03 November 2006

Update and A Toothy Friday Five

It's been a busy, busy week, so I haven't updated for a bit. Sunday's sermon was multimedia and interactive, so I'm still trying to figure out how to post it and give some indication of what was actually HEARD in church Sunday. Might not do it at all.

My big news for the week is threefold. First, I finally got a copy of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, our new ELCA hymnal. Saturday and Sunday I helped lead two six-hour introductory seminars for ELW; it made for a very full weekend, but a very enjoyable one also.

Second, Confirmation is this Sunday, and I'm really excited. Instead of asking our kids to write generic, boring faith statements about their favorite Bible verses and what they're going to do after they are confirmed ("Go to church whenever I want" is usually one answer, which translates into "Never," unfortunately - but that's a whole other rant), I put together a workbook with questions based on the Five Questions we ask all those who affirm their faith:
  • Do you intend to live among God's faithful people?
  • Do you intend to hear God's word and share in God's supper?
  • Do you intend to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed?
  • Do you intend to serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus?
  • Do you intend to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?
I reviewed and returned the booklets this week, and I was VERY pleased with the imaginative, honest answers our confirmands gave to these questions. They showed some mature, thoughtful consideration of what it means to be confirmed. A very small part of me is proud that they remembered what I taught them, but the far greater part of me thinks these are just kids who GET that being a Christian is more than just giving the right answers when Pastor Scott attacks with his Bible and Lutheran Handbook. And that's been the point all along, hasn't it?

Thirdly, I finally got my iPod this week. I've been saving for a few months, and with my savings and the $100 audible.com discount I pulled the trigger on a black 8GB iPod Nano. So far it's been on one run with me and I love it already - having podcasts to keep my mind occupied while I work my body is great.

So, that's the update from Barrett. And now, for the Revgalblogpals Friday Five:

We are in the throes of what will (hopefully) be the final set of braces in this family, and so my mind is on the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Please share your thoughts on the following:

1) The Tooth Fairy
Cute, but as a parent-to-be I'm wondering about this tradition for the first time. Where the hell does this come from, anyway? I don't really remember much of the Tooth Fairy from my own childhood, but that could be due to the fact that I lost many of my teeth in situations that didn't really warrant the Tooth Fairy's presence. An angry momma cow knocked out a few teeth when I was 8 or 9, and I remember at least three teeth being pulled at the dentist's office.

2) Flossing
Short answer: hate it hate it hate it.
Long answer: yeah, needs to be done, but for me it's an annoyance. I have a bracket holding my lower incisors in place that requires floss threaders; sometimes the hassle factor wins. Once a week for me is doing well. But Beloved hasn't complained about halitosis, so I must be doing okay, right?

3) Toothpaste Brands
Funny story: Consumer Reports recently chose one of the cheapest brands as their recommended product, since it worked just as well as the better-known name brands. I'm no loyalist. Beloved, however, balances the equation by requiring "sensitive teeth" toothpaste which is twice as expensive as the regular name brand stuff. So we're a push in our house.

4) Orthodontia for Adults
If you want to put up with braces as an adult, bully for you. I have an aunt who had braces not so long ago and she seemed to be pleased with the result. But at what point does the desire for perfect teeth become idolatry?

5) Whitening products
See above. I suppose seriously stained teeth are a problem for some, but like most cosmetic stuff, I think of Ecclesiastes more often than not: "All is vanity - a chase after the wind." But then, I'm a guy who goes to the dentist and immediately hears, "You're still drinking lots of coffee, huh?" So maybe I'm just stubborn.


  1. The idolatry question is a good one, even moreso for the whitening.
    Thanks for playing this week!

  2. You realize, of course, that with your citation of Ecclesiastes, you immediately call forth our own vanity in promoting our selves in the blogosphere. In this regard I am worse than anyone, but it's a painful reminder of the log in my own eye.

    Idolatry, indeed. But I gotta throw a testament up to my favorite idol - self - and so I'm going to put up some pics soon of our hike up Mt. Tam. They're pretty good pics, as they were not taken by me, you oughtta check 'em out.