Friday Link-around: American Idol; Taylor Swift & Evangelization; The Dad Who Overslept; Harmony

1. I was watching the top 12 girls perform on “American Idol” the other night when contestant Shannon Magrane sang a song about lighting candles in the darkness. In light of the Christopher motto which you see in the banner at the top of this page, my ears perked up. I hadn’t heard the song before, but thought it certainly captured the essence of what The Christophers are about. It turns out Shannon was singing a song by Kathy Troccoli called “Go Light Your World.” Check out Shannon’s performance right here:

2. I love it when someone is able to tie an element of popular culture into a lesson about faith. Blogger Marc Cardaronella has done that brilliantly in a post titled “The Taylor Swift Guide to Evangelization.” Here’s a sample:

Taylor Swift is hugely popular. From 2006 to 2011, she sold over 20 million albums and 41.8 million singles.
She’s actually in the 2012 Guinness Book Of World Records for the Fastest Selling Digital Album by a Female Artist (source: Wikipedia). What’s that got to do with evangelization? If your message doesn’t resonate with people, no one will pay attention.
Taylor Swift has that attention thing down.

My friend Roy Petitfils listed 10 things Swift could teach Catholics about evangelization. Here’s the first four on his list:
– Be real—Be yourself.
– Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be.
– Observe life, people (including yourself) and human nature closely. Try to understand what they really feel, what they hope for, what they long for (this really helps with the previous).
– Speak from your heart. It reveals your humanity. People are tired of talking, singing, preaching and commenting heads. They yearn to connect with the humanity, of others.

In this post, I will show you how to get some of Taylor Swift’s magic into your evangelization efforts.

If you’re interested in effective evangelization, go read the whole thing.

3. If you need a laugh to take you into the weekend, check out this misadventure of Matt Archbold, a stay-at-home Dad who overslept one morning and had a heck of a time getting his kids ready for school. A sample:

6:40 a.m. I was running late. My wife left very early for work and she set the alarm for me to wake the children for school. Now, I’ll wake up to an alarm that plays music easy but beeping/honking alarms don’t wake me up. Kinda’ weird, I know.

I normally wake up the kids at 6:30 a.m. but I incorporated the beeping alarm into my dreams for about ten minutes before I realized I wasn’t involved in a nuclear reactor meltdown or being chased by a honking Bigfoot. I had just slept late.

So I threw some waffles into the toaster, dispersed five plates on the table, poured some orange juice, and ran up the stairs. Wake up! Wake up! We’re late late late.

I saw my boy poke his eyes out from the mountain of blankets so I ran into the girls’ room across the hall. Wake up. Wake up. We’re late. Late. Late. They were a little more difficult. I had to pull the covers off the nine year old, tickle the four year old’s feet, and remind the ten year old that it was gym day which she liked. The twelve year old didn’t need any extra urging but just seemed generally resentful of the world.

I practically dragged the girls down the stairs. I was like a cowboy zombie. Me being the cowboy and them the zombies. I threw the waffles on their plates. The four girls sat down, stared wide eyed at their plates for a few seconds, said grace, and started eating. Suddenly, my six year old boy came barreling down the stairs already in his school uniform yelling, “I’m first. I’m ready. You’re not.” Oh, and he was doing his “I’m first. I’m ready. And you’re not” dance which accompanies the chant.

I suspected that he’d actually slept in his uniform but there wasn’t much I could do about it so I just went to get some clothes out of the dryer as I’d washed them the night before for my little zombie girls.

In the kitchen I could hear the boy accuse everyone of forgetting to say their prayers. That’s his thing. He once accused a family sitting near us at Applebees of forgetting to say prayers. Loudly.

Read the rest here.

4. Finally, if you missed yesterday’s post about the harmonious sounds of the duo “Jack and White,” be sure to give it a look and listen.

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.


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