Monday, March 29, 2010

We Who Live at the End of Time -- So what if we aren't raptured?

I'm getting more and more convinced that the end times are here...and that we won't be raptured. Okay, so if I'm wrong...no skin off my back. I'll be happily in the clouds. But if I'm right...uhm...I suspect the first Christian folks who will fall into the apostasy will be the un-raptured American Christians who believed in the prosperity gospel. Wouldn't they be majorly confused and royally pissed to find themselves still here on earth suffering prosperity? I doubt Christians who are used to suffering will be freaked out. They're used to suffering. But American Christians shy away from it.

So, I suspect their hearts will be failing from fear. Then, those who survived the shock, will probably fall for the Great Lie...because they'll want to believe.

Just thinking. Am sad, though, that --pre-trib or mid-trib or post-trib-- most Christians are utterly unaware of how terrifyingly late it is-- that the anti-christ is on the scene (whoever he might be), that we are literally in the last months of the last days, that we are ripe to be deceived.

Anyways, writing away and working on my novels. One of which --Constant Tower-- has no religion in it at all. Occupying til Christ comes. -C

The Real Face of Jesus

On Tuesday March 30, on History Channel, The Real Face of Jesus


The Real Face of Jesus on HISTORY 3/30
Uploaded by HistoryChannel. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weekend Movie-Viewing -- Hansel and Gretel


Okay, so I saw this Korean interpretation of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale last weekend but I was utterly utterly out of it and couldn't think. So I'm doing the review now. I totally loved this movie. It is flawless, beautiful, tragic, with a happy ending. It hits no false notes. What else can I say? Well, a lot more.

When the story begins, Eun-Su is driving to meet his mother whom has a troubled relationship with. He's about to become a father but there's problem with that issue as well. Poor Eun-Su is a somewhat distanced son about to become a somewhat distanced father. He's just not that connected to family and he almost -- just almost-- doesn't quite know what to do with family.

So he's driving along and has an accident where he bumps his head. When he wakes he finds himself in a forest, utterly lost. A little girl with a lamp -- who carries lamps in modern day Korea? -- leads him to her beautiful gingerbread house where he meets her brother, sickly younger sister, and their two very nervous-looking parents. Everyone is gaily dressed. A lit Christmas tree shines brightly, and dinner is made up of colored and pastel cupcakes and all manner of confections.

The house is beautiful. Ah, the colors and the brightness! I can't remember a film where brightness been used to show both sweetness and horror at the same time. And yet, something is terribly wrong. This story is like Stephen King's Misery meets . . . well Hansel and Gretel. After Eun-Su gets better, he'd like to leave. After all, his girlfriend is having a baby. And he has to see his estranged mom. But he's already caught up in the story of these children. He's become the hero of their tale. And well. . . no one gets out alive. Ah, the love of a child for its parent! Ah, the dangerous love of a needy wounded child for a perfect parent!

The effect all this has on a viewer is to fear innocence, especially wounded innocence. Wounded love can go over the top in its neediness and in its desire to have sweetness and certainly, there's a fascistic sweetness to the children's world. Who can glut themselves everyday on sweets? But that's what a child wants, right? And DEFINITELY what a wounded child wants.

There world is lovely -- a child's version of all that is sweet and happy and good in the world. (A world created from a Christmas postcard and possibly from too many 1960's movies) But the world is also dangerous and the children accepts no challenges to the sweetness they so desperately desires. That a wounded child, a wounded human, could create such a stifling world based on the need to be happy....well, it rings dang true! And yet, one cannot dislike the children. One can, perhaps, dislike an evil dictator although one knows his wounded childhood. But not these children. Their hold is not on all the world. They simply have one corner of the world which they rule with a strong supernatural hand. And woe betide the mom and dad who turn out to be less than loving.

Now, was this all in his head --- a kind of psycho-drama created by the psyche of a wounded child so he could be healed enough to become a loving father? Was it a ghost story? Are the children dead? Was it a story of magic entering the life of a person to bring about healing for the kids and the father-to-be?


I really liked the kids. I thought there was some hint in the last scene that they had found some kind of happiness -- although in the "real world where Eun-su lives" people aren't always good to children. Although in Eun-Su's world children are suffering still without the benefit of magic... at least these three are free. I kinda got that idea. The memory of Eun-su in their life gives was a kind of healing thing for them. Perhaps they'll A) let the next stranger go free if he/she wishes to go or B) have some kind of growth toward understanding their own cruelty. They kept saying they were good children. And perhaps now they will perhaps kinda sorta believe they might also be doing evil as well. We can only help those we know...and unfortunately so much suffering is done behind doors so we don't really know.

I believe that life is complex for us humans. I believe in Perfect goodness and perfect evil -- but not among the human denizens of earth. Humanity must be judged on the gray scale

I'd like to believe that I've gone through life without harming anyone. I'm sure I haven't though...even though "I am a good person" as the kids would say. I have my guesses about moments when I've been cruel but I know I shall be unpleasantly surprised one day to discover I've hurt or wounded someone I didn't know. I like thinking I know these things. ;-)


Anyway, here's the link to the movie. And here is a description of the film, along with some other wonderfully sorrowful films about kids. The vid was made by my cinematic brother, James in the UK. We argue passionately about films but the love and respect is always there.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

General Update

Younger son is going back to school today. After so many months of being outside of school. Will see.

Hubby is getting ready to go on a visit to California to see his father. His dad is 83. I told Luke to pray for his father...even though the family is so secular. Faith and boldness needed.
He's going to calif on saturday for 4 days...so i'm trying to sleep and really drink my water...cause sometimes i need sex to kinda sleep. I really don't want Luke to go, cause I'll have to take care of son. Sleepless woman in pain taking care of young non-verbal son -- for two days. Hard. But God is helpful.

The last email he got from his father was a few days ago and his father basically said "here are the names of the 7 dwarves." That was all. His dad wrote "doc" twice. His dad was a computer programmer from the old days with a very complicated math science program that helped many applications... used by the airline industry to figure out scheduling and time zone
So it's defionitely a case of "what a great mind is here overthrown!" Luke is handling it kinda okay but he's so quiet about stuff. And his mother is kinda weepy on the phone.

Sometimes it's a severe mercy to bring the proud to the ground. Better to be weak and to acknowledge it and die and not go to hell because one sees the need for God. But can someone in dementia really understand his need for God? I also think this is not what God wants as a norm. I think Christians are called to have a life above this. I also wonder about demonic elements in society which make us believe all this is normal.

ONION
Delacorte rejected it. Yeah, it's a bit on the religious side. So I kinda thought they might. But sent Onion to a Christian publisher now. Will see what happens. Before, I was trying not to think of the religious aspects of Onion cause I didn't want to stress out at being a religious writer. Now I'm thinking about what makes it not religious enough for Christian publishing. I'll just say that Christian publishing is majorly rigid...and my books tend to be quirky.

The CONSTANT TOWER
Psal is so loveable. I love him so much. As a main character, he is so clueless and so good-natured...when he isn't being whiny. Working on that as well. Working on the revisions...slowly. It's interesting working with a character who is clueless, though. Not wanting him to be stupid or insensitive. Hard row to hoe.

UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUES
Other than that, living in the throes of unemployment and illness has been interesting. So we're living on younger son's disability check, my pension, and hubby's unemployment check. It's been interesting to say the least. God provides, though.

OLDER SON
Older son was at Spring Break


-C

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Ark of the Lord in the temple of Dagon

Am doing Bible study now with my hubby and we're reading I Samuel chapter 5 where the ark of the lord is in the temple of a demon... and even in the demon's temple God shows Dagon who is the true Lord of the universe. It's a real blessing for me. And I'll be pondering it today and meditating.


1 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. 4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

I'm still getting off the high I always get on whenever I read Judges -- a great literary book which is totally fun because it shows the flaky stuff pseudo-spiritual and legalistic folks do when they do that which is right in their own eyes.

Then I went through Ruth. Loved it.

So here I am in I Samuel. This time round I felt a real love for Eli. He's a sweet soul. And also thought of Samuel ministering before the Lord in his cute little ephod that his mother made for him. There was a sweetness to that.

So anyway, am now at this passage and am really arrested by it. I really have to ponder it. A part of me is thinking of the temple as our bodies. Imagine our bodies being ruled by an evil strongman within. And then God is brought into this temple of our bodies. And the strongman is made to bow low in his own temple. I'm just pondering it...wow! Even in a place where the world or false religion rules, God within can destroy the system -- or the body, or the household-- destroys the power of the false god and makes the strongman bow in his own temple. I just am really blessed by that.

God with us, the hope of glory. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. Thank you, Jesus.

-C

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dr. Alan Koslow's Weight Loss Diet

Well...gonna attempt to try this

With these rules you will have a 1200-1500 calorie diet without having to count calories. But it only works if you follow them. I'm down 74 pounds as of this morning, six months and two weeks into my program. Please let me know what you think.

Eat as much fresh or lightly cooked/steamed (no oil or fat) fruits, vegetables and legumes as you want. I eat five to eight pounds everyday.

Eliminate condiments (butter, ketchup, mayo, fat based) except vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and spices.
NO!! fried foods.

four ounces of meat or fish or two ounces cheese max twice a day.

Cut down to close to none on all traditional white things, i.e. bread, potatoes, rice (all colors) and pasta. Limit it to two to four ounces a day.

At a restaurant replace starch with second vegie or double vegies and either plan on splitting dinner with someone else or have wait staff split it in kitchen before bringing it to you and pack the second half to go.

Eat fruit for dessert or at most take a single (moderate) fork full of someone else's dessert.

The extra rule is: Tell EVERYONE you are dieting to lose weight. This creates a social contract with all.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yay! My Bible Study on RawSistaz ebook readathon

This morning I read the news that my Bible study Seeds of Bible Study: How not to read the Bible will be on the ebook readathon being done by rawsistaz YAY!

I like that little book. I have yet to update the version now up on amazon but the ebook is pretty much updated.

Anyway, I'm super-happy. Why, you may ask? Because my heart is in that little book. My literature-loving heart, my editorial heart (not that the book is really that perfectly edited), and my Bible-loving heart.

I wrote it because I've seen so many people mishandle the word of God...or mishandle words PERIOD. There are a lot of assumptions about stuff in the Bible that is based on people not taking words seriously. Or they don't know how to understand words. Or they don't know how to question their church's traditional understanding of a verse. Or they didn't even know they were reading the Bible wrongly and were mis-interpreting and mis-reading.

So, yeah, it's my little foray in the battle against glibness. And my little battle to make folks learn to read carefully and to know what they're saying about the Bible -- or about anything-- before they repeat it.

Back in the day when I used to teach, I'd warn the kids over and over to practice critical reading....and to be very careful what they repeat -- even if they were repeating something someone very important and famous said. I'm hoping my kids will grow up to be very careful with words. Because, dang!, many Christians, many Christian writers, many secular writers, many intelligent people....just don't examine words that's handed down to them. These are the last days...and even if it makes me look like a pill I'm not going to let some unexamined comment go down without challenging it. Even if the greatest writer or minister supposedly said it.

So yeah, the book is up at the ebook readathon. You can also download it from this site (see column to the left) or from Lulu.com -C

Friday, March 12, 2010

WTF Moment in Bible Study: Samson...oh yeah, and Delilah

Okay, so now we're in Judges which I totally love. If there was a Bible book that was written by a woman, it's definitely Judges! Ah, the women of Judges. But anyway, there we are at Samson.

When his story begins, the Phillistines and the Israelites are living in relative peace. True, the Israelites are not rulers in their land and are under tribute but hey, they've gotten accustomed to it. MUCH too ACCUSTOMED and at PEACE with the situation. God decides to make trouble.

And how does he do it? He sends an angel to a barren woman and tells her he'll give her a child. She is to have a special diet and to keep herself pure from unclean foods. She does -- and what does she get for this special mercy? What kind of perfect child does God give to her? A vindictive, strong kid with a very nasty temper!!!! Yes, my kind of deliverer.

But still, there isn't trouble. Both the Phillistines and the Israelites aren't apt to fight over anything. So what does God do? He makes Samson fall in love with a Phillistine woman? Yes, yes, I know... ministers like saying that Samson's lust carried him away. Puhleze! The Bible states that "this thing was from the Lord." I suspect people like saying it's Samason's fault because they remember that Moses had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with the Phillistines, so ministers think that God wouldn't willfully cause Samson to sin like that. But really? Hey, Samson was totally fine when he lied through his teeth to Delilah. (Anyway, we haven't gotten to Delilah yet.)

So, yeah, God sets up poor Samson to fall in love with a woman from the enemy's camp. So God could start trouble with his vindictive nasty-tempered deliverer! I love it!

So Samson gets into a snit because the Lords of the phillistines threatened and nagged his wife to give him an answer to a riddle. And what does he do? He goes down to Eskalon and murders 30 innocent people who had nothing to do with his fight with the other Phillistines. But even then, the Phillistines don't get too upset about it. They let it go. Yes, they LET IT GO. But God has made this particular deliverer majorly testy -- a troublemaker of the highest order. And Samson keeps causing trouble...ruining the Phillistine crops. The Phillistines -- extremely patient people-- ask the men of Judah (Israelites) to help them capture Samson. The men of Judah think Samson is being unreasonable. But he allows them to bound him and then he kills the Phillistines who have finally lost their temper.

The Phillistines let this go as well. Amazingly! They don't kill a ton of Israelites. But they are losing patience with Samson.

Then Samson meets Delilah. No, she isn't a harlot. He meets her after he visited a harlot. And we don't know what Delilah is. The Bible doesn't say. Many Christians think she's a Phillistine. This is probably because of that xenophobic evil strange woman thing so many Christians have. A bit of racism or whatever. Anyway, ministers want to believe she's a Phillistine. But for all we know she could've been a sweet little Israelite farmer's daughter.

Samson loves her. We don't know if she loves him. But why not assume she does? After all, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Esther was in love with the king (or that she liked being one of a zillion women in the king's harem) but we assume. So, yeah, I'll assume she loved him. AT FIRST Anyway...then she gets all treacherous on him.

Down come the Phillistines....and they're (rightly) annoyed with Samson's shenanigans. So Delilah caves. Know what? I think I would've caved too if someone bribed me. Plus we KNOW how they had threatened Samson's other wife.

So she nags Samson -- Oh please! Let's not judge either her or Samson. Bible readers are always behaving as if IF they were in Samson's position they wouldn't have caved. Or if they loved someone they wouldn't have betrayed Samson. Well, let's see what happens when/if persecution comes. I can see why Delilah nagged. Although, I have to admit...she could've told Samson they were bribing her. Anyway I can see why Samson caved after being nagged so long. -- and Samson gives up his secret (He has a Nazarite vow of purity and cannot cut his hair.)

Again, at the end, we don't see the Phillistines harming any of the Israelites. They just don't seem real prone to harming anyone... and they only go against Samson after he killed their people.

But what gets me here in this story is how utterly at peace the Israelites were with being oppressed? And that God had to go to such measures to cause trouble with their oppressors? That's the way the Christian world is -- we're at ease with our diseases, the demonic element, the ways of the world. Ah, unholy peace! We need a holy troublemaker to challenge us to destroy the giants in the land. -C

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success



Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success
by Dawn McCoy


  • Paperback: 208 pages

  • Publisher: Flourish Publishing Group (February 1, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0981994490

  • ISBN-13: 978-0981994499


  • Want to be an extraordinary leader? Lead with courage and integrity – and make it work for you!

    A former elected official and community leader offers timeless Leadership Building Blocks as strategies essential for today’s leaders. This book will challenge and inspire you to be bold, dynamic, and resilient and shows you how to leave a remarkable legacy in any leadership role.

    You will follow the author’s experience and discover how to:

    Get an insider perspective and condense your leadership learning curve
    Honor your intuition and make better decisions
    Achieve results with leadership short-cuts without compromising quality
    Lead courageously in the face of adversity
    Connect with people and secure buy-in from solid relationships
    Are you new to a leadership role? Leadership Building Blocks provides you a step-by-step guide in your leadership journey. No longer wet behind the ears? You’ll gain helpful resources and greater insight.

    Unlike other leadership books, Leadership Building Blocks offers you a systemic approach that keeps you on the right track. The result: reduce your learning curve, have more fun, and leverage your experiences.

    About the Author

    Dawn McCoy is author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success. As one of the youngest elected African-American elected to the Sacramento City Unified School Board, McCoy shares seven leadership fundamentals in her book. Inspiring readers to be top in their field, Dawn shares her insights based upon twenty years serving as a nonprofit and government executive.

    A motivational speaker, coach, and founder of Flourish Leadership Group, a leadership development and communications firm, Dawn is dedicated to transforming ordinary people into extraordinary leaders. In recent years, she has worked with organizations to develop their vision and create phenomenal results. Dawn has worked with hundreds of individuals to help them capture their spirit of leadership and truly become the effective leaders they were meant to be.

    Tuesday, March 09, 2010

    Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults




    Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults 
    Christian Smith with Patricia Snell (Oxford University press)




    • Hardcover: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (September 14, 2009)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0195371798
    • ISBN-13: 978-0195371796








    Monday, March 08, 2010

    Finished Joshua

    Okay, I have never really loved the book of Joshua. All that land allotment stuff. And I've always loved Judges. As a bit of legal fun -- to see how the people mess up when they start occupying the land and doing that which they thought was good in their hearts.

    But now I've finished Joshua and I'm thinking of that spiritual kingdom we Christians should have conquered. Healing of the sick, casting out of demons, cleansing the lepers -- such giants! I'm sad, I'll admit it. The Church has cast aside so much of its glories. St Paul said we should preach the word with power, that God wants to prove the sonship and glory of Jesus through great works done in Christ's name.

    I look at Joshua and it reminds me of the Book of Acts. The land still unconquered, the captain of the people's salvation...and the conqueror/deliverer now gone...and trusting the people to occupy the land. And I get so sad that in the geographical case and in the spiritual/literal case, the people of God have compromised with the giants.

    I'm mad at the early church for losing the way under Constantine, at other parasitic religions that fed off Christianity (and further confused the issue) and at modern human laziness and sin. I want to believe that at least in this life -- in MY life-- the glories of Christ's great salvation can be revealed. So upsetting, though.

    I have several atheist and moslem friends who walk about sneering at Christ. Philosophical ideas are not what God told us to use. We are to use God-with-us, the power of Jesus' blood, the power of God's living word, the name to which all names must bow. I could argue til I'm blue in my black face that Jesus is Lord and that he had to shed his perfect and righteous blood for the remission of the sins of the whole world -- of whom I am chief sinner. But let God heal my son! Let God's people rise up against giants such as cancer and schizophrenia and autism and AIDS with only the name of Jesus...and let the giants tumble.... then my friends will shut their mouths and magnify our God! -C

    Sunday, March 07, 2010

    Weekend Movie-Viewing: The Suffering Silent Lover Edition

    Okay, there's a lot of suffering silent lovers in Asian films. Perhaps the Asian culture has more about self-sacrifice than the western culture. (But I've seen a lot of movies with silent loving western types.) Who knows? Not in the mood to ponder too much now.

    So I saw two movies. The first was Diva Love, a Taiwanese romantic comedy and the second was Ditto, a Korean romantic version of the American film Frequency.

    Diva Love was so forgettable, I not only forgot scenes from the movie, I actually forgot what the entire film was about and had to jog my memory. Okay, so here it goes: Gorgeous hunk sees gorgeous girl and says, "if she's destined for me, we'll meet again." So, of course they meet again but this time -- as happens in sacrificing suffering lover films-- she's with some other guy. His brother. She's married to HIS brother. His brother (of course) is weak and is fooling around with a secretary. Long story short, yadda yadda, they get together after brother and sis-in-law divorce. The only good thing about this movie was the actor...quite cute. The bad thing about this flick: the depiction of Asian young modern woman. She's hip and modern but kinda cute floozy-lite. She has that kind of "what the hell is this offense?" thing that women in these flicks have? I mean she gets offended about something -- I guess to show she's a strong woman-- but really there's nothing there that would offend me. But it's the kind of offense one finds in western and eastern romantic comedies...to show the woman has a mind of her own and is real deep. So, yeah, whatever. But what was really especially annoying was the forced giddiness when she gets drunk or feels sad or hopeless. Yeah, I know... it's supposed to be cute. Well, it's not.

    Not that women in the Taiwanese culture can't be cutely drunk, or cutely tempestuous. But honestly, I don't know if they really can do it in such a western way. (Am i being too provincial here?) Those kind of silly tantrums and shouting in a restaurant and well...all those stereotypical young woman drama.... I just felt it was way borrowed. I'd have preferred sexual humor founded in the Asian culture. But then, as I said, I could be talking out my ear. Maybe all young drunk sexy things act this way....and that's why guys love them.

    So the next movie.... now this one was sadder...seeing it's Korean and all. In Ditto, a boy from 2000 and a girl from 1979 talk to each other on Ham radio. Usual stuff happens but then boy tells girl who his parents are. SPOILER!!!! Yes, boy is the son of girl's present boyfriend and present best friend. From the moment the girl hears this, she withdraws from life. And she lives her life in sorrow. (People love real deeply in korean films.) But then there is the chance that she could fall in love with the son of her boyfriend. But when she meets him (in the present) -- although the sparks are all there-- she does the same thing (DITTO, get it) that she did before ...bypass him. Thus she dooms herself to sorrow for the rest of her life.

    Okay, call me a hopeless romantic. But why couldn't she have hooked up with the son? I thought about it. First, I suppose because she couldn't have fallen in love with a kid younger than she was. There's this weird Korean thing about age-friends. So it would've been weird. Second, she would've been in love with her old boyfriend, really. Not the son himself. Thirdly, if she chose to love him she would've been intruding yet again into someone else's life -- the young girl the kid from 2000 is kinda sorta hanging out with. (Okay, a very romantic part of me wanted the girl from 2000 to somehow be the daughter of the 1979 girl. In that way, the children could've gotten together even though the parents didn't. Yes, I wanted that because I'm hopelessly western. And because, great marriage though I have, I totally think a person could love again. There can be more than one great loves in a person's life, no?)

    So I wasn't real please at the ending. Then I got into a discussion with a friend who really loves sad movies. Too much so I think. And I got to thinking about the willfulness of hopelessness. Nihilism could become so romanticized in some people that hope offends some people. (I am not naming names but it got me annoyed that he wouldn't want to give these characters hope. And it got him annoyed that I kept insisting on a hopeful way out of the story.)

    Dang, that someone could hold on to hopelessness with so much willful intensity! No, I don't think so. Give a character hope, I say. But what got me was the willful need to be hopeless. Very annoying. Anyway, that's my internet movie stuff for the weekend. -C

    Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    WTF Moment in Bible Study: the death of leaders

    Okay, so there is hubby and me finishing up Deuteronomy. And what do I do? I start crying and weeping and blubbering at Moses' death. Snot is everywhere. I'm imagining all the Israelites feeling bereft cause the leader who has led them these many years is now going to die. (Why do people go up to mountains to die? Okay, Moses is buried by God in a valley but he died on the mountain. So, yeah... Aaron dies on Horeb and Moses dies on Nebo.)

    Anyway, I got to thinking of when Jesus died and left his disciples. Then I got to thinking of the verse about ....God had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

    Maybe I've been wounded by all the silly helpless, cruel, cold, inept ministers I've had to deal with. Or maybe I'm dealing with loss of grandfather issues. Who knows? Maybe it was some sort of cosmic desperate cry of loneliness and wanting to be near God...or at least to be near someone who is close to God.

    Then I remembered one of my favorite hymns that we sing almost every night. There's a line which goes: "Not as orphans are we left in sorrow now." I tell myself I must remember that.

    I just cried and cried as if I had lost my own father. Very weird.




    Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, His the throne.
    Alleluia! His the triumph, His the victory alone.
    Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood.
    Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by His blood.

    Alleluia! not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
    Alleluia! He is near us, faith believes, nor questions how;
    Though the cloud from sight received Him when the forty days were o’er
    Shall our hearts forget His promise, “I am with you evermore”?

    Alleluia! bread of angels, Thou on earth our food, our stay;
    Alleluia! here the sinful flee to Thee from day to day:
    Intercessor, Friend of sinners, Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
    Where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.

    Alleluia! King eternal, Thee the Lord of lords we own;
    Alleluia! born of Mary, Earth Thy footstool, Heav’n Thy throne:
    Thou within the veil hast entered, robed in flesh our great High Priest;
    Thou on earth both priest and victim in the Eucharistic feast.

    Tuesday, March 02, 2010

    Okay, saw Synesthesia 2006

    I saw Synesthesia today (some movies on that list I simply cannot bring myself to watch) and well,....flooding thoughts.

    Basic synopsis: Weird murderer killing people surrounded by this little girl, Mari. Shin and Takashi -- computer-types just this shy of the law-- protect her. Shin's a synesthete. And the murderer is a synesthete. And the female cop looking to find the murderer suspects as much.

    First: weirdly, the thing that touches me about this film is Shin's relationship with Takashi. Okay, sure it's the helpless little friend/brother thing but it works. And although the writers didn't give Takashi much of a backstory, there was enough there to make the viewer really like him and LONG for his happiness. Heck, we didn't even know the depth of his need to find love until he discovered it when he fell for Mari.

    Secondly: that ending. The very last bits of it.... Aaaargh!!!!!!! This is something that annoys the heck out of me when it comes to certain Japanese movies and you'll probably groan in disbelief when I say this but honestly I would rather believe that Shin is carrying his friend's body down that hill rather than Mari's. YES, the shot is messed up. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen a Japanese or Korean movie which is unduly confusing because I simply don't know what has happened at the end. (Yes, you may laugh...but it took me a while to figure out the ending of Viva Love.) So here we have a long shot.... and someone being carried...and I KNOW it's supposed to be Mari because, well, Takashi is a smelly corpse by now and probably burnt. But as a writer (and you're one too) I will challenge these screenwriters. They're the ones who had Takashi say (when he was so involved in the video game) "Take me to the hill yadda yadda and bury me yadda yadda." So, if they were to book-end that little motif and honor the friendship between the guys they SHOULD've had Shin carry his friend's body...or urn.

    Thirdly.... True, the two synesthetses (?) found each other. And I keep remembering C S Lewis' definition of friendship. ("True friendship is when you meet someone and you say, "You do that too?" Something like that.) But dang! Although it was touching for him to find someone very much like himself, it wasn't as if he hadn't found love. And that is an important point. Sure we saw his pregnant girlfriend being stressed out about her inability to truly understand him...but the filmmakers mightily missed the boat because they didn't show his grief or sorrow about not being understood. So, whether it was a writerly mistake or not, the film itself doesn't show that
    Shin lacked much or even was feeling alone. Not meaning to be a pain here...but you know as well as I do that writers can "think" they've put something into a plot when they haven't really put it in the story at all. Shin just didn't seem all that lonely. So, my friend James who recommended this flick has imbued the Shin character with a longing and grief the character just doesn't have...or at least one which (if it's there) isn't properly shown by the screenwriters' skill.

    There are so many things that bothered me about this movie....although I gotta say I liked it. It didn't quite do the paranoia thriller thing for me. It didn't do the police procedural thing. (Nope. Definitely didn't hold together there.) It didn't do the surreal hallucinatory thing (which might have been nice.) It didn't do the medical thriller. And it didn't touch me with the sense of loss. When James described this movie, I thought: wow, I'll be enveloped in loss, longing, and alienation. I WAITED for it. Nada, nada. I want my alienation and isolation heavy. And we didn't see this from Shin at all. Yep, he was relatively well-adjusted.

    I will always remember this movie as the story of two lost "brothers:" Mari's brother who lost her. Shin's loss of Takashi (his friend/brother.) And maybe even as a story of a pregnant woman attempting to connect to her boyfriend but I will always remember it joyfully as the story of Takashi. Which isn't bad. I liked the movie for that...and that's where the heart of the film was for me.

    James steered me to a good flick...but alas, for all the wrong reasons. I liked it, though..
    I have to add that hubby thought Shin shouldn't have killed her. He's sitting beside me suggesting Shin should have sent her to the cops or to psychotherapists. Honestly! Yeah, Shin didn't have to kill her but it was one of the most necrophiliac erotic murders I've seen in a while. So...perhaps some fulfillment there. For the characters...not me.

    Monday, March 01, 2010

    Korean and Japanese Movies Recommended to me that I HAVE to see

    This is a compiled list from several folks. These don't include the one's I've already seen. Some are very heart-breaking and some are popcorn stuff. They don't include the ones I've seen already and posted on. (A few Chinese flicks thrown in)

    Project Makeover
    Happiness
    Josee, the Tiger, and The Fish
    My Girl and I
    Sorum
    Seducing Mr Perfect
    Brotherhood
    Samaritan Girl
    The Classic
    Legend of the Seven Cutter
    Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
    Synaesthenia
    Becoming Myself
    Please teach me English
    Marriage is a Crazy Thing
    Someone Special
    Love & Pop
    Love Phobia
    ...ing
    Spring Bears Love
    The Man who was superman
    Old Boy
    Dead Friend
    Innocent Steps
    You are my Sunshine
    No One To Watch Over Me
    what happened last night
    The house guest and my mother
    10 Promises to my dog
    One liter of tears
    You are not alone
    Attack of the pinup boys
    A tale of two sisters
    Ditto
    The Turning Gate
    My Sassy Girl
    Tears
    Lovely Complex
    100 Days with Mr Arrogant
    Romantic Island
    He was cool
    Windstruck
    My first love
    My Brother is Type B
    Almost Love
    My Love
    A Wolf's Temptation
    Daisy
    Crazy First Love
    A moment to Remember
    Sweet Lies AKA Lost and Found
    Hana-bi
    Now and Forever
    Don't laugh at my romance
    Paris Love Story
    Beast and the Beauty
    When Romance meets Destiny
    Dear Enemy
    Secret Sunshine
    The Case of the Itaewon Homicide
    First Kiss
    Singles
    Love Me Not
    Frivolous Wife
    Old Miss Diary
    The sunflower
    Daddy long legs
    A boy who went to heaven
    Tears for you
    Picnic
    Princess Aurora
    One fine spring day
    Once in a summer.
    Castaway on the Moon
    The Chaser
    I'm a Cyborg
    Art of Seduction
    Kick the Moon
    My Tutor Friend 2
    And the Rest is Silence
    3 Iron House ? <-- I think.... I can't read my handwriting.
    White Valentine
    The Killer
    Baby and Me
    Beautiful
    Departures
    Fine, Totally Fine,
    My Brother
    Voice of a Murderer

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