Rick Warren's Three Purposes of Christmas on FOX NEWS tonight

Saddleback’s Warren to address global audience over holiday weekend.
Timothy C. Morgan | posted 12/22/2006 08:21AM

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life, will be preaching to a global audience over Christmas thanks to Rupert Murdoch and the U.S. Defense Department.

Over Christmas eve and Christmas day, Murdoch’s Fox News Channel will air “The Purpose of Christmas with Rick Warren,” a program based on the first of 13 weekend services at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. The Armed Services Television Network will air a similar message from Warren, potentially reaching 800,000 servicemen and their families stationed in more than 177 countries. A website ( www.thepeaceplan.com ) will direct viewers to local churches.

(full article linked to title)

Say Goodbye to Tower Records

I have mixed feelings towards the closing of Tower Records. It was a store that I would usually go in, found good music but couldn’t afford and so it’s hard for me to feel a lot of sympathy for them.

I did spend a lot of money though during their clearance sales – because they were actually good prices! Those of you who know, another company bought Tower, raised most of the prices, then started with 20%, 30% off sales eventually down to 80% off. As the discounts continued and the music became more obscure, I ended up buying many cd’s for about $5 just out of curiousity or after remembering a friend’s suggestion. I wouldn’t ever do that if it were still at its $18 regular price. (or even $15).

Since moving to where we are now in Northern Jersey, there is only one indy music store within 15-20 min. from me. I either buy online, or the opening week at Best Buy (bc. they usually sell them for $10). Maybe soon Best Buy won’t do that, and I won’t buy from them either.

You want to save the album and part of the music industry, lower the prices.

Read the Rolling Stone blurb and comments (which are a little more interesting) by clicking on title.

Rocky – the Modern Day Saint of Perseverance

Another interview with Sly. (linked to title)

“You created the Rocky character more than 30 years ago. Where’d he come from? Was he just a product of your imagination?

Sylvester Stallone: He was a product of my frustration. Since I had had so many doors shut in my face early in my career, I started to wonder, Am I alone? Or is it just really tough to pursue one’s dreams? So I thought, Let me write a story about a man who’s going nowhere, a man who has made some very bad decisions in his life, a man that no one has any faith in.

Where were you spiritually when the original Rocky was made?

Stallone: I’ve always been a Christian. I’ve always been fascinated with the ongoing battle in one’s soul—the constant forces of temptation, and the crusade inside to override it. And the mistakes people make and then trying to elevate yourself to redeem yourself. It’s back and forth, back and forth redemption. So when I write a character, that’s a story point. You know the man wants to be a boxer; that’s the simple part. But inside, the internal storm, that has always fascinated me. But what do we call upon to help us get through these trials and tribulations of everyday life? That’s what I try to do with Rocky.”

The Caption reads: "Baby, your name must be grac…

The Caption reads: “Baby, your name must be grace, because you are irresistable”.
Can’t wait til this comes out.
Thanks to: http://themetrocalvinist.blogspot.com/index.htmlv

Another Studio on the Bandwagon

“A couple months ago, the 20th Century Fox empire announced that it would target the Christian market with the new FoxFaith brand, bringing movies to theaters and home video just for that audience.

Now the The Weinstein Co. is following suit, launching its own faith-based distribution label, according to Variety. The development includes a first-look deal—which means Weinsten gets first dibs—with Impact Productions, a Christian production company … (article linked to title)”

Me: Christian movies. Can’t say I’m crazy about the sound of this. In short I am more interested in seeing movies being made by Christians as opposed to making movies for Christians. There is a difference.

I would hate to the same mistakes we saw with the Contemporary Christian Music Movement in the movies. At the same time, I know many who have been blessed and inspired by the fruits of the CCM industry and I can’t accuse it of being a failure. It just doesn’t work for me.

So, launch your Christian music studios, film the movies, start up CET (Christian Entertainment Tonight) on whatever station you want, but it’s a poor way to respond to the culture war.

The Year Conservatives Saved Christmas

It does seem to that this issue isn’t as big this year which makes us all wonder how much of this was hype incited by the media last year.

Interesting article though:

“Glad tidings: Christmas is saved. Sure, this season has seen its grinches. But after last year’s “holiday” attack, we’ve mostly run them back to Mt. Crumpit. Wal-Mart has prominently replaced last year’s “Happy Holidays” greetings with “Merry Christmas,” and promises 60 percent more Christmas-labeled merchandise.
Related articles and links

“We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year,” a spokeswoman told USA Today. Target, Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, and other stories are also getting out of the holiday spirit in favor of Christmas.

One of this year’s early battles was short-lived. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation initially rejected a gift of 4,000 biblically themed dolls, then changed its mind after a brief uproar. “We realized it’s a lot less time-consuming to find homes for the dolls than it is to answer media and complaints,” foundation veep Bill Grein told The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, last year’s “holiday tree” at the Michigan Capitol is once again a “Christmas tree,” a once-banned nativity float has returned to Denver’s Parade of Lights, and a momentary manger omission in St. Albans, West Virginia, has been rescinded…[article linked to title]

(the article goes on but the last two paragraphs offer us a quick history lesson and the last line with all its sarcasm gives us a little laugh.

“Those who engage in combat to remind others of “the reason for the season” would do well to remember that the Christmas season as such has only existed for about a century and a half. The 1,500-year-old Christian season that precedes December 25 is Advent, a time of fasting, penitence, and somber waiting. Protestants who eschew Advent because of an association with Rome have precedent for doing so. But the Reformers, Puritans, colonial Baptists, and others who gave rise to modern evangelicalism either passed Christmas Day with a simple worship service, or strongly opposed such a “popish” observance.

But please, the next time you’re in Wal-Mart and the clerk wishes you “Merry Christmas,” don’t get an angry look in your eye, poke your finger into the clerk’s chest, and say, “It’s Advent! Christmas isn’t until December 25!” That would be really annoying.”

An Interview with Sylvester Stallone about his faith

Is Rocky a Christian? I admit I rolled my eyes and said something negative when I saw a Bible study about Rocky and his faith. But maybe I’ll see the movie first. This interview is interesting though and I’m glad I read it (interview linked to title).

A Living AIDS Quilt

For those interested in the AIDS crisis, some more.

"A Christian is someone who shares the sufferings …

“A Christian is someone who shares the sufferings of God in the world.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bono on videocast

Went to a videocast at a church near by to hear Bono speak on Aids.
Granted, I like the music of U2 a lot, I do believe that I still would have gone had it been someone else, (afterall, I listened to the Compassion International guys and there not near as cool). It is interesting that a artist/celebrity of this type isso interested in this issue. It could be he is as person too. Could celebrities be actual people too? Well, maybe some.

The videocast was an interview between Bono and Bill Hybels (the pastor at Willow Creek) that was shown during the Leadership Summit earlier this year.

There has been a great deal of difficulty showing this interview due to legalities and such and I believe that things should be done justly and rightly and well and all that. At the same time, I hope more people get to see this interview. It would be contradictive to the spirit of the interview.

Here is some of the quotes/paraphrases that was said:

– Christians can be judgmental, consumed by the superficial, outward appearances and sexual issues have preoccupied the history of the church but what about greed corporate and selfish
Grace is counter-intuitive
It easier for us to grasp revenge, or atonement then grace.

– We are confounded by some of our prayers remain unanswered, but no prayer is unanswered. Sometimes the answers are no. We can endure and comfort ourselves through the Scriptures.

– Jesus was either an absolutely nutcase or who He said He was.

– Love your neighbor is not advice, it’s a command.

– Stop asking God to bless what you are doing
Find out what God is doing because it is already blessed.
It’s not charity but justice that is difficult (is. 58)

– Data did not begin out of charity but out of justice. Africa was paying the US back more then they were receiving us.
Forgiveness/debt relief is a Scriptural idea – We forget this
What else are you going to do with this thing called celebrity?
It’s ridiculous but its currency.

– Thy kingdom come on earth,
Some are content with pie in the sky but that’s not our purpose
Bring heaven to earth in the micro as well as the macro
Peace that passes understanding at the center of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world.

– The End of Poverty – we are the first generation can change this
Accident of latitude determines whether we live or die.