Gospel of Luke Chapter 2:1-20- The REAL Christmas Story

The-King-James-Bible

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

The Shepherds and the Angels

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”

13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors!

15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.*

This Holiday, let's remember Jesus is the reason for the season!
*All Scriptures were read from the Holman's Christian Standard Bible

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Flicks

I’ve done this before, but why not again for 2014? This is a pretty good list!

Book Review- What’s So Great About Christianity?

Once again, I know that Dinesh D’Souza is in jail for a crime that he pleaded guilty. That has little relevance to this01 dnesh review.

What’s So Great About Christianity? is a great resource for those interested in Christian Apologetics studies, but have no idea where to begin. Books are vast, but many of them are written in intellectual language that no one cares about, but here we have Dinesh D’Souza’s awesome book.

It takes on both atheist and agnostic criticisms of religion, and Christianity in particular, and dissects them all one by one, giving the reader some pretty good comebacks for our “atheist” friends who heard a good quote on TV. It delves into philosophy, metaphysics, science, and the taboo subject of suffering. While I disagree with some of Dinesh’s beliefs, I find his arguments for Christianity compelling and worth the read.

Thanksgiving 2014: the Geneva Bible Reading Challenge

01 1599 Geneva Bible

Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was quite a stir among evangelical Christians about all of the new Bible translations and paraphrases there were out there. I read the International Children’s Bible, the New King James Version, and the (original) New International Versions growing up. Now, I primarily read the Holman’s Christian Standard Bible, but I try not to limit myself to one version. However, there were those of a certain opinion that the original King James Version was the only true English translation. Of course, they did not mean the 1611 version because no one can read that, but there was a definite push back against any more modern versions. One point, they claimed, was that is the first English Bible to come to the United States of America.

I did some research and discovered that they are misinformed in this opinion. The very first Bible (much less English) to reach the shores of America was, in fact, the Geneva Bible, published in 1599. It came over with the Pilgrims and was very influential in early American culture.

When I learned this, I decided to take up a challenge and read what the very first American colonists found. I decided I would read the whole Geneva Bible straight through and so far, I’ve found something interesting. In the KJV, you can feel God’s wrath and anger in every story, but the GB, you feel the love and compassion God has for humanity. You feel his grace and mercy, and the bitterness of our human nature to turn against the very God who gave us life.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I see the strife, hardships, abandonment, and illness that plagued the colonists at Jamestown. However, I also see their sense of unity, honor, sacrifice, and of passion to believe what they wanted. I’m reading the Bible they had and how it played such a huge role in their lives. I truly understand now how it brought them closer as a people-group, but also as brothers in Christ.

For 2015, I will continue this reading challenge and learn more from the 1599 Geneva Bible. I will keep you posted as I take this journey and see where it takes me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 100 Movie Villains: 100-91

100 villains

These are the stuff of our nightmares. They made us laugh, cry, shout in rage, and sent shivers down our spines These are the baddest of the bad and the most evil of the evil. This is who I see as the:

TOP 100 MOVIE VILLAINS

100-91

91. Grand Duke of Owls (Rock-A-Doodle, 1992)

92. Captain Cho (Red Dawn, 2012)

93. Captain Terrill (The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976)

94. The Riddler (Batman Forever, 1995)

95. Jaws (Jaws, 1975)

96. Master Control Program (Tron, 1982)

97. Prosatanos (Hellbound, 1994)

98. The Mummy (1932, Boris Karloff)

99. Dracula (1931, Bella Legosi)

100. Yves Massarde (Sahara 2005)

Movie Review- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Brought to us by film producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman, comes a reboot/remake of the franchise created by the minds of Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Ask any of my friends, as a fan of the 2000s series and of the first four theatrical films, I was hesitant. My brother-01 Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_posterin-law, who is a TMNT fan, planned a movie day, but I was thinking, “Nah, it’s a waste of time. They’ll just ruin it. Why waste my money?” However, some friends had us over and we watched it. I was not disappointed.

Of course, the elite critics are, as usual, rushing to criticize it. That’s what they do best: criticize good films while praising terrible films (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comes to mind).

Granted the story is nothing original. The story of the Ninja Turtles is told in comic books, films, tv series, and video games, so I’ll just give a general summary.

The four turtles are discovered fighting a ninja gang called The Foot Clan. They are photographed by news reporter April O’Neil (a miscast Megan Fox). She discovers a link to the Turtles and her deceased father and his friend Robert Sachs. Little does she know that she’s lead the Turtles and their mentor the genetically enhanced rat Master Splinter into a trap set by their arch-nemesis Shredder.

The film is one of the best series reboots I’ve ever seen. Yes, you can tell the Ninja Turtles are CGI. Grow up. It still looks freakin’ awesome when they do their ninja skills. I’ll grant that the story seemed rushed and Megan Fox is not exactly what I would call a “great actress” but she was good in this film. Also, I think the Shredder’s armor was a little overdone. It seemed a bit unrealistic, but this is a movie about Turtles who were exposed to a mutated ooze. If you are a TMNT fan and a die hard action film, this is the movie for you!

CAST:

  • Megan Fox as April O’Neil
    • Malina Weissman as young April O’Neil
  • Will Arnett as Vern Fenwick
  • William Fichtner as Eric Sacks
  • Alan Ritchson as Raphael
  • Noel Fisher as Michelangelo
  • Pete Ploszek as Leonardo (motion-capture performer)
    • Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo (voice)
  • Jeremy Howard as Donatello
  • Danny Woodburn as Splinter (motion-capture performer)
    • Tony Shalhoub as Splinter (voice)
  • Tohoru Masamune as Shredder
  • Whoopi Goldberg as Bernadette Thompson
  • Minae Noji as Karai
  • Abby Elliott as Taylor
  • Taran Killam as McNaughton
  • K. Todd Freeman as Dr. Baxter Stockman
  • Paul Fitzgerald as Dr. O’Neil