Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Glenn Beck, Paul Kerry & the Hobbit

Today's adventure led us to the Glenn Beck Studios for a discussion with Glenn and Dr. Paul Kerry, and associate professor of history at Brigham Young University on J.R.R. Tolkien's writing and Christianity. 

Tolkien, speaking of LOTR & theHobbit,
"a fundamentally religious and Catholic work"
in a 1955 letter to the English Jesuit Robert Murray.

Dr. Paul E. Kerry is the editor of the recently published collection, The Ring and the Cross: Christianity and The Lord of the Rings , which includes essays by Joseph Pearce, Bradley J. Birzer, John Holmes, and several other Tolkien experts. Dr. Kerry is also co-editor, with Sandra Miesel, of the book, Light Beyond All Shadow: Religious Experience in the Work of J. R. R. Tolkien .
"I am a Christian and of course what I write will be from that essential viewpoint."

The conversation centered around Tolkien being a devout Catholic even to the point that he was the individual who converted C.S. Lewis, then an atheist to Christianity.  No small task!  Tolkien deliberately did not write in the allegory form that Lewis used, in fact as contemporaries Tolkien saw that Oxford withheld the Professorship from Lewis because of his overtly Christian writings. 

However, as a devout Catholic and in reading Tolkien's reflections to his children you can see the nature of the man writing the book.  You see that there is providence and not dumb luck in the actions of the hero.  You see there is goodness, and you see that evil is given over to it's own desires. All are Biblical themes. 

It was an interesting discussion and Glenn had on hand many originals of Tolkien's private letters to his children, belonging to a private collector in Dallas. 

Abigail was able to attend today's taping.  The movie comes out tomorrow and will be rated PG-13.  It is a dark movie and especially in the new 3-D, I would not take a younger child to see this movie.  That being said, Abigail will be 12 in two weeks and because she has read this book multiple times and familiar with the dark nature will see the movie with our Classical Book Club.
During the Q&A portion of the show Caleb was able to ask Dr. Kerry about Gollum's dual personality.  His question was addressed by Glenn and Dr. Kerry and aired on tonight's show!   So fun!  

 And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Casa Manana's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

The best thing about the Casa Manana's children's performance is the twist their writers put on traditional stories.  Today we enjoyed Casa Manana's Twas the Night Before Christmas.  In this tale with her daddy off to war, Molly is having trouble finding her Christmas spirit. Determined to make it a Christmas to remember, Molly's mother takes her on a magical treasure hunt where they encounter dancing elves, a rocking Santa Claus and many other characters throughout the night only to awake to a special Christmas surprise.
The performance included a score of beloved Christmas songs such as "Jingle Bells," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen," "Blue Christmas" and more.  Such a darling tale and as always the acting and singing were amazing! 
Of course, not to be left out, I should include that it was made even more enjoyable because we attended with 60+ friends from PEACH. 

Therefore do not let anyone judge you
by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival,
 a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day
Colossians 2:16

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Afternoons

The VERY best part of my week, almost every week is Sunday after Bible class. It is the time when I get together with about sixteen incredible kids to study the book of Matthew.  I love Bible Bowl! I love teaching these kids, I love pushing them to learn more, I love them teaching me! 
I can't say I ever have a strong feeling for how the kids will do in competition, but I have a very strong feeling about how these kids will do in life.  We have spent so much time together, some of them every Sunday afternoon for 6 months at a time for the past seven years!  They bring out the best in each other and truly do 'spur one another on!'
There are so many things pulling for their attention, and time, but this is where they choose to spend and hour and a half on Sunday afternoons.  And everyone of them will score better than I will on the test, but they still let me teach!  And even though many of them are now taller then me, they still let me hug their necks.  They laugh at my corny Bible Bowl jokes.  And I get to tag team with my favorite teaching partner, Mr. Jon!
When I look at these faces I know one day each of them will stand before another group of 16 to 20 kids and pass this legacy on!  I had awesome Bible Class teachers at Broken Arrow, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Matthews, Mrs. Lightsey, Mrs. Emerson, Mrs. Dethridge and others who handed the torch to me!

Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him
and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon
when he was young and indecisive
and not strong enough to resist them.
II Chronicles 13:7

Friday, December 7, 2012

English Country Dancing

One of the last dances 

Tonight we tried our hand or should I say our feet at English Country Dancing. Wikipedia defines English Country Dance as a form of social folk dance which originated in Renaissance England, and was popular until the early 19th century in parts of Europe and the American colonies.
There is a great group of homeschoolers in our area who meet together on the first Friday of the month. When Caleb and I attended the Mother / Son luncheon, English Country Dancing was one of the activities and it was delightful!
The dance is elegant and scripted. Each dance is introduced and the steps are taught before the music is added. With each new dance you select a new partner, and throughout each dance you and your partner work in and out with other couples. The dances are a work out and some can rival any aerobics class!
For December everyone dressed for the time period. Everyone brought cookies and homemade goodies served with punch cups of Ginger Ale!
I realize we live in a time of electronic gizmos and delivery pizza sufficing as a teen social event. But this was positively delightful! I know it's crazy, but the kids spoke (not texted) and visited with each other. They introduced themselves to other youth and parents. They also shared in stories of homemade sugar cookies.
It was a sheer blessing to see the youth interacting with each other and adults with complete manners and social graces appropriate to the time period. Caleb and Abigail danced every dance of the evening. Jon and I dance several, until we couldn't keep up! I think Frankie made it one or two songs before she decided it was far more fun to take photos of everyone than to dance.
Each dance began with the young men escorting their partner by the arm on the dance floor and concluded with both partners bowing to honor to their partner, thanking them for the dance. Even at the end of the night, the young men shook hands and bowed to the ladies, thanking them for a lovely evening.
Mom's fake out of breath smile!
This is something we will do again! Two years ago we square danced, this was much more elegant and minus the caller. My sweet, sweet friend, Ms. Donna loves the Pride and Prejudice style bonnet movies. That isn't my cup of tea; I prefer a good mystery any day! With that said, this uncoordinated 'church of Christ' (aka. we don't dance) girl had a great time. Outside of our square dancing adventure, I don't think I've danced since 'choreographing' in Spring Sing at Oklahoma Christian!

Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
Jeremiah 31:13

Jr. High Christmas Party

I really think I should start this post with:  Abigail is in Jr. High!!!  When did that happen?!  OK, whew, tonight was the church Jr. High Christmas Party at Ms. Belinda's home.  Ms. Belinda's family have a lovely home, plenty of land with horses, goats, chickens etc.  They are the family that host the Cowboy Camp
Tonight the kids did all the traditional Christmas party celebrations, you know, gift exchange, caroling, flash light tag, silly string fights, etc. I think Abigail had to wash her hair four times to get the silly string out of her long hair! 
Ms. Belinda baked frosted sugar cookies that were yummy!  Ms. Belinda and Abigail are very much kindred spirits, both are brilliant, tough as nails but know how to rock a little bling!!!
Treat older women as mothers,
and younger women as sisters,
with absolute purity.
I Timothy 5:2