Winning Words 8/9/11
“Somewhere, deep down, there’s a decent man in me.” (Eminem) I’m not a fan of rap, but I was interested to see and hear the 60 Minutes interview with Eminem last Sunday. Before that, I’d have had a hard time connecting the word, “decent” with him. Webster would seem to agree. It’s a good thing that God is the ultimate, omniscient judge. Heaven will be an interesting place. Harps and rap? ;-) Jack
FROM PRJS IN MICHIGAN: Certainly God is the ultimate judge of everyone and we all stand naked before Him. However, that does not mean that we do not have to make judgments here on this earth and your comments always seem to point in that direction. We tell our kids that they shouldn't associate with some other kids. That is a judgment and one, perhaps, that we ought to make. Every election we make judgements about people. We have to and we should make good ones. When we hire someone or call them to ministry or whatever, we need to make good solid judgments about them. This "leveling out" process that you seem to push, I think, is not good. We may never make ultimate judgments but we had better make some good calls here on this earth about people or we could wreck our nations, our businesses, our churches, etc.////FROM JACK: I'm glad that you have been able to capture the consistency of my thought. God is the ultimate judge, while our judgments, though a part of being human, are not always perfect and are subject to change. I often agree with you, but that's a judgment.
FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: I liked that "8 Mile" movie. Rap goes so fast, I can't keep up and understand the words. Is that on purpose, does the performer deliberately want to make mysterious the meaning to some. I believe heaven will be a place where all are all-knowing and hopefully rap will be there but it will not be angry and the meaning will be in the healed wounds. ////FROM JACK: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
FROM LP IN MICHIGAN: Funny, I caught the credit lines for 60 mins the other day and thought I saw "Shady Aftermath" listed which I think is his label. Anyhow, several years ago when Eminem was first out and I was taking a car full of 9th grade boys from our HS youth group on an outing. They asked to put the radio on and an Eminem song came on. One boy said his mom doesn't let him listen to that. But then another one really surprised me. He said Eminem's songs have some interesting things to say if you just listen to the words... if only he didn't swear so much. I actually enjoy a good Eminem song now and again. It's hard not to feel the emotion in them and that's what I enjoy best about music (of any variety), when it can deliver an emotion. ////FROM JACK: The teachers need to be learners, too. Let's listen to our children and respect their opinions. I've learned some things by doing that.
FROM MT IN PENNSYLANIA: I didn't think much of him either, until I read an in-depth interview a few years ago (might have been in Rolling Stone). Funny how some people who seem 'least likely to be decent' really are, and other who seem to be quite proper are, underneath, anything but. ////FROM JACK: "You can't judge a book by its cover," applies to more than books. Too often, we tend to be superficial in our judgment and miss out on the message of the "book."
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Isn't he from the Detroit area originally and didn't he change his message after he got married and have a family? Probably the best of the harps and the rap will both be there, don't you think?////FROM JACK: Yes, he was from the other side of 8 Mile Rd, the dividing line between the Detroit and the suburbs. He was raised by a single mother, going to six different schools in a year. Anger, drugs, a failed marriage, not ever knowing his father, he became a father....I try to understand, and I'm content to let heaven be up to God.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I, too, was interested in the interview with Eminem Sunday. Strange that his lyrics are filled with horrible language, but in his home no cussing is allowed! I would say his children might grow up confused! I read that only 2% of American homes don't have a Bible in them...(of course that was 1990!) His may be one, but who knows??! I'll email you the poem I have on surprises in heaven! We'll continue to do for "the least of these" as instructed by Jesus, and leave the final judgement to Him. I DO know that my children would not have been allowed to attend one of his concerts, had he performed when they were growing up. (As far as I could control it!)////FROM JACK: Part of growing up is dealing with confusing messages. We tried to teach our children right from wrong, without always saying, "NO!!" Our son went to a concert by The Stones. I would be very surprised to learn that 98% of American homes had a Bible in them. A Bible in the home does no good, unless it's read and discussed. ////MORE FROM BO: To re-interpret an old saying, "having a Bible in the home doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car"...and I suppose that statistic is outdated by today. 20 yrs. makes a big difference, and I believe Christianity is losing ground in USA...////FROM JACK: I don't think that Christianity's success or failure in the USA is tied to statistics. In every generation, since the time of Jesus, the message has been shared and people have chosen to believe it or not. The planting of the seed is what's important. The harvest comes later.
FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: I did not care for much of what I read in Em’s book but my son defended him based on his rough past and he does have a story to tell – don’t they all….Connor’s also told me that a lot of what’s captivating about rap is the beat and the hook, verses/epithets be damned (oops!)////FROM JACK: Your "oops" shows a generational difference. As I grow older, I try to keep in touch with those who are younger (it gets easier to do). Your young son is very perceptive. We adults have trouble getting beyond the "oops" stuff. ////MORE FROM B: Funny that the “letter of the law” vs. “spirit of the law” arises in so many contexts. A non-threatening example…what about “white lies”…is it ever okay to tell one…is there a “slippery slope”….do these pants make my butt look broadJ! My son is a delight for his forthrightness and his ability to put spin on a situation. The boy could make Clinton proud. That said, I at least want him to know that I/we know when he is “spinning”. I do feel like forgiveness/I’m sorry flows pretty freely around the house which is not something I saw much as a teen. Parents were always right and students not. Now that I am a parent I am not so sure. I had the pleasure of listening to Avis Clendenon teach on Lamentations last weekend at a Theology on Tap for young people. An odd topic and a wonderful lesson. If I can find a copy of her paper I will forward it along to you as food for thought. You always fill my morning breakfast plate!////FROM JACK: Being a parent is a learning experience. Just like in school, some days are better than others. It's good to have good teachers, but I am impressed with students of all ages who can "process" education even from poor circumstances
FROM PRPH IN MINNESOTA: jazz and rock?? ////FROM JACK: Yes, and probably Lawrence Welk music...and Sousa...and Frankie Yankovic., too.
FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Let's hope Glen Miller is there.////FROM JACK: "Speaking of Heaven" was a famous Miller song (about another kind of heaven). As for the sound of music, I like the sound of "A String of Pearls." Heavenly!