Tag Archive: Psalm 8

Despicable Me 2

Out of the mouths of babies and children…

… after a few seconds, literally, as the film got underway, the cinema echoed to the sound of young children laughing and giggling (ours included) – and the story had not even started yet. If the laughter of children is the benchmark of a good film, then Despicable Me 2 scores very highly very quickly.

There is a plot, some peril and slapstick violence but the heart of the film is both entertaining for the children and amusing for adults. I suspect that the only group that would not be impressed might be adolescent teenagers – there were too few in the theatre to tell. I do not want to give anything away but it is fair to say that the antics of the minions varied between amusing and hilarious; Gru’s deadpan wickedness (but not really) worked but I wonder if the “master-criminal-with-the-heart-of-gold-he-never-realised-he-had” motif would be sustainable for a third movie. Among our favourite bits was the fire engine scene (no give away there as it appears in the trailer) and the set-piece musical items at the end. I know I’ve seen the singer with the sequined hat crooning a romantic song somewhere but I can’t remember where.

I probably won’t buy the DVD but would watch it if it appeared on TV.

As a family film 4 stars, for children probably 5 stars; overall 8 out of 10.

I saw the moon last night

I should have been sleeping but at least I got to see the full moon at perigee. Evening and this morning it has been cloudy so it was by chance I happened to be up when there was a break in the clouds. It was bright and I managed to take this photo. I didn’t want to go outside so this is through a window at an angle to the glass – hence the picture is not as crisp as it might have been. You can still see some detail, though.

full moon 23rd-24th June 2013

full moon 23rd-24th June 2013

Looking at it now I notice that the right hand side (as we look at the picture) is bumpy. I should not be surprised: the moon is not a perfect sphere but instinctively one expects to see a circle. Must be all those childhood picture books…

… it would be better if it were a communicating door.

National Space Centre

We took a few photographs when we visited the National Space Museum in Leicester but most of the time was spent looking, pressing buttons, driving a space rover and the like. We also saw the show “We are astronauts” in the newly renamed Sir Patrick Moore Theatre. The show was OK but much of the content was already familiar to us.

National Space Centre, Leicester


Inside the National Space Centre


Blue Arrow (UK) and Thor (USA)

A friend of a friend suggested this link which illustrates the scale of the universe and our place in it. Can’t vouch for the rest of the site but I found this video thought-provoking to say the least. I think we too easily forget just how small we human beings are. And if we are tempted to think: “Wow, the universe is so big, God can’t have made it” then I would humbly suggest that may be our idea of God is too small.

And, as for the other end of the scale, I would suggest that perhaps we underestimate God’s subtlety – God is rather more clever than we tend to give credit for. Sometimes we invoke God to explain the things we do not understand about our universe (the so-called “God-of-the-gaps”). That is not really very helpful because as soon as we think we understand what was previously ‘a mystery’ we assume that this “disproves” God in someway. We forget that God is in the things about the universe that we do understand too.

The bulk of this post was written originally for our parish magazine but as star-gazing is one of my topics I have included it here.

Despite what the nursery rhyme says, there are some people who think they do know what a star is and what it is made from. By comparing the light that shines from a star with the particular colours (spectrum) of individual chemical elements, scientists reckon they can deduce which particular elements are in the stars.

In previous centuries there were people who did not know what stars might be made of but they were also fascinated by them and just as dedicated in their pursuit of knowledge. We can read about some such people in the second chapter of Matthew’s gospel. These were experts in studying the heavens – the sort of people who drew star maps and who could tell you, for instance, what time of year you could expect to see a particular star or constellation. On this occasion they had noted something unusual about a particular star – or perhaps a planet or some other light – and they were determined to discover what it meant.

“When the Magi, the wise people, saw where the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy because they had found the child they had been searching for” (Matthew chapter 2 verses 9 – 10).

“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 8 verse 1)

The stars, when we see them in their brilliance, are an awe-inspiring sight and, as it was for the Psalmist, can hint at God’s heavenly glory. They can also remind us, as that star declared to the Magi, that God did not remain remote in heaven but revealed his glory in that special human baby, his Son, Jesus Christ.

If you get a chance to see the stars late one evening this winter, you might like to wonder about them and see what thoughts they inspire about God’s glory shown to us.

By the way, the rest of the poem is reproduced here (see Wikipedia for more information):

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark.
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.

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