Monday, October 20, 2008

"Pushing Daisies"

Beth and I used our DVR this weekend to catch up on our Pushing Daisies.

The show, which was nominated for 12 Emmys after its first season run, is completely unique. The storyline revolves around

  • Ned (Lee Pace) - a pie maker who can bring people back from the dead with a touch, but who then must touch them again to send them back to death before sixty seconds elapse or someone else will then die.
  • Charlotte, aka "Chuck" (Anna Friel) - Ned's childhood sweetheart and girlfriend who Ned can't touch because he brought her back to life and kept her there,
  • Emerson Code, played by the delightful Chi McBride - a private investigator who has discovered Ned's usefulness in solving murder cases and who insists on continually referring to Chuck as "dead girl," and
  • Olive Snook, played by the wonderful Kristen Chenoweth, who works at Ned's pie shop and has a crush on Ned.
The cast is rounded out by Chuck's "aunts," Lilly and Vivian Charles, played respectively by Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene, who raised Chuck after her mom (supposedly) and her dad died.

I'm blogging about Pushing Daisies simply because the show is so very excellent. The writing is amazing - Beth and I often rewind just to hear such scintillating lines as Emerson Cod's "The mimes just pulled up in a trailer, and they ain't talkin,'" when the team was at a circus attempting to solve a series of murders. The sets and backgrounds are consistently whimsical and beautiful. The acting is top drawer. And the stories and subplot lines are sometimes profound.

I grew sad after the first few episodes of the first season because I did not believe the writers could keep the quality up. But so far this season is even better than last season. I am a longtime fan of Kristen Chenowith (the West Wing, Wicked), but felt that last year she was shoehorned in because of her enormous talent. But this season they are integrating her into the mix of ongoing plot arcs and the separate week-to-week story lines very nicely.

In short, Beth and I are very much enjoying this delightfully produced show and I recommend it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"ESV Study Bible Goes Back to Press Prior to October 15 Publication Date "

Crossway just issued this press release that reads, in part:

"Wheaton, IL— With pre-publication demand surpassing the first 100,000 printing, the ESV Study Bible has already gone back to press for a second printing of 50,000 copies, with a 50,000 third printing soon to follow.

Mark Traphagen, Web Sales Manager for Westminster Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA, reports record-breaking sales for the new Study Bible, making it “by far the fastest selling new product in the history of our store.” But industry insiders don’t expect sales of the new study Bible to slow down after the publication buzz subsides. “Early results indicate that this is going to be a very key item for Mardel this Christmas season,” explains Dylan Hillhouse, Bible buyer for the key retail chain."

- my "First Look" as the ESV Study Bible

The Future of Smartphones

found a nice article on PC Magazine that I excerpted at Leadership Network's Digital blog.

Light as a Feather

I've been happy the last couple of days and I realized why. Skye's impending surgery had been such a dark cloud. Now it's over and she's fine. She's been recovering beautifully and is going back to school tomorrow, though in a wheelchair. She doesn't really need it; our primary strategy is to protect her from other kids bumping into her!

Thank you all so much for prayers, notes, food, cards, etc.

This surgery is considered 98% effective and we should learn in a few weeks if it worked, i.e., stopped the reflux so that she'll stop getting infections in her one good kidney.

So far so good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Profane Audacity

In response to my earlier expressed sentiment, I've begun reading again Greg Bahnsen's Van Til's Apologetics and just came across this great John Calvin quote:

"Contentious disputes arise from the fact that many think less honorably than they ought of the greatness of divine wisdom, and are carried away by profane audacity."

from Calvin's Commentaries on 1 Peter 3:15

Friday, October 10, 2008


Well, it happened again. More people from our church we don't know dropped off more food for us. One myth about megachurches is that they've forgotten how to be church. Surely sometimes that's true, but our megachurch has been taking care of us ever since Skye went into the hospital. Honestly, we're deeply moved.

The New ESV Study Bible

Looks like it's being published Monday.

Lately, I'm reading the NIV and TNIV more, but I'll definitely be picking up a copy of this fine translation and Study Bible.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

skye and theology

There's something wondrously clarifying when you have the luxury of just focusing on one crisis.

My wonderful company has freed me to completely focus on the recovery of our dear one.

Skye, by the way, is doing very well. Her pain level since Tuesday's surgery has been far lower than we anticipated. And - more importantly - our surgeon says the surgery went well and he has no reason to think that her recovery won't go well. This surgery is considered 98% effective in stopping reflux which will protect her one remaining kidney. There is even a low probability that her other kidney - currently working at 4% - might improve in its functioning. But if it doesn't, you can live to 100 with one kidney.

Johns Hopkins, the FDA and Q-Med in Sweden, who makes the Deflux Skye received in 2003, are studying the material Dr. Mathews removed, as Skye is the only known case where reflux returned 5 years after the injection of Deflux. And we're only aware of three cases where the Deflux calcified, which we discovered earlier this year when we learned one of Skye's kidneys had failed.

So we're hopeful for Skye and hopefully something will be learned that will protect other children.

But this sudden stopping of my life after nearly four months of intense ramp up in my new job with Gallup has made me want to get back to basics.

I need to read theology again.

Far more foundationally - and more to the point - is that I need to get a fresher and deeper vision of God.

It's so easy to get lost in the wasteland of continuous activity.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Skye Update

Skye went into surgery at 10 AM and was supposed to be done at noon. At 2 PM Dr. Mathews came out and let us know that she had done well.

Thank you for your prayers!

Now we enter the recovery phase. A big milestone will be walking sometime tomorrow. If all goes well, Dr. Mathews says that Skye should be able to go home Thursday or Friday.

She will be in a good bit of pain, but Hopkins will be giving her something for pain management. And we do need all her plumbing to fall back in sync, so please pray about that.

Thank you, everyone; and thank you God.

Monday, October 06, 2008

our dear one

Skye's in surgery tomorrow at Johns Hopkins at 10 AM est.

Dr. Mathews is planning to remove her deflux and to reimplant her ureters in an attempt to stop the reflux and protect her remaining kidney.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated

- history

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Out of Ur Reboots

Jordon Cooper delivers a pointed critique of Christianity Today's Out of Ur blog (and makes a much appreciated and unexpected gracious comment about the faithmaps blog) and, in comments, Out of Ur responds with some news.