Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

A couple of years ago Joe Richins and other members of the Cactus Brick LUG put together a holiday display including Christmas decorations, general winter scenes (be sure to check out the melting snowman), this menorah and some dreidels.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Schlemiel on a Wheel

Okay, so I've never gotten the Elf on a Shelf thing for my kids. I've seen it in the stores, of course, and some pretty funny pictures come across my twitter feed (e.g. the elf tied down by a bunch of minifigs, Gulliver-style), but I had to look it up for the full description. Nine years ago three people came up with a great idea that has probably made them a lot of money. They wrote a book about an elf who comes and lives with a family and watches the kids, and at night goes back to report to Santa (hmm, somewhat Orwellian, no?). The key thing is that the book comes packaged with a stuffed elf that the parents move around the house each night, so when the kids wake up they have to go find it. But why should the Christian kids get all of the slightly creepy fun? So now we get Mensch on a Bench and Maccabee on the Mantle. Really. Google them. Before I complain, though, this also seems to be a good money-maker. Joanna Brichetto of Bible Belt Balabusta fame had a laugh at this with her Schlemiel on a Wheel, Schmuck on a Truck, Schnorrer on a Menorah, etc..

First up, the Schlemiel on a Wheel. Joanna is kind enough to explain the terms for all us goys. "Schlemiel is the guy who spills the soup, and the schlemazel is the guy upon whom the soup is spilled." And now I know what Lavern and Shirley were singing about! Yes, I know, I'm dating myself.

Since Joanna lives in the south, she was sure to include the Schmuck on a Truck.

My favorite though, is the Schnorrer on a Menorah. Everybody give a round of applause for really painful puns. A schnorrer is a bum or a beggar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Hanukkah (with Nanoblock Menorahs)

Well, I'm not sure I approve of non-LEGO building blocks, but it's Joanna, and so we'll let it slide (this time, Joanna). :) She decided that actual LEGO menorahs were too big for her minifigs (but there's Modulex! oh, okay, I'll give it a rest), so she has her fig lighting a Nanoblock Menorah to start the Hanukkah celebration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

This evening is the beginning of Hanukkah, and so we begin our eight days of LEGO menorahs and dreidels, to be followed by the twelve days of LEGO manger scenes. :) The lighting of the menorah each night of Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple, when the lamps burned for eight nights even though there was only enough oil for one. Most major cities hold public menorah lightings, and a common tradition in recent years is to build giant menorahs out of LEGO as a way to involve children. One such example is this from Portlan (presumably that picture is the result of last year's event).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Church "At the Movies"

This ones needs a little background. The "seeker-driven church" movement is a trend in the past decade or so, particularly with many larger American Protestant churches, to focus much of their efforts, particularly around the Sunday morning service, at reaching those who might not normally attend church. This can often involve events with large media pushes to attract these unchurched people. One extremely common event is an "At the Movies" series - a series of sermons, generally in the summer, each based around the theme of a recent popular movie. Lifechurch is a multi-site church where this summer, in conjunction with their "At the Movies" series, the various campuses decorated their churches with a LEGO Movie theme. Sadly, none of the actual sermons was based on the LEGO Movie - I was kind of hoping they would be so I could look at it here, but no such luck (though if you know of a church that did a LEGO Movie sermon, I'd love a link to the audio). Anyway, the decor is worth checking out.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Scriptorium du monastère de Dornenwal

Before Gutenberg invented his printing press, the only way to mass produce books was to painstakingly copy them by hand. In medieval monasteries, the scriptorium was the room where the monks copied and illustrated texts - the Bible and other religious works, but other works as well. B.K illustrated this with the Scriptorium du monastère de Dornenwal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Che Kung Temple

Andy Bear built this rendition of the Che Kung Temple found in the Sha Tin district in Hong Kong. The temple is dedicated to Che Kung, a general in the Song Dynasty in the 13th century, also known as a healer. He is now revered as a god of protection.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tian Tan Buddha

Hi all,
First up, I just wanted to apologize for my six month hiatus. I've been blogging about LEGO for nine years now, and from time to time I've just gotten a bit run down and distracted from my family of blogs. However, in the meantime, I'm constantly going through Flickr, Brickshelf, and other sites, and probably every day I bookmark a few more things that I keep meaning to post. I've gotten a couple of nice notes asking where I've been, and I guess it's time to come back. Also, during the year I save up LEGO books to review as people are getting ready for Christmas, and want to get those posted. And so, back to blogging. Hopefully I won't have too many interruptions in the near future. I've certainly got a backlog of great creations to feature.

The Tian Tan Buddha (here by Alan Boar) is a 34 meter tall statue of the Buddha seated atop a hill near the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong. The rooms under the statue include a relic said to include some of the remains of Gautama Buddha. Earlier this year French artist Paulo Grangeon created 1600 paper mache pandas which he then displayed and photographed around Hong Kong, including at the Tian Tan Buddha, as reproduced here in Alan Boar's MOC.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God

Yesterday was the 273rd anniversary of Jonathan Edwards' sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. This sermon is seen as an important event and exemplar of the preaching during the First Great Awakening, a period of fervent religious revival in the American colonies. Edwards' argument basically establishes that sinners (us) are in danger of the punishment of a just God, and that the only thing that is keeping us from that punishment for the time being is God's own mercy. The solution, as he argues, is to repent of our sins and turn to Christ. Mr. Mandalorian illustrated this in LEGO for a school assignment (I've actually blogged this here before, but heard a news item yesterday about the anniversary and thought it was timely).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Salt Lake Temple

David Jungheim built this version of the Salt Lake Temple. The real structure on Temple Square in Salt Lake City was dedicated in 1893 and is the center of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vor Frue Kirke

Vor Frue Kirke, the Church of Our Lady (here in LEGO by Lasse Vestergård), is the Cathedral of Copenhagen and the National Cathedral of Denmark. Churches have stood at this location since 1187, but the current cathedral was built in the early 1800's.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sacred grove

James Pegrum made this Druid's sacred grove. Here's his description:

200cBC, Medionemeton (now in Southern Scotland). A Druid leaves the Sacred Grove and heads back to his local tribe.
During the Iron Age the Druids were a priestly class within Celtic society, both in and beyond Britain. These priests played an important part in Celtic society. It took 20 years of training to become a Druid (according to Caesar). The Greeks and Romans writers also refer to the druids making human sacrifices, a matter which lead the Romans to pursue the druids and try to stop their religion.
The Druids carried out their rituals in Sacred Groves (Nemetons), which were small groups of trees were surrounded by a ditch and possible with a palisade around the enclosure (I've shown it with burning torches!).
The druids did not write and so their is little written records about these mystical priests. The main records come from the Greeks and Romans.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Buddha's Birthday

Two days ago many around the world celebrated the birthday of Prince Siddhartha Gautama about 2500 years ago in Nepal. Andybear and Aki made this mosaic. They include a lotus flower in the picture; in Buddhism this is a symbol of enlightenment. The lotus grows in murky, muddy water, which is symbolic of the natural state of the person, but then the flower struggles and grows and rises above, and eventually opens up into a beautiful bloom, symbolizing the enlightened soul.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

All scripture?

The missing chunks out of the Bible in BMW_Indy's II Timothy 3:16 are his commentary on how many Christians ignore parts that are inconvenient to them, while ALL scripture is God-breathed.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Official Anubis

Anubis has found his way into multiple official LEGO sets as well, the only religious character to do so (albeit from a dead religion). As the jackal-headed god is highly recognizable, he shows up in sets every time LEGO ventures into Egypt. The Oasis Ambush and Sphinx Secret Surprise sets both include Anubis statues.

Set 5988 is the Temple of Anubis, and he is both in a statue and in the heiroglyphics.

Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb features two Anubis statues, and also the Ark of the Covenant.

LEGO came back to Egypt a couple of years ago with the Pharoah's Quest sets, and again Anubis was there. As a sphinx in Rise of the Sphinx and then as an Anubis guard minifig in the Scorpion Pyramid set.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Here are some more LEGO renditions of Anubis:

Pascal built this temple.

Sir Nadroj built these statues.

David Alexander Smith made Anubis and Ra.

This version was in the "LEGO: Secrets of the Pharoahs display at Science World Vancouver.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


One of the roles of Anubis in ancient Egyptian belief was the weighing of the heart. After death, Anubis would compare the deceased's heart to an ostrich feather representing truth. If the heart was heavier (therefore impure), the demon Ammit would devour the soul. Otherwise the soul would go on to immortality with Osiris. Inquisitor88 depicts Anubis and his scales.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Anubis (here by the Deathly Halliwell), was an important god of the dead in ancient Egypt. He was associated with the whole mummification practice and burial and the passage of the dead into the afterlife. He is most often shown as having the body of a man and the head of a jackal.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
MOC by Sir Valiant.