50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics? A Quiz

Tiffany Crawford:

I’m not Christian musics biggest fan. I love most worship songs but the monotony of the Christian songwriting formula drives me insane. Not to mention that of all the movement in the last 15 years to be seeker friendly, Christian music is the absolute least progressive. So when I stumbled on this I quite literally LOLed! My husband and I took the quiz together… It was fun. We were wrong! Have fun and a few laughs!

LG|LP <3 Tiff

Originally posted on H . A:

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Growing up evangelical, I listened to a lot of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). I never understood the whole “rock music causes demons to eat your brain” mentality. But I did understand — to some extent — their point that Christian rock music was just normal rock music with “Jesus” pasted on top. To my friends and I, that wasn’t actually an intelligent critique. It was more a joke, something we all laughed about.

Fact is, my peers and I often thought it was funny that many CCM songs appeared to be sexy romance songs where the “you” was just capitalized so it suddenly was about Jesus rather than a hot piece of man-flesh. And some CCM bands — Skillet, most of all — have lyrics that are so spiritually kinky, even actual kinksters might blush.

So to honor this humorous memory of CCM’s…

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What’s Good for you…

It was good for us that God had a plan to fix what we broke.

It was heartbreaking for Him to send His son.

It was good for us, that Jesus died on the cross.

It was painful for Him to take the nails.

It was good for us that He conquered the grave and death.

It was good for Him to be reunited with His child.

He wanted to do it, He loves us that much.

The love you have for your child is minimal compared to the love He has for you.

 

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He was willing, to let the goodness of His love flow from his veins.  He was willing to let the goodness of His love, overcome.  He was willing to let the goodness of His love find you.

It IS a good Friday my love, a very. good. Friday.

LG|LP  <3 Tiff 

When Life Gets Complicated, Eat an Egg

Every year I have this tradition.  One I don’t think my husband even knows about.  At Easter time, when I’m called by the chocolate bunnies to the candy aisle, I spend way too much time walking up and down each row picking up little candy chicks and convincing myself that I don’t need to buy all the PEZ dispensers. But when I stumble across one of these babies, I buy it.

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After spending all my money on juice and mac and cheese, and my Cadbury Creme Egg, I load it all up. As I leave the parking lot I unwrap the pile of sugar, brace myself and take a bite.  I can handle the chocolate.  One more bite, and now the creamy sugary egg-like center.  I choke it down, then roll down my window and chunk it.

It’s pretty much disgusting.

I pretty much hate them.

But every year, I buy one, take a bite and then gift it to the birds.

Easter has always been my favorite.  I love the spring, I love the flowers, the bunnies, and oh the chocolate.  When I was younger these little hunks of sugar were a staple in our house for the season.  My brother could inhale them.  I always enjoyed one or maybe two.  They were never really my favorite, but they just remind me.

They remind me of a simple day of being with family.

They remind me of the sunrise services where we would place fresh flowers in a chicken-wired cover cross, bringing it to life.

They remind me of new Easter dresses and patent leather shoes.

They remind me of the smell of the grass as I would hunt for eggs.

They remind me of one of the most influential days of my childhood.

They remind me of being a child.

Life gets so complicated.  We pay our taxes and try not to worry about what we owe while our kids are hunting eggs that we dyed the night before because we didn’t have time during the week.  We hope our kids embed their own memories of family and carry on tradition someday in the far away future.  We pray, just pray, that our kids really grasp the meaning of what happened on the cross…and what it means that Jesus got off of it.

But nothing brings back those moments of being a child. Not even a bite of those nasty eggs.  In fact, every year with the toss out the window, those little eggs show me how to embrace the beautiful life God has given me…the life with hopeful children, and fresh mercies and new life, every single day.

So blessed.

What is one of your favorite childhood Easter memories?

LG|LP

Tiff  

 

Jesus Doesn’t Care About Middle-Class

I am being vacuumed slowly and painfully into the vortex of suburbia America.  This was one of my fears when deciding to move here. In Florida I lived in smaller town where I knew people and saw familiar faces. I was able to get to know my neighbors and the cashiers at the grocery store and the lady who worked the counter at the pizza joint.  I also intimately knew the lives of the teenagers, their struggles and their pain.  I prayed over them and dried their tears. Their lives kept me immersed in the realities of the world.

At one point I served as staff of a church who’s property backed up to a poor neighborhood.  Children would come out on Wednesday nights in search of some community.  I would walk nine year old girls home at ten o’clock at night when it was pitch dark out only to find their moms say things like, “I was wondering where you were.”  Those same kids would show up on Sunday, not feeling like they quite fit in, watching through the windows at the “churched” kids. Barefoot, dirty and unfed.

Now I”m back in the bubble of the city.  A bubble filled with children living with a narrow worldview, thinking their lives are difficult.  I’m living in a city where your attire is important, and everyone pays hundreds of dollars to get their hair done.  I’m surrounded by people who take regular expensive vacations and teenagers consider $150,000 houses the “ghetto”.

nice house

 

And all of this “lifestyle” is sucking the life out of me.  I find myself wishing I had more “things” and comparing myself to the trendy women who walk about with their babies ducktaped to their bodies.  I find the time and energy to reason with myself about buying clothes and shoes. I desire things now that I did not desire eight months ago.

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I completely understand that some people work hard to have nice things and own their homes and do their nails and spend $200 on their hair.  I get it.  But I don’t want to be that person if it costs me what matters most.

I see myself losing perspective.  I see myself allowing the world and my flesh to drown out the purpose of my life.  I feel myself allowing God to be at arms length because the suburban lifestyle is oh so comfortable.

Friends, it will suck you in.  And it’s strong…oh so strong.  Convincing you and enticing you.  The seductive dance of wanting and buying and needing skews the picture of the why Jesus came in the first place.  Your bubble- life you live without disturbance, focused on yourself and your own needs and wants, completely shelters you from the Kingdom of God.

Pop the bubble.

Take off the blinders.

Remove the night vision.

Change the way you look at things.

Alter how you think of your circumstances.

Most of us don’t have it that bad.  In fact, most of us have it pretty damn good.  Don’t let middle-class America determine your relationship with Christ, if it hasn’t already.

And I’m not talking about donating a few things to Goodwill, or helping load a food truck.

I’m talking, be sold out for Jesus instead of worrying about what’s on sale or how you’re going to get more of something you already have way too much of.

I’m talking, stop being in a hurry and start being still in His Presence.

I’m talking throw everything you think you know about your neighbors & all that gossip out the window and really listen and be a friend.

I’m talking stop just showing up to church on Sunday after going to the bar on Saturday.  Don’t go to the bar and serve, give, love.

Do more, be more.

Jesus doesn’t care much about your middle-class or upper-class or wealthy status.  Jesus cares about the condition of your heart, your intentions and the love you have for Him and His people.

 

LG|LP 

Tiff 

You Have A Silent Story

‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’

I lived around the block from the cute boy in second grade with bright, sparkling blue eyes. He was super fun and over the years we became fantastic friends. You could find him at my house on any random day eating bowls of cereal from my pantry because my mom bought the “good kind.” As we got older we hung out in my front yard with our group, smoking cigarettes, dancing to the truck radio and staring at stars while we all lay in my driveway at 2am.

He had an older brother who wasn’t much like him and his parents were cordial and kind. His dad was a huge man with a bushy, Duck Dynasty-like beard. My friend often told me how much he hated his dad. I didn’t really know the feeling since I didn’t have a father. But we danced anyway, we smoked, we counted stars.

It wasn’t until years later that I found out that his dad hit him… pretty hard… pretty often. It wasn’t until we lost our friendship and moved on that I found out my friend’s silent story.

I had my own secrets. I’m sure everyone wondered why I was jealous and geeky. Or why I wore the same jeans everyday. Or why I was an outcast who skipped school and eventually dropped out. I’m currently working on a book that will reveal all the shame I lived in –shame covered in addiction and domestic violence. Soon my own silenced story will be revealed.

I think of all of this now, today, this month. It’s child abuse awareness month.

CA Awareness ribbon

Kids all over the community, in every zip code, every single neighborhood–even yours- have secret stories. Their stories affect their desire to fit in, their need to bully, their feelings of not being enough. And my guess is that you have a secret story too –a story that people just may not believe. A secret that doesn’t even begin to align with the person the world thought you were. A story that affects your desire to fit in, or your feeling of not being enough.

I wonder sometimes about the other kids I grew up with.

Why did they cry to sleep at night?

What were they trying to hide from their friends?

What did they need that they never got from the ones that were suppose to care for them?

Now that I have gained knowledge and a pinky-full of wisdom, I know that lots of them covered up their pain just to make it through, just like me. I couldn’t have been the only one.

I’m sure you have you have a story to tell, and I’m inviting you to tell it.

untold story

So, tell me your story.

Write it, and send it to me.

Tell me who everyone thought you were and what your secret struggle was.

Get it off your chest.

Share your shame.

Share all that you were afraid to tell when you were a kid.

Send me your silenced story.

One line, one paragraph, a million pages. Whatever it takes.

And if you send me your story, I can make you a few promises:

  • I promise to keep them confidential.
  • I promise to not judge you.
  • I promise to weep with you.
  • I promise to pray for you.

Email them to: SilencedStories@yahoo.com

Let God heal you…
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

LG|LP
Tiff

The People Who Make A Difference

It has been one week since my grandfather passed away. I had the honor of speaking at his funeral and wanted to share with you what a great man he was… Sow seeds into the lives of others, it is what you are remembered for in your death that creates a legacy… It is what makes a difference.

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I love the story about my grandfather’s name. I can only imagine the endless conversations when my great-grandmother was pregnant with him…In german, I’m certain. His daddy was adamant about his name being Edwin William Franke Jr. And obviously he won. But my great-grandma didn’t care what was on the birth certificate. She wanted to name him Robert, so Bobby he was. My grandpa was called Edwin, Bobby, EW, daddy, and to me and so many others… poppy. My grandmother called him our garbage disposal because he always was in charge of eating anything on our plates that we didn’t finish. Appropriately he always said, “You can call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late to dinner.”

His dinner one evening was on the stove. It was a gravy, meat-filled stew. He came in and gobbled it up. My grandmother walked in the kitchen and said, “bobby! What are you doing?”
He replied, with a mouthful, “This is good mama!” To which she had to confess…”That’s dog food!”

My grandfather, my poppy, lived a life of service. No matter what the call was, he served with humility. I guess He honestly didn’t have much of a choice being married to my grandmother. He gives credit to the success of his marriage to two words- YES, DEAR. But in all actuality, this was his very character. No matter what we asked or needed, he was there for us. He may not have had much to say, but he was there.

He took boys hunting, and taught them how to make birdhouses.

He pitched 100s of tennis balls for at-home batting practice.

He bought a farmhouse in Minnesota so he could be closer to his family.

He read to toddlers, and rocked babies.

He teased us, calling us things like “snaggle tooth” when we would show him our latest toothless smile. He was always picking on us, or cracking jokes. The night before he passed, he was laying in bed, and Trey, my brother, went to say goodbye. Trey says, “Poppy, I need to go.” Poppy replied, “Well if you need to go there is a bathroom right there.” And then he smiled.

He would dig deep in his pocket when we showed him our report cards, handing us maybe a dollar or two or five.

He taught us dominoes and poker.

He paid us to sweep up the grass after he mowed.

He washed dishes.

He was my personal chauffeur–because I had no desire to drive as a teenager. Probably because once while in Minnesota he was giving me a driving lesson and fell asleep before he taught me how to make a turn. I knocked that mailbox clear to the barn. He picked us up from practices and wherever we were, with whoever we were with.

He bought us candy bars and sodas.

He didn’t mind when we ate all the pecans he just spent hours cracking and shelling.

And ever so often he would pat our leg or shoulder, or hug a neck and say I love you baby or I love you bud.

Never too many words. But definitely never a complaint. He was always there.

And if he wasn’t there, like sometimes on Sunday morning when we were at church, he was home barbecuing. Or he was working, because even after he retired he was wise enough to know he needed to be out of the house for at least a few hours every day if he was going to keep his sanity.

Then there were the times he was simply “resting his eyes.” which was code for I’m napping.

Throughout my life I watched him. How he moved, what he said. I studied his hands. I remember once I stood at the side of the dining room table watching him eat cheese, crackers and dried sausage. I just looked at him, and he would cut me a piece and scoot it over to me with his finger. Never saying a word…One for him and then one for me.

I spent the night at my grandparents house often, and I would snuggle between the two of them. My grandmother would rub my tummy to help me sleep. When her arm would get tired, she would reach over to him and put his hand on my tummy. After a few seconds I would push his hand off…his rough hand filled with callouses…and go to find my grandmothers. My poppy was a hard worker.

I remember once, going into the bathroom and pulling out his razor and shaving…or should I say cutting up…my face because of the mornings I would sit on the toilet seat while watching him shave.

I watched him.

I watched him love my grandmother. In fact, Omie and Poppy were sort of one word And no matter how angry she made him, or how many hours he spent in his workshop paying his penance for some silly argument they had, he always forgave her.

I remember him sitting in the car at some store parking lot, countless hours, reading his paper and just waiting. Because he would drive my grandmother wherever she wanted to go. Then later I would watch him kiss her when he left, probably for the store to pick up the things she forget because she was too busy talking to everyone

My brother and my cousin and I have decided that he was pretty much the most patient person on the face of this earth.

I can only recall seeing him angry, maybe once or twice, and it was only because of someone he loved being hurt.

He was kind to everyone he met, and ushered in a spirit of acceptance with his smile. His infectious, toothy smile, that lit up his blue eyes and and touched your heart, making you feel important and loved. In fact just few weeks ago, my daughters best friend was visiting from out of town…I introduced her to him and said, “Poppy this is Sally, she came all the way from florida…” He responded, “just to see me?” and then flashed his grin.

His kindness, his patience, his love. His peaceful spirit, his servant spirit, his generosity his ability to forgive, his humility…His entire way of life was an example of Christ.

And specifically for me, he fulfilled the scripture in Psalm 68:5 A father for the fatherless.

He may have been my grandfather. But he was the only father I knew. I’m grateful for the love he poured into my life. I’m grateful for the joy he brought to this life, I’m grateful to have seen him in his final hours as he sang worship songs and talked with Jesus, slipping peacefully into his eternal life with Christ. Jesus was glorified in poppy’s life and his death. I pray to only be as privileged.

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