Friday, June 27, 2008

Bill Hybels Responds to Christianity Today's "Unfortunate Article."

Below is the article Bill and Jim refer to. Parts of it made me laugh out loud when I first read it, it's that bad.

Willow Creek's "Huge Shift" by Matt Branaugh, Christianity Today

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oil Painting Update

Still working on the painting I started last week. Had a disaster with the blanket, had to scrub it off and start over. Even now not happy with the color but, who knows, it may all come together yet. Started a new painting so I'd have something to work on while waiting for layers to dry on the first one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oil Painting of Cat - WIP

I've done this subject before as a watercolor, now I'm trying it as an oil painting. It's a cat named Amber and the reference photo is from the WetCanvas library of copyright free images. The painint measures 9"x12".

This painting is on gessoed art board. This is the first time I've tried oil on this surface. I like how smooth it is but one problem is that, without any tooth to hold on to it, the charcoal I used for the under-drawing wouldn't stick! Oh well, next time I'll just do the underdrawing in paint instead. This first picture shows where I have outlined the drawing with a light red and cobalt blue mixture and then blocked in some of the large areas. The blanket will eventually have folds and the background will be darker and there will be a door way in the upper left hand corner, hopefully balancing out the composition a little.

In the second picture I've started to add some of the stripes and markings of the cat. I haven't started adding any highlights yet, that light area in the lower right hand corner is just the light reflecting off the oils in the paint.

Here in the third picture I've started to work in the white fur and the flesh tones of the nose and ears.

In the fourth picture I've continued to refine the white fur, blocked in the eyes, and started to work on some of the pale orange areas like the rings around the eyes the fur on the left side (cat's right side.)

Continued to work on fur, adding stripes and greater texture to fur on breast and refining shape of muzzle and ears. Had to stop at this point because I want to let it dry a little before I started getting into smaller details.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gay Advocacy Group Meets with Willow Creek Leadership

I don't follow Willow in the news as closely as I used to so this story is a few weeks old, but, if you're interested, I've posted the links below. Both of the articles are from the Tribune. The second one is longer and is followed by passionate comments from readers.

Gay Christians meet with Rev. Bill Hybels and others at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington by Robert Mitchum and Manya Brachear

"They listened, they ate with us, when a lot of churches struggle to show hospitality to these groups," he said. Betty Schmidt, an elder at Willow Creek, described Willow as a hospitable congregation, even though the church does not accept gay and lesbian members who don't stay celibate."It's a very warm and welcoming atmosphere," she said. "It would certainly be my experience that we would never single out or identify or discriminate against anyone." Schmidt said she feels strongly that people do not choose to be gay, and many in the Soulforce group said they were happy to hear similar sentiments from several church leaders Sunday.But others said such influential churches as WillowCreek could do more to adjust their views on homosexuality and treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.

Willow Creek Welcomes Gay Rights Advocates by Manya Brachear

Betty Schmidt, a longtime elder at Willow Creek, said pastors there simplify the argument by pointing to only one verse, Genesis 2:24: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

“Traditionally Christians have founded their basis for human expression for sexuality ... going back to that model,” she said. “That is not a stretch for anyone who adheres to God’s word.”

Willow Creek offers two ministries for gays and lesbians. "A Safe Place" caters to those who are “struggling with same sex attraction” and wish to remain celibate to honor what they believe Scripture teaches. "Someone I Love" counsels families who are grappling with how to accept a gay relative.

Though Willow's Web site offers links to clinics that profess they can alter sexual orientation, Schmidt said that is not the church's mission. If a gay or lesbian Christian wants to join Willow, they must believe that same-sex behavior is a sin and try to remain celibate. The same is true for anyone who might be engaging in sinful behavior, Schmidt said.
"We’re very … welcoming of anyone who comes to the church and is seeking and struggling with whatever it is," Schmidt said. "There’s help in God’s word and help in community and linking up with other Christians.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

Doctor Who

Here's a great video by Ruthybee at YouTube about Donna Noble, the Doctor's latest companion. What a fun addition Catherine Tate has been to this show! (The song is Starlight by Muse.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This Summer

Here is my list of the top ten things (in no particular order) I'm looking forward to this summer:

1. Morning reading. I've already started doing this and it's my favorite part of the day. I grab a cup of tea and a toaster strudel and then the cats and I go out there sit in the shade of the porch, surrounded by the hum of distant lawn mowers and the twitter of birds. ((((sigh)))

2. Camp Kanuga. Now that I'm a Cangelosi I'm invited to the family reunion out in North Carolina at Camp Kanuga. Mountain waterfalls and hiking and morning crafting classes...I can't wait!

3. 30th Birthday. Yup. It's been looming for such a long time, it will be great to get it over with. And as long as I don't instantly add 15 lbs or lose half my hair I will consider it a happy birthday.

4. The X-Files movie. Once a geek always a geek. I'm looking forward to seeing my old pals Mulder and Scully, and probably cursing the name of Chris Carter for his general clueless-ness.

5. Bicycling. As soon as I realized that we had bought a house two blocks from the bike path I knew I had to buy a bike and get out there. I spent countless hours on the bike path when I was a kid. Now I've got the bike and I am determined to make the most of the path this summer.

6. Neil Diamond concert. Mama has always been a huge Neil Diamond fan so I grew up dancing in my socks to his music. In late July Mama, Dad, Steph and I will be rocking our faces off to Cherry, Cherry.

7. Painting. I can't talk about it too much, don't want to jinx it.

8. The Return of Rose on Doctor Who! I was falling in love with Ross at the same time that Rose and the Doctor were dancing their way though the London Blitz. It was a wonderful time to be alive ;P So I have a soft spot for Rose and I feel bad that things worked out so badly for her when they worked out so well for me. She was sucked into an alternate universe, you know, no Doctor. Now she's coming back and even if it is only for a couple of weeks I'm giddy about it.

9. Being Married. Never been married during summer before!

10. Home Improvements. Having a house is like having a gigantic canvas to work with. There are an infinite number of ways that we can put our stamp on this little corner of the world. I can't wait to see what we do with it this summer.

So that's my list. I'd love to hear what y'all are looking
forward to!