Sunday, July 24, 2005

Where were you?

So, where were you the night Harry Potter was released and how long did it take you to read it?

I was in Lexington, KY, with my good friend Julie and we were at Joseph Beth Booksellers. Most of you know that Joseph Beth is a two story bookstore, so Julie and I had a lot of fun walking around and peering over the side looking at all the people. Inside the store it was packed with activities for everyone. Parents were walking around with their kids and teenagers were milling about. I saw a few Jessie Clark students as well as a couple teachers! One of the best things was knowing that all these people were going to go home and actually read this book.
Julie and I got to watch the parade of costumes before the book release. My personal favorites were the girl who created her own Crookshanks costume and the baby dressed up as the golden snitch. So cute.

At about 11:45 we got in line for the book release. I was SO lucky because my friend Kris had won a spot to be first in line to receive a copy of the book. It was awesome. I was the first person inside Joseph Beth to be handed a book (three books actually since I picked up Julie's and Heather's too). It was awesome! Then Julie and I left and walked by the HUGE line outside Joseph Beth that stretched all the way around the corner and back against the side wall of J-Beth. That line was for those who had reserved their copies ahead of time.
All in all it was quite a fun evening filled with people watching and anticipation. We didn't stick around though because we were eager to get home to read the book we had been waiting so long for.

I read the book by the next afternoon. I know that some of you have completed the book, so feel free to comment about any specific thoughts you have in the comment section. I am avoiding putting anything specific actually on my blog since I know there are a few readers who have not yet completed the novel (and those who we are still trying to convince to actually get on the bandwagon). So, a warning to all readers, there may be spoilers in the comment section so read at your own risk! Have fun!

My List

Okay, so here is my list of the HP novels. These are likely to change so if I have ever stated something different--sorry. A girl always reserves the right to change her mind. :)

Half-Blood Prince
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Sorceror's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone for my British friends)
Prisoner of Azkaban
Chamber of Secrets

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Walking on Water

Have you ever heard a story over and over and got nothing out of it and then suddenly one day the exact same story brings a completely new light onto your situation? Today I was reading in one of my “Christian self-help books” (might as well acknowledge it for what it is! :) and the author was discussing the concept “fear not.” He notes that this is a command given throughout the Bible and one that we often do not pay attention to. To illustrate his point of the importance and value of “fear not” he told the story of Peter walking on water. Here’s what he says:
“The story begins in Matthew 14 as Peter jumps out of the boat to join Jesus on the water. At first, Peter’s eyes are fixed on Jesus and he walks toward Him, but as soon as he becomes aware of his surroundings and turns his eyes off of Christ, he begins to sink.
Did Peter fail? Well, yes, he took his eyes off Christ, but…there were eleven bigger failures who remained in the boat. Only Peter knew the humiliation of public failure, while simultaneously knowing what it felt like to walk on water, to trust God completely, if only for a moment. The eleven other disciples were safe, secure, and comfortable, but had no comprehension of Peter’s initial joy. Failure is a frame of mind.”

As I read this, the thought occurred to me that the joy of walking on water, of trusting in God completely, was something that I want to experience. So often our fears keep us from taking the risks that God asks us to. Only by truly trusting in God completely will we ever experience the joy of walking on water and the joy of knowing that we are keeping our eyes on Christ. When I read this earlier today the song that came to mind was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It’s an old classic, but it was comforting to sing. Tonight at church one of the choruses we sang was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Since we don’t often sing this chorus, it was a wonderful reminder that God truly has a way of bringing His peace and confirming that He is at work.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Well, it's about 12 hours after I started reading and I have finished the book. There is much to say, but then there is much reason to be silent. Those of you who read the book will understand.

Friday, July 15, 2005

12 Hours

Well, everyone. It's here. The day that Harry Potter Book 6 is coming out! When I woke up this morning it was one of my first thoughts, and I know it is going to help me through this day! For a split moment I thought, "what if it disappoints me? what if I am all excited and then it disappoints me?" Luckily it didn't take long for me to do away with that thought! I know that the only thing that will disappoint is when I turn the last page and know there is going to be a long wait for Book 7.
I am so excited tonight to witness the great event of the book's release. I cannot wait to see all the people lined up to READ A BOOK. It's exciting you have to admit...I mean it brings so much hope. People may accuse Harry Potter of being a popculture thing or even an obsession among people, but the thing you need to remember is that Harry Potter has gotten people reading again. And that is exciting.
You won't hear from me again until I finish the book.

Until then,

Thursday, July 14, 2005


48 Hours from now I will be reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Will you?

Alright, here’s the place for your comments ladies and gentlemen! (I am a bit disappointed in everyone’s lack of comments on this wonderful subject!) So this post is dedicated to your predictions. As we are down to the last 48 hours before book six, this is your last chance to say what you hope will happen before we find out what actually will happen!

So here are some of my predictions:

Harry will hook up with Ginny
Arthur Weasley will be the next minister of magic
Hermione and Ron will finally have a DTR
Tonks and Lupin will hook up
Hagrid will be the Half-Blood Prince

So what do you all think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

2 Days and Hours

More on Choices
A Lesson from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“So I should be in Slytherin,” Harry said, looking desperately into Dumbledore’s face. “The Sorting Hat could see Slytherin’s power in me, and it—"
“Put you in Gryffindor,” said Dumbledore calmly. “Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized…yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.”
“It only put my in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to in Slytherin….”
“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

3 Days and Hours

First off, I have to give props to Kris. She made my day today by giving me her winnings! Yes, Kris one a "be one of the first five people in line to get your Harry Potter books this Friday at midnight!" Can you believe it? And she is giving up this opportunity to me. So cool. Kris, you are too awesome!!!!!!

Here's today's thoughts:

Harry and Courage
Taken from Harry Potter and Philosophy: The Courageous Harry Potter (9-21)

Tom Morris says the following in explaining why Harry Potter is able to face the many dangerous times he finds himself in throughout the HP novels.

“Courage is doing what’s right, not what’s easy. It’s doing what seems morally required, rather than what seems physically safe or socially expected. It’s doing what’s best, overall, rather than necessarily what’s best for you. A courageous person properly perceives when there is danger and then overcomes the natural urge for self-preservation, self-protection, comfort, personal gain, or even the solicitude for guarding the feelings of others that might counsel avoidance of that threat.
The great philosopher Aristotle teaches us that courage is a midpoint between two extremes in our reaction to danger: the extreme of too little, which he characterizes as cowardice, and the extreme of too much, which he labels as rashness. A courageous action is not the deed of a person insensible to danger, unaware of its presence, or reckless in the face of it. It is motivated and measured response to perceived danger by a person who is willing to face that potential harm for the sake of securing or promoting a greater good. It’s generated by a person’s values, and the depth and intensity with which they are held, and it’s to be displayed in a way that is proportionate to the needs of the situation.”

Morris continues in his essay to outline Harry’s recipe for courage page 14:
1. Prepare for the challenge
2. Surround yourself with support
3. Engage in positive self-talk
4. Focus on what’s at stake
5. Take appropriate action

Throughout the novels, as Harry grows up, you see him struggle with his identity. By book five he gets angry more often and finds himself in sulky moods. Despite these trends of all adolescents, Harry remains one of the most courageous people. Whether he is saving the stone, saving Ginny, saving Sirius, saving Cedric’s body, or saving Sirius again, it’s not about Harry. He enters those situations not with regard to himself but only thinking of that other person. That he might not survive seems to matter very little. Once again there is always something to be learned from one of literature’s favorite characters.

Monday, July 11, 2005

4 Days and Hours

Dumbledore’s thoughts on the Philosopher’s Stone:

“To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. (It gave you) As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all—the trouble is, humans have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone page 215

What are you choosing for your life?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

5 More Days

“Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?” she (Bellatrix) yelled. She had abandoned her baby voice now. “You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain—to enjoy it---righteous anger won’t hurt me for long—"
--Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix page 810

I want to point out a specific part of this quote: righteous anger won’t hurt me for long. I have to admit I think this line is fabulous. At this point in the book, Harry is fighting for his life against the evil Death Eaters. He has just watched Bellatrix murder his godfather and he doesn’t even know if his friends have survived the terrible fights with the Death Eaters. He is angry. And he has every right to be angry. And it is this fact and the fact that Harry has love within him that he cannot truly hurt Bellatrix. As angry as Harry is at the loss of his godfather, he cannot truly enjoy the pain of another. His righteous anger is no match for the evilness of Bellatrix.

This is a quote where the lesson is what we take from it. It is not something that I can completely explain, but I can say that this scene leaves me pondering each time I read it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

6 Days

A week from today I will be deep into book 6! It is a very exciting prospect! :) The following is a quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone page 208. Yes I have given the British title because that it what I am copying it out of, although I believe this quote says the same thing in the American version of the book.
I love this quote because it points out that it’s not magic that makes our characters so memorable. J.K. Rowling has developed this incredibly creative magic world, but she doesn’t let magic drive he characters. She has created real characters with both good and bad personality traits that help them accomplish what they are put up against.
This quote comes at the very end of the section where Hermione has figured out Snape’s protection of the stone. Hermione is getting ready to turn back to help Ron and find Dumbledore and Harry is getting ready to go into the final room and face Quirrell and Lord Voldemort.

“Harry—you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you (Hermione),” said Harry, very embarrassed….
“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things—friendship and bravery and—oh Harry—be careful!”

Friday, July 08, 2005

7 Days

It’s all about community guys. All about community.

Dumbledore continued, “The Triwizard Tournament’s aim was to further and promote magical understanding. In the light of what has happened—of Lord Voldemort’s return—such ties are more important than ever before….”
“Every guest in this Hall,” said Dumbledore, and his eyes lingered upon the Durmstrang students, “will be welcomed back here, at any time, should they wish to come. I say to you all, once again—in light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak are we are divided.
Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
It is my belief—and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken—that we are all facing dark and difficult times. Some of you, in this Hall, have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Many of your families have been torn asunder. A week ago, a student was taken from our midst.
Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

The Goblet of Fire p. 627-28 British Version

Thursday, July 07, 2005

8 Days

Those of you who have grown to love Harry Potter as I love Harry Potter, know that there is something about the books that make them special. Something that draws the reader in--making him or her care about the characters and the outcome of the story. It is not only the story of Harry Potter, but it is the story of all of us. Wandering around in a world trying to figure life out. That’s what makes a book timeless…because the story of life never changes.

Here is our first lesson from the stories of Harry Potter. The following is an excerpt from the essay Heaven, Hell, and Harry Potter recorded in Harry Potter and Philosophy. As I was reading this essay and came upon this part, I was surprised and pleased. I hope you enjoy it as well. And of course, I recommend the entire essay.

“What this means is that the nature of ultimate reality, the fundamental metaphysical truth, is loving relationship. God from all eternity has existed as a loving relationship among three persons. Moreover, God loves all His creatures so deeply that He was wiling to sacrifice himself to show how much He loves them and wants them to love Him in return. This is what is involved in the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God who willingly died for us on the cross to save us from our sins.
If this is true, the story about Harry Potter’s mother and the power of her blood is a reflection of one of the deepest truths about reality, namely, that all of us are loved by One who was willing to spill his blood and die for us. Furthermore, the love of Harry’s mother is a picture of the fact that love is a greater and more powerful thing than evil and death. It was her sacrificial love that protected Harry when Voldemort and Quirrell tried to kill him. In the Christian story, the resurrection of Jesus shows that love is stronger than death. Jesus offers to share his life with all who believe in him, and this life gives those who receive it the power to live forever. So understood, Christianity is a great love story and it is based on the belief that love is the deepest reality and evil cannot defeat it.” (PAGE 74-75)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

9 More Days

Ladies and gentlemen, the long awaited day has arrived. We are finally only days before the release of the 6th Harry Potter novel. Finally we will find out what will happen to our favorite trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. What will they face now that Voldemort has returned? Who will be the new minister of magic? Will there be romance for our characters? And of course, who is the Half Blood Prince?????

I hope that you will join me in the anticipation of this book by checking my blog over the next few days. My HOPE is to share some piece of Harry Potter each day. It may be a lesson learned from the book, a possible prediction, or some other HP type news. It's going to be fun stuff though. It'll help the next nine days speed by.

Also, for those of you who are wondering. Of course I'll be at a Harry Potter release party. Why wait any longer than necessary when I can so easily drive to Joseph Beth and pick it up at midnight on July 15/16. Anyone who is even a little bit of a Harry fan is welcome to join in the fun!!