my life. God knows my frustrations and joys. God designed all the plans and systems by which life operates and has fully experienced them all. God not only knows who the overcomers are, He gave them the power and inspiration to overcome.

But there is one major point of commonality between the reality TV show and the reality of life; God is often unrecognized as He is with us in the midst of daily routines.