Why Ps 119?

February 3, 2009 – 9:34 pm

One could ask why we should spend time dissecting Psalm 119. What is the use? It is repetitive, and it is not in the New Testament. Well, here are some great blessings that we can receive from God as we study Psalm 119, verse by verse ( or, more precisely, that I am praying for ).

  1. Psalm 119 shows us how to love God through loving His Word.
  2. Psalm 119 shows us how to  think through God’s Word prayerfully.
  3. Psalm 119 shows us how to apply God’s Word in various situations.
  4. Psalm 119 shows us how much God loves us.  He did not leave us in the dark but gave us His Word to show us Himself and His ways.
  5. Psalm 119 says similar things in many different ways.  Thus, the truths are bound to get through our thick skulls.

I suppose there are many more good reasons, but these are a good start.  In the coming months I will be walking through Psalm 119 with the guys in my Sunday School class at church.  It will be an exciting  time, and I hope to blog about some of the things we learn.  Pray for us, that we would learn from God, as He is the only Teacher ( Psalm 119:33 ).

Inkheart

January 31, 2009 – 10:48 pm

I saw this movie last weekend and found it quite entertaining.  I liked it because we got to see a father fight for his family.  Also, I thought the story was interesting.

The good:

  1. The father strives to protect his family.
  2. Dustfinger is a rather cowardly character who at the beginning and through most of the movie cares more for himself then others.  I put this in the “good” section because it is not treated as a positive character trait, but as a negative one.  Also, we get to see him fight against it, to struggle.  We all have weaknesses and have to fight those weaknesses ( Rom 6:1ff ), so it is always  good to see people grow.
  3. The daughter truly cares for her father.
  4. Family is important.

The bad:

  1. I don’t really like that the father keeps the truth from his daughter about what happened to her mother.  I understand needing to protect her and not telling her what she does not need to know.  That is fine.  But there came a point in the movie where they are running from Dustfinger and going to the great aunt’s house where I think it would have been good to tell her something.  Maybe I will think differently when I have children, but that is what I think now.

I probably could say more, but that is enough for now.  Go here for a more thorough review.  Probably won’t win any awards, but I think it is worth seeing.

Get Smart

October 13, 2008 – 8:26 pm

I wrote this review quite a while ago and wanted to add scripture references, but now I am so far behind in my blog entries I figured I should just give it to people.  Enjoy.  Hopefully in the next few days I will wip out a review on Dark Knight, Fireproof, and Eagle Eye.  Hopefully I have time.  In the interest of time, they will be short and to the point.  So much to do, so little time.

Well, this movie did make me laugh the other night and was quite entertaining. Just because it was entertaining does not make it a great movie though. So, as usual, I would like to look at it critically.

First, the good:

  1. Max does want to help people and do the right thing.
  2. Agent 99, by the end of the movie, does show that she cares for people ( you see her compassion towards Max and the chief ).
  3. Max’s 2 friends ( the gadget guys ) seem quite supportive of Max, even if they don’t understand his passion to be an agent.
  4. Max’s passion to be an agent, his drive, is admirable. He gives his all to accomplish his dream.

Now, the bad:

  1. Sexual innuendos.  In this I include jokes based on actions that can easily be interpreted in a sexual way.
  2. It is implied that some people engaged in sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage. Admittedly, I do not remember the movie really focusing on it, but it was treated rather lightly.

So, while it was a fun movie to see, I did have some problems with it. See here for another take on the movie.

Prince Caspian, the movie

June 9, 2008 – 10:11 pm

Well, tonight I needed a little encouragement, so I decided to give Prince Caspian a second try. God really used it to encourage me, just like I prayed. Anyway, first I want to talk about the movie itself, then I would like to discuss the parts the movie changed that I did not think they should have.

The Good:

  1. Only those with faith, who want to see Him, can see Aslan. In Matt 5:8, the pure in heart are said to be able to see God. If we seek Him with all our heart, He will let us find Him ( 2 Chron 15:2,4;Jer 29:13 ). We see Lucy do this early on, albeit not perfectly.
  2. Aslan says to Lucy the things don’t happen the same way twice. Meaning Aslan does not do it the same way twice. This is a lot like how things happen in scripture. As one example, take Moses giving water to the people. At first, God told Moses to strike the rock to get water ( Ex 17:1-7 ). Then later He told Moses to speak to the rock ( Num 20:8-12 ). There are lots of other examples. The infinite, personal creator God is infinitely imaginative. I bring this up because the movie refers to that truth.
  3. Lucy gets in trouble for not obeying Aslan no matter what. This is true to life. We have to obey God, no matter what others say ( Acts 5:29 ). Our love for God is proven by our obedience to God ( Jn 14:15,21,23;15:10;1 Jn 5:3;2 Jn 6 ). Also, our faith in God is proven by our obedience to Him ( James 2:17,20,26; cf Heb 11:1-38 ).
  4. One statement really struck me in the movie tonight. It was when Susan asked Peter who he was fighting for. So, early in the movie, Peter leads a charge with “for Narnia”. Later, when Peter finally comes to his senses and seeks Aslan, he leads a charge with “for Aslan”. So this shows that the focus needs to be on God, similar to what Matt 6:33 and Luke 9:23-24 ( in verse 23, Jesus says to “follow Him”, which implies a focus on Him ) says. It is good to see this growth in Peter.
  5. Also, at one point in the movie Lucy urges people to trust and wait for Aslan. She even says something about it being Aslan who defeated the White Witch, not Peter and the Narnians. To which Peter replies something along the lines of “we are on our own”. But then later, when Peter comes to his senses, he sends Lucy out to seek Aslan. I think this so accurately and honestly shows the struggle between faith and doubt, between trusting, dependent obedience and independent self-reliance. Through Peter, we see someone grow to trust, obey, and depend upon God more and more.
  6. Witchcraft and whatever they were doing to bring back the White Witch was portrayed as evil.

The Bad:

  1. Peter fighting at the beginning. Need i say more?
  2. Peter is pretty arrogant with Prince Caspian, almost lording it over him ( by my choice of words, I am purposely referring to 1 Pet 5:3, and Matt 20:24-28 ).

I could probably say other things, but I want to briefly discuss the things the movie changed that I do not think they should have. Note that if I leave something out, it probably means I do not think it was a big deal. It is good to point out that this is a movie, and as such the method of presentation is, by necessity, different, and should be different. I remember reading that A.W. Tozer thought one should not just copy his sermons from what he preached directly to a book. He believed the the truths in his sermons should be tweaked for the written medium. Well, movies have to do that with books, and I realize that. But, I still think it wise to compare the movie to the book, at least briefly, as the movie presenting some things that made some characters look different than they are ever portrayed in the book.

  • Peter, in the books, is never portrayed as he is at the beginning of the movie, getting into fights. In fact, in the book, he is very respectful of Caspian and supports him. There is never even any hint of conflict between the 2 of them. I do not think they should have changed this. Peter is an upright, mature young man in the books.
  • There is no romance in the books, at least not really. So, in other words, Susan and Prince Caspian do not flirt with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good love story, but here it was not needed and served no real purpose. OK, it did serve a purpose – people like romance:-). But I think it could have been left out.

Well, that is enough for now. I am quite sure more could be said, but that is a good start.

Observations on Proverbs 6:6-11, part 1

June 7, 2008 – 8:18 pm

Hello,

OK, in my Sunday School class at church, we are going through Howard Hendricks “Living by the Book” and I thought it would be nice to go through that process. Seeing as I want to finish writing about laziness, these passages on laziness seemed like a good place to start. There are more observations to be made, and hopefully I will be able to make them soon.

Note that these are not deep thoughts, just simple observations on what the text is saying. That is on purpose. So read on about Prov 6:6-11, the first passage I am looking at about laziness.

Key terms: sluggard and ant

Contrast is made between the ant and the sluggard.

How can sluggard be wise by observing ways of ant?

Qualities of ant:

  • Prepares their food in the summer, for winter, without any ruler or chief
  • Has not ruler or chief
  • Gathers provision when their is provision.

What does sluggard do? sleeps, and won’t get up

What does sluggard love? sleep

Results of sluggards actions:

  1. Poverty comes like vagabond
  2. Need comes like an armed man

What is a vagabond? one who walks about, often without purpose.

What is “an armed man”? Strictly speaking, some one with a shield, someone who is protected.

Type of literature: Poetry

If you wish to leave comments

Key terms: sluggard and ant

Contrast is made between the ant and the sluggard.

How can sluggard be wise by observing ways of ant?

Qualities of ant:

  • Prepares their food in the summer, for winter, without any ruler or chief
  • Has not ruler or chief
  • Gathers provision when their is provision.

What does sluggard do?  sleeps, and won’t get up

What does sluggard love?  sleep

Results of sluggards actions:

  1. Poverty comes like vagabond
  2. Need comes like an armed man

What is a vagabond? one who walks about, often without purpose.

What is “an armed man”?  Strictly speaking, some one with a shield, someone who is protected.

Type of literature: Poetry

Go here if you want to discuss it with others.  You will need to register.

On a side note, hopefully I will be commenting on Prince Caspian tomorrow night if tomorrow goes according to how I hope it goes.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

June 4, 2008 – 10:24 pm

Saw this over the weekend.  As usual, go here for a more thorough review.  I really do not have many positive or negative thoughts about it, so this will be short.

The good:

  • Reconciliation between father, son, and the son’s mother – always a good thing.
  • Indiana, as always, lives by his convictions.   At least he is not a man without conviction.
  • Betrayal of Indiana’s friend because of his greed – greed is always a bad thing.  The heroes acknowledge it as wrong.
  • Indiana tries to save the guy that betrayed him, showing unselfish behavior.

The bad:

  • As usual with movies, the immoral behavior that produced Indiana’s son ( sex before they got married ) is treated as acceptable behavior.  Granted, it was many years before, but I still feel as if it was treated lightly.
  • The aliens were false gods and were worshipped as such.

Well, that is enough for now.  Sorry, no time to look up scripture references.  If I have time later, I will edit the post and add scriptural proof for some of the things I am saying.

How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler – chapter 1

May 31, 2008 – 2:06 pm

Just got done reading the first chapter of this book and it really made me think.  One of my friends described the author as a philosopher, and you can definitely see that mindset in the first chapter.  I think it will be a very profitable read.

I will get to blogging about the Prince Caspian movie soon.  Reading the book before seeing the movie really biased my opinion.  Also, will get to my laziness study soon.  We are doing Bible Study methods in Sunday School, so I was thinking of going through those methods again with all these verses I have.  Good to double check myself, and gives me a chance to re-learn these principles of Bible study.  Should be interesting.

This summer I will be going through the Journeyman videos I have and blogging on each episode.  I really liked that series, but have not had time to blog about it.

Some thoughts spurred on from the season finale of Bones

May 20, 2008 – 9:32 pm

OK, I am to tired to do a good job of a review on the Prince Caspian movie ( and, to tell the truth, because I read the book just before seeing the movie, I am kind of biased, but that is a long story ). But I did see the finale of Bones on Monday night and it spurred me on to some interesting thoughts. Bones can be entertaining, but I really do not want to comment on it morally just yet. Some things I like about it, some things I vehemently disagree with. What Bones made me think of the other night is that we all can be influenced to do wrong, to sin against our God. One of the characters said that a strong personality can influence a weak personality to do terrible things ( sorry to be so vague, don’t want to ruin it for people who have not seen the finale yet ). This made me realize a couple things:

  1. I need to be influenced by God first an foremost. Jesus is my Lord and master. He is all-wise and all knowing. He knows best.
  2. There are many personalities out there that are stronger than mine. If we are honest, there is always a stronger personality out there. We have to realize this and beware. We need to be influenced only by God and those He puts in our lives. So, if someone is influencing me, if it does not point me to God, than I need to flee. I cannot really control whether I will be influenced because I am a created being, I am not perfect, I do need guidance sometimes. By God’s grace, the power of the Holy Spirit, and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I can control who influences me, though. I just need to depend on Jesus and love Him.
  3. Lastly, this finale showed me the need to influence others for good. Heb 10:24 reminds us to spur each other on to love and good deeds. I was just reading 2 Chron 17:7-9, and in it Jehoshaphat sent people out to teach the nation the ways of the Lord. John MacArthur, in his book on leadership ( “The Book on Leadership” – not my favorite book on leadership, but a decent read ), makes an interesting point. He defines leadership as influence.

So, you see a common theme here? The theme is influence. Help us, Lord, to be a good influence in the lives of others, by loving and trusting You more.

Total side issue. I know I have promised some entries about laziness. I also promised some reviews on the great TV show Journeyman. Been really really busy, and just have to prioritize. Those blog entries will take some work.

Prince Caspian – the book

May 17, 2008 – 9:21 am

In preparation for seeing Prince Caspian tonight, I just finished the book.  I had forgotten a lot of it, but it was still good ( even for an adult ).  Last night it really reminded me to keep my eyes on God, which is always a good reminder.   Also, it was nice to see Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund love Aslan ( Aslan, for those who don’t know, is how Jesus Christ appears to people in Narnia ) – it was humble, bold, and passionate.  I loved seeing the reminder to always trust God, no matter what, even if no one else does ( Lucy is gently chastised for not following Aslan when no one else believed her ).  Very good spiritual lessons, whether you be an adult or a child.  That said, I realized, reading it as a 34 year old, that it is not nearly as exciting as it was when I read it as a child/young adult.  But still good.   Will comment tonight or tomorrow on the movie.

Speed Racer

May 11, 2008 – 7:01 pm

OK, here is my promised review of Speed Racer.  Go here if you want a more official review.

The Good:

  • Clean, no immorality ( Matt 5:27-28;Heb 13:4 )
  • There is a priority placed on family ( Eph 5:22-6:3 )
  • The Speed family love each other and strive to serve each other ( 1 Cor 13:4-7 )
  • The Speed’s strive to do what is right
  • Speed and Racer X fight against deception in the racing industry ( fixed races ) at great personal cost and risk to themselves.
  • The fixing of races is treated as wrong, as illegal, as unacceptable behavior.

The Bad:

  • Speed and his older brother, Rex, do deceive their family ( although, in their defense, they did it for the greater good ).  This is always a tricky situation.  But deception is wrong ( Ps 5:6; Prov 24:28;1Pet 3:10;Ps 15:2 )
  • Fixing races and cheating would constitute as unfair balances in my mind ( Lev 19:35-36;Deut 25:13-16;Prov 11:1;20:10,23;Mic 6:11 ).  Now, it is not approved of in the movie, but I just mention it to highlight it as wrong.

OK, that is enough for now.  Movie won’t win any awards, but I feel like it was good, clean fun.