Bah! Humbug

I have been on quite the “rankings” rampage as of late.  In the interest of the holiday season I thought I would continue in that vein.

Many of you know of my distaste for all things Christmas music.  Wait until you get ahold of how I feel about Christmas movies.  
But I do enjoy a few.  Here are my top ten (full-length) holiday flicks: 
  9. Scrooged
  7.  Santa Clause
  6.  Home Alone
  5.  Santa Claus
What is your top ten?  Did I miss any?  And don’t even say “Elf.”  An embarrassment to all things holiday (except for the talented Zooey Deschanel, of course).  Or “It’s a Wonderful [Waste of Time].”  
Merry Christmas!  
Bah! Humbug


Every year my father (and more often than not, my brother) see a movie during the holiday season.  Click here to read more about the origin of our movie tradition.  Here is the updated list:

  • Skyfall (2012):  Both my father and myself liked it and my brother loved it (my father’s choice)
  • War Horse (2011): Both my father and myself loved it (my choice)
  • Unstoppable (2010): All three of us liked it (my choice)
  • Avatar (2009): Both my father and myself liked it (my father’s choice)
  • James Bond and the Quantum of Solace (2008): Both my father and myself liked it (my choice)
  • The Great Debaters (2007): My father and myself loved it and my brother liked it (my choice)
  • Deck the Halls (2006): My father loved it and my brother and myself HATED it (my father’s choice)
  • King Kong (2005): My father liked it, my brother loved it, and I hated it (my choice)
  • Christmas w/ the Kranks (2004): My father loved it and I liked it (my father’s choice)
  • Return of the King (2003): My father and stepmother liked it and I loved it (my choice)
  • Santa Clause 2 (2002): My father loved it, my brother liked it, and I disliked it (my father’s choice)
  • Ali (2001): My father loved it and my brother and myself liked it (my father’s choice)
What movies do you remember going to during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season?  

You Are Now Free to Listen to Christmas Music…

No one should be allowed to (let alone want to) listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  Click here to read more about my love-hate relationship with holiday music.

One of our newer traditions is to purchase (at least) one album a year to listen to while we decorate our tree.  Here is the list thus far (keep in mind that I am usually focusing on artists, genres, and songs that my wife would enjoy (I do not endorse or enjoy some of these selections).  
We also buy singles throughout the season to supplement our collection.  We now have over 18 hours worth.  Pretty good considering we had just 4 CDs six years ago. 
All of the above-listed albums were released on the years that we downloaded them.  Any classics that you have on your list that we should consider adding to ours?  
You Are Now Free to Listen to Christmas Music…

The Last Man

I am a sucker for Vince Flynn novels.  My brother, Troy Farley, was the first to lead me to this airport fiction.  I have never looked back and rarely been disappointed.  The Last Man falls right in line as the thirteenth book starting the secret agent named Mitch Rapp.

The best part – (unlike the last two in the series) this one is not a prequel.  I wonder how many books Flynn will write before his hero runs off into the sunset, retires from duty, or worse yet…

The Last Man

What Good is God?

I would highly recommend Philip Yancey’s What Good is God? 

Yancey writes, “When I heard the story behind the Orange Revolution, the image of a small screen of truth in the corner of the big screen became for me an ideal picture of the church.  You see, we in the church do not control the big screen.  (When we do, we usually mess it up)…We live out our days in a twisted society that barrages us with the message that worth depends on appearance or income or access to power.  Jesus calls us to see the world through God’s eyes, to realize that God may care as much about what is happening in Darfur or Haiti right now as on Wall Street…” (185-186).  

What Good is God?

Community is Messy

I recently received a complimentary copy of Heather Zempel’s (discipleship pastor at National Community ChurchCommunity is Messy from IVP.  A must read. 

In the chapter titled “Leading Yourself Well,” Zempel writes, “Pre-decisions are the most important decisions we ever make.  They are the decisions we make ahead of time that provide guardrails and make game-time decisions easier and more resolute… Solid pre-decisions include things like deciding ahead of time that you don’t have a price.  Deciding ahead of time that what God thinks of you is more important than what people think of you.  Deciding that offending the Holy Spirit is far worse than offending people” (77-78).

Here are some questions to help us think through our character:

  • How well do I treat people who can’t do anything for me? 
  • Am I the same person in the spotlight, around friends and alone?  
  • Do I quickly and voluntarily admit when I’ve made mistakes and take responsibility for them? 
  • Do I have an uncompromising moral compass for decisions, or do I allow circumstances to determine my choices?  
  • When I have something to say about people, do I talk to them or about them? (79). 

More details on the book can be read here.

Community is Messy