The Renaissance Festival

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 11:17 AM

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This past weekend the in-laws came in town and we mosey'd on down to Triune for the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. I know that several Nashville bloggers didn't give the festival all that great reviews, but since it is one of my favorite eras of history, I enjoyed it quite well.

This weekend was the mounted jousting competition, which was what I primarily wanted to see. It was quite exciting, in my opinion. Here are some pics from the weekend. There are more on my page.

Castle Gwynn 5 Charge! 3

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Cosmic Santa

posted by Jeffrey on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 2:33 PM

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Over the past few days, prayer has been repetitively presenting itself as a subject for thought in my ADD plagued mind.What do I believe about this act? I say I believe that it is simply conversation with God, but do I really? Is that statement simply regurgitated dogma from my upbringing, or is it real?

I suspect if it were real that I would commune with Christ for reasons other than supplication. Regretfully, that is typically the rule, not the exception in my life. There are times when I connect with the life giving Spirit of Christ in postures other than that of open hands. Those moments, when it is my arms that are open to welcome His embrace, rather than my hands welcoming what He can give, are the sweetest ones. I treasure them.

I long for that to be my normal.

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Matt Lauer, The DaVinci Code Movie, this is Getting Out of Hand...

posted by Jeffrey on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 3:25 PM

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In a controversial interview with the cast of the DaVinci Code movie this morning, the Today Show's Matt Lauer said,

" of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear, if Christ survived the crucifixion, He did not die for our sins, and therefore was not resurrected, [cue Tom Hanks look of genuine bewilderment and interjection of, "was that in the book?"]..."

No, Matt, as Tom Hanks said, that is not even remotely suggested in the book. I mean seriously, if I were interviewing the cast of a book-turned-movie, I'd have the sense to know what the crap that book/movie was actually about.

Lauer quickly glossed over Hanks' exposition of his blunder with a chuckle and a segway, making the slip-up unrecognizable to those who have not read the book. Oh how I hope that those Christian protestors who are, ironically enough, "DaVinci Code virgins", do not use this as an additional stone in their protest platforms. It was a Today Show error, not a true facet of the movie/book's plot line.

Watch the interview clip here.

[HT: NewsBusters]

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the DaVinci Code...Finished

posted by Jeffrey on at 9:00 AM

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I hate finishing a book, I really do. Last night as I closed the back cover of my $5.99 paper back copy of the DaVinci Code I was forced to drink of anxiety and remorse, blended with satisfaction, and a "schosh" of accomplishment to top it off,  that inevitably follows the completion of a good book. I'm a newbie to the sensation of that concoction as I've just began to willfully read for entertainment in the past 2 years or so [with the exception of my afore mentioned hiatus from all literature].

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Anyway, this book goes down as the longest book I've ever read from cover to cover, with exception of the Bible. Wait, am I damned to hell for saying I've read the whole Bible and the DaVinci Code in the same sentence? ;-) j/k. I'd like to make known that upon completion of this book, I'm...get ready for it...still a Christian! Whoa, who knew that was possible? Well, the recent propaganda would at least suggest it is not.
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More good conversations with people whom I might not normally have anything else in common to discuss have occurred from the reading of this book then I could have imagined. A fortunate repercussion to say the least.

I was very entertained and intrigued by this book all the way through, I figured out most of the twists a couple hundred pages before they were revealed, and totally enjoyed the 2 weeks I spent enveloped in this collage of mystery and scandal.

See you at the movie...

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Breaking the Reading Hiatus

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 11:17 AM

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After an intentional several month hiatus from all books (except for the occasional reference), I've finally cracked the binding once again. With the upcoming release of the DaVinci Code, I decided to pick up a small paperback version of the book at Kroger for six dollars and read it.

I've been intrigued for quite some time as to what made this book so compelling and a "must read" for so many people--besides the smack-you-in-the-face "fictional" challenging of traditional Christian understandings, that is. With that wonder in mind, I decided now would be a good time to read the book since it will once again be the topic of conversation once the movie is released. I know, I know...alterior motives rear their ugly heads yet again. (Will I ever be able to overcome that subconscious faculty programmed in my youth?!)

Anyway, after about 60 pages into the book I found myself, as Jamey said yesterday, reading for my own entertainment. The deeper into the plot I get, the more I realize this is my kind of book. Secret societies, subjective art, religious scandals and secrets, ancient symbolism unperceived in our modern world, murder, mystery, and the like. Those of you know me are sure to understand that all these things in one book are sure to be my mental playground.

The writing is dry in parts, the overly descriptive passages sometimes drag on for pages, and the soap opera-ish chapter structure can be annoying, but overall I'm glad I decided to pick this book up for a read--regardless of my original motivation. I'll be interested to see, as with all films based on books, how the movie adheres to the plot of the text version.

P.S. (lol, for those of you who've read the book): Yes, its fiction. Yes, it challenges blatantly opposes traditional Christian thought. But, as one commenter to Jamey's post (linked above) said, "Christianity can withstand critical thinking, and I think full, complete Christianity requires it."

That being said, let me say that I do agree with others who have posted on the topic of this book/film. Many have said something to the effect of, "I wouldn't let people say "fictional" things about my mom, I'm not going to let them say "fictional" things about Jesus...". A valid point. However the best way to silence the falsehoods about my mom would be to introduce the nay-sayer(s) to her. They would then surely see that what they have been saying of her could not be more erroneous. Screaming back at them, "you're wrong idiot!" will, however, throw fuel on their fire of lies. The same is true as it pertains to Jesus.

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National Day of Prayer

posted by Jeffrey on Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 11:30 AM

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National Day of Prayer. What exactly is that? I mean really, have you ever thought about it? I hadn't until today. It is supposed to be a day where people of all faiths throughout this country could pray together in their own ways.

This day has been "official" since 1952 when president Truman signed a bill making the National Day of Prayer into law, but the earliest recorded national day of prayer was in 1775 when the Continental Congress issued such a day to designate "a time for prayer in forming a new nation."

Wait a second, did I just say that this day is law? Nothing more on that thought for now...

Anyway, we've quickly moved away from the inclusive nature of this official day. The National Day of Prayer Taskforce is headed up by Shirley Dobson out of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO. In the FAQ section of the Taskforce's website (which I cannot get to work today) there is a statement that reads, "Americans of all faiths are encouraged to participate in the [National Day of Prayer] according to their own traditions. However, the [National Day of Prayer] Task Force [only] provides promotional materials and sponsors several events in keeping with the Judeo-Christian tradition". Doesn't that defeat the purpose of people of all faiths praying together in their own ways?

As I was first thinking on this I thought, "how silly is that? people of all faiths coming together to pray in their own way? What's the point in coming together if we're going to pray in our own way?" Then I realized that though I do not believe the same as people of other faiths [that is, faiths other than that in Christ] surely I could still learn from their rituals and dedication. Surely the Spirit of God could work out great relationships with someone--here's an idea--different than myself!

As my thoughts began to swirl even deeper into the vortex of my own pessimistic dementia, I came to the questions, "Is a day nationally set apart for prayer even conducive to living a life of dependency and faith in Christ? Doesn't it allow us to even further compartmentalize our lives and continue to move away from a holistic life in Christ? etc..."

As I attempt to combat my negative nature, let me say that I realize for some, this day and days likened to it (Christmas, Easter, etc) may serve as a springboard back into the journey of a life with Christ. For that I'm utterly and deeply thankful. My fear, however, is that they'll ascertain through there renewal experience that such a journey is lived from Sunday to Sunday, holiday to holiday, day of prayer to day of prayer.

If I'm a follower of Christ, it is the life of Christ that lives in me. It is His breath that allows me to breath. Maybe the sole or primary aspiration of a Christian should not be that of devout prayer at regular, set apart, and consistent intervals of time (though those practices are healthy); instead, perhaps it should be, primarily, to become aware of the life of Christ in me, and to depend on that life for everything. I think that when we can learn to do that, regular conversation with Christ (prayer) and other spiritual disciplines will happen naturally. That's what Jesus taught. [see Matthew 22]

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Hank Hill's Search for Church

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 2:35 PM

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Wow, who knew even Hank Hill from King of the Hill was searching for "a new church"? Watch the clip here. Funny stuff!

I wonder where the idea of "looking for a new church" came from. Do you think that's what Jesus had in mind when He discussed the Church?

(HT: Kyle at Motion Sickness)

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