Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

My family went to see Expelled last night, and we all loved it!  It was amazingly well done, and very thought provoking.

It was basically a documentary done by Ben Stein about how our freedom of expressing our views, and of questioning evolution is slowly and methodically being taken away.  Mr. Stein found out that there are many people in the U.S., scientists, journalists, teachers, and others, who are losing their jobs or chances for tenure just for mentioning Intelligent Design.  Some of those interviewed didn’t even agree with ID, but just because they mentioned it, without doing it in an unfavorable light, they are now “suffering the consequences.”  Mr. Stein was curious why evolutionists were so afraid to have their supposed “fact’s” authority to be questioned.  (I never caught in the movie if that question was answered, but we know why.  Atheist’s don’t want there to be a creator, otherwise they would have to be accountable to him.)

 An interesting turn was when one of the interviewee’s mentioned how the Holocaust was Hitler acting on his worldview of Darwinian theory.  How Hitler was just taking what Darwin said to it’s logical end.  Because Mr. Stein is Jewish, he was especially interested in checking this out.  After doing research, he found that in one of Hitler’s speeches, he had talked about how in recent decades we had been working against natural selection by aiding the weak in living.  How we needed now to help nature along by getting rid of the handicapped, less than perfect and unwanted.  With the worldview of evolution, this makes perfect sense.  We don’t want the weak and those who are drains on society to have children and make more like themselves, so we should get rid of them.  But God tells us that we are supposed to protect these people.  Instead of being descended from an ape, we are created in the image of God, and we have a purpose on this earth beyond living and dying.

Anyways, Mr. Stein had an interesting illustration that he shared.  He equated what is going on today, with how evolutionists are suppressing our freedom to question Darwinian theory, with the Berlin wall and all it stood for.   We are not being allowed to think anything other than Evolution is a undeniable “fact.”  The evolutionists he interviewed claimed that the debate of origins was fought many years ago, with evolution coming out the undisputed victor.  Mr. Stein disagrees.

Mr. Stein’s reason, it seems, behind this documentary is to spread the word about this “wall,” and to encourage people to take measures to start to bring it down.  Here is Focus on the Family’s Plugged In review of it http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/movies/a0004010.cfm .  I strongly encourage everyone to go and see it.  It is definitely well worth the money!



…trip continued…

Okay, sorry for taking a while to get back to this.  I’ve been very slowly recovering. 😉

Day 4 – We basically got up, got ready, packed everything up, took it to the campground we were staying at during the tournament and went to the tournament to register.  At the tourney it was kind of boring since we hadn’t signed up for the meal and the entertainment, but had to wait for my dad to get out of parent orientation.  We got in trouble for skipping down the upstairs hall and were told to go downstairs.  😳  Unfortunately, I had taken my shoes off to skip and upon coming back to where I had left them, they were gone.  My brother and his friend proclaimed their innocence, but I knew they had done something to my flip flops.  I looked in various trash cans, and under the stairs but couldn’t find them.  I decided to frisk my brother, but didn’t find anything.  (Unfortunately, at that time a group came out, and a girl was looking at me really weird after I frisked my brother. 😉 )  A little later, my brother pulled my flip flop out of his pocket!  Guess I didn’t frisk real well. 😉  His friend pulled my other shoe out of his pocket, and all was good again. 🙂

Day 5 – The tournament started.  It didn’t get off to a real good start.  Our first debate was against a good team, and our rounds went downhill from there.  Throughout all four of the debates that day it was a constant struggle for me to try to get my mind in gear.  It would just start, and would go ka-put.  I haven’t had such bad rounds since my very first tournament.  At the table, I would know where I wanted to go with a certain argument, and when I would start to speak I still remembered.  But all of a sudden, it would vanish, and I would try to remember where I was going with the words that were attempting to come out of my mouth.  It was awful.  As far as speech goes, my first round was pretty bad.  Everyone watching looked extremely bored.  They only laughed once.  It was quite disheartening.

Day 6 – Went pretty much as bad as the prior day.  My mind finally started to run a bit in our last debate, but we had gotten a bye the fifth round, so we knew we weren’t doing so well. 😉  Tab had promised that they would get breaks out that night, so we had to wait around for 2 hours before that finally happened.  We didn’t get back to the campground till around 11:00.  But we found out that none of us had broke in debate, and only my friend with his OO and myself had broke in speech.  It was disappointing, but not bad for our first year. 😉

Day 7 – We got to sleep in a little since we were no longer debating!!  We got to the tourney around 10:00 so I could do my speech.  It went pretty well, though my speech hasn’t been going so well the last couple of tournaments.  I think I’m getting to bored with my speech, because I’m not as energetic anymore.  Anyways, I didn’t break to finals with my speech.  It was pretty sad.  I kind of had a hard time acting like it wasn’t a big deal, but I was disappointed.  After doing so well at all the other tourneys this year, it was a bit of a shock not to make it.  But, I didn’t do too bad for a novice.  I made it to Regionals!

Unfortunately, more happened that day to make me sad.  I found out that even though I was going to be able to go to the Chec Conference now, my only friend there wasn’t.  Sad day.  And then, that night, my poor debate partner had an allergic reaction to some tree nuts in the salad, and she missed much of the awards ceremony. 😦  The whole fact that this was the last tournament of the year, and the last for many of my friends, hung over everything like a cloud.  As if it couldn’t get any worse, awards went so late that we couldn’t have a ballot party afterwards!  All the pent up emotions just about spilled right there.  On the way back to the cabin all I could do was stare out the window.  I hardly talked.  The fact that I was extremely tired also probably had a significant factor to my overreacting. 😉  So, the whole tournament ended with kind of a depressed air.

Days 8-10 – Were spent in driving back home.  Nothing much happened, except for spending the night in a hotel that had bars on the windows.  :shivers:  But, God was faithful, and we made it safely throughout our entire trip!  And even if it was sad and depressing, I suppose it was cool overall.

The only thing I have left to add is, on the afternoon that we returned home my dad received and e-mail from Mrs. Pitchford.  I had been offered an at-large slot!!!  After some deliberation, it was decided that I can go with my mother.  So I qualified to Nats after all!  Truly not bad for a novice. 😉

Excuse me.  I’m going to check on how the deliberation on what transportation we are using is going. 😉


Back from Regionals

We finally made it back!  Whew!  We left a week ago early Sunday morning, and just got back about three hours ago.  It was a long week.  I’ll try to give you the complete low down.  We’ll see how far I get. 😉

Day 1– We left our house at about 7:30.  My parents had decided that we were going to take the trip from Colorado to Seattle, Washington in two days, so we put in 10+ hours in the car.  After leaving Colorado we went through Wyoming, Utah, and stayed in Twin Falls, Idaho.  On the whole, for spending that much time with that many people in the car, it wasn’t a bad day.

Day 2– We left at nearly the same time and drove for about as long as well.  It didn’t take much driving in Oregon before we went up some mountains, and it started to snow on us!!  It was snowing so much, we could hardly see twenty feet in front of us.  It was crazy!  But, upon coming down the mountain it was only raining on the plains, and after getting into Washington, it was very sunny.  However, when we were about to reach Seattle, we went throught some more mountains and it snowed on us more!  So this day we went through Spring, Summer, and Winter twice in one day.

Day 3– We had an extra day to go and sightsee.  Even though it was chilly, we braved the weather and headed downtown.  After going on a tour of the underground city, we went out to eat.  It was a lot of fun because, since it was on the waterfront we could go out on the “deck” and hold french fries above our heads and seagulls would swoop down and snatch them out of your hand.  It was pretty cool. 😉 After eating we went to Pike’s Place Market, then headed home.

I have to go eat right now.  I’ll write more later.

“Hi-ho-the derio, a slashing we will go”

I don’t know if you caught the tune I was aiming for in my title, but oh well.  You are probably wondering what kind of slashing and who is doing the slashing.  To the later question, we only wish we knew so that we could strangle them. (I have to admit, that’s not to far from serious)  As to what their slashing, it’s tires.  Tonight was the second set in less than a month.

Ever since we moved into this neighborhood, nearly three years ago, we have been regularly vandalized.  Two months after moving in, my dad’s car, which was on the driveway, had a window smashed out.  And it wasn’t the back window either.  They actually came up onto the driveway to put a rock through the side window.  After doing so, they stole a black bag that contained some medical equipment that cost 1,500 dollars.

Since then, we have been egged several times, and two weeks ago we had a single bright green paintball on our garage above the door.  The weirdest thing is that almost all of these incidents happened in broad daylight!  Most recently, it’s turned to tire slashing.  It’s been the same car, our 15 passenger van, both times.

The first time, less than a month ago, it was the two tires facing the house. (We park it on the street.)  Then, upon returning from ballet this evening, we found the other two (facing the street) completely flat.  There is no chance of them, if we were to refill them, lasting long enough to get to the repair shop around the corner.

Throughout this whole thing, we’ve wondered why is this happening to us?  We haven’t heard of anyone else in our neighborhood getting vandalized like us.  And it’s not like we live in a low-income neighborhood where you tend to expect these types of things.  But again, why us?  Is it against us personally?  Though I doubt that because we rarely talk to our neighbors, and are in good favor with them when we do talk.  Why are we seemingly singled out?

The only explanation I can think might be plausible is, we are Christians.  Whether the people doing this know this fact or not, I don’t know.  But apparently, God sees fit for our faith and patience to be tried in this way.  It is terribly annoying to have to go through trials. 😉  But I suppose we should look for what God wants us to learn from this.

I probably should sign off now.  My family will soon be discussing what to do.  Add motion sensor lights?  Put up video cameras?  Or even more drastically, move to the country and buy a big guard dog.  Please keep us in your prayers as we try to bear up with this trial and try to figure out what to do about it. 🙂


Phillipians 2:1-11

I ran across these verses today during my quiet time.

Phillipians 2:1-11

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  3Do nothing our of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about humility and pride in the past few days.  I have to admit that going to Speech and Debate tournaments sparked it.  It is very rare to find a competitor who is good yet humble.  They all have their various “groupies” and clicks.  They seem to be more centered on themselves than on others.

But, I’ll admit that I’ve committed the sin Jesus talked about on the Sermon on the Mount.  When he talked about taking the spec out of my brother’s eye while having a log in my own.  I may not be popular at Speech and Debate, but I often times find myself craving to be the center of attention.  I don’t really care about what others want to say, I want everyone to pay attention to me.  I struggle with doing things “out of selfish ambition.”

I’m detesting this in myself more and more.  At the Centennial tournament I regretted that I didn’t lose my voice.  It was a blessing in disguise when I lost my voice at the Open tournament.  When my ability to talk was taken away, I was forced to listen to others, to not be constantly putting myself forward.  So at Centennial I regretted the need to be quiet.

But it is also so hard because, besides wanting to be the center of attention, I love to make others laugh.  Something inside me feels fulfilled when I can cause laughter.  I think that sometimes I do want to make others laugh not for selfish reasons, but it’s beginning to be hard to distinguish between my righteous and selfish reasons.

I need to take to heart the Scripture in 1 Peter 3:8

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”

I pray that God will change the desires of my heart to be instead of self-serving, to be a servant to others.


Of the flu, mice and adoption

Well, I hardly know where to start.  So many things have been happening this past week.  First off, a week ago, I awoke to one of my sisters… umm… exhibiting flu symptoms.  She was quickly followed by another of my sisters.  We had hoped that was the end of our encounter with the flu, but more members of the family have been catching the dreaded disease throughout the past week.  And it hasn’t just come and gone.  A few of us were okay for a day or two then had a relapse.  My youngest sister had one such relapse last night.

Then yesterday at lunch time, my brother walked into the kitchen and saw a mouse scamper across the floor.  As of yet we have only caught one, that might be the sum of the invaders, but that’s a fool’s hope. 😉  We have set traps in various places about the house, and have searched the outside of the house to try to discover how the little bugger’s are getting in.  Maybe they’ll be gone for good this time. 😉  After we catch them all.

And to add to all that, my parents are looking into adopting an orphaned child.  Well, not really a child.  She is only half a year younger than myself.  We heard about her while visiting Kevin Swanson’s church, and how she wished to be adopted by a homeschooling family.  My parents are now actively pursuing adopting her, and have started the endless hours of classes to qualify to adopt.  Mom and Dad have decided that if it is not God’s will for us to adopt this specific young girl, then they will look into someone else.  It’s kind of a scary idea.  Bringing someone into our home, permanently, who we don’t know, knowing practically nothing about her past, and will have to help her deal with those problems from her past.  It is a rather daunting task.  I’ll even have to share my room for the first time in my life!  Talk about an adjustment! 😉  But I know that God will guide us through whatever we do.  Whether we adopt her, or another different child, I know that God will be there to guide, care, and sharpen us to make us more into the likeness of His Son.

I’ll end it here.  That’s probably enough for now. 😉

Sola Deo Gloria!


Hit the road Jack…

I got my permit today!!  It took forever, but I’m happy now.  I haven’t been too excited about getting my permit before, but now that I have it, I’m kind of excited. 🙂

Course, it helped when a friend of mine who is a year younger than me got his permit on Monday.  It made me feel officially embarrassed.  So I didn’t let him show me up for long. 🙂

It took a lot longer than I thought it would!  We got to the DMV around 2:15 and sat there for forever!  I got number B583, and when we sat down they were on B511.  They made it to B515 at about 3:00. :rolls eyes:

Mom was getting scared that we wouldn’t make it in before closing and would have to come back another time.  It was getting to be 4:30, I believe the closing was at 5:00, and it looked like Mom’s fears would come true.  But I didn’t want to give up!  We had waited, we needed to persevere!

Suddenly a lady asked for everyone who came to take the written test to come up to the front.  I went up there and got the test and went to fill it out.  My hand started to shake while I was attempting to fill out the test.  What if I didn’t pass?  After we had waited for over two hours!  And being a perfectionist didn’t help matters any either. 🙂

I finished the test and put it in the basket.  A kind lady came over and took my test away to grade it.  Just as I joined Mom, my number was called.   We went to the desk and I explained that I had already taken my test.  He got all my information, Mom asked him if I had passed the test.  He said, “We’re not concerned with that now.”  After filling out all the forms I found out that I had only missed one of the questions!  That was pretty cool!  I gave them my personal info, weight, height, hair color, eye color, and went to get my picture taken.  It was all pretty exciting after the ball started rolling.  I’ll be getting my real permit in the mail sometime in the next while.

Over all, it was pretty cool.  I now can learn to drive (scary huh?  Everyone else beware!).