Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Some Highlights

I am a big fan of the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis (as you can tell with what I wrote at this link). I read them all at least twice as a child, and I also enjoy the radio drama adaptations by Focus on the Family and the films to some extent. I have previously had the chance to read some of Lewis’ essays about faith and the church. But it wasn’t until this week that I ordered Mere Christianity and began to read it.

Something that surprised me is that Lewis’ writing is still easy to read, 64 years after it was published (and 74 years since the original radio broadcasts were aired). As I read, I can easily follow his train of thought – and his arguments flow naturally onto the page. If someone had asked me last month of books to introduce to a seeker of Christianity, I wold have recommended Strobel’s The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ, or something like the Alpha Course. However, having read seven chapters of Mere Christianity, I would now recommend it to someone wanting to know what the Christian believes.

What I find personally convenient, is that each chapter was originally one episode of Lewis’ broadcasts on the BBC in the 1940s. This means that they are each a similar length. In the edition I am reading, each chapter is about six pages long. This is handy for me, because I can read one chapter in one sitting, then go and get a drink or do some random housework, and then come back to read the next chapter. This is my preferable reading style. It is similar to TV with ad breaks!

Another thing that surprised me is the number of apparent typos within the text I am studying. I am planning on contacting the publisher when I have finished the book to inform them of the location of each typo, which hopefully can be edited out for the next edition.

I enjoy C.S. Lewis’ writing style in both the Narnia books and also in his Christian work for adults. I am enjoying reading Mere Christianity, and would happily recommend it to anyone. I enjoy reading easily digestable chapters, and I am looking forward to read the rest, and maybe move on to Lewis’ other writings for grown ups.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Top 5 VeggieTales Silly Songs since you grew up

VeggieTales, the outrageously popular animated Video series created by Phil Vischer, was at it's peak of success between 1999 and 2002, when Larry-Boy and the Rumour Weed and Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie were released.

You might remember the famous "Silly Songs With Larry" segment which was where this classic song came from:



But they've still  been making VeggieTales since you finished 5th Grade. What gloriously clever Silly Songs have been released while you grew up?? Here is my Top 5. As one of my friends said, when I showed him this list said, "This will be a feast for my eyes and ears!"

Top 5 VeggieTales Silly Songs since you grew up!

5. "Sneeze If You Need To" was the only good thing about the worst VeggieTales DVD ever called "Abe and the Amazing Promise" (That's what you get when you ask an editor to direct!) But I'm glad this song is here because it's delightful! I love the movement of Bob rolling around the set - but why would he roll? You'll see in the video below:





4. "Astonishing Wigs" is the most underrated Silly Song ever! It is a simple little video but it's very well executed:





3. "Donuts For Benny" was a satire of overly sentimental Christmas songs (and it's lit really nicely, in my opinion!):




2. "Pizza Angel" is Classic VeggieTales! Inspired by 1950s Rock Ballads a la Grease - I love it!





1. There's one line from "Monkey" that will get stuck in your head - in a good way! "If it doesn't have a tail..." - wait, I don't wanna spoil it for you!





I trust you have enjoyed my presentation of these links. Leave a comment below to give me your opinion. Or are you like me, and never grew out of VeggieTales? Leave me your Top 5 Silly Songs since 2002 in the comments!

Have a great day - go on a walk! You might see a monkey (or some astonishing wigs!)




 



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Henry - A Narnia Story

Fiction relating to The Chronicles of Narnia. Written by a lifelong Narnian.



Maria looked up at the large house. She thought that it looked very interesting. Her mum hurried her in, as the tour was already inside.

Maria lagged behind at the end of the tour. There were about 15 other people, all trying to seem interested in a painting of a horse. When they went upstairs, Maria saw a sign pointing to the library. She liked books, so she went in.



It was a large room with books on shelves lining the room. She went over to a shelf and noticed a book that interested her. It was blue with no title, and rather thick. It was stuck in the shelf, so Maria pulled harder.


Maria landed on the floor with a loud noise. She looked towards the doorway. Had anyone heard? But then the bookcase started to move out from the wall. Startled, Maria jumped up. When the case stopped, Maria stepped through the gap.

Inside the doorway was a room with a four-poster bed in it. “Oh no,” thought Maria. “I've stumbled into the Professor's bedroom!” But she then saw that there was a thick layer of dust on the floor, with no footprints in it.

She turned around to leave, but on the way she saw a plaque on the bookshelf. It read:


TO FIND OUT ABOUT A WONDERFUL CREATURE CALLED HENRY, 

LOOK UNDER THE PILLOW.

Maria was curious about this creature, whatever it was. So she carefully walked over to the bed and looked under the pillow. Under it was a plain notebook with the simple title “Henry”.

In it was a story about a dog with arthritis. He had belonged to the Professor when he was a boy. He chased cats that were trying to eat birds, but he in turn did not hurt the birds. Henry was in great pain at nights because of his arthritis.

Maria started crying in the middle of reading the story because it was so sad. But at the end, she felt heartbroken.

Henry died by falling down a sewer. He was chasing a big cat who was about to kill 5 sparrows. The boy was not watching Henry because he was thinking about his mother who was extremely sick.

Maria put the book back and walked out of the room. She was able to push back the bookcase and leave the room for the next lucky visitor to Henry's memorial.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

VertiGo - A Wall-Climbing Robot Including Ground-Wall Transition

Who knew that Disney did all this cool technological research? (See Video Below):

I can see it now, coming to theatres:


Big Hero 7: Baymax and VertiGo Team Up!



AntMan Vs Vertigo

VertiGo Go Gadget!


And will VertiGo be a new toy for photography at an angle, like a Selfie Stick??





And I've been watching Arrow Series One. Is the name a D.C. reference? If it is, it's unintentional!







Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How To Get Married Without Saying "I Do"

It's pretty easy.

Just have your celebrant frame the questions so you say "I Will" instead.







I learned this by experience LOL. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two Piano Pieces Composed in September 2015

Disney and Faith: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

There is a scene in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) set inside the titular French cathedral, in which the gypsy woman Esmerelda (voiced by Heidi Mollenhauer) sings:

I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsie's prayer....


God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will.”


These are very Christian words, from the Hollywood studio which at the time was being boycotted by some large Christian groups in America, including the Southern Baptist Association, for the supposedly negative values the company espoused. Was this song part of a plan to bring back large sub-demographics of the American nation back to Disney movies?

Whatever the motive behind these lyrics in Hunchback, on the surface they seem quite authentically Christian.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com


The pious parishioners pray in the same scene:


I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me”


The writers of this song paint an accurate picture of wrong motives in prayer and worship. These characters are self-interested, and greedy for wealth and fame. What a truth that we still need to experience now, 20 years after the movie was released. There is a reason that Christians have had the label of “hypocrite” - some of us have been hypocrites! But every time a follower of Christ is genuinely kind, helpful and loving, this can change someone's perception of Christians – and Christ.