Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)
Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These could be people, organizations, acts, ideas, works of art, pieces of music--whatever comes to mind for you.
Clearly, Molly the Blogging Dog belongs on such a list. Thanks to jo(e) for the great picture of Molly.
1. This week's sign that I'm now a parent: carrots & cheese in my daughter's hair don't bother me at all:
2. My English Teachers: Mrs. Heier, Mrs. Sundell, Miss Boeshart and even our local English guru/janitor/resident Baptist sojourner, Mr. Zdrazil, without whom I would not have identified the horrendous grammatical error in the following paragraph, lifted as is from amazon.com:
It was the cruelest of times. Under Herod's torturous reign, families struggled to survive and yet, in the midst of utter turmoil, a young woman's faith is put to the test. Join Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Joseph (Oscar Isaac) on an incredible journey of hope and discovery. Epic in its scope, yet intimate in it's portrayal of this historical family, this "wonderful film" (Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times) is "a family feature that will be cherished for years to come!" (Greg Russell, WMYD-TV, Detroit).I'll be waiting to see who catches the error first - post it in the comments!
3. The ugliest birthday cake I've seen in a while, lovingly crafted by yours truly:
I mean, dang, that thing is hideous. In celebration of my wife's Eugene, Oregon roots, I attempted to bake a yellow cake with green frosting, which is complicated by said wife's lactose intolerance. You know, you can only do so much with vanilla cake mix, vanilla frosting and green food coloring. But it was a great birthday surprise nonetheless. Note that Ainsley gave Mommy a birthday card, too!
4. Our local high school musical, "Annie Get Your Gun" Opening night was last night and the kids were fantastic, as was the pit band if'n ya don't mind a bit of chest-thumping. I've had SUCH a blast playing with these kids over the past few weeks. Watching this group of seventy-some high school students work their tails off to put on a complicated, lengthy, demanding production (and do it really well) has reaffirmed my agreement with Garrison Keillor's statement: "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."
Now if I could only get "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" out of my head!
5. Nebraska quarterbacks Joe Ganz and Sam Keller. These guys were in a neck and neck battle for the starting job until the middle of August, when Keller was picked as the starter for the season opener. It's been a rough season for my beloved Huskers, but these two men have shown more class handling that rough season than anyone could have dared to hope they would show. Through success, failure, injury and rivalry, they've remained respectful of each other, their coaches, their team, the program and the entire state, and that, folks, is why sports can be really, really wonderful sometimes.
Somewhat Negative Bonus: I had a negative to contrast with all the positives here, but I decided not to think about it anymore. :-)
Positive Hometown Bonus: The Wakefield Trojans, my hometown high school, won the Nebraska Class C-2 Football Championship today, for the second year in a row. Go, Trojans!