Showing posts from June, 2015

If I Were to Re-Write the STAR WARS saga...

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article reviewing Major League Baseball ballparks—an article I’ve been writing in a sense from 1986, when I became a fan of the game, not only a particular team. Well, today’s post I have been writing since 1977, when I was six, and saw A New Hope for the first time. In the intermittent thirty-eight years, I have seen the Star Wars movies roughly a billion times. My best achievement as a father these last thirteen years has been to instill a love of Star Wars in my boys, although their tastes, to this point, are wrong. They will come around to my way of thinking (that Empire is the best, that Jar Jar is the embodiment of evil. etc.) if for no other reason than the power of my viewpoints acting as erosion. 2015 is going to be a banner year for Star Wars. Episode VII will arrive December 18, and a month before that the new Star Wars Battlefront game will debut. 

Star Wars Battlefront
My reaction:
Just watched this trailer with the boys. I screamed like …

Facing Our Giants

Note: this was today's sermon from Lectio worship.
When I was a kid I was a huge "professional" wrestling fan. The story of David and Goliath sort of reads like one of those matches:
In this corner the giant Goliath-- nine feet tall, dressed in elaborate armor. And of course he talks smack to his opponents non-stop. In this corner... wait? A kid? David? He weighs less than Goliath's armor! What kind of joke is this?

I mean, this story has everything: adventure, impossible odds, an unlikely hero, the underdog winning, the little beating the strong. And what I love most about it is David’s unshakeable, child-like faith in God. He has no doubt whatsoever that God will deliver the giant for him. In fact, David may be the only person on earth who believes he has a chance against Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, doesn’t believe it’s possible. Goliath, the mighty opponent in the battle, is insulted that little David is the best champion Israel can produce. Maybe it’s the s…

Prayers and Mourning for Emanuel AME Church

The Lord is a safe place for the oppressed-- a safe place in difficult times (Psalm 9:9).
Yesterday was John Wesley's birthday-- his 312th (June 17, 1703). Wesley and his brother Charles founded the movement called Methodism which eventually grew into the United Methodist Church and its many siblings. Throughout that history, particularly in America, there have been victories and defeats. Our churches have been characterized by explosive growth and dramatic decline. We have stood on the side of social change in such movements as Prohibition, suffrage for women, and the ordination of women into positions of leadership in the Church. We have stood against the side of social change by giving in to racism-- on every level: from splitting the denomination over the issue of slavery before the Civil War (Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; this is why SMU, founded in 1911, is called Southern Methodist University) to re-unifying in 1939, only to formally …

Midnight Train to Princeton

Here is the manuscript, a very rough draft, of my first sermon preached at Lectio, our new worship community at Custer Road.

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
Psalm 20or72
2 Corinthians 5:6-17
Mark 4:26-34
It was a busy week in the Drenner household. The boys spent the week at Cousins Camp—my mom takes my three boys and my sister’s three boys for a week every year. The boys range from age 17 to seven and they have the best time together. Christy spent the week preparing for the CPA exam, which she’ll take over the summer before beginning a new job at an accounting firm in August. And I spent the week moving from this point to the next. Sunday and Monday many of us here today attended the North Texas Annual Conference. Later in the week I traveled to Princeton Theological Seminary for a Christian writer’s convocation, where I spent the remainder of the week. And if you follow me on social media you know I managed to squeeze in some fun side trips to Philadelphia, back to New York, and Pittsburgh. One ni…

Reviewing (Half of) the Major League Ballparks

I knocked out two ballparks this week, Mets and Pirates, bringing my total to half of MLB parks, depending on how you count.  Here's a list of reviews- it's not exhaustive by any means, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about great ballparks. It was a fun "pastime" on two flights today. The dates listed are "ish." Ballparks are listed in no particular order, although the best one I've attended so far is at the end of the section.

ATTENDED New York Yankees (old stadium; 2008) This was a great baseball experience. The "House That Ruth Built" was loud and energetic. The concourses were cramped and dirty, well used. We sat on the upper deck, along the first base side, and it had an almost vertical feel to it. As one who is not the biggest fans of heights, it was sort of uncomfortable. What made this a great experience was not the game- it was a 10-3 blowout of the Mariners if I remember correctly- it was the fans. They were loud and proud. The …

Why I Am At Princeton This Week

So it's been a busy week: Annual Conference met, the new Lectio worship service and a new Bible study on Acts of the Apostles both begin this Sunday (what was I thinking??? YAY IT'S EXCITING!)... and I find myself in Princeton, New Jersey. Mom has taken our boys and Julie's three boys to cousin's camp near Houston and Christy is studying for the CPA exam at home. I signed up for this conference months ago. I have mostly, sort of secretly been writing a book over the last nine months or so. It's a summary of my musings on the Gospel of John. I am calling it A Gospel of a Different Color and dedicating it to my grandfather, who is 93, and always has random sayings like, "Well that's a horse of a different color!" when someone makes an unexpected play at Spades. Anyway, John seems that way to me-- it is full of unexpected, surprising teachings. I have a start, but only a start, for the book and I am reluctantly seeking the support of others to push the t…

The Last Original Movie??

OK, now I have officially had it, Hollywood. I have put up with your endless sequels every summer, mostly lousy movies, worse than their predecessors, and thinly-disguised attempts at money grabbing. How many Transformers movies has Michael Bay made now? I know they make big $$$-- that's my point, and receipts never indicate quality. Avengers: Age of Ultron made a ton of money, and still is, but Marvel's goal has never been to make quality adventure films, even considering the brilliant Guardians of the Galaxy. Sequels are expected, because they are basically the only path Hollywood has to making profits in the era of home theatre, on-demand movies, and movies on portable devices.

What I am tiring of are reboots--particularly of 80s and 90s classics. I get it-- many executives are my age and have an appreciation for the stuff they watched as kids. But just take a quick glance at what is showing at your local cineplex right now:

Pitch Perfect 2
Fast and Furious 7