30 November 2014

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

The last 5 months have flown by as we anticipate the birth of our daughter in February. Never before has it seemed like a semester has gone by so quickly (not that I'm counting down the 15 days till Christmas break), or that work-week cycles ended & re-started so abruptly. It seems like having a long-range goal that's got a due date I cannot control or change has really put a lot of things in my life into perspective, or perhaps thrown them into sharper relief. As today marks the first Sunday of Advent, the season of year when Christians look back to Christ's birth and anticipate His return, I find myself pondering long-expected arrivals.

16 November 2014

Let's go to the movies...

Growing up, I loved to emulate my heroes from the movies. I'd imagine I was Davy Crockett, the Lone Ranger, or Luke Skywalker, fighting the bad guys and saving the day. And while that common experience probably says a lot of superficial things about my personality, I've noticed over the last few years that there are some very subtle ways in which I continue to emulate the movies I like. I'm not talking about things like waving my hand like Ben Kenobi when I want to persuade someone, or asking "Do you wanna build a snowman?" in a particular rhythm. No, these are far-more subtle, geeky ticks.

02 November 2014

Culture "Wars"

I've been bugged for a while now by the claims of evangelical Christians that America is a godless country that needs to return to its Christian origins. The dead horse of how awful culture has become - homosexual marriage, sex & violence in the entertainment industry, and of course the shame of substance abuse - is trotted out to be beaten to death on right-wing media outlets. And as a Christian, I agree, these are terrible depredations. But what of it? How are we as Christians to interact with the culture? A recently popular article on Facebook made the claim that the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) slogan should have us passing another beer to a friend who was already drunk, but is that Biblical?

05 October 2014

Striving after wind

In ten years of driving, I have never owned a vehicle with working air conditioning. In Texas, A/C is virtually a must-have for a car. During the summer, your options are either functioning A/C, or sweat trickling down your back and soaking through your clothes before you've driven twenty minutes. So, when I got a new-to-me vehicle about two months ago, one of my first fixer-upper projects on it was the air conditioning. Buckle your seat belts; this one's a saga.

14 April 2014

The land of my sojourning

Sojourn is a great word. It means to travel through a place, even live there temporarily, but not to make one's abode in that location. Throughout this season of Lent, I've been reflecting on sojourning, awaiting a future kingdom where moth & rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19; I've previously written about this concept here). Reading about Joseph's life, I've been struck by how God worked to bring about great good in a terrible situation, orchestrating His purposes when Joseph could not have possibly seen how good could come from being thrown in a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery.

30 March 2014

Frozen: The Agendas and the Story

Over the course of the movie Frozen's theatrical release, it drew much acclaim and criticism, some of which I think was warranted, and some of which was nonsense. An alleged "gay agenda" was decried by a well-behaved Mormon grandmother and negated refuted quite well by a gay dad. It received several awards, and was labeled Disney's most progressive movie to date. Unfortunately, for all this buzz, little of praise or complaint was substantiated with evidence from the story itself. Certainly, "Let it go" and other elements of the film could be used to promote an out-of-the-closet mentality, a 3rd-wave feminist perspective, or a more general rebellion against parental authority. Whether or not Disney had these things in mind, I can't say. What I can say is that the story does lend itself to one approach with ease if you examine the flakes in the flurry, rather than allowing your biases to turn the snow of this story yellow. [Be warned: yer on the DVD-end of the release, so here there be spoilers.]