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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Modern Christian Music

Folks, If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it IS a duck.  If it looks like a wolf, acts like a wolf, sounds like a wolf, it IS a wolf!  Don't be deceived just cuz the title on the album cover says Christian"  "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. "Matt 7:15

Our TV cable package includes a series of music stations. During the day I usually play either the Classical station or the “Easy Listening” lineup softly in the background.

Yesterday I either dropped the remote or sat on it. (I don’t remember which.)  But suddenly this wild, weird, pounding music exploded across the room.  I grabbed the remote and looked up. I thought it was a worldly rock station.  I was shocked to see that I had switched it to a ‘Christian’ music station.   I could hardly decipher the words, but the SPIRIT blasted out with all the ravening power of Satan. 

Before you get up in arms, you really should read this…

Dan Lucarini, a former worship leader in the contemporary church scene, left the ‘Christian Music’ genre that mimics modern pop, rock, hip hop, and/or jazz, etc has taken a stand against the music he once promoted. 

Read his comments here and then check out his book.  I don’t know what his understanding is of the scriptures or even whether or not he is fundamentalist or what, but his stand on Modern ‘Christian’ music is sound.

At the heart of his argument is that rock music, and all forms of it, is a music style that was created by immoral men for immoral purposes.

Whether it's soft rock, pop/rock, jazz, praise and worship, Chris Tomlin, Delirious? or Hillsong, CCM is "scandalous and offensive because of where it came from and what it means around us in the world today," he argues.

"And I don't believe that Christians can just take it and sanctify it and call it holy," he says to those who say it can be used to reach people for God. "I think it's a mistake."

It's like serving a nice juicy steak on a garbage can lid (even if you try to scrub it, it remains a dirty garbage can lid), he explains.

Remembering Linda

Michael brought home the DVD for “The Hobbit.”  Of course I watched it.  I’ve written of the Tolkien stories before in these blogs

I first found The Hobbit when I was in about the sixth or seventh grade, perhaps 1957.  It may have been before that because I began reading from the adult section as soon as I was allowed.  I believe that was at the beginning of the eight grade.  I found The Hobbit in the children’s section of the library.  I can even remember exactly where I was standing when I found it—in the front left hand corner of the library.  There was a shelf section of about eight feet or so between the corner and the window.  The hobbit was on the second or third shelf in about the middle.  I remember because I went back there to pick up The Hobbit again several times even after I graduated to the adult section.  It was considered a “children’s book.”

The Trilogy of the Rings did not become widely available in the US until later in the 1950’s and I probably found it in 1959 or ‘60.  I devoured that as soon as I discovered it on the adult shelves.

When Peter Jackson presented his movie version of the Trilogy I was excited to see it, even though many of the exciting portions had to be cut in order to keep it from becoming a long running series instead of three movies.  In the end of 2012, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened and just a few days ago it came out on DVD.   Michael and Rachael surprised me with it Friday evening.  Saturday morning (March 23) I watched The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey.  It was ‘okay’ but only because I had read the book before.  If I hadn’t known the story I would have said the movie was great.  This morning I watched the second disc.  It was a compilation of ‘extras”—scenes of New Zealand, video blogs about production, and copies of the trailers as well as previews of the games the movie has spawned.

The blogs were what impressed me the most.  They were made to give fans insights into the production and shooting of the movie. 

When I was director of the day care, my head teacher for quite a few years was Linda Mitchell.  I’m not sure how she became involved in day care but she was an excellent early childhood teacher without the degree in early childhood education.  Her first love however was the theater and movies.  Her bachelor’s degree was in Theater, I believe.  She was involved the local little theater group, interested in movies and sci fi conventions. We spent a lot of time, in between the business of caring for children and the needs of the day care, talking about the little theater.  Linda was seldom involved in the on-stage aspects of the productions, the acting, singing, dancing, etc.  She was interested in the back stage production.

 These video blogs have brought memories of her back in force.  How she would have loved the scope and wonder of the Rings and the Hobbit!  The intricacies involved in costuming especially would have drawn her in.  I was amazed to see the actors and then the dwarves they became.  Because there were 13 of them and they were the ‘stars’ of the show, their costumes involved foot after foot after foot of costumes for the myriad of scenes and actions.  Transforming them from men into dwarves required several hours of make-up.  I enjoyed watching the process.  Linda would have loved the wigs and prosthetics and actual make-up to achieve coloring that would film correctly!

The set requirements were extensive.  Hobbiton was built of polystyrene for the Rings movies.  For The Hobbit it was built of real materials on site then left for tourists to experience.  The intricate planning and construction was breath taking.  And of course, not everything could be filmed on site so there were acres it seemed of sites constructed on the production lots—the goblin caves, Elrond’s house, the interior of Bilbo’s hobbit-hole.  And they were all intricate to the last detail. It took my breath away.  I could envision Linda involved in each and every part of it, whichever allowed her talents for drawing, painting and creating effects.

For the very first time I caught a glimpse of the reason for her fascination with behind the scenes work for the theater and, by extension, movies. 

Linda Mitchell, you were loved and remembered fondly.