2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.  What the helper monkeys didn’t say but should have was that if it wasn’t for you, the readers of this blog, it wouldn’t have turned out this great.

Thanks also goes to my co-editor Robin whose written some of the better posts this year.  Thanks to all and  happy New Year.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Earworm Wednesday: Joy to the World~Jeremy Camp


Issac Watts wrote this song basing it upon Psalm 98 this was when most songs sung in the Church of England were the psalms put to music.

Psalm 98
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The LORD has made known His salvation; 2 His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; 3 All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; 4 Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the LORD with the harp, 5 With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; 6 Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, 7 The world and those who dwell in it; Let the rivers clap their hands; 8 Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. 9 With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.
(NKJV)

Watts wanted to show the joy that would happen at the return of the Lord Jesus not his birth and it was with this in mind that he wrote these lyrics:

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns; Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Later Lowell Mason adapted some music to Watt’s lyrics, some think from Handel’s Comfort He My People, to what we currently sing today. It is unknown when this song started to be sung during Christmas time.

Today’s Earworm is by Jeremy Camp off of his Christmas album. Please enjoy.

Movie Review: Hogfather



It’s Christmas time and for some of you there are certain movies that you may watch as a family. Some of you have the intestinal fortitude to be able to watch  Ralphie and his quest for the elusive Red Ryder BB gun. Some may sit down and watch the classic Christmas cartoons of their youth and have that hidden tear appear as Linus tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about, or how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.

Or you run with Jimmy Stewart down the snow-covered streets of Bedford Falls yelling Merry Christmas to everyone even old man Potter.  Maybe you sit down with some hot chocolate and watch the Bingle as he sings about a white Christmas in the Holiday Inn.

Well let me introduce you to my guilty little pleasure come Christmas time.  Hogfather.  I know, it sounds like something right up there with some sorority house being terrified by a guy in a Santa suit but you would be wrong.

Come meet Discworld a fantasy universe created by Terry Pratchett where the world is a disk that lies upon the back of four elephants that stand on the shell of the Great A’Tuin a turtle that swims through the cosmic sea.  And there during the winter time is a similar holiday called Hogswatch where the Hogfather comes in his sleigh drawn by four boars.  The Hogfather then gives gifts to good little boys and girls.  Which is the problem it seems as Auditors, beings of smoke clad in gray cloaks, can’t stand children believing in the Hogfather so they contract with the guild of assassins to have the Hogfather inhumed. The head of the assassins knows this is going to take a special kind of man so he calls for Jonathan Teatime (pronounced “Teh-ah-time-eh,”).  Teatime is in touch with his inner child, that scary one that no one would play with and pulled the wings off of flies, and he know how to kill the Hogfather.

This gets Death involved and Death’s granddaughter Susan, who has left all this supernatural stuff behind and wants to have a normal life, but can’t because she’s Death’s granddaughter.  To save the Hogfather children must believe in the Hogfather so Death must dress up as the Hogfather to help the children believe which has some comical results.  After all how does one hang that beard with wires for your ears on a skull?

Will the Hogfather be saved?  What about Mr. Teatime? For that matter what about Susan will she ever be reconciled to how strange her family is, especially around Hogswatch?  You’ll have to watch and find out.

This is a fun film especially if you are a fan of the Terry Pratchett books.  Plus there are things in it especially the talks that Death has with Susan that can lend to interesting discussion with your children of teenage years.

Speaking of words there is some swearing in the film, not a lot and some scatological humor.   Really young children maybe scared by Mr. Teatime as his appearance is a little offsetting but then again that is the point isn’t it?

I give this film four stars out of five.  Give it a try.

Catechism


5. Canst thou keep all this perfectly? 
No: for I am by nature prone to hate God and my neighbor.

Romans 3:10, 23; 1 John 1:8; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:3; Titus 2:3

6. Did God then make man wicked and perverse?
Not so , but rather he made him  good, and to His own image; that is, endued with true righteousness and true holiness; that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him, and live with Him blessed forever, and that to laud and magnify Him.

Genesis 1:31; Genesis 1:26,27; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24

 

Frenetic Friday


Sorry folks but I just got off work and haven’t had time to prepare anything for this friday.  So until next week see you and God bless.

Earworm Wednesday: O Come O Come Emmanuel


Veni, Veni Emanuel was a series of Latin antiphons  made by an unknown author and translated by John M. Neale.  The song is based upon various prophecies in the Bible and the title is from Isaiah 7:14

 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This version is from Prepare Him Room studio session by Sovereign Grace Music.  Please enjoy.

Movie Review: Autơmata


Directed by Gabe Ibáñez

Produced by Danny Lerner, Les Weldon,
Antonio Banderas, Sandra Hermida

Written by Gabe Ibáñez, Igor Legaretta Gomez, Javier Sanchez Donate

Cast:
Antonio Banderas
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
Dylan McDermott
Robert Forster
Tim McInnerny
Melanie Griffith

Plot:

In this dystopian film earth has suffered an ecological disaster which has reduced the population and left large areas of radioactive desert.  One company ROC has created the pilgrim robot which was to be mankind’s  savior.  Instead they have been turned into mankind’s slave.  The robots created with two rules: 1. Allow no human to come to harm.  2. Robots are not allowed to modify themselves.

Antonio Banderas plays Jacq Vaucan an insurance agent for ROC.  His job is to instigate reports of ROC robots going haywire.  Jacq obviously hates his job and constantly day dreams about his childhood and the time he spent at the beach.  Plus his wife (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) is nearing the end of her pregnancy and he wonders whether bringing a child into this world is a good idea.

Jacq learns of a robot that a cop named Sean Wallace (Dylan McDermot), shot because it looked as if it was repairing itself a clear violation of rule two.  As Jacq investigates further he finds that there appears to be more robots that have been modified so that appear to be “alive”.  Suspecting a clocksmith, an illegal robot modifier, he convinces Wallace to take him to the seedier section of town where he meets a robot modified to be a dominatrix.  Wallace shoots the robot and then he and Jacq follow the owner of the robot to the clocksmith that modified the robot.  The clocksmith is played by Melanie Griffith.  She denies making the robots that are “alive” Jacq hands her a brain chip from the last robot that displayed the life like tendencies the clocksmith uses it and modifies the dominatrix robot who begins repairing herself.  All this information gets back to ROC and they send out a hit squad to kill Jacq and anyone who knows anything about these modified robots.  This leads to a chase into the radioactive dessert.

Review:

I was pointed to this trailer by someone who knows my love for science fiction I thought this might be worth my while.  Well, trailers always lie.  This movie tries to be Blade Runner, Cherry 2000, and I Robot and does it badly.  You see the building size holograms  ala Blade Runner but the effect is cheap nothing like what you see in Blade Runner.  Then there is the robot that is “alive” or sort of like the robot in I Robot that didn’t have the three laws or robotics in its positronic brain.  And I’ll let the reader guess the significance of Melanie Griffith  as the “voice” of the dominatrix robot Cleo.

Now the good news is I didn’t pay any money for this I downloaded to my tablet from my local library.  Don’t bother doing the same this a really poor movie and more the pity.

And now for the rant.  There is a section in the film where Jacq is talking to the first robot that had come “alive” in it he equates his “evolving” to the same process that cause the human race to come into being.  That somehow the brain circuitry “changed” by chance.  But previous to this moment it was revealed that the ROC scientists had actually designed this brain to learn until the learning grew to the point that the scientists could no longer understand the brain and then shut it down lest it become smarter than they were.  So it really wasn’t chance it was designed to do this, and the design was carried on by other robot brains.  But the robot is saying that the random banging of atoms, or stardust, or electrons are what caused to be what it is.  Codswallop!  It denies it’s creators, like others,  it shows flawed logic and tells us that it is the next step in evolution.  And frankly this is the greatest flaw of this film preaching evolution when it didn’t evolve.

I’m giving this 1.5 stars out of 5

 

Catechism


Q3: Whence knowest thou thy misery?

A. Out of the law of God. ( Romans 3:20, Romans 7:5, 13, 5:10)

Q4: What does the law of God require of us?

A. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”(Luke 10:27 )

Frenetic Friday


Amid the flurry of Christmas shopping, the smell of cookies baking, and the stress of final tests you realize that it is Frenetic Friday.

Holiday decorations, bells, stars, stylized angels, ornamental balls, ornamental balls, say that reminds me here is something for you guys with manly beards.

Yes, there you are guys show your Christmas spirit with these ornaments that attach via a hairpin to your beard.  (source: Buzzfeed)

Dan Phillips is the pastor of Cooperfield Bible Church in Houston Texas he can be found on the Pyromaniacs Blog, and his own Biblical Christianity he’s a busy guy so I appreciate it when he points me to some interesting articles like this one:

Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality

December 10th, 2014

May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

Over thirty years have passed since same-sex attraction rushed up from deep within my twelve-year-old frame. This attraction was unbidden and unwanted, yet simultaneously forceful and compelling.

As a Christian, the conflict between my sexuality and my faith would become the deepest and most intense of my life. Now in my forties, I’ve gone from being closeted to openly lesbian to celibate to heterosexually married. The fact that I need to qualify my marital union as a heterosexual one reveals how much the cultural landscape has changed in that time—just as much as my own personal landscape has, though in very different ways. read more here

Over at the Gospel Coalition Kevin DeYoung  has an article about St. Nicholas take a read here

In news from our northern neighbors the Institute of Canadian Values asks why is the Bank of Montreal attacking Christians?

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms begins by stating “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:” The Bank of Montreal has decided to turn its back on these principles with a campaign against Christians. BMO’s opening salvo was to attack the Christian standards of Trinity Western University. BMO has now expanded their war by attacking Christian legal suppliers doing business with the bank.

BMO Attacks a Christian University

On March 26th, 2014 the Bank of Montreal wrote a scathing letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada entitled “RE: Accreditation of Trinity Western University’s (“TCU”) proposed law school program.” The missive states “The purpose of this letter is to request the Law Society deny the accreditation of any legal educational programs, recognized for the admission of the bar of Ontario, that are discriminatory.” BMO was successful as the Law Society denied Trinity Western.  read more here

Well I haven’t filled out my Christmas cards yet so that is it for Frenetic Friday!