Month: October 2007

The Golden Compass

On December 7, the movie “The Golden Compass” will be released in theaters and before you even consider taking your children, I URGE you to please read the Snopes.com site here.

This movie is drawn from a trilogy of books called “His Dark Materials” that are explicitly anti-Christian: They talk about the church, God, sin, the kingdom of heaven, Jesus, being a Christian, atonement, and redemption. They quote directly from the Bible. At one point, one of the key characters says:

I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn’t any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all. (The Amber Spyglass, p. 464)

So there is no getting away from the fact that Pullman has written a series of books for teenagers / young adults, with an explicitly anti-Christian message. Here are two reasons why these books are harmful:
How he describes the church
In ‘His Dark Materials’, Pullman portrays the church as a massive hierarchical power-structure that is violently opposed to truth and freedom. In ‘The Subtle Knife’, the church tortures a witch. It sentences people to death for disagreeing with it, and sends out a murderer (granted forgiveness before he commits a sin). Churches commit sexual mutilation on children, and indeed sacrifice them:

There are churches there, believe me, that cut their children too, as the people of Bolvangar did – not in the same way, but just as horribly – they cut their sexual organs, yes, both boys and girls – they cut them with knives so that they shan’t feel. That is what the church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling. (The Subtle Knife, p. 52)

He opened my eyes. He showed me things I never had seen, cruelties and horrors all committed in the name of the Authority, all designed to destroy the joys and the truthfulness of life. (The Subtle Knife, p. 283)

In every world, agents of the authority are sacrificing children to their cruel god! (The Subtle Knife, p. 286)

For all its history… it’s tried to suppress and control every natural impulse. And when it can’t control them, it cuts them out. (The Subtle Knife, p. 52)

So the way Philip Pullman describes the church in ‘His Dark Materials’ is unremittingly negative. Is this true to reality?
and, finally…
How he describes God
In the Bible, God is described as the ultimately good, ultimately wise, infinitely powerful, everlasting creator of the universe. In Philip Pullman’s books, he is none of these things. The difference is so great that you can even argue he is not talking about the same person. However, it is clear that Pullman does intend to talk about the God of the Bible, and does intend us to read him that way:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty… (The Amber Spyglass, page 33)

At the beginning of the world, God walked in the garden and spoke with Adam and Eve. Then he began to withdraw, and Moses only heard his voice. Later, in the time of Daniel, he was aged – he was the Ancient of Days. (The Amber Spyglass, page 344)

Clearly, Pullman is seeking to say something about the God of the Bible, through the medium of his novels. But Pullman’s account of God is, of course, totally opposed to what the Bible says:

He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves – the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust, as we are… (The Amber Spyglass, page 33)

Where is he now? Is he still alive, at some inconceivable age, decrepit and demented, unable to think or act or speak and unable to die, a rotten hulk? (The Amber Spyglass, page 344)

Pullman’s ‘God’ is just a created being – an angel, like all the others. He is not good. He is not wise, and he is certainly not all-powerful. In fact, when the heroes finally meet this ‘God’, he is a senile wreck:

…an angel, she thought, and indescribably aged…. she had the impression of terrifying decrepitude, of a face sunken in wrinkles, of trembling hands and a mumbling mouth and rheumy eyes. The aged being gestured shakily… and cackled and muttered to himself, plucking incessantly at his beard, and then threw back his head and uttered a howl of such anguish… (The Amber Spyglass, page 416)

Does anyone really believe in the kind of ‘god’ Pullman describes?
Read here for more information on his hidden agenda.

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Good night…or is it good morning?

I’m not sure, since I haven’t been to bed yet. Remember yesterday? I wrote about “overcommitting” myself? I just finished that powerpoint (it’s 4:45 am) and it’s still not “perfect”…but my eyes are crossing and I have double vision, so it’s time to quit. I have to deliver it in an hour and a half, so no use going to bed.

With the help of a pot of coffee and the Lord, I should be able to make it through. But still, if you hear a really loud crash around 4:30 in the afternoon, don’t worry, it’s just me falling face first again.

I’m so clumsy lately…and I’m not even pregnant. Three weeks ago, I dove face first off the platform at church after singing (caught myself, thank-you-very-much) and twisted the fooey out of my ankle. I really wish you could have seen it. It was a spectacular save, though – right out of the Guiness Book of world records under “woman holds record for doing triple kow tow off church’s platform while twisting ankle and somehow manages to avoid the pianist and the old fashioned alters”. It was quite a feat. I even threw my hands up like Mary Lou Retton in the 1984 Olympics when I was done just so everyone would know how proud I was that I saved it and didn’t hit the floor, which prompted the entire front row to hold up placards reading “10”. Well, I’m just kidding about that last part, but I did hold up my hands and throw my hip out in a pathetic attempt to save face. (like there was any face left to be saving)

Then this past Saturday, I wore a pair of dress pants backwards all day. To the mall. Shopping in Dillards. My friend swears she didn’t notice, but I’m wondering how anyone could miss the fact that my front was all baggy because that’s where my tushy normally goes? I don’t know…thankfully, I was wearing a shirt jacket that pretty much covered it up. Why didn’t I notice, you ask? Well, to be honest, the pants were the kind that zip in the back and being a stay at home mom who’s all hip and cool (not), I kind of forgot about the back zipper. I thought they felt funny when I put them on (and I certainly wondered why there was a clasp and not a button?), but I was in a hurry and didn’t pay too much attention. Don’t you just wish you lived near me so you could laugh at my stupidity on a daily basis?

Of course, if you made it this far, or read my blog for very long, chances are you have laughed at my stupidity…because who needs kids to laugh at when I can make fun of myself?

My kids have been extraordinarily funny of late, but right now I’ll be darned if I can recall one thing to recount for you. I’ll have to sleep on it and get back to you. And Megan wants to know about my hair issues. Oh. my. lanta. I’ll definitely be posting on that…but tomorrow. ‘Cause I’m too worn out tonight. Or this morning….or whatever it is. *yawn* Catch ya on the flip side.

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Secrets, superheroes, and plain old stupidity

You might think that after living on this Earth for 38 years, I’d learn to stop overcommitting myself. Yes, at times, I let my mouth overload my…well, you know.

I have a secret to share with y’all today. I’m superwoman. Don’t tell me you didn’t already know that? I can read 114 blogs in a single sitting, homeschool two kids who don’t really want to do school on any given day, and I can do 40 gazillion loads of laundry, fold them on my bed, and then promptly fall asleep under the covers without ever disturbing the neatly folded piles of clothing.

That’s my average day. Throw in there about eleventy hundred phone calls, a husband who needs his clothes ironed, feeding my brood, business partners who need special powerpoint presentations made that apparently only I can do…and you have today.

Now I have to let you in on another little secret…I’m not really who they think I am. I can’t always do it all effectively. I just put on a really good show on the outside…but on the inside, I’m fretful and all complainy. Is “complainy” a word? I think not…but it fits. And did I mention it looks like it’s going to rain? And I have a business meeting? There goes the hair.

Don’t even get me started on the hair. I’m perklempt. That’s another post entirely…maybe for tomorrow after I put away my red cape and tights. I have to get on with my projects for the day now, and it might be good if I fed my kids and got them started with their schooling…we’re only an hour behind our schedule.

Oh! Before I forget…I want to send a public “THANK YOU!” to Michelle at Scribbit for the lovely Shrek cookbook and ESPECIALLY the book on Scream Free Parenting. I have already started reading the parenting book (well, the title page…does that count?) and I will do a review when I’m done with it. Less screaming…that’s a good thing. (I’m so Martha Stewart today!)

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A new beginning every day…

Sometimes I feel I am on a merry go round that is twirling at hyperspeed, carnival music blaring noisily in the background, unable to focus on anything in particular because the days are a blur as they fly by me. The voice in my head is pleading for someone to stop the ride so I can get off and collect my thoughts before I have to jump back on. But the ride doesn’t ever stop – children, husband, business, church…all require more of me than I feel I am able to give at times because of the intensity of my self-induced vertigo.

My desire to take a day off and stay in bed during times like these is overwhelming. But I am a responsible person…a wife, a mom, a business owner. Life doesn’t slow down just because I can’t keep up. It marches steadily on, with me falling further and further behind in my duties and obligations. I am bound to this carousel of my so called life by the aforementioned duties and obligations. But, they are the anchors that keep me in my rightful place, not fetters that shackle me as though I am a prisoner.

These four walls that I call my bedroom have become my chrysalis. A shelter in the time of storm. I am oblivious to sounds of the outside world, able to rest and grow and even regenerate through prayer and devotion. My time with God is precious and it restores and renews my faith daily. Like the Monarch butterfly, when I am ready to emerge, I am converted into something more beautiful. In Greek, the word for chrysalis is chrysos, meaning “gold”. Just the thought of any adversity I might face being used to refine me like gold brings both a smile to my face and Romans 8:28 to my heart.

My joy is transparent and though I may have struggles, I have exercised my wings of faith and God has given me the strength once again to face the flight of the days ahead.

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Recipe Round Up – Freezer recipes

Country Chicken Pot Pies

Makes (4) 6 inch pies, one serving each
(these pies are absolutely delicious and freeze well)

Filling:

1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
1 C chopped carrot
1/3 C butter or margarine, melted
1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 C chicken broth
1 C half-and-half
4 C chopped cooked chicken
1 C frozen peas, thawed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Basic Pastry (or you can buy them premade)
4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C plus 1 Tblsp. shortening
1/3 to 1/2 C cold water

Saute first 3 ingredients in butter in a skillet over medium heat until tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and half-and-half; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, peas, salt, and pepper.

To prepare pastry mix flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour till the size of peas. Add water 1T at a time and mix gently.

Divide Basic Pastry into 8 equal portions . Roll 4 portions of pastry to 10 inch circles on a floured surface. Place in four 6 inch disposable pie pans. Divide chicken mixture over pastry in pans. Roll remaining 4 portions of circles over filling; fold edges under and flute. Cut slits in tops to allow steam to escape.

To Freeze:
Cover tightly and freeze up to 1 month (I’ve made double batches at the same time and frozen them for a couple of months)

To Serve:
Bake, uncovered at 400F for 1 hour or until crust is brown

**************************************************

Basic Meatballs: (I usually double this recipe)

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup fine, dry bread or cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except oil; mix well. Shape into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls. In large skillet, brown meatballs in hot oil; drain. Add desired sauce to meatballs, cook as directed in recipe.

Tip: To brown in oven, arrange in un-greased shallow baking pan; bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

Cocktail Meatballs: Shape into 1 inch balls; continue as directed above. Makes 48 meatballs.

To Freeze… Flash Freeze and bag together.
To Serve… Just add to any sauce or recipe as needed.

edited to add:
~If you use crackers you don’t need to use salt & 1 sleeve of saltines is one cup of crumbs.

For more October Freeze Ahead recipes, head on over to Motherhood Apologia. If you have one, please feel free to share it by linking up to her Mr. Linky so we can find you!

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