Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today's Words Of Wisdom

"Never work before breakfast.
If you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first."
-Josh Billings

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are You Trusting God To Write Your Story?

I don't remember where I found this but I re-discovered it in my documents this week and I was moved again when I read it:

Are You Trusting God To Write Your Story?

"Do you trust Him with your dreams?

Do you trust Him with your friendships?

Do you trust Him with your work?

Do you trust Him with your finances?

Do you trust Him with your love story?

Do you trust Him with your future?

Do you trust Him in your fears?

Do you trust Him in your pain?

Do you trust Him in your circumstances?

Do you trust Him in EVERYTHING?

Do you trust Him enough to let Him keep on writing?"

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Star Wars Ideology

My sister and I saw Star Wars for the first time this week. It was definitely an interesting story. Some of the scenes were incredibly well-filmed and the plot was complex and well-organized. The movie was very clean. I could stop here, call it a "good movie" and go on. But it seems to me that there is a lot more below the surface of this story than meets the eye.

I don't think that there is any such thing as an "innocent author." What I mean by this is that every author has his or her own opinions, biases, beliefs and worldview and that these will naturally come out in that author's writings. Is this bad? No! Of course not! But it is dangerous, especially when we don't read carefully. The same goes for movies. Perhaps we tend to say a movie is "OK" if it doesn't have any inappropriate graphical scenes or bad language. Do we sometimes forget that movies (and books) are usually written to communicate an idea (and even if they aren't written for that purpose they fulfill it anyway, albeit unintentionally). Ideas are dangerous, especially when we aren't paying attention to them, because it is then that they slip into our minds unnoticed and uncontested.

In George Lucas' World there is no God, but 'The Force" -an energy field created by all living things that surround us. It has a good side and an evil side. When someone dies, his spirit joins the force and becomes part of it. This is a Buddhist/New Age belief. By the way, have you noticed that the characters names all sound far-eastern (Obi Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda)? While researching New Age beliefs, I was surprised to find that many New Agers believe crop circles to be created by aliens and welcome their coming to our earth. Star Wars holds a picture of a world where aliens and humans will one day live together. Each Jedi has a 'guide' who teaches him secret knowledge. Often these guides communicate as 'ghosts' after they have died. This is forbidden in the Holy Scriptures (Leviticus 19:31) and is also a common New Age belief.

When interested in the ideology behind an author's work, I think it's a good idea to research the beliefs of the author concerned. In this case, that would be George Lucas. Did you know that he wrote a book about his New Age beliefs and had it made into a comic books series? Then...you guessed it! The birth of Star Wars! It is clear that Star Wars is New Age propaganda. George Lucas doesn't deny this. I suppose an informed person can still enjoy the adventure in these movies, but I think they are really dangerous for the naive and especially young children and yet this is the audience the Star Wars creator has targeted.

If you're interested in Star Wars, I think it would be a good idea to learn a little bit more about the worldview of its author and the concepts portrayed in the movies. You might profit from it -- I did.

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Now You Have No Excuse Not To Read It...

For those of you who haven't read The Ballad Of The White Horse (and, by the way, if you haven't read it, you haven't lived!), it is now possible to read it online. This site has the entire poem typed up and you can even print it out if you want. I highly recommend that you do it immediately...

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Best Dialogue In Tolkien's Works (Well, I think so at least...)

The fact that I am a true and thorough Tolkien fan might not have been made clear yet by any of my previous posts...but it's time to confess...

I found a wonderful passage of his and I decided that it was too good not to share. This dialogue is only published in one of Tolkien's books -- Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion (Go here to read up on the history of Middle-Earth) and discusses Redemption. Tolkien has been criticized by some that his stories do not contain the redemption story. Read on...

‘Have ye then no hope?’ said Finrod.

‘What is hope?’ she said. ‘An expectation of good, which though uncertain has some foundation in what is known? Then we have none.’

‘That is one thing that Men call “hope”,’ said Finrod. ‘Amdir we call it, “looking up”. But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is “trust”. It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and first being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of Estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End: of all His designs the issue must be for His Children’s joy. Amdir you have not, you say. Does no Estel at all abide?’

‘Maybe,’ she said . . . ‘It is believed that healing may yet be found, or that there is some way of escape. But is this indeed Estel? Is it not Amdir rather; but without reason: mere flight in a dream from what waking they know: that there is no escape from darkness and death?’

‘Mere flight in a dream you say,’ answered Finrod. ‘In dream many desires are revealed; and desire may be the last flicker of Estel. But you do not mean dream, Andreth. You confound dream and waking with hope and belief, to make the one more doubtful and the other more sure . . .

‘What then was this hope, if you know?’ Finrod asked.

‘They say,’ answered Andreth: ‘they say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end. . . . How could Eru enter into the thing that He has made, and than which He is beyond measure greater? Can the singer enter into his tale or the designer into his picture?’

‘He is already in it, as well as outside,’ said Finrod . . . ‘For, as it seems to me, even if He in Himself were to enter in, He must still remain also as He is: the Author without. And yet, Andreth, to speak with humility, I cannot conceive how else this healing could be achieved. Since Eru will surely not suffer Melkor to turn the world to his own will and to triumph in the end. Yet there is no power conceivable greater than Melkor save Eru only. Therefore Eru, if He will not relinquish his work to Melkor, who must else proceed to mastery, then Eru must come in to conquer him. More: even if Melkor (or the Morgoth that he has become) could in any way be thrown down or thrust from Arda, still his Shadow would remain, and the evil that he has wrote and sown as a seed would wax and multiply. And if any remedy for this is to be found, ere all is ended, any new light to oppose the shadow, or any medicine for the wounds: then it must, I deem, come from without.’
-John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, "Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion"

ht: www.lordofthekingdom.com

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