Monday, January 25, 2010

HCBC in Haiti

I thought you might want to be updated on what the association of Hill Country Churches is doing to help the victims in Haiti. A team from HCBC went with a group of doctors and nurses on two chartered planes full of donated medical supplies to help the victims of the earthquake. The team is updating their progress on the website http://haitihcbc.blogspot.com/.

These efforts have also been the focus on local media reports. You can read these reports by going to the Haiti relief site with HCBC and scrolling to the bottom: www.hcbc.com/haiti. The story has been covered by local news affiliates and the Austin paper. I am thankful to be a part of a team of people so committed to helping those in need.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti

If you've been following the story in Haiti, you might be wondering how to help. I personally like to give through Samaritan's Purse, who is heavily invested there. Their website is http://www.samaritanspurse.org/. I have also been following the blog of a missionary family that lives in the capital - their site is http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/. Gripping to read their accounts of what is going on. Does anyone personally know anyone on the ground there?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Holiday Entertainment

I enjoyed the holiday break and hope you did as well. I want to quickly review one book that I read and one movie that I saw over the holidays. One, I enjoyed - the other, not so much.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The book first. McCarthy won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007 for this post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son trying to find their way together in a world ravished by some kind of terrible worldwide devastation. I'm always nervous when I read Pulitzer-recognized fiction because sometimes I feel like it can be so wordy that the stories are hard to follow. But McCarthy is the opposite - the book is short, the writing is abrupt, yet powerfully beautiful. I really connected with his description of the father-son relationship. I also resonated with his insight into the human soul as he imagines what life might be like after some kind of disaster that wipes out most of what we value. What do humans do when all that their lives are built around disappear? Some of his scenes are gruesome, but they connected with me as plausible because of my view on the depths of human depravity. Wow - even now as I write, I am reminded of the powerful emotions that this book ignited in my heart - a great little read. They turned the book into a movie that was released in November - I haven't seen it or heard much about it.

Avatar by James Cameron
The movie Avatar is at once visually appealing and at the same time intellectually insulting. Insulting not in the sense that I wish the story had been better (which I did), but insulting that the $350 million movie is a cover for political propaganda and theological instruction. Cameron knows how to use to technology, no doubt, and I was actually glad that I saw the movie just to witness the 3D movies of the future. However, Cameron's main point, it seems, is to present us with his conclusions on America's involvement in Vietnam and Iraq. He's not trying to really hide these lessons - the references are repeated and clear. But the theological instruction is more subversive - a high-tech apologetic for pantheism. I'll refer you to Ross Douthat's article because I can't say it any better - Cameron's religion of choice is clear.