December 19, 2003 Return of the King Preliminary Findings

A great movie with a few disconnects Tolkien would not have approved of...

In the Original, Aragorn is Strider, who relentlessly pursues his calling to be King.The movies have turned hinm into a dubious wayfarer filled with angst over the prospect. And it takes Arwenıs turn in a version of the perils of Pauline to get him to step up to the plate. Elrond never made a journey to plead with Aragorn to do his duty in the book- there was no need. I mention this as Aragorn is a type of Christ and that would reflect something far different than Tolkien envisioned in the character. The movie inflates Arwenıs role and turns her into a Xena- warrior princess. Samwise Gamgee is tempted in the movie and Frod believes he has betrayed him. Bull. No hint of any falling out in the book . Sam is too pure it seems for the movie. They even kept the Shire unspoiled for a neat and tidy ending which the book did not provide.

Take the Christmas Story Quiz if you have the Flash Plugin... What a cool site!

I'm off for the Holidays so soorrrry but likely no more updates to the blog this year... Joyous Christmas to you!

December 16, 2003 Worldview Weekends

Equipping the Saints to Contend for the Faith Allie Martin, Agape Press

Teaching Christians how to better defend their faith while sharpening witnessing skills -- that's the focus of two-day conferences known as "Worldview Weekends." Several years ago, the American Family Association -- along with several other Christian ministries -- began holding the two-day conferences around the U.S. The conferences feature prominent speakers who give Christians practical ways to take a stand for righteousness in today's culture. Brannon Howse, founder and director of Worldview Weekend, says the conferences have two primary goals. He points out that the Book of Hebrews says that without faith, it is impossible to please God; that is why, he says, the conferences attempt to teach people to "contend for the faith" and to defend it. But "Worldview Weekend isn't just about throwing up intellectual arguments to bring people to Christ," Howse says. " We want to teach people to lead others to Jesus Christ in a biblical way that creates true converts, not false converts, so that we can learn how to get around the intellectual arguments to coming to Christ." Howse says it is vital for believers -- both young and old -- to know how to take a stand for Christ. Twenty Worldview Weekends are planned for 2004 in cities like Memphis, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Rochester, New York.

December 16, 2003 Christmas Ramblings
We had about three inches of wonderful wet snow Sunday and by the time we went to dinner on Monday it was gone!Here is a pic of our shadows to prove as a reminder that it was here.Amazing how shadows are prophecies of how our bodies reconfigue themselves over the years- note the pointy heads and the discernable widening as you near the bottom...
We scaled back on the decorations this year- gave away about 55 gallons of games and decorations so I hope someone is getting good use. It's a blessing I can recommend highly- our Christmas is simpler and the storage area is cleaner in the bargain. But it'll probably get filled up again all too soon as I am married to Mrs. Christmas...:-)
My main project was completing the star- a star of David with a Star of Bethlehem in it's center and a cross in the center of the star of Bethlehem. Its a great conversation starter and came out of meditating on the design of God's kingdom initiatives in the world, His narrowing of focus over time to protect the seed and the creative tension between exclusivity and inclusivity.
And of course the fun projects that will probably turn into a tradition- the Christmas cactus- actually an Old Man of Mexico with the Santa touch... Ho Ho Hola!

I notice that Christmas cards have fallen off in numbers considerably over the past couple of years- guess I will have to start printing out the email wishes and stick those on the door... or maybe it's my deodorant?

December 15, 2003
Christianity in action

link via Dave's blog

When open source goes awry. Linux Barbie OS. Here's my prediction for the NEXT BIG THING in 2004- a new version of Heathkit- build your own OS- the rage will be custom OS's built in Linux- instead of screensavers or custom interfaces you will be able to get your favorite flavor of Gary Larson, Spongebob, Angel, (et al) OS's in the near future. Also custom OS kits will be a big seller at best Buy before 2 long. You heard it here...

Rolling Stone picks Sgt. Pepper as number one all time album. Bob Dylan and the Beatles accounted for 6 of the top ten.

And colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

Proctor and Gambel have been fighting false rumors about ties to the devil for years. Now household goods giant Procter & Gamble is marketing its toilet tissue brand Charmin to toddlers through a children's story book. P&G is publishing a book for two- to four-year-olds starring the cartoon bear who features in the product's advertising campaigns and on packs of the toilet paper. So is this Charmin the Pooh?

Things You Didn't Know Were Problems

Link via Post Dispatch to News of the Weird Britain's Industrial Christian Fellowship of religious scholars complained in September that people's prayers go disproportionately for teachers and nurses and said it would distribute a set of prayers for the underblessed financial sector under the heading "When did you last pray for your stockbroker?" [Reuters, 9-26-03]

So what's an Industrial Christian anyway? Found this when searching google for Christian industry

B. Wayne Dean Sr., Pastor of the Excel and Megargel United Methodist Churches in Monroe County (Alabama). Very emergent.

..and Local Weirdness

Waiting for a rush-hour bus in East St. Louis, Ill., Emanual Fleming tried to use a pay phone but received a busy signal, then stuck his right middle finger into the coin-return slot but couldn't get it out. With his free hand, he called 911, and ambulance personnel had to take both Fleming and the telephone to the hospital, where, three hours after he got stuck, doctors numbed the finger and worked it out of the slot. [Belleville News-Democrat, 11-18-03]


Woke up Sunday morning and surfed through 30 channels or so before I saw any mention of Saddam's capture. It was unusual since I NEVER turn on a TV anymore. When I say them checking him for lice, my first response was how pathetic it is when Satan gets through with using someone and he casts them aside, abandoned and disoriented and deluded and how DIFFERENT that is from knowing Christ. And today he is back to serving his master by being beliggerant and unrepentant. Apparently someone on the governing council asked him how he will stand before God on judgment day and he replied, "with a calm heart."

I mentioned to someone that we need to pray for Saddam and so I think I am a heretic in their eyes. Then I was reminded again in reading Rev 12 last night (partly Christmas from Heaven's perspective) that all our days are part of the celestial struggle of a ticked off Satan trying to do collateral damage since he cannot overcome the Son.

How do YOU react to Christ's admonition to pray for your enemies and Micah's assertataion that the Lord requires us to love both justice and mercy when faced with evil? As for me, I will pray for him. But I also think he has already obtained mercy when he didn't get a grenade dropped into the spider hole and mercy in that it was the US soldiers that uncovered him not one of his own people. Now is the time for justice. The blood of his victims (and our soldiers) cry out.


Gabriel's silence heralds the darkness,
A place to remember what was seen in the light
When glory appears all else is in shadow
And the shadows can be dark as the night.

We can be left blinded by a radient glow
When we stand in His presence so bright
But the heart has its eyes wide open to know
That to see clearly takes more than sight.

For heaven’s breath and heaven’s bread
Overshadows death and raises the dead
When we’re overshadowed by the most high
We shall bask in the glow of His favor instead

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2003


Decorate my heart with light
Hang your green upon my walls
Set my soul ablaze tonight
And dwell in newly hallowed halls

For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.
For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.

Star of David shining bright
Overshadowed by Bethlehem’s star tonight
The daystar, morningstar gives us His light
Shining by the power of His might

For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.
For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.

Overshadowed by the one
Who shines more brightly than the sun
For the star of the morning is brighter by far
Than the sun in our sky and the moon and the stars.

For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.
For every door is open wide
To bid the babe to come inside.

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2003

Did you know the ETYMOLOGY of a few occultic words came from religious sources?

Hocus Pocus: Possibly from an alteration of Latin hoc est corpus (meum), this is (my) body (words used in the Eucharist at the time of transubstantiation).

Abracadabra , magical formula used by the Gnostics to invoke the aid of benevolent spirits to ward off disease and affliction. It is supposed to be derived from the abraxas, a word that was engraved on gems and amulets or was variously worn as a protective charm.

Dr. Seuss is One Hundred. I like this quote that came out at his death:" Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." In January 2004, Random House Childrenıs Books will kick off the Seussentennial Imagination Tour-100 days of events and celebrations honoring Theodor Seuss Geisel's memory.

My favorite Dr. Seuss book? That ode to creativity, On Beyond Zebra...

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @