Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blockbusters, War, Persecution, Torchwood and Blogging - What a 2006!

I can't believe how fast 2006 went by. Out of my nearly 36 years, yikes, that perception wise was the fastest. I don't know why, I wasn't particularly busy, it must be age!

2006 was the year I started writing this Blog as a sort of catharsis to express myself creatively........ ok also because I am an opinionated so and so and like sharing. I love reading other peoples blogs as I find it fascinating reading about others lives.

Memorable films were X-Men 3, Pirates of the Carribean #2, Superman Returns and Casino Royale. I saw many more but being a geek they stuck in my mind. Two of which I got on DVD over Christmas, bet you can't guess which ones. Since one is not out yet that kind or narrows it!

2006 was the year the 'War on Terra' raged on. The utter mess in Iraq got worse, thousands died, Muslim killing Muslim (I thought that was forbidden in Islam, oh yes, the fighting is largely nothing to do with Islam its all about power!). Saddam Hussein was executed and as much as he did some truly horrendous things I don't agree with the death penalty.

Rumsfeld went thank goodness but George and his cronies are still inhabiting the White House. It is not for me to question his faith and I agree with his stance on many moral issues but some of his decisions cannot possibly have come from Christian man guided by the word of God. Since he claims never to have read the Bible it is hardly surprising!

2006 was also the year that saw a great increase in anti Christian propaganda and outright persecution of Christians in the UK. Mainly from two directions, scientists like Dawkins trying to spread his atheism and anti-creation message and from the Gay and Lesbian vocal minorities with things like stopping courses on the Christians and biblical marriage in Universities (see previous entries). The new Sexual Orientation Regulations shortly to be made law will bring Christians wanting to uphold biblical values into conflict with the establishment. It is guaranteed that Gay groups will seek out Christian establishments and companies to cause trouble for those Christians who put biblical principles above being PC.

Christian Unions are under unprecedented attack from University Unions with some being banned from using University facilities unless they agree to nonsense demands.

All around the world Christians are being beaten and killed. This is going on in some provinces of India where radical Hindu's have enacted laws to make life very difficult for Christians to freely preach the Gospel. Also in India Christians were prevented from singing carols over Christmas and the Chinese authorities clamped down on Christians over Christmas.

TV in 2006 was a mixed bag. Invasion came and went. It had potential but like many US TV series got canceled before it really got going. Lost continued to be fascinating, frustrating and generally quite good. The new Battlestar Galactica series 2 was brilliant and has almost overtaken Babylon 5 as my top rated Sci-fi series. Of course there was also 'Life on Mars' which was just so entertaining and well written. I can't wait for the conclusion in series 2 this year.

Dr Who returned with a new Doctor and it took me a while to get used to David Tennant however I like him as the doctor and I look forward to seeing the new series with the new companion.

I had high hopes for Torchwood but have been sorely disappointed with it. I have now finished watching the complete first series and it is very unlikely I will watch any further. Russel T Davies couldn't resist stamping his pink propaganda all over the series. Given license for a more adult series he went completely over the top. The characterisation was rubbish with each person doing things totally out of established character. I think each character ended up in some gay clinch or full sexual act at some point. It seams in Mr Davies' world that he sees everyone as potentially Gay. He can't seem to get his head round the fact that only a small minority of people are Gay. I found much of it offensive in its implications and Heterophobic. If he had focussed on telling decent stories instead of his other agenda it may have been a good series. Instead it didn't know what it wanted to be. It was internally inconsistent and direction less.

Spiritually 2006 was a mixed bag. I started playing drums in the church worship team and that had brought a certain focus. I read more of the Bible than I ever have before. I have taken my faith more seriously than I have for a long time. This blog has allowed me to write and focus my beliefs and thoughts. However with that has come some quite intense spiritual pressure.

I want to read more in 2007 of the Bible and other books. I want to pray more spending more time with God and less on wasting time with TV and Internet. I need to find focus at work and stop letting my mind wander. I would like clarity on what God wants me to do with my future, to stay in IT or move into counseling. What does 2007 hold? I have no idea but God does and I am in his hands!

Monday, December 18, 2006

He was lost but now He's found!

No I am not talking about some returnee to the Lord. I am talking about my cat Oscar. Last Thursday night he didn't come home. I tried to call him in during the evening as I hadn't seen him for a while but he never came home. He always comes home at night so I started to get very worried but eventually had to go to bed. I didn't sleep at all during the night and kept getting up to see if he had come home.

I eventually got up at 6:30 am and threw clothes on to go and look for him. I scoured the woods behind the house once light arrived and still could not find any trace of him. I then began to knock on neighbours doors to ask people to look in sheds and garages etc... in case he had got stuck somewhere. I put together a little note to post through letter boxes if no one answered the doors.

Just as I had finished the last knock/post, around 9:30 am, my neighbour returned from taking her child to school and asked if I had found him. She then asked if I had looked in the empty house in the street as the lady who lived there had a cat flap. I suddenly remembered the house used to have a magnetic cat flap as the cat had a collar with a magnet on it. I recently installed one in our house as we kept getting an unwanted guest in the house so Oscar had a magnet on his collar. Sure enough when I looked through the window of the empty house there he was staring at me from the stair case. The cat flap had been left on in only so he could get in but not out again.

We went round the back and and I pushed the latch on the flap open and out he came. I have never been so relieved. He seemed none the worse for his nights incarceration if not a little hungry. He has been very affectionate since as well.

My reaction in this crisis was quite startling and a bit of an eye opener to how far I still have to go in my Christian Walk. I got so angry with God when I though I wouldn't see my cat again and that he had taken him away from me as some sort of punishment. I was at the same time begging Him to let me find him. I was threatening God with cries of 'I'll never step in church again etc... if he's dead!'.

Looking back God was teaching me something of where I am at and what I need to look at in my walk with Him. I still react very childishly to certain provocation and don't have as mature a response as I should for my 17 years as a Christian. Time to do some digging to look for that inner child who has not been allowed to grow up.

'When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. when I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.' - 1 Corinth 13:11

Hmmm, God please help me on that one and thanks for giving Oscar back to me!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Casino Royale Review

I went to see the new Bond film Casino Royale yesterday afternoon on my day off. The reviews were good and friends who had seen it had loved it, even non Bond fans and females.

I am actually a Timothy Dalton Bond fan as he played Bond as a much tougher and colder character. I also liked Brosnan's smoother portrayal as well so I was interested in how Daniel Craig would play him.

My overall rating was 'brilliant' for a bond film and pretty darn good as film on its own. The beginning was very artistically shot in black and white before the opening credits where we see Bond make the two kills required to get his Double 'O' status. Then comes the first major action sequence of the construction site chase. It is simply stunning with the guy who invented 'parquor' playing a bomb maker being chased. The stunts are amazing especially the contrast between the bomb makers graceful jumps etc... and Bond working out less subtle ways to keep up.

Eva Green makes a good bond girl and is a good foil to Bonds icy coldness with him ultimately being won over by her and her with him. Daniel Craig plays Bond in a much more human way than has been done previously and you can believe Bond would give it up to lead a life redeemed by love and how betrayal puts the final nail in the coffin of his emotional openness for him to become the ice cold womanising killer that he is.

Judy Dench gets more to do in this film which is nice as she is always a commanding presence on screen. There is no Q and no Moneypenny and very few bond type gadgets. The Aston Martin is beautiful though if short lived on screen.

The film ends with many loose ends that I assume will be tied up in the next one.

I recommend this film to be seen and enjoyed for what it is. It isn't Bond as we have come to know him but it is how Bond needs to be in the modern world. Though the cat stroking evil megalomaniac is always welcome back!