Archive for December, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: A Reprise

December 29th, 2010 No comments
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - In Theaters Now!

This year on Christmas my mom and Bob came up to Seattle, it was nice to have them up but a strange change from our usual Christmas festivities. While here we decided to go see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I am a huge fan of C.S. Lewis in general and of the Chronicles of Naria in particular (you can see some of my reviews here). I have enjoyed the modern films; they are fun and exciting and have captured much of the story of Narnia. That being said, they definitely lack some of the finer theological points that Lewis infused in his writings. Prince Caspian was definitely not as good as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which did include more of the theological underpinnings like Christ’s sacrifice, the conquering of death, and the destruction of the temple…) so I wasn’t expecting much from Dawn Treader but a fun movie. I was pleasantly surprised. While there was some that was taken out ( for example, one specific point at the end – I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can comment on that if you are curious), I was happy to see two of my favorite scenes done very well. It turned out to be a very good Christmas movie to see. You should go see it. Oh, a PS: the kid who played Eustace was brilliant.

Here is my original review of The Dawn Treader. (The review and the following quote have spoilers!) One of the most stirring moments for me is when Eustace is changed from a dragon back into a boy by Aslan:

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart…. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off…. Then he caught hold of me… and threw me into the water…. After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me… in new clothes.

Brings me to tears just reading it, every time (and it was very moving in the film). That is transformation. It hurts and it cuts deep. But it is done by the one who isn’t quite safe:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.

Ok, that’s from LWW, but still fits.

Here are my Narnia series book reviews:

Categories: Daily Life, Literature, Theology Tags:

Some Blog Redesign

December 29th, 2010 No comments

Since my blog was being neglected for so long, I decided I might give it a face-lift to enter in the new year. Some previous themes I have spent many, many hours on and I really liked how they turned out. While I have put a decent amount of work into the new look, I didn’t want to have to edit and change as much code as I have done previously. This theme from NeoEase called iNove was just the thing I needed. I like the look and feel of it and the stuff I did want to change was fairly easy to do. I have also added in a few new plugins (including a Facebook “like” button and new photo gallery, ask me if you want to know about any of them) to add to some of the functionality.

I would love to get any feedback you might have to offer. Did it load in a reasonable amount of time? Do you like the look? Anything I should add? Take away? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, I can take the criticism.

Remember, feedback is about the design, not the content. I don’t expect people to like that anyway. ;)

Categories: Blogging Tags:

On the Meaning of Christmas

December 24th, 2010 No comments

I don’t actually know that I have anything new to say as I have said it in a number of other posts before. I just want to pause, take a breath and remind people why we celebrate Christmas. It is because you and I are broken people. Some might call us sinners. Regardless, we fall short of perfection. Usually by leaps and bounds. I know I do. In Old Testament days we would have had to offer a blood sacrifice for our transgressions. I think that would get a little old. And bloody. Back in the day they looked forward to the time when all that would go away and we would be redeemed and saved by a mighty king.

The way God brings things to fruition is often different than the way we imagine they will be. Instead of bringing a powerful political ruler who would protect us from our enemies, God did something much more meaningful and dramatic: He sent His own son to Earth to atone for our failures. To take our brokenness as his own even though he was perfect and blameless. Our crimes imputed to Jesus.

That is why we celebrate today. Christmas is a celebration because God became one of us so he could die for us. We celebrate Christmas because we need Easter. God with us, Immanuel (עִמָּנוּאֵל): a terrifying yet joyous event. In the words of one of Relient K’s songs: “And I, I celebrate the day / That You were born to die / So I could one day pray for You to save my life.”

So in the midst of all the chaos that the Christmas seasons brings, take a step back and ponder what it means. Christmas leads to Easter and the Cross. We are hugely and eternally blessed because of that.

I leave with some of the words of my favorite Christmas song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” written by Henry Longfellow because it is easy to let the other 364 days of the year get us down:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone!

Some of my other Christmas posts:

Categories: Daily Life, Religion, Theology Tags:

My sister got hitched!

December 23rd, 2010 No comments

My sister got hitched!It’s a done deal: my baby sister got married! I cannot believe it! I am so happy for her and she was radiant on her day. I took Friday off and enjoyed the beautiful Northwest day on the ferry headed toward the Olympic Mountains and Port Townsend where Erin and Darrin are living. It was a wonderful weekend of seeing family and celebrating Erin’s big day. We had a great time staying at Fort Worden in an old officer’s house. I am so blessed to be part of such a wonderful family! A few pictures from the weekend can be found over at Flickr.

Erin's Wedding Weekend!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Darrin and Erin Fiskum!

Categories: Daily Life, Photoblog Tags:

6 Month Update!

December 6th, 2010 No comments

Wow. It was recently pointed out the me that it has been 6 months since my last update. That is just pathetic. I thought I was going to post a lot during the summer and keep moving strong into the fall. And here we are at Winter’s doorstep.

Lots has happened in these 6 months! Most notable: my sister got engaged and will be married in 2 weeks! Pretty crazy and awesome! Congrats to Erin and Darrin! :)

School has also started back up and we are already a quarter and a half in! Wow, the year is going by fast! I have taken on an extra class so am teaching 6 instead of 5: 4 7th grade science and 2 8th grade physics classes. I am really enjoying having more 7th graders this year. They are a great group of kids and are a lot of fun. I have tried to start a webpage for my classes as an extra resource. It is in its early stages, but if you are interested, you can check it out at [no longer exists]. Our 8th grade physics classes have also been using our physics blog at [no longer exists] if you want to see what our students write about what they learn.

Anyway, there’s an update. I am hoping I will actually remember to blog more regularly… you know, when I’m not grading papers or playing Reach….

Categories: Blogging, Daily Life Tags: