Movie Review: Mean Machine


Producer: Matthew Vaughn, Guy Ritchie (Executive)
Director: Barry Skolnick
Cast: Vinnie Jones, David Kelly, David Hemmings, Ralph Brown, Jason Flemyng, Danny Dyer
and Jason Statham as ‘Monk’

Plot: Vinnie Jones plays a soccer player banned from the game for fixing a game between Germany and England. Sentence to prison for a drunken brawl where he assaulted two police officers and ran his car into the bar. Inside he is approached by the Warden and offered a job coaching the guard’s soccer team. He refuses instead he says he will make a soccer team out of the prisoners. After a series of incidents he wins the respect of the prisoners and they play against the guards.

If your thinking, wait, wait I know this one you’re right. This is the third remake of the Longest Yard. And I have to say it suffers greatly. These are the same jokes that were done in the original film and I have to say that it was done better in the original film. For that matter Adam Sandler did it better with his remake of this film. I have to say the most enjoyable part of this movie were the scenes with Jason Statham which were way too short.

This film has violence, swearing, drinking it’s not what I’d call family fare so don’t sit down with the kids and turned this on.

I am giving this two stars it is on Netflix but I would skip it.

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Catechism


Q11. But isn’t God also merciful?
A. God is certainly merciful, but he is also just. His justice demands that sin, committed against his supreme majesty, be punished with the supreme penalty–eternal punishment of body and soul.

Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 103:8-9;
Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 7:9-11; Psalm 5:4-6; Hebrews 10:30-31
Matthew 25:35-46

Q12. According to God’s righteous judgment we deserve punishment both in this world and forever after: how then can we escape this punishment and return to God’s favor?

A. God requires that his justice be satisfied. Therefore the claims of his justice must be paid in full, either by ourselves or another.

Exodus 23:7; Romans 2:1-11
Isaiah 53:11; Romans 8:3-4

Frenetic Friday


Eugenics, now if you’re not familiar with the word let’s do a little definition here. Eugenics is a movement based upon the idea that by genetics the perfect human can be made. It’s not a new concept, just ask any of the surviving jews that still have a tatoo on their arm. Or any of the many women of color that were sterilized so that they wouldn’t have any more children. So why are we talking about eugenics? Nobody holds to that any more do they?
Surprise, surprise eugenics is a live and well. And being pushed by the desire for gay couples to have children. Look at what is now being offered to gay couples they can choose who will be the sperm donor or egg donor based upon looks, intelligence, and by whether their genome is free of defects. Which speaking of now we with science able to modify human embryos genetically how soon until the ultimate designer baby? Do you want blue eyes? Red hair? Tall? Predisposed to be athletic? Higher intelligence we can program that in to your next baby. Does your genetic profile has certain tendency to breast cancer we can remove that for you. And frankly that is how they will convince you of this, they will point out that Aunt Viv died of breast cancer so if you and your spouse are planning on children your really ought to get this procedure done…

Ask yourself why there are fewer down’s syndrome babies being born, yes this too is a form of eugenics, after all down syndrome is a “bad” gene. So why bring them into the world if you can kill them instead?

Seventy years ago we ended a madman’s dream of the perfect human race. My father, and uncles fought in that war and I ask myself is this what they have inherited? A “kinder gentler” eugenics?

Sources: (Designer Babies? It looks like eugenics and racism to me) Are designer babies on the way? Down Syndrome births are down in the US.

That is it for this Friday thanks for coming by.

Theology Thursday: Outlines


Now that we have looked at the Inductive Method of bible study, here are some helpful guides to outlining the various forms of scripture. First of course, as always, is to ask why outline a book or a passage?

The purpose of an outline is to organize the facts of a text to make observation and interpretation easier. The idea is to break the text down into its basic components or ideas. We need to isolate, define, and articulate each idea to understand it more clearly. There are two forms of outlining to be used. One is a “universal” outline that can be used for any form of scripture. The other is unique to the epistles and other “instructional” portions of scripture like the sermon on the mount.

The Universal Outline: This is applicable to any scripture passage and is simpler than the outline used for the epistles. You just go through the text and list the ideas being presented and try to find the main theme. List the facts observed (who, what, when, where) and break them down into their particulars (don’t forget to include the audience).

Tips for outlining story forms:

First, Gather the facts and list them (who, what, when, where).

Next, retell the event in your own words, being careful to include all the facts you have gathered.

Next, discover and describe the relationships between characters.

Then finally, put yourself in each character’s shoes: What do you –

1.) See?

2.) Feel?

3.) Think?

Outlining an Epistle (or instructional passage): Most epistles follow the same sequence, so outlining takes the same form with all the epistles:

A.) Introduction – The first few verses of the book will be an introduction and greeting. Lots of who, what, where, and when info is available right in the opening verses.

B.) Summarizing Statement – Most often you can find, in one to three verses, a statement of the purpose of the writing. This will always come after the introduction, greeting, and thanksgiving statements. Look carefully for the purpose of the letter. Why was it written?

C.) Main Teaching – The heart of the epistle is here. You will find different ideas being developed through several verses. You can outline them as topics and list them.

D.) Closing – The text will always conclude with some closing verses. Sometimes you hear them used as benedictions in our worship services.

Tips for outlining Exhortaive Forms (epistles):

Follow and outline the development of each idea.

Note repeated words and phrases.

Look for: Comparisons, Contrasts, and Transition words such as:

Therefore, In order that, Because, For, Since, and But

Tips for outlining Poetic, Prophetic, Revelational forms and Parables:

A.) Hebrew poets used a lot of parallelism – one idea said two different ways.

B.) A proverb is a story where human or divine behavior is compared to something in nature.

C.) A parable is an art form. Jesus used it deliberately to hide the truth from those who didn’t want to hear it.

D.) Revelational and prophetic literature most often makes liberal use of symbolism and imagery.

E.) Look into history. Most of the prophecies had either a contemporary or near-future (to the author) fulfillment, but also had or have a type-and-shadow fulfilment in far-future history or spiritual reality. For example, Daniel’s prophecy of Daniel 11:31 was literally fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes before Christ’s time, yet Christ uses the same scripture to describe an event future to His audience, the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans (Matthew 24:15) and possibly something yet future beyond that. Paul refers to Isaiah’s prophecy of foreign invaders (28:11 and following) and applies it to the use of one of the charismatic sign gifts of the first century church in 1st Corinthians 14 (verses 21-22). As you find these, note this important rule of hermeneutics: New Testament authors were inspired interpreters of the Old Testament! If Christ of His Apostles have put a meaning to an Old Testament passage of scripture, then theirs is at least one valid meaning of the passage.

This will conclude the “How to Study the Bible” series on Theology Thursdays. Stay tuned for more fun in the next exciting episode!

Earworm Wednesday: Dreams The Corrs


So when I was working in York, England I had a compatriot by the name of Andrew and as is my want I started talking music with him. I was sadly ignorant of much of the music that was playing at the time bring not familiar with the artists. So finding some common ground was necessary. Turns out that Andrew was a fan of Fleetwood Mac. So when I asked him about the cover of Dreams that The Corr’s had done he replied that they had made it into an Irish pub song. Well this one is for you Andrew.

Movie Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya



Producer: Isao Takahata
Writer: Isao Takahata and others.
Cast (Japanese dub)Aki Asakura (Princess Kaguya), Kengo Kora (Sutemaru), Takeo Chii (Bamboo Cutter), Nobuko Miyamoto (Bamboo Cutter’s Wife), Atsuko Takahata (Lady Sagami)
Cast (English dub)Chloë Grace Moretz (Princess Kaguya), Caitlyn Leone (young Kaguya), Darren Criss (Sutemaru), James Caan(Bamboo Cutter), Mary Steenburgen (The Bamboo Cutter’s Wife), Lucy Liu (Lady Sagami)

Plot: An old bamboo cutter finds a glowing bamboo when he opens it finds a perfectly formed miniature girl inside. Believing her to be a divine being he takes her to his home to take care of her. As he shows her to his wife the tiny girl changes into a baby. Happy that they have a baby in their old age the couple gives her the name of “Princess”. While caring for her the bamboo cutter and his wife notice that the baby, Princess seems to grow noticeably larger learning how to walk and speak quicker than normal children. This prompts the other children of the area to call her “Lil Bamboo” because she grows so quickly like bamboo. One of the children, Sutemaru, Princess becomes especially fond of and follows him and his friends wherever they go getting into all kinds of scrapes.

The bamboo cutter returns to the grove and as he chops down bamboo he finds inside of the plant fine clothing and gold. This convinces him further that Princess must be raised as a princess and not as a peasant. Because of this he makes plans with his wife using the gold that appears in the bamboo he buys a house and servants in the capital and then one day he abruptly takes princess from her happy life in the country into the capital city. There he hires Lady Sagami to tame the wildness out of her and make her into a lady. Princess resists until Lady Sagami reminds her that she is to obey her father’s orders. Finally the day comes when she is formally given the title Princess Kaguya at the party Princess Kaguya hears the other nobles making sport of her father saying how absurd it was to try to turn a peasant girl into a princess. Despair gripping her she runs back to the mountains only to find her friends are gone she collapses in the snow to awake in her room.

Princess Kaguya grows into a great beauty and suitors come to woo her, each comparing her to a fabulous object. Desiring none of them she sets upon each of them a task: bring to her the fabulous object that they ascribe to her beauty. When two return with the supposed objects she shows them to be the fraudulent. The third suitor never returns because he is a coward. The fourth suitor dies while trying to find the treasure he promised. Kaguya falls into despair but by now the Emperor has heard of her great beauty and has decided that she will be his. He makes unwanted advances to Princess Kaguya and she disappears from his sight. The Emperor withdraws but still plans to make her his. It is now that Kaguya remembers where she was from. Kaguya lived on the moon with the other divine beings longing to live on the earth she broke the laws of the moon and sent to earth as punishment. But now because she prayed to the moon to help her against the Emperor the divine beings will come to claim her at the next full moon. But she wants to stay because she has come to love her time on the earth and her parents. She tells her parents that once the moon’s robe falls on her shoulders she shall forget all about her time on earth. Her parents vow to protect but at the full moon the divine beings come and nothing dissuades them.

Isao Takahata whose only other film that I have seen is “Grave of the Fireflies“, a masterpiece that I intend to review one day, has taken this classic fairy tale of Japan and brought it to life in beautiful animation that reminds me more of moving water colors than the anime style that was evident in recent Ghibli films. I confess to being a bit of an anime snob and I didn’t listen to the english dub of this film rather I listened to it in Japanese and read the subtitles. But if reading subtitles isn’t your favorite thing to do when watching a movie by all means listen to the english dub.

One thing I like especially of this film is how Takahata shows how even though well-meaning in their love of Princess Kaguya, the parents desire to make her into something that she wasn;t born into doesn’t make her happy and it is still the simple life that Kaguya desires and gives her the most joy. And how riches never really makes you happy, even her “parents” are never really comfortable in the city, but it is when they return to the simple tasks they did in the forest such as weaving and growing a garden that they are happy.

Parents be aware that Takahata shows young children growing up in this era as they were. This means that babies are depicted as naked and you will see things such as breast-feeding. Also younger children will need to have the various divine beings explained. In some explanations of this Japanese fairy tale Kaguya is called a fairy and that the fairies are who live in the moon. However, it is obvious from the depiction of the divine beings that come down for Kaguya that they are incarnations of Buddhist mythology.

This is one of the best animated films that I have seen this year and from some of the awards that this film won I am not the only one that thinks so. I give this film five stars.

Frenetic Friday


And here we are once more into the Frenetic Friday!

As you may know the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has changed the constitution’s definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people” and to allow their ministers to perform same-sex marriages where legal.

Many of my acquaintances expressed disbelief and outrage that they would do this. However, this really shouldn’t be a surprise the seeds of this was seen back in the 1920’s when J. Gresham Machen led the conservative revolt against the PCUSA and with some godly men created the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) which holds to the Westminister standards which the PCUSA rejected. So while this has been a long time coming there should be no mistake it was going to happen. Plus R.C. Sproul Jr. said it best on his podcast we should be outraged not at the fact that they have allowed same-sex marriage but at the fact that they have rejected the scripture and it’s clear teaching. (Keachfan paraphrase)

Now switching from religion to politics, did you know that Oregon has passed a bill that automatically makes every person who has reacted with the 2013 DMV will get a ballot in the mail. So basically you no longer have a choice you are registered to vote. Now some may think this is a good thing after all more voters mean more votes. But does that mean more informed voters? But wait there’s more!

President Obama has said in a non “specific policy prescription” that voting should be mandatory for all citizens pointing to countries like Australia and Belgium where if you don’t vote you are fined.

So let’s take this to the logical conclusion. Oregon passes a law that automatically makes you a voter whether you want to be one or not. Next Obama opines that mandatory voting should be the law of the land. What are the goals here? Well according to one analyst the goal is to get the disenfranchised, the minorities, and the poor a voice. But again will these voters be informed on the issues or just seduced by fancy slogans and promies? Will this really help? What if you don’t want to vote where is your right to opt out of the process? Plus if there are fines how is that an incentive to vote smart? Even though we may have the lowest voter turn out does forced voting make good citizens?

Now let’s jump over to Japan and a truly disturbing news item.

There is a scene in the Incredibles where the character Dash, a second grader, learns that he can run on water this causes him to give a out a delighted laugh. That is one of the sounds of children, laughter, there is also shouting, crying, cooing, if your a parent you know the sounds. Now imagine if you will (in my best Rod Serling voice) a country that has a negative population growth. In fact if it is at the point that if the trend doesn’t change there may not be enough people to sustain the country. With this in mind you would think that day cares for children would be a no brainer. Well you haven’t counted on the not in my backyard brigade. Many neighborhoods in Japan are saying they don’t want daycare in their neighborhoods. Children are too noisy they say and are suing to make sure they aren’t allowed. Not allowing children what a concept. Ultimately one that will result in no children at all. A government think tank has forecast that just 7 percent of the nation’s population will be under age 15 in 2060, in a worst-case scenario that sees the total population shrinking by more than a third to less than 80 million. (source

Now onto weird science. Danish scientists have created a crystal that can draw oxygen out of the air and water. Now this is to help those with respiratory problems so they don’t have to drag large canisters of oxygen with them. But this can also help divers using just the crystals they can carry small amounts of crystals instead of tanks and using the crystals get oxygen from the water. (source)

Robotic Over Lord Alert!
Do you see this?

This poor woman was attacked in her sleep when her robot vacuum cleaner came out and chomped on her hair. The fire department had to come and get her hair out of the jaws of the robot. (source)

But don’t despair our Robot Over Lords aren’t without mercy.

Here you see a drone taking a life preserver out to a drowning man. Because of the speed of the drone it can reach the man way before the lifeguard dropping the life preserver to the man so he can stay afloat until help arrives. (source)

And finally are you tired of how tv and movies portray Dads as bumbling, ignorant, boobs who fail in everything they do especially when it comes to parenting? Then this is for you my friend:

Good night!

Theology Thursday: Inductive Bible Study


In parts one and two we looked at inductive bible study’s first two major parts, Observation and Interpretation. Now let’s look at the last and most difficult (although simple) step, Application.

Application: How should I respond?

Application is action-learning that involves two steps:

1. How the truths discovered should affect our behavior and beliefs, and
2. Putting those truths into daily practice.

Summarize truths that seem to apply to you and look for ways that it applies to your daily life. Meditate on it, and pick out a verse or two in the passage that best summarizes the truth(s) you have learned and memorize it (or them).

Then actually practice living that lesson, keeping a journal as a reminder of God’s faithfulness “both to will and to do” what His word tells you to do.

The bible is God’s word, and it was given to be obeyed, not just understood. The only thing missing is me!

Of course, it isn’t me, in “Christ in me!” So I’m not going off to apply God’s impossible standards of behavior in my own strength. Without Him I am nothing and can do nothing. Applying God’s word to real life is a patently supernatural thing – and completely normal for the follower of Christ!

Have a look at James 1:22

But prove yourselves to be doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

James 1:22 tells us that hearing the word without doing what it says is self-deception. How so? I think that one way hearing-only is self-deception is this: When we think of bible study as our religious duty, then merely reading it satisfies the requirement. When it is our duty and obligation to read our bible every day, then we can “do our duty” merely by reading it. There, see? “I’ve done my duty to God today. I spent 30 whole minutes reading the bible. Now that I have satisfied my religious obligation, I can get on with the rest of my day.”

I know that line of reasoning seems silly to some of you, but believe it or not that is exactly the way I looked at bible study (and “devotional” reading) for years! It was a chore to me. It was dead, tedious, and meaningless most of the time. If I skipped it, I got this foreboding feeling that God was not going to be with me that day because I had failed Him.

Think it over. Application is the goal of all the other work we have done in inductive bible study! It’s the simplest, yet hardest of the three steps.

Think of this in another way. Studying the beatitudes, I come across Matt 5:3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What does poor in spirit mean? Why is poverty of spirit a desirable thing?

As I read on, I see the Lord’s impossibly high standards for mercy, gratitude, humility, gentleness, and even grace under persecution, and because I know that this is what He actually expects of me, I think, “Wow, I can never get there! That’s impossible!”

All of a sudden I know what poverty of spirit is, simply because I read God’s word knowing that it is meant to be obeyed! I’m not just poor, I’m bankrupt! Completely helpless. Being poor in spirit means that I mourn for my sin, I depend so completely on my Lord to literally carry me through temptation and lend me His strength to do every little thing He asks of me. This is meekness. This is humility. This gentleness. This is how I will handle persecution when it comes my way.

The biggest secret to knowing what a passage of scripture means, is simply to read with the intention of doing what it says.

In next week’s exciting episode of Theology Thursday, I’ll offer a few ways of outlining various scripture forms. Stay tuned!

Earworm Wednesday: Ashley Cleveland Samson & Delilah


I came across Ashley Cleveland totally by accident. I can’t remember when I first heard her song “Henry doesn’t care” but I was enchanted by that voice. So as I was looking around for an Earworm song I came across Samson and Delilah. And I remembered how much I loved that voice. So here is Ashley Cleveland singing Samson and Delilah.

This and that


So I’ve meant to update the old readers and new readers (welcome new readers!) of the blog about some things that I’ve meant to get back to. One of which is Saturday for the Defense. I started this here and I did some follow ups but I didn’t complete the entire list. Well I am intending to finish and I got to be honest I’ve been sidetracked by rabbit trails and illness. But this Saturday I will have the continuation of the series.

And speaking of series have you been tuning in on Thursdays? If you havent you’re missing a wonderful series written by my co-author Robin. And I really appreciate Robin taking the time to do this because he is very busy studying at college trying to get his degree. So to take time out of his schedule and studying to write here is a great blessing.

So thanks for stopping by and please continue to do so.