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WBFFA: “Take Me To Church” Song and Changing Lives

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in Christ, missions, music, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 16-08-2014


ffaHere we are. Obviously we have two artists who have been working on a song for over a year in production and release a single with the exact same title – “Take Me To Church.” And it’s really weird and coincidental.

One is by Hozier and one is by Sinead O’Connor. They are two different songs. Both have two different meanings and I would like to talk about both of them and compare what they are saying.

The whole point of my Weekly Blog Free For All is that I get a chance to talk about things that are unrelated to my ministry. It’s a chance for me to break free and speak freely of religion, fallen pastors, and ministry. However, there have been commenters this week who have felt that my blogs on my Wagon Wheel post who thought I was being overly religious in my thoughts that a wagon wheel should not rock and should roll forward. Whatever.

My WBFFA is a chance for me to separate my religious feelings from my other thoughts. It’s kinda nice, really.

When I saw Hozier’s song, “Take Me To Church,” I was enthralled by the lyrics from a secular standpoint. But the video took a whole other viewpoint, I must say. I don’t know if that was the band’s direction, but here it is:

The lyrics seem to say that one is worshiping his lover:

“I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life”

Now, I can see that. I’ve been at that point in my life. Where I am at the mercy of my lover. Where I love my lover makes more sense than anyone else. Where the church has nothing to offer me and that it has abandoned me, left me for nothing, and that my lover gives me complete resolve. I also know, from another angle, that there is much good in loving your partner in such a way, but not at the expense of forfeiting your love for Christ. That leads to much danger.

Then we have Sinead O’Connor’s Take Me To Church“:

She seems to be singing from a different angle. She is a Catholic who has been through a lot. And she has a heart that is crying out for something more:

What have I been writing love songs for?
I don’t wanna write them anymore
I don’t wanna sing from where I sang before
I don’t wanna sing that way no more
What have I been singing love songs for?
I don’t wanna sing them anymore
I don’t wanna be that girl no more
I don’t wanna cry no more
I don’t wanna die no more
So, cut me down from this here tree
Cut the ropes from off of me
Sit me on the floor
“I AM”; the only one I should adore

Did you see that? She wants something. Do you hear that modern church? Do you hear that contemporary church? She wants to belong somewhere. It’s the voice of someone who wants to belong to people who are hurting. Do we have that in our churches? Do we have something for her? Would we allow Sinead O’Connor in our churches?

She wants the “I AM.” Do we want that? She is a woman who is desiring and struggling for that. But I often doubt that many of our churches are struggling for that.

Then she says:

Oh, take me to church
I’ve done so many bad things it hurts
Yeah, get me to church
But not the ones that hurt
‘Cause that ain’t the truth
And that’s not what it’s for

Do you know what she sounds like? She sounds like the kind of person Christ would take in willingly in a second. But many of our churches would reject her for her looks, her sound, her past, or her strengths. I can’t think of a Southern Baptist church who would welcome her in. What is wrong with us? She is seeking the living Christ. She is seeking the truth of God and is doing it through her artistic nature.

And you know what? So is Hozier to some degree. They are finding religion in their communication in other people.

Honestly, there are people in this world looking for a connection to God. They want a relationship to some sort of community of schoolprayerfaith. They aren’t finding it in organized religion. They are finding it elsewhere. Maybe it’s possible we have outdated ourselves. Our organs, our set in stone outreach programs aren’t doing it. We think that people are going to come to us.

Jesus had it right. He went to the people. He went to the people around them and connected with them. He touched them and found them where they were hurting. He went to a woman at the well in the middle of the day – when no one else would talk to her – and he connected to her. He didn’t expect her to show up at his church. He found her.

Take me to church.” There is a strong sentiment when the culture has made two songs about this. They want us to reach them. They know that there is a strong need to connect. So where are we? Are we going to continue to sit on our butts in the pews? Are we going to think that our Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon Donations are going to reach people? No. We have to intentionally love people that we see every day.

We have to bring them to Christ. To show them love. To be a neighbor. To be Christ in the world. Our donations in the offering plate is great. But it’s not going to change the world. Our love to the people – as Christ did – is what is going to change the world. It is what is going to change hearts.

Other helpful articles:

The Main Reason People Leave a Church” by Thom Rainer

John MacArthur on Outreach

Nine Ways a Pastor Can Lead a Church to Become More Evangelistic” by Thom Rainer


Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.


WBFFA: “6 Problems With Dierk’s ‘Drunk on a Plane'”

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in country music, music, sexual harassment, WBFFA, women, youtube | Posted on 12-07-2014


ffaI have not done a Weekend Blog Free For All in a very long time. Apologies. For those of you not familiar with it, I shake off my regular duties of the usual ministry and write about pop culture and whatever silliness comes to mind. Just click this here WBFFA and you’ll see the kind of trouble I get into. A lot of these posts are some of my most popular.

Today, I want to take issue with a country song, as usual. But before I begin, I want to lay out the rules for those who love country music. I don’t have an issue with country music. I love music for what it is. I understand that there are metaphors and metaphorical language being used. I understand that people are trying to convey a lifestyle in their music. I also get that it’s not for everyone.

But, by putting it out there for everyone to hear, they are going to get some cynical people (like me) to make comments about it. Hey, it’s okay. In the end, I’m just more publicity for them. So relax and enjoy the ride.

So today, I’d like to look at Dierks Bentley’s new single (which is currently at the top of the country charts) “Drunk on a Plane.” Well, maybe you haven’t heard it. Good news for you, there’s a video you need to see. Small warning. There is some suggestive behavior and a curse word that refers to the human posterior. You were warned:

So, I want to address six problems with Dierk’s song, “Drunk on a Plane.” I have more, but I want to limit it to five.

1) The obvious. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have a lot to say about the plane ride in this video. I can already see the memo.

TO: Riser Air

FROM: Federal Aviation Administration

SUBJECT: Immediate Grounding of All Domestic and International Flights

A video has surfaced showing some deeply concerning issues with a recent flight to Cancun. We are therefore grounding all flights of “Riser Air.” We demand an immediate hearing with your administration to answer for the following violations before we consider placing you back in the air for the safety of your passengers:

1. Pilot observed drinking alcoholic beverage from red solo cup before flight (also a common meme in country music videos, which will be a -1 in this assessment)

2. Improperly dressed stewardess, especially in regard to her companion steward. Her dress was based on showing off her body. Would you have shown off the body of your steward in the same manner? The FAA is concerned about common dress for all people who serve passengers.

3. Approximately 30 passengers were standing in the aisles with large amounts of alcohol during the flight. One passenger claimed to have paid for these beverages. No control over these passengers was seen, in fact, it was encouraged. In part, it was exacerbated by a group of men with instruments.

4. Your flight crew was out of order. The stewardess was dancing in the aisle with an alcoholic beverage. The steward was pouring a beverage into the mouth of a passenger. The pilot and co-pilot left their seats to engage in the “community fest” in the passenger section of the plane. This is inexcusable.

drunkplane5. Seriously? A keg stand? On a plane? Sombreros? Life vests being used as decoration? You should be surprised we are not revoking your license without a hearing. Bring your lawyers. Your actions do not look like a professional airline. They look like a common country music video.

6. At worst, the most horrible, your plane was rescued by a country music star who has no pilot experience. A man who took the wheel from two women who were steering wildly at one point. He pulled up on the wheel to what appeared to be about 10,000 feet which would cause unconsciousness in most passengers. But somehow, (we suppose) through their imbibery of alcoholic beverages, were able to survive.

2) Bentley says he’s “buyin’ drinks for everybody, but the pilot.” Good for him. He wants to keep the pilot sober. Man that kind of responsible behavior makes me happy. No reason the pilot should get drunk and crash the plane in the ocean for everyone.

I did some actual research on this. American Airlines has a list of their on-board drinks. The video shows the character drinking “Kentucky Whiskey.” Wrong move, bro. Kentucky Whiskey is actually Bourbon. But that’s a different point. Anyway, American Airlines says that their liquor and wine may be purchased for $7. That’s pretty standard. Now, if Bentley is buying drinks for all those people in coach, and there are about 30-40 people there, and they’re getting wasted, I’m guessing he’s spending…over $1000. Yeah. On little liquor bottles. Good times.

All this to forget the woman who left you at the altar and cancelled the wedding. Way to show her. Let’s have a party on a 737. Yeah, I’ll show her by running up my credit card by buying $1,000 worth of liquor in small bottles for strangers. Good job, my man.

3) The “stewardess is something sexy.” Okay, my friend. Have you ever realized that stewardesses are real people? That they have families? That they want to be thought of something other than objects? Obviously not, when watching the video. Here’s a helpful page that might get you started. Those people who work on planes are not there for our sexual enjoyment. They are doing a service job. They go from city to city and work for an airline. They bentley2have families, kids, and maybe don’t enjoy being eye candy. This video doesn’t do them a bit of good. And how about this? I’ve been using the wrong term in this whole post. It’s flight attendant. And they’re highly trained for what they do. We cannot objectify women in any category whatsoever, in any working role. When we do, we make them something less.

4) Going too deep for you yet? Here’s some real advice from a flight attendant when ordering a drink on a flight. She’s pretty straight forward about respect, etiquette toward the attendant, the cart, and toward others. The video shown shows none of that. It’s odd that popular culture does its best in perpetuating the male myths regarding alcohol and women in flight.

5) The worst part of all of this song/video is that it is everything a country music video always includes. I haven’t watched a country music video since I watched the last one for a WBFFA. What does it take to make most country music videos? Red solo cups, women showing cleavage, a band playing guitars, a conflict between a man and woman, a party, drinking, one African-American, a sultry dance from said sexy female with cleavage, a party scene, band saving the day, usually a big truck (absent here), and people thrusting their hands in the air.

6) What we didn’t really need was another country song telling us how to drink: “Drunk on Love,” “Drunk,” I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams,” “Being Drunk’s a Lot Like Loving You,” “Get Drunk and Be Somebody,” “Drunk Last Night,” “Whiskey Girl,” “Whiskey Lullaby,” “Whiskey Kind of Way,” “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey,” “Beer Man,” “Beer For My Horses,” “Beer With Jesus,” “Billy Got His Beer Goggles On.” Not to mention the thousands of titles that mention getting drunk in the lyrics. Do we really need a song to specifically tell us to get drunk on a plane to forget the woman who left us at the altar?

Apparently, we do. You, go, country music. Keep making those same videos with big tires, low-cut shirts for women, alcohol in everyone’s hand like they’re having a good time without consequences. Good for you.

Drunk on a Plane.” How far we’ve come to protect the rights of women. To make them as equals without having to show their skin. Good for you, country music. Keep it up. Just know that thousands of little girls are singing these songs along with their daddy as he plays them in his pick-up truck.

*Disclaimer: I understand there are country artists who don’t put out music like this. But the music that spends a lot of time at the top of the charts appears to be music like this – music that emphasizes negative behavior and the objectification of women. And I know it’s not just country music, either. It’s just really easy to pick on a song called, “Drunk on a Plane.”

More helpful articles:

What Happened To Respecting Women in Country Music?” by Trigger

Is Country Music Demeaning To Women?” Live Audio

27 Percent of Flight Attendant Sexually Harassed On The Job,” by Mark Johanson, International Business Times


Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post or its sequel, my post about Shaking it for the Squirrels, “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, what Christians should think about Justin Bieber, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”

When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.

WBFFA: What Should Christians Think About Justin Bieber?

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in music, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 25-01-2014


ffaIt’s the Weekend Blog Free For All which means I take this time to write about anything I want that has nothing to do with fallen pastors or my usual ministry topics. I usually pick something light-hearted. Like Wagon Wheels.

For some reason I had the urge to write about Justin Bieber. Yes, the Biebs. And let me start with the obvious. I am well aware that the young man was picked up in Miami this week after drag racing while intoxicated with, uh, several types of drugs in his system. I’m sure everyone has seen a story or read about it.

This comes on the heels of his recently announced retirement at the age of 19 followed up by egging his neighbor’s mansion and causing a pretty serious amount of monetary damage.

So let me back up for a moment. I have three daughters and I am well acquainted with his music. I’ve really never liked teenage boy singers. Or boy bands. Even when I was young. Never liked New Kids on the Block, ‘N Sync, Bieber, One Direction, or whomever. My daughters are in love with One Direction. Yeah, Harry, Zayn, Naill, Louis and Liam. (I knew their names from memory. Don’t judge me. I think it makes me a decent dad.)

In fact, the only Bieber song I can listen to is “Baby” and that’s when it’s the mashup of Baby with Slipknot’s Psychosocial:

So, yeah, I’ve got angst.

About a year ago, Bieber started getting into trouble. Making rude comments, showing up late to concerts,  speeding, flipping people off, getting into fights, etc. I thought, “Well, he’s in a downward spiral.” (Not that I’ve heard of an “upward spiral.”) And to be honest, I had that tinge of schadenfreude. Yeah, I said it – schadenfreude. I had to look it up to spell it, but it was in my vocabulary.

The reason it was in my vocabulary is because I heard Lisa say it on The Simpsons once. The always trustworthy and peer-reviewed Wikipedia defines it as: “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.” So, it’s sour grapes.

I reveled in the self-destruction of Justin Bieber to a degree. Why? Because when I saw that biebssnot-nosed punk dancing around with his celebrity acting like a jerk, I didn’t think he was someone to be admired or adored. And, to be honest, I was thinking, “There are millions of girls out there who love this guy – and I hope none of them would ever seriously marry a man like that.” So, I had some father-protective instinct in me.

But that all changed this week when Bieber’s dad shut down a road in Miami, Biebs got drunk and high and drag raced. He got arrested and put in jail and had a ridiculous mugshot made. Then I was reading an article that quoted Danny Bonaduce, former child star who used to be on The Partridge Family (most of the Bieber generation will have no idea what this is.)

Anyway, Bonaduce had a promising career in front of him and his life took a turn for the worse when he started using cocaine. Lots of it. He got arrested and finally got clean. Here’s what he said about Bieber: “This is the best thing that could have happened to him. Speaking from personal experience, this (arrest) could save his life.

Suddenly, I thought, “What is my problem? Why do I have angst for this kid? And what should my response as a Christian be?

meanpreacherSeriously, a lot of Christians and youth are going to hear about this on Sunday when they go to church. I’m afraid it’s going to sound something like this: “Justin Bieber is an example of what happens when you let wealth and fame get away from you. He has traveled down a path and has paid the price. There is no hope for him now. Don’t let this happen to you. He’s proven that you can’t be happy with money and fame. He’s an example of what not to be.

I’ve got a bit of a problem with that. I can’t think for a moment in Scipture where an individual who still has a chance at redemption is pointed out and made an example of for their sin. I can’t. And I don’t think I’m setting up a straw man here. I do believe that will be the message coming from the mouths of a lot of Christian leaders.

I think there’s a better message here. And as a fallen leader, I should know. The better message is one of compassion. What Justin needs is two things. He needs rehabilitation, big time. He also needs a lot of help from people who know Christ. He needs intervention from God. He has been humbled. And I’ve said it before and will say it again – humbling circumstances do not necessarily make people humble.

His mom has asked for prayers for him. Now, his mom has been somewhat of an enabler for him, but I think she really does love her son. And now that he’s out of control and is in this situation, she knows that there’s not much left to do.

And I believe the proper Christian response is simple – treat Justin Bieber in a biblical manner. We are all sinners. All of us have fallen. All of us are in need of grace. Romans 5:8 tells us that, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Not one of us, especially myself, has a right to gossip, declare judgment, or cast a harsh word toward Justin Bieber. Are we allowed to tell our children, “You shouldn’t act like that.” Absolutely. But that instruction should be quickly followed up with, “But guess what? Even if we do act that way and when Justin Bieber acts that way, there is forgiveness for all sin through Jesus Christ.”

How do we treat Justin Bieber? As we would want to be treated if we were him. As the Prodigal Son was treated. Praying for him to see the light and to be saved from the place he is in.

And that’s the best message, worthy of a song.


Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post or its sequel, my post about “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”

When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.

Is Your Church Equipped to Handle Ministry Failure?

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in adultery, church leadership, church members, churches, forgiveness, ministry, pastors, youtube | Posted on 28-10-2013


It is my strong belief that most churches and leaders are not ready to handle the failure of a church leader. But even before that happens, I believe that it can and should be prevented.

This video is an invitation to church leaders, associational missionaries, church members, pastors and anyone who wants to prevent ministry failure in their churches. It is also a call to fallen pastors to heal and be restored back to Christ.

There seems to be a grassroots movement of people who are becoming concerned about this issue. I hope that’s the case. If you’d like to help, please share this short video and/or this website with people and their churches so that we might see ministry failure due to sexual sin stopped before it gets started.


Ray Carroll is author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.” If you are a fallen pastor, a pastor in trouble, a church whose pastor has fallen, or need someone to talk to your group about preventing ministry failure, please feel free to contact Ray here. All messages will be kept confidential.

WBFFA: Another Horrible Song – “Boys ‘Round Here”

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in music, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 31-08-2013


ffaI first heard Blake Shelton’s song, “Boys ‘Round Here” while I was in a Huck’s gas station. Listen, I love good music. I cherish it. But as I whiled away in the candy aisle waiting for my daughters to finish up in the bathroom, I listened to the lyrics. I knew this was a song I had to add to my Weekend Blog Free For All – a place where I can write about things that have nothing to do with my regular ministry to fallen pastors.

There is so much wrong with this song. And the video. I honestly don’t know where to start. So let’s start with the man who sings the song, Blake Shelton.

Blake is a decorated country artist – for some reason. Dangit, I need to stop being so judgmental. I hate country music mostly. There are a few country hits I like. But I need to try and be kind. He is a Grammy award winner, he covered “God Gave Me You” and won a CMT award for it, and has a myriad of lovely golden trophies on his shelf. Good for him. He knows his audience. He likes to mention God in his songs. That is very nice.

But here we come to “Boys ‘Round Here.” Hey, the dude didn’t go to seminary, I understand that. But there should be bsbrhsome sort of understanding for the dude when he writes lyrics like this in the song, “Boys ‘Round Here” like:

Sending up a prayer to the man upstairs
Backwoods legit, don’t take no s&%^
Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit

So in one line, we are calling God “the man upstairs.” Let’s just dwell on that for a moment. That is a pet peeve of mine. God is not a man. He is a spirit. When we portray God as a “man upstairs, we are taking glory away from Him. Do you ever see prophets, Jesus, or ministers in the Bible treating God as some sort of “man upstairs?” Honestly, I think Blake is trying to do portray redneck life where people recognize God once in a while in prayer. He’s “the man upstairs.” Okay, fine. But God is not a cosmic Santa Claus who we say a few words to on Sunday and then run off and then live an unholy lifestyle the rest of the week.

There’s a Bible verse out there somewhere that says that a spring cannot flow both fresh and salt water. In one line he says he prays, in the next, it’s “we don’t take no sh#^.”

Then, we go on to take on tobacco spitting. I have myself enjoyed the vice of tobacco spitting. So I can’t fault him there. However, it doesn’t seem to go well with a recognition of God and His blessings or prayer to Him.

For my next huge gripe, I need to make it known that I live in Kentucky. I am not a Kentucky native. I am a proud Arkansan. I do not care at all for any Kentucky sports team. I will not and refuse to ever root for Kentucky. However, there is a huge problem in Shelton’s song that should make any Kentucky fan angry.And since I am a Kentucky Colonel, I feel the need to stand up for what is right. He says:

redtruckWell the boys ’round here, they’re keeping it country
Ain’t a d^&* one know how to do the dougie
(You don’t do the dougie?) No, not in Kentucky

Really, Blake Shelton? Did you do your homework? The Dougie is a dance move. If I tried it, I would dislocate several body parts. However, it was really made famous by the phenomenal Kentucky basketball player, John Wall. Many Kentucky basketball fans started doing it afterwards. As you say, “No, not in Kentucky”? Really? Get a grip. Every Kentucky basketball fan I know can do the Dougie. Do some research before you write a song.

Now, lets get to some real problems with this song. What is the meaning of “Boys ‘Round Here”? I honestly believe it was written so it could be picked up for commercials. It praises “ice cold beer, trucks, tobacco, and whatever.” I think it was written to be played in the background of about 10 different commercials. Nice try.

But the real problem is that it is really, really annoying. It’s almost annoying as Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty.” Don’t get me started.

How in the world does a song become popular with these lines?

Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit
Aw heck
Red red red red red red red red red red redneckchewie

Have you ever got down with a…
Red red red red red red red red red red redneck?
And do you wanna get down with a…
Red red red red red red red red red red redneck?
Girl you gotta get down

Serious? Really? Have all the songwriters in the world fallen asleep at the switch? I believe they have.

Finally, there’s the video. While driving around in a compensator truck with Oklahoma tags, while complaining that Kentucky people don’t do the Dougie, Shelton crosses the racial divide and ends up having a party with African Americans who dig his style. I have nothing to say about this. Please make your own conclusions.

I’m done with this song and hope you see the issues with it. It really screamed out to me to write a blog blog blog blog blog blog blog. To party down with some real concepts concepts concepts concepts. And get down with what I saw as some awful song lyrics lyrics lyrics lyrics. However, I think the music culture is becoming lost. Especially when people are enjoying this song while never actually listening to what is passing through their ears and assembling into their brains.


Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post, my post about “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, or my post about “Get Your Shine On.”

When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.


If You Say This To Your Kids, Please Stop

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in children, parents, youtube | Posted on 31-07-2013


I grew up watching Bill Cosby and loved his humor. However, one thing he said was repeated by my own father on a consistent basis. It really got under my skin and I never cared much for it:

If you can’t see the YouTube video, it’s the Bill Cosby quote where he quotes his own father who told him at the age of seven, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it.”

Laughs ensue.

But when you’re a kid and your parent tells you this with a grin on their face about every other day, it’s not so funny. I mention it not so much because of my own father, but one of my own children said one of their friend’s parents has been saying it to them.

We say a lot of things to our kids that one day we will probably wish we could take back. And moreso with our actions. I’m sure Bill Cosby thought this was funny when he brought it up. Maybe it was funny. But it’s not so funny to a lot of kids who hear it. So, if you’re saying it, please stop.

WBFFA: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt – The Earliest Case of Identity Fraud

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in music, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 07-07-2013



*See below for a description of the WBFFA!

I have woken up the past two nights at 3 in the morning with two songs stuck in my head. One is, “Santa Baby.” I don’t even want to know why that is. The other is the children’s song, “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” Don’t know it or remember it? Here’s a disturbing reminder.

Pray tell, why is his name the same as mine? Why would people call me, Ray Carroll, “John Jacob, whatever“?

Let’s look at the evidence first. It’s a darn catchy tune. Kids love repetition. They love it. Kids love repetition. They love things being said over and over. And over. They love repetition. Things being said over and over again.

jjgsBy the way, one of the rules of great preaching and public speaking is to make your point over and over and over again. You might phrase it differently so that the audience won’t get tired of it, but you should make your main point stick in the mind of the reader.

But kids love stability. You ever wonder why your four year old loves that cruddy DVD of Dora the Explorer (You’re too late! You’ll never find it now!) where she finds the same treasure in the pyramid? She will watch it over and over and over and over again. She knows what will happen again and again and again. But kids love stability. But so do adults. We love our favorite movies. We love quoting lines from Tombstone, The Big Lebowski, The Notebook, Major League and so on. All of us love those things because they are like comfort food.

So enter, “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” A repetitive song. A song where we don’t have to put much though into the lyrics. We just sing a catchy tune. Kinda like, “Father Abraham.”

That song got old after the left leg entry. And after you were about 9 years old. But it was catchy. What did it mean? We didn’t think about it. But it kept the kids busy during Sunday School and VBS for a while.

And if there is a real John Jacob J. S., he is due for millions of dollars in reparations, because we’ve been stealing his identity for years. “His name is my name too?” Have we been stating his name as an alias on our taxes? Seriously, he has a case. A big one.

So what are the origins of this delightful, yet somewhat annoying song?

According to the best site I could find, here is the history:

The most common German last name which translates to Smith. The rhyme originated in the US and is mocking the much longer and often funny sounding northern European surnames. The surname Schmidt and the surname suffix Heimer are of German origin. The song is sung in infinite repetition with each repeat sung quieter than the last except for the last verse which is shouted.

Every other site I found said the same thing. The song derives from the fact that Americans were mocking Germans and hehatemetheir funny last names. Ha ha. So funny. So lets laugh about the Germans and their oh so funny last names.

In hindsight, not so much of a good idea. But on the other hand, I am sure the German kids should have a song written for their pleasure:

Raymond Gale Carroll Junior, his name is so funny! Whenever we go out, the people like to shout,What a silly American name!’ Da da da da da da da da. [Repeat four times while holding hands in a circle]

It all works out in the end, doesn’t it?


The Weekend Blog Free For All is a break from my usual blogging about Fallen Pastors. It’s a chance for me to blog about whatever silly things I want to write about. My real ministry is to help pastors who have fallen, their churches and those effected by their fall. You can click on my contact page, the help page or just read around the blog to see what I do. Thanks for stopping by.


WBFFA: “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us.” Then Your House Is Upside Down.

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in music, sarcasm, simile, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 29-06-2013


Time for another Weekend Blog Free For All, and once again I get to turn my attention to the music world. I love good songs with good metaphors. However, I’ve heard another song with terrible simile usage. ffaMacklemore, who gave us the cool song, “Thrift Shop,” has given us the party anthem, “Can’t Hold Us.” Listen music writers, all we really want is good simile usage. We want it like a unicorn wants a dinner reservation.

Here’s a sample of the chorus:

Here we go back, this is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us

And here’s the video. Oh, if you don’t want to watch it, it’s a cross between the HMS Bounty and The Last of the Mohicans while running the Iditarod, while eventually landing on the Space Needle in Seattle. Oh, and I think I noticed Herp Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in there:

But what I DIDN’T see was a CEILING! One of you is going to write in and say, “Hey, they were dancing on a roof.” Yeah, but it was a roof. They were not putting up their hands and bringing down the ceiling. Their feet were technically interacting with the roof and if there was going to be some sort of catastrophic structural failure, it was going to be caused by their feet. Not their hands.

So what is “Can’t Hold Us” about? Listen, if it made sense to you just by listening to it, you wouldn’t have Googled it, right? So we can agree that once again, a musician has misused the English language. Surprise.

At first, I thought like a lot of people that “the ceiling can’t hold us” was just another way to say, “raise the roof.” But, no. Think about it for a moment. “Raise the roof” is a decent figure of speech. You don’t have to Google it to take its meaning. But “put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us“?

Think about it for a moment. If you were to put your hands up like the ceiling can’t hold you, you’re going to need to be either really tall, have long arms, or be in a short room. Further, I’d like to know what floor you’d have to be on. You can’t be in the basement, because technically, if you were working on the ceiling in there, you’re really working on the ground floor. And if you bust that, well, you’re in serious trouble.

I’ve worked on some personal illustrations to help a little:


I’m sure this awesome drawing helps. If we’re going to put our hands up so that the ceiling can’t hold us, we are assuming that the ceiling was meant to hold us in the first place. It wasn’t. Your ceiling is there to hold ceiling fans, lights, cobwebs, etc. On the other side it could be a different story (ha, that was a clever word play, wasn’t it?). If you’re dealing with a multilevel structure, there could be another floor, but that’s the floor of the flip side and has nothing to do with your ceiling.

So what are we left with?


Just bad metaphor and simile that comes crashing down.

Actually what we’re left with is one terrific option. If we want to raise our hands up so the ceiling can’t hold us, we need to invert our homes so that the ceiling is below us. But that doesn’t make sense, does it? Really, if we were going to take down that awful ceiling, we should do something else to it. But someone already thought of that:


If you’re looking for other great examples of songs that have terrible grammar, check out my Wagon Wheel or Shine On posts. I really do like good music. I promise. Oh, and I’m available for illustrative work, if you’re interested.

WBFFA: “Slide That Sugar Shaker Over Here And Get Your Shine On!”

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in music, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 15-06-2013


ffaI introduced WBFAA (Weekend Blog Free For All) last week. It’s a chance for me to write about an off-topic and relax a little. My kids wanted me to follow up on my most popular post to date about the ridiculous “Wagon Wheel” song.

They told me to listen to a song called “Get Your Shine On.” They told me it was pretty hard to listen to and easy to make fun of. I was not disappointed.

It is performed by the country band, “Florida Georgia Line,” and has some very memorable and awful, awful lyrics. Here’s the video. If you don’t want to watch it, I’ll give you a brief rundown. There’s the obligatory advertisement, the band ogling women, two “little people” wrestling Lucha Libre style, and a bunch of singing about shiny things. It is not life changing.

What does “Get Your Shine On” mean? Apparently, absolutely nothing. After reading several reviews, it’s a party song. Good beat, fun to listen to, but words that don’t give a meaningful narrative. My absolute favorite review was written by Liv Carter for Urban Country News. Carter states:

“Along with the continued assault on English grammar, ‘Shine’ just has nothing to say and therefore nothing to connect with. A meaning-free party song can be fun, but this is done in such a self-serious way, as partly evidenced by Tyler’s unnecessarily forced enunciation, that the tune gets in its own way.”

shinyNow, I will admit that the band does some things right. They are really good at pointing out things that are shiny. I mean, like any talented pre-schooler, they have this down pat. Several “shiny” things are mentioned in the song (great job, guys!): “Hot lips (apparently adorned with lip gloss), a silver belt buckle, a smile, rhinestones, a candy painted Silverado (product placement), Ray Ban sunglasses (more product placement), Kentucky moonshine (which doesn’t actually “shine”, per se, but has the word “shine” in it – a delightful play on words!), and whatever a homemade jar of lemon drop is.

And of course, the most memorable line in this whole spazzed out neurotic new country anthem: “Slide that little sugar shaker over here.”

Yes. Slide it over here.

Listen, guys. Try that line out at work and see how it goes. You’ll either be fired or in tolerance classes in an hour. Better yet, I can guarantee you that some of the dating advice I will give my daughters will be, “Ladies, if a guy ever refers to any of your anatomy as a ‘sugar shaker,’ you best tell him he can hit the road.”

So, what are we left with here? A lot of imagery, sugar shaking, melody, little people in a music video, and bad lyric writing. Hey, if you like the song, good for you. You probably also liked “Wagon Wheel.” And you’ll probably like the next song I bust up for poor lyrical style.

And that’s okay too. Go get your shine on.


When he’s not writing serious articles on the weekend like this, Ray Carroll is working to help fallen pastors across the world. If you need help, whether you are a fallen minister, minister in trouble, church whose pastor has fallen, woman who was involved with a pastor, or wife of a fallen pastor, don’t hesitate to email. Ray is also author of the book, “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” available in paperback or Amazon Kindle.

WBFFA: The Kind Of Man I Want My Daughters To Marry

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in love, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 09-06-2013


Way before I started fallenpastor.com, I used to have a blog. It was called The Cornblog. I know, nice, right?ffa

Since I started this blog almost four years ago, I’ve blogged mostly about issues dealing with fallen pastors and how the culture is impacted.

Well, I’ve decided to get greedy with my weekends and start freelancing them. It’s going to be called “Weekend Blog Free For All” or, WBFFA. Catchy? Nope. But on weekends I choose, I’m going to blog about whatever I want that has nothing to do with fallenness, pastoral issues, the church, theology, or the other copious things I write about.

I’m doing thing because I had a recent post about a certain “Wagon Wheel,” that has created a lot of attention.

Tonight I had a discussion with my oldest daughter about how she would know who was the right man for her. I grabbed her iPhone and downloaded the song, “One,” by U2. We listened to it together and talked about the lyrics.

I told her that in the song, Bono was singing about a woman who demanded more from him than a mere relationship. She wanted him to go higher than love. To a metaphorical temple and crawl on his knees for him.

I said to her, “If a guy ever says, ‘If you really loved me, you would ______________.’ Or, ‘If you really cared for me, you would show it by ______________.'”

That’s not love, that’s manipulation. That is asking for more than love, that is asking for someone to crawl on their hands and knees to a temple higher than love. She understood. I told her that she should be loved just for who she is. For her qualities. For her person. For the woman she is. No one should demand more from her. She should be love for her inner beauty.

Bono sings about this – “did I ask too much, more than a lot? You asked me nothing, now it’s all I got.” Then, “Have you come here for forgiveness, have you come to raise the dead? Have you come here to play Jesus? To the lepers in your head?” If any of us are asked to be someone we are not in a relationship, then we should be wary. 99% of people never change. And anyone who asks us to change for them is probably not going to change themselves.

I told my sweet daughter to make sure she finds someone who loves her for who she is. But isn’t that the case for all of us? And who is it that loves us for who we are in this world? Our parents typically do, but many of you have stories where your parents don’t.

Only one truly loves us unconditionally. Christ. And if you think he doesn’t, your view is wrong. He loves you for who you are, sins and all. He just wants you as you are. He wants your obedience and to drop it all and follow Him.

The song resonates the same word, over and over – One. That we would all be One. Understanding love the same. Understanding one another the same. Not placing our expectations of one another up high, but knowing that all of us are broken.

Maybe then, we could achieve an understanding of where we are supposed to be. Maybe the, we would understand compassion and love as it is meant to be.

By the way, Johnny Cash has a great cover of this song too:

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you
Now you got someone to blame

You say
One love
One life
When it’s one need
In the night
It’s one love
We get to share it
It leaves you baby
If you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it’s too late
To drag the past out
Into the light
We’re one
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head
Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got
We’re one
But we’re not the same
We hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you made me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

One life
With each other

One life
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other