Tag Archives: Christian

The Most Controversial Scribbler Post Ever?

I feel old. Is it really so controversial to say;

  1. Jesus is Lord
  2. Allah of Islam is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, nor is Muhammad His prophet, and Muhammad was not a good guy
  3. Self-Control is admirable; keep it in your pants til you’re married (and after you’re married, save it for your spouse)
  4. Marriage was meant to be for life
  5. In a related note; two persons of the same sex can’t be married in the eyes of God, and homosexual acts are sinful, though I support your right to designate your same-sex partner as whatever you want civilly and legally, and I believe gov’t needs to stay out of the marriage business
  6. America is not a horrible country, and in fact was indeed settled and founded by Christians of various backgrounds and beliefs, though we are indeed a secular nation in so much as we don’t think the state has any power over the church
  7. Capitalism is a wonderful thing, greed is not
  8. Hard work is better than laziness
  9. Sin is real… tied in really close with “Hell is real”
  10. I actually do love sinners, including my enemies, and hate sin
  11. Modesty, it’s about self-respect. Guys; I don’t want to see your butt, or your underwear, pull your pants up (of course that starts with wearing pants). Girls; I don’t want to see your butt or your underwear, wear long enough shorts and skirts… AND your cleavage; cover it up.  Is that so hard?
  12. The Holocaust happened… and it’s ok to compare the mass murder of unborn children to the holocaust, even though it is rhetorical, which brings us to:
  13. Abortion is murder
  14. Gluttony, gossip, lying, pride, and coveting are just as bad as any other sin.
  15. Christians are indeed hypocrites, but Christ isn’t, and at our churches we won’t mind one more hypocrite in the pews, c’mon in
  16. Speaking of; we are saved by grace through faith, not of works and that comes from the Bible, which is indeed the word of God…
  17. Drink but don’t get drunk, get mad but don’t sin, and realize your freedom in Christ but also realize your responsibility
  18. I really meant number 11; there’s nothing else you have to do in order to have an eternal relationship with God the Father except to have faith on Jesus the Son; Who He was, what He did, how He died, and that He rose again on the 3rd day…
  19. If you hear of Him and don’t put your faith in Him, see number 5.
  20. God is good

Does that get me to the “most controversial” level yet?  Seriously?  What a strange world we live in now.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Humor, Musings, Religion and Politics

Meet the Austins…

Dear reader, check out this link to know what the point of this “review” is about; Madeleine L’Engle.  This is one of her books I just read for the first time…I’d met the Austin family previously in books that come later in the Austin family series.  I really enjoyed this story, and it did serve as a good introduction to the Austins, which in turn, sets up the rest of the books in the series.  It is a very quick read, and “easy” reading.

What suppers did the Austins enjoy? Standing rib roast with roast potatoes and carrots, spaghetti with carrots and garlic bread, Spanish rice, Shepherd’s pie, strawberry mousse, pork roast with applesauce and carrots, pot roast with deep-dish apple pie, bread pudding with raisins, tapioca, jell-o, raisin bread, steaks with baked potatoes and salad, baked beans with hot dogs chopped up in them, and the ever present beverages of coffee and hot cocoa.

What did they listen to while preparing all of this?  Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, Rosenkavalier, Schonberg’s Verklarte Nacht, Handel’s the Cuckoo and the Nightingale, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, Handel’s Royal Fireworks, and John liked to listen to “The Gambler.”  The crew liked to sing; Cockles and Mussels, The Eddystone Light, You take the High Road, Oh, Susannah, Ash Grove, and Tallis’ Cannon.

What were the kids reading or the adults reading to them? The Jungle Book, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Garden, The Sword in the Stone, and Doctor Dolittle.  Also, a book on Albert Einstein’s spiritual views was quoted and talked about, but no title was ever given.

Their furry companions that curled up at their feet?  Colette their french poodle, Mr. Rochester their Great Dane, and at least three cats; Prunewhip, Hamlet, and Creamy.

What was the fam up to in this story?  Skywatching as usual, including star gazing.

Good prayers and quotes included?

St. Francis’ Prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

A quote from Hildevert of Lavardin;

God is over all things, under all things; outside all;
within, but not enclosed; without but not excluded;
above, but not raised up; below, but not depressed;
wholly above, presiding; wholly without, embracing;
wholly within, filling.

A poem from Thomas Browne;

If thou could`st empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the ocean shelf,
And say, `This is not dead`,
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou
And hast such shrewd activity,
That when He comes, He says, `This is enow
Unto itself – `twere better let it be,
It is so small and full, there is no room for me.`

Fun book to read, the themes of childhood, change and death were interesting.  This book, more than L’Engle’s others that I’ve read, seemed geared toward “younger” readers, but adults who like her style and characters will enjoy this book as well.  On to read the second in this series…

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Filed under Humor, Musings, Of Interest, Prayer, Reviews, Sacred Secular, Uncategorized

Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Movie Review

I finally managed to see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (VotDT).  There are many fans of the CS Lewis books that despise the movies, but I’ve enjoyed each of them for different reasons, VotDT is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment and recommend it to movie goers, Christian and non-Christian alike.  There will be SPOILERS for both the book and the movie, if you’d rather wait to see it yourself, please stop reading now. 😉

One of the first questions people want to know, esp. Christians, is; Does the Movie follow the book?  I would honestly have to say yes in general, and no in specifics.  Yes, in that the main characters are intact, as are the main interactions.  No in the specific plot devices and details.  Extra additions to the plot include a dreaded greenish mist that whisks people off to the Island of darkness, and the seven lords of Narnia being given seven swords by Aslan that all must be found and placed on Aslan’s table in order to break the spell of the green mist. I’m assuming some of the changes are actually inspired by, or sets up, The Silver Chair.

The next questions always include; Did they leave in Aslan changing Eustace back from a dragon, and did they leave in the, “In your world I have another Name,” speech by Aslan? These are two key Christian parts of the book and they did leave them in, though changing Eustace back into a boy was much less hands-on (or paws-on) and less graphic (which is why I assume they changed it), plus the “baptism” aspect of it was missing, as Eustace did not go into a body of water.  Also missing was the element of Eustace trying to change himself back, but failing, and Aslan stepping in to do the work.

The Aslan speech at the end was left largely intact and was pulled off well. It was clearly communicated that the children must learn to know Aslan by His Name here in our world.  My main gripe with this scene; they left out the Lamb that turns into a Lion.  It would have been a little detail that spelled out things so much more for the audience; Aslan represents Christ Who is the Lion and the Lamb.

Will Poulter’s Eustace Scrubb brings a lot of comedy into the movie and the actor did very well with it; the transformation of snotty little Eustace into a true Narnian at heart was pulled off well.  However, one of the things in the book that always stood out to me was that Eustace was never cut any slack on The Dawn Treader, and his crime of stealing water was treated seriously by Reep.  In the movie version, the serious nature is pointed out when Eustace nabs an orange, but Reepicheep lightens the tone of the repercussions.

The only bit in the movie that may be too scary for some of the younger fans is the sea serpent scene (a nice homage to The Ghost Busters is there, if anyone is paying attention to the dialogue).  The serpent was done really well, IMO, and may frighten younglings a bit too much.  The Dawn Treader itself was far less cheesy than I’d feared.  Oh, BTW, this review does not include a review of the 3D, because I did not see that version.

Long review short, I liked this movie, and believe it is a movie for the whole family, except the youngest members.  The movie, along with the book, teaches many important lessons including fighting temptation, our inability to change ourselves without help, friendship, family, humility with biblical self-respect, etc…  I enjoyed it, and look forward to the DVD, as well as the next installment that will hopefully be greenlit soon.

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Movie Review; Twilight…

Yes, I went and watched it…I actually watched it the first weekend it was out, I was just too sick to blog about it, but better late than never.  Ok, Twilight; background info, yes, I’ve read the book(s) up to book three, I’m waiting on the forth, so that will be my perspective as opposed to those who watched the movie without reading the book.  There are mild spoilers for the movie and the book…any major spoilers and I’ll warn ahead of time.

First let me say that I’m not a huge fan of the series, I find Stephenie Meyer’s writing to be very much akin to Mary Sue fanfiction.  I’m not knocking her at all, she’s made it to the best seller list and had a movie made after her book, so, she’s definitely an adequate writer.  Going into the movie I didn’t have huge expectations, because I didn’t have huge expectations of the book either, but the movie still managed to disappoint me.

For those of you who don’t know, Twilight is a story of girl-meets-vampire set in a high school-like environment (think of a storyline not quite Romeo and Juliet, but similar).  Of course the vampire the girl meets is a dreamboat knockout that is a “vegetarian” vampire…and belongs to a vegetarian vampire family – they only drink the blood of animals, not humans (one good moral taught; killing humans is a no-no).

The focus in the book is all about relationships, self-control, and setting up the main character of Bella…this focus is lacking in the movie.  Of course Hollywood has to be much more dramatic, and if one watches only the trailers for Twilight, one would assume it is an action-packed vampire flick, but that’s not so.  The movie makers obviously attempted a compromise between teen romance and action, the result of which is that both sides lose out.

As far as acting goes, the lead (Stewart as Bella, and Pattinson as Edward) and side actors did fine in the movie, but the characters portrayed didn’t match their book counterparts; for example, Bella fit in way too easy with her peers with her Hollywood good looks, and style.  Honestly, I can’t say that any one actor stood out to me, nor was there any Oscar winning performances, though their acting did not detract from the show either…meaning, basically, that they all did a professional job.

The special effects were really distracting, on the other hand.  Someone needs to show the director and/or producers how “speedsters” can be portrayed very realistically now; you know, speedsters, like Daphne on Heroes…people that can run really fast.  Edward lugging around Bella, and climbing trees came off really fakey-fakey…not to mention Edwards “diamond-like” skin in full sunlight.  The makeup and hairstyles were a bit over the top distracting at certain points as well.

This movie is one of those were I don’t recommend it either way; I don’t think people need to rush out and see it, nor do I think they should avoid it.  If you have two hours to spend on a winter day, go right on ahead and munch some popcorn and take it in, or if you’d rather wait for the DVD then by all means wait and save your money.  It’s worth it to see the movie or read the book just to keep up on pop culture, and what the crazy kids are all into now a days 😉 .

The vampire lore in this one is slightly different, though not completely original (one can sense Rice’s influence fairly easily).  For those that care about such things; there is one main scene of violence, and a dream sequence that may be considered a bit mature, no real nudity (though we do see Bella in her skivvies; another good moral; self-control, Edward style), very little profanity, and the movie is rated PG-13.  I suspect the only reason it earned that rating was for the violence that was present, and “scary” themes.

Some of the book’s content that I was hoping would be included on screen (but wasn’t) did touch upon Vampires and religion…though the second and third book delve into it a bit more.  I suppose I’ll have to save any of that conversation for a book series review.  For example, just as Rice’s vampires, these vamps don’t mind looking at/touching crosses in the least, and at least one of them has interesting ties to clergy, and hypotheses about whether or not vampires have souls and if they can make it to Heaven.

Anywho, average movie, nothing too theological to blog about either, though the book has more…ah, well, on to the next one…

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Doctor Who; The Stolen Earth (pt. 1) Review

This episode was written by Russell T. Davies (RTD), and is the first of a two-part season finale.  Season finales are always exciting…and the first part is usually a setup of the second, The Stolen Earth, part 1 is no exception.  First, as this was only the first part, it’s hard to say how the whole show will play out, but it worked really well as a hook, and to get the storyline underway.

Guess what — the Earth is in danger again; and, this time, the whole Scooby gang is on the case.  When the Earth is snatched out of orbit, literally jerked out from under the TARDIS (how exactly did this not effect our solar system?…I know, I know, that’s for part 2 probably…) the gang is on it: Donna, The Doctor, the TARDIS, Martha, Captain Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Sarah Jane, Luke, Mr. Smith, Wilf, Sylvia (Donna’s mum), and of course…Rose.

The first commercial break of the night, here in the states, comes on and in wonderful irony it was an advert for Preparation H…yes, The Doctor might have need of it before the story plays out.  So, back to the show; we see the world in the midst of panic, while the news services suggest to everyone, “Don’t Panic.”  Perhaps the human populace would have heeded the order if they had a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide on hand.

In the midst of the panic, Ianto is channel surfing, and in a great setup for my blog, who should appear on the TV to offer their wise opinion on the situation but Dick Dawkins, Ph.D., the proselytizing atheist himself (I had the passing thought that maybe the Preparation H was actually for the audience at this point…)  Now who in their right mind would choose Dawkins to publicly broadcast during a universal crisis?  Apparently RTD would….but wait, of course! Dawkins is smarter than everyone…he has a science degree; however, he shouldn’t quit his day job to pursue an acting career…

Ianto apparently agrees with me, and quickly changes the channel.  Anywho, we now get a “clue” who’s behind the Earth snatching as “EXTERMINATE!” blares through every speaker on the globe.  And that can mean only one thing; the Daleks. Now, the actors do a great and wonderful job communicating their characters’ fear, helplessness, and terror, esp. John Barrowman as Captain Jack…but I have to ask; is anyone in the audience actually fearful?  I mean, when I used to hear, “Resistance is futile,” whilst watching Star Trek, my blood would run cold while Captain Jean Luc Picard’s face became more stern than normal as we knew the Borg was on the scene…with the Daleks…not so much.  I mean, every time they show they get pwned by the Doctor and/or his Scooby gang.

The Doctor, meanwhile is having trouble locating Earth, it is gone without a trace to track, so he whisks himself and Donna to the Shadow Proclamation, the cops of the ‘verse, to track down the missing globe (and the other 26 planets that have gone missing as well).  With the help of Donna, he succeeds, and is off again in the TARDIS to the Medusa Cascade…where he can’t find the Earth…again.

Of course “The Children of Time” as Davros (the big bad returned from the old days) calls the Doctor’s Scooby gang, manage to link together online thanks to Harriet Jones (former Prime Minister).  They come up with a plan to call on The Doctor…seeming very much like an energy-form of prayer, and Rose manages to add in a “real” prayer as well, beseeching the heavens, I mean the Doctor, to find her.

On the TARDIS, Donna is having to give the Doctor a pep talk whilst he leans James-Dean like against a bulkhead, sulking in his Converse sneakers.  The prayer…I mean the call finally comes through, is answered, and The Doctor, after a conversation with Davros, finds his way to land on Earth…right in front of a cathedral.

Coming to the end of the hour, we know everyone is going to be stuck in a dangerous situation, but wait just a minute!  The Doctor and Donna stand yammering outside the TARDIS, and who should appear on the horizon but a certain blonde ex-companion, and love of The Doctor’s: Rose.  He’s happy, Rose fans are happy, The Ten/Rose shippers are happy…but blast it, we know that the cliffhanger is coming, and sure enough as Ten and Rose sprint toward one another in glee, the Doctor gets shot by a Dalek.  Cap’n Jack with his “great” timing pops in and destroys the Dalek only after it zaps the Doctor, and then he helps a crying Rose get the Doctor back into the TARDIS.

What’s the cliffhanger?  The Doctor is apparently regenerating; glowing golden energy and all, while Rose, Jack, and Donna watch.  TO BE CONTINUED…

This was a “fun” episode, lots of excitement, and I loved the graphics of the 27 stolen planets floating around.  I have to say that I do know that this is meant to be a season ender, and so big villains and big plots are expected, but isn’t that a bit of a problem?  We, as the audience, know that these things are going to occur, does that not take away some of the suspense?  The acting in this eppy was as good as always, and I enjoyed seeing all the major players on the screen helping each other out.  It will be interesting to see the last installment, and to see more interaction between the cast.

I’ve already touched upon most of the “spiritual” aspects that jumped out at me in this episode, the only other ones being a lot of references to pride and arrogance, as well as the focus on humanity and humans on the show.  As I said I look forward to the second part, to see if these themes persist.  I do feel the Messiah-like concept is still full force in the Who ‘verse, but we again see the limits of a limited being like the Doctor, even if being forced into a Messiah-like position; for example, not being able to be at all places at once, in all times at once.

Good episode overall, and one you need to watch to get set for part 2…

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