Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What Do You FEAR!?!

I would appreciate as many comments on this one as possible. You might even want to post the question on your blogs and get me some additional thoughts on the subject.

The list of possible fears is long and varied, everything from public speaking to spiders and such. However, for the purpose of this survey, I'm looking for the big picture. I will list 10 that I can think of that should set the tone. If these are big for you, let me know. If there are other similar things that are bigger for you, add them.
  1. The US devolving into a dictatorship
  2. The rapture and God's judgment on earth
  3. Hell
  4. Global Warming
  5. Islamic extremism creating global conflict
  6. Nuclear holocaust
  7. Depletion of critical natural resources
  8. The US devolving into a socialist government
  9. Overpopulation
  10. Underpopulation
  11. Too few culturally "Western Civilization" in the population
  12. Pollution
  13. Nuclear power plant catastrophe - or nuclear waste catastrophe
  14. Aliens (from outer space)
  15. Avian flu or similar disease
  16. Scientific advance out of control (e.g. genetic engineering, nanobots, robots with AI)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Can You Define Hyperbole? Try This!

If you have kids, take them to the beach. They should enjoy it while it lasts, because there is a chance that within their lifetimes California's beaches will vanish under the waves.
Believe it or not, this is the opening paragraph on the lead (actually the only) editorial in today's LA Times. It comes shortly after this subhead:

A carbon tax is the best, cheapest and most efficient way to combat cataclysmic climate change.
Cataclysmic! Here is a word that might be overused by journalists, but generally we think of cataclysmic for such things as tsunamis or 50,000 killed in an earthquake. Just like any good liberal organization, the LA Times is putting up a boogie man that can only be defeated by government intervention, and especially the use of a new tax.

Nowhere in the article does it suggest that government is the largest single user of all resources, and that if the government merely started using more efficient light bulbs, driving more efficient vehicles, and made more efficient use of every facility it owns or rents, we would go a long way toward solving problems related to energy use and pollution.

You are only seeing the beginning of the baloney that will be coming your way on this climate change issue. Read the editorial for yourself. You will only see the potential negative effects of increases in temperature. Don't be fooled by the fearmongering in this kind of propaganda. Do your own research. Many of the links to other points of view are contained in this blog. Look on the home page, look back in the archives. The Iraq war will not be the issue in 2008. Global warming will be the dominant issue in the 2008 political campaigns.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

DECEPTION by Randy Alcorn - Book Review

Christian Fiction may be one of the fastest growning categories in book publishing today, but that doesn't necessarily mean there are limitless excellent authors. In fact, subject to taste, there are really only a couple of handfuls of same who would be successful in the wider publishing field. Then, these ten or so writers can only produce so many books. In fact, almost all of them write as an adjunct to their ministry or other careers, limiting their potential production. As a result, those of us who prefer to read Christian writers wait breathlessly for our favorites to produce their next great effort. My favorite, Randy Alcorn, has just delivered a review copy of DECEPTION to my doorstep, and I'm happy to report 75 hours later that it is a total triumph.

The complete story is here.

You see, I am really over-the-top when it comes to promoting the works of 4 of my favorite authors. I haven't yet done fan pages on all of them, but for Randy Alcorn, Dr. Dobson, Ted Dekker, and Tim LaHaye, I am in the process of attempting to review all of their works and begin to pull in biographical and other information on them all. I have some of their favorite reading lists, and am hoping to do interviews. So visit one or all as you like by clicking on their names above.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Summer Movies - A Prediction

Just saw my 2nd Summer blockbuster, "Shrek The Third." Easily as good as the original, it is not surprising that records fell. 11 year-old son, Robert, saw Pirates on Thursday night. At 2 hours and 40 minutes, he said he noticed it was long. On the other hand, he couldn't stop talking about it. I just checked box office Mojo, and first estimates are that Pirates will not beat the record for a Friday, but that might have a lot to do with not being able to show it as often as you can a 2 hour movie. At an estimate $43 million domestic, no one will be complaining over at Disney.

I am going to go way out on a limb and make a prediction. This Summer season of movies will completely demolish all the records here-to-fore. The biggest problem for the movie makers will not be audience, it will be screens. Pity the B and C movies. They will be moving to airplanes and DVD's faster than ever as the huge hits monopolize the venues. Some also-rans might even be wise to pull out of this Summer's release plan, and take their chances with the Fall.

This proves, as was mentioned here on previous occasions, the movie business isn't dead. If they put out product that it fun, uplifting, exciting, or edgy, folks will flock to see it. The pundits who predicted two years ago that the end of "going to the movies" was at hand, must have been some of the same prognosticators who are now predicting catastrophic horrors due to global warming - just a failure to consider all of the facts.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Science Doesn't Know

Wired Magazine just changed its format. New fonts and colors are supposed to make the mag so much better. Maybe these things matter to some readers. I just want great content. Wired delivered in a major way (again) in the February '07 issue. There are numerous excellent articles, but one is a major standout: "What We Don't Know: 42 of the Biggest Questions in Science."

One might correctly surmise that I liked this article because it admits to the limitations of science. Not only does it do so in the general sense of the title, but in very useful details in reviewing the 42 questions. In addition, the contributors to this article raised some fascinating issues which give support to some of my favorite opinions about various scientific issues. I encourage you, dear reader, to click over to the entire article and read it for yourself. I will be highlighting a few of my favorite passages over the next few days.

Best of all was this on GLOBAL WARMING:

Will forests slow global warming - or speed it up?


We don’t know which way it will go, because we know so little about forests themselves. Scientists estimate that up to 50 percent of all species live in forest canopies - three-dimensional labyrinths largely invisible from the ground - but virtually no one can tell you what lives in any given cubic meter of canopy, at any height, anywhere in the world. We don’t even have names for the most common species of trees in the Amazon.

We know that trees suck up CO2. We know that decaying trees give off CO2. We also know that trees tend to absorb light energy, rather than reflect it. Termites, which eat trees, are a major source of methane gas, another greenhouse gas.

However, the take away line from this story is "we know so little about forests..."
Add to this line a few of the other things we don't know that have been discussed in this blog alone:
  1. We also know very little about clouds and how they will effect future global warming.
  2. We also know very little about the self-healing aspect of our three atmospheres.
  3. We also know almost nothing about how the earths millions of species of plants and animals will react to warmer climates. Ocean surface algae alone could so increase in population that CO2 would be dramatically reduced by this algae consuming it

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spidey III - Forgiveness

Make sure that your children and your unsaved friends see Spider-man 3. I took three very solid Christian young men to see it yesterday, and the critical messages of the film were subtle enough that they didn't get it until I pointed it out. But it was indeed a sermon.

The basic storyline from the beginning has been that we humans, with or without super powers, are a complex bag of good and evil. We are faced with choices all the time where we are forced to choose the expedient or the right thing to do. We commonly choose the expedient.

At another level the writers clearly want us to know that there is a kind of evil which exists outside of nature and our own human nature which can influence our decisions in a major way. As with most movies in this genre, one of the ways the evil is used to create inappropriate behavior is to incite us to revenge. And not just any revenge, but taking God's judgment into our own hands.

As this part of the storyline plays out, we see character after character asking for or giving forgiveness, and we see that in so giving or granting, there is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. At one point, Peter (Spider-man) is even encouraged to forgive himself.

Even the love story has a serious Christian message with regard to the relationship with husband and wife. Peter's Grandmother tells him that he should only marry when he is confident that he can put his wife's needs ahead of his own. This subtheme is not some hidden subplot, but a repeated admonition that would be impossible to miss.

Oh! How was the movie? The action? The story? Best of the three in my opinion. Two of the three of my young charges agreed. Personally, I "liked" the bad guys better.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

On Being Overwhelmed, Passion or the Lack of It, and Their Connection

Warning: If the following seems ill-conceived or rambling, take it for what it is worth. Blogs are allowed to be journals with unintelligible musings thrown in from time-to-time.

As this blog is called to tell the Truth, and truth generally must be fired by passion, I have not been blogging much this past month or so. What has been different in these past few weeks is the amount and type of work I have been doing. Our company has been struggling at a number of different levels, and this has dramatically increased the amount of work I do while at work. The intensity is much higher. And, for the first time in my career, I tend to bring the "work" home. No, I don't bring my briefcase or my computer home with me. In fact, I rarely even look at my office e-mail from home, make phone calls, or even do research after hours. It's worse. I think and ponder and contemplate and mmmm worry and plot and plan and ............

This kind of intensity seems to block out everything else. I have read 4 novels in the past 4 weeks, still hold a Bible study on Tuesday night, have attended countless little league games and other such for the kids during this time, but in order to write about the stuff I do, you have to have passion about the things you are writing about. And at least it would appear that passion is hard to sustain when you are worn out, worried, anxious, plotting, etc. I just wondered if a lot of what Paul was saying in the New Testament had to do with this very thing. How can we be passionate about following Christ and doing His will if we are burned out by the everyday things of life?