Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Potter Mania (a.k.a., a retrospective short story)

Last Friday night, I accompanied some friends to Barnes & Noble for the release of the final Harry Potter book. Having not pre-purchased a copy myself, I didn’t stay until midnight like the rest of them. (I’m more a fan of the movies than I am of the books. Surprise, surprise.) However, the highlight for me was an announcement made over the loudspeakers somewhere around nine o’ clock. What made it so funny was the fact that the bookstore employee was being dead serious. He stated the following:

This is a public service announcement. There will be no broom flying in the store. Those caught flying in the store will have their brooms impounded.

I couldn’t help but burst into a laughing fit. Evidently, I was the only one who found the announcement humorous because no one else laughed with me (although there were a couple people who giggled and/or stared at me).

So concluded my first—and last—experience at a Harry Potter publishing event extravaganza.

[Note: I neither took the above picture nor do I know the individuals in it.]

Friday, July 06, 2007

Quote for the Week(end)

“…the foundation of pleasure is labor with pain, and the foundations of pain are vain and lascivious pleasures.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

Laws of Attraction

Thanks to Carolyn McCulley for posting a link to this outstanding article on cultivating an attraction to what really matters in the opposite sex (written specifically for guys). It’s simultaneously a breath of fresh air and a slap in the face.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Christian Hedonist’s Playbook (Part 10) – Conclusion

If we realize our joy in God is lackluster, we must seek to discern what our hearts are prizing more than God. This is the pursuit of a saint determined to eradicate all idols from his heart, by the grace of God. This is the pursuit of the Psalmists. This, I believe, is the ultimate aim of the book of Psalms—to show us how normal believers in times past fought for joy in the living God. The only thing that can destroy a superficial joy in superficial gods (i.e., idols) is the life-altering and soul-sustaining joy found in the one true God. And it is this God that the Psalms offer to us as the remedy to all our idolatrous pursuits. More than any other book in the Bible, the Psalms persistently and passionately call us to prize the Lord above all else. And this, I believe, is the goal of the Christian hedonist.

Truth be told, if I had to point to one factor that has most encouraged my Christian growth in the last year, it would be the power of God’s grace made effective in my life through the study and memorization of passages from the Psalms. I wholeheartedly agree with Charles Spurgeon, who said, “The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure.”

In fact, Psalms has become my favorite book in the Bible. No other book has God used more repeatedly to encourage my soul in Him and to help me fight for joy in the Lord when all around my soul gives way. Psalms is a precious book, a spiritual feast, a God-breathed treasure trove of hope-instilling, idolatry-destroying, God-exalting literature. May I continue to treat it as the treasure that it is and feast on the truths it contains.