Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Thank a Solider Week

posted by dena ross

While most of us will enjoy a nice, safe, holiday season with our family and friends, many of the men and women in the armed forces won’t be, especially those serving abroad. With this in mind, Townhall.com has started Thank a Solider Week (December 19-25), which encourages Americans to “stop for a moment and give thanks to the men and women risking everything for us.”

Their website challenges us to do four things: send an email to a solider (the site provides an email form); tell a friend about the site so he or she may do the same; say “thank you” to at least one member of the armed forces as you pass him or her on the street; and lastly, make a donation to a charitable organization providing comfort to the troops and their families. The site also provides video of various country music stars–including George Strait, members of Lonestar, Keith Anderson, Brad Paisely, and Miranda Lambert–giving thanks. My personal favorite is a message from Fred “Two Foot Fred” Gill, of the band Big and Rich, which sings “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” my vote for song title of the decade.

Richard Pryor, Profane But Profound

posted by doug howe

I was saddened to hear that Richard Pryor died. Most moral leaders would hardly say that the comedian lived an exemplary life, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have inspiring moments. He made me laugh and had a way about him that made him pleasant to watch. He seemed authentic, whether in a live stage show or in movie roles, my favorite of which was as Grover T. Muldoon in “Silver Streak.” His on-screen friendship with Gene Wilder–and the fun they had with the differences between white and African-American men–was fun, funny, and refreshing.

On a recent Tonight Show, Jay Leno broke from his traditional monologue to pay an honest and heartfelt tribute to the late comedian. Jay told of how he and other comics would play The Comedy Club in Hollywood, learning to hone their acts and tightening them up over time to get them right. “We’d do the same act each night,” he said, “working to find that little adjustment that would make it that much better.”

“But Richard,” Leno continued, “he would do a brand new act every night. He would ad lib and just make it up live, not only being funny but also commenting about the most important issues of the day, including race.”

“It may have been profane,” he added, “but it was also profound.”

“Rest in peace, Richard,” Leno closed. “We’ll miss you.” And then he blew a kiss to Richard Pryor in a way that was as manly as it was authentic.

It was a nice tribute, a rare moment on live-for-re-broadcast television from a guy at the top of his game, with no comic soundbite to lessen the intimacy.

Regardless of how you felt about Richard Pryor, I was reminded of how winsome it is to see someone being authentic–even intimate–as Leno was and as Pryor made a habit of being. I made a choice to work on it harder myself, regardless of the risk. It was inspiring.

Get Her Some Christian Cosmetics This Christmas!

posted by donna freitas

Not sure what to get your honey this holiday season? If you’re looking for something faithful yet fun, how about some Christian body cream or Christian bubble bath?

This is what entrepeneurs Zachary and Stacey Adams offer through their company Trinity Cosmetics, a Christian cosmetics company that offers “a divinely inspired beauty collection that is embedded with the teachings of the Christian faith.” The couple believe “that true beauty can be found in all of God’s creations”–and can be bought in attractively packaged Milk and Honey body formulas. And all this is not just about cashing in on Americans’ love of cosmetics; the CEO couple tithes 10% of all profits to Christian philanthropic organizations.

Stacey Adams, a former employee of the cosmetics powerhouse Clinique, is the inspiration–and beauty brain–behind the company. Following her stint at Clinique, the story goes, “Stacey recognized that God had a much bigger purpose for her life. In fact, she realized that through her past experiences God had laid the groundwork for her true calling, whichwas to create a Christian cosmetics brand. A brand that is synonymous with high quality products, as well as with the Christian community.”

Visitors to the company’s website are not only treated to images of bubble baths and body scrubs, but also get prayers and words of inspiration. And, the couple writes, “More importantly, our names and package copy are layered with scripture and biblical principles.” The most commonly found verse on the site? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). As far as biblically inspired names of products, in addition to Milk and Honey, there is Salt of the Earth, and Revival Treatments. And coming soon (though not in time for this Dec. 25th), the company also will offer a Christian color palette for the face.

If a beauty product could revive the body and faith at once–now that would be impressive.

Who Needs Church on Christmas Day When You’ve Got the Pastor’s DVD?

posted by donna freitas

Who needs family and community on Christmas, when you can just stay home? It falls on a Sunday this year–and who wants to go to Church on Christmas morning anyway? Not the memvbers of some of the nation’s biggest megachurches apparently: They’re canceling worship services altogether on Christmas Day and encouraging members to stay home and be with family–and use technology to get their Christmas worshipping done at home.

And do what, you wonder? Well, other than unwrap presents and other consumer-culture fare, The New York Times reports that “Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., always a pacesetter among megachurches, is handing out a DVD it produced for the occasion that features a heartwarming contemporary Christmas tale.” That is, in lieu of making worshippers don their Sunday best, gather the kids, and get out of the house to be good neighbors on Christmas day, they can all just fire up the DVD player and share the church experience at home.

Other ideas if you are a megapastor and don’t feel getting out of those comfy flannels on Christmas? Well, you could pre-record your sermon and stream it online all day on Sunday the 25th, so worshippers can log on and double-click at their leisure, while gathering ’round the computer. That’s Bishop Eddie Long’s answer, senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Missionary Church in Georgia.

What about those lacking in family? The single elderly person? The lonely? Or worse, someone who might not, God forbid, own a TV or DVD player or have access to the internet? One hopes they’ve made other plans, since the big screens may be dark and microphones silent at the megachurch near them. Or, they will simply be out of luck.

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