I always think of a million things to blog about while time passes. Then I hop on here and can't bring myself to do anything more than post an update of whatever I've done in the past days, weeks, months since last I blogged. That's pretty much what's happening here.
Saturday 1/19. I went over to Cindee's and watched the Lord of the Rings with Cindee and several other friends. We managed it in less than 13 hrs., which is to say that we made pretty good time. I think I agree with Cindee that while the RotK extended edition added some good stuff it's also the only one of the three that added rotten stuff as well, viz. the death of Saruman (good for Christopher Lee but fundamentally misconceived in the writing), all additions to the Paths of the Dead sequence, The confrontation of Gandalf and the Witchking, Aragorn confronting Sauron through the palantir (good in conception but very confusing), The parley before the Morannon (he did need killing). All show the bitter fruits of earlier poor decisions to stray from the text and of fundamental misunderstandings of the characters. On the other hand a movie series that contains the charge of the Rohirrim on the Pelennor Fields and the departure from the Grey Havens is still exponentially better than all other movies combined and cubed.
Sunday 1/20. I got the chance to teach an elective for 3rd Place, our church senior high ministry, on the Virgin Mary in two 35-50 min. sessions. Our area has a large Catholic population and a lot of our students have friends and family that are Catholic, if they aren't themselves, so the differences between our church and the Catholic church are significant. In the first session on the 6th I tried to focus us on what the Bible says about Mary. This week we focused on what the churches say about Mary. It was an interesting time. Since most of the students had the following day off in observation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday we started off by talking about the students' thoughts on setting aside specific days to honor people. They thought it was good to have a day to remember and honor Dr. King but thought a day set aside by the church to remember or honor someone other than Jesus seemed idolatrous. Then we went into a discussion of some of the historical teachings about Mary, e.g. that she is the Mother of God or Ever Virgin. At this point I realized that I had spent too much time studying and not enough time organizing information or planning the session. I do this almost every time I try to teach something, so hopefully I'll start to learn the lesson. It's not enough to know a lot about something to teach somebody about it.
After 3rd Place ended I went out and watched No Country for Old Men. It was brilliant. It's very much like Fargo but with competent criminals, a West Texas setting, and no music. Anton Chigurh, the hitman played by Javier Bardem, is the force of nature that Gaer Grimsruud and Carl Showalter (not to mention Millers Crossing's Tom Regan or O Brother's Ulysses McGill) dream of being. Tommy Lee Jones steps in to the Marge Gunderson role of the local cop trying to put it all together and Josh Brolin plays the part of the everyman trying to improve his life but calling down the storm (otoh, if Jerry Lundergaard was the man that Llywelin Moss is, his scheme would have succeeded and there wouldn't have been a Fargo). A big part of the power of Fargo is the hardanger fiddle playing over the empty snowscape of the Minnesota winter. Perhaps an equal part of the power of No Country is the silence that reigns over the West Texas plains. I love the way the Coen's use music and this time I love the way that they didn't.
Also on Sunday I heard a good sermon about Ephesians 2:1-10. The Dang Patriots handled the Chargers and have forced to root for the Giants in the Super Bowl.
Monday, 1/21. I had today off for the holiday. I spent it at home doing laundry, arranging my room and waiting for various sites to load on my dial up connection. I couldn't get blogger up or we'd have read most of the preceding parts of the post already. Monday afternoon I saw the movie Juno. It was a very good and entertaining portrait of a teenager dealing with pregnancy and deciding to give the baby up for adoption. It's impossibly hip and witty but also tender, sweet and fun.
Tuesday-Friday. I spent most of the time working. Steve led our LIFEgroup in a discussion of Romans 1:1-17. Nate led the 3-D guys in a very good discussion of how they ought to relate to girls and how to navigate the upcoming dating waters. Most nights involved the watching of Doctor Who episodes from the library. I have a new contender for the favorite show mantle. I've been really impressed with both Christopher Eccleston's and David Tennant's incarnations of the Doctor. I spent most of last night hanging out with my friends Jason, Bonny, Jenn, and Dave. I learned to play Scene-It which is now one of my favorite games but they may not play with me again.
Saturday, 1/26. I slept in--as is right and proper to do on Saturdays. After getting up I did some more straightening in my room and inventoried my cd's. I have way too many cd's. I also went through my clothes and identified some stuff I can donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army and thus be able to put my clothes away. I've got way too much stuff. Then I went online, and now I've blogged.
Verse of the week:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4
Random amusing quotes:
"Shouldn't Gandalf's sword be blowing glue, too?" Steve's observation on a recent viewing of Fellowship.
"What's the most embarrassing thing your kids have done?" Youth 1
"My kids are perfect." New volunteer leader, jokingly
"Where did you get them?" Youth 2, deadpan.
In 3-D and 3rd Place it's tradition to allow the kids to ask new leaders any three questions on their first night. I think this is my favorite interaction I've seen from any of these.