Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

Haters gonna Hate and Leaders gonna Lead

032715_tswiftHaters gonna hate, but Forbes says Taylor Swift has it and President Obama lost it. Maybe California State never had it, but their students want it. And an Alabama Mom wins my vote for best example of showing it this week. What is it? Leadership.

Now, if you are confused about what all these things have to do with each other, take a look at a few of the headlines over recent days.

  1. Fortune Magazine’s list of the top 50 Greatest World Leaders had Taylor Swift at number 6, but President Obama didn’t make the list. Magazine editors cited the massive changes that Swift has brought to the music industry, while excusing the absence of the “Leader of the Free World” by saying that he failed to lead on issues he promised during his campaigns.
  2. Meanwhile, California State disbanded a Christian Student Group because their charter states that the President of the chapter needs to be a Christian. In an example of lackluster leadership, Cal State officials reasoned that faith-based requirements are discriminatory…even for faith-based organizations!
  3. Finally, when an Alabama Mom learned that her daughters had been rude in a movie theater, ruining the experience of another family, she dropped the hammer. She went to Facebook and found out who that family was, made her children send apologies, and made them pay for a new movie and snacks out of their allowance!

Leadership can be hard to define. We don’t always recognize it at the time, but it is obvious when absent.

So, yes, leadership can mean shaking up a music industry; standing on religious principles, or disciplining children. But what it absolutely is not, is failing to take a stand, abusing loopholes, or turning a blind eye to error…especially in your own family.

In the Bible, there are many examples of God-pleasing leadership, but none so important as the ones Jesus gave us.

  1. He shook off the ways of worldliness and reminded those who want to be first that it is better to serve than to be served (Mark 10:44-45).
  2. He despised a tyranny of blind religious dogma, warning that God will “bring about justice for” those who “who cry to Him day and night” (Luke 18:7-8).
  3. He taught discipline, even as the greatest extension of love. In Matthew 18:6, He teaches that the punishment will be harsh for those who cause others to stumble, but He does so in order to teach them to be kind and loving.

Being a true leader isn’t easy. It often means making decisions that are unpopular or painful at the time. Jesus showed true leadership by dying for us: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

What kind of leadership do you honor? Do you lead others to Christ? Following Jesus is the only way to heaven (Matthew 16:24), and that’s leadership worth honoring!

8 Seconds of Silence

swift, 1989Canadians really love Taylor Swift. REALLY. Taylor’s fans, or “Swifties,” as they are called, proved their devotion to Taylor this week by sending the 3rd track on her new album, “1989,” to #1. “Why is that news?” I’m glad you asked. Turns out, the 3rd track  was an accidental release of 8 seconds of white noise!

That’s right! You know you have arrived when you can release 8 seconds of white noise accidentally and your fans make it the #1 hit song in the country! Seriously, Canada. I wonder what kind of royalties Taylor got as people tried to figure out what she was “really trying to say!”

According to Merriam-Webster, “White Noise” is defined as:

a constant noise (such as that the noise from a television or radio that is turned on but is not receiving a clear signal) that is a mixture of many different sound waves; also, meaningless or distracting commotion, hubbub, or chatter.

Now, don’t take this to mean that all Taylor’s hits are meaningless…well, you can decide that for yourself. But she does have several hits on the top ten, especially in Canada. It is interesting, though, that more fans chose to listen to 8 seconds of white noise than hear one of her actual recordings with a real message. And the harsh question is, “how different is that from the religious world?”

There is a lot of “white noise” out there today in the religious world. There are so many noises, sounds, and frequencies, that it can be hard to hear the one true signal of God. I believe that many people today would rather look for meaning in 8 seconds of nonsense than listen to the truth of the message of God.

What is the church doing today to distinguish the gospel message from the white noise?

Taylor’s 8 seconds was a mistake, and it was easily fixed. They simply removed the track from possible downloads. But no one is removing false “noise” from the religious airwaves. Be careful what you download…the real message of Jesus is far better than the white noise! Why not give a listen today? Try http://www.churchofchristatclover.org/sermons/ for messages from His truth.