Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is Hollywood Hopeless?

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published a recent article that said this year's Oscar awards went to films that portray America as a society "without hope." The column by Gaetano Vallini ctiticized films such as No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood, which among other Oscar nominees are "sinister, filled with violence, and above all, without hope."
Vallini found fault especially with No Country for Old Men, saying the film, which garnered 4 Oscars including the coveted "Best Picture" award, was marred by "absurd and mindless acts of violence." He pointed out that the independent filmmakers, working outside Hollywood, chose to honor movies with a more positive message, such as Juno, the story of a young woman coping with an unexpected pregnancy. He also praised The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as a film that, "going against the prevailing trend, portrays the beauty of life."

What do YOU think? Is Hollywood hopeless?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nothing But Narnia?

On Tuesday, Lydia woke up in Narnia. Or at least that’s what she said. Because this was her view outside. Needless to say, everything in Toledo was closed. And the kids enjoyed another snow day off school. To celebrate, we watched the Chronicles of Narnia on DVD again. See any similarities between Narnia and Toledo? [Pic taken from window looking out front of house]

Gone In 30 Seconds?

What if you only had 30 seconds to get a message out? What would you say? Norm Miller, Chairman of Interstate Batteries, took the challenge creating a TV commercial you won’t want to miss. Click the triangular play button to watch the YouTube video.

Is Obama A Believer?

A photograph was released this week of Democratic Senator Barack Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders of the Wajir tribe in northeastern Kenya during a visit there in 2006. The photo is contributing to the widely circulated hoax e-mail that falsely accuses him of being a radical Muslim “possibly intent on destroying the United States.

As followers of Christ, whoever you vote for next Tuesday March 4 [if you're an Ohio Buckeye or Texas Ranger], it is our responsibility to “Stop judging by appearances and make right judgments” [John 7:24, NIV]. If it were written today, the Gospel writer might add these words to believers in the 21st century: "Don't forward emails that aren't true!!! It's the same thing as gossip. And Romans 1:29 says gossip is as bad as murder!!!"

Click the turban pic to read the very informative Snopes article clarifying the hoax email for which two Clinton Iowa volunteers resigned last December.

Click the oval logo to read the very informative Snopes article clarifying false accusations about his Chicago church.

And click the
Christianity Today logo to read the article about what Obama says he actually believes. Can't truth afford to be fair?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ron Paul Dead Yet?

Ron Paul's campaign is not dead yet according to a an LA Times blogger. The 72-year-old, 10-term congressman has just vowed to continue his current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Of all the Republican candidates left in the field at the end of January none other than Ron Paul had the most cash in hand. So he's got the money to keep his campaign going and he's got more funds flowing in each day from his loyal followers despite being largely ignored by the major media and being barred by Fox News from a debate.

Though "they say" he's not likely to have much impact in the actual GOP voting, which Sen. John McCain has almost wrapped up, he refuses to endorse McCain. And so far, has rejected overtures to run as a third party. Whoever you Buckeyes vote for in the primaries, don't forget to do so on March 4, 2008!!! Ding dong, Paul's Not Dead!!! Click the pic for all the Ron Paul merchandise you need going fast!!!

Who Loves The Logo?

Some of you know during our January 2008 Business Meeting, we voted to submit the necessary paperwork to launch a separate but affiliated 501c3 non profit organization. Doing so allows us to raise more money from local businesses and organizations unable to contribute directly to a church. We call it Haven of Hope. It's got a brick and a leaf to symbolize building hope through a variety of activities including the Women Ministry's Extreme Home Makeover projects. Big thanks and WTG to Women's Ministry leaders [with help from Root Learning Inc] for design help.

Months ago I told you about our weekly Vacation Bible School on Saturdays from 11-noon and from 5-6pm called Kid Connect. Pastor Aly settled on a logo she liked and I forgot to show it to you so here it is!!! It's meant to look like the icon from Instant Messenger allowing older kids [thru 12] to feel like Kid Connect is not just for young guns. Who loves the logo?

Now We're Legal?

According to an article in the Washington Post [click here details], the NFL has decided to set aside profit for community spirit. Wow. Miracles never cease!!! In a letter to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would not object to "live showings -- regardless of screen size -- of the Super Bowl" by religious organizations. Which is good news for us!!! Since we were doing it anyway!!! Now we can publicly invite families wanting to enjoy the Super Bowl in a group atmosphere to do so on our 25' screen!!!

At halftime, we use the Power To Win Homepak which includes a DVD with a Christian NFL player inviting others to follow Jesus. It makes a great Gospel centered half time show with no wardrobe malfunctions. Two years ago it was Tony Dungy, Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts making the appeal. This year featured Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Next year, it will be LaDainian Tomlinson, running back for the San Diego Chargers. I highly recommend Power To Win for halftime of your Super Bowl party [click the pic for more info]. Especially since we're legal now!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Give A Shoe, Change A Life?

Samaritan's Feet is an international ministry focused on brining a life-changing message of hope to youths and children through sports and recreational adventures. They provide relief to hurting people displaced due to poverty, ravaged wars, and religious persecution. They demonstrate compassion by washing and equipping their feet with shoes, and touching their hearts with the love of God.

Founded by Emmanuel (Manny) Ohonme, who was given his first pair of shoes a in Lagos, Nigeria when a stranger from Wisconsin befriended a young African boy, he developed a love for basketball eventually earning a full scholarship to the University of North Dakota where he met his wife Tracie and earned an executive position in a leading technology company.

Four years ago he left a lucrative marketing and supply chain job to start Samaritan’s Feet. Since then, over 500,000 pairs of shoes have been donated. And one basketball coach who heard about Manny began coaching barefoot to use his influence to raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet. Read the USA Today story by clicking here. Or click the pic for more details.

“Samaritan’s Feet” goal is to put 10 million shoes on the feet of 10 million impoverished people over the next 10 years. You wanna help?

Nappy-Citric Paczkis?

When cruelty and holidays collide, the weak-willed find solace in self-pity and comfort foods. While I prefer Paczkis [Polish jelly filled pastries pronounced "punch keys"], these hilarious hearts from Despair Inc. are a close runner up. Check out their new Bittersweets® - The Valentine's Candy for the Rest of Us.

Like the ubiquitous candy conversation hearts, Bittersweets® are made of flavored, chalky-tasting sugar and sport a message on their face. But unlike other candy hearts, theirs are stamped with bitter musings and mockeries. Supplies are limited. But the pain that accompanies them may not be.

Available in six different flavors, including: Banana Chalk, Grape Dust, Nappy-Citric, You-Call-This-Lime?, Pink Sand and Fossilized Antacid. Enjoy!!!

Why Castaway Bay?

Six years ago today, FEB 13, 2002, Joshua introduced himself to Lydia Kay Fortune. She was 8lb 10oz and 20.5" long.

To celebrate, we're taking the kids to Cedar Point's Castaway Bay.
With a tropical Caribbean theme, I'm told guests at Cedar Point's Castaway Bay will feel like they have just landed on an "island paradise" upon entering this "lush" indoor waterpark resort.
It's not far from Toledo. Happy birthday Lydia!!! We love you like crazy!!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Is This For Real?

My friend Monet married Zack and he's a big West Virginia fan. I thought of him when I saw this picture someone sent me. Don't know if it's legit...or if someone photo shopped it. But either way, I thought it was funny.


Who Was Airborne?

Last week, here in the ferocious midwest, mother nature dumped 6" of snow on us. Canceling school and snarling traffic throughout the greater Toledo area. Joshua and Lydia were delighted. So I took the kids to the Northview high school hill. Which was so full of mini vans and moms and dads that there was hardly anywhere to park much less sled!!! We finally found a place and headed out. Joshua immediately veered to the left. To the steep hill. With a jump. Lydia to the right. Where the "hill" was so flat bunnies would be embarrassed. Quickly realizing she was much more brave this year, Lydia wandered further and further to the left [insert Democratic Super Tuesday joke of your choice here] dragging me and her sled up and down until we eventually came face to face with Joshua preparing to take a running jump down the "big" hill.

[Editorial comparison: Those of you who know Marty and me may recall us flying down "Dead Man's Hill" in Virginia or the other hill near his house with cars parked at the bottom and that one year Marty actually hit the car at the bottom putting a dent in the car's bumper!!! Well, northview isn't quite that steep, but still quite the ride!!!]

Here, in this pic, Joshua is going airborne over the jump at the bottom of the big hill. And while I have no photographic proof to show you, even Lydia enjoyed the big hill. And the big jump. Dad? Not so much...

What's Valentines For Rwanda?

Did you know that 80% of deaths in Rwanda are caused by water-born illnesses? Did you know if churches in America decided to help children in Rwanda, we could help cut that death rate in half?

I didn't know any of that. Until recently. When the leaders of Women's Ministry and Youth Operate here at Toledo First filled me in. So they decided to host a fund raising banquet for the church and community they're calling Valentines For Rwanda on February 16, 2008 @ 7pm. The cost of the banquet is $10/person. Though contributions above and beyond that are welcome and needed, the goal that night is to raise $3k so 750 children in Rwanda will have clean water for life!!!

For that $10, you'll enjoy an awesome catered meal in our beautifully decorated fellowship hall at church, you'll hear a genocide survivor tell her story, you'll receive a gift bag including a take home Rwanda Clean Water water bottle to drag to the gym with you [perhaps prompting others to even ask you what that logo on it is all about], AND you'll know that you have made a difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world many of whom have no parents or grandparents due to the genocide that ravaged their country in 1990s.

Seating is limited and RSVP is required. If you haven't signed up yet, please do so by calling this number 419.882.6200. If you cannot attend, please consider contributing. No amount is too small or large. There is never a better time to do something than now!!! Rwanda Clean Water is comprised of people with different convictions, theology, age, and location working together to better humanity. Click the pic for more details.