Monthly Archives: March 2009

Movie Review: Knowing

Movie Poster for "Knowing"

Movie Poster for "Knowing"

 

Synospsis excerpt from http://www.fandango.com/knowing_v426822/summary:

A time capsule containing a cryptic message about the coming apocalypse sends a concerned father on a race to prevent the horrific events from unfolding as predicted in this sci-fi thriller directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City) and starring Nicolas Cage. 1958: As the dedication ceremony for a newly constructed elementary school gets underway, a time capsule containing student drawings of the future is buried on the grounds and scheduled to be unearthed on the school’s fiftieth anniversary. Instead of submitting a drawing, however, one little girl scribbles a series of seemingly random numbers on her paper before it is buried. Fifty years later, the time capsule is unearthed for a new generation of students to examine… (read the full synopsis at the above website).

from WIkipedia: Knowing was filmed inMelbourne, Australia, using various locations to represent the film’s setting, Boston. The film was released on March 20, 2009 in the United States and Canada.Knowing was originally written by novelist Ryne Pearson

My synopsis:

This is about a child in the 1959 writing a series of numbers which Nicholas Cage character accidentally discovers that it accurately predicted the dates, total fatalities, and locations of every major disaster in the last 50 years; the last three of the events have not yet occurred.

The next two was personally witnessed by Nicholas Cage and he was able to save some people in it but what baffles them is the last item.This is the catastrophic “Everyone Else” solar flare that will torch the whole world.

In the end it is only two kids (the son of Nicholas Cage and the grand daughter of the kid who wrote the numbers in the time capsule) were ‘saved’ by the alien beings (maybe angels-but does not look like the biblical ones-since they are scary and are not talking audibly).

Wheel within a wheel and the Living Creatures

Wheel within a wheel and the Living Creatures

As anarchy reigns in Boston, Nicholas Cage reconciled with his father-who is former pastor-already prepared to meet his maker and then his  mother, and sister just as the solar flare strikes Earth and kills all life on the planet.

The movie ends as the two children, dressed in entirely white garments, run toward a large white tree, possibly being the Tree of Life.

My Take:

This is not Hollywood getting biblical. This is a movie that confuses everything. It tries to present an end of the world -with annihilationism-and no salvation for believers-just for children. It also have a rapture sequence-but that does not include Christians.It shows angels -but looks like alien who abducts children.

Their new earth-have no new heavens. And their tree of life is mystical -not ethical.The Lord Jesus was not even mentioned by the angels nor by those being saved.

The knowledge given by the whispering people- sounds like numerology. Clearly in the bible -no one knows when the end of the world will be-not even the Son of Man in his days of servanthood here. Only the Father. Why can’t this directors and writers respect that clear message. No man can carry these knowledge and remain sane or at least normal.

I really like the scene when the airplane barely misses Nicholas Cage. But I did not like the succeeding ones. If only the film makers tries avoid the end of the world scenario and chooses a different ending then this would have been a better film-but as other critics said-it started in cosmology-it ended in numerology and cultic or occultic knowledge.

But I really don’t like their end-of-the-world view: an annihilation without salvation based on faith in Jesus.

But see the interview of the writer here: http://christianmovienews.com/christians-in-cinema-ryne-pearson-of-knowing/

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Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Yes-the Oscar Awards winner. Here is the list of their awards:

1. Best Picture
2. Best Direction
3. Best Original Song
4. Best Original Score
5. Best Film Editing
6. Best Sound Mixing
7. Best Cinematography
8. Best Adapted Screen Play

At the Oscars 2009

At the Oscars 2009

And it is about human depravity and human longing to be lift-up from it. The protagonist -Jabal Malik and his brother-Salim were both orphaned by racial hatred by Sikhs (?) when they were young. And they have a girl named Latika joined then in their misery and plight.

This led them to a street children syndicate who deliberately crippled and blinded children so that they can triple their earnings-For this reason -I will no longer give ambulant children if this will only encourage these hoodlums who prey on innocent children. They were able to escape it before Jabal was blinded by their evil doctor.But they left Latika.

Both brothers find their way through Mumbai-as tourist helper, and even food vendors on trains-until they found Latika again. But Salim made a pact with the devil-the local mobster- and he sold Latika to him. 

Mumbai for the Rich , Not for Slumdogs

Mumbai for the Rich , Not for Slumdogs

After which , Jabal luck changed-accidentally getting through the telephone line to get a slot in “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. As a spoiler-he reached the end of the 20 Million rupees (currently 18 Million Philippines peso) after being tortured by the local police-who don’t believe him at first that he did not cheated his way first to 10 Million Rupees. But after the inspector heard his life story  and why he got all the answers to the contest questions-the Inspector let him try for the last night.

Who wants to be a Millionaire-Mumbai Edition

Who wants to be a Millionaire-Mumbai Edition

In the end-his brother died at the hands of the syndicate-and Jabal and Latika were reconciled.

Doctrine of election was prominent -as well as man’s longing for eternity. But the name of Jesus was not mentioned-ending their redemption upto the human level-that is -love between a man and a woman. I hope there was more-but if you can have some of the seriousness and excitement in one movie these days-you will be glad. 

Election? Jabal and Salim were brothers-grew up in the same environment-yet Jabal was the only one who chosed the right thing even in the worst situation. Jabal needs Salim’s harden heart survivalism-and yet he did not make it himself.

Faith-is also prominent. We must exercise our belief-even through the most harrowing situation a man is pushed into. We are more creatures of heaven than of just earth.

My favorite scene was when Jabal was supposed to catch a baseball but was startled by the incoming plane -since they were playing on the airport runway.Sounds like our own NAIA-near Merville Subdivision.

Too Difficult- Transfer of Pension

My father died last March 19, 2009. He is a SSS pensioner. He gets his monthly pension through a PSBank passbook account. Last use was of the account is on March 3, 2009.

I talked with SSS officer last Tuesday. I got the appointment number by 11 AM-I was able to talked with the SSS officer around 2:30 PM. And I got the list requirements by then.

Social Security System PHilippines

Social Security System

By Wednesday-I have to get a Certified True Copy of my parent’s marriage certificate and my mother’s certificate from NSO extension at Muntinlupa.I started before 8AM. I got the documents by 11 AM. I immediately went to Gamboa St., Makati for the Prudential Life Insurance for the certificate of use of plan by my father instead of my mother. I arrived at Greenbelt-Wendy’s by 12:30 noon. I arrived at Prudential by 1:15 PM-the document is already waiting for me to check and pay for the processing fee of P250.00

I immediately went to PSBank to get the requirements for the release of remaining balance. I was told that I have to get a baranggay ID for my mother-so I went to BF Baranggay office. There I found out that I must get an endorsement from Irineville’s homeowner association for my mother. SO I also inquired where the nearest notary public location.

Next day-Thursday- my mother and I went to the notary public and was advised to plead for leniency on the requirements-especially the extra judicial settlement since it still needs 3 weeks publication in a newspaper (worth-P1500.00) and notary fee of P3,000.00.

When we talked with PSBank and gave them all the requirements except the extra judicial settlement -they that they have still to refer this to their legal department. My mother started to cry and said that it was just a small amount (p10,000.00) and yet they are making it harder for her to get it. The officer reiterated that this are the requirements really and they were afraid that someone might went after them if they released the amount and close the account. The bank manager came and told her subordinate to get all the documents and refer it to their legal department. My mother was briefly pacified. So by 10:30AM ,my mother had her pictures taken for SSS/Bamk Id. She also opened a BPI Account for the pension-it only took a mere 20 minutes to do so.

Update: PS Bank service personnel Karen was able to facilitate the release of the remaining balance of my father’s account. Kudos for her tremendous effort to satisfy their customer and to make-up for the initial disappointment.

AT the SSS office at BF Homes, Sucat-the SSS officer look into our documents and found out that PSBank endorsement is still missing. She also pointed that we still need to notarized another document. This is already 11:30 am-and near lunch break.

We took a lunch at KFC San Antonio Valley-and then sought a notary public. Judge Leticia de Guia was so helpful (office infront of Paranaque City Hall) in notarizing and also offer help in the extrajudicial statement by lowering the required amount-since the amount in the passbook is only P10,000.00. We have it all signed and then notarized.

We took a taxi back to PSBank since my mother is already feeling dizzy. And we submitted the extra-judicial statement. But still we had to wait for days -since they will still refer it to their legal. And they did not told us this early morning when we first came to them. They just gacve us a statement of account of my father’s account. There is no note that it is already closed and that they already have his passbook.

When I presented this to SSS -the officer took some leniency and have all the documents received. I just have to xeroxed some documents again so that I can have a follow-up form given to me.

So it took 3 days to process this. And it is good that  I have a funeral leave since I am working for Meralco. But for ordinary citizen-such procedure is not only time consuming-but also financially draining. I hope some laws will be enacted to make the process easier still.

Like some documents are already in the possession of the government-why do we have to get it separately? How come we have to make our own xerox for the documents that these agencies needs for processing. Why can’t they just have xeroxing machines within their offices so we don’t have to leave and find one. The requirements are not thoroughly explained for their use-so we don’t have get them if inapplicable.

Ang hirap talaga pag gobyerno at maski sa bangko -“pera mo na ay pinahihirapan ka pa”- as a taxi driver said that day.

Passing from Death to Life-My Father

As my father is passing from life to death -physically this last week-The Lord made sure that he will pass from death to life spiritually. He had 14 siblings. The last remaining is at Nueva Ecija.

But all of them are closed Catholics-except their youngest who already died 20 years ago-he gave his life to the Lord during his final year. They would rather persecute relatives who turned to the Lord than be converted.

Two of them-Auntie Binay and Trining were the one who took care of us while we are at Instruccion Street, Sampaloc,Manila. I had a premonition fo their death-vaguely though-that is I just have to visit them. But I planned it for the weekend. But we never met-alive that is. They were taken by the Lord. I was hoping that it would not be the same for my father.

 

Mario Escosa Rodriguez (1923-2009)

Mario Escosa Rodriguez (1923-2009)

 

 

So -our harrowing week happened. My father was rushed to the hospital by March 13, 2009. Was brought to the ICU by evening of  Saturday, MArch 14, 2009. But it was during the Saturday morning that he accepted the Lord through me-then by a neighbor then by our dr-Dra Susan Lim-separately.

He was hallucinating things and were very restless. But I have been able to make him confess that all his life is due to Jesus-alone and that he must call His name-even when his voice will fail him-especially this time.I saw it my own eyes that he spoke the name of the Lord Jesus-and look-up into the heavens while doing so.

From Sunday to Monday we ar still able to talk to him -and he just nodded and  see us eye-to-eye. But especially last Wednesday-he is no longer seeing us -And so I asked him that since Jesus-is already in his heart-he may now leave-and Jesus will catch him at the other side.

By Thursday-I already asked my eldest son and our associate pastor to visit him by 5-6 PM. I already knew it was the last day. Wednesday  night before I slept-I asked the Lord for a peaceful departure for my father-so he wont be subjected to the pain and such. Thursday morning Iwoke up to a beautiful scent of flowers-I thought someone used a talcum powder-but it was 4 AM.It was not meant to scare my but a sign that my prayers were to eb answered.

He went into sleep by 1 PM. My dad’s heart beat his last around 7:35 PM. The Lord already took him into His everlasting arms. I am sure He is now being taught the Bible  which he ignored while here on earth. I am sure he is also weeping there-did not realized that he was not able to give service to the Lord here on earth. At least at his death-he testified at last to His grace.

My Father Died-March 19, 2009-7:35 PM

My father died at Medical Center Parañaque, Metro Manila Philippines around 7:35 Pm after 6 days at ICU. He died because of acute respiratory distress and multiple organ failure. I was with him at the morgue and when the staff of Funeraria Paz came to get and bring him for embalment at their building at inside the Manila Memorial Park, Sucat.

The wake was also there from Friday morning to Sunday 4 PM. The two services was done by Powerhouse -First Baptist Christian Missions led by Pastors Abet Nazario, Maroi, and Dr Ed Gonzales-one during the eulogy during saturday night and the other during Sunday, 3Pm.

 

Saturday Night Eulogy

Saturday Night Eulogy at Funeraria Paz

 The final prayers was done by Grace Bible Church, Nagtahan, Manila at  Loyola Memorial Park, Sucat. My family left by 5:30PM

 

Internment-Loyola Memorial Park

Internment-Loyola Memorial Park

Why I am a Baptist -An excerpt

This comes from Dr. Malcolm Yarnell, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from > http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2008/04/baptist-ident-1.html. This is an excerpt:

The first reason that I am a traditional Baptist is because Baptists begin the Christian life in the only way that Jesus Christ gave to His followers–by hearing His Word, believing it, confessing it, and obeying it by receiving baptism.

Second, Baptists do not baptize babies, because doing so alters the command of Christ and the orderly practice of His apostles, Who always placed conversion prior to baptism.

Third, Baptists do not baptize only in the name of Jesus, because doing so ignores the command of Christ, which was clear that baptism should be in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, Baptists do not baptize apart from the local church, because baptism involves local church membership.

Fifth, Baptists do not baptize into an illusory invisible church, because they understand that a church requires a covenant and that can only be done where two or more people (and people have visible bodies) have gathered.

Sixth, Baptists do not sprinkle or pour, because they know that only immersion is faithful to the New Testament witness regarding the cross and the empty tomb of the gospel.

Finally, Baptists do not baptize those who lack the assurance of their eternal salvation, because the doctrine that one may lose one’s salvation indicates a lack of submission to Christ’s own doctrine.
These seven biblical doctrines concerning baptism speak much about Baptist identity.

If we compromise these revealed teachings of Christ, we will begin to lose our Baptist identity because we will have compromised the Lordship of Christ. I am a Baptist because I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. And because I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, I must submit to His will. We may never compromise one aspect of Christ’s will, even in the name of supposed Christian unity.

My take:
It is still important label-Baptist-for all the divisions and negative images that thing evokes. For me-I am a recent Baptist-and I hold it dear and a good distinction from other Reformation groups-and in fact because of that, I am glad to be a baptist christian. I am not aware of the meaning held by other baptist for this culture and time -but I want to use the term ‘baptist’ because it distinguishes me from those groups that persecuted their brothers and was able to use the power of the state to stop us fro testifying to the truth-that salvation is by grace through FAITH ALONE.. True it judged most Christian at the time of Reformation as non-Christian. But it is better to be judge now here on earth and be misunderstood by men-than to be judged later at the Great White Throne and see the monstrous error of state church persecution of fellow believers. That is what a baptist to me means. And I hope fellow baptist now will not be tempted by allure of political power. Our baptist ancestors made sure that we understand that with the testimony of their blood.

But still modern baptist are not the same as the Reformation or first generation English Baptist. Modern baptist does not have thr same deep convictions as their forefathers have. So for lack of better term-I still need the term baptist-but it have to modified like Reformed or New C ovenantal or Sovereign Graca.

My Father is Sick

Since Friday- March 13, 2009-I had been busy with attending to my father who was admitted to the hospital Friday 5 AM by my two siblings (Kuya Zaldy and Dikong Ross). My father-Mario E. Rodriguez-had been experiencing pain because of his osteoarthritis for the past three weeks and the therapy and medicine given -first by Olivares Hospital and now-Medical Center Paranaque (Dra Mancao) was not helping him. Around 4 AM of March 13, 2009, my brother found him at the floor near the comfort room in pain.

By afternoon of friday I was already there with my wife Belle. And I took my first turn of attending to him from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon. It is difficult to attend to him,  to say the least -both for my mother and me -and also for my father. He is hallucinating and getting restless. He is also experiencing difficulty in breathing because of lung complications.

I went home by 5 PM-and took a bath at home. Around 8 PM-Saturday-he was taken to the ICU because his blood pressure dropped and was revived by the hospital staff. By Sunday-Our family worshipped at Powerhouse-First Baptist Christian Missions. And by afternoon-Mabel and I decided to vist him again.

Too many tubes! inserted in his throat, nose and arms. It is hard to look at him. Is he in pain-or his body is already numb?

I will add some more -as the days progress-I have not been able to blog for days now because of this.