Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Return of Kong!

I am super excited about the release of Kong: Skull Island. The new trailer has revealed some of the monsters that Kong will have to compete with throughout the movie. It doesn't make it 100% clear if he will be fighting all of the monsters in the trailer, but there are some serious baddies that he will be dealing with.

In the newest trailer, we see the Skull Crawlers (the weird lizard things that appear to be his main opposition throughout the movie), a giant octopus, a giant spider, and a giant water buffalo. I only watched the trailer once, so I may have missed a few of the creatures, but thus far it looks action packed.

It also appears that we will see the most intelligent incarnation of Kong so far. He knows how to weaponize the materials around him. He tosses trees at helicopters that are invading his island and strips a tree of its limbs to turn it into a club to find one of the Skull Crawlers.

In a later post, I will talk about the various Kong movies and give my opinion about each one. This particular movie appears to be taking elements from each one. He is enormous, like King Kong v Godzilla; Yeti-like, as in the 70's remake of King Kong; there are lots of monsters, like in the 30's King Kong; and he appears to have a very defined personality, like the 2000's remake of King Kong.

To finish this post I am going to make a prediction. I don't know where in the movie it will be and I have no evidence to back this up, thus far, but I believe one of the direct connections (and most surprising connections) between this movie and the upcoming Godzilla movies, will be either an appearance or at least a hint of King Ghidorah. Why do I think this? The Skull Crawlers are referred to as the Bad gods, while Kong is referred to as a Good god. The Skull Crawlers appear sinister and they are serpentine. I think they will ultimately have something to do with King Ghidorah. I'm throwing it out there in case I am correct, but I am anticipating that I will probably be wrong. But if I'm right, you heard it here first!


Screwtape Letters: Counter Intuitive

One of my morning devotions is reading through C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is a set of fictional letters written by a demon named Screwtape who is giving his nephew Wormwood advice on how to deceive a human "client." Using this literary technique, Lewis exposes truths in a way that is far more profound than if they were to simply be taught.

These letters are both convicting, but also a relief. In areas where you think you are standing strong, you might discover that you are being deceived. In areas where you believe that you are weak, you might discover that your weakness draws you nearer to God. I'm currently in chapter 27 and one of my favorite statements of this chapter is, "Anything, even a sin, which has the total effect of moving him [the client] close up to the Enemy [God], makes against us in the long run." Not that God wants us to sin, but sometimes our brokenness through sin draws us nearer to God. Counter intuitive statements like this make this a very worthwhile read.

Here's another (the context is that they are trying to discourage the client from praying): "...you can worry him with the haunting suspicion that the practice is absurd and can have no objective result...If the thing he prays for doesn't happen, then that is one more proof that petitionary prayers don't work; if it does happen, he will, of course, be able to see some of the physical causes which led up to it, and 'therefore it would have happened anyway', and thus a granted prayer becomes just as good a proof as a denied one that prayers are ineffective."

These are just two incredible lessons from one mornings reading (1 chapter)! When we consider what sort of path it appears we are treading, today, don't be discouraged. That's what I think a large part of the lesson is that Lewis is trying to get across. We don't see things the way God does, thus we are participating in a ministry beyond the scope of our understanding.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Brief Reflection: John 1:10

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. - John 1:10

2000 years later, the same can still be said. Jesus was in the world and has been in the world for the past 2 millennia through his Spirit and many who have seen and experienced him still do not know him. It's a sad thing when we fail to recognize the Savior of the Universe. Jesus himself said it best, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home" (Matthew 13:57).

It's hard to recognize Jesus in the midst of daily life. You might ask, "How can I recognize Jesus as I go about my day?" One of Jesus' disciples asked this question, and in his own words he replied, "If  a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23).

If you have never experienced Jesus, make that first step of faith by confessing him as Lord and Savior. Learn and understand what that means.

Then, as one who believes, obey his commands. And his commands are not toilsome. Love one another and love God. In doing this, you will know him and receive him.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Populism Should Replace Liberalism

Elsewhere I have written that liberalism today, in America, is not really liberal in relation to the Constitution of the United States. If it truly were liberalism that was being dealt with, in relation to the Constitution, I would not have as much of a problem with it. We would be discussing matters in terms of what states can and cannot do and to what extent the government should stay out of people's lives. But the sad reality is that American liberalism is actually Marxist socialistic progressive totalitarianism. In this respect, American liberalism should not even be participating in the discussion at the governmental level because the principals that American liberals (at least at the political level) believe in are not compatible with system of government or economics that the founders of this country initially envisioned. Nonetheless, someone needs to act as a counter-balance to conservative ideas and a newly popular ideology has emerged that could legitimately take liberalism's place in the realm of politics: Populism.

Populism could probably be defined as a method of campaigning and governing that gives ear to the demands of the people. Some would say, "Yes, but that is what liberalism does as well." The flaws with that statement are that liberalism only seeks to please people at the level of the campaign and it undermines people entirely once officials are elected. Populism, as has been observed through Donald Trump, has emerged as the result of the government and the media telling people what they should want and the electorate swiftly rejecting it. Thus far, it appears that populists are respectful of the country's founding principals.

Donald Trump was not the first popular populist to step into the national spotlight. Some would argue that Sarah Palin was the first to carry the populist message to the mainstream. She campaigned, along with John McCain, under the banner of conservatism, but ever since the 2008 Presidential election, Palin's values have not seemed strictly conservative. The first hint of this was her affinity for union. Traditional conservatives battle tooth and nail against unions (not against their existence, but the corruption that exists inside of their hierarchies). Although most conservatives agreed with Palin's overall message, there were certain initiatives that she pushed that they struggled with. But that's exactly the point.

Most conservatives could never vote for a liberal Democrat. How many conservatives, though, voted for Donald Trump? There are those who would make the case that conservatives were tricked into voting for Trump, but the evidence is quite the contrary. As a conservative, there were other candidates in the primary that I preferred over Trump. From the day Donald Trump announced his run, however, I knew I would not be entirely disappointed if he won the nomination and went on to win the White House. There was a common ground that Trump bridged because he espoused the social issues that liberals care about, but stances on war, immigration, taxes, and so forth that a conservative could easily get on board with.

The only downside to populism is that it tends to flirt against Constitutionality and it appears that it could be a gateway into liberalism if left unchecked. As a conservative, I feel comfortable with that because we (conservatives) would be more than willing to make sure they don't overstep their bounds.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Donald Trump Saves Texas

The first time I heard of this problem, I think, was after President Obama was re-elected. A certain talk radio host (I'll let you guess who) decided to move to Texas for the sake of lower taxes and greater number of freedoms. He'd been there for a few years, but then he started complaining about an influx of liberals.

An influx of liberals to Texas? That's bizarre. But not really. Some of these American migrants (you might even call them refugees) were fleeing the over-taxed state of California in favor of Texas' lax tax code. This radio talk show host exhorted them to enjoy their freedoms [in Texas] but leave their policies [in California]. This host observed a danger that was mounting that is not unlike that of what America is facing with illegal immigration. People migrate for the sake of more opportunity, but then seek to reform the state to resemble the oppressive system they ran from to begin with.

I don't know when it started, but this migration of liberals from California to Texas was the first indicator that maybe something was not right about the sudden movement of people into Texas.

Yesterday, I heard of an article that told Republicans to not rest easy in the security that Texas would always be a Republican state. The author of the article cited that Harris County, which is the home county of the fourth largest city in the country, Houston, was won by Hillary Clinton by 13 points! I suspect that Harris County is typically won by liberals, as most counties with big cities are, but it is alarming. It is particularly alarming because the victory of Harris County is attributed to Hispanic voters. This should make Republicans very curious.

I haven't done all of my home work on this, but I suspect that the same thing happened leading up to the 1986 decision to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, particularly in California. After all, Mexicans have continually reminded us that California rightfully belongs to Mexico. If I am not mistaken, they say the same thing about Texas. Regardless, after the 1986 amnesty bill, California was lost to the Democrat Party. The last time a Republican candidate running for President won California was 1984 by Ronald Reagan. Since then, Republicans haven't been able to touch California. In fact, California alone, L.A. County specifically, could almost be given full credit for Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote in the 2016 election.

What I am getting at, is that if the Republicans were to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, Texas will go the way of California in being a Democrat state. I don't know how many illegals reside in Texas, but that number could be multiplied exponentially very quickly if amnesty were granted. If this were to happen, it would be nearly impossible for Republicans to win the White House because Democrats would have solid victories in Texas, New York, and California.

Donald Trump's opposition to blanket amnesty, if he sticks to his guns, will save the state of Texas and the United States of America.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Godzilla Movies: Worst to Best 20-16

We have arrived at the lower half of the middle-of-the-pack. This portion includes overrated (but still really good) and underrated (that I wish I could have rated higher). Starting off the list is the first movie of the Millennium (2000s) series.

#20) Godzilla 2000: The first of the Millennium series and the first Japanese Godzilla following the American ’98 version. The focus of 2000 was to create a Japanese Godzilla movie with excellent special effects, an unstoppable Godzilla, and a lot of Godzilla. One of its primary goals was to revive the traditional Godzilla that had been assassinated by G98. Throughout the movie you will notice jabs at G98, but in some respects the jabs are self-defeating because the movie also attempts to recreate scenes from G98 but inserting G2000 instead. Another bone the creators of this movie sought to pick was with G’s box office rival Gamera that had just come off of an extremely successful trilogy that concluded in 1999. Some might say that G2000 attempted to settle too many scores to go down as a truly great Godzilla movie.

Despite the fact that the effects failed in some respects, this was an entertaining Godzilla movie. He faces off against a giant spacecraft and a new foe, Orga, who was created from Godzilla’s own cells. G2000 is far from perfect, but it was a decent attempt to rekindle the fire of the original Godzilla series.

#19) Godzilla v Mechagodzilla: Towards the end of the original Godzilla series, Toho thought it would do something special for their iconic character. They introduced a mechanical doppelganger known as Mechagodzilla. All in all, GvMG is a highly entertaining movie. In its own right. Aside from the monster action, featuring Godzilla, Anguirus, Mechagodzilla, and the first appearance of King Cesar, the scenes featuring humans is fast paced and exciting as well. I would offer the opinion that GvMG featured the most interesting alien race since Godzilla vs Monster Zero.

My number one problem with this movie is it features one of the cheesiest soundtracks in a Godzilla movie. Let me rephrase that: one of the cheesiest soundtracks for a serious Godzilla movie. Other movies got away with ridiculous soundtracks because of their light-hearted nature. GvMG doesn’t get that pass. The plot and progression of the film is excellent, but the soundtrack makes it difficult to take it seriously at times. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it probably would have landed this one closer to the top of the list had it been as serious as the tone of the movie.

#18) Godzilla v Destoryah: There is a lot to like about Godzilla vs Destoryah, but a lot to not like as well. This film was made famous for being the last of the Heisei Series and for its ending where Godzilla dies. In a word, this movie is intense.

Let’s start off with the elements that take away from this movie’s greatness. The special effects could have been a lot better. Certain scenes that could’ve been spellbinding became ho-hum because the creators did not capitalize with the effects. This movie introduces the third incarnation of the Super X battle plane known as the Super X3. Super X3 is pathetic. Instead of continuing with the traditional Super X look, Toho decided it would be better to make it an oversized fighter jet. But where this movie was lacking, it made up for with its positive elements.

Destoryah is a truly unique enemy that has multiple forms and can actually appear as a legion of human size creatures which results in a battle scene inspired by Aliens (but lacking in the effects department). He instantly became a classic Godzilla foe at the conclusion of this movie. The Baby Godzilla from the previous two movies had grown into an adolescent form and became one of the most positive elements of this movie. They referred to him as Junior and he endeavors to take on Destoryah himself in a few sequences and appears to be killed by him before Big G engages in his climatic final battle. This movie also introduces a form of Godzilla that has become known as Burning Godzilla because his core temperature had become so hot that his body has begun to melt from the inside out.

The most disappointing aspect of this movie was that it wrapped up the series so well, but left room for more sequels after revealing that Junior had been resurrected by Godzilla’s radioactivity. G2000 should have been Junior’s first solo adventure.

#17) Godzilla Raids Again: The first sequel to Gojira and one of the most underrated of the Godzilla movies. Granted, the human parts are somewhat difficult to make it through, seeing how the characters are not that interesting, but the monster action is over the top amazing. Godzilla’s first monster battle in the series takes place in this movie as he takes upon a future fan favorite known as Anguirus. The monster action in this movie is as good as any and better than most, but that is in large part because the series was still scene as a Kaiju Horror Movie and not a good monster vs bad monster scenario.

#16) Godzilla v King Ghidorah: Often times known as one of the most popular of the Heisei movies. King Ghidorah’s design in this movie is awesome and the overall plot, although complicated, provides a wonderful excuse for bringing the two monsters together for a colossal battle and renewal of their rivalry. One of the most popular elements of GvKG is the creation of Mecha-King Ghidorah that defends Japan from Godzilla at the end of the movie.

This movie could have strayed away from politics but decided to go down that route and really tarnished its name in my sight, at least. Although GvKG is hailed for its special effects, it loses some points in my book for that very reason. Instead of avoiding embarrassing effects sequences (which there aren’t very many) they dared go where their believability prohibited them from going.

Nonetheless, it was fun to see the creation of Godzilla from his previous form, known as Godzillasaurus, and his reincarnation as a bigger and more powerful version of himself. Naturally, Ghidorah was created to destroy Japan and Godzilla temporarily assumes the role of the hero to defeat King Ghidorah and liberate Japan from the clutches of the futurians (did I mention there is time travel in this movie?).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Brief Reflection: Witness

This morning, as part of my devotion, I studied John 1:7 in Greek. For those who are either in seminary or who have graduated from seminary, I apologize for how trivial this might sound, but I found it fascinating again.

John 1:7 is talks about John the Baptist and his role in relation to proclaiming the Messiah. Right now, I'm trying not to cheat as I read the Greek and sometimes I get caught up by certain words and must ultimately look it up. Well, most of this verse tripped me up, but especially marturian and marturaesae.

As I thought about the meaning of these words, I thought, "Ok, they look like the English word mature." Wrong!

I read the definition listed below the verse and it was witness and testify. All of a sudden I recalled past discussions in seminary and with friends that this is the word from which we get martyr. When we think of martyrs, we think of people who died for what they believed in. Ultimately, John fit this bill. He did die for what he believed in.

What is more important, though, is that a person who dies for what he or she believes in must first live for what he or she believes in. Thus, a person who dies in the name of God must not be a mere trouble maker, a person seeking easy entrance into heaven, or attempting to make a righteous political statement; rather, a true martyr is one who stands for truth no matter as a witness no matter what the consequences might be.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Let Your Light Shine: Truth Light, Guiding Light, Beacon Light

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." - Isaiah 9:2

Light is an important part of every believer's faith walk. There are three distinct purposes of light (in the metaphorical sense) that are revealed in Scripture.

1. Truth Light: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). God is the truth light. He reveals all truth. Without knowing God one cannot begin to see the world with proper understanding. Truth light is the source of all hope for those who believe.

2. Guiding Light: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). As pilgrims in this world, it becomes difficult to know what direction one should take in this life. Some well-intentioned folk might suggest one route. Others are observed to experience success taking another route. But it is only through following the guiding light of God's Word; which is light sufficient for the next step forward.

3. Beacon Light: "Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid" (Matthew 5:14). Each believer is a beacon light. When the world observes the believer, it might be perplexed; thinking that the life of the believer is bizarre at first. After sufficient investigation, the world should start to recognize the hope that the believer possesses. Purpose driven lives filled with good deeds, good words, and filled with true happiness serve as a beacon to a dark and dreary world. Such light draws the seeker who knows that the darkness has nothing to offer.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Godzilla Movies: Worst to Best 26-21

Continuing my Countdown to the #1 Godzilla Movie of all-time, we review 26-21. Within this segment, you will see how I felt about the controversial Godzilla '98. Read, and find out where it ranks in my countdown.

#26) Godzilla vs Megalon: AKA, Godzilla’s Big Time Wrestling Debut. This movie pits Godzilla and a giant robot friend named Jet Jaguar against old foe Gigan and new foe Megalon (a giant demi-god cockroach that can spit out hand grenades, burrow, and shoot lasers from his horn) in what is like a hardcore tag team match from the golden era of Big Time Wrestling, complete with Godzilla dropkicking Megalon.  The cheesiness in this movie is overwhelming. Nonetheless, it is so well blended into the movie that you can’t really hold against the movie itself. It was not meant to be taken seriously, thus it is a fun movie to watch. The only thing that really creeps me out about this movie is that you won’t find a single female character in it. Seriously, the only women you see in this are those that are dancing around in Seatopia, worshipping Megalon before he is unleashed upon the surface dwellers. I could be wrong on this, but that’s what I recall about this movie.

#25) Godzilla vs The Sea Monster: Also known as Ebirah the Horror of the Deep and not originally intended to be a Godzilla movie. The reason I mention this is because certain of its elements give it away that it was originally supposed to feature Toho’s version of King Kong. If you understand that, the enjoyment level of this movie significantly increases because certain elements like Godzilla’s connection to the female character and being awakened by lightning make a little more sense in scope of the rest of the film franchise. One of the fun aspects of this movie is that the Godzilla action is pretty sweet. He fights a giant lobster, a giant vulture (or condor…I don’t know), an evil military regime, and even has a brief encounter with Mothra. At the end of the movie, the humans are crying out to Godzilla to get off of the island which has been set to self-destruct. This scene is interesting because it harkens to reality that Godzilla had been deemed an overall positive in relation to mankind.

#24) Godzilla vs Gigan: A former top 10 in my books, but then I grew up and noticed some of the not so charming aspects of this movie. Namely, the monsters speaking to each other is very difficult to endure, the human characters are a bunch of fruit loops, and I’m still scratching my head over the whole Monster Land thing. Any who, this movie has Godzilla, Anguirus, Ghidorah, and the first appearance of Gigan. The first three monsters were a cool enough feature to this movie, but Gigan would go on to become a fan favorite villain of the franchise. The action is intense and the movie ends with a signature-to-the-era cheesy kids song. All-in-all, goodzilla movie.

#23) Godzilla vs Mothra (Heisei Series): I know that many people would rate this movie higher on the list, but I found it lacking in many respects. The fairies and Mothra did not bring to the screen the presence, the horror, or the weirdness that the original Mothra encapsulated. The redeeming factors were definitely Battra and Godzilla. Battra is like Mothra’s evil twin and is a formidable opponent to Godzilla. But don’t worry, the special effects department in this movie were designed to take the wind out of otherwise pretty cool moments in this movie. I particularly am a fan of Mothra’s extendo legs that appear when he is either attacking Godzilla or trying to pick him up. The Heisei series was certainly an era that Toho was not afraid to test their limits to the chagrin of Godzilla fans. I think they may have finally learned, if an effect does not appear convincing on camera, just don’t do it. It’s okay to use cheap camera tricks or to write certain scenes out of the story altogether if it improves the overall quality of the movie.

#22) Godzilla (’98): Perhaps the most controversial of the movies on my list and perhaps even more so that I did not list it as #31. To tell the truth, this movie could have finished higher on the list had it remained true to the title character. Regardless of what anyone’s disappointment with this movie, hear me out concerning why 22 is a justified spot for this installment. For starters, it actually is a pretty good movie. 

I am saying that from a pure movie-goers perspective. The sets are enormous, the monster chase scenes are amazing, most of the characters are interesting, and, if nothing else, the animated series that followed provided viewers with an idea with what direction its creators were taking the franchise. This movie was an experiment; albeit a stupid experiment, but an experiment nonetheless. They discovered what works and what does not work with a Godzilla movie. Chief among all other factors, the creators discovered that Godzilla is more than just a giant monster on the loose story. But regarding positive lessons, future Godzilla movie-makers would take note that the special effects matter. In fact, this movie created a scene that would be duplicated in just about all of the Godzilla movies that would follow: Godzilla’s dorsal fin approach (or I guess you could call it his Jaws approach).

For as much as fans complained about this movie (again, not taking away from the justification), this movie was a whopper in the franchise. There are four prolonged Godzilla sequences…that’s actually a lot of Godzilla time compared to other movies. The baby Godzillas, although not a welcome addition to this movie, sported the hand-down best design of any baby-zilla in the franchise. One of my personal favorite aspects of this movie is Hank Azaria’s character, Victor “Animal” Palotti, who I think is one of the best human roles in a Godzilla movie.

Yes, this movie lacked the invincible, slow-moving, fire breathing monster we all intended on seeing, but this movie has a lot to offer, nonetheless.

#21) Godzilla v Monster Zero: This movie used to be among the most recognized of the Godzilla movies. In some respects, the plot of the movie carries its own weight without the monsters. But, for your enjoyment, this movie features King Ghidorah (the most popular Godzilla villain), Rodan, and Godzilla. The most memorable scene in GV0 is the three way monster battle on Planet X. Afterwards, Godzilla does a victory dance, making use of the lower gravity of Planet X.

One of the major downsides of this movie is that there is not as much monster action as one would desire, but the action it features is top notch.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Bible and Politics part 1

I originally wanted to call this post The Two Bills because I think that people who follow me on social media will notice that I have a very tender part of my personality but that the other side can be quite ferocious. The topics the animate me one way or the other are the Bible and Politics. This has been a tension I have been wrestling with for a while. On the one hand, the Bible tells us to be gentle and caring toward all people. On the other hand, come election season, you become tired of being duped by two-bit con-artists. How do you balance the two?

This will be elaborated on more in a future post or discussion. For now, let me introduce you to the reality that there are two ethics inside of the Bible in relation to our human dealings. The New Testament provides the ethic that most Christians are familiar with and can be summed up by the Sermon on the Mount. This ethic deals strictly with one-on-one relationships. The second ethic is much simpler but easier to overlook. This ethic is that of the nation and is spelled out very specifically in the first five books of the Bible in what is called The Law of Moses.

The New Testament ethic is focused on compassion, mercy, and grace. These sentiments are what establish our transcendence among that which has been created in that it distinguishes us as beings created in the image of God. Ironically, in the world in which we live, these sentiments cannot be used to govern a nation.

The Old Testament ethic is focused on law, order, and justice. These sentiments are not necessarily effective in establishing relationships with people but provide the groundwork  for a fully functioning nation. This makes sense because the New Testament ethic was presented in a world where the Israel had essentially lost their nation and the focus was shifted toward love of mankind while the Old Testament ethic was focused on the establishment of a godly nation which was focused on conforming society to a strict set of rules to keep it from falling into the same destructive patterns of the rest of the world at that time.

In America we face an interesting predicament. Our government is made up by the people. We elect our officials which results in average people debating one another in public forums. I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with this, but as we all know, such conversations can get rather vicious. As a Christian it is a struggle to know what level of disagreement in politics would be acceptable in the eyes of Jesus Christ.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reflection on the Depth of John 1:1

I've started a new series of morning devotions and I've changed things up a little. Instead of reading a full chapter of the Bible in the morning, I've started reading through a Christological Greek Grammar book on John 1:1-18.

Just reading through the first verse with commentary by Dr. Gary Staats is unbelievably insightful. I'm not going to bore you with all of the details, but it is absolutely true that the fullness of the Deity of Jesus Christ is made all the more clear when it is examined in New Testament Greek. Now, in order to appreciate it, I've had to refresh myself on certain grammatical rules.

One of the arguments made against the full deity of Christ is that, in the Greek, the last statement of John 1:1 does not provide a definite article for the word God. I've read further into the justification for the translation of "The Word was God" and it is more than justified. There is no other way to read it in the Greek.

In fact, the way it is worded in the Greek (with a word for word translation) would be, "God was the Word." Now, grammar scholars in the Trinitarian world do not hang their hats on that translation because they know it does not follow the Greek grammar rules. Thus, the proper translation would be the Word was God despite the lack of the definite article because the word God or theos is taking upon the predicate nominative. What does that mean?

In the Greek, the writer decided to put the word God, or theos, at the front of the sentence without the definite article to emphasize that word. This is found elsewhere in Scripture when the Apostle John wrote God is love. Love appears at the beginning of the sentence without the definite article to emphasize its importance.

But wow, I totally got caught diving down the rabbit hole here. This is just a start to the incredible Greek insights from Dr. Gary Staats on this incredible Scripture. What fascinated me more about this verse and the following verses, was how the author emphasized the eternality of Christ in a way that we would not get the entirety of this teaching by merely reading an English translation. That will be for another day.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You are the Most Important Person in the Trump Administration

My guess is that most people who read this are probably like me. Whether you turn on the television or look at social media, you are irritated by people who never relent from telling the world how the election of Donald Trump was a horrible thing. You hear about how he’s a racist, his cabinet nominees are racists, he has ties to the KKK, he has already vowed to break all of his campaign promises, he’s delegating the role of the Presidency to others in his cabinet who are more qualified, and, oh yes, his election was illegitimate because the Russians, of all people, feared Hillary Clinton and worked against her to ensure that America would elect the incompetent Donald Trump. Like you, I am quite tired of it. Furthermore, I’ve come to realize that you and I are the most important people in the Trump administration.

You remember the pre-election polls, right? Trump stood no chance of winning the election. At first, I was certain they were wrong, but then the spread steadily became larger and larger: 8, 10, and even 15% leads by Hillary Clinton. You felt like the fourth quarter of the Patriots vs. Falcons Super Bowl. No one has ever come back from such staggering odds. And then it happened. Trump won the election in what could be considered an electoral college landslide. If it was never clear before then, it had become perfectly clear by November, 8 2016, Donald Trump was truly the people’s President. He proved it by defeating both the media and the political establishment despite their unlimited resources. These same establishment sources have been claiming that Russia defeated Hillary Clinton and gave Trump the victory. I contest, WE beat Hillary Clinton and elected Donald Trump as our President.

It’s been nearly a month since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the President of the United States of America and the Media/Establishment assault has not been diminished. Each and every day we hear that Trump’s election was illegitimate, he lost the popular vote, and that he’s actively fulfilling his evil plot to rule America all the while he is being an ineffective President who is not fulfilling his campaign promises.

If it was not clear to you before, understand this today: if you voted for Donald Trump for President, don’t expect the accusations to become any kinder or for the media assault to let up. If you think the attacks they leveled against George W. Bush were vicious, you’ve seen nothing yet. The media wants to utterly destroy the Trump administration because it flies in the face of the leftist progressive ideals that they all believe in. That is why we, the people who elected Trump, must stand beside him NO MATTER WHAT. This might sound daunting and uncritical, but remember what we just defeated in November.

Hillary Clinton sought to finish the job that Barack Obama started, and she is not the last one who will try to achieve this. There is a portion of our country that wants to empower the federal government beyond the limits the founders intended. They will lie, cheat, break the law, defame, and batter people to accomplish their goals. Our task is simple, but not easy. Stand firm. Do not be shaken and know that if we hold the line this time, our country WILL be great again.


Godzilla Movies: Worst to Best Bottom 5

I have taken it upon myself to rank the Godzilla movies from Worst to Best. This is merely a fun exercise, but it was quite a task ranking 31 movies in 1 series. I would love to hear your opinions on my rankings, or read your opinion on how these movies should be ranked. Until then, enjoy!

#31) Godzilla’s Revenge: Not a bad movie, if you fall under the appropriate age category. This movie does not reveal whether Godzilla was intended to be a real character within the universe or a fictional character that dwelt in the minds of kids. The real plot of this movie revolves around overcoming bullies. The main character is a little boy who is constantly harassed by a bigger kid known as Gabora. In the realm of the main character’s mind, Gabora is manifest as a monster that terrorizes Godzilla’s son on Monster Island. For children, this movie is quite the treat. For adults…it’s nice to see that your children find it entertaining. Godzilla fights a slew of foes in this movie, but almost all of the fight scenes are stock footage. If I were ten years old or younger, this movie would probably be closer to the top of the list.

#30) Godzilla vs Hedorah: Sometimes creative teams choose to take a fresh new direction with a popular character. That is the brunt of Godzilla vs Hedorah. Hedorah is a monster created from pollution and is toxic to the people he passes by. This film incorporates hand drawn animations, symbolism, and Godzilla’s brand new power of flight (exclusive to this film). I will venture to say that this film is not for everyone, but it is one of the most unique of the G films.

#29) Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster: As I was rating this movie, I was shocked that I ended up rating it 29 out of 31. It was this film that made me realize how solid the Godzilla film franchise really was. This movie is the first to feature King Ghidorah and Godzilla’s role as a hero (we actually get to seethis transition happen right before our eyes!). The plot is intriguing and the action is good. There are only a few reasons why it falls toward the bottom of the chart. This movie is definitely geared more toward children, but it lacks a key element that everyone anticipates throughout the movie: King Ghidorah. Ghidorah appears at the end of the movie and only fights the three hero monsters (Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan) for a very short period of time. The plot development is good and the action at the end is solid, but when it’s all over you feel like you were robbed of something.

#28) Son of Godzilla: Oddly enough, this one would be closer to the middle of the list if not for one factor. The Godzilla suit in this movie is absolutely atrocious!!! This might seem like a petty complaint to justify putting this movie in the bottom 5, but if you have seen this movie, I think you would agree with me. Because Baby Godzilla (Minilla) hatches from an egg, the movie makers decided to make the Godzilla design more feminine…a feminine Godzilla. If you are wondering what a feminine Godzilla looks like, think of a fat Kermit the frog with childbearing hips. Minilla is not a celebrated character in the film franchise, but in this movie he fills his purpose and does so well. Godzilla does as well, but the viewer is left wondering, every time he steps on screen, “Why Toho? Why did you make him so painful to look at?”

#27) Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla: Rounding off the bottom 5 of the list is the first non-original series to appear in this countdown, Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla. Part of this film’s mediocrity is how much it disappointed fans upon its release. It took a new monster with a sweet design and interesting origins story and totally squandered an opportunity to wow fans. The complaint across Godzilla fandom can be summed up in the reality that it just did not seem like this film’s creators really cared much when they put together this movie. Elements of the story that harkened back to past films in the Heisei Series showed that the writers were at least making a conscious effort to make this movie interesting, but how it was accomplished was nothing short of pathetic. They design and effects guys took every positive element of this movie and ran it through a blender. Toho favorite robot M.O.G.U.E.R.A. was introduced to the Godzilla universe and was totally botched by an embarrassing outer space battle with Spacegodzilla. Spacegodzilla was cheapened with this strange evil plot to take over the world (he came across as a cartoon villain). And, dare I say, Baby Godzilla sported his worst design yet with eyes bigger than the adult Godzilla’s and a personality more irritating than Minilla from Godzilla’s Revenge. Might I remind you, Minilla talked in Godzilla’s Revenge. There were elements that prevented this one from falling at number 31, but as I said in opening, this film was such a disappointment after Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II.