Kung Fu Panda 2

Though Kung Fu Panda 2 wasn’t my favorite movie, I really appreciated the heavy themes of adoption and redemption. The two were married beautifully in this Dreamworks picture. Setting aside my personal preferences, I think it’s a wonderful movie for all families to see together. Check out this link for a more in-depth description of the movie by the vise president of Southern Baptist Seminary. http://www.russellmoore.com/2011/06/05/adoption-identity-and-kung-fu-panda/

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Discuss: The Hunger Games: Is It Going Too Far?

Image It’s hard to ignore all the buzz that’s going around about the movie coming out this weekend, based off of the mega top-selling book by Suzanne Collins. Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss  Everdeen who lives with her mom and sister in post-America. When the districts attempted to rise up against the Captitol long ago, they were defeated. As part of the surrender terms each district has to give up one boy and one girl to fight in a televised event where the only object to is to not be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen to participate by the lottery, Kat takes her place.

The story goes on to tell about a group of kids, aged 11 to 18 (12-17?), who get thrown into a forested arena and are forced to kill each other. The only way to win the game is be the only survivor. The only way to survive is to kill your opponents. So my question to you is this: Should this type of movie (or book) be marketed to our teenagers? I have read the book and it is violent, and from what I’ve read about the movie, it flirts with an R rating. If you don’t think this should be marketed to teenagers, would it be better for adults? At what point would you draw the line in dealing with violence in teen movies? If you don’t think it’s a problem to market this kind of movie toward teenagers, what, then, would you consider inappropriate?

I know this blog is young and I’ll be lucky to get one comment, but for anyone that cares to participate in this dialogue, feel free to comment. Let’s hear your thoughts.

Book Rec: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

 It’s 1943. A United States Air Force bombardier and an Olympic runner find themselves drifting in a deflating life-raft in the Pacific Ocean. Tethered to them in another raft is a third crewman, with a gash on his forehead. They’ve been at sea for twenty-three days. Below them are hungry sharks bumping their raft when they swim by. Above them they just barely hear the hum of an airplane approaching. Rescue! They fire two flares. They wave their weak arms frantically in the air, hollering hoarsely at the tops of their lungs. The plane draws nearer and the three men realize that it’s not about to rescue them. It’s a Japanese bomber and it’s firing at them.

Folks, that’s only the beginning. The first part of this book is enough to be a volume of its own. It tells the story of one of the greatest runners in the world and his unforgettable journey to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he saw Hitler himself.

It took Hillenbrand nearly a decade to research Unbroken. You can find an interesting article about her here: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2010-11-10-hillenbrand10_CV_N.htm

I hate to give spoilers, so avert your gaze if you promise to read this book. But a note to those of you who are reluctant to read it, let me just tell you, this book is an evangelical tool. Give this book to your non-Christian friends and family members for their birthdays this year. Pass it out on the street-corners if you can afford that many copies. Do what you can to get this book into the hands people who are on the fence of Christianity. It is as good a testimony as you will hear from any pulpit at church.

I don’t give many books or movies perfect scores, but this is one of them. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that Unbroken is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read in my life.

Why We’re Here

My wife and I want to adopt James. We don’t know what he looks like or where he’s from. Or even if he’s alive yet. We don’t even know if he will be a boy, in which case we’ll have to pick out a girl name. (Any suggestions?) This is an attempt to find him. Howard Thurman, author and theologian, once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” James needs me to come alive and writing makes me come alive. But how will that help us adopt James? And how can you help?

It’s simple, really. I will provide you all with book recommendations (I read, on average, four a month), short stories, homemade picture books, and adoption news. The short stories you’ll want to pay attention to are about a boy named Robbie Lake. And with your help, Robbie Lake is going to grow up to be famous. Very, very famous. His stories will lead up to the unpublished novel I’ve written about him called, The Man in the Box. With your help this blog will generate enough publicity around the book, thus creating a demand for its publication. Once published, sales will help fund our mission to adopt James.

All you have to do is follow this blog, and refer it to others. What does this do? The more people I have following our blog, the more people will want my book to be published, thus causing publishers to take notice and want to publish the book. This will help us raise funds for James’s adoption. So please, if you do anything right now, follow this blog and share it with your friends and family.

I will keep you posted on the adoption process, and one day, if the Lord wills it, we’ll bring James home from some distant country and you can write welcome messages to him on this blog, and he’ll have you to thank for helping to bring him home.