Birthday Wish

Sunday was my birthday.

We had an all-worship service along with communion at church. There was time for personal reflection at the end of service and here is what I scribbled in my journal:

What is it about birthdays and New Year’s that cause us to face our live anew… to look at where we’ve been and where we want to go. What I what for my birthday isn’t more stuff…

I want a life worth of “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

I want a life filled with and marked by worship.

I want the life God has form me. Forgiveness, love, grace, gratitude, worship, giving, sacrifice, living by the Kingdom and living for the Kingdom.

Birthdays make me very idealistic and sappy… sort of.  Now… to the task of actually learning and living the life I wrote on that page.  I ask God for the strength and wisdom… for His grace that I may love others and show grace… never to forget the incalculable value of Jesus’ death on the cross.

I want a new kitty….

Well, two.

Jen got Buckley and started sharing kitten pictures from her volunteer work and all.  And then I started looking on PetFinder and found a brother/sister pair of kittens (12 weeks old now, which puts their b-day around Smith and Wesson’s) who are cute as buttons.

But does 4 cats make me a crazy, single woman, cat lady?  I don’t know.  I’m really conflicted about it all.

Crocs

“I would rather swim in a river of boiling snot than wear a pair of crocs.” Simon whatever his name is on iLove the New Millennium on Vh1.

“Aren’t these like jellies for Millennials?” (or something like that) Amy from Evanesence

“WHO WEARS PLASTIC SHOES?! If you Ken, you wear plastic shoes. If you are GI Joe, you can wear plastic shoes.” Luis

I hate Crocs.  There isn’t a thing you can say to me that will convince me otherwise… much like my great disdain for hoodies.  I put down a garment at Lane Bryant that I LOVED the print on.  When I flipped it around and saw it was a hoodie, I put it back.  It’s completely irrational… but you will just have to deal.

Entertaining Evil

Sunday night, a friend and I went to see The Dark Knight. Even before the hype of Heath Ledger’s accidental death in January, I had already planned to see this movie. I loved what Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale did to reboot the Batman franchise out of its campy history. Tim Burton did a little of this with the first two movies but there was still a day-glo feeling to them. Then it started to look like a comic book with Batman Forever (Jim Carrey’s rubber face included). But… it had Val Kilmer.

We won’t talk about Batman and Robin. Aside from Uma Thurman, that movie stinks. Stinks. Stinks. She’s so over the top, she makes it bearable. Almost.

Then… Batman Begins went to the 1980’s and 1990’s comic books, which are more adult and decidedly darker than their predecessors. (They were done by Frank Miller… who wrote Sin City, 300, and the Watchmen – all of which are very graphic, very dark, and down right disturbing.) More psychological. Bruce Wayne isn’t just a rich vigilante. He’s a tortured man trying to make peace with himself, trying to find himself… And… there’s Christian Bale who is not only smokin’ hot, he’s a really good actor. (Aside: he will be starring as John Connor in the new Terminator movies starting Summer 2009).

This change has angered and upset alot of people whose primary experiences with Batman are the earlier movies and the TV series – which is nothing but camp. They aren’t familiar with the comic books at all or its dark past.

So, we go to see the Dark Knight. First, I don’t remember hearing a single cuss word in the entire movie. At all. Well, maybe one by the thugs but I’m not sure. I am pretty sure I said more when we were talking about it at the conclusion…

“The Joker is seriously f’ed up.”

Was the movie good? Depends on how you want to define “good.” Did the story move along at a good pace to keep from getting bored in a 2 hr 30 min movie? Was the acting good? How were the special effects?

Yes. Yes. AWESOME!

However, it is very violent but not in a bloody way. There isn’t alot of gore. Very dark. The Joker is a man who has no purpose to his violence. He hurts and kills people because he can. It is very easy to see how Heath Ledger had so much trouble sleeping after he finished his work on the film. Demented. Scary. Bat sh*t crazy. In a way, it is the most terrifying part of being human – abject violence and the ability to inflict terror for the sole purpose of doing it and to see how people react.

To me, Freddy Kruger and Jason are minor league horror villains compared to Ledger’s Joker.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie and it gave me nightmares. Sunday night, my dreams were very violent. I was telling Mark about it last night. He said he was almost going to see it but after my description of it decided not to… that he did not want to watch that kind of movie. I said that I wasn’t going to have another nightmare last night.. not going to allow that.

About 3 am, I jerk awake from another nightmare. I laid in bed and started praying.

God, what is going on? I have watched movies like this before and they haven’t affected me at all. Perhaps that is saying something about me… my numbness to evil, darkness, and violence but, we can talk about that later. But this is different. What is up with this movie that 2 days later, the imagery is still affecting me?

The Spirit replied:

This movie is surrounded by evil. It tormented Heath Ledger to his death.

(Further clarification: this morning – Christian Bale’s mom and sister filed a police report on him – abuse charges for an assault that they said happened after the London premiere)

I immediately went back to sleep… back to the tortured dreams of robberies, guns, violence, alarms. It leads me to question how much have I let God regenerate my heart. I don’t doubt that I am justified by faith… but the process of sanctification is on going. How much am I fighting that and thwarting it by my media choices?

Seeing things…

So when it tells me “Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool” does that mean its going to take windows (because I find Windows and Microsoft to be malicious) off of here and magically turn into a computer I can use… you know.. like an iMac or MacBookPro with OS X on it.

At least Steve Jobs is a benevolent dictator.

What did you use?

What resources did you use when you first became a Christian?

Did your church, assuming you attended one, have a new believers class? Was this class tied to church membership?

Did your church give you a book? If so, what did they give you?

Did they recommend any books/resources to you? If so, what?

If you met a brand new believer, what 3 books would you tell them to read?

Thanks for your help!

(To explain why I’m asking this: I had a meeting with Pastor Pete and I asked him what Cross Point was doing for new believers.  At the end of it, he asked me to come up with a list of resources for the church to evaluate and ultimately give to new Christians.  Having been in a Church of Christ school growing up, when I became a Christian I already had a certain level of Biblical knowledge… I hadn’t really internalized what was in Scripture.  So, looking at this question from my perspective isn’t very helpful.  I’m working on a survey to other churches but also thought I would ask the readers of my blog.)

Pollsters have too much time on their hands

Headline on yahoo news this morning:

Poll: Obama leads McCain among people who don’t have pets

Seriously.  Is that important to know?  Does this mean that they are going to start targeting messages to dog owners?  Free flea collars for all pets!

‘My opponent won’t care for homeless pets.  He will allow them to continue to be abused.  He will cut funding for the ASPCA and rescue organizations…’

This is just stupid.  I can’t wait for the election to be over.  The world will not change overnight.  I was at the dentist yesterday and he’s trying to convince me to vote for Obama – WHILE HE’S DRILLING!  I can’t argue with him while there is a moving, deadly instrument in my mouth.  When he finished, I said “I don’t care.  Working for the state made me a libertarian.  I want to be left alone and have as little interaction with the government as possible.  It leaves me alone; I leave it alone.”

“But you do care!”

“I care about people.  I care about those who are hurting and need help.  However, more government is the absolute worst solution for it.”

We stopped talking about it at that point.  This morning on the bus I noticed the sign outside the Andrew Jackson state office building.  The quote below his picture says “There are no necessary evils in government.”

I tell ya, the people who chose it have no idea what it means or how that can be interpreted… and I find it very amusing that it is outside a state office building.