Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tick, tock, tick...

Well, there weren't any clocks, but there were definitely ticks.

After our walk down to the beach Sunday evening, I would up picking ticks off of myself. At least they were the nice, big ones, the kind that feel like a good-sized spider crawling across your shoulder -- I'd rather deal with those any day than with the little seed ticks. Fortunately, they appeared especially attracted to my white sweatshirt. We didn't find any on the rest of the family, or on me anywhere but my torso.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Resurrection Day!

And we had a beautiful one. The service today went quite well, and the weather was phenominally gorgeous (leaving my allergies to springtime out of it -- I can at least feel that the temperature is ideal, even if I can't see anything through the watery eyes, and can't wipe them dry for the sneezing fits.) We even took a walk down to the beach this evening and my wife picked up shells for a craft project.

The choir sang this morning, which is more of an adventure than you might think. We're a patchwork group, to put it mildly. Two of the singers live in Pennsylvania, so they were only able to practice with us once (fortunately, they have both sung the songs before; we're not going to talk about how long ago that was, though.) At the practice they made, one of our other key members (the only other bass) didn't make the practice (though he ran through the part separately). I'm enough of a musical purist that I like to have parts and arrangements when I direct a choir, even if it requires some inventiveness. We have two ladies who sing tenor (along with one man who tries and will be able to carry a part at some point, if I can keep working with him. Maybe.) My sopranos couldn't sing some of the lines as written, so I had to rework some spots, and assign one very strong young lady to carry the top line by herself in some places. You already know about the basses -- one from Pennsylvania, and one who habitually misses practice. At least I had one alto at most of the practices (the other is the other Pennsylvania person.) We have also been limited to about a twenty minute time slot following the Sunday morning service, as the only time in which any sizeable portion of the group will be in the same place at the same time. The Lord is good. Every comment I received after the service was extremely positive (and I didn't go soliciting comments -- not much point, when you've done all you possibly can and the performance is over.) My hodgepodge group came together and sang from the heart, and even the most honest of critics thought it was great. Now to get ready for Anniversary Sunday (church's 150th anniversary this year.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring Treasure Hunt

We held the fourth annual Spring Treasure Hunt for the church children today. Again, we had a strong turnout, including several first-time visitors among children and the adults who brought them. The kids had a great time, there was more than enough candy for all (I'm fairly confident that some eggs and whatnot remain hidden around the church property -- I couldn't remember where I hid all several hundred items, and some were apparently hidden too well.) Paul Funchess gave a clear and simple explanation of Easter with a gospel presentation.

In other news, Sam Hazewinkel was upset in his first match at the Greco-Roman nationals today. He ended up wrestling back for a third-place finish. I hope this doesn't become a habit for him -- you can't afford to give away one bad match per tournament at that level. Next big thing on his plate is probably the world cup trials. Better luck there.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The classic series by C.S. Lewis has long held a place among my favorite books. I've enjoyed reading the books, and more recently, listening to the excellent audio adaptations by Focus on the Family Theatre. Naturally, when the new movie was released, we snatched it right up.

We haven't been disappointed.

The movie has stayed remarkably true to the book, which always pleases me in an adaptation (I'm generally biased toward books). There were changes, most of which were minor, and most of which I thought benefited the story (included the changed opening -- in the movie, you get a sense of what the children were fleeing, while in the books there is no grasp on this.) An exception to my pleasure in the small changes would be in the placement of the statement that although Aslan is not tame, he is good -- I liked the placement and delivery of this information better in the book. The characterization of the children is possibly stronger in the movie, and the beavers are practically show stealers.

In remaining true to the book, the movie is completely clean -- no nudity, extramarital relations, foul language (which Disney often seems to feel obligated to insert), or objectionable content whatsoever. Of course, there is violence, but it is tastefully done. The battle scenes and special effects borrow quite a lot from The Lord of the Rings, but that's to be expected (and in my case, appreciated, since those are among my favorite movies). The animals and mythological creatures are phenominally well done; they appear intermingled with the humans and interacting with them and each other so realistically that you can't tell they're not brought in by some animal training group that specializes in minotaurs, cheetahs, and griffins.

When you come down to it, this is truly a movie for the entire family. My four-year-old daughter enjoys it (though she does grow restive in the first hour, until the children are firmly entrenced in their adventure in Narnia), always looking for "the lion of Narnia." And myself and other adults can see and enjoy both the drama of the story and its deeper meanings, metaphors and symbologies.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Let it snow, let it snow...

Yesterday morning, for a good hour or two, snow fell here in remarkable quantities. I don't have a good way to post pictures here yet, or I'd put one up. Fortunately, the ground was too warm here for any of it to stick. I'm thinking that the seasons are just running a little behind schedule this year.

In other news, I've finished writing the story for the duel with Pixydust from Notebored -- now we await the judgment of our critics. She's skipped town for a writers conference, so she should be safe from the flying tomatoes. Although her story was good enough that she shouldn't have too much trouble with that. Me, I'm rummaging around for my smock and goggles.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Keeping busy

Well, that's what I usually say when people ask what I've been up to. Wednesday, Dr. Stagno was ill, so I got to preach on about a half hour's notice. Not a problem, and of course that meant I could only use up a half hour in preparation -- no big deal, I guess. The service went pretty well. I wound up using the lesson I had prepared for the teens - very basic. It seemed like it went over pretty well with the adults there, though. We have a fair number of young believers, so it fit okay.

Then I wound up embroiled in a head-to-head writing duel at the Notebored. Not my fault, really! I was just trying to stir up a little trouble, and next thing I know, I'm facing off with some published author/columnist. That duel wound up being delayed for the sake of the Liberty Hall 1st year's end competition. And for me that had to wait until after the men's fellowship on Saturday evening (went well -- food was absolutely terrific, and the fellowship was great too.) On a side note about that, one of the dishes we feasted on was veal Sorrentino -- prepared by the man whose father invented the dish in his New York restaurant decades ago. Oh, and teaching the teens this morning needed preparation, too.

Then it turns out that Liberty Hall has suffered from some kind of hacker attack on its host's servers -- whole site crashed, with all data from the last month lost. What a mess. It'll take the owner a fair chunk of time and money to get it back up again.

Anyhow, the service this morning went well, considering it was the morning after the start of daylight savings time -- we always have a low turnout on this day. We're excited, though, because a man named Fernando attended this morning and trusted Christ as Savior. And it didn't really hurt anything that the weather was absolutely, unbelievably gorgeous today.

eXTReMe Tracker