Monday, November 27, 2006

Crucifying Santa

There's been a bit of discussion happening today at Ruth's blog (here and here) and at Rodeo's blog (here) about jolly old St Nicholas.

I've expressed many of my views already in the comments sections of both those blogs.

In short, I think Christians can get a bit too hung up about Santa. In my view Santa is not an anagram for Satan. Further, doing the whole Santa thing with your kids is not lying to them (there's a difference between make believe or fiction on the one hand, and lying on the other hand). We don't need to get all santimonious about this.

Ruth pointed to the new Christmas cards that FEVA (the Fellowship for Evangelism in the Visual Arts) have put out, many of which take pot shots at Santa. Some of them border on offensive (see the picture to the left).

Let's use Christmas to point people to God's amazing gift to us in Christ, but this kind of thing can just be a turn off for people. Let them be offended by the message of Christ crucified, rather than by us crucifying Santa!

(By the way, Ruth had some excellent ideas on her blog as to how to explain the whole Santa thing to your kids, and I may well borrow her suggestions.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The link

Believe it or not, there is a link between my last 2 posts. Here it is ...

Last Saturday week we decided to venture out to Bondi in the late afternoon to see Sculptures by the Sea and have take away dinner. In the meantime, I had spent the day raving to my wife about how much I was enjoying my new U2 purchases, particularly their latest album, and had listened to them on the iPod whenever I could grab a chance.

We left home about 4.20pm and had a jolly good time out at Bondi, returning after 8.00pm. There was a message on our home phone voice mail left at about 4.30pm. We'd obviously just missed their call.

Later in the evening I asked my wife whether she'd listened to the message and who had called. She said she was in a dilemma as to whether to tell me or not.

She eventually told me. A friend had called us, only minutes after we'd left, saying she was feeling quite sick and would I like her ticket to the Sydney U2 concert that very evening!!!! Missed the call by 10 minutes!!!!

I think I handled the potential disappointment quite well. We had only been discussing that afternoon that there's no use getting worried about things in the past that you can't change (my wife reminded me of this conversation before telling me about the call!). And God in his sovereignty worked it all out for best. I had worked very long hours that week and had barely seen my family, so an extra night out away from them would not have been a good idea (even if it was to see U2 live!). And our friend, despite feeling quite ill, managed to get along to the concert and enjoy herself, and it would have been very disappointing for her to miss it. She was one of the original ticket holders when they cancelled their tour earlier this year.

Plus, we had a great time at Sculptures by the Sea!

Maybe next time ...

Sculptures by the Sea

Our annual pilgramage to Bondi/Tamarama to see the fantastic Sculptures by the Sea ... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

U2 on the iPod

Equipped with my recently received iPod (a birthday gift from my wife + kids), financed by my recently received iTunes voucher (a birthday gift from my brother + sister-in-law), inspired by my recent reading of the book "Bono on Bono" and enthused by U2's recent arrival here in Australia for their concert tour, I hopped onto the iTunes site the other week and downloaded four of U2's albums. They're incredibly cheap - only $11.99 each! I decided to spread my purchases across the decades and bought the following:

- "War"
- "Rattle & Hum"
- "Achtung Baby"
- "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb"

The first is one of U2's very early recordings, a period I'm not as familiar with other than the odd well known song. The second two are from the late '80s / early '90s and I've previously owned them on cassette tape (remember those??) but thought it was time to upgrade them to new technology as they're both great albums. The last one of course is U2's most recent album, but I had not previously heard it.

Well, I've hardly listened to the first three albums in the list because my iPod is now virtually stuck in a permanent "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" groove. I can't stop playing it! Over and over and over and over - I can't get enough! It is absolutely brilliant, both musically and lyrically. In particular, Bono's modern psalm, "Yahweh" is pure poetry. I might do a whole separate post on it.

Suffice to say, I'm very satisfied with my purchases. Thanks Dave & Row!