"It’s [diabetes] a part of my makeup, part of who I am. It built a lot of character, for who I am now. That comes out in the way I write. There are some inspiring songs on my new record –- a song called FREE for one, about how nothing’s impossible. You can achieve the unexplainable."--singer Elliot Yamin, in an interview at Diabetes Mine
...and responding with grace to "The Golden Compass"
Today is World Diabetes Day...something that might have passed by fairly un-noticed by me in the past, but is now of vital interest to me. As I've mentioned on this blog, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in September. And as I've found since my diagnosis, I'm far from alone.
According to the World Diabetes Day website, diabetes currently affects 246 million people globally, including nearly 21 million children and adults in the United States.
Diabetes and its complications can be deadly, but you don't have to become a statistic. If diabetes runs in your family, you can start down the road to prevention NOW. Books like the one I reviewed here can be a huge help in explaining how to live and eat in order to prevent diabetes or to stabilize your blood sugar if you are diabetic.
Diabetes is NOT a death sentence! I feel better than ever since I've made regular exercise and healthy eating part of my life. In fact, I actually enjoy my food more than ever!
Here are some other great websites and blogs that will tell you more about preventing and/or living with diabetes:
--dLife--tons of resources and recipes!
--Diabetes Mine--a blog with a wealth of info written by Amy Tenderich, who has Type 1 diabetes. Currently she's featuring an interview with American Idol finalist Elliot Yamin, who is diabetic.
--Side by Side--The blog of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Responding with grace to a controversial movie
You've probably been hearing a lot about the upcoming fantasy movie, "The Golden Compass." The movie is causing some concern because it's based on a series of novels written by an avowed--some would even say "militant" atheist, Philip Pullman.
Yesterday, I interviewed Jeffrey Overstreet, author of the fantasy novel Auralia's Colors. Overstreet is also a movie reviewer and avid film buff.
I was able to ask Overstreet his views on "The Golden Compass." I had planned to share sound clips from our conversation, but I ran into some technical problems with that. However, Overstreet does talk about "The Golden Compass," Pullman, and the rest of the novels in the "His Dark Materials" series on his blog.
Here are some of Overstreet's insights on the books:
The book, The Golden Compass, showed up on my radar screen back in 1995. My wife and I both are big fans of fairy tales and fantasy stories. We both grew up with The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, and the books of Madeleine L’Engle. And when I started reading The Golden Compass, I thought to myself, ‘This is the most imaginative, enthralling fantasy novel I have read since The Lord of the Rings.’ For me, that’s saying a lot; I’ve read a lot of fantasy. I was so captivated by the characters, by the world that author Philip Pullman created.
“But then, as we went into the second and third book of the trilogy, something very strange started to happen. The characters and the situations started seeming more and more pointed to present us with an aggressive idea or with an aggressive argument about the way the world is. It was very discouraging for my wife and I as we read the third book, because these characters that we had come to know and love were suddenly turning into pawns in Pullman’s clever game to try and portray the Church as devoid of anything loving or good or gracious.
“In the third book in the series, The Amber Spyglass, where everything that began in The Golden Compass comes to fruition, you have characters turning to each other and saying things like ‘Christianity is a mistake, a powerful and seductive mistake, but a mistake all the same.’ [Note: Overstreet says this is not a direct quote from the book.--CS]And you start to realize that it is playing out exactly what its author, Philip Pullman, has said in interviews – that he wrote this book to strike at the idea of Christianity portrayed in C.S. Lewis’ work … He has openly said in interviews that if there is a God, and if he is as Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down, which is exactly what the characters in the series that The Golden Compass end up doing.
“[Pullman’s] characters, as they make their way through the world, end up waging a second war in heaven. And Pullman portrays them killing God, who turns out to be just a supernatural imposter who’s feeble and cruel and senile. He [Pullman] has determined to draw young readers into this world, and try and show them a world in which … Christianity … is a tyrannical institution, and God is a tyrant. And all the church, which he calls the Magisterium, wants to do is control them. And as a result, God is overthrown in the end, and you have a restaging of the Garden of Eden at the climax where eating the apple as an act of defiance against God, is the triumphant conclusion.”
Respond with grace
While Overstreet has real concerns about "The Golden Compass," he cautions Christians to respond to the movie with love and grace. He points out that when Christians go on the attack, they run the risk of turning into the very stereotype as which they're often viewed:
“… whenever Christians are linked with movies in the media, you can expect it has something to do with protesting. And it’s already begun. There is such a loud, aggressive protest against 'The Golden Compass' happening, that Christians are playing right into the hands of the ugly stereotype that the world has of us; which is that we only wake up and get busy when we’re angry about something."
He has a point there.
My own opinion is that I will avoid "The Golden Compass," no matter how innocent it seems, because I won't knowingly support the work of someone who hates God and has an obvious agenda against Him.
But I hope any interaction I have about the movie will be seasoned with Christlike grace.