Old Movie (Old is a Relative Term)

Great post about film!

Polite and (paranoid)

I was talking with a few ladies and one of them referenced the movie RV. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen RV, to which she replied, “Oh, it’s an old movie.”

RV was made in 2006. It’s not even ten years old yet. The lady who referred to it as an “old” movie is twenty years older than I.

Hunny and I were talking to someone who said he was a movie buff. Hunny mentioned that we love film. He said, “I even love old movies from the 80’s and 90’s.”

When I refer to old movies, I’m talking about black and white movies from the 1930’s and 1940’s. But I guess I have a different view of film than other people. My mother is a huge Disney fan. Her family life wasn’t all that great growing up, but she said she loved seeing Walt Disney on Sundays on…

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Recycle, Re-Use and Evolve ……

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Life is constantly changing. Not that long ago, a major politician ran on the platform of change, but in reality Change is inevitable and one of the only things in life that we can count on.  The thing about life and change that maters is can we work with and mold that inevitable change to make our lives better and the whole of humanity.

If you have read my blogs for any amount of time, you will remember that my wife and I love to thrift, antique, and create craft and art things from items we find (see my Etsy). More than just a fun way of saving money and being creative, I think in our increasingly disposable culture it is imperative that we make the best use of what we have been given by God. I am sure that you have noticed how things are just not made well at all anymore. T.V.s are only made to last for three to five years, which is a far cry from ones  made in the 1950s that still function! We are still so enamored by new that we no longer appreciate the sturdy and enduring around us, can we afford to let that happen?

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I refuse to let things be tossed aside and forgotten, even well worn books can be repurposed for a new life! I took this group of forgotten books and anchored them to together to form the base for a new book lamp.

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I installed a ceramic socket and repurposed an old record player’s power cord to turn this stack of books into a functioning  lamp.

image To see more of this lamp and my other creations visit my etsy spot here. If you would like to make your own book lamp, message me and I will share what I know.

-Daniel.  P.s. Find me on Instagram @vintageseven1983 and twitter @vintageseven

Evolution Doesn’t apply to Beyonce’

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I was checking my email on Yahoo today when I came across yet another article, which made me completely lose faith in humanity! This time I was completely disgusted by the vulgar way a ‘celebrity’ treated another human being.  Beyoncé or Wendy Williams Jr., as I call her (evidence below), gave birth to what she thinks is Jesus.

Beyonce

minime

Actually, the baby’s name is Blue Ivy (Sorry Beyoncé, that is a Bath and Body Works scent not a baby name).  Anywho, her and hubby JAYZ basically shut the hospital down where she was having the baby.  So much so that it was hard to tend to babies in intensive care! A father was unable to see his baby, who was born prematurely, and roughed up by Beyoncé’s security.  She was not even at the hospital!  I will include a link to the original piece at the end of the post, but first I want to talk about how utterly disturbing our worship of money, power, and fame have become!

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I have all but lost faith in humanity.  I have never been a proponent for the theory of evolution, yet I believe that the current culture of self-absorbtion, living completely meaningless lives have given Darwin’s theory new credence! I am not sure if our species is further behind than previously thought by Darwin from self-awareness or we are truly in regression and devolving.  ( IF YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS QUANDARY, PLEASE COMMENT!) A good example of the failures of evolution is pictured below:

Regression of the species

On a more serious note, what makes celebrities think that they can treat others like dirt?  Maybe we, as a society, have worshipped fame so much that we are the ones who are the gluttons for punishment.  I have observed a very disturbing trend in culture over my lifetime: we, as a culture, glorify success at any cost and those who are successful are worth more and thus treated better.  We are creating our own CASTE SYSTEM and we don’t even realize it.

Please read the original article and leave me a comment with your thoughts on the topic.  Personally, I hope one of the families mistreated by the hospital and the JayZ’S sues them both! Read the full article here.

Til next time

danieldunlop

Heaven and Doubt

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In my last post, I tried to contrast two drastically different views of Heaven.  One was the view that Rob Bell holds, that we are responsible as Christians for bringing to pass Heaven on Earth as we live, and the other is one where Heaven is somewhere else and it is not as much about the ‘goodies’ as it is about being in the presence of our redeemer Christ.  Both of these views of Heaven are less about the material wealth of the individual and more about the general well-being.  I think that Rob Bell is right in wanting to make Earth a place of redemption and new birth, yet the fall of man has brought with it an inability of this Earth to produce something pure.

I believe that within us is a desire for something more; something better.  I have heard it said that this something is our God shaped vacuum in one’s soul, yet I think it is far more than this, we were simply made for more than what we experience now. Every man, woman, and child that has ever been born has a certain destiny and divine meaning, if you will. Both by our fallen nature, disease and death we fail to live up to the divine purpose of our lives. Once a person finds their meaning in Christ, the talents and path that their life has taken can make sense.

It is true that on this Earth we will not truly know as we want; we will not quite understand why that family member died of cancer or why our spouse cheated on us, but truly we don’t have to know why, to know that God is good! It is only through a personal relationship with Jesus that someone can face death with a certainty that they will find peace with their Maker.  There are many questions that will go unanswered in life, but where one will spend eternity does not have to be one of them.

One of the first chapters of the Bible that I ever memorized was I Corinthians 13 (some call it the Love chapter), what stands out to me in the chapter is Paul’s understanding that we cannot know everything, and even the little that we do know and the little good that we do, is tainted! Paul calls our life know ‘Looking through a glass darkly.’  What does that statement mean? I believe that he is talking about looking at a mirror or through a dirty glass, either way he is describing that we do not see or perceive our world as it truly is. We are clouded by sin and failures, by sort-comings, and we often read into our lives things that are not truly there.  In spite of our lack of ability to make sense of life, God loves us and has given us not only the opportunity to know Him, but to love Him as He has first loved us, and to even reflect this love to others! Our task on Earth is not to get along with others, or even to love them, but to reflect God’s love already expressed in order that those around us might find that love for themselves.

God’s love cannot be measured; It surpasses our very imagination! The person that believes Heaven is a place where those that have been good enough go, or those that have said the right pass code, or memorized the right verses do not understand the Bible.  God is not a respecter of persons, He will not accept or deny a person on their own merits; only those that have found their forgiveness in the finished work of Jesus can make it.

What is Heaven going to be like? Heaven I believe is going to be much better than we can ever imagine! A few of the Bible writers wrote of Heaven first hand accounts of what they saw in visions and dreams, but I believe even their descriptions pale beside the reality of what Heaven is going to be like.

Those like Rob Bell who seem to be more concerned with redeeming the Earth and less about leading people to Jesus, the one that can redeem the here and now and eternity, seem almost to believe that people are inherently good. Living in America where there is little devastating disease and society at large is wealthier than the rest of the world, we might find it easy to believe Heaven might be a slightly more cleaned up version of our society, yet for the majority of our world Heaven being a better version of their own society would be the most depressing prospect ever! Jesus is the redeemer that makes all new, and doesn’t just slightly change our situation!

Heaven- Build-a-Jesus Workshop

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Have you ever thought about the end of your life? What will your last words be? Where will you go when you die? I don’t like to think of dying (who does?), but truly it is something inevitable! With the death of Steve Jobs recently, as well as dealing with death on a near daily basis in my day job, death is something I nearly have come to accept.  What we believe about Heaven and Hell I believe makes all the difference where our life’s path takes us!

A great  friend of mine and one of my mentors, pastor Jim Morgan, described Heaven less like a fancy neighborhood with mc-mansions as many believe, and more like a giant convent where we share in God’s eternal bliss.  At the time when I heard my pastor’s vision of what Heaven was to be like, I was a little disappointed!  However, I have to confess it is much more intriguing than the departed saints turning into small baby angels playing micro-harps and wearing diapers while seated on small cumulus clouds. There are about as many variations of what Heaven is to be like as there are people hoping to end up there.  Although I did not quite understand Pastor Morgan’s interpretation of Heaven as a youth, I have since come to understand that in Jim’s mind it was less about the treasures and splendor of the physical place and more about being with his Redeemer.

Rob Bell Velvet Elvis:

“”When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter–they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about Hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth.”

Can we resist Hell coming to Earth? Can we invoke Heaven on Earth? I don’t believe so. We are responsible for a small sphere of people in our lives and even if these people become Christians, and everyone that is a Christian, wins others until this whole world is won to Christ will this bring Heaven? No. The Bible tells us that the Devil is the Prince and Power of the Earth.

Ephesians 2:2

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Devil is ruler of this earth, God has given each person a chance to accept or reject Him, those that reject the Lord serve the Devil with their lives whether willing or not. To think that one’s good deeds will bring Heaven here is to think that men are inherently good!

I believe that in each man, woman, and child is a longing for something more something better; that something is Heaven!  This world is full of suffering and pain, God longs to restore us; not by our own good, but by His redeeming power.  I believe that Heaven is about Jesus, not shiny golden gates and giant pearls, yet I believe that Heaven is going to be somewhere far from this place.  Since the fall of man in Genesis, our world has been in a constant downward free fall! Sickness and dying is all around us. Nature as well as man are a rotting bunch, even the Earth herself seems to be groaning  under the weight of the curse! To think that Christians can redeem the Earth by our own efforts is naive to say the least!

We will talk more about Heaven in my next post.

danieldunlop

TEAM

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Some of my energy supply for the race

A few weeks ago, I completed an adventure race called The Flying Frog Adventure Race with two friends; and the experience is something that I can truly say is life changing! Not just ‘was’ life changing, but continues to be a source of inspiration! I grew up playing basketball and various sports occasionally for school teams, but I never trained quite as hard for anything as I did for this race. My two friends and I did not know what to expect from the race since none of us had ever participated in one. An adventure race is a triathlon with a revolving third event: Running, Biking and Paddling.

My friends and I are fairly fit, and enjoy mountain biking, but we were not ready for all the running (8 miles) that would be required for this race, so we spent the better part of our blistering summer running trails around our home in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

As the race came closer and closer, I began to fear that in spite of our training that we would be able to finish the race, and would have to drop out. All three of us on our team  (Throwin Way Leg which is loosely translated ‘first step on a long journey’) will have to stay within a hundred yards of each other for the whole race, which might seem simple, but after a few miles into a 25 mile race it can be very tricky!

Josh, Shawn, and I were not trying to set any speed records, or for that matter even place; we just wanted to finish the race since we have never even tried something like this before! We started the race with the bike riding portion, and it was clear very early that we were out gunned by many aggressive pro riders and we fell back far in the pack. We had a couple wrecks along some of the more technical parts of the single track, and this just set Throwin Way Leg back even farther.  Struggling with several racers along the tight single tracks came to an end when we transitioned into the running part of the race; we saw fewer and fewer of our fellow runners as the race pressed on and during a long straight part of the run.  I had the feeling that we were close to last since we could not see anyone more than half a mile in front of and behind us. To compound or frustrations, one of our team members began having sever leg cramps and we had to use what little energy supplies we had left just to keep him on his feet. Our slow run became a walk and we had to at times stop stretch.

As we continued on foot, I began to compare the race to the walk of faith. Often we feel that we are alone in our walk with Jesus and sometimes we can even wonder if God sees us in our daily struggles.  It is only when we find encouragement and fellowship with fellow Christians that we believe we are not alone.  Often in the harder parts of the race, I found myself encouraging and being encouraged by my teammates!

As we wound down to the end of the running portion, we caught up to some other teams and found that indeed we were not in last place! Although it took team Throwin Way Leg over 5 hours and 15 mins to finish the race, I couldn’t have been happier, we finished the race and did it as a supportive team!

danieldunlop

INspiration!

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When I found out that Steve Jobs died today, it really was a shocker.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

My wife told me  when she read about Jobs’ death on Twitter just a couple of hours ago; and when I heard the news my heart dropped. Steve Jobs’ had resigned his post at Apple computers a few months ago due to his failing health, yet part of me always assumed he would get better and go back to creating industry shaping products.

There are not many people who have inspired me as much as Steve; from the humble beginnings of Apple to him being basically fired by the company he helped to create. And then taking a short stint making Pixar a viable production company, and then back to Apple to create some of the most innovative products known in our modern times! All with hope and confidence in what can be done!

I am typing this post on my Macbook pro, and I am happy to boast that I have been a loyal mac customer since the early 2000’s; my first mac was the (clam shell) iBook.

1st gen ibook

I loved that computer. My wife worked at the Apple store close to Chapel Hill to help pay her bills, and still she uses their product (people don’t support their former work places unless the product is a good one!).

Last year, I bought a Droid 2 phone (I just couldn’t wait for the iPhone to come to Verizon) that turned out the be one of the great mistakes of my life! I have since sold that phone on eBay, and then vowed to only buy mac! I guess the real reason that I love mac and will miss Steve Jobs’ is that he was not just a ‘Computer Guy,’ mac is not just a ‘Tech Company,’ he approached computers with a simple user-friendly interface that allowed us to use computers not to crunch numbers, but to create and be creative!

I have heard that when a developer came to Sony with a revolutionary new product, Sony turned it down saying it would never catch on, but later the same developer had his dreams come true when the Ipod was actualized.  Steve Jobs will be missed by me because he inspired me to live out my God-given talents

We would not have Apple computers or Pixar animated movies without you, Steve! You will be missed. Rest in Peace

visionary

danieldunlop

Til next week

This is not a post

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For those of you that have been following my blog and my new series these last couple month Build a Jesus workshop , thank you . I have had such a fun time these last few month coming up with the topics that I feel needed addressing in the Christian community. So far we have covered the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection and Hell (in some detail) refer to older posts under the build a Jesus or Shut the Hell up tag; but still to come we have Heaven and a couple other topics to conclude the build a Jesus series!

I am taking a week off to focus on two of my other passions, Mt. Biking (In the Flying Frog adventure race) and painting (my work, along with my wife’s is to be in the downtown Statesville artcrawl next sat). needless to say two big events back to back days leaves little time for writing.

I still have a catalogue of posts to draw from as well as pictures from both of these events forth with!

danieldunlop

Shut the Hell up 3

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Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.- George Orwell

I believe that many of the thinkers of our day including many of the so-called theologians live by the above credo. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was no Heaven, no Hell? Sounds very much like John Lennon’s vision of religion. So much of theology is up for grabs in our time; especially the unpleasant topics. I wonder why theology is up to our interpretation, yet math and science is not? If I decided that I did not want 2+2 to = 4 any more, does that change the fact that it still equals 4? I hate math with all of my heart, but I can appreciate the absolutes with which it measures the world.  I find many forms of math to be way beyond me, but because I don’t grasp them does not mean they are not true.  In my last blog, I asked you to watch the clip of a debate between Rob Bell and Adrian Warnock.  In that video clip, Rob Bell asks if someone that rejects God at 17 years old and dies would then spend 17,000,000 years in Hell.  It seems to Rob that a God who would let that be, could not be love.  In truth, God is both equally LOVE and SOVEREIGNTY!  God does not want any man, woman, or child on the face of the planet to end up in Hell; the Bible over and over states that the call of redemption goes out to all people!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Many like Bell believe that a God who would send a person to Hell forever and ever is an unjust God; the fact is that God is Holy and even though He throws the unholy into Hell, it is a man’s own pride that sends him to a Godless eternity!

Jesus spoke often to the religious about their future in Hell, because many of the religious leaders of His time, just like now, live in pride and self-righteousness! The unchurched have no false pretense, they know that they do not have God. Those truly seeking a relationship with Christ will find it; the religious will have to unload their self-righteousness to make it to Heaven.

“If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”

Rob Bell is willing to let eternity be in the realm of speculation? The Bible is very clear about eternity; and when an unbeliever reads the Bible and then hears Bell, they will simply be turned off to the gospel completely! Just because we find some of the scriptures hard to understand or unpleasant doesn’t change their truth! In my next post I want to examine our concepts on the topic of Heaven.
danieldunlop

Shut the Hell up 2

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Two posts ago I started to explore the concepts of Hell in my Build-a- Jesus Workshop series; I got a lot of feedback on facebook and the blog, a lot of feedback that really helped bring us into this second blog regarding Hell.

Dante's Vision of Hell

I ended my last blog post with the question, Why did Jesus create Hell? and that among other questions I wish to answer in this post. First off, I was posed the question, if Hell is a big turn off for non-believers, why even talk about it at all? Is Hell important? If it is then we need to talk about it. I believe that you cannot become a follower of Jesus without at least a basic understand that there is a Heaven to be gained and a Hell to be shunned. Jesus talked about the topic of Hell more than He did of Paradise or Heaven; and He never talked in apathetic, limp verb-age, but in strong powerful words when it came to Hell. Of all the topics that Jesus spoke of in the New Testament I believe that Jesus uses the most clear and direct dialog in regards to Hell, or Hades, or Sheol or whatever term Jesus used in His talking about death and Hell. Often in Jesus’ talks and in His preaching He would use terms that were familiar to the people of His day. When talking of Hell Jesus would on occasion use the term Gehenna and His audience would have a vivid word-picture of how awful Hell had to be because they were familiar with Gehenna an area outside of Jerusalem where some Israelites would dispose of bodies sacrificed to false gods! Hell is awful and Jesus came to save us from it! If Hell is so horrible that Jesus spent much of His ministry warning His hearers about it; why did God create it in the first place?

Only one way to Heaven: through the Cross

If God is all-knowing and infinite as I believe, why would He create a place so awful and devoid of His presence as Hell? In Matt. 25:41; and Rev. 20:10 we find that Hell was created for Satan and his followers. God cannot have any sin or rebellion in His presence and thus it must be separated from Him. Although that is the Bible’s explanation of why Hell was created, I cannot fully explain it, I do not understand God’s ways and I don’t believe that some things can be fully understood by our finite minds. I do know that God makes it clear that there is a afterlife and it matters very much what we do and choose to believe in the hear and now! “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” C.S. Lewis Often I come back to the above conclusion. I have a longing that I cannot explain. I have a realization that we were not created  for what we endure here. danieldunlop

In the next post we will explore:

– why God spoke often of Hell to the religious but not to the pagans of His time.

-why Rob Bell’s views on Hell helps make good atheists

If you would watch this below debate with Rob Bell and we will discuss it next time….