Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas: and what about Joseph?

It's Christmas today and so I'm wishing to all:
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.
Luke 2:14
On a related note, yesterday, the local paper had "Why Joseph Matters Today" which referenced the book "Christ the Lord Out of Egypt: A Novel" which is what the movie "The Nativity Story" was based on. [We saw the movie together as a family and it was OK. At least they didn't use female angels, for once.] I haven't read the book but based on the movie, I'm not impressed. Joseph comes across as a bit of a wimp unlike the man hinted at in the Gospels. With that said, I'll have to read it myself now...

Copyright, 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Review of The Monastery

I've enjoyed watching TLC's "The Monastery" 5 part series. They got 5 ordinary men to agree to sign up for 40 days to live under the rules of St. Benedict. One drops out in the middle, but they all seemed to have changed after they "served" their time at the monastery. The evolution of their "soul" was very interesting to watch, turning from independence and rebellion to humility and learning to become a team member, kind of like relearning manhood.

Of all the scenes in the show, the most interesting part for me was when the hermit (Brother Xavier) was asked:

Q: "And your goal is?"
H: "dying."
Q: "To die?"
H: "Sure: that's what were all living for, isn't it?"
Q: "it's just, you understand that it sounds unusual?"
H: "um, yes, I'm preparing for death."
Q: "I can't get over... it seems so sad."
H: "Sad? ... ah... I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be a great adventure!"

Reminds me of Bonhoeffer's words on death.

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Brothers in Arms and Brothers in Prayer

I've watched a TV show "Warrior: from civilian to solider." And the most striking thing for me was what the Israeli's do: after turning 18, they are drafted and they make the new soldiers bond with each other over the 3 years of training/service. And the point of bonding is to make them as close as brothers such that under combat stress they will fight for not the flag or fatherland or Mommy but their "brothers" next to them. And if and when a brother gets wounded or killed, then their anger takes over and they'll fight back all the harder. [They also talk about realistic training, and dehumanizing the enemy: However, things aren't so simple when your family splits up via civil war or a child/sibling joins the other side for one reason or another.]

I've also watched a "reality TV" called "The Monastery" where the brothers bond in worship & prayer. [What a contrast: to train and be dedicated to pray for fellow humans vs to kill fellow humans.]

Anyway, my point is that whether it's the military or monastery, a bond takes time to develop, which is what discipleship is all about, unlike the churches of today. Mere classes (Bible study or Sunday school) or worship "experience" are not enough to form the kind of church (let alone, "fellowship") that Jesus had in mind (or so I believe). Also, bonding in good times allow for support during the stressful times [which is what Jesus did: cf Luke 5:34,35]. Or if the bond is started under stress [e.g., Christians getting together illegally as in China or Iran] then there are common threats they live under, which will only strengthen their relationships.

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Apocalypto: Review

After reading "Apocalypto: The Most Powerful Film Of All Time: Gibson's masterpiece an allegorical warning against unrestrained tyranny of government, human sacrifice and enslavement" I felt I had to see it and so I did with my sons last night. I thought it was well done, esp. the struggle between individual and the State as well as manhood ideals of protecting one's family first [wife and children and then parent(s) and then friends]. I also like the story told by a village elder of how all men have a hole in their hearts which can never be satisfied with the things of this world, prelude to our need for the Eternal relationship (or so I'm thinking since the producer is a Christian).

On our way home we talked about how we can get enslaved by debt today. I quoted Prov 22:7, but our younger son didn't get how it can be bad to be enslaved via loans (compared to what we saw in the movie), but I reminded them "how would you like it if you loaned out your money and that person didn't pay you back?"

The movie is rated R for plenty of gore and violence (much as was done in The Passion of the Christ) and sex situation (nothing explicit in terms of nudity, other than topless "native" women), so it's not appropriate for small children. For a good overview of the movie, read "Apocalypto Now."

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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