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Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2014 by scotthiga

I’ll be taking the next two weeks off to celebrate Christmas and to take a break from daily writing. Next week I’ll count down The Christian Nerd’s top five posts from 2014.

Thank you so much to those of you who regularly check out my blog, post comments and share The Christian Nerd with your friends.

I had no idea I would still be going after four years; it is definitely the interaction with you that makes it worth it. I love Jesus and I love nerdy stuff, but I also love connecting with so many people who share the same passions.

If God wills it I’ll be back on January 5, 2015 to start another year of The Christian Nerd. If the Enterprise can go on a five-year mission, then I can handle at least five years of blogging.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Thanks for all of your ongoing support.

Scott

#1000 – Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 19, 2014 by scotthiga

The-Hobbit-The-Battle-of-the-Five-Armies2

It’s hard to believe that The Return of the King came out 11 years ago. At that time I was sad to see Peter Jackson’s epic saga come to an end. I loved his version of Middle-earth and the grand scale of The Lord of the Rings.

I have enjoyed Jackson’s return to Middle-earth in The Hobbit movies. I know a lot of people have been disappointed with Bilbo’s adventure, but it has thoroughly entertained me. I was never a huge fan of The Hobbit novel so I haven’t been offended by the changes and additions to the movies.

I know it’s been getting lukewarm reviews, but I enjoyed The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. There were major changes from the book, but I’ve decided to enjoy the movies independent of the book. And, as a movie, I thought The Battle of the Five Armies was great.

Here are some other thoughts I had while watching The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Home

I preferred the original title for this movie: There And Back Again. The Battle of the Five Armies definitely highlights the main conflict of the movie but the idea of home plays a huge role. In An Unexpected Journey Bilbo couldn’t wait to leave the Shire and see the big world. In The Battle of the Five Armies Bilbo can’t wait to get back home. Home carries with it feelings of acceptance and security. Home is my favorite place to be. Regardless of what I’m facing at work, I know that my home is a safe place of unconditional love. And whether we’ve faced down orcs and dragons or just a long day at the office, it’s always good to come home.

Greed

In Wall Street Gordon Gekko exclaimed, “Greed is good.” Thankfully Tolkien had a different view of greed, a view Jackson transferred from the book to the movie. Smaug was a great example of the impact greed could have as it eats away at a person or dragon. In The Battle of the Five Armies Thorin takes up that greedy mantle. Greed is insidious because it makes us insatiable. No matter how much we have or how much we get, greed always wants more. We need to strive to be happy with what we have if we want to avoid the greed of Smaug. I know that I could be happy with a cavern full of gold, I’m happy without it, but all things being equal…

Friendship

I’ve loved seeing the friendship among Thorin’s band of treasure hunters. I actually got a little teary eyed at the end of The Battle of the Five Kings because I had invested so much in the friendships among the dwarves and Bilbo. I still don’t know all of the names of the dwarves but I like how committed they were to each other. We probably won’t have an unexpected journey filled with death and adventure, but it’s still better to go through life with some good friends.

The Hobbit movies weren’t as great as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I still enjoyed my second trip to Middle-earth. Peter Jackson hasn’t ruled out a return to Middle-earth but I don’t know how exciting a trilogy based on The Silmarillion would be. Until then, though, we have almost 20 hours of Middle-earth movies to enjoy.

What did you think of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies?

#999 – Nerdy Nativity

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2014 by scotthiga

Yesterday I wrote a post about the spiritual side of the nativity. Here’s a post from my first Christmas at The Christian Nerd about the nerdier side of the nativity.

As long as I can remember my family always had a nativity scene we pulled out for Christmas. When I was younger our nativity scene had little porcelain figures that all surrounded a little porcelain Jesus. Then we got a more abstract nativity scene with just Joseph, Mary and Jesus that I stole when I moved out, which you can see above.

Most nativity scenes are fairly straightforward with some variation in color or head size, depending on if you have the Precious Moments nativity. Here are some nerdy nativity scenes that don’t exist but definitely should.

Star Wars Nativity Continue reading

#998 – Personal Nativity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 17, 2014 by scotthiga

Gerard_van_Honthorst_001

Christmas Eve is a week from today, which means a week from today many of us will find ourselves at church celebrating the birth of Christ. Ever since I started working at a church I have spent my Christmas Eves at work. I don’t mind, though; it’s a lot of fun seeing friends and family, especially with everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Nativity scenes are one of my favorite parts about Christmas. I have one that I took from my mom when I moved out and Alycia was given a cat nativity last year. Regardless of what kind of nativity we have, we can see ourselves in the different figures. Continue reading

#997 – The Brick Bible

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 16, 2014 by scotthiga

Brick Bible

I love Costco; it is probably my favorite store. Since it’s only Alycia and me, people wonder how we could ever use that much toilet paper or that much cheese. I think people underestimate my desire for cleanliness and my love of smoked Gouda.

I was walking through Costco yesterday looking for obscenely large jars of peanut butter and Christmas gifts for my nieces. I didn’t find gifts for all of my nieces, but I do know what I won’t be getting them: The Brick Bible. Continue reading

#996 – Serving in Hollywood

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 15, 2014 by scotthiga

california-hollywood-sign

I’ve spent most of my life in southern California and didn’t see the world famous Hollywood sign until I was well into my 20s. I first saw the sign when I was at a church in East Hollywood. East Hollywood isn’t nearly as glamorous as other parts of Hollywood. In fact it’s fairly impoverished and couldn’t be further removed from the glitz of Tinseltown.

As much as I like walking on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I prefer serving in that little church in East Hollywood.  Continue reading

#995 – What the Elf on the Shelf?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 12, 2014 by scotthiga

elf-on-the-shelf

I love Christmas and I love Christmas traditions.

I loved gathering with most of my family on Christmas Eve for a traditional Swedish smorgasbord.

I loved waking up on Christmas morning and eating my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

I loved reading the Christmas story before opening presents.

In more recent years I’ve loved waking up on Christmas morning and having a little time just with Alycia.

I’ve loved spending my Christmas Eve at church with all of my coworkers.

And before I was married I loved going to different restaurants and homes with my roommates to steal ornaments for our tree.

I’m looking forward to continuing some old traditions and starting some new ones when Alycia and I have kids. There is one tradition that I hope we never implement with our children:

Elf on the Shelf. Continue reading

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