Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Had a most illuminating discussion with my sons at lunch today. Somehow the conversation turned to God and how good He is. A thought occurred to me, and I asked the boys if God was ever bad. They thought for a minute, and then #1 said that yes, God was bad sometimes. I corrected him (of course!), and we talked for a bit about how God was never wrong, never did anything bad, was perfect in everyway--in short, holy.

Son #2 (just who just turned three years old) thought about this for awhile, and then summed up the conversation, with a simple, almost profound statement--which showed me he actually understood what we talked about.

"God doesn't get spanked."

Now, that's holy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Just a quick note to say that, nope, haven't died. Nope, haven't given up on this thing.

Just very, very busy.

And I need to get un-busy very soon so I can resume this blog, read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy again before The Two Towers shows up in theaters--and so I can watch the new Sports Night DVD (as soon as I get the $$ for it).

So as you can see--I have noble goals in life.

Just a quick note to say that, nope, haven't died. Nope, haven't given up on this thing.

Just very, very busy.

And I need to get un-busy very soon so I can resume this blog, read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy again before The Two Towers shows up in theaters--and so I can watch the new Sports Night DVD (as soon as I get the $$ for it).

So as you can see--I have noble goals in life.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Speaking of DeMar, be sure to take a minute and read his rant about VeggieTales. On the whole, I think he's right.

So why does every VeggieTale video still sit on my shelf?

Hank Hanegraaf and his crew took a bold step this week--they had Gary DeMar on the show, promoting End Times Fiction: A Biblical Consideration of the Left Behind Series. Hank's not a preterist--or a postmiller--and they made that crystal clear today.

Still, just having him on--and allowing him to spout his views . . . takes guts. Most of the callers sounded like DeMar needed to be put on medication tout suite. I can bet that CRI has lost a lot of $$ and supporters . . .

Listen to it here . . .

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Ahhh, the simple joys of parenting . . .

Thanks to an overly sensitive son (made more so by a cold) and some clumsiness with his drinking glass at dinner tonight, I was able to say (literally), "Don't cry over spilt milk."

Hey, I said it was a simple joy.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

I honestly can't think of anything to say.

gotta come up with something here . . . .

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I picked up this flyer the other day for a Workshop Series called "Energy in Motion--Spirit, Mind & Body Integration" to be held at the "Center of Spiritual Living." This workshop will be led by someone who claims to have a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology of all things. Anyhow, here's the tag line at the top of the flyer--"You have a great opportunity to unmaske you fear, tame your anger and demonstrate your splendor in the energy soup of wholeness!"

"Energy soup of wholeness?" Say what?!?

Friday, October 11, 2002

Can't believe it took me until 3 minutes ago to realize that I'd never posted a date, just a time on all these entries.


I should probably add to the earlier thought--of course the Giants are going to win--which makes it worse. If there was a little suspense, I might hate it less. But it's only a matter of time, St. Louis is folding like a House of Cards.

(hee, hee, couldn't resist)

I did some reading in Douglas Adams' The Salmon of Doubt today. I haven't sat down and read that cover to cover yet, for some good reasons and some that'll require therapy someday. For those of you who don't know who he is (I pity you), read this.

Anyhow, Adams had a huge impact on my intellectual and social development (or lack thereof), and reading that today helped me remember why and how.

Anyway. Back to the starting point. I was reading him today, going on about how computers should work and how Macs are way to complicated! And it was fun to read. It reminded me why I like to read and why I liked to write--fun. I've spent way too long trying to be a grown-up writer type, who can write serious (and short and non rambling) lines about serious arguments to build up to serious points. That's an important thing to do, and I'm going to continue trying. But. I'm going to try to remember the whole fun thing, too.

I'm not sure why, but I really want the Giants to lose the NLCS. I mean I really want them to lose.

There's no reason for this, I'm not a Cards fan. Not that I've ever made a conscious decision about it or anything, but I'm not a National League kind of guy. So why do I care?

No idea.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

»The New TV Season, pt. 1 -- Alias

The show still rocks. It has never lived up to the promise of the Series Premier last year--but I don't think anything could. It has however come really, really close to that mark--and seems to be staying there.
Now I grant you, we're heading into soap opera land a little with the whole Will and Vaughn thing--not to mention Mommy Dearest. But what do you expect from a Felicity episode run amok?

In this week's episode, we once again see Jack as a human being, not simply uber-spy trying to be a dad. This is good. I can't think of the actor's name at the moment (and I'm not online so I can't check, but I've like him for a long time, and he really seems to be getting Jack to a new place.

All, in all, I'm very pleased to have Agent Sidney Bristow gracing my TV screen again.

»The New TV Season, pt. 2 -- The Practice

What do you say about this show? It still has its moments of brilliance. But it has lost some of it's luster. The whole Lindsay as convicted murderer thing is old already. We all know that she's going to get off, or get a deal or . . . .something. But Ms. Donnell will be home for Thanksgiving--we all know that. So why do we have to endure this? To watch Eleanor feel bad for herself and get kicked around by the rest of the firm? Oh, gee, that's fun.

Still worth watching, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep if this old dog got put down.

»The New TV Season, pt. 3 -- NYPD Blue

On second thought, I'll save my remarks for now--will let them brew a little, and write something in a few days/weeks. Will just leave it as--it's a new Blue, a different Blue, but still Blue--and one of the best shows on TV. How about another 10? (nah, too many people close to Andy'd have to die for another 10--there aren't that many actors in Hollywood)

»The New TV Season, pt. 4 -- Smallville

Better than last year (except, like Alias, the Pilot!). Best thing--Whitney's gone, probably for good. His presence added little, and made Lana less sympathetic (see below)--'sides, who believed that a guy named Whitney could be any competition for Supes?. Clark's a little more assertive now--disobeyed Dad's direct order about telling Pete his secret. Now that's a big problem, Pete knows--which means he'll get kidnapped 300 times a season now. Why Pete? Why not Lana (she's been getting mighty suspicious lately)? Or fer-cryin'-out-loud Chloe, the intrepid investigative reporter? Because it'd be too hard to maintain the unrequited love triangle thing they've got going. That's the only reason I can think of--well, that, and to justify the existence of Pete's character. This gives evidence (almost the first) that they're as close as they say.

So anyway, back to Lana. Now that she's on her own, we can still like her for thinking about having feelings for Clark. But despite all the history Clark has, Lana's beauty and general niceness, there's still no reason for Clark to be ga-ga over her. Chloe is the girl with the guts, the brains, and the pizzazz. Clark's wasting everyone's time with Lana. But, as we all know, everyone loses to a gal with the initials L.L.

Speaking of L.L.'s--I'm still really liking Lex, and wish they didn't have to make him eeeeevell.

»The New TV Season, pt. 5 -- Ed

Daryl "Chill" Mitchell has arrived and life in Stuckeyville is the better for it. Mitchell has been one of my favorite actors since The John Laroquette Show; he was the only reason to watch Veronica's Closet--but his character was so lame, it wasn't much of a reason; and he was robbed of a decent part in Galaxy Quest. But now he's one more quirky guy among quirky people in the quirkiest Every-town in America. Not that the show was hurting for good characters (they were hurting for ethnic diversity), but he's still a welcome addition.

I'm not going to comment on the whole Ed-Carol-Dennis thing, well much. I mean the whole show is about Ed & Carol, so I have to talk about it some. Ed's right about them, of course he is, we all know it. How long will it take for Carol to learn? Good question. I'd have said it'd take 'til May, but the wedding's scheduled for November, so it looks like's November sweeps material. I almost care. But, since there's so little suspense about it, I can't.

»The New TV Season, pt. 6 -- Friends

This is it, the final year. The writing's almost as good as Season One, again. In some ways better, actually. But, it's no longer about good stories and goofy characters, it's about hanging out with your old comrades (don't want to have to use the title too obviously) and seeing what's going on with them. Makes the flavor of the show a little different, can't explain exactly why. Probably a good thing it ends now 'tho. I can see some water skis and a shark over in the corner of Central Perk, hidden under some rags.

»The New TV Season, pt. 7 -- Firefly
This is the only new show I'm commenting on now--I'll get to Birds of Prey in a week or two. This is mostly because I'm not allowing myself to watch too many new shows, sticking with returning faves and trying to keep the hrs. under control.

So, what about Firefly? I'm not sure, honestly. I like the concept--Post Civil-War galaxy--the bad guys won (of course), but instead of a rebellion, we get a bunch of people just trying to get by on the outer edges. There's a spirit of fun, a little bit of underlying drama (bordering on melodrama with the medic and his sister, actually). The show has a good look, a pleasant feel. And I can't forget that Whedon knows how to tell a good story, unconventional yet safe (as we all learned from the first couple of seasons of Buffy).

BUT, I'm not sold. The show doesn't connect. I don't care about any of the characters. Yet. I'm going to give them that much. They've got me curious, but not much more than that.

Wow. Birds of Prey rocked. Visually, at least. I'm not so sure about plot and if the series'll be worth it. But the sets and feel of the show are just what an installment in the Batman universe should be.

Fuller review in the future, DV, if it's worth the hassle.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Assuming things go well this week, expect to see:

  • My reviews of the new TV Season

  • My review of the VeggieTale movie, Jonah

  • A quick recap of my trip to the LDS General Conference

  • Who knows what else?

The Yankees lost. I can't believe it.

Baseball is a sport that invites superstition--so perhaps you can forgive me feeling guilty for not watching Friday or Saturday night. Surely that had something to do with the losses. (although it didn't seem to have much effect on Game 2). I'm also confused--every year that my family has grown, the Yankees have won the series (which explained last year's screw up by Mariano). I get married--Yankees win. We have Number One, Yankees win. We have Sam Gamgee, Yankees win. We have Daddy's Little Princess, and the Yankees LOSE? I just don't get it.

Jeff Nelson (I do miss him, but glad he's getting a chance to shine a little brighter in Seattle) summed it up best in his headline: Shocked, surprised, wrong. Amen.

ugh. It's been far, far too long since I posted here. I didn't even get around to finishing my 9/25 post!

What can I say other than the White Noise of my life got the better of me. I'll try to do better folks.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

NYPD Blue had its premier yesterday, which I mentioned yesterday, come to think of it. Before the premier, ABC showed a 10-year retrospective of the show. 10-bleeping years?!? Wow. It was hosted by Joe Mantegna, who pretty much seemed to be reading off of cue cards--no reason why he shouldn't for a puff-piece of a show like this. My one question for Joe is, how come you can put more life into dead lines like these than you can the punchy, fun lines of Spenser in those dreadful A&E movies?

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Well, the new TV season is upon us. Which means it's time for Christians and others to start wailing and moaning about how horrible TV has become--especially during "the family hour."

And they're right--I mean, ugh! Everybody Loves Raymond is back and is there a less imaginative show around? Not to mention un-funny.

But there are some bright spots--I caught the first episode of Firefly last week--there's some real promise. In this look at the future, we have a cast member referred to as "the Shepherd." He's some sort of religious authority--a very itinerant preacher or somewhat. Last week he was played as a wise man, almost distant and above it all--yet he was quite concerned with the day-to-day things itself. Granted, he'll undoubtedly be the platform for all sorts of theological liberalism--but it's still nice to see religion in a nice (and necessary?) light.

And, of course, tonight's the season premier of NYPD Blue. We'll get to see how well they can follow up on one of the best seasons they've had in a looooong time. I can't wait!

Well, well. This has been one of those weeks in which I'm very aware of time. How fast it moves (deadlines, kids growing up), how it can just lurch to a stop (getting an unexpected piece of bad news), how it can draaaaaag (during a long lecture, on a warm afternoon following lunch when you've only had 1.5 hrs of sleep in the past 30 hours).

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Number One really impressed me this week. He's frequently, um, overly sensitive to pain. Frequently, in my less charitable moments, I'd use the word "sissy." But a couple of days ago he got his finger tore up in a swing (not sure how, and, of course, no one sees the need to inform me). It was not pretty.

But when we got home, mommy had to put it in some hydrogen peroxide. The little guy took it like a champ--winced a little, and was a little nervous about it, but no big hysterics. I'd have passed out if it were me, but I'm not as strong as he is.

Well, I don't think I could possibly be busier. Which is really quite nice--am finding energy stores I didn't expect to find. But the wee ones around here have been sucking even my reserves dry. The boys have been at each other's throats all week. Part of me thinks I should just let them go at it--both learn a little something. But wrong is wrong . . .

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Peter Jeffery, in Opening Up Ephesians has this wonderful little point while discussing the doctrine of election (1:4):

It is significant to note that the apostle does not argue for this doctrine, but makes it a matter of praise. Thus it should be for every true child of God.


wow--it's been that long since I posted? Sorry.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

There's probably a law somewhere declaring that everyone has to try to be somewhat introspective today. It's probably not necessary--even those I know who've pronounced that they'll be avoiding all the coverage will be exposed to some of it. And I don't know what kind of cold-hearted **** you've got to be to not dwell on the events of last year.

Like most, I remember seeing the inital reports of the crash on TV (I was killing a couple of minutes before taking my second son to the doctor), hearing the confusion, the doubt, the fear as another report came in about the Pentagon (l was listening to the radio on the way to the doctor's), and then watching the first tower fall (holding an almost two-year old on my lap in the waiting room, being so thankful he didn't have a clue about what was going on, wanting someone to tell Matt Lauer to say something helpful or to shut up).

And where are we now? Patisan bickering about the war(s), the government taking away more and more of what makes us American, morality, religion, entertainment back to where it was a year ago.

God struck this nation, and we shrugged it off. What's next? What will it take to get this stiff-necked people to repent?

Ugh. Someone brought flavored coffee into work today. Which, of course, translates into no java for me. It's not that I'm just a coffee-snob--if someone brought in Folgers, I'd drink it. But there's something about the flavors, literally turns my stomach.

Needless to say, it's not a good day. I'm at least 4 cups o' joe short. I'll be lucky to have enough energy to hit the "post" button

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Last week a friend of mine (always on top of the news) finally heard about these child-tracker microchips. You know the ones that you can get implanted just under the skin and are tied to a GPS.

Anyhow--he's a strong premill dispie, and he knows I'm not (tho' I don't think he really understands what a preterist is). So he's gloating about this. Ah ha! Don't you see it? The Mark of the Beast is on the way. He doesn't say that, but it's the vibe I'm getting off of him and his trying-not-to-be-smug smile.

Clearly I'm being sanctified, so I didn't attack him on this. (it was perhaps a more self-ish reason, actually). How does he know (accepting his hermeneutic on this) that these aren't the marks of the saved, and that the mark of the beast won't be something else? Or are the marks of the saved an "invisible" mark--seen only by others who are saved, while the non-saved will be known by their physical marks? Why is one of those a "literal" fulfillment, while the other isn't?

My wife and I knew the instant that we heard about these chips that it was only a matter of time 'til they became nominated as The Mark. Wouldn't mind being wrong sometimes . . .

Yay! We were drilling on the presidents today, he looks for the Reagan card for a second--and you can almost literally see the lightbulb over his head turn on--"REAGAN!!!!!" He shouts.

And then we add the next 5 to work on this week. I notice that next week we'll be starting with FDR and it hits me that it might be a good idea to learn first names of the presidents, too. "Ronald" is the first first name he's able to associate with the correct last name.

In other words, today's a good day.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Yesterday, I read this in Worship by Hughes Oliphant Old. It totally blew me away. I'm going to try to smuggle it--or at least part of it--into my church's newsletter. He's describing Paul's discussion of the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor.

. . . Paul again returns to the subject of the celebration of the Lord's Supper. He introduces his remarks by saying, "When you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you" (1 Cor. 11:18). The Greek here is very interesting. It might be translated, "when you come together to make the church." The text seems to imply that it is in the meeting together for the purpose of sharing the meal that these individuals become the church, the body of Christ. It is this supper which constitutes the church. Once again it is clear that the Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal. Those who participate in it become members of the covenant community.

Here let us think for a moment about the fact that the service is called "the Lord's supper" (1 Cor. 11:20). Very few things in the New Testament are called the Lord's. We hear of the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, the Lord's Cup, and the Lord's Day. That is about it. These things all belong together. The Lord's Day is distinguished by the fact that it is the day for the celebration of the Lord's Supper at the Lord’s Table, sharing all together the Lord's Cup. Why are all these things called the Lord's? It is because it is here above al that we celebrate the memorial of our Lord, the memorial which he instructed his disciples to observe. It was the Lord's Table, the Lord's Cup, and the Lord's Supper because he was the host. It was by means of these that through his Holy Spirit he was present among them. It was the Lord's Day because this was the day on which he chose to meet them again and again.

A paragraph or so later he states:

"Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11:24). Quite important to a true understanding of the sacrament of communion is an understanding of what is meant by celebrating "in remembrance of me." "Do this in remembrance of me" is in effect Jesus' interpretation of the fourth commandment, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exod. 20:8). We have already spoken about this at some length. Something else needs to be said here. Neither Jesus nor Paul had in mind a simple mental recollection. They had in mind far more. The text says "Do this in remembrance of me." They had in mind holding a religious service. In a true celebration of a covenant meal the remembering of God's saving acts had an essential function. It was through God's gracious acts of redemption that he lad claim to his people; by remembering those saving acts one confessed and acknowledged that claim. In holding the memorial one acknowledges God's Lordship and the service which one therefore owes to God . . .. In so doing one lays hold of the Covenant and assumes both the obligations and the prerogatives of the covenant people. (p. 110-111)

I know, I know . . .less than a week and I miss a few days. You knew--I knew--it was going to happen eventually, might as well start off that way, eh?

I could say that I was despondant over my son's failure to remember Reagan's name . . . but that'd be really pathetic, as well as untrue.

So what happened? Just forgot about it, really. Sorry. But then again, it's not like a I have a plethora, or even a handful, or even one loyal reader, right? Prove me wrong by e-mailing me.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

My son can't remember Reagan, and I can't stand it.

This, in and of itself, is not a surprise. He's four, so he was born, what?, nine years after The Gipper left office (72 dog years). We're learning the Presidents now--present to the past. He's a huge George W. fan. Something--who knows what--during the inaugural festivities caught his attention and ever since then, the kid's been ga-ga over Bush 43. So that one is a piece of cake. Then there's Clinton, "Bush's Daddy," and then a long pause. "I think it's, I think it's" and that's all I get. I feed him Reagan's name, and then it's "Carter, Ford, Nixon" no trouble. The kid can't come up with his name.

I even tried bribing him today, to see if it was just an act or a game. He didn't budge. He tried, but nothing.

It really bugs me. If it was Clinton that he couldn't remember, I'd give him a cookie every time he flubbed it. Carter, Ford, Nixon, etc. I'd work with him. But Ronald Reagan! Maybe this is Gen Xer self-involvement, maybe it's the mythic stature the man holds over conservatives and their allies, maybe it's just me.

My son can't remember Reagan, and I can't stand it.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Gave out my first grades today--(we're homeschooling, think I forgot to mention that)--that was hard. I mean, what grade do you give for tracing? If it's right on the dotted line it gets 100%; if it strays, but kind of keeps the shape it gets a B.

Ah well, it'll get easier next week or so when we get past this intro stuff.

Work on the look continues . . . I'm getting closer to losing this silly color-change thing . . .

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

While I work on the look of this blog, I'd like to take a minute to describe how proud I am of my oldest.

'Course as soon as I say that, I realize I can't. Last night, the night before he started kindergarten, I looked at him and got one of those warm fuzzies that old Long Distance commericals were trying to conjure up. The lil' dude is smart, I'll give you that--always thought so. But to see him handling fairly well everything we threw at him today--that's something different. I can't put it into words--but it was fairly special.

Why blog? It's an effort to discipline myself to write something every day. I figure if I can do that, I will begin having more discipline in different areas, I'll become a better writer, get published, make enough money to quit my lousy job, become a world-famous theologian, and attain entire sanctification!

Perhaps I'm asking a bit too much, eh?

The name for this blog came from one of my favorite novels, Don DeLillo's White Noise. In discussing that novel, DeLillo said:
"In White Noise in particular, I tried to find a kind of radiance in dailiness. Sometimes this radiance can be almost frightening. Other times it can be almost holy or sacred.... Our sense of fear--we avoid it because we feel it so deeply, so there is an intense conflict at work.... I think it is something we all feel, something we almost never talk about, something that is almost there. I tried to relate it in White Noise to this other sense of transcendence that lies just beyond our touch. This extraordinary wonder of things is somehow related to the extraordinary dread, to the death fear we try to keep beneath the surface of our perceptions."

I'm going to try to reflect that same kind of thinking.

This is the first post to this blog. Welcome to my White Noise! Hopefully we'll come up with a new look for this thing real soon.