Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thursday Intermission

Happy Thursday!

Some weeks I have a hard time finding videos to post for Intermission. But this week was different: This week I found a great one to share. I’m a fan of musicals and Fred Astaire, and this Russian flash mob’s version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” had me smiling.

This miniature car chase is also fun. It seems to include every car chase cliché in the book, complete with a tiny sidewalk cafe and narrow back alleys, wide turns and screeching brakes, and an ominous helicopter. And it comes complete with a surprise ending.

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Mixed Messages

cultures talk

cultures talk (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

I’ve been blogging at BeaMuses for a while now. My goal is to encourage and to help people connect with God in the everyday. Over the weekend I’ve made a change to the blog format: I’ve gotten rid of the ads.

Keep Reading

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The Message of Purim

The weekend that has just passed marked the celebration of the Jewish Purim holiday. Many people–Gentiles, at least–are somewhat hazy as to what Purim celebrates, and what it all means. (Something about Esther, right?)

As this video explains, “The message of Purim is that God is here, even when He doesn’t seem to be.”

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Season of Reflection


prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

Lent. I feel as though I’m just starting to figure this one out.

Most of my adult life was spent in churches that did not, for various reasons, approach the season of Lent with any great focus. It was simply a prelude to Easter Sunday. If Lent was mentioned at all, it was in the context of “giving
things up.”

And so now I’m looking at Lent through fresh eyes—wanting to see what its purpose it, what my part is, what God’s intention is for this time.

What have I found out?

Lent, like Advent, is a season of waiting. The latter is a time of joyous anticipation, looking forward to the birth of Christ. The former, however, is a time of reflection, repentance and refocusing.

Lent is a time to bring our hopes and longings to the Lord, a time to see what is not right in the world—and in ourselves. And it is a time to seek to bring change, to work alongside the God who is at work in the world today.

And Lent is a time of transformation—at least, it can be. If we shift our focus from the things we’re sacrificing for the season and turn it instead to the actions, thoughts and motivations we’d be better off without, then we can experience a time of real transformation—because that’s part of what repentance is about. We don’t merely apologize to God for our sins; we turn from them and, in so doing, are transformed just that much more into the image of Christ.

Who will you be when Easter morning dawns? As we walk through the Lenten season, take time to be quiet with God, to pray, to listen. Lent isn’t just a time of sorrowful waiting; there is growth to be seen.

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Thursday Intermission

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by.

This week we’ve got an impressive action movie that not only explains what happens to missing socks, but what preventive measures we can take to protect our footwear:

We also see what happens when an octopus steals a photographer’s camera.

Which brings us to the question, why is everyone always stealing our stuff?

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Making Up Holidays

Valentine's Day, San Pedro, California

Valentine’s Day, San Pedro, California (Photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife)

“Valentine’s Day is just a made-up holiday!”

I’ve heard people say it. I’ve seen it on Facebook. And you know what?

They’re right. It is.

The thing is, all of our holidays have been made up. We created them. We have decided what is worth celebrating:

Birth of Christ? Yes.

Thanksgiving? Yes.

Those who serve in the armed forces? Yes.

Walking the dog? Not really; although the observance is coming right up if you want to.

And the holidays handed down by God—Passover, Sukkot, Rosh Hoshana? We decide whether or not we’ll celebrate them.

Valentine’s Day has been associated with romantic love since at least 1500—well before Hallmark came along. Why? Because people realized that love, particularly romantic love, was something that deserved to be celebrated.

And love is worth celebrating. It’s what creates families, the basis for communities and societies. Sometimes romantic love is seen as gushy and sentimental; sometimes it’s seen as purely physical. But the truth is that love is a commitment made to another person. It remains even after the initial giddy endorphin rush has subsided.

Marriages consist of a lot of things: flirting and playfulness, dirty dishes and dirty socks, shared dreams and missed expectations. But it’s the very messiness of marriage that makes it magical. How much commitment would it take to love a perfect person and live a perfect life?

I believe that Valentine’s Day can transcend romantic love to be a day to celebrate love of friends, and it’s a great day to reach out and show God’s love for others.  But to toss it aside as a “made-up holiday”?

Well, of course it is. Because it observes something worth celebrating.


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Thursday Intermission

Happy Thursday–oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day, too!

If this song doesn’t put you in the Valentine’s Day spirit, I don’t know what will. Chris Tomlin’s “Love,” featuring the Watoto Children’s Choir:

If you’re interested, you can see the story behind the performance here:

Yesterday I wrote about expanding the holiday beyond romantic love by showing love and kindness to others. Just in case you need a little inspiration, you can join in Lucas’ birthday celebration in “30 Gifts to 30 Strangers in Sydney.”

Thanks for joining me. May your day be filled with friendship, sharing, laughter and love.

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