Author: Michael Brown

Looks Like I’m “It!”

Jason over at Already & Not Yet and Scott at Free Thoughts have “tagged” me in what looks like the opening move of some sort of chain blog, phishing scam. Next thing you know they’ll be offering to send me 100 million dollars like Princess Fayad Bolkiah if I’ll just send them my bank account and social security numbers. Yeah right. Listen boys, I wasn’t born in Alabama, ok?

Oh well, against my better judgement, here goes nothing.… Read the rest

Thoughts on Lessons and Carols

Several of us Church of Christ folks snuck over to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Huntsville last night for A Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest churches in Huntsville and has an interesting piece of history attached to it. During the Civil War, the Union Army occupied Huntsville and began commandeering area churches to use as stables for their horses. One Union officer was sent with a detail to Church of the Nativity for that purpose. However, when he saw the words “Reverence My Sanctuary” (still seen today) above the front entrance, he had second thoughts and gave orders to his troops that the church was to remain untouched.… Read the rest

Hare Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Ok, I know how it goes. You have the best of intentions of following through on my suggestion from yesterday and watching It’s a Wonderful Life with your family this Christmas, but your busy holiday, er, I mean Christmas schedule just won’t allow it. Maybe you’ve got miles to travel, last-second shopping to do, or perhaps you’ll be picketing down at the local Wal-Mart or Target with a sign that reads, “Merry Christmas…or else!”

Don’t despair. To the rescue in our fast-food, instant gratification world rides this 30-second short film parody of It’s a Wonderful Life starring the cute, adorable little hares of the world famous 30 Second Bunnies Theatre Troupe.… Read the rest

Merry Christmas You Wonderful Old FBI!

Our Sunday School class has been watching Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life recently and discussing it in the context of scriptures such as Philippians 2:3 and Psalm 90:17. Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey was indeed a man who “considered others better” than himself and who had the unique opportunity to see what difference the “work of his hands” made in the life and times of the people of the fictional town of Bedford Falls, New York. Like Clarence the Angel, we “like that George Bailey”–how could anyone not, right?

Well, it may surprise you that in 1946 when the movie was first released, the movie was unmercifully panned by critics as “too corny” and promptly flopped at the box office (it was not until PBS began re-broadcasting the movie in the 1970s that it finally got its second wind and became a Christmas classic).… Read the rest

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. —

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