Posts Tagged ‘God’

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Is it raining frogs yet?

August 23, 2011

Record snow, heat, rain, tornadoes, now an earthquake in Washington D.C. I was willing to dismiss everything as normal variation until this. What’s God trying to tell us? And if he’s not, you can’t tell me that earthquakes are caused by “climate change.” (But I bet somebody will try.)

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He Is Risen!

April 24, 2011

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

And then, He went and proved it. But first, He used Lazarus, just for practice, or sort of a demonstration.

If you are one of those folks who just can’t believe, read Frank Tipler’s The Physics of Immortality. Practically no one in the world, except maybe Hawking, knows more about how the universe ticks than Frank Tipler. Now he explains the afterlife to unbelievers in a whole different way.

Or check out Paul Davies’ The Goldilocks Enigma if you want to see just how unlikely it is for our universe to be build for life to exist. Somebody had to do it. And that Somebody did something very special for us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.

Have a blessed Easter!

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Happy New Year musings

December 31, 2010

I’m writing this about an hour before midnight on New Year’s Eve. I know that the passing of one day and the start of the next means no more today than it does any other day, but humans are time-binding animals, and we seem more comfortable if we can divide things into manageable units.

Years are such units. Of course, the Earth’s orbit does that for us, but we could still just think of the passage of time as seasons or something else. Maybe just “many moons” would be enough.

But we believe in marking the passing of time by years. And in that marking, we have set this date as the changing of the years. So I go with it.

Why all this? Because I’ve heard for a long time platitudes like “I hope this year is better than last.” I never really thought of that as being a sentiment I would embrace until now. I’ve always looked to the future, and I’ve been mostly optimistic about what the future might hold for my family. We’ve had good years and bad years, but I have to say that 2010 was probably the most challenging I can remember. From the passing of my brother early in the year to my wife’s job difficulties, this has been one of those years I would not care to repeat.

There were wonderful things as well, of course. While the loss of my brother has struck all of us hard, I think it has brought our family closer than we have been in many years. Our granddaughters are a constant source of delight of me. They are truly blessings from God. I really think I understand the meaning of that phrase now.

My wife’s job difficulties, like mine that started four years ago, appear to actually be turning out for the better. It didn’t make it easier to go through, and we’re not out of the woods yet, but in the long term it looks like things will be better.

Family and faith in God will get you through almost anything, though. I really do believe that. I don’t think I want to test “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.” I’d rather not find out how much He thinks I can handle. At least, not this year.

And I wish a good year to all of you in 2011!

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Never forget.

September 10, 2010

May God comfort those who lost family and friends in the attacks. May He also help us to find the courage to stand up to our enemies and defend ourselves and our way of life. More and more that concerns me.

By the way, I don’t know who created the image. I found it on another blog without attribution. Thanks to whoever created it.

And Chris Muir puts this whole “tolerance of Islam in America” thing to rest in a three-panel comic. I guess it’s not all that difficult to understand after all, is it?

Please remember all those who have given their lives so that we may be free on Patriot Day. And may we all rededicate ourselves to the spirit of those original Patriots, those who created this country knowing it could mean pain, suffering, and even death for them and their families. Would we be willing to sacrifice as much for the cause of freedom?

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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2009

From the Gospel of St. Luke:

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Ref.: here

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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It’s All About God’s Love – Battlestar Galactica Finale

March 21, 2009

battlestar22806a WARNING: Post contains spoilers for those who have not seen the finale! Read at your own risk!

Who would have though Ron Moore was a religious guy? Even in a non-denominational, non-single religion way?

The finale brought us quality CGI battle scenes, lots of ammo spent, a couple of standoffs, murder and suicide, some tearful moments (for me, not just the characters), and, for the show, a pretty happy ending. It also left some questions about The Bigger Things: Head Six and Head Baltar are angels? Sort of, anyway. And what was Starbuck?

Moore sheds a little light on it in the interview you can read here. The last hour felt odd to me, because once again the planet had a definite visual feel to it. Old Caprica was pretty much shot normally, with no color alterations. New Caprica was shot to look very washed-out all the time. Real Earth (Earth #1?) was blue-gray; a visual cinder. New Earth’s colors were oversaturated, and I swear some of the clouds were CGI to make it look even more pristine than normal. Maybe that was all done to convince us that British Columbia looks like prehistoric Tanzania. I think it was definite decision to make it feel brighter, happier, and filled with promise.

Thanks, Ron, for not ending the series any darker. We needed to “play them out with music at the end,” as Heinlein would say. The fact that they would all soon be scratching out a menial existence was enough.

babylon5_01_1280x1024

I want to make sure we remember J. Michael Strazynski and Babylon 5 at this moment. Without B5 and its groundbreaking use of story arc we could never have had BSG. (By the way, the original B5 Lurker’s Guide is still up, thank the Great Maker.) I know, other shows have done story arcs, but four years?  Lost, maybe. It’s still a tough sell to a network, I’m sure. But B5 was where TV science fiction grew up, and storytelling because more than the monster-of-the-week.

Ron Moore tried to make BSG relevant to the questions of our day, as did Gene Roddenberry in his original vision of Star Trek. In large part, he succeeded. He knew that the majority of his audience was going to be held by the character development. He apparently had no concerns that the audience would be unable to suspend their disbelief about the underpinnings of the show, such as  what makes a Cylon a Cylon. As far as we could see, they were human. One, because of God’s Love, was even able to have a child with a human. Where’s the machinery?  Moore always tried to avoid the nerdiness factor that could have doomed the show…but I guess I’m that nerd, because I’d like a little more reason to believe Cylons were at least partly non-human. Maybe “The Plan,” the prequel movie Edward James Olmos directed and which will air next fall, will tell us. But I doubt it. I would expect it was written more to bridge to the prequel series, “Caprica.” Maybe we will learn more there.

Title - Battlestar GalacticaAnd what ever happened to the Centurions? Are they still out there? Did they build a machine civilization? Are they V’ger? Are they the Borg? I hope not. I expect something better of our favorite toasters!

EDIT, supplemental:

Here is a link to Maureen Ryan’s interview with Ron Moore and her thoughts on the finale from the Chicago Tribune: link

She caused me to remember a couple of other points:

First, JMS was (and is, I supposed) an avowed atheist. In fact, he used to work for Madelyne Murray O’Hair’s atheist magazine. His picture of the universe included “Old Ones,” beings who apparently moved to the End of the Universe after they tired of reality and playing the game. He also made the mysterious alien Kosh as the kind of being humans had interpreted as angels, and the Shadows as demons, or at least as the creatures who kindled such mythology. He resurrected his main character without telling much about how. He was willing to say there were things We Could Not Yet Understand, but he didn’t make them completely unknowable…just that we weren’t there yet. It was a sort of an explanation of the bases of man’s religions that traded some scientific Mysteries for spiritual ones. Was that really a trade? JMS left that open-ended. There were many religious references and discussions within the show. To JMS’ credit, he always treated them with great respect. I always thought of him as more of an agnostic…the show seemed on one level to be JMS trying to work out what was to him a reasonable belief system.

6a00d834518cc969e201156e31a4bf970c-800wiRon Moore, as you can see from the two interviews referenced above, was not that subtle. Some Things We Cannot Know, and may never know…at least on this side of reality. (Anders to the departing Kara Thrace: “See you on the other side.”) I never made a connection of a sort of Holy Trinity about the show, but in a way it was very true. Kara was very much a Holy Spirit at the end. I think Moore’s characters are in some way more aware of their importance to the human race, because there is so little of it left, and very unaware of their lasting influence. They are just trying to survive and do the right thing, with little time for reflecting on the big picture…unless they end the reflection pretty much roaring drunk.

The main characters JMS established in B5 were aware of their importance – world leader, emissary, religious icon, leader of all sapient creatures (!). They often acted accordingly. And yet the show was about the characters, just as BSG was. G’Kar was my favorite on B5, and I just realized there are parallels with my favorite BSG character…Starbuck. Hmm. Maybe these two series aren’t as different as I first thought…