Friday, September 22, 2006

Not really a remake

OK, so I know it's just a matter of semantics, but it's driving me crazy that the press is calling this new cinematic version of All the King's Men a "remake" of the 1949 film of the same name. It's not a remake! It's a screenplay adaptation of the pulitzer prize winning book entitled All the King's Men! There's a difference between a remake and a new adaptation of the same book. Remake, to me, implies that this new movie will be based solely on the original movie, when, in fact, that isn't what's going on. I'm afraid that some people will begin to think that All the King's Men is only a set of movies, when, in fact, it's actually an amazing book...a book whose every page is dripping with description and total mastery of the English language. Get out there and read this book. This is the time in the program when Levar Burton would say, "But don't take my word for it," and the screen would cut away to some kid telling you about their favorite book. Ah, Reading Rainbow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Brief thoughts on a Wednesday morning

Thomas Jefferson:

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I found this quote as I was looking for a "thought for the day" for our bulletin. It seems that we have strayed far from Jefferson's hopes for the parallel paths of wisdom and power.

On a totally unrelated note, I read in The Week this week that 61% of Americans truly believe that God wants them to be financially prosperous. Ummmm...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The coffeeshop shuffle

Whirrr, grind, clank, whizz, glug glug glug...Here I sit at Fido's coffeeshop in Hillsborough Village on a Tuesday evening. As I was waiting for my computer to boot up and for the wireless to connect, I simply looked around and watched everyone as they gave their order and did the coffeeshop shuffle. There's giving your order to the quazi-emo looking person behind the counter, you know, the one with the tattoos and at least one body piercing. The wait for whatever you ordered...this time it's just a decaf Cafe Olei for me, so the wait is short. Some people, however, stand there for the better part of 10 minutes waiting for their double mochaccino no foam double whip blah blah blah. There's the initial sprinkling with cocoa, nutmeg, sugar, whatever. The first few sips and the quick revelation that it's not quite right. The return to the counter for more sugar, cream, 2% (well, you assume it's 2 %, even though the percent sign is mostly scraped away), or other coffee additives of your choice. Then, the search for a seat. Are you a cushy booth sitter or a tall tables and chair sitter, or are you the one who sits all by yourself at the six top? Important questions to be asked and answered. Then, you either settle in to read, check e-mail, journal, blog, listen to your ipod, etc., or you slide in next to your mates who, at some point this evening, have been at various stages of the coffeeshop shuffle as well. Ah, Fido's, you truly are an experience.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Elihu the youth

Job 32:4-10

1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; 3he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. 4Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. 5But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

6Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered: "I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you. 7I said, 'Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.' 8But truly it is the spirit in a mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. 9It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right. 10Therefore I say, 'Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.'

This text is part of the daily lectionary today. These words are spoken by Elihu after he's heard his elders give their advice to the mourning Job. I love the fact that Elihu begins by listening to the wisdom of his elders and waiting to speak until those who are supposed to have wisdom have spoken. But, in the absence of what he sees as wisdom, he decides that it's time for the voice of youth to speak up. As the youngest one present, possibly a high school youth on a committee, he becomes frustrated with both Job and his "friends," because neither side seems to be adequately repentant and neither side quite gets it right. Elihu goes on to provide what I see as a kind of middle ground between Job and the other friends. Anyway, as one who works with young people, this passage struck me as one that calls upon young people to speak up when the wisdom of the elders seems flawed.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Biff Fink

This Sunday is Jazz Sunday at Harpeth. One of our church members does some jazz workshop stuff and is bringing her friends along to share some jazz with the congregation. Anyway, last night at choir practice, we were practicing a children's sermon that tells the story of how jazz came about. It's a story about a frog who wanted to sing in a forest where only the birds sang. When he finally gets up to sing, he sings a jazz beat and everybody loves it. So, Biff Fink, our Director of Music is playing the frog. There he was last night, being totally goofy and funny and entertaining. I really do stand in awe of Biff's love for music and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get a message across. He's one of those people who's willing to let go of any need to be "composed," and yet he can turn around and be totally deep in his thoughts and meditations about Scripture, life, people, music, etc. For that, and many other reasons, I hold him in very high regard. Biff Fink is just one more reason why I love being at Harpeth.