Boston and New York

Back in August, Caroline and I went on vacation to Boston and New York City. It was kind of a whirlwind trip, as we only were gone for a week, and things have been pretty crazy for me ever since then with school and work, so I just got pictures from the trip up on Flickr this week.

I had never been to Boston or New York before. Prior to the trip, I was really excited about visiting Boston and wasn’t really looking forward to the Big Apple (it was Caroline who insisted on that part), but in hindsight, I was completely wrong. Other than Fenway Park and a few other places, Boston was somewhat of a disappointment*, while I thought that New York City was incredible (not as cool as London, but still really nice).

A few things we did/saw while there:
  • Freedom Trail in Boston (A lot of Revolution-related landmarks including the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, the graveyard where several founding fathers were buried, etc.)
  • Boston Harbor (disappointing…barely a mention of the Boston Tea Party)
  • Harvard University
  • Fenway Park (awesome; maybe the high point of the trip)
  • Grand Central Station
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Chrysler Building
  • Empire State Building
  • Macy’s (definitely more exciting for Caroline than for me)
  • Times Square
  • Dinner in Little Italy
  • Chinatown
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (I might devote a separate post to this—it was really cool)
  • Ground Zero
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • South Pacific on Broadway
Most of these places we visited on foot—we’d leave our hotel in the morning and then walk around all day. It really was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring as well. I wish we could’ve had another week.

*For a town with so much history, I thought Boston did a pretty lame job of preserving/sharing it. I was really excited about the Freedom Trail, but only a few of the stops were very worthwhile (like the Old North Church for example, which was excellent). Boston would be an ideal location for a comprehensive American Revolution museum…someone should get on that.


(Another Reason) Why Gmail Is Awesome

I’ve used Gmail as my primary email account for several years now and am a big fan of it.

When I first started using it, I was impressed by the search feature, which completely blew Yahoo!’s out of the water (Yahoo! has since improved, but Gmail had it first). You could type any word in the search bar and it would scan all of your emails for that word.

Also cool is the way that Gmail portrays a string of emails between a group of people as a collapsible conversation thread. It’s easy to see what everyone has said without going back and opening other messages.

But today, in what has been a frustrating and flummoxing morning, I came across my favorite Gmail feature. I was trying to send a PDF of a term paper to a professor, but, since I was somewhat flustered, forgot to actually attach the PDF. Fortunately, in the body of the email I had mentioned that I was attaching a file. Gmail noticed that I had used the word “attached” without actually attaching a file, and then asked if I had meant to do so.

Annoying and potentially embarrassing moment avoided=Gmail is awesome.


Valid Evangelism?

So I got a letter in the mail from a Christian video game company, urging me to push their products to my young people. From the perspective of LB Games, a key ingredient to the problem of young people losing their faith stems from playing secular video games, so they have developed Christian video games in an effort to use video games to actually lead people to Christ instead of away from Him.

I am probably not qualified to determine whether or not this is a good idea. Maybe this is a brilliantly modern method of evangelism, taking the Gospel to people where they already are (in front of their PC monitors, xboxes, Wiis, etc.). On the other hand, maybe it’s completely absurd. Maybe people aren’t losing their faith because of video games—maybe people are never developing true faith in the first place because we substitute things like Christian-themed video games for authentic Christianity. I don’t know.

What I do know is that despite what I assume are good intentions on the part of LB games, I won’t be promoting their products, in large part because of their headline product which they are expecting to be incredibly popular: Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist.

Seeing this just makes me shake my head.

In addition to the fact that I believe Left Behind’s portrayal of the end times is biblically unsound at a fundamental level, I also wonder about the strategy of evangelizing someone through a violent video game (the game is rated T because of violence, and the cover art certainly supports that idea).

Someone once said, “What you win them with is what you win them to.” Basically, the idea is that if you get lots of people to come to your church by building a really nice building, then you haven’t really brought in a lot of disciples, you’ve brought in a lot of people who appreciate comfort and architecture and aren’t necessarily opposed to Jesus. If you get lots of people to come to your youth group by having lots of fun and exciting events, then you’re really just building a group of people who like to have fun—even if it’s good clean fun—rather than follow Jesus (as a youth minister, this weighs on me a lot). But if you get people to come to your church or your youth group by teaching them about Jesus, then you’re building a group that is focused on learning about Jesus and trying to follow Him.

With this idea in mind, the implications for Left Behind 3: The Rise of the Antichrist aren’t too promising: if you win people with a violent video game that carries the tag “Christian”, what are you winning them to?


Losing Clothes

I do not, at all, enjoy shopping for clothes.

This fundamental fact about me leads to at least two other facts:

(1) I get lots of clothing for my birthday and Christmas. This is good, because it means I don’t have to shop for clothes as often.

(2) When I find clothes that I like, I tend to keep them for a long time and wear them often. For example, I still wear the button-up shirt that I wore in my 11th grade class picture (I am now 27), and I still have an Atlanta Braves t-shirt that I received in 1993.

The problem is, for as long as I can remember, I have also had a problem losing clothes, and without exception, I always lose things that I actually like. And while there are other negative characteristics of my childhood that I have happily discarded (like, say, being afraid of spiders), the tendency to lose clothes that I like has doggedly followed me to adulthood.

The other day I realized that I had lost a brown polo shirt, which was a major blow, because it had a prominent place in my weekly rotation. Add that to the blue polo which I am convinced I lost somewhere in Colorado, the long-sleeved white shirt that I wore as an undershirt in the fall/winter, and the “Salute a Veteran” t-shirt that I got for giving blood, and my wardrobe has really taken a hit over the last few years. And then there was that sweet red, white and blue windbreaker that I lost in elementary school and have never really recovered from.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to shop for clothes again.

Disclaimer: Implying that I am completely over my childhood fear of spiders might have been somewhat misleading. That being said, one of my husband-ly duties is to deal with every spider that makes the unfortunate decision to enter our house. So, it’s something I’ve been working on.

The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

  © Blogger template 'Fly Away' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP