Peppermint Patty and Affirmation

This past week at camp, we encouraged our senior class to get into the habit of encouraging one another (“all the more as you see graduation day approaching”).  Which is something that this recent (classic) Peanuts strip gets right in a way that really helps the work of Charles Schulz maintain its timeless status.

Peppermint PattyAfter a morning of meetings and an early afternoon of finishing paperwork, I’m hitting the friendly skies for a quick weekend retreat.  I’m keeping it simple: small stash of close, only smaller books, iPad, notebooks.  This semester has been a crazy one, and I’d like to have my head in the game as it draws to a close.  It’s a bit of a risk, stepping out of the routine like this.  But I need to get some perspective on that routine, and a long weekend like this one (paired with a cheap flight and inexpensive accommodations) is a great time for it.

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Days Darker and Colder

This morning’s chill lasted a little longer than usual, which is always a bit of a treat.  Plus it’s darker later and earlier.  Which brings us to these classic Calvin and Hobbes strips.  Ah, the hyperbolic innocence of childhood?

Calvin and the Sun 1Financial concerns aside, here’s what happens next:

Calvin and the Sun 2Great vocabulary, kid.

(images from

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X Marks the (Crossover) Spot

It seems that the folks at the CW have learned from the mistakes of last season’s “Invasion!” crossover between The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl (whose own show was barely even a “red skies” moment).  This one looks coherent, linear, and high-stakes.  This is a great trailer for “Crisis on Earth-X.”

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Sunday’s Best: Super-Hero Imagination

It is perhaps fitting that Bill Amend should put this strip together for a time when both DC and Marvel comic book characters are present at the box office.

FoxTrot Classic - ft171119comb_ts.tifIt’s funny, of course, because Marvel has all but forced a boycott in the use of Mr. Fantastic’s character in the comics.  So this is the closest some will get to a new Fantastic Four story for a while.

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Impending Crisis (of Infinite Proportions)

We’re still a couple of weeks away from the big four-show crossover with DC’s superhero shows on the CW.  It’s been fun seeing things weave in and out between the shows over the last couple of seasons.  And now we’re looking to go to another Earth for another story entirely.  Here’s the second promo:

But it’s the third, most recent, trailer that tells more of the tale.

If nothing else, the title font for the storyline is a nod to DC’s original Crisis.  And beyond that, there’s that current DC buzzword: Doomsday.  On so many levels, that clock is running out.

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Work and the Good

Yesterday I had the privilege of talking myself into a corner in chapel. The topic was “Why Rest.” That topic is often on my mind because of the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. I talked myself into a corner because I realized, once again, the thread that runs through the Biblical Story concerning work and rest. In the process I revisited some Andy Crouch (particularly on toil and sleep) and dabbled in some thinking about the Sabbath from Abraham Joshua Heschel (which didn’t make it into the talk but is still swimming in my head).

The thing was, I was speaking to a room full of people (myself included) in need of rest. The question, of course, is how do we get there (and do we know what we are actually in need of). And what does it look like to live both out of and into that rest.

This past Sunday’s Peanuts strip has stuck in my mind all week. It’s Snoopy doing his imagination thing. But he does it in a way that brings a dignity to the craft of working the check-out counter. I like the confidence of the character here and the unspoken but obvious sense that the work being done is good.

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Smith and the Benedict Option

I haven’t seen much in Awaiting the King (by James K. A. Smith) that deals with Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option” aside from one or two “so-called Benedict Option” lines.  So I was a little surprised to see a longer mention of it in this recently-released video that serves as a kind of “promo” for the book.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition, for sure: cozying up to political power on one end and running from it in fear on the other.  I’m glad to see Smith acknowledging the close connection between his approach and Dreher’s.  And while I do have a better sense now of where Smith’s frustration with the Option comes from, I can’t help but think that there’s a difference between fear and facing reality.  I think Dreher’s assumption is that most Christian communities are no where near ready for the kind of engagement Smith thinks is possible.  We need some rehabilitation to get there.  And, ironically enough, Smith’s work is one way of helping that rehabilitation along.

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