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!