Wilberforce, the main character, struggles early in the movie about his role in life - whether his calling is to the church or to the nation ... the scene is a great one ... his struggle is heartfelt ... it is one that will be inpspiring to many who pursue ministry in corporate and political life. I liked that he struggled, wanted to give up and found a way to persevere.
Some may not like the portrayal of faith playing such an important role in important matters like abolition and civil rights. For those who see faith as an integral part of such matters the movie will be a very refreshing and encouraging experience. On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★★★☆
2/18 Update: Our friend Tracy emailed me and said:
I have been able to preview "Amazing Grace" and I was off-the-scale impressed. It is about the life of William Wilberforce and his tenacity in seeking to abolish the slave trade out of Africa. His eventual win in Parliament was 200 years ago this month. This is a huge piece of African American history, and an empowering example of someone being salt & light in the midst of unjust cultural norms.2/18: I just saw the trailer for this movie and got excited to see it when it hits Kansas. It debuts in theaters this week on the 23rd. The movie is about William Wilberforce and his struggles in the Parliament in 18th century England to end slavery in the empire. John Newton, one-time slave trader and author of the song, Amazing Grace, is worked into the story as a friend of Wilberforce. I am excited to see this one.
When you see it please let me know how you liked it.
The two main characters are a boy (Jesse) and a girl (Leslie) who become friends in those tough “junior high age” years when we all need good friends. Jesse’s family goes to church weekly whereas Leslie’s family does not. Yet it is Leslie who is imaginative and full of fun and life. She opens Jesse’s world to beautiful thoughts and ideas about helping people.I like that last quote - kids gets to the heart of life don't they. Please let me know if you have seen this movie and what you thought of it.
There is a scene where Jesse has taken Leslie to church. On their way home Leslie tells Jesse how much she enjoyed going and how fascinated she is with God. When he acts surprised she tells him, “It’s funny… You have to go to church and you hate it. I don’t have to go and I think it’s beautiful.”
Calif. lawmaker seeks ban on spanking
1/20 SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California parents could face jail and a fine for spanking their young children under legislation a state lawmaker has promised to introduce next week. Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber said such a law is needed because spanking victimizes helpless children and breeds violence in society.
"I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child," Lieber said. "Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?" Lieber said her proposal would make spanking, hitting and slapping a child under 4 years old a misdemeanor. Adults could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Aides to the assemblywoman said they are still working on a definition for spanking. Read more here.
Any opinions on this one?
I'd say it was a bit disappointing. I found myself ffwd'ing through some parts and in the end, wish I'd just watched Saving Private Ryan again. No knocking Clint Eastwood because he is an amazing talent.
Anyone else seen this one? I'd be interested in hearing your opinion.
Why do I bother to surf the web? I'll keep you posted on its effectiveness in reducing my pain.
Jobs has also been a longtime advocate of a school voucher system. Jobs argues that vouchers will allow parents, the "customers," to decide where to send their kids to school, and the free market will sort it out. Competition will spur innovation, improve quality and drive bad schools (and bad teachers) out of business. The best schools will thrive.
I have to admit that American education needs to be imroved but I am not sure that Jobs' ideas hold water. Leander Kahney, the article's author, disagrees with Jobs. What do you think?
This list blows me away. It appears that for all of the rhetoric around the environment most people are still buying gas-guzzlers. Only the Civic and Corolla get more that 30 MPG. File this one under Give Me An Environmental Break!
I guess KB has been asleep at the wheel on this one. With all of the years of posturing, complete with joint Bush / Blair press conferences, you would have thought that the Brits had more skin in the game. I checked and here are the figures:
The numbers put a whole different spin on the term Coalition Forces.
Military Personnel in Iraq As of (date)
United States, 140,000, November, 2006
Iraq, 75,791, June, 2006
United Kingdom, 7,200, October, 2006
South Korea, 2,800, August, 2006
Australia, 1,400, November, 2006
Georgia, 900, June, 2006
Poland, 900, November, 2006
Romania, 600, November, 2006
Denmark, 470, October, 2006
Italy, 0 ,December, 2006
I think it's pretty clear what the Bible says about the "defining act" of being gay. It's stated in black and white in Leviticus 18:22. I was brought up in a religious family and I don't have any doubt that same-sex sex is a sin. Being gay doesn't necessarily mean you have to have sex just as being straight doesn't. Spiritually it's a struggle but I'm not lying to myself. Being gay is NOT a sin but the ACT of being gay is.I applaud Rygel's courage in making this statement and wonder what you all think about it?
2/19 Update: My wife has offered a middle ground statement:
The church welcomes homosexuals but will not perform marriages for homosexuals.I feel that this statement is incomplete. Can we truly welcome gays and restrict marriage ... or is this just Christian rhetoric? Please let me know what you think and how you might revise a statement like this.
2/18: I posted the following recently at Julie's place:
I wonder if there is a totally different perspective on gays in the church ... I wonder if there is any sort of middle ground at all? On one extreme I see an all-out war by fundamentalists on homosexuals. On the other extreme I see an all-out quest for full acceptance of homosexuality by gay Christians.I post it here to see if you all know of a middle ground or are we just left with the extremes?
I guess I don't see a middle ground ... I don't have one and I wonder if anyone has one.
All Peter Pan peanut butter bought since May 2006 should be discarded, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday in a statement broadening its warning about salmonella-contaminated peanut butter. Read more here.
I guess KB & KA had some angelic help on this one :)
This list seems to be a bit of paranoia mixed with a dose of conspiracy theory. Here is a definition of paranoia:
See #3 of the comments section for the rest of the email.
- Change in music to a contemporary rock style.
- Removal of hymn books...often words on a screen.
- Eliminating the choir or introducing a choral "entertainment type"
singing group. Repetitive praise lyrics are used.
- Replacing the organ/piano with heavy metal type instruments.
- Dressing down to casual informal attire.
- Eliminating business meetings, church committees, council of elders, board of deacons or other traditional leadership groups.
- The pastor with a few assistants (usually four) take charge of all church business.
- A repetitive 40 day PDC study program stressing psychological relationships with each other, the community and the world.
- Funded budgeted programs are abandoned or ignored with 'hidden' line items in financial reports.
- Sunday morning, evening, and/or Wednesday prayer meetings are changed to other times, named differently or eliminated.
- Sunday School teachers are moved to different classes or replaced by new teachers more sympathetic with the changes being implemented.
- The name "Sunday School" is usually dropped and classes are given new names.
- Crosses and other traditional Christian symbols may be moved, removed, or put in obscure places.
- New versions of the Bible are used. Verses are flashed on the screen.
- PDC videos are shown prior to, during or after a service.
- The decor may be changed to eliminate any resemblance to the 'former church'.
- The name "church" is often removed and may be called a "campus". Denominational names are often removed.
- An emphasis on more fun and party times for the youth.
- Elimination of altar calls or salvation invitations.
- The elimination of such words as "unsaved" "lost" "hell" "heaven" "abortion" "sodomy".
- Reclassification of the saved and lost to the "churched" and "unchurched"
- The marginalizing or ostracizing of all who are not avid promoters of the new PDC program.
- Closed meetings between pastor, certain staff, and selected leaders without any accountability to the general membership.
- Open hostility to members who do not openly embrace the new program or who may have left for another church.
A mode of thought, feeling, and behavior characterized centrally by false persecutory beliefs, more specifically referred to as paranoidness. Commonly associated with these core persecutory beliefs are properties of suspiciousness, fearfulness, hostility, hypersensitivity, rigidity of conviction, and an exaggerated sense of self-reference.Doesn't this list seem to reflect some of these tendancies?
Daylight-saving time is arriving three weeks earlier this year, thanks to a new federal law aimed at decreasing energy use.
Unfortunately, some of the gadgets consumers depend on will need help catching up to the time change. Read more here.
Hell Yes, We Have Electricity.
11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!
Yes, But It's A Dry Heat.
Literacy Ain't Everythang.
By age 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda.
If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.
Like Massachusetts, only smaller.
We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.
Ask Us About Our Grandkids - And Our Voting Skills.
We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.
Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru
(Death To Mainland Scum, Leave Your Money)
More Than Just Potatoes...
Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good
Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"
2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free
We Do Amazing Things With Corn
First Of The Rectangle States
Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names
We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, That's Our Tourism Campaign.
We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It
Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's!
First Line Of Defense From The Canadians
10,000 Lakes... And 10 Zillion Mosquitoes
Come visit -- Feel Better About Your Own State
Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work
Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies, and Honest Elections!
Ask About Our State Motto Contest
Hookers and Poker!
Go Away And Leave Us Alone
You Want A ##$%##! Motto?
I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right here!
Lizards Make Excellent Pets
You Have The Right To Remain Silent,
You Have The Right To An Attorney...
And No Right To Self Defense!
Tobacco Is A Vegetable
We Really Are One Of The 50 States!
At Least We're Not Michigan
Like The Play, But No Singing
Spotted Owl ... It's What's For Dinner
Cook With Coal
We're Not REALLY An Island
Remember The Civil War?
Well, We Didn't Actually Surrender Yet
Closer Than North Dakota
Home of the Al Gore Invention Museum.
Se Hable Ingles
Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
Too liberal for the Kennedys
Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?
Our Governor can out-fraud your Governor!
One Big Happy Family ... Really!
Come Cut the Cheese!
Where Men Are Men... And Sheep Are Scared
(Home of Brokeback Mtn.)
The District of Columbia
The Work-Free Drug Place!
So, going back to the cartoon, I was intrigued the way that Wally said "I thought you said my goals". Don't you love Wally - he seems to cut through the dross and get to the heart of things. Back to me. Somewhere in the late 1980s upper management started telling us technical managers "You manage your own career". I cynically interpreted that as you don't really care about my career and began upsetting people by "managing my career". I also began managing my retirement about that same time taking ownership, not only of my retirement savings, but of what I wanted to do when I retired. Going back to Wally, I started to think about my goals.
In hindsight I have to say that my plans have not all worked out and my goals have not been all accomplished but ... and this is an important but ... some of my goals have happened and some of them are happening. My advice to you ... especially if you are younger than me ... is to be concerned about your goals ... start planning and doing things that will cause you to get a step or two closer to your goals ... and one day you might remember my advice and think kindly of me :)
WASHINGTON - House Democratic leaders circulated a nonbinding resolution Monday saying that Congress "disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush President George W. Bush ... to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq." Read more here.
This story got me wondering if it woud be a good idea for our national leaders to formally affirm or disaffirm their support for the Iraq war escalation. Despite what anyone thinks about the escalation is seems that our leaders should at least tell us formally where they are on it.
A side-bar on this one is the misperception that the number of escalation troops is around 20,000 troops ... the number will be at least twice that when you consider that additional support troops will be needed to support combat troops.
Ann and I watched this movie on Saturday despite it's Two-Star rating. Maybe that rating was why I was surprised and liked the movie. The movie is all about terrorism and who a terrorist is. It takes a few predicatable turns and the outcome is pretty much what you expect. I suggest you try it if you like a bit of suspense and mystery.
More than 6,000 couples kissed simultaneously at midnight Saturday in the Philippines with organizers of the event claiming to have set a new world record.
Maybe we should set a date for a world-wide-blogger-kiss-in ... with your spouse/friend of course. How about this Wednesday at 10:30pm CST - just before Leno/Letterman? It is Valentines Day you know :)
Everyone wants happiness, yet this country's record levels of depression, suicide, and general malaise attest to our limited success at achieving it. The problem, according to Moreland and Issler, may be the distorted belief that happiness resides in personal pleasure and self-satisfaction rather than in "a life well lived, a life of virtue and character, a life that manifests wisdom, kindness, and goodness." Read more here.So what do you think about this whole idea that happiness is something that comes from living well? Do you think that there is a difference between happiness and joy?
A poll from the Better Bibles blog gives these results.
I may have asked this before but which translation are you currently reading and which is your favorite?
For me it doesn't get better than the NAS for study purposes but I am currently reading the NIV.
Herb Linneweh, a shy retired janitor known for his "radical thriftiness," left a big surprise when he died last spring: cash-filled envelopes hidden throughout the house he had lived in for nearly 50 years. "It was a little over $100,000," Joanie Schwarzbeck, a friend and neighbor, said. "I had no idea he had that kind of money in his house--none."
That's easy to believe. The Chicago Tribune says "he wore his janitor's uniform long after he retired, sewing it back together as it frayed. He walked to a nearby bank every morning for a complimentary cup of coffee. And ... he declined to get a membership at Blockbuster: The library's movies, after all, were free. He never even bothered to get a doctor of his own."
All told, the 72-year-old bachelor was worth about $700,000. He left most of it to his church, a local food pantry, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Salvation Army and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Read more about Herb here.
You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
So, for me, these celebrations were all a part of the larger issue of my loyalty to AT&T. Since I retired 8+ years ago this corporate loyalty seems to have been sacrificed on the altars of greed, outsourcing and indifference. Most of the folks that I worked with have either been layed off or now work for IBM - most lost their retirement benefits even though they had been there over 20 years. Corporations do not do many things that foster much loyalty anymore. I wonder where Corporate America will be when my children are ready to retire.
You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
More and more these days the words "living together" seem to be the words that describe a growing normative lifestyle in America. Celebrities like these folks are misguided role models that give creedance to be married without the exchanging of rings. I wonder what society will look like in 25 years.
Sometimes blogging can bring an unexpected blessing to my morning. This morning was one such time as I read a few excerpts from Elijah Sims' (the son of fellow blogger Danny Sims) journal of his missions trip to the Philippines. The picture to the right is one of Elijah holding the head of a person having a tooth pulled. Here is an excerpt from his excerpts:
We then headed to the Sunrise clinic to help with the medical and dental mission. I held people’s heads still while they had their teeth pulled out. I had to step away 3 times because I felt sick from the cracking, snapping, and blood squirting… My friend Luke literally dragged me into the room where Luke’s Uncle Sam was performing surgery on people’s cysts. I was forced to see a woman be sewn up and then Luke set me free… I saw many sad and strange things today.”
Hats off to you Elijah from a friend and coworker in God's Kingdom.
We are proud of you Tony for serving the Lord and testifying of Him.
I am Jewish and the National Prayer Breakfast is an assembly of mostly Christians, with the express purpose of giving people “understanding, confidence and hope for the future through a deepening relationship with Jesus.”...Lisa also reflected on the president's appearance and how he seemed a bit defensive. I echo her sentiments about earnest, personal, heartfelt communication about God. I wouldn't blog if I didn't :)
Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself moved nearly to tears, not once or twice but several times during the breakfast...
The oddball highlight of the morning, though, was offered by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, believer in Christ and world-famous geneticist. In his keynote speech, Collins gave a passionate defense of the intertwining of faith and science, insisting that one point of view does not automatically negate the other. Then, as punctuation, the scientist pulled out an acoustic guitar, and like a wacky nursery school teacher, sang a hymn that glorified human wisdom and knowledge.
No one but a geek, as he called himself, could have pulled off such a stunt without drawing the derision of the crowd. But Collins is a geek and soon all 3,400 guests – from the Ukraine, Senegal, Belize, Texas, Virginia, and Brooklyn – were singing along. In that moment I saw what I wish the people trapped on both sides of the culture wars could see: That there is a time and place for talking about God in an earnest, personal, heartfelt way; that such talk is not, in itself, threatening or loaded; and that, if done honestly, with intelligence, humor and humility, can inspire people to feel the miracle—and the responsibilities—of human existence. Read more here.
02/03 Update: At her request, Ann and I viewed this movie last night and I have to admit that I was underwhelmed. I think that I would have enjoyed it more if the buzz on it had not been so high - it is Oscar nominated you know. That said I have to admit that it was fairly enjoyable, poignant and funny at times much like National Lampoon's Vacation. Ann enjoyed it more than I did. On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★
From Stephanie's (Come What May) Best of '06 - Movies post:
I love Toni Collette and adore every movie I've seen her in. Then you add Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Greg Kinnear? This tiny little independant movie was the most enjoyable thing I saw from the silver screen all year.When all the critics starting raving I was skeptical - because I always am. But this time I agree with them. This movie was an absolute delight from beginning to end, and if I don't see it showered with awards I will be bitter. It has the one of the more unique story lines in independant film that actually reflects real life without being dull or pretentious. You know how hard that is to come across? It is for this reason, I call Little Miss Sunshine the stand-out movie of the year.Don't know about you but this one is now on my DVD list ... my wife tried to get me to see it when it was in the theaters but I panned it for some unknown (macho) reason :)
I grew up listening to the Beatles in my teen years. I can still flash back to the first time that I heard She Loves You - simply sublime ... for a Junior Higher anyway. During my ten years I saw the Beatles' music go mystically dark and over time I lost interest in them and their music. So I was interested when I saw an article in the paper this morning on this book.
Steve Turner, author of The Gospel According to The Beatles , was recently interviewed by INFUZE. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
I spent my teenage years listening to the Beatles. The very first article I ever wrote was on the Beatles for their fan magazine The Beatles Monthly. I've always found them exciting and interesting so it's a great pleasure to be able to investigate them in more depth.
As a Christian I've always been interested in the way they fused their changing beliefs with their music and how the music in turn affected a whole generation. So this is what the book investigates and hopefully people will learn about the Beatles, the Sixties and how they affected each other...
The book goes into their changing beliefs starting with their upbringing in different churches and ending with what they believed before they died (in the case of John and George) and what they seem to believe today (in the case of Paul and Ringo). I explain their gospel as one of expanded consciousness. They identified the problam in a song like "Nowhere Man" ("He's as blind as he can be...").
All the answers they came up with, whether it was drugs or eastern spirituial practices, had expanded consciousness as their goal. They believed that a child naturally has this consciousness and yet we lose it as we grow older. If we regain it, we see everything with a greater degree of clarity and are able to enjoy the present momenet rather than get hung up either on the past or the future...
It just gives me a deeper understanding of their view and how it did affect and continues to affect society. People who are now in important decision-making positions are people who grew up on The Beatles. Read more here.
Too bad that many of the later genre of these movies include questionable and rather nasty content. Don't think that I'll be seeing Epic Movie. Will you pass, catch it at the theater or wait for DVD?
Talented, smart, and friendly... you're also one of the sanest people around.This assessment really confuses me because I was once analyzed and told that I resembled another muppet. So who am I? Big Bird or Fozzie? And who are you?
You are usually feeling: Happy. From riding a unicycle to writing poetry, you have plenty of hobbies to keep you busy.
You are famous for: Being a friend to everyone. Even the grumpiest person gets along with you.
How you live your life: Joyfully. "Super. Duper. Flooper."
A Review by John Leach
A relative newcomer to the Church Times, Dave Walker produces a weekly cartoon guide to the oddities of the Church of England, and this book is his fi rst published collection. Dave serves the vital function of comedians down the ages: he helps us to laugh at ourselves and our strange and surreal ways, and he may even be a catalyst for change, although of course if we became too normal we’d put him out of business. Like his fellow cartoonist Ron Wood, of St Gargoyle’s fame, Dave insists that what he has drawn is based on real-life experiences in various churches. I think his cartoons are works of genius, and he deserves you to stock them and sell them!
I have been around the homeschooling movement for about 25+ years and have seen it from different angles. What always impresses most is the young men and women who have been homeschooled most of their lives. These 20+ year olds are impressive and do seem to be a bit different in a very positive way.
I wonder if the key to their success is that they mainly interact with adults and are not exposed to unhealthy peer pressures at school. I think that the evolution of the public school system was one of the main changes in 20th Century American culture. Before this time schooling was either at home or in a small school atmosphere.
Maybe homeschooling works so well because it capitalizes on an environment that bonds parents and children ... one where peers and teachers are not the predominant influencers in children's lives.
Have you had any experience with this phenomenon? Any suggestions for people considering this education alternative. And for the record we did not home school our children.