Dec 31, 2005
Dec 30, 2005
I have read the book. In fact I have read the whole series of the Narnia books twice. But out of them all The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was my favorite.
One of the things I like about the book is that the good and evil sides are made very clear. The lion represents good. The witch represents evil. The sides are made very clear and very distinct. You know which is the good side and you know which is the bad side. But take for instance Harry Potter. From the reviews I’ve heard, Harry Potter is a witch, yet he is made to be the good guy. The sides of good and evil are not clear. I have never read the Harry Potter books. I have never watched the movies. I do not agree with them, because Harry Potter is shown to be on the good side, when he should be on the evil side.
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire,Making it into a movie. Good idea? Bad idea?
who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or
casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone
who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable
practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be
blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to
those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has
not permitted you to do so.
Deuteronomy 18: 10-14
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my
son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually
immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place
will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
One of the concerns I had about the movie was whether they had stayed true to the book, or had they changed it. Christianity Today’s interview with Douglas Gresham (co-producer) helped to clear this up. Click here to read that interview.
(I saw the movie last Friday and they definitely kept Narnia, Narnia. They stuck to the book.)
Why partner with Disney?
Some people do not want to see the movie because Walden partnered with Disney. But Walden co-founder and president Micheal Flaherty, in an interview with Christianity Today, explains about that. Click here to read that interview.
Should Christians support this movie?
Read the interview that Christianity Today had with Douglas Gresham. Click here. (It is the same one as above.)
Disney has made movies that are bad, but they have also made some very good movies. For instance, Cinderella, Toy Story 1&2, The Pacifier, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, etc. And now that Disney has partnered with Walden on Narnia, I think that we should show them that we support movies like this. So then maybe it will encourage them to make movies like it in the future.
Do I support it?
Yes, I supported this movie even before I saw it, but now that I’ve seen it, I support it even more. They did an excellent job. And I give it 5 stars and 2 thumbs up!
These are my views on the movie, but if you don’t agree, I respect your opinion. I don’t want this post to start a debate. I just wanted to show you my view.
Dec 29, 2005
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3: 23-24
Work should always be associated with joy. . . .
The story is told of three women washing clothes. A passerby asked each what she was doing.
“Washing clothes” was the first answer.
“A bit of household drudgery” was the second.
“I’m mothering three young children who someday will fill important and useful spheres in life, and wash-day is a part of my grand task in caring for these souls who shall live forever” was the third.
Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege.
By Elisabeth Elliot
Pictures taken from © 1999-2005 www.barrysclipart.com
Dec 26, 2005
Dec 23, 2005
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Wow! Christmas has just kinda sneaked up on me this year.
I saw the new Narnia movie today. I loved it! They really did an outstanding job with it.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! And remember, it is all about Jesus.
Picture taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 22, 2005
What’s it truly about?
It is Christmas time! Presents, lights, food, friends, family, fun. Oh, and we can’t forget Santa Clause! That’s what Christmas is all about right?
No it isn’t.
Christmas is all about Jesus.
Once a year we each have a birthday. It is “our day”. We receive presents, cards, cake, and all the attention. How would we feel if someone were to cancel “our day”? How would we feel if they celebrated our birthday, but celebrated it without us, just kinda ignored us? Christmas is Jesus’s birthday. It is “His day”. But, He is very often taken out of the reason for celebrating Christmas. We celebrate His birthday without Him, we ignore Him. Jesus, the One who came to this earth to give up His life so that we might be free. We ignore the One who loves us so much more than anyone else has or ever will.
Our priorities, are they right?
We get so caught up in shopping for presents, decorating the Christmas tree, planning dinners, and visiting relatives and friends that we forget about the true meaning of Christmas. We forget about Jesus. It is not wrong to shop, decorate the Christmas tree, plan dinners, or visit with people. Those things are fine. But it is when we put all our attention and focus on those things that they become wrong because God should be our number one priority. But it seems that when Christmas time rolls around we get so busy that we tend to put God into 2nd, 3rd, or 4th priority. He should be at the center of our lives, not only at Christmas, but all the time.
The reason for the season
Those who are not Christians can’t understand the true meaning of Christmas, but those of us who are Christians, do. We need to work harder to keep Jesus “the reason for the season”, because Christmas truly is all about Him. And we need to show the world that.
Pictures taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 20, 2005
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Where there is life, there is motion. Some antelopes, as well as the cheetah, can sprint faster than some cars on the highway. Bighorn sheep, charging one another headfirst, collide with such force that the sound echoes like a gunshot through mountain ranges. Canada geese, fanned out across the sky in an orderly V, battle winds for 1,000 miles, nonstop, before dropping back to earth.
Sometimes we keep relics of life: an elkhead hanging above a fireplace; a fragile, perfect seashell; an exotic butterfly mounted on a pin. But these are mere mementos: Life has gone from them, and with it motion.
A Sure Sign of Life
Authors of the Bible often look to nature for analogies to express spiritual truth. And the book of James, controversial because of its emphasis on “good works,” is perhaps best understood through the analogy of motion. In the spiritual realm also, where there’s life there will be motion.
When a person becomes a Christian, new life begins, and inevitably that life must express itself through “spiritual motion,” or good deeds. In James’s words, “What good is it…if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?” ([James] 2:14).
Movement does not cause life, but it does invariable follow life. It’s a sure sign that life is present. Similarly, genuine faith in Christ should always result in actions that demonstrate faith.
Does James Contradict Paul?
James is not writing about how to become a Christian, but rather how to act like one. Having all the correct beliefs about God will hardly suffice: Even demons believe in God. Real, life-giving faith should produce motion, and James minces no words in describing the specific spiritual actions expected of Christians.
Christian thinkers, notably Martin Luther, have struggled to reconcile the message of James with that of Paul, who so firmly warned against slavish legalism. But Paul never belittled holy living. When he wrote to carousers, such as in his letters to the Corinthians, he railed against immorality as strongly as James.
Evidently, James’s readers were not even flirting with legalism. They lived at the other extreme, ignoring those laws God had clearly revealed. James had a simple remedy: “Do not merely listen to the word…Do what it says” ([James] 1:22).
Straight to the Point
Unlike the apostle Paul, James was no urban man of letters. He was a simple, homespun preacher, perturbed at people who were not living right. His letter covers a wide range of topics, applying the Christian faith to specific problems and commanding readers to live out their beliefs.
Be humble! James orders. Submit to God! Stop sinning! James is as forthright as an Old Testament prophet; it’s hard to miss his point.
Modern readers of James face the same dilemma as the first recipients of this unsettling letter. His words are easy enough to understand, but are we doing what he says? What kind of motion characterizes our spiritual lives? As Luther himself said, “You are saved by faith alone, but if faith is alone it is not faith.”
By Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford, Student Bible
Pictures of butterfly and Bighorn sheep taken from © 1999-2005 www.barrysfreephotos.com
Picture of geese taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 19, 2005
What is up with me? Or rather, whaz-up with me?
Well, last Wednesday, we went to see King Kong. And I really didn’t like it. There were a lot of scenes in the movie that I think could have used some editing, because it seemed that they drug some them out too long. And the natives, in my opinion, were way over-done!
Yesterday at church we had our Christmas service, banquet, and gift exchange (Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, we will also be having a Christmas service this next Sunday as well). For the past 3 years, we have had a Christmas play, but we decided to not have one this year. So I didn’t have to memorize any lines this Christmas!
On Friday we plan on going to see the new Narnia movie. We haven’t been to see it yet because it doesn’t come out in theaters here until December 21, so we have had to wait.
Hey, guess what! They finally finished the sidewalk in front of my house (Well, there will have to be a touch-up here and there). (To see what I’m talking about click here) No more walking in mud or gravel to get to the house!
Pictures taken from FreeFoto.com
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
Picture taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 15, 2005
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Note: This post will remain here until the voting stops. Be sure to check out the new posts below. (Sorry, I forgot on Monday to move this post back up to the top!)
Update: The voting is over and the Rebelution won!
On her way back from the concession stand while attending a ballgame, Julie asked a man at the end of the row, "Pardon me, but did I step on your foot a few minutes ago?"
Expecting an apology, the man said, "Indeed you did."
Julie nodded, then noted, "Oh good. Then this is my row."
© 1999-2005 www.barrysclipart.com
Dec 13, 2005
Today in my quiet time I read Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 which seems to me to have
specific application to the blogosphere:
"Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others."
This is not to excuse "cursing others" which certainly isn't a godly practice. But the
counsel here seems to be not to overly react when others say negative things about us. The web, and particularly blogs have given millions the ability to broadcast (often unwisely) their every thought and musing. Couple that ability with indwelling sin, bitterness and selfish ambition and you've got the recipe for a whole lot of "cursing." And that's where the wisdom of Ecclesiastes is helpful. Don't take it all to heart. Don't "flame" back or react with vengeance.
And that reminds me of another sound piece of advice. Someone once wisely noted:
"We'd worry less of what people thought of us if we realized how seldom they do."
It's so true. The other day I was made aware of a rather heated online forum that was discussing and bashing me and some friends because of our opinions about courtship. Reading the comments wasn't very pleasant. There was scorn, derision and what you might call "sanitized Christian cursing." I don't know any of these people, these fellow Christians, yet they were laying into me. It helped me to remember that while these people had typed these things about me, it wasn't as if they walked around thinking of me. If they do, I feel sorry for them. I'm not that important!
The only person who always has us in mind is our Sovereign God. It's His good
opinion we should seek more than anything else.
And what should guide what we write about others in our blogs? How do we handle legitimate disagreements on various topics? Last week I was meditating on James 3:13-18:
"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
For Christians, I think this passage should be our guide for what we do and don't blog. Sadly, too much of the communication online is characterized by "disorder and every vile practice" and fueled by jealousy and selfish ambition. And I'm just as susceptible to this as anyone else. This passage is a reminder of the kind of words and communication that will be present when we're guided by the wisdom from heaven.
A good reminder for those of us who have a blog. We need to remember that as Christians we represent Jesus Christ to the world. Someone once said that our lives may be the only Bible some people will ever read. We need to reflect Jesus in everything we do because the world is watching us.
Dec 12, 2005
Dec 10, 2005
Dec 8, 2005
Dec 7, 2005
When the others heard her request, they became indignant, not because of the selfish absurdity of it but because they, too, wanted such status and power. Jesus, however, saw through them all. He must have smiled as he called them together and shook his head as he corrected them. Gently, he then gave them the real definition of success: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:26-28).
Our ultimate example of how to live our lives is found in the one who came not to be served but to serve. For the Christian, then, the wonderful thing about service is that our only qualification is willingness, and our greatest reward is God’s pleasure (which, of course, spills over into our hearts!). We are not driven by it, we are called to it, revealing the gracious relationship between the Son of man and the one who has been ransomed by him. As we all know, service will probably never make us famous, rich, or powerful, that is, in the worldly sense, though it will in God’s eyes. Though the world might never honor a servant’s efforts, it will almost always respect it, if even anonymously.
Taken from Feast of Life by Jo Kadlecek
Pictures taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 6, 2005
It seems that God had other plans for Handel. Two challenges almost simultaneously set before him changed his life and the map of the musical world. From a Dublin charity, he received a commission to compose a piece of music for a benefit concert. From Charles Jennings, a wealthy friend, he received a libretto based exclusively on Bible texts.
With that libretto in hand, Handel went into a feverish work mode. For three weeks, beginning on August 22, he confined himself to his small house on Brook Street in London. From early in the morning into the night, he rarely left his music paper, ink, and pens. A friend who visited at that time reported having seen Handel weeping with intense emotion. Later, as Handel related the compositional experience, he quoted St. Paul’s words: “Whether I was in the body or out of my body when I wrote it, I know not.”
At one point a servant came into Handel’s room to deliver a tray of food. He reported having seen a wild expression in his employer’s eyes; a weeping Handel refused the food and exclaimed, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself.” He had just completed what has become the most-performed choral movement in history, the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
After six days of this incredibly concentrated work, Handel had completed Part 1. Part 2 took him nine days, and Part 3 another six. In two more days—to complete the orchestration—the masterpiece called the Messiah was finished. In the unbelievably brief span of twenty-four days, Handel had filled two hundred sixty pages of manuscript.
One of Handel’s many biographers, Sir Newman Flower, gave this summation: “Considering the immensity of the work, and the short time involved, it will remain, perhaps forever, the greatest feat in the whole history of music composition.”
And musicologist Robert Myers has stated that the music and its powerful message “has probably done more to convince thousands of mankind that there is a God about us than all the theological works ever written.”
Handel’s own aspirations for this masterpiece were revealed after the fist London performance of Messiah. When the concert ended, Lord Kinnoul congratulated Handel on the superb “entertainment.” Handel’s reply? “ My lord, I should be sorry if I only entertain them; I wish to make them better.”
With such a spiritual purpose, it is no surprise that the Lord blessed this talented man with a special grace to compose such a powerful piece.
In the midst of a depression, did Handel set out to writ the most celebrated choral music of all time? Probably not. But Handel was a man listening to the voice of God. Struck with the power of the words of Scripture, he opened himself to the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit work through him to produce what can be described as a wonder.
Although you and I might not produce the world’s next choral Messiah, each of us can be ever listening to the voice of God—as He speaks through the Scriptures, through opportunities set before us, through friends, directly to our spirits. And we, too, can produce masterpieces. As you step out in faith, remember God’s promise:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isa. 30:21)
Taken from Spiritual Moments with the Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh
Pictures taken from FreeFoto.com
Dec 5, 2005
Hopefully I’ll be able to post more this week.