Alpine Summit

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tales of the Future From the Past

I saw this linked from The Corner, a blog on National Review Online, and found it interesting. Not just because of the absurdities, but the not-too-left-field ideas as well as the ones they actually got right--to a point.

My two favorites are the weather control machine and the rooftop cities to presumably protect them from the bad weather they created. I think the plants in the city are losing out on that one.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hearing the Message

There is a Kuwaiti officer in my class here at Fort Lee and he loaned me a copy of "The Message" as we've had on-going discussions about Islam. I must say that despite the movie being as long as "The Stand," it wasn't a bad film (neither was "The Stand").

When he gave me the DVD, he said "this is what Islam is really about," presumably because my own view toward the religion is not that high. I enjoyed how the movie covered every main aspect about Islam including the duplicity of Mohammed's message and actions.

The movie begins with a few text slides to set up the scene of 5th century Arabia. In addition, the movie also mentions that Mohammed will not be pictured or heard to "preserve the spiritual message." I found that interesting later on as I will point out in a moment.

When Mohammed began Islam, Arabia was full of different idol gods and the leaders of Mecca (home of Abraham's house) were corrupt and more concerned with making money than finding Truth.

As Islam starts to pick up as a subversive religion in the area, the leaders try to suppress it because of its ideas of equality and peace ("killing one man is like killing all of mankind" and "there are no races in Islam"). This is why I found it interesting how later in the movie, Mohammed said that if you are being persecuted, you are allowed to go to war with your persecutors. So Mohammed raised an army and made war on the Meccans and eventually take over Mecca and all of the middle east.

My memory isn't always "up to snuff," but my memory fails when I try to think bout Jesus' army he raised to take over by force any city for, or even to simply defend, Christianity. If fact, I'm positive there are several instances where he actually admonished people for using force for any reason to preserve or compel their belief in Christianity.

Mohammed's message, according to Muslims when speaking to Christians, only confirms Jesus' message. This claim is ludicrous by "The Message's" own admission showing scenes of Mohammed's sword slaying those who persecute him and his people.

One line I thought was interesting was when the Muslims were making their case to the leader of Medina. The leader (a Christian) says "the line between you and me is this thin" drawing a line in the sand and welcomes them to stay under Medina's protection. I thought to myself that when you're talking about God and Truth, any line distinguishes "true" from "false" and its thinness is irrelevant.

Speaking of Islam, I saw on the news today about Iraqi Christians in the Kurdish area and mentioned something that troubled me: they don't evangelize to their Muslim neighbors because it has historically sparked Muslim/Christian wars. Now isn't that interesting that simply witnessing to Muslims in Iraq leads to physical conflict? Perhaps it's because Muslims are worried about what might happen if they turn from Islam.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Holy Crow!

Sheryl Crow is pretending to be in touch with reality again, everyone! This time she's talking about forest conservation by only using one square of toilet paper.

I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.

Not to burst Crow's bubble here, but us mortals don't have perfumed farts and sweet cake turds. One square is NEVER going to be enough for me. Yet another example of an entertainer thinking they know ANYTHING outside of entertaining people. Come to think of it, it is entertaining listening to people try to sound like they aren't complete idiots when they obviously are.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Judge Not on the Color of Their Fur!

Someone made a death threat on a polar bear cub. I wonder if it's the ethnicity of the bear or its political leanings that have caused someone to become so enraged with it that they feel it can no longer live? Honestly, don't people have better things to do with their time than plot the demise of an animal most likely barely aware of its existence?


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Child-like Behavior

Those of you who listen to Ravi Zacharias are probably familiar with a poem he likes to recite in many of his podcasts. It's an untitled poem he refers to as "He came to my desk with a quivering lip." Listening to this poem I was reminded of Matthew 18: 2-4:

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Some view this scripture as reason to be closed to listening to anything non-biblical and to only believe the Bible and have faith in Christ simply because the Bible and Christ say to do so. I've always thought this was an ignorant because it's circular logic. I've never been able to articulate my own take on this verse adequately. This poem does a good job of illustrating it though.

He came to my desk with quivering lip--
The lesson was done.
"Dear Teacher I want a new leaf," he said,,
"I have spoiled this one."
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled,
"Do better now, my child."
I went to the throne with a quivering soul--
The old year was done.
"Dear Father, hast Thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled,
"Do better now, My child."
-- Kathleen Wheeler

Being humble enough to say "I screwed up, please let me try again" takes a lot of character. As children, this is how we learn. We try, fail, and try again until we succeed. This is a great poem that illustrates what it means to be 'like children' in the kingdom of heaven.