About twice a year, I get inspired to write an “As Of Late” post, though this is the first time I’ve titled it as such. This post is that sort of thing, so if you are looking for that N.T. Wright book summary I promised to continue working on, you should move on, but come back later (I swear I’m still reading Surprised by Hope and have a goal to finish by April and post two or three more section summaries before it’s all said and done).
No self-respecting personal update post would be complete without a picture of our first-born son.We are tired but still having fun. He lives large in so many ways, including his physical stature. The other day, he went outside with a towel around his waist and lifted up a car above his head, just like the original Superman movie. Amazing kid.
I’ve always been challenged by Stanley Hauerwas’ teaching, but have only taken article-sized doses up to this point. I usually can’t write him off even in cases where I disagree with him. He’s a humble, brilliant philosopher who teaches Ethics at Duke University. I was able to attend the Pre-Lenten Symposium at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, and was greatly challenged by his presentation, “Sacrificing the Sacrifices of War.” I’m working on a summary post with a few thoughts simply for my benefit, but also with the hope that a few may actually read it and come away with the same sobriety that I had after hearing him speak on pacifism and war. Here’s a short clip about him and his teaching career. It gives you a taste of his down-to-earth approach to teaching:
Also, I want to point out a web site that I’ve been using to continue the practice of writing. If there’s one thing that writers love to do, it’s to not write. Fortunately, I stumbled upon 750words.com recently and have found that I’ve written more in the last few weeks than I have in a few months time. I haven’t kept the regimen perfectly, but the idea is to write 750 unfiltered words every day, using this private and simple platform.
Even when I miss a few days in a row, I have an urgency to sit down to spill my guts or just my random thoughts on the screen. When I’m finished, I have over 750 words of pure drivel, but it has been a great way to clear out the cobwebs and reset my mind.
One of the features I love is the statistics page once you are finished. It tells you how fast you typed, how many distractions you had, and a few other interesting stats about your writing session.
I highly recommend using the site as a kind of outlet for writing that you may have given yourself permission not to do. Do you want to be a better writer? I think at least two things are required: one is to consistently read talented authors, and the other is to write on a regular basis. 750words.com is a great place to practice the latter and put aside the go-to excuses.
Finally, we stretched out our Valentine’s Day celebration over a week’s time (something I highly recommend if you have babysitting issues), and finished with a viewing of Moulin Rouge on Blu-Ray. There was a time when I mocked this movie in my ignorance, but I can safely say that I was a fool. If you have an appreciation for flamboyant theatrics, gaudy costumes, and tongue-in-cheek humor, this over-the-top musical is a riot. I have no doubt that we’ll watch it again, if it doesn’t become a permanent Valentine’s Day fixture.