Holy Mondegreens

Mondegreen (noun)–a series of words that result from the mishearing or misinterpretation of a statement or a song lyric, e.g. I led the pigeons to the flag for I pledge allegiance to the flag. —http://dictionary.reference.com/

When I was a child, I sometimes didn’t hear things the way I was supposed to. Of course, this may have been partly due to the heavy ear wax which plagued me back in those days. Like most boys, I had more than my share of the greasy stuff, and every Saturday night my mother would subject me to a weekly ear cleaning. This was performed with a Q-tip moistened with Johnson’s Baby Oil.… Read the rest

Narnia–The Afterglow

It has now been 3 days since I “entered the wardrobe” of Andrew Adamson’s screen adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The afterglow lingers, and my right brain is still tingling and my hair a little askew from the wild ride on Aslan’s back. I intentionally waited a while before I attempted any kind of review or analysis–I simply wanted to relish the magic of the moment. Now that my left brain has re-engaged a little, maybe I can finally write down a few of my responses and impressions.

Let me say this up front: my expectations were exceeded.… Read the rest

Narnia Update

Today is the day. T-minus 12 hours and counting. I have my tickets. Do you have yours?

Dr. Bruce Edwards, renowned C.S. Lewis expert, has already weighed in with both his first and second impressions (warning: there is some spoiler material there, so if you are completely unfamilar with the story or want to remain uninfluenced by his impressions, beware). Some of what he has to say may surprise you. A note on Edwards for those interested in such trivia: An evangelical Christian who now attends a local community church near his home, Edwards was raised in the Church of Christ.… Read the rest

Pearl Harbor Day Reflections

Today is December 7th, the day that FDR so famously said would “live in infamy.” Over the years, I’ve been privileged to meet many who were there that day and been honored by hearing their stories. If you’re interested in getting the point of view of some more Pearl Harbor survivors click here as well as the U.S.S. Arizona site.

I remember my Dad’s Pearl Harbor story too. He was 8-years-old when he heard the news that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Sunday afternoon after the assault, he and his sister were playing outside when a private plane passed overhead.… Read the rest

Sean, That Was a Flippin’ “Suweeeet” Shot!

While it may not have the ramifications of Hill to Laettner in 1992, McRoberts to Dockery will still go down in the annals of Duke basketball as a play for the ages.

With 1.6 seconds remaining and down 75-74 in Sunday night’s game with Virginia Tech, freshman Josh McRoberts threw a long inbounds pass and connected with senior guard Sean Dockery. Dockery took one dribble past the midcourt line and launched a last-second prayer. Forty feet later, the Cameron Crazies shouted “Amen!” while the despondent Hokies fell to their knees in disbelief. Having lost the ACC Football Championship game the night before to Florida State, Virginia Tech fans felt the fickle wrath of Lady Luck as she thumbed her nose and turned her back on the noble Fighting Gobblers for the second night in a row.… Read the rest

The Paradox Party

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise–why destroy yourself? Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool–why die before your time? It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.” Ecclesiastes 7: 16-18

If I’ve learned one thing about doing eye exams it’s this: never discuss politics or religion with patients. Whenever a patient comes in with a particular political or religious rant and throws out the inevitable bait, “Whataya think about that doc?,”… Read the rest

Today is Jack’s Birthday

We recently marked the 42nd anniversary of C.S. Lewis’ death, but today is the 107th anniversary of his birth. Dr. Bruce Edwards, Professor of English at Bowling Green State University and a renowned Lewis expert, has an excellent birthday tribute to Lewis at his site, Further Up and Further In.

I’m excited that the upcoming screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is bringing renewed interest in Lewis and his works. I recall fondly teaching a Sunday school class a few years back on The Screwtape Letters. My particular denomination is not exactly well known for its intellectual rigor and interest in British authors, so I was a little concerned that no one would show up.… Read the rest

The Case for Advent

Let me just say this up front: I love the Church of Christ. Prior to the good-natured and gentle rebuke, I state for the record that the Church of Christ does considerably more good than harm, and that I for one have suffered no irreparable damage from my experiences in that denomination. Despite her flaws and freckles, and even with her red-faced, arm-crossed “I’ll just have a piece of dry toast, no butter or jam for me, thank you very much” approach to the Christian faith, I love her still.

She was was my nursemaid in the faith, the place where I learned scripture and where loving and caring hands laid the foundation of my Christian formation.… Read the rest

Go Ahead, Make It My Day!

Hopefully by now your Thanksgiving bird is safely simmering away in a pan in preparation for the feast–and hopefully you have lived to tell the tale. As this disturbing image shows, turkeys are not the docile, lovable birds commonly depicted in popular literature and movies. No, they are fierce warrior fowl who would just as soon take an eye out with a razor-edged talon than to simply lie down in a pan and wait for everyone around the table to sing a paeon of praise about how juicy and tender this year’s “special guest” looks.

Having grown up in Southwest Virginia near the campus of Virginia Tech, I have known about the existence of these “fighting gobblers” all my life.… Read the rest

Keep an Eye on Potter? I Can Do That!

I fulfilled one of my week-off vows yesterday and went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My favorite character in the movie–no real surprise here–was Mad-Eye Moody, the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Needless to say, Moody’s large, bulging left eye captured my attention. Immediately I went into differential diagnosis mode: was it uncontrolled glaucoma, a case of unilateral thyroid ophthalmopathy, a retrobulbar tumor or maybe the rare and dreaded cavernous sinus fistula? I know these same questions must have been running through everyone else’s mind too (I told you it was going to be hard to relax this week!).… Read the rest

A Gulf Coast Thanksgiving

I figured there would be some inspiring tales emanating from the Gulf Coast this holiday season. The citizens of Waveland, Mississippi lost nearly everything to Katrina, but as you can read from this USA Today article, their spirits were trampled but not broken.

Unlike many of us who have never experienced such upheaval, the good folks there have learned to do without many modern conveniences but are thankful nonetheless for the basics–food, shelter, hot water and the companionship and love of friends and family. Things are looking up as you can tell from the article, and the fact that Wal-Mart is back on the scene, adapting to the situation and meeting the needs of their customers in new and unique ways, is further indication that “normalcy” is making a slow, but sure comeback.… Read the rest

Remembering Lewis Well

My friend Bill Gnade at Contratimes has written a moving tribute to C.S. Lewis on this the 42nd anniversary of his passing into “a better country.” As Bill points out, Lewis, President John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley all died within a few hours of each other. Author Peter Kreeft took that fact and ran with it, producing the work Between Heaven and Hell in which he imagines the three meeting and debating in the afterlife.

Like Bill, Lewis opened my mind to the possiblity of retaining my Christian faith without giving up on intellect and reason. His works impacted my life in deep ways and also connected me with many other authors who influenced Lewis or were in some way connected to him.… Read the rest