Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

On the East Coast, you've just watched the ball drop in Times Square - but thanks to the magic of tape delay, we here on the Left Coast won't see it for another 3 hours.

Either way, Happy New Year.
Harry: What does this song mean? For my whole life I don't know what this song means. I mean, "Should old acquaintance be forgot". Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happen to forget them we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?

Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends. When Harry Met Sally
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (The Message)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Five & Dime 2007 is Coming...

...all of you kids who track your game playing need to drop me an e-mail at fluffdaddy at gmail dot com and let me know what you played 10+ and 5+ times in 2007... please use "five & dime" in the subject line. (Yes, you can wait until the 1st of January... sigh.)

The results will be reported here on the blog & discussed widely... or maybe just reported here on the blog & ignored by most of the known world. Either way, I'm doing it.

If you want to see the results from last year (and the years before that), check out Five & Dime: 2006. This is the 10th anniversary of my annual Five & Dime list.

Note to all of you who use the Geek's excellent game tracking system... please clean up your results before sending them - I don't count expansions that can't be played without the base game, only the base game.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jerry Lee Collin OR "Playing the Pee-Mam-O"

Collin's "big" gift from his mom & dad this year was a piano - Collin loves music. His Uncle Dan took this video (sadly, without sound) of him putting on a show Christmas morning... enjoy the "pee-mam-o" concert. video

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Shari & I stink at sending Christmas cards - or Christmas letters - or even those picture postcard things you can buy. Frankly, except for shipping games & Christmas packages, we deal with the USPS as little as possible. ("The USPS - when it absolutely has to be there... well, we don't know. And don't bother asking us to track it for you unless you pay us big bucks up front.")

Anyway, this is as close as we're going to get - may each of you have a Merry Christmas!
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." Luke 2:8-12 (The Message)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Survivor: China

After the loss of James (good riddance), Eric (darn), and Peih-Gee (inevitable), I'm not sure who'll win tonight. Here's my personal order of preference:
  1. Amanda... who has at least actually been playing the game with some sort thought involved.
  2. Denise... though I really don't think she has a chance to win and she hasn't done much to position herself any better than 4th. OTOH, she seems like a nice lady & someone who I'd enjoy in real life.
  3. Todd... shudder. He's the "mastermind" who ended up handing James not one but TWO immunity idols - which, btw, should have meant he would still be sitting at tribal council if Amanda hadn't engineered a nifty blind-siding move. He gets 3rd position in my book only because I have to leave 4th position for...
  4. Courtney... who has managed to snark & finagle her way into the endgame by being weak & not caring. Please do not give her money.

I think Amanda is likely to win if she can make it to the final three...

Of course, there was some hint that it might be a final two again in the promos, in which case I'd bet on Denise to be knocked off first, followed by Amanda & Todd trying to figure out how to get Courtney on their side - whichever one of them wins individual immunity in that situation will get the million smackeroos.

One more reality game/board game related link, since we're talking about Survivor: Shannon Applecline has written some pretty interesting posts on reality show game design at Skotos... start with this one on The Amazing Race and follow the links in the column to more goodness.

Week of A Million Dreams: Sunday (12/9/07)

As those of you who read the blog know, we've been anticipating our trip to the Disneyland Resort for a long time. Some of you have even begun to grow a little weary of it (hi, Tom!). If so, the next week or so will not be your cup of tea. I'll be writing up a pretty extensive trip report on our expedition to Southern California - both for your enjoyment here at aka pastor guy and for the folks over on Passporter.com forums. (In other words, I'll be cross-posting these trip reports at the forums on the Passporter website... but I'll be writing them primarily for the blogging audience.)

We left Fresno around 2 pm on Sunday afternoon - leaving our evening NewLife @ Night worship service in the capable hands of Aaron Kellar, our worship pastor. We also left behind Shari's black shoes & the Christmas presents we were going to exchange with my Aunt Nancy & Uncle Richard, but that's really not important right now.

Snow had fallen on the Grapevine the night before... but Sunday was clear & sunny, so the roads were fine. (For those uneducated in the vagaries of California highways, the Grapevine is a stretch of Interstate 5 that connects the Central Valley with the Los Angeles area while going over a 4000 ft pass. The name comes from a time when it was a winding two-lane road that was infamous both for the twists & turns and for reducing cars to broken-down hunks of metal.)

We stopped for dinner in Santa Clarita & ate at the Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill - an upscale BBQ place that had amazing ribs. (The rib sauce was very sugary & sticky but delicious - Shari described her first bite as "dessert.") We'll definitely stop there again.

The traffic going into L.A. wasn't too bad (it was a Sunday evening) and we made good time to our hotel, the Candy Cane Inn. We had a standard room, which would have been great if we hadn't borrowed a Buzz Lightyear tent & sleeping bag from Braeden's best buddy, Canaan. With the tent set up, the room was a bit tight. On the plus side, the room was clean & comfortable, the hotel towels were actually thick (as opposed to feeling like large baby wash cloths), and we were directly across from the breakfast area & only a few doors down from the shuttle pick-up point.

I'll get into this more in later posts, but the Candy Cane Inn is within walking distance of the parks - about 9-10 minutes. Still, we NEVER made this trip, instead relying on the very nice bus that left for the parks every 1/2 hour. (One of the drivers was particularly attentive of Collin - helping us get him in the bus, asking "where is my little friend?", and generally making him smile when he was sad to leave Disneyland.)

After getting the family settled, I drove down Harbor to Lincoln, took a right & found a Vons, just as the posters on Passporter.com had told me. (Thanks, guys!) I loaded up on milk & some other perishables for our mini-fridge & high-tailed it back to the hotel. The parking spot I ended up with become our spot for the week - two spaces away from the shuttle bus pickup point, making it a perfect "garage" for the stroller.

No surprise here: Braeden had a really tough time going to sleep, what with all the excitement about going to Disneyland the next day. (I had the same problem when I was young... oh, heck, who am I kidding?! I had trouble going to sleep, too!)

We're Ba-ack...

...more details to come. A delightful time was had by one & all - we talked to a turtle, fought a Sith Lord, danced with toys, had a couple of dreams "come true"... and, as you can see from the picture, helped Buzz Lightyear defeat Zurg.

For now, lots of unpacking ahead, along with getting ready for company (my mom & dad and sister & bro-in-law all come in next week for Christmas), as well as preaching a couple of sermons & teaching a Sunday School class.

Maybe I should go to bed.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Tree Lane

We went with friends (our Under 30's group from NewLife) last Saturday night to walk Christmas Tree Lane here in Fresno. (It's a neighborhood that has been decorating the houses & trees for 85 years.) The picture you see here is from the Fresno Republican - it's the best picture I could find of what it looks like.

The other picture, of course, is of two bundled-up Jackson kids, taken that same night. Aren't they cute?!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Happiest Links On Earth

For your reading enjoyment while we're spending the week with the Mouse, a number of Disneyland related links: From the site MiceAge.com, two oddball stories that have been making the rounds: From the site MousePlanet.com: And finally, two sites you ought to be reading on a regular basis:
  • Disney & animation fans need to check out JimHillMedia.com... esp. his older essay series on films & ride designs
  • while Disneyland fans should spend some major time at Yesterland.com... it's a wonderful site about all the things that aren't there anymore - pictures, descriptions, what replaced 'em... sigh. I miss Skull Rock (the picture here is from Yesterland).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Than A Handful of Change in the Bell Ringer's Bucket

People just seem to be more generous around the Christmas season... we can speculate why that is so:
  • they've been enculturated to give during this time of year
  • they're already spending a lot of money on friends & family so giving a little extra to a church or charity doesn't seem like a big deal
  • they're already spending a lot of money on friends & family so they feel guilty and give to assuage their guilt
  • they're more likely to receive a generous end-of-the-year bonus and therefore feel more comfortable with being generous themselves

I could go on.

But I want to suggest that there may be another reason for our willingness to give. The central stories of the season, both in the Jewish & Christian traditions, are about a generous God.

I'm probably not the best person to explain Hanukkah (heck, I even had to look up how to spell it correctly), but here goes nothing. Hanukkah is the "Festival of Lights", which celebrates God's gracious provision to the Jewish people of a lamp that burned in the newly rededicated temple (following the Maccaben revolt) - it was a symbol, along with the victory over Antiochus, of God caring for His people. (1 Macabees 4) (The dreidel wasn't a part of the early celebrations - no more likely than Mary & Joseph hanging stockings next to the fireplace in their home in Nazareth.)

Christmas marks a time in which God gave his only son in the form of a baby (John 3:16) ... who grew up to die on the cross as a ransom for our sins (Mark 10:45) . Essentially, he gave us Himself.

This generous God went one step further:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

If we are created in the image of God... and we assume that doesn't mean we have His nose & His white hair... then that means we bear His image in a deeper & more meaningful way. We are built to act like He does.

And that means we are... well, we can be, generous. During a season of the year in which generosity is honored not only in religious traditions but also in popular culture...

  • the conversion of Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"
  • the compassionate hero, George Bailey, from "It's A Wonderful Life"
  • and, of course, the jolly old elf who gives children toys, Santa Claus

...should it be a surprise that the way we were made bubbles to the surface?

This Christmas season, I encourage you to find ways to express the generosity that echoes the heart of the One who created you. Give richly from your time, your talents & your treasure in order to touch hearts & lives.

Please note, however, what John Ortberg said at a conference I attended a few weeks back: we have a tendency in church circles to talk about generosity in general terms, leading to "superficial agreement and unchallenged apathy." Your mission, if you should choose to accept it, (why, yes, I did watch too many re-runs of Mission: Impossible as a kid), is to get specific:

  • how are you going to be generous this Christmas season?
  • when are you going to do it?
  • how much?

In the words of the old Nike shoe campaign, "Go for it."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

T-Minus 5 Days & Counting...

The excitement is building here in the Jackson house as we get ready for our Disneyland Resort vacation. Yeah, and the kids are looking forward to it as well. (smirk)

I asked Collin (our 2 year old) a few days ago about whether he wanted to ride with Mom or with Dad... and he informed me that he wanted to ride with Chip'n'Dale. He's also very interested in the Tea Cups & Gadget's Go Coaster.

Braeden continues planning to ride all four mountains (Big Thunder, the Matterhorn, Splash Mtn & Space Mtn). He's also considering trying Indiana Jones... but the Tower of Terror is, in the words of Monty Python, "right out."

I need to say a huge thank you to our travel agent, Suzy Schreiner with Mouse Fan Travel... she was/is incredibly helpful. When we finally settled on the package we wanted, she found out we couldn't get it for all six nights - so she finagled a way to book us directly through the hotel for one night & through Disney for five nights. If you're planning a Disney vacation, drop her a line (suzy@mei-travel.com) & ask for a quote. (She's not paying me to say this... I was just impressed by the service & professionalism.)

Things I'm most looking forward to:
  • watching Collin experience the parks for the first time
  • riding the submarines with their new Finding Nemo re-do
  • experiencing the Fantasmic! show on the Rivers of America (rather than in a big ampitheater like at WDW)
  • 7 days of vacation with my wife & boys
  • taking Braeden on adventures (Jedi Training show, Star Tours, Space Mtn, etc.)
  • seeing the castle decorated for Christmas
  • getting to spend one day with my family AND my Aunt Nancy & Uncle Richard
  • having enough time there to ride anything we want... and then ride it again!

Heroes: It Got Better

I know a lot of you gave up on the TV show Heroes about 1/2 way through the 2nd season. Tim Kring, the creator of the show, was the first to admit that they made some major mistakes early on. I didn't jump ship, mainly because I suffered through the early parts of the second & third season of Lost, which turned out to be worth the time & effort for the payoffs both came up with.

But we were talking about Heroes... starting with episode 7, things went from "eh" to "oh wow" and it just kept getting better. If you want to play catch-up, you can watch episodes 7-11 (the end of this story arc) on NBC's website.

I won't post any spoilers here - or spoil anything by speculating about stuff - but man oh man have they set up some great storylines once the Writer's Strike is settled.

56 Geeks

This picture is:
  • A. funny
  • B. sad
  • C. someone is following me around & drawing pictures of me
  • D. all of the above

Seriously, I could qualify for at least 8 of those portraits over the span of my life. Yikes.

Sorry about no picture here & having to follow the link... but I don't want to steal this guy's thunder.

Christmas List Ideas For the Chronically Uncreative

I haven't done a Christmas gift guide in a while (in fact, I think the last one I did was for the church @ hickory hollow in the "e-thing" - my silly name for our e-mail newsletter). But I've actually finished almost all of my Christmas shopping this year (woo hoo) and that frees up some time to share some gift ideas with those of you who are headed towards picking up one of those "special gifts" that department stores load up on their endcaps at this time of year. (You know what I'm talking about - tie & suspender sets, bath product baskets, and the like - generic gifts that say, loud & clear, "I know I had to get you something but my shopping exhaustion overtook my desire to be creative & personal so I just picked this thing up because the store was kind enough to wrap it so I could JUST BE DONE with the whole thing." And, he says sarcastically, isn't that what Christmas is all about?)

So, without further ado, here's some suggestions that you can pick up via some very nice web stores that mean you can both find something nifty & shop unshaven & unbathed.

Games

Of course, we must start with the really important stuff, right?
  • Probably the best all-around gift game this year (and last year, since it was out last Christmas) is the party game Wits & Wagers. You can get points for getting the trivia questions right - but it's more important to bet on the right answer. The system for doing this is clean, easy to explain, and sucks people in like one of those Dyson vaccumn cleaners that the British guy keeps yammering about while I'm trying to watch my TV shows. I've seen this work well with families of non-gamers & with groups of people who are just as game-obsessed as I am - this is a resilient & enjoyable game system that would be welcome just about anywhere.
  • For the computer gamer with gaming tendencies on your gift list, you can splurge & pick them up a copy of Starcraft: The Board Game. It's a battle game set in the popular Starcraft universe, complete with tech development & research, but it plays quickly & cleanly (once you get past your first trip through the rules.) Unlike many multiplayer combat games, this one does not encourage "turtling" (standing still & building up a massive force, waiting for other players to go at it). It also includes a bunch of cool plastic minis. (While I haven't experienced this myself, according to other gamers it scales well from 2-6 players, which is always nice.)
  • Finally, my personal favorite from this last year is the gorgeous archaeology game, Thebes. This is somewhere between a family game & a gamer game, but the mechanics of the game are so perfectly married with the theme that it's very easy to teach & learn. (Braeden can play it - and he's 6 years old!) There's lots of luck involved - which is no surprise, since you're digging up treasures at the turn of the century - but there are a number of interesting tactical decisions, particularly when playing with 4 players. Finally, the game is stunning: the artwork & production are top-notch.

You can find all of these games at Game Surplus or Boards & Bits.

Music

One for the kiddies (that won't make the adults crazy), one for the adults (that my 2 year old likes)...
  • The one for the kids is Andrew Peterson's Slugs, Bugs & Lullabies... and let's get one thing out of the way right now. This is NOT a "go to sleep" album - the lullabies (haunting & beautiful) don't kick in until cut 14 on this CD. Up to that point, this album is packed with songs about boredom, bears who don't wear underwear, beans & farting (without using the word "fart"), and a play-by-play description of a rousing game of "get the guy with the ball." Braeden's favorite song is "Tractor, Tractor", which takes those insipid repeating songs you hear on most children's records (do NOT get me started on how much I hate Discovery Toys Sounds Like Fun which I have renamed Sounds Like A Frontal Lobotomy) and turns it into a playful argument between the two performers (Andrew & his buddy, Randall Goodgame.) I can't recommend this album highly enough.
  • My other favorite album that I discovered this year (and when are you going to give it back, Isaac?!) is the self-titled debut of Decemberadio. A bunch of young guys who obviously had older siblings and/or parents who listened to King's X, the Eagles & a passel of other quality bands have joined forces to make some of the best "classic rock" with spiritual sensibilities... that isn't classic rock. (It can't be - these guys are young pups. Sigh... I'm getting old.)
Books

Well, you've got to find something to do while your kids are watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Claymation Puppet" for the umpteenth time, right?!
  • If you can pry them away from the TV, the best kid's book we read this year (thanks to our homeschool curriculum, Sonlight), was written 60 years ago. My Father's Dragon is a wonderful & whimsical story of rescue, wit & derring-do that had all of us (kids & adults alike) longing to read the next chapter to find out what happened. It reminded me in feel (not content) of one of my long-time favorite books, The Twenty-One Balloons, which I'd also recommend to you without reservations.
  • And, for the adults in the crowd, if you have any enjoyment of "science fantasy" (that weird blend of the two genres), you need to read Ted Dekker's The Circle. There's actually two ways to enjoy this epic trilogy: the three books were recently published in a one-book compilation... and for those who like their comic books, it's also been released in graphic novel format.

Well, good luck on that shopping... remember, I like board games & Legos, just like when I was a kid. (Grin.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Giving Away Your Own (Monopoly) Money

There's a really nice thread/discussion over on BGG about Monopoly strategy... and I decided to chime in with some thoughts I had on immunities/letting another player land on your property without paying. After I posted it, I realized that my diverse audience here at the blog might find the information helpful, and so, in the interest of making for better family Monopoly games during this holiday season, here it is.

Strategically, there's a major problem with giving a player immunity... You are not giving someone a "free pass", you are giving them money. Your money. And in a game where - if played as designed - money is in short supply.

Think about it - if you avoid the all-too-common "house rule" trap of putting $ on Free Parking, there's not a lot of money coming into the game system from the outside. Each player gets $200 per circuit of the board + whatever positve Chance/Community Chest cards they received, but those are balanced out by the negative cards & spaces (Income Tax, Luxury Tax). Money leaves the game at a fair clip as well: buying property, improving property & paying off mortgages all take money away from players and put it back into the bank.

Since very little money is coming into the system (it's not a zero-sum game, but it's in the neighborhood), you need to make sure that as much of that money is coming to you as is possible.

In game terms, "immunities" serve to make the game longer. Again, the game is designed to constrict - the amount of money available grows smaller & the winning player is the one who can pry his opponent's fingers off of what is left. By (essentially) giving players extra money (the actual consequence of immunities), you increase the time it takes to bankrupt someone.

Finally, the question of an official ruling on immunities. While there is nothing in the published rules about this, the rules used in tournament play forbid it. The following quote is from my own webpage on Monopoly at Game Central Station and quotes Phillip Orbanes' The Monopoly Companion.
- You may only trade Title Deeds, cash, and GET OUT OF JAIL FREE cards. You can't trade *anything* else, [italics in original text] like "immunity" from paying rent if a traded property is landed on, or a promise not to build houses in the future. (Chp 2, The Rules Explained)

- All trades are based on assets owned at the time of the trade. No options or immunity from paying future rents may be granted, nor may partnerships be formed.
(Chp 6, Tournament Monopoly & How You Can Play It)
We've chosen to play this way and it speeds up the game both for the reasons outlined above AND because it makes trading simpler - since you have to trade real property, everyone can make clear decisions and valuations about what & what not to trade.

Hope that helps - and while we're at it, let's remind everyone of the four most-commonly missed rules in Monopoly (the quotes are from the official rules):

Free Parking:
A player landing on this place does not receive any money, property or reward of any kind.This is just a "free" resting-place.
Property Auctions:
If he does not wish to buy the property it is sold at auction by the Banker to the highest bidder. The buyer pays to the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option of buying it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.
Building Shortages:
When the Bank has no houses to sell, players wishing to build must wait for some player to return or sell his/her houses to the Bank before building. If there are a limited number of houses and hotels available and two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the houses or hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.
Loans:
Money can be loaned to a player only by the Bank and then only by mortgaging property. No player may borrow from or lend money to another player.

Anna's Day

That's right - this Sunday (December 9th) is Anna's Day. Well, not our good friend, Anna Campbell, but every Anna. At least in Sweden... where it's a day for recognizing everyone named Anna. (Where's Mark Day, huh?! How did I get cheated?)

It's also the day that they begin preparing the lutefisk in order for it to be ready for consumption on Christmas Eve.

Maybe you've missed out on the joys of lutefisk. In case that's true, let me describe it to you: it's whitefish that's been soaked in cold water, then in cold water & lye, then back in cold water again. (This process takes a couple of weeks... it's not like you're going to run home & whip up some of this for dinner tonight.) The fish is then cooked - thank goodness. The lye breaks down the fish in such a way that it has a jelly-ish consistency... and if your brain and/or stomach can't handle that description, let me suggest you avoid eating poi if you ever get to go to Hawaii. It also (esp. if prepared from cod) has a VERY strong fish-y odor.

Anyway, lutefisk is a traditional winter dish in Scandinavian cultures - though we here in America actually consume more of the stuff than they do in Norway & Sweden. It's become a common humor reference - everyone from Jeffery Steingarten ("The Man Who Ate Everything") to the animated TV show King of the Hill (where Bobby develops a manic love for the dish) to the film Drop Dead Gorgeous. Of course, my favorite humorist of Scandinavian descent, Garrison Keillor, has written about it as well:
Every Advent we entered the purgatory of lutefisk, a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat. We did this in honor of Norwegian ancestors, much as if survivors of a famine might celebrate their deliverance by feasting on elm bark. I always felt the cold creeps as Advent approached, knowing that this dread delicacy would be put before me and I’d be told, "Just have a little." Eating a little was like vomiting a little, just as bad as a lot.
What a lovely Christmas tradition, eh?

Of course, this got me thinking. What Christmas traditions do we do that continue year after year despite the fact that nobody really sees any meaning in them? Are we wasting time & energy doing stuff "just because" when we could free up ourselves to enjoy our family and, more importantly, Jesus himself during the celebration of His birth?

And that leads to another question: what are the lutefisk things we do in church? What do we force people to "just have a little" of that has nothing to do with following Christ & His truth?

Something to think about while you're looking for a parking spot at the mall, I guess.

The source for most of the information in this article is the always interesting Wikipedia.

Three Requests

On Friday, yet another blockbuster fantasy/quest movie will hit the big screen... and the early reviews for "The Golden Compass" are pretty positive. That is, except in evangelical circles, where I've received e-mails wondering about the content & nefarious intentions of the film & the book series ("His Dark Materials") it is based upon.

I wish I had more personal experience with these books - but I actually haven't read them. In general, my friends who like that kind of stuff say that the first book is really good and the 2nd & 3rd books become much darker and have a very specific agenda about God & church, esp. the Catholic Church.

I can only point you towards some very well-written articles written by people I trust:

Armed with that information (and much other reading), I have three requests for you:
  1. Please don't boycott this film. Listen carefully - I didn't say "Go see the film"; I said, "Don't boycott the film." There is a difference. You can choose not to see the film without making a big deal out of it. Participating in boycotts is similar to "feeding a troll" online - the only one who wins is the questionable thing that you draw attention to with your picket lines & protests.
  2. Please don't let your kids go see the film and/or read the books without you. Some of the most important conversations can take place when we see or read something difficult or questionable and ask our kids questions like "What did you think of that?", "Does that story remind you of any Bible story?" "Is there stuff in this movie that tries to contradict the Bible?" and so on. One of the greatest mistakes we make both as parents & as individuals is to intake culture (films, television, books, music, internet, etc.) with our minds turned off. The second greatest mistake is to teach our children to treat media the same way we do.
  3. Please make sure that the focus of your Advent season is Jesus Christ rather than a movie.