Saturday, February 25, 2006

That clears that up...sort of...

Well, in the wake of continued sitings to the contrary (for example, the Manic Panic tie in with the movie), The Beat finally confirms that Ultraviolet is not a comic book film. They don't say according to who, but they do say that Sony is marketing it as if it really were (making it sound like that was the intent all along). To cap it all off, if you take a look at the official site now, you can see an on-line comic and game (which are worth a look if you're interested). In the background, there are clips of the concept art I mentioned before that make it really look like a comic.

So was that the design from the beginning, or was it just the rumors of comic books that turned into a little bit more?

What does God really want?

An arrogant question to answer, to be sure, but I feel like it's easier to determine than we think it is. Of course, a lot of people over time have attempted to answer that question; many in ways that are opposite to what God wants. (I thought about listing some of the atrocities done in God's name here, but where would I start?) This is long, but bear with me, I think it's important.

The reason I think that I can answer this, is that there are a lot of people, much closer to God than I, that have asked this question and answered it for us.

God's prophet Samuel called David a man after God's own heart. This is what David had to say on the topic:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Hear Isaiah the prophet (speaking God's words) tear into God's people, particularly the last few lines:

Quit your worship charades.
I can't stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings--
meetings, meetings, meetings--I can't stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
You've worn me out!
I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
I'll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
I'll not be listening...
Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down--and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.
Micah the prophet says:

The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God."
God's words from Jeremiah:

I will keep you safe only if you change your ways. Be fair and honest with each other. Stop taking advantage of foreigners, orphans, and widows.
From Hosea:
I'm after love that lasts, not more religion. I want you to know GOD, not go to more prayer meetings.
How can these words not speak volumes to us today?

I think the clearest words on this subject to me, however, are the words of Jesus. In the end, how will God separate His people from everyone else? Does Jesus talk about our morality? Does he talk about the religious laws we kept? Where we went to church? This is what he says:

"Then the King will say to those on his right, "Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those "sheep' are going to say, "Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, "I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.'
God wants a broken heart more than rule-following? He wants us to help those who need help more than he wants religion? He wants us to be merciful? He wants us to give someone who is thirsty a drink of water?

Is this what the rest of the world sees when they look at us? What is it that brings me to say things to my wife like, It's crazy when Bono of U2 seems to know God better than a lot of Christians I know. When I blogged about boycotting the other day, I wrote Why does it seem like celebrities are doing more than believers to stop human suffering? I was going to write something like "Why do Brad Pitt and Bono seem to be doing more for ending human suffering than Christians?" I couldn't write that after Krista directed me to Bono's address at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Am I saying that helping people is the only thing? Obviously not; I just want to point out that it might be more important to God than a lot of things we focus on. Sometimes it would do us well to remember that God is a God of love. No matter how much time we spend talking about Jesus, it's going to be pointless until we start acting like Him.

Addendum (10:35 am): Providence? Maybe I should have read Larry James' post from yesterday...I guess I left some of God's prophets out...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Words and Whatnot

Did I miss a memo somewhere that told everyone that "whatnot" is the cool new word and that everyone was to go around saying it all the time? Is there a conspiracy to make Jim crazy wondering about this kind of stuff? Am I the only one that's noticed that everybody seems to be using this word lately?

I'm not kidding here! I hear it all over. It seems like people say it at work constantly. It's on TV - check out nearly every episode of My Name is Earl. Hmmmm...maybe that's the connection - everybody's watching that show and is picking up on it.

Pay attention - you'll start to hear it. Unless you're in on it, too...

Monday, February 20, 2006

The 3-year-old Genius

I know all parents think their kids are the smartest, but this is different. I'm talking Einstein-level genius here. (Ok, maybe not, she can match her socks. So maybe I don't want Einstein-level genius.)

Anyway, yesterday, my daughter was trying to tell me something, and she started it by saying, "OK, get this, this is the deal." I realize a lot of the time she's parroting what she's heard, but she parrots it in context, and that's pretty impressive, at least to me. So I asked her: "Did you turn 15 overnight? Did you go to bed and wake up and suddenly you were 15 years old?" It was her response that got me.

She replied to me in all her 3-year-old innocence, "Do I look 15?"

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried...

Health: Week 6

or Never Change Your Instruments in the Middle of an Experiment

I've been using my brother's scale, so this week we decided to get our own. Unfortunately, the scales are calibrated differently, and I wasn't able to get ahold of Joe's scale to make a direct comparison. So it looks like I've gained 5 pounds this week (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). In all seriousness, though, I've stuck with the water drinking, have drank almost no soda (or coke as we say here in the South), and have still been eating better. I'm still in the process of trying to replace the coffee (extra cream, extra sugar) with tea (honey only). Still haven't started to exercise. This isn't easy, but I'm still convinced the answer is sticking to it and leaning on a higher power.

Current Weight: 270#
Total Change: -3#

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Boycotts, Boycotts, Every Where...

...Nor any thought to think.

It seems like every time I turn around, someone is boycotting something, protesting something, or at least asking me to get some company to change it's behavior by complaining. If it's not Will & Grace, it's Brokeback Mountain, or even Kraft Foods (actually, I think I’m seeing a pattern here). Have we found our voice? Is this what it means to be a Christian? Is this the way we are salt and light? We organize? Call your TV station if you think something is bad on TV. Call your Senator if you find this law in contrast with your moral views.

Don't get me wrong here - I'm not against Christians taking a stand on moral issues, and I appreciate the fact that we live in a democracy that allows us to exercise freedom of speech and have a say in what goes on. But what concerns me is that lately this seems to be the primary way of sharing what we believe. Maybe if we organize, we can force other people to live how we know God wants.

The thing is, our activism seems to be only about personal morality. Let's force people to not be able to watch things we find morally reprehensible. Let’s figure out ways to legislate how people behave.

Are we not concerned with the bigger picture? Why does everyone know us for what we are against, instead of what we are for? Why does it seem like celebrities are doing more than believers to stop human suffering? (Not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive.) Do we really think that getting the local Carmike to stop showing a movie about gay cowboys will make the world a better place? More so than finding ways to help people in poverty? I actually did something this week to help someone - I got out of my box for a change, got out of my selfishness, out of Jim's World, and helped someone who needed it. The strongest thing I can remember thinking is, this is what following Jesus is all about.

My wife Krista thinks that until we become consistent in our morality and in the stances we take, no one will hear our voice (...hey, after picketing Brokeback Mountain, let's go see Date Movie). I'm not sure I agree. I think no one's going to hear us until we start figuring out what Jesus was really all about.

And that's why next, I arrogantly answer the question: What does God really want?

Crazy weekdays

No time to time to blog...

Here's a humourous story...Halle Berry's "punishment" for Catwoman.

Berry Promises No CATWOMAN II

More substantive stuff later.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Health: Week 5

I don't know if I should be glad or even more frustrated. I continued on the same path of eating less, eating better (though I fell short a number of times), and even with my 3/4 of a gallon of water a day (except for the weekend). But, I haven't exercised at all. I ended up getting back to where I was 2 weeks ago - losing the 2 pounds I gained last week.

I think it's time to start the exercising.

Current Weight: 265#
Total Change: -8#

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Old and the New...

Just surfing around, seeing if there's anything new about Ultraviolet (whose release date, BTW, has been pushed back to March 3).

I came across a recent post on IMDB by the writer who will be doing the novelization for the movie. Interestingly enough, she said:

As I understand it, it's based on an obscure British comic. I tried to get my hands on a copy, but failed.

While looking up that quote, I came across another thread where it seems no one could actually figure out whether it was based on a comic or not.

I also found an old comment (the 3rd post in this thread) in March 2004 on the Milla Jovovich forum where a fan said:
I don't know much about Ultraviolet the character other than she's a comic book hero.

Although I know what I think, I'd like to cut the hypothesizing and get the facts straight...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Do The Right Thing

I think God would want me to do what is right regardless of what other people are doing.

The more I realize what is important to God, the more I see people who claim His name, so to speak, but are interested in their own agendas.

I start to see hypocrisies everywhere:
  • the sexual content of Desperate Housewives is ok, but not the sexual content of Will & Grace
  • we need to know everything Paul said about how to worship, but don't really know anything Jesus said about love or compassion
  • we need to expend our energy picketing Brokeback Mountain, but never lift a finger to fight poverty
And it frustrates the crap out of me.

But the more I think about what to write here, the more thankful I am that I've been led to write.

I think this exercise in itself helps me realize that I'm letting other people be an obstacle to me, and an obstacle to my attitude.

If I'm really doing what I believe is God's will, then it shouldn't matter. I don't need to fall prey to my own frustrations:
  • I think I'll spend my time finding the logical holes in everyone else's theology, rather than showing people what Jesus is like.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Health: Week 4

Moving backward is always a comforting feeling. [That's sarcasm.] I ate better this week. I stuck to my V8 juice everyday. I've been drinking more tea (with honey) and less coffee (with cream and sugar). I drank 3/4 of a gallon of water Monday through Friday (and as a result drank a lot less soda). I think I actually ate an orange at some point.

And I gained 2 pounds.

And that's before all the soda and chips and barbecue that comes with Superbowl Sunday.

I know my eating isn't perfect, but I feel like I was making good progress in the right direction this week. Well, I guess since I'm doing this for more reasons than just to lose weight, I shouldn't let that bother me, right? I guess now's the time when I allow the thought to kick in that I knew I couldn't do this on my own anyway I need to lean on Him a little more.

This week: Keep up the good food and start the exercising.

Current Weight: 267#
Total Change: -6#

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Vicious Cycle

I ran across the novelization of the V for Vendetta movie today. That's odd.

I guess that would make it a book based on a movie based on a graphic novel.

Now I can't wait until the comic book adaptation comes out!

I wonder who'll write it...maybe Ron Marz. I hope Jim Balent does the artwork...or maybe Kelly Jones.