29 July 2013

July Culture Update

When I finished Cryptonomicon a few weeks ago, I swore I wouldn't read another big thick Neal Stephenson book.  I loved Snow Crash & The Diamond Age but I really struggled with Cryptonomicon.  Then Amazon offered Quicksilver cheap on audio & Kindle - paired together it would be less than the cost of a paperback copy.  Guess who's now sailing toward England on the Minerva with Daniel Waterhouse and Captain van Hoek?  I'm happy to say I more or less get where this one is going a little better, and frankly it's a little more humorous as well.  Seems more tightly focused than Cryptonomicon was.  The sheer number of characters gets a little overwhelming at times, but thankfully the reader for the audio version is excellent at creating distinct accents for all of the characters.  I've never listened to Jim Dale doing the Harry Potter series, but I would imagine Simon Prebble is a close second if what I'm hearing now is true.  I'm also trying to finish Evensong by Gail Godwin before it's due back at the library.  She knows pastoral ministry in and out, even if the novel itself gets a little clunky and the main characters are incredibly high church Episcopalians.  It's good stuff.  Just yesterday I checked out Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs from the library and I'll get into that one as soon as I'm done with Godwin.

26 July 2013

Friday Five: Keeping My Cool

This was our house in Minnesota the day we baptized Ainsley in 2007.
Keeping cool, indeed.
Ahhhhh... Just a few short months ago, we were shoveling snow. Today, we're sweating buckets!

Highs in the 90s. Humidity in the "uncomfortable" range. And air quality in the "red" zone. It's summer here in the Washington, DC Metro area, and I'm not really a fan.

Recognizing that RevGalBlogPals are from around the world, your weather may be different. But play along and tell us how YOU beat the heat when it's in season with this week's Friday Five.

19 July 2013

Friday Five: Church Libraries

Church libraries seem to be diminishing and even disappearing in some churches. Our church is full of scholarly books that no one looks at, and how should it change, be developed, or continue? As the de-facto chairperson of the library, I need ideas and suggestions about church libraries in this day and age. Please help!

18 July 2013

Things We Should Let Go

Legend has it that when he was asked to preach in Chapel at Luther Seminary years and years ago, Prof. Gerhard Forde walked to the podium with a thick file folder, dropped it loudly on the surface and told his hearers, "These are all the letters I've received as a pastor and teacher over the years.  I just want you to know what being faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ might get you."  

Sermon for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost

13 July 2013

The second of three very-much-overdue podcasts...

Between a vacation during the week and some other stuff going on, all of it good, we've been pretty busy lately.  This is the sermon from 23 June on Galatians 4.  I'm having trouble tracking down copies of the two weeks prior, so probably this will be as far back as I go.  The disc I have for July 7th is corrupted, so it's going to be a couple of days before I post that sermon finishing up the Galatians series.  BUT if I remember to set up my recorder tomorrow, I'll post my sermon on the Good Samaritan before we leave to go camping Sunday afternoon.  Have a great day, everyone!

08 July 2013

Culture Update

We have been on a lucky movie kick lately.  First Iron Man 3 as my annual birthday summer blockbuster stuff-what-gets-blowed-up-real-good movie.  Loved it, though it bogged down more than a little at the end.  Great movie.  Then Oblivion when a dear friend surprised us with a free night of babysitting.  I think I enjoyed it even more than Iron Man 3 since it had no real expectations going in.  Great story, incredible visual work & special effects, and for all his craziness, Tom Cruise is just a hellishly good action hero who's almost impossible not to like.  Finally, Star Trek:  Into Darkness.  Star Wars when the time comes.  Zachary Quinto is great as Spock and Benedict Cumberbatch was in-freaking-credible as John Harrison.  You wouldn't think the mannered, abrupt Sherlock of the excellent BBC series could pull off a physical, menacing role like that, but he does it and makes it look natural.  Can't wait to see how he plays the Necromancer when they get him onscreen in The Hobbit.