Restorative Justice in Les Misérables

I just recently watched Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Misérables for the second time and was, again, blown away by the social and theological themes presented in the film. I think what resonated with me the most was the humanity of the characters in the story. The characters that inhabit Victor Hugo’s world do not fall into neat boxes of morality, good versus evil. They are all flawed beings who are full of contradictions and passions. The most powerful message conveyed in the film (and book and stage musical) is one of social justice and ethics. This message of social justice intersects with Jesus’ own messages on society and living as Christ followers in the modern world.

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Picking a Fight with God

I’ve never been in a fist fight before. I don’t think I’ve even been close to getting into a fist fight before. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get into a fight. What sorts of emotions would I feel? Would I fight fiercely or would my flight instinct kick in? I’m not particularly large or strong. I’m pretty sure if I tried to punch someone, my own hand would hurt more than they would. I don’t think I would feel very courageous in a fight. Often, God calls us into fights where we have no idea what we are doing but are told to be strong and courageous. Continue reading

From Vacation Pictures to Adventures with God

Megan and I on the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

For our honeymoon, Megan and I traveled to Paris, a wonderful adventure for both of us. When we got back, we were so excited to share our experiences and our stories. We had hundreds of pictures to share. When we started sharing these experiences with our friends, I started feeling like our stories were falling on deaf ears. I began using phrases like “You just had to be there” or “This picture doesn’t do it justice.” Our friends listened and laughed at all the right moments but the reality is they couldn’t really identify with our stories because they weren’t there. They were simply observers of the stories Megan and I had lived and breathed.

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Mariners Trade Away John Jaso for Clone

Today the Seattle Mariners completed a three-way trade with the Washington Nationals and the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners receive former Mariner, first baseman Mike Morse. We have sent catcher John Jaso to Oakland. It seems like Jack Zduriencik is hell bent on acquiring as many part-time first basemen, part-time outfielders, full-time designated hitters as possible. Morse is the fourth player added this offseason, in addition to the players already on the roster, who will fill three positions. Not only that, but now there is a hole in our roster for a catcher who can hit successfully against right-handed pitching. Jesus Montero is the only catcher on our roster and from what everyone has been saying, he won’t stick at catcher in the future, so throw him into the mix for playing time at designated hitter and first base.

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The Face: 6. Caran

Chapter 6: Caran

            Shards of broken rock sprayed towards Loran as he knelt behind a short wall. The clamor of battle was deafening and fear gripped Loran’s heart. He took a deep breath and glanced over the top of the wall. On the other side, chaos reigned.
            Loran could see Eldaran mounted atop one of the most horrible creatures he’d ever seen. It looked like a very large horse but its various parts were made from the rotting parts of many humanoid corpses. There were two of the monsters. Jax was brandishing his spear and projecting bright beams of light from his palms towards the monstrosity Eldaran was astride. On the other side of the room, Vera, eyes closed, was directing two large snakes with his voice and hands as they wrestled with the other horse creature. Perhaps the most peculiar thing he saw was the small Orc brandishing a sword running amidst the battle.

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Hope Soars, Eternally

One final loss, another season finished. A heartbreaking, emotional defeat at a time when we felt like we could conquer the world. We were going all the way, carried on the shoulders of DangeRuss, Beast Mode, and the Legion of Boom. We were the team of destiny (thank you Brian Billick). Those dreams were shattered in just 31 seconds.

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On The Road: The Seattle Seahawks and Home Field Advantage

Sports fans love to create narratives for their teams. The team of destiny, our team never quits, the perennial underachievers. These narratives help the sports fan connect with their team by allowing them to rationalize the performance of the team, whether the team is successful or unsuccessful. During the 1995 baseball season, the Seattle Mariners had a slogan that created a narrative for the fans to latch onto, “Two outs, so what?” This narrative described the Mariners as a team that never quit who could make the greatest of comebacks, even with two outs.

The Seattle Seahawks will play their first-round playoff game in Washington D.C. on Sunday afternoon. There are many narratives that we can ascribe to the Seahawks but one of them will be front and center this weekend and for the rest of the playoffs; The Seahawks are unbeatable at home but weak on the road. I think most Seahawk fans are familiar with this narrative. This year, the Seahawks were undefeated at home and 3-5 the road. Since Pete Carroll became coach, the Seahawks are 8-17 on the road, including a road loss in the playoffs against Chicago. Let’s take a deeper look at homefield advantage, with a specific focus on the playoffs.

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