A Table in the Presence of My Enemies

It is rare that I watch a film and have to run immediately to blog about it. But a newly released movie has completely enraptured me.

The very modestly named movie Pig carries with it a weight of relational content and mystery that few modern movies measure up to. Nicholas Cage plays a forest recluse whose love for the humblest of animals, a truffle-hunting pig, compels him to hunt down the thieves that take him. He comes out of his reclusion to reveal a world he left behind in the city of Portland, Oregon, a world of friends and family who have lost their first loves in search of fleeting worldly gain, earthly lusts, and extreme disconnection from humanity. But this recluse’s single-minded love and devotion for a simple creature gradually brings them all back around to what is real, holy, and worthy of love.

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Beyond Mere Appearance

Sunday November 7, 2021; 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Galatians 1:11-19
Luke 16:19-31

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ. Glory forever. A classic Danish film portrays the theme of this morning’s gospel in the person of a French maid. Babette’s Feast features a penniless woman cast out by circumstances in her home country to foreign land in the north. Like poor Lazarus, she arrives at the home of two unmarried sisters cold, alone, and in need of help. But if a person were to conclude that Babette’s outward circumstances defined her inward disposition, they would be wrong. For while she was poor in possessions, her artistic soul made her rich beyond the reach of mere circumstance. As the apostle says, “…being poor, yet making many rich“, she managed in the end to exhaust her entire bank account towards a feast for her friends.

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A Story About Friends

Best Friends is a new book about a beautiful girl named Shannon who is also the author. Shannon lives in a small house with two sisters and a brother and two parents. Her older sister Wendy moved to Los Angeles to become a model.

Shannon has two best friends Jen and Adrienne. In Shannon’s school there was a girl named Jenny who is very mean to Shannon. Jen and Jenny were best friends first, but then Adrienne moved to another school and Shannon was left alone.  Next year, Jen and Shannon became best friends. Shannon thought Jenny and her could be friends too, but Jenny was still mean to Shannon.

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A Story that Never Grows Old

My friends at the Fellowship for the Performing Arts have taken their stage monologue play to the cinema! In less than two weeks, this fine theater company will premiere its first ever movie about the life of C.S. Lewis, The Most Reluctant Convert. It will be showing for one night only on Wednesday, November 3 in theaters across the country. Already here in Boston, one of the three theaters showing it has sold out!

Early reviews have promised a strong story from a great cast. For me, it has served as a consolation for not going to NYC for a while to see one of their excellent stage productions about the famous Christian apologist. Get your tickets now for a once in a lifetime event!

Great New Family Drama

We are not the kind of family that watches very much TV. We are more of a movie family. But when I heard about the new ABC reboot of the classic Wonder Years, I knew we had to break our usual pattern of waiting until it came out in DVD and watch it live as it first broadcasts. The new Wonder Years runs every Wednesday night at 8:30pm EST and is now past the second episode, and so far it does not disappoint.

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Learning from Rest

Of the making of books there is no end and much study wearies the body.

Ecclesiastes 12:12

Another calm before the fall storm. My brilliant wife suggests squeezing at least one last trip to the beach in before the crazy fall schedule prohibits us. We go with the three youngest children and our baboushka (“little grandma” in Russian) to Old Silver Beach on Cape Cod, one of the few west facing beaches just over 1.5 hours from Boston. It’s like our back-to-school beach, as it works well to drive here on a mid-afternoon and stay until sundown. A last minute surplus from our local food pantry leaves us well supplied with road food and a picnic supper.

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Becoming a Fool for Christ

8th Sunday after Pentecost

1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 14:14-22

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Glory to Jesus Christ, glory forever. Saint Basil’s Cathedral which sits on the southern edge of Moscow’s Red Square has stood for almost five centuries as the symbol of all of Russia. With its 11 smaller chapels all united under a network of colorful iconic domes, it is a testimony to the protection of God over this ancient land and victory over the enemies of his peaceful Kingdom. The natural question asked by most visitors to this grand temple has a surprising answer. Who was St. Basil? After which great saintly monarch, patriarch, or general is this grand symbol of Russia named?

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Camping with Free Range Children

Want to recommend the practice of camping out there to all of you with family looking for an inexpensive vacation. Throughout this summer, we have had the good fortune to tent and cabin up at two of our favorite sites in Massachusetts, Lake Dennison in Winchendon and Camp Denison in Georgetown, MA. One of our friends has extolled the experience of camping with kids, especially kids who usually live confined in the city, as allowing them to roam freely, like free range chickens. While camping has many challenges, this overall experience really makes it all worth it. Here are some of the best pictures from our recent outings.

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The Cape’s Relaxing Magic

Made it to the Cape after my older three went ahead a day early with their uncle and a family friend. They were very happy to see me come along with my van full of bikes, groceries, and fun-in-the sun implements. Timing is perfect as temperatures in Boston soared to an unseasonable 90 degrees, leaving the Cape and the Islands hovering around the high 70s and low 80s: I call it Southern California weather.

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The Deliciousness of Redemption

When I was a boy, my heroes were Christian missionaries who journeyed to primitive tribes in remote places on the globe, learned the language and culture of the locals, created an alphabet for that tribe, then translated the Scriptures into that newly discovered language. I thought perhaps someday God might call me to such a work, so I studied classical languages as a basis for all untranslated tongues. Though I never became a missionary of this type, the work of translating and communicating the Gospel to an unreached people continues to interest me.

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