On Keeping Ones Mouth Shut

This morning, a friend posted a link to a very nice article about worship in contemporary churches these days and how it's lost a lot of the teaching of theology since it moved to chorus based feel-good music that you hear on the radio and away from the hymns of the ages. I mentioned something that I'd been pondering blogging about for a few weeks anyway - that in addition to missing the theology (not to mention instruction in reading music that no one gets now that all we have are words on the screen instead of hymnals with notes and music) we're missing the act of corporate worship as the voices of the congregation are drowned out by the "worship pastor" and his band who are all miked and amped so that you can't hear yourself sing, yet alone the person next to you.

At the church we went to prior to our current church home of six years, the new "worship pastor" turned the music time into nothing short of a coffee house where he was the main act and we were the worshipping supplicants there to hear him rhapsodize.

Our current church isn't that bad, but it's getting close. For the period of Advent, rather than having a Christmas program, the "worship pastor" said he was bringing the music of Advent and Christmas into the service each week. I, along with many others, were excited to get the chance to sing some of the beloved hymns of this season. So it was hugely disappointing when we realized the first week (and every week following) that what he meant was instead of our usual music time wherein the band and he are the only things you can hear if you're hoping and trying to sing along, now we aren't even really welcome to try to sing, because he has his program and the performances that we would otherwise have watched during the cantata are now being produced each Sunday morning. Even the responsive reading, which in a usual setting is fairly evenly split between the worship leader and the congregation, is slide after slide of him reading with us getting one, maybe two lines at the end. His reasoning? The congregation doesn't read with enough drama to understand what's being said. So why bother trying to make it responsive in the first place?

I'm not alone in my annoyance. The majority of people at our church make it a point to arrive 10-15 minutes late to service - at the welcome and greeting time - so that we can avoid the farcical "corporate worship." But the "worship pastor" doesn't have an issue with this or see it as any reason to change what he's doing. After all, he's got the degree, we're just the sheep in the pews.

And that's basically the response I got from my friend's friend - that my experiences were wrong. Because this person has 20 years experience and is a singer/songwriter and he would know and I wouldn't. And I thought to myself, and that, that right there, is EXACTLY the attitude our "worship pastor" has.

As an aside, you may have noticed the term "worship pastor" in quotes. I shudder when I see that. Why not just be the music pastor? The whole service is the worship service. We worship through prayer. We worship through the sermon. We worship through the offering. If anyone is the pastor in charge of making the time there worshipful, it's the Senior Pastor, not the music minister. It seems an incredible conceit to name yourself the "worship pastor" when you're only concern is making sure that your band gets an appropriate amount of play time in each service.


Ever Wonder What It's Like to Live With Two Small Boys?

Updated- well,thats annoying. My YouTube video went poof. It was the Grinch bemoaning the "noise noise noise noise" whilst drums and other such things were pounding in the background. I'm too lazy to go find it again tho, so you'll just have to make do. It's kind of like this.

And some days all I want is a teeny bit of peace and quiet. For just five minutes.


Virtual Friends Are Like Dead Puppies

Which is to say, not much fun.

It's that time of year when everyone is getting together with all their friends and sharing photos of the gatherings and tagging one another to talk about how awesome everyone is and...I am Charlie Brown.

I have friends - a small handful of them - they just don't happen to live anywhere near me. The closest is about 30 minutes away, which would be totally doable if she didn't have six kids ranging from 16 to 5 and a mixture of homeschooled and private schooled. Throw in that the ones closest to my kids ages are in the private school end of things and...we never see each other.

My friend who lived just a few minutes away moved to Georgia last year. I hate Georgia.

And they  just get farther away from there.

It's annoying and causes entirely too much self-pitying boo-hooing. But hey, that's why they invented blogging, isn't it?


I Hate Change

My gmail phone app updated overnight and now it looks all weird (it's too colorful and just...icky) and it's annoying. I can't tell if they actually updated any functionality - it really all appears to be decorative and I wish people would just leave well enough alone.


This likely doesn't bode well for the fact that I'm getting a new laptop for Christmas. I expect there'll be great kvetching in the future as I relearn how to do all the things I now take for granted.

I don't like change. Sigh.


Scouts, Popcorn, and Other Musings

The eldest is in Cub Scouts this year. I'll admit to dithering a tiny bit about doing scouts after their decision to allow scouts to be openly gay. But to my current understanding, it's limited to the scouts themselves (so while still concerning, less so in terms of the leaders being that way and preying on the kids). Besides which, the hubs has committed to being involved for as long as the boys are interested. So at least for now, there's protection in place and at this level things should be relatively harmless. Except for the PC-ness inherent in the scout manual.

I get that they're trying to be inclusive for kids who are in scouts without a dad (either with mom or some other adult who's trekking along so the kid has the opportunity to be in scouts) - however there has to be a better phrase to use than "adult partner." Every time either hubs or I read about "you and your adult partner" we both squirm. It's just...horrible. If nothing else, "adult helper"? Could we go with that?

Anyway. As he's in scouts, we got the joy of selling popcorn. Yay. Do you feel the excitement? Yeah, so did we. We sold a little, but hands down I think I'll be choosing to just pay the dues in future years cause really....it's expensive, mostly stale when you get it, and it takes for-freaking-ever to arrive. As in people ordered in early September and I just got it to deliver yesterday. That's a long time to wait for stale popcorn.

Regardless, the kiddo seems to enjoy it thus far (though he prefers Den meetings over Pack meetings. I'm afraid he takes after his mother a bit too much when it comes to eschewing large gatherings of people in one place.) I like the fact that it's exposing him to a larger group of kids - with a good mix of home schooled, public schooled, Christian and not. All in tiny bites as opposed to the rigamarole of eight hours a day five days a week he'd have to deal with were he in public school.

But I'll admit that it warms my heart when he says he prefers Awana.


On Being a !*#$*#! Grownup

Lately it seems as if the few people with whom I have to interact on a semi-regular basis (cause let's face it, I'm mostly just mom, I don't do a ton of "work-like" interaction) have forgotten that we're not in middle school anymore.

First there was the guy who ran the games for the kid's program that I run at church. I asked, for various reasons, to have just a bit more accountability so I knew that he was doing things in line with the program. He ripped off his uniform, threw it on the floor, shot me a salute (a real one, but I knew it was actually just a single finger in his mind) and stormed off. His kids still come, so that's a bonus, but I don't get why we couldn't have a grown-up conversation about things instead of that.

Then there are some of the other writers that I'm trying to do a giveaway with. And I put out a set of suggestions for how to run it, basically had to pull teeth to get anyone to say anything and then they finally agreed. Now that things have been running for a week, the complaints are rolling in. "Oh, I didn't read it carefully." "I didn't understand that was how it was going to be." Blah blah. How is this now my problem? Also, at this point, we've published how things are running. Time to get on board, not gripe.

One of the above agreed to participate and then totally whiffed her post. So I mentioned that she could go ahead and do it and got the "Oh, I'm busy. But maybe. We'll see." Huh? Look, you agreed to all of this. Just freaking honor your commitments. Also, you still owe me the money you promised as part of the grand prize.

And oh, the grand prize. Grr. I'm going to end up shelling out more than 50% of that since people who promised to pay can't seem to get it together. It was all well and good when we were each chipping in $20. But now. Sigh.

I won't be organizing this again either. Last year was a bit of a disaster, this year takes the cake.

Be a grown up. It's not just about the number you put on the line labeled "Age."


Do You Smell Plastic Burning?

This is what I remarked to the hubs this evening as we were sitting on the couch. He did, indeed, smell the same acrid ookiness that I did, and thus began the hunt about the house. Was it the tree? (Better not be the tree - that thing is brand new because the old one last year was doing that.) Was there something in the vents? It got stronger in the kitchen...was there something on the stove? Was the stove on? All of those were a solid no. But the dishwasher was running...

Opening up the dishwasher proved that yes, a cookie cutter had fallen onto the heating element and was melting merrily away, filling the house with smoke and other toxic things.

But, as the hubs pointed out, on the bright side it didn't catch fire.

The real question is: will I have to rewash those dishes to get rid of the smell or will airing them out overnight be enough?