Southern Hospitality

A question for all. I’d especially like Southerners input on this one: Is Southern hospitality insincere? I had never really heard that one until I moved up here, but I’ve heard it a lot since I’ve moved up here. I’ve never once had the impression that Southern hospitality is insincere. There may be some of those people in the South, but I’ve never gotten the impression that it’s insincere. I mean, after all, part of hospitality is being nice to people that hard to get along with.

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Courtney Huntington

So I have been blogging over a year and a half now. I’ve seen so many bloggers start blogging since I have. I remember when there were only like four or five Reformed bloggers. I guess you just get out of the loop as a new generation starts blogging. I was pleased this morning to see Courtney Huntington has started blogging. It only took me a month to find out.

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You are 22% geek
OK, so maybe you ain’t a geek. You do, at least, show a bit of interest in the world around you. Either that, or you have enough of a sense of humor to pick some of the sillier answers on the test. Regardless, you’re probably a pretty nifty, well-rounded person who gets along fine with people and can chat with just about anyone without fear of looking stupid or foolish or overly concerned with minutiae. God, I hate you.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

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My buddy Nathan tipped me

My buddy Nathan tipped me off to this review, written by someone who saw the rough cut of The Passion. What did this guy think of it? If I’ve ever seen a reviewer gush out a review, it’s this one. He said,

The Passion is a stunning work of art. It is a devout, act of worship from Mel and his collaborators – in the way that Handel’s Messiah and Notre Dame
were artistic acts of worship in previous times.

I can’t explain it really, except that it would be like standing in the Sistine Chapel next to, well, someone like Mel Gibson. Great art is a great leveler.

Let’s get the controversy out of the way right at the top. The film is faithful to the Gospel, particularly St. John.

For those of us who love Jesus, The Passion is devastating to watch. It is so good, I almost couldn’t stand it.

It is the greatest movie about Jesus ever made.

The film is strongly Eucharistic.

Every Christian needs to see this film at least once. Just to remember, in our current comfort zones while evil is closing in, the price that was paid for us. On my way home from the screening, I found myself praying in the car, “Jesus, I’m so sorry, I forgot…” How many films have led you to compunction lately? The Passion is a miracle.

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Back from Vacation

I feel kinda like Emeth. Her latest blog post was,

Just got home from airport. More later, k?

On Wednesday, Tim and I left for Moscow, Idaho, so we could pick up Isaiah, so the Eyres wouldn’t have to pick him up before we all went to Oregon. We strategically planned it so we could Emeth, Ben, and Berek before Isaiah and I went to Oregon with the Eyres. We ended up going to the Leithart’s house to talk til two in the morning.

In the morning, we drove back to Spokane to meet up with the Eyres, and we drove to Portland. It was kinda frustrating because I lost my check card the day before I left, most stores don’t like home-printed checks, and I couldn’t pull cash out of my checking account because it was locked for a couple days because of a problem with a client’s check. So I left with two dollars in cash. I spent the first dollar buying Rachel a drink at the hotel on Thursday, and I ended up losing the other dollar sometime soon after. So much for my funds. Fortunately, the Eyres were gracious enough to pick up the tab on everything while I was there. That made my life a little bit easier.

On Thursday, we arrived at First OPC Portland in time for the wedding rehearsal. Rachel’s close friend Evie McConnell was marrying Matt MacPherson. It was the first time I had seen Rachel in a few days, and I just kinda sat, looking on wistfully. I looked at her like I had never seen her before. I think she got even more beautiful. She spent some time with us at our hotel on Thursday night before going back to be with the rest of the bridesmaids. It was just a nice relaxed time. When I woke up on Friday morning, everyone was still asleep, so I read the paper. I miss reading the paper. It’s something I find very enjoyable. I never thought I would find it enjoyable, but I picked up the habit earlier in the year, and kicked it a month or so ago because it took up too much time. Isaiah and I ended up going into town to buy some film for his camera, then we ended up at the Portland Arts Festival, where we met up with an old buddy that lives in Portland, Josh Dupuis. We hung out with him for a few hours, and he bought us a couple of slices of pizza from Pizza Schmizza. Yum. Portland is a pretty place, and I really like it. Shawn Mullins put it this way: “Portland is a small town with a bitter city smile.” I don’t feel like it’s a “small town” but it isn’t huge, and it’s pretty homey (sp?). When Forrest and Rebekah’s car broke down about fifty miles outside of Portland, the Eyres had to rescue them. That meant they might not go back to the hotel room. So we had to jump on the MAX, take a shuttle to the hotel, shuttle back to the MAX, get off at 82nd street, and then catch a bus to the church. We made it just in time.

After the wedding, I met Gus van Sant, and felt really cool. Then we hung out with Elias McConnell. We went back to his house where we watched Elephant, a movie he acted in that won at the Cannes Film Festival. They liked it at Cannes obviously because they got an eight minute ovation, which is pretty rare at Cannes. The movie is based loosely on Colombine, and I think it will come out in the states in August. I enjoyed it, but I think Rachel and Isaiah thought it was weird.

Of course, we were stupid, and didn’t realize the MAX wasn’t running as late as we thought, so we had to call Mr. Eyre at something like 1 AM to pick us up. I felt really bad, and well, that put me in a bad mood.

On Saturday morning, Rachel and I went for a swim early in the morning. I love mornings. After our swim, we packed up and went to Rockaway Beach. We stayed in a nice little house on the beach. Rockaway is a beautiful little place on the Pacific Ocean. It was a culture shock for me. As if I haven’t had 100 million culture shocks since I’ve moved to Spokane, here was yet another: brown sand, sea foam, clapping waves, and cold water.

I started teasing Rachel about the Pacific: “Sand isn’t supposed to be brown; it’s supposed to be white!” Rachel replied, “Then why do they call it ‘sandy’ colored hair?” Knowing I was beaten, I said, “Well, in the South, we call albinos ‘sandy blondes’”. Heh. The first day, the Pacific looks liked the oceans that I’ve seen in movies. Waves clapping together, going in every direction. Where I’ve lived, you only see that during tropical storms. It had a very mysterious and powerful effect on me. It was very different, and it consumed my thoughts. It was more like life: turbulent. I only went in the water a few times, but when I went in, it was like ice water. Rachel went in more than me; her legs turned purple and pink splotches. Unknown to us, people were dying of hypothermia just a few miles a way from us. The ocean is powerful, so strong that it can kill. It is a vivid picture of God’s power.

When we went to Covenant Community Church in Manzanita, the pastor mentioned that “Susan had lost her husband yesterday.” We found out that a boat had been turned over in the turbulence, taking the life of eleven, including Susan’s husband. Susan and her husband had been down visiting from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Pastor Rick Krane of Covenant Community Church had been down to the ocean that day, after hearing of the calamity. It was an odd thing for me, who has yet to have a close friend die.

After church we went back to our house. Everyone went to the beach. Isaiah and Rachel napped on the couch. I walked aimlessly around the kitchen, trying to figure out how to clean it, trying to do something, anything to express my gratitude to the Eyres. I put food away, and I wiped the counters down. I didn’t know where the clean dishes went. It was futile.

I had woke up that morning with a swollen throat. I couldn’t talk for a couple hours, and when I did finally talk, everyone had thought I was being rude. People misinterpreting me: the story of my life. On Sunday, I went with Isaiah, Rachel, and Mr. Eyre to a part of the beach about 35 minutes away. I saw the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen, and just enjoyed twirling around on the beach with Rachel as her father and brother took pictures. It was idyllic.

On Monday morning, we caught a low-tide that allowed us to explore sea caves. Starfish, sunstars, anemones, crabs, lochness monsters, etc. It was super cool. This was my favorite part of the trip, and my favorite part of this experience was singing psalms in sea caves with Rachel. How nice it would be to have a church with such acoustics! By the time we left there, lack of sleep and sickness started to catch up with me. We took some various trips to the Tillamook Cheese Factory where we got yummy ice cream. Mr. Eyre got me a homemade peaches ‘n’ cream cone. My favorite! But I think I was a goner. I was feeling pretty miserable by the time we got home. Rachel and I read Scripture on the couch for a long while. It was really good to spend time with Rachel. I hardly get to see her anymore, so it was really nice to spend that time with her. Some of the others felt like we were excluding them, so that wasn’t good, but it’s just…how often do I get to spend a quiet moment with her?

Later we roasted marshmallows, and made schmores. Mmmmm-chocolaaate. When we got back, we all watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. I was the only one that made it through the film. I’m easily entertained, so I liked it lol.

Tuesday, I woke up feeling miserable. Fortunately, we didn’t have much planned. I’ll write more about this later.

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