Saturday, July 28, 2007

"It's OK if it runs out the bottom..."

I love popcorn. More specifically, I love MOVIE THEATER POPCORN SWIMMING IN BUTTER. Some friends of mine went to the movies the other day and were kind enough to bring back popcorn. He told the concession stand people it was ok if the butter ran out the bottom of the container. Well, the next day...

It was delicious. It really was. I think I gained 5 lbs. just looking at it

By the time we were getting to the end of the container the popcorn was literally swimming in butter. Well, literal in a metaphorical sense. Yummy, delicious, artery clogging goodness. I should probably go exercise now…

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hurtling Through the Air...

I wonder what a bug's life is like, and how they view death. I mean, you're flying along when all of a sudden SPLAT you hit a car - bye-bye bug. I wonder what's going through their minds - does it even register? Do they care? Do they even think like that? I don't know, but its an interesting thought trail.

And it reminds me that I never know when my time to go might be. Or when anyone I love might go. In one moment everything can change.

To all my family and friends: I love you and am so blessed to have you in my life.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Space is the Place: Surf the Universe

I am fascinated by space. I think we all are. "The Final Frontier." H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, Jules Verne: These men activated our imagine about space, and what it held. Did you know that Verne had a space rocket launch from the exact location of Cape Canaveral? Amazing. Lewis described space, or the heavens, as he said:
He had thought it barren: he saw now that it was the womb of worlds, whose blazing and innumerable offspring looked down nightly even upon the earth with so many eyes - and here, with how many more! No: Space was the wrong name. Older thinkers had been wiser when they named it simply the heavens - the heavens which declared the glory - the
'happy climes that ly
Where day never shuts his eye
Up in the broad fields of the sky'

He quoted Milton's words to himself lovingly, at this time and often.

Lewis described these heavens in vivid terms that painted pictures in the mind:
Pulsing with brightness as with some unbearable pain or pleasure, clustered in pathless and countless multitudes, dreamlike in clarity, blazing in perfect blackness, the starts seized all his attention...
...there were celestial sapphires, rubies, emeralds and pin-pricks of burning gold...
...a water-colour world out of a child's paint-box...

(You really should read his space trilogy). Wells was essentially the father of it all.
Today, we have ways of seeing space they could have only dreamed of. Technology is amazing - and the heavens declare the glory of God.

Here are various "slideshows" - take a look. I've put some pictures below. Prepare to be dazzled.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (Jane Austen Book Reviews)

Northanger Abbey is a delightful read, and unlike any other book by Jane Austen that I have read. This book is not a character study much like her other novels. This novel is essentially a mockery of the, then, modern novel. It has references like "If my heroine was a normal heroine she would [do X], but she was too naive to know this." Fascinating, and quite enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

Here are some simply delightful quotes I found while reading this charming book (don't worry, they don't give the story away).

" young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared."

"You will allow, that in both [dancing and marriage], man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution' that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with any one else."

"If I am wrong, I am doing what I believe to be right."

"The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing."

"His departure gave Catherine the first experimental conviction that a loss may be sometimes a gain."

Persuasion. This is my favorite book written by Jane Austen. And I've read all of them, including the posthumous Lady Susan. This last novel by Austen combines her personality analysis with her wonderful storytelling skills in a way that, in my opinion, surpasses even Pride and Prejudice. Shocking, I know. I heartily recommend the reading of this book to anyone who will understand and appreciate it. In other words, anyone that is a "teenager" (young adult) should be able to read this novel with delight. Guys, you may not read it with delight, but, no doubt, you still will enjoy it. And I do so recommend you read it. It is not a sappy love story (I tend to despise those), as aforestated it is a wonderful analysis, story, and work of art. Yes, I think effective storytelling is a work of art.

This post does contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission for referring business. Thank you for your support!

Monday, July 16, 2007

How Great is the Grace of God!

"If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes."
(em, Psalm 89:30-32)

"But he [the Messiah] was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed."
(em, Isaiah 53:5)

"And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance."
(em, Deuteronomy 21:22-23)

"The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right had as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
(em, Acts 5:30-32)

 original picture source

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pure Water

The filter on the refrigerator upstairs has produced horrid water since it was changed a few months ago. Okay, it's drinkable, but it doesn't taste that good. Finally, I had the idea to try the refrigerator downstairs. It was delightful. I did not like having to go so long without drinking water at my own home. I had been drinking increasing amounts of juice and milk, and while these are not bad, in and of themselves. They are drinkable, but they only increase true thirst. Thirst for water.

Only water can truly quench thirst.

I got to thinking - is this not the case in other matters of life? Religion, for example, do they not try to quench the thirst in our souls? Do they not work, in some way or another, quench that thirst in some way while only increasing our thirst that is not really satisfied? When the true water, the living water - Jesus - is drank from our thirst is quenched.

original image source

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thought Life

You know the saying "Garbage in, garbage out;" have you ever stopped to think of the truth of this statement, or have you passed it off as a cliché that is "so overrated?" In fact, it is said that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. I think this bears weight as evidenced in Scriptures such as Luke 6:43-45.

What I'm about to share are observations I made on my own, and when I experimented (which I refuse to recommend doing). My experiment went something like "[someone I respect] said that when she listened to [a non-Christian radio station of which I cannot remember the name] she began to notice subtle attitude changes: sassy-ness, bummer moods, lashing out at people, and so forth. While I believe her I think it was just her, that won't happen to me - so I'll give it a go. Besides I haven't been forbidden to listen to "secular" music like she had been, so I won't be disobeying like she was." Yep, not a good experiment.

So I watched as many movies as possible, no sneaking around or anything, I just watched movies with my family and tried to promote movie-watching. "Hollywood junk" put into the movies wouldn't affect me, and anyway we were always really careful about what we saw. I also surfed the radio and I changed the station whenever a "bad song" came on (in other words if there was cussing). Fool I was. There was definitely a change in my attitude. Sometimes it showed in person, but it was mainly in my mind. In the thoughts I thoughts, what I meditated on, and I was generally in a "down" state of mind. I decided, "well, maybe all of this actually is affecting me aversely. So I'll quit" (which was easier thought than carried out). My attitude did see an improvement. I thought that was curious, but didn't pay much attention to it after that.

That was my experiment. My observations have been made by looking back on my life, and recently seeing how the various things I do have affected me. I've noticed several things.

(1) Songs, but particularly movies and books (as in novels/classics) that do not have some kind of romance are extremely rare. I can think of one or two movies off of the top of my head that do not have this ("End of the Harvest," which is more apologetic oriented, and "MVP") and about the same number of books ("Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, a history book, well, some of the others I would use as examples could probably go either way. hmmm).

This does not help for a pure thought life. Outside of the Christian radio scene this is also a pretty common theme. In fact, I constantly have to change the change the station for this reason. Country music I have to change the station for least of all (sometimes I can get 3 songs in a row that I don't have to change the station for! How sad). A little less than half of the time of the Christian stations you can't tell if they're singing to God or a girl/guy, a little less than half of the time there is no substance to what is sung, and the rest of the time there's actually something I enjoy listening to. I don't listen to any radio a lot anymore. I digress. So romance/love/lust is hard to avoid.

(2) Violence is seems just as hard to avoid. I don't know about you, but seeing acts of violence disturbs my thinking. It's like that scene gets stuck on "replay" in my brain, it's hard to get out. There are many movies I cannot watch because I know they will develop unhealthy thought patterns. Thankfully I realized this early on, unlike the whole "romance" thing. Songs about violence are prevalent; thankfully I don't even have a desire to hear those anymore. What you hear does affect you. Reading of violence in books rarely disturbs (if it's in a war situation, other violence sometimes does. Thus I have to be careful what I read and how much I read of it).

(3) I enjoy reading more than watching movies, or even listening to music. I have found that if I read a lot without reading a lot of the Bible my outlook on life becomes gloomier. For instance, I read Crome Yellow, Wuthering Heights, and Work within three days, I believe. I read some of my Bible, not a lot though. I was so down and I couldn't understand why. I eventually figured out that I was overemphasizing the "secular" works. Not that you need to "balance" and read equal amounts of Scripture to non-Scripture reading, but it is good to saturate your mind with the Bible to make sure you don't allow the other to take root in your mind.

So be careful what you see and what you hear and what you speak of - it does matter. Just because someone else may not be able to see that your thought life changes when you read/watch/listen to certain things does not mean that it is of no value. It is. We are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).

How can we love God with our mind if it is filled with the rotten, stinking things of world? It matters. Guard your heart; guard your mind. Remember, even when no one else sees what you are thinking, God does. That is what He will judge by, not the carnal things of the outward appearance by which the world judges, but he sees inside (1 Samuel 16:7).

original image source

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day

How did you celebrate the birth of our country? I and my family grilled out, made home-made ice cream, watched the fireworks, and enjoyed a day of rest and relaxation. We also read the Declaration of Independence together.

The struggle for freedom was not an easy one. There were skirmishes to fight and battles to be won. Many died for me, for you, and many lost their life. The unknown soldier died for you; he paid freedom's price.

Our freedom won, but we fought long. We still are fighting today: for truth, for justice, and for the American way. One nation under God were we, but now we have become a far cry from who we were. A nation still we are 'tis true, just a schizophrenic one. Lip service pay we to our God, but inside we curse His name. We mock and jeer and tell our kids "do not pray in Jesus name."

Not all battles are fought, however, where the eye can see. There is a war still waging - God will have the victory. A new generation's rising. Tell me, can you hear the sound: of prayers and triumph cries and demons falling to the ground? America is captive; she's in the devil's sway. She will go free. She must go free - a new Independence Day.

Tell me, do you believe America can truly return to the one who raised her up? Do you believe there is still hope? or do you cower and run in fear saying America is too far gone? If you believe America is still worth fighting for, if you still believe and hope then get down on your knees and pray. God works mightily through the prayers of his saints. Revival can come, but it must start with you; it must start with me.

America, Why I Love Her

And I salute all of our men and women who are serving and have served our country. We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you, from the depths of my heart, thank you.

(If you are concerned about the direction America is headed, read this book. It's not perfect, but it's a good starting place.)

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