Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Coretta Scott King passes away

Martin Luther King Junior's widow died this morning at the age of 78. She always seemed to maintain a quiet dignity that I found admirable.

La Shawn Barber blogs today: "Regardless of his legacy and politics, Coretta seemed to be the ultimate long-suffering widow and mother, raising four children alone after her husband was slain by James Earl Ray or whoever conspiracy theorists think did it. I’m sure she’s had to deal with hucksters of all sorts through the years: people trying to attach themselves to her, using her and King’s name for their own gain."

More on Coretta Scott King here.

A sweet story...

Ithaca College junior Mike Potter has won the school's first CellFlix Festival. The 30 second movies had to be shot entirely on a cell phone cam.

Potter's mini-movie is about a game his grandparents play while reading the Sunday paper. If this doesn't put a smile on your face, nothing will.

See it here.

It's so nice to know that there is still love that is sweet, precious and innocent.

By the way, who knew that we would ever be able to make movies with our PHONES?!?

Speaking of cell phones...

1) I wonder how many old suspense movies would have been different if people had had cell phones? Remember when the bad guy would cut the phone lines, making it impossible to call for help? Stuff like that...

Of course, current movies get around that by having the cell phone die or lose service. Which would be just my luck, and quite plausible.

2) Do you think cell phones will ever be made, in the future, with batteries that don't have to be charged so often?

3) Are people using better cell phone etiquette, or am I just getting used to rude cell phone users?

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday stuff

Hey, it's Monday! No real reason for the Russell Crowe pic other than to capture your attention. Although, I must say Cinderella Man was a great movie, and I'm glad to see it getting some award love (co-star Paul Giamatti winning a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role). Although, don't even get me started on the awards shows. Suffice it to say I will not be watching the Academy Awards this year.

Other stuff:

Have you ever checked out Purgatorio? It's a very funny blog that is mostly made up of pictures. This post and this one (which you'll only "get" if you're familiar with Alistair Begg) especially made me chuckle recently.

Somehow this question was left off the the "Four things" meme I answered recently, so I hereby answer it now:

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have:

It's a Wonderful Life
Gone with the Wind

(There are actually several more I could add to that list. How about you?)

Women be bloggin'...

Mei Flower's blog is charming, humorous and appealing; Heart of the Matter is warm, wise and pleasantly conversational; As I See It Now is spiritual, gentle and insightful. Check them out when you get a chance!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Conversations with my father

My dad and me, late 1950's

I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. He passed away in July 2004, and sometimes it seems I miss him more instead of less as time goes by.

Before a condition called hepatic encephalopathy clouded his brain, I used to love having conversations with my dad. I wrote this on my blog in May of 2004, before his death that July:

"As a teen, I often disagreed with my father, but he never belittled me or made me feel like I couldn't express my viewpoints respectfully. It's interesting how, down through the years, I've swung around to his way of thinking on so many things!

"Since my folks have lived in the Austin area, every time I visited Texas, my dad and I would take long walks together. These were supposed to be fitness walks, as he and I both were always trying to lose some weight and become more fit. But even as they helped me physically, they turned into wonderful occasions for long conversations.

"I can recall many times when he would want to go on a walk and I would try to beg out of it, especially when the Texas sun was blazing particularly hot. But I usually gave in and dragged out my walking shoes, because even in those days, I knew that time with my dad was precious and wouldn't last forever.

"Now, I'm so glad I had all those conversations with my dad. I'll always treasure them."

Dad and me in March 2003--his sickness beginning to take a toll

I thought about those conversations today when I ran across this article about the daughter of Charlie Chaplin.

Apparently, although she lived in the same house with her aging father, Jane Chaplin didn't have her first and only meaningful private conversation with him until she was 17 years old, and it lasted only about 17 minutes. In fact, the book she is writing about him is entitled "Seventeen minutes with my father."

According to the article, "Jane said she grew up fearing rather than knowing her father, and being constantly told by her mother and by servants that that he was a genius and she would never match him."

How incredibly sad! I can't help but compare it to the many lengthy conversations I had with my dad during the 40-plus years I had with him...too many minutes, too many hours of conversation to even begin to count.

The spiritual application here is glaringly obvious. How many of us Christians live in our Father's house, blessed children of the King, and rarely take the opportunity to speak to Him?

I don't know if Charlie Chaplin would have wanted more contact with his daughter, although he was apparently kind and gracious to her during that seventeen minutes they shared. Obviously he did nothing to try to build a relationship with her. But our Father wants to communicate with us...he seeks companionship with us!

I know I don't take enough advantage of this wonderful benefit of being a child of God. I can't talk with my earthly father now, but I do have a heavenly Father that loves me and wants to speak with me, and He is the creator of the universe.

Amazing and awe-inspiring.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Books! I get books!

B. J. Hoff's A Distant Music is in my hot little hand. Angela Hunt's Magdalene is on its way. I am a rich woman!

Our girl Paris Bennett has a Rockford connection!

OK, I'll admit, I'm a big fan of American Idol. I love it from the very beginning, when most of the singers are what Simon Cowell would say in his uppity posh British accent "ap-PAWL-ing," to the very end when the new winner is chosen.

So I was watching with great interest when 17-year-old Paris Bennett went before the judges and pretty much blew their socks off.

You see, Paris has a connection to my hometown. She is the great-granddaughter of local Reverend Perry Bennett, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Rockford, and she is the daughter of Shayne Patterson of Rockford.

She also happens to be the granddaughter of granddaughter of Grammy Award-winning singer Ann Nesby-Lee (Sounds of Blackness, “The Fighting Temptations”).

Paris has a beautiful, unique voice. I look forward to hearing more from her as the competition rolls on.

Evie Revisited

One of the things that continues to amaze me is how much traffic is generated to this blog by people looking for information on Christian singer Evie Tornquist Karlsson.

The constant stream of Evie fans to this site (it really picks up momentum around Christmas) shows me that this woman's music has made a great impact on many people.

I did a radio interview with Evie in late 2004, in which she related that she would be releasing a new Christmas album. I never heard anything else about the album, though, and repeated attempts to contact Evie by e-mail were unsuccessful.

Still, my Evie-related posts on this blog continue to generate comments and e-mails. Some people apparently think I'm a clearinghouse on all things Evie, and ask me where to get her music, guitar chords, what have you. Unfortunately, I'm as clueless as the next person.

However, Kayla Wood comments on my blog that she got a "non-expensive CD copy" of "Come on Ring Those Bells at sweet-music.com. Click the link if you're interested.

A Gary Kemp recently commented on this blog: "Some 30 years ago, Evie and her music was an integral part of my early Christian walk. She walked away from her music at some point, and went into other ministry, which I can understand. I had 3 of her albums, 'Mirror' 'Never the Same' and 'Evie Again'. Alas, I gave all my old record albums to a missionary friend some 15 years ago; I was content that I could replace most of my record collection with the new CD medium.

"Guess what? No Evie CD's. What's that all about? But there is some good news. I had made copies of the 3 records onto cassettes, for travelling music in my car; all my old cassettes were in storage for over 10 years. So, I recently was digging through my old boxes, and there they were.

"I have now taken several hours of arduous pain to copy them from those cassettes, onto my computer "praise" collection, whereupon they will be transferred to my iPod for regular listening. Suprisingly, the fidelity was pretty good.

"So, what's my point? It is this. Evie's song were powerful, timely, and were greatly used to enhance the listener's Christian hope and development. Yea, I know, they are not "hip" by today's standards, but they are solid in the building of faith, and very, very refreshing.

"I submit: Evie's songs are not her own - - they belong to the Church of believers, young and old. She has the right to remain hidden, but her songs are too important to keep under wraps! I am not talking about Evie as an entertainer, but rather Evie as a servant (together with her husband and children...) of the risen Savior, with a needed resource for His kingdom. As such I call for Evie, or the Word record company, to remaster, and get the re-issued CD's available to the public. No one's going to get rich here, but many will be greatly blessed.

"For the record, I am again being greatly blessed by those great songs."

Amen, Gary! I couldnt's agree more. And Evie, if you're out there, please let us hear from you.

Good-bye, Daniel!

I recently blogged that I hoped the ap-PAWL-ing (to use one of Simon's terms again) TV show, "The Book of Daniel," would just go away. Looks like I got my wish. According to AP's "Religion Roundup": " N-B-C's drama about a pill-popping Episcopal priest who raps with Jesus about his wayward family and flock was shunned by advertisers, network affiliates and most viewers. So after only three weeks, N-B-C has pulled the plug."

See ya!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

For Love of Whitney

Amy J. Van Horn/Rockford Register Star photo

"Unbroken Spirit"

The Rockford Register Star has an article today about a very special little girl.

9-year-old Whitney Fritz was born with several physical problems that have resulted in 20 surgeries in her short life. The most recent one, on January 9th, lasted nine hours. As the newspaper reports, the surgery was "an unsuccessful attempt to straighten a portion of her S-shaped spine by fusing it with a titanium rod."

I have the privilege of knowing Whitney and her family. Whitney is a student at the school where my husband is the principal, and her parents are in the adult Sunday school class my husband teaches.

Whitney and her family are an inspiration to me on so many levels. Few adults could go through what Whitney has had to deal with in the past nine years, yet she retains a remarkable faith, courage, and sweetness. Her mother, Starr, has dedicated her life to Whitney, and she is usually cheerful and optimistic.

However, this last surgery was really rough on the entire family. Starr requested prayer in Sunday School, because both Whitney and herself are down and blue. Whitney hasn't bounced back emotionally from this surgery as well as she has done in the past.

So, pray for Whitney and her family. And if you are a person who has a great deal of money and would like to help the family financially, please do so. Each of her surgeries costs thousands of dollars, and because they are experimental in nature, they're not covered by insurance. The financial toll is staggering, just adding to the emotional and physical toll on the family. If you can help, please e-mai cgreen@rrstar.com

Whitney Fritz is an extraordinary little girl. Please keep her in your prayers.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Monday Meme

The beautiful Del Coronado Hotel in Coronado, CA

I've been tagged by Barbara of Tidbits and Treasures, so here goes!

Four Jobs You’ve Had:

--Working as an aide at an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) School back in the mid-70's (hated it!)
--A bus-girl and tea/coffee server at a Furr's Cafeteria
--A news reporter/announcer at KWFC Radio in Springfield, Missouri
--News director/ morning show co-host at WQFL/WGSL Radio in Rockford, Illinois

Four Places You’ve Lived:

--Beirut, Lebanon
--El Paso, TX
--Springfield, Missouri
--Rockford, IL

Four Vacations You've Taken

--Western Colorado Rockies--when I was a young teenager, a camping trip with my grandparents. Probably the closest I've ever come to actually "roughing it"...we lived in a camper, often parked out in the middle of nowhere. I found out I'm not crazy about camping, but I fell in love with the Rockies!

--Branson, Missouri--I have a soft spot for this place, because it's where my husband and I honeymooned. I love the scenery, the shows, and the down-home flavor.

--The Del Coronado Hotel, Coronado, California--a dear and generous friend took me along with her for a few days. I loved waking up to the sound of the waves on the beach. The legendary hotel, the ocean and the lovely San Diego area captivated me.

Doug and me at "Mamma Mia" in Chicago

--Chicago, IL--yes, I know it's right in my backyard, but this is one of the most exciting and appealing cities in the world! A favorite memory: my husband and I stayed at the Westin, right on the Magnificent Mile, for our 25th anniversary. We saw a musical, shopped at the Water Tower Place, ate steak at Gibson's, had a carriage ride, had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory at the base oif the Hancock Center. I love Chicago!

Four Vehicles You’ve Owned--(I'm sorry, but I never remember the years!)

--A mid-70's silver Chevy Nova--it was actually my husband's car when we got married
--An 82 (I think) Honda Civic--the only brand-new car we've ever had as a couple. Loved that car.
--An 80's Honda Accord--probably one of my favorite vehicles we've owned
--A (2000?) Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo--actually given to my husband as a gift--also one of my favorite vehicles we've owned

Rather than tagging anyone, feel free to do this meme on your own blog!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

January 22nd...a day to mourn

The following is a re-posting of something I originally posted on 1/22/04:

When I was a junior in high school, I was delighted to hear that my older sister was pregnant with her third child. I adored my nieces, Shelly and Stephanie, and was looking forward to another little niece or nephew.

My sister gave birth that January to a beautiful little baby girl, and named her Deborah Leigh. But as perfect as Deborah looked, it quickly became obvious that something was wrong. Deborah's little heart was incomplete, and she died within a week of her birth.

I will never forget the car trip from East Texas to West Texas for the funeral of a baby girl. I will never forget seeing that beautiful little girl in the dainty little dress her father had bought for her to wear home from the hospital. I will never forget hearing my brother-in-law cry in the middle of the night for a daughter that would never grow up, or hearing my sister sob for her baby.

Time does heal, and less than a year after Deborah's death, my sister was blessed with another little girl. My niece Cynthia Anne is grown up now, married and has her own babies.

But every year around this time, my sister experiences a season of sadness as she mourns the baby that never grew up.

We were talking about it just the other day. "It's hard to believe it's been 31 years now," Beverly said softly. "She died on January 22nd, 1973."

"January 22, 1973? Beverly...that's the day the Supreme Court Roe versus Wade decision legalized abortion!"

My sister had never connected the two events. We were both struck with the irony. She still grieves the death of a baby on that day...the day that paved the way for millions of mothers to end the lives of their babies voluntarily.

Ironic, indeed.

(originally posted January 22, 2004)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Are you high maintenance?

Take this quiz and find out

There's no doubt about it...as I skyrocket towards 50, I find myself becoming more and more "high maintenance." Things I took for granted in my 20's and 30's...glowing skin, shiny hair, etc.--now seem to take a lot more work to keep up.

But am I really high maintenance as far as my personality goes? Well, the following quiz is totally non-scientific and not to be taken seriously, but it's fun, so go ahead, take it!

(Again, hat-tip to my radio co-host, Darren Marlar.)

Are you High Maintenance?

Answer True or False to the following questions:

1. The first outfit I put on is never the one I end up wearing.

2. I have a housekeeper.

3. I demand a phone call, or a very good explanation, when someone is late.

4. I would never ride in a convertible with the top down for fear of wind blown hair.

5. My partner should compliment me often, especially before we go out at night.

6. I sometimes require much sleep in order to look and feel my best.

7. I expect my significant other to give me gifts "just because."

8. At a restaurant, I order my meals with special requirements.

9. I never leave the house without blow drying my hair or using a hair product.

10. My getting-ready-for-bed regimen lasts for more than 15 minutes.

Add up your true answers.

1-3: You are a dreamboat! Self-sufficient no matter what is thrown your way. Although you will probably grow to be an easygoing loner or hermit. (This was my score, and I was feeling pretty good about it until it came to the hermit part! What's up with that?--Cindy.)

4-6: You can get by with little maintenance. Usually you can do your own thing but occasionally you can be a pain in the patootie.

7-9: Wow are you needy! Do you even remember a time when you could accomplish a task on your own? I hope your hubby has a fat pocketbook loaded with patience to fill your needs.

10: You are pathetically high maintenance. Either that or the person you had fill this out for you misunderstood your barked-out commands. You might think about these results the next time you are at the nail salon in your Liz Claiborne outfit and Gucci shoes going over next months events in your DayTimer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quote o' The Day

"It disturbs me that even while they are ratcheting up their ongoing campaign against everything righteous, Hollywood moguls want to exploit evangelicals. It disturbs me even more that so many evangelicals seem blithely willing—almost eager, in fact—to be exploited."--Phil Johnson, on the controversy surrounding the casting of a gay actor to play missionary martyr Nate Saint in the movie The End of the Spear.

More on that controversy:

Sharper Iron
...and an update

Another view on Triablogue

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's Favorite TV Characters Day

My co-host, Darren Marlar, tells me this is "Favorite TV Characters Day." I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot of great ones that just didn't come to mind, but here's my list...in no particular order:

Mary Richards--The Mary Tyler Moore Show

played by Mary Tyler Moore
Oh yeah...I was glued to the TV set every Saturday night during the early to mid 70's. Not only was Mary's job in broadcast journalism something I aspired to; she was funny, self-deprecating, completely likable. And pretty. I loved to check out the show just to see what she was wearing.

Rob Petrie--The Dick Van Dyke Show

played by Dick Van Dyke
Dick (as Rob) had me at the first fall over the ottoman. Who couldn't like Rob Petrie?

Barney Fife--The Andy Griffith Show

played by Don Knotts
Just one of the funniest TV characters ever. "Nip it in the BUD!"

The Virginian--The Virginian

played by James Drury
My sister and I used to plop ourselves in front of the TV after school to watch re-runs of this TV western, which had the distinction of being a 90-minute TV drama (has there ever been another one that long?) and of having some of the best-looking guys on any TV show. The Virginian himself (his name was never revealed, that I know of--my sister and I referred to him as "Virgie Baby"), was one of the hottest--strong, silent, dark, mysterious, wise.

Jim Rockford--The Rockford Files

played by James Garner
Great character on a great show. Garner was at the height of his considerable good looks, and he was just cool and funny and extremely watchable.

Hawkeye Pierce--M*A*S*H

played by Alan Alda
Interestingly enough, M*A*S*H was never one of those shows I set out to watch. But if it was on, I had to marvel at Hawkeye's sarcastically funny lines. I still do to this day. That was some terrific writing, and Alda delivered those lines with the perfect blend of world-weary cynicism and irrepressible humor.

Bob Hartley--The First Bob Newhart Show

played by Bob Newhart
I never really got into the one where he ran an inn in Vermont. I loved Bob as the psychologist in Chicago...loved his wry, deadpan humor. Suzanne Pleshette as his wife Emily was terrific as well. So I thought it was great when the Vermont Bob woke up with Emily and realized that the Vermont series had all been a dream. Inspired! :)

Michael Bluth, Arrested Development

played by Jason Bateman
Poor Michael--always the victim of the shenanigans of his bizarre family. Jason Bateman made you root for him.

Thomas Magnum--Magnum P.I.

played by Tom Selleck
Like Jim Rockford, Magnum was a P.I. who didn't always do everything right and wasn't prone to a lot of gun-flashing. Also like Rockford, he was an extremely goodlooking guy who didn't let those good looks overwhelm the humor and likability of the character. Great show.

Jack Shepherd-Lost

played by Matthew Fox
I've come late to the "Lost" dance, having gotten hooked only in recent weeks by watching the first-season DVD's that were a birthday gift from my son to my husband. OK, so I'm not being very original by liking Dr. Jack... but it's hard not to like a character who is heroic and compassionate but still very human and appealing. A real "good guy." But I have to give an honorable mention to Josh Holloway as Sawyer. He does have some terrific lines.

So, who are YOUR favorites?

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's FRIDAY!!!!

Looking back on my blogging efforts since returning from vacation, I see that my posts have been pretty "fluffy." Nothing of very much substance or true import. Well, I'm afraid I'm going to continue that trend today, because it's Friday, and...well...because it's Friday!

One note in my defense. I'm still hanging on to a bronchial problem that started sometime in October or November. I did one round of antibiotics and that didn't take care of it, and I'm just now getting around to going back to the doctor (on Monday.) The ongoing cough, wheeze and generally not feeling great have drained me, and I seem unable to tackle anything substantial. Hopefully I'll get better at some point. (Do they still make Geritol? I feel like I need some sort of tonic...)

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I offer my answers to today's Friday Feast. You know the drill: answer the questions here or on your own blog.

Name one chore you don't really mind doing.--Dusting. It's the instant-gratification household chore--one minute you see dust, the next you see shine. Plus, I love the smell of furniture polish.

How many times have you moved homes in your life?--Now, this one is going to take some thought. I may not even be aware of some of the moves of my babyhood...so I'll start with just the homes I can remember. Let's see:

--two in Hobbs, New Mexico
--two in Springfield, Missouri
--two in Beirut, Lebanon
--one in Odessa, Texas
--one in Vidor, Texas
--one in Shreveport, Louisiana
--one in Houston, Texas
--one in Springfield, Missouri again
--one in El Paso, Texas
--one in Springfield, Missouri again
--six in Rockford, Illinois

Wow. No wonder I get restless if I live in one house for more than a few years!

How old were you when you had your very first kiss?--Sixteen. I hated it...really bad experience. (Fortunately, I eventually rebounded from it. :))

Main Course
What time of day do you usually feel your best?--Sadly, I can't pinpoint such a time! I guess it depends on if I got enough sleep the night before. In that case, probably around 7 in the morning.

Using three words or less, describe your current local weather.--Gray, drizzly and chilly.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Did you resolve to eat more healthfully in 2006?

A rap and a recipe

If trying shed some unwanted pounds is one of your New Year's goals, I have a poem for you AND what looks like a terrific recipe...thanks to my cousin, Kathy!

Here you go:

I Won't Go Back

I won't go back to the weight I used to be.
This the vow that I make and I I make it for me.
For the sexy, summer dress, sleeveless and sleek
I won't go back to the Krispy Kremes I'd sneak.
Marie Callendar, you can keep your old cheap fruity
'Cause I ain't going back to friction thighs.
For all the broken zippers and busted pants
I won't go back to cheesy burgers, and that's my
I'm no fool, where's the thrill in Almond Joy.
Those clever ads are just a clever ploy.
They want me to stuff my face, then stuff my jeans.
No way, no how, it's a despicable scene.
I've finally decided to face the fact
That those barbeque ribs I love, really don't love me
I'd much rather bask in a bikini than Baskin Robbins.
On the side of that rocky road you would usually find
me sobbing.
For all the sky-high cholesterol counts and tiring
treks up the stair.
I won't go back to buttered buns and artery-clogging
No not me, my health I won't forsake.
This is my temple I destroy with every fatty bite I
So that's it, I'm fed up, this is the last straw.
No more broccoli drizzled in cheese please, I'll
simply take it raw.
So on this day I make this vow,
That I'm going to change my life, here today, right

And here's the recipe:


8 OZ fat free cream cheese
1 20 OZ crushed pineapple in its own juice (use undrained)
1 large box of instant sugar free/fat free vanilla pudding
1 0Z chopped pecans
12 OZ fat free Cool Whip
1 low fat Graham Cracker crust
1/2 cup skim milk

Mix cream cheese, pineapple, milk and pudding. Add pecans. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust and refrigerate.

1/8 of a pie=4 Weight Watchers points

Can't wait to try it!

Just talked with Deborah Bedford

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Christian fiction author Deborah Bedford. I hope to share more about this interview in the coming days!

Speaking of Christian fiction, Robin Lee Hatcher (guest-blogging for one of my very favorite bloggers, Katy Raymond) hops up on her soapbox to give some great encouragement to aspiring writers. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A milestone for "Phantom"

The Phantom of the Opera has made history, becoming the longest-running Broadway play.

On Monday night, Phantom marked its 7,486th consecutive performance, surpassing Cats.

I had the pleasure of witnessing one of those Phantom performances this past May. It was my first Broadway play, and it came under rather harrowing circumstances, and I was way up in the balcony, but I enjoyed it immensely. (I also saw it in Chicago with Gary Mauer in the role of the Phantom, and it was outstanding.)

Phantom is one of my favorite musicals. I guess the sheer romanticism of the story and the beauty of the music, are what attracts me to this production.

Gerard Butler

As for the movie version--I like it very much too, although it is of course different in many ways from the play. Gerard Butler as the Phantom isn't a great singer like Panaro, Mauer and Michael Crawford...but Butler had me at hello. Or should I say, at the first flourish of his black cape. The movie is visually stunning as well.

I think Butler--unhampered by the need to be "big" and theatrical for a stage audience--was able to intimately capture and portray the pain and pitifulness of the phantom. (Wow...check out the alliteration there! :))

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday grab-bag

Various and sundry thoughts going through my brain today...

The End of the Spear

I've been wanting to read this book, written by Steve Saint, son of missionary pilot Nate Saint. Nate Saint was one of five missionaries killed by the Auca Indians in South America.

I've been enthralled with this story ever since I was part of a reader's theater in college called Bridge of Blood. I played Barbara Youderian, the wife of Roger Youderian, one of the slain missionaries.

Being a part of this performance affected me greatly. I ended up reading Through Gates of Splendor and Shadow of the Almighty, both written by Elisabeth Elliot, widow of missionary Jim Elliot.

SharperIron.com today features a review by Todd Wood of "The End of the Spear."

The book has been made into a movie that hits theaters January 20th. Here , here and here are some news stories about the film.

Fred Phelps makes me sick!@#*#@*!

The incredible, unmitigated ignorance and utter hatefulness of this man and his followers absolutely blows my mind...and makes me frustrated and angry that he and I both call ourselves "Christians." The vitriol and ugliness spewed by the "God Hates Fags" crowd are about as unChristian and unBiblical and unlike Jesus that you could possibly get.

The Crusty Curmudgeon says it better than I could (while also taking Pat Robertson to task for this Ariel Sharon comments.) Love how the Curmudgeon refers to Phelps' congregation as Westboro "Baptist" "Church."

Believing that homosexuality is Biblically wrong is one thing. Making it a hate-filled obsession is taking it beyond the pale.

Good comments on "The Book of Daniel"...

I love getting comments on my blog, and I appreciated the views expressed on my post about "The Book of Daniel." What many of my commenters did that I didn't? They actually watched the show, and thus were much more qualified to pass any sort of judgement on it.

The consensus still overall seems to be an overwhelming thumbs down.

Friday, January 06, 2006

"The Book of Daniel"

maybe if we ignore it, it will just go away

NBC's "The Book of Daniel" debuts tonight, amid vocal disapproval from the American Family Association and even a couple of network affiliates refusing to air it.

The show stars Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping Episcopalian priest with a wife who drinks too much, a gay son, a promiscuous son and a drug-dealing daughter. Nothing too shocking there, really--many families have to deal with such issues. But what I find most bothersome is the hip, therapeutic, tolerant "Jesus" who shows up for regular chats with Quinn's character.

I have no tolerance for sacrilege and/or blasphemy, and this show (granted, I haven't seen it yet) appears to come dangerously close.


I seriously doubt if anything of lasting value will be accomplished by Christians getting up in arms about this show. If anything, it could just serve to further publicize and showcase a show that--without our loud opposition--could end up fading away on its own.

Matter of fact, "The Book of Daniel" (unlike "Brokeback Mountain," which critics are gushing about in an uncontrolled frenzy of delight), is getting really bad reviews.

For example, in this review, Vince Horiuchi says Jesus comes across like "a spaced-out California surfer. Every so often, the Son of God appears to Webster in the yard or in his car or office, yet he never has anything useful to say. Most of his lines are terse and meaningless observations such as 'boys will be boys' or 'just play it out,' and then poof! He disappears."

Adds Horiuchi: "...as the pilot and subsequent episode progress, the series disintegrates into nothing more than contrived and outrageous subplots. There's the aforementioned drug dealing and drug addiction, sex in the backseat of the bishop's car, embezzled church funds, Mafia peddlers, conniving lesbian lovers and adultery among the church's hierarchy. It's too much for a drama that could have been thoughtful, sincere and provocative. 'The Book of Daniel' reads like a cheap dime novel."

From New York Times reviewer Ned Martel: "The real mark against 'The Book of Daniel' is not sympathy for the devil. The real objection is that it's just not very good."

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales calls the show "a mean-spirited, unholy mess":
"I cannot recall a series in which a greater number of characters seemed so desperately detestable -- a series with a larger population of loathsome dolts. There ought to be a worse punishment than cancellation for a show that tries this hard to be offensive and, even at that crass task, manages to fail."

I don't even have to watch an episode of the show to know that I won't like it...I have absolutely no desire to watch it. But neither will I waste my time boycotting it. Hollywood doesn't "get" true Christianity, and they never will. So I really don't expect them to.

Too bad, 'cuz Aidan Quinn has a Rockford connection...

I'm sorry that Aidan Quinn is involved with "The Book of Daniel," because I tend to like him as an actor. There's something very cool about those pale blue eyes and that gravelly voice.

And Quinn has a definite connection to my town of Rockford, Illinois.

According to some bios, Quinn was born here (some bios list Chicago as his birthplace). And although he's spent much of his life shuttling between the USA and his family's native Ireland, he graduated from Rockford West High School which is just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live. I believe his dad is still a professor at either Rockford College or Rock Valley.

As for "The Book of Daniel," Quinn is quoted as saying, "I honestly don't think it's going to be nearly as controversial as some people may now be afraid of...It just has the courage to deal with some of the real issues that go in on people's lives."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Do you sudoku?

Have you succumbed to sudoku?

"It's fun! It's challenging! It's addictive!" gushes sudoku.com, which offers "tips on how to solve Sudoku puzzles, browse the forums for more tips, or check the solutions to the Sudokus you see in print."

My husband--a dyed-in-the-wool crossword man--has added the Rockford Register Star's daily sudoku to his daily brain-stretchers. And the college boy who sat beside me on the plane Tuesday never moved his head out of the sudoku puzzle book on his seat tray--except to ask the flight attendant for extra crackers and Sprite.

I am also an avid crossword and cryptoquote fan, but I have only tried sudoku one time, and gave up in frustration. It's no secret that I stink at anything to do with numbers, so maybe that's the problem--although no math is involved in solving the puzzles.

No, wait--here's the problem. Wikipedia tells us sudoku is "a logic-based placement puzzle." I also stink at games of logic. I don't know what that says about my intelligence or my mental powers, but there you have it.

Words. Give me words and I'll do anything with them. Words are my friends...numbers are my nemesis.

Well, the sudoku website claims to offer tips on how to solve puzzles, as does Wikipedia. Maybe I'll check them out, give it one more try, and find out what the craze is all about.

So, do you sudoku?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'm back from Texas

Well, I'm back after a wonderful holiday in Texas. I truly enjoyed spending time with my loved ones there. It was enjoyable, relaxing and refreshing.

I wish I could say the same for my air travel experiences yesterday! First, my plane was delayed for nearly two hours in Austin because United's computers went down. Once I arrived at O'Hare, I had to wait for my baggage for an hour and a half before catching a bus back to Rockford. I still say flying is the best way to go to Texas, but it can certainly be a pain at times!

So here we are...2006. A clean slate...a brand new start. My blogging abilities may be a bit rusty because I had limited internet access while in Texas, but I'm looking forward to better blogging in the coming year.

And may I close on this note:


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