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Good Movies

   My wife and I have enjoyed some great black and white films.  We watched Fritz Lang's 1944 The Woman in the Window.  This was a thought provoking film about adultery.  Some comments:  1.  there was no nudity.  2.  there was no swearing.  God's name was not taken in vain.  3.  this psychological thriller was one of the best that I have ever seen.  It was tense, taut film about a serious subject.  (Fritz Lang also did the silent film Metropolis.)
     Then we watched another Fritz Lang film, Scarlet Street.  This 1945 film deals with the conscience, something that many film makers don't deal with today.   Well worth watching.
And then we watched a 1947 Dear Murderer.  What was so good was that the Lord's name was not being blasphemed. 
     All of these were tense movies, but without car chases, and without a dozen people being killed.  There were no explosions.  So turn off the modern shows and see some great old films.  Thanks Netflix.

Air shows and God

  This past Friday night my son and I went to see an air show and it was spectacular.  We got to see planes do unbelievable things - taking off and landing on shortened runways, taking off in formation, a car with a gas turbine engine on it with 10,000 horsepower!!, close military maneuvers, a night parachute drop by the British elite paratrooper team, several planes doing stunts with fireworks, etc.  One of the close maneuvers is flying a formation of four jet aircraft and the planes, at the closest point, are only 18 inches apart.  If you think of the skill it takes racing down a highway with 18" between cars, and here it is four aircraft all within 18 inches of each other!  Wow!  That was some excitement. 
     But then I realized that it was God who gave man the ability to do that.  He gave man the ability to fly so close to each other.  The hand and eye coordination is indeed impressive.  But those are God-given abilities.  So let us praise the Creator.

Civility and Ambassador Chris Stevens

      What do you do when you disagree with someone?  You can have a civil discourse.  You can really listen to what they have to say, and then speak.  You can debate back and forth.  Perhaps you may not persuade them, but discussing sharpens your mind.  Are you really sure in what you believe?  Should you perhaps modify your opinion? 
     The other alternative is to stomp your foot, scream and shout at someone and storm out.  That is what a five year old does.  Or you can do what the Muslims have done in Benghazi and Cairo.  Storm the embassy and in Libya, kill the American ambassador, Chris Stevens.
      The Muslim intolerance for anything but their own religion is frightful.  In Pakistan a Christian girl, Rimsha Masih who has Down Syndrome, was accused of burning a scrap of the Koran.  Later on we find that Khalid Jadoon, a cleric from the local mosque, had probably planted those pages in the ashes.  She was just freed, but for her safety she was taken by helicopter to a secret location.
       So I plead for civil discourse.  Let us debate freely, but let us speak the truth with love. 
Ephesians 4:15:  "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ."
So let us speak the truth in love and let us become mature and grow in Christ.

Human frailty, the penant races, and God

In September we enjoy the pennant races, and there are some excellent ones.  For example, in the American League East, the Baltimore Orioles are playing the NY Yankees.  Several years ago we went to an Oriole-Yankee game and my Baltimore friend said that I should go to a game earlier in the season where the games meant something.  But in September, they don't mean anything because the Yankees will be on top and the Orioles will be in the basement.
   Sport's Illustrated made these predictions:        Current Standings 07 Sep 12
AL East:                                                          There are 25 games to be played yet.
1.  NY Yankees        95-67                          1. NY Yankees          77-60
2.  Tampa Bay          92-70                          2. Baltimore Orioles   77-60
3.  Boston Red Sox   91-70                         3. Tampa Bay            75-62
4.  Toronto Blue Jays 85-70                        4. Boston Red Sox    63-75
5.  Baltimore Orioles 63-99                          5. Toronto                  61-75
NL East:
1.  Philadelphia Phillies 94-68                         1. Washington Nationals  85-52
2.  Miami Marlins          89-73                          2. Atlanta Braves            78-62
3.  Washington Nats   84-78                           3. Philadelphia Phillies      68-71
4.  Atlanta Braves       82-70                          4. NY Mets                       65-72
5.  NY Mets                 75-87                          5. Miami Marlins                61-77

What is amazing is how far off the predictions are.  Thus, if the Baltimore Orioles lost the next 25 games, they still would have won 14 more games (9%) more than predicted.
And the Boston Red Sox, with a losing record, have already lost five more games than expected and there are another 25 games to go.
      This topsy-turvy baseball season did not come as a surprise to God.  He knew ahead of time what every batter would do at every bat and what the final score would be.  We humans have a hard time predicting what the next season will bring, but God knows exactly what is going to happen.
Thus King David wrote:
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)
And Jesus Christ says in Matthew 10:30:  "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
Praise the Lord that nothing takes God by surprise.

05 Oct 12
So here are the final results:
Predicted                                                      Actual
1.  NY Yankees        95-67                      1. NY Yankees          95-67
2. Tampa Bay          92-70                      2. Baltimore Orioles 93-69
Boston Red Sox 91-70                       3. Tampa Bay           90-72
4.  Toronto Blue Jays 85-70                     4. Toronto               73-89
5.  Baltimore Orioles 63-99                     5. Boston Red Sox:       69-93
Note that only the Yankees on top was predicted correctly.  Red Sox lost 23 more games than expected and the Orioles won 30 more games than expected.  Toronto had a losing series, vice a winning one.
In the NL East, here are the results:
1.  Philadelphia Phillies 94-68                        1. Washington Nationals  98-64
2. Miami Marlins          89-73                            2. Atlanta Braves              94-68
3.  Washington Nats   84-78                           3. Philadelphia Phillies   81-81
4.  Atlanta Braves       82-70                            4. NY Mets                            74-88
5.  NY Mets                 75-87                             5. Miami Marlins                 69-93
Note that a single NL East team ended up in the predicted spot.  The Marlins lost 20 more games than expected and the Phillies broke even.
    It is great that God knows everything - because He is God.