Thursday, December 31, 2009

First blush review of Sherlock Holmes.

The film bears little resemblance to a Conan Doyle story. This is a much darker, much more physical and less cerebral Holmes with a story that rehashes elements of many action flicks in memory, complete with a strongman giant and malevolent midget. Sadly, I had figured out the main mystery within a few frames of the resurrection of the bad guy.

I just cannot get into a kungfu fighting Sherlock, or the Num3ers slo-mo step by step methodologies showing Holmes’ brain at work. Whereas the heroine and her blackjack can take a villain out with one slap, it takes Downey and Law scores of blows and a hardware store to take out their opponents, ostensibly to drag out the overly long action scenes. Honestly, this reminded me of a combination of James Bond and the Wild Wild West in turn of the century London with little of the Holmes idiosycrasies in evidence.

Throw in the occult underbelly and overtones along with slaughterhouse and sewer scenes, and you could almost smell this film. How many films in recent memory have depended upon the presence of s secret society set to rule the world as it’s core malevolence attraction? Umm- there the Illuminati who are apparently everywhere in video games. Movies, comics, fiction, Freemasons as in National Treasure, Skull and Bones, Opus Dei and so forth. This is getting pretty tired. And speaking of tiresome, Robert Downey is in danger of becoming typecast as himself. Give me Jeremy Brett.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Idea Park

Sometimes I use this space to park ideas for further exploration later. Today's idea is that of a leader as an architect of synergy. When a leader is only able to bring all the parties he leads to the table as a conglomeration of individual interests, the results are gridlock and less than the sum of their parts. Results are stringently limited. When a leader leverages leadership qualities, results happen that are more than the sum of the part. there is a creative stewardship involved in this. The character of these results are based in the character of the qualities leveraged, that is, by the quality of authority or power invested in him/her, by the power of personality, or by the power of compelling compassion and service- or any of the many other qualities of a leader. Virtue begets virtue, and vice begets vice. You will know them by their fruit, Christ said...

to be explored further....

Monday, December 28, 2009


To revel in the presence
Of the source of all delight
To come and bow in reverence
Transformed from blight to right

We were made for this
We were made for this
To enter into bliss.
In his glory at His throne
Reveling here in Christ alone

To be never separated
In adoration unabated
To linger there our one desire
We will gaze on him and never tire

Raptured by His righteousness
There at the mercy seat
To be forever, always blessed
Our destiny complete

Where glory to glory reflects
And praise upon praise resounds
And light to light is mirrored
In resplendent radiance found

Where wrong is set right
By His covering made clean
Lesser desires will fade from sight
In the light of the unseen.

We were made for this
We were made for this
To enter into bliss.
In his glory at His throne
Reveling here in Christ alone

Anthony Foster
December 26, 2009

Seek the Child of Heaven

He is the Word that had to be said
He is the prayer we pray.
He is the gift that arose from the dead
A gift to give away
He made the star in the skies
That points the way in the night
He is the one that gives it light
And oh He shines so bright

Burn away the darkness that blinds us
Burn away the darkness that binds us
And give us sight
Oh give us sight

To see the Son is to see
The God who is unseen
We see the Son and see
His purpose for every thing

Seek the child
Oh seek the child
The child of heaven reconciles
He sets the prisoner free
To arise and to shine bright
In His presence whole and holy
Whole and Holy
Whole and Holy
Enter in and stand in glory
Seek the child of heaven
Come and shine within His light

Gloria to the glorious one
Our Creator is revealed
His glory he now shows
God on High is here below
So that we can know
So that we can know….

Anthony Foster
December 26, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Best Laugh of the Day

Glad to see Dave Barry hasn't lost his touch- here's his 2009 in review....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I saw at Southern Lights @ the Kentucky Horse Park

12 Snowflakes blinking
11 Toy soldiers
10 Disney displays
9 Snowmen waving
8 Reindeer flying
7 Gingerbread men
6 Famous fables
5 Ninjas fighting
4 Horses racing
3 Bears a flashing
2 Jedi dueling
1 Santa’s limo
And no baby Jesus nowhere!

So I must echo the sentiments: Bah, Humbug!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Musings and Meditations at Christmas

The great shame and the great sin of the world is not complicated. It is simply and only and always-- undervaluing Jesus. This takes on a multitude of forms from blatant rebellion and cosmic anarchy on one end of the continuum, to sentimentalizing Christ and making him a safe, warm, and fuzzy buddy that you can take or leave. Sin violates who Jesus is. It is seeking sustinence and pleasure in his gifts rather than enjoying the one who gave them. In enjoying his gifts, even then we must enjoy them in the way that they were intended to be enjoyed. So whether the sin is calling God a liar in not believing his Word, or in substituting the pursuit of ease comfort and pleasure for pursuing him, or in devastating your family and body with runaway desires, in the end it boils down to this truth. To value Jesus- who is of the ultimate worth in the universe, less than he is due is worthy of death.

The world offers many competitors and substitutes that vie for our attentions,loyalties, and energies. While Jesus needs not be defended from Santa, it needs to be said that it is our very reason for living to worship and adore him. We have tremendous freedom and opportunity to find his light in all it's various facets- his poikilos grace, as it is in the Greek. Because he is full of grace and forgiveness, mercy and compassion for he understands our sufferings and desires better than we do ourselves.

He can understand our hearts because he created them. Jesus was unique because he is God. He is God-nature and Man-nature all wrapped up in an explosive and incomprehensible package of love. Jesus was unique as a human in that he never sinned and he rose from a stone cold death with power. The bible says in various places that God raised him, that the Spirit raised him, and that he raised himself. It’s paradoxical, but Christians believe this is reality, and stake their lives on it, not because of some leap of faith, but because of the character and nature of the One who told us this is true. His resurrection defines reality.

This undervaluing of Jesus- anything that deprives him of the glory and honor that is due him as the incarnate logos, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is something every individual on earth is accountable for. He defines glory and honor; the world devalues and perverts it.

He is the only one who can purify all the things we pervert, and make no mistake, we are all experts at that, every one of us frail children of dust. Only in Christ can we trust, for he will not fail. As the fulfillment of the law, and the perfect image of God in whose image we are made, he defines Sin. He is the only one who has the authority to forgive sin. Therefore since failure to acknowledge the Truth of his Worth is at the root of all sin, he is the only solution to the sin problem. No religion can make that claim. Only in this person- the most high God in a body, the child who was born in a cattle stall in a dark and weary world, can we find reconciliation with God, and our very salvation. This determines whether you go to heaven: not who you are, or what you’ve done, but whether your desire to be with Jesus in all of his worth drives your life. If you don’t have much use for him in this world, what makes you think you can worship him in heaven?

Jesus is more than the reason for the season. He is the reason for the universe- let's worship him in Spirit and Truth every moment of every day. that makes all the difference- it will lead us to a life of humilty and gratitude, loving others because we are loved, for we are never more like Jesus that we are when we are giving of ourselves.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Blind Side- a review

I'm not much of a sucker for schmaltz, so I don't watch much of the Hallmark Channel. I must admit that I half expected this film to be of that ilk, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were points that danced dangerously close to that tune...but all in all this was a good story, and a fine performance from Sandra Bullock, who carried the film through some treacherous territory where it might have descended into being just another tear-jerker.

We've gained a bit of experience on the inside of the foster care system and know of the heroic actions of many who put their money where their mouths are when it comes to care and compassion. People really can change a life by taking care of widows and orphans, but it's equally true that their own lives are changed in the process. Bullock was convincing as well as entertaining. The depiction of the role the kids in the family made in making the intervention work was a good touch.

The down side: Tim McGraw is really a weak link as an actor in my opinion. His wooden performance was a distraction.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Jerusalem

The new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem
Where the lamb is the light and the tree of life grows
And the stream of living water flows and flows and flows
With a stone and a new name, in the new Jerusalem.
Oh blessed day when it descends- the new Jerusalem.

To be changed into the likeness
Of the risen lamb
To be transformed into righteousness
Forever to stand
In the presence of the most High
Or to fall upon our face
Before the awesome throne of grace.

The new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem
Where the lamb is the light and the tree of life grows
And the stream of living water flows and flows and flows
With a stone and a new name, in the new Jerusalem.
Oh blessed day when it descends- the new Jerusalem.

Now as we celebrate his birth
We see the portent of his worth
In the now and in the not yet
In the future that’s already set.
The earth by glory is consumed
The day God’s rose has fully bloomed.
In His Incarnation we see the sign to come
For the final Word is said and done.

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

One Life

One life is not enough
So we shall see forever
With one purpose in mind
Our ties with sin to sever
And then true purpose we shall find.

One life is not enough
To apprehend His glory
To know His worth
To know His victory
And so His kingdom comes to earth.

One life is all we’re given
To receive the life beyond
One life to be forgiven
To take on His precious bonds.
One life to live within the light
To be redeemed and be made right
All this life is a gift in which we trust.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

One life is not enough
To render all the praise
One tongue to speak
One voice to raise.
One heart and mind with which to seek.

One life is not enough
So we shall gain eternity
To pray and praise
On our knees, yes on our knees
Worshipping the ancient of days.

One life is all we’re given
To receive the life beyond
One life to be forgiven
To take on His precious bonds.
One life to live within the light
To be redeemed and be made right
To be declared righteous and just
All this life is a gift in which we trust.

Anthony Foster
December 14, 2009

Our Christmas Traditions

We started recounting them this weekend and came up with these- there are probably more, but this is a good representation...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Warm My Soul

I would warm my soul by the fire of your glory
I would warm my soul in your light
I would draw e’re close to the fostering fire
And steel myself 'gainst the wintery night.

As I bask in the warmth of your most holy fire
To remain in this place I will yearn
Till my soul’s consumed with the warmth of its glow
And with the light of your glory I burn.

By Your Spirit my embers are stirred
By your Spirit my heart has heard
And the stone cold ash is set ablaze
As here in your fire I stand amazed.
By a flame that burns but does not destroy
The branches are consumed by pure joy

I would warm my soul by the fire of compassion
I would warm my soul in your light
I would feel the fire in my bones growing stronger
As I stand in the fire and I fight.

I would see the spark that you place in me
Be stirred to a bonfire so bright
That its heat will burn all the dross of my life
As I warm my soul in your light.

I would warm my soul by the fire of compassion
I would warm my soul in your light
I would feel the fire in my bones growing stronger
As I stand by the fire in the night.

Anthony Foster
December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009


Oh dayspring from on high
Oh star that lights the sky
Visit us and visit now
As humbly in our hearts we bow.
Arise in us and shine.

To them that in the darkness sit
Here in the shadow of death’s pit
A light has shown to guide our feet
Into the way of peace.
That by your light is lit.

Child of heaven now we sing
Of your altar and your offering
Your sacrifice the perfect gift
And so to you our eyes we lift
You who know our suffering

Oh heaven’s precious gift is given
Through tender mercy we’re forgiven
To dwell within his glorious light
Redeemed and reconciled, made right
Christ has accomplished our release
And so we know his perfect peace

Oh amazing incomparable worth
Beyond all value on the earth
Oh rising sun of righteousness
We lift our voices to confess
Oh Jesus we celebrate your birth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We had thought about going to hear this

Program Information:
Michael Sandel Renowned Harvard professor and author of Justice: What We Owe One Another as Citizens - and How We Can Think About It Together

Justice, or Moral Reasoning 22, a course in moral and political philosophy taught by Harvard Professor of Government, Michael Sandel, draws more than 1,200 students each year. One of the most visited pages on the Harvard website (link) carries a video in which Sandel addresses a rapt audience on dilemmas dreamt up by philosophers in order to get people to reflect on their beliefs about the relationship between action and intention.

His new book, Justice, offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates his students- the challenge of thinking our way through the hard moral challenges we confront as citizens, inviting readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways.

Interviewer: John S. Carroll
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

BUT by the time the "convenience fees" (that is an oxymoron, for sure) were added it was going to run over 50 bucks- and at 6PM one would have to fight downtown rush hour to attend. I think we'll check out any lectures online. It would take longer to get there than the interview lasts. I think living in the boonies will have to change in the future.

Here's a 27 minute one.

And another.It's 43 minutes. Here are the Reith Lectures.

Wise Words from Thomas Sowell

This is one of Earnie's favorite writers; she reads him on a regular basis. Here's a smattering of wisdom on a variety of subjects- immensely quotable.

For instance: "“Many colleges claim that they develop ‘leaders.’ All too often, that means turning out graduates who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do. There are already too many people like that, and they are a menace to everyone else's freedom.”"