Friday, September 30, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on October 2, 2011

The church I attend uses a Sunday School program based on the "Godly Play" curriculum. When talking with one of the parents/teachers some time ago, one of the things he talked about is how much attention the curriculum pays to the liturgical calendar. Of particular note, he was impressed by how the "green" weeks on the church calendar (what the Revised Common Lectionary calls "Ordinary Time") are instead referred to as the "Good Green Growing Time." This helps the children (and their parents?) to understand that every Sunday is important, and that God is always at work.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bumper Stickers, Divisiveness, and Dialogue

I'm often both fascinated and discouraged by the bumper stickers that I read when I'm traveling. Bumper stickers are fascinating because they have the advantage of communicating a message to the world in a concise manner. They can be discouraging because that conciseness often means that a message comes off either more blunt, or perhaps even less clear, than might be helpful.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Reflectionary: Scripture for Worship on September 25, 2011

A few years ago, I had a weekly feature here I called "The Reflectionary," which grew out of a podcast project I did for a few months. Basically, I would follow the Revised Common Lectionarythat is, the Bible readings that many churches use for their weekly worship gatheringsand post my own questions and comments as I reflected on each reading.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seven Dwarfs as Mortal Flesh

Harikalar Diyari Snowwhite 7Dwarfs 06042 nevitMy wife and I put this parody together a number of years ago, about the same time we came up with this one. Riffing on hymns may seem a bit sacrilegious  but it's all in good fun. I definitely imagine the Disney version of the dwarfs when I think of this song:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweets, Self-Control, and Spirituality

I guess I've had marshmallows on the brain lately.

Shortly after making a batch over the Labor Day weekend (seen at left. They turned out really good, if I say so myself), I was reminded of a classic study in delayed gratification, involving marshmallows, that was conducted some 40 years ago.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Game Show Board Games: The New Tic-Tac-Dough (70s version)

Last week, I featured the 1950's version of the Tic-Tac-Dough board game.  This week, I'm discussing the 1970's version, which like the original version, seems to have come out roughly around the time of the show's premiere (1978, in this case, although the copyright actually says 1977 for some reason). The game play of the new show was rather similar to the original version, although they changed pretty quickly from shuffling only after both contestants had been asked a question to shuffling after each question. Also, center-box questions on the show became routinely two-part questions, as opposed to merely "more difficult" than other questions (although like the original, extra time was allowed for the contestant to consider a response).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When "Personal Responsibility" Crosses the Line

A couple of days ago, shortly after the Republican debate scheduled for that evening, I found the following statement on Twitter:
In the last two debates, the GOP debate audience has cheered: 1. 234 executions, 2. Letting uninsured people die
I was already aware of the incident that point #1 refers to, and found Bruce Reyes-Chow's commentary on that incident to be a more than sufficient response.  I chose not to throw in "my two cents" at that time, except to share that post via Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Politics via Phineas and Ferb

I've been enjoying the Disney Channel cartoon Phineas and Ferb via my Netflix subscription recently. Now, so far as I can tell, this cartoon is pretty non-political, and I'm not out to expose any supposed "hidden messages" in the writing (which is always excellent). But while listening to some commentary on the recent Presidential debates (and, specifically, the current Republican front-runner), I got to thinking about how certain Phineas and Ferb catchphrases might be viewed in a different light if presumed to be talking about the candidates.

Consider, for example, the following:

Friday, September 09, 2011

Attending Fuller's 2011 Faculty and Staff Welcome Event

Yesterday, Fuller celebrated its annual Faculty and Staff Welcome event, which meant that I not only got a free breakfast, but got to see what theme the administration has chosen for the seminary for the coming year. This year's theme was drawn from Philippians 3:10-14, where Christians are encouraged to "pursue the goal" that God has for us. In this vein, our tables were decorated with trophies and supplies to make medals (perhaps in keeping with the biblical illustration of running a race, found more explicitly in 1 Corinthians or maybe 2 Timothy, both also attributed to the Apostle Paul).

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Game Show Board Games: Tic-Tac-Dough (1950s version)

I've featured a few game show board games on this blog in the past, and it's high time I got back to doing a few more. This time, I'm going to feature the oldest such game in my collection: a 1956 or 57 (my sources differ on the year) edition of the game created for the original Tic-Tac-Dough. Jack Barry (later known to my generation as the host of The Joker's Wild before his death in 1984) is featured on the cover, and was indeed the original host of Tic-Tac-Dough. But since Barry was only host of the show for a few months in 1956, it seems reasonably likely that he had already moved on by the time this game would have been available.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Regarding The Wrath of God

I passed by this church the other day (identifying marks removed from the photo to protect the guilty). In case you haven't clicked on the image to read the sign, it says "911 Destruction - Forecast of a Greater Wrath Predicted."

Now, I expect that a great many churches will choose to recognize the 10-year anniversary of the tragic events in New York and elsewhere. It's become so much a part of our cultural fabric that it's hard to imagine not saying something about it. Even so, surely this is not the way to go about it!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Vote for Admiral Daala!

From time to time, Hasbro announces a "Fans Choice" poll for their Star Wars action figure line, where fans get to suggest characters to be given a figure. This is the chance to suggest figures that otherwise might not get made. While we're still in the nomination stage of the current go-round, I'm going to throw my support behind a candidate that, to date, has never yet been given a figure (and there are increasingly few such characters of any prominence at all, even including the "Expanded Universe" beyond the movies and Clone Wars series): Admiral Natasi Daala.

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