Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Superman = Santa Claus?

I had an interesting thought today. Superman is very similar to Santa Claus! They both live at the North Pole, can travel around the world at tremendous speed, and are seemingly immortal. Superman and Santa Claus are probably equally well known around the world, too. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were Jewish, so they probably didn't celebrate Christmas or think about Santa much, but I thought those were some interesting parallels.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Horrendous Kablooie!

In The Days Are Just Packed! by Bill Watterson, Calvin is discussing the origin of the universe with Hobbes. His reasoning is that if scientists could imagine all the molecules of the universe coming from something the size of a pinhead, why couldn't they come up with a better name for it than "The Big Bang"? I loved how he put that!

So many people have bought into the concept of the Big Bang Theory (which is also a funny TV show about nerds) because scientists thought of it and everyone assumes they know what they're talking about. Don't get me wrong--I am a very rational thinker and have a high opinion of science that is done right. I love watching Mythbusters because they test everything scientifically, which must involve repeatable results. They cannot test the creation or evolution myths (and "myth" does not necessarily mean it's not true) because it is not repeatable!

There is evidence of some Natural Selection, which fits perfectly with the biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood, but no evidence that convinces me of everything coming from an amoeba. Natural Selection doesn't take millions of years, either--my nephew has blue eyes because his mom and dad both have blue eyes. It doesn't take millions of years for a canyon to form--it took a couple days after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. An approximately 7,000-year-old Earth makes a lot more sense to me than an Earth that is billions of years old. When archaeologists discover bones of dinosaurs and people, how do they know how old they are? Carbon-14 dating is inconsistent in its results, but we don't hear much about that. We don't hear much about the bones of 12-foot giants that have been found, either.

On Fox & Friends this morning they were talking about how there is an app on the iPhone that will translate a baby's cry for you, and that scientists have done research and found that you can tell exactly what a baby wants by the sound of its cry. How consistent are their findings, and are you going to buy that? Don't believe everything you hear, no matter who says it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


It's been a busy week and I can't believe it's Thursday already, but I wanted to write some thoughts about Trent's message in church last Sunday. He used the examples of Oliver and Annie to talk about how we were all orphans, but God adopted us and gave us all the rights as His children, and we are part of a new family.
When I think of orphans I immediately think about how most of the superheroes are orphans. Think of the example of Superman: Kal-El was born on Krypton shortly before it was to explode (stories differ on what caused the explosion, but that's not important to the story). His parents, Jor-El and Lara, only had a spaceship large enough for one baby (it was a prototype and they didn't have enough time to build the full-sized one), so they sent him to Earth where they knew he would be taken care of. He was adopted and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent and named Clark. He was a Kryptonian, not a human, but when he was adopted he not only became part of the Kent family, but of the human race.
For Bruce Wayne (Batman) it was different. As a boy Bruce saw both his parents shot to death right in front of him. He still had the butler, Alfred Pennyworth, to take care of him as he grew up, but he never became part of another family. Instead, he separated himself from any relationships and devoted himself to fighting for justice in Gotham City. It wasn't until he took in Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing), another orphan, that he found family again. Bruce didn't become a doctor like his father, but Dick became a crimefighter like his adopted father.
Other superheroes are orphans, too (e.g. Peter Parker/Spiderman), and they all have their own stories about finding their roles, but I'll leave it to you to see the principles for yourself.
Trent also pointed out that as Christians, and the children of God, we are expected to take on the family business, which is searching and sending for God's glory. I've never been big on the whole "family business" deal. For instance, I always thought "What if Richard Smucker doesn't want to make delicious jams and jellies when he grows up?" However as a Christian, part of the Church family, I am glad that I know what I am supposed to do!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There are no coincidences

In Library Science we talk a lot about serendipity. In a broad sense this word means coming upon something that you weren't looking for. In the library sense it is how, often when you are looking for something, there will be something nearby that you didn't even know to look for, and it is even better than what you were looking for. Librarians know this happens because of classification, but it's still neat when we see it happen!

As a Christian I am not afraid to say God is in control of every little thing that happens. Even when we do something wrong that isn't in His plan, He is still able to make it work out for His glory. Knowing this, it's still exciting to see things work out. Let me tell you about what I saw today.
It's getting to be past the halfway point of the semester, when we kind of know what we're doing better than we did at the beginning of the semester, but more stuff is starting to be due at the same time, and I haven't done enough work on it yet because I was still learning about it. This gets a little stressful, but I reminded myself that I need to stop worrying about what I need to do later and just do what I need to do now! I remembered the verse that says "...do not worry about tomorrow..."
Then I decided it was time to do my devotions and get to the other stuff afterwards. Right now at Zion Church we're doing our annual "40-Day Journey," and we have a devotional book written by some members of the church that we can all work through. Today's reading was about the freedom we have in Christ that the world cannot give us and no one can take it away. Last night I watched the first episode of the remake of the series V, and I was reminded of how a totalitarian government can make what they have to offer look really good, but it really takes away everyone's freedom. I don't think that parallel is a coincidence.
Usually in the readings in this devotional there are some lines on the page to take notes on after the Scripture reading, but today there weren't, so I went to my personal journal to write stuff down. My journal has random Scripture verses on every other page, and the next page today had Matthew 6:34 printed on it--the same verse I had been thinking about earlier about not worrying about tomorrow. God is showing me that He knows what I am thinking and feeling about today, and He has always known that today I would turn to that page in the journal and that would be the verse I needed to read.
There are no coincidences--watch the last part of the movie Signs for similar examples, but it means more when it happens in real life!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Church=The Bride of Christ

This week Zion Church is learning about God's image of the Church as the Bride of Christ. In Revelation we read about the Bride of the Lamb having been made ready/prepared for her husband (19:7; 21:2). That's what our temporary life on this temporary Earth is for. Everything we go through is for our learning and edification (i.e., building up). As Christians we are learning how to live rightly before God, so that when Christ returns and we are presented to Him as His Bride, we will be pure, beautiful, and ready.
I was thinking about our wedding day, and how my bride was an example of this. We kind of rushed through the wedding preparations, as many young people right out of college do, because I am the strong-willed one and a couple months seemed like plenty of time to me. (I'm still learning, but I know my error.) The amazing thing is that as much as I drove Angie crazy in those days, when she walked down the aisle to become Angelina Dunkerton, I had never seen her more confident. She was ready. Neither of us knew what would be coming in the early months of our marriage, but that day--even with all the crazy, unexpected things that happened that day--she was ready!
This life seems so crazy and we keep making mistakes, but when we are presented before the Lamb as His Bride, we will be ready, because He has made us clean!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Cross Is Everything!

I know that most of the people who read my blog already know this, but I feel compelled to proclaim the Gospel here, and maybe others will read this, too. Also, I want to bring up some points you might not have thought about before.
Today I was reading Galatians 2 for my devotions, where Paul challenges some of the Jewish believers for acting like the law justified them before God. They knew that salvation only comes through Christ by his work on the Cross, so by adding anything to that they were cheapening the truth.
Christ died once for sin, and he was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead, having satisfied the Father that sin was paid for. Anyone who trusts him for salvation is forgiven of sin and no longer destined for hell.
I need to proclaim the truth, and I am going to offend some people right now (whether anything of them will read this I don't know). The Jews who rejected the gospel believed that keeping the law justified them before God, so Christ's death on the Cross was pointless. Muslims believe that Jesus was only a prophet. Catholics believe that Jesus is sacrificed again every time they take communion. The LDS (Mormons) believe that the atonement happened in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus sweat drops of blood, making his death on the Cross not that important. Any belief that says salvation comes any other way except through the Cross is wrong!

Monday, September 21, 2009

And I thought I was a perfectionist!

One thing that kind of bothers me about being in the Library Science program is that this field is full of people who worry about every detail! I know that I'm a very detail-oriented person & that drives some people crazy, but I'm not as bad as some. Why do some of the other students have to keep asking the instructor exactly how something needs to be done? If it wasn't stated in the assignment instructions to do it a certain way, the instructor probably is not that concerned about it. If you try to make it sound more complicated than it needs to be, what will that mean for the rest of us? In many cases I already finished the assignment & turned it in, so I don't want to think maybe I did it wrong. Just follow the directions & then don't worry about it.
It is unlikely (but not impossible) that anyone in my classes will ever read this, but I had to get it off my chest.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Billions of years?

I just had another important thought:

Scientists talk about things taking billions of years in space, and then in the next sentence they talk about how time is affected by what's going on in space. A year is based on how long it takes the planet Earth to get around the Sun. Other planets and stars move at different speeds, and the speed of light and great distances seem to affect time and space. When people say "billions of years" in the context of outer space, what are they talking about? I don't think anybody really knows.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

As I've been reading about how big the universe is, as one does, I had a thought:

First read Genesis 1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. ESV
What is written in Scripture, if taken literally, seems to suggest a young Earth. Looking at all the evidence found on Earth, I have no trouble believing that the planet Earth is less than 10,000 years old.
I believe that the Bible is the final authority and should be interpreted literally unless it is obviously figurative. I do wonder about the Universe, though. The Universe is so big that even with light traveling at 186,000 miles per second, it may take over 1 million years for the light from some stars to reach us because they are so far away.
God created the Universe, God is eternal, and there is no limit to what God can do. Here is my thought:
Maybe Genesis 1 is not about the Universe being created, but just the Earth, or maybe this Solar System. It says the Sun, Moon, and Stars were created on the 4th day. Maybe this means:
  1. God created all the stars in the universe on the 4th day and sped up the light so we could see them--in other words he created the universe with age, and that would account for supernovas and black holes, etc. (This is what I thought until recently.) OR
  2. God created the universe millions of years ago and created our solar system within it more recently. "Stars" in Genesis 1:16 might even be referring to the planets.

I believe the Bible and I believe science, but I believe the Bible first if there is a contradiction. The one thing that is clear is that God created life, and the most important thing is that our eternal salvation is through Christ alone!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life is for service

Sometimes I look back on the past few years and wonder how we got to where we are today. I know that it is all from God because we are in a great place and it is clear that this is where God wants us to be and we are doing what he wants us to be doing right now. But several years ago while I was in Bible college I thought I was so sure of where I was supposed to be headed, but I wasn't really. A public library didn't sound like something you train for in Bible college, although I always liked going to the library and I even worked in the college library. It's clear to see that everything I did was preparing me for where I am right now, and everything I'm doing right now is preparing me for whatever God has for me next.
So how was my time at Bible college preparing me to be a librarian? The motto at Appalachian Bible College is "... because life is for service." A librarian is a service position! Think about it: just about everything you get at the library is free--that's service! If I find a book for someone in Jesus' name, I have found a book for Jesus.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

When you don't watch TV

I'm taking an online class this month called Libraries, Literature, & Young Adults, and I'm learning some valuable stuff! Actually, the only online part of the class is that our syllabus and assignment sheet were posted online, and we have to post our thoughts on a discussion board to share with the class. Other than that we just have our textbook to read from and some assignments, which include a 4-page critical response to a book of our choice from a list, two 2-page reviews of articles from VOYA magazine, and annotations of 24 YA books that we have read. Aside from actually going to class, this seems like a normal amount of work for a 3-credit-hour course, but instead of it being spread out over 3 months, we have 1 month to do it! All this reading seems like a lot, but I'm finding that I'm able to do it. It's amazing how much reading you can get done when you cut down on the TV viewing. I feel a lot better as a person after reading a book than after watching TV, too!
Don't get me wrong, I still like watching TV sometimes, but it's good to take note of how you spend your time each day so that it is not wasted. (That applies to time spent on the internet, too...)

Riding a bike again

I rode my bike approximately 11 miles today, and it felt good to do that! I had to walk it up a steep hill in a couple places, but other than that I was able to keep a good pace. I've had this bike--a Cannondale--for a couple months, but this was the first time I rode it any good distance, and I'm glad to have it. The Raleigh bike I had in the summer of 2005 was a good bike, too, but it is no more...
Before today I hadn't ridden this far in about 7 years! I want to get back into it, but I still don't like riding up steep hills.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Blog

Please take note of my new blog: Young Adult Book Reviews (link on the left of the screen). I'm trying to start something helpful for the teens at my public library that they could get involved with, but we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


It's good to see I'm not the only one! I have MetLife and I'm happy with it, but I do enjoy those Progressive insurance commercials!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I've never seen myself as a mysterious person. I'm different from a lot of other guys in that I don't really like guns or sports all that much, but I'm pretty sure people know who I am & what I'm all about. I think a lot of people are mysterious but don't realize how mysterious they are. That, or maybe there just isn't much too them...
In pursuing my Master's in Library Science, however, I think I've become more mysterious. Most people really don't know what librarians do! All most library patrons see is the person who checks out books to them & put books back on the shelves, but those people are usually not even librarians--they are usually library assistants or volunteers, although the librarians do that, too. Some of my family wonder, "What is Library Science? Why do you have to go to grad school to check out books?" Someone may ask, "So, did you put away a lot of books today?" I do spend a good amount of time putting away books, but that's not the main thing. Lately I've been doing a lot of cataloging of new books. Think about all the books, movies, etc. that are in the library. Most of the time we are able to find whatever you are looking for in a few minutes. How do you think that's possible? Until you have actually worked in a library, & sometimes even after that, you will probably not understand what Library Science entails, so I guess that makes me mysterious!
As long as people know what it means to me to be a Christian & what I believe about the Bible, I guess that's all they really need to understand.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I just read Batman: R.I.P., & it was a really good book (graphic novel). I had read comments online about Bruce Wayne dying in the comics, but either the people posting are trying to confuse people, they never actually read the whole thing, or they were confused by it themselves. It's a really complicated story because the bad guys are toying with Batman's mind in an effort to clone him, & the end it's hard to tell what actually happened & what were implanted memories. From what I can tell, though, Batman is not dead at the end, Thomas Wayne was not a sinister villain, & Bruce Wayne is still Batman.

In addition to keeping you glued to the page, it gives a great summary of all the important parts of the Batman storyline, including Richard Grayson becoming Robin & then Nightwing, Jason Todd becoming Robin & being killed by the Joker, Barbara Gordon being shot & paralyzed, and Tim Drake becoming Robin.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What upsets you?

As American Christians many of us are quick to judge superficial things, but are we bothered by the most important things? Yes, sex outside of marriage is sin, & drinking alcohol is not a good idea because of how it affects you mentally & physically, but is it right to shun people who practice these things? God shows love & mercy! As Christians who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we know better than to practice sinful lifestyles, but people are at different levels in their spiritual growth. I think a lot of people understand this, & some probably take liberty too far, but that isn't the main point I'm trying to make.

What should upset us that doesn't? The Bible is God's Word, & it is completely true! The things that are figurative are obviously figurative, & everything else should be taken literally in context. Does it bother you when people try to make God who they believe or want Him to be instead of who the Bible says He is? Does it bother you when people say certain parts of the Bible aren't true? God is not okay with people belittling Him & His Word, so you shouldn't be, either.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is Bruce Wayne going to stay dead?

I don't know if Google searches bring up my blog, but maybe if I write about something people care about, more people will read my stuff. I wonder if anybody does read my stuff... Not very many people comment...
Anyway, I haven't read Batman R.I.P. yet--it's in the mail--but from reading other people's blogs it seems that Bruce Wayne was killed & someone will replace him as Batman. It doesn't surprise me that DC is going to kill another main character, but will he stay dead? Superman died, but since he's Kryptonian I think he was just mostly dead. Oliver Queen died & was even replaced by his son, but somehow Hal Jordan brought him back. Hal Jordan died & came back, too. Are we just going to have to wait & see? Barbara Gordon was shot & paralyzed, & she's still paralyzed, so maybe this is for real! (Even though none of it is actually real, is it?)

Monday, April 20, 2009


I was reading Psalm 77 today, & I could relate to what Asaph was saying. Sometimes when I'm stressed & I cry out to the Lord, I don't feel any better because the circumstances causing the stress haven't changed. There are lots of things that cause stress, & I think there's usually physical sickness or lack of sleep involved. Sometimes it seems like there's no response from God. One thing to keep in mind is that God is eternal, so what seems like a long time to you is no time at all to God. Besides that, God's timing is always perfect, & He knows about factors that you don't know about. Asaph's comforting thought was to remember the wondrous works that God has done. Think about how He has blessed you so far, and trust that whatever the new thing is will work out well, too, at the right time.
What new adventure does God have for you when this chapter is finished?

Saturday, January 24, 2009


A little over a month ago, on my birthday, my mom & I went to watch Bolt at the movie theater. She had seen it already, but I hadn't, & I thought it was a great movie! My favorite line of the movie was when Rhino, the fat little hamster (or guinnea pig or whatever ...) said, "Sometimes things seem impossible, but you can make them possible if you are awesome!" (or something close to that)
In the context of the movie it was just funny, because Rhino & Bolt both thought Bolt had superpowers (i.e., he was "awesome"), but he really didn't--at least not in the way they thought he did. At first it sounded like a motivation for anyone to take on a challenge, but there was an underlying thought that you must be a superhero.

Let's think about that on a broader scale, though, & apply it to Matthew 19:26/ Mark 10:27/ Luke 1:37; 18:27. We overuse the word "awesome" (which doesn't bother me as much as when people misuse the word "literally," but that's another topic). As Elly told Devon (a.k.a. "Captain Awesome") on Chuck, "If everything is 'awesome', doesn't 'awesome' then just mean 'mediocre'? (or something along those lines)
The truth is, God is "awesome" for real, so we shouldn't doubt that anything is possible for Him!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


"Serendipity" is a term that comes up fairly often in Library Science in the context of research. (For some reason when I think of this word an image of a purple dragon comes to mind--does anybody have an idea why?) The definition in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: 11th ed. is as follows:

serendipity: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

Perhaps you have experienced in searching for a certain item in the library, not finding the source you are looking for, you find something even better nearby. In the majority of such cases it is because of the cataloging & classification in the library--in other words, resources about the same subjects are shelved together in the stacks.
Sometimes, however, things just seem to come together. For instance, I am by nature better at presenting my own thoughts & opinions than listening to others. For me to be the husband Angie needs, however, I need to be a better listener. Understanding this, I find that the classes I'm taking this semester in graduate school, particularly "Introduction to Research," teach me to be a better listener. The purpose in the class is so I can help people find what they are really looking for, even if they don't know themselves. I think that this mindset will help me listen & pay attention to my wife better, & to respect what she has to say without feeling the need to give my own input.

Is serendipity just one of those things, or is there a reason? I know what I think, but I'll leave it up to you...

(Revelation 4:11)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Real Holy Spirit

Pastor Trent K. at Zion Baptist Church started a new series on the Holy Spirit this morning, & it had a real impact on me. More on that in a second...

I know that when I accepted Jesus as my Savior the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me, & he will never leave. God exists in 3 Persons: the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, who each have distinct roles but are equally 1 God. Jesus, who is God's Son, & the Holy Spirit were both with God the Father at Creation. Before the day of Pentecost in the 2nd chapter of Acts, the Holy Spirit existed & filled certain people for certain tasks, but filling was only temporary. That's why David could write in Psalm 51:11 "...take not your Holy Spirit from me." Indwelling comes immediately upon receiving salvation through Christ, & it is permanent, at least for as long as we live on this Earth.

Pastor Trent pointed out that, as Jesus expressed in John 16:7, it is better that we are filled with the Holy Spirit than if Jesus were physically with us on Earth. When Jesus was physically on Earth he could only be in one place at one time doing his work, but when he ascended into heaven he could send the Holy Spirit, who is ever present with each believer & he works through us!
A most important thing to remember about the Holy Spirit is that he is here to point to Christ & to help Christians. When people claim to be performing miracles, etc. by the Holy Spirit, consider this: Who is getting the glory? When the Holy Spirit is at work the glory will always go straight to Jesus, not the person doing the miracle, not the place, not the miracle itself, not even the Holy Spirit--Jesus Christ alone is to receive the glory!
Satan masquerades as an angel of light, & sometimes he can heal people, too. He wants to distract glory from God, so don't be fooled.

Inaction figure

I was watching a little Phineas & Ferb this afternoon, & in this episode the 2 main characters wanted to make an "inaction figure" of Perry the platypus (who unbeknownst to them is "Agent P"). They invented a toy that doesn't do anything so it has an infinite market. Brilliant, eh?

Hearing that term made me realize something. As a boy I had a collection of action figures--Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Firestorm, & probably some others--& I was quite offended when my mom would call them "dolls." The toys I had were truly action figures, because they did something. Superman & Batman could both punch when you squeezed their legs. Robin (who back then didn't wear pants) would kick if you squeezed his arms, & the Flash's legs moved as if he was running when you squeezed his arms. (Don't think dirty; they were awesome!)

One regrettable day I went against my better instincts & sold my action figures at our family garage sale, so I have had to recollect them. I have a Buzz Lightyear with karate chop action, so he's a legitimate action figure, but none of my other superheroes do anything. Sure, they are moderately posable, & a few of them can even bend their knees & elbows, but can they be classified as "action figures"? In truth, they are little more than figurines. I still will never call them "dolls," though!