Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Friday, July 22, 2005

Venting Session #1

I hate Odessa. We are going to get a Hooters restaurant soon. As if there weren't enough ogling going on in this crummy, chauvinistic, two-bit little town.

When will people around here get their heads out of their butts? There is WAY more to life than just football and sex. You are not better than everybody else, you do not have to make fun of everything that moves (and some things that don't), and just because you have a college degree and the people around you don't doesn't mean that those around you are inferior to you. Doesn't having a college degree entitle you to a bit of an open mind?

Oh, wait -- that's right. You got your degree in Odessa.

As the psalmist would say, HOW LONG, O LORD?????

This Venting Session was made possible by PMS and by a grant from The Corporation for Public Snoozing. If you pledge now at the $50 level, you will receive an autographed mug and paperweight (ideal for tossing across a room).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Controversial Movies, etc.

All this talk about Willy Wonka has gotten me thinking. Especially from a Christian perspective, there are some forms of entertainment (with movies being one of the easiest to participate in) that certainly might be considered as "forbidden fruit."

But from an artist's perspective, a lot of the clean stuff can often be considered very boring and just plain NOT living up to any real artistic standard. A lot of Billy Graham movies, for instance -- although more recently I think they have definitely improved. It sort of makes me think that they wrote a tract and just padded it until they had a movie script (I think "Tribulation" fits this category).

In my opinion, Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is an excellent example of a movie set solidly in the Bible, with an overt Christian message -- yet with solid artistic merit.

I am blown away with "The Passion" each time I see it. But I've noticed that other people aren't affected as profoundly. So I wonder... does my fascination with its artistic merit just blow its Christian message out of proportion? or am I enamored with its message and in turn blow its artistic component out of proportion?

To me, a complete flipside of "The Passion" would be Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." I personally dislike this movie VERY strongly. I feel that most of it is blasphemous and just plain dumb. (Except for some of the melodies, which bear Webber's signature genius.) Yet, I've talked to some people who are deeply ministered by this musical. To them, it demonstrates the humanity of Jesus. (To me, it demonstrates the ickiness of the free display of chest hair in the 1970s.)

Hey, if God uses a movie to draw people closer to Him, that's awesome. May He continue to move however He pleases! For example, Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" movie ministers to me (at least in the first 30 minutes or so) because in a way, the Phantom is like a combo father-lover figure to Christine. Sort of like God the Father and Jesus, drawing His beloved into the secret place. (Except for the Phantom's obsessive, serial-killing thing, that is.)

I'm sort of just throwing out ideas here, but I'm wondering if part of it has to do with walking in the fruits of the Spirit. Among the fruits of the flesh, Galatians lists sexual immorality, idolatry and witchcraft, drunkenness, orgies, etc. To me, that's your basic listing of what the world around you does (or at least wants to do) for fun, is it not? :) The fruits of the Spirit, on the other hand, are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I'm thinking that Galatians lists very specifically (in the flesh-fruits listing) what NOT to do. Yet it seems to leave a lot of breathing room (in the Spirit-fruits listing) in what IS allowed.

Not that I consider Willy Wonka's movies to be "forbidden fruit" (at least, not for me personally). I think Wonka can be compared to a generous Father who wants to share everything He has with His chosen. But I'm sure there are some who disagree. And I might be stretching it. What do you think?

Please feel free to expand the discussion to include other forms of entertainment (TV, music, etc.). Have fun!!

Monday, July 18, 2005


Has anybody seen the new 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' flick yet? I'm a huge fan of the 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' 1971 movie with Gene Wilder. I read a review of the recent movie with Johnny Depp and heard that it's supposed to be even better than the 1971 version. (This new 2005 flick is a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman collaboration.) From the review that I read, Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka is brilliant, but a bit creepy at times. (The reviewer likened Depp's Wonka to Michael Jackson-- soft, surrounded by kids, and chalky-faced.)

From what I understand, the new version is supposed to be pretty close to Roald Dahl's book ('Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'). When I read the book as a kid, I did think it was weirder than the (1971) movie. But I don't remember anything that reminded me of Michael Jackson, thank heavens. (But that was in the late '80s when I read the book -- probably a few plastic surgeries ago?)

I do look forward to flocking to see the new flick one of these days. :D Pocketbookwise, maybe at the dollar theater.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Mental Notes to Self...

1.) Don't jump into the ocean two hours after shaving legs.

2.) Don't try to manually adjust car seat while braking for a red light (that darn Newton and his darn Laws of Motion!).

Just Plain Wrong!

Occasionally I get spam at my homail address. Thanks to the junk mail filter it never makes it to my inbox. As I was browsing through my junk mail just now I came across an email inviting me to meet Christian singles. I usually get an email like that every other week but pay no attention to it since I'm not all that interested in meeting Christian singles right now. But this time I thought, 'What the heck! Why not open it and see what they have to say." I guess I shouldn't be surprised at what I saw.
It was a black background and right smack in the middle of the email a woman's back was softly illuminated. She was pulling off her lacy black bra and, though the picture cuts off at the bottom for the text, it was obvious that she had already pulled off her lacy black panties. In white script to the right of the woman was "Sexy Christians Meet."
That is just plain WRONG on so many levels!!!!!!!!
Or at least, that's my opinion...

Saturday, July 16, 2005


I just got an email from one of those find-your-old classmates websites that I'm a member of (for free). It said my old junior high (in Duncanville, Texas) has a website for its 15-year reunion. But for me to find out more information, I'll have to become a paying member.

So I thought I'd see how far I could get without having to splurge. :"> Anyone out there know of the 15-year reunion for the W. H. Byrd Middle School Class of 1990??

Thanks in advance. :D

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rambling tumbleweed

I'm not sure what the deal is about this time of the year. Is this when everyone in the free world takes their vacation? Just about everybody at work is gone. Most of the usual mass-emailers have left my inbox vacant. I would take advantage of the time to catch up on all my email that's accumulated in the past few months, but I'm too tired from overworking myself to compensate for all the people being on vacation at the office... :)

Sigh. I've noticed that just about any time I start a new job, I usually end up feeling overworked in the summertime. Maybe it's the heat?

Or maybe I should take some time off in the fall, and then everyone at work will have to overwork THEMselves while I'M enjoying some much-needed R & R. :D

Perhaps one of these days I should jump on the bandwagon and start taking vacations during the summertime, like normal people do. Like I used to do with my family when I was a kid -- when suddenly you forgot about the world around you from June through August. Then August comes around and suddenly there are actually people around, with real schedules and new sunburns and stories to tell.

In my mind I keep fast-forwarding to December (Christmas!), skipping over July through September entirely. Perhaps I ought to just be content with the day that's in front of me, eh? ;)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Prayerful Thoughts

My heart goes out to those in London, and the UK, who have been victims of this heinous act. I cannot even imagine what they are going through.

Yet, as tragic as the loss of 37 lives is, it also seems a miracle that not more were killed. This time last year I was riding the London Underground; I know how crowded the tube gets during rush hour. People squeeze into the smallest crevice of each carraige. MILLIONS rely on public transportation everyday.

One news station I was watching earlier today interviewed a man who gave his account of the tragedy. The comment that stuck out the most was, "People were praying; they were praying to God . . ."

I pray that those people know that He heard their prayers. And I pray that this tragedy draws people to Him. Christianity is rapidly declining in the UK and Western Europe, even though this new generation of post-modernists are becoming more spiritual (Many are turning to Islam to fill that spiritual void). But I pray that as people are faced with tragedy today that they will find comfort and strength in Christ's loving arms. May the peace of God be upon them, and may they know that they are not alone!

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Earlier today (Saturday) I attended a wedding in which the bride and groom were finally making their relationship legitimate. They had been living together for the past year and a half or so. To me, their exchanging of vows and making it all official was a tremendous relief.

(Although I must say that getting married after living together does seem a bit redundant.)

I got a bit of comic relief as well. My mom was sitting next to me and said that the bride had her veil on backwards. I wondered why you could see her hair but not her face... I'm not sure if this was intentional.

But I did think it was interesting. Here we had the bride who was getting married, after living with the groom, and now I believe one of her next goals is to get her high school diploma.

Perhaps the backwards veil was symbolic?
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