In church circles, hand-raisers are those who often express their worship by raising their hands. There are a large variety of hand-raisers, and others have covered those varieties much better than I could; e.g. this Tim Hawkins video gives you a quick rundown. (Hawkins is a comedian who happens to be a Christian, which is an entirely different, and much funnier, thing than a Christian comedian. See also Micheal Jr.)

Moses had some hand-raising friends, too, but of a completely different kind.


A friend sent a picture recently, of the box from a nativity set. In the description on the front of the box, it had the dimensions for Joseph, for Mary, and for … baby. Which kind of misses the point of a nativity set, I think.

Another friend had someone this season tell them all sorts of horrible things about the origins of what we know as Christmas. That someone refused to celebrate it as a result, and instead celebrated Jewish holidays. That seems to me to be going the wrong direction, but whatever.

Christmas makes everyone nervous, sometimes even the ones who share the name of the one whose birth we celebrate.

It’s Still the Hardest Word

A teacher we know regaled us recently with the story of one of her elementary students telling stories. It seems that she saw said student looking onto a fellow student’s test and then copying the answers. The teacher called her to her desk; she was going to just give the student a quick “Don’t do that again” and send her on her way.

Why were you looking onto your neighbor’s paper? Oh, I wasn’t doing that. Really, how did you get these answers on your paper without showing any of the work? My cousin showed me how to do that.

Rich As Best As I Remember Him

And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop


People say “Why do you write music?” and I always say “Well, how many of Wesley’s sermons do you know?” And I’ve talked to a lot of good Methodists and they don’t know any of them. Then I say, “Well, how many of Wesley’s hymns do you know?” and most church goers know at least a good solid dozen hymns that Wesley wrote. Most pagans know at least a couple. And I kind of go, that is why I write music and not sermons.


Radio listeners in early 1971 were treated to something rare for that time — a song that dealt with adult relationships like an adult. The song began with just a piano and a woman’s almost wispy voice singing of her parent’s in-home estrangement and how it had impacted her. It was remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least because the woman singing was only twenty-six.

My father sits at night with no lights on, his cigarette glows in the dark
The living room is still, I walk by, no remark
I tiptoe past the master bedroom where my mother reads her magazines
I hear her call sweet dreams, but I forgot how to dream

After a chorus of sounding less than thrilled at her boyfriend’s proposal, she goes on to sing of all her friends from college and their equally dismal married lives.