Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Book Of Eli--My Take

I don't often pay too much attention to how a movie is reviewed by critics. My experience is that they are usually too far over the top one way or the other in their like or dislike of a movie and I would rather form my own opinion of it or listen to a friend or two that has similar tastes to mine when it comes to movies.

However, I find it interesting as to how the movie The Book Of Eli has been reviewed. The critics seem to be torn on it. About 1/2 think that it is a wonderful movie, while the other 1/2 feel that it gets "too preachy". But the real interesting part, is what I have read from the Christian community, such as the Christian Science Monitor who really seemed to dislike the movie. Disliking the action scenes and violence. To me, they really miss the point of the movie.

If you have not scene the movie yet, but are planning on it and do not want it spoiled, then I would advise you to stop reading this post right about now.

Although I did find the violence a bit much at times, I found that it was necessary for Hollywood to do so if they wanted to sell some tickets. That's just the times that we live in. But, it is not like the Bible is without violence. And with this story taking place 30 years in the future after a nuclear war, I would think that there would be violence in an era with no laws. To me it made sense.

After this war, there were book burnings and all sense of law has been done away with. After being in hiding after the war for a year, Eli hears a voice from God. The voice tells him to look under a pile of rubble and to take what he finds out west to a place that will protect it. What Eli finds, is the last known copy The King James Bible in side of a very nice cover with a lock on it that has to be opened with a key. God tells Eli that he will protect him in his journey and Eli abides by going on the journey God told him to go on. And, every chance Eli has to sit and rest, you see him reading to himself out of The Bible.

During his journey, it is clear that everyone wants what Eli is protecting. In particular a person that is running a town that Eli comes through. He is one of the few people that remain that understand what the Bible is and the power of the words that are in it. He wants it, not to teach the good that is in it, but to use it as a tool to control people which I thought was an interesting reflection of how some Christians and even non Christians probably view it....In more of a legalistic view.

While Eli is in this town, the guy that runs the town tries to use what ever he can to persuade Eli to hand over the book. In what was one of the most memorable scenes, a young lady was sent to Eli's room to find out if he did indeed have a copy of The Bible. While there, Eli offers the young lady 1/2 of the meal that he has. But prior to eating Eli insists that they hold hands, close their eyes and he then begins to pray. I found this to be an incredible touching and moving part of this movie. The young lady had never experienced prayed before and did not know anything about it, but was completely drawn in by the power of it.

What was a common theme, was the power that prayer and scripture has in a society that basically has no laws or structure. It made me wish that there was that same kind of thirst in our current society.

Eli leaves the town, the young lady follows him because she is drawn to the good in Eli, and of course the bad guys track him down in an effort to get the book. Ultimately, they do. Although you have doubts about if they actually have the book or not since Eli continues his journey west after the bad guys have left with it and since they cannot open it because they do not have a key to the lock on it. During that struggle for the book, Eli is surprisingly shot.

Eli, and the young lady that is following him, finally get to their destination out west which happens to be Alcatraz where someone has turned the once prison into a museum for important items-like The Bible. When Eli gets to the gates, he is met by armed guards and he announces that he has a copy of The King James Bible with him. At this moment, they flash over to "the bad guys" who when they open the bible, they find that the bible is a braille bible which reveals that Eli is a blind man which might explain why it has taken him 30 years to walk across the country. It then flashes back to Eli who is meeting with the head of the facility and Eli instructing the man to listen carefully and to write down exactly to every word the Eli has to say. Eli then begins to quote the entire bible right from the beginning.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

When Eli started reciting those words, I was never so glad to hear them. I was truly overjoyed and tears ran down my face. When a movie can give a renewed meaning to those words, then I feel it is truly a great movie.

To me, a lot of people are missing the message of The Book Of Eli. A message about how important one person can play in the grand scheme of things. A message about how God can use an unextraordinary person to do extraordinary things. A message about how important it is to be immersed in the word of God on a daily basis. A message about how important it is to have your feet pointed in the right direction and take steps day by day by day to go further in that right direction and how you can be amazed at the impact that you may some day have.

Needless to say, I give this movie 2 big thumbs up and cannot wait until it comes out on dvd. I will be buying it the day that it comes out. In case you have not seen a trailer for the movie, here is a trailer for it:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Salvation And Baptism

Every month or so, it is my turn to choose a topic for my mens bible group that meets every friday morning at Honkers on Day Rd. at 6:00 a.m. This week is my turn to choose the topic. So here it is:

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from someone that included a link to a blog that they wanted me to check out. Not sure why, but they sent it. Anyway, there seemed to be a couple of re-occurring themes by the author’s blog posts. One of those themes was about Salvation and Baptism, mostly about the Baptism portion. So, it got me thinking about Salvation and Baptism, and since I needed a topic of discussion I decided to go with it.

Matthew 3:13-15 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

1. If Jesus was without sin, did he have to be baptized? Why or Why Not?

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast

Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved

Acts 2:36-38 36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1:18-19 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Luke 23:40-43 40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." 42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[f]" 43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Mark 16:15-16 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2. Does being baptized complete salvation, Why or Why Not? See especially the Mark 16 scripture and the Luke Scripture. The thief was not baptized. Is this a contradiction? Did the thief just get a “one time pass”? If baptism is a requirement, then does that mean God needs our help for us to be saved?

3 Does it matter if you are sprinkled, immersed or have water poured over your head in order to be baptized?

Galations 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Hebrews 6:4-6 4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[b]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

4 Can you lose your salvation? If so, How? If so, can it be regained?

5. What do you feel that salvation looks like?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Believe.......

I Believe......That the Colts are going to win the Super Bowl today, although I want the Saints to win!

I Believe......That a great night of entertainment can be had by eating Twinkies while watching Zombieland on DVD.

I Believe......That Red Robin and In and Out Burgers are over-rated. Five Guys is the real deal though.

I Believe......That the church is made up of imperfect people, but we expect the church to BE PERFECT which is impossible.

I Believe......That if these "Tea Party Patriots" were Truly Patriots, then they would have been protesting like this when George Bush was running up a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit after inheriting a 200 billion dollar budget surplus.

I Believe......That we are in for a rockier real estate market once the buyer tax credit goes away this summer.

I Believe......That our Sunshine Kids benefit for local kids with cancer is going to be even better this year then what is was last year. This years event is on March 13 at the Mishawaka F.O.P.

I Believe......That the moves that my Detroit Tigers made this year will slightly help the team this year, but were really made to make the team competitive in 2011 when they have a possible 40-45 million extra dollars in payroll to play with due to bad contracts expiring after this year.

I Believe......That my Detroit Lions are still going to be a pretty bad team next year.

I Believe......That I need to find some time to go out to dinner with my friends, it has been too long since I have done that.

I Believe......That Ron White is one funny dude, and if you get a chance to see him in concert then you should.

I Believe......That I am sooooo ready for spring!

I Believe......That I am, surprisingly, REALLY looking forward to this Super Bowl. Did I mention GO SAINTS!!! yet?

I Believe......That I am going to be lazy the rest of today eating pizza, chips and salsa and drinking frozen cokes.....Have a great Sunday!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Tim Tebow Rant

Whether you are a sports fan or get into politics, one major theme that resounds over and over is a lack or role models for kids. So why do so many people dislike Tim Tebow, the QB from Florida, so much? Scratch that, why do so many Christians dislike Tim Tebow so much?

That's right Christian's, I am speaking right to you on this post.

He doesn't get into trouble. He gets good grades. He is a great college football player. And, he seems to be a very devoted Christian. The eye black that he wears during games has bible verses engraved into it. He is unquestionably a great leader. He claims to be abstaining from sex until he is married. He even goes on mission trips during his spring and winter breaks during school.

What is not to like about this guy? I REALLY want to know!

For the record, I am not a big college football fan. When I do cheer for a team it is for Michigan or whom ever is playing Notre Dame. So, I am not a Florida fan. If Michigan were playing Florida, I would be cheering for Michigan and hoping that Tebow would have an off day. But I would never wish him to be hurt.

Several weeks ago, Tebow got his bell rung pretty good during a game. I was disappointed by the number of people on Facebook etc.., that are Christians that stated how happy they were that this guy got hurt. I don't get that! They posted videos of it and made some pretty bad remarks. Hope that he under performs against your team, or that someone from your team picks him off and runs it back for a TD, but don't cheer for him to get hurt. That is just wrong.

Most of these people are fathers of young children. Wouldn't you want your kid to be like Tebow when they get older? Or would you rather have your kid grow up to be like one of the countless other players that score a TD and point to the sky only to get arrested later that night for smacking their babies mama or for taking an illegal handgun into a bar?

This guy seems to be walking the walk, and as Christians we should be standing by this guy and cheering him on and supporting him. Not condemning him for doing the things that we should all be doing.

And maybe that is what the problem is, too many of us are not doing the things we should be doing, while he is and that makes us jealous. If so, I think that is the wrong attitude to take. We should be inspired to be better, not take someone down that seems to be better. The rough part, I think, will be if he does slip up and falter some time down the road---something we all do. Many of these same people will be there saying "see, I told you so! What a fraud!".

I guess my question is "who is the real fraud?"

And now Tebow is taking flack for doing an anti-abortion commercial that is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl.

If you don't like it, then turn the channel! Let him and his mother speak. Stay strong Mr. Tebow, not everyone is against you.

FHA Relaxes Anti-Flipping Rule

This is something that has been rumored for a little while now. At some point, I anticipate the "90-day" rule to be reinstated.

Beginning Feb. 1, the Federal Housing Administration will provide mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller bought the property and held it for fewer than 90 days.

The agency is changing what is known as the “anti-flipping rule” to speed up sales of renovated homes in communities with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes, says FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens.

Waiving the 90-day rule will encourage private investors to buy vacant properties, fix them up, and quickly sell them to buyers who will be eligible to buy them using FHA financing.

Source: Washington Post (01/30/2010)
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