Sunday, May 06, 2007

Piracy, Purity, and Petey

Looks like I'm averaging one post a month now. I have been busy, but it's mostly been a silly kind of business. I bought Sid Meier's Pirates a couple of weeks ago with a gift card I got for my birthday, and I've been sailing up and down the Caribbean making a nuisance of myself like a good pirate should. I have been going to the gym an average of 5 days a week, taking about 2 hours to get through my workout each time. I've gotten a little bigger over the past four months, but it's nothing super-dramatic. I think I've only gained about 8 pounds since I started.

Aside from the silly-busy, there's the not-so-silly busy. I've been teaching a series for the international class about the beatitudes (From the Matthew 5 text), and that's taken up a bit of preparation every week. The preparing part isn't really the hard part of teaching a class like this. It's asking yourself if you're doing any of what you're talking about that's hard. It's been a a crazy few weeks in that sense. Some days it feels like the word of God is a refreshing stream. Other days it's more like a sword, and it cuts. Ouch! Painful personal growth and reflection aside, I've gotten a lot of good feedback about how the series is going, so God is using it to edify the body.

The next beatitude we're going to talk about this coming week a bit of a doozy. It's something that's been on my mind a lot lately: purity. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The obvious problems with purity apply to me... I don't think there's any need to go into detail. I'm single, I'm young, I'm a guy. What more is there to say! I have a friend asking me from time to time how I'm doing on that front, so I have a little help there. It's still a struggle though. I was talking about it with him early last week, and he tells me he found hope at the end of the tunnel... when he got married. He hasn't had a problem with lust since. Ah, great, I thought. Something else I need to improve my progress on.

That's a narrow view of purity, though. I like something John Wood said a few sermons ago about purity: all it is is desiring one thing, not two mutually-opposed things. Single-minded pursuit of God's desires. Not a NARROW-minded, but single-minded. I think of narrow-minded as wanting something your way and your way only. I think single-minded merely means you want what God wants, regardless of what your expectations or preferences might be, and God's imagination can be a little bigger than ours a lot of the time. I'm not really good at wanting what God wants either, though. I guess it's a good thing Jesus talked about mercy right before this beatitude, because if God's mercy wasn't on your mind you might lose hope thinking about purity!

Oh! I saw Spidey 3 yesterday. Here's my 2-cents: if you saw the first two, you probably need to see this no matter what. I personally thought it was emotionally satisfying, but very, VERY uneven. There were a lot of attempts at hockey comedy, which will definitely get on some people's nerves. I didn't mind so much, since I was in the mood for a laugh. A lot of the dramatic/poignant moments kinda fell flat, though. I wish they had done a little more with Aunt May... in retrospect, she was just a little too one-dimensional in this series. Aunt May from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic-book series is infinitely more interesting, and they probably should've included some elements from that interpretation of the character.

Aside from that, I have two major gripes about this movie. There's plot holes the size of Venom's mouth in this baby. It's as if the movie's running time got too long and they decided to leave some important plot points on the cutting-room floor. The thing that bothers me is there was a lot left IN that just seemed unnecessary. I'll just mention one of those goofy things: Parker's Landlord's daughter. What. The. Hell. I couldn't understand that element from Spider-Man 2 and it made just as little sense here. I should've looked in the credits to see if she was, like, the producer's daughter or something.

My second major gripe is the very last act, when everything just kinda gets rushed to a conclusion. This rush to get things over with results in the laziest example of a deus ex machina since The Matrix Revolutions' hokey ending. In case you haven't seen it, I won't say too much... just two words: Harry's butler. You'll know what I'm talking about when you get to it. Three movies worth of drama building up, and who gets to resolve all that conflict? The butler did it!

The action is top-notch though. So it's not all bad.