Quote of the Weekend

City sidewalks busy sidewalks .
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There’s a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hear

Silver bells silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring a ling hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa’s big scene
And above all this bustle
You’ll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day.

 

(I’m not sure, but for some reason this is one of my favorite Christmas Carols.  I love shopping in the city at Christmas time.  I love all the beauty and hustle and bustle!!  Merry Christmas!)

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Man of Steel

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(Deanna, you can watch this one. 🙂 )

Recently, my husband and I watched Man of Steel.  We begged and begged until my sister and brother-in-law agreed to let us borrow it for the weekend.  Snuggled up on the couch, surrounded by goodies we probably shouldn’t be eating, we watched Man of Steel.

Now, a little background:  my husband’s favorite superhero is Superman.  Let me put that in perspective.  My husband is a quality man.  He has two favorite ‘bands’: Metallica and Beethoven.  He almost never reads fiction – Lord of the Rings being his exception.  He speaks highly of only a small handful of video games.  He watches few movies.  Now, this isn’t to say that he doesn’t enjoy many good gifts of the Lord, but he is very careful to guard what he loves.  His love is reserved for only the best of the best.  I’m a little freer with my love of the arts.  I enjoy lots of different music, read fiction all the time, and love a range of different movies.  But, I can at least agree with him, that what he loves is some of the best, of the best, of the best, with honors, sir!

To say my husband’s favorite superhero is Superman, means he thinks Superman is the best of all the Superheroes.  He enjoyed the Avengers.  He enjoyed Batman.  But Superman is his favorite.  Why, you ask?  Because Superman is Good.  He is good.  He does the right thing.  Always.  But, more than being just plain good, Superman is innocent.  He is innocent in a very appealing, charming, wholesome way, which makes you want to be a better person.  It’s not that he’s naive or unaware, he just doesn’t grovel in it.  He is the kind of Superhero that drives you to be better than you are.  (This is the great beauty of fantasy stories.  They have a great power to communicate truth and to encourage you in the belief that sin is ugly and goodness is beautiful.  A well-written fantasy like Lord of the Rings helps you see how attractive good and light is!)  Superman is also unapologetically American.  They didn’t focus on this as much in the new movie as the old cartoons and movies, but it was still there.  Superman is Truth, Justice and the American Way…even in a society that doesn’t really understand what that means any more.

As we watched Man of Steel, I kept glancing at my Husband’s face to see if he was enjoying it or hating it.  The last Superman movie was such a huge disappointment.  It totally missed everything Superman embodies.  It forgot he is good, innocent, and better than petty human selfishness.  It didn’t spur you to be good, it encouraged your more subtle sinfulness.  Man of Steel was much better.  Superman was good, wise, purposed, self-sacrificing, loving, strong, and brave.  He was everything a mother would want her son to be.  He was everything a woman should find attractive in a man.  (And, he even captured a few of Christopher Reeves’ looks.)  My husband was grinning from ear to ear by the end of the movie.

So, for some wholesome, fun, stand-up-and-cheer storytelling, watch Man of Steel.  It got two thumbs up from my Husband.  This is a great movie to share with the little boys and girls of all ages in your family.  🙂

Sunday Thoughts: Constant Vigilance!

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:6-9, ESV)

I love stories.  They add such a rich depth to our lives.  They flesh out our own experiences while letting us learn and grow from others who have gone before.  They give us hooks for truth.

Some of us – lots of us – remember things more easily in story form.  Why?  It gives us an emotional connection for Truth which makes it easier to see and understand.  It’s why well done historical fiction can be more educational in the long run than a timeline, and why Pastors and teachers use sermon illustrations.

Now, stories must be kept in their appropriate place.  I am by no means suggesting we get truth from the stories.  We get truth from the Scriptures.  They are our final authority and our judge of a stories value.  But, we can take our Christian-colored glasses and look at stories thru them, turning them into delightful tools and gifts to educate and remember.  Even ‘bad’ stories can aid us by helping us understand why Truth is precious.  We do need to be careful about what stories we consume whether you filter out the bad, or filter in the good.  This means we must practice Constant Vigilance!

MadEye-Moody-goblet-of-fire-2617978-1280-1024

My Dad has been preaching through 1 Peter during his pulpit rotation for the last year or so.  As he expositionally goes through the book, I’ve been reminded of the Auror in Harry Potter named Mad-eye Moody.  He taught Harry, Ron, and Hermione that the only way to fight against the Dark Arts was to maintain “Constant Vigilance!”  In 1 Peter 5:6-9 we are called to be sober-minded.  In other places we are told to be ready in season and out, to listen to our elders, to repent, to not be surprised, to study – “for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”(Heb 5:13)  In other words, practice

Constant Vigilance!

The story of Moody teaching Harry to be vigilant against the Dark Arts helps me flesh out the idea of going to war against sin, to be guarded against lies, and to love my church.

Constant Vigilance!

I can take the minor story of how soberly Harry takes his fight against Voldemort and be reminded of how much more soberly I should take my fight against sin.

Constant Vigilance!

Don’t be deceived.  You are in a war.  You may not look like it.  You may not have weapons, combat training, or a working knowledge of how to look and be intimidating.  Don’t be fooled!  You are in a greater, bigger, and longer war with more at stake than any war we have ever fought.  Be a wise warrior and prepare!  Train!

Constant Vigilance!

How?  Know the tools the enemy uses just like Moody taught Harry.  Trust and love those in authority – something Harry is constantly learning.  (And I don’t mean the Ministry.  I mean Dumbledore.)  Pray for your elders!  Prepare yourself with the tools at hand – like the DA – by being at church on Sunday and Wednesday.  Be ready and willing to fight no matter what.  And read good books.  Find those hooks that help remind you of the truths of Scripture be it a song, a story, a picture.  Practice

Constant Vigilance!