Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big Jimmy J!

Although I try to remain above all things Americana I feel I should ‘experience’ certain things while I live here, things unique to the environment in which I find myself. I found a quote ‘the world is a book and those that do not travel read only one page. I think there should be an added extra: ‘…those that do travel need to skip some pages very quickly …and savour others!
(yes, I know it is the same intro as my last blog, I’m trying to set a pattern – I’m writing a travel book!!!)

Page turner #2
I suppose it was misguided, at the very least, for me to be asked, or of me to accept, the role of Godmother to any child. I had been to Bethlehem and the 'stations of the cross' in Jerusalem FFS! How hard can it be! Besides, the opportunity to wear a nice hat at their christenings and for me to be ‘special’ in their lives was too great a temptation. I agreed, for two of my nieces, to ‘pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk in the way of Christ’. I lied! I don’t suppose teaching them to put their legs behind their necks or encouraging them to read ‘God is not Great’ by Christopher Hitchens counts?!

I am always reminded, as Easter approaches that I failed miserably (I’m lying again! I think I mean joyfully!!!) to guide my nieces along any kind of Godly path. When they were little they once asked me what Easter was all about. We were outside the beautiful Church of St George in Worcester on Good Friday. I resisted telling them Easter was all about Spring, chocolate and two weeks off work and explained to them all about the Biblical stuff. Faced with my severe lack of interest, belief or tangible biblical knowledge but an obligation as Godmother, I kind of embroidered the Easter story and as they were little I thought they would relate to 'Jimmy' rather than Jesus! I told them all about Jimmy, the last supper (may have been Chicken nuggets), Judas (may have been a little Judas Priest involved as background music), crucifiction (may have had an element of Monty Python’s Life of Brian), resurrection (feel certain I did not mention zombies, that would have just been irresponsible of me to talk to children about dead people walking the earth) and that it was all just as real as the Easter bunny. They remember and still call Him Jimmy Jesus to this day – 12 or so years on!
One Easter, my daughter at the age of 4 said ‘Mommy, Jesus died so he could save us all, didn’t he?’ I tried to be non-committal. She continued, ‘He isn’t going to be much help saving us if he’s dead’. She then connected some dots after seeing a large cross at a cemetery we drove by. ‘He was crucified in Redditch’. Yep, that Green Hill far away- Redditch, one of the 1960’s New Towns of Great Britain that heralded all the signs that God was indeed dead!
I’ve always liked Easter. When I was a child I always got new pants (panties if you are American, but way too sexual to put on a child if you are English!!!) and lots of chocolate eggs. I’ve no idea why I got new knickers (a much better all encompassing word!)! My Dad still buys me a Chocolate egg every Easter.
You would think that being Godly, Easter in the USA would have greater emphasis on the biblical but it is just another commercial chocolate fest (only with nasty chocolate). You can get Easter bunnies on everything, from T-towels to tinsel (really). In a state that I can only describe as ‘bewildered depression’ I purchased a beautiful embroidered Easter egg table runner. Why??? The shops are full of Easter decorations. My sort of Easter, not Jimmy’s! Hardly a sign of Jimmy anywhere! In two aisles in Wal-Mart dedicated to Easter I found only 2 biblical references: a cross and a fish and they were both made of chocolate. I purchased both as a joke. Still not quite sure what the punch line is!
Everything is bigger in Texas, including God and Houston is home to America’s ‘largest and fastest growing church’. Lakewood Church’s $95 million dollar building seats 16,000. How many loaves of bread would that buy for the families in the USA living below the poverty line? The website says 38,000 attend each week (presumably standing room only) to hear the celebrity pastor Joel Osteen preach at one of his ‘shows’. This is also broadcast on TV and watched by 7 million a week. Apparently he is very inspirational. I think being mega rich and looking a bit like Richard Gere might help him! His wife is a bit of a looker too! I’m not judging, but if they were trailer trash trolls I bet you’d find a seat on a Sunday!
Now here’s the page turner! Do I take the opportunity while I am here in Houston to see and hear for myself one of the modern wonders of the godly world or do I quickly skip the page?  I listened to him on YouTube and I read a couple of his blogs, one about Easter. Not a mention of bunnies or chocolate or Jimmy. I realised I’d really f**ked up on the Godmother front, but it is OK because Jesus will forgive me anything and ‘is able to wipe the slate clean’. I am not sure Jimmy J will ever forgive me the prayer mat incident! However, according to Joel, I too ‘can experience the same power of the be forgiven…Jesus is alive’ (and kicking and living in Redditch?).
I’ve decided I could do better things on Easter Sunday. In England the Easter bunny always comes to our house and hides yummy chocolate everywhere for the kiddies to find. I could do an Easter egg hunt. Sadly, like Joel Osteen, Hershey’s chocolate is sickly sweet and nasty and way too focussed on profit, at the expense of taste and quality, for a gullible crowd who don’t seem to know any better. I, on the other hand, have made a lasting impression on my nieces, tasted Cadbury’s chocolate, been to Redditch and know the difference between a page turner and a show stopper!


  1. Not only new knickers but a complete new outfit (made by my own fair hand) Well you did have to dress nicely for jimmy.You obviously are a good godmother , they both adore you .

  2. That makes me a very bad GodMother! They were supposed to grow up adoring Him, not me! :)))
    I think it is more a toleration than an adoration!

  3. Blimey, that was quick!!!!

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  5. It had to be done! :))))))) thank you x

    Lol the previous comment had a spelling error!