Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Should I Blog About Next?

These are three titles of blog posts that I'm considering on putting up.  Which would you, my dear readers, be most interested in reading?

* "Those Barbaric Europeans!" -- How Slavery is Treated in Robinson Crusoe

* Elections Volunteering: My Thoughts on the Experience

* A Third Great Awakening?

I may or may not write all three of these; I just wanted to know which you'd be most interested in, possibly to do first.

Over and out,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Consider This

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:7-8  (NIV)

If there was someone who was suffering, experiencing some sort of terrible, unthinkable pain, or perhaps they were about to die; and there was some way you could save them, would you?

I can't imagine anyone in their right mind who wouldn't answer yes.  Who wouldn't?  God has instilled the desire deep inside the human heart to help others who are suffering.  You may not think of yourself as being very compassionate, but ponder this:  Would you not inwardly detest the sight of another human being in pain?  Even if you couldn't help them yourselves, or didn't particularly desire to help them yourselves, you would at least hope that someone else would help them.  You would just hate to think of them staying in that miserable condition.

Consider this:  If you could save someone from pain or death, and there was absolutely no inconvenience or trouble on your part to do it, would you?  (I mean that to its truest sense: absolutely none at all, not even the faintest, faintest hint of inconvenience or trouble; in a way that probably doesn't even exist in real life.)

Of course you would!  Probably even the least compassionate person would jump at the opportunity.

Now let's change things a little:  What if you could save someone from pain or death, but it would come with a price?  There would be sacrifice involved?

Some people might still jump and say "Yes", but most people would want to first know -- and rightly so -- what level of sacrifice would be required.  Is it just a little sacrifice?  Then perhaps.  Is it a big sacrifice?

Hmm... I might need to think that one over, they'd say.

You see, humans are wired to care about each other, but because we're in a fallen world and we have a sin nature, that desire to help has limitations.  We will only go so far.  We are only willing to sacrifice so much.  If we are given a clear cut option to either care for ourselves, or to care for someone else, our flesh is much more likely to care about ourselves.  I'm not saying that sin nature can not be conquered through God's help; I'm just saying it's a simple fact about our behavior. 

Now, let's change the situation again.  What if you could save someone from pain or death, but there was great sacrifice involved.  Say, the sacrifice involved enduring the worst form of pain and suffering in the history of the world.  And, to top all that, the person didn't even deserve to be saved!  Let's also say that the only reason you're doing this is on the basis of love, even though the person doesn't love you at all.  They may not even like you.  Would you do it?

I can't imagine anyone in their right mind who would.

Maybe deep inside, we wish we would.  We may secretly desire to be that heroic.  But what human in their own power could make such an unimaginable sacrifice?

This is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans 5, when he said,   "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die."  We might be able to imagine sacrificing something very valuable -- maybe even our lives -- for someone who deserved it.  But could we die for Hitler?  Kublai Khan?  Queen Mary?  Fidel Castro?  Because we loved them?

But this is what Jesus did for us:  "God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  No one could make the sacrifice I outlined above -- enduring the worst suffering in the world for someone who didn't deserve it -- except for God Himself.  Can you imagine what sort of love He must have for us, to die for us in the way He did, when we didn't even deserve it?  Not only is it a love that no human has, does, or ever will possess; it is a love that no human was, is, or ever will be able to comprehend.  It is a love that is beyond us; something we could never grasp.

How amazing to think that that is the love God has for us.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

God... Love

"The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water."
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Adventure Books

Wow, I sure have been blogging a lot today.  :-)   

I'm trying to get points for a contest I'm in.  Here are some books written by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper, in case you just so happen to be a poor miserable soul looking for good books to read.  You want to read some epic adventures?  Something on this list will satisfy your hunger, I GUARANTEE IT.

Click on the pictures to see the books on!

Good News About Obamacare

There is a fight going on right now in the legal system to decide whether or not Obama's health care law is constitutional.  Multiple lawsuits have sprung up against the national government, saying that it has gone too far.  The specific portion of the health care bill that has been attacked as unconstitutional is its provision that citizens HAVE to buy the government-run health insurance, or else pay a penalty... in the form of a fine or jail time!

One such lawsuit has been filed in Virginia.  The Virginia attorney general, Kenneth Cuccinelli, is pressing a new state law that would prohibit the government from forcing Viriginian residents to buy the health insurance Here's the good news: a federal judge, Henry E. Hudson, recently sided with Cuccinelli, declaring that the health care law is unconstitutional.  He is the first federal judge to strike down the health care law in this way.

Officials in the Obama administration say that this would have no impact on the health care law, because important parts of it don't take effect until 2014.  Other people disagree with the administration's claim, such as Greta Van Susteren from Fox News.

Read more at this link:

Narnia's Box Office Results

So, disappointingly, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader didn't do as well as I had hoped.  It only made half the profits they were expecting on the opening weekend.  But, at least it landed Number One in the list of the box office's top ten movies, scoring way ahead of The Tourist (some movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), Tangled, and Harry Potter!

Read all about it here:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Prayer Alert: A Christian Film Group

How interesting that my last two posts were about Christian movies, considering what I have to say now!  Well, to continue in that theme, there's a Christian film group like I'd like to introduce to you.  Their name is In Jesus' Name Productions.  They have not produced any films yet, but they are beginning a major, major project called "The Messiah", a movie about Jesus.  From what I understand, they are planning on a big budget.  This group has an awesome mission to make quality, evangelistic, Christian films (you should check them out!).  

If you ever think of them, please pray for the film group and for their project "The Messiah", because I'm sure they are entering major spiritual warfare just by deciding to make such a movie.  Pray for their protection from spiritual attack, and that God will provide the funds and the means necessary to create a film that will make an impact for His kingdom.  Wow!  How exciting it will be to see this movie come out some years down the road.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Thoughts On Watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I just got back from watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  (Warning: This post has one minor spoiler. If you've read the book, though, you would already know this.)  It was good; please watch it, for the reasons outlined in the previous post!  I thought there were only two negative things about it: First, the extra "evil" force they added in to the story (which was totally necessary for the movie, I think; the original plot was plenty sufficient for a book, but it did need a little something as a movie) was sort of cheesily done.  It came in the form of an ominous "green mist".  O_o  

Second, they named the island where this evil originates (the island was unnamed in the book) the "Dark Island", which I thought was also a little cheesy.  Anytime a fantasy story contains something that begins with "the Dark", I think it's a little cheesy... the Dark One, the Dark Forest, the Dark Knight, etc.  It was cool when the first few people did it, but it's becoming quite a cliche.

Other than these two things, however, the movie was really well-done.  It stuck very close to the book -- much closer than Prince Caspian did!  A lot of the events happened somewhat out of order, but I think it still stuck as close to the book as it could while still being a good movie.

Most importantly, (and especially most importantly to Christians!) the movie maintained the two most crucial parts of the book: the points that referenced to Christianity.  The first was Eustace's description of how Aslan turned him back from a dragon to a boy (there's your spoiler), which a Christian would recognize, once they heard it, as an analogy of what happens when you become a Christian.  

The second was when Aslan told Lucy and Edmund that he has another name in our world, and that they must learn him by that name; and that in fact, the entire reason he had sent them to Narnia was so that they might learn him a little there, in order to know him even better in our world.  What is not said, but what the readers (or in this case viewers) are meant to figure out, is that his other name is JESUS

Once again, please watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader... and tell everyone you know to watch it, too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Should I Watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?

It's a question you may be asking yourself: "Should I watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?"  I would argue YES -- especially if you're a Christian -- and not just because it's a great fantasy adventure, with awesome action scenes and special effects, (which I'm sure it is), but because Christians need to send the message to the film world that WE WANT THEM TO MAKE MORE CHRISTIAN MOVIES.

Here's the deal.

Apparently, about half a decade ago Disney and Walden Media realized there were a lot of Christians in America.  They realized that if they geared a film toward a Christian audience, they could make a lot of money.  So, they came out with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005.  (These are my assumptions, but I can't imagine they had any other reasons.)  The movie was a hit; it grossed almost $300 million, with the production budget at $180 million.

But then when the sequel, Prince Caspian, came out in 2008, many Christians were frustrated with small things in the movie.  There was an added, unnecessary romance.  There were a lot of changes made to the main story line, because the book did not translate as easily to the movie screen as the first book had.  Because of this, so many people refused to watch or support the film that -- according to -- it ended up grossing only half the amount of money that was expected.

Then, the third film was produced: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  This time, Disney was not involved in the production of the movie, and there was also a new director.  Also according to, the makers of the Narnia movies are NOT GOING TO CONTINUE THE SERIES if this movie does not turn out well.  In other words, if this ends up being another "Prince Caspian", so to speak, and it does not make much money, there will be no more Narnia movies.  If it does make a lot of money, however... the series will continue. 

It's up to you.  Do you want Walden Media to keep making Narnia movies?

Then watch The Dawn Treader.

Do you want Walden Media to stop making Narnia movies?

Then don't watch The Dawn Treader.

But I think this means even more than that.  The Narnia movies were a test; a test to see how successful a Christian movie would be.  Do you want the people in the film industry to realize that a Christian film CAN in fact be successful?

Then watch The Dawn Treader.

Do you want them to believe that producing a film geared toward Christians is a waste of their time and money?

Then don't watch The Dawn Treader.

If you believe these things... if you want there to be more Narnia movies, and you want there to be more high-budget Christian movies, then don't just stop with watching it yourself.  Tell your friends.  Tell your family.  Please, spread the word to anyone else who believes the same!

And please don't wait... it's the money they make on the opening weekend that matters the most.  So get out there this December 10 and watch THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prayer Alert

You all have probably heard that North Korea attacked South Korea a few days ago.  Apparently, North Korea has been doing "little" things like this to South Korea for the last 50 years, but this attack is one of the worst ones they've had so far.  In the recent attack, civilians were actually targeted and two were killed, causing outrage in South Korea.  

There is a fear that this conflict could escalate to the point where other nations would come to either North or South Korea's aid, which would be extremely, extremely dangerous, possibly leading to global war.  If you are a Christian, please pray that this situation will not reach that point, and that this conflict will be resolved peacefully. We are in a delicate situation.

Also, please pray for the Christians in both North and South Korea.  From what I understand, there is a strong presence in South Korea; I've heard that they have the largest Christian church in the world, the largest creation science institute in the world, and a heavy "export" of missionaries, so to speak.  I don't know how strong the Christian presence is in North Korea, but I know that however many Christians are there are persecuted brutally.  I once read a statistic that said North Korea has the worst persecution of Christians in the world.  (What a stark contrast between the two nations of Korea!)  Please pray for their protection, as well.
If you want to read more about the situation in Korea, see these links:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Art and History of WRITING In 10 Minutes

 Tick, Tick, Tick!

Writing is an important part of our world. From its earliest beginnings in Africa and the Middle East, to its influence on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of countless individuals throughout history and today, it has played a vital part in shaping and defining the world we know. Among the vast varieties of styles, techniques, and genres of writing, exists an art that many love and are proud to call their vocation.


The first writing originated in Egypt and Sumer, although it cannot be stated for sure which place is credited with truly being first. The oldest Sumerian and Egyptian scripts have both been dated around 3200 B.C. Sumerian writing was called cuneiform, from the Latin word "cuneus" (wedge), because it was made up of wedge-shaped marks, formed by a sharply cut reed that was pressed in wet clay. The other early form of writing was Egyptian picture writing, known as hieroglyphs. This was eventually written on papyrus, an early kind of paper. The last of early civilizations to develop writing was China, circa 1600 B.C.

The next most significant advancement in writing, after it was invented, was the move to a phonetic system. This began with the Phoenicians in the 15th century B.C. It was further developed and expanded by the Greeks, Romans, Muslims, and many others for their respective languages. The Roman alphabet became what we use today in English.
 Phoenician alphabet

In early Medieval Europe, books were expensive and written by hand by a trained scribe; usually a monk. At first, all books were written in Latin, but then people began writing in common tongues. In the 1400s, a German named Johann Gutenberg first invented the printing press. His invention changed the world; especially the world of writing. People who could never afford books suddenly could. Ideas traveled faster and more cheaply.
 A printing press

In the early 1600s, the book Don Quixote was written by Miguel de Cervantes in Spain. Although not all scholars agree, many identify it as the first modern novel. Don Quixote inspired writers to write adventure novels, paving the way for authors like Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Twain, and innumerable others. 
 Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

Modern writing techniques differ according to the type of writing. In a short story, for an example, there should be a small handful of characters that are developed rapidly, a simple subject that lets the story take place in a brief amount of time, and a strong, satisfactory ending. By contrast, a novel typically has a more complex plot and a wide variety of characters. Good, well-developed characters are vital to the success of any story, but especially to a novel. According to The Everything Creative Writing Book by Carol Whitely, "Three-dimensional, intriguing, standout characters can make or break a novel."1
Poetry has its own set of rules when it comes to writing; in fact, the main rule of poetry is that it has no rules. Rather, it is written and defined however a poet wants to write or define it. Typically, however, poetry is written in lines, and falls under one of three major types: descriptive or dramatic, which describes a scene, sound, person, or feeling; narrative, which tells a story; and lyric, which expresses personal feelings and thoughts. Some techniques used in poetry include alliteration, allusion, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, and simile. 

Nonfictional writing can be just as creative as fictional writing, although it has some of its own rules. For an example, research is one of the most important aspects of nonfiction, especially functional nonfiction like letters to the editor, reviews, opinion pieces, and advertisement or marketing materials. At the same time, nonfiction can be made stronger with many of the same techniques as fiction, such as personification, similes and metaphors, dialog and description. Nonfiction can also by strengthened by making it relevant to the reader, adding intrigue, writing with passion and emotion, and including interesting, unusual information.
Writing is a vast subject and cannot be adequately covered in a short amount of space. However, it only takes a brief glance at its art and history to see its importance in our world.

Note to fellow writers --> Recommended reading: The Everything Creative Writing Book by Carol Whitely!

1 Whiteley, Carol. The Everything Creative Writing Book. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2002, page 32

Other sources consulted:

* Burch, Joann Johansen. Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1991
* Carr, Karen, Dr. "Medieval Literature." 21 October 2010. http://www.histo
* "History of Writing."
* "Who Was the First Person to Write a Modern Novel?"

-modern-novel> (accessed 13 November 2010)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm confused...

When I'm on my dashboard, it says I have 20 followers. Then, when I click on the list of followers on my dashboard -- or if I look at the follower list on my blog -- it says I have 19 followers. So... how many do I have?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Problem With Evolution


Nothing in life survives without it. 

Photosynthesis is a very complex process where plants use energy from sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar (carbohydrates) and free oxygen. 

The sugar helps the plants survive, and we need to breath in the oxygen to survive, as well. 

HOWEVER, photosynthesis couldn't have evolved, because every step of the process has to already be in place for it to even happen. 

(It would have had to appear all at once!)

Unless it appeared all at once, there could be no life on earth

Source: Chemistry Concepts and Applications, Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2002, page 734; and a high school biology/chemistry teacher who majored in both biology and chemistry

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pursuing the Truth

Welcome to Pursuing the Truth, the new title of my blog.  When I first began this blog, I called it Writer's Thoughts, thinking it would just be the miscellaneous thoughts of a writer.  I didn't really know what I would be writing about.  But after a year and a half of evolving, my blog finally developed its own personality, and I realized that a theme had formed in what I was writing.  Thus, Pursuing the Truth was born.

Note: The content of the blog is still going to stay the same; the name has changed to fit the content, not the other way around.  Also, the old URL -- -- is staying the same, so you all will still be able to find it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Changes Are Coming...

Changes are coming soon. Writer's Thoughts will never be the same...

Friday, October 29, 2010

The FBI and 9/11: Could It Have Been Prevented?

The FBI seal

The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations – which serve, as our mission states, 'to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States.' ”1 This quote is from the FBI's website; it expresses the FBI's mission, to “protect and defend” us against terrorism and foreign threats, and to enforce the laws at home. These are their responsibilities. But how well are they carrying them out? In the years and months leading up to 9/11, the largest terrorist attack on American soil, the FBI missed many clues that may have helped prevent the attack. Could 9/11 have been prevented? And are we protected from events like 9/11 happening in the future? 
One of the first missed clues by the FBI was more than ten years before 9/11. As described by the National Geographic TV special, “Inside 9/11,” a reporter witnessed a radical Islamic meeting taking place here in the United States. Shocked, he called the authorities, but they told him, “We don't know what you've been drinking.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI, completely ignored his tip. 
Later, in 1990, there was another instance of the FBI's negligence. A Jihadist terrorist shot a Jew in the first successful attack of al Queda, Sudam Hussein's organization that would later be responsible for 9/11. The FBI and other investigative groups examined the terrorist's home, but overlooked many papers that contained information about al Queda, including future targets of the organization.

While the future hijackers of 9/11 lived in the United States for years, preparing for the meticulously planned-out attack, the FBI did not seem to notice them. Only months before the attack in 2001, the FBI received information about potential terrorists enrolled in flight schools, but they did not act on it in time. The information did not reach higher-level FBI agents until after 9/11.

 The four hijacker-pilots of 9/11

Only ninety-one days before the attack, Special Agent Robert G. Wright Jr., a member of the FBI, criticized the FBI in a memo, saying that American lives would be lost because of the FBI's failure to investigate terrorists living in the U.S. Months later, he charged that corruption inside the organization was responsible for the FBI's failure to stop 9/11. “The FBI is not protecting the American people,” he said.2 Although Wright was threatened by the FBI Director with criminal prosecution if he went public about the bureau's misdeeds, he defied his boss and spoke about them at a press conference in Washington, DC. 

 Robert Wright at the conference in D.C.
At the conference, Wright brought information about a Muslim FBI agent who had refused to record a telephone conversation with a suspect terrorist. The agent is quoted in two sworn statements as saying, “a Muslim does not record another Muslim.”3 One of the statements was from Wright, and the other was from a retired agent named Barry Carmody, who wrote, “I informed FBI headquarters twice about this incident in 1998 and again in 2000, but I am aware of no disciplinary action being taken against him in this matter.”4

Wright was not the only FBI member to criticize the bureau as it related to the 9/11 attacks. FBI legal counsel, Coleen Rowley, claimed in a memo that 9/11 could have been prevented, and that the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, covered up for senior FBI officials. Also, according to Wright's lawyers, the FBI had evidence that the World Trade Center was a possible target of terrorists. 
“I love America,” Wright told reporters at the conference. “and likewise I love the FBI, particularly its purpose and mission. However, the mission has been seriously jeopardized to the point where American lives have been needlessly lost.”5

Wright also stated that the responsibility of handling terrorism should be moved from the hands of the FBI. “Knowing what I know,” he said. “I can confidently say that until the investigative responsibilities for terrorism are transferred from the FBI, I will not feel safe.”6

So, why exactly is the FBI incompetent with handling terrorism affairs? Is it a lack of efficiency? Is it a failure to learn from past mistakes? According to Reason Magazine, “It was bureaucratic hubris, not a lack of actionable intelligence, that allowed 9/11 to happen.”7 The FBI and other branches of government had all the evidence that an attack like 9/11 was coming, but they were too slow to respond, did not connect the dots, and in many cases, simply did not take the threats seriously. 
You may ask, what should have been done to prevent 9/11? One thing is that the FBI should have assumed the worst, and paid more attention to evidence of potential attacks. They should have taken every threat seriously, and kept a close eye on details. Also, according to the FBI agent Robert Wright, there was – and still is – corruption and inefficiency in the bureau that needs to be cut out for it to work the way it should. 

Am I blaming the FBI for 9/11? No, I am not; if 9/11 could possibly be blamed on any aspect of the U.S. government, it would not be exclusively on the FBI, but on many different government agencies and departments that all failed to detect the tremors signaling the coming attack. But the FBI should have learned from their mistakes; they messed up, and the right thing to do would be to recognize their wrongdoings and adjust their focus accordingly to prevent these mistakes from happening again. Unfortunately, they have not done this.

The recent Fort Hood shootings are a perfect example of how the FBI and other investigative groups still seem to be unable to prevent acts of terrorism in our country. There was evidence before the shootings that Nidal Hasan, the shooter, might carry out an act of violent terrorism, but people in authority who could have taken action against him were too afraid of being “politically incorrect.” A CBS poll in November 2009 showed that 51% of Americans believed that the Fort Hood shootings could have been prevented.

 Nidal Hasan, the shooter at Fort Hood

Agent Robert Wright warned ninety-one days before 9/11 that American lives would be lost because of the FBI's failures to investigate terrorists in our country. I hope and pray that his next warning will not also ring true: “...more terrorist attacks against the American interests, coupled with the loss of American lives, will have to occur before those in power give this matter the urgent attention it deserves.”8

1"What We Investigate."
2 Vernon, Wes. "Agent: FBI Could Have Prevented 9-11." 31 May 2002.
7 Taylor, Jeff. "Rant: Unconnected Dots: Why the FBI Failed to Stop 9/11." 22 November 2007.
8 Vernon, Wes. "Agent: FBI Could Have Prevented 9-11." 31 May 2002.
Other Sources
Inside 9/11.” National Geographic.  
Montopoli, Brian. “Poll: 51% Say Fort Hood Could Have Been Prevented.” 17 November 2009. 5687337-503544.html
Wong, Alex. 30 May 2002. “FBI Special Agent Disclosed Failures.”