Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Hope for Haiti +

    In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5 Read More
  • Give My Soul Rest: the movie Avatar +

    Avatar, the 2009 movie by James Cameron, raised as much discussion and controversy through its piecemeal use of Native American, Read More
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You're welcome...

Now that we're back from Williamsburg (or as I sometimes call it in my mind, "Billsburg,") we're catching up on the shows we Tivo'd... like Mad Men, the SoupSaturday Night Live and... okay, I'll admit it - Eastbound and Down

Now, if you aren't familiar with this lump of coal/gem of a show, it follows the zany exploits of Kenny Powers, aging minor league baseball player from Shelby, North Carolina. Currently playing with the fictional Myrtle Beach Mermen, Kenny is struggling to deal with new fatherhood and to reclaim his status as "team leader," despite the rise of a despicable nemesis named Ivan - who has a haircut that is even WORSE than Kenny's own curly mullet.


Now I'm not going to lie to you, this show is offensive. The language, the scatological and sexual references, the despicability of just about every character... I have a high tolerance, but I have to say, I am often offended while watching. Not shocked, exactly, although I suspect that's what the writers intend. No, I'm more... grossed out. But Tom laughs and snorts through the whole thing. I'm assuming it's what they call "a guy thing."

 
This baby will make you laugh.

I'm not saying I don't find it funny... I do laugh a lot. The writing manages to be at the disgusting end of puerile and clever at the same time. Creator/star Danny McBride, who is, by the way, a native of NC, is a twisted sort of genius. He has stolen many a scene from more prominent actors.

Yes, there are plenty of belly laughs to be had - I always laugh at the baby. Although Kenny is quite possibly the most ill-equipped father figure in the history of mankind, he ends up hauling around his son, Toby, for a couple of episodes. He decorates Toby's room with black light posters (one with a marijuana leaf) and weird statuary, mixes Quik into his milk and carries him in a zipped backpack... It's appalling, but it's reeeeally funny too.

Kenny's behaviour is similarly appalling in every situation. He is arrogant, belligerent, offensive, supremely selfish, oblivious and, honestly, not very smart. And in between the laughing, I am also shaking my head and... judging him. I mean, I can't even reprint any dialogue because it's just tooooooooo nasty... But last night, I realised a hard thing.

 
Kenny Powers.

You see, Kenny and me... we're the same. I'm not saying I would stuff my child into a backpack, speak in a constant stream of intensely offensive and insulting profanity, and assert with utter confidence that I am the greatest baseball player (or any other thing) that ever lived. No... but if I spoke my honest mind all the time - let loose every crummy thought I have... then you'd know that I, too, am arrogant, belligerent, offensive, supremely selfish, oblivious and not very smart. Well, actually, I'm sort of part Kenny and part Steve, his sniveling, insecure doofus of a friend... These characters are nothing but ID, my friend.

You've probably heard that expression, "There but for the grace of God go I." Well, in this case, it's not just an expression... because it's truly by the sheer grace of God that I have any other kind of way of being... and I am so very grateful for the grace He gives to us while we are still Kennys... I mean sinners... (But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5) If I read that chapter correctly, the gist of the lines following this verse is that if He died for us while we were sinners, how much more is He going to help us now that we belong to Him? Which is nice... because if I'm going to quench my inner Kenny, I need all the help I can get.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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