Top Five Worst Christmas Songs

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I wrote this a couple years ago but these are still my top five least favorite Christmas songs.

There are plenty of wonderful Christmas songs out there. Songs that warm our hearts and remind us of what Christmas is all about. They’re songs that make us happy, make us smile, and wash away all our troubles. This is not about those songs. Here are my picks for the top five worst Christmas songs ever.

5. “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby – I don’t really have a problem with Ol’ Bing of course but I do have a problem with this Christmas song. It’s about Christmas in Hawaii and I am a firm believer that Christmas should be cold and snowy. Hawaii shouldn’t even be allowed to have Christmas. They should have their own version of it called Hawaii-mas which would include singing songs like “Tropical Wonderland” and “Frosty the Igneous Rock Formation.” I have a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies so I can say with complete authority that Christmas lights on palm trees make Baby Jesus cry.

4. “Hands (Christmas Version)” by Jewel – All I have to say about this “Christmas” song is that adding jingle bells to your normally non-Christmas song does not suddenly a holiday song make. It’s generally required that you actually sing about Christmas, Santa, or Jesus – not how small your hands are.

3. “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg – Nothing says “Christmas spirit” like a song about two old has-beens drinking warm beer in a car and lamenting the lives they could have had with each other. Making only a passing mention of Christmas this dirge has somehow become holiday “favorite.” Really it’s about being depressed. If you don’t feel like slitting your writs at the end of this dreary, turgid song then you, my friend, are made of pure sunshine. This terrible ode to lost loves doesn’t ignite feelings of Christmas cheer and it doesn’t make me reflect on good times or appreciate what I have. It makes me want to do one single thing: give Dan Fogelberg and old fashioned Christmas punch in the face.

2. “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill – Really the biggest problem with this song is where Faith Hill sings about how the baby is going to change all of Mary’s plans. Really? Just what kind of plans does a first-century Hebrew girl have, exactly? Was she hoping to try out for Palestinian Idol? Did she hope to get her mystery novel writing career off the ground? Did she want to be a Solid Gold dancer? Unless you were rich your plans in the first century were the following: not die. That’s pretty much it, but thanks for trying Faith Hill.

1. “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong – This is by far the worst Christmas song ever penned by human hands. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s about a man, mildly annoyed by having to wait in a line. He sees a child who is desperately trying to acquire the titular “Christmas Shoes” and the boy doesn’t have enough money. Okay… that’s not so bad but here’s the twist – the boy’s mother is mere minutes away from death!  Moved by the child’s selflessness, the man gives the kid the extra money he needs and feels good about himself and Christmas once again.

What. The. Heck.

Seriously? This is just wrong on so many levels. Since when was Jesus so concerned about people’s footwear? Is there some secret passage in the Bible that says, “Yea, and Jesus separated the sheep who had nice shoes from the goats who had ugly shoes. Good shoes did thusly go to the right and ugly shoes to the left. And unto those who had Jimmy Choo shoes thus the Lord spake, “Yea verily, you…look…FABULOUS!”

Oh, and I’m sure if you’re dying the foremost thing on your mind is having nice pair of shoes to show off to the Lord.

Lastly, according to Newsong, God hates it so much when we’re slightly annoyed with shopping lines that He’ll kill random moms just to shut us up! Oh, and this song is vastly improved if you replace every instance of the word “shoes” with “boobs.” Try it!

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Stranger Danger

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My mom was a worrier. Ironically, I’m having the opposite problem with my daughter – she won’t talk to anyone!

When I was little my mother drilled it into my head one simple rule: never, ever talk to strangers – especially if they had candy. In fact, my mom assured me that if I so much as looked at a stranger crosswise my heart would instantly explode and flying monkeys would carry my carcass off to the devil. Okay… I admit that’s a tad extreme, but my mother did inject a healthy dose “stranger fear” into me. I remember yelling at some guy when I came out of a bathroom at some restaurant, “I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK TO STRANGERS!!!!!!” I poke fun at my wonderful mother, but you can’t argue with her results, I’m alive and here to type this instead doing something important!

You know… I’m 34 years old and I still don’t talk to strangers. Not really because I’m afraid of them. The bullies, rapists, and serial killers who look at me don’t know that I probably wouldn’t actually be able to beat up and/or escape them – but as the old saying goes, “fat people are harder to kidnap.”

Think about that for a minute. Have you ever heard of a fat person being kidnapped? No, you have not. Why? Because feeding us would probably cost more than whatever ransom the kidnapper was asking for. Not to mention that we’re impossible to restrain because we’ll just eat the restraints if we’re hungry enough. Also if you’re going to keep a fat person in captivity you need them to be mobile or else you’re faced with the horrible option of actually having to carry them.

Any kidnappers out there looking to make a name for themselves should try and kidnap the world’s fattest man. However, you must actually move the man from his home to your hideout. You can’t just bust into his house and hold him there, that’s not kidnapping – that’s kidkeeping. Once he’s moved all that’s left is to pray and hope the ransom comes in before he devours your entire operation. If successful you’d be…like… the king of kidnappers. You’d look at foiled kidnappers on the news, roll your eyes and say, “Eh… amateurs!”

Anyway… back to what I was saying. I don’t talk to strangers because I just don’t care what they have to say. Usually I have the unfortunate luck to accidentally talk to some old person who needs to inform me, in great detail, about all their hemorrhoids and the size, color, shape, and consistency of their bowel movements. OR some person who goes, “Hey Adam, where’s Eve! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!” Like I’ve never heard that phrase a zillion times already. To this day I have never met a stranger with candy…sadly. I would gladly suffer through a lecture on enemas if I was snacking on a Snickers bar.

So if you’re a stranger and you want to talk to me, you’d better have some candy on hand because that’s the only way you’re getting me into your van!

The Deficit of Pretty

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I’m still convinced, even after seven years of marriage, that women think only one woman can be pretty at any one time.

“Do you think she’s pretty?”

It’s a question we men are often asked by their wives and girlfriends. We’re usually very afraid when this question gets asked of us. The little Admiral Akbars in our brains pop up and yell, “IT’S A TRAP!!” warning us that no matter what we say or do, a great battle is about to be fought in which we will only win if we happen to have some Ewoks on our side. And let’s be honest here… who the heck wants any Ewoks anyway? They would’ve totally gotten slaughtered in real life and we all know it.

Anyway…

Many women, scratch that, all women are insecure about their looks. Every woman I have ever talked to thinks she is the fattest sow on earth. She could be all of 90 pounds soaking wet and she’ll complain about how she needs to get ready for “beach season,” whatever the heck that is. Women are always worried about how they look. “Do I look alright in this outfit?” they’ll say, and we’ll say something like “I think you would look better without the outfit.” They will then roll their eyes as if we were making some kind of joke! Women think about how they look more often than they think about sex (if you can believe that!).

They also believe in what I have come to call the “deficit of pretty.” This is the belief that there is somehow a scarcity of beauty in the world. As if prettiness were a baton, a baseball cap, or an ‘it’s my turn to talk’ stick that only one woman can have at any one time. This is why they are constantly asking us whether they are pretty or whether we think other girls are pretty. If we were to think that another girl was pretty our wives and girlfriends would then conclude that they are not pretty based on their perception of the deficit of pretty. They will not be able to comprehend we can think they are pretty, be completely and totally happy with them, and yet maybe sort of perceive that another girl might be the slightest bit attractive – all in response, of course, to a question that they asked us.

I find that the best way to deal with this situation is to quickly point out the flaws in the other girl – even if I have to make some up. Really my wife isn’t necessarily asking if the other girl is pretty so much as wanting reassurance that she, herself is. So remember our strategy guys – talk down the other girl (ex. “Ick, her eyes are uneven. It makes her look like Sloth from The Goonies.”) and talk up your girl (ex. “Not like yours, yours are awesome, I could be lost in them for days!). So if this technique helps you stay out of the doghouse, you’re welcome. Please send check or money order to the address below…

Guide to Choosing a Band Name

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According to WordPress, this was my most read post back in the day. Here it is reproduced in all its glory. I think this essay is pretty solid, if you ask me.

If you’re in a band the most important thing you can do is choose a good name. Music, as with most bands, is of secondary importance, if any at all. If you wish to be famous it is imperative that you choose a memorable name.  A catchy name. A name that says “Hey, we are the coolest thing going for the next ten or fifteen minutes.”

Take a look at the band names the kids are using these days: My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, Death Cab For Cutie. If you want to be popular you should make sure that your name doesn’t make a lick of sense. You can achieve this effect by writing a bunch of words on paper, throwing the paper into a hat, and choosing at random. You’ll get a lot of clunkers like “Farty Bubble Bakery” or “Car Dog Orange” but if you keep at it you’ll get some winners like “Troubadour Pandemonium,” “Buncha Funky Monks,” or my personal favorite: “Bone Toe Potato.” All of these are excellent band names. You can also accentuate the band name with random, unnecessary punctuation – “Troubadour~Pandemonium?” or “Buncha!Funky%Monks)”.

Now if you’re in a metal band you really have to be a bit more careful. Think about what kind of metal you play. Is it the sad-sack, whiney nu-metal? Then go one word that tells everyone how little your parents hugged you like “Bereft” or “Solitude.” Are you a power metal outfit? If so your name should reflect the fact that you can’t write lyrics about anything but The Lord of the Rings. Actually, just go ahead and pick your name from that trilogy and you’ll be off to a good start. Put a dragon on the album cover and watch the nerds flock! If you’re playing rap metal you can pretty much get away with anything because it can instantly be made “ghetto,” “street,” or “real” by misspelling it. At first glance a band called “French Maids” wouldn’t sound very cool, but if you spell it “Phrench Maidz” your awesomosity level goes up at least 7 points.

On the off chance you get popular you can separate from your original group and make music on your own (or at least get producers to make music just for you), you can actually use your own name as the band name! Sometimes this will work right out of the box (see Dave Matthews Band) but for the most part you’ll want be famous first so that people will recognize your name and buy whatever garbage you put out. Your name emblazoned on the cover will be all the review they need. Though if your name is something like Basil Von Poopington, IV you might want to think about changing your name. Though I don’t know Basil Von Poopington and the Pooptones sounds pretty cool to me.

Essentials of Prophecy

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This is the second of what I originally envisioned as a series. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t think of a way to keep it going. I like this one okay but it suffers from two problems. One, the gift of prophecy or prophetic word isn’t really something that’s “mainstream” like worship is. In order to really get the jokes you’d have to be around a group that does this sort of thing. Second, it’s a bit more mean-spirited than I intended. 

Recently some churches have begun to utilize the gift of prophetic utterances in their services. Of course, the old guard still believes that God will only speak to humans through the written Word of God and nothing else. Though if you corner them they will also admit that God will occasionally speak through other books like Hey God, Are You There? It’s Me Margaret, The Cat in the Hat, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Needlepoint. Aside from this group, more and more churches are using prophetic gifts – though at the cost of other spiritual gifts like “parking lot attendant” and “nursery worker.”

You may find yourself lost and confused in this new “spirit-filled” environment. “How do I fit in?” you’ll ask. First, put down the snake. State law requires that you have no more than five teeth – at a maximum – in order to religiously fondle snakes. But worry not, contained within this document are some helpful tips for prophecy. Soon you’ll be spouting prophetic word like a champ, nay, like Benny Hinn even.

If you’re new to this type of ministry you will start out at the “amateur” level. It is best to keep your prophecies as vague as possible in order to maintain the highest accuracy rate. If you’re not sure what to say, try something general like, “You know, I think God really loves you” or “I feel like the Lord is saying that today is Tuesday. Yes… it’s definitely Tuesday.” However, don’t use the latter unless it actually is Tuesday. By using these techniques you can appear spiritual and gifted even you have no more prophetic gifting than the average dirty sock.

Another thing to remember is that any and all things you picture in your head are important and have meaning – even if you don’t know what that meaning is. Therefore, the use of an overly descriptive vision with no interpretation whatsoever is a fantastic start to prophetic word. If you’re having trouble, try something like the following:

“I saw a vision of you. You were riding a dinosaur, but he was sort of teal-colored and he had a pirate hat on. You were singing that song that goes, ‘We Built This City on Rock n’ Roll.’ Oh, who is that by? Do you know what song I’m talking about? Anyway, the dinosaur was smoking a cigar. But I felt like the Lord told me that this wasn’t a Cuban cigar it was a Swisher Sweet. I don’t know what it means but that’s what I saw.”

Be warned that if you use something like this the recipient of such a prophecy may respond with the ancient biblical practice of punching you square in the throat.

Once you have gained enough prophetic experience points, you will “level up” to “Professional Prophet.” If you’re unclear as to how many experience points you have, ask your nearest Dungeon Master. At the “pro” level you are allowed to be very specific. In fact, you must act like your prophecy comes straight from the Lord’s mouth. Make sure to begin every sentence with “Thus sayeth the Lord” or some other grand pronouncement. This will remind your hearers that what you are saying is actually from the Lord and not just some crazy-ass thought you had while sitting on the toilet.

Navigating the waters of the Spirit is difficult and not for the faint of heart. So if you plan on prophesying, use these tips to help you get the “edge” you need. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about how you look… yeah, that’s it…

Essentials of Worship

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Let’s start the resurrection of this blog with an old classic. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t like this. I’m still proud of it though I think it could use some additional editing.

Church worship has changed since I was a lad. It used to be that the only types of songs holy enough to sing before God were hymns and certain praise choruses. When the songs were sung it was imperative, in order to appear holy toward God, that they were sung with as little life and emotion as possible. After all, we would not want to offend God with our filthy, dirty emotions. Now a new breed of worship has sprung up in the church. It involves lot of instruments, singers, back-up singers, choirs, trumpet sections, dancing girls, laser light shows, fire-breathing alligator men… you name it. If you have room to cram it on stage – it’s good! We’re allowed to be more expressive with our worship. Gushy shows of emotion are encouraged, as are physical forms of praise.

Do not be fooled, however, as the rules for worship are still as strict as they were back in my day when we had to walk uphill both ways through seven feet of snow fighting off grizzly bears just to go to school. For instance, when worshipping worshippers should make sure their brows are furrowed to demonstrate a deep concern and reverence for God. Those who have trouble with this facial expression should pretend they have been constipated for a week and their only hope of relief is to get out one good bowel movement – that face is the one that should be used. Also, they should make sure their eyes are closed because, as our Lord once said, “Thou must keepest thine eyes closed whilest one worshippeth, for if thou dost not, thou shalt go straight to hell… no stopping on the way. Do not passeth ‘Go,’ do not collecteth $200.” At some point, with eyes closed and concern etched upon the face, the worshipper should shake their head “no” at some point. The reason for this is unclear, but apparently, God seems to like it because people keep doing it.

Now if you find yourself in one of these new fangled churches it is usually required that you raise your hands at some point to demonstrate maximum spirituality. There are various methods for the raising of hands but the classic and most accepted form is the “Scary Bear” method. This requires one raise his hands all the way above the head outstretched with palms out — as if he were trying to ward off a scary bear in the woods. You may also wave your hands back and forth to more accurately simulate the scaring off of said bear. This form is most widely used by men but can also be used by women provided they fill out the correct paper work in triplicate and fax it to God. The form most favored by women is the “Please Hand Me Down That Loaf of Italian Bread.” This is where the worshipper extends their arms out, slightly bent, with palms up, as if they were receiving a loaf of bread from someone upstairs. While women can use either the “Italian Bread” form or the “Scary Bear” form, men can only use the “Scary Bear.” Any detraction from this rule means the man is gay. Now there are many variations on both of these forms – the “Air traffic Controller,” the “Mime in a Box,” and the “Spider-Man” are just a few. Any form can be used provided it doesn’t stray too far from the original motions and doesn’t look too weird. After all, if we let this emotional hullabaloo get out of hand we’ll be fondling snakes and drinking Drain-O before you can say “Junior G. McCormick.”

Finally, the use of dance has become popular in some churches. It’s interesting that the word “dance” when translated from the original Greek and Hebrew actually means one of the three following things: “jump up and down in one place,” “sway back and forth,” or “prance around like a hippie at Woodstock.” Men should stick to jumping up and down and swaying, but never ever prance around like a hippie. It is also important to disregard any rhythm the current song may have because as many studies have shown — rhythmic dancing makes you pregnant.

Following these simple rules for worship you can be sure that you get the most out of your worship experience because that’s what it’s all about… how you feel. Or something…

It’s Alive!

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I’m going to start rebuilding this blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve really done anything else except my music blog. I’ve missed it. So starting in 2014 we’re back on. I’m going to be blogging at least once a week on whatever I feel like. In the meantime I’m going to be filling out the blog with some of the old classics, just to give people something to read should they ever visit here.