Tuesday, February 17, 2015


"Nothing good comes out of that place. It's a wasteland, as far as I'm concerned."

This is what my neighbor told me, after I shared with him that I just got back from spending a few days in Phoenix.

While the Phoenix area has never been my favorite place, and I think it has nowhere near the natural beauty of the area where I live, I do recall people asking if anything good could come out of another wasteland, a town called Nazareth (You know, hometown of Jesus).

What was I doing up there? I tell you that later.

For now, let me just tell you where I was.

I spent the last few days at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.This hospital is just outside of the "wasteland" that is Phoenix. And I think something good is coming out of there.

If you get a chance, click on the patient services link on the webpage. I think you will get a taste of how this hospital is different.

At first glance, it may just look like a cancer hospital for rich folk, where you can be pampered as you live with the dread disease.

Yes, it is a very nice place, but it is that way for a reason. The purpose of all the amenities is to work to restore hope and dignity to those that have cancer.

The founder of the Centers had a mother who died of cancer. After being a firsthand witness to, not just her battle with the disease, but the battle over her care, he vowed to change the way cancer is treated.

And, they are working hard to do just that. They understand that care for the ill is not just about treating a physical problem, but helping the person with the problem find hope, peace and healing.

I am not intending to toot their horn too much, but I have come to a better understanding of the philosophy of care they promote, and I hope to apply that to the "care" that I give to those assigned to my life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Flicks Full of Faith


 Here's a couple of movies I took in last week that had some common themes. Thought I'd share a little.

The first is not yet released to theaters. Every so often, I get invitations to go check out screenings for upcoming movies so I can let everyone know how much they need to go see it. So, Ethan and I went to see Do You Believe the other night.

I'll review it and remind you of it in more depth later on, so I can do my part in paying them back for the privilege of seeing it before all of you. But for now, I think it is sufficient to give you just a few words about it.

This movie, starring (among others) Lee Majors, Mira Sorvino, Cybil Shepherd, Brian Bosworth and Sean Astin, is made by Pureflix,  the same folks who made the surprise hit, God's Not Dead. Their latest offering is designed to promote the idea that if one truly believes in the Cross of Jesus, it should make a radical difference in one's life.  As I said, I'll do more of a review later, but for now you might want to know that it was surprisingly lacking in the "cheese" factor that is often so prevalent in the genre. If you at all believe, this one is worth watching.


The Other one, I had to pay Redbox $1.62 to watch. Starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, Magic in the Moonlight is (as IMDB says) "A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue."

While I am not trying to toss you a spoiler, one interesting tidbit of note. When the 'Englishman" comes to believe in the reality of the psychic powers of Emma Stone's character, it also opens his mind to belief in and prayer to God. I suppose in Woody Allen's mind, belief in psychic powers and  believe in the Almighty are pretty much one in the same.

Putting that aside, this is a movie driven by witty dialogue, which I think is becoming harder and harder to find in modern cinema. Colin Firth is a master of witty dialog and I found this one altogether entertaining.

Seen anything worth noting on the screen lately?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bone Cancer in Children!?!

Making the rounds in recent days is a clip of prominent atheist apologist Steven Fry giving what would be his response, were he to meet God at the pearly gates.

His response was to describe his angry diatribe towards a God that would create and allow bone cancer in children. He wonders aloud why he should respect a "....stupid ....God...who creates a world so full of injustice and pain."

A God that presents himself as an "...all seeing...all wise...all kind God...", but behaves like a total maniac.

It is easy to see his point.

Who wouldn't be unhappy at a personality that made the world like it is.

However, the God he is addressing is not the one we find in the biblical account of who God is. I know I am an oddball to still believe what an ancient scripture teaches about this kind of stuff, but I do.

In the Bible, God is portrayed as having lovingly crated a perfect world and having lovingly given mankind a chance to live in that perfect world, or to freely choose to walk away from perfection and introduce death, destruction, injustice, pain and even bone cancer in children into their lives. Looking around, I think we can see what we chose, thinking we knew what was best.

In my opinion, if we want to find the maniacs that made this world such a tough place, we certainly don't need to look to God. We just need to look at ourselves.

Check out Steven Fry's answer here, and go to a motel and read the first Chapter in the book you find there for the other version.