Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Blanco has done it again. He had a magnificent game earlier this week playing for the MLS all star team against West Ham United of the English Premier league.
In addition to this goal, he provided an incredible no-look back heel pass to Christian Gomez for the MLS all stars first goal.
The 35 year old Blanco rightly received the game MVP trophy.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The build up to this latest Batman film was unparalleled due to the untimely death of Heath Ledger who played one of the main characters. But even without the passing of Ledger, this film promised to be good if it stayed in line with the first Batman movie (Batman Begins, 2005) of the Christopher Nolan variety.
The movie did not disappoint and Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker may well be one of the greatest villain performances in film history. Classic villains of films gone by have nothing on Heath Ledger's Joker. Margaret Hamilton (Witch in Wizard of Oz), Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs), James Earl Jones voice (Darth Vader in Star Wars saga), John Malkovich (Mitch Leary/In the Line of Fire), Dennis Hopper (Howard Payne in Speed), Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in Psycho), Linda Blair (Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist), and the Shark (Jaws) are among the greatest villain portrayals. I believe Heath Ledger's Joker will be quickly added to this list.
Dark Knight is not for children or most teens. If a teenager is permitted to view it, I would suggest it be done with parents who have already viewed the movie and can preface before and debrief after. It's dark and violent, however not gratuitously so. It carries clear philosophical messages, most of which are explicitly post modern (conflicting presentation of the innate "goodness" of man, the situational ethic of vigilante justice, everyone has their unique standards, no one standard can be deemed absolutely right-it all depends on the particular situation, an extremely fine line between sanity and insanity, the seeming primacy of chance, what is a true "hero"? etc). Nevertheless, the movie is a cultural landmark that can evoke much good discussion for Christians. It will be the talk for some time to come, being conversant regarding such a phenomena can be a helpful witnessing tool for believers. I'm not in the practice of recommending films, so don't go run out and see it on my account. I'm just telling you what I think. It's always safest to wait for the DVD which allows for turning it off or fast forwarding. For what it's worth, I think the rash of postmodern-type films we are now witnessing presents a tremendous opportunity for the truth of Scripture to be applied to flawed and fallen thinking.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
This practice began when a new member of our church donated a print of a modern rendering of John Calvin. I began having other prints framed, the famous picture of the Westminster Assembly was the second to be placed, right near the coffee table. Most recently I put up three portraits over the drinking fountains- Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Knox.
I find the placement of Luther and Zwingli side by side a bit of an irony. I am sure they are enjoying great fellowship in Glory, however while on earth they had a bitter dispute. Schaff puts it this way:
"A dispute between Zwingli and Luther (and his German contemporaries) curtailed any attempt at unifying the parties. The parties managed to agree on 15 points of essential reform doctrine. There was only one point of dispute between the camps. The dispute revolved around the understanding of the Lord’s Supper. The Swiss did not agree with Luther’s doctrine of consubstantiation; they viewed the act of honoring the Lord’s Supper as a more symbolic act, not a literal changing of the substance of the elements. Some sources say that Luther harshly disagreed with the Swiss and called a halt to further fellowship, amid Zwingli’s great disappointment and attempt to unify the two camps in spite of this one doctrinal difference."
Of course, neither were exactly right on the matter they debated, see Calvin for that! Here we are some 500 years later and Luther and Zwingli grace "Reformation Hall" of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Together at last!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I've never really participated in boycott's like the one proposed by the American Family Association targetting McDonald's. They are clear about the reason for the proposed boycott-
What the boycott of McDonald's IS NOT about
-This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals.
- It is not about homosexuals eating at McDonald's.
- It is not about how homosexual employees are treated.
What the boycott of McDonald's IS about
It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars. McDonald's has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage.
I rarely eat at McDonald's, but my kids love Chicken McNugget's and we'll pick up a bunch from time to time. I can almost throw a rock and hit a McDonald's restaurant close to my house. We see the golden arches regularly. Health reasons aside, should I boycott? Do such boycott's really work? What about boycotting all the other major corporations who promote a homosexual agenda? Where does it end?
I'm curious about the opinions of Reepicheep's astute and highly intelligent readership concerning this proposed boycott -Rick, you're only allowed a one paragraph response :) .
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
After a very successful 2007 campaign, 38 year-old, long time Green Bay QB Brett Favre announced his retirement from football on March 3. Favre is considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history based on his most career NFL touchdown passes (442), most career NFL passing yards (61,655), most career pass completions (5,377), most career pass attempts (8,758), most career NFL interceptions thrown (288), most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks (253; 275 total starts including playoffs), most career victories as a starting quarterback (160) and his 1997 Superbowl victory. Personally, I would rank him the third greatest, behind Joe Montana and John Elway. Favre's 2007 season showed he can still play at a very high level. I was somewhat surprised he retired, but his reference to being burned out and the team's need to make some decisions with this year's draft made his retirement understandable, so on March 3 through tears, he seemed to make his retirement official.
Fast forward to this week, July of 2008. Now Brett wants to play again. He doesn't want to retire after all. It turns out he has been working out with a local High School team, he's in shape, throwing 50 yard passes on a rope and ready to go. Here's the problem- the coach of his long time team has informed him they have "moved on". Very simply, Green Bay accepted his retirement statement back in March and made draft choices in light of it, not to mention naming Aaron Rodgers as the new QB. Apparently Brett coming back would make things messy and awkward. Green Bay management really wishes Brett would just stay retired. Sensing his former team's lack of openness to his return, Favre has said there are basically a couple options- trade him or release him outright. There is an other option however, Green Bay could refuse to trade or release him and force him to be the back up QB, something they know his pride will not let him do. Basically Green Bay wants to lock him out. They don't want him to play for them, but they don't want him to play for another team either. Talk about the stuff of drama!
So what is the right thing? First, Brett Favre has every right to come back and play if he wants. He's totally free to do so. No one has the right to tell him he's too old or that he can't play in the NFL any more. At 38, a lesser Favre is still better than over half the existing starting QB's in the league, without a doubt. He has 1 or 2 good seasons left in him, provided he gets adequate protection. Second, Brett Favre is under contract with Green Bay should he decide to come back, therefore asking for an outright release is a bit presumptuous of him.
So, in light of these things, Green Bay should trade him. It's the right thing to do. The only other option is for Brett to swallow his pride and come back as the back up. Wouldn't that be great? Hall of Famer Brett Favre on the bench backing up Aaron Rodgers! Talk about adding to a tense drama! Rodgers isn't a better QB than Favre, nor will he ever be. The fans would mercilessly heckle the poor guy and the GB coaching staff in every situation where they think Favre would do better. Brett could just stand back on the sideline, collect his monster paycheck, and watch the drama unfold. It would be a very entertaining show in Green Bay.
As much as seeing Coach McCarthy squirm with Favre on the bench as a back up appeals to me, I am hoping the Packers simply trade him away. They shouldn't have to give him up via release, but they should let him play this season by way of a trade. It'll be fun to watch this drama unfold. By the way, the Buffalo Bills could sure use a more experienced QB.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I think Newt hits the nail on the head concerning a reasonable remedy for our current oil situation:
1. Tap our oil reserves immediately.
2. Drill here (in the U.S.). We have ALOT of oil in this country, plenty to get us well in to the future without the Middle East.
3. Develop alternative fuel sources in the mean time.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Hiking is my favorite activity while at Horn Creek. The camp sits below Horn Peak, last year I vowed to get in good enough shape to climb it. I knew the challenge would be largely physical, however on the psychological side- I'm pretty scared of heights. On Tuesday of this past week, Shari and I climbed to the top. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Horn Peak is in the Sangre De Christo mountain range. While not a famed "14er", it's a very good challenge to climb. Here are some pictures of our journey below. The first is during the ascent through the Aspen trees.