“Up Close” With The Famous–2nd Sunday of Advent

A few months ago my son Ethan and I went to California. While we were there, we had a day to ourselves when I wasn’t singing.

So we visited a lot of places including the beach which was awesome since beaches in Minnesota are closed now … but the ice fishing is not far behind. 🙂

The smiles say a lot!

The smiles say a lot!

We went down to Hollywood and took in the Chinese Theater, looked at the stars on the sidewalk, saw the Dolby Theater, and so on.

Ethan thought it would be cool to take a tour where they show you where the “stars” live. So why not?

On a whim, we bought two tickets, got into a 15-passenger van without a roof, and found our seats among other star-seekers.

The brochure said we’d see the houses of Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, and others. The brochure also said, “No one gets you closer to the house of the stars” than this company.

Ethan was interested and I was curious so we put ear buds in so we could hear our driver/tour guide tell us where to look and whose house we were looking at.

He had a bit of a game show host to him with a voice of a stereotypical surfer dude and car salesman. It seemed to fit the Hollywood tourism vibe.

As we went along he would point out certain buildings where scenes from famous movies were shot and iconic streets. He told us that every famous person drives a black Range Rover.

He also would point this is the place where a certain star had a meltdown, that so and so’s ex wife or husband now owns this place, or the last time he saw the actual star (“about seven months ago”).


I think that’s Ironman’s house on the top of the hill 🙂

He is doing his gig. I get that. But at times I felt like I had just turned on TMZ. I wasn’t ready for that.

The part that stuck out to me the most is when he would tell us a big star’s house was coming up. People would get their cameras ready and then it happened more often than not: the house was completely covered and surrounded by trees, or a wall, or it was a mile away so it looked no bigger than a pack of gum to us.

The key line of the trip was our tour guide saying, “Hey folks, that’s Tom Cruise’s chimney! Pretty cool yes?”

I’m not making that up.

I can’t imagine what these movie stars feel like as day after day vans full of people coming to take pictures—just to be near where someone famous lives. That is another world.

Yet, people do this tour by the hundreds every day.

When the angels came to the shepherds in the fields the night Jesus was born, they told them they would find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

The shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go and see this thing that has happened!”

When they got there, they did not have stand outside of a grove of trees or look at a huge wall and wonder if the Messiah was on the other side.

The shepherds got to get as close as they wanted. Right up to the manger!

I fact it’s what God wanted in the first place: that anyone can come to Him and know real love, hope, joy, and peace!

Way better than just a chimney!!!

This is the focus of the new original song we wrote for the Christmas card project.

The lyrics say:

May the star invite you
May the angel song remind you
May His mercy find you
And give you perfect peace

May you seek your treasure
Only at the manger
May you find no strangers
Only family
This Christmas

May you find joy, joy, joy
May you find love, love, love
May you find hope in the One
Who has come, come to give you
Joy, joy, joy
Love, love, love
May you find peace
In the One who has come

This Christmas

Peder Eide/Paul Marino/Jeremy Johnson
(c) 2014 Van Ness Press, Inc. (ASCAP)

I’m excited about our new Christmas project, This Christmas, for a lot of reasons.

One of the many reasons is that how people can use this Christmas Card of music to give away to friends and family and share the amazing truth of God’s love that comes in Jesus!

My friends, don’t miss this next invitation:


You don’t need a ticket and your tour guide is the Holy Spirit.

There will be no sarcasm. 🙂 Only joy, love, hope, and peace that comes from the One who has come This Christmas.

God is good all the time!


The Honor of a Son

When I travel, I love to run and people watch as I go. A few days ago I was out for a run on the sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida. Yep, February, Florida, 70 plus degree temps. Running on sand is pretty good gig especially while Minnesota is under a couple of feet of snow.

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The beach runs along a whole shoreline of condos and hotels, and we pale northerners come out from our private accommodations to join a community as we acquire a new level of sunburn. I saw people running, walking, and splashing in the waves. I saw kids and adults building sand castles and sand turtles. Really, it was pretty neat.

As I looked to the beach entrance of one complex, I noticed a middle aged gentleman putting sunscreen on an elderly gentleman. As I researched a bit more I realized it was a son covering his elderly father with the sun protection.

I know it might sound awkward but it was beautiful.

The son wasn’t embarrassed as he rubbed the lotion on the hairy, worn back and shoulders that he sat on when he was younger. The father didn’t complain or act like he didn’t need the help. Instead of being prideful, he seemed to welcome the assistance.

The son wasn’t condescending or rude. He didn’t use gloves or work quickly. Rather the two laughed together as the son’s skin gently moved across his father’s, careful not to miss a spot.

I’m sure it might have looked weird to see this runner staring as he passed by but I was moved immensely.

How wonderful that the son would not be overcome by any impressions he thought onlookers had. Maybe it’s not true for you but even though I’m well past high school, I still experience the pressure of what my peers might think. Instead the son honored his father by humbling himself, staying focused, and making sure no piece of skin was left unprotected.

I wonder what the father experienced as he felt the tender touch from hands he once taught to throw a baseball. The hands that needed his help as his son walked for the first time now helped him do something he could not do by himself.

It was beautiful worship to our Lord because it was loving touch. In Taste Worship, we believe touch is an act of worship because touch is loving and loving someone is worshipping God.

As I kept running I was grateful for God’s creation of touch, especially between fathers and their children. The only touch we seem to hear about is bad touch when the fact is that God created touch for good and for His beautiful purpose.

As I write this blog, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m on a plane sitting beside my children. If Valentine’s Day is about love, then whether you are a son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, reach out and touch someone.


Genuinely be loving with a gentle hand, hug, hand holding, or whatever might stretch you just a bit. You will communicate a lot more than you think you are.

It really is worship.

God is good all the time!