Daily Manna – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have scattered abroad their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.’ 2 Corinthians 9:6-9

Jesus reminds us not to store up treasures on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven. I am convinced that our mortal life reveals our true character, and that our true character endures forever, impacted by our mortal choices.

What are you doing with the blessings God has given to you? God has given you something – intelligence, strong muscles, a witty sense of humor, patience or compassion, material possessions. What are you doing with it? If you attempt to keep it all, you are sowing sparingly – and what you reap in Heaven will also be sparse. If you share and serve, you are planting seeds abundantly, and your eternal reward is also abundant.

We sometimes think that if we spread the wealth around, it’ll leave little for ourselves. We get stingy, greedy, selfish, and want to hold on to it. Not only does that leave little trust in Jesus – who will provide for your needs abundantly when you are serving Him – but it also reveals a love of materialism instead of a love for Christ. You know you can’t take it with you, don’t you?

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Pink Panther Returns

I wrote last month about how I’m having trouble enjoying Hollywood movies and critiqued the latest Pink Panther movie as an example. Needless sexual entendre and poorly implemented slapstick spoiled what could have been a funny movie.

The American Spectator today agrees:

In addition to that first tedious scene of Clouseau trying to park a ridiculously small Smart Car in a space big enough for a Humvee, the movie includes a lot of unnecessary references: Viagra jokes, allusions to Internet porn and sex, and a few extremely graphic — but fully clothed — sex antics. Despite these elements, the film is still rated a mere PG and, if the previews of animation films and ads for McDonald’s are any indication, it is being targeted at a very young audience, namely children ten and under. It’s an adult-themed film being sold to children, an indication of a substantial error in marketing and production.

The article is excellent and gives examples of how today’s sexual jokes are blatant and crude compared to the intellectual humor regarding sex in past Hollywood movies.

The new film will no doubt prove an “it’ll do” DVD rental or airplane movie; but the script, the lewd humor, and perhaps our own time, will never allow the actors to make a real Pink Panther movie: something witty, sexy, and extremely funny. Without at least two of these elements, a comedy can hardly been a box office success.

If you want to watch a Pink Panther film, skip the new one and buy or rent the originals. For those who appreciate the occasional cocktail, by all means sip away as you watch and laugh. These films, especially the earlier films, provided a way for adults to laugh at themselves. And if children happened to be watching, as was the case when I was growing up, the innuendos and humor convinces them all the more that adults are simply a strange breed and not nearly so reasonable as a child.

Are there any “adult” movies anymore that do not include gratuitous sex and/or violence scenes? Are there any movies at the theater today that are worth watching?

Pink Panther

I’m having a lot of trouble enjoying movies coming out of Hollywood.

I saw the new Pink Panther movie last night. Steve Martin did an acceptable job as Clousseau, and I can’t imagine any other actor that could do a better job.

But Peter Sellers had the role down pat. When something went wrong, he always had a good-natured honest puzzlement why something wasn’t right. Steve Martin smirked the whole movie.

There were plenty of fun scenes; the English tutor was fun, some of the car door pratfalls were fun. But there was a lot of unnecessary sexual humor that was never in the original Peter Sellers movies that I remember. Beyonce Knowles was pretty to look at, but was she necessary to the plot?

And then, for some reason, to wrap up the movie at the end, Clousseau becomes brilliant and solves the mystery. Bam, movie over.

I suppose I got off to a rotten start – I used to enjoy getting to the movies and watching the previews. Now it’s less and less previews and more commercials. I already paid for the movie ticket, and loud commercials annoy me. I didn’t come to see car commercials or soda commercials or cell phone commercials. I can turn on a TV and get that. But I paid for the movie ticket, so get that off my screen.

Trusting in God's Promise

I taught my first bible lesson to adults today. It was sort of scary; I’m used to teaching 3rd graders for bible study where the most complex scriptural question is, “Mr. Mike, can I go to the restroom?” The opportunity arose to teach this week came up and (gulp) I took the bait. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do, but there’s something intimidating about teaching bible study to 140 Christians for a half hour. I don’t know why.

The lesson was on how fear can keep up from God’s promises. Soon I marveled at the irony of God’s plan – here I am, answering the call to teach, and I’m a little fearful of the experience, and the lesson I’m going to teach is why fear is a bad thing when it comes to faith. God certainly has a sense of humor.

Once upon a time, I used to skydive. Made around 500 jumps, in fact. I remember that first day, heading out to the drop zone to get my training. The instructors spent 8 hours with me and a few others that day, teaching about how the equipment works, how to operate it, when to operate it, how to recover from a parachute malfunction, and so on. It was an intense course that taught a lot in a short period of time. Then we met our jumpmasters, received a last minute briefing, then climbed in the airplane for the ride to altitude, about 2-1/2 miles up.

As the plane lifts off, there’s a short period where a fear of heights sets in, just above the treetop level. As the ride continues, though, you can no longer make out the individual trees, and that fear fades. It doesn’t look high to you, it just looks… distant.

But when that airplane door opens and the instructor tells you it’s time to jump, there’s a new fear. Many people do not jump at this point. They freeze, paralyzed. What are they afraid of? I’ll tell you what they’re afraid of – they’re afraid the promises made to them earlier that day aren’t true. The equipment won’t work, the training was faulty, and this is generally a very stupid idea. A lack of faith.
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Science Made Stupid Again

I stumbled across a funny site called “Science Made Stupid” and started writing a post about it…

Introduction

Since the dawn of time, man has looked to the heavens and wondered: where did the stars come from? He has looked at the great diversity of plants and animals around him and wondered: where did life come from? He has looked at himself and wondered: where did I come from?

Later, he began to ask more complicated questions. He looked in his wallet and asked: where did my paycheck go? Am I on the right bus? Who do you like in the series?

To the former questions, at least, science has provided answers.

… and then it started to look familiar. Too familiar. Turns out I thought it was funny in June 2004, too.

My memory may be failing, but at least my humor is consistent.

Lowering Stress

I’ve been tagged by Spin the Moon. I dunno why. Do I look like the kind of guy that plays “tag?” I’ll humor her, though. This time. 😛

Things you enjoy, not because you have to but because you WANT to, even when no one around you wants to go out and play. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it to your journal. And then tag 5 friends and ask them to post it to theirs.

Five things, eh? My first choice is to fire up a video game and get lost in another world. Lately it’s been Civilization III, but prior to that was Ultima Online and Starcraft.

Second is watching a movie, either at the theater or at home.

Third is reading a good book. While I mostly read non-fiction lately, a good fiction novel will keep me occupied for hours.

Fourth is… um… eating a pint of ice cream. I don’t do that very often. 😛

Fifth is… I dunno. By the time I’ve worked my way through a pint of ice cream, I need a nap.

And now I must “tag” five others. Miss Vox and Uptown Girl and Spritzy and The Journey and Pamibe get the nod. Assuming they read this, of course. 😛