Last Sunday I had the privilege of particpating in an installation service for our senior pastor, Andy. I gave a charge to the congregation rooted in a "new" Screwtape letter. I've used the technique in such a charge before, but wrote a new letter for use here. I think I'll retire this technique, much as I love it, for another four to five years.
I saw the new Bridge to Terabithia movie with my wife and 12-year old daughter Monday. I thought it excellently done. It tells of the relationship between two 12-year old kids, a girl and a boy, both on the outside at school, and shows loving if imperfect families. There are a lot of good things to talk about here --- the nature of God, what is true friendship, dealing with grief (there is a tragedy in the film), dealing with bullies, and sibling relations --- and many good moral qualities conveyed, such as loving your enemies, kindness to younger siblings, loyalty, the value of the imagination, and so on. A word of caution: the fact that it has a real tragedy and a not warm and fuzzy ending may be a bit too much for some kids. My daugther did not like its ending, but she was not deeply affected by it either. My son, who is 15, would have hated it. He dislikes sad films and books and is very emotional. Read a review here. Katherine Peterson, the author, is a Christian, and went to my wife's junior high school (and dealt with a bully there), Wiley Junior High, in Winston-Salem, NC. There's a good interview with Peperson and other cast members here, but be forewarned, it is a spoiler. Paterson's website has some good background.