Monday, February 25, 2008

My first Meme

This is rather late because I haven't been on her in a while, but I was meme(ed) if that's a word by Mandy. Here are the rules (apparently):

(1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Okay, quirks...I've gots lots of those. Let's see if I can remember them.

1) I hate wearing things on my feet when I sew. I stayed with a family to learn pattern making and help with the children and every afternoon when we would sew, there would be two pairs of shoes along the wall because she didn't like to sew with shoes on either.

2) I have a habit of modulating if I sing without accompaniment. My sister says I don't sing out of tune, I just modulate the song into a different key and carry on from there.

3) I have lived 10 different places in my life. My dad was in the military.

4) I love collecting books for the sake of collecting books. I know it's not necessarily quirky, but I'm having a hard time coming up with things.

Oh, dear, two more....

5) I love being at home. I would be perfectly content to stay within the reaches of home for the rest of my life.

6) This would considered quirky in today's society: My highest aim in life is to be a true helpmeet to my husband one day, if God allows. I want to make sure his home is a place of warmth and comfort. A place where he can work in peace. A place where he feels safe to tell me everything. I want to create a home that welcomes others in. A home where hospitality is practiced almost to excess.

Well, there are six quirky things about me.

I tag Shannon if she wants to play. I know it's not six, but there you are.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Celtic Woman

After two months, we can finally end saying "Merry Chirstmas!"

One of my Christmas presents was a set of four tickets for our family to go see Celtic Woman in concert at our Civic Center. This past Saturday night we went. I love Celtic music and I love singing, so I guess it's only natural that I would be interested in something like this.

The music was amazing. The voices blended so beautifully. The solos were stunning. The violinist And the showmanship was breathtaking.

I don't know that there is any real way to describe the concert. It was stirring. The women's voices have this quality about them that they reach into your heart and make you want to laugh with them, or cry with them, or just hold your breath and wait for whatever was coming next.

These women are able to do so many different types of music. They had slow songs that were ballads and told a story that broke your heart. They had fast songs that made you want to stand up and dance (only you didn't because no one else around was:-). They had harmony with one voice flowing over or underneath the others like a gentle river. They had tight harmony so that it was hard to tell exactly how many voices were singing.

And then they had the violinist. Hmm, what to say here? She is amazing. I didn't know you could take flying leaps, high kicks, twirls, and dancing all while playing hard, for me anyway, music. Well, she did. Shannon and I thought she was like a Barbie doll, mischievious pixie, and cheerleader all rolled into one. I can gaurantee you that it makes for eye catching song!

How well were we able to see all of this? We were sitting at about the level of the stage in the back. They were incredible seats. My voice teacher recommended them and she was right. We did need to use binoculars, but we didn't get the neck strain, or possible burst ear drums we would have gotten if we sat any closer.

It was an amazing experience! I think it was my favorite Christmas present!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Outside Hollywood

I finished the book about a month ago, but forgot to finish my review of it.

I really enjoyed this book. It has made me be more careful of what I watch and also how I watch things. I have never been one to just sit down and watch a movie to "zone out". One of the things I find most fun about watching a movie is discussing it afterwards with someone who shares the same beliefs as I do. (Right now this happens to be my sister and parents.) But after reading Outside Hollywood, I have begun to realize how important that is. We have to be so careful what we are allowing our eyes to see and what images we are allowing to be put into our brains.

I think this is an area where the church, and I as a part of the church, tends to fall. We are content to be just "better" than the world. We don't always strive to be the best for God's glory. I think many Christians choose movies that are maybe PG-13 because "they aren't R rated". Or PG because "they are PG-13 rated", etc.

Instead, we need to look beyond the guidelines that a secular world has put on movies and rate them ourselves. That's my first bit of advice. Always look at a synopsis, at the very least, of any new movie you are going to watch. If you have any questions at that point, either put it down or go find reviews from others that you trust. Our family uses Plugged In Online for a lot of reviews, but even then we have to be careful, because they have missed many problems with movies in the past. I personally always recommend getting a review of a movie from someone you know and trust personally before watching a new movie.

If, at this point, you are still interested in watching the movie, go ahead. But I would not necessarily allow young children to be in the room while you are previewing it. Even now my mom will still preview movies for my sister and I: my sister is 19 and I'm 25. I don't resent this in the least. I know she is doing this for my protection and I am grateful for it.

Once you have established that the film is safe for viewing by the intended audience in your home, watch it all together. Now, the most important part (and the part the ties this all back into Outside Hollywood) talk about it. Really, really talk about it. See what you can discover about the world view of the director, writer, producer, actors just by viewing this film. What was good about the film? (acting, directing, promotion of family, the father was portrayed favorably, etc.) What was bad about the film? (pay special attention to those things that might not be obvious:siblings treating each other poorly, sins that are committed and never have consequences, men being put down by the women in the film, etc) Don't exclude Christiam films from this same treatment. There is a lot we can learn (both things to do and things not to do) from the Christian film industry.

And now we are back to Outside Hollywood. The whole reason for the book was to teach people how to make a film that would glorify God in all the areas above. How to make movies that have a strong Christian worldview, that have a high standard of excellence in the technical aspects, that have the ability to build fathers and other men up, that have sibling with wonderful, godly relationships, that show that sin has consequences, that show women building up the men in their lives.

I highly recommend this book to not just those interested in film-making, but anyone interested in learning how to discern a good movie from a bad one.

I'm very grateful for this Christmas present and I think I'll add it to the list of books to be read each year. (That list isn't too long right now: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Outside Hollywood. Hmmm, maybe I should get started on the list now....)