31 December 2006
The weather did not prevent me from going out to do something I wanted to do for weeks. In fact I had a craving and using some self control contained it until today: Chinese food calls. I think I was inundated by the movie "A Christmas Story" where at the end of the film they eat Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. There is nothing remotely Christmasy about Chinese food but somehow eating it during the Holidays allows me to connect with the movie. Nonetheless the food was decent. I especially enjoy General Tso's Chicken and Mongolian beef. The Panda offers them both in addition to crab and lo mein, fried rice, and you get the picture. Yet to add to the picture there was even a lone decorated Christmas tree in the dining area to make my Christmas Chinese dining complete.
28 December 2006
27 December 2006
25 December 2006
However, what Jim pointed out that the people of those days were fearful because the sun kept getting lower in the sky. They probably built these structures in an attempt to save the light. The contrast of course is that Jesus came into the world to bring hope and defeat fear. No longer had they to fear the sun fading away.
Go so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever trusts in him would have life eternal.
Jesus came as the light of the world- to illuminate the souls of humankind to recognize God.
Have a happy and blessed Christmas.
24 December 2006
22 December 2006
The polar bear is going to see the infant via tractor to present him a candy cane
Every year you see him. Every year he comes to your mall or supermarket or parades through the center of town with elves and reindeer, but why on earth do we do it. Has this mystical legend cast a spell on us even though I am sure most would not believe in Santa Claus? Santa is not real yet he still sticks around year to year. He hasn't been superceded in the computer age either. He still does the "Ho, ho, ho" mantra and apparently plans to get kids what they want most.
Two items I have to present about this fellow.
1. The myth and the man. I my research over the years of things Christmas I have come to the conclusion that who we recognize as Santa Claus is a construction of numerous folklores and legends from Europe concerning a kindly gift giver who visits near or at Christmas. In transporting these customs to the states, it seems his identity has become more clear. Now he's a fat bearded man who lives at the North Pole and delivers gifts on Christmas Eve via a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. Santa also perfers Coke to Pepsi. This is a far cry from perhaps the most orginal source of legends, Nicolas of Myra. Apparently this kindly man helped out a family by secreting gold in the daughters' stockings back in the days when Constantine was the world super power. Far cry? You decide.
2. Is Santa the patron saint of Christmas? In the last century I believe the Santa myth has pretty much become the center of the Holiday. All you Christmasolgists would probably say "Who cares, it was supposed to be about light and winter in the first place until some guy thought it worked well with the Biblical accounts of Jesus' birth." Well, to make a long story short it was a pragmatic choice. See here for more. (Ironically, I might add, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the festival of lights, takes place within the same time frame.)
Seems like everywhere I go Santa (a myth) gets the main attention. I see it almost everywhere.
Mind you, not all give Santa that type of place. I hope to pay homage to those folks who decided to decorate with manager scenes. I'll post some pictures on the blog if I can.
Lastly, it makes me wonder why Americans keep up this Santa myth- flying reindeer, able to get into your house, able to see you. Santa seems like a miraclous kind of guy in way- kind of like Jesus.
18 December 2006
The annual radio show I produce and write for Christmas was again a enjoyable time for our live audience. The night before I was unsure it would be up my quality standards because. Working 40+ hours a week with not many hours available on the weekend meant there could be a crunch. It arrived on Saturday.
I finished a 2 sketches just hours before performance. We did not get the rehearsal in that we planned before the show. As I have experienced in my previous production career, the performance is 10 times better than the dress rehearsals. And once again the adage was correct. Only near miss I am aware of was my script having blank pages just as I was about to do a sketch. Fortunately, another script came to the rescue just in time.
Thanks to the ever quotable Phil being generous, there are numerous production pictures. I will probably post most on the radio show blog.
13 December 2006
Red Moon Rising- An intriguing book detailing the emergence (or more like re-emergence) of round the clock, everyday prayer. Is it a coincidence that others from other places around the world were beginning the same devotion to prayer? So far much of the story takes place in North Western Europe. I've only heard of maybe a half dozen places where there is a 24 hour prayer room in the States. Then again it seems that it is more an underground movement rather than a program. It wasn't "thought up" but just seemed to grow out of urgings of the spirtual kind that began to unite others with the same urge. Inspirational and occasionally challenging without glorifying the "practice."
Himalaya- Finally, Himalaya is the unabridged audio book of Michael Palin's book and documentary travelogue of the same name. Witty and informative. I am intrigued with the many unique people he encounters. I however fell asleep during the part when we met with the Dalai Lama. Nonetheless, Michael Palin's reading (and interpretation in some cases) makes this an enjoyable to escape to highest places on earth.
Check it out.
Also be sure to check the HCC Radio blog, the online companion to the annual holiday event at Harvest Community Church.
05 December 2006
We may look upward and dream but we are always faced with the prospect that gravity clasps us to the terra firma. And so ends the David Crowder Band's opus, A Collision. The final track, The Lark Ascending, is fused with a conversation that I cannot tell whether it really happened or not. David Crowder is talking with some guy named Andy on the phone and the conversation leads into the discussion on who is the lark. David quotes the poem which inspired Vaughn Williams to compose the orginal Lark Ascending as the music starts to ascend until a wall of sound emerges. It reminds me a little of Keith Green. Still, a real incredible ending.
So who is the lark? All David can say is that its not him and with further comments comments seems to suggest "dual citzenship": the result of the collision is the tension of being on earth yet having this transcending identity (presumably one locked in Jesus).
Overall an excellent CD that transcends the typical structure and style of releases that tend toward Christian audiences. I appreciate the band's decision to "collide" some different influences from Loretta Lynn to Hank Williams. Even Sufian Stevans gets a nod. A beautiful collision indeed.
In other colliding news- Kevin Max released a Christmas album!? I was going to lampoon it but apparently it is a rather unique interpretation of some traditional carols (note the review section). He may be the least remembered member of DC Talk (we could of had him at See You at the Party for a bargain.) but he is still loved.