Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I assure you this is real...

Years ago, music was sold on large vinyl discs we called records. My parents, like many of our parents, collected many of these records over the years. Over time, as cassette tapes and CDs overtook the music market, my parents' record collection was relegated to an alcove in an attic room. It sat there for years mostly not being touched. When I got older, I inherited this room as my bedroom, but it still contained many traces of my father's things, including these records. So when we were forced to move a few years ago, I took my own record collection (some kids' stuff from my '80s childhood, and some I've gathered at yard sales, book sales, or bought new) with me, and as I cleaned out my "closet" alcove, I took all my parents' records as well.

My father was a pastor and my mother a kindergarten teacher. Think about Christian twenty-somethings in the '70s and '80s and maybe you can imagine the kind of albums I found there. Some John Denver, some Disney, some children's songs, and a lot of '70s Christian music from artists you've probably never heard of today, like Lamb.

I was searching for a particular record today and I stumbled on one of theirs that I had never seen before and I just had to laugh at in disbelief. I'm sure it was my mother's, and I find it hilarious that it even exists. It's a Christan workout album. Now, that in itself isn't too surprising. The trend of exercise programs geared to Christian women continued well into the 1990s. Integrity Music had their own line of videos cashing in on the step aerobics craze. So while the notion of exercise to Christian music is not foreign to me, what I found today still feels like a joke. But as the heading says, I assure you it's real. Behold:
Xian varFirmbeliever.jpg

How can I possibly take that seriously? How does that not sound like something Ned Flanders would have in a Simpsons episode? Firm Believer? Anyway, I had a laugh at that, and thought some of you might as well. There's just something absurd about a pun like that which I can't take seriously. If you've ever stumbled across something like this on the internet and thought "that must be Photoshopped", I can assure you I have held it in my hands and it is entirely real. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear the term "firm believer" again without snickering.