Monday, February 05, 2007


"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."
--GK Chesterton

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Marking Time...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

--Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, so not to change the subject, but it looks like Britney Spears is back on the market after filing for divorce from husband Kevin Federline. Oh sure, we all knew it was going to happen, but a newly-single Spears is an interesting development in the world of entertainment news. One news source apparently listed it higher on their "ticker" than midterm election results.

On a similar note, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe are also formally separating. I'll admit that I hold Ms. Witherspoon in higher regard than Ms. Spears, but this bevy of blondes currently on the market provokes some interesting thoughts: how many across America are suddenly going to think of these women as "available," even though both are recently split-up, and neither are yet formally divorced?

It is strange the way how we think of celebrities as "common property," cultural icons that belong in some way to us all. The way celebrities capture our imaginations in film or music causes us to project ourselves onto the picture of their lives. We begin to consider their life events as somehow our life events too. And in the fast-and-furious world of Hollywood marriages, these women are now "available."

I admit that I do this as well, and while I never held out much hope for Spears and Federline (come on, who did really?), I'll admit that I'm saddened by the separation of Witherspoon and Philippe. They seemed to me like a classy couple, intent on staying out of the spotlight and putting their family (two children) first. In a week with sad news coming from all across the country, it's hard not to feel a little melancholy about life. Even the weather is grey and rainy.

So, whatever happened to role models? What happened to people we could look up to and try to emulate? It's very hard to find them in the religious arena (as Ted Haggard recently proved), and perhaps even harder in the marital world. Okay, so I suppose I'm just asking for trouble if I look for marital examples in Hollywood, but sometimes I just want someone famous to "stay the course," so that I can have a little faith that it is possible to succeed. It's nice to point to someone that everyone else knows and say, "See? it can be done!" Ah well, I guess I'll hold out hope for tomorrow...

Grace & Peace

Friday, November 03, 2006

Life Is Hard

I feel very sad. Somewhat overwhelmed. There's a sense of betrayal, mixed with frustration and anxiety. And I just feel sick when I think of the fallout over the next few weeks and months. I need to pray.

Evangelist admits meth, massage

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What Would YOU Do?

From Marshall Sahlins here:

"There is a story often repeated in European annals of the strenuous efforts convince the Hawaiin King Kamehameha of the comparative merits of Christianity." In 1798, the American trader Townsend heard that:

Capt. Vancouver was very anxious to Christianitze these people, but that can never be done until they are more civilized. The King Amma-amma-hah told Capt. Vancouver that he would go with him to the high mountain Mona Roah and they would both jump off together, each calling on their separate gods for protection, and if Capt. Vancouver's god saved him, but himself was not saved by his god, then his people should believe as Capt Vancouver did. (Townsend 1888:74)

This expirement did not appeal to Vancouver, and he not only declined to perform it, he did not even mention it in his "Voyage." Thus ended the discussion on religion. (Golovnin 1979:207)

This makes me wonder: what would I do in this situation? Part of me thinks that this is exactly the kind of challenge that God relishes. I think of Elijah at Mt. Carmal, mocking the prophets of Ba'al, and calling on God to vindicate his role as a prophet and to bring Israel back to God (I Kings 18:16-46). But then I think of the temptation of Jesus - how he refused to jump off the temple even though he would be saved (Matthew 4:1-11). Perhaps we are not to put God to the test that way.

Of course, it's not a clearcut answer. The Hawaiian case was for the cause of the evangelism of an entire people (like Elijah), and not for the selfish motivation suggested by Satan in the temptation of Jesus. But the temptation story is much closer by comparison to the story described above. I just don't know what I would do. What would YOU do??

Grace & Peace

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ahhh...The Subtle References

"La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

I love this quote. I finally came across the original author. Does anyone want to harbor a guess? (Hint: It was written in 1862).

And, for bonus points: what is the well-known contemporary film that references the English translation?

Grace & Peace

Monday, October 23, 2006

In Praise of "the Dash"

I love "the dash." I first picked it up reading Kerouac. Later in life, a friend was fond of writing long letters in the style of Kerouac and Ginsburg. I think I find the dash vaguely romantic and, when used correctly, a marvelous way to convey emotion.

Undoubtedly, the best definition of "the dash" that I have seen is as follows:

A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than a parentheses.

(Bold and underlining added)

*from The Elements of Style, fourth edition, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, page 9.

Grace & Peace