Monday, October 31, 2005

Abortion post

Just wanted to let you guys know that there is an excellent post on Abortion over at Sara's blog, No Greater Love so go over and read it and discuss it. :) Do you think life begins at conception or not? Is abortion a sin? And should abortion be made illegal? It really is great post so go take a look....

Peek into Narnia




The hype machine is getting cranked up for the upcoming movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, set to open Dec. 9. The dramatization of C.S. Lewis' classic tale, with its clear symbolism of the gospel, is being marketed to and through churches, in the same way as The Passion of the Christ.


WORLD caught one of the "Sneak Peeks" the promoters are staging for pastors and other Christian leaders across the country. (Go to Narniaresources.com for a schedule and ticket requests.) Though the producers of The Passion showed a rough cut of the whole movie, Disney and Walden Media are showing only clips of the Narnia movie. The event also included a walk-through of the plot, presentations from the production companies, suggestions from the evangelistic group Mission America for how churches could use this film, and a presentation from co-producer Douglas Gresham, Lewis' stepson.

Judging from the preview, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe looks very promising, both as a movie and as a Christian testimony.

First of all, will it be a good movie? The clips are stunning visually, showing magnificent snow-covered vistas, epic battles, and startlingly realistic talking animals. The set design, costumes, and cinematography are very satisfying. The special effects are from the same team that worked on the Lord of the Rings movies. The young actors playing Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund seem exceptionally well-cast, and their performances—at least in these clips—are outstanding.


Will the movie be faithful to Lewis' novel and to his Christian themes? The plot elements are all there, including Aslan dying in the place of the sinful child and rising from the dead for his redemption.


The film is a joint venture between Disney—with its expertise in animation and movie-making—and Walden Media, which billionaire Philip Anschutz bankrolled to make positive, Christian-friendly movies. The Walden representative said the company considered this project "a sacred trust." Mr. Gresham said his role as a producer was to be "to blame" if the film was not faithful, thus taking responsibility for preserving his stepfather's legacy.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the first in what may be a long-running franchise. Walden plans to film all seven of the novels. Mr. Gresham told WORLD that Prince Caspian will be next, if this first movie proves successful.


And there is every reason to think it will be. The book has sold 85 million copies, with legions of devoted fans, young and old. Fantasy and science-fiction fans are also eagerly awaiting this movie, just as they did the other pillar of contemporary fantasy, Lord of the Rings. The Passion of the Christ was rated R, but the Narnia movie will attract all ages, with families buying multiple tickets at a time.


Should churches allow themselves to become part of the marketing juggernaut of this movie? The promoters are offering churches posters, customizable fliers, even bulletin covers, as well as the chance to buy tickets in mass quantities. Churches should not allow themselves to be used commercially, though there is nothing wrong with companies trying to reach a Christian audience. And churches may well be able to use this cultural moment as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel.


That will take more than just going to the movies. Walden is offering a whole array of downloadable study guides, but, as we were told at the Sneak Peek, they are designed for public schools and so are not "faith-based." Churches will have to do their work of preaching, teaching, and evangelizing. But it can only help to have an imaginatively appealing presentation of the Fall, Christ's atonement, and the Christian life making its way through the popular culture.


-World Magazine



I am so excited about this movie! I read the series and everyone who hasn't should. The storyline is gripping and I hope the movie will have as much "magic" as the books had. :)

Case Against Lewis "Scooter" Libby



Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, one of the most trusted and powerful aides in the White House, was indicted several days ago on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in a case that goes to the heart of the Bush administration's reasons for invading Iraq.

Libby resigned within an hour.

He was charged in connection with statements he made to FBI agents and to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Wilson, also known by her unmarried name, Valerie Plame.

The five felony counts were handed up by a federal grand jury, as the panel's term expired. If convicted on all charges, Libby would face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

The charges against Libby allege that he lied to FBI agents who interviewed him on Oct. 14 and Nov. 26, 2003. He is also charged with committing perjury while testifying under oath before the grand jury on March 5 and March 24, 2004. The indictment alleges that he engaged in obstruction of justice by impeding the grand jury's investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of Plame's CIA affiliation to various reporters in the spring of 2003.

The indictment alleges that Libby lied about information he discussed about the CIA employment of Plame in conversations he had in June and July 2003 with three reporters — Tim Russert of NBC News, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, and Judith Miller of the New York Times.

Presenting a portrait of a senior White House aide aggressively seeking information about a critic who had the potential to undercut public support for the war in Iraq, the indictment alleges that Libby learned of Plame's status from an undersecretary of State and a senior CIA officer. It also charges that Libby gathered information about her in the wake of a New York Times column questioning the accuracy of the president's assertion that Iraq had tried to develop nuclear weapons.

In a brief comment, President Bush said he was saddened by the news, but praised Libby for his sacrifices and for working "tirelessly on behalf of the American people." He noted that Libby should be presumed innocent.

"I got a job to do and so do the people in the White House," Bush said, saying he would remain focused on key issues, including a Supreme Court appointment. He added that he would name his nominee "pretty soon."

- Sun Sentinel


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If you notice, Libby has NOT been charged with revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a cover agent. He is just charged with lying about it. This case is somewhat similiar with the Martha Stewart case were she was not tried for the crime just for lying about it. They don't even have enough proof that Libby leaked the name, because it had been leaked in a magazine several months earlier! It's not like Mr. Libby put Valerie Plame, her family, or this country in any danger either... The charges and the whole case, in my opinion, is stupid. But what do you guys think, do you think that
Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has any evidence against Mr. Libby and most of all do you think that Lewis Libby will be found guilty of any of these charges?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Agent Tim Online, Blog of the Year!!!!!



Congratulations to Agent Tim!!!! His blog, Agent Tim Online has been overwhelmingly voted Blog of the Year!!! Once again, congratulations on your truly great blog!


I'm sure we all ( whoever we voted for) think that Agent Tim Online is a deserving recipient of this award!

Tim, you'll have to give yourself the graphic you made... :)


Statistics:


1. Agent Tim Online : 31% ( 40 votes)

2. Spunky Jr. : 21% (27 votes)

3. Strangely Normal: 12% ( 16 votes)

4. Pete's Place: 10% ( 13 votes)

5. The Account: 9% ( 12 votes)

6. Polka Dotted Pickles: 8% ( 11 votes)

7. Jen's Musings : 4% ( 5 votes)

Boy Scout Blogger: 4% (5 votes)

9. Mission 3:6teen: 1% ( 1 vote)


These percentages are approximated and the votes I hope are correct, my apologies if they are off by one.



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Now I, MVB, want to thank everyone for participating in this event and voting. I especially want to thank those who have never been to my blog before and the parents and other relatives who took time out of their lives to come and vote. I know this election has been a success because of the 130 votes that were cast. Thankyou everybody!!

-Zachary

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vote Here!!


Please read the following before voting!



Ok, it's time to choose the Blog of the Year. Just comment on this thread, telling us your favorite blog and why you like it ...

Anyone who wants to, can vote, there are no restrictions....

You have from Friday, October 21st to Friday, October 28th to visit the candidates' blogs and make your decision. ( I made the voting time an entire week because I know many of us are busy with work and school and may only have time to visit this blog once during the week.)

Please, invite your friends and readers to come vote, that way the chances of a tie will diminish... :)

Here are the rules:

1. Don't vote for yourself!

2. Don't vote more than once.

3. Don't get mad at someone for not voting for your blog! :)

4. If you want, you can post your choice as "Anonymous."


At the end of the week, the winner will be announced and hold the title of Blog of the Year until this time in 2006.

Remember, this thread is only for voting!



Go VOTE!!!





And spread the word.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Candidates for Blog of the Year- updated

Well here is the well-anticipated list of nominees for the Blog of the Year award........ ( The final two nominees were currently added by David Ketter)





1. The Account


The Account (owned by David Ketter) is one of the cornerstones of the Christian "blogworld." The Account's content has provoked passionate debates on subjects ranging from the Iraq war to Lord of the Rings! You can find it linked to about everyone's favorite blog list, since it is an in-depth, common sense blog.




2. In Rejection of Mediocrity


Besides its cool name, this blog is truly unique. ( And in a good way) A resource for Creation Vs. Evolution updates and arguments as well as discussions on Islam, Supreme Court rulings, and other news-related topics. David S. MacMillan III ( owner of In Rejection of Mediocrity) also has provided many of our blogs ( including his own) with cool headers.




3. Spunky Jr.


Spunky Jr. has to be the most up-to-date blog in our "blogworld." It's very talented author ( Kristin), not only keeps her blog moving, but also keeps it very interesting and entertaining. Spunky Jr. is a great place to read devotionals, discuss God's Word, and have friendly conversations ( unlike some blogs I know :).



4. Polka Dotted Pickles


Daring to be different. One of the most frequently visited blogs, Polka Dotted Pickles is a creative, fun blog. Amongst all the deep, theological blogs it's nice to be able to go to Polka Dotted Pickles ( owned by Danika) and talk about your life, experiences, movies, books, music, and other cool stuff. A friend of mine told me: " It's an adventure going to her blog."



5. Boy Scout Blogger


The one word I can use to describe Boy Scout Blogger ( Travis ' blog) is.... Patriotism. Topics ranging from Boy Scout issues to the Supreme Court judges, Boy Scout Blogger is always a great blog to visit. Many controversial arguments have taken place there such as: gay rights and prayer in school. But then there are some not so serious discussions such as paintballing which are always fun to read. Boy Scout Blogger is a very complete and updated blog well worth a visit.



6. Pete's Place


Well, Pete and I don't always agree on everything, I do think he has a great blog. Very well written and well-studied arguments are always to be found on Pete's Place ( obviously owned by Pete). "What is Saving Faith?", "Harriet Miers: What exactly is Bush thinking?", and "The Greatest Gift" are just some of the great articles to be found on this site. As a side note, Pete's Place is also a very heavily trafficked blog, so you can always find people to debate with. :)



7. Agent Tim Online


Just wrapping up its 1st anniversary celebrations, Agent Tim Online ( once again obviously manned by Agent Tim), is one of the most popular blogs around. Because of its focus on the Gospel, Agent Tim Online draws in quite a crowd. It is also a smart, humorous, and high-tech blog, which is Christian teen favorite.



8. Mission 3:6teen


Another Christian teen favorite, Mission 3:6teen ( owned by Jake) is a fun, educational, Christian blog. Life, our purpose in it, how we can glorify God or just some deep meaningful discussions to be found on Mission 3:6teen. On this blog, some of our problems in life, our short- comings are discussed, as well as some stories about Jake's personal life ( like his band, The Second Coming :) This is definitely a great blog for Christians and other alike.


9. Jennifer's Musings


Jennifer's Musings ( run by patriot15 aka Jennifer) is a down to earth, real-American blog. Supporting our troops is one of Jennifer's main themes, along with family issues and"The one good reason....Why we declared WAR." All the discussions are on important, common-sense topics. I think this blog is one of the many under-appreciated blogs, and is really, well worth a visit.



10. Strangely Normal: NeoFascist?


This amazingly straightforward blog operated by "Neo" is an early pioneer in the teen Christian blogosphere. Neo has something to say on just about everything (and he's impeccably correct) and sparks discussion from both believers and nonbelievers alike. Even if those don't interest you, a look at his sidebar is worth the visit. ;)



11. Smart Homeschool

Smart Homeschool - authored by Virtue Magazine tech-guy Alex King - is part of the analytic core of the Christian blogworld. When he posts, the logic and sense displayed makes any reader think "Why didn't I think of that?" While he writes on many controversial issues, he also finds time to take note of some of the latest gadgets and internet developments.







Do not vote yet!!!

First, you guys review this list and tell me if you are ok with it. Then I will post a " Vote Here" thread later next week and we will vote. The days to vote will be October 21st to October 28th. Everyone has one vote and cannot vote for themselves. ( If you want you can vote as Anonymous when the time comes) I'll post more voting rules later....

So give me your opinions, did I leave anyone out? Or is this list satisfactory? ( You'll note I excluded some newer blogs, because they haven't been around all year.)


Remember, before you make up your mind on which blog you will vote for, please, visit each one so you can make a fair decision... :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blog of the Year



Well, this year is coming to a close, and I was thinking what a great year it has been. A great year personally and spiritually for me and my family, and a great year of blogging here in our circle of Christians, homeschoolers, friends, etc... So to honor such a great year, I am going to give away the title of Blog of the Year. In a couple of days, I will reveal the candidates, those who have done an extraordinary job of blogging, holding his or her reader's attention, and all around being fun and intellectual. Then during the course of the following week, you all will vote ( if you want). You can only vote once and never for yourself. Just post your choice for Blog of the Year on the candidate's thread and once the voting is done, I will tally the votes and reveal the winner. ( In case of a tie, well, I will decide.) The winner will hold the title of blog of the year, till this time next year.

You are all welcome to vote ( even you spammers :) and I really hope you do. If you have any questions just ask, I am currently putting together the list of candidates.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

-By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent


" The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”

As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”

In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.

They say people today are searching for what is worthwhile, what has real value, what can be trusted and what is really true.

The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”

A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word. The Breakout Trust raised £200,000 to make the 30-minute animated film, It’s a Boy. Steve Legg, head of the charity, said: “There are over 12 million children in the UK and only 756,000 of them go to church regularly.

That leaves a staggering number who are probably not receiving basic Christian teaching.”

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Catholics believe UNTRUE

Genesis ii, 21-22

'So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.'

Genesis iii, 16

'God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”


Matthew xxvii, 25

'The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”


Revelation xix,20

'And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”


Catholics believe TRUE:

Exodus iii, 14:

'God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”


Leviticus xxvi,12:

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”


Exodus xx,1-17:

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7:

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29:

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i:

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28:

Proof of bodily resurrection"