Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Queen Victoria

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and stream "The Young Victoria" a fabulous historical film which documents the happiest time of England's monarchy. A marriage made in heaven, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Available on Netflix, or purchase it for your library from Amazon. The Young Queen followed by the aged Queen performed by England's favorite Judi Dench. Both of these BBC productions are beautifully done with excellent costumes and tremendous acting. I give them both a THUMBS UP and on rainy days, these two are favorites to watch repeatedly.  Hip Hip Hazaaaah for BBC! ( The Other Boylen Girls, Downton Abbey, and Foyles War, are BBC greats!) The BBC production of "Mrs Brown" reveals the grief of Queen Victoria after Albert's death. Judi the Queen dubs John Brown her best friend. This one loyal friend sacrificed his life to lift her up and keep her safe. John Brown was despised by parliament and her palace. When John Brown died his personal journal of their friendship was never recoverd. The wonderful benefit of blogging one's treasured experiences is that the written word will never be lost by the publisher, the fan or friend.

Monday, September 29, 2014


The Last Train Station is a great film starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and James McAvoy. This impeccable cast gets 2 Academy Award nominations in 2009.  It is a sweet comedy-drama about the final days of the Russian novelist Tolstoy. The film focuses on the last few months of the writer Leo Tolstoy and his family disputes. The film is set in early 20th century Russia, before the harsh realities of the Russian Revolution occurred in 1917 and thereafter (Tolstoy died in 1910). It was a time in history when Socialism was still an untried idealized conceptual form of government, and Tolstoy in his final years became more "radical" in his political, religious, and social philosophies. It raises 2 universal questions: 1) What do you do when the love of your life is in conflict with your highest priority ideals? And how does your treatment or mistreatment of the people closest to you, who have loved and cared for you the most, reflect on the quality of your ideals? In the final months of Tolstoy's life, he abandoned his wife of 48 years to gain silence. Before Sophya and Leo married, Sophya knew of his many sexual escapades he shared with her in his diaries. She knew he had fathered a child with one of the servant girls in his household. Nevertheless, she loved him and married him, giving him 13 children, 5 of whom died in childhood. The movie implies the question: At what point does your life become more than a solitary pursuit? After how many years of good treatment and co-dependence with those close to you does your life necessarily and deservedly become considerate of more than just your own priorities? Where should your deference be? BIPOIC and riveting truth about LEO TOLSTOY a Christian man who struggles with his wife as he wishes to decline his wealth and help the needy. Nineteenth-century paparazzi lurk outside of Tolstoy's estate, hoping to snatch a picture of the rumored strife between the world-famous writer (Plummer), who's launched an anti materialist movement, and his aristocratic wife. Also lurking is Tolstoy's aide, Chertkov who despises Sophya and pushes to change Tolstoy's will to prevent the wife from inheriting the royalties from Tolstoy's books. Into this nest of conflict comes a young secretary, Valentin (McVoy) who idolizes Tolstoy and strives to live by the principles of abstinence and vegetarianism… only to find his purity tested by sensual temptations and an unexpected sympathy for Sophya. Moments of sly comedy keep The Last Station from becoming overly literary. The movie as a whole lacks the emotional punch it reaches for, but every scene is a polished jewel, expertly and passionately crafted by the actors this classic is rich with social detail. Mirren, of course, is superb, with a wonderful portrayal of a woman who can't help turning her genuine passions into a performance that repels her husband. The film "The Last Station" focuses on the last few months of the novelist and writer Leo Tolstoy's family and social life. Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy, Helen Mirren as his wife Sophya, James McAvoy as Tolstoy's new personal secretary Valentin, Kerry Condon as Valentin's charming and aggressive love interest, and Paul Giamatti as the leader of a group of "Tolstoyans" who wish to widely promote Tolstoy's ideals.

Friday, September 19, 2014


IF a movie could be nominated for an OSCAR based on a message of TRUTH, or IF a movie was nominated for it's VALUE in society, then the MOVIE entitled "The Gospel of John" would win the BEST MOVIE for the century! The script was written by God. This 3 hour EPIC does not add one word to the Gospel of John. Enjoy perfection on screen. Purchase on AMAZON with commentary by the producers. Hear the Word and watch Father, Son, Holy Spirit love us --- even in our doubt, denial, rejection of the truth, He tells the truth, but do we listen? Do we accept that God is God and we are not? Allow His word to sink deep, be riveted, be undone....He is in pursuit, just surrender and REJOICE for He is glad and He runs to hug us and love us! Mary poured out all she had because she loved Jesus, He had just raised her brother Lazurus from the dead! VISUALIZE Jesus, the Holy Spirit telling us the Truth, and yet some still do NOT believe? Must we also see miracles in order to believe? "Sir they said, 'we would like to see Jesus'." John 12:21 Excitedly Andrew and Phillip raced to tell Jesus that even Greeks wished to see Him. Without restraint of their internal jubilation about their close friend Who would soon rule the world --- Jesus knew the motive of their hearts and He had already rebuked them for their pride --- Knowing all things, compassionately He said "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." John 12:23 --- He knew that they just did not get the agony He was about to suffer. In love Jesus then explains "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24 --- One life changing lesson in this scripture: ONLY when we die to our selfish desires, can our life increase the harvest of souls for His kingdom. "His heart was touched and He was deeply moved. Where have you buried him. Jesus wept." For one seed to produce more grain, it MUST fall to the ground and die. The blessing of a broken heart, a broken pride, a demolished dream --- is death to ourself, to a life's meaning ~ as the world teaches is meaningless. In that moment we realize what Jesus demonstrated to us. On this side of the cross, His lesson is clear --- the TRUTH will set us free to love as we are loved. Like a grain of wheat, the mission of God complete, Jesus came down into the pit, into the world to be seen, die and rise that we might believe. His death and resurrection gives us hope as He returned as He promised, in the Person of the Holy Spirit to be within us forever. Jesus knew that He would send the Holy Spirit in His absence, and that in the future, generations of people would understand through the Counselor. So without explaining what was meant in words, Jesus said "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25 What did this mean? Disciples then and today are baffled because to choose to die to our ways---when in our education, in our world, this makes no SENSE ---the cross, the life and death of Jesus confounds the wise! Because it takes FAITH in the purpose of Jesus to crucify our desires for recognition and importance. To fully YIELD our lives to the purpose of God, is to understand what Paul said "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." The power in a single seed, a single life... is in the portion we allow the Holy Spirit to rule. It is ONLY in our full surrender that He is glorified through us. That is when one is willing to hate this life on earth, to die to it's own: will, goals, dreams, desires, wants, needs, plans, rights and personal reputation. Jesus said "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Whose approval do we seek? Approval and blessings from the world or from Jesus, the Son of God? Who do we listen to? What voice calling out in the desert? "I am the Good Shepherd -- I know My sheep. The hired man runs away because he does not care about the sheep. I am willing to die for them. They will listen to My voice and become one flock" One church, one body united in Jesus Christ. Are we afraid of speaking about our faith in public because we will be laughed at? "Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But He who wants glory for the One Who sent Him is honest. There is nothing false in Him." Then Jesus told the Pharisees, the highly regarded teachers of the law of Moses "Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards." Today, on this side of the cross, as per His promise, the Holy Spirit resides in our body which is the temple of God. As Jesus taught in the temple, He said in a loud voice "Do you really know Me, and know where I am from?" "A branch can only bear fruit if it remains in the Vine."

Thursday, September 11, 2014


READ "THE HARBINGER" A Sycamore Tree at ground zero was uncovered in the rubble! The sycamore tree grew near St. Paul’s Chapel. On Sept 14, 2011 St Paul's chapel was found completely intact. Not a window had been broken (one was cracked). Not an inch of the walls or the roof had been compromised. The building’s structure was as sound as it had ever been. The giant sycamore tree that had stood in the northwest corner of the graveyard—on the spot where the Tree of Hope now stands—had been knocked over in the collapse. People say that tree was responsible for saving the chapel. God is in control and He will allow a single 100 year old tree — no matter how meek to save a tiny chapel from the collapse of two steel skyscrapers. Why do people always feel the need to explain away a miracle? The chapel dates back to before the US Revo lutionary War. It remains standing as the oldest building in continuous use in Manhattan. It survived the Great Fire of 1777— and the 911 terror attack. After George Washington was inaugurated a few blocks away on Wall Street, the president stopped at St. Paul’s to pray. For more than 250 years the chapel has served as a quiet place of prayer and meditation for workers and residents of New York City’s world-renowned financial district. In May 2002, the last piece of Trade Center wreckage was removed. Once the cleanup was complete, it became clear that St. Paul’s had quite a story to tell. The Miracle is that by all logic, the chapel should not be standing today. On 911 more than 2 billion pounds of steel came crashing to the ground. The crash was so powerful it registered on the Richter scale. Everything inside and below the WTC buildings was smashed beyond recognition. Every window facing the Trade Center was blown out. Every nearby building suffered damage, some beyond repair. The destruction seemed endless. We now know that the total amount of energy released by the impact of the planes, the explosion of jet fuel, the massive fires burning inside the towers, and finally the towers’ collapse equaled the power of a small atomic bomb. The very fact that the force of the collapse was enough to knock down such a large tree made the complete survival of St. Paul’s all the more remarkable. It was almost as if all the power and fury of the disaster surrounding the church had somehow been directed at that one tree. While much larger, newer buildings suffered massive structural damage, tiny St. Paul’s Chapel was barely touched, leaving it available to provide desperately needed support to those working tirelessly to clear the Trade Center rubble. One tree, sacrificed to save the church. Mysteriously, and prophetically according to Isaiah 9:10 the fallen sycamore tree was replaced with a spruce tree. The spruce tree is a towering tree, the sycamore tree is a short tree. Determined to deny God's warning, the US government boasted of rebuilding and becoming stronger than before. Therefore God has lifted His hedge of protection and Wall Street collapsed ~ according to scripture seven years later in 2008 when government instituted Freddie and Fannie fell and crashed. Interesting HISTORY OF WALL STREET: In the 1640s plank fences were built as a WALL of protection. The Dutch West India Company used both African slaves together with the Capital city government to construct a more substantial fortification, a strengthened 12-foot wall. In 1685 surveyors laid out Wall Street along the lines of the original stockade. The wall started at Pearl Street, which was the shoreline at that time, crossing the Indian path Broadway and ending at the other shoreline. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE of SEVEN YEARS after 911 fall of WALL STREET and the SYCAMORE TREE? At sundown on Sept 12, 2007, the Jewish new year of 5768 begins. Jewish or not, why does this matter? Biblically 9/12/07 became the year of DEBT FORGIVENESS! A Shemitah, a “release” a year of Sabbath rest, of relief ~ The year following the destruction of the second Holy Temple was the first year of the seven-year Sabbatical cycle. In the Jewish calendar, counting from Creation, this was year 3829, 68-69 in the secular calendar. By counting sevens from then, we see that this year is a Shemitah year. It runs from Sept 13, 2007 through Sept 29, 2008. the observance of the Shemitah year includes the forgiveness of debts. Established by God in Deuteronomy: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). In the Book of Nehemiah, it says, “if the peoples of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.” Neh 10:32 ~ In general, a Sabbatical Year cancels all debts, whether oral or in writing, even if he writing contains a clause placing a lien on the borrowers real estate as security for the loan. A learned Rabbi, Rav Kook, described the Sabbatical year this way: “The seventh year serves to rectify the social ills and inequalities that accumulate in society over the years. When poorer segments of society borrow from the wealthy, they feel beholden to the affluent elite. “The debtor is a servant of the lender” [Proverbs 22:7]. This form of subservience can corrupt even honest individuals in their dealings with the rich and powerful. The Sabbatical year comes to correct this situation of inequality and societal rifts, by removing a major source of power of the elite: debts owed to them.” In 2008-2009 I worked for a CITY who was #1 in HOUSING FORECLOSURES - People lost their homes to banks due to job loss, as a result of 911 WALLS STREET CRASH.