eh?

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A mixing up desk

As I was driving home after spending an inspirational morning with one of our Chaplains I was listening to some music and realised for the first time that I had misheard some of the lyrics, and had kept that misheard interpretation in my mind for many years.

Coincidentally I also saw a post on Facebook about misheard lyrics today.

Here are some of the best:

The Police had a song when I was a teenager: “So Lonely” but it sounded like they were singing about a newsreader of the day: “Sue Lawley”

Johnny Nash’s iconic song lyric: “I can see clearly now the rain has gone” sounds like “I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone”.

Instead of “diggin'” the dancing Queen it sounds like Abba had a more violent lyric: “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”. And in the same song, “Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tangerine.” (“tambourine”)

“It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not” was not what Bon Jovi sang in ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’: “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”

I honestly can’t remember what my epiphany was today, but if I do remember I will add it to the list above.

But it also reminded me how a wrong idea, a wrong perception of someone, an erroneous misunderstanding, and even a prejudicial assumption about someone can remain with us for such a long time. We can remain oblivious to the truth and unaware of the error because we have become comfortable with the mistake.

When I was in year 7 at school (we called it ‘First Year’ in those days) a friend invited me to go with him to the cinema. He said it was to see a musical called ‘Greece’. At that time nobody else in our class had seen the film but because I had in mind some sort of opera about Greek myths I decided I didn’t want to go. It was only later, when everyone else was saying how great it was and had all seen it, when ‘Summer Lovin’ and ‘You’re the One that I want’ were all over the charts that I realised that it was ‘Grease’.*

What assumptions have you made about life, about people, even about Jesus? Are they based on fact, on reality, or on what you have heard someone say that someone else told them that their friend’s cousin had read on someone’s blog?

It’s worth checking for the truth. Don’t just take my word for it! After all it probably does make a difference if we’re naked or not!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

*(In case regular bloggists are having a sense of ‘deja vue’, yes I did use this story in a bloggage in August 2014)

 

danger

The internet is a dangerous place.

Not because of the scams that are out to ensnare the unwary, the pornography that seems to be everywhere, the emails that offer medical assistance or opportunities to receive millions of pounds from complete strangers if I give them my bank details. Although those (and others) do make the internet a dangerous place.

No, it’s dangerous because it gives you access to information you didn’t use to be able to access. Even if you had an up to date complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica (other Encyclopaedias are available) you would not have had access to as much information as is now available at the click of a button.

For example, if I type ‘Elmer Fudd’ into a search engine [types ‘Elmer Fudd’] I am offered information about cartoons, offered T shirts and other merchandise, provided with links to videos, given the option to change my language setting in the search engine to ‘Ewmer Fudd’ (go on, you know you want to), offered sound clips, shown how to draw him, provided with background information about him, and much more besides. A while back because I mentioned Elmer Fudd a lot in this blog it was listed 23rd in the list of sites for people to visit to find out about him. That’s dangerous!

But I still have not got to the nub of the danger. The thing is that sometimes we can have too much information. No, don’t think I am going all ‘Big Brother’ on you (the book, not the TV programme). But if, for example. I had a health symptom that I looked up on the internet I would be offered all sorts of possibilities and before I know it I could be sure I was having a heart attack when in fact I had just bruised my left arm. (That actually happened to me. Have a look at this bloggage if you are interested.)

I wonder how much of a doctor’s time is spent having to reassure patients that their internet-search-based-self-diagnosis is not correct.

Let me give you another example – help with a golf swing. I was having some problems with the ball not going in the intended direction (I still am) and did a search for an answer. I was offered so many different solutions I was completely confused and ended up even less confident about what to do than when I had started.

What if you typed ‘Meaning of life’? I just did and the range of options for answers to that question are staggering.

Or if you do a search for ‘Colchester church’, do you decide to go to the first church that is offered? Careful if you do!Capture

It’s dangerous because you can end up either with more information than is helpful, or you can end up receiving information that is just wrong. Who or what do you trust? Do you accept that the sites the search engine offers you on the first page are the ones that are right?

As we are in the season of Advent I felt it was good to have another look at how Luke opens his gospel – right at the start of chapter 1 before we get to angels, shepherds, stables and babies…

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye witnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account…

This Christmas I invite you to investigate carefully what you understand about Jesus of Nazareth. You may have been a follower of his for all your life, you may be a recent follower, you may be an inquirer or event an ardent critic. But don’t take my words or anyone else’s words for it – investigate for yourself by going back to the eyewitness accounts*. Examine them afresh for yourself and see what they say to you.

But be warned – that’s dangerous too because it can transform your life!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

*ie Matthew, Mark, Luke or John (I’d start with Luke, but that’s not essential)