I recently mentioned how new TV had picked up some over the last week or two. Compared to every other night of the week, Sunday is doubly-blessed. Here’s the preview for this Sunday’s new episode of All Creatures Great and Small:
And here’s the preview for the show that comes on after it, Miss Scarlet and the Duke:
Both are good fun, with one a little more down-to-earth and the other a little more mystery-in-your-face. I’m glad for both.
These are interesting times to be a television watcher, in part because there’s not much television to watch. I’ve been able to stream some older shows with my neighbors, which has been great. Beyond that, the last couple of weeks have been filled with WandaVision and All Creatures Great and Small. Sunday I also added Miss Scarlet and the Duke, which was much more intriguing than I predicted. The missing piece for me has been the comic book shows on the CW. One of the new ones, Superman and Lois, dropped a full trailer today. It is far and away much better than I had anticipated.
It’s no Smallville, which is great. It’s got a limited number of episodes, which also makes things a bit more intriguing. Production values look much more like Stargirl than The Flash, which is also encouraging. We just have another month to wait.
I mentioned a few days ago that I had gotten Andrew Root’s new book in the mail. I’m about 50 pages in now, and it’s presenting a good challenge. The folks at Outreach Magazine recently posted an excerpt from the book about the church and change. It’s a nice clip. Here’s a quality snippet to consider:
Change is almost always considered to be some kind of growth, and in late modernity that which grows must continually grow. Modernity is about change because it is about growth. It takes a lot of work, and a whole different imagination, to disconnect change from growth. Untying the two leads to something completely different: transformation in the Spirit. Being the church is about transformation, not change. Though on first blush these seem synonymous, transformation and change are quite different.
Transformation, in the Christian tradition, comes from outside the self, relating to the self with an energy beyond the self. Because transformation comes from an energy outside the self, it invites the self into the new as a gift, as grace. It demands no increase for continuation, no energy investment to receive it. Transformation is the invitation into grace; it comes with an arriving word, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Transformation is not the necessity to speed up but the need to open up and receive. Change, on the other hand, comes from within the self. Change makes the self into something new, using the power and the effort of the self: it is produced by the energy of the self.
It’s always interesting trying to navigate Calvin’s imagination. That’s especially true with Spaceman Spiff, whose alien adventures are always just a little more “off” for me than “on.” But I think this one ends quite nicely, with Calvin showing some real creativity and Watterson using a great angle.
(image from gocomics.com)
Today was a wintry day in Honolulu. The winds whipped down the valley bringing sheets of rain. We might have broken 70 degrees, but I’d be hard-pressed to say when. I did make it down to breakfast before the rain set in. To the dentist, too. But the afternoon was a real mess. It might actually be blanket weather tonight. The rest of the week should be a little warmer, but it’s really wait and see.
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It’s been a four-day break from the classroom. Friday was a professional development day. Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I’ve mostly stayed away from email for the weekend, will probably check it once before going to bed. The next couple of weeks might be relatively normal. I’ve got to get ahead on chapel, I think. Plus, because of concurrent learning, I need to have one whole unit planned and printed out as much as possible about a week before the current one ends, which can be intense. It’s crazy to think that we’re already/only two weeks into the semester. Things just keep flying at you . . . I mean, flying by.
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Yesterday was one of those rare Sunday’s where I received a package from Amazon. Pretty excited about both of them. (Many thanks to Hearts and Minds Bookstore in PA for the order and quick shipping.) Top of the list: Andrew Root’s The Congregation in a Secular Age. It’s the third of a trilogy. I didn’t see this one coming, for some reason, at least not the congregational focus. I’m about forty pages in and loving it. I’ve been surprised by Root’s thinking at almost every turn; it seems to be coming but a truly different but necessary place when it comes to understanding culture and ministry. The whole series is a response to Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, which I learned about from James K. A. Smith, so it’s charting its own course while weaving many different threads together. The other book is a general theology book that might help me think through some curricular changes for next year.
Some would say this classic Peanuts strip says alot about Sally’s potential to boss people around. I think it’s a world-class example of doing one’s best to stall on a presentation.
I could be wrong, of course. It’s just so odd for Sally to take so much responsibility for her work.
(image from gocomics.com)
A few comics to for a calm Saturday evening. Frazz is always good for a good turn of things.
First, a grocery story humor and word play:
And then a nice, short gag about the songs that get stuck:
(images from gocomics.com)
Sometimes you’re just reading along using your Bible plan and you find yourself in a passage you think you know well and then you come across a line or two that stands out because it reflects something that you talked about recently. This time it was the idea of living a purposeful life. And this morning it was a section of Paul’s Ephesian letter that made the connection. What a great “purpose statement” from Ephesians 3 (ESV):
to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
It’s also cool that Paul is able to articulate this purpose in the context of God’s own greater, eternal purpose. A nice way to end the work week, I think.
Talking to the neighbors, doing laundry, and working on a chapel talk make it easy to stay up for the 10:00 Hawaii “premiere” of WandaVision on Disney+. What makes it different is what makes it interesting (and I’ve only just watched the first episode). It’s our first taste of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Spider-Man: Far From Home, which feels like a lifetime ago. It picks up with two characters, one who is supposedly no longer functional. And it’s a joy to watch. Olsen and Bettany shimmer on the screen, even though it’s in black and white. Granted, it plays to my worst fear for these kinds of stories: that it’s all imaginary and doesn’t really go anyway. But there’s a nice (?) sense of foreboding that I hope moves us beyond the television tropes to something more. Even still, it’s great seeing a cast “ham it up” in a way that leaves you enjoying what you’re watching.
Here’s the second “trailer” for the season. It definitely gives away more of what’s to come.
A few days ago I mentioned something about how my search for meaning has changed over the years. This Sunday’s classic Peanuts strip was also about. Turns out that Snoopy has something of an appetite for meaning.
(image from gocomics.com)