Like a dog & a bone

The latest development in my tenacious quest to define character: interestingly, Gretchen, our creative arts director, just elaborated on this in her Labor Day sermon (check out the 8/31/08 one once it’s posted here).

I’ve taken Gretchen’s classes on “Story” (adapted from the infamous Robert McKee classic…so beautifully mocked in “Adaptation“…but I digress…) – all that to say she gets storytelling and used this to elaborate on what CHARACTER is. Specifically as distinct from “characterization”:

Characterization is what we can glean about people from their observable traits: mannerisms, looks, habits, words, voice, outward appearance.


Character is ONLY revealed by the choices a person makes when under pressure.

It all leads us to a great reflection question: “What do our choices reveal about our character?”

Gretchen drove home the point by referencing another film hero, Steven Spielberg, who apparently screens movies by leaving out the SOUND. This filters out the ‘noise’ (literally and figuratively) to enable him to get at the core of the characters …as revealed by what they DO vs. what they say (or perhaps for us, what they write, text, etc. as well….).

So if someone were watching our life as if it were a silent movie, what would they say about us? In essence, who ARE we (as distinct from what we may say or think we are)?

The Hebrew mindset is dead-on here. It’s all about ACTIONS. Jesus the Israeli said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”

Words words words. Maybe I should blog less.

I don’t know Chris Blumhofer but I already like him

THANK YOU THANK YOU Mr. B b/c you detest the pop culturization of Our Lord as much as me! It may sell a lot of books to distill the creator of the earth, the Alpha and Omega, the maker of all things (of course this descriptive list is by definition incomplete owing to our inability to grasp the infinite) to a business principle…but er, can the Created really appropriate the Creator for its own ends? When exegesis is inversed into starting first with a principle for our own sake, we become impoverished, losing all sense of our proper relationship to Him. The logical outcome of that trend is what CS Lewis termed “God in the Dock.”

is it worship or a song?

At aforesaid bbq, we sang worship songs and The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful. Normally I bristle at such syncretism, but some verses in the latter song really struck me:

Confirm they soul in self control, Thy liberty in law

I admit, I was able to pray while singing that line…not only for our country but myself. Perhaps patriotic hymns & worship hymns were much more aligned back in the day? Always a dangerous line to walk, but I do know that I sure agree with that line.