War Room Review

war room

This was shown at the church we are attending. War Room is fifth movie from the Kendrick brothers, movie-making ministers at Sherwood Baptist Church; their other movies include “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants.”

The movie’s premise essentially hammers home the message that it’s  incumbent upon the believer’s works in order for God to act. Nothing going your way? Husband about to cheat? [Etc. etc.] Well you better get down on your knees, sister because, well, the reason God isn’t intervening in your life? Well, you’re just not praying enough. As if God needs us to do anything in order for Him to do everything.

Guess the Fundies loved the premise of this movie, though, as I note on IMDB.com that this movie grossed, as of the end of December, 2015, over 67,000,000. It’s the top grossing evangelical movie ever. [The Kendrick’s previous movies also grossed in the millions.]

What would the Kendrick’s say to the pastor and his wife who lost two of their children?  To the friends we have who lost their adult son? To us, who prayed for my father in law when he was ill (he passed away last fall)? To my praying husband, who’s been without work since the end of November, 2015? “Well, you just weren’t praying enough.” I CALL UTTER B.S.   Prayer doesn’t function like some magic genie – rub the genie and your wishes are granted.

Although these days I’m finding it difficult to figure out exactly what prayer does do in my life.  Prayer? Can’t hurt, might help, I guess. Other people’s prayers are seemingly answered or at least God’s given the credit when things work out.

As an aside, things seem pretty hush-hush however when it comes to distribution of all those greenbacks. So, where does all the money go? Is some of it given to the poor? Scholarships set up for kids too poor to go to University? Syrian refugees sponsored? Food banks started? Missionaries sponsored overseas? Or does it all go to finance a uber-wealthy lifestyle for the Kendricks? Wouldn’t be the first time pastors lived high on the hog.

Quit While You’re Ahead

Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: "Television" by Vande Walle Ewoud  https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh
Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: “Television” by Vande Walle Ewoud https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh

Here’s a story of a man named John Q. Public.

John Q. Public drops cable/satellite tv because of ridiculous costs, and joins Netflix, subscribes to Apple TV and/or finds other ingenious ways to get content into his home.

At first, the Canadian networks offer their content online for free, until big telecom buys them (Bell owns CTV , Shaw owns Global TV, and Rogers owns City TV. The Canadian government owns CBC network, but since no one watches it anyways, likely there’s little threat to revenues!)

After Big Telecom buys the networks, and indeed purchases most of the cable channels such as HGTV, John Q. can only watch their content online if you have a cable account. (CTV is one exception – according to their website content is online for seven days after first being posted. However, to watch archived content online, you must log in with your subscriber account).

Costs to have cable and/or satellite TV continue to skyrocket.

John Q. Public sighs, figures out a way to get American Netflix from Canada –believing the internet should be borderless—blocks his IP address and streams and downloads more. (If the CRTC is going to block content at the border, why not block violent pron? Just saying…)

More loss of cable subscribers ensue. (I can only surmise Telus Optik TV was a dismal failure, perhaps because if you had it, you changed to a dynamic IP address and thus lost the ability to stream due to no static IP address).

John Q. Public rolls his eyes, makes popcorn, and now nearly all John Q’s content is now streamed and downloaded. He buys a digital antenna to watch the local news.

One of Big Telecomm (Telus, but can Shaw be far behind?) latest moves is to charge for excessive data use, as if trying to get account holders coming and going. http://globalnews.ca/news/1841624/new-telus-data-charges-could-cost-some-netflix-users/

John Q. rolls his eyes once again and ditches Big Telecomm and switches providers, perhaps to a company like this. http://teksavvy.com/

The takeaway? John Q. will find a way to get their content as cheaply as possible and, for every roadblock Big Telecomm tries to put up, some industrious entrepreneur will find a work around.

Big Telecomm should quit while they are ahead.

Chemically Crafted

There’s a food item out that appears to contain no actual food – a beverage called Orange Cream Soda by a particular manufacturer. I knew it was coming; there is less and less “real” food in purchased food items these days unless one eats organic or all natural.  It’s all modified this (such as modified milk ingredients and modified starch) and additive that (such as caramel color).
I rarely drink soda, but, wanting a change, I ordered this soda the other night at dinner.    Curious, since it was $4, I looked at the ingredients label, expecting to see it was made from all natural, organic ingredients.  What I found was anything but, despite the sales pitch on the label which states:
A rich, Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with the complexity and character of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanicals. We proudly present our Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, including a blend of select oranges, mandarins, and real vanilla. This recipe’s added complexity and character comes from a blend of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanical extracts including lemon grass and angelica root. Enjoy this truly classic Orange Cream Soda recipe, originally crafted by our master brewers.
Here’s the ingredients
Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste)Natural and Artificial Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Erythorbic Acid, Yellow 6, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil.
Um, if it contains oranges, mandarins, vanilla, lemon, lime, ginger, nutmeg etc. should it not say that on the ingredient list?
Let’s break this “hand crafted with the finest quality ingredients” beverage down shall we:
High-fructose corn syrup is made from corn. After it’s milled, the resulting starch is processed into a syrup. By adding enzymes, the syrup is converted into fructose. Glucose syrup is then added to the mix to make high-fructose corn syrup. The most common form of the syrup contains 45 per cent glucose and 55 per cent fructose.
There are some studies, listed on the cbc.ca link, that suggest consumption of  HFCS plays a role in elevating triglycerides, as well as contributes to liver disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
prepared by treating the native starch to change the properties of the ingredient in order to enhance their performance in different applications (increase stability against heat, acid, to change texture, etc.)
  • Yellow No. 6 is a synthetic (i.e. man-made) food dye.
  • Citric Acid is
manufactured by a submerged fermentation process from a glucose and/or sucrose carbohydrate substrate. http://www.cargillfoods.com/wcm/groups/public/@cseg/@food/@all/documents/document/na3014920.pdf  
Basically it sounds bacteria (like mold) is added to glucose or sucrose  to ferment it.  Yum!
  • I wonder what glycerol ester of wood rosin is and if I will get a splinter drinking or eating something that contains it. Also known as “ester gum” it is
an effective weighting agent for adjusting the density of citrus oils and improves stability in beverages.http://www.ticgums.com/products.html?page=shop.browse&category_id=17
  • Finally there is “brominated vegetable oil” (BVO) which has been
patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, and banned in food throughout Europe and Japan, BVO has been added to sodas for decades in North America. Now some scientists have a renewed interest in this little-known ingredient, found in 10 percent of sodas in the United States.  For more info: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/brominated-battle-in-sodas
Does that mean by drinking something with this in it, I won’t spontaneously combust?

I’d like to see another label added to commercially prepared foodstuffs:

No real food was harmed in the making of this item. 

At least that label would be an accurate one.

Magazine World

Taken outside Granum, Alberta

I’ve decided I want to live in Magazine World.

It’s a parallel universe where, apparently, everyone takes the whole summer off to vacation at the cottage, can afford expensive items for their homes – vacation or otherwise – such as a $200 IPOD Toilet Tissue holder, buy designer clothing, and host fabulous – and catered – parties.

Reality Check

20% of North Americans either don’t take  vacations or use all their vacation time.  In part because we (Canadian and Americans) receive the fewest paid vacation days per year in the world at approximately 10 days, respectively and also in part because of fears of job security.    By contrast, the Danes receive 31 vacation days per year. [Denmark is a very enlightened country!] [vacation statistics from www.vault.com]

Of the North Americans that do take their vacation days, some spend their vacation days in such restful pursuits as visiting family members or completing the ‘honey-do’ list.  Others spend the “vacation” “working from home” – and in this case, a change is not as good as a rest.

Oh and that cottage Magazine World talks about?  A mere 9% of Canadians own cottages according to one source.

This lovely angel tops our tree at Christmas

But no time of year is more glorious and storybook-like in Magazine World than Christmas.  In Magazine World, everyone has a wonderful family and spends the month of December merrily going from fabulous party to fabulous party and has the halls decked to look like the cover of a magazine.  The only problems in Magazine World’s Christmas are how to manage your hangover and keep off those holiday pounds.

While it’s a myth that suicide rates increase at Christmas (in fact, statistically suicide rates decrease in December http://www.suicideinfo.ca/csp/assets/alert16.pdf), nonetheless, Christmas can be and is a very stressful time for a great deal of people.  Loneliness, depression, financial strain, family conflict and alcohol abuse can all intensify at Christmastime.

To make it through December relatively unscathed, the Center for Suicide Prevention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has these tips:

  • Plan to take time to identify your feelings about Christmas.
  • Be realistic; look at what you can afford to give (for tips, see: http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/alternatives/index.html
  • Choose to celebrate with people who make you feel positive and hopeful (for many of us that would exclude, rather than include, family members and in-laws).
  • Let go of your expectations and make time for what is important to you.

Or, you could move into Magazine World….

Check your brain at the door???

DH and I were @ our Bible Study the other night – though the Bible wasn’t opened nor passages of Scripture even referred to in the study.  We are studying the book “Do Science and the Bible Conflict” from the “Tough Questions” series from Willow Creek.

This series “primary audience is the not-yet-convinced seeker, these guides are designed to represent the skeptical, along with the Christian perspective.” [from the book]

First of all neither Dh nor I are getting a darn thing out of it.  Secondly,  discussion #2 entitled “Why are so few Scientists Christians” states “…There’s something in our psyche which imagines that the skeptical, questioning scientist does not fit with the faith-filled anti-intellectual religious person.  The scientist takes nothing for granted; the religious person believes what he is told to believe.”  [emphasis mine].

Trust me I am not making this up.  This has actually really peed me off.  Is this spiritual abuse or just extremely demeaning and insulting to Christians to imply we are all a bunch of idiots who follow our Leader blindly without question [wait a minute isn’t that a cult?]

If I was a “not-yet-convinced seeker”, studying this book wouldn’t entice me to becoming a Christian – if it meant that I had to check my brain at the door.