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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)

By Lynda Lee Schab


Confession time: I am a (huge) fan of American Idol (GASP!). Admit it...you are too. If you’re not, it probably means you’ve never seen the show. Once you start watching, you’re hooked, plain and simple.

Forget the entertainment factor – songs that take me back to my high school days, geeks transforming into cool superstars before my eyes, and horrible auditions that make me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants.

Forget all that.

There’s something magical about seeing someone achieve their dreams. Witnessing a fabulously talented singer get “discovered” on national television. Watching that ONE person out of thousands and thousands of hopefuls make it to the big leagues. Being an intimate part (along with millions of others, of course) of the moment a star is truly born.

Since I’m confessing, I have another: I am a (huge) Taylor Hicks fan. And for those of you who have been living on another planet for the past six months, Taylor Hicks is the latest winner of American Idol.

He was an unlikely candidate. At twenty-nine, he already has a head chock full of gray hair, which he has so far refused to color. He is quirky. Crazy. Uninhibited. Soulful. In fact, he is so full of soul that his fans went so far as to label themselves The Soul Patrol. Millions of people dialed in to the show every week to cast their vote for Taylor Hicks – their Soul Man. They made it their mission to recruit more and more voters each week for the sole reason (no pun or cuteness intended) that Taylor Hicks become the next American Idol. And because of their hard work, Taylor was the only contestant who never found himself one of the bottom three vote-getters of the week.

It can be said that The Soul Patrol was solely responsible (this time, pun and cuteness definitely intended) for Taylor Hicks winning American Idol. Even Taylor regularly acknowledged his fan base and thanked them profusely when he took the crown.

So I’m thinking about the whole “Soul Patrol” thing. And I think, what if, as a Christian, I developed my own Soul Patrol – for Jesus? I may never be famous or have millions of people gawking at me on television. But there are people watching me. Like my neighbors. My family. Co-workers. My children’s friends and their parents. People behind me in line at the grocery store.

Maybe they would like to be recruited.

Although I can carry a tune, I suspect I would receive some strange looks if I broke out in song. So I’ll refrain. I’ll find other ways to increase the members of God’s Soul Patrol. Maybe I could just be friendly. Offer a word of encouragement. An invitation to dinner or church. I could give a smile. A wave. A compliment. I could give them a glimpse of Jesus. Perhaps then people would not only become members themselves but might want to join me in my quest to enlist more souls.

Unlike Taylor Hick’s Soul Patrol, I wouldn’t be looking for voters. God has already won the title of Universal Idol so He doesn’t need the numbers. But He is looking for people to phone in. And the best part is that everyone who dials in will be a winner! Eternal salvation and inclusion into the family of God seems like a great prize to me!

Jesus states very clearly in The Great Commission (Mark 16:15-18), that we are all called to patrol. However, soul-patrolling is not only a responsibility, it's a privilege. I can think of no greater honor than to recruit more souls for the Kingdom.

Now if only I can do it with as much enthusiasm and dedication as Taylor’s fans had for him. If I do, I have a feeling I’ll receive more than a hearty, ‘Thank you,” from God. I'll be a winner too! And the crown I'll receive will be better than any earthly title, even that of "American Idol."

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to begin the recruiting process. I have a feeling that God is just waiting for that phone to ring...

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This article has been read 1312 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray07/21/06
Great article, bringing in recent events to win points for Jesus. We had a great time here when Guy Sebastian won Australian Idol. He is a Christian worship leader, and determined to use his influence for Jesus. He has us planted everywhere!
william price07/22/06
Very good. Taylor has been known to perform in my neck of the woods from time to time. I was glad he won as well.
Your writing is very smooth and you communicate clearly. Your point was ministered with clarity. A top-notch entry. Hopefully Simon isn't commenting on any stories here. But I do think he was impersonating a member here on a comment I received last month...
God Bless.
Trina Courtenay07/23/06
I wanted Taylor to win right from the start.
God's Soul Patrol...never thought of it that way but I'm with you all the way on that one!
Marilyn Schnepp 07/24/06
Taylor Hicks is from my home town - so, yes...I watched, I voted, and I became addicted. A very clear message comes from this story - and gives us all food for thought. (I would have liked it better if you had "laughed so hard you split your sides..however) Good job!
Brenda Craig07/24/06
Ok, I admit it too, and for the first time in American Idol history I voted and for Taylor. That aside, I agree with the clarity comment. Your writing is very clear and concise. Wonderful comparison. Blessings
Jan Ackerson 07/24/06
A big "woo hoo" for Taylor--and this is exactly what a well-written devotional should be. So entertaining, and then the payoff. Excellent.
Debbie OConnor07/24/06
Terrific entry. I admire your clear, fresh style and the excellent message.
Linda Watson Owen07/25/06
Yes, this is delightfully contempory and has such an easy to read style. Very enjoyable! So well written! BTW, my soon to be SIL worked lights for Taylor a few years back. He says Taylor's as friendly and considerate in real life as he appears to be onstage.
Suzanne R07/25/06
American Idol ... nah. But Australian Idol - now that's another matter! When 'Guy' was discovered a few years ago, wow, that was amazing ... the first Australian Idol ... none of the more recent ones have come anywhere near that.

Oh - am I getting distracted? Comments ... yeah ... very well written ... a great hook (works for me!) ... fun puns ... great writing!
Jen Davis07/25/06
A very creative application to the topic. This was a fun and entertaining read with an effective message. Great job!
Joanne Sher 07/25/06
Definitely a great link from pop culture to God's culture. I enjoyed this!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz07/25/06
Ok, I admit it, I've never watched American Idol and I wouldn't know Taylor Hicks from any other hick, but I do know good writing and this is good writing. You did a great job here and American Idol probably even benefited by gaining a few more fans.
L.M. Lee07/25/06
clever...never watch the show until the season finale this year...Taylor's car commercial rocks!
Tabiatha Tallent07/26/06
As a Taylor Hicks fan, you had me at 'Soul Patrol', I really loved the way you turned this around to exort us to be witnesses for Christ!
Shari Armstrong 07/26/06
Cute -with a point (and no I don't watch AI lol).
Carla Feagans07/26/06
This was awesome! Loved it, loved the writing and the message - and I too loved watching Taylor Hicks on AI!
Debbie Sickler07/27/06
I admit to being a Taylor Hicks fan too! He was a favorite early on for me, so I loved how you tied him in to your entry. This had a great message and feel to it. Loved reading it. :)
Tracey Jackson07/27/06
What a great parallel you've drawn. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks.