All posts in “Culture”

The Land of the Lost Story (documentary)

My brilliant filmmaker friend Anna made a documentary in 1999 in an attempt to find the truth about what’s really going on in the US, and where we’re heading.

When she first got online in the 90’s, she realized that the information coming from the pro-government media was like night and day compared to what was coming from the independent press.

Who’s lying and who’s telling the truth?

In The Land of the Lost Story, Anna interviews a number of very interesting people, including Chuck Missler, Dr. Hugh Ross, Texe Marrs and an exclusive, never before seen interview with the late William Cooper. Yes, THAT William Cooper, the one who wrote the underground best-selling conspiracy book, Behold A Pale Horse. (A book that opened my eyes and changed my outlook completely.)

Some of the topics covered are: Area 51, the school shooting in Columbine, the Waco Massacre, the concentration of the media ownership, gun control and aliens!

I first met Anna in LA, when a group of us from an internet discussion forum went to a taping of the TV show Politically Incorrect, with Bill Maher.

Also, back in ’99, I helped Anna a bit as a production assistant during the post-production of this doc.

This film ended up getting shelved, then sort of lost, for many years.

But now, 15 years later, Anna re-cut it and put it out on the internet, in a shorter version. Amazingly, it’s still timely…and as she put it, “it is a story and a message that is perhaps even more relevant today.” So without further ado, please make yourself some popcorn, get a drink, sit back and watch the film!

(Note: the image quality is not good, because this was re-cut from a VHS tape. Don’t ask me why, take it up with Anna!)

The Ultimate Beauty Tutorial

I
f you want to find a beauty tutorial, there are about a zillion on YouTube right now. So it got me thinking about the crazy amount of time and attention people give to physical beauty.

It’s practically an obsession, for many young women. So many of us go through that time in our lives when our focus is just on the exterior, and we forget about something far more important…what’s on the inside. As we all know, outer beauty is temporary. It doesn’t last forever. But our soul isn’t temporary, so shouldn’t we pay some attention to the beauty of our true self? That’s what inspired me to put together this video. A step by step beauty tutorial on the type of beauty that really matters! Take a look!

Is your child a Katy Perry fan? You should read this.

I
‘m not a mom, but today as I was spending time with my beloved niece and nephew, something happened that really concerned me. We watched a movie that someone had recommended for all of us – my niece, nephew, my mom and me to watch. (My sister and her husband were out running errands, but she had said it was OK). It was Katy Perry’s documentary, Part of Me, a sort of “day in the life” of Katy Perry during her world tour.

This may be hard to believe, but I had never really paid any attention to Katy Perry before, so I knew very little about her as a person or her music. I almost never listen to that type of music… it just doesn’t interest me. So this movie wasn’t what I wanted to watch, and I actually had a bad feeling about it from the start. My 8 year old niece, on the other hand, likes Katy Perry a lot, so she was excited to see this movie.

kp5About 20 minutes or so into it I began to realize that, just as I suspected, this was a bad idea. During a couple of the performances, I actually cringed and wanted to cover my niece’s ears. (Thankfully, my 4 year old nephew slept through most of it.) But the movie wasn’t as bad as what I discovered afterwards. Holy Moley! It only took a little bit of research to find that almost all of her songs are totally inappropriate for kids.

At the risk of sounding like a grandma or something, I’m actually appalled that so many little girls are idolizing Katy Perry, and wanting to be just like her. Yes, obviously I’m a few years late on this one, but this is truly disturbing to me. I shouldn’t be surprised though. It’s not like KP is the only pop star that kids look up to. I guess it was just never an issue for me, because I don’t have kids. But I have a niece who is getting to that age where she wants to hear “fun” pop music on the radio, or look at YouTube videos of her favorite singers (Her favorite is Selena Gomez, but she also likes KP and Lady Gaga) so, I care… that’s all.

For anyone who doesn’t understand what I’m talking about, let’s look at some of the lyrics, that very young fans – girls as young as 6 or 7 – are listening to and singing along to, while admiring KP and wanting to be just like her.

From Peacock:

I want to see your peacock cock cock I wanna see your peacock cock cock…. come on baby let me see what you’re hiding underneath”

———–

From California Gurls:

“We freak in my jeep…So hot, we’ll melt your popsicle”

———–

From Teenage Dream:

“Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love… We drove to Cali and got drunk on the beach, got a motel and built a fort….I’m a get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans, be your teenage dream tonight, let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans, be your teenage dream tonight”

———–

In E.T she sings about sex with an alien.These lyrics are disturbing:

“Take me, ta-ta-take me, Wanna be a victim, Ready for abduction”

———–

And of course, her most famous song, “I kissed a girl

“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick…”

———–

Her song Last Friday Night is basically a glorification of hedonism, stupidity, and some lawbreaking thrown in for good measure… (Great message for your tween, right?)

“There’s a stranger in my bed….I smell like a minibar…DJ’s passed out in the yard….Pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed, oh well, it’s a blacked out blur but I’m pretty sure it ruled.
Last Friday night, yeah, we maxed our credit cards, and got kicked out of the bar, so we hit the boulevard….Last Friday night we went streaking in the park skinny dipping in the dark then had a menage a trois…
This Friday night, Do it all again, This Friday night, Do it all again.”

I’m sure there are more songs, but you get the point.

KatyPerry-MuchMusicAwards061712-jpg_004055

Of course people are free to listen to whatever they want to listen to… that’s their choice. But do parents realize that their little girls listen to this and love Katy Perry, and that (whether she accepts this or not) she is a role model for these little girls?

I know that people will say, “She’s not a role model, because she has stated she doesn’t want to be a role model.” Yes, we’ve heard that many times before with other celebrities. The reality is, it doesn’t matter whether or not they want to be role models, or whether or not they should be role models, that’s not the point. The point is, they ARE role models. Like it or not, that’s the reality. Especially when the people behind the celebrity are actively marketing her towards young girls, and the young girls are going to her concerts in droves.

In light of the fact that Katy Perry comes from a religious background (her parents are traveling ministers and missionaries) she must realize that this is a horrible message for young girls. Or does she? Is she sincerely unaware of what she’s doing? Many of us were blind in our past, I know I was. Or does she understand that these messages paired with her candyland, bright and shiny childlike theme that appeals to 5 year olds is a sinister combination?

I don’t want to be too hard on her, but when I think about my niece, who I adore and cherish…Well, I don’t take misleading kids lightly. I know my sister feels the same way, but she also didn’t realize just how inappropriate KP’s music is for kids.

And remember Jesus’ very sobering words about leading a child astray:

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
Mark 9:42

All that said, if she is simply lost and sincerely not aware of what she’s doing, then I feel sorry for her… and either way, she definitely needs prayer.

Update: Apparently, for her new album Prism, which I don’t think has been released yet, she is shedding her bubblegum persona and going for something different. Something tells me the message will be the same, whether it’s wrapped in candycane or tiger print.

If you agree with me or not, I’d like to hear your thoughts!

Featured photo credit: nooccar via photopin cc

Top 10 C.S. Lewis Quotes

I
‘ve always loved the writings of C.S Lewis. When I was little, I was absolutely enchanted by the Chronicles of Narnia series. As an adult, I love him for his Christian apologetics books. Like C.S Lewis, I became a Christian later in life, so I can relate to his particular point of view, and I just love his insight, logical thinking and common sense. And of course his imagination and wonderful way with words. As a tribute to him, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite C.S Lewis quotes. Enjoy, and feel free to add to the list, if you want!
 

  1. “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”
    Mere Christianity (1952)
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  3. “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.”
    The Four Loves (1960)
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    C.S. Lewis Quotes

  5. “The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
    Mere Christianity
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  7. “God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.”
    The Problem of Pain (1940)
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  9. “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
    The Four Loves
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  11. “We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
    The Abolition of Man (1943)
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  13. “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”
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  15. “He [the Christian] does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us…”
    Mere Christianity
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  17. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'”
    From The Great Divorce (1944–1945)
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  19. “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
    Mere Christianity

Are you a crowd follower?

H
ave you ever noticed how prone people are to following the crowd, going along with trends (no matter how silly those trends may be) and seeking the approval of others? I remember how utterly trendy and popularity-focused my high school was.  If the most popular girl started a new fashion trend, all the other girls followed suit. Don’t get me wrong. I was into going along with the crowd too, at that age. How I wish I knew then the things I know now!

I fully understand why people, especially teens, want to go along with the crowd. Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. Everyone wants to fit in. And of course we all want to be thought of as good-looking, fun and cool… not a weirdo or a nobody. It’s natural to want to be loved and accepted, but here’s the important part. Your value is not determined by the approval of others, or by superficial things like your looks, popularity, or even the things you do. You have value because you were created in the image of God and He loves you and cherishes you so much. So much that he was willing to die for you. Think about that for a minute.

Ok, you might be saying, “I know God loves me, but I still want to have friends who love and accept me.” As I said, it’s natural to want to be loved and accepted, but that doesn’t mean you have to go along with the crowd, especially if they are doing things that are a waste of time, or unwise or unhealthy.

Here is one of my favorite scriptures in the entire bible:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

-Romans 12:2

That really says it all. It sums up what was on my heart to say today. Who is smarter…fallible human beings, or the living God of the universe? So whose will do you want to follow?

If you fear being thought of as a misfit, be encouraged… If you’re doing things that are good and healthy, then why should anyone object? If anything, they will probably think it’s interesting and worthy of respect that you don’t need to follow the crowd, like a lemming. And if they do have a problem with you not doing what everyone else is doing… even if those things can be harmful to your emotions or physical health, then what kind of friends are they anyway?

I’ll share a little bit of my experience of being a fish that swims upstream, so to speak. I made the decision about 10 years ago to stop drinking alcohol. Completely, not even an occasional beer or a glass of wine. That was after many years of drinking with my friends every weekend. Now, whenever I go to parties, dinners, family get-togethers or any events where there’s alcohol, people always ask me what I’ll have to drink, forgetting that I don’t drink. When I decline, usually they’re a little surprised but then it’s totally OK. I’m not suddenly unaccepted or anything negative like that. Every so often, someone might press the issue and say, “Are you sure? Come on, you can have one!” And when I say no again, they shrug and say, “Ok.”

It’s OK to not go along with the crowd.

The most important relationship in your life will not be with your friends, your boyfriend, or even your husband. It is your relationship with God that will open your eyes, transform you into the person you were designed to be, give you true wisdom and give you LIFE. Will the crowd do that? Ok then, so who are you going to follow?

photo credit: Mommyof4Ruggies via photopin cc