Just for fun...and because I could...I uploaded a photo of my football-loving husband, Elmer, to this cover of NCAA Football 13 for the XBOX 360.
Cool, isn't it? Maybe it was a little bit of a time waster this evening, but I think he'll enjoy seeing it in the morning!
We don't even own an XBOX 360, but it's fun to dream about it. Or dream that my hubs is playing for the Oregon Ducks, his favorite college team.
You can do the same thing for yourself or your favorite guy (or gal!) here at:
Just because you can.
The main goal for our family is to hand down our Christian faith and heritage to our children. Of course, they won't automatically "be" Christians just because they are our children. They have to come to a point in their lives where they realize they need Christ as their personal Savior, and desire to love Him and serve Him.
Using books like Big Truths for Little Kids will help enable this to happen in your own family!
Designed for ages 4-10, your family will find the poignant stories and catechism-type questions that will help children easily begin to understand more about God and biblical truths. If you are concerned about your children having a biblical worldview, this book is an excellent tool to begin that kind of training in your home.
I wish I'd had this book when my girls were quite a bit younger. Now that they are ages 12 and 14, this book is a little bit too simplistic for them, although the catechism questions are still very appropriate.
How does this book work?
Well, it's designed to be a long-term project with your family! You will not spend hours memorizing the catechism questions and answers, but this will happen over time, as a byproduct of using this book.
Each time you sit down with your children to read from this book, you will read through one story and read through the questions and discuss the answers with your children.
Each day, as you move to a different story, begin by reviewing the questions for story #1 or another previous section of the book. Then, ask each question in the new story, say the answer, and ask the child to recite the answer with you. Don't try to force your children to memorize the answers.
Read the new story with your children, and read through the questions and answers for the new story.
Each time you read from the book, memorize additional answers. The truths and applications will be reinforced, and your child's understanding will expand. Make this a special time with your children - and have fun!
When you reach the "Let's Pray" section, read the verse, or let the child read it with you. Use the very words of Scripture in your prayer, and this will help show children that it's beneficial to pray using the language of Scripture as he or she prays.
You can view a sample of this book at ChristianBook.com, to see if it's a good fit for your children's ages.
Our family was provided with a copy of this hardbound book from Crossway Publishers, and you can learn more about their new Christian books on their regularly updated blog!
Here's a new Christian fiction book for young adults ~
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary.
Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's website at www.traciepeterson.com
and her blog at www.writespassage.blogspot.com.
Touching the Sky ~ Book Summary:
Her heart is caught between the man she loves and the sister she's desperate to protect.
Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid. As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeat of the South is a bitter reality.
When Laura's sister marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences. In her heart, she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister's life. Yet as the stakes continue to rise and Brandon's motives for pursuing her come into doubt, Laura questions where to turn... and wonders if her own dreams of love may be forsaken.
Joy In Our Journey's Review:
This novel takes place in Corpus Christi, Texas, shortly after the end of the Civil War (1865). Texas, at that time in our history, was a state of many conflicts: between Union and Confederate supporters, the different cultures, races, and religions—and those who would prefer it to go back to being a Republic without the support of the American states. In the minds of some ex-Confederate soldiers, the war was NOT over and they intended to take back their state and get rid of all the Unionists.
This is a historical time in our history and one that merits study and understanding of what was going on in this defeated state; there was much resentment and agony over what had happened and for a proud people, and it was extremely difficult at times.
Amidst the conflicts resulting from the war and the former way of life, arises mystery and romance (of course). The stories of the various characters weave an interesting tale of people from various stations of life and meshes them together in an exciting story. The focus is on the Marquardt family, father, mother, and two grown daughters; a family which is staunchly Union in belief that unity between the states is the most practical and desired way of life. They have lived in Corpus Christi for many years and have no desire to leave. It is a struggle to mend the relationships which were severed during the war and to rebuild trust with former friends and associates.
The younger daughter, Carissa, is flighty and eager to be married and finally does so to a very unsavory character. Laura, the elder daughter, has much insight into what is going on all around her and does her best to dissuade her sister from marrying this man. Laura, on the other hand, meets a nearly “perfect” Union soldier who is stationed in the city, and in spite of her determination not to “fall” for him, things begin to come together for them. Many conflicts arise with Carissa, and Laura does her best to help her sister cope with her new life.
The intrigue and danger arising from a group of rebels greatly affects this family. Laura also desires to help those less fortunate around her, specifically the former slaves, and decides that God is leading her to teach them to read and write. Despite her father’s misgivings about this, she begins covertly to teach first a household maid, then the maid’s two young sons, then others who begin asking for help with this learning. Eventually, both Carissa and Laura face a danger greater than either of them could ever imagine. “Touching the sky” is an expression used by the maid in the household, meaning to reach for something that is quite impossible. It is a fitting title for the many endeavors facing this family. Touching the Sky is an exciting story with a surprising conclusion.
A sample from Touching the Sky:
I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I was after we finished watching The Genesis Code.
I don't recommend this for Christian families or non-Christian families. I don't recommend The Genesis Code for anyone.
Below, you will find:
- a summary of the movie
- 8 of the core problems our family noticed with this movie
- an explanation of the faults of this movie by Gary Underhill, Ph.D., a scientist, engineer, and mathmatician.
A Summary of The Genesis Code:
So, what's the problem?
From the information I was sent, I was under the impression that The Genesis Code was a rendering of the biblical account of creation with evidential science to back up the biblical record. It was presented to bloggers as this kind of movie. And I wasn't the only blogger who was under this impression. I have read multiple reviews from bloggers I personally know, and they were all very disappointed in this movie even though the acting is mostly very good.
This movie is extremely deceptive, from the way it was presented to movie reviewers like me, to the deceptive conversations and the final conclusions of the movie. Unless you and your children have extremely solid biblical views of Creation and the book of Genesis, knowledge of logical argument and fallacies, and a creation science background, you will probably be deceived by this movie into thinking that the writer's and producer's motives are God-honoring.
Thankfully, my children have learned a lot about argumentation and fallacies, have studied the biblical account of creation, and have also studied some creation science as well as evolutionary ways of thinking. They were able to point out many illogical conclusions in The Genesis Code.
To start, C. Thomas Howell was the director for The Genesis Code. In 2009, he produced "Mutant Vampire Zombies From the Hood". Nice. Sounds like he'll have a great eye for what is biblical and what isn't.
The Genesis Code's website mentions Focus on the Family's "endorsement" because they state that Focus's Plugged In magazine "features" The Genesis Code. This is deceptive. There is a one-page ad in the 20th anniversary of Plugged In, but it is in no way an actual endorsement; nor, is it an article written about The Genesis Code. Someone at Plugged In just didn't do their homework and preview the movie well enough to notice the anti-biblical stance in The Genesis Code. And if the ad salesperson or person who approved that ad did know about its anti-biblical perspective, then shame on him or her. This ad did not belong in Plugged In's magazine.
Problems we noticed with The Genesis Code:
Kerry, one of the key characters in The Genesis Code, was portrayed as a very strong Christian, one who lives out her life based on biblical truths and principles. Yet, almost right away in the movie, she begins to flirt with Blake, an obvious unbeliever - in his own words. She is presented as a very mature Christian, but obviously the producers aren't familiar with 2 Corinthians 6:14 and the command that Christians are not to flirt with nor have romantic associations with unbelievers...and even believers who are not as committed to Christ or are much weaker in their spiritual growth.
Toward the end of the movie, Blake seems to begin to accept that maybe there is a God, and Kerry takes that as a sign that he must suddenly be a "strong believer" now, even though he hasn't professed faith in Jesus Christ, so she kisses him and obviously takes their relationship to a deeper level. Even the demons believe that there is a God - but it doesn't make them followers of Jesus Christ. Our family could tell that the producers have a low view of Scripture when discussing romantic relationships.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ~ Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness?
Problem #2: Genesis is portrayed as "too difficult" to understand.
The main goal of this movie is to portray the struggle between Christians who believe in the six literal days of the Genesis creation, and the assumed 16-billion-year age of the universe. We noticed that Kerry's father, who was a senior pastor of his local church, should have been able to clearly demonstrate the factual reasoning behind a literal six-day creation. Unfortunately, this pastor isn't able to defend the Bible and the Christian faith, and mutters that the book of Genesis is a hard book to understand.
Our family disagrees. We have read the book of Genesis for many years, and we feel it is a simple book to understand. Kerry's dad (the pastor) is shown to be a very intelligent man who has studied hard over his lifetime, but it was obvious to us that the pastor is not able to understand the plain reading of the Bible. This is very sad. It is only when someone believes in the 16-billion-year old universe that the Bible in its literal, plain reading is difficult to understand.
Problem #3: Scientific "evidence" is presented with enthusiasm and delight, while biblical evidence is muttered about and compromised.
Unless children and teens - and adults, too, have studied the Bible in depth and are raised with a strong belief in Scripture, they will get caught up with the excitement and enthusiasm of the mixing of the scientific and the biblical. But even my 12-year-old noticed that the Bible always was discussed as being compromised and having to take second-chair to the scientific concepts which were being discussed.
She noticed that the producers are assuming that death was a part of creation, before the Fall of mankind (Adam and Eve). Not so! The death of an animal to provide animal fur coverings for naked and ashamed Adam and Eve was the first death in creation. The Genesis Code producers believe that billions of years of life and death existed before Adam and Eve were created.
Jesus Christ's name is never mentioned in The Genesis Code, even though the book of Genesis names Him as the Creator.
The Fall of Adam and Eve (mankind) was never mentioned, nor was God's entire story of redemption never mentioned, which is the purpose of the entire Bible.
Problem #5: "A day is like a thousand years" has been warped and twisted.
This is an age-old argument, where philosophers who don't believe in the plain, clear teachings of Genesis attempt to twist the meanings of the word "day". Sadly, The Genesis Code twists this so cleverly while mixing it with evolutionary concepts that many will think to themselves, "Hey, that makes sense!" when they should instead be thinking, "Wow - they are really trying to deceive people with logical fallacies!" Our 14-year-old was able to point out numerous fallacies in their presentation of concepts, but she has studied logical fallacies over the last year or so and was able to catch the errors in the movie script.
Problem #6: If we disagree with the movie characters, we are told that we are arrogant, critical, and prideful in so doing.
The pastor and the science professor have a discussion while at a shooting range. (Amazingly, they go from being enemies to best buddies in about 5 nanoseconds after the college students present their bizarre opinions in mixing science and the Bible.) In this discussion, they basically say that if anyone feels that their opinions are incorrect or not true, then the viewer is arrogantly misguided. So, if I disagree with this movie's theme, I'm a stupid idiot, and prideful about it as well. We were all offended that because our view may disagree with theirs, we would be told we are stupid and arrogant.
Problem #7: All roads that lead to God are okay.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! God is extremely clear in the Holy Bible that there is only one way to God and Heaven, and that is through a solid faith in Jesus Christ as my Creator and my Savior. People can choose to believe whatever they want, but only the truths in the Bible will guide them correctly.
Problem #8: Many viewers will be confused by this film and could potentially have their faith in God lessened or damaged.
It wasn't until the middle of The Genesis Code where we realized where the producers were having this movie lead. The first half, except for the romantic relationship between Blake and Kerry, is very interesting, and it seems like Kerry is presenting a godly testimony on her college campus. At the mid-point, Kerry and some of her friends do a "scientific" presentation to combine creation and evolution, and it is there that the viewer would hopefully realize that this movie was designed to present theistic evolution as its goal, and to discredit the Bible. Unfortunately, I could see many people being misled by this film. I would only show it to others with much caution and explanation ahead of time, as well as holding lengthy discussion after the viewing of the film.
A scientist's view of The Genesis Code:
The film relies almost exclusively on the Cosmology of the “Big Bang”, which event is explained quite well. However, the “Big Bang” theory derives from a solution to Einstein’s General Relativity equation (a macroscopic equation which deals with large gravitational forces, enormous distances, and large masses). The solution---in terms of time---leads to a “singularity” at zero time. The problem with singularities (at any time) is that the solution to the equation fails to exist at a singularity. The second problem with “Big Bang” Cosmology is that Einstein’s General Relativity equation does not provide an answer to the question, “How does the universe begin at time zero (at the singularity)?” “Big Bang” Cosmologists invoke the quantum theory of fluctuations to explain how energy and mass appear at time zero. The cosmologists say that a quantum fluctuation is the source of the energy (and mass) appearing at the singularity. However, the theory of quantum fluctuations (and quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, for that matter) is a theory of describing microscopic particles of matter, microscopic quanta of light and energy, and microscopic spatial dimensions. It does not deal with anything macroscopic, unlike Einstein’s General Relativity equation, which does not deal with anything microscopic.
According to the “Big Bang” Cosmology, at time zero, the spatial coordinate system of the universe was reduced to a microscopic point---which satisfies the microscopic spatial dimensions within which quantum mechanics attempts to describe how matter behaves. However, the extremely large amount of energy (mass)---necessary to be concentrated at the singularity (time zero) at a microscopic point---does not correspond to the restraints of quantum mechanics. Hence, the “Big Bang” Cosmologist must find a macroscopic explanation of how the enormous amount of energy (mass) was “deposited” at the singularity. There has never been an explanation. Further, nuclear physics research has never found quantum fluctuations which produce more than a few microscopic particles and/or a few light or energy quanta, all in a very restricted microscopic region of space.
It is important to note that there has been, both early in the discussion of the “Big Bang” theory, and more recently, vigorous dissent by a significant number of cosmologists concerning the correctness of the “Big Bang” Cosmology. It is also important to note that cosmology is not a science (as nothing concrete can be proved) but a philosophical pursuit. There are many different cosmologies of the universe (the steady state theory [many variants], the “Big Bang” theory [many variants], and “quasi” steady state theories. Science has never provided any proof of any of these different cosmologies---there are, however, inferences which provide some support for each of them. So, when the film states over and over that “science has proved” or “science tells us”, or whatever similar statement inferring that science unequivocally supports the “Big Bang” Cosmology and thus the supposed equation of “Big Bang” Cosmology and “biblical” cosmology, these lines voiced by the actors are simply untrue and are one of the most simple of “propaganda” tools. Science does not equate the 16 billion years of evolution with the 6 days of Genesis. Note: the film never gives any proof for any of the cosmology statements except one---the background radiation found by research conducted using radio telescopes---the “Big Dishes” found at Stanford, at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
The “Genesis Code” is a clever film made by individuals who are essentially evolutionists and are “anti-creationists”. It is not an enlightening comparison of “creationist” interpretations of scientific observations and “evolutionist” interpretations of scientific observations. The film does not accurately nor justly deal with the “creationist” world view at all. The reviewer recommends that one find appropriate materials (videos, films, books) which provide a better comparison of the two world views or find materials—from each world view---which present those world views well.
Gary Underhill, Ph.D.
We've spent our day in a patriotic mood around the Miller household.
Brittany made Red, White, and Blue Pancakes for our breakfast. Yum!
Both of the girls decorated the house, inside and out, with our patriotic decorations.
Elmer displayed our American flag from the front of our house. Sadly, I didn't see a single U.S. flag or patriotic decoration displayed throughout our entire neighborhood, although people go all-out to decorate for every other single holiday around here.
Elmer and the girls drove to watch the annual 4th of July parade about 40 minutes from our home.
Elmer and I prepared some family-favorite, traditional summer picnic foods for our dinner: hamburgers, potato salad, cucumber-dill salad, chips, and Coke. This is one of the few times during the year that we all drink a soda for dinner!
My parents came over, as they usually do, for our 4th of July barbeque. Fun!
Mom brought cupcakes she'd made for the party, and we ate vanilla ice cream with them. More yum!
We all read through the Declaration of Independence together. Every year, this has more meaning for me. I know it does for our girls, too, who are growing older and can understand it more fully each year.
To finish off our patriotic 4th of July, we headed out to watch the fireworks, which was loud and beautiful. We drove about 40 minutes to get there, but that's okay. It's only once a year, right?
I hope you have all had a blessed, encouraging, patriotic 4th of July celebration of our nation's independence from tyrrany!
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
You'll find me in the kitchen
trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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