Monday, February 26, 2007

My Mockingbird

We have mockingbirds who nest in the trees in our front yard. I love them. They are noisy and when they are nesting, they are constantly swooping daring you to go near their young. But, I think they're friendly. They will seemingly chatter back if you talk to them.

One has taken to eating out of one of my feeders (something I didn't know mockingbirds would do). It's just one of those random events that happen in our lives that makes us smile.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ghostriders In The Sky

Saw Ghost Rider with the “kids,” Nick & Diana, Sunday night. I REALLY liked this movie. Call it formulaic, call it contrived, call it what you will – I call it entertaining.

Based on the comic book, it’s the story of Johnny Blaze who sells his soul to the devil to save his cancer-stricken father. The devil’s requirement? Johnny must become the “rider”, the collector of souls. When the devil comes to collect, Johnny’s first job is to retrieve a contract of souls so powerful even the devil’s kid and his cronies are trying to find it first. How will the Reluctant Rider handle all this? As the tagline of the movie tells us, “His curse will become his power.”

Throw in a star-crossed romance, some nifty special effects and you have the makings of a fun movie. Operative phrase – fun movie. This is popcorn fare, not tortured soul drama. Comic book nerds, who take their graphic novels way too seriously, have been dissing this movie for weeks prior to its release. With an over $44 million opening weekend, I don’t think Hollywood will care that there isn’t enough angst on display!

Nicholas Cage is at his best portraying over-the-top characters – here he’s having fun. (The actor, by the way, is a huge comic book aficionado.) Eva Mendes provides eye candy, Peter Fonda and Sam Elliott provide the requisite gravitas. (I really liked Sam Elliott’s role – just enough sardonic grins to let the adults in the audience know it’s okay to enjoy a comic book flick.)

On a brief serious note, many old school comic books acknowledge the real battle between good and evil in the world. They deal with themes of justice, repentance and redemption, and good ultimately triumphing over evil and do it, in many cases, much better than the Oscar-nominated films.

I had fun at Ghost Rider! Go see it, I won’t tell anyone.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday Snow

Yesterday as we drove into church, I appreciated anew the verse in Isaiah, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. We had received two inches of snow the night before and as the still rising morning sun hit the white powder, it glisten so much it seemed to have movement in it.

The whiteness, clean-ness, of snow is usually what Christians cling to in the analogy between it and Christ’s forgiveness, but the analogy has so much more to it than that. The snowfall covered everything – just as Christ’s blood covers all of us. The ugliest, rotten log was transformed into a work of art by the snow. It is recreated by the sparkling powder, just as we are recreated, new creatures, in Christ.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What Hallmark Doesn't Tell You About Valentine's Day

Now that the holiday is over, I have a confession: My hubby and I don't make a big deal about Valentine's Day anymore.

Has the "spark" left our marriage? Hardly! But when we learned the origins of Valentine's Day, all this focus on romantic love seemed out of place. (This from a woman who is a huge romantic and married to an equally romantic man!!)

Here's what the "Hallmark Holiday" forgets:

Valentine was a 13th century pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. Reaching through his jail cell, he would pluck leaves from a maple tree just outside his cell. On these leaves he wrote pastoral notes to his congregation. These Valentines expressed his love for the flock and his desire that they demonstrate that love for one another. Gradually the tradition grew up for Christians to exchange notes of love and encouragement to one another on February 14 - Valentine's birthday.

For this story and other wonderful history lessons/devotional lessons from history and important dates, check out The Christian Almanac: A Dictionary of Days Celebrating History's Most Significant People and Events.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Still preoccupied with 1985

How much do you know about 80s music?
Don't be so sure! I'm an "80s lady" but only scored a 40% on this quiz. Apparently my musical taste was too mainstream!! You can take the quiz here.
[Hint: The CD pictured has a song which answers one of the questions!]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

As a young person in the 1980s, I fell in love with Ronald Reagan. Now I'm in my 40s, and I still love Ronnie! Today would have been his 96th birthday. For those of my generation, below is a sample of why we loved him. For you youngsters to whom Reagan sounds as historic as Churchill, read below what a REAL CONSERVATIVE sounds like:

Excerpt from Ronald Reagan's 1981 Inaugural Address:

"...So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government - not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. I t is rather to make it work - work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

Sigh. Where have all the conservatives gone?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Machiavelli Personality Test

Machiavellianism. An adjective of villianous characters (or politicians!). But how would you score on a Machiavelli personality test? Are you a cutthroat or a pussycat? Find out, if you dare.

[I'm a little of both. Score: 56]