Football under the Aspect of Eternity

This morning, as I write this, I am watching the recording we made of the Packer game before the power went out. When I called my brother last night, he let slip that the Packers won, and today’s paper told me that this victory over Detroit was another career highlight for Brett Favre, who completed 20 straight passes, setting a team record, and tying his career record with seven 300-yard games in a season.

As I watch this game, knowing how it will end, Favre’s first quarter fumble didn’t bother me. Nor did the way Detroit dominated the first quarter. I am enjoying it in a different way, free of anxiety.

This is the way life should be for Christians. We know how all of this ends. We have a happy ending ahead of us. We should not be paralyzed with worry or defeated by our troubles. From the aspect of eternity, our problems are not going to mean all that much.

True, this is not the best way to view football, since a big part of the fun is the suspense, tension, and agonizing, all of which accentuate the hope, the relief, and the joy that we also experience in the game as it unfolds in time. And this too speaks to us of life and why we go through what we do.

Thankful for Electricity

Yesterday at 3:20 p.m. our electricity went out, as did that of 10,000 of our neighbors. It didn’t come back on until 9:25 p.m. Fortunately, we had our Thanksgiving Feast just after noon. We built a fire in our new fireplace, lit candles, and spent the evening like the pilgrims and our other pre-electricity forebears for thousands of years did. Well, they probably didn’t play Lord of the Rings Monopoly by firelight, but still. It was actually a very pleasant evening.

But my heart goes out to everyone here who planned to have their Thanksgiving dinner in the evening! I don’t know what they did or how they coped. Everywhere else in the country where I have lived, power outages have been taken care of within an hour. This is the third time in the year and a half since I’ve been in Virginia that we’ve had a power outage of six hours or more. I realize that Dominion Power must have had its workers off for the holiday, but that would not have been the problem those other times. And we didn’t even have a bad storm, just some wind that would be a stiff breeze in the midwest. So I don’t know why Virginia’s power grid is so fragile and why it takes so long to put it to rights.

Still, I am thankful for the gift of electricity.

Conservativism and Gratitude

My friend and colleague Mark Mitchell has written a piece for, I believe it is, “Modern Age” as part of a series on “Why I Am a Conservative.” Dr. Mitchell articulates a not-just-political philosophy based on gratitude. He is a conservative because he is grateful. Do you see the connection?

It’s not published yet, so it isn’t online. I’ll try to put it up when possible. Anyway, I thought Dr. Mitchell’s point is fitting to contemplate on Thanksgiving.

Atheists’ Thanksgiving

Chesterton said one of the saddest things about being an atheist had to be not having anyone to thank when you feel truly grateful. So do atheists celebrate Thanksgiving? Yes, they do. This guide for non-believers encourages atheists to celebrate the day by thanking farmers and modern scientists for the abundance they make possible. What is missing (besides the doctrine of vocation, in which God gives us our daily bread and our Thanksgiving feast through people like these an others) is the even deeper gratitude for being, for just the joys of simple existence. I still feel sorry for the atheists.

Blog Developments

You can now have your complete fill of Cranach posts: I moved the archives from the other site to a separate page on this one. Click on the “Archive of Old Site 2005-2007″ on the right panel and you will find TWO YEARS of posts, a total of 805 pages! That’s about 4 books worth.

(The regular “archives” section just archives this site, month by month. Also, the “archives” heading at the top doesn’t work. I don’t know why. Also the search function isn’t working for the separate and super-long page of pages of what I am calling “Lucas Cranach the Elder.” Can anyone tell me why or how to fix it? tODD?)

And thanks to my daughter Joanna, who was the first editor of World’s blog, I have learned how to add other features. Thanks too to Rich Shipe. He pointed out that if I open this site to some discreet advertisements by signing up with Google’s Adsense and letting them place their ads, I could probably earn enough to pay for this online real estate and this would be a not-so-expensive hobby. So I’m trying that. I tried to filter out any truly objectionable ads. Some of them that come up–for example, those about getting a Mormon wife (because I must have said something about Romney)–are kind of a hoot. And they probably won’t be as bad as some of those on my World site, for which I wasn’t even getting paid. You don’t think I’m selling out, do you?

Some of the rest of you might want to do likewise on your blogs. Just do a search for Google AdSense. It’s very easy, and you get a cut of Google’s billions.

Why Worship God?

A good discussion is getting started below, at the YHWH, El, & Golden Calves post. Michael the Boot is asking why God “needs” to be worshiped, going on to debunk original sin and other “old arguments.” Join tODD in helping him out.


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